BY Vespone

02/01 Direct Link
Had a dream last night about my brother. Itís the first one Iíve had since he died. When my mother died, I had them most every night. He was still alive, but he said that he was going to go live in the woods all alone. I said I understood.

What does it mean that I am still waking up to Christmas music? An unconscious desire to make the season last? Or, just laziness that I havenít changed the CD? Bingo.

Itís the first. I was going to start a continuing story on the 1st. Well, there is always tomorrow.

02/02 Direct Link
On my way home from work today, I decided that I was hungry. And, I decided that I wanted a McDonaldís McChicken. Funny, I wasnít even sure there was a McDonaldís on my way home. It shows how often I eat fast food. Sure enough, there was one. No McChicken on the menu anymore, so I got the crispy chicken meal. What is with the square bun? That doesnít seem right. Also, the fries arenít nearly as good as I remember (lack of animal fat?). Well, Iím certainly not tempted to make fast food a regular part of my diet.
02/03 Direct Link
Tess runs across the room and jumps on the couch to stare intently out the window. Then, she dashes to the front window. Curious, I follow. There is a fluffy white dog meandering down the road. He looks like he knows where he is going, but I am worried nonetheless. There is a lot of traffic on my road and it is dark and even a white dog is hard to see. I run up the stairs to follow his progress until I can see him no more. But. I am left wondering, how did Tess know he was there?
02/04 Direct Link
Tuesday is garbage day, so on Monday night we all dutifully haul our cans to the curb. Sometimes, I skip a week or two or three. I am only one person and it takes a long time for me to fill up the can. So, if itís raining or cold, or Iím just feeling plain lazy, I skip it. However, tonight I pulled all three bins out. Herbie is filled to the brim with trash (after skipping 3 weeks), Rosie is rattling with recyclables, and Lenny is jammed full of dead limbs after a productive afternoon working in the yard.
02/05 Direct Link
Iím not sure that I have the ego to be a writer. The writers at work all have tremendous egos. Everything word they write is perfect, do not dare to question a turn of phrase. And, they want people to read their words, the more people the better. I donít have such an ego. I pour over every word thinking that it could have been said better. I want people to read my words, but at the same time I fear their reaction, their criticism, mostly their boredom.

By the way, Rosie was not emptied today for some unknown reason.

