Ok, I’ve got about three and a half days worth of journaling to catch up on. Let’s get started.

Three things worth mentioning from work Saturday night: The first was Alissa. She hasn’t been mentioned a ton in this journal so I’ll give you the short of it. Way back, we dated for a month or three or so and we were the best of friends even after it ended, and as I recall it the first girl that I let myself cry during a conversation with her. I think it was on the phone, but that still counts. Friday night, while talking to Katie I wondered out loud what had happened to her. Alissa used to work on the line with me, but she quit for a job closer to home after she got engaged. I found it surprising how fast I turned from best buddy to chopped liver. So, Alissa turns up in the kitchen Saturday night, as if on cue. She talks to Jan, Ryan goes and talks to her, she talks to Marco. I wait for her to be free to talk. She turns and says to the line “Bye guys,” and is gone. I guess “used to” be special isn’t enough to even get a personalized goodbye. This has been a month or so of disillusionment.

Most of the night I had thought that I’d be getting out super early, and I’d just head on to Cincinnati instead of waiting until after church on Sunday. I looked forward to it. Over all, I don’t really look forward to the drive. Sure, it’s got it’s positives, time alone to think and sometimes listen to some good music on the radio, but all said and done, it’s five hours of time on my weekend that I could be doing something else, and at least twenty dollars to do. Seeing Katie does make up for the downs, but viewed separately, I don’t like it. Leaving at about nine or nine thirty is probably the best time to do it. Too late and I feel tired and think I might fall asleep behind the wheel. Too early and I feel like I’m wasting my day behind the wheel. Not much on the books, I’m already on over time, and the night has been slow. At about eight o’clock I decide that I am, in fact, going to be out in an hour. Tickets keep coming in, long story short, at ten o’clock I decide that I’ve been looking forward to getting out, driving and seeing Katie to not. I e-mailed her that I’d see her in three hours, put the Clie away, and clocked out a half hour later.

The third thing is, shortly before Ryan let me loose for the night, I showed him my belly. The reason on why I did this is presently forgotten, maybe I didn’t really have a reason. I’m a fairly hairy kid, not like some of those guys you see that could use a back wax, but hairy enough. Ryan went for the matches. I knew what he was doing, and true to form, I didn’t move. He sparked up a match and touched it to my belly button hair. It ignited. Usually with fire or heat, the hair singes a bit and your done. Not this time. It ignited. I wasn’t about to do anything about it. The little flame started to work it’s way up. Ryan I think panicked a bit and blew it out. He told me that made his day. I hope I made up for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which he didn’t really care for.

The only thing that I think I really enjoyed in the act of leaving work an hour and a half after I said I wouldn’t leave for Cincinnati, going to Pick’N’Save to buy a SoBe Energy and a quart of chocolate soy milk, saying goodbye to Chrystal, and starting a drive to Cincinnati is the surprising truth that I am still young. If I was old, I wouldn’t be this stupid, right?

The SoBe energy I have killed before I’m through Licking county and the soy milk is nearly gone by the time I’m on the south side of the Columbus outer belt. My favorite exit on I-71 is 69. It has a White Castle and a Flying J. I don’t need gas, but I need to go, big time. I hit the bathrooms. The first stall has urine all over the seat. I don’t mean a few drops left by an inconsiderate person, I mean a lot of drops left by a malicious person who knew exactly what he was doing. Toilet Seat Befoulment in the First Degree. At least it wasn’t Aggravated too. The second stall had hangers. Clear plastic hangers. About five of them. Wedged into the bowl of the toilet. Let’s try door #3. Occupied. Now I’m faced with a problem.

  1. has urine all over it.
  2. has hangers.
  3. is right out of the question.

#1 is a human waste product. #2 is a situation I’ve never faced before. That’s the defining element in the conclusion I came to, which needed to be hasty. Simply put: I don’t know how to deal with hangers lodged in a truck stop toilet. I cleaned up some strange person’s urine from the seat of the toilet and did my business. Also during this, I realized that whatever I ate Saturday was very unhappy at being forced to share a digestive tract with a SoBe Energy and particularly his buddy, a quart of chocolate soy milk.

In the seventy some miles between that truck stop and the Clifton area of Cincinnati I made three more pit stops.

Once I got to Cincinnati, I had to park on Ravine. It’s like five or seven blocks away from Katie’s place. I had to go, again. I hustled up Warner, and up her street. Here is something that happened that I immediately felt guilty for, and still feel a bit bad. She opened the door. She hugged me. Katie is very very special to me, and I wanted to greet her very thoroughly, especially considering that I hadn’t seen her for four months. But I had to go. I told her I’d hug her for an hour if she just let me use her bathroom now. What happened in that bathroom was a sin. (sorry Katie, sorry God)

Saturday, as is Katie and my custom, took us about three hours to get motivated to do anything worth mentioning. The first thing that did happen worth mentioning was burritos. I think Katie had tacos in mind when she set out to cook, but we wound up with burritos. I was in charge of preparing the steak for the burritos, she did everything else. They turned out rather decently.

