Tuesday, December 18, 2007

this year, the title goes to ...

last year, i got a little sentimental over the gift that RK gave me for christmas. it was an awesome gift.

this year though ... i think the title for best gift has got to go to a. now, i know christmas isn't for another week. but whatever. if anyone else can top months of work to produce something this awesome in every way, i will eat my words.

so a big blog shout out to a, who i imagine spent lo a many eves watching reruns of the office (damn strike) and trying to decide if she/we are over grey's anatomy (verdict is still out) while churning out this bad boy.

on a related note, this is the first year that the two of us have ever gotten both our christmas presents to one another on time - let alone within a month. kudos to us.

Friday, December 14, 2007

just stop it already

alright, mainstream media. enough.

this means you, today show, world news with charles gibson, nbc nightly news with brian williams. all of y'all.


i am currently enjoying a very successful and fruitful relationship with my friend Denial over the fact that my brother is going to be gone for a whole year on tour in the middle east. his little boys - you see, i am so close with Denial that i'm not even going to tell you how those kids are going to react to him being gone. i'm going to get a piece of cheese out of the refrigerator instead of telling you.

mmm. cheese.

so as i was saying, you seem to be really interested in driving a wedge between Denial and i. why you gotta play Denial like that? you're constantly showing these goddamn videos every single day of fathers coming home from war - all in their fatigues with shaved heads looking like my bro - to surprise their kids at school. or at the mall. or on a school trip to the mall. tonight two little kids unwrapped a big box they thought was from their dad in iraq, but actually was their dad from iraq.

for the love of.... will you please stop with these things? puh-lease.

whatareyoutryingtoprove?! stop it. stop making my heart come up through my throat like a rocket, and the tears come to my eyes so fast i think i might start spraying tears freakishly at a 90-degree angle from my face instead of just allowing them to leisurely drip down my cheek.

if i have to see one more 5-year-old boy shreik daddy while they're leaping into the arms of a father that looks just like a father i know, i'm going to have to break up with Denial. or put a remote through the new tv. and then b would break up with me. see, no one wins here.

stop it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

je suis une fille formidable

i'm allowing myself to be a little sentimental today, a little appreciative of the way things are. wait, that's not accurate. i'm allowing myself to blog about it is all. it's been six weeks now since we've moved into the city, from the burbs of arlington into adams morgan, from a high-rise to an english basement, from corporate landlords to a nice gay couple who are, themselves, just getting settled into this big old house. my commute used to be a walk across the street to the metro; now, i walk for 35 minutes to school and from school. i'm outside about 75 times more now than i was before, walking, soaking in sunlight and endorphines that are significantly affecting my mood, and my affection for this city and her quietly dignified neighborhoods is growing by the day.

in six weeks, i haven't stopped grinning to myself when i cross new hampshire and look at the fountain at dupont circle down the block, or when i pass the building where i used to work as a receptionist for an architecture firm when we first moved here. when i cross k, i usually slow up a little in the middle of the street, stretching my neck for a glimpse of the office that is just waiting for me to wrap up this whole law school thing and pass the bar already. i breathe in fresh air every day, to and from work.

i've tried before to write about how this move has changed me, has changed my feelings about washington. about how i feel like i've been a fraud all these years, telling people back home i live in dc. i didn't live in dc. this side of the potomac and that side feel completely different. and i'm a little ashamed it took us so long to get here.

i can see the washington monument down 18th on those days i do choose to wait for the bus. i don't have congressional representation. and my driver's license finally does not say michigan. this is officially home.

and i was feeling especially sentimental, brimming over even, as i snapped shut my phone walking past the world bank, away from my last fall semester, having called to announce to b that i was triumphant ... that against all odds i'd managed to write a solid antitrust exam ... that i won't be failing any classes, not this semester. i crossed pennsylvania, dusk closing in around me, smiling like a damn fool ... and i knew today would be the day i might be able to explain how much happier i am now living in the city.

i had considered slipping into circle one bistro, a favorite hotel bar near campus, the location of my bachelorette party, a surprise party for b, and many a happy hour through the years. but i thought it would be better to stop in someplace new, reward myself for being thisclose to finishing law school with a new spot. (and obviously i was stopping for a drink. because somehow drinking at a bar alone at 5:15 on a wednesday is way better than coming home and uncorking a bottle of two buck chuck alone at 5:15 on a wednesday. obviously.) so i grabbed a fresh copy of the onion, and snuck into this cute little italian place on connecticut, just north of dupont circle, called tomate or something. it's a little place, the first floor almost all windows, and coming to a point to fit snugly on the little piece of real estate it inhabits. i've always thought it was adorable, but we've never gone. so in i went.

i settled in at the end of the bar, facing the church of scientology across the street, all decked out for christmas. (scientologists celebrate christmas? who knew?) (also, they seem to be okay with smoking. either that, or the constant presence of two or three smokers on the balcony above the entry to the mansion were keeping an eye out, and the smoking was a cover. maybe they're actually watching for a space ship that could at any moment swoop down for them. obviously, my knowledge of scientology is impressive, and not at all marred by pop culture's satire of it.) i ordered a bellini - peach schnopps and champagne, because what else does a self-respecting girl drink at 5:30 on a wednesday night, alone. i cracked open the onion (btw - who knew that i own and love 4 of the top 7 albums of the year as dictated by the onion's AV club. i am so much cooler than i give myself credit for). and i took a nice deep breath. i watched a little soccer, eavesdropped on some conversations, and ordered a little snacky snack. and another glass of champagne. i inhaled and exhaled, inhaled and exhaled, allowed myself the small luxury of being one more round of classes from the end of this chapter. i felt a little like i was reading ahead in a book, like i stopped suddenly on page 150, looked around to see if anyone was watching, gingerly flipped to page 250 ... and just read a couple of paragraphs. i liked it.

for the record, i didn't ask the bartender to top off my glass of champagne as i neared the end, nor did i buy the excuse he gave as he grinned and winked that he just needed to finish off the bottle. i did, however, tip accordingly.

as i walked up connecticut, home, with the evening breeze just cool enough to soothe the hint of champagne-induced throbbing in my forehead, i passed an art gallery with photography blanketing the front window. one of the photographs was of a sign that read, je suis une fille formidable. je SUIS une fille formidable!, i thought. je SUIS! je suis une fille formidable qui:

1. really wanted a cigarette;

2. is officially in her last semester of law school; and

3. had to go the dry cleaners drunk on champagne. at 6:30 on a wednesday night.