02/06 Direct Link
My mailbox is leaning again. What kind of house doesnít come with a mailbox? Was there no mailbox when they bought the place or did they remove it so that they wouldnít get any mail? I was proud of the job I did, putting the mailbox in (almost three years ago now) and it wasnít a bad job for someone working alone not having any idea what I was doing. But, I may have to put redo the mailbox on the list for the spring. Maybe even a new mailbox, it shows some wear having been knocked about a bit.
02/07 Direct Link
I was taught to treat everyone the same regardless of skin color, or race, or wealth, or anything else. I was taught this by my mother. She didnít explain this with words, but rather with actions. She treated everyone the same, she didnít know a stranger, she talked to everyone. In the Supermarket, this was annoying (can we just go) because everyone knew her too. But, I guess I must have learned something from this. My mother has been gone almost 13 years, but I think about her every day; especially today, the anniversary of the day my parents married.
02/08 Direct Link
I love oatmeal. I love the smell of it, especially when you open a new box (The shape of the box is genius. A cylinder? Who thought that up?). I prefer my oatmeal with just brown sugar and a bit of salt. However, if I find it on the breakfast buffet, Iíll add some fruit or nuts or honey (most everything goes in oatmeal, thatís part of its charm). I love oatmeal cookies, but with chocolate chips, not raisins. I even love eating oatmeal cookie dough (one of my nieces likes this too). Now, Iím going to make some oatmeal.
02/09 Direct Link
Saturday. I have yet to figure out the rhythm of my Saturdays with my current work schedule. I go in about 4:30 or so. It feels like I canít get much done before work or after work and it is pretty much impossible to make plans of any kind. Maybe, I should just stay up incredibly late on Fridays and then sleep until 2 or so, get up and go to work. As it is, I get up and piddle around accomplishing little or nothing, watch some races, take a shower, and go to work. There must be something better.
02/10 Direct Link
The wind was whistling through the barn, but the horses behaved and didnít seem phased. More dangerous was avoiding Callie, who seems to have developed some kind of death wish, as she darts in front of horse and rider. Rode Kit for the first time in ages, so my trotting muscles got a good workout. Afterwards, I went over to Fasig-Tipton to look at some sales horses. But, the main horse that I wanted to photograph was an out and the wind was ice cold, so I didnít linger. Instead, after warming up in the sales pavilion, I hurried home.
02/11 Direct Link
Last night, I was thinking of trying to learn Greek again. I picked up my Greek book and read the paragraph all about the photograph of the family, on the wall, in the room. I think my pronunciation is pretty good, but my vocabulary is limited (food, archaeological terms) and my grammar is almost non-existent. On the positive side, I could still remember most of the vocabulary from the first two chapters. I think I could work up to a decent comprehension, but speaking is different. Thatís always been my problem. Plus, there isnít much opportunity to practice around here.
02/12 Direct Link
Today, I was one of those annoying people that donít bother to clean the snow completely off of their car. It wasnít my fault. It was raining and I didnít want to stand in it any longer than absolutely necessary. So, I cleaned off the windshields and the hood, but not the roof. As I went down the road, I could see chunks flying (including a big chunk sliding down the windshield to block my view for a time), but I didnít feel bad, it just made me laugh. Itís a shame about the rain, the snow was so pretty.
02/13 Direct Link
Snow once again. More, in fact, than yesterday. It started snowing shortly after I got home last night and in no time at all, everything was covered. Funny, after all the storm warnings of the previous days, I donít remember anything forecasting this batch of snow. However, there are benefits to not going to work until noon. The roads will be nice and clean by then. On the other hand, the snow does not serve as a viable excuse for tardiness at this hour. At least, the beauty of the snow has returned after being washed away by yesterdayís rains.
02/14 Direct Link
Took the day off, spent it on a combination of chores and leisure. I had lunch at the bison burger place. The lemonade and bourbon drink was good, but the food was average. The desert menu sucked. Only one chocolate item and it was a brownie (even Kahlua didnít help). Near the end of the meal, I heard a tapping noise. There was water dripping from the ceiling. When the waitress asked if I needed anything, I pointed out the drip. She offered a new seat, but I think I should have gotten free desert (even though the choices sucked).
02/15 Direct Link
I am the definition of anonymous. When I walk down the street or around a store, no one sees me; no one knows that I am there. I see other people, shopping with their kids, laughing, yelling, talking on their cell phones, but no one sees me. I even look people right in the eye. They donít necessarily look away; they just donít seem to notice anything. It is as if I am invisible. Sometimes, I find myself singing out loud when shopping. I used to stop myself, embarrassed. But, I donít anymore, no one is listening to me anyway.
02/16 Direct Link
I like wine. I like red wine. I like red wine a lot. I like red wine cold, even though you are not supposed to drink red wine cold. I like red wine with beef. I like red wine with pork. I like red wine with chicken. I like red wine with pasta. I like red wine with fish (although I donít eat fish that often). I like red wine with chocolate (thatís especially good). I like red wine with ice cream. I like red wine with more red wine. I guess the conclusion is that I like red wine.
02/17 Direct Link
I have to admit that part of me likes it when my vehicle gets splashed from the mud puddles at Mallard. Makes it look like the vue works for a living instead of just taking me from place to place.

I thought it was windy last Sunday. It was about twice as windy today. And, it was a cold wind, even with temperatures in the 60s and sun, it wasnít comfortable outside. I did finally get the grill in the basement, so that is one less thing that will go blowing away. But, the yard work will have to wait.

