Thursday, August 24, 2006

Till then I walk alone

So I've been in a training class all week in downtown Seattle, for work. It's been a *fantastic* class and I'll probably blog about it in my work blog next week (it has been languishing for far too long).

One of the great things about the class, which at first freaked me out, is that there is *no* Internet access in the classroom. I hadn't realized how much freakin' time I spend online, either checking my email (work and personal) or surfing the web. Without this huge distraction, I can actually pay attention to the instructor and have learned an amazing amount of cool stuff this week. It is so great to settle my mind and focus on one thing instead of multitasking - it really has reduced my stress level. I'm definitely going to try to keep this going, and minimize my background tasks so I can focus on one thing at a time since it's been hugely effective.

The other great thing about the class is that it's downtown. I have taken the bus there every day this week. Seattle has a great bus system that I discovered while I was in graduate school since parking in Seattle proper is either too expensive or hard to find. Couple that with my pathetic parallel parking skills and the shiny new car, and I'll take the bus anyday. Especially since Microsoft provides us with a free bus pass.

Getting up early to catch the bus, and walking everywhere once I'm downtown has been such a great change of pace for me and is shaking me out of my suburban rut. I have more time in my day, and oddly, am less tired than usual - I guess it's that extra exercise, and maybe the fact that sloth breeds more sloth.

Every morning I've walked past a coffee cart on Pine St, just before 7th next to Vons. There is an adorable Golden Retriever named Buddy manning the cart (with his person making the coffee, of course. Silly you - dogs don't make coffee for people!). I've stopped to say hi to him almost every morning (when he's out of his crate) and also at lunch time just to get some prime dog lovin' before going back to class.

Little things like that make me happy. And tomorrow, I might spend a bit of time shopping after class. There is prime shopping downtown and I'm more than a little sick of my usual Redmond Town Center/Bellevue Square jaunts. I've been looking forward to this all week, and even finished my statistics homework set #7 last night so I could shop with a clear conscience tomorrow. (Though I really should get started on #8 - I only have a week left and 2 homework sets and the final to go!)

One thing that did not make me happy - on the bus yesterday I sat next to a guy who was avidly reading Ann Rule's book about the Green River Killer. I know that True Crime is a valid literary genre and all that, but if you're into that stuff, please read it at home. Otherwise people in public spaces will think you're a wacko. I tried to sit very still and blend into the scenery. Maybe this guy reads these books so no one will sit next to him? I thought about changing seats, but the bus was full and I didn't want to call undue attention to myself...

Tomorrow I'm going to drive (all the better to transport my shopping!) so no weird bus dudes for me.

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