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Saturday 19 November

Back in the house. It's 1:10 P.M. and I'm sitting in my office in front of my new Power Mac — a rather unpleasant-looking machine — amidst the débris of my life before Todi. Coming back was like stepping into a timewarp. Nothing has changed (one shelf's worth of books moved; some lights up but only partially due to various problems; a curtain rod) except the season: it's getting cold and the leaves are pretty much off the trees and in still dry, loose drifts on the ground. My leg hurts. James has a cold. Boo is in heat. Dinner is rather beautiful, a large plumpbreasted bird with a fairly nice tail, variegated plumage, and a tiny little two-horned pink fleshy crest starting to grow on the top of his beak, as well maybe as wattles beneath; makes chickenlike noises especially in the morning.

For the record, my Mormon seatmate on the plane paid for his mission out of his own savings from years of washing cars, etc. That's really admirable, and is apparently the norm. Also, he told me about what goes on in the temple: (1) covenants with God — basically vows between the individual and God; (2) temple marriages, which are 3-way covenants; (3) baptisms for the dead (not all necessarily one's ancestors); (4) studies and preaching; and (5) something I can't remember. All of which rather noble and centered pretty much on the notion of pacts with God.

Also for the record, I hobbled in thru the airport rather slowly and badly but was picked up by a cart for the flight crew, nice of them; customs was not as neutrally pleasant as usual; and I paid $144 on $1925 (+ $400 books, exempt); large Ghanaian cabbie, got to the house around 4, and actually picked up my business line when it rang, talked with one of my non-favorite people who will need French translation, one of these hardboiled 'marketing' types, a woman I see from time to time at GPF.

My kilo scale had me weighing 78 = 172; my home scale 175. This morning, 76.5 = 168.5 and 170 — so I have to use the higher weights and have the depressing result that I'm not as thin as I thought I was, altho' yesterday [. . .] said I was "thin" but also Stina and Amy both, separately, noticed I'd lost weight. This morning I tried on a bunch of trousers and am now back to wearing a very few rather old pairs of trousers, the others will go. I also unpacked into the general mess; went to the post office and retrieved my little clock from Alain Berda registered mail; sorted and put away this trip's pictures awaiting an album; and started adjusting to Word 6.0 since I'll have to be working in it. Computer seems slow, and crashes a lot; I've used it a total of 1 hour and had 3 crashes. Fax only works partially.

Encyclopaedia Britannica is mailing me unwanted books accompanied by invoices — My personal font doesn't accommodate the standard âàéèêîôûùç characters so is useless for French — my desk is not ready — The kitchen counter people have not replaced their miscut countertop — The missing items for the lights are still not in — and I've paid for them 5‑6 months ago — Steve Horwath wants his $1000, which I'll probably pay — meaning I will indeed just absorb [. . .]'s dishonesty — James didn't ship Betty's stuff — people haven't paid me (unsigned checks don't count, returned to them over a month ago, now what?) — altho' the phones are all back on and I've been credited $200 or so which is about right, a reconnect charge still needs to be removed — I am, I think, in fact not happy to be back.

And these minor problems were nothing at all compared to what followed. From here thru the end of December 1994, the descent into catastrophe.


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Page updated: 18 Jan 01