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November 05, 2002 - 10:17 a.m.

yesterday was my last day at work. again.

last time, they gave me donuts. this time they did, too. and i got a speech from the management. again. i told them we'd already been through this so there was no need, but they insisted.

half the office was missing because today is melbourne cup day, when all of victoria shuts down. most people take monday off because it means a four-day weekend, which is pretty nice if you think about it.

i had left the office early on friday, so i wasn't around when they all decided to have casual day on monday. i don't mean smart casual, either. i mean tracksuit pants, hooded sweatshirts and converse sneakers all around. it was also weird because a few people in the office (what was left of the people, anyway) were noticeably upset, to the point of crying, and i had no idea what was going on. should i transfer their calls? should i take a message? and they would just look at me with puffy eyes and act like i was supposed to ignore it.

normally, the office has two lunch shifts. because there were so few people, they combined it into one shift and had a barbecue. a meaty, meaty barbecue, so i went home and had pesto. i changed into slob clothes and went back to find... ice cream. as if donuts weren't enough. i'd also had my first black tea in ages that morning, so i was feeling pretty sugared up already.

a few people made jokes that i would be back again if something happened to the new receptionist. the last one got appendicitis and the one before that just couldn't hack it. it's a tough job. so let's hope the new receptionist doesn't break a hip or have a heart attack. because you know who'd they call first.

after i got home, simon and i made a wonderful soup and sandwiches and then went for a walk. there's a nature path just a minute's walk from our house, and i wanted to take it in a different direction than we'd walked before. i couldn't believe how different and beautiful it was. it really shocked me how something so amazingly beautiful could be that close to my house and i wouldn't even know about it. i felt quite insular.

we found this tiny path off the main route and followed it up a hill. at the top, there were two benches and a breathtaking view of the city beyond, some old railyards and tons of greenery. we saw the edge of merri creek, as well, which we decided to walk to next time. we walked a different route home, and it was amazing as well. parks and gardens i'd never seen, and beautiful neighborhoods. simon argued that it wasn't that different from what we have and that our neighborhood is great, but that wasn't the point. i wasn't trying to prove that this was better, only that it was just as worthy and i hadn't known about it. he agreed.

we went home and watched casablanca for the first time. it's weird to watch such a famous movie so late in the game. the famous phrases (e.g. "here's looking at you, kid") seemed trite and repetitive to me. i'm glad i saw it, though. i'm also glad we watched something else after our disturbing sunday double-feature of monster's ball and the devil's backbone. sheesh.

<<<��� - ���>>>

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