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2001-06-19 - 2:45 p.m.

Iím not cut out to be a housewife.

I didnít go to work yesterday. I was called into jury duty at 11 am, and had enough foresight to bring work home with me, and alleviate some of the driving around Austin-town in 95 degree heat, with no air conditioning. It was a nice, leisurely morning; I woke up early, and read Ulysses in bed for an hour. I ate some breakfast, watched the Today show, and waited til the house had emptied itself before setting up shop at the dining room table: one glass of water (iced), one pack of post-it notes (small), two packs of post-it flags (blue), one update to the Regulatory Compliance Audit Program for Banks (a less fun read than Ulysses, if you can believe it). The work went fast, and I was twice as productive as I usually am in my workplace. Instead of making the usual trek to the kitchen or bathroom, just to escape the confines of the cubicle, I did things like water my lone tomato plant, and add to the compost pile.

Working at home rocks.

Jury duty was a misnomer; I was not part of a jury. It was, however, a surprisingly organized cattle call; after an hour and a half, I was given a sheet of paper stamped with a date, telling me to appear at the courthouse next Monday. I was near the Austin Film Society office, so I dropped by to check some email and make some copies. After a halfhearted effort to find a lunch companion, I made my way back to the empty house, cooked some lunch, and tackled the Regulatory Compliance Guide once more, with the Lucksmiths as my soundtrack.

The work was done before I knew it, and I passed the early evening hours by reading Ulysses and napping (and discovering that if I read Ulysses while reclining the least little bit, napping was inevitable). Then there was book club (you didnít think Iíd read Ulysses on my own, now did you?), conveniently located down the street at Spider House, and even though I lingered afterwards, and did some Film Society work, I was home by 9:30.

Home. Again. The place Iíd spent the greater part of the day. And I was wide awake and restless. Iíd spent most of Sunday evening pottering around my room, unpacking boxes, finding lost bills, putting away clothesÖI was in no mood to spend another evening doing just that. Or reading a book. Or channel surfing. Itís always been like that for me; home has been the place I lingered at on my way from one place to another. I like to come home to sleep; if I want to read, Iíll go to a coffee house, where itís less likely that Iíll fall asleep with my book at my side, hands unconsciously holding my place open, and I can people watch. Living in neighborhoods has helped; when I got that restless feeling around nine oíclock at night, but Iím too tired to do anything, I would just walk around the block, blending into shadows, peering into lit windows and wondering about the lives inside.

My mom was the same way; any time she was home all day long, in between jobs, she would run around the house like a crazy woman, picking up after us, yelling and screaming, until she finally would leave the house, just to do something, just to leave.

So I went running.

Yes, I know itís not supposed to be safe. But is it any less safer than running by myself at six oíclock in the morning? I ran on the well-lit main road, on the sidewalk, down one and a half miles, and back the same way. When I came home, I was sweaty, but exhilarated, and more than ready to be at home again, and eat, and rehydrate, and eventually fall asleep.

* * * * *

I want to talk about my weekend. Friday was the Air show, at La Zona Rosa, and it was beautiful to look at. And not half bad to listen to. Gary bought the ticket for me for my birthday. He likes the band, and I liked what Iíd heard of them, but he lent me some of their cdís to listen to at work. I might not have bought the ticket on my own; it was $25, and considering they only played for an hour and a half, I think we were really paying for the light show. The boys of Air were very pretty though, all dressed in black, and one of them wore a cape. When of the members said, in a dreamy French accent, ďThis song is about teenagers,Ē it was all I could do not to ask them to put down their instruments and just talk to us for a while. You play these songs all the time, and to be honest, it doesnít sound that much different from the cd. Why donít you just chat for a while?

On Saturday, I shopped. I donít need to say anymore about that, except that I donít like to consider myself much of a consumer. But there are things that I need, and they must be bought, so for a few long hours, I braved the throngs at the mall. Then Rob came by, and helped me attach my U-lock to my bicycle. Iíve had the bicycle for three months, and the lock almost as long; on at least three different occasions, Iíve sat down in front of my bicycle and tried to figure out how to attach my U-lock. I gave up each time. But he is a gentle teacher, and made it look very easy.

That night, I was invited to two very different parties. The first was a birthday party for Kasee, my college roommate, and one of the reasons Iím in Austin now. We donít spend much time together; I have my own friends, and she spends most of her time with her Methodist singles group. But she invited me, and she came to my party, and so I went. The party was in a huge house, outside of town, and Iíd forgotten how prety it is once you leave the city limits: winding roads, and hills, and the lake, and the setting sun. The people at the party were friendly but bland, and half a dozen boxes of party games (Pictionary, Scattergories, etc.) foretold what was to come (the email had promised fun and fellowship Ė I think only church groups use the word ďfellowshipĒ). It was like visiting another world, and I realized Iíve become quite spoiled by my current group of friends. Top 40 hits from the last ten years played on the cd player. I was the only vegetarian there, and people looked at me strangely as I threw my veggie burgers on the far side of the grill, away from the meat. Someone commented on my purple Converse shoes. During dinner, we talked about the Sunday school lesson for the next day. There was boring beer. And Iím not even a beer snob. I met Kaseeís new boyfriend. I think heís gay. They would have started dating earlier, except he thought Kasee was dating someone else Ė whom I thought was flaming gay. I made my excuses and left early...

to go to the Liquor and Lingerie wedding shower, for Christina and Carey. I brought neither Liquor, nor Lingerie, but I donít think it mattered; by the time I got there, everyone was thoroughly sloshed. Christina was wearing brown leather pants, and a gold lamŤ halter top, and literally gushed over my appearance at the party. ďOh my god! I canít believe you came! Iím so glad you came. Look, Carey! Look who came to the party!Ē I felt very wanted. A huge punchbowl of Sex on the Beach was on the counter (note to self: just because itís in a punch bowl, does not mean you should drink it like punch, especially if you are dehydrated), filled with penis-shaped ice cubes. Party favors were flavored condoms and lubricant. Christina: ďThe condoms are for sucking, not for fucking.Ē It was a far cry from the other party.

I was hungover most of Sunday. The best cure for a hangover, Iíve discovered, is diving into Barton Springs pool. But it must be repeated, and often.

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