Friday, December 07, 2007

we all just need to REMAIN CALM - updated

something is not right, here in the metro dc area today. and i don't know what or who is behind it. terrorists? some super virus? alien invasion? satanic possession? i don't have the answers, people. but i know we should all be afraid.

if i hadn't seen the terror with my own eyes, i wouldn't have believed it either, friends. seriously. and what scares me the most is that it's happening in everyday work places - academia, government contractors. where will it strike next? WHERE GOD WHERE?

people are wearing velour sweatsuits to work today.

i know it's scary. i know, i'm scared too. two cases have been confirmed, one with photographic evidence (picture NSFW*), so you know exactly what to look for. what we need here is to be vigilant, people. we need to track this ... this ... whatever in god's name it is that has resulted in people wearing velour sweatsuits to work ... with the utmost precision. i'm about to call DHS. i have grave suspicions that the terrorists have either (1) affected the brains of certain of our coworkers, with an eye to manipulate them into some awful covert act, which they are testing by first seeing if they are willing to commit the horrendous act of wearing a velour sweatsuit to work; or (2) are trying to sabotage the american workforce by grinding productivity to a screeching halt as we all try to figure out why the fuck our coworkers are wearing velour sweatsuits to work.

do you have a coworker wearing a velour sweatsuit to work today? if so, it's your duty as an american to post a comment and email me photographic evidence if possible. we need to stop this thing, people. freedom, liberty, our whole way of life could be at stake here.

god bless.


upstanding american SJ has done his duty. he has bravely sought and submitted more evidence of the growing epidemic.

you're truly a hero, SJ. i salute you.

*not NSFW in that way, you pervs. if you want to see random nipples, go to the superficial or something.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

does karma take payment in the form of contributions to worthy causes .. for credits that could be redeemed later, say, during a federal tax law exam?

i couldn't help but think, as i stood in my socks and well-loved, long-sleeved western t-shirt on the cold cement of my english basement doorstep, trying not to let in the few mosquitoes who've refused to let the cold air collapse their minuscule lungs, that i'm a sucker. but in a good way.

i listened to the well-scripted lines from the chapped lips of this girl years my junior about the importance of supporting pro-environment candidates, and the success her organization has had when they've had the resources to back pro-environmental candidates opposing nasty, blood oil (my phrase, not hers) republicans in the past few congressional campaigns ... and i was a little jealous. i was jealous that this girl from tennessee had the guts to go door-to-door on a cold november night almost a year before the next election and listen to people say no. (or in my case, yes.) i was jealous that this city hadn't yet worn her down, that she obviously still had hope that grassroots action can make a difference. i was jealous that she can fall asleep at night with that list of names and a grand total to support worthy candidates and curl up with the knowledge that she's doing something. it was equal parts admiration for her and belief in her cause that convinced me to give in. it was also the fact that my giant bleeding liberal heart can only hear "grassroots" and "environmental responsibility" so many times without responding with money, and that girl must have hit the magic number.

so, b, if you're reading - i hope you don't mind that i just gave some money to the tree hugger from tennessee. her organization has a website, so i'm pretty sure it's legit.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

we all know what time it is

it's the week of thanksgiving. the week i pretend to study. the week my stomach gets a little tighter, thinking of the 14 precious days between now and that first exam. the week i stop preparing for the classes i actually have and start actually trying to learn something about the law.

it's also the week that itunes puts the holiday music front and center again. the week i guffaw at the holiday displays in the stores: i love thanksgiving! why can't we just enjoy this holiday first?! gawd why do we have to jump over the holiday about eating and family and jump right into the one about presents?! jesus christ.

and the week that i bust out the christmas music.

that's right, i said it. the christmas music. i could blame it on the years spent as a freelance musician, when i'd be starting rehearsals for the obligatory holiday pops concerts right about now, complaining about having to play leroy anderson's sleighride again this year. or rather, complaining about rehearsing it - really? we're spending 40 minutes on a piece we could all play in our sleep? swell. ... but i love the wood claps in the percussion and the trumpet neighing just as much as the next gal. and though i could blame jumping into christmas music on that, i'm going to fess up. i just love christmas music. i love it. i'm not putting up the tree, or hanging lights, or doing any of that business before thanksgiving, promise. but when it comes to the feeling i get when it's finally time to put on the charlie brown christmas special soundtrack, or spend all day with ella and frank lightly singing those songs they were probably sick of singing - i can't help it. i'm a sucker for it. it's like it releases some peppermint-laced endorphines in my brain.

and so if you'll excuse me, i have some tax law to learn, and some leroy anderson to enjoy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

ambassador cabbie #697 is a dick

oh ambassador cabbie #697, today was really not the day to cut in front of me at the dc car inspection center. now, most of my friends - and i'm sure all of my acquaintences who would not consider me a friend - would be quick to tell you that there probably is no good day on which to attempt to cut in front of me in any line, let alone the wrapped-around-the-block line at the dc car inspection center. but today of all days was sooo not the day. any day that has included using public transportation to get from NW dc to fairfax, virginia only to stand outside the metro station at vienna for well over an hour calling the dealership where my poor little car is being held hostage waiting for the shuttle that is supposed to arrive every twenty minutes ... you see, that's a bad morning. paying $560 to rescue said car from the dealership for repairs that in the previous half a dozen visits (whilst my car was still protected by my old friend mr. warranty) the dealership couldn't fucking fix and now magically figured out 6,000 miles after my friend mr. warranty and i parted ways ... that's really a bad morning. and then showing up at the dc car inspection center to find the line a block longer than that time i went on a saturday morning like a fool? well, pal. it's a recipe for disaster.

so then when you, mr. ambassador cabbie #697, decided to cut in front of me as i turned from delaware onto eye street after waiting a half hour for that small joy, all bets were off. maybe you thought i'd stop with the honking. maybe you thought i'd just throw my arms around a little. maybe you didn't mind my yelling out the window. and maybe you didn't think i'd be such a bitch when i got out of my car and stormed to the driver's side of your cab. but you see, i'd had a super shitty morning, and i've been screwed by more than one dc cabbie in my days here ... whatever you did that made karma whisper in your ear cut in front of this girl... she won't mind ... well, i can only imagine it was something awful that led you to me this morning, and earned you the brunt of all my shitty-morning-related frustration and dislike-of-dc-cabbies wrath. you must have totally deserved it.

this theory is buttressed by the fact that one of the sassiest old ladies in dc, bless her heart, happened to be crossing the street while this unfolded. i had just started dialing the number for ambassador cabs (as i so politely promised you i would) and was headed back to my car, muttering under my breath, when she unleashed it on you too. and though my caustic wit and threatening to call your bosses may not have fazed you, clearly this 70-year-old's threat to march straight to the inspection center and tell them herself what you'd just done and demand they write you a ticket - somehow that did the trick.

oh and by the way, i am happy now. thanks for asking.

