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2006-09-22 - 12:16 a.m.

We leave for Ireland on Sunday. Today, at the job, I had a meeting at two and spent the rest of the day deep in headphone music, going through relevant sections of a travel guidebook, transferring specific places and counties to a handmade calendar divided into seven columns, one for each day we'll be there. And I'm laughing at myself as I'm making this strange itinerary, because in most parts of my life I'm a non-organizer, a play-it-as-it-layser, but with trips like this and with writing, sometimes, I go all out. I know what it is inside of me that's making me do this: the fear of missing out on something. I fear that if I don't put Skellig Michael down for Thursday and the Killarney racetrack or whatever down for Tuesday that I'll forget about it and it'll be gone when it could have maybe been the one thing to make me happy or jubilant or fulfilled, and so on. In any event, it's a cool schedule and I've scribbled jagged lines for mountain ranges. I like maps and legends are pretty great, too.

In the meantime, things to do: twenty-two personal experience essays to grade, a haircut to get, an essay of my own to finish, and poker tomorrow night for the first time in a long time.

TV Notes: The Office season opener tonight was incredibly awkward to watch. My girlfriend, when Steve Carrell is kissing Oscar, nosed her head sort of in my armpit because she couldn't bear to watch it. But she was laughing and so was I. And the guy who plays Dwight just continues to awesome it out.

Book Notes: Finished Jo Ann Beard's "The Boys of My Youth" and shit, man, it's good. I wrote her a letter saying as much. I think I tried to flirt with her in the letter. Now halfway through "Everything Is Illuminated" and it's a charmer. So much energy and optimism and sadness and rough stuff and I'm trying to make it last. He wrote it when he was twenty-four or something and I'm amazed by his sheer inventiveness, the different points of view, the voices, the mangled English. I wish my brain worked like his. At the least, I'd like to be able to entertain myself like he is able.

I do need a haircut. It's fun to have hair that does stuff, like hold shapes when it's wet, but it's getting in my eyes now and I don't have a bathroom any more in which I can cut it myself.

Just drank a cup of Lady Earl tea. She's a quiet lady, flavored with citrus, according to the box. Real tea, I think, takes herbal tea over its knee and spanks it good.

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