I forgot to mention this in my Wednesday entry.
I had an 8:00 appointment to have my brakes serviced at Wasp Automotive near the intersection of Highways 54 & 55 in Durham. I just came across this place on the web, and I liked the two reviews I read about it.
When you drop off your car, you do it in the "bay section" of the garage. There is a real nice waiting area that I only went into afterwards to wait for the other two people to check their cars in who were going to take advantage of the van service to RTP.
This woman, Jill Adkins, drove me and two other people who were also dropping off their cars there to work. Two of us worked at IBM, and the other person worked for RTI.
She was personable, talked enough, but not too much, and had forgotten her cell phone at home that day, realizing it after being gone a half-hour from home. You can read more about her and her commute by clicking on her picture above.
This man, Lindsey Carver, helped us when I arrived with Robert late afternoon to pick up my car.
He started off the conversation with, "I'm going to check you out today. But if you don't like me, we got a white boy over there who can help you," which made me laugh.
I said, "I'm happy to work with you."
As Lindsey was processing my credit card, Robert came out of the waiting room, and said to Lindsey, "That's a real foo-foo waiting area you got there. Nice furnishings, even a little babbling brook type thing."
"Yes, it is I chimed in, and that landscaping you got going out front; it's very well done."
He looked at both of us and smiled, and said, "Do you know the owner of this place?"
"No," we don't we said quizzically.
He continued, "Well, I'm not saying anything about his sexual orientation or habits or anything, that he's gay or anything; we respect all people here."
"Well, we might know him then," I interrupted, and we all laughed.
Lindsey said, "You got to love all your people. I have an aunt that's that way, and my brother's that way. We have all kinds of people here. If you don't want to work with me or the white boy, we just recently hired those Latinos guys over there."
I really liked this guy, and though I'd originally pegged him for an uptight Southern Baptist or "religious type," well, you can read in his shop bio for yourself about him by clicking on his picture above. He certainly did for me what it says he specializes in - in addition to Toyota/Lexus repair.
I like their employment philosophy, and I highly recommend this place of business.
I ran to Jiffy Lube at about 4:00 to get my oil changed. I brought three receipts from changes I had done in 2004 that weren't noted on my "frequent customer card" and asked them to punch them on my card, which they did.
When I checked out after today's service, it made the 8th punch, earning me a free oil change the next time. Annoyingly, I have to send my completely punched card to a processing center to receive a coupon for the free service next time.
I walked around Lake Johnson again late this afternoon. It was a little bit strange out there today, so my mind didn't wander too much with its own strange thoughts.
When I first arrived, I couldn't get into the parking area. An 18-wheeler had stopped up by the entrance for a reason I couldn't see.
After waiting almost a minute, I turned my impatient ass around, and drove over to the Lake Dam Road parking area, which started my walk from an entirely different perspective.
In about an eighth of a mile, I came upon the shoe, which had been moved from its place on the ground beside the bench and under the mounted trash can, to up on the bench.
Shortly after that, I passed the same Chinese couple I passed yesterday, and they must have once again been discussing dinner. I distinctly heard "shrimp fried rice."
Now, if you've been following my journal at all, you have probably just experienced what I've mentioned in the past as the unreliable narrator.
At this point in my story about this couple, if you have any good sense at all, you're thinking either (1) this guy's imagining things, or (2) he's just outright making this shit up. [sic - split infinitive]
Okay, in this case, it's (2). The man of the couple just nodded his head, smiled, and said, "Hello."
As I was coming around a corner approaching the bridge, I had to shake my head a couple of times to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing - taillights of a truck - on the trail. When I reached the bridge, they were pulled off to the side of the path, thank you, and were loading up some tables that had presumably been used at a nearby picnic shelter.
Halfway across the bridge, I notice an 18-wheeler riding real slowly on the road parallel to the bridge. Someone is inside driving it, of course, but there is also a man standing on the running board in front of the door with what looks like a clipboard in his one hand, while holding on to the door handle with the other. The truck is traveling quite slow and there is a long line of cars behind it.
I'm near the end of the 3-mile walk now, and it's at the very dark end of dusk. Suddenly, to my left, this quite loud rustle of leaves happen, and I stand frozen until my nervous system thaws out long enough to replace the snake signal that had gone to my brain with squirrel.
The last time I saw any kind of wildlife out here was several months ago on a walk with Joe, when we did in fact see a snake - a black snake or garden snake, something innocuous like that.
About another eighth of a mile up the trail, a rabbit comes hip-hopping across the walk.
On the way home I mailed my 8-stamped Jiffy Lube card for my free oil change certificate.
Robert and I watched the movie Crash tonight, which was just very, very, very well done. If you're interested in diversity or stereotypes, you should see this movie.
When I do my diversity pitch next week, and the week after, at work, I'm going to make it available for people to "check out" from me, and will provide a bag of kettlecorn microwave popcorn to go with it.
Movie Synopsis: Several stories interweave during two days in Los Angeles involving a collection of inter-related characters, a black police detective with a drugged out mother and a thieving younger brother, two car thieves who are constantly theorizing on society and race, the distracted district attorney and his irritated and pampered wife, a racist veteran cop (caring for a sick father at home) who disgusts his more idealistic younger partner, a successful black Hollywood director and his wife who must deal with racist cop, a Persian-immigrant father who buys a gun to protect his shop, a Hispanic locksmith and his young daughter who is afraid of bullets, and more.