Friday, November 09, 2007

an open thank you note to karma

good day, karma.

as you probably know, after doing what i deemed to be the right (ok, and satisfying, sure) thing and totally busting the damn fool i work with, i was really torn between commupins-related glee and pragmatic realization that i may have just made the next six months even longer and more miserable ... this dread was compounded when, as i left ej on the bus and walked the block to the new digs, i realized that i only moved one week ago. has it really only been a week? dude, karma, i gotta tell you. this has been a long ass week. as you may recall, i spent one day this week - a day that seemed like three - driving my engine-light-constantly-on foreign car to multiple mechanics and the dc inspection center. oh yeah, and the headlights being crooked? seriously, karma. mad props for making sure that the dc inspection dudes didn't notice that i used huge wads of duct tape to adjust their aim. that was awesome. but even still? longest. week. ever. and so, the commupins-related glee was falling away in the cold november rain...

but thanks so much, karma, for that nondescript package waiting under the steps of my landlords' 5000 square foot urban mansion. sure, the note attached was from my future and not-borderline-sociopathic coworkers, but i know it was really from you. i mean, sure they really do miss me and i'm sure really can't wait for me to start (dude, someone has got to get on that minnesota contract research question that needs to be answered ten ways from tuesday!) and i'm sure they do really hope that the new place is treating me well. also i'm sure they hope that you, karma, are treating me well too.

and you are.

because a short while later as i stirred the delicious pot of chili that i have been looking forward to all day and probably bored the shit out of my coworker today talking about every 30 minutes (damn do i love chili and DAMN is it the perfect day for chili), you called. you totally CALLED me, karma! and that was sweet. ok, sure, you called in the form of my old landlady with the good news that the old place rented and somehow the person who rented it wants to move a week from tomorrow, which is the day after our lease ends, but that if i clean that dump out tomorrow and turn in my keys i can TOTALLY get a refund for six days worth of rent - which is fucking sweet. karma, thanks for showing some random dude my dirty ass empty apartment, and whispering into his nomadic ear that this place, though in serious need of some vacuuming and no small amount of ajax, is just the place to call home. that was super nice of you!

to sum, karma, you obviously care deeply for me. i appreciate this affection, this affection that is so clearly evidenced by this awesome outpouring of karmic goodwill in less than 90 minutes on this cold fall evening. thanks a ton!

take care, karma. you're tops!


p.s. karma, don't you think living in adams morgan is the effing bomb? because i totally do.

Monday, October 29, 2007

metro monday: the end of an era edition

i had faith, going into this morning's commute, that the orange line would give me something/one spectacular this morning, an appropriate send-off on the last metro monday in her overcrowded cars. i wasn't sure if i'd be graced with an outrageously dressed commuter (maybe the gentleman i saw at clyde's in chinatown this weekend lost a bet and had to show up to work wearing the cape and cod piece?) or if i'd get a repeat of last week's off-loading and horrendously crowded platform.

but really, nothing spectacular happened at all. a few people sitting on the left, yada yada. b and i got to sit next to each other, which is pretty remarkable. there wasn't even a comb-over. i saw no white purses. there was no one pushing over a pregnant lady in a rush to score a seat. i did see a guy wearing a red sox cap with his suit, but much like this year's world series, it was incredibly anti-climatic.

i've got nothing people. nothing but a little sadness that i'm leaving an apartment and a neighborhood i love ... and a little hope that my new above-ground commute will provide fresh material.

so this is it, orange line. it's been real.

Monday, October 22, 2007

oh for fuck's sake, cnn.com

i am consistently disappointed in you, cnn, much like a midwestern mother trying to pretend her children aren't adults and demanding that the holiday be Just The Way They've Always Been. but this, truly, has taken things in a whole new direction.

Martial arts TV star picks presidential candidate

chuck norris? CHUCK NORRIS?

how is chuck norris' endorsement in the presidential race even on the list of possible news stories that could be covered on your well-read website? how, how, how? has one of The Onion's writers snuck onto your staff? have you been hacked by the same person who got into ann coulter's website last week, or that chick from The Hills' myspace page? and does anyone believe she isn't behind that sex tape scandal? i really need to think that there is some logical explanation for the reporting of this completely irrelevant presidential endorsement. because i've always been under the impression that chuck norris' relevance in national politics was one of the signs of impending apocalypse. obviously, my biblical knowledge is impressive.

on the bright side, if this means that the political opinions of people who truly don't matter are going to be real news, i'm for hillary. please leave me a comment for a full interview and headshot. i'll be waiting.

metro monday: the It's Almost As If I Never Left Michigan edition

brown dress shoes that very closely resembled the dock shoes my dad used to wear up north: not awesome.

wrinkled, too snug, been-through-the-dryer-one-too-many-times khakis: not awesome.

woven leather black belt that obviously did not match aforementioned shoes: not awesome.

unironed white button-up shirt, rolled up to your elbows: not awesome.

camouflage NRA baseball hat with little images of guns actually scattered throughout the camouflage: awesome.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

there's no place like home for the holidays ...

i was so proud of myself this year, managing to wholly circumvent the annual holiday fight - the one big fight b & i have each year about holiday plans, with each of our families breathing down our necks, angling for an extra hour here or there. this, i thought, was especially impressive given that we are going to michigan for both christmas and thanksgiving - a trip that we usually forgo in favor of a quiet day of gorging ourselves at home with a friend or two. (i'm thinking PIE-ATUS, jen!!) this year, i simply worked out the bulk of the logistics when b was halfway around the world in singapore, and told him the plans when he returned. unnecessary spike in blood pressure averted!

but did i really think that the fates would let me get off so easily? GOD i'm so naive sometimes.

i guess the appropriate backstory here is that the thanksgiving trip, the one which was at the core of yesterday's motherly freak-out (though, to be fair, there was a touch of christmas thrown in for good measure), is because my brother's leaving soon for a year in kuwait. which is markedly not awesome, but also ... not iraq. i received a motherly ultimatum a few months ago, young lady, if your brother is going overseas, you had better come home for thanksgiving, or ... or ... i don't know. i would have anyway, but nothing like a nice ultimatum to really make the trip seem like some quality family time will be had. planning with my sister-in-law about logistics, with some consultation from my mom, led us to the realization that thanksgiving at my brother's house on saturday was the best option. flights were booked, et cetera, et cetera. except no one told me my grandma booked a flight to come in on thursday,* and we also decided christmas at the brother's house was the best option given that a flight for b & i to grand rapids would have cost a kidney.

i knew that christmas thing wouldn't go over well, but when i told my mom that little gem this weekend, she had a mild freak-out, so i thought we were done.

until yesterday.

1. apparently it turns out that having the holidays at my brother's house, 80 miles from where my parents live, is not a decision rooted in convenience and maximizing time together, but in fact a direct reflection on how my parents house is actually not good enough for me;

2. i am a terrible daughter for keeping my mom out of the loop by not telling her (though i have email documentation to the opposite) that thanksgiving was at my brother's house; my ignorance about my grandmother's flight* is feigned and a reflection of how evil and selfish a daughter i am;

3. she is calling me right now and there's no way i'm answering;

4. this holiday season actually isn't about getting to spend as much time with my brother as possible; instead, it is about logging the yearly quota of hours physically at my parents' house;

5. i am insufferably selfish.

this thanksgiving is going to be the Best Ever!

*it actually turns out my grandma has not yet booked her flight. so i guess that whole thing about how i've ruined thanksgiving for everyone, including my grandmother!, was a little premature.

