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~Friday~  Walking down the drive out of my townhouse, I saw a crawler on the ground. Because of its short length, I thought it was one thing, but when I got closer and saw how it was more flat than round, I thought it was another thing. My first thought was, "Is that a worm or a snake?" My next thought was, "THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID." I laughed out loud.

Once again, there was only one person on the bus when I got on. He sat way in the back. He was on his cell phone, but I actually couldn't hear a single word he said the entire time. Just like cell phone use in public should be. But I digress...

I took the seat beside the fifth window on the left side of the bus. At the very top of the window just head of mine, I spotted a bullet hole. Nice.

At a subsequent stop, a man got on with a guitar that wasn't in a case. I half expected him to start playing some Arlo Guthrie or something along the way. He didn't.



Today I had one of the most disjointed days I've had since I started working at the university. It just seemed like I couldn't stay focused on one thing long enough to finish it without something else cropping up.

I worked way too long to create this announcement about a new website at NC State that pulls together the many "official" Twitter accounts being operated at the university. Sometimes I really hate Drupal. Okay most times.



At lunch time, I walked down to the post office to mail that thank you card I mentioned writing yesterday. As I walked out of my building, there was a guy and a girl (I believe) standing with a box that was sitting on the sidewalk next to a dolly. They seemed to be debating something, and I thought that perhaps the dolly wasn't working or the box had burst open and they were trying to decide how to get that heavy stuff where it needed to be.

When I returned from the post office, about ten minutes later, they (and the dolly) were nowhere to be found, and the box was just sitting on the sidewalk, in the sun, and opened. I walked up to see what it was. Cheese. White cheese made from whole milk, so it said on the packages. Eight huge blocks that had to be at least five pounds of cheese each.

I went into my building shaking my head and two of my colleagues were coming out. "There's a bunch of cheese there on the sidewalk if you need some," I said as they both looked at me like I was nuts.

I went back to my office, grabbed my sandwich for lunch and went to the kitchen area to microwave it. Coming out, those two guys were walking in with all that cheese, and stuck the large blocks in the fridge. "It's crazy to just leave that out there to spoil," one said.

Walking back to my office, I started laughing out loud thinking about the two people coming back to their box on the sidewalk and saying, "Who moved my cheese?" and meaning it literally. The book by the same name, which is a fantastic, short, little book (over 24 million copies sold worldwide), is about four characters who react to figuratively having their cheese moved.



Get this! While I was standing in front of the credit union waiting for the bus home, as I usually do I looked into every car passing by coming up to the traffic light that's right there. (Generally looking for guys driving with their shirts off, truth be told. But I digress yet again...)

And lo and behold, who should come by in a car?!? Right-hand Rule Lady and her husband Sci-Fi Fantasy Man! She was driving, which for some reason didn't surprise me. I have never, ever pictured them in a car.



At home, I had a delicious salad for dinner. I lined a huge bowl with red-leafed lettuce, and added: onion; celery; carrots; red, green, and yellow bell pepper; mushrooms; slices of grape tomatoes; and then sprinkled shredded cheddar cheese on top. After adding some teriyaki marinade into what was left of the diced boiled chicken from yesterday and microwaving it for a minute-and-a-half, I poured it steaming onto the cheese. Topped with some fat-free zesty herb croutons and some Thousand Island dressing, I pigged out on it.

I got to the gym at 7:15, where I was able to do 300 (15 sets of 20 reps) ab crunches in spite of having done them yesterday, too. I definitely "felt the burn" on the last 100. I'm sure I'll be paying for that tomorrow. Oh well. It'll be a good pain.

After that I did 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine, while listening to a podcast episode of This American Life. I only listened to the first two stories, as it's an hour-long show, and as I said, I only did the elliptical for 45 minutes. The prologue was interesting, and I loved, loved, loved the first two stories. Totally worth a 36-minute commitment. At the very least, I'd say the first story (combined with the prologue) for a 25-minute commitment provides a worthwhile return on investment. If you like compelling radio, that is.

To listen, click on the Episode name below and then on the "Full Episode" icon just under the picture on the resulting page. That comedy duo that got on the Ed Sullivan show are simply a hoot.

Episode 281: My Big Break

Sometimes, getting your big break isn't all it's cracked up to be. A comedy duo lands the gig that can make them famous—the Ed Sullivan Show at the height of Sullivan's popularity—and they bomb. A third-grader gets his big chance to please his mother and push his drunken father out of the picture. And other stories.

Prologue.

Host Ira Glass tells the story of Marisela and Yadira, who were honors students in high school. They wanted to go to the best colleges, but they couldn't get federally-funded scholarships because they weren't U.S. citizens; they had come from Mexico when they were little. Through a series of fortunate breaks, they manage to scrape together enough money to go to college. Still, because of their illegal status, they have no idea if their education will get them anywhere in America. Helen Thorpe, a reporter in Denver, interviewed the students. (7 minutes)

Act One. Take My Break, Please.

Charlie Brill and Mitzi McCall were a comedy duo back in the mid-1960s, playing clubs around Los Angeles, when their agent called to tell them he'd landed them the gig of a lifetime: They were going to be on The Ed Sullivan Show. The only problem was that their performance was a total fiasco, for a bunch of reasons, including one they never saw coming. David Segal of The New York Times reports. (18 minutes)

Act Two. What Happens in Baghdad, Stays in Baghdad.

Two young men, Jeff Neumann and Ray Lemoine, decide it'd be interesting to be part of the rebuilding of Iraq. So they take a bus to Baghdad during the war and the bombings and the kidnappings and try to make their mark. Jen Banbury, who wrote for Salon.com from Baghdad, met Jeff and Ray there. She tells the story. (11 minutes)

Act Three. Oedipus Hex.

Shalom Auslander reads his true story, "The Blessing Bee." It's about the time when, as a third-grader at an Orthodox Jewish school, Shalom saw his chance to both make his mom proud, and push his drunken father out of the picture. Part of his scheme involved winning the school's bee on the complicated Hebrew blessings you say before eating certain foods. The other part of the scheme: sinning. Shalom's book of short stories is called Beware of God. "The Blessing Bee" will be published in his upcoming memoir. (19 minutes)

Song: "Who Will Pray for Me," Conway Twitty




Back home, I did two loads of laundry and worked on this blog entry. Once the laundry was done, I watched The Wire, Season 1, Episode 7: One Arrest.

To be honest, I didn't find this episode as "arresting" as it probably was, as by then it was well after midnight, and lying down to watch it didn't help. I did watch it all the way through, though, because I am that interested.

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