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Halloween and Thereafter

My left wrist has been hurting a lot the past few days, so I haven't been typing much. But my journal-writing addiction is such that I can't stay away long. I'll write this journal entry in bits and pieces over the course of the afternoon/evening.

Halloween:
  1. My reading (of my comedic Halloween story) at CWC went fabulously well. Everyone was laughing and cheering in just the right places, and it felt pretty great. I was horribly nervous, though. I'm not real big on standing in front of crowds of people, regardless of the context.
  2. Yes, my story was a success, but people seemed even more excited by the orange Halloween socks I was wearing. I wore all black ... but with these blindingly bright orange socks I'd found at the Dollar Tree. Everyone adored them. I will definitely have to wear them again next year.
  3. Someone stole our pumpkin off the front steps in the afternoon. Shannon warned me it would happen, but I was still surprised. Not too upset, though. I hope the thieves enjoyed their gourdy plunder.
  4. We only got one brief rush of trick-or-treaters in the evening, and only a couple of them were in costume, and only one of them was under the age of 15. Do kids these days really think they can get away with wearing their high school gym clothes and calling it a "costume"? Sheesh! No respect for the holiday, I tell you! No respect for the mystery and the excitement and the thrill. They just want the corn syrup.

    Note: Using the phrase "kids these days" in any context immediately communicates to all listeners/readers that you are an old fogey.

Today: Physical therapy in El Cerrito, where my wrist was thoroughly examined in case it contained a fetus. Well, actually, they used the ultrasound as some kind of therapy. I did not ask whether I should expect any wrist-related progeny, as I figured they'd probably mention something like that. It might explain all the pain, though. Also, the PT gal said that I should be okay to go ahead and ride my bike a bit more than I have been, then wait to see if I have any pain as a result, then increase my biking even more if not. This is incredibly exciting, as I've been avoiding the bike almost entirely -- except for a weekly trip to the grocery store -- for months. Yay bike!

Note: There is a donut shop in El Cerrito, very near the place where I got PT, that sells devil's food donuts. Woo hoo! I don't know of a single place in Berkeley that sells devil's food donuts, so this was terribly exciting. It's been years since I've had a devil's food donut!

After PT: I decided to walk home, as I had planned in advance. The PT place is approx 4.4 miles from our house, but my route took some unexpected detours due to the fact that the Ohlone Greenway (my intended route most of the way) was largely fenced off and full of giant digging machines and huge mounds of dirt and men climbing around in large holes while wearing fluorescent vests.

I gave up on the Greenway after a half-mile of frustration and turned into the neighborhoods when I hit Solano Avenue (in Albany). "I know Solano," I said to myself. "I can take it from here." But I don't like walking on the major streets when I can stroll the side streets instead, so I turned south off Solano the first chance I got. Dude. That neighborhood has basically no streets that travel in a straight line. After about 20 minutes of roaming, confused, through a rather ritzy area with tons of excellent Halloween decorations, trying to make decisions that led me in the right direction, I emerged to find myself ... on Solano! Again! Doh! So I had, in effect, traveled something like 2 blocks in 20 minutes. Up and down lots of hills. But hey ... there were great Halloween decorations, and I would have missed them otherwise!

Gazing in bemusement at the shops on Solano, I verified my direction by asking some lady on the street, and I headed off again, this time sticking to a relatively straight, major street. Not Solano, which is too too busy, but one nearby. I got tired after the first 4 miles or so (assuming that I walked about half a mile while "exploring" the wilds south of Solano), but I just kept trudging along. Trudge trudge trudge. Too little shade. Trudge trudge trudge. No buses run near here, so I must keep walking. Trudge trudge trudge. There is no other option.

At one point, I found myself on The Alameda, once again confused, thinking, "But I need to be on MLK!" So I wandered east in search of the street I needed ... only to discover eventually that The Alameda becomes MLK before the point where I turned ... I guess I just hadn't seen any of the street signs. Doh!

At long last, I reached University Avenue and saw Au Coquelet (a popular Berkeley cafe that is open very late), where I decided to rest my weary bones. Dude! I'm 41! And I'm something like 40 pounds overweight! What am I doing walking a million miles without even stopping? I got a strawberry agua fresca (a recent addition to their menu, and one I've ordered more than once) and played a game (Tichu, which requires no trudging at all) on my iPhone until I was feeling a bit more human, and then I continued on to Trader Joe's.

After my shopping, I thought about taking the bus home, but I only waited at the bus stop for 1-2 minutes before I decided that it was silly to wait, when home really wasn't that far away (maybe 1 1/4 mile), so I walked home listening to my Count of Monte Cristo audiobook, and it was an enjoyable ramble, but I was pretty tired by the time I staggered up our front steps.

Since then, I've been mostly turning to goo this evening, just watching brainless tv, icing my wrist, and napping. And writing this journal entry. Which should end now, so I can go ice my wrist again.

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