Monday, September 24, 2007

metro monday: the sleepy-head edition

only one of the three sleeping men this morning on the train was particularly interesting - the other two just looked like really weary travelers that had taken red eyes into dulles. this third fellow, though, he was quality. there was the snoring, which was great, and the sighs one expects to hear from a 2-year-old who has just started to fall asleep after an afternoon of hard play. there was the smacking of the lips as he started to come around - like i do when i wake up after having eaten an especially garlicky meal the night before, and the taste in my mouth the next morning is shocking.

for some reason the sound of the doors opening at courthouse shook him from his sleep, and he grabbed his duffle bag and bolted for the door. and i obviously took his seat, because that's how i roll. i guess courthouse wasn't his stop though, because he turned around, saw me in his seat, and sighed. i could see it in b's eyes: you took the sleeper's seat! but what was i supposed to do - ask him if he'd like it back to continue his nap? sorry charlie.

i admired his drive though. sleeper didn't need the seat. he nodded off again between rosslyn and foggy bottom, his head bobbing, brushing slightly against the shoulder of the taller man next to him. awkward.

i was tempted not to talk about this guy, despite the fact that the image of someone falling asleep standing up on the train (in a corduroy hawaiian shirt. did i not mention this? it was quality) is funny, right? but then, after we both detrained at foggy bottom, i saw him walk across the platform and get on a blue line train in the opposite direction. i'm not sure if he was riding the train to sleep (in which case i'm a total bitch) or if he just missed his transfer at rosslyn.

'm telling myself it was the latter.

an open letter to one-year-from-now s

dear s,

i hear that first year associates find themselves doing a number of fairly menial tasks: days of document review, maybe researching contract law in minnesota (again), and of course the document review. maybe you're in the middle of some massive document review right now, maybe you've just finished your third red bull, and maybe your head hurts and your fingers are covered in papercuts. maybe your blackberry won't stop buzzing.

i just wanted to take the time to remind you, future s, that back when you still answered phones and made copies to work your way through school, you couldn't wait to do those things. this s can't wait to have a little ounce of responsibility. this s can't wait to be able to take more than 30 minutes and 15 seconds for lunch, and not have to call ahead and apologize if public transportation is going to deliver her to the office at 9:03. this s can't wait to not share a cubicle and to be able to answer her personal cell between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

but most of all, this s can't wait to never, ever again be assigned the urgent, high priority task of unstapling seven small packets of paper and returning them to her supervisor.

although to be fair, future s, you and i both know how satisfying the supervisor's stomp was after he realized that the used staples from the urgently needed-to-be-unstapled packets were all piled neatly on top of those papers in his inbox.

there's something delicious about passive aggressiveness, and you just might miss it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

marble and wine (and private parts)

of all the cabs i took this summer, i managed to never find myself in one during rush hour. i'm not sure how that's possible, but sitting in the cab last night in rush hour, in a suit, en route to an event with a couple of lawyers at my firm - instead of sitting in class - i didn't mind the stop-and-go one bit. it gave me a great chance to observe the mass of humanity pouring from their buildings at 6pm. a man was sprinting down h street in a suit, his briefcase in one hand, his hair and suit coat catching the september breeze. he switched abruptly to a walk as he rounded 14th, and i couldn't help but look around to see if there was a film crew nearby. people don't seem to leave their offices alone. and there are a lot more porsches in this city than i realized.

the women's bar association event i was attending was in the lobby of some office building near metro center - and i can tell you with all certainty that it was a touch more magnificent than the tired lobby of my campus office building. the voices of a couple hundred female attorneys bounced around the stories of cool marble and the resulting rumble greeted me as i followed a pair of young, heeled attorneys through the revolving door. i'd barely found my nametag when i heard my name and saw a familiar partner waving me over. i fumbled with my nametag and shaking hands, and the gentleman with the crisp white wine stood next to me for a few seconds before i realized the glass was mine. as i was shuttled around from and introduced (a couple times, the partner slipped: this is s. she's one of our associates. gosh, i mean, she will be one of our associates next fall. then to me: i keep forgetting you're not already a lawyer!) to one group of smart, successful, smiling women to another - i could feel the grime of cubicles and micromanagement falling away.

the roar quieted as speeches began from a podium situated on a landing a story above the main lobby floor, perfectly blue tiffany bags casually strewn about, holding the awards. and at first i didn't really notice the statue just to the left of where the group of female judges were honored. but at some point, i really took a good look.

and that's when i noticed the penis.

three things:

1. at least it was pointing in the other direction;
2. i kept imagining this conversation, as one event organizer rushed into the office of another: oh my god! i just realized the statue in that lobby has a huge penis!; and
3. what exactly should i think about the fact that at an event where the female legal community was gathered to celebrate our collective advancements as a gender, a huge penis was lording over us all? because i kinda think it's hilarious.

Monday, September 17, 2007

metro monday: the It's September For God's Sake edition

i'm not going to lie. though i giggled a little when the woman got on the train this morning with the winter coat, i was not surprised. i've been here through enough falls to know that people overreact. only one winter coat on the first really-feels-like-fall morning is expected. overall, my fellow commuters, you were dressed very appropriately. it seems i'm not the only one who has been jonesing to pull cute blazers out from the back of my closet. i saw no fewer than 6 blazers that i nearly broke the commuter code of silence for, to inquire as to their stores of origin.

but my friends, what the hell is it with the white purses. still? really?! please stop.

the past two weeks, i have seen many of you wandering around with your white pants and white sandals (which, frankly, i don't think is really ever a good idea) and linen and white purses ... but it's been hot. so maybe, i kept thinking as i bit my tongue and refrained from glaring, you've all just forgotten that labor day has passed. maybe the heat got to your brains or something. but today, the grace period ends. today is a crisp fall day. you are wearing blazers and closed toe heels. i saw velvet and i saw corduroy.

and i saw them mixed with white purses.

this is not ok.

i implore of you, good citizens, to obey this - the simplest of all fashion rules. Do Not Wear White After Labor Day. and purses count.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

live blog: my first interaction with the dc dmv

4:40 call general information number. english. option 1. listen to fairly short intro.

4:40 some random announcement about the website. did you know we have a website?! gasp! read: go to our fucking website you idiot. why are you even calling?

4:42 chipper fellow talking about registration requirements for living in the city. ok, got it. then tells me to return to the website for information. again. i get it. there's a website.

4:43 registration menu. i guess this is my first registration? got it. inspection. sure. has to pass. check. if it's leased yada yada. if you inherited from a dead person. blah blah. military. got it.

perhaps i should explain why i'm on the phone w/ dmv when we aren't moving for almost 2 months. i'm concerned that we'll pile up shitloads of -

4:46 they hung up on me. somehow i knew liveblogging would be a good idea.

4:46 call back. didn't press option 1 fast enough. hung up on me again. the problem with liveblogging.

4:47 spanish speaking people can't pay with credit cards over the phone? really? why is that? curious.

i'm going to see if i can get a person by not pressing any buttons.

while i'm waiting, i'm afraid that if we move and i have an out-of-state plate, we'll get a shitload of tickets.

4:48 pressed zero to get a human being. they're busy, however, and now i'm listening to pachabel's canon. i fucking hate pachabel's canon. for serious.

i'm hoping that if we can -

4:49 OH! oh. still busy. but i'm sure the next available agent will be with me as soon as possible.

i'm hoping that if we can get registration on the car before we move or right when we move, i can avoid tickets. or even a temporary permit, which they must have, would be great. however, my extensive -

4:50 still assisting other customers. next available. promise.

my extensive exploration of the dmv's website has uncovered no info about such temporary permit.

