March 28, 1999
Light Bulb Moment

It's only a little past noon, but I'm already retiring the Krups for the day. Clearly the Organic Sierra Madre Blend isn't working its usual magic: two pots have barely put a dent in my creeping Sunday lethargy. I feel slow and thick and headachey, like I'm walking around underwater, and all I really want to do is take another Allerest and crawl back into bed with a library book and pretend to "read" for three minutes, before promptly fall back to sleep for the rest of the afternoon. David is off watching buildings blow up today: he won't be home until dinnertime. So basically there is nothing stopping me from closing the curtains and hibernating under the comforter for the next three or four hours. But I won't. There is too much Sunday left ... and I don't want to waste any of it.

(Besides: I can always sleep when I get to work tomorrow.)

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I enjoyed one genuine moment of inspiration this weekend. (Well ... TWO moments, if we're counting the garlic green olive sandwich. Which we're not.)

Saturday was my mother's birthday. I'd put a Hallmark into the mail for her a few days earlier, but the fact is that these days I have limited faith in the United States Postal Service ("We'll get it there when we get it there, OK?"). Besides: a card is just a card. I wanted to do something special. So Friday night I racked my hayfever-addled little brain, trying to come up with a suitable and foolproof method of acknowledging her birthday:

1. Electronically,

2. At the next-to-the-next-to-the-last minute, as usual

3. And from a distance of a thousand miles.

A phone call? An e-mail? One of those cutely-dorky electronic greeting cards? A big animated .gif and the requisite calliope-on-crack MIDI rendition of "Happy Birthday" splashed all over the front page of this website?

Six free months of AOL, America's #1 Online "Service" ... ? [snort] 

Nothing seemed "right."

What do you give the smart, well-read, plugged-in, cyberly-hip, "WOW" mother of the 90's? A woman who knows her "byte" from her "bite me" ... her URL from her Earl? A woman who has not only helped keep the counter numbers on this website spinning, the past ten months, but who is personally responsible for me keeping a journal in the first place? ( Flashback to 13 yr. old SecraTerri, snooping through Mom's desk drawers while she's at work.) A woman who instilled her love of words-words-words in her daughter at a very early age ... and who shares that love to this day?

And that's when I had my Light Bulb Moment. You give her a groovy electronic gift certificate to one of those online bookstores! And then you write about it on your website, for all the world to read! 

Granted, it's not as groovy as an afternoon together at Barnes & Noble. But for the moment -- until June and my next trip to TicTac, when I can sneeze on everyone in person -- this long-distance Happy Birthday stuff is gonna have to suffice.

I love you, Mom. Happy Birthday. And happy reading.

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And while we're in Family Acknowledgement Mode this afternoon, I would like to take a minute to publicly tell Debi how proud I am of her for reaching eleven years of sobriety this week, and what an inspiration she is to me.

I love you, Baby Sister.  How does it feel to be the role model?

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OK  ...  that's it. That's all the oomph and warm fuzziness and keyboard clackety-clackety noises I can muster for one afternoon. Snot wins: creativity loses. I'm heading for the bed with an armload of New Woman magazines ("Suddenly Sex! 21 No-Fail Firestarters!"), a bottle of Langers Raspberry Cranberry 100 ("With Essential Antioxidants!") and half a roll of Charmin ("Squeeze Me and Die!").   I'll be back when the pollen count drops, or another family birthday rolls around.

Whichever comes first.



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