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January 3rd, 2011

~Monday~  I woke up tired this morning, which is what five hours of sleep serves up. I have got to make a concerted effort this year to get to bed earlier, and to give myself more time to get ready in the morning so that I'm not so rushed. That was the downside of my morning.

On the upside, in the shower I made some progress on my response to Salon XVIII's (01/31/11) agenda item #2, which is, "Since the 'gift by year' for second anniversaries is cotton or straw, let's celebrate our second saloniversary by tapping into our inner poet, which Anna has so delicately and deliciously aroused in us, and each devise a poem that features cotton and/or straw in it to be read at the meeting."

I was at the city bus stop at just after 8:15, and the bus arrived at 8:24. Those identical twin girls who I first talked about on the Wolfline bus, but noted that they started taking the city bus over the holiday, boarded again today in their same outfits, same hair styles, same glasses, and so on, but get this—one boarded at one bus stop, and the other one boarded at the next one. How bizarre.

That brand-spanking-new covered shelter is complete at the Barcom and Gorman intersection stop. It looks real nice, and we got a good long look at it, as the bus actually stopped there for a sync period. And interestingly enough, three people would have missed the bus if the driver hadn't sat there the prescribed amount of time.

It was unusually crowded this morning for the 8:15 bus, so much so that I moved over to the window seat and held my laptop bag in case someone needed to sit next to me. And finally, at the first stop on Hillsborough Street, a white kid boarded, and as probably everyone on the bus expected, he took the seat next to me, passing up several seats next to black people. In all fairness to him however, at stops before his, black people got on and took seats with other black people.

A quick estimate of the racial make-up of the riders would be: 2 white people, 3 Asian people, and 25 black people. And just to complicate matters, I'm pretty sure this kid was gay, so maybe he sat next to me because of that. People tend to gravitate toward people who are like them. It's as simple as that. I'm not at all making any kind of judgment about it; I'm just observing what went down.

And speaking of observing, on the walk from where I get off the bus to my work building, I observed that the erection—if I might use that term—has begun on the new sheltered bus stop about 200 feet further from my work than the current one, which is overdue for replacement. I hope it's as nice as the one at Marcom and Gorman. By the looks of the foundation they've started, it's going to be even bigger than that one.

On the way in, I stopped by a coffee shop that I don't particularly like but that is close to my work building solely because I was too lazy to walk further down the street to one that I do like. I mentioned this morning that I was tired. This is the communication I exchanged with the owner:

She: "Good morning," while actually smiling, which is a rarity for her, and which is the main reason I don't care for the place.

Me: "I'll have just a regular coffee. To go please."

She: "What's that?" sort of mumbly.

Me: "Just a regular coffee to go, please."

She: "What size?" enunciating a little more clearly.

Me: "Oh. Small. Sorry. I thought you said, 'What's that?'"



As my friend Kim noted about this visualization of global health and wealth, "I would have enjoyed history a whole lot more if it had been presented like this":



As expected, it was less than great to be back to work today.

I ran to Subway for a late lunch at 1:00, where I picked up a cookie for my boss as well.

I caught the 5:30 city bus home, and two guys, one white, one black, sat ahead of me. The black guy had a fishing pole with him.

When we stopped at the originating stop of the route on Beryl road, where we sat for about four minutes, the black guy looked across to the white guy and said, "Long day. Fishin's hard."

The white guy said, "Catch anything?"

I could hear my dad's canned answer to that question, "Yeah. A cold," but this guy didn't say that. He didn't say anything at all. He just slid a bucket out from under the seat and removed the lid.



I met Joe at Caribou Coffee at about 6:45, where we hung out until it closed at 10:00. I was going to go the gym before meeting him, but considering the fact that it's the new year and the place would be absolutely teeming with new exercisers, and it's Free Pizza Night (first Mondays of the month) there, I decided to wear my workout clothes to Caribou and swing by the gym at 10:00, when it was sure to be less crowded.

I was still "feeling it" all the way up until about 9:15, but at 10:00, I realized that I was really tired (Have I mentioned being tired today?), so I made a stop at the grocery store and then went home.

I was at the grocery store checkout, paying for my bread and fruit, and three college kids—one girl and two guys—came in and walking by me the girl said, "Okay. We need cream cheese, Oreos, and, uh, oh yeah, chocolate." Ah, youth.

At home, I finished up this blog entry, and then hit the sack at a decent hour, reading a little bit of The Help before lights out.

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