4:52 still busy. new music. i think it's vivaldi. thank god. the only thing worse than being on hold to talk to someone at the dmv is being on hold at the dmv and listening to pachabel. seriously. most annoying piece of classical music ever.

4:53 still assisting those other customers. who else could possibly be dumb enough to call the dmv and expect to speak to a human being?

4:54 just realized that they probably close at 5:00. OH! nope. still assisting other customers. there was a cruel, extra pause between the break in the trumpet concerto and the too-chipper announcement that no one is going to talk to me.

4:57 still nothing. tropical storm humberto, eh? that's a nice name for a storm. i like it.

4:59 i just realized i missed oprah on the one day of the week i get to watch. sure, i could dvr it, but that's not the same. it's the joy of being at home at 4:00 in the afternoon on a weekday that makes oprah so fulfilling. also, just cracked open a bottle of bell's oberon. have i mentioned you can get it on tap at the liberty tavern? you can. i love the liberty tavern. please go. for me.

5:03 zahara might have to have surgery? oh that poor girl. ps my mom never bought me a matching valentino (was it valentino?) purse when i was a kid. clearly, i was not loved. also, good thing my mom doesn't read this blog.

5:04 do you think if they stop taking calls at 5 they'll tell me? or will i just be stuck here listening to vivaldi?

5:07 i'm going back to the dmv website to see if i can figure this out.

5:11 still. on. hold. and i can't find anything on the website. hm. am beginning to think i might have to actually go to the dmv. which sucks, but i suspect will provide some pretty good material.

5:15 half through the oberon. i think i should always have a beer when i'm going to be on hold for a long time.

5:18 man this is a long trumpet concerto. i think they may have looped it to play twice. just noticed a typo in the original headline, which i have changed.

5:20 for some reason it seems like i heard a different woman's voice tell me to please hold. is that possible? now i'm wondering if someone at the dmv is just taking me off of hold, saying please hold blah blah blah, and then putting me back on hold.

5:24 going outside for a cigarette. apparently, being on hold with the dmv has become an excuse to pretend 5pm on a wednesday is actually 11pm on a saturday.

5:32 still on hold. have decided i'm only waiting 8 more minutes. one hour on hold is kinda my limit. even with the beer and cigarette. in the meantime, i think i need some chips and dip to get through the last few minutes.

5:43 ok that's it. i'm done. i'm out of beer, there is not very much (lite) french onion dip left anyway, holding my cell phone on my shoulder for this long is starting to hurt my neck, and i'm quite certain there isn't even anyone left at the dmv. or maybe they are there, staring at the blinking line, laughing at me. bastards.

so let me ask: does anyone know what happens when you move to the city and have to park on the street? can you get a temporary permit until your plates and tags arrive? surely i am not the first person from the commonwealth to venture across the potomac? jesus.


the following announcement, or some variation thereof, has appeared at least a half dozen times since i started law school in 2005.

Law Association for Women Bake Sale - Wednesday!

a bake sale. the women lawyers association is having a bake sale.

apparently i go to law school in the 1950s.

Monday, September 10, 2007

mega metro monday

i was a little sad, standing in the long line this morning waiting to get through the one turnstile not being blocked by the tourists trying to shove their little metro cards into the slot where the card comes out. it occurred to me that in a few weeks, when i really become s in the city, my commute won't be peppered by these little gems of tourist frustration. i've seen a lot of tourist misadventures on the train - though never quite this situation - and once i start riding the bus, i might miss those. i mean, i might. a little. and really only for metro monday material. the rest of the time i'll just purse my lips and glare.

the train was, not shockingly, totally packed this morning. crammed in tightly next to b, i looked up and noticed one single gray hair in the wash of black on his head. you have a gray hair! i mouthed. seriously!? sweet. this is big news. b has been saying for a while that he wants gray hair. he thinks it's distinguished, and will make him look older and maybe garnish more respect from the people he interacts with at work. we've been joking about looking for a just for men gray - so he can just comb in a little gray around the edges, increasing it ever so slightly every few months.

speaking of just for men, has anyone else noticed osama's new and improved beard? is he trying to look younger? portray youthful optimism? show us he'll be around for a few more decades? two points on this: 1. of all the personal things osama should be working on, his graying hair should be much lower on the list. maybe he should examine why he feels the need to coordinate mass murder, or take care of those pesky kidney issues. frankly, it seems a little vain. and where is he getting that dye? is it some american brand imported from china - do they make hair dye in pakistan? and if it is just for men, this brings me to point #2. homeland security should really consider tracking all shipments of just for men to the middle east. i mean, that man has quite a beard. i bet he touches it up with some regularity. exploit this weakness, dear homeland security.

sorry. back to metro monday. b and i had to switch trains at rosslyn this morning. apparently after labor day, metro turns the heat on in some of the trains. and b is cranky cranky when we're on a hot train, so we decided to transfer to a blue line at rosslyn. oh, also, this girl was totally picking her nails and even gave them a couple of bites right next to b. hearing someone picking their nails is basically as bad as hearing someone run those nails down a chalkboard for b, so we really had no option. he was ready to blow. but just as we're getting off, someone cranked their ipod, and we were both in stitches as we shoved our way off the train. this is the conversation that ensued on the rosslyn platform:

s: did you HEAR that?
b: did i hear that? of course i heard that. the conductor heard that. i thought my sister was on the train.
s: i love it! he was just sitting there, looking all nerdy with his glasses and then ...
b: no, that's not who it was.
s: really? who was it?
b: the kid in the polo shirt.
s: was his collar popped?
b: no.
s: that's important you know.
b: i know.
s: who was that, anyway?
b: celine dion and bocelli. it's my sister's favorite song ever.
s: hilarious. i think i'll blog this conversation.
b: this is a good metro monday, s.
s: totally. it's like a mega metro monday.
b: nice.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

this is fucked up

my mom has this unfortunate habit of leaving me the following voicemail:

s. it's your mom. i need you to call me as soon as you get this message.

after calling her back in a tizzy, i learn that she has recently discovered my old cheerleading shorts or that hotplate i took with me to college and she needs to know if she should keep it.

i have never gotten one of these voicemails from my dad, though. not until today.

with my dad it's different. he usually doesn't even leave a message, comfortable that i'll see his missed call and just call him back. but today he left me this message:

s. it's dad. you need to call me when you get this message. you really need to call me when you get this message. um, yeah. call me.

this is a voicemail i never want to get again from my father. and the fact that i then called him four times in a row with no answer did not help. no one answered at home either. finally, i got my mom on her cell. she asked me if i'd tried to call my dad first, and then she told me to sit down.

it took a few minutes for my brain to wrap around the news. it was a little like she started speaking in pig latin and i had to decipher every word individually - and not until my dad got on the phone and told me i could google my great aunt and uncle's hometown and the words murder suicide to find the story did i actually attach that phrase to the news.

