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Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005 - 10:59 p.m.

Dispatch from the deluge

Damn, those writers on ER are gooooood. There's a downpour in Chicago on tonight's episode, and the weather is quite similar to what we've been going through here on the East Coast. We're on our sixth straight day of rain and if I didn't know the rules of the universe, I might wonder if there is actually a sun behind that ceiling of clouds. The background noise all week has been the torrent of water streaming out of the gutter below our balcony -- water from the roof falls four floors and pounds onto a concrete slab at the gutter's exit.

Dark, dreary days is all we've had. I had two moments of feeling autumn, but those were artificial. The first was a stop at Williams Sonoma, where the entire store smelled of apples, cinammon and mulled spices. The second was Wednesday afternoon when I returned home after 36 hours away and the apple cores in the trash had stunk up the kitchen. To cover the smell (the trash bag was practically empty so I couldn't just remove it; I did that this morning after filling it) I lit an apple cider candle and tried to imagine the cold dampness was instead crisp, cool fall air with brilliant golden foliage just outside the window.

The rain -- or at least the clouds -- here aren't supposed to break until Monday. Thankfully, I fly out of this falling water tomorrow morning for Chicago before driving on to South Bend, where tomorrow's high is 72 and Saturday's game forecast is sunny, windy and in the mid-60s. At this point, it sounds like the perfect recipe for a golden autumn day -- sunny, 60s, October 15.

It's the best time of year to be in northern Indiana; it may be the best few days to be there. This is going to be a stellar weekend.

* * *

I did it for the first time today. I went 18 days before I forgot, before I left the house and got to work before I realized that I'd forgotten my wedding ring. It's a simple explanation: Instead of keeping my wallet in the drawer where I usually do at night (and where the ring lies), the wallet stayed on my new desk, so when I grabbed it off the desk as I was running out of the house, I didn't see the ring to remind myself. I also didn't see my wife this morning, seeing as how she's in San Francisco and all.

Tonight, the wallet is back in the drawer with the ring, so I'm all set for tomorrow and that 4:45 a.m. alarm.

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