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February 25th, 2005

WARNING (ticket) Will Robinson...

I made some good progress on my genre analysis paper today.

In anticipation of "Book Club Night Out," I worked out for an hour today, and burned off 800 calories. I did the first 30 minutes downstairs in front of the "Fountain of Hotness" on the elliptical crosstrainer, and the second 30 minutes upstairs on the Stairstepper, which I didn't really want to do, but it was the only machine available up there. It was jam-packed in that room today, the most people I've ever seen in there.

Some P.E. class, I'm guessing, was in the rowing machine area, which is all along the right wall when you walk into that room. There are at least four of them, if not five or even six of them. These are the machines that are least used in there, but today one person was on each of them, and behind each person two or three people were queued up. They were all screaming on top of each other, "You can do it! Keep rowing! Seven! Eight! Go, Deb go! Nine! Come on! Come on!" Occasionally, someone would get down by the foot holders of the machine and hold the feet down of the person rowing.

The best I could figure it was some type of "relay rowing race," which, other than the alliteration, doesn't engage me at all. I kept thinking that someone who's not in shape could have a stroke (pun intended) doing that. So much pressure to "perform" and "win." Then I started thinking, "John, you're thinking like an old person." These are kids. <singing>I am strong. I am invincible. I am... [young].</singing>

Another thing I thought while I was there today -- I really do need to get that CD player or MP3 player to better occupy my mind -- was about this shopping cart that they are using in that downstairs area to cart the dirty towels around in. This is a shopping cart that has obviously been stolen from a grocery store. What kind of message is that sending to the children?

And, as a state-run facility, first of all I would think that stealing would be totally frowned upon (look at me, I'm such a rule-follower, just like those damn sign-up boards that people don't do "right"), and second of all, don't they have a budget to buy a real cart they could use? Just take the little blue pill, John. It'll be all right.

After I finished my first 30 minutes of working out, I thought, You know. I'm parked illegally again (Mr. Rule-follower! Right!); maybe I should just stop, and go home now. No, I need to burn off some extra calories for tonight. How much can a ticket be, $25? $35, the most. And I didn't get one last time... And it's Friday afternoon...

Walking to my car, I could see the little receipt-looking paper, ends blowing back and forth under my wiper blade. Shit. It was about 5:05, and after 5:00 you can park there without a sticker. However, I had arrived at 4:00. Time on ticket: 4:39. I looked for the amount of the fine, and finally found it: $0, and just above that, This is a warning! Whew. Lesson learned. Living right.

I got to Mary's for book club night out at just after 6. Kelly was the only one there. I had some H&D dip with some Tostitos bite-sized rounds, and some broccoli and carrots in a ranch dip. Yum Janet and Suzanne arrived next, in Beth's Miata, and then Sharon arrived shortly after 6:30.

Dinner was so good! Mary made Lasagna Florentine with the recipe from the Olive Garden, and the Angus Barn's Chocolate Chess Pie, whose recipe is on a postcard by the door as you exit the restaurant. Both of them were most excellent.

Me, Suzanne, and Sharon had a short discussion about The Nuclear Age, which we all read a couple of months ago now. We'd been waiting for Janet to finish it, and Mary to start it, but finally all agreed that this was as far as we're going to get on it in terms of people reading it. Mary said, "My problem is that I have it on my nightstand right beside a magazine, and I always go, 'Hmmm. Let's see. The Nuclear Age or Cosmo, Nuclear Age or Cosmo.' I just can't seem to get started on it." Uhhh, this would be why the name of our group is The Mostly Social Book Club.

We booked our next outing, which will be Sharon's March Madness party, which she can't call that this year, because it's in April. We are all available on the April 9th weekend, so hopefully that will work with the people that Joe has invited.

I stopped by home, and then met Joe at CC's. Loren, who was sporting the goatee that Joe shaved off, was there, and the three of us hung out. I made up for the drinking that I didn't do at Mary's. Well, I think I had three; it was four the most. Let's see that's 69x4 calories... But who's counting...

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