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December 07, 2008

Spreading out at The Gathering

December 7. Day 160.

As I drove a friend to the airport this morning, a former grad school colleague, I asked him if he thinks I can finish by this spring based on how much I've written.

"Depends how long your next chapters are," he replied. Code for: Don't get your hopes up.

After we parted, I found myself strangely itching to get some work done -- I can't imagine why...

By now, I'd estimate that Mr. A and I have been to about 80 percent of the viable cafes in central San Diego, laptops in tow, I writing and he reading.

Today we stopped at a new Starbucks in Mission Hills (new to us, that is), but were thwarted by a horde of preteens in soccer uniforms -- boys? girls? no idea, I just noticed they came up to my shoulders and were very noisy. So we walked a block due west, to The Gathering, a restaurant that's been a neighborhood institution for ages and recently survived a scary fire.

The plan: spread out at a table and work-o-rama until dinner time.

The question: would they mind? We weren't exactly a high-net-worth table, and it was close to dinner time, and it's a nice restaurant (not technically a diner or cafe). Would a couple of coffees and dessert, at best, cut it?

I walked in, candidly stated our intentions and asked the bartender if we could set up camp somewhere out of the way -- if it wasn't conflicting with their dinner schedule or whatever. He zoomed to the back area, looked for plugs, and welcomed us to the biggest table there. A waitress brought us endless cups of coffee and two oversized bread puddings with gooey tequila sauce. And... I made major headway on my chapter! In fact, in about two hours I finished this section. The same section that's been killing me since September.

And at a certain point during this cramfest, I turned to Mr. A with this revelation: "Once I'm done with this dissertation, I'll be able to come home after work, open a book and read for hours and... not feel guilty!!!!"


a) I feel the end getting closer


b) apparently, I'm looking forward to doing the exact same thing as I do in grad school -- reading around the clock -- only without the deadlines. Way to think outside the box, Rox.

Gained: A comfy, welcoming restauroffice. And a dash of hope. (And, just now, a new word! Restauroffice? Only one "valid" usage when I Googled it. Would you use it?)
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