Macaroni And Cheese With Fish Bits

6:15 PM Posted In Edit This 2 Comments »
They say that working with kids is one of the most rewarding jobs out there. What they often forget to include is that those little ankle biters are exhausting. Over the past couple of days I've been exceptionally sleep-deprived thanks to the Big Test, some random late nights (For example, late last night I decided I wanted lemon pudding. We didn't have any in the house so I actually drove to HEB, bought milk and pudding, came home and made my dessert. I'm a fat kid at heart and I'm not even sorry.) and early mornings.

Today was weird anyway. My mom was visiting my grandma so I took over her classes (the perks of having a daughter who works in your district!). After the AWESOME televised morning announcements where we were informed that "macaroni and cheese with fish bits" was on the menu for lunch - I had the distinct honor of witnessing a very, very rough draft of some 4th graders' stage adaptation of a Roman myth. It was a wonderful mix of serious, adorable, silly, and of course WTF. They've got a week to turn their not-a-play into a play ready for the discerning entertainment tastes of second graders. My favorite part was when they were discussing things to add to it one kid said "It's for little kids so it should be funny and we should act crazy and trip randomly." Hey, Nickelodeon, I think there are some nine-year-olds in Central Texas who are on to your programming formula. Also I love that they consider the kids who are two years younger than them "little kids."

Then I took some 5th graders to the library, where only one of them actually needed to check out a book. Most of them just wandered around looking for the "funniest" titled books they could find. "This one's called Gay Neck Pidgeon!! Ahhh ha ha ha!" Ooook, weirdos. But I love them.

By the end of the day I had no energy and a room of six "gifted" third graders who were extremely excited by everything and not at all interested in staying on task. It was kind of like trying to organize a bunch of hamsters that had been injected with half their body weight of caffeine and then turned loose in a hamster amusement park before being brought in to a classroom and told to learn about geometry. As soon as I got two of them to focus, two more were ambling around the room "sharpening their pencils" (This is what 3rd graders do when they don't want to do their work. They walk slowly to the pencil sharpener where they take their time sharpening away, and then they walk back toward their table, making as many detours as possible. The whole process takes about five minutes and yes, it is an art.) or looking at things the other classes had done. I also discovered a previously-hidden talent I have where I am able to hold three conversations at once. Third graders apparently either don't notice or don't care if you're talking to two other people while they're having a conversation and they're too excited to wait until you're done so they just chat away!

By the time the bell rang I was beat! The elementary school kids definitely won today, I need a nap, and probably a good run or five. All in all though even the most exhausting days are freaking wonderful. Those kids are awesome. Hooray for public school!

Foreign Language Proficiency FTW!!

6:08 PM Posted In , Edit This 2 Comments »
I've been trying to break my rampant habit of procrastinating for the past few years, especially when it comes to school stuff. "Trying" is the operative word here, though, because sure enough, I'm supposed to graduate in August (that's in FOUR MONTHS) and I still have three semesters of foreign language to finish. WTF?! How did I manage that?? Of all the things to put off 'til the end, I managed to put off a bunch of classes that can't be taken simultaneously. Brain fail!

So anyway, that brings us to the previously mentioned Giant Test (scroll down). In order to finish on time without having to somehow bend the space-time continuum I had to at least test out of the second course (of four) so I can take the third and fourth sequentially. I haven't had a foreign language course since 2003, and even then it was a weird thing because nobody could understand our professor. It was hard for her to pronounce my name and when she said it it sort of sounded like "Melody," so that was what everyone called me in there. I didn't bother correcting anyone, but I guess I wasn't looking forward to another semester (or three) of being Melody.

So I bought a book, I studied it, I tried to remember as much as I could from growing up in the barrio (Ha!) and from what I learned from Crazy/Awesome Ms. Land in high school, and I signed up to take the content exam. No pressure - just one exam to determine if I have to restructure my entire summer and possibly delay my graduation once again. Meh. It actually went pretty well - I had a brilliant morning driving down to San Marcos and got an outpouring of support from my friends and family. (THANKS Y'ALL, y'all are awesome!) The test itself was not as scary or bad as I'd worried, but the freakin lady in the testing center was watching the Muppet Show or something on her computer with the sound on so while I was trying to translate rejoinders. Thanks for that, lady in the testing center.

