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March 18, 2008
It was a crabby day, I could tell, even before I got out of bed.

I had repaired to the guest room in the wee hours to court sleep with the BBC, and did not surface until after eight in the morning, jarred awake by the voice of the second Mrs. Paul McCartney whining to reporters about the paltry amount of her divorce settlement, and also by the realization that I had slept through morning prayer. Damn.

Then they played a clip of Barack Obama's pastor emeritus giving a speech that made him sound completely mad, and one of President Bush saying that he thought it would be romantic to serve in Afghanistan. There was a brief notice that all the glaciers in the world are melting even faster than we thought they were, and a bulletin from the new governor about an old extramarital relationship. It was time to get up, although the sudden recollection that my hard drive had crashed the day before made me want to go right back to bed.

I drove Q to a medical appointment, upsetting an entire cup of tea on the floor of the car as I went. In the doctor's waiting room, the women of "The View" were fighting with each other about Senator Obama's pastor emeritus, and Rachel Ray's refrigerator was turquoise. It was all too much to bear.

But there came a time -- after a replacement cup of tea and two successful crossword puzzles -- that I grew bored with my crankiness and set it aside. It had availed me nothing. There was no up side to my foul mood apart from the momentary release that comes of admitting that life is annoying, so it wasn't hard to leave it behind.

That momentary release is a welcome thing, and ought to be indulged -- briefly. It's a good thing to be honest about one's feelings, the good and the bad. But, after you've done so, a decision must be made about where you want to spend the rest of the day: in a blue funk, or in a state of modest hope. Rotten things happen every day, and so do good ones. It is no more rational to expect the bad ones than to hope for the good, and it is nowhere near as pleasant.
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