thanks for that lovely little note, christine. the thing i found funny about you bemoaning the lack of me writing is that i feel that i’ve called you approximately three thousand and four times in the past few days, badgering you with questions about fixing computers.

if only i ever got paid for all the stuff that occupies my time. especially when it’s this horrible horrible tedious stuff that makes me want to go hurl the computer right into the lake.

on sunday i started trying to help dad with his computer problems, which were bad. i downloaded spybot and the other stuff he didn’t have, i kept doing different things, and it did get better, and now it seems to be working at least fairly ok. but i spent all of sunday morning and most of monday afternoon doing it.

and then, because MY computer was right next to his computer as i tried to write something while downloading many tedious things, MY COMPUTER CAUGHT HIS VIRUS.

this is clearly the only explanation.

makes sense.

so, today i had so very many things i wanted to write – i wanted to finish a detailed account of the triathlon, i wanted to write a new flyer, and of coure i had MANY MANY THINGS i wanted to say on here.

instead, i sat on a comfy chair at panera and used their free wifi to download updates and do more and more tedious and mind-numbingly slow computer things. i had conversations with christine, and with B. (Bobby Rae), who both helped me quite a bit. i updated norton, i updated my other anti-virus programs, i kept running virus scans, i updated aol to new SECURITY aol, i defragmented the computer.

it’s still messed up. to put it politely.

if i close the computer while it’s still on, when i open it back up, the screen remains black.

INCREDIBLY annoying. and everything is taking one million more years than it should.

i’m sorry, i know i must be boring you TO TEARS, but at least you’re not LOSING YOUR MIND FROM TOO MUCH COMPUTER FRUSTRATION. plus the fact that i spent so much time today just sitting there. it made me think about the times in my life when i’ve had to sit in an office, just sitting there, doing various things with pieces of paper, and i wondered at how i managed to stand that at all. i’m glad i don’t have to do that anymore, at least.

i just spent ONE WHOLE HOUR trying to make a hotel reservation. i finally accomplished it, thank god.

ok, i’ll stop this ranting now, it’s almost midnight, i’m tired, but there are still many things i wanted to address.

the most important thing:

GO SEE CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. i saw it sunday afternoon, and monday night. it was fabulous on sunday afternoon; the only thing missing, i quickly realized, was a bag of chocolates to munch on while watching the film. so i went to see it again on monday to correct that problem.

it’s clever and funny and i loved it. there are some things that are really close to the original movie, and others that are interesting twists. tim burton (the director) added stuff to the story, like a short tale of an indian prince who wanted a palace built of chocolate. this little story doesn’t have anything to do with the main action, but it’s really funny and helps set the wacky mood that follows.

the kids are sort of like the original kids, but violet beauregard, for example, has added qualities which make her even funnier. and her mother is a perfectly perfect hysterically funny barbie doll.

and i love johnny depp.

my dad is one of the people i dragged to the movie on monday night, and he said he didn’t care much for johnny d., because he thought he looked disturbingly like angie dickinson.

sometimes my dad has very unusual ideas.

please go see it. if you don’t like it, well, i’m sorry, but there surely must be something seriously wrong with you. i’m just saying. fabulous. take along some malted milk balls.

today somebody told me about a trip she took to the bahamas. it made me want to go there. but then B. (Billy Bill )said that the bahamas are all about evil drug smugglers. so, which is it? island paradise or bad drug-smuggling den of badness?

at least i want to go to some lovely island somewhere with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. where would that be, if not the bahamas? i guess, come to think of it, i’ve never been to any islands with w.s. beaches and c.c. waters. surely there must be a bunch of them someplace. must look into it.

i’m training for another race, by the way. this one should be easy, because it’s only running. i’m waiting to find somebody to ask about swimming faster, before i even consider being in another triathlon. my neighbor, greg, is a fast swimmer who i know did well in the triathlon, but i don’t see him very often, but maybe i’ll bump into him and he can reveal the mighty secret of not being the slowest swimmer on the planet. (“swim faster,” he’ll say.)

ok, i’m sorry to be jumping from topic to topic like this (and you’re acting like this is something new for you?), but i have only two minutes before the coach turns back into the pumpkin.

disease. somebody told me an alarming story of a friend who got lyme disease from her dog who had a tick, and the poor woman had it for TWO YEARS before somebody diagnosed it, and she was in bed for ONE YEAR, and had all kinds of horrible things happening to her, including liver damage. very very bad.

and a friend of mine has chron’s disease, and when she first had it, they didn’t diagnose it for at least a year, and she almost DIED because they didn’t diagnose it.

i mean, WHY? this makes me a little nervous about getting some kind of disease. if anything comes up, i’m going to ask them, IS THIS CHRON’S DISEASE? or COULD IT BE LYME DISEASE? i mean, since these are such big bad diseases, shouldn’t doctors have learned very early on in medical school to look for the symptoms of these things???

my brother david went swimming in the lake this evening. a friend told me earlier in the day that you SHOULD NOT SWIM IN THE LAKE RIGHT NOW, because the bacteria levels are very high because of the rain and the hot weather. the police made an announcement about it.

i told david, but he didn’t listen to me. plus he had a cut on his leg, so i’m sure all the bacteria swam right up it.

so now what will happen? what will he get? trychonosis? bochilism (sp?)? Bubonic plague? leptospyrosis? LYME DISEASE? CHRON’S DISEASE?

you can bet i’ll be badgering the doctors if he gets any symptoms of anything at all.

beside his obvious symptom of NOT BEING A GOOD LISTENER when somebody tells him DON’T SWIM IN THE LAKE.

ok, one more thing – my friend erica took a boat ride with me in my parents’ pontoon boat tonight. it was lovely; the moon was full, we brought along the dogs Gizmo and Shortie who were very good, mainly because erica gave them many treats. david, who wasn’t yet exhibiting any symptoms of SOMETHING BAD THAT’S SURELY ABOUT TO OVERTAKE HIM, drove the boat.

erica and i are invited to a cast reunion party on saturday. erica said she called the host to tell him she wouldn’t be attending.

she didn’t tell him the reason, which is because she’s leaving for europe on saturday. i asked her why she didn’t want to say this. she said, “oh, it sounds too farfetched.” BUT YOU’RE REALLY DOING IT, i told her. maybe she didn’t want the fellow to feel she was putting on airs because she’s off on her whirlwind trip overseas. i would have told the guy. erica makes me laugh.

all right, i’ve been sitting here with this computer on my lap for an hour and a half now, and my body temperature has risen about 15 degrees because of it (or maybe it’s from the disease i probably CAUGHT FROM DAVID because of sitting next to him at dinner after he swam in the lake??), so i need to finally go to sleep.

i ran yesterday and the day before to train for the race next saturday, which is seven miles, not bad, but the hills are killer. i didn’t run today because i needed a rest, and i feel that i’m not going to run tomorrow, either. but what about saturday, and sunday, when it’s 98 outside? i have to run. i’ll have to get up really, really early. i realize really really early is a relative term, and most people don’t think of it like i do. for me, running at 7 will be really really early. my friend ann gets up at 5:30, so really really early would be…three a.m.? you might as well just stay up all night if you’re going to get up that early.

that is all for now.

ok then,

grace not about to spend all day tomorrow in front of the computer because i have to give many massages, plus i’ve run out of things to do with it (except throwing it in the lake). (or cleaning up the registry, which B. suggested but christine said wasn’t something an ordinary mortal should attempt).