Then the test decided to be overly helpful and ask me 4000 times if I wanted my scores reported or if I just wanted to call the whole thing off.

Test: Do you want to submit your scores?
Me: Yes, please.
Test: Are you sure? Because if you quit now your score won't be recorded but if you submit them you can't take the test again for six months!
Me: Yeah, I already took the test. It's ok. Please submit scores. Test: Really?
Me: Yup.
Test: By pressing the button below you are acknowledging that you want your scores reported to the instutition you selected at the beginning of the test. After pressing the button you can't change your mind. So: are you absolutely sure you want these scores reported?
Me: ...?

At this point I'm wondering: Does the test know something I don't? Like, is it trying to rescue me? You know, doing that thing where someone's like "Are you suuuuure you want to do that? Really? Really really?" But WTF?! I've been sitting here two and a half hours. I want to know my stupid score already. So I had to press "yes" like five times. Then - TADA! Score report! Not only did I test out of the second semester, I tested out of the third one, too. Sadly, I missed getting to skip the fourth and final course by one measley point. But really, that's ok. I can easily add one little course over the summer. So yay! I got eleven hours of foreign language credit for less than a hundred bucks and apparently I haven't been lying on my resume when I include the line "proficient in Spanish."

Bonus: TToA Open Mic Night

9:44 PM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »
I have a monster-sized test on Monday, for those of you who don't know. It will essentially determine how much work I have to do this summer and also my eligibility for a possible bilingual certification. I'm quite the wreck this week! So since I've been holed up in my living room reviewing verb tenses and vocabulary and the Dreaded Eevil Subjunctive, I have very little to report that would make for good blog reading. Not that that's unusual, y'all have to be used to that by now! Ha, I kid. Well, kinda. Anyway: instead y'all are getting the Trivia Team Stand-Up Comedy Show.

Apparently last Wednesday (my only real venture outside from Sun-Thurs) was Bad Joke Night at our table, and I will now share the bad jokes with you. Look for the return of more interesting, more entertaining blogstuff next week! Well, hopefully. If I don't do well on this test then you might not hear much from me until August. Motivation!

---------
MERE: I think I need to see Titanic again, I forgot how it ended.
MARY: Ohh, that is a bad joke
---------
DUFFY: Oh crap, I forgot to read question #3. Ok, just take this next one and insert it wherever you want it.
MERE: That's what she said.
DUFFY: Drops microphone on the floor in disgust and drops his head down on the bar.
DUFFY: Into microphone: Sorry, I just heard one bad joke too many.
---------
DUFFY: Question #6: What is the hardest substance in the human body?
CAM: MY DICK!
---------
BEN: What is in your mouth?
MERE: Spitting food into a napkin: There was a piece of bone in my food!
MARK: Wait, did you just say you had a bone in your mouth? I'm gonna have to call "That's what she said."
MERE: No! It was a choking hazard, there was a bone in my mouth and I almost choked!
MARK: Stares at me for a second.
MARK: THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!
---------

Oh, trivia team. Y'all are awesome.

Bad Mother Trucker.

8:34 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
You are probably aware of the Saga Of The Truck. If you're not, scroll down. There you go. Anyway - we've had D's parents' Monte Carlo this week while the truck was in the shop getting a 2nd opinion (2nd opinion: Pretty much the same as the 1st opinion.) so over the weekend we took the Monte Carlo back to exchange it for the truck. FAIL ensued. Please to enjoy:


The truck won't start. This has not previously been a problem. Turns out when the mechanics put it back together, they somehow managed to do it in such a way that the middle brake light (the only one that was working before) stayed on, even when the truck was turned off. WTF?? Exactly. Yeah it's just one bulb, but if left on for three days...the fail. Solution?


We need a jump! But not just any jump. Donnie went and got Old Brown (again, for details, scroll down). At first, Dale declared "He's just showing off!" when his dad got Old Brown to start after only one try. Then they got the trucks hooked up annnnd...yeah, the Dodge still won't start. SUCK!


So now what? After about twenty minutes I snapped this lovely shot of Old Brown in all its glory. Keep in mind that for all its faults, this truck starts when you tell it to. And it miraculously passed inspection this year. And it's worth twice what the Dodge is worth in trade (because it's a "Classic"). And what is that, propping the hood open? If you think it looks like a giant stick/small tree limb, you're not wrong.


After half an hour, Rygel said "Screw it" and found the only shade readily available...


