September 19, 1999

I sat on the sofa at 2 a.m. this morning, in darkness, and polished off an entire Tobler Chocolate Orange.

At 6 a.m. I was wide awake and twitchy, filled with energy, completely unable to sleep -- even on a Sunday morning -- and fighting a frantic urge to empty the kitchen cupboads and organize the canned goods alphabetically. Or to dump out the contents of my purse and wipe everything down with Windex.

Or to tear this entire website apart and start from scratch.

I've got a spectacular new zit on my chin, just left of center. I can tell already that it's looking for long-term commitment. ("Go ahead! Just try and exfoliate me!")

If anybody -- I mean ANYBODY -- corrects my spelling/tells me to "relax"/suggests that beige is anything less than TOTALLY FLATTERING on me/asks if I've been watching my caffeine intake lately/looks at me *funny* today ... I will burst into tears. Or pinch their head off. Or both.

*That*  time of the month. Ain't it a bucket of chuckles?

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And yeah, I know ... I promised Daughter #2, eons ago, that I would never ever ever write about THE DREADED SUBJECT OF MENSTRUATION on this website. (I also promised her that I would never write about our respective sex lives. Of course, this was back in the days when neither one of us HAD one.)  Point is, I think we've both matured a bit since then. These days, she can probably handle her mother admitting to the cyber universe that for 48 hours every month she bleeds like a severed artery, has the attention span of a gnat and eats everything that can't get up and walk away.

(It could be worse, after all. I could be writing about hemorrhoids. Or weather. Or Daughter #2's menstrual cycle. So there ya go.)

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David has conveniently -- and wisely -- vacated The Castle this morning, leaving me to "enjoy" one long, quiet, cranky day to myself.  

Which, under the circumstances, is probably just as well. Pamprin "Extra-Coma-Inducing Formula," anyone?

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It's actually been a pretty pleasant little weekend, Mother Nature (the bitch) notwithstanding.

It almost felt like fall yesterday, here in Alameda. Although I've resigned myself to the fact that "autumn" in California will be nothing like the falling-leaves-and-new-sweater autumns I'm accustomed to -- I know that distinctive seasons, like backward somersaults and gin martinis with double olives, are a thing of my past -- I still catch myself looking for signs of fall, everywhere we go. And yesterday I actually "felt" a little bit of it in the air.

It made me come alive.

We spent most of the day running around the island, working our way through a "To-Do" list as long as David's arm. Bank. Dry cleaners. Two thrift stores, where we loaded up on silk blouses and old Linda Ronstadt albums. Hardware store. Shoe repair place. Guitar store. Pastrami on sourdough at a little deli we like.  I sat and watched him eating ... a little glob of mustard on the corner of his mouth, as he read his newspaper ... and I thought, This is exactly what I've always wanted: somebody to eat lunch with on a Saturday afternoon.

Back to The Castle for a luxurious afternoon nap, and then off to Berkeley for an evening *tour* of record stores. We were on a quest, looking for vinyl cleaner. You know the stuff I mean? "Discwasher"  --  that record-cleaning stuff that comes in the little red bottle? We needed it to clean the new/old Linda Ronstadt albums we'd just bought (as well as the other 43,897,621 albums currently lining the walls/filling the closets/blocking the emergency exits of The Castle). You used to be able to find vinyl cleaner all over the place, but apparently it's become as scarce a commodity as Chocolate Maypo.

Pimply Disinterested Adolescent Sales Guy at Amoeba Records told us to use lighter fluid, instead. "It's our store secret," he said. Pimply Disinterested Adolescent Sales Guy at The Wherehouse said "Armor-All." (Both of them looked at David and I like we were very, very old ... and very, very stoopid. Even though we were wearing our grooviest tie-dye T-shirts. Imagine.)  We finally managed to *score* a bottle of Discwasher ... $3.24 for a one-ounce bottle, which they actually keep in a drawer behind the counter at Amoeba.  

The whole thing felt weirdly naughty: I kept expecting Don Johnson to come bursting through the door and throwing us on the ground in handcuffs for violating the Obsolete Electronics Accessories Law.

We had dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant in Berkeley -- the same place we took Daughter #1, when she visited last month: I dribbled flauta juice all over the right breast of my silk blouse, in her honor -- and then David wanted to walk around Berkeley some more. By that point, though, it was starting to get COLD, and I didn't have a jacket. (Maybe they do have autumn in California, after all!) So we hopped into the Subaru, instead, and came home and finished off our evening with some extremely athletic, sweaty, noisy ...

(Whoops. I forgot. I promised Daughter #2.)

... record-cleaning.  We finished off our evening with some extremely athletic, sweaty, noisy "record-cleaning."

Yeah. That's it.

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And then of course you know the rest of the story: I wound up on the sofa at 2 a.m., pushing chocolate orange slices into my face and wondering why I felt so "twitchy."

It's gonna be a long four and a half days. Sigh.



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