It was my first time in the Park Alumni Building, which is a grand—I'd almost say opulent—building in a remote section of NC State's Centennial Campus, so remote that none of the university bus lines have a stop anywhere even close enough for a long walk to it. Which is precisely why Jen was so graciously picking me up this morning. Thanks, Jen!
My work day wasn't as productive as I'd've liked it to be. The guy that supports my workstation never did get to my office today to finish installing a few apps that I still need, the biggest one being the GroupWise—my e-mail—client. The web interface for that product sucks beyond belief, and that's what I was stuck using today.
At precisely 11:00, I logged in into a James Taylor website, and ordered tickets on behalf of my friend Mary, who is in Disneyworld on vacation, and couldn't be near Internet access at the exact moment the tickets went on sale. A slight usability snafu ensued, but I took a chance on how I hoped it would work and it ended up being the case.
In short, it says that the tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable, and then presents you with the credit card information screen, on which there is no place to indicate that you're buying the tickets for someone else, so they can be under their name when they go to "Will Call" to pick them up. So, especially after seeing that "non-transferable" warning, I was hesitant to make the purchase, but I finally figured, worst case, I'll go down to Will Call with Mary if I have to to pick up the tickets and give them to her. However, after I clicked on "Continue purchase," it did give me an opportunity to put in someone else's name. That screen should come before the credit card screen. Just sayin'. Fortunately, it all worked out.
I took a late lunch, and Jen walked with me down the street, in the freaking freezing cold breezy weather, for some exercise. I picked up a Subway footlong Veggie Delight and ate half of it for lunch and the other half as a mid-afternoon snack, when I usually get a hankering for something.
After work, Jen and I ran down to Memorial Auditorium, where after walking around in the freezing cold and trying five or six locked doors, with the wonders of the Internet, we learned that the box office entrance was on the Wilmington Street side of the building. Once in there, my friend Steven (a.k.a. "Esteban") helped us to get tickets, which didn't at first appear to be available, for the Saturday, December 18th, 2:00 Straight No Chaser show.
Jen was kind enough to drop me off at home on her way to a 5:30 meeting back on Hillsborough Street. I thought it was a solicitation hanging on my door knob when I got there, but it was a notice from Progress Energy that they'd been by today and successfully installed the equipment necessary to start me on their EnergyWise program.
I got to the gym at a little after 6:00 and the place was slam-jam-packed. There were only a couple of elliptical machines available, and they have a gazillion of them in there. To that end, I skipped my stretching and ab work today, and got right on a machine while there was one available.
Elizabeth Edwards' health was all over the inordinate number of TVs in the place and the bottom line of it all was that, "She's dying." I wouldn't be surprised if it's in the next 24-36 hours. Also, near the end of my workout—thank goodness—I noticed out of the corner of my eye, on an elliptical machine about five away from me with all of them in between with people on them so I could hardly see him, that guy who just stands there and rocks his feet back and forth looking all around the room.
I did 40 minutes instead of 30 to make up for the lack of ab crunches. In addition to the time of day, it was extra crowded today, because it was First Monday Free Pizza day. I grabbed two pieces of sausage and pepperoni on the way out and ate them at home. I chased that with three, count 'em three, servings of egg nog, which are 180 calories a serving.
I did this for two reasons: 1) I had apportioned my calories for the day accordingly so that even counting 300 calories for each slice of pizza and three servings of 180-calorie egg nog, I was not over my calorie limit for the day, and 2) the egg nog expiration date is tomorrow, and that shit is way too delicious to let spoil. It was like treating myself to a milkshake after pizza after my workout.
At home I had a nice, long instant message conversation with Robert with intermittent Scrabble moves. We talked about seeing Manbites Dog Theater's current show, Oh, the Humanity, about which I said on Facebook today: Read this review. See this play. I am really looking forward to seeing it! We also talked about where to have dinner before it, and we changed our plans from seeing it Saturday night to seeing it Friday night. The dinner is in anticipation of Robert's birthday on Monday, December 13th.
We also discussed our April anniversary and what hopes and dreams we might have around that time, as Joe has asked me to participate in the Five Boro Bike Ride through New York City, a 42-mile ride, starting in Lower Manhattan, through Manhattan and through the heart of Central Park, to historic Harlem and the Bronx, crossing into Queens and then Brooklyn and over the bridge to Staten Island. As usual, Robert is very flexible on when we celebrate our anniversary. Heck we didn't celebrate it until August this year, with our trip to the Outer Banks.
Now for a lot of logistics, mostly by Joe, to see if we can make that trip work. It's complicated by the fact that he's doing it with a work colleague and her husband, and then the problem of getting our bikes up there, which wouldn't be fun (or cheap, probably) taking by plane, and although a train would work better, a 12- or 14-hour ride is not all that palatable. Oh well, we'll see how it all plays out.
Onesentence.org is a website that I love, and which is vetted, where you submit something profound about you or a life event, said only in one complete sentence. I love this one posted today:
I got two of three things done that I absolutely wanted to get done tonight, which was to complete editing and to distribute the meeting minutes from last Wednesday's Student E-mail Implementation Team meeting, and to add up my receipts for my Health Care Flexible Spending Account to see how close I am to my $1000 that I have to spend by the end of the year to get all of my money back.
I'm happy to report that it came to $1040. I'm so relieved, as I really want to put off my colonoscopy until January, but I was afraid I needed the out-of-pocket expenses that might have come out of it toward this total. So, it's a relief to have some breathing room now.
And I close with another one of my favorite holiday songs. This is turning out to be more fun than I thought it would be, as I'm enjoying recalling the memories I have around some of the songs, and today's in particular.
My most favorite memory of this song was singing it while in college, at Christmastime in either my freshman or sophomore year at East Carolina University (ECU), so in December of 1975 or 1976—I can't remember which.
A girl I was in high school chorus with was also at ECU at that time, and I went and visited her in her "girl's dorm" across campus. The dorm was pretty much vacated with most students having left town for the Christmas holiday and winter break.
We stood in the cavernous lobby area of that old dorm, which was much more acoustically accommodating than even the shower, and she—with her phenomenal soprano voice—started singing this song a cappella. I joined in an octave below her, singing tenor, and before it was all said and done, we shook the rafters in that building.