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August 11, 1999
a year ago
two years ago

Getting Out of Town

On Tuesday the cold that John had caught up to me. That wasn't much fun. It was one of those awful head colds that is strong enough to make one miserable but not bad enough to really feel like staying at home was even feasible. I still had a whole lot of things to do at work before the vacation that we were taking and there were a handful of meetings on Tuesday that I really felt that I should attend John took care of me in the evening, making a spaghetti dinner and making sure that I got to sleep immediately after dinner.

Wednesday was a day that was completely filled with meetings. Impromptu meetings that were called when we figured out that there were problems that we hadn't dealt with and problems that the whole group really had to reach some kind of consensus on, stuff as pragmatic as setting up how our work directories were going to look to just talking with someone that was working, long-distance in Chicago and figuring out that she really should come to Boulder for a visit. So it was necessary but it wasn't all that interesting. Which was a very sleep inducing combination, and I caught myself trying to nod off during one meeting. Another one was one that I had called, but enough folks brought enough problems to it that we managed something eventually. My entire afternoon was taken with meeting after meeting after meeting.

By the time we were supposed to go home, I was past ready, but I hadn't gotten any hint of a journal entry out and I wanted to write something. I was also so very, very glad that Cera was on the Pacific Coast, as she was still around. So I got to talk with her a little while I was banging out my entry for Monday and it was very, very surprising for me to have her suddenly tell me to have fun on my trip and vacation. I was, at that moment, under so much pressure from what I wasn't going to be able to do for the next two days that I was intense and nearly angry. The wish was so completely orthogonal to my emotions of the moment that it just shocked me out of it.

I was getting ready to go on vacation. Folks at work would deal with what I had done and what I couldn't do or they'd wait until Monday. Reality, what a concept.

I know that even five years ago I would have thought that going away when things were worst would have cost me my job or the esteem of my peers, or whatever the hell else I might come up with as an excuse, a reason that I was indispensable or a reason to support my workaholic ways. As it is, however, I can see that taking the time off really is a way of taking care of myself for the long run. There is never a good time. Maybe I'm finally getting less self-important or, maybe, a little less neurotic. That would be a good sign.

But by the time we went home, I really wanted to go to sleep. That's all. Instead, we had all our packing to do, Fezzik to get to the boarding place, and it didn't really look like there was much hope for dinner if we followed our usual patterns. John turned it all around by asking me if it would be okay to just go immediately to drop Fezzik off and get some dinner, then get back to pack. So we did that. It was very good because we went to Santiago's a little place in Lafayette that was entirely staffed by Mexicans and, as we waited for our food, we found out that they actually had green chilies brought to them three times a week.

We brought the food home and watched TV while I ate as John wandered back and forth packing. The food was excellent, and it was far too much for me to finish. While I watched, I found out that Jennifer Peterson, of the Two Fat Ladies, had died. I really loved the show as much for its completely irreverant humor as much as the cooking and their attitude towards life was really reflected in their food. Jennifer's ability to be humorous, off the wall, and know all kinds of obscure fact was one of the things I loved a lot. I'll miss her.

We ate at home and by the time I was through John had Borax packed up and ready to go. I had pulled out all the clothing I wanted to bring, and he packed all that. I had to go through, very specifically, a list that I'd written down earlier, or I would have never remembered even half the things that I needed to bring with me. My head was completely stuffed up and it was really hard to get it to work.

John got me into the car, and we went off on our way and I just drowsed in the passenger seat the whole way through Denver, and then west up into the mountains. We got most of the way to Idaho Springs before I woke up because John wanted to make a stop. I really needed something to drink and we were still about an hour away from Breckenridge, so we stopped at a Safeway and I got looked at by the locals pretty thoroughly as we wandered about trying to find things.

We got going soon after that and pulled into a gas station just outside town and John went in to ask directions to the hotel. He said that it was 'cause he was tired, but I think he could see how completely exhausted I was and got us there immediately. He went in to check-in and was really quick about it and guided me to the room where I mostly took myself apart and then fell into the really firm bed, pulled most of the covers on top of me and fell deeply asleep.

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