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And then I had to backtrack through my mind, sometimes for hours or days, until I figured out what was eating at me.

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And what a waste of time that was. But before I could get to that work, something else needed my attention. Because just like in an airplane, where passengers are told to put their own oxygen masks on first, I had to make things right for myself first. Leave it to us to set the bar higher just before heading out of town. Yet innocents that we were, we had no idea how much our lives had changed that day. Dreams that you have while sleeping just happen to you.

But dreams that begin as a stirring in your soul are meant for action, even if the actualization seems out of reach, or worse, within reach, but too crippling to anticipate taking the first step. I was aware enough to understand that if I was willing to force myself to overcome my fear, then I must be in an unusually powerful place in my life. After I stepped in, my arms reached up of their own accord, and I stood under the stars and prayed for peace, and safety, and growth during our trip.

It felt weird to be praying out in the open, especially when I was sure that our neighbors could see, even though it was dark.

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But something had called me outside, and listen I did. Halfway through, my body shook like crazy, as my Italian superstitions had kicked in. But since I was doomed either way I went—making the journey in a fetal position or tempting fate by praying for equanimity, I decided to pray for peace and suffer the consequences.

It all started when I was born.

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Leaving home for a nine-week European extravaganza was almost more than my soul could bear. Everything in me screamed that I should turn around and go back, but as had always been the case, something bigger was pushing me forward. But my body was rebelling—pulling out all the stops to keep me from going. By the time I boarded the train, I looked like a refugee from an insane asylum. My tongue was red, swollen, and cracked, and my back was spasming in new and different ways. Making things scarier, I was fighting off a cold. Of course, all these ailments were intensifying my normally anxious state ten-fold.

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Yet miserably, there was no turning back. However, being trapped on the train for the next thirty-five hours did give me plenty of time to berate myself for spending the previous eighteen months planning this God-forsaken trip. I, too, wanted a house in Tuscany to renovate! I liked my house. I wanted to keep living in my house.

Lux Gloria

To get myself under control, I tried summoning up all the joyful things that initially fueled the trip. Oh yeah—I would be with foreigners, and I loved foreigners. But now I could see how ridiculous that idea was, as there were plenty of foreigners in New York City, and I loved New York City, and New York City happened to be on my continent, and if I was simply going to New York City, I could easily get back home within twenty-four hours if I really needed to, and the food was good there, and I still had relatives and friends who lived there, so….

Or to the mountains? I loved the mountains. What was I thinking?

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I could be on my way to the mountains, and for a hell of a lot less money. Perhaps everyone was right. Maybe there really was something wrong with me. We arrived at Penn Station just before noon. Sixteen pieces, to be exact. But not all of that was luggage. There were seven suitcases and an assortment of backpacks, briefcases, purses, and my pillow. My husband, whom I call Funk, the-hick-from-West-Vagina, or My Big Mistake, shouted at me to stay put near the perimeter of the taxi area, and then left me standing in a gale-force wind that was blowing at just the right speed and temperature to elicit a warning signal in me.

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Leaning into the air, I ruminated on all the things that could go wrong if I continued standing there. Since I was well-versed in Oriental medicine, I knew that if I subjected myself to this weather for long, my chi would start leaking out of me and onto the streets of New York. And if my chi got depleted, I would definitely catch that cold. And given that I was quite familiar with every terrified nuance of myself, I knew that if I came down with a cold, all bets would be off, and I really would lose what was left of my sanity.

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In an unexpected twist, my mind went the other way. Instead of becoming a sniveling mass on the ground, I found myself getting pissed from being fated with whatever Italian gene it was that predisposed one to self-terrorizing thoughts. And before long, the fear in me was replaced with anger, and that made room for the New Yorker in me to rise up strong. Fifteen minutes later, Funk emerged with the kids and luggage.

When he finally located me, I noticed a fleeting look of disgust on his face. Dragging the luggage and the kids, he came to where I stood. As luck would have it, it was soon our turn, and a van was next in the queue. I took it as a sign. I woke up in my room at the Sherry Netherland to the cheers of people on the street.

Standing naked behind the curtain, I pulled it back just enough to take a peek outside. The Early Show was taping on the street below us, right in front of the glass, underground Apple store. Man, I loved New York—there was always something going on here. I let the curtain fall back into place, and as quietly as I could, I made myself a cup of coffee. Trying to identify the sensation, I realized that it might be excitement. I expected to be crazed with fright right about now, but instead I think I was actually looking forward to the trip again.

Holy shit. It must have been all the prayers and promises I made this morning while my family snored in their beds all around me. Emboldened by the discovery, I decided to apply the seasick patch that Dr.

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Share: Share on Facebook. Add to Cart. Rather than telling the typical tale of a humanoid machine run amok e. Beginning with a simple story about the relationship between a little girl and a limited-function robot, I Robot moves on to explore, in subsequent stories, increasingly sophisticated thoughts, questions, and moral complexities. But throughout the s the subsequent tales appeared regularly in pulp science fiction magazines.

In , Asimov gathered the stories into a book that he wanted to call Mind and Iron. The collection has enjoyed great success through the years and is offered by Spectra in a compact, affordable, and eminently readable edition for you—or your robot. Robot and Mechanical Men, Inc. Against these anti-robot arguments she holds the memory of an early robot model named Robbie, which was sold in as a nursemaid for a little girl.

Calvin begins to tell the story. Robbie the Robot plays hide-and-go-seek outdoors with his charge, nine-year-old Gloria Weston. Robbie lets her win. Gloria is a demanding but charming girl who loves Robbie.