These days, my prayers have been reduced to:

"Eternal God, Heavenly Father:
What the fuck?"

Okay, so on the 10th, Hermetic died.
The very next day, seven thousand men, women, and children were murdered, two of our national landmarks were respectively damaged and destroyed, and we learned that we could never feel safe again.
A co-worker's father-in-law died.
A friend of my mom's mother died.
At least two noders have reported witnessing fatal car accidents.
My stepbrother began having heart palpitations.
My grandmother entered the hospital, again.
To top all of this off, the night before last, OUR FAMILY DOG DIED. Yes! Our dog, whom we've had for eighteen years, wandered into my parents' swimming pool and drowned.

Every day I just look up at the heavens, and I ask, "Are we by any chance done yet? Is there any possibility this will be over soon?" It's gotten to the point where I'm almost afraid to pick up the phone.

I find it hilarious, the degree to which the end of the last century seems like such a frickin' Golden Age to me now. Will history students in the future be told that the 1990s were our age of innocence, the last shining moment before we were finally forced to grow up and face harsh reality? I can almost hear the nerdy narrator guy in those threadbare old movies they made us watch in junior high school: "During the Clinton Administration, Americans enjoyed the fruits of peace and prosperity, little guessing the terrors that awaited them in the new millennium..." (Cue ominous music)

One bright spot is Studio Tenshi, our new business. Our public debut is this very Sunday at the Encinitas Oktoberfest and crafts fair where we'll be selling painted glassware and terra cotta pots (and donating ten percent to the New York relief effort). Well, PRESUMABLY we'll be selling them. We will be there, and the product will be there, and if people decide they want to give us money, so much the better. Here's hoping!