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small gray square The effect of Gary's death on me is a slight rise in the general depression level, plus an onset of malaise and ennui. Why do anything, why bother, the end result is the same no matter what. Thinking of contacting others in my class who might not be aware of the tragedy yet and would want to know, but I don't care to be the bearer of bad tidings, so I'm resisting this temptation.

small blue square Long phone talk at work with B, who's coming up here for a two-day class in a couple of weeks. She just broke up with her boyfriend of ten months, essentially because he wasn't contributing enough to the relationship - I can certainly understand that, since it's a reason I resisted B's efforts to entangle me when we first met - she wants too much from her man. A quick one to pass judgement, she labels Z "weird" due to her behavior last week (being in town but not contacting me). I used the same word previously, in a Z-mail.

small green square Speaking of Islamic women (although I'm getting the impression that Z is shedding her zeal along with her Algerian husband) I mentioned the Religious Police on August 5th - in the October 1987 "National Geographic" a "Women of Arabia" article has this text in a caption <1>:

Even here, in [Jiddah,] the most worldly of Saudi Arabian cities, a woman cannot board an airplane or stay in a hotel without written permission of a male relative. And her modesty is zealously guarded by the muttawwiun - morals police armed with camel prods, who publicly shame anyone offending their sense of propriety.

small violet square At work an annoyance has appeared, a member of that demographic which makes me go ballistic - the gum-chewers. Fanning the flames of my revulsion, which had long lain dormant (until yesterday's sauna episode where I discovered a small, gooey wad of used gum attached to the edges of my salvaged newspaper), one of the new people they've installed in my office-trailer is one of these cows. Not quite a member of that offensive zenith, the gum-crackers; but neither is she one of the discrete nearly-silent chewers. Every few moments those disgusting little "pops" punctuate the steady rhythm of her oral noises. Why is this such a feminine trait, like the checkbook wielders who confuse the grocery store with the bank? (Learn to use the ATM, and visit it before you go shopping!!) In addition she's one of these microwave popcorn consumers - I positively loathe its smell. Things do not bode well for my short-term contentment on-the-job.

small orange square Recovering from the root canal I received Wednesday; my jaw feels like someone socked it. From previous experience I know this pain will fade in a few days.

small red square From the Washington Post review of "Return to Paradise" by Stephen Hunter: "One [character] ... is a [job title] who tries hard to live a life without consequences." This statement articulates one of the goals here at What I Do.

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small yellow square Looking through company-approved PPO doctors today I came across a Donald Posthumus, MD. Well, perhaps the good doctor provides the finest in posthumous care, who knows? One wonders just how large his practice is, and how literate his patients. (In real life I myself have a "funny" last name, so according to my interpretation of the unwritten rules of political correctness, I'm allowed to comment on others in my same boat.)

ATM - Automated Teller Machine
PPO - Preferred Provider Organization
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<1> Well-known reading behavior: nobody reads the text of "National Geographic" articles.