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09/01 Direct Link
I love the Farmerís Market. Lush fruits and vegetables, herbs, flowers, bread and cheese, chai and coffee, soap, olives and oil, pottery and scrappy quilts. I always buy lots of what I like the look of, more than is reasonable for one person to eat. I forget that I donít really eat that much, cook that often and it sits in my frig until it begins to compost. Finally I throw it out and after chastising myself for a day or a week, I go back and begin again. Itís kind of like marriage only with a different time frame.
09/02 Direct Link
It is a three-day weekend. Perfect for accomplishing things around the house. I know I wonít really do any of the things that need to be done. When did I become such a slug? It is all tied up somehow in self-esteem I think. My house is really very lovely, or can be, but I treat it as though it was a college rental. I wonder why. I donít think I always did, I just somehow evolved to this in the past few years. I think it might have to do with some depression that I donít want to acknowledge.
09/03 Direct Link
Walking helps allay the depression. I almost always go at 5:00 A.M., when no one is around, so I am alone to think or listen to a podcast or music on the iPod. I think I feel stronger, more self determined when I walk every day. No matter how sluggish I feel when I get up, if I put on those walking clothes, and open the front door I feel anticipation in heading out. At that hour the neighborhood is my private place. If I see another, I change course. This is not a social activity. Not at 5:00 A.M.
09/04 Direct Link
I had a dinner date tonight that I thought was tomorrow. When my friend called to see why I didnít show up, I thought she was calling to confirm for tomorrow. Fortunately, she was flexible and so was I, so we just went out anyway. I felt like a jerk, standing her up. It was great to reconnect with her. She has different friends now, so I mainly see her at our book club Ė the one where Iím at least 20 years older than any other member, and not a churchgoer or bible studier or wine connoisseur like they are.
09/05 Direct Link
Last night at dinner, my cell phone rang. Usually I turn it off but last night I forgot. It was a good male friend with whom I often have long conversations, so I just said ďHi Ė Iím going to have to call you back,Ē and hung up. Later he didnít answer. He called back this morning and said heís feeling overwhelmed. Thinking he was referring to his new business, I asked about that. He replied that actually it seems his wife has a brain tumor. I didnít believe him at first Ė as though someone would joke about that. My God.
09/06 Direct Link
Today I had a lunch meeting scheduled with my supervisor. She had emailed me the where and when, and I just went there at the appropriate time. I chuckled to myself on the way about how she sometimes makes it a challenge to meet with her. She just names a place and time, and lets me figure out where it is. Anyway I went, and the place smelled kind of like fingernail glue, a smell that is anathema to me. Nevertheless, I sat and sipped an ice tea while I waited for her, and waited, and waited. She never arrived.
09/07 Direct Link
Being stood up is a quick way to go back to high school. All the insecurities you ever felt come roaring to life. Unfortunately, I often feel ignored in my present job. The things Iím good at, or knowledgeable about arenít especially valued and Iím asked to do things that donít especially interest me or fit with my skill and experience. Not that I canít do them, just that I donít care much about them. Would I keep working if I won the lottery? Absolutely not. I donít even feel that anyone would notice my absence. The classroom was different.
09/08 Direct Link
Yesterday was the UC Counselors Conference at UC Davis. It seemed kind of flat. The sessions were seemed repetitive to me. The setup was poor Ė only a few tables set up for lunch, so most people sat on the grass or perched on the edge of planters. I never did find the individual schoolsí tables. I had a good visit with Mimi and the LHS counselors but didnít feel the conference met my expectations. They didnít even give out good bags! In previous years, the bags were great, but this year, only plastic bookstore bags. Oh well. Bags are overrated.
09/09 Direct Link
The time of day makes such a difference in the character of the walk I take. At 5:00 A.M., no one is up and around yet, and I feel proprietorship of the neighborhood. By 5:30 a few cars are starting to move as the earlybirds go to work. In the late afternoon or early evening itís a more social affair. People are out and about, off work, walking their dogs, and they say hello. Later on, when itís dark, I can see people having dinner or watching TV inside their houses and I feel a little like a voyeur. Watching.
09/10 Direct Link
I donít watch to see them, it is like watching TV myself. These nameless people, living their lives with the curtains open, and myself a passerby who happens to notice. Actually, I seldom walk in the evening. My best time is early morning, when I feel safest and have absolutely nothing else to do with myself. I canít sleep and itís too early to go out for coffee, so I might as well walk. I never go late at night when the drinks are out and about. To walk and feel uneasy, looking behind myself is not worth the trouble.
