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Monday, October 7, 2002

6:59 am. My clock radio comes to life with the sounds of KJZY-FM ("K-Jazz" since KJAZ went off the air a few years ago, but I still think of it as "Jazzy 92.9"). I have it come on in time for the seven o'clock news, but today I sleep through the news and the entire 59 minutes that the radio is on. In fact, having taken a sleeping potion last night, I don't wake up until 8:05 am. I'm supposed to be on duty at 8:00. I'm late.

8:05 am. I get up and check the answering machine to be sure no one has phoned and discovered my tardiness. No messages. I turn on the computer and the phone ringer. I go back to bed. If someone calls, I'll answer on the second ring, just to be sure I'm awake. No one calls.

8:48 am. I wake up for the third time, this time on my own. I feel refreshed but lethargic, a strange sensation indeed. The cold pills I took last night knocked me out early and for once I slept through the night. Refreshed. But they're still working in some residual manner, and I'm not quite my bouncy self. Lethargic.

9:00 am. It must be time to get up. I could probably sleep another hour, but a better idea would be to get some work done. I have errands to run this morning, and who knows what the evening might bring, so I shave. After taking a shower and getting dressed I go online while the coffee's brewing and read a few journals.

9:30 am. Coffee break.

10:45 am. Break's over, and I'm off to the post office. I've decided to bag all my other errands. I drive to the Food-4-Less lot and walk to the post office from there. It's the first time I've walked that far with my new shoes, but I think I'm ready. By the time I've limped back to my car, I've rubbed a blister on the back of my left heel.

11:30 am. As soon as I get home I take off my shoe to see what's caused the blister. The shoe seems smooth, so I figure the sock might have been bunched wrong. One thing I know for sure is that I hadn't laced my shoes too loosely. As a former professional, I know that's a deadly source of foot misery. (I also know that everyone thinks they have the hardest feet in the world to fit, but they're wrong. I do.)

12:00 pm. Bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch. For the last three weeks Safeway has had my favorite cereal (the only kind I buy) on sale, buy-one-get-one. I go into Safeway once or twice a week, and only once during that time have I found any boxes of RBC on the shelf. You know how they always ask you if you're finding everything? Don't believe they really care. All I got was a look of fake sympathy.

1:00 pm. I think it's time for a nap. I don't seem quite up to any real work, and I can't breathe. I take a decongestant because I don't want to take anything strong enough to knock me out. I sit in my recliner and watch last week's episode of Monk on TiVo, but I don't fall asleep. The phone rings several times and I have to interrupt my slacking off to do some actual work. Sheesh.

2:10 pm. I have about forty pages left in a book I started over the weekend, so I stretch out on the couch to finish it. After twenty pages my eyes are getting heavy so I put the book aside and close them.

4:10 pm. I wake up and walk out to the road to check the mail for the first time. Nothing. I come back and read the last twenty pages of my book.

4:50 pm. The game starts in ten minutes, so I check the mail again. Still nothing. Who's reading my mail today, I wonder?

5:00 pm. Oh goody. President Bush is going to do the baseball pregame show. I know he's a former team owner, a job held in slightly higher esteem than oil baron and much lower than used car dealer. It's a half-hour infomercial for his plan to free Iraq of the scourge of Saddam Hussein (I suppose so they can have a swell democratic government like the Saudis have). The president tells us so many things Saddam "could" do that I'm afraid the sheer volume might convince some of us that the administration's bombing plans have nothing to do with oil money. I hope not, but we'll see what the polls show tomorrow.

5:30 pm. Finally the game starts. Too bad the folks on the east coast aren't going to be awake by the time it ends. Between innings I move the sprinkler around my garden. That's what passes for yard work during the playoffs. I can't be bothered to pull weeds.

6:00 pm. I heat up the leftover pasta Mom gave me the other day. I don't usually eat this early, but I forgot lunch. That's probably not the worst idea, but I'll have to watch it later on. The most tempting snacking hours are the time between dinner and bed.

6:55 pm. An email message pops up, letting me know Netflix has received The League of Gentlemen, which I mailed back to them Saturday. I rate it (5 stars, the highest recommendation) and check my rental queue. Vanilla Sky is in the mail to me! It's been at the top of my queue (with the notation "Very Long Wait") for months. I'm not all that eager to see it, but it's exciting just to have the chance at last. I note that Kate and Leopold is the new number one, and it's marked "Short Wait." We'll see.

7:15 pm. The Giants are leading, 2-0 in the fifth, and I suddenly realize it's dark outside and the sprinkler is still going. I usually set the timer so I don't have to think too hard about when to move it. I wait until the end of the inning before going outside and shutting off the water. (By now it's pitch dark and I'm grateful for motion-sensitive outdoor lighting.) I roll up the hose so it doesn't cross the walkway. Who knows, maybe my letter carrier is just late and she'll bring my mail to the door.

7:35 pm. Pacing around the house between innings, I notice the sinkful of dirty dishes. Now that the outside water is off, maybe I'll put them in to soak after the next inning. I'm pacing throughout the whole game, but now I'm wearing my old shoes. I might check the mailbox one more time (between innings, of course). I still can't believe I didn't get anything on a Monday.

7:58 pm. Whew! The Giants have escaped a difficult sixth inning clinging to a 2-1 lead. Something (or someone) is tromping around in my garden. I turn on the porch light, but it takes a full minute to come to full power. Whatever it is out there sounds too big to be a cat and too active to be a deer. Those are the most likely possibilities that come to mind. I can't see anything, but I've decided not to check the mailbox again before tomorrow. I'll do the dishes tomorrow, too; why spoil and almost perfectly wasted day?

8:20 pm. This game is taking a lot out of me (and I'm not working nearly as hard as the players). I'm in constant motion, and much too nervous to eat. This is the best thing that's happened to my diet in weeks, as long as my head doesn't explode. The whole future (well, the next three weeks or so) depends on this game. The Giants are now up 3-1, but there are three big innings left. Whoever loses this game is done for the season.

9:20 pm. Exhale. The Braves almost came back in the ninth, but the Giants held on for a 3-1 win. Now they play for the league championship starting Wednesday in St. Louis. My heart is pounding and I'm hyperventilating. Does it seem petty to get this worked up over a sporting event? If there isn't something in your life that pulls at your emotions this strongly, then you might as well drop out of the race. For me it's baseball, and the chance for my team to win its first World Series since 1954.


Wispy clouds above the top of the eucalyptus.

9:45 pm. This winning stuff is fun. It's way more fun than losing, in case you didn't know. I feel better than I did all day, that's for sure. But I probably won't sleep as well tonight.

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