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2004-05-02 | 11:31 p.m.

Damn hard to get here lately. Everything about the computer is messed up. Is Mercury in retrograde? Somebody out there knows.

Duff and I are going to Seattle on Wednesday and will stay five days. I've never been to Seattle. Don't know what to pack. I'm nervous or something. Feel guilty, like I shouldn't go. Been feeling down a lot lately, but I had my period so maybe that's most of it. The sheriff came looking for me because I didn't show up for jury duty, so now I feel like an outlaw. A scofflaw, anyway. It will sound lame when I tell him I just ... forgot. Both times. I need to call him but I lost his business card. He won't believe that, either. Maybe if I invite him in?

The ballet teacher's husband was killed by a drunk driver while riding his bicycle home from work. Duff's game-group friend from high school was killed in a car wreck on her one-month wedding anniversary. Gaby's longed-for little kidney bean of a baby failed to thrive. That's three.

I want to plant a vegetable garden but I don't know how. I have all the books I need though and I hope I manage to do more than just read them all spring long. I want so much to build things but I'm afraid I'll make mistakes. Why am I so afraid? Other people plunge right in. I read a magazine story about a woman who, when her concrete floor finisher failed to show up, taught herself how to finish the floor. She sprinkled Miracle-Gro on it before she sealed it, to give it a glittery turquoise gleam. And it looked fantastic! If I did that, it would just look like a mess. People would come in and say, "What'd you do, spill a bunch of Miracle-Gro?" They wouldn't send a photographer from Coastal Living.

I'll try to write from Seattle while I'm there. Let me know if there's anything I ought to do there. Bear in mind, though, that I won't have much money. The number-one thing I plan to do is hang out with Stephen. He's taking time off work so we can play hooky together. Maybe I can help him with his garden. I was thinking I could bring my new pruning video and we could watch it together. We shall not lack for excitement then.

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