She called Thursday evening to share the news that she’s been in the Bay Area, staying over at her aunt’s house, for damn near the last three weeks. Her phone’s disappearance around Christmas (and the delay in realizing that her other sister actually keeps reasonably updated phone numbers) kept her from calling us in a timely fashion. She’ll fly back east late Wednesday, but she may be able to fit us into her schedule for some of Tuesday, that is, if she can bring herself to return a message left on her new phone late Friday.

She’s chronologically grown and doesn’t seem to need anything and that’s a relief; why piss and moan, when so many suffer from unasked-for obligations? There’ve been plenty of reasons for love and for distance, most of which make sense at any given time.

One of the things about being grown means not leaving yourself out there for disappointment.

Tea and sympathy

Good? 20 ounces of Earl Grey, as well as soba noodles, seitan chicken strips and boy choy from home. Bad? The weather, in all its forms. Ugly? Four co-workers out sick, two with the day off after earlier shift switches and one using a vacation day to brave the snowy mountains to our east. But papers have to get out the door somehow. Daily miracles, and all that.

Why I spend Wednesdays offline.

Because it helps to occasionally put my computer down if you’re going to go donate clothes at Goodwill. Or go take your rusty, trusty beater-bike on its last ride before you give it away. Or see a movie matinee. Or browse lenses at a camera shop. And because spending as much of my free time on my computer is a poor substitute for spending my work time on someone’s else computer.

My right eye is healing. Every third week of December, like clockwork, sties erupt on one lid or along a lash. They heal by the first week of January. A garden-variety heathen like me tries to give gifts year-round so as to omit fussing about Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah, and works the holidays for the explicit pleasure of smaller-than-usual papers and extra holiday pay. What else to peg it on, really?

Been eating well. Haven’t exercised as often as I’d like to. Don’t want to exercise-exercise anyway. Just hop on the bike, go along some trails, take pictures, come back. Make it more of a field trip, fodder for the brain rather than rote pumping-and-pedaling.

Oh, this account’s paid now. Call it a vote of confidence in the new management.