This morning in the cafe I arrived at the cash register with my meal card to pay for breakfast. I’ve done this hundreds of times, it’s in no way remarkable.
Then my brain kicked in. Or maybe it tripped, or cramped.
The friendly cashier tallied up my purchases. “That will be seven dollars,” he said. It’s always seven dollars, the particular combination of items I’ve chosen over the last couple of weeks. We marveled, again, like we have for the last five or six visits, how isn’t it amazing that it always comes out to an even dollar amount?
So I swiped my meal card, knowing I probably didn’t have quite enough cash value to cover the purchase, and sure enough I was short. “You owe $3.73,” the cashier said.
That’s when the brain kick/trip/cramp started. I fished out my wallet, opened it, saw I had a single bill, and the first thought that flashed through my head was:
Oh shit, I only have a five.
Somehow I managed not to blurt this aloud. I think the part of my brain that was stumbling over the math was also being slapped by the other part of my brain that prevented my mouth from moving and made me just reach out, jerkily, to offer the bill to the cashier, who took it as if nothing was wrong.
If only he’d seen the briefly colossal battle inside my head.
On the drive home from work—which was itself unusual, I haven’t driven to work without a specific reason (like after-work plans or errands I need to run midday) in I don’t even know how long—I found myself belting out If That’s What It Takes. Which got me to thinking:
HOW IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE that I know all the words to this song.
Why didn’t I notice what I was singing until the last 30 seconds?
Thank God no one else could hear me in stop-and-go traffic with my windows rolled up, though this kinda shoots that all to hell.
I can’t remember exactly when I last had fish in stick form. I mean, I’ve had fish & chips fairly regularly over the last few years, but that fish is more wedge-shaped or (in many Seattle-area restaurants anyway) random–filet-shaped. There have been other fish entrées in restaurants fairly regularly over the last few years. And I grill fish on a regular basis year-round, mainly because I like to watch the planks burst into flame. But the stick form, they fell out of my life when I was, oh, maybe 12 or 13, and didn’t make another appearance until tonight.
And oh were they good. Crunchy little things, 2 by 1/2 by 1/4 inches. I remember them being much bigger when I was a kid, by which I mean about the same length and width but maybe twice as thick. Also soggier, no matter how long you baked them, but maybe the bigness was cuz I was smaller and now I’m an adult and most things from my childhood seem smaller, like the time I voted at my elementary school and I needed to use a restroom and I thought, good Lord, I’d have to kneel use these urinals.
Without comment, I present in its umodified entirety the severe-weather alert I saw for Seattle just now:
... SNOW POTENTIAL THIS WEEKEND AND IN THE WEEK TO COME... A COLD AND SHOWERY AIR MASS WILL SPREAD ACROSS WESTERN WASHINGTON THIS WEEKEND. SNOW LEVELS WILL FALL TO 1000 FEET ON SATURDAY AND THEN TO NEAR SEA LEVEL OR JUST A COUPLE HUNDRED FEET ON SUNDAY MORNING. IN SHOWERY PATTERNS... SNOW ACCUMULATIONS CAN BE HIGHLY LOCALIZED... DEPENDING ON ELEVATION AND HOW CONVERGENCE ZONES DECIDE TO FORM. LOCATIONS FROM SEATTLE NORTH TO THE ISLANDS AND SKAGIT COUNTY WOULD BE THE MOST LIKELY PLACES TO SEE ACCUMULATING SNOW... BUT ANYWHERE STANDS A CHANCE. LOCATIONS THAT GET SNOW COULD GET A FEW INCHES... WHILE MANY OTHER LOCATIONS WILL JUST GET FLURRIES OR LEFT OUT ALTOGETHER. THE CHARACTER OF THE EVENT WILL BE SIMILAR TO THE ONE THAT HAPPENED ON DECEMBER 29TH... THOUGH THE EXACT LOCATION OF THE HEAVIER SNOWS COULD VERY WELL BE DIFFERENT. MONDAY AND TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK WILL BE COLD AND DRY. STARTING WEDNESDAY THROUGH THE END OF NEXT WEEK... THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR A WIDESPREAD HEAVY SNOW EVENT SOMEWHERE IN WESTERN WASHINGTON. GREAT UNCERTAINTY INHERENTLY EXISTS IN A FORECAST WITH THIS MUCH LEAD TIME... AND IT IS POSSIBLE THAT A HEAVY SNOW SITUATION WILL NOT HAPPEN. CHECK BACK LATE THIS WEEKEND OR BY MONDAY FOR THE LATEST ON THIS POTENTIAL HIGH-IMPACT EVENT. IF THE POTENTIAL STILL EXISTS AT THAT TIME... THEN THE DRY WEATHER ON MONDAY AND TUESDAY WOULD AFFORD AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY TO PREPARE.
I walked into my bedroom just now with the sole intent of taking my shoes off.
