amanda's been bugging all this week to go get dunkin' donuts coffee with her. finally today i had some time, so during lunch, in lieu of running (a noontime tradition fast becoming out of fashion amongst the office trendsetting elites), we headed out in the direction of the garment district, which another block down there's a dunkin' donuts coffee shop next to a restaurant called the taiwan cafe. i got food at the taiwan cafe first. they have a lunch buffet, but you can also order take-out by the pound there (could by the pound fever be spreading from the garment district?). so i tonged myself a couple of chicken wings, chicken fingers, and other appetizing goodies you'd normally associate with a well-stocked chinese restaurant. all that for less than $5, which i thought was pretty cheap. maybe they gave me the asian discount, who knows. after that we went next door to the dunkin' donuts. i ordered a medium orange mango coolatta, amanda had a combo bagel coffee meal. she made a mess of her order though - who knew she was a freak about coffee and had to custom order her warm mud water. "half sugar, half milk," she said, confusing the hell out of the guy behind the counter and leaving me scratching my head a little bit as well. with our purchases finally made, we made our way back to the office to work on our lunches.

work today was pretty relaxed. with most of the pressure from my project off of my shoulders, i found time to sit back and smell the office roses. this is code word for slacking, which i fell back into the habit of doing. nice to see i haven't lost the old touch. i did do some code work, but not as much as i was expecting to do. tomorrow i'm going to have to get serious (but still not too crazy, just a few bug fixes, easy compared to what i've been through the past few weeks).

amanda gave my grass a slight mowing with a pair of scissors, because they were starting to grow too long. now it's all nice and trim, and it smells like a lawn too. there was something very soothing when i watched amanda cutting the grass. it's the same feeling i get when i watch bob ross do a painting on pbs. watching an artist work. you don't know what it is yet, but you trust the artist, and the end result is always perfect and amazing. i guess i just love watching people working to create something tangible. i could watch something like that all day.

after work i went to the gym for the fourth time ever. i hope to go enough times that i won't be able to remember the number of times i've been to the gym. i didn't have a spare t-shirt so i borrowed a small orange srm 5 year anniversary t-shirt from the office. today, i worked the stationary bike, since my arms are in so much weightlifting pain i can barely even raise them above my head now. i listened to my mp3 player and read my latest issue of sky & telescope on the bike, a complimentary towel wrapped around the back of my neck. after 30 minutes i was done and headed into the locker room.

today i discovered that i am an exhibitionist. remember the first time i came to the gym, i made such a stink about being with so many naked men, and how it was sort of unsettling? well, look who's talking! i'm mister walking-around-naked in the locker room while a lot of the other guys i saw wore discreet towel sarongs. the way i figured, i'm not too ashamed of my body, what do i have to hide? if some guy needs to make a furtive glance at my privates, go right ahead, whatever makes them happy. i know for myself, it's eyes-all-up-here and looking straight forward, never glancing downwards. i guess what i'm trying to say is i'm okay with my own nudity, but it's the nudity of others that bothers me. i'm a selfish nudist i suppose.

funny anecdote though: i couldn't take off my sweat soaked t-shirt! because my arms were still sore from yesterday's workout, i couldn't lift them over my head very far. so there i was grappling with my t-shirt, almost tearing it, struggling to get the darn thing off. the bad thing was there was this middle aged man changing next to me. i bet he was wondering what the hell i was doing!

after the gym i walked to the subway station but not before glancing back and seeing the sky in an awesome panorama of clouds and colors. a fitting end to the day.

my check from george bush came a few days ago. there are two things i love about it, besides the fact that i'm suddenly $300 richer courtesy of the federal government: 1) it was sent from austin, texas, as if george bush himself stuffed it into the envelope during his month long vacation and sent it to me personally! what a friendly guy! he really cares! vote for him in 2004? hell no! 2) the little motto "tax relief for america's workers" at the bottom of the check. like somehow a $300 check is going to offer me tax relief. i don't see how this has anything to do with taxes. all i know is after i cash it, i will have $300 in my hands, and the only relief i'm going to get is when i spend it all on products made overseas by either children or prison laborers. god bless america! and what's with all the asterisks in the amount box? it's like they're teasing me. if those asterisks weren't there and were filled with numbers, i'd be at least a million dollars richer. instead i have to settle for a mere $300.

w/george bush check


check amount