October 20, 2000
Pillow Talk


"So what do you think our biggest problem is right now?" David asked me last night.

We were laying in bed, indulging in a little *Let's-Take-Stock-of-Our-Lives* pillow talk ... prompted no doubt in part by this week's crisis with Jaymi (and by my increasingly ragged, weird, hormonal journal entries on the subject, the past couple of days). This is something we do every once in a while -- this taking-emotional-inventory stuff -- not only because it helps us make sure we're both on the same page as far as our future/our families/our finances are concerned, but also because it helps remind us that our life together does not completely suck.

Which it doesn't.

Suck, that is.

At least not completely.

(OK. It doesn't suck even a LITTLE. But there are some areas of our life that could certainly stand improvement.)

"Money," I responded flatly. That's our biggest problem right now, as far as I'm concerned. I didn't even have to think about my answer. The Tots and their assorted ongoing crises may keep me awake nights, but it is financial anxiety that is causing me to grind my teeth into little pointy stubs right now. (Christmas is already beginning to loom its stoopid expensive overblown head, and we haven't even made it through Hallowe'en yet.)

It was clear by the expression on David's face, however, that he didn't agree with me on this one.

"Don't you think money is our biggest problem?" I asked him, and he said no, not at all. Sure, he said, we're in a teeny-tiny bit of a financial squeeze right now. And yes, we're going to have to tighten our belts for a little while. No more eleven-dollar shampoo. No more sixty-five minute phone calls to TicTac every night. No more restaurant meals four nights out of seven, or $200 afternoons at Amoeba Records in Berkeley, or impulse weekend get-aways to Gilroy, The Garlic Capital of the World.

(No more Triple Chocolate Thunder: from now on, it's strictly Single Chocolate Thunder.)

"Look," he pointed out. "The good news is that we can pay our bills. We've got a roof over our heads. We're saving a little bit, and we're getting out of debt. It's not like we're going to be eating moldy bread out of the garbage." And he reminded me, for the bazillionth time, that the reason we can pay our bills -- the reason we are not eating moldy bread out of the garbage -- is because we're both sober.

"Fine," I said. "What do YOU think our biggest problem is, then?" 

By now I was genuinely curious. What would he consider a "big problem?" Our cramped living quarters? Our tragic lack of cable TV? The broken door locks on the Subaru? Tone-Deaf Karaoke Neighbor Guy?

Our relentless, sickening absorption with ourselves, and with each other?

"Computer time," he said. "That's our biggest problem right now."


You know what? He's absolutely right. Computer time IS becoming a "problem" around the Ю僱êrvØ¡/SecraTerri household, as of late. The severity of the problem has risen in direct proportion to:

  • The decrease in the number of working computers in this household, from three to one (with the Acer officially out of commish, and the untimely death of my beloved laptop this past summer)


  • The increase in the number of household members attempting to maintain a *cutting-edge* daily website, from one to two.

As much as possible we try to be courteous and thoughtful and fair about sharing the one remaining household computer. But it's tough. We are two ridiculously full-of-ourselves artistes: both attempting to create our art with a limited amount of time, materials and bandwidth. David can spend an entire evening perfecting a single stunning (and vaguely disturbing) background graphic for his website. *I* can spend an entire evening drawing cartoon puppets and tracing ISPs. (OK ... who is reading me in MEXICO?)

Unfortunately only one of us can work on the computer at a time ... while the other one of us hovers anxiously nearby, waiting for a turn.

David: Are you done?

Terri: No ... I'm just going to the bathroom, forcryingoutloud. Don't touch the computer.

David: I won't touch the computer.

Terri: I'll KNOW if you've touched it, y'know.

David: I won't touch the computer.

To that end we've devised a sort of informal *schedule* for sharing the computer. It works out roughly like this:

  • David gets the computer from 4 a.m. to 5:45 a.m.
  • *I* get it the rest of the time.

What can I say? It's a schedule *I* can live with. (At least until we're out of the poorhouse and can afford those matching Pentium XIIs ... and a place big enough to spread out and enjoy 'em. 

"Well," I said to him, "if that's the worst of our 'problems,'  I guess we must be doing something right." And he agreed with me, and we kissed each other goodnight, and we turned out the light, and that was the end of the conversation.

Just like this is the end of the journal entry.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

P.S. If you don't hear from me until Monday, you'll know that Ю僱êrvØ¡ has been on the computer all weekend.

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