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2004-01-14 | 10:41 p.m.

My new friend Gaby took my favorite 15-inch saute pan home with her and she isn't going to give it back unless I have my Christmas tree down by Friday. That and a few other tasks. She wouldn't even let me clean it first; I barely had a chance to scrape the Rice-a-Roni dregs into the garbage before the pan was in her car.

Tonight I got everything off the tree but the lights. The hard part isn't taking the stuff down, it's figuring out where to put it. All those cardboard dividers that came with the ornament boxes seem to have run off to join the cardboard divider circus. And every year I swear I'm going to unload some of the ornaments that our relatives have sent us over the years. There are so many of them I start to feel as if they are taking over my tree. But then I figure ah, what the hell. They're just ornaments. They don't take up that much space, and it's not as if I'm obligated to actually hang them.

Felony just came to show me the sign she made for her door. It says Donot Disturd!

On Sunday I met with Frank for our newly revived, second-Sunday-of-the-month writers group. On Tuesday, I told Dr. Wheat I want to take a break from our sessions, though I do intend to start up again later. Also got a referral to a couples' counselor. Arranged to have a meeting with Camellia, the de facto principal of our charter school. I feel as if I am gearing up for something, though I know not what. For handwriting practice yesterday, I asked the girls to write Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

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