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Wednesday, September 6, 2000

No, I'm serious. I really want one of those robot dogs. I read an article a while back, comparing the different kinds. Of course I didn't save the article and can't remember a word of it. But I know I can't have a real pet here (especially with my white carpet), so a virtual pet will have to do.

I've thought of fish. In fact, when Landlord Fred was here the other day doing some electrical maintenance on the new house, Amelia dropped by and we stood in the doorway talking about him while he worked. She told me she had two big dogs when they got married, and when they died he didn't want her to get another dog.

Turning around and using his screwdriver for emphasis, Fred said, "You know what makes a good pet? Fish." Then he went back to work.

"Fish?" Amelia said with a touch of disdain in her voice. "They don't do anything."

But I'm not so sure. I think fish could be soothing. I like the idea of moving water. I could cruise on the lake for hours, watching the wake. I love sitting on the beach and watching the tides. If I was sure fish were content swimming around in a tank, I'd probably consider putting one in my house.

There's definitely room for one here, and I have a feeling fish are somewhat lower maintenance than dogs or cats. Sure, the rewards aren't the same. You don't get the unconditional love offered by a dog, and cats are just cool. I'd love to have either or both sharing my home, but it's not in the cards. I can read my landlords' attitudes well enough to know that.

And I guess you don't get much affection from a robot dog, either, but it would still be more than I'm getting now.

Making phone calls is one of the things I do least well, of all my many non-talents. That's why it's so hard to be my friend, I guess, because I don't return phone calls as well as I should, and I hardly ever initiate them.

This explains why I made an appointment with the first locksmith I called, even though they can't come out until next Tuesday. I'll just have to live on the faith that I won't need anything in my locked cabinet between now and then. My biggest concern is the Boss demanding, as only he can, a file or invoice that's locked away inside that cabinet.

I might not be good at phone calls, but I do have talents. I can think fast when cornered. If the Boss decides he needs something I can't get to, I can usually either find a way to divert him (I'm good at that) or find an alternative that satisfies him even more (the benefit of knowing him for so long). I can look on it as a challenge, to keep him off balance between now and Tuesday.

A call I didn't make today was to the landlords, because I knew they were coming by anyway. They had a new rental agreement for me to sign, and we had an appointment late this afternoon.

So when the kitchen sink started leaking all over the floor, I sopped up the water, shut off the faucet, and calmly waited for them to show up.

Okay, maybe I wasn't all that calm. When it happened, I reacted in my usual fashion, tearing my hair out and inventing new curses, then developing all the possible worst-case scenarios until I had the house condemned and me out on the street.

But they showed up as scheduled, and after a few false starts found the leak and plugged it. Or whatever. I'm not into plumbing details, frankly. If it works I'm happy. If it doesn't work, you fix it.

As has been the recent custom, all worked out to my benefit, better than I deserve.

My satellite dish is like a friendly alien, spreading its tiny arms to the heavens, calling "Here I am!"

my little friendhidden fortress

Even from the other side of my yard, the house is hidden away in its own secret corner of the world.

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