02/18 Direct Link
Had a dream two nights in a row involving the man who plays Eric on Bold and the Beautiful. Very strange. I donít even watch Bold and the Beautiful. I mean, Iíve seen it, but I donít regularly watch it. I know the guy who plays Eric because he was on Young and the Restless back when I used to watch that show. And, that was the point of the dream. We were trying to recall the name of the character he played on Young and the Restless. I remembered. It was Lance. Not sure what any of this means.
02/19 Direct Link
I am the most reliable person I know. I am never late, I always keep appointments, I always do what Iím told. It sounds like a good thing, but I am not sure about that. Being reliable just makes folks depend on you to take care of things, take on more. You donít get any credit for being dependable. Besides, I think part of the reason I am always on time is because I am sure that the person I am meeting will leave if Iím not on time. I will wait for hours, but I donít think they would.
02/20 Direct Link
The other day I was making tea. I turned the kettle on, but it wasnít whistling and it had been a long time. I went out to the kitchen and saw that I hadnít turned the stove on. So, I turned it on and went to wait for the tea. It seemed to be taking a long time again, so I checked. My tea mug was sitting there seeping. I have no recollection of filling it with water. I hope that this is not a sign of senility, but rather because the process of making tea has become totally automatic.
02/21 Direct Link
I have a problem throwing things away. Itís a lethal combination of sentimentality and thinking that I might need it. I have boxes that have not been unpacked through the last couple of moves. Logic says if I havenít used it or missed it, I should get rid of it. But, even though I am extremely logically in most of my life, this argument does not go very far with me. However, today this problem paid off because I found about 20 pages of a story that I thought had been lost. It doesnít take much to make my day.
02/22 Direct Link
As I take a shower, suddenly I see the curtain move. There is something out there. Ah, itís only Tess. She likes to try to catch the water drops as they fall down the inside of the curtain. Sometimes, I move the curtain, so she will fall in, but she never does. Itís interesting that most cats are fascinated by water, even though they abhor having it on them. I once gave Tess a bath. When I got her in the water, she made the most pitiful meow. I have never heard her make such a noise before or since.
02/23 Direct Link
I find it strange that I have ended up, through a series of events, working the night shift. I am really more of a morning person. Work from 7 to 4, thatís my kind of schedule. Now I have adapted so well, that I find it hard to get up before 10. However, if I change to start at 11, I will have to get up before 10. Not only that, but I will miss the highlight of my day, Gilmore Girls. I guess sacrifices must be made, nah Iíll just buy the dvds. I was going to eventually anyway.
02/24 Direct Link
Went to Wal-mart today, a place that I donít usually venture. When I go to Wal-mart, I wander around and around trying to find what I am looking for. Others seem know exactly where they are going. I know that this is because they are frequent Wal-mart shoppers and I am not, but there must be a metaphor in there somewhere. I went to Wal-mart to get TurboTax finally. Now, I can stop procrastinating and do my taxes. Ok, so I havenít done them yet, but I do have TurboTax now, so I am making a little bit of progress.
02/25 Direct Link
Continuing with the Wal-mart topic from yesterday, I was watching a movie last night where one of the characters worked at Wal-barn. Of course, Wal-barn was clearly Wal-mart. Not only was the name similar, but the vests, the signs, etc. were the same. Interestingly, I believe the Wal-barn scenes were filmed at Target since I spotted Method cleaner on the shelf. I think that is only found at Target. It makes sense that Wal-mart would not allow filming since the movie didnít show them favorably, but did Target jump at the opportunity? Wal-mart looks bad? Sure, you can film here.
02/26 Direct Link
Heard a Bob Dylan song on my way home from work and it struck me how I didnít have to think that it was Bob Dylan. There was no conscious thought, it just was a fact. Kind of like how after you learn to read you no longer see individual letters, just words. Now, Dylan does have quite a distinctive voice, but it is not as though I am particularly a fan of his or even own a single one of his records.

It was snowing on my way home, rather hard. It was a surprise to me, this snow.

02/27 Direct Link
I have a confession to make. Last night, I had a bag of cheetos. I havenít had any cheetos this entire year. They used to be my snack of choice at work, but I decided at the beginning of the year to stop unhealthy snacking. Only healthy snacks were allowed, carrots, grapes, oranges. Now, I admit that I have faltered at times, had a piece of chocolate or two. But, this was my first bag of cheetos. Itís strange about cheetos, I only want them at work. I have no desire to buy a huge bag for eating at home.
02/28 Direct Link
I was awoken this morning by a chirping signaling the weakening battery in the smoke alarm. I rolled over and ignored it, promising to change it when I was more awake. However, this plan was soon shattered by the alarm piercing throughout the house. After confirming there was indeed no fire, I admitted defeat and grabbed a replacement battery. I discovered that I wasnít just dealing with a dead battery, but one leaking battery acid. Changing the battery was quite an ordeal, especially with battery acid running down my fingers. Well, I did need to get up early today anyway.
02/29 Direct Link
Some background on the smoke alarm saga. When I first moved into this house, I knew that I was going to have to change the smoke alarm batteries. It had been noted during the house inspection and I had dutifully purchased new batteries. So, when my friend (who helped me move) and I heard the chirping, I thought that I was prepared. But, we couldnít, couldnít figure out how to replace the batteries. We tried everything, twist, turn, pull, nothing worked. In the end, we had to go to the store to find the same model and steal the instructions.