March 18, 2010

Walk Like a Technician

I went for a walk on my lunch break today, for exercise and to scope out my new work neighborhood. As I was leaving the office, a coworker called out, "Be careful!" behind me. Um, okay. I'll certainly try.

The first thing I noticed was all the litter lying about. That is so '80s, right? I thought we all knew by now not to litter. At this point, you can't blame it on ignorance anymore. With all the commercials and public service announcements and satires about the commercials...well, if someone litters, they're doing it to "stick it to the man." I'm sure of it. Good job, yo.

Now, I'm notoriously looking down whenever I walk anywhere. This is for two, very good reasons. First, I don't know how to react to passers-by (passerbys?). Do I nod, wave, say hi, or do the ol' American shtick of pretending they do not exist? I don't know and it stresses me out, so I look down and avoid the situation altogether. Second, how else am I supposed to find awesome everyday treasures?

Today, I stumbled across (not literally, thank god) a disposable razor. I was immediately reminded of a news story Keene's sister told us about a woman who was shaving her bikini line while driving and got into a wreck. That makes me shudder a bit.

Don't worry, I didn't pick up the razor.

The area is fairly industrial, so there is an almost-constant smell of oil in the air. It's a tad stifling, but the area is interesting. I like the vibe, which is one of actual, physical work. My last office neighborhood was very corporate-feeling. Lots of business suits, Bluetooth sets, and fancy cars. It's hard to imagine a worker at the Canada Dry bottling center (yes, it's here! Not in Canada, after all!) playing Solitaire all day. He/she probably works hard and works steadily from the start to end of the business day.

These dumpsters nearly foiled my exercise by blocking my path.

On a side note, what does one hope to gain from honking at a stranger? And what is it about me walking down the street--listening to headphones, wearing non-skin-baring clothes, my armpits shooting out sweat like a water fountain--that screams to them, "Yeah, baby, honk at me. I show you a good time."? Strange.

In the middle of this industrial zone, I discovered an unexpectedly pretty bike path. Score!

As I finished my lunch-break walk, a couple things occurred to me:

1. I walked up many hills, but never walked back down one. How does this even happen outside of an Escher sketch?

2. My leopard-print flats do not make good walking shoes.

I got back to the office, sweaty and huffy. I happened to glance in the mirror and noticed that, in the half-hour of sunlight, my freckles on my face had increased about 200-fold. Harumph. Thanks a lot, Dad.

(No, I'm kidding. I like the freckles you gave me. It was very nice of you to pass this trait along. I don't mind looking like a walking connect-the-dots activity book.)

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