Friday, October 21, 2005

Breakfast of champions

It's beginning to look a lot like Halloween. This morning, when I opened my car door in the NerdCo parking garage, I noticed something on the pavement directly below: a little pile of fun-size candy wrappers: Crunch bars, the orange foil of autumnal peanut-butter cups, random twists of cellophane. It amused me; I liked the thought of some engineer sitting down there in the subterranean dark, quickly snarfling down a double fistful of Halloween candy and sweeping the evidence out of the car.

"Mornin', Ralph--hey, whatcha got there?"


Thursday, October 20, 2005

On the highway to the senior-citizens' retirement community

More junior high: In sixth grade, I had this rocker chick school-bus driver. She propped a crummy boom box next to the accordion-door-opening handle and we all listened to the local hard RAWK!! station while being hauled to and fro. And every single morning during the worst of rush hour, the DJs would put on AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" to underscore the a.m. commute.

As an impressionable 11-year-old, I thought this was coooooool. They rocked! They said a swear! H-E-double toothpicks, right there on the radio, a whole bunch of times...could you even do that? Well, they up and did, those AC/DC dudes. I felt a certain solidarity with the tough older kids on the bus, and with the legions of grown-ups grinding along the highways, off to toil at their jobs. Which were LIKE HELL--yeah, I got it. Workin' for The Man, but secretly telling him off through the magic of AC/DC. Aw, yeah.

So when I stumbled across "Highway to Hell" during today's morning commute, naturally I cranked it. I growled and screeched along with the chorus, banged my head ever so subtly...filaments of gray roots creeping out of my tasteful barrette, I'm sure. Hey, fellas, you do not know just how hard the thirtysomething businesswoman in the 1996 Hyundai is RAWKIN'. I'm on the highway to NerdCo! With a quick stop at the Starbucks! Yeeeeaaaaaah.

Then I thought, That...was a quarter-century ago.

Then I drove myself directly to The Home, to reserve a bed and a seat at the bridge tournament.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My left foot

In the interest of Improved Cardiovascular Fitness and Significant Ass Diminishment, I bought myself a simple pedometer to keep track of my daily tromping around. They (you know, Them) tell you that you ought to shoot for 10,000 steps a day. I know that's not easy, for folks with sedentary desk jobs and whatnot, but...Monday?


1447! Either this pedometer is a cheap piece of shit (which is about what I paid for it) or I did not clip it to my hip pocket in a way that it clicky-clunks properly in response to my gait, because I am a lazy lady, granted, but I am not A STATUE.

Tuesday I made a point of stamping energetically about the office--taking the stairs, looping erratically through the hallways en route to the bathroom. Things went well until, in a meeting, I somehow managed to mash all the buttons--perhaps they were compressed by a ROLL of HIP FAT--and reset it to zero at 3:00 in the afternoon.

It's not that healthy living is difficult, exactly. It's that it is SO IRRITATING.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Oooh baby baby

I spent part of Sunday with my friend Krispy and her 15-month-old twin sons, exactly what I needed to lift me out of a glum mood. The boys are determined toddlers now, and so going out with them is a bit like squiring around two extremely short, genial drunks; they're adorable and hilarious and OH MY GOD HOW DOES KRISPY GET ANYTHING DONE EVER?

I'd forgotten how parents of small children have mastered the ability to wolf down a meal at speeds invisible to the naked eye. I was still picking at my muffin top when Krispy had finished her breakfast while simultaneously keeping Thing 1 and Thing 2 from riding that nice old lady's oxygen tank or busting gleefully in on the occupant of the restroom. (Doors! So fun to open! And close! And open! And close! Opencloseopencloseopenclose! It's a toddler par-tay, woooooooooo!)

Damn, those kids are cute, though. They do wonders for my self-esteem--they're at that flirty age, so you engage them for ninety seconds and then they grin at you like you are the wittiest, most captivating and beautiful woman on earth, with the possible exception of Mommy. They're so pleased with you and your choices, all "Pumpkin bread? I LOVE pumpkin bread! You're awesome!" and "Look at this leaf! I picked it up for you! No, for me! Okay, for you! This leaf is awesome!" Granted, the actual conversation is a little stilted...but how much can you ask of someone whose vocabulary consists of Mama, all done, and Raaahhr! ("what sound does a lion make?") They're still better dates than at least 30% of the men I met through my last personal ad.

I envy the social realm of babies, a little. I mean...if I were to run up and start tonguing the glass front of the pastry case directly, I'd probably be strongly discouraged from returning to the bakery. And how many times have I wanted to slump to the floor in the Target aisle and loudly express my despair and ennui? Too many to count, right? Right?

A fistful of goldfish crackers can usually set me right, too. I'm just saying.

No, it's not a euphemism

A significant chunk of my commute takes place on a notoriously overcrowded stretch of highway. When I was a kid, the land on which the NerdCo empire now stands was primarily home to bunnies and blueberry farms, and the road capacity reflects this long-gone pastoral past; I now have ample time, in the near-daily traffic jams, to look around at all the personal grooming and other activities my fellow drivers have chosen to multitask with.

This is as good a place as any to point out that, hey, everyone: your automobile is not a magical Invisibility Capsule. I CAN SEE YOU in there, flossing and phoning and eyelash-curling, rummaging vigorously in your nostrils. You, buddy, alternating picking with applying the nose-hair trimmer? I SAW THAT TOO. I've watched a lady drive while reading a magazine and dangling her left leg out the window. My friend Funky D once saw a lady typing away on the laptop wedged between her breasts and the steering wheel. And I have borne witness to at least one instance of consummated erotic passion, which remains unhappily seared on my retinas a decade later.

Today brought a new one, though, as I observed the dude crawling along in the lane adjacent, while carefully taping up his hockey stick. Heh. Points for originality, my man.