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2008-07-29 - 2:53 p.m.

First in an occasional series on coworkers. I can't help but to take a reckoning. I spend a lot of time around these ten or twelve people. I think I'll start with the ones I like and then go from there. Is that mean? Maybe. I've concluded that there's a lot of unhappiness filling up this air-conditioned, filtered-water place and I'm trying to figure out if the unhappiness is typical, or if it's somehow higher here. I also think it's important to squeeze from it what I can.

CK works from home four days a week and drives a beat-up Toyota sedan. He's a kindred spirit in a lot of ways. We have near-identical tastes in music, movies, television shows, and, probably, girls. He likes old rockers more than I do: Springsteen, Neil Young, and he's real big on Wilco and bands like Crowded House. The idea of listening to rap strikes him as strange. He lives in DC and so is even more liberal and city-centric than me (in terms of militancy about recycling and not driving and not using ethnic slurs, even sarcastically) and drives up to Columbia once a week. We generally go out for tacos and sometimes for Indian food at the Mango Grove. He covers music for the Post part-time, so he's got a cool side job and lets me burn copies of his press CDs, which is nice. I just got the new My Morning Jacket from him, which has about three or four just great songs. He's a workout nut (boxing, running, strange triathalon combinations involving running through mud) and has just about zero body fat. He's really, really jacked up and really, really fit. I'd say he's a good-looking guy. I think he could stand to smoke a little weed every now and then, though, because he tends toward the nervous, the over-thinking, the cheek-chewing. He is very aware of how he sounds when he talks, how he's perceived by his Post bosses and at this job. He tries hard to be funny in meetings and sometimes succeeds. He keeps himself tightly controlled and I suspect he's disciplined in most parts of his life, from dishwashing to food-eating. He seems to get my kind of humor, which is a nice find. I think he thinks I'm a little irreverent and a little slackerly. He thinks I read a lot of books and I think it makes him feel like he's not as learned as I am. He writes me a nice note in his homemade Christmas cards he hands out every year. He always asks me to come down to DC and go to plays and shows with him and his girlfriend, but so far all I've done with him is see the Iron Maiden show for which he got me a free ticket. He has a masters degree from one of the big Southern California schools, in screenwriting. We do the same thing here and I think he's less interested in the job than I am. I think he paid a lot of money for his condo.

New shoes information that's pretty boring: I'm wearing a tan suit to this wedding this weekend. I don't have any nice brown shoes. So, today, I had to go out and buy a pair of brown shoes that I'll wear for this wedding and then, again, maybe in a year or a year and a half. Isn't that crazy? Answer: yes. Additional shoe information: they were on sale for 30 percent off. I paid 41 dollars for them.

My grad school buddy is supposed to call me tonight. I wonder if he's got news, like maybe his wife is pregnant or something. He has a children's novel and he's got an agent. I wonder if maybe he's got a publisher. He lives in Charleston. I think he's great, but fact is, he pops the collars on his golf shirts.

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