...and I sought alternative transportation.

Freakin finally, after an hour of charging that mofo with an electrical charger and Old Brown, the stupid thing started. I have tried to be nicer to it, thinking that my ill-concealed hatred of it could have something to do with why it's behaving like a piece of junk, and so far we haven't had any additional problems. It starts when you turn the key, at least. But it's going to rain the rest of the week and we're going to be a one-car family because it's too much to ask to have two cars with working windshield wipers. Weak!

MIRACLE!

1:02 AM Posted In Edit This 5 Comments »
Something AMAAAAZING happened today. I was doing laundry (don't look so shocked!) and as I was transferring the last of the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer, something in the bottom of the washing machine caught my eye. I had one of those moments where your heart jumps up into your throat as I hastily chunked the wet shirts into the dryer and did a double-take at the washer. Panicked, thinking "Did I just see...?" And the answer was yes. Yes, I did.

Now back up about a week and a half when it was freaking freezing and disgusting outside. Amy and I had plans to run in the gross cold rainy weather but it was way too wet outside to go running on the trail so we agreed to meet at Mom and Dad's and run around their neighborhood. Unfortunately, I forgot both of my iPods (I had my headphones though!) so I borrowed my mom's silver shuffle and off we went. When we got home, we had to kind of rush around because we both needed to shower, etc. before dinner, so I tossed my dirty, gross clothes into my gym bag and changed into something slightly more presentable. Completely forgetting that my mom's iPod was still clipped to the inside pocket of my running jacket, which I then apparently washed yesterday. And that tiny silver iPod was the object in the bottom of the washing machine. Noooooo!

This story is called "MIRACLE!" for a reason, though. I was prepared to call my mom and 'fess up to my crime (iPod waterboarding? Too soon?) and even texted Dale to let him know we were about to throw down $50 for a new iPod, when I decided to check it, just to see. I poked at the play button, but nothing. Then I plugged it in to my lap top. Nothing. But then...TA-DA! the little green light flicked on, the playlist popped up in iTunes and it was back, baby!! I even checked to make sure it still plays and because it's awesome it does. Most freaking amazing surprise of my day. Good show, Apple.

Oh, Mom, by the way: I borrowed your iPod to go running and I got some sweat on it. Don't worry, though, I washed it for you.

It Starts With "F" And Rhymes With "Truck"

12:58 AM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
Turns out D's truck is BROKEN. The "little electrical problem" it's had for about six months now? Not so little after all. It turns out that the part that's gone retarded is apparently the brain that connects all of the gauges and electrical stuff in the dash and tells them what to do and how to operate. As a result, he's got one brake light, no lights in the cab at all, no horn, no windshield wipers, no blinkers, no high beams, no speedometer, no fuel gauge, no tachometer, and no temperature gauge. It does, however, still have a working A/C, stereo, and (unfortunately) the freaking Flowmasters. That brain thingy is gonna cost at LEAST $800 to get fixed. I don't know if you've heard lately but I'm about to go back to school full-time (in four days!) and we're not exactly what you would describe as "rolling in the dough." This after spending $300 to have the brakes partially fixed (THANKS, Midas!) last summer, and a recurring $150 to fix some "speed sensor" thing that's gone out four times since D got the truck brand new in '02.

To fully understand the frustration of the situation, you have to understand where D comes from, vehicularly-speaking. At 15, he inherited Old Brown, his parents' big old brown 1988 Chevy Silverado. What's even better is that Old Brown turned the big 2-1 this year and is now considered a "Classic". It's a POS, but it still runs, and is worth twice as much as the Dodge in trade if they're both in good shape. I'm assuming it's still worth twice as much as the Dodge if they're both in crappy shape, but I'm not an expert. Donnie even drove it to town last week which is hilarious because those of you who know and love Old Brown will recall (from high school days, probably) that it often had to be started with jumper cables, the passenger seat didn't always lock into place the first time you tried, the radio didn't work so D had a battery-powered boom box on the floor (it also helped stop the seat from moving), the cloth cover on the ceiling has completely separated from the roof and is tacked up with thumbtacks and it constantly flaps in the wind because the A/C doesn't work so you have to roll down the windows. For a while it also only had one mirror because the rear view randomly melted and fell one day and the driver's side one was obliterated by an errant chicken on Highway 29 one spring afternoon. No, you read that right. Only in Liberty Hill would there be a chicken on the highway. Oh and keep in mind what I said earlier about the windows being down all the time because of the "broken A/C" thing. That's right: not so much fun for our driver. At one point it was made into a redneck swimming pool with a tarp and a water hose. Oh my dear sweet Lord would you look at that, I found a picture:

Good days, those. Finally, I was forbidden to ride in it when the driver's side door fell off in front of my house toward the end of senior year.

