In which I avoid work by writing meanderingly for 10 minutes

 It felt weird waking up in darkness, on the day we herald the return to Daylight Time.I feel like a sock puppet with eyes loosely sewn on, even though I should be better-adjusted; all the clocks in my life took that lemmings' leap on Friday. So while dawn dawned late I wandered in my slippers up the long driveway to the road where the mailboxes are to fetch the Sunday paper, and it wasn't there yet. I turned and kicked along the gravel back toward the house when I heard a car wheeling around the corner up the road. I hastened my step, not much wanting to encounter a stranger in my robe, but the Oregonian delivery person had spotted me and followed me into the driveway, pulling up to hand me the compact Sunday paper and apologizing for his lateness; he drives a 157-mile route and it's hard enough without the time change, and I fully understand. I appreciate you, I told him. He needed to hear some kind words.

Everybody's running late and short on rest. Our community crankiness index seems high; I noticed that the urbane and genial hosts of both NPR Weekend Edition Saturday and Weekend Edition Sunday, Scott and Lulu, are in uncharacteristic Twitter fights with their followers. I guess we all need patience to oil the grinding gears these days, weeks, months...years...

What I need is a new clock radio, and I'm procrastinating in the search for that by writing this. The hours I work require a foolproof wakeup protocol. My longtime radio, a Timex 307S that's lived on a sink counter since 2002, was trained to play a gentle wind chime at 3:55 AM, and that's usually plenty to pull me onto my feet. If I doze through the chime, the radio escalates its aural assault at 3:57 to a news station, which is usually playing a gun shop commercial that I leap to turn down while I dress, The third weapon in the wakeup arsenal is my phone alarm, which rings noisily at precisely three, so I kill that and turn up the network news and catch my first exposure to the days' mayhem. Sometimes I sleep all the way through all of the preliminary noises, even the jangling iPhone, and that's when the spousal foot in the back is effectively deployed. But as I tried to change the time, none of the adjustment buttons worked. Gummed up by years of toothpaste spray, I suppose. What my clock was telling me is that...it's time. Time to find and train a new clock radio. A better one, maybe!

So if you have a clock radio that is multitalented like my old one, would you kindly recommend it? Either that, or I'll just give you my number, and you can all take turns calling me at 3. 

The main event for me this weekend was an afternoon spent at a children's fun house in NW Portland under the I-405/Fremont Bridge ramps called "PlayDatePDX," where kids like our 4-year-old Thea can explore three levels of fun while their parents can have an IPA or two. We were all happy with this. At one point, though, a little boy came by our table crying and clearly lost; my son and I calmed and assured him that things would fine, and a helpful employee came over to make that come true, walking him around and reuniting him with his Daddy within minutes. 

Time to de-procrastinate. The roses won't prune their own long legs, the recycling won't wheel itself out, and this week's Daily Drips won't pre-outline themselves. But it feels good to gaze blankly at a screen, in a state of dazed inertia, and I bet a lot of people will be in this sleepy spot for a while.

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