November 22, 2002

miles to go: 123.80 [YTD: 1,878.20]

For starters: it would be nice if there were no police reports filed this weekend. OK?

No stolen bicycles. No lost wallets. No automobile break-ins or car stereo thefts or old family friends being hauled off on felony drug charges. I don't even want an airport security guard looking at me funny. As a matter of fact, the less interaction we have with law enforcement personnel of ANY kind, for any reason, for at least the next 48 hours, the happier I'm likely to be.

Vomiting, also, is something I would like to do without. Could we all please avoid vomiting for the next three days, if at all possible? That goes for sprained ankles, abscessed molars, infected ingrown toenails, yeast infections, hayfever, yellow fever, cat scratch fever, cabin fever, Saturday Night fever or any fever over 98.7º, basically. I'm not interested in rushing anybody (or anything) to the emergency room between now and Monday morning. This applies to cats, computers and elderly Subarus as well as to people.

It should go without saying that airplane malfunctions will not be tolerated. Neither will ant infestations, flat tires, exploding Mexican restaurants or burning thrift stores.

Don't even get me started on cranky Berkeley street vendors.

(While we're at it I wouldn't mind if the world could quit blowing itself up, at least until Monday, but I realize that some things are simply out of my hands. Maybe I'll just have to settle for asking everybody in Oakland to put their guns away for the weekend.)

Daughter #1 arrived last night for her annual holiday shopping pilgrimage to the Bay Area. The past few times that she and I have been together, including the infamous stolen bicycle visit last spring, and then my weirdly traumatic trip to TicTac in August -- have turned out to be filled with far more drama and excitement and emotional upheaval than either one of us bargained for. This time around I would just like a nice, simple, uneventful visit with my almost-21-year-old daughter. A little shopping. A little Vietnamese food. A little sightseeing. A little maternal wisdom, dispensed over the half-zip fleece counter at Old Navy. ("Never drink a martini on an empty stomach, never get into a car with someone who has been drinking, never sit on a barstool wearing leather pants."") Considering how long Jaymi and I usually have to wait between our visits ... considering how hard we have to work during the between-time just to make the visits happen, and how much it means to us both ... this doesn't seem like an unreasonable request.

I'm not going to get picky about small details. Weather isn't an issue, for instance. It can rain cats and dogs and Fanta Pineapple Soda all weekend long for all we care: we're going to be inside a variety of climate-controlled department stores and shopping malls for most of the weekend, anyway. (Except for Sunday morning, when we strap her to a bicycle and force her to ride to the Navy Base with us.) Money isn't an issue, either. I have very carefully outlined and developed a special Spending Plan, just for this visit. (Mom's Spending Plan: dump it all onto the one viable credit card, and then win the lottery in January.) The only *issue,* really, is spending quality time together ... and not having to fill out a police report or a promissory note or a hospital admission form in the process.

Is that too much to ask? Really?

I'm not asking for a perfect weekend. Perfection is too much work. (Plus perfection sets too high a standard for future visits. And it makes for a lousy journal entry, after she goes home.) I would simply appreciate it if we could all just sort of declare a 48-hour moratorium on bad news and unpleasant surprises and people treating each other like crap, just for the next couple of days ... just until Monday morning, when her visit is over and she's gone home to TicTac and I'm back in the Dirt Company office, weeping over my anticipated soil movement calculations report. Then the world can resume its regularly-scheduled dysfunction.

Until then, I expect us all to behave.

in memory of marcella degrasse
in memory of marcella degrasse
[aunt marcie]

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~ nil bastardum carborundum ~

i haven't been able to get the
digital camera working again [since The Big Crash] ...
... but there should be some daughter #1 pics
before the end of the weekend.