I was standing in front of a clerk's cubicle at the Marin County courthouse this morning, getting a court date to protest a traffic ticket, and feeling the way you feel when you're getting a court date to protest a traffic ticket on a rainy morning when the first thing you did was clean your poor feverish 11-year-old's barf off the bathroom floor and when the work is never-ending and the roof is leaking and you're thinking a large scone might help, but not enough. Then I noticed that one of the clerks had xeroxed a 1200-year-old quotation from Li Po and taped it to her wall. "The mountain and I sit together until only the mountain remains," it said. Somehow, it did the trick. But I still ate the scone.