One of my goals for 2013 is to push myself through my (situational) fear of strangers.

Today I introduced myself to Joel. Joel is a regular at the gym.

I see Joel push himself every day — on the workout floor and in the pool. And I respect that. And he always seems to be pretty happy.

When I was using the spa earlier this year, we’d often cross paths and nod at each other.

So I introduce myself and we talk for a bit…

ME: Yeah, I was training for a marathon — my first — earlier this year, but I suffered a foot injury early on. I bought those 5 toed shoes and discovered I have an extra bone in my left foot — which got aggravated. So I was using the spa a lot.

“I gotta use the spa before the pool, otherwise I have a hard time. A marathon, eh? That’s awesome. I’ve always wanted to do one of those, but it’d be such a long distance for me. What I’d really like to do is a triathlon — but I’m still waiting on getting a special bike.”

Oh man, I’d love to do triathlons, but I dated a triathlete for a few years — and that’s how I discovered I’m a terrible swimmer. My competitive swimming technique looks a lot like drowning. I tend to sink like a stone. So how’s your “running” pace?

“I’m pretty fast on the flats. Faster than most.”

I bet hills are a killer.

“Ah yeah, hills are tough, but I’d beat your ass on the way down.”

We continue to talk for a bit — wish each other a happy new year — and then I brush my teeth while watching Joel push himself out of the men’s locker room in his wheelchair.

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Thank you mad New Year gym rush…

Thank you mad New Year rush to the gym…

I always see the sun shining through these leaves over here in the morning, but I’ve never had to park over here because there are always spaces much closer… but since the parking lot is full… here I am.

My tiny camera can’t do it justice… but it sure is purdy over here.


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Upside to reading many books at once:

You make weird and interesting connections between what people say — allowing you to *amalgamate the different ideas into something that is uniquely different.

Downside to reading many books at once:

You sit around wondering who the heck said that thing. You know, that thing that you’re pretty sure is relevant to what you’re writing a blog post about, but you can’t remember what it is or where you read it.

Yeah, I can pull “amalgamate” out of my cobwebbed man brain, but I can’t remember what the heck I read yesterday.

Good times.


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Arachnid afterlife


If there’s an afterlife for spiders — and if they ever talk about the last few seconds up to their death — I imagine it often goes something like this:

So, how’d YOU die?

“Well, I was just doing my spider thing. Minding my own spider business, like I always do… when all of a sudden I hear this blood curdling scream!”

And then what happened?

“I dunno! I died.”

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Thanks to Drew Banyai for sharing this link to “The Misunderstood House Spider” in the comments.



Sixty-three cents

Ramon, the guy who usually takes my order at the Taco shop isn’t behind the counter today. So I make friendly conversation with the woman who take my order (mainly, “Ramon is not here today!?”).

After she takes me order, she says, “That will be $5.57”

(I get the same thing almost every day, and this price doesn’t sound right to me…)

Wait. Are you sure it’s not $6.20?

“I’m the owner. I just gave you a good customer discount.”


I’m loving people.

And I just realized she’s the wife of the “Hey, my friend” guy…

Small world.


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Also, I am reminded of the time this happened before

Sitting at a taco bar…


Sitting at a taco bar watching a woman make tortillas from a big bowl of fresh dough.

I tried to convince her that we should add a big bag of sugar and chocolate chips.

She doesn’t speak English, so I tried to explain…


She said, “No, no, no!”

So I said, “Cookies!” and then made the international sign for “bag of sugar”.

She replied in Spanish…

As you know, I don’t speak Spanish, but I’m pretty sure she just said I’m a “local”.

So I said, “Yeah, I’m from around here, but what’s that got to do with cookies!?”

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Read moreSitting at a taco bar…

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