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Tuesday, October 24, 2000

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Bike repair and sleep

I found out what was wrong with my bike, or some of what was wrong, a spoke is broken. The bad news is that the bike shop by work does not have a replacement spoke and they are on order. I don't like riding it when it's like this so I'll have to figure out what to do with it. The bike repair book says that you can fix this yourself but you could go crazy unless you know what you're doing and they suggest that you have it done professionally. Sounds good to me.

I did not sleep night before last. I suppose I may have dozed but it didn't seem like it. I felt like I was walking uphill all yesterday and it took so much effort to just stay focused. Since LW is on vacation it meant I was getting all her calls and I had to actually, really think. What a concept! and it was hard.

I feel much better today. I have never been able to figure out why sometimes I just can't go to sleep. There are times when I'm excited about something I'm going to do, for instance, the night before I leave on a trip it's harder to sleep, but other times I just can't shut my mind up. It keeps spinning like crazy. I've tried all the little tips and they just don't work. What I am really pissed at is that if I stayed up on those nights I could have gotten a lot done, but nooo, I have to lay in bed thinking that any minute I'll fall asleep.

I finished reading "Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation" by John Phillip Santos. Santos gives us a history of his family from Mexico to San Antonio, a history of Mexico and Mexicans, and the mystery of his grandfather's death, probably a suicide. This is a marvelous recreation of how his family survived the many trials from Cortez to Pancho Villa and the prejudice they encountered in Texas.

He never whines, just notices and gives a loving look at the old ones in his family who kept the family together and the family secrets secret. As he talked about them I remembered the ones like them I knew as a child in Mexico. We lived in a small town east of Mexico City, twenty miles from the nearest car road. This was still old Mexico, before modern life tore it apart. It wasn't necessarily better but there was a community and a certainty that we no longer have.

Santos not only wrote of his family, but wrote for everyone who has left behind a place they could no longer stay in to come to a strange place. My grandparents remembered where they came from, Latvia and Scotland, but my parents were already anchored in the US and my brothers and I had little interest in learning about our grandparent's life till it was too late. We lived too far away for us to even listen to their stories. We just got bits and pieces that I treasure now but when I was young I only tolerated the old stories and didn't think about how soon they would be silenced.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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