February 27, 2001
Déjà Vu! Déjà Vu! Déjà Vu!

[happy birthday, dickie ... wherever you are]

No, you're not imagining things: I am re-running the same groovy .jpg of my mother and me, taken last Saturday at The Buttercup Cafe in Oakland just before the omelettes landed, for the second journal entry in a row.

Here's why: tell us we 'look like sisters' ... and we'll BOTH kiss you

Reason #1: It's an uncommonly flattering photo of both of us, and I want to show it off some more.
Last time, the .jpg was buried at the very bottom of an epic journal entry. This time around I'm plopping it right at the top of the page, where even the drive-by readers can't miss it.

(Hiya, Kevin! I was just kidding: David doesn't REALLY want to kill you! It's OK to write to me again ... honest!)

My mom and I are both reasonably photogenic women, mind you ... but rarely in the same photo. One of us is usually squinting or sneezing or frowning or fat or comatose or constipated or looking like she just bit into a four-month-old Easter egg. (And the other one of us is usually my mother.) Here, we both manage to look happy and attractive and awake, at the precise moment the shutter clicked.

And *I* think that merits a second look.

Reason #2: I'm typing on the fly today and I barely have time for potty breaks, let alone ambitious artistic endeavors.Speaking of "re-runs" ... I'm training the latest Executive-Ass-replacement-wannabe this week. This makes three people, counting The Temp and Size 2, that I've trained for this position since submitting my resignation letter, six weeks ago.

Joni -- aka Knee-Hi Lady -- seems very nice and reasonably competent and almost painfully excited about her new job, working for Franz. But then again, she's only met Friendly Franz so far. I'm not going to start getting optimistic about her yet. I'm not going to assume that three days from now or a week from now or ten days from now or two months from now, I'll be able to hand over the reins to her and say "All yours!" and go upstairs to the fourth floor and finally, FINALLY start concentrating on my own new job, which has been put on hold so many times in the past month that I've totally lost count.

When will I finally be able to relax? I dunno. Maybe when Joni has her first encounter with Not-So-Friendly "Fax Ten Copies of This Immediately To Everyone in the San Francisco Phone Book Whose Name Has the Letter *E* In It" Insane Clown Franz, and doesn't come back from her lunch hour smelling like she dive-bombed into the nearest quadruple gin martini.

In the meantime, I'm back on the elevator -- and the rollercoaster.

Reason #3: It's the last photo taken of the much-ballyhooed engagement ring -- before I broke it. Yes, you heard me correctly: I've managed to break my engagement ring. (See heartbreaking exclusive photo, below.)

I have no idea how (or at least i didn't swallow itwhere, or when) it happened ... although I do vaguely remember the ring catching on the seat belt on Saturday night, when David and I were out grocery-shopping. At the time I remember thinking God, wouldn't it be awful if my ring broke and it dropped somewhere here in this dark rainy parking lot and I couldn't find it? But when I glanced down at it to make sure it was still on my finger -- like I do 43,897,621 times an hour -- it looked just fine. It wasn't until later that night, when we were sitting in bed doing our usual Saturday night stuff -- "Cops," guitars, library books, frozen pizza -- that I noticed that the back of the ring had snapped cleanly in half. The prongs were still intact, the diamond was fine ... but the actual ring part of the ring -- I think it's called the shank? the part that was stretched when they resized it? -- was broken, right at the thinnest and most vulnerable point in the metal.

I'll admit I was spooked. This was too much like one of those stoopid dreams I'm always having lately, where my ring is lost or stolen or explodes or melts or gets run over by an AC Transit bus or is suddenly made out of Play-Doh or accidentally drops 34,000 feet from an open airplane window, and all of a sudden David and Grandma and Matt Lauer and my third grade teacher Mrs. Chapman are all standing in front of me, shaking their heads disapprovingly and saying Sorry, Secra ... no ring, no wedding.

All things considered, though, I think I handled the situation with amazing calm. I slipped the ring off my finger immediately, the instant we discovered it was broken, and put it into the little box it came in. The next morning David and I got up early and drove directly to the mall and dropped it off at the jewelers. David forked over an additional $185 to have the entire shank replaced -- rather than merely having it welded back together -- and while we were at it, we also requested that the ring be resized again, from an 8-1/2 down to an 8. (I actually seem to be losing some weight finally: the ring was beginning to feel just the tiniest bit too loose on my finger. All those weeks of Slim Fast and fruit are paying off.)

The repairs will be finished and the ring will be ready for pick-up on Friday night. My hand looks and feels horribly naked, of course ... but I figure that if I start missing it too much between now and then, I can always post the groovy .jpg of my mom and me again!

Think you can stand it?

before i have to kill somebody ...
help bring back Fast Lane Tea!
[tell 'em SECRA sent you]

two years ago: now i'm official
one year ago: insane clown coffee

throw a rock