Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday on my mind

I took a drive up the coast yesterday for work; I had to make a presentation at an event about two hours away. So I left the house at 9, on the first sunny morning I can remember in weeks, and headed north on the interstate for an hour before turning east. The second half of my drive was on a state road, through sun-dappled trees and past scenic lakes and farmhouses. I had Greg Brown on the iPod and all was right with the world. There weren't many cars on the road, so I was alone with my thoughts and Greg Brown's husky voice.

By the time I arrived at the event, I'd pretty much forgotten that the rest of the world exists. I was startled to have to make small talk, and I got bizarrely nervous during the presentation. I do a fair amount of public speaking for work, and it usually doesn't bother me -- I'm typically nervous beforehand, but things go fine and then I'm done. Yesterday, though, in my two-minute talk, my voice started shaking and then I noticed it shaking and then it shook more. No fun.

Luckily, I had made an appointment to have lunch with an editor about half an hour away, so I was able to escape the conference and start heading down the coast, coming back a different -- and more beautiful -- way than I'd gotten there. This time my views were of hills over the ocean, of gorgeous waterfront homes and ramshackle boats.

My lunch with the editor went incredibly well; I'm hopeful that there will be more to report on that front within the next few weeks.

And then I headed home. It had clouded over by that point, and Greg Brown was done singing. So I switched to Iron & Wine, which seemed appropriate for the glooom, and drove south on familiar roads. Even with a quick stop in Freeport for some much-needed attire, I was home by 5. Even better: My cell phone never rang once on the whole trip.

Better yet: I have the day off today. I worked on Columbus Day, which is a company holiday, so I'm taking today instead. I originally planned to drive to New Jersey for the weekend, to see my parents and grandparents and some friends, but for a variety of reasons I cancelled the trip. So here I am with an entirely free day -- nothing planned other than a drive down to the farm this afternoon to pick up the last vegetables of the season. I slept until 8:45, and am still in my pajamas. I've got WFUV streaming through iTunes, and the dogs asleep at my feet.

I'll probably do some of my typical Saturday chores -- bill paying (ack! putting the mortgage in the mail), weeding through the week's mail, etc. -- and then I've got a freelance writing/editing job for a local academic that I may try to put a dent in. (He's already well past his deadline for submitting this project, so he's offered me a bonus if I can get it done quickly.) I brought a laptop home from work so that this task can be accomplished from the couch. And, if I get around to it, I may take Rocky for a walk on the beach.

I can't tell you how much I needed a day like this.