Si si, veritable ashtrays, garbled connections, sleep trumps a workout, and kisses for Lindsay…

~Thursday~  I was able to quickly pack up my breakfast and lunch today, as I’d done a little “prep” work last night, namely peeling, removing the yolk from, and slicing my hard-boiled egg, separating out a weighed portion of ham, and setting the coffee pot to start brewing at 8:00.

I’m not really avoiding the city bus, it’s just been more convenient, time-wise, lately to take the Wolfline. I drove to the Avent Ferry Food Lion Park & Ride, where there were two buses at the stop. “Who’s leaving first?” I asked the driver standing outside the first bus and talking to its driver.

“She’s getting ready to leave right now,” he said, and I hopped on.

A guy sat across from me with earbuds in and, pretty much the whole way, he mouthed the words to every song that came on. Either that, or he was listening to prayers and reciting along with them.

A girl who was sitting far enough away from me that I shouldn’t have been able to tell, but could, spoke in Spanish on her cell phone the entire way. She had on a jacket whose design was white and charcoal and looked like snake skin. Her cell phone was a light, metallic purple, and she said, “Si! Si!” a lot.

At a subsequent stop, two plus-sized girls got on after rushing to the stop, and even though they sat half-a-bus away from me, even further away than the cell phone girl, I could smell cigarette smoke, presumably from their clothes, and perhaps from their breath. Veritable ashtrays!

I attended, or tried to attend, a workshop called, “Writing Right for the Web: Communicating Via Social Media and Mobile Environments,” at the McKimmon Center. The first 30 minutes of the 1.5-hour session was spent stopping and restarting the speaker, due to audio quality problems on the line.

The presenter was in Michigan or Minnesota—one of those cold places—and at first the moderator asked him to switch from his cell phone to a land line phone, but he didn’t have a land line phone. Then she asked him to hangup and dial in using Skype. He tried that, but after going for about ten more minutes, it still wasn’t satisfactory, so she told us they were going to pause for a minute and switch to a different conference voice provider, but that ended up not helping either.

In the end, which I appreciated, they stopped the presentation saying they’d do everything to reschedule it and make sure everyone who had paid to attend was 100% satisfied with whatever alternative they come up with.

I finished the Manbites Dog Theater Board of Directors meeting minutes from our 12/04/10 meeting and got those out, complete with a summary of the action items. Good to get them out a little more timely than usual.

I knew it was a mistake, but I did it anyway, much to my regret and disgust. I really needed to go to the gym tonight, but at 7:00, I said, “I’m just too tired. I’m going to nap until 9:00 and then go.” So didn’t happen. Well, the nap did.

I went to Trailer Park Prize Night tonight, arriving at about 11:40, where among others were Alex, Steven (although they both left shortly after I arrived), Bill, “Esteban,” Joe (sans Phil), and Bob. I had a nice chat with Bob, who’s become a faithful reader of my “column,” and knowing that I’m getting stumped for favorite holiday song ideas, he offered up two others that I’m going to consider, although Barbra’s Jingle Bells won’t be one of them! Thanks for the suggestions, Bob!

A friend—or past acquaintance, I’m not sure—of Bob’s came up to say hello to him, and I knew that I knew the guy, but I couldn’t remember his name, or how I knew him. Then Bob introduced “Frankie,” to me, and I thought, “Oh, yeah, Frankie.” After a little bit, he said, “We’ve met before, haven’t we?” And we sort of narrowed it down to when I was friends, and socializing a lot, with Dan and Joe, which was during my time with Rob Stevenson. I remember him being just a little “eccentric,” or a “quiet outrageous,” if that’s not too much of a contradiction in terms, back then, though tonight he seemed to have mellowed with Father Time.

Today’s favorite holiday song is “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” which appeals to me on some level, I suppose, because of my dad’s three year-long absences during his Vietnam tours when I was growing up. This song seems to be highly associated with soldiers, with its message about “being there, if only in your dreams.”

Interestingly, when I went to to get this video to embed, there was a comment posted posted under it that touched me. (I’ve captured it and posted it under the video below.)

After reading it, I thought, “Steve, I hope you came back alive and that Lindsay is enjoying those kisses.” Thanks, Steve, and to everyone who has served and missed a holiday with their loved ones, and for everyone currently serving who will not be home this Christmas.

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