I took three major walks today, and I jotted down the times in my breast-pocket notebook once I ended them. (I used the stopwatch on my cell phone.) Taking the first step toward the divorce, I took the bus down to a law office in German Village this morning, and decided to walk back, since I left my return time open-ended on the affidavit I gave my supervisor. The walk was 49:46.01 minutes long, and the distance was 2½ miles, according to Google Maps. (I didn't use the exact course it plotted, but its distance figures are good enough.) The office was just south of Schiller Park, and I stuck to the streets the whole time and didn't try to shortcut through the park itself.
Susie will be returning to her Monday home school history class next week, and several books from its reading list arrived at the Whetstone library during the day today. (So did the DVD of The Accused I reserved last week; I have never seen that movie. That's odd, since I was living in Boston at the time the gang rape in New Bedford occurred, the "Big Dan's" case on which the story is based.) Susie was at the library already, and I took a different route than usual. I rode the Indianola bus (as usual) north, but got off the bus at the corner of Indianola and Fallis (once again, cool the mirth: It rhymes with "Wallace") and walked west until High St. and then north. This was 19:04.76 minutes, covering 1.1 miles. Susie and I walked home, which took 44:47.87 minutes to cover two miles. The total was 5.6 miles. I keep telling myself I should get a pedometer and track a day's walking in earnest. (I do have one, which came in a Happy Meal several years ago, but I never calibrated it, and I'm doubtful as to its accuracy.) I was also carrying a knapsack full of the books for Susie's class, so the walk was much more aerobic than usual.
In the '70s, Mad published a Dave Berg "Lighter Side of..." cartoon that featured a young man boasting about the 100-mile hike he and his friends will begin the following day. He tells his girlfriend they plan to cover 25 miles per day. While going over everything he packed, he realizes he forgot to buy salt tablets, and he'd better hurry to the drugstore and get some. The drugstore is just around the corner, and in the last panel we see him hopping in the car and driving there. That's one of the many reasons I'm glad that I don't even have that option.
Today was "Would you correct my report?" day at work. My co-pilot is in training, so I fielded her tasks, as well as my own. I offset the boredom by listening to Oprah: A Biography, by Kitty Kelley, on CD. I borrowed it more out of morbid curiosity than anything else, and I find myself thankful that Kitty Kelley will probably be dead by the time I reach any fame or notoriety. (After reading The Lives of John Lennon and Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce!!, I felt the same way about Albert Goldman.)
I began the audio book thing in the summer of 1986, when I had a less-than-thrilling temp job with the State's Division of Elevators, typing elevator (and earlier, boiler) records onto a database as they were converting to computerized records. I seem to remember the first extant book I listened to (borrowed from the library) was Herman Wouk's Youngblood Hawke. My dad referred to it as my "offsetting therapeutic support." I used to love the narrator's instructions preceding the actual start of the book. My friends and I always got a laugh out of this:
Should a cassette fail to play properly, hold it flat in the palm of your hand and slap it smartly against a hard, flat surface. If this does not work, and you cannot otherwise free the reels, call us at the number that appears on the enclosed copyright information card. Give us the name of the book, and number of the cassette. We will immediately send you a replacement at no charge. Discard the broken cassette.I normally loathe waiting rooms, but the one I visited today redeemed itself. There was the usual scatter of dog-eared two-year-old magazines, and some toys here and there for children dragged along by their parents, but there was a waist-high bookcase with a sign HELP YOURSELF TO A BOOK! against one wall. I came away with a Signet paperback of Dostoevsky's The Idiot.