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Good news, friends. I am here with Mr. Saurbrueken of Bell Labs. He is here to talk to us today about rocket ships. He is from 1963. He has traveled in time in order to tell us about rockets. Put your hands together for Mr. Saurbrueken who is not aware that he has traveled in time. He is trying to book a Pan Am flight to Los Angeles. It is CRAZY.

I would like to introduce new words into the lexicon. Would you like to be part of that? If you join up, I will give you a free sticker. So, how about it? Call my office. Make an appointment. Sliding scale.

There are things we could talk about in my den. This is sometimes called a "man cave" but I call it a den. I hang out in here with pretend "buddies" since I have none. I also have no love life. I shoved a knife into my scrotum because I am possessed by Friend Behr. I am sorry. I killed him. I took another man's life and now I have taken over his everything2 cult membership. Something like a gym. Or one of those sauna places where men sit around each other naked for long periods of time. I am undecided on that as anything I want to have involvement with. Seems unseemly.

I like going through certain rotaries. But only in 1987.

There are things we could talk about. In my office. Come and see me. Book an appointment. I am a competent psychiatrist. I see you cheap. Eighty buck an hour, but sliding scale. Always remember that sliding scale. And that furniture store. And that pretty girl on the sidewalk. You had rude thoughts. You were a rude person. I don't know why I tolerate you in my life. Perhaps it is because we are part of a cult.

Mr. Saurbrueken wishes to address you:

Hello. I am Mr. Saurbrueken of Bell Labs. It is nice to see so many young people out there today. I mean, really out there. You could come to Bell Labs and go on a tour. A tour of my nut sack you freaks. What the hell is wrong with you? Wear a fucking suit to a lecture. Assholes.

Thank you for visiting with us today, Mr. Saurbrueken. We are pleased that you spent some time with us. Interview questions? You won't answer? You're mad? Why mad?

It is a condundrum.

Medically yours,

Dr. Peter Swilling

I'm in a bad mood. Maybe I should go back to sleep. I took the day off work and got up early for a dentist appointment I'd booked two months ago. I arrived on time, only to be told they'd removed me from the schedule because my phone number didn't work, and they couldn't reach me last week to screen me. Clearly, the number they had on file was wrong. So I re-booked it for Tuesday — good thing they could get me in soon, otherwise I'd be really pissed — and I sat in my hot, unconditioned car in the parking lot deciding what to do. My plan to go window shopping no longer appealed to me. I would have to navigate busy traffic, find parking, and wear a stuffy mask in weather that is 27 C and rising. I drove home.

In the grand scheme of things, this is not a big deal. People are dying. I know that. Still, all these little things have been adding up, and I'm one mishap away from exploding. I can't find budget-friendly tank tops that fit properly. They feel OK at the store, but when I get home I realize they ride up too high in the armpits. I now have six new tank tops that don't fit. Three of them might be returnable. The others? It's too late. I can't go to Reitmans unless I leave town because ours closed down permanantly. I can't find workout shorts in my size anywhere. Whatever shipment would have usually arrived in the spring or early summer, didn't. The new running shoes I bought don't feel right, even though I spent hours in the store trying pairs on. I'll have to keep wearing my old shoes that have holes.

Then when I got home from my run last night, my mother asked me "don't you find it's too hot to go running?" I had just walked through the door. What kind of question is that? Obviously not, or I wouldn't have gone out. I'm so tired of her negative comments about my running. It gets me out of the house, keeps me sane, keeps me in good shape. She says things like "triathlons are bad for you" and "(name of some nutritionist) says that people who work out and then eat dessert afterwards are gaining back all the calories they just lost." I'm paraphrasing here. The point is, I'm training for a half marathon, not a triathlon, and either way it's still better for you than being inactive. Also, not everyone who works out does it to lose weight. Some of us actually enjoy it. I'm at a point where I'm happy with my weight and am trying to NOT lose any more weight. I don't have the patience to correct her ignorant comments. Doing so is pointless because she's clearly not interested in hearing a different perspective. "I don't understand why people like running." I'm sitting right here — if you want to know so badly, all you have to do is ask me! But no, why try to understand it when you can bitch about it instead. I am going to have to say something like, "I don't want to hear it" or "you're just jealous that I get to eat more dessert than you." Standing up to her is stressful for me. You need to say it just right, or else she turns into Mr Hyde.

I'm taking this negative energy and using it as motivation to save up for a downpayment on a house. I made the calculations last week to find out how much I need. The number is depressingly high. However, I can do it if I hustle hard enough. Earlier this week, I finished revamping my old website. It still needs to be tidied up and polished, but it finally has the layout I want. That's a long-term project that won't earn money anytime soon. So long as I continue to enjoy it, it should be worth it, though. Then there's the question of regular income. My temporary job has fewer hours already, and I don't think my old job will hire me back until next spring, if ever. This problem requires more thought. I've been focused on the more urgent tasks on my to-do list, like filing my taxes. Which, by the way, I finally did last weekend.

My mind is clearing up. The mental clutter has been swept away enough to reveal a bare patch on the floor, a beam of light shining through an uncovered window. I feel ready to seriously consider my options. The key word here is "feel." I'll sit down with my notebook later and have a brainstorming session. My goal is to get through it without sinking into a hole of despair.

I'm following the program in The Artist's Way to help clarify my mind further. Today was day four of writing morning pages, and the third day I actually wrote them. Not bad so far. I'm supposed to go on an artist's date today, though I haven't decided what that will be, so I guess I'll go figure that out. Thanks for reading.

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