“The best-laid plans of mice and men aft gang agley,” as the poet Burns said — though I can now never hear those words without thinking of Eddie Izzard. (It’s #14 if you scroll down the page, where it says  “The best laid plans of mice and men…’ Exactly which mice plans was he really honing in on here?”)

Anyway, I had a plan for Saturday. It involved reading the last bit of The Great Gatsby and then watching the movie of it while finishing my sewing project, which has stretched out way longer than I had intended. The errands and housework were supposed to be done early, leaving the day free for this Fitzgerald frolic.

The first thing that ganged agley was my husband coming in at 3:00 am and waking me up. I could not get back to sleep. I got up at last and read (though not The Great Gatsby, I confess) until nearly dawn and then went back to bed. This meant that I didn’t get out of bed till nearly 8:00, which is as we all know practically the afternoon.

The second thing that happened was that Rosalyne01 called to tell me to listen to Al Gore’s speech, being broadcast on CSPN. If you did not the have the opportunity to hear it, you should certainly go read the text. I was going to excerpt some of the more striking parts, but really the entire thing is worth reading, and worth thinking about very seriously, regardless of your political orientation. Gore speaks of the growing power of the presidency. Even if you like the current president, and trust him to decide when to use surveillance, torture, and kidnapping, you might not feel that way about a later one. Are you prepared to allow changes in our laws and in our constitution that throw away the protections against tyranny inherent in the American political system?

Having seen this stirring speech, I went off to do my errands and came back intending to do the housework and THEN get on to the Gatsby bit, but I had to call Rosalyne back and discuss the speech with her. I did this while opening my mail, which is where I found my new encyclopedia entry assignment. Also a new Frugalreader book. So I came to the computer to mark the book “received” and to get going on my article — and found a request from #1 son to decipher his chemistry homework for him

With the help of Google, therefore, I began attempting to learn about electronegativity, at least enough to be able to help #1 son figure out what his assignment actually is. This is where I gave up on that.

At which point, Ozarque sent me word of a mystery writing contest with a huge prize. Obviously, I added that to my list of computer tasks. My ability to concentrate on Fitzgerald and the hand-rolling of hems was thus hampered by my back-of-the-mind puzzling out how mustard could work into a murder. “Docent gloves!” I would think, and there would go five minutes.

I also had approximately forty-eleven phone calls. I have been backsliding on the whole answering the phone thing over the past — oh, five or six months. So I have resolved to answer the phone every time it rings. Yesterday, it was mostly my children, so of course I was glad that I answered. I always enjoy talking to my kids. I also enjoyed talking to the researcher asking questions about No Child Left Behind, a subject on which, as you know, I can become very emotional.

But, enjoyable or not, the phone can definitely cause one’s plans to gang even further agley. The ruffles got extremely uneven, the pinning went awry, and there was one point at which I put the entire front assembly together wrong and had to take it out and do it over.

Thus it is that this is all the further I have gotten with the 1912 nightgown.

There is a boy sleeping on the couch, and I know from experience that he will still be there when I leave for church, so there will be no sewing this morning. I hope to finish in the afternoon. Maybe I should have gotten some mice to lay my plans for me.