Friday, June 4

Ghosts in the machine

I woke up at 10 am this morning, it was my day off from excerise while my left knee and ankle rested from the new strain of walking for a mile at a stretch. I was enjoying the feeling of idle sloth when I realized I had to get up and make a train reservation.

Fate was unkind by teasing me with a lower fare that magically disappeared when I called for a reservation. Noooooo! I swore at the cursed bad timing that plagues my life. I never seem to be in the right place at the right time. I talked to a guy named Michael who was so remote I might have done better with "Julie" a computerized representative so popular with corporations too cheap to hire more out sourced workers. She a cheerful voice that talks to you like you're an idiot and instantly makes my blood boil. Whoever came up with this idea ( and the automated phone tree) is seriously misanthropic.

Some people like "Julie", one Amtrak employee told me how he likes to flirt with her using explicit language that is beyond the comprehension of her tiny computer vocabulary. She doesn't get sarcasm either I've discovered. I know Julie is meant to remove the human factor in corporate transactions but I have her number -it's zero, punch that and you are transferred to a real person like the humorless Michael. Oh well.

That business out of the way I biked to the library where I do volunteer work in tech services. I made progress purging old, redundant copies of Danielle Steele and Tom Wolfe from the catalog. I felt like a censor in a communist regime. Here in the oppressive country of Eugenia we do not abide trashy novels. I gleefully blacked out bar codes and stamped "removed from library" on the first pages. I went home quite satisfied.

The first Thursday of the month is Instructor's class in aikido. It's kinda neat and intimidating to train with other black belts for a change. Neat cause I 'm playing with the big kids now and intimidating cause I have to be on top of my game and do the whole "extend ki" thing right rather than just act like I know what I'm doing with the lower ranked students. It's hard to explain but I am still amazed I can do this stuff. The instructor did some advanced testing and I didn't mentally flinch as he directed a wave of ki at me, meant to disturb my mind. I remained calm and focused much to my surprise.

Now if I can just do that while dealing with the likes of "Julie" . . .

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