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2005-01-10 | 11:53 p.m.

Today we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was fun.

(That brings to mind the way my mother reviews books. Whenever I ask her about a book she's just finished, she says, "It was good." Or, on the downside, "It was okay." That's pretty much all I can get out of her. She enjoys reading books, not dissecting them.)

They have a young white shark there, at the aquarium, in a million-gallon tank, with rotund tunas, snub-nosed dolphins, slivery anchovine barracudas and other, boring-by-comparison sharks. It's a big deal. One reaches for the phrase "great white shark" but they refer to her in all documentation as a white shark merely. I'm assuming that it's a nomenclature issue, possibly marine biology political correctness, rather than a question of her greatness.

On the drive down, the girls reminded us of how, last year, Jinx would habitually speak in his best leprechaun accent about "The Luck of the Eyelash."

The closer you get to Monterey, the more beautiful the side of the road. On our way back to the parking garage I grabbed one of those free real estate glossies. I couldn't wait to look at it. We went straight to my mother's, so as to watch the second night of the new 24 season on television (our TV no longer offers actual TV). I missed the first ten minutes, though, because I was in the bathroom imagining that I could buy one of those old artist's cottages in Carmel. The housing prices in California are so out-of-control that Carmel prices now seem almost normal. (Except for the $36 million Pebble Beach estates.)

I remember going to Carmel when I was just a kid, in the mid-seventies, and thinking that $300,000 for a cute cottage was insane. Now they are right around $2 million. And I'm thinking, Huh. That's do-able.

I know I need to do something about my low energy and spirits. I am trying to remember all my good intentions in that regard.

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