09/11 Direct Link
I met my friend and former student today at the coffeehouse after work. It is time for him to apply for transfer to a university, and I think it makes him nervous. As a Senior in high school he was accepted to a good university, but he couldnít go, in the end. He has had MDR TB, and the drugs he must take make him sick, so he was afraid to leave home. Besides that, I think he was embarrassed by the idea of nurses coming to his dorm room every day to administer his meds. The illness shames him.
09/12 Direct Link
Tonight as I drove through the mountains, my friend whose wife has a brain tumor called. They had met today with the oncologist and learned that her prognosis is about 14 months. One day she was a young mother, raising two small children and the next she has 14 months or so to live. He was hurting so. How can he take care of her, and take care of the life he has to maintain for his children in the future? Can he get her in the Oprah audience? That is her dream and he wants to make it happen.
09/13 Direct Link
Today I drove out to Quartz Valley after work. I expected it to be different, maybe some housing build out there, but it was hauntingly the same. As I drove along, I spotted my history lurking in the air. The place where I cut the tail off the dead horse, the irrigation ditch we cooled off in after a sweat lodge, as the neighbor sat in the field below on his horse and watched. The rock in the field where the old Indian had gone off to die on winter night. Other places were curiously unavailable or unrecognizable to me.
09/14 Direct Link
Today I drove out to Quartz Valley after work. I expected it to be different, maybe some housing build out there, but it was hauntingly the same. As I drove along, I spotted my history lurking in the air. The place where I cut the tail off the dead horse, the irrigation ditch we cooled off in after a sweat lodge, as the neighbor sat in the field below on his horse and watched. The rock in the field where the old Indian had gone off to die on winter night. Other places were curiously unavailable or unrecognizable to me.
09/15 Direct Link
Tonight I had a dinner date with a friend, Vickie. We planned to go to a restaurant that turned out to be closed. We ended up at Christian Michaelís, ordering off the appetizer menu. It always surprises me how far a little food can go if it is offered in an appealing way, in good company. I eat alone most of the time, so I eat fast, and much more than I do when Iím with others. Seems to me that excess weight is indeed a complex syndrome. It involves far more than simply eating or not. Exercise or no.
09/16 Direct Link
I seem to treat this like a 100 word diary. Is that the only kind of writing I can do? I would prefer it to be lyrical musings on the human condition, or on life or love. Even politics, I suppose. Maybe even a good sex scene. Yeah, I donít know how to write those. But no, I write a diary. Had oatmeal for breakfast today. The half and half was sour. Things like that. Why do I even bother with it? It is like an obsession that I donít make the most of. Like the rest of my life.
09/17 Direct Link
Today the little guy was in another fight. When I talked with him, he said he canít control his anger when people say hurtful things about his family. Like calling his mom ďan old homeless woman.Ē I asked how long heíd been homeless, and he said, ďSince fourth grade.Ē Then I asked how long heíd been fighting and he said, ďSince fourth grade.Ē Do the math. It was the first time in years Iíd felt the urge to take in a foster child. I gave him 3 days inhouse suspension as punishment for the fight. No point sending him home.
09/18 Direct Link
Today I went to another counselorís conference; this one was for the CSU system. This one was sponsored by Humboldt State, which is so far away. They held it at the Placer County fairgrounds instead, but I thought it was a bad idea. The facility is so old and the chairs rickety. I left before lunch, after attending the morning sessions. It just wasnít helpful. Next year, I may take a year off, since I didnít like either of them this year. Maybe one doesnít really need to attend each year. Not if they hold another one at a fairgrounds.
09/19 Direct Link
Today at lunch I watched the little guy play football. He is a good football player, and enthusiastic about playing. He leaps into the air to catch the ball, and throws it further than I would expect from one so small. He completely captivates me. He is so young, yet carries himself like a man. It is clear that he has seen more than many children of his age. He is fearless when it comes to defending the honor of his family and they probably donít even know why he fights. He has asked for help to control his anger.
09/20 Direct Link
Today after work I drove to Berkeley. I have a meeting tomorrow. When I left the school, I said goodbye just in case I donít get to go back. Makes me a little sad. I found my hotel in Emeryville, then headed into Berkeley to find Kong for dinner. Turned out he was doing an observation of social interaction at a gourmet hamburger restaurant. He talked, ate and took notes all at the same time, with great aplomb. (Does aplomb mean something like calmness or grace? That is my intention.) He is so happy in Berkeley. He fits right in.
