Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pebbles ...


Every day I think "I'm going to start paying attention to things so that I have something to write about on my long-neglected weblog." Back when I wrote on said site with any regularity, fodder was everywhere, though mostly in the science of my body changing from a burrito warehouse to a temporary baby yurt.

I guess if I had to notice something today, it would be this story that starts out strong and then noticeably fizzles. I know it lacks punch because I interrupted the workflow of my cube-mates to share it and then felt, immediately, that I'd really wasted their time.

Anyway, I've started eating lunch at the same place every day, as has been my style since I started embracing my Inner Creature of Habit. Incidentally, this place is next door to the place where I *used* to always eat, which means I sometimes make awkward eye contact with people who knew intimately of my zest for two thin strips of Mystery Sriracha Sauce running down the center of my Turkey with Cheddar on Italian Herb and Cheese. It also means that when the wind blows a certain way, I get a stale whiff of puffy loaf that almost makes me buckle with nausea.

Woman was not meant to eat the same sandwich for upward of 600 days in a row.

The spot next door was shrinking into oblivion until, one day, it randomly opened a salad bar over the lunch hour. Now it thrives. It thrives! It is arguably the best salad bar I can reach quickly powered by my own two feet. Now, every day for lunch, I load an Earth-irresponsible container with the following:

Three tongs worth of Romaine
Two tongs of Spinach
A scoop of peas
Hardboiled eggs
Red onions
Black Olives
Green Olives
Pepperoncinis
Green peppers
Sunflower Seeds

And I fill a corner of it with strawberries for dessert.

This haul costs $5.99 per pound, with the Game Show-style novelty of getting the salad for half-price if it weighs exactly 1 pound. I'm always super close, tenths off, and a lot of the time the cashier will let me have it for the Victory Price.

I feel a little bad about this. I like to win things, but I like to win them for real. I don't like to be "close enough." I'd never kick a golf ball into the hole or use a dictionary while playing Scrabble. I want to see the scale say 1.00 and not a fraction more or less. I also like eating approximately a pound of salad for half-price, so.

Today the cashier added a pebble to the scale to give me the edge. I felt the guy behind me in line glaring holes into the styrofoam. Luckily, I was wearing headphones, which always makes me feel a little invisible, so I was able to ignore it mostly. I paid my $3-whatever and walked away and heard the sound of the stone being dropped to the counter.

It sounded like the end of a cheap salad.

***

The other thing I would like to say is that I set a personal record running my first 5K of the season and it wasn't necessarily so-super-duper fast, but it was:

1. Almost 10 minutes faster than I ran in 2014, which is crazy because it's only 3.1 miles, which doesn't seem long enough to get 10 minutes faster;
2. About three minutes faster than in 2015, which still seems mathematically impossible;
3. A few seconds faster than my last 5K of the season last fall.
4. It was also close to a time that I saw a runner friend had run last year and went "HOW CAN SOMEONE RUN THAT FAST."

In the aftermath of setting a personal record in the 5K, I realized there is no outlet for this kind of information. I mean, who cares? I got a nice kudos from the aforementioned friend, who finished about the same time. My family thought it was cool, though Chach assumed I'd be the one to break the Finish Line tape so it must have been, secretly, a big bummer for her. I told my parents, but it was buried between funny Chacha stories. I didn't want to post it on Facebook, because it's not like I broke the sound barrier, I just ran faster than I usually do.

These things are anticlimactic at Age 40, I guess. I've always been such a "GUESS WHAT I DID?!" person. Must. Find. Inner. Back. Patter.

Also: I made a pizza with cauliflower crust and it was awesome.