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Friday, May 16, 2008

Notes From Lunchtime (I Found 10 Dollars)

Today I almost didn't come to work. I seriously laid there in bed trying to conjure up a sickness for myself. Maybe I was suffering a stomach flue? No. It didn't work. I even thought about faking it, but then realized that I would majorly screw some people at work if I didn't show up today. So here I am. However, as a bit of Friday fun I decided to a) deviate from my usual frozen dinner lunch and buy it at an actual restaurant instead and b) take my lunch over to the beach and enjoy the sunshine. I went with Thai food, Pad Thai with tofu specifically. Its one of the cheaper meals I can find at lunchtime (its hard to stay under $10 these days) in my neck-of-the-woods (my office is in the way fancy and expensive part of town), and usually very tasty. Today was no exception. The Thai food restaurant is located in an upscale mall near my building. Usually I feel like an impostor when I'm over there... my grubby self with dirt under my fingernails, wearing my Khole's clearance wrack attire. Again, today was no exception. However, things did deviate from the norm when the way spiffy woman in the elevator with me complemented my hat.

fancy chick: "That hat is very cute, it looks good on you."

me: "Umm, thanks?" (is this a trick?...)

Usually at this point in a conversation about clothing I find it appropriate to tell the other person where I bought it. I blurt out:

"Its from Filine's" (as in Filien's Basement, similar to TJMax. I immediately regret having said this)

"I know" she says

WTF, what does she mean she knows where I bought my way cute hat?

I walk with my food toward the beach. This involves walking under a couple huge intersections via a dark, stinky tunnel often times occupied by people asking for money. Today it was yes to dark and stink but no to people asking for money. I arrive at the beach and am met with a decision: slightly uncomfortable bench four feet from the running/biking track or potentially icky/cold sand on the beach. I choose bench. I've eaten on these benches before. This time was pretty much exactly how I remembered it: slightly awkward due to my proximity to the runners / bikers passing by, a bit noisy due to the traffic behind me on Lake Shore Dr., and uncomfortable due to the narrowness of the bench seat (perhaps to dissuade people from sleeping on them?). I discover that if I take off my shoes and cross my legs into my lap, be bench becomes more comfortable. I briefly contemplate whether taking off my shoes is a good idea. What if someone came and grabbed my backpack from where it is sitting on the bench next to me and ran. Would I run after them barefoot? What if someone stole my shoes! How would I get back to the office? I try to remember if I saw any broken glass on the sidewalk or in the tunnel on the way to the beach. (this is just a brief example of the random weird and almost completely improbable things that my mind makes up for me to worry about). I tell my paranoid mind to shut up.

Food is good. As I eat I partake in some good old people watching. I decide that everyone at the beach this time of day fits into one of ____ categories:
-office workers eating their lunch or taking a lunchtime walk (business suits and tennis shoes, there's a combo!)
-people wearing professional biker clothes on really expensive looking bikes going really fast
-women with strollers
-couples walking hand-in-hand
-tourists tourists and OMG tourists!
I wonder if me sitting next to the track eating way greasy food is mean to the exercising people.
I wonder if its more mean to me since I'm like the slightly-too-round girl sitting on the bench eating fattening food while other more in shape people pass by me. There's a man with no shirt on who should probably have a shirt on. There's a guy going the speed of light on roller blades. There's a bird of indeterminate species sitting in the sand on the other side of the track squawking for no apparent reason. There are the tan buff frat boys playing beach vollyball.

Despite all this, Im having a good time. I really don't care about the traffic or people or uncomfortable bench. I'm still on that post-winter high that I think most Chicagoans experience. Its so cool for so long here, that we get euphoric in the springtime.

On the way back to my office, I throw my empty brown bag into a trash can. A man who didn't fit the typical image of people-who-dig-though-trash walks up almost immediately and grabs it out of the trash. He kinda looks at me, so I say "its empty." I realize he's holding what appears to be the leftovers from a couple different people's meal. "People can throw away some great stuff, you never know," he says. He walks away. Weird... but, he's right I guess.

No, that's not true. That's just what I say when I get to the end of a story and realize that the story kinda sucked and had no real point. I might have even found $20 today. :) Thanks for reading, and I'll strive for something more witty next time.

To my surprise and somewhat horror, I finish it without any hesitation.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


In case you don't get enough of me on this blog, you can now follow me on Twitter (in the sidebar).

Thanks to the Walgreens who was having a 5 for a $1 sale on seed packets yesterday. I need more seeds like I need a hole in my head, but still it made me happy... for cheap!

Dogs- STOP DIGGING UP MY FLOWERS / BEDS.... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRR You're cuteness will only go so far to save you from my wrath...

We have still not won the lottery. I guess I'll have to keep going to work. But, in work news, I am happy to report that I've found a level of peace and acceptance about my job that I haven't had up until now, so I'm much less miserable.

Unfinished posts- Yeah, I know I never finished my reunion post from a couple weeks ago. Maybe I'll do that sometime... along with all those other posts I have "in the plans" but can't say when (or if) they'll actually happen.

And finally.... in case you didn't catch this on my garden blog: