It’s all Steak ‘N’ Shake’s fault.
Seriously – the Colts would have beaten the chaps off those stinking Cowboys and maintained their perfect record had it not been for Steak ‘N’ Shake jinxing the whole game. For those of you outside of Indianapolis (which means most of you), the greasy food franchise sent out coupons last week to most households in the county, as they often do… only they sent the wrong coupons. As each happy customer opened his or her mail last week, they discovered Steak ‘N’ Shake coupons with DALLAS COWBOYS logos stamped all over them. Of course, the powers that be tried to apologize, but it was too late… and alas, the Cowboys won last night. We sold out for french fries.
It’s a lovely sunny day here… and just a three day work week! Well, for Heartland at least. Kristi K. in the office invited me to spend Thanksgiving with her family, so that should be fun. I’ll be piling into the family van with her, her husband and three kids around noon and heading off to the uncle’s house, though I’ll hopefully not be banished to the children’s table in the other room. I’m bringing wine, so maybe that will be my in? Thanksgiving always makes me think of the movie “Avalon” — so melancholy, but lovely and funny and sweet. And though in that movie they’re a Jewish family, not Italian, it still makes me think of holidays with my relatives from the East. I will miss having my own leftovers this time around, but ah well.
Last night when I was on the phone with Caroline, my downstairs neighbor, Dave, came knocking. I opened the door and he had his fat, grey cat in tow under his arm and asked if I wanted to come by and play Scrabble. I smiled and politely declined… but I like having odd people around. It makes life so much more interesting. And you tend to see that a lot more consistently in cities, I must admit (we just saw the same weirdos all the time at home in Bozeman). But my building seems to be quite an attractive harbor for the misfits… that’s probably why I moved there! Although, I also ran into a rather scary man this weekend as well – as I was coming up the stairs I was nearly run down by this tall, snappily dressed black guy coming out of the “pot house” apartment on my floor. He gave me the look over, tipped the brim of his fedora and flashed his gold-plated grill at me, saying, “Well hello there.” It really creeped me out, I have to confess. I got the feeling he was a drug dealer, but who am I to say, as I’ve never bought drugs and don’t know what a dealer would look like. Nevertheless, I hope I don’t see him again anytime soon.
Some of my other favorite strange people are:
The “regular” guy who comes to Starbucks – I still don’t know his name, but he looks like a Baldwin brother and he sings several nights a week at Howl at the Moon, the piano bar across the street. It takes a special person to sing the same songs every night as drunk old ladies dance around on the stage and throw their cleavage in your face. In his spare time, he’s a photographer for the Indy Star and also a volunteer firefighter. He always gets a triple venti nonfat sugar-free vanilla latte to “warm up his voice.” And I always tease him about how milk and coffee are the worst things you can do to your voice.
Then there’s this little old black man in my neighborhood who walks with a limp and has his glasses taped together in the middle with white tape. He’s always smiling. With him is a fat, old, limping dog that looks like a cross between a beagle and a german shepard. The two are always together, just walking along the street like best friends. I wish I knew his story.
Or the woman who laughed at me the other day when I set off my car alarm. We walked together for several blocks and I found out all about her – she is an employee trainer at Hard Rock Cafe, and she has a daughter with a brand new grandbaby living in California. She works hard without time off and doesn’t make much money… but she still took the time to call me “dear” and invite me to come in and see her at work. She’s also half Irish, half Chippewa Indiana, which gives her quite a unique look.
There’s also the street performers and the scalpers, the regular homeless people who hang around our building and the morning baristas at my local (non-Starbucks) coffee shop. I love knowing that mysterious and interesting people are around, wherever I go – if these are just a few who are taking up residence in Indianapolis, one tiny piece of the country, what must the rest of the world be like? The possibilities are endless.
Quotes of the week:
Claire: “Did you try one of those homemade candies in the kitchen? I think they have alcohol in them! I ate one and then I burped and thought, ‘woah, this tastes like college!'”
Male co-worker who will remain nameless: “Sorry I’m late – I’ve just been dancing with Mr. Willy.”