Why Did I Pick a Journal Format That Made Me Choose Titles?

26 September 2001

Well. Yesterday sucked. As I said in my journal, we came upon a situation where a dear friend and I had quite different accounts of a situation. I know I wasn't lying, and I believe that he wasn't, either. So one of us has a big memory issue, and I seem to be the likely candidate.

So for those of you who deal with me regularly, will you keep an eye on me, please? See if I seem to be congruent with reality. See if I make sense. See if there's something going on here, or if we just have a one-time problem.

The friend whom I trust, whose memory differs from mine, is bewildered and upset by this. So am I. But he's not accusing me of being, not only a liar, but a stupid one, lying pointlessly about something in which it would be easy to get caught. I'm grateful for that. I'm not sure I'll be so lucky with another of my friends. That friendship may be gone over this. And I'm sad about it, I'm upset and grieving for it, and I'm scared, but I don't know that there's anything else I can do.

Well. In the midst of all that mess, I went off to Dr. Bill's, and Timprov and I got our backs fixed. Dr. Bill said to me, "You were ready for this one, weren't you?" Um, yes. And then some. He actually pulled on my feet and cracked my legs this time. Chiropracty is a beautiful thing.

Came home, hung out, worked a very little, and read the Father Greeley mysteries I'd picked up at the library. His world is so simple. It's really nice that way. You can almost always tell who the murderer is going to be, and while the other characters are not all nice, either, everything makes sense in his world. And while we disagree substantially on points of doctrine, the God Greeley believes in is a God of love in some pretty appreciable ways, so I can kind of see him as a fellow traveler.

It's a good thing I don't require people to have the same labels as me to feel religious kinship with them. There just aren't that many Haugeans around.

And we watched the pilot of "Undeclared." Didn't like most of the characters, but some of the scenes were stellar. I still wish ABC had given Apatow the chance to settle in with "Freaks and Geeks" -- it was a really good show -- but maybe I should give him a chance on this one, too. Even though the lead is not nearly so charming now that he's 18 instead of 14 -- it's basically the same character as Sam from "Freaks and Geeks," but set in the present rather than in the 80s, and at college rather than at high school.

(In its infinite wisdom, @ Home decided that I didn't exist for awhile this morning. I hope I exist now. I just got three e-mails all at once, so maybe I do. I hate @ Home. Not as much as Karina does right now, I'll bet. But I do hate it.)

This is like a lot of ScanAm kids. Only substitute in lutefisk for the chitlin's. You get the idea.

I have to confess, I've started reading User Friendly. What can I say. It's funny. It's really, really geeky humor, and I thought I was going to hold off my ubergeek tendencies enough to resist reading it. I was wrong. It's just not worth resisting any more. I give in to the geek within me.

Also I've been reading James Lileks' Daily Bleat. I give in to the Minnesotan within me. Zak says he reads it because the writer has a gift for nostalgia that's not schmaltzy. That's a good reason. But I read it because I am so homesick I want to cry sometimes. Fall is a farce here. Today, among other things, the Daily Bleat mentioned the smell of Minnesota homes in the fall, when the furnace first comes on. Oh heavens. That's so good. And the wet-sweater smell of the dorms when the heaters first come on, that was good, too, even though it meant that the dorms were going to be ungodly hot for at least a couple of weeks, maybe for the whole winter depending on how your furnace was set. You see, most of the furnaces in my college dorm, Wahlstrom, had a little dial you could turn, from a picture of a snowflake to the number one and then up through five. But in most of the rooms, you turned it as far past snowflake as you could, because the steam heating was just too much. And in the few rooms that were larger than a breadbox, you could try turning it up further and further, and the heat output would not change. (This strikes me as a good Gustie 20 Questions question: Is it larger than a breadbox? No. Is it a Wahlstrom room? Yes!)

I want to move back to Minnesota, but having a controllable heater is one of my prerequisites.

I originally mistyped that, so that having a controllable heather was one of my prereqs. But the only Heather I have in Minnesota is not at all controllable, especially not by me. It's okay, we love her better that way. I'm really, really hoping that she doesn't have her baby while we're there. While we're in Minnesota, maybe, but while we're there seeing them? Not so much so. The girl is very pregnant, but not pregnant enough that it's a strong possibility that we'll get to see MiniOrser v. 2.0 this trip around. But MiniOrser v. 1.0, a.k.a. Miss Siri, is lovely enough for two. She looks like her mama, like her daddy only contributed enough genetic material to make sure she had the right numbers of eyes and noses. Maybe she's got some personality traits from her daddy.

The thing that struck me the most strongly about Miss Siri the last time we saw her, last September, was her dislike of the number four. She would count blithely, "One, two, three." And then she'd stop. And if you prompted her with "Four," she'd say, "Fivesixseveneightnineten!" She just didn't like four.

She also -- is this more obnoxious than telling stories about your own kids? Telling stories about other people's kids? Well, write about something else in your own journal, if you don't like it -- didn't see the need to sing the whole alphabet at once. She left spaces where the unfavored letters were supposed to go, in just the right amount of space: "A (pause) C (pause) E (pause) G...." or else "A B (pause pause) E F G...." It was just doing them all at once that was at issue -- how trite! How juvenile! If you know all the letters, why do you have to sing them all every time? Having tried (unsuccessfully) to get my kindergarten class to omit vowels or do other random things to make the alphabet song something other than a crashing bore, I heartily sympathize with this child.

Right, then. Trying to get work done today; trying to feel better. We shall see.

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