Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blushing up the 405

I'm on my way to a job yesterday, and while switching lanes I drive over a long, undulating piece of plastic wrap type of material. Packing material or something that must've just blown off or out of a truck. "Whoah!" I exclaim as it flies at me, then as it passes under my car it soon fades from my mind. But as I near my changeover to the 710, I keep getting these fleeting glimpses of something swooshing around my car, in the corners of my eyes.
Sure enough, I finally catch a better look at the right time in my rear view mirror. This plastic bag- or whatever- is caught under my car, and trailing behind me! How embarrassing! It was the automotive equivalent of having toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Maybe it's Just Boredom Talking...

Maybe dissillusionment.
Or maybe I'm tired of playing by the rules, when the rules seem not to apply to times like these or people like me. So, my dreams of becoming a hobo may have faded over time (boxcars are a vertical leap only a foot shorter than me, and I've too much common sense... or too strong the will to live... to attempt to board a moving vehical of that size and weight. I've seen what pennies look like when they've been run over, and I'd be a lot messier and not nearly as shiny and pretty).

But I am giving careful thought to becoming an urban adventurer. Let's face it. I haven't much more to lose financially, my life plans have not all worked the way I've expected, and as an artist- with the right people, timing and wording- any controversy could easily be made into publicity. (There are other reasons why this may not be a terrible idea, but these are the ones that come to me at 2 in the morning.)

And what is more art than the mundane, the out of place, the unexpected, the whimsical in life?

Soda Jerks

I know it's not just at various Panera restaraunts that this occurs, but for some reason it happens here either with greater frequency, or for some reason I am most conscious of it here. "It" being other patrons' quirky, if not erratic, sometimes irritating soda-dispensing behaviors.

Press ice button. peer into cup for a moment wondering whether one has chosen appropriate amount of ice (this is crucial.) Dispense soda. Stop. Allow fizzing to subside. Dispense more soda. Pause in thought. Realize amount of ice was insubstantial in conjunction with amount of beverage. carefully dispense more ice. Gasp in shock when soda splashes out of the cup. Recover wits and manage to lean over to reach a napkin without seceding your spot in front of the soda machine to the next guy in line. Sip soda. Oops, that's diet! You didn't mean to pour diet! Repeat process and leave with satisfaction, remembering suddenly not to make eye contact with any of the ten people in line behind you.

I may be an intensly boring, petty person. Or people's soda fountain personalities may just be intensly fascinating, and I've only now discovered exactly how fascinating. But just about any time I get in line for soda (especially at Panera), I find myself wishing I had a tiny legal pad and pen to play documentarian.
Then when it's my turn:

Press ice lever. Shake cup. Investigate ice level. Dump out 2-4 ice cubes. Check ice again. Press soda button. Let fizzing subside (sometimes tapping cup on counter to speed this process up). repeat aforementioned step 2 or 3 times... scuttle sideways apologetically towards lid and straw department...