duck-shaped pain

16 October 2002
The blank side stays blank and the lined side stays lined.

Dog update: the seizures seem to have stopped. He came out of hiding once I gave him a piece of leftover barbecued chicken and promised him that I would let him come inside and sleep on the dining-room rug.

My favorite Google hit of the week: "why college is hard". I wouldn't be as enamored of it if the person looking for it hadn't come from my very own college. I have some specific people in mind whenever I imagine someone searching for this. Alas, it's probably not any of those people, and probably some freshman stuck in some unpleasant classes.

Monday I drove up to Aspen and Glenwood Springs, in a desperate attempt to get out of town for the day. It was a good day to do it: the weather was perfect, and the aspen trees were still changing colors, so there was plenty of scenery porn to loll at during the drive up there. What I did on my day away is easily explainable: went swimming, walked around, drank espresso while leaves fell on my head, those sorts of things.

Went to the Aspen thrift store (yes, there is one) and bought: nothing.

Went to the bookstore there and bought a really interesting little notebook. It seems to solve my lined vs. unlined dilemma. Every other page is lined, and the page facing it is blank. In theory, one is to write on the lined side and draw on the blank side. I donít know if that's what will happen with it. It's about third in line as far as blank books go (I always buy them much faster than I can fill them up), so I will see when I get to it. I actually didn't know about its half and half feature until after I got it home, as it was sealed in a bag. I actually bought it for its over, which had 19th-century engravings of various birds on the cover, and a listing of birds on the back. The pictures and the listings do not match, so it's this subtle little joke of a notebook. I also bought a copy of Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, so it was a good day for paper products all around.

I nearly got into an accident driving from Aspen to Glenwood. I left at the beginning of rush hour, when people drive 80 miles an hour down a windy, narrow mountain highway to their homes in Rulison or New Castle or somewhere else a 90-minute drive away. Such is the fate of people who work in a small town where a one-bedroom apartment can run $1800 a month or more (much more). Anyway, me and many people I do not wish to know were all barreling down this road when the woman in front of me decides that she's going the wrong way. Instead of waiting until the next intersection to turn around, she stops in the middle of the road, then drives over the grass median and heads off in the opposite direction. I had to stop on my brakes to avoid hitting her. There was a squeal and the car wobbled a bit, but I managed to stop. What a stupid thing to do, though. I was really sort of freaked out by the incident, and decided that I needed a long soak in the hot springs pool to get over it.

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