>A Sunny Day in PA

>I’ve just returned from what was probably one of the worst lunches I’ve ever paid $15 for; just some chicken sandwich at a fancy sports bar that, though it sounded great in the description, arrived bland and barely warm, served up with soggy fries and a tomato garnish that looked like it hitchhiked from California. The upside is that, after arriving here in Exton, PA (about a 40 minute drive from the Philadelphia airport), to rain and 40-odd degree weather, today is sunny and gorgeous and has to be near 70. The saving grace for my lunch was that I sat outside on the patio, enjoying the warmth and a nice breeze, reading my book and pretending I was more footloose than I actually am, what with a client, who is only vaguely aware of what they are paying $2000/day (+ expenses!) to have me do for them, expecting me back in roughly an hour.

I’m reading a book called “Do Travel Writers Go To Hell?” by Thomas Kohmstamm. It’s about his trip to Brazil to write a travel guide for Lonely Planet and all the behind the scenes shenanigans which ensue. Let’s see, in Rio about 48 hours he’s already gotten loaded several times, done some drugs, and had sex with two different beautiful and exotic woman (an Austrian flight attendant and a local Brazilian woman, for those keeping score at home). That sounds a little more exciting than the 1000 words I’ve submitted to the Independent on METALFEST III, the 200+ ounces of diet soda I’ve recycled, and the awful chicken sandwich I’ve experienced since arriving in PA. I did almost risk death-by-pizza by getting one delivered after 10 PM last night (hey, according to my body, and my watch, it was actually only 8 PM!) but I fought off the urge. In my world a calorie not consumed is as good as one lost, so three cheers for me! Anyway, I’m sure if Thomas is reading this he’s red with jealousy over the splendour of my life.

Thank god I’m not just your standard issue IT guy, though, because I would go insane. I basically did that for a couple years and lived to tell the tale. A couple of this ilk were herded to the table next to mine and commenced geek speak; I could only hear one side of it, but the guy I could hear was most animated. They looked like they could have stepped right out of this photo, as they had the “business casual” uniform going full-on; you know, the blue-shirt-and-khakis-look (which, yes, I am unfortunately wearing as well, though my shirt is dark blue, my “khakis” are green and half worn-out, and I’m missing the traditional buzzcut and trim goattee; I have more misplaced hair jutting out my nostrils than these kids had anywhere on their bodies!):

This guy went on and on about SCSI drives, backup software and routines, some new this and some new that that just needs to be extracted to the desktop and blah blah blah. He was animated as I would be if I were telling a story about having to escort Lindsay Lohan on a “rehab” vacation to Mexico. There’s a lot of shit I have to care about with my job that I don’t really care about, but at least all of his shit isn’t any of it! He didn’t shut his mouth until his enormous burger arrived to plug it for him.

I do like the accents I hear when I leave Missoula. IT Guy had just the typical American TV-watcher speak going (I would bet, though, that he goes into quasi “homie” speak when hanging out with his “posse” just like most other stupid white guys), but the waitress literally sounded exactly like Luanne from King of the Hill, I kid you not (maybe that seems odd in PA, but there are lots of folks native to neighboring Ohio who also have that strong southern accent). While here I’ve also heard a French accent, a German accent, a couple Asian voices, and of course the Somali accents of all the service workers at the Minneapolis airport. I wonder what my speech sounds like to people, is there a Western accent? I was once mocked by a German girl for how I pronounce certain words (for example, using “sumth’n” for “something”), but I ignored her. Who the hell was she to judge me, just because she spoke someTHING like 4 different languages fluently? Friggin’ Euros and their uppityness, anyway. . . .

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