Working, Then Out

Tonight’s very brisk walk—I’m talking close to five miles in an hour—took me past the 24 Hour Fitness next to the Hollywood Transit Center. Upstairs and on display, a roomful of people pedaled furiously in a spin class. A little post-work exercise; good on 'em. And maybe, too, a social scene like that offers the hope of crossing paths with a he or she who pleases. That's got to be part of the lure.

Onward: Houses all over the neighborhood not only remained festooned with Christmas lights, those lights continued to burn brightly. In Napa, we went that route for a few years. A garland of simple white lights framed the front porch. Thing was, they didn’t look exactly like Christmas lights. They were festive, yes, but there were no blues and greens among them—and especially there were no reds. Tonight I saw red lights galore and not only that, I saw giant Santa Clauses inflated and lit up. There was a red-ribboned snowman using a motorized arm to doff his black top hat. I’m not saying there should be a law against it, but that’s just wrong on January 8.

It was a good walk, never a dull moment. When I wasn’t seeing something strange, interesting or disagreeable, I had new tunes (Wilco, Blitzen Trapper, Starf-cker, Adele) and walking is the best way to engage new tunes. Mostly, though, it was good because the air was fresh and chilly and I was practically suffocating after an intense day of work. I had a three-plus hour conference call. Man. That’s without a speakerphone or headset, so for as long as it takes me to run a marathon, by hand I had my phone stuck to my left ear. Running a marathon would have been less painful. But that was just part of the day. Work was literally nonstop for nearly 10 hours, and moreover the tasks were often piled atop each other. Emailing about one topic while on the phone about another and so on and so forth. When at last it was all over, the plan was to ride my Ironman Coeur d’Alene Real Bike Course (which had arrived in the middle of another phone call earlier in the day).

Disaster: My computer could not find the CDRW/DVD drive. It was just gone.

I did a slow burn then plunged in. You’d sooner commit suicide than read the blow-by-blow of how I solved the problem, and yet when I did solve it—OK, I will say it involved tinkering with the Registry Editor—I was ecstatic. It was my geekiest feat ever. Also, it was two more hours of sitting on my ass. Now it was 7 p.m., and while there was still time to go downstairs and ride, I was desperate to escape the house for the first time since waking up 13 hours earlier. Thus the walk.

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