i wasn't terribly close with these particular family members - in fact, my most distinct memory of them is hearing my great uncle tell my parents they were wasting their money on music lessons because i wasn't going to make anything of myself. not the warmest of people. so i'm not sad for myself, not mourning for a close family member whose absence is going to impact my quality of life. but my grandmother, she is another story. she's crazy and judgmental, it's true. but she's my grandma, and i love her, and she loves me. and now she has lost her brother when she didn't have to. i've heard her cry plenty in my lifetime, but this was different. this was full-on weeping. it was from the gut, not crying to make anyone feel guilty or because she thought crying was the thing to do crying. this was sobbing, it was raw, and it was hard to take. she told me about the last time she talked to her brother, how he'd promised her he was going to look into getting help taking care of his wife, and how he spontaneously started crying and then pulled himself together just as quickly. i could tell she was already wondering if she could have stopped him.

later, on the phone with my brother, he said he had just emailed me a news article that included a photograph of the two. i don't know about him, but this 15 year old picture was exactly how i remembered them from childhood. even knowing they'd grown old since my childhood, i still pictured them at that age - around 65, old, but newly old. we just sat there, my brother and i, silent, both staring at the photograph from our computer screens hundred miles apart, shaking our heads. when he finally said softly, are you there sis? that's when it really hit me ... what my grandma must be going through. through the fog of a couple of decades i could remember my grandma being called sis by her brother, too. all the time.

i can't imagine what it must be like to lose a brother. and i certainly can't imagine the depth of that pain or what part of one's heart losing a brother like that must tear at.

i need brownies.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

when I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened/i'm waiting for my real life to begin

forgive me, colin hay, if you do not approve of the wandering musings i've attached to your lyrics.

i'm not sure why the impending move into the city has my stomach tied in knots. it's not the apartment (which is great) nor the location (which could not be better) nor the price (not a steal, of course, but for dc pretty good). it's not that i cannot commit to live in this place for at least a year. it's not the bitch that moving is - that will be largely alleviated by the movers.

i think it might be that i've grown comfortable in this holding pattern in which we've found ourselves the past two years. don't get me wrong, we've spent a lot of time thinking about what next spring will mean for us, and longing for it to hurry up already. we've spent a few afternoons sitting at the belgian place soon to be just around the corner longing for a time when it would be ... just around the corner.

a lot of mornings for a few years, i've awoken to nothing happening. not nothing, really. lots of stuff has happened, lots of things that needed to happen for my real life to begin. you know, the one where i'm not in school, where i have a real job, where we live in the city instead of the 'burbs. that real life.

a few weeks ago, rk scolded me for being so eager for that real life to begin. at the time, i thought she was right ... but also that i wasn't going to stop being eager. now i'm wondering if i'm eager at all. because from here, from the 'burbs, from the safety of school, with none of my real life yet used up, everything is just as i want it to be. it's all out there to be explored, the whole thing. it's like that last harry potter for which i've been clamoring for years - and that has been sitting a third-read on my coffee table since the end of july. or that hour between 6am and 7am on christmas morning when my brother and i were kids - when we'd sit silently on the couch staring at the presents under the tree before we could wake up our parents, imagining all the glorious things that were waiting right in front of us, savoring the not knowing. i love harry potter, i love christmas presents, and i'm sure i'll love that real life once it begins. but i also love the anticipation, those hot summer afternoons spent with b in a neighborhood where we don't - but would love to - live, tossing the idealized version of what it must be like to live there back and forth over duvels or hoegardens. i love that.

moving into the district has long been a touchstone for that real life we've been waiting to begin. and i'm not really sure what to do with that, now that an address and a landlord and a date have been attached.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

eye on detroit

let's start with what is not shocking: a road rage incident in metro detroit. not because i think detroit is more prone to road rage; in fact, i think that drivers in the metro detroit area are infinitely better drivers than drivers around here. (you are crazy, dc drivers. seriously. where the hell did you people learn how to drive? you. are. terrible.)


anyway, let's move to what is shocking:

that this person has apparently been living as a woman for some time now.

really? really. when i saw the headline that said this choir director has been suspended through september, i just assumed it was for falsifying employment records by claiming to be a woman. or, for buying a terrible wig.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

on public restrooms

not that, you pervs.

i had a dream the other night that ej had asked both b and i what annoyed us about the other person while we were at a slumber party in the farmhouse in which my grandmother used to live with her second husband before he died. obviously.

anyway, his answer was that i could be vindictive and manipulative (what? moi?) and my answer was that i hate it when we go shopping and he has to use the bathroom and then we have to drive all the way home because he needs to be at his home base.

i'm not sure how common this phenomenon is with men. maybe all men hate public restrooms. maybe men's rooms are even more disgusting than i imagine they must be. but the fact is ... i was never exposed to this particular phobia - the phobia of having to sit one's bare ass on a toilet used by strangers - before marrying b. i've never seen a person abandon an entire cart of stellar buys at marshalls or tjmaxx because, well, it was just time to go. even for an accused germaphob like me, the idea of sharing some porcelain with strangers is just a fact of life. i make do, as it were.

but b, no no. he'll have no such thing if there's anyway around it. if that means aborting a shopping trip suddenly, that's what it means. if it means our morning sitting at starbucks reading the newspaper is cut short, well, c'est la vie.

i guess it doesn't matter anyway. after this week, i don't think he's ever going into a public restroom again.

Monday, August 27, 2007

metro monday: the back to school edition

i was going to spend my first post-sabbatical metro monday on the following two words and how they should be banned from the english language:

fanny pack.

and really, who can't write a little something funny about the fanny pack?

but since this is the back to school edition, i'm instead going to focus on the following two words, inspired by one of my professors:

man boobs.

and more specifically, man boobs highlighted by a thin t-shirt under which no t-shirt is worn, and through which hard nipples are displayed.

people, a lot of what i do on my little corner of the Internets is to make fun of people. a whole lot. but this is more of a public service announcement, really.

gentlemen. listen up. if you have man boobs, give your wardrobe a little thought. if a thin cotton t-shirt is the first thing you grab out of the closet, take a pause. you need to consider just placing a white t-shirt under that thin cotton t-shirt. and what's more - if you have a tendency to maintain freakishly hard nipples for a man (or mammal), perhaps two t-shirts won't be enough.

and further still, if you're a law professor, a single thin cotton t-shirt is not acceptable on the first - or any - day of class.

because of this, i'm actually going to make fun of this professor.


