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Sunday, September 14, 2003

As the center of the universe, I'd just like to say thanks (in the most sarcastic way possible) to the Oakland Raiders for ruining my weekend. They deliberately went out today and won by only three points, when I needed them to win by eleven. I don't know why they did this to me, but their eight point shortage cost me nine points in the weekly pool, so it's not even a fair trade.

I'm also not very happy with the weather. It's been too hot all week, and today it was too windy. The fog bank over the western hills is thick and menacing and headed my way. Why can't the weather be perfect all the time? Is that too much to ask? I just don't know why I have to suffer like this.

If I could blame anyone else for the rest of the petty annoyances in my life, I would. Unfortunately, most of it's on me. The grungy carpet, the dust bunnies, the weeds, the stacks and stacks of unfiled documents, all of it is my own fault for not doing anything about it. And yet, I can't help feeling it's all been inflicted on me. That's not rational, but there it is anyway.

There's so much going on in the company these days that the Boss and Tim feel compelled to call me on the weekend. I work at home, so I'm always at work, and there's no escape. And there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it except complain, so complain I do. But not to them, only to the fates that micromanage my life, because obviously there's some Master Plan to give me things to complain about.

Oh sure. I know. If I really tried I could do something to ease these burdens and solve these problems. But what's the use, when new ones would just be sent to take their place? It always happens to me.

On the other hand, what have I ever done to deserve all the good things that have come to me, unbidden and unexpected? I have a family whose most dysfunctional members are largely irrelevant. I have friends — online, offline, and in some cases both — who understand and support me, when I'd be perfectly happy to have them merely tolerate me. And I have a job that I can do in my underwear, if I so desire.

Plus, the birds. Through no effort of my own and through the sheerest of dumb luck (or is it the dumbest of sheer luck?) I live in a place where I can be outside mindlessly watering the garden and a flock of bushtits will descend into the trees and keep me company. These tiny birds seem to come from all directions, dozens of them at a time.

This afternoon they lit on branches of the three small oaks in my garden, just a few feet away from where I was standing with the hose in my hand. There were so many, and they're so small, that they shared branches, sometimes three or four on a single bough. I sprayed them gently and they seemed to like it, so I stood there and gave them a shower.

When they were through, they moved to the bush behind me, as if that were the prearranged drying-off spot. They let me continue with my watering while they stayed around, chattering and fluttering.

Now, I ask you. What did I ever to do deserve that? Why is life so good to me? And why don't I appreciate it more?

14 September 2003

My house, seen through the back fence.

I should add a disclaimer and say that I'm not the center of the universe, and that I don't believe everything that happens happens to me. But sometimes I do.

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It would actually have been better for me if the Raiders had lost, even though I picked them to win. If they don't win by enough points, I suffer. But if they lose, everyone who picked them suffers, and I'm not alone in my suffering. But no! They had to go and win by a lousy three points. Thanks a lot.

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