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Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003 - 10:04 p.m.

This'll be an odd one.

I always think before I go home that I'll be able to let go and for a few weeks be myself. And it's always the opposite, and always more so the older I get. I find it pretty hard to be myself at home. Not that there's some conscious effort on my part here; I just don't feel like whatever self I've constructed out in the big world has much pull here. It kind of falls away (maybe that means that whatever I've constructed isn't me at all, but believing that might involve some head-twisting I'm not willing to accommodate). I don't feel terribly intellectually stimulated at home, not because anybody here isn't intellectual, but because I don't have much to do, and I'm often in a half-winey-drunk, nicotine-starved daze. I go for walks with my parents and the dog, drive around finding Christmas presents, read for hours on end, have wonderful conversations with my mom and grandma, listen to music with my dad, but somehow I don't think all that much.

If this were a freshman composition I would write at the top "You need to organize paragraphs around topics. There are lots of good ideas here, but the paper lacks clear organization. Decide what each paragraph should say, and move everything else somewhere else."

And if I were a freshman I would respond "Thank you, Ms. Eva, for your comments, but my father is playing old Dylan albums and I'm a little drunk and I haven't written for several days and stupid English teachers are always trying to Get Me Down."

The drunkenness means I will fill in the holes tomorrow and just ramble for now.

Earlier tonight, after dinner, my dad put on a Carole King album. I was blown away, really. I'd heard "I Feel The Earth Move", but nothing else...except I had, because as it turns out, Carole King wrote everything (You can read about it here). I was pretty thrilled. I thought I'd taken all my dad had to offer musically years ago -- certainly he formed my tastes far more than my more musical mother -- but I assumed I'd heard all his important albums and had subsequently surpassed him in taste and esoterica. No. He may not care what kind of amp Neil Young plays, and he certainly isn't a musician like my mother, but he knows something I don't know. We sat drinking our white wine in the living room after my mother had gone to bed tonight, and I noticed that we both looked up from our reading and stared into space throughout all of "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue".

I'm having a harder and harder time typing now. The Measure seems awful distant out here in the desert, but I want to keep updating while I'm here because it gets me away, gets me thinking. And I've learned from Isaac's absence and return (yes!) that if even one person is reading, even if you don't know about it, everything's okay.

Yes, it looks as though there will be much gap-filling tomorrow. Thank you for reading, and I do mean that.

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