When I walked out of my bedroom, I had opened the blinds and bedroom window, and turned on a fan. I still had my shoes on, which did not register on me until I walked into the kitchen and did not feel Purina Cat Chow gouging my toes.
This little vignette rather well describes my day at work, wherein I accomplished nothing beyond rebuilding a single Dell XPS M1530 laptop four times despite its repeated need to shut down without warning, I believe due to overheating. I would just get to a point where I could do useful work BAM shutdown, leaving the OS installation in a state of chaos it charmingly deems “improper shutdown”—really this is their code phrase for “gaslight the hapless user by making him run the recovery and diagnostics tools repeatedly”—off I’d go again, restore point in place and just get things set up BAM shutdown.
Somewhere in the middle of all that I managed to contribute peripherally to a couple of problem solutions, entirely by overhearing the conversations in our group work area. Though one of those solutions was really just a few ideas toward a solution—no idea if that one panned out, I gave up and left at 14:45 because I needed to call Dell technical support and my cell-phone battery was nearly dead, its charger lying 7 miles away (as the crow flies) on my desk at home.
The actually helpful (!) Dell technical support representative, who gave her name as Rachel in an attempt to induce in me a belief that she was from the upper midwest (most likely somewhere near Indianapolis) despite her obviously exotic accent, took over control my laptop from God knows how many thousands of miles away and rapidly determined that the problem was an old BIOS, along with two general drivers. But then she noticed I was using Windows 7, and the machine I have is supported only for Windows Vista, because her scripts don’t cover Windows 7. She could offer me further fee-based support, she’d be most pleased to do so!, but I opted to end the call and muddle through various BIOS and driver updates myself.
So far it seems maybe it worked. Laptop has been running for three hours now without a single heat-related sudden shutdown. No sudden shutdowns at all, in fact, only the 12 separate restarts required to install all of the OS and driver updates I found. And they don’t count because the installers warned me about ’em each time.
So yeah. Here’s hoping the remainder of the week is a bit more productive and a bit less technical-support-requiring.
Recently I heard about this little indie film, (500) Days of Summer, about a guy who falls in love with a girl who doesn’t. And oh by the way it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whom I like. Into the Netflix queue it goes.
Now if you ask my family about times in the past when I’ve expressed disdain for actors or actresses, it’s very likely they’ll tell you about the time I declared my utter undying HATRED for Steve Martin. How I went on for a good while about how he’d never been in any good movies, never would be. A useless pile of flesh who somehow managed to be cast in movies and by his very presence contaminated them.
The problem with this declaration of utter undying HATRED was, however, that I actually like Steve Martin. I like several movies he’s been in, among them Parenthood and Roxanne and All of Me, and I’ve enjoyed his comedy bits and his TV appearances and his banjo-playing and many of his essays and other writings, even. It's the damnedest thing, then, that at some point in my life I spent a minimum of 20 minutes describing in vivid detail my absolute contempt for Steve Martin, until Katharine reminded me about Parenthood and All of Me and what about Roxanne and oh, yeah, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and L.A. Story? And I said, hey, the first two times I saw L.A. Story, I did hate it, well at least didn’t like it much, but now it’s grown on me a bit, and really it turns out I don’t hate Steve Martin at all. I just don’t like a couple movies he was in.
Ever since then, when I’ve said I didn’t like an actor, I’ve been reminded of my Steve Martin declaration and its utter insanity.
My dislike of Zooey Deschanel is based mainly on one astoundingly lame turn, her appearance in a SciFi (I can’t bring myself to type that channel’s lame new spelling of its name and since the show I’m going to talk about was before the branding change anyway, puh hah) miniseries called “Tin Man”, a reimagining of The Wizard of Oz for the video-game and text-message era. Zooey Deschanel played DG, the updated Dorothy, with perfect vapidity and a strange detachment that made it seem like she was rotoscoped into the scenes after the fact.
And she was in Eulogy, where multiple generations of a family get together for the patriarch’s funeral and all the secrets come out of the woodwork, and it was like she was channeling her DG self several years in the future.
But now she’s playing Summer in this movie (500) Days of Summer and I find myself thinking, goddammit. She’s good in this. I’m liking her in spite of myself, and it annoys me, because I’m not just liking the character, I’m specifically liking her portrayal of the character.
Who can recommend me a Zooey Deschanel flick that will re-validate my hostility?
Greeted by loud metal-on-metal crashing sounds from one of the stalls. Sound stopped, I think when the person realized there was someone else in the restroom, then resumed a few seconds later, accompanied by grunts.
“Are... you all right in there?” I asked.
Crashing stopped. “Yeah,” he answered. “I’m having trouble with my belt.” And the crashing resumed, continued until I left the restroom a couple minutes later.
IHOP NFL-themed stuffed French toast, oh dear God (Click image for full-size 1280x1024)IHOP’s newest thing: Football-shaped stuffed French toast for the new NFL season. Strawberries for AFC, blueberries for NFC.