Understanding Concrete

On our way down to Southcenter Mall today, Phillip asked me, “How does concrete work?” That’s the type of conversations we have when we’re driving on the freeway.

I didn’t know. I knew it had something to do with the mixture of cement and water, and I knew that concrete and cement are not synonymous. I was driving, and I couldn’t pull out my pocket notebook and write a note to look it up when I got home, so Phillip sent me a text message as the next best option.

We went to Southcenter Mall today to meet up with Catherine and Alan, to see X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Phillip and I got there early, and Catherine and Alan were running late, so we did some shopping in the mall. (As I’ve written before, Phillip and I are not mall shoppers.) Phillip bought some socks, and I bought some french fries with malt vinegar from a stand selling nothing but french fries. (The plan was to have lunch before the movie, but I was feeling a bit hungry. I was still worn out from last night’s burlesque show.)

When Catherine and Alan arrived, the four of us split up to find something to eat in the four court. Allan and I both chose Chipotle, but the line was too long. I went over to the Chinese place that Phillip had chosen, and Alan went to go find some teriyaki.

Phillip, Alan, and I met back up at a table in the area we’d all agreed on. No one knew what happened to Catherine.

After we’d all been worrying about where Catherine was, she arrived. Her order from Johnny Rocket took much longer than expected, she explained.

Alan and Catherine were more Phillip’s friends than mine. They knew each other from NorWesCon. During lunch at the Southcenter food court, that may have changed a bit. I’d met them both before, but I got to know them better today, and vice versa.

It got close to the movie start time, Catherine had just started her lunch, and Phillip wasn’t quite finished. I’d pre-ordered two tickets, and so had Catherine, so Alan and I went up together to the movie theater to get good seats. (I found myself stuck in a paradigm, so it took me a moment to understand that Alan would use the ticket I’d bought for Phillip, and Phillip would use the ticket Catherine had bought for Alan.) So, I got to have some good one-on-one conversations with Alan, and learned that we have a lot in common.

X-Men: Days of Future Past was excellent. I enjoyed it more than any of the previous X-Men movies.

Alan and Catherine had to leave immediately after the movie. Phillip and I went to a container store in the mall and I bought two plastic CD containers. (I had been boxing them up in mismatched cardboard boxes, but I think these new containers will be a better solution.) Each containers holds 150 CDs, so I may finally get an idea of how many CDs Phillip and I own.

On our way home, we stopped into Ezell’s to pick up some fried chicken for dinner.

When we got home, I found a Facebook Friend request from Alan. Of course, I accepted. I then sent a Friend request to Catherine, and she accepted.

Concrete works through a complicated reaction between the cement and water, called hydration. As the water evaporates, the tricalcium silicate in the cement crystallizes, bonds with other compounds, and hardens. Or, something like that.

It’s been a great day.

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