I spent most of my morning preparing for an afternoon meeting that had been postponed twice over the past week or so. Three times was a charm, and the meeting went well. Glad I prepared for it.
During lunch, I walked over to the NCSU Bookstore to buy a couple of gift cards for graduation presents—only to find it closed.
I took the Wolfline bus back, boarding the bus at the same time as a driver change. The one coming on duty got on with me, while the departing guy got off.
This driver was such a hoot and made me laugh several times within the less than ten minutes I was on the bus. At a busy intersection, where the bus needs the on-coming traffic lane as well as the driving lane to round the corner, she just started yelling out, "Lord. I'm never gonna make it around this corner." Then after a minute, "People, you gots to let me out! You never heard of ladies first???" And finally gunning it, "I'm coming, get out the way!"
A guy in the back of the bus started clapping loudly when she got around the corner. He opened his arms out real far and then slapped them together with his fingers back and just his palms slapping.
The driver hollered at him into the rear view mirror, "You is a seal!" Everyone on the bus fell out.
I left my house at about 6:20PM to stop by Café Helios to get a gift card for my friend Hugh, whose birthday gathering I was attending at 7:00 at Red, Hot, & Blue (RH&B) at Oberlin and Hillsborough.
When I arrived there was no one in line, and the girl started the process. She pushed two buttons on the cash register, and then made a face. "It's not letting me do anything."
She called the guy over, the only other employee in the store, and he started the process all over again. After not making much progress after a minute or so, she walked away to finish the food orders he'd been working on when she'd called him over to help. "Teach me how to do it later," she said.
Two people behind me in line now.
"Oh, darn. The status says, 'Not responding' now. The whole thing's frozen up," he said indicating the cash register/computer.
Four people in line.
"I think I'm going to have to reboot the whole thing," he said. But he kept waiting—way longer than I would have waited with that many people in line.
"I'm sorry," he said. "Did you mind waiting?"
I said, "Actually, I'm on my way to a birthday party right now, at which I wanted to give this card to the person whose birthday it is. Why don't you just give me the gift card with nothing on it, so I can at least put it in his card. And then I'll bring it back afterward to put money on it."
I was the first party guest to arrive at RH&B, where I found Hugh and Renee waiting with opened arms. Good people.
It was a pleasure meeting all of their friends, and after a while @abbyladybug arrived and I moved down the long table to sit next to her. She caught me up on the goings-on in her life, and recommended a couple of iPhone apps that I'm going to check out.
After Abby left for a date in Chapel Hill, I spent a lot of time talking with Hugh's friend Chad, and we covered lots of topics: what we do for a living, what we're passionate about, the direction of technology, TED talks, the state budget crises, and traveling.
Overall, an extremely enjoyable evening.
I stopped back by Helios wanting to get that gift card taken care of (see Myers-Briggs type: ESFJ) and hoping that another person from the staff had come on duty who might be able to get "the gift card program" to "respond" long enough to finish my transaction.
It was not to be. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. The girl helped me again, and she got a little bit further this time by actually swiping the gift card, but after that it wouldn't let her enter the amount to put on it. I sheepishly suggested that she check to make sure the "NumLock" button wasn't unknowingly engaged. She said no without even checking. I'm not sure she even knew what word I'd said.
Once again, a line started forming, and I had déjà vu (not déjà vu all over again, because that would be redundant), and I said, "That's okay. I'm coming back downtown tomorrow night, and I'll stop back by then to get it taken care of."
She did apologize profusely and said that she knows she's going to kick herself when she finds out what she must be doing wrong. I did say, "You know. I'm a technical writer. I could document the procedure for you once you know it, and then y'all could keep it by the register."
She laughed and said, "That might not be a bad idea."
Yeah, I thought. Wish I'd've thought of it. Oh yeah. I did.
I dropped by Flex for a little while. It was on the early side, so the straight/goth crowd hadn't arrived yet. I played some free pool, the first game by myself, and then Tim (of Ronnie and Tim) joined me. We played three games, the last one being for the title of Mr. Gay Raleigh USA Billiards Queen for 2009. I won. (Or did I? That's a long title.)
I've never really had a conversation with Tim (or Ronnie for that matter), although I see them at the bar all the time. We (Tim and I) had a surprisingly interesting conversation—about books and reading of all things—while we played pool.
I spoke a little while with Joe, Phil, Rob, and Joshua, who was there with female ex-co-worker.
"She straight?" I asked Joshua.
"Yes," he said.
I asked, "Was she born that way or is she choosing to be straight?"
"She was born that way," he said without batting an eyelash that evidently chose to have mascara on it. They were a nice contrast to his white nail polish, which by the way, he noted glowed under the black light that's over the urinals in the rest room.
Girls just wanna have fun.