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Honey, I shrank the budget

I’ve been up since 4 a.m. — want to be productive? Try menopause! — so I’ll keep this to one heartfelt recommendation: Garrison Keillor’s short essay, “Bridges aren’t supposed to fall down.” (Though if you’re up for a second recommendation — same broad topic, in a way, but much subtler — read “Exit Wounds,” Pankaj Mishra’s review of Alex von Tunzelmann’s “Indian Summer,” as good an introduction to the partition of India as you can read.)

Today I was feeling grumbly because my clever plan to celebrate my 50th birthday by installing a writing shack in our backyard is running into obstacles — not the least of which is that I can’t fit a eight-foot-wide prefab shed through a six-and-a-half-foot-wide gate (and despite taking woodshop in the 8th grade, I do not see myself building a shed back there). The other obstacle is supposedly a variance we need, but that’s due more to the guy at City Hall who doesn’t return calls. Why do they give them phones if they won’t use them?

Anyway,  after church I pulled on my shorts, Crocs, and favorite library teeshirt and went to First Pres to help serve lunch to the homeless, and at that point I was reminded that pouting about a shed is pretty silly when there are people in Tallahassee who sleep on a cot every night and are grateful for meals that are basically packaged hospital food served with leftover bread and iffy fruit. I saw some of them after lunch, slouching around the deserted downtown plaza in the 98-degree heat as I got into my air-conditioned car and drove to the nicely-cooled cafe where I could sit with my cute little iPod and sweet little laptop and drink fancy beverages until my bladder burst or I finished revising my work. (It’s pretty quiet in Panera’s, so I finally folded my tent and got up, and had an even better table when I sat down again.)

Is it 2008 yet? Please can haz election?

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