Friday, August 24, 2007

The Call

it came well after business hours, and i had basically assumed any hope of receiving it today was all but lost. but as i sat moping a little in bed, staring blankly at the television - it came. a random 202 number that i did not recognize.

the substance of The Call was, i'm not going to lie, not a surprise. i worked hard all summer (well, i mean, as hard as a summer associate can, people!) to make sure that the substance of The Call would not be a surprise. nonetheless, hearing those words, the firm would like to make you an offer for permanent, full-time employment after graduation ... it was hard to hear the rest of that sentence over the hallelujah chorus that was going off in my mind.

i. have. a. job.

the partner seemed surprised when i accepted right then and there over the phone. i don't know why he thought i needed time to think it over. i've been planning to take this offer ever since he said clusterfuck in my screening interview. no, seriously. he said clusterfuck. and i thought, now this ... this is a man i can work with. he's lucky that he even got out the firm would like to ... before i said yes. it took some serious self-control, my friends.

so now it is official. and i need a drink.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

we'll never know what could have been...

i don't know how well we know each other, dear readers.

i realized this as i started crafting this post about how devastated a specific law firm should be that they did not give me an offer last summer. i started writing and then it occurred to me - you all may not know that i dance like a strange amalgamation of elaine benes, ellen, carlton banks and madonna. b likes to call it avant garde, and constantly instructs me never NEVER to dance in front of a mirror, either for fear it will break or that i will see the hideousness of my dancing and thus rob him from a lifetime of laughing hysterically at me. as an aside, i've come to think these mad skills are genetic - during nephewmania 2007, i had a dance party with the big A, who made me turn on the ringer to my cell phone (the same ringer b thinks sucks and i think is wicked funky) and we had a sweet dance party in his bedroom. and i have to say - whatever special dna has bestowed on me these mad moves, that kid totally got it.

but i digress.

when i first listened to this definitely not a theme song, i could only shake my head and laugh. trying to imagine the context in which the partners approved the necessary funds to produce this little gem, i came up empty. but then it occurred to me - these people turned me down.*


the girl with the Child of Carlton Banks And Elaine Benes At A Holiday Party Trying To Be Ellen And Madonna Simultaneously dance moves.

talk about raising employee morale! best place to work in dc? with this girl dancing to that song? damn right best place to work in dc!

your loss, suckas.

*UPDATE: last year - this isn't the firm with which i spent the summer. there's still hope on that front...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

national airport cell phone waiting area, i thought i knew you

oh, national airport cell phone waiting area! just when i thought we had really gotten to know each other, this happens. we've spent some quality time together, you and i ... listening to music or npr, staring aimlessly out the window, waiting for the phone to ring. (this actually sounds a lot like how The Most Annoying Coworker Ever spends his days. curious.)

but i never expected this kind of behavior from you, national airport cell phone waiting area. and at first i didn't believe it. when the middle-aged, bleached-blond, white-washed jeans woman stepped out of the driver's seat of her small car, opened the passenger's side door and began fiddling with the seat of her companion, i figured he couldn't figure out how to adjust his seat. and when she reclined his seat back all the way, i figured it was going to be a long wait or he was feeling ill. even when she climbed in on him, i still didn't fully realize what was going on. but then the door shut. and as she flipped that dried-out, bleached-blond hair over her shoulder and went in to kiss his neck, and as his hands started running up and down her back ... i lost all respect for you, national airport cell phone waiting area. truly.

you made me look like a fool in front of the people in the car next to me, to whom my head-bobbing must have looked ridiculous, as i kept having to adjust my line of vision so i couldn't see any of this grody middle-aged making out in the car next to me. and when i beeped my horn after b finally called and i was backing out, hoping to remind the pair making out in the chevy cobalt that there happen to be other people in the national airport cell phone waiting area, i'm sure everyone else in the lot thought i was a total weirdo.

but i hope you know the truth, national airport cell phone waiting area. i was simply trying to enjoy some quiet time with you before b arrived, just some me and you time, some npr and staring out the window. and i didn't think that was too much to ask for.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

an open letter to the crazy woman that verbally accosted me in giant this afternoon

dear crazy woman:

although i did not get the chance to explain this to you today after you verbally assaulted me at giant, you should know that i parked my grocery cart in front of the stale, iced donuts and left to maneuver the chip aisle for doritos for b (how else, i ask, will he comfort himself when i'm gone this week for nephew-mania 2007?), in no way whatsoever to piss you off. in fact, as i buzzed into the unbelievably crowded chip aisle - the one into which i had decided not to bring my cart for fear of inconveniencing a whole aisle of people - i did not at first realize that i was the recipient of the random bitching. you see, i chose to park my cart in front of the stale, iced donuts because i thought, gosh, i definitely won't be in anyone's way here! obviously, no one is buying these gross chocolate and sprinkled stale things that have been sitting there since yesterday morning. no problems. la la la.

and also, if i'm telling you the truth, i didn't hear 90% of what you actually said, primarily because i truly had no idea that someone could be so angry about my blocking the stale, iced donuts. i thought for sure that someone had taken your cart, or had ran over your foot with a cart, or had taken your cart and then run over your foot with it.

but as i returned to my cart, noticing it had been shoved out into traffic, and seeing you still grumbling under your breath, i realized that, indeed, i was the recipient of your wrath. and i didn't even think about how much you, of all shoppers, so did not need to be buying half a dozen stale, chocolate, sprinkled donuts (and maybe i'm not one to talk, but i wasn't the one buying that shit) until after you barked - I HAD TO MOVE YOUR CART - and then scowled at me for an uncomfortable length of time without even blinking.

after avoiding your glare by noticing that you really didn't need to be buying donuts, i also noticed, you were taken aback by my response. nothing more than so i heard as i walked away.

even still, i didn't quite realize how bad the things you were obviously saying were until, obviously rattled by the fact that i wouldn't engage in your craziness, you said i ... i ... i revised my statement. i revised my statement to concern your behavior only, not necessarily you as a person. i ... i ...

now, this would have been the perfect time to turn around, and explain to you in no uncertain terms that i am not whatever the hell you called me and that, in fact, i was trying to be courteous to the 415 people in the chip aisle by leaving my cart aside. and perhaps even acknowledging that my behavior may have been somewhat inconsiderate and apologizing for my blockage of the donuts that would so shortly be blocking your arteries. and maybe if you weren't so obviously fucking crazy, i would have indulged you.

but i'm glad i just walked away. i'm glad i kept all my smug remarks and explanations to myself. i'm also glad that giant was particularly packed on this late sunday afternoon, and that a good portion of the 415 people in the chip aisle happened to hear your little rampage. i'm glad because this incident was so clearly about whatever crazy things are going on in your life that made it necessary for you to take out your anger on an anonymous shopper who left her cart in front of the day-old glazed donuts and inconvenienced you for all of 3 seconds.

crazy lady, i hope you're a religious woman. first of all, i love the idea of you telling your priest in confession or something that you lashed out at a random young lady at the grocery store. but more importantly, i hope you can come to see that my cart being parked in front of those donuts was most likely a sign from whatever higher being you believe in that it is high time to lay off the donuts.



