Friday, February 16, 2007


I am pretty sure my version of hell is as cold as it is outside this very moment. That is all my hell would be. Me on a park bench in 5 degree weather. I am about ready to move into a volcano.

One of the worst things about the cold as getting cold feet. From the end of November to mid-March my feet are in a constant state of uncomfortableness due to the cold. The only time they are warm is after I have been in bed for an hour or so, and I am asleep so I don't know they are warm. Sometimes when I have the chance, I use an electric blanket to warm up my toesies. I am going to start bringing it to work.

I work about a half mile from where I park. The path that I took was encumbered by at least three 2-3 foot piles of snow and trekking through 10-12 inch snow drifts. Although most of the snow was already tamped-down by previous people going into work. Let me say this though. I am glad I have my glam hiking boots. Wearing loafers in these kind of ground conditions would only exacerbate my cold-foot situation.

In the past 3 years I have worked with numerous lesbians and met their girlfriends. Like me, all of them tend to wear hiking boots (even in non-hiking situations). I am not sure what to think about this coincidence.

Hiking boots help with traction as well. Last week I slipped. I had my hands in my pockets so I couldn't break my fall with my hands. I had to awkwardly twist my body mid-fall to keep from breaking the fall with my face. Don't worry though, the entire weight of my 185-lb frame landed on my keys which was conveniently re-directed to my hip.

When I was at IU-Bloomington I had one of the most disastrous and embarrassing falls in a life time. Again, I had my hands in my pockets, so any last-ditch graceful recovery was out of the question. I was walking down an inclined walkway, that apparently someone sabotaged by spraying it with a garden hose. I saw the ice yet decided to walk on it anyway. I saw about a dozen people walk around it moments before I fell. But I thought that somehow I was special and the low-friction rules of ice didn’t apply to me.

Anyway, I slipped and my feet went backwards and the rest of my body went forward. Since it was an incline, I somehow negotiated the fall to where I did a front flip and landed on my back with my legs and arms sprawled. People laughed and some 90 lb Asian girl helped me up.

I guess that is what I get for being cocky. And thus the circle is complete.

Okay, I have had enough of these cold feet. I am going to go get some coffee to pour into my boots.

P.S. I just bought $133 a piece tires for $74 a piece online. They didn’t have the $74 tires so the salesmen hooked me up with their primo $133 tires for free! I hope someone is happy about this monumental deal because no one else seems to care.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The bearded soup smeller and policeing the coin cup

I just went to lunch in the near-by hospital’s cafeteria. There are numerous lunch items that are served by friendly workers. There is also some items like yogurt, sandwiches, and fruit in separate coolers and even a soup and salad bar. Sometimes I get a soup and salad because it is somewhat healthy and cheap. Today, however, I opted not to. As I approached the self-serve soup caldron things, a man with a terrific white Santa-Clause beard opened the tops of the soup pot, and stuck his face in the pots with reckless abandon in an attempt to smell the soup. His face was so close that at one point his giant beard touched the edge of the pots. He did this to both pots, but his beard only mingled with the contents of one of the pots.

When I realized what had happened, I froze and looked at him in terror. What hubris that this man had to stick his face in a community-shared soup pot! I have to hand it to him though, he really must take his lunch seriously. He obviously thinks that pre-smelling his food is more important than committing cafeteria soup-smelling faux pas. Usually, reading the contents of the soup is all I need to make an instant judgment of whether or not I will be eating it. If I am really being feisty, I might open the lid to have a look. At no point do I use any of my other 3 senses. I would have really admired him if he drank some out of the ladle before deciding. LOL!

He ended up not getting the soup and moved on to one of the lines where the food is behind the glass and you have to ask the lunch ladies for what you want. Although he didn’t ask to smell any food, it would have been fantastic if he did. It would be a truly awesome sight to see the lunch lady scooping up a spoonful of lasagna and reaching it out over the glass for him to smell. Some getting in his beard would be a nice touch.

This reminds me of another remarkable event that happened to me at this cafeteria. You guys know about the spare-change containers that sit next to many cash registers in gas stations and whatnot right? I don’t know about you, but my experience with those is that is the public’s money. Anyone can come in and claim it. Someone put it there because they didn’t want it, so any customer who is paying for something can use it. I think that is pretty fair.

Evidently a certain cashier at that cafeteria has some kind of code of ethics to go along with her change cup, and she has the authority to enforce it.

Here is what happened. On three separate occasions she has informed me that I should make sure to contribute to the change cup from time to time. The first time I used some of the change, she said, “make sure to give some change to the change cup.” And I said “okay”, and thought she was just reminding me how the cup worked.

The second time she said basically the same thing and I think I just ignored her. The third time she said “you need to give some change to the change cup, because it is unfair to everyone else”. Which I responded, “I do that sometimes”. Then she said “do you?” really insincerely like she thought I was making that up. She made it seem as though I am THE guy that takes advantage of the cup. I just walked away, wondering what just happened.

Now, mind you, this happened over the time span of several months, and she would have to have somehow remembered that I am the one that always has my greedy mitts stuck in the goddamn change cup. After that third time, I started to question my own morality based on using someone’s change that they left there for me to use for that very purpose. I wondered, do I use that cup unfairly? Am I taking an inappropriate amount of change out and too frequently? Am I robbing the poor? Am I stealing food from babies mouths? I tried to understand what would drive her to single me out or even care about the contents of the change cup to begin with. She actually used the word “fair”. I don’t see how fair enters into it, seeing how i was using someone's discared change. It was all very confusing.

I tried to get in her head and figure this out, but I have no idea what would possess someone to take their cashier job so seriously that they think their influence extends the 3” beyond the cash register and into the change cup. My understanding of being a cashier has 3 responsibilities:
1) push buttons
2) take money
3) make change.

Basic math, verbal skills, and eye-contact are not necessary. They have robots that can do this at Kroger. Fingers are important.

I think they need to get her a job with more responsibility. One that is more akin to the one she made up for her job: “Keep track of the change that reoccuring customers are putting in the community change cup”.

This is the end to my stories about the hospital cafeteria. Please, someone reassure me about what has happened. I should also mention that I never use that cup now, and try to avoid her cash register when I can. I fear her.

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