Taking a bit of inspiration from sprite’s “three beautiful things” threads, here’s what happened after work today:

  1. While walking home in the gorgeous weather this afternoon, the back strap on one of my Teva sandals broke and pulled out of the sole. So I walked home the better part of 1.3 miles barefoot. In an urban area. Possible “ouch,” but I managed to miss what glass was around. It’s probably the longest barefoot walk I’ve taken on paved surfaces since I took swim lessons when I was 4 and often had to cross an extremely hot parking lot on my way to the pool. Things learned: freshly-laid brick is nice on the feet, old sidewalk cement is not, and fresh sidewalk cement is very comfy.
  2. During the walk, a young boy in bare feet, baggie shorts and a floral shirt – who must’ve been no more than 5 or 6 – walked up to me, extended a hand, and said “Здравствуйте! Hello! How are you today?” I tooke his hand, he gripped firmly but not too hard, and I said “отлично, вы.” That I responded in Russian made the kid very happy, and he asked if I speak Russian. I answered “немного,” and he smiled and wished me “a very happy day.” His parents, standing off to the side, beamed proudly. It turns out it was the ambassador from Ukraine, and thanks me for being so nice to his son. I complemented their son, and might’ve made their afternoon. It certainly picked up my spirits.
  3. While I walked, I listened to a podcast of “The Geoff Show,” something I haven’t done in a while. During part of the show, Geoff remembered the old “Stars on 45” records of his youth in the late-70s and early-80s: a Dutch studio group would do a “master mixers” dance mix of songs from a particular group, making a long “hit-parade”-meets-disco-meets-elevator-music concoction that’s so absurd it’s sometimes very fun. And Geoff, being a fan of both “Stars on 45” and The Beatles, managed to cue up a mix-and-mash of their music, the “Stars on 45 Medley.” It was very weird, kinda fun, and possibly the only full piece of music I’ve ever heard on their podcast (they usually remove the music to cut back on royalty and export legal snags).