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February 19th, 2010

~Friday~  Evidently I didn't get the memo that it was hood and hat day on the bus. Four people sitting around me had hoods on, and by that I mean they had them pulled up over their heads on the bus, and two of them had on hats under those hoods. One of the hoods—sans a hat— was worn by a little girl. It made me sweat just to look at them.

In the spirit of what my dad would refer to as "an accident waiting to happen," the man with the potentially precarious glove and coin situation of yesterday boarded again today with the same gloves, but different coins. Two of the four went immediately into the fare machine. The other two detoured to the floor before finally making it into the machine.

Someone in the very rear of the bus was on her cell phone the entire time I was on the bus. At times I thought it sounded like Logorrhea, but the fact that she wasn't speaking at an ear-bleeding decibel level, made me think it wasn't her. I didn't care enough to turn around and actually look.

A man that I mentioned in a previous entry got on the bus and then off two stops up the street. He is slowly earning his character name, which almost surely will be Two-Stop Man.

At the racial divide stop (a.k.a. "the McKimmon Center stop), about 8 students stood in a line along the sidewalk, much like a police line-up. Lo and behold, in the middle of the line, but like matching bookends around a couple between them, stood the Doublemint Duplicates. My eyes kept darting back and forth between them to take in their identicalness.

At what I think of as "the McDonald's stop on Gorman," a guy who is pretty much a regular and whom I'm now naming Izod Shoe Man, solely (and arbitrarily) based on his choice of footwear today. He had on off-white canvass tennis shoes with a big green alligator with a reddish tongue along their sides.


I didn't even know that Lacoste made shoes. Bless my fashion-clueless mess.



At lunch time I ran down to the Cup A Joe's on Hillsborough Street thinking it was a Salon Coffee Klatch day. Turns out it wasn't, but while I sat there long enough to figure it out, a man whom I'd guess was in his 80s asked if he could join me at my table.

"Sure," I said, and as soon as he sat down one of the workers there delivered his coffee to him with a little cookie or scone or something. I thought, "He's either a regular here, and I mean a very regular, or he's part owner of the place."

After a few minutes, I started packing up my laptop, and he said, "You're leaving?"

"Yes," I said. "I need to get back to work."

"You work at the university?" he asked.

"Yes, over in the IT department," I said.

"The what?" he asked.

"The IT department," I said more loudly.

He nodded as if he understood it that time, and I said, "Are you an NC State alumnus, or did you used to work at the university?"

"I'm a Professor Emeritus of NC State," he said.

"Oh, cool," I said. "What did you teach?"

"Economics," he said.

"Ah, and as an economist, what do you think about the price of coffee in coffee shops?"

"They're high," he said, and then indicating his coffee cup with a nod of his head, added, "But I get mine free."

"An economist, indeed," I thought.



As a result of my trip home last week to my aunt's funeral, where I reconnected with cousins I haven't seen in years and years and years, and where I saw my "newly-found cousin," who I hadn't seen in a couple of years now, I received some very heart-warming affirmations, which I want to capture here.

From my cousin, Jeanne:

Thank you for sending me your email and blog. I couldn't stop reading. I loved the stories, pictures and heart warming moments. It was so nice to see you and your parents even though it was for a sad occasion. I am happy that you have someone special in your life.  Robert is a lucky man.


And from my cousin, Lisa:

OMG, I just got on your blog. HYSTERICAL stuff about travel wit your parents!!!! You are truly a gifted writer. Once again, thank you John for facilitating so much for me throughout this process. I wish I could express to you how much respect I have for you; your patience, your ability to find humor and articulate it - both in writing and in words, your education and the ways in which you choose to fill your life are all extremely inspiring to me.

Robert, you can stop laughing at her affirmation of my patience! Hehehe. I'm sure she was referring to the patience I tried hard to exert with my parents during the entire trip. :-)

And one final word in affirmations (if you haven't already thrown up) is this one from my friend, Jen, who's participating in Project 365. Click on the image to read the affirmation.

"A Very Sweet Sucker"
Photo of me taken by Jen Riehle



I got to the gym late for a Friday night. At 7:30, I started on my lower body routine, which I followed up with 300 (15 sets of 20 reps) ab crunches, and finished up with a 30-minute cardio workout on the cross-trainer machine, burning off 560 calories.

I finished at 8:57 and they closed at 9:00.



Okay, enough of the John love-fest. I met Phil at The Borough at a little after 10:00, where we also ran into Rob and a "friend" of his named Alan. I'm not going to get into all of the night's antics here, but it was a funny and fun night, at least to me.

The funniest moment of all came when Rob and I were debating as to whether this guy sitting a little bit away from us was our mutual friend Juan. I kept saying, "Yes, it's him," then, "Oh, no, I don't think it's him." And then Rob did the same thing. And then we both agreed it wasn't, as Rob summed it all up saying, "He's just a Juan-a-be!" Cracked me up! I am such a sucker for puns.

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