About two days later, D showed up with the Dodge. It's only got 70k miles on it and has been garage-kept for all but the last two years, and seeing as how D drove it almost NEVER during college because he lived and worked in the same place which happened to be right across the street from where he went to school, you'd think it'd be in pretty decent shape. But no, the truck gods choose to smite instead. What the hell, truck gods? What'd we ever do to you?

Signs

3:37 PM Posted In , Edit This 2 Comments »
I had a really beautiful moment yesterday. I've been back and forth about school lately; it seems like ever since I decided to go back the universe has launched every setback it could think of at me just to see if I really want to keep chasing that funny little dream. Financial setbacks, issues with course requirements, going in and out of jobs (ok the same job) because employer(s) told me they would work with my schedule, then didn't, then I needed the money, but then once again they couldn't keep my schedule straight and I'd get scheduled during class, and then last summer's little stunt with gas prices. It's hard to drive 120 miles round-trip five times a week when gas is over $4.00 a gallon. I couldn't even take classes in the spring because of a financial aid error.

I could have stopped, or I could have switched to a closer school, but the department that I'm in is competitive and is actually ranked in the top five in the nation for geography and environmental science and I really love it there. This sucks. But as I'm gearing up for the last big push, knowing that this summer is going to suck as much as the last one, knowing that D totally has my back but needs me to finish soon so I can help pull the weight, I just suddenly felt everything. Is this the right thing to do? What would I be doing instead? What could I have done differently? Is this all worth it? I've laid awake the past few nights, choking on the tightening knot in my throat, knowing that I have to make up my mind soon: yes or no. Go or don't.

I have my answer. Yesterday I had just gotten home from girl-day with Katie and for some reason I logged on to the school's financial aid website, even though they always e-mail when anything gets approved, etc. There was a little alert in my file "You have no incomplete requirements at this time." Thinking that was odd because I hadn't heard from them since they finished reviewing my file, I opened the folder. Sure enough, there was money in there. But way more than I expected, and more than I would want to borrow if we could help it. Scrolling to look at the breakdown, my breath caught: "TEXAS STATE TUITION GRANT". As in "Here, take this money that you don't have to pay back. No, no, it's cool. We're glad you're here and think you're worth it." You're freaking kidding me. For what?? Hopefully, a going away present, because now I have every intention of freaking going down there every single day this summer, kicking school's butt, and being done in August.

But really - in a second everything changed, like the universe, who had been tossing things at me just because it thought that was funny, finally decided that I'd passed the test, I'd stuck with it, and was acknowledging me by sending some help in my direction. I know I'm making the right choices, and I'm trusting myself. Thanks for that, Universe.

First Ever Blog Award!!

7:45 PM Posted In Edit This 2 Comments »
This rocks, Rich at New Dolloian has bestowed upon me this lovely Kreativ Blogger Award!

I'm officially kreativ and a blogger! Thanks for that, I love it! :-)

7 Things I Love:
1) Texas Wines (Specifically Llano and Wimberley Valley)
2) Historical Geography
3) Coffee
4) Very, very rainy days
5) Running (AND Julie's Spinning classes at 24Hour!)
6) Science fiction as a form of therapy (It's hilarious)
7) Oh fine, I love trivia. And my trivia team. And if y'all are reading this and laughing y'all can suck it.

7 Bloggers I Love:
1) Katie at Your Daily Dose of Awesome
2) Sarah at Sarahbration
3) Cousin Ali at Salsa Etcetera
4) Alex at Nufah
5) Katy Jo at Careful, You May End Up In My Blog
6) A Beautiful Mind at Brainy and Beautiful
7) Birdie at Bonne Vie

Here are the award rules:
List 7 things that you love, and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you love! Be sure to tag them and let them know that they have won. You can copy the picture of the award and paste it on your sideboard letting the whole world know...you are Kreativ! Have fun!

