The *FootNotes* Diet
miles to go: 1,786.9
days till daughter #1 gets here: two
minutes," David says again. "I'll be done in five minutes, I promise."
been parked in front of the computer since shortly after dinner,
feverishly crafting his latest masterpiece for the Super Fun Time start page. (This month: a Yugandan postage stamp from
the 1950's, carefully resized and edited, pixel by pixel, to say "Super FunFunFun
hurry," I reply from my spot on the living room sofa, dabbing
another blob of Barely Bisque onto my toenails. I don't bother pointing
out the fact that he's been promising "five minutes" for over an hour
now ... nor the fact that I've had virtually no computer time at all in
the last week. Between work stuff and bike stuff and
family/marriage/sharing-one-computer stuff -- all of the *stuff* that
makes up my life these days -- the online stuff has temporarily fallen
between the cracks, once again. I've got half of a three-day-old
journal entry languishing on a floppy disk in my purse, an unfinished
Recovery Resources webpage screaming Finish me! Finish me!,
a message forum that's deader than Milton Berle, and 43,897,621
unanswered e-mails weighing down my mailbox AND my conscience.
or twice a year this happens: the pace of my *real* life picks up,
while the pace of my creative life bogs down. There is more inflow than
outflow: more things to write about than time/energy/opportunity to
sort of like being constipated. But in a good way.
only going to get crazier in the next couple of weeks, too. We've got
back-to-back Tot Visits on the calendar: Daughter #1 this weekend, Son
#Only the weekend after. (Daughter #2 will be here sometime this summer
... we hope.) As if that weren't enough excitement for one month -- as
if I don't have enough on my dangerously-overcrowded plate in April
already -- I've been drafted for jury duty next week. No wiggling out
of it this time, either. Last time they tried to draft me, I'd just
come back from two weeks' worth of honeymoon and was able to finagle a
postponement. I won't be so lucky, this time around. Plus I'm
ridiculously busy at work, getting ready for next month's exciting
three-day mold seminar ... I've got a couple of
on-the-side writing projects that are withering from neglect ... we're
attempting to get some serious spring cleaning done around Castle
Ð®åƒ±êrvØ¡ (but so far all we've managed to do is rearrange the snow globes some
more) ... etc. etc. etc. ad infinootum.
then of course there's this little matter of trying to ride 2,002 miles
all of that in mind -- and knowing from experience that feeling guilty
and anxious about the website just makes things worse, whenever I'm not
able to write as often or as much or as well as I want to -- I'm hereby
giving myself permission to scale some stuff back temporarily, just the
I'm going to start with *FootNotes.*
I've stoopidly used up most of my allotted journaling hiatus time for
the year already (and it's only APRIL,
forcryingoutloud: who the hell uses up all of her *vacation molecules*
three months into the year??) -- AND since I know
I'm not going to be allowed to get away with another month of re-runs (Cranky Denver Lady: "I'll report you to the Diarist
Award people!") -- let's just say that I've decided to
streamline your *FootNotes* intake for a while, ever so slightly.
of it as being on a diet.
Instead of the huge steaming dollops of cranky self-absorption you're
accustomed to being served every day, I'm going to ration you to two
or three modest helpings per week for a while. Instead of loading you
up on junk food and empty calories every twenty-four hours, you're
going to get healthy, home-cooked entries that have simmered on the
back burner for a couple of days.
once in awhile I'll save up all your *points* for the week and overload
you with a big juicy sugar-intensive seven-course entry all about how
perfect my marriage is! Then we can all throw up together afterwards.)
when things settle down a bit (read this: when the "Miles Left To Ride"
meter on my splash page has dropped down to somewhere in the
three-figure range), I can go right back to fattening you up with
daily marathon entries about toe clips and Q-Tips and little wiry black
hairs springing from the center of my neck. You won't know when this is
happening, of course. One day you'll just sort of realize that
*FootNotes* is updating regularly again -- and that your Happy Pants
are getting a little snug around the middle -- and you'll know that the
diet is over.
the meantime ... I'll probably be feeding these
people scraps under the table.)
... it is a thing of unsurpassed beauty!" David announces finally. And
he beams proudly at his masterwork. I do a careful,
wet-toenail-polish-crabwalk over to the computer and look over his
shoulder at the monitor. He's right: his latest forum creation is
a thing of beauty. It reminds me of the Republique
du Secraterri stamps he designed a couple of years
ago. Except for the occasional CD cover or message board decoration, he
really doesn't do enough creative design stuff like this. He's good at
it, and he loves it. Maybe now that I'm putting everybody on the
*FootNotes* diet, he'll have more time to indulge his inner Picasso.
are you ready to sit down and write?" he says, and he starts to get up
from the computer chair.
"Nope," I say, putting my hand on his shoulder. "Actually, I think
I'm going to go read in bed. Why don't you stay here and work a little