January 4th, 2010

A wasteful warm-up, a smoking purse, internal bleeding, a relationship exposed, & a workout...

~Monday~  As soon as I turned off my white noise-generating sound machine at 7:40 this morning, I could hear the SUV parked in front of the townhouse across from mine running—presumably to "warm up." This SUV is either a diesel or just a loud-idling vehicle, but I can always hear it in my bedroom or bathroom when it's running, as both rooms have windows facing that way.

Back to the morning routine of making a 4-cup pot of coffee with which to fill my thermos and enjoy at my desk with something for breakfast. Today when I got to work, I would enjoy it with a Quaker® Oatmeal to Go, the High Fiber Maple Brown Sugar flavor, which I don't really care for and only bought because I loved the Banana Bread flavored ones. I won't be buying them again.

When I went outside to walk to the bus stop at 8:15, that's 35 minutes from the time I got up, the people were just coming out of their townhouse and getting into that SUV. Later, when I got to work I would tweet this:

30+ minutes is TOO long to idle a vehicle to "warm it up" even if it the idling noise WASN'T so loud. #BelowBedroomWindow #NotGreen #Wasteful

We're having a real cold spell here in Raleigh, which today landed me at the bus stop in long pants, a sweatshirt, and with my heavy ski jacket on. There was a new driver this morning, and he put his hand over the slot reader only allowing me to swipe my fare card in the slide reader, which he evidently prefers.

At the McKimmon Center stop on Gorman Street, before getting on the bus a lady exhaled a huge cloud of smoke downward toward her purse, and there was so much of it that for a second it looked like her purse was on fire. This made me think of two things: 1) the movie Waiting to Exhale, and 2) this funny:


Tallulah Bankhead is believed to have been at an Episcopal mass in New York City one time when an incense-bearer came walking down the aisle (it was high church—a "smells and bells" service). She apparently reached out, grabbed him by the arm, and said, "Darling, your dress is divine, but your purse is on fire."

At the McDonald's stop on Gorman, a student got on and swiped his card so fast in the slot reader that by the time the driver lifted his arm to cover it, the transaction was complete, along with the beeping noise that lets you know the card was read. The driver said, "You need to swipe that over here next time." The kid stepped back to swipe it again, and the driver said, "It's okay this time." Uh, yeah. It's okay, because it doesn't matter.

A little further down the road, the cell phone of the guy sitting across the aisle from me and one row back rang loudly and he began a conversation at a matching volume: "HELLO. OH? THEY CAN'T? I'M ALREADY ON THE BUS. I'M HAVING SOME INTERNAL BLEEDING AS A SIDE EFFECT OF THE MEDS I'M TAKING. THE 19TH? AT 2:00? OK." Click. He got off at the next stop.

I could smell the breath of someone on the bus who had evidently made a breakfast choice substitution—whole grain cereal replaced with cheap grain alcohol.



I spent a good portion of my work day completing those minutes, making them available for review, requesting agenda items for the next meeting, and soliciting subcommittee and topical reports from those who provide them.



I caught the 5:00 bus home, which was driven by Poopie Bus Driver, although he did not make a head run into the Circle K today.

The man whose appointment was canceled this morning was aboard, and presumably still bleeding internally.

Temporary Alice and her sister, Word Search Lady, were also aboard. Temporary Alice had on a blue, knit ski mask. Well, it didn't have eye holes in it, but it was cut straight across her forehead at the top and came up over her mouth on the bottom. Her eyes and nose were exposed.

I took the seat behind her and she said, "It's so cold outside. I hate the cold."

"Well, it looks like you're covered up pretty well," I said.

To which she replied, "I may look stupid, but I'm warm. How can you stand it out there without a toe-boggan or something on?" She said toboggan like that with the accent on the first syllable and a long oh.

I said, "My head doesn't get cold. And you don't look stupid to me; you look rather smart, actually."

What happened next took me by such surprise that I think I actually audibly gasped. Word Search Lady said, "I think you look smart, too, mama."

Mama? What? Mama? Thank goodness I never officially renamed her to Word Search Sister!

The next turn of events creeped me out a little bit. There was a girl on the phone in the back of the bus and as we approached Western Boulevard on Method Road, she ran up to the front of the bus and sat in the right, center-facing seat. She looked young, maybe 16 or 17. And as we crossed Western and onto Kent (Method turns into Kent on that side of Western Boulevard), she said into the phone, "Where you is? Where you is? I don't know where the stop is. Tell me when you see the bus."

The girl was kind of giggly and excited, and evidently when the person said they saw the bus, she pulled the cord for the next stop. I watched her get out thinking they might have a big hug or something, but instead this older man she was meeting did one of those up-and-down-and-back-up scans of a person—like you might do if you haven't seen someone since they were small, but now were all grown up.

And then it occurred to me that it was also the kind of once-over an older man might give a young girl who he'd only been talking to on the Internet and finally got to see in the flesh.

Exiting the bus still a little taken aback by the whole thing, I immediately went to the NC Sex Offender Registry, put in my address and looked at pictures of the 7 convicted offenders that live within a mile of my house. No photo matches.



I got to the gym on the late side tonight, on purpose assuming it was going to be crowded with new year's resolution people, and it was. The cardio area was virtually full, in spite of it being past 8:00. It was also "Free Pizza Day" (first Mondays of the month) at Planet Fitness, which I know the new people love. I know I did when I first joined.

I decided to do a lower body workout. That will actually put me on a good schedule with regards to cardio, which I'll do tomorrow night and then back to an upper body workout on Wednesday. I'd rather not do a cardio workout on Wednesdays, as it's a dance night, as I get in plenty of cardio doing that.

After my lower body work, I did 225 ab crunches—15 sets of 15 reps, right beside the two boxes of pizza that were still left that late, seeing it was about 9:30. I actually passed on it on the way out, making a stop at the Harris Teeter next door for a loaf of bread.