Deus Rex Machina

6:40 PM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »
What's better than watching one of your favorite movies in a real theater with popcorn, two beers, and an extra sugary dessert? Watching it while it's actually ok to make fun of it out loud. Bonus points: Three guys with a microphone getting paid to make fun of it, and nine awesome, lovely, wonderful friends to share it with. This, if you aren't familiar with frakkin awesome Austin, is the Master Pancake Theater, presented by the delightful (I'm really into the adjectives today, it must be the wine) Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and it's freakin amazing and hilarious and so much fun. So last night a whole slew of us went to see them mock Jurassic Park, which is on my list of top five favorite movies ever (you can suck it if you disagree). I've always really loved velociraptors, but it turns out that what I love even more is velociraptors with British accents. And since they "pancake" the movie they cut out a whole bunch of crap that wasn't interesting and hard to make fun of. Plus we got to yell "Zing!" at all of Jeff Goldblum's "hilarious" one-liners and "Hello, Newman." at everyone's favorite TV mailman/movie computer guy (Uh uh uh! You didn't say the magic word!). But who were those drunken jackasses yelling "Hello, Newman" when the T-Rex showed up? Ohhh right. This guy. And her nine awesome, lovely, wonderful friends.

Thanks for a kick ass night, everybody. In two weeks it's Lord Of The Rings. Can't miss that one! The first three and a half hours of that crazy-long trilogy in less than two hours: the way it was meant to be seen!

Word Association

11:23 PM Posted In , Edit This 1 Comment »
We weren't feeling our usual Tavern trip for trivia this week so Cam, Mary, Dale, and I braved the cold (WTF?!) wet weather and wandered over to Pluckers, which is much more conveniently located for us "North Austinites". Freakin biggest mistake any of us have made in a loooong time! But that's a different story. This is the story of Mary's Amazing and Semi-Hilarious Brain. During Matt's (UGH!) grab-bag round, he asked us to name the four railroads in Monopoly. I hate Monopoly so much, but Mary instantly wrote down "B&O" and "Reading". Then I said "Isn't there a Pennsylvania?" so we had three. A while later, the round was almost over and the four of us started to think on the fourth one. Then something awesome happened. Mary was trying to talk herself through it, here's her thought process as the rest of us heard it at the table:

Mary: Sun? Sunny. Sunshine. Shoeshine? Shoreline? Shoreline!
Me: Short Line!

How we got Short Line from a list that included "Sunny" and "Shoeshine" I'm not really sure, but it has something to do with us being A) awesome, B) brilliant, and Secret Option C) trivia masters.

Also, attending the paralyzingly lame and horribly irritating trivia at Pluckers made us appreciate how awesome Duffy and the Tavern are. Going back to Pluckers was like revisiting that horrible relationship that ended two years ago. You know the one, where all you remember is the fun parts but when you get back into it you start to remember that the relationship pretty much sucked because even though your waiter was bad ass, the rest of it was annoying and obnoxious and the rest of the people there sucked. Ok so the analogy kind of falls apart if you get too specific. Whatever.

Anyway - we're officially back to regularly dominating at the Tavern on Wednesday nights. If you're awesome, fun, and think yourself a worthy adversary then you too should come "prove your brain is as big as your liver" and maybe take home a giant tricked-out trophy. Tavern. Duffy says 7:30 but really it's 8:00. Or like 8:10. Be there!

More On Signs - OR - Moron Signs

2:14 PM Posted In Edit This 3 Comments »
I've said this before, and if you are just that bored I invite you to backtrack like an entire year to find it, but it bears repeating. I am SO ANNOYED by the "marketing" strategy that involves real human people standing by the side of the road waving a sign at me. Bonus points if the bosses put the poor guy in a costume. It used to just be the guys at Jiffy Lube who would send the new guy down to the curb to hold up the big "$19.99 OIL CHANGE" sign which was sort of a form of hazing, but now it's a little out of control. Restaurants, gyms, mechanics, tax places, weight loss clinics, stores, it seems like ANYBODY with a business is jumping on the sign-spinning spectacle bandwagon these days. For instance, I saw a person in a firefighter suit today down at Firehouse Subs, pretty much just desperately trying to use their sign for shade and trying not to choke on the exhaust fumes of all the traffic zooming by on 1431. It seems like every other place has some person out there, sometimes waving, sometimes dancing, or, in the case of the guys who advertise a new housing development in north Austin, just sitting there in lawn chairs under their umbrellas. I don't understand how this improves business; maybe it's all the times I've seen bums with signs or interrupting my daily walk to/from class, etc. to ask if I can spare some change but I'm instantly turned off by this. Especially when it's freaking hot outside and you just feel pity for the person with the awkward job of dancing around by a dangerous roadside with a sign. Especially especially when it's a teenage boy dressed in a "Wendy from Wendy's" costume, complete with red yarn pigtail wig. I'll just keep on driving, thanks.

