the march of the tortas

Unwrapping the foil to reveal a carefully sliced roll filled with bliss continues to be part of our Saturday morning routine. The tortas from Taqueria Montenegro remain the best tortas on this side of the universe.

The magical combination of marinated fajita beef, sliced onions, lettuce, guacamole, the trademark green sauce, and a twist of fresh lime juice inside a lightly-toasted sandwich roll will turn any average Saturday morning into an itis-filled average Saturday m0rning. If you are seeing one of these sandwiches sent from heaven for the first time, then you have discovered one of Austin’s best kept secrets.

the expected personalized interlude

Here’s another obligatory update. I’ve been keeping these rants short, because I have bigger fish to fry. If you’re into pattern detection, then you know exactly why I still sprinkle this collection with first-person prose that reflects something or another that might be relevant to the big picture or not. June flew by. To 100-degree heat: Please do your best to stay out of the beautiful city of Austin.

My summer session ends at the end of this month. I slacked a bit this semester, but I’m doing A-OK. The Fall semester is probably going to eat me alive. I amuse myself with the anxiety I gather before I have to do anything learning-related and absolutely love the feeling I get after I’m done with a learning-related task. Installing wrinkles in my brain keeps the necessary stress of life at a normal level and sure beats boredom and feeling like a robot.

Half of the year has already passed us. I’ve been focused on new and more interesting ventures which are becoming more and more rewarding slowly but surely. At this day and age, I’m no longer surprised how years go by before goals are met. I do feel disheartened by the displacement of energy upon completion of projects, because the routine can be comforting. I realize that’s just the torch being passed on to the next accomplishment. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. This isn’t rocket science.

the human machine

The end of the Spring semester approaches signaling the completion of 25% of my short-term goal. I should be done with the first stage about a year from now. I’m following a path that I should have chosen ten years ago, but this past decade was spent discovering life.

Now that my twenties are almost over, the stage of my life where I need to be a responsible adult has taken over my existence. The monotony of everyday life sprinkled with happiness has become my personal routine. As mundane as that sounds, I actually enjoy the redundancy.

The schedule goes a little something like this for the next couple weeks until I get a couple weeks off before the Summer semester begins: Mondays thru Thursdays are occupied with my full-time day job and school in the evenings. Fridays are celebrated, because I just have an eight-hour shift followed by a relaxing evening and the weekend ahead. Saturdays and Sundays fly by, because I do whatever I want with them unless the calendar tells me otherwise.

At work, I plug into my workstation from 7am to 3pm with a couple breaks during that time. I’m connected to a machine which is connected to another machine which is connected to yet another machine and who knows how many more machines until you’ve reached the backbone of this vast network that records our lives.

When I am not in front of this type of device that you’re using to read this, I am living. Go do the same. You’re better than this.

the nesesary audioverload + the wurkweek rootene

My schedule during the weekdays have been very routine for the past several months now. I try to be in bed by 11pm each night and asleep before midnight. I first wake up in the morning when the first alarm goes off on my cell at 5:16am. Three more alarms at 5:47am, 5:57am and 6:05am plus the 10-minute snoozes continue to go off on my phone as I cradle the device with me enjoying the last moments of half-asleep before my alarm clock fires off full blast at 6:00am with the last song before The Morning X with Jason and Deb commences.

I sleep through the 6am news and usually out of bed getting ready for work by the time Morning X Rewind is played. I go through the morning weekday routine: pack my lunch, shower, dress up, and gather my portable audio devices and other necessary items I carry around with me (wallet, keys, cell). By the time I’m putting on my clothes, Morning X Sports is playing. On a good day, I’m out the door before the 1st hour Sports segment ends. On a normal day, I’m looking over at the clock on the microwave in the kitchen and it reads 6:40, 6:41, or 6:42.

I exit my dwelling unit, lock the door, and I’m in my car and warming it up during this time of the year. The face plate goes on my CD player and 101X is tuned to continue Morning X. Commercials or a song are usually playing at this time as I make the very short trek to work. Depending on whether or not I catch the light, the commute averages around seven minutes.

I get to work, scan in at the entrance to the fortress where I’ll be for the next eight hours, put my lunch in the break room fridge, go to my desk, clock in somewhere between 6:55-6:59, and start the grind. While my application loads, I equip my ears with ear buds and continue Morning X on the portable HD radio that my Maribell got me for the holiday. From the time I arrive ’til about 10am, I am tuned in to 101X listening to my favorite morning show of all time.

When Morning X concludes (now click that Play button but adjust your volume first) and the commercials starts to play again, I disconnect my headphones from the HD radio and plug in my custom-engraved iPod Shuffle I received as a gift for being the Best Man at one of my best friend’s wedding. I go through the playlist on shuffle ’til about ten minutes ’til noon.

At 11:50am, I switch back to the HD radio, exit my app, log my break, go to the break room, grab my lunch, exit the building, and stroll to my car. I enter my car, remove my headphones, and turn on the radio. I text my request to Flashback Lunch as soon as the lines open then proceed to consume my lunch which has been mostly the same thing every weekday: a can of soda (usually Coke® Zero™) and a sandwich (premium bread + premium sliced cheese + white chicken or turkey that was formed and packaged into a cylinder).

While I eat my lunch, I text the daily trivia question to TW. I hang out in my car for the radio ads to play and the first couple Flashback Lunch requests hoping that txt to 29217 was picked. When I finish my lunch and ready to return to the grind, the headphones go back on as I listen to Flashback Lunch for the hour.

Flashback Lunch finishes around 1pm. If Lawless is DJing, he plays a track from across the pond for UKTX. This is where I heard “Dominos” by The Big Pink and got into them. I scored a promo copy of their debut album at Cheapo Discs and really like it. UKTX recently played “Velvet” off the same album, A Brief History of Love, and that’s an excellent track, too.

After UKTX, I plugged back into the Shuffle and continue the mix ’til my shift ends at around 3pm. I remove my headphones, clock out, log off, and go back to my car. By this time, Toby is DJing and it’s about time for his 3 O’Clock Whatever. He was going to play Soul Coughing’s “Soft Serve” today but opted for System of a Down’s “Psycho.” He’s played “Soft Serve” before, but that song is a great jam and should be his go-to track if he doesn’t have anything else queued up.

I make the short drive home or to run an errand or two with the radio playing, and the audio doesn’t stop ’til the car stereo turns off when I pull into a parking space, shut off the car, remove the face plate, and enter my abode after a usual day at work.