I drove most of the way to work behind a gray 1980s-era Toyota Corolla. I can't find a picture of it (in all honesty, I only looked for about 30 seconds) but it was some sort of hatchback, or maybe they made a wagon, I don't know (from behind, all cars with that squared off shape look hatchback-y). The thing was labeled "1.8 power." I don't know what that means (I'm sure it refers to the engine... capacity?) but "1.8 power" doesn't really sound that impressive. Would 2.0 power be better? 1.8... couldn't handle that extra .2, huh. Maybe then the thing would've shaken itself to pieces. I rode in a couple of those Corollas in the 80s, and I remember even then they were kind of... rattly.
I thought about that for quite awhile as we poked our way down the 710. Maybe I should've learned a trade and been an auto mechanic; then these things wouldn't be such mysteries to me. My brother is a bus mechanic, motorized bike builder, motorcycle afficionado; this stuff could be in my blood, who knows? I might've been a good auto mechanic...
I couldn't see the driver's face but from my vantage point (behind him; daydreamy), I convinced myself that he looked a bit like Mr. Zarna, the 10th grade Spanish teacher who never quite sold me on pronouncing V's like B's. I wonder what happened to that guy, with his weird combover and ratty black blazer? I'm sure giving me (one of the few actual Mexicans in his class; I think he was from Spain) a D was the highlight of his teaching career. I've talked about this before, but I just never got over the feeling that I sounded stupid when I spoke Spanish; that a lot of the time I was circling around backwards to describe another word, that my brain could only move in one direction. And my lack of accent made me a target, I think, too. It was kind of like when the flute choir tries to "swing," but less successful (because the flute choir practices and I never did).
Anyway, after awhile, a baby blue Toyota Camry (with the A and the Y missing), probably late 1990s, cut in between us, and my little trip back in time was cut short. That particular model of car (all Camry's actually, and I say this as an owner of a 2004 Honda Accord, a very similar vehicle) inspires zero imagination, so I turned up my iPod and concentrated on getting to work more or less on time.
Thankfully yesterday's oil tanker explosion on the 60 hasn't yet impacted my commute; I got to work faster than usual, even, and going home last night was pretty easy, too. I feel for all the people (like a few of my friends at work) who will be stuck. We'll have to wait and see how long it takes to get home tonight.
Anyway, when I got to work, one of my co-workers brought in pan dulce for everyone, so I just learned something more practical than anything we ever learned from Mr. Zarna: I was informed me that the type of pan dulce I usually enjoy is called concha (actually, I think I knew that). Also there's that one that looks like a pig, called puerquito. So cute!
I've never had "Pan de Muerto" - is that the kind you
give to the people you don't like?
So here I go, starting my day fueled by sugar and half a cherry Pepsi leftover from yesterday. I'm kind of 1.8 powered myself, now.