09/21 Direct Link
What a great day. First I had an all day meeting at the CWP office with some people I like a lot. Afterwards, I had made plans to have dinner with my old student, Kong, and as I waited for him, I chatted with a colleague from the meeting. When Kong arrived, he fit right into the conversation. We chatted avidly until Charles showed up. He was not a part of the equation Ė he is the principal who invited me to his school. It was surprising, yet not a surprise he was there. Some sort of cosmic intervention. Sweet serendipity.
09/22 Direct Link
Today I took a knitting class with my granddaughter. Sheís 8 and thought sheíd like to learn to knit. But after a while, she decided two needles were too much to keep track of. She decided to learn to crochet instead. That looked easier, but holding on to both ends of the project and wrapping the yarn was more than sheíd counted on. So the instructor taught her to ďfinger knit.Ē That looked easy enough, but when it came down to it, neither of us could figure that out. So she bought some soft speckled yarn and thinks about crochet.
09/23 Direct Link
Itís Sunday again. I went downtown early for coffee and found they had closed off all the streets for the bike races. They used to have these about ten years ago, and now apparently they are back. Round and round and round the cyclists whiz. Seems like theyíd get dizzy. I liked it the day they closed the downtown streets for a show of classic cars. Classic as in 1950s and 1960s. Camaros and firebirds, not so much Model Tís, although there were some of those too. That was swell. Everyone polishing up the chrome, checking out one anotherís rides.
09/24 Direct Link
I didnít go to work today. I was wheezy and I had an article to finish and submit. Today is the deadline and I wasnít done. I tortured myself over it, (open a vein and write Ė you know) and in the end rather liked it. Now weíll see if they liked it. I thought Iíd do some work after I submitted the article, but I didnít. Barely did anything at all. Something about me is so deeply tired right now. I wish I could figure it out. Maybe I should eat some raw food and sleep more. Maybe something else.
09/25 Direct Link
I am back at work at my office today. I miss the school and the kids and the people who appreciated me. I donít remember how to work here. It seems like I have to be making things up all the time. Iíll get it back, though. I always do. I havenít heard from anyone at the school today. Neither the one who invited me to go nor the one whose place I held. Whose job I stewarded. Is he jealous Ė feeling moved out? He shouldnít. He is there and I am not. I think he should say thank you.
09/26 Direct Link
Yesterday I decided to go to my 40th high school reunion. I thought I'd just let it slip by, but at the last minute I signed up. Got a cheap hotel room at the Marriott through Priceline. Now, what will I wear? Who will be there? Will I be the fattest one? Should I resurrect my contact lenses? Yesterday an old couple were on Ellen. They reconnected at their 60th high school reunion, and now were married. They were on their honeymoon. Ellen sent them on a better one, a cruise to Alaska. Hope they survive it. Hope I do.
09/27 Direct Link
Tonight is the premiere of some TV shows I like. I thought I was over TV last spring, when all the weeklies ended, but evidently I wasnít, cause Iím looking forward to them being on again. Have I become so dreary that I only want to watch TV at night? Now I even want to buy a better television. A bigger, flat screen plasma TV Ė I donít even know what that means, really. Just that it is a lot of money and it looks really good when you watch it. Is this a further sign of my depression? Might be.
09/28 Direct Link
Invited out to friendsí house for dinner tonight. After dinner we were talking, and the couple said their daughter had asked if my daughters and I were planning to attend her wedding. Sheíd asked her father to call my ex-husband to see if we were going. (Thereís the first disconnect.) I had to tell them I hadnít been invited, and that she had texted me to ask if my daughter, granddaughter or ex were going to be there. (Second disconnect.) It was embarrassing for everyone. Maybe she doesnít know we are divorced. For the last 13 years. Big disconnect. Big.
09/29 Direct Link
Tonight is my 40-year high school reunion. I canít decide what to wear. I had the brilliant idea to ďgo dressed as myself.Ē I canít really choose anything that disguises my shape I donít suppose, so Iíll just make sure itís red and black. And wear lipstick. I got a nice Mariott hotel room at a cut rate from Priceline. I had to wait a while so they put me on the Concierge floor. I guess that just means free WiFi and a newspaper. A special code for the elevator to make me feel exclusive. Yeah, it works for me.
09/30 Direct Link
Is 100 words enough to write about a 40 year high school reunion? Not really. I realize how white and upper-middle class my school was, and that my family strived for that status, but didnít really fit. We were middle class I suppose, maybe even lower middle class. The distinction is fuzzy. When I read the bios of my classmates, it strikes me how many of them went to UC Berkeley, and how many got advanced degrees. Of course those are the 50 or so (of 350) who sent in bio info. Maybe only the more successful ones submitted anything.