It’s like walking in on your roommate having sex

It’s hot and sweaty today, so when I came into work, I wanted to go in through the cafeteria doors which is the fastest way to get to the disused gym/shower room to change shirts. Unfortunately when I opened the tinted cafeteria doors, I discovered that [Sandvine](, with whom we share an office, was having [some]( [sort of]( all hands meeting.

Very embarassing.

Making music

Disclaimer: I’m breaking my “don’t talk about other people rule” somewhat here. Thing is, though, the more I think about this story, the more it makes me smile, so I’m going to tell it. I want to stumble across it again many years from now and I hope it’ll make me smile then too.

I picked Ellen up at the university the other night and we ended up just driving around. On a complete whim, we decided to stop at the [KW Art Gallery]( We didn’t seriously expect it would be open.

But it was. There was some sort of CD release party or something going on. Music and booze and desserts and stuff. An attractive young woman came up to take our coats. We were probably a bit underdressed for the occasion, but I’ve stopped being intimidated by these sorts of things. I don’t know if Ellen ever was. Nobody came and told us that we shouldn’t be there, so we stayed.

While I was checking out the dessert table a woman came up to talk to Ellen. Apparently she recognized her, so they struck up a conversation. I listened in, but didn’t have much to add myself. One thing I really like about being in a couple is I can let her do the talking. This suits me very well, and I can do what I really like to do, which is sit back and listen and watch people.

A man came up who seemed familiar with the woman and joined the conversation. We all made brief small talk about the art or the music or what have you. The woman decided to take her leave, which left us with the man.

“Do you know [her]?” Ellen asked.

“Oh yes, I’ve known her for years,” he said wistfully. “We go way back. There was a time we made music together.”

Ellen’s ears pricked up. “Music? Do you play an instrument?” She doesn’t get nearly as many chances to talk about music as she’d like.

The man hesitated. “Um… Oh! Yeah! I play the saxophone…”

Eventually we wandered off to look at [one of the exhibitions]( When I was pretty sure we were alone, I mentioned “You know, I’m pretty sure when he said they made music together, he was speaking euphemistically.”

Posted from the train

I haven’t taken the train in ages. There isn’t an easy train you can get straight from Kitchener to Belleville and back (unless you want to get up very early morning and wait a couple hours in Toronto). It takes about three times as long to get home, taking delays into account, and costs about twice as much as driving (if you don’t take the cost of owning the car into account).

My mom insisted, too. It’s winter, and the weather can get pretty crappy. And since I’m going to be making the same trip back a week from now, it seemed like a good idea.

Before I got a car, I took the train home all the time. I checked my VIA frequent traveller reward thing and apparently I can get a one-way ticked to Kamloops just on points. Not that I would, of course. I’ve done that trip before. Three days on the train is pretty hard on the ass.

Sometime in the last five years, they put WiFi on the trains, and little outlets by all the seats. So I can get online and talk to people and post blog posts and all sorts of stuff. I can’t do that when I’m driving. It’s not the greatest connection, particularly since I’m connected through the VPN to work for safety’s sake, but it works, and I can check RSS feeds and stuff. YouTube eludes me, but I can live without that.

Where are we? I think we’re just leaving Oshawa… I can see the suckers on the 401 from here.

Actually, traffic’s really good.

Why are my pants wet?: A lesson in cultural sensitivity

I have this weird habit where I check myself out in the washroom mirror while washing my hands. I don’t know what I’m looking for–probably just making sure my hair’s okay and I don’t have a giant booger on my face or something. I’ll lean forward towards the mirror and gaze deeply into the eyes of my mirror self.

Over the last month or so, I’ve been finding that when I do this at work, I’ll get back to my desk to discover that my pants are soaked through in socially compromising areas. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t… leaking. I’m not quite old enough to have to resort to diapers. So I went back to the bathroom and checked the sink. Sure enough, the entire sink counter was flooded with water, held there with the magic of surface tension.

At first, I was angry. I hate having to use communal washrooms to begin with, but this was adding insult to injury. I was tempted to put up a post-it with one of those passive-aggressive sorts of notes you see in offices telling the slobs to clean up after their damn, lazy selves. I mean, how hard is it to wash your hands without making a mess? Seriously!

Rather than resorting to futile anger, however, I kept my wits about me and observed.

I noticed that people were doing something at the bathroom sinks that I hadn’t expected: they were washing their face. Face-washing can conceivably be more messy than hand-washing. But isn’t that level of facial cleanliness a little obsessive? I’m usually good with a shower in the morning. It’s not like we’re working in a coal mine.

I know I shouldn’t make snap judgements, so I continued to observe. The people washing faces seemed to be the same dudes who I’d noticed trying to scope out quiet places to pray at work. And they happened to say something I didn’t catch before they started. And I also noticed that it was (at the time) coming to the end of Ramadan.

[Wudu]( is the act of ritual washing in preparation for prayer. It is a religious duty in Islam.

So I’m kinda glad I didn’t kick up a fuss or anything. That would’ve been really embarrassing. I’ll just have to be more careful about my pants.

I’m so ashamed

I ended up driving into work this morning. Third day in a row.

Driving Tuesday can probably be forgiven. It was after 2 by the time the roofer dudes left, and I had work stuff I needed to get done.

Yesterday, I was just weak. I walked to the end of my driveway, trudging through shin-deep snow with the cold wind and just knew that it wasn’t going to be a fun walk. Most people wouldn’t have cleared their sidewalks by that point. It would just be exhausting and cold and awful. And besides, I wanted to get home after work so I could get on with my evening. And in the end, that was entirely worth the karmic debt.

Today I have a slightly better excuse: I have to get to the dentist. My appointment’s in an hour and a half. Still, a three day break in my otherwise unbroken streak… It doesn’t make me happy. I’ve been liking walking to work every day, even in the bone-chilling cold.

I won’t be walking to work tomorrow, either. I’ll be driving to Toronto in the morning and then off to Ottawa in the evening. That will be a fun adventure in itself.