We wanted out of the house, the idea of Barnes and Noble came up, so I remembered a book I wanted, and called the Newport B&N. They didn’t have it, so I called four more and found one that did. The girl who answered the phone seemed rather delighted that I was interested in the book, which she apparently liked. I told her to hold the copy for me and I’d be seeing her later in the day. After more time spent with Katie doing things that I can’t really remember and me laying around thinking about things that don’t seem to matter, we left and found Barnes and Noble. I bought the book from the girl who had answered the phone. She seemed happy to see me. I had a momentary desire of befriending the girl, who seemed intriguingly friendly to someone who was interested in something that she was interested in. Then the same reason for wanting her to be my friend turned me off, jeeze, talk about desperate. Compassion, meet cynicism. So much for “connections”, huh?

Katie reminded me that we were close to the Vineyard church and church should be starting soon. Sure, let’s go. We got there, and the parking lot was fairly empty, compared to the other Sunday nights we’d been there. I parked the car and waited for a bit for the other hundreds of people who were late to show up, but no one seemed to. We went in to see what was up. Inside the doors was a big sign that said “The Sunday Night 6:30 Service is No Longer Available”. Hrm. A tall skinny man approached us and asked us if we were there for that service. I told him that we hadn’t been around for a couple of weeks and hadn’t heard that it had been cancelled. He told us when it had been announced. I said “oh,”. I think he was interested in doing the Right Thing and trying to minister to us, I explained to him that I’m not usually in Cincinnati, and he seemed to disengage from Missionary Mode.

I think we had dinner afterwards, but I can’t remember where.

Katie had laundry that needed to be done, so she took me to the laundry, which is in the basement of an apartment building two doors of up from her’s. (Edit …) Anyway, some guy had his laundry in both of the washers. Katie had the idea of moving them to the dryer for him, so she could get hers started. I didn’t know that was an option. I’m not familiar with public washing machines etiquette. She tells me to move the clothes from one washer to one of the dryers, and she starts in on the other one. She has assigned me the washer that has this guy’s underwear. I feel like I should be uncomfortable with this, but I’m not really. What I am uncomfortable with, is not that I am handling some total stranger’s wet, although clean, underwear, it’s how much of it I’m handling. I think I’d guess that 60-80% of the clothing in that machine was underwear. (Edit …)

I watched an episode of the Simpsons and started to read Tuesdays with Morrie. This was interrupted by a trip to the laundry to handle this guy’s underwear again as we reverse the transition, as the guy hadn’t come back to handle his laundry. I dropped his wet clothes on the floor by accident and they picked up a healthy layer of dust. Whoops. Back at Katie’s, I ate half a small frozen pizza and went back to my book. I’ll give my thoughts on some of the themes presented by the book a bit later. Later, I helped her gather up her laundry. We (she) watched some of Days of our Lives on the Soap Network before bed. Andy Kaufman said that sitcoms were the lowest form of entertainment. I have soap operas pegged.

Monday, Katie and me headed to a UC branch just outside of the city. She heard that they have a computer lab where you don’t have to pay to print things, and she said she had a lot to print. I’m not really positive what she was printing, I thought at first it had something to do with a class, but I think it was the Bible. She asked me to carry, what I think was, the New Testament, and she had the Old Testament, so that people didn’t think she printed that all for herself. I spent that time browsing through things in the Wikipedia.

Then, Katie had wanted to go to Eden Park all weekend, and now we were going. Here is a Chinese riddle for you: which is more reliable your female co-pilot, or Yahoo! Maps directions? Ah, but we’re just a like, me and her, huh? I won’t stop for directions, and she can’t follow them. What was disappointing, after finally finding our way to a parking spot in the park, she complained that it was cold. I knew this meant the clock was ticking, we weren’t staying long. True it was cold, but I can’t really tell how cold. I’ve got man-fat. While in the gazebo, Ryan called Katie’s cell. He wanted to tell me about the potential hour cuts coming up this week in an attempt to cut back on overtime, since we’ll be open for an additional shift this week. Mixed feelings about that.

Lunch/dinner was a place that I was really trying to remember the name of, because it was decent, but I’ve forgotten. We had their “Spinach” pizza, no mushrooms, added anchovies. It was good. I ordered deep dish, the cook came out and said that they put in “traditional” by mistake, and wanted to know if we wanted them to pop a new pizza in. I didn’t care enough to wait, so we took it, and it was good. The server apologized so much, I started to feel like asking her to stop.

Here is what happened that messed up the plans for the night. Here is how things were supposed to go: Quick nap after lunch/dinner, I take Katie to her 6:30 class, I go home. Here’s what happens. Nap after lunch/dinner, the alarm goes off, the alarm gets turned off, we go back to sleep, we wake up after 6:30. She’s not going to class, and I’m not feeling motivated to start driving. We watch Taking Lives. (Edit …)

Shortly after the movie, I started the drive home. I was going to type about some of the themes presented in Tuesday’s with Morrie, but I’m tired. I’m going to bed. Maybe tomorrow.