Uh sorry, I'm voting for the other guy...

9:31 PM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »
It finally feels like Summer! Yesss! Except I figured that out while I was sitting in my car in downtown Austin traffic at 4:30 in the afternoon without my air conditioner. In jeans. Small boo. But it was still a beautiful day! Anyway, as I was sitting there, waiting for the light by the big Whole Foods to turn, I saw a kid with a sign. This isn't rare, there's people all over the place with signs, but I thought he looked a little out of place. As I got closer, I realized he was wearing a cycling uniform. Weird...? Then I read his sign:
I AM RIDING MY BIKE 4000 MILES TO ALASKA.

Ok, good for you, sport! Oh, but there's more on your sign. What does that say there at the bottom?
FOR CANCER.

I couldn't not giggle. Then, right there on the corner, there was a girl with another sign:
HELP ME BIKE TO ALASKA FOR CANCER!

I'm sure this is completely WRONG of me, but I couldn't help it, I laughed out loud. I think what they're trying to do is awesome, I would love to have the guts/drive/time to bike four thousand miles, but I grew up with an English teacher: FIX YOUR SIGN. Until then, I can't donate one shiny penny. I am, as a matter of fact, against cancer.

Seriously, though, good luck with that.

The Greatest Dilemma

9:50 AM Posted In Edit This 2 Comments »
I'm a decisive person. I can look at most situations, find my favorite exit strategy, and act on it, usually quite quickly. I'm not always right the first time, but I rarely face a decision that is irreversible. This week, however, I was faced with a choice of utmost importance.

I was at my mom and dad's, hanging around with the dogs and waiting for my running buddy to get there, when I decided to cheat a little and have a Diet Coke. Maybe it was the Universe telling me that aspartame is bad and I should have had water instead, but I went to the garage (YEAH my parents have two refrigerators, I'm jealous), got a can out of the 'fridge door, turned to walk inside and dropped the mother effer. Noooo! It bounced around, finally coming to rest cradled against the door to the house, mocking my graceful hands. Ok, fine, I'll just get another - but wait. There was still a Diet Coke box on the shelf but - NO! - EMPTY!! I have the last one, and now it's super shaken up! So what to do: follow what I suspect to be the Universe's advice and leave the soda in the garage in favor of something else, or open it and risk getting sprayed in the face by a sticky carbonated bomb?

Of all the decisions I can make with a cool head - diffusing hostile work situations, improvising with entire classrooms of children, even the few and far between life and death choices I've made in the past - this one seriously had no clear solution. But I wanted the Diet Coke. So F you, carbonation, I'm going in! And sure enough, I wore about as much as I drank. But it was still good.

Can You Hear Me Now?

10:01 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
"...how about now? Hello? Are you there? What do you mean it's hard to understand me? I can hear- I sound tired? Oh, maybe it's because I'm exercising."

Yup, that's right - you probably think this is a gym blog, but HA HA you're wrong. Today Screech (Full name "Hayma Screech", I'm "Yerma Screech" and it's a long story about my sister and I watching "The Amazing Race".) and I went for a run/walk at one of the hike and bike trails around here and while we were running, burning hot, down the kind of hilly and unstable gravel trail, this guy dashes by going the other direction, decked out in the super cool sporty sunglasses, wind jacket tied around his waist, traveling at a pretty good clip and having a full-blown conversation on his cell phone. I was baffled, half because I was like "Really dude? You can't cut the digital leash for an hour in the afternoon?" and half because, well, that's impressive. I mean I have to focus just to kind of grunt out a "Hi" as I pass people going the other way (This is the friendly state, after all!) but to just trot along, making chit-chat and business decisions...that is something else.

But at the same time another person's workout is kind of one of those things I don't want to be a part of, cellularly. Also on that list of things is at the doctor's office and while you're in the bathroom.