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Screen Gems

I'm still reconfiguring my mental schedule with the new job thing. The big problem is, it takes a hell of a lot longer to get to the gym after work than it did with my previous gig, partly because of distance but mostly because of traffic. Today I gave surface streets a try and it wound up taking as long as it would have had I taken the highway on an extra-thick traffic day. But it's good to know I have a backup if things get completely gafarked.

Going to the gym at five instead of three or four means there are, unsurprisingly, more people there, so I don't have my pick of treadmills like I used to have. My usual treadmill was taken, so I took the one next to it on the far end. The screen was off, but I didn't bother to turn it on until I was off and running (okay, walking.)

As it turned out, the cable was out on that particular screen. So I had nothing to stare at but dead channel snow.

I left it on.

It became an odd sort of mental challenge, to keep myself diverted without some late afternoon reality television to watch. I had my iPod on, so the soundtrack was irrelevant. So I stared at the swirling dots and my eyes made shapes in the patterns. It took on an odd 3-D quality, like one of those Magic Eye books, swirls of blue as one layer and the greenish dots another, forming DNA-like helixes, wire frame domes and (when I really got into it) swarms of flying creatures. Lightning flashed and circles formed, grew, twisted and drifted off the edge of the screen.

I spent over twenty minutes staring at static, with occasional glances at time and distance on the treadmill. And rather than being bored or restless, I was mesmerized.

I think this confirms my status as a member in good standing of the Society for the Easily Amused.

Today I took pleasure in a perfect banana.

Today I learned how much a banana costs at Einstein Brothers Bagels. (99 cents, in case you wondered.)