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When you make love, do you have to give directions? At the zoo, do the elephants throw you peanuts? Do you look at a menu and say "OK!"?

It's funny to sit here and read the British newspaper's account of the bidding war between the corporation responsible for Air Bus (EADS) and Boeing for an upcoming U.S. defense account. They're calling it David vs. Goliath, with Boeing being the big bad monster, mostly because of the fact that Boeing has 50 lobbyists working over the politicians in Congress while EADS has but 5. And with Boeing having such a strong connection with Democrats - mind you, who just took over Congress - things are looking slightly grim for the European Air Defense ... I don't know what the S stands for ... and their chances for the $200 billion contract.

I really don't know if I should feel good or bad at this point. I mean, my dad's company does big business with Boeing, so this'll mean lots more work and lots more money. Then again, this also means lots more overtime and lots fewer weekends free. Regardless, this decision apparently won't be made official until October. Why, I haven't a clue, but after a record year for Boeing contracts last year, I'd consider making stock market plans accordingly.

I'm at work. It's a quarter to ten at the moment of this sentence and I'm back at the same job I had before. Apparently, they got close to hiring a permanent replacement, but the person backed out at the last minute, so they called for me. I figure I've got one or two good weeks in me before I'm shuffled on to something else. And, before anyone asks why in the hell they aren't considering me for this post, let me allay your concerns by saying that I don't want it.

It's all right, Thorny, I can handle this. I DON'T WANT IT! Now give me a God damned liter of cola!

I went running this morning. Three miles in a little over 30 minutes. We don't own a scale in our apartment, so it's kinda hard to tell where I've been tipping lately; but it's a shock and a travesty to go to my dad's scale and see 231. You know that's about 40 pounds of excess fat I've gained since the summer of 2003? Actually, that time period's probably a lot shorter, considering I held a pretty steady running regimen for about half a year there in 2004 on into 2005.

I'm still a lot more wary about running at night than I think I should be. Emily says that our block had another shooting the night before I returned; another six shots unloaded. Granted, this doesn't happen all the time, and it's usually as a result of some beef that's going on between familiar parties - in other words, not just Random Acts of Violence - but you can't help letting it get to you that it can happen at any time of day. Maybe not directed at me, per se, but stray bullets are just as likely to maim you as those aimed.

With the discovery of that park I mentioned earlier, I figure 5:30am is a reasonable time of day to run around it, with the exception of Saturday and Sunday mornings, due to the fact that the crazies don't tend to get to sleep on weekends until at least 6 or 7am. With my eyeball calculations of the parameters of the park being that it equates to around 1.5 football fields in length, with the width being comparable to a regular quarter-mile track, considering I'm running on the sidewalk that circles the perimeter, I'm thinking that 10 laps around is about 3 miles. Remember, it's longer than the average bear with the same amount of width; I feel comfortable in shedding those two extra unnecessary laps in the name of saving time in the morning.

***


I woke up at about 3:30am this morning. You'll never believe this in a million years, but I was dreaming that it was January 14th and I was in my dad's rec room watching the Season Premiere of 24. OK, but this dream was seriously vivid, because I was sitting there and I was actually watching long sequences of what I can only imagine will happen come gameday, with Jack Bauer becoming free from those lousy Chinese and the whole thing. After a while, I had to will myself to wake up because I didn't want to give away any of the story ... even if it WAS imagined! Remember, I don't even like watching the commercials because they give too much away, this was torture. And, like, during each commercial break, I'd run upstairs and grab another beer and shoot the shit with whoever was up there, and then I'd run back downstairs just in time to catch the next scene. Probably the coolest dream I've ever had.

But, once again, thanks to Jack Bauer, I was unable to get to sleep once I woke up. I rolled around my bed for an hour before giving up on sleep for the night at 4:30 or so. I found myself on the computer checking out the news from Tacoma and decided I'd read about that school shooting at Foss High School. I first heard about it the day it happened because I was listening to the Internet feed of KJR AM sports radio. Anyway, the 17 year old who shot the family friend's 17 year old son still won't give up his motive; but they talked to the mother who was balling, talking about how fond she was of the dead kid and his family. Am I a bad person because the first thing I could think of would be the two families running into each other in a social situation after all the court stuff has worked itself out, and someone would have to break the tension-filled silence by declaring the obvious state of affairs as, "AWK-WARRRRRD!"? I probably am; I'm probably not the most sensitive person in the world.

So, I now have fewer things than ever before, and I was commended yesterday for it. My clothes, for the most part, will fit in that one black duffle bag. My CD collection is holding steady at around 15 or so (I came with about 8 or 9 and bought a few over the break); my DVD collection is at a solid 5. I had about three or four large black trash bags full of clothes/linens that were cluttering up my room, but in the last couple days have been donated. To be honest, the linens weren't even mine, they were Jenny's. I had to borrow them when I first arrived, I've been holding onto them ever since, and when I asked if she wanted them back she didn't even remember I had them. I donated all unnecessary shoes as well, leaving me with four pairs: running, working/fancy dress, sandals, winter boots. All my Airwalks, my Vans, all gone.

Which is all very necessary, because my room is tiny. It's tiny and filled up by a giant Futon. I've been considering the logistics should my mind be figuratively blown away and I'm to have actual guests flying out and staying with me, and I'm having a difficult time considering sleeping arrangements. I've got the Futon that's plenty big enough for two, but I've only got one blanket. There are no spare blankets anywhere in the apartment. Ergo, anyone who wants to stay with me: don't come when it's cold, or you'll have to either bring a sleeping bag or freeze your ass off. Sleeping on the floor isn't really an option either because it's hard tile and it's fucking dirty (it's ALWAYS fucking dirty because my room is the entryway to most all other rooms). Now, should the unthinkable happen and TWO people come to visit at the same time ... I'm telling you, this Futon ain't big enough fer the three of us! Spooning is NOT an option; however, there's this tiny fold-out thing across from Jenny's bed that I had to sleep on in a pinch the first week I was here. Again, though, no extra blankets. And I won't have anyone else sweating in my poncho.

So, really, it COULD be done, and I'm sure my roommates wouldn't mind accommodating should the need come around, but by gar, that's a lot of people in a tiny space.