The big news from yesterday is that I drove on the freeway, by myself, to class and back. I saved an hour in this way, but then I spent it at the grocery store. My sons felt that was a net gain. I also stopped by Client #3’s place, where she was conducting a study group and greeted me with, “What would you say is the difference between self-worth and self-esteem?” When I got home, I was very tired; I assume that it was all that clenching of the hands on the steering wheel. I can continue doing it, though, I think, and that may be the main benefit of teaching the class — I might be calmer about the drive by December.

I had not gone to the gym before class because I had computer work to do, and then afterwards just as I got into my workout gear I had a call from The Empress. She came over and we had tea and conversation, and finished that just in time for me to get ready for the American Association of University Women meeting.

Since I live in a small town, I knew some of the women there. One of them greeted me with a questioning look and I said, “We’ve met before. A long time ago, at the university.”

“Yes,” she agreed, “your daughter was in charge of the English program I was on the board for.”

“That was me. I’ve just gotten older.”

And in fact, I was my daughters’ age when I met that woman. I was glad to see her again. The meeting was interesting and well run. Five of the delegates from our state to the Democratic National Convention were from this chapter of the AAUW. Marie Curie’s research was supported by a grant from the organization (though not, presumably, this chapter). They won three awards for being top in the state. These things just came up in the discussion. They weren’t being especially smug or anything. Though there was a little bit of tough talk about the Hot Springs chapter.

They need some help on their website. I may join them and volunteer it.

I did have a call from a current client asking me to take on another person. I may do so. The continued lack of a contract from the Big Client for whom I’ve been saving space is making me nervous about paying #1 son’s tuition.

After the meeting, La Bella and I went on to the Institute for Interfaith Dialogue’s annual friendship dinner. Half the table was AAUW women, plus one lady from the League of Women Voters. The other half of the table had three lovely Japanese girls in fancy black dresses. Had I been close enough to explain that my interest in their dresses was about fiberosity and not about staring at their cleavage, I’d have more interesting dressmaking details to report.

There was also a young man with them. I had seen, on the breast pocket of his shirt as he was putting on his name tag, “E=MC2,” so I thought he was a physicist. It turned out that he worked for a company called EMC, so he was actually an IT guy. The girls were microbiology students. I guess I had mentally added the math symbols to his shirt, though I couldn’t check on that, since his name tage covered his logo.

Since we had sat down on opposite halves of the round table, divided by the centerpiece, we conducted separate conversations most of the evening, and I was sorry not to learn anything about them, though I enjoyed talking with the women on my side of the table.

We had a call to prayer sung by a member of the local Turkish community. There was a translation on a screen, but I would have liked to ask about the musical aspects of it.

After a couple of speeches, it occurred to me that we perhaps were not supposed to be discussing NCLB and Sarah Palin, as we were, but instead might be intended to have interfaith dialogues. I proposed this, and we learned that our number included a Buddhist on my right and a Quaker on my left, as well as a Presbyterian, and me, the resident Presbyterian at a Methodist church. The other side of the table was by this time speaking in Japanese, so I still know nothing about their faiths.

We then had some more speeches. The chancellor of the local university told us that he was often asked to speak on subjects about which he knew nothing, and that this was no exception. Mohja Kahf read a very funny essay on Ramadan (I hadn’t even realized we were in Ramadan, until the magic moment of 7:38 began the fast-break of dinner). We drank some amazingly good coffee, perhaps the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life. I looked around to see whether there were any members of the Turkish community whom I could ask about the details of the wonderful coffee, but with no luck. I am assuming that this is special coffee and you have to know some Turks in order to get it.

Then La Bella and I walked back to the car in the rain.

I woke up at 3:00 this morning, with my long to-do list on my mind, and worries about finances. I haven’t done that in quite a while, and I recognized immediately that it was a foolish waste of time. Still, I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got up and wrote down all the things I need to do today and I am getting an early start on them. I have a meeting with the church IT guy this afternoon, for which I have to learn a piece of software. I have papers to grade and things to review and my ODesk application to finish up, just in case I never hear from the Big Client again and need more work. I have to get to the gym and housework and the HGP, because for heaven’s sake it’s Wednesday and I haven’t done any of the that stuff yet. I need to ply the Dark Art on behalf of my own sites, as well as my Dark Art Lite clients, I have birthday cards to send out, I need to contact the new lead, and I think that if I will take the time to do my GTD processing, I won’t be as likely to wake up at 0 dark thirty in future.