A stressful week, as we all know. Bad news on the weight loss front. On
top of the news we received Tuesday, my garden tractor broke down right
in the middle of “grass” season. So Sunday morning I took my tales of
woe to Mom and Dad, looking for sympathy and hopefully the offer of a
loaned garden tractor (my Dad has 3 of them that he used to use on the
tree farm). My timing seemed to be off–they had spent Saturday at a
party with many of their friends, so instead of sympathy I got to listen
to how well their friends’ children are doing, all of whom seem to have
salaries in excesss of $100K/year, plus fabulous benefits. When I tried
to coerce Dad into the tractor loan, I instead got the sad story of one
of their friends’ children who, tragically, makes somewhat less than a
hundred grand, but does tractor repair work on the side, and maybe he
can help me. When I feebly tried to make my escape on the premise that I
should get some yard work done before returning to work on Monday, Dad
leaned back in his chair and remarked how thankful that he no longer has
to work for a living. I am not sure if my parents are actually trying in
some twisted way to cheer me up, to practice tough love (a concept that
they invented, but after almost fifty years you would think they would
drop it) or if they are just plain mean. I coped during the visit by
consuming about three dozen aebleskiver, drowned in syrup. So, you see,
I can blame my parents for my lack of diet progress.

I tried to convince Raul that he should support me (after all, he has
all that old family money back in Madrid) but he demonstrated what a
modern outlook he has by telling me how he has always admired my
independent spirit above all else. Very touching. I am moved to share
this quotation:

“Aren’t men full of s–t?” (Shirley Valentine)

The exercise does not seem to be doing the job. Mary and I even gave up
a Saturday afternoon with Raul and Ramon aboard Larry Ellison’s yacht to
hike on Angel Island. Raul and Ramon did convince Larry to cruise by the
island to wave to us. Probably just as well that we were not aboard, as
it would not be prudent to tell the captain of a boat in shark-infested
waters what we think of his product.

Mary and Ramon hit a rough patch last week, somehow prompted by
suspicions that arose when Mary read last week’s message. I certainly
did not mean to imply any impropriety when I commented on Ramon’s golden
eye-flecks. Anybody would notice them, as they are quite a striking
shade, much like molten amber that could ignite any flame …..

I mean, they’re yellow.

In any event, Ramon felt it best that he cut our “comfort sessions”
short and return to Mary’s side. Okay by me, as he was getting a bit
glassy-eyed from our sessions. Anyway, Raul is pretty much back to his
old self. Mary celebrated Ramon’s return by dauntlessly preparing yet
another home-cooked meal. Ramon was overwhelmed by this gesture, quite
choked up in fact by the time he got to the canned asparagus. Mary
picked this moment to share with him that she would like to fulfill a
lifelong dream by doing a tandem parachute jump with him. Ramon
considered this as he finished the meal, his eyes actually tearing up in
gratitude as he swallowed the last yummy bite. He declined the offer of

a tandem jump, citing cowardice, however he was quite enthusiastic about
Mary’s intentions and in fact offered to go up in the plane and help her
out when it got to 10,000 feet.

Must cut this short as Raul is in an amorous mood. I had considered
cutting off my affections when he refused to support me, but why should
I suffer?