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» Friday, October 18, 2013Out and In Again
So, since it looked like those nitwits in DC were finally about to make a deal on Wednesday, I spent my last furlough day enjoying myself by reading books and magazines. I finished A Guide to the Universe in 100 Objects, read the British magazine "Landscape" and began "Landlove," finished a Reminisce, and continued reading The War That Ended Peace (pre-1914), plus watched two episodes of Lassie. Wednesday was our potluck night.
Willow lucked out on Thursday. I didn't know by the time we went to bed if the President had signed the budget bill or not. I had my alarm set for eight. James went off to work, but Willow started barking about 6:50. I checked my phone to see what the time was, and I had an anonymous text message that said "See you at work." So I checked out the CDC Emergency Number, and, sure enough, we were asked to report for duty. However, you could resume your regular schedule, so I was able to telework, which means Willow didn't need to be locked in the bathroom. (This also meant I didn't have to drive home in Thursday traffic, the idea which gives me cold sweats.)
I spent the first hour deleting thirteen days worth of spam. I had, count 'em, 217 new e-mails since 12:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon October 1. All but two of them were spam. [eyes roll] Worked on a statement of work for the one new order I had and also worked on returning a piece of equipment that doesn't work as specified. During lunch I read some of Christopher Fowler's Memory of Blood, enjoying this newest Bryant and May mystery (Invisible Code isn't out for a few more weeks). Lamb steaks for supper with couscous cooked with vegetable flakes. Yum.
And this morning was the first time in thirteen days I didn't have eight hours sleep. Boy, I missed that. Traffic seemed unusually squirrelly this morning as well. But it was a productive day: I got the requirement advertised and have feedback on the instrument that needs to be returned, and I filed all the notices that had to be sent during the furlough.
My traffic map said it would take me fifty-five minutes to get home through the freeway, which was liberally striped with red and yellow like autumn trees on the map. I decided to go surface-streets instead. This took me ten minutes more, but instead of looking at car behinds and inhaling exhaust—because it was only in the sixties today, mostly cloudy, and perfect for driving with windows down and sunroof open—I could smell vegetation and fresh air and could look at nice homes and slowly turning trees instead. Noticed they were apparently setting up to film something (probably a movie; they're all over the city lately) on Mabry Street, and "Mr. Inflatable" on Mount Paran Road has done it again: his yard is full of Hallowe'en inflatables, including a huge hissing black cat that towers over all the other figures and an affable Dracula.
We had supper tonight at O'Charley's with a bunch of friends to celebrate Ken's successful surgery. The shrimp scampi linguini was pretty good, but, boy, am I reliving it. Again. And again.