Greetings fellow citizens! Happy New Year and all that. I know it's February already but I've been a lazy correspondent of late. You're probably wondering what I mean by the title of this piece. It's not what you're thinking. I wanted to talk a little bit about being outside all day. I don't like it.
Outside you are constantly at the whims of Mother Nature (and we know how she can be). Some days it's too hot, some it's too cold. I like "conditioned" air, a roof over my head when it rains, being sheltered from high winds, away from the dangerous UV rays of the sun, etc. I like being able to get up from my desk, stretch my legs and walk over to the snack machine (damn, there's NEVER anything good in this thing. On top of that, some of the bad things you're trying to buy get stuck and don't fall. But I digress). I've worked in many office settings and a Jeep Wrangler is a poor substitute for an office, I can tell you. For one thing, it's cramped. I've been more comfortable stuffed into the seats of some carnival rides. You feel every bump in the road in those things too (I mean the Jeep). I swear sometimes it feels like you know when you've gone over a painted line! The sight lines are terrible too (It doesn't help that we are driving on the "wrong" side of the vehicle - the better way to mark tires - well, no, it's the ONLY way). And speaking of marking tires, just try to hang your arm out the window of one of these monsters and reach all the way down to a cars tires. Not easy, I assure you and I have the bruises to prove it. Not to mention being choked by the shoulder belt. I thought those things are in there to help!
Anyway, you also run into (not literally with the Jeep) all kinds of people you'd rather not see. With the evil people you can understand why we don't want to see them, but even the nice people who just want to chat or ask us a question, all they do is stop our progress. We're like Greta Garbo. We vant to be alone. (For those of you under 50 who are reading this, you might have to Google her). And then the Desk will send us somewhere just as we're getting somewhere else to do something else - take your pick: lunch, bathroom break, pick up the marks we put down, goof off, etc. No, I really don't like being outside all day.
On the other hand though, there are some nice things about it. We drive around the city unsupervised all day which means if I have to stop in at the post office (you remember what THAT is, right?) and buy some stamps, I can do so. I can also go to my favorite frozen yogurt place (I'd mention their name but only if they'll throw some money my way for the plug), or drop in on the local pharmacy and pick my meds (this job, I tell ya, makes me need more and more meds).
In addition to that, for the last few days, I've seen the large flock of wild parrots that nests around town. They are noisy as hell but it's quite a sight to see the whole flock flying around. They're a beautiful green. In fact they look like flying pistachio nuts, if nuts had wings. (Here, I'd like to put in a word for a documentary called "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill." If you haven't seen this film, you're in for a treat. Rent it today. What are you waiting for?) You also see some other beautiful sights. A few months back we had a hell of a rain storm and there was a gigantic double rainbow in the sky afterwards. Makes you feel like a kid just looking at it. And something else that makes you feel darned good is seeing all the pretty girls. This place being close to Los Angeles means there are lots of beautiful women out there who are or want to be actresses. No complaints about them, even the ones who park badly! There are local merchants who treat us kindly by giving us discounts at their places of business too (man, I'm craving that frozen yogurt right about now).
So, in all I guess it's just like everything else. There is a balance to it. Some bad stuff and some good. You never know how your day is going to be. Block off a street for several hours because of a fire or flirt with the girl in the yogurt store? Hm. I wonder if they still have the key lime sorbet?