Why does that happen? Have you ever noticed that some days dissolve, from the moment you roll out on the wrong side of the bed, into effing CHAOS?
You have done nothing to bring on the chaos. You’re just standing there, innocent as the new-blown snow, and the entire universe deconstructs itself around you.
Welp, I will say this: neither dog has barfed. Yet. That’s something. I guess.
5:15 a.m.: Ensconce self in front of computer, there to wake up by reading emails and Google News.
Exchange emails with honored friend, the Dean of American Scholarly Publishing, over papers left by Honored Client, who deceased a couple weeks ago. Discussion at his wake last night turned to what we might do with whatever notes we can find for the two books he was working on, and what to do with the two he’d already completed.
Dean has friend, a Pre-eminent Asian Historian and director of GDU’s Asian studies center, visiting at her house in Massachusetts right this minute; last night I talked with his wife, who put in dibs on any projects that might occur.
Dean, whose IQ is approximately 250 points higher than mine, suggests that the Right Thing to Do is collect his papers, organize them intelligibly, and donate them to an archive. This indeed is the Right Thing to Do, though there would be precious little profit in it for moi. But that’s OK: I don’t want to make a profit on Honored Client’s literary estate. But neither do I want to spend hundreds of hours on an unpaid project.
Speaking of Asia, current Honored Chinese Mathematician is having a dickens of a time paying me through PayPal. That’s because he has the wrong email address for me. However, that appears not to be the only problem. I hassle around about this for awhile.
Message from most recent Honored Chinese Ph.D. Candidate arrives, explaining that his real issue may be that there’s a Paypal.com and a Paypal.cn, the latter for the Chinese mainland. She says he needs to use the .com incarnation, not the .cn version, and sends attachments explaining the matter in Chinese. She also emits instructions in (somewhat rocky) English.
6:00 a.m.: Stumbling into the kitchen, I realize it is, god help me, Monday. Feed dogs.
There’s enough dog food left to carry the pooches to Thursday morning, when a new month starts and with any luck I can start a new budget cycle that will not fucking bankrupt me.
But I have to give a presentation on Thursday morning, which I have not even begun to think about, and that meeting will let me out an hour before Costco opens. So either I come home and sit around until after 10 a.m. and then break up the morning driving down to Costco to buy dog meat, or I drive up to Paradise Valley Mall, which is obliquely on my way home from the meeting, and cool my heels for half an hour waiting for the damn place to open. Neither of these choices will be productive. But if the dogs are to eat, I will have no way around it.
Well. No. That’s wrong. I could buy another $13 roll of dog food at the Fry’s that is also obliquely on my way home. That will put off having to spend an hour making dog food to another day. That probably is what I’ll do.
Now I stagger into the kitchen to fix breakfast. Pull a fistful of silverplate out of the jar of soapy water where I’ve left the pieces to soak clean (because, as you’ll recall, thanks to the fine ecologically friendly detergent we have and the superb useless dishwasher, I can no longer wash my silver in the Bosch) and find that one of the forks has some sort of deposit on it.
I can’t get it off.
Traipse into the garage and dig out the silver polish. I can’t get it off.
I can chip a little of it off with a fingernail, indicating it’s a deposit, not a stain. I polish it with a little Barkeepers Helper. Naturally, this scratches up the surface.
Polish madly with silver polish. This hides the scouring powder scratches, but neither cleaner removes the deposit. I give up.
Pour hot water into the French Press to make coffee.
Continuing to pick up the mess, I carry the breadmaker out to the trash barrel to brush the dried-off dough into the garbage. Something goes “clunk” and I realize…ohhh shit!!!!!!! I didn’t remove the little stir-paddle thing that kneads the damn dough in the damn breadmaker.
Trudge back in the house. Get flashlight. Trudge back out. Peer down into giant trash barrel. Try to spot the paddle. Can’t see it.
Carry the flashlight back into the house. Trudge back out. Haul the trash barrel out to the driveway, where I can see its contents in the sunlight. Tip it over. Climb inside and start digging through trash. The paddle is not readily in evidence.
Sit on the concrete next to the barrel and drag every. single. fucking. piece. of. trash out of the barrel, inspect it, shake it out, set it aside.
No paddle. Anywhere. Inspect every. single. fucking. piece. of. trash, one piece at a time, while tossing each piece back in the barrel.
Right the barrel, drag it back into the garage. Swear up a storm.
Stalk into the kitchen and spot the paddle where I left it, on the edge of the kitchen sink.
The coffee is getting cold.
6:58 a.m. I go outside to turn the on the water valves that feed the irrigation system — this will be the New Normal, now that the system’s pipes are rotting away underground. The only way to stop any leaks is to shut off the water at the standpipe.
By now the timer has come on. The system clicks in, but I’m not sure it’s starting on Zone 1. WTF. I decide to forget that and just water anything that gets missed manually.
Slice open a peach. It’s spoiled. It’s the last peach in the house. Fortunately, though, a few bananas remain. Slice up a banana, dump a handful of walnuts over it, and top with heavy cream.
The walnuts are stale. Should know better than to buy lifetime supplies of walnuts from Costco.
In the middle of all this, SDXB calls on the phone, requiring me to walk back and forth between the kitchen and the back of the house to change notations on the wall calendar in my office. My temper is extremely short but I manage not to go off on him when I learn that he’s interrupting the morning’s hassles to cancel next Saturday’s planned junket because it’s the first day of dove season. I fail to invite myself along, though if I’d had any sense, I would’ve, because a little violence would go a long way to let off the impacted steam.
7:15 or so. Take breakfast, such as it is, out to the side deck and notice the new hose timer is leaking as merrily as the old, corroded one was. No wonder I get $240 water bills.
Chew on a stale piece of bread. It makes my teeth hurt. Reminded that I will need not one but two crowns on the left side. This will run upwards of $3,000, since one of the painful teeth has had three unsuccessful root canals and now will need actual surgery, not just some dentist’s office visit. God only knows what that will cost. They say if you can get an M.D. to do the work, you can get Medicare to cover it. But I’ll believe that when I see it!
If I have to pony up three to five grand (or more) on my teeth and another grand to cover this August’s unplanned extravaganzas, I am not going to have $6,000 to replaster the pool this winter. So…that project will have to wait for some other year.
9:25 a.m. MacBook’s battery has run out of juice, the second time this morning. It’s probably wearing out. The whole machine is wearing out. Its cable for the backup hard drive keeps emitting “disconnected” messages when it has not disconnected, indicating that before long one of these phantom disconnects will cause the external hard drive to corrupt and lose ALL the back-up data.
Speaking of multi-thousand-dollar expenditures…I hope to god the computer will last until the new MacBooks come out and I can get the current version on sale.
9:45 a.m. I’ve had it. I’m going back to bed.