Random Thoughts On a Workday


I wonder as I eat my morning breakfast of a peach yogurt and a pepperoni Hot Pocket if I'll ever really grow up. In my 40s now, I feel the same inside my head as I did 20 years ago and can't quite seem to think of myself as middle aged. Will I ever be able to resist the lure of two-minute microwave food in favor of shredded wheat and dried plums?

On the way in to Pasadena for my job, listening to the deejays banter about the annoying couple from The Hills and the recent photo op they gave -- the two of them walking along the beach in Mexico in their bathing suits while wearing surgical masks to ward off the H1N1 virus -- I consider this ridiculously improbable juxtaposition. Hand sanitizers and wipes are everywhere these days -- in my car and at the lovely restaurant where I eat my half egg salad sandwich and soup of the day. (I'm still not sure what soup was this day's selection. It’s bright orange topped with diced green onions. Delicious. Maybe squash or pumpkin?) The couple at the next table bring out their Wet Wipes to clean their hands before they eat, then ask for paper napkins instead of cloth.

I have a fascination with pandemics, possibly because I am a direct descendant of a Spanish flu victim or maybe because I watched the movies Andromeda Strain and Omega Man too many times as a child.

The conference room that I'm working in is an ice box. My fingers are freezing (and they slow down when they're cold) and it's a fast-paced deposition. I consider wearing thermal underwear for the next day's session. After listening to hours of testimony given by the construction defects expert, I realize that what I'm experiencing is the opposite of fun. But that's why they call it work; right? By the end of the day, my right elbow's aching, fingers are sore. Years of reporting are taking their toll.

On the drive home, I listen to The Who, Talking Heads, Pink Floyd and other music grown-ups listen to. I see a bumper sticker that reads "Jesus is Coming, Look Busy." When I arrive home, I'm greeted by my friendly dog, a not-too disheveled house, and a dinner of Ahi tuna grilled on the barbeque and steamed rice and vegetables, all prepared by the boys. This will hopefully balance out my earlier discretionary Hot Pocket. Life is good.

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