Thursday, August 09, 2007

i think cnn is officially dead to me

i go on vacation for a week, and all of a sudden (or not?), cnn.com is using 4th graders to write headlines:

Bertinelli no stranger to f-word, (fat)

first of all, how the hell is the diet program for some soap star from 30 years ago worthy of such prominence on cnn.com?

and if cnn.com was really so concerned with what the headline would've implied without the (fat) - i guess that she's a slut that knows a thing or two about fucking? - couldn't they just rewrite the damn thing? i don't know - perhaps

bertinelli has been fat for a while
people always call bertinelli fat, or
someone you've never heard of has long struggled with people calling her obese

would have been better options.

day four

here i am, in day four of what is supposed to be the glorious month off between fake lawyerdom and the last, irrelevant year of law school and a return to my could-not-be-less-mentally-challenging part-time job working with the-most-annoying-human-being-ever. day four, with the whole of august spread about before me like a blank slate.

this is essentially what i have done in the past 72 hours:
  • approximately 48 loads of laundry
  • unpacked 3 suitcases
  • unloaded the dishwasher twice (after pretending for the first 24 hours that those dirty dishes didn't actually exist)
  • actually answered a call from and engaged in a conversation with my crazy and judgmental grandmother
  • tried to find everyone i've ever met on myspace
  • spent 4 hours unsuccessfully googling one of our college friends (ben desarmeaux, where are you?! jesus.)
  • checked my cell phone 1,566 times to make sure the ringer is on so i can hear it when The Call comes
  • simpsonized myself, bob, his boss, another summer associate who i fucking hated, my nephews, and a couple of attorneys in my (hopefully, see above) firm that i thought would make good characters
  • 3 days staring at the stack of articles on women's property rights in the 19th century wondering why the hell i decided to write on that (or any) topic
  • 2 trips to the drycleaners
  • grocery shopping at two different stores just because
  • 2 wholly uneventful trips to target - i knew i shouldn't have glanced at the vacation-bloated credit card statement before i went
  • pedicure that resulted in toes painted a shade of hot pink that the bottle totally did not accurately display
  • 20 minutes staring at said toes thinking that i need to just repaint them but being too damn lazy to actually do it
  • watched ej dance like the white girl she is
  • reviewed my apartment building on aptratings.com
  • reviewed our vacation spot on tripadvisor.com
  • just checked my cell again to make sure the ringer is on (you know, The Call)
  • 2 episodes of doctor phil (thank you, b, for not being one of those men who requires an extended stay at the dr. phil house)
  • 3 trips to the post office
  • 1 tour of a condo that i love and is perfect, but to which we are hesitant to commit (more on the hopefully-impending move into the representation-free district when the dust settles and we know we can/should do it)
  • returned 4 library books i've been renewing since march and never cracked open.
if this is my life even until the end of august, i think i may actually lose my mind. i was really thinking that a few weeks of just running errands and putzing around online would be sweet, but actually it turns out it fucking sucks. i'm dying here, people. i've got no one to pester, no gossip in which to involve myself, no one to avoid getting work from, no fancy lunches with interesting people in 3 hours (although thank god i met rk for lunch tuesday, and actually engaged in meaningful conversation with someone), nada.

over a glass (or three) of the delicious l. mawby that arrived yesterday from michigan (truly the highlight of my week), i made b promise me that if i EVER told him i thought it'd be a good idea for me to not work and just stay home, he would pull out the emails i've sent him this week that he's been too busy to read (the gist of which are: SWEET BABY JESUS I'M SO BORED I MIGHT LOSE MY EFFING MIND) so i could remember that after 3 days of nothing, i couldn't take it.

dear god, i think i might actually be *looking forward* to returning to my part-time job. which makes it official: i have lost my mind.

on the bright side, as a simpsons character, i am a total babe.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

the highest caliber

on an early winter day six and a half years ago, having been tapped to introduce a performer at my undergraduate college, i was practicing my schpiel in the car with my new boyfriend as we drove to campus. i had written the whole grant proposal to get this musician to michigan from israel, and my professor totally screwed me by not even letting me have a lesson with the guy. instead, apparently, he thought i'd be satisfied getting to introduce him at some recital. which was total bullshit. nonetheless, i wrote a great introduction, and was rehearsing it in the car with b right before the recital when, for some reason, i slipped into the eastern european accent i'd been goofing around with the day before over drinks ... right as i was getting to ... "he is a violist of the highest caliber ..." it was at a point for us when everything was still so new, when we were reveling in those little inside jokes, things we thought we might keep in our pockets for ages, but we didn't quite know for sure. and for some reason, when i said "of the highest caliber" in a crazy eastern european accent, it was the funniest thing either of us had ever heard. i remember driving past the D&W, laughing so hard i was crying, yelling to b that he should pull over because he was laughing so hard.

it's been a phrase for us that has always been hilarious.

but today, today it took a turn.

i was sitting in my k street office, listening to congressional testimony being given by b's boss on cspan radio that i knew he'd written, rummaging through breach of contract cases and minding my own business, when i heard it.

"the staff will be of the highest caliber."

it was like someone came into my office and handed me a box with all the progress we've made, with a map of how far we've come, and shoved it into my arms. suddenly, six years seemed like no time whatsoever. six years ago we were a couple of kids in kalamazoo, busting our guts over some stupid line in a stupid speech about a stupid musician that i said in a stupid accent. all of a sudden, here we are. i'm sitting in my k street office, he's written it into congressional testimony. shit, i wrote congressional testimony a few weeks ago.

how. did. this. happen.

this summer, for me, has been an exercise in walking assertively through doors i'd never thought would be opened for me. literally, figuratively ... it's all the same. but there was something about hearing that phrase on cspan radio. it was like someone asked me, as i was walking into a restaurant that i'd never pay for, whether i belonged. like a doubletake. it was something, i don't know what, but it got to me.

and now i'm wondering - how many more times will we make our powerful bosses utter that phrase just to amuse the other person? or will i utter it in court just for a grin? now it's a challenge - and now i love those two college kids in kalamazoo even more than i did before.

(b's editorial response to my first reading of this: "that is a blog of the highest caliber." indeed.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

man v. wild

it had all the ingredients for a perfect sunday afternoon: a tigers game, a bottle of chateau chantal, a bottle of our old friend chuck , the best steak sandwiches b has ever made and no work to do. but then it happened. b reached that predictable stage when he's a little buzzed where he says, hm, how about a cigarette?

so out onto the balcony we go, after i have adequately pounded on the sliding glass door to make sure there is no pigeon hanging out behind the table top we have leaning against our balcony wall (the pigeons were landing on the table, so we just took the top off). nothing. b follows me out, and i ask him to scooch the table top back a little further, because apparently the 3" gap we inadvertently left between the table and the wall was not too small for the pigeons. obviously, you see where this is going. he picks up the table, and there is obviously a pigeon back there.


after regrouping (and hoping that the neighbors didn't hear me scream like a girl) (actually, who cares? i am a girl.) b decides to go back out, knock the table down and scare away the pigeon. i, of course, am concerned he may get a serious pecking, as is he, so he suits up. jacket, vest, hat, gloves, the whole nine yards. no one is pecking my beautiful husband, oh no. i gave him a quick kiss, told him good luck, and sent him into the battle field. he used the end of a broom to knock down the table top, and the pigeon scrambled but flew away. and then we saw it: the nest.

even fricking better.

so now obviously the pigeons are PISSED. daddy pigeon, we realize, has been sitting a couple balconies over this entire time. he's giving us the evil eye. and swearing at us under his breathe. meanwhile, b keep saying, if only we were italian, they'd be goners.*

at this point, i'm ready to throw in the hat. by that i mean, take our wine down to the courtyard and have a cigarette down there. and at first, b was with me. but as we're about to get on the elevator, he turns back.

dude, i'm just going to throw that nest away. i'll go out there, throw it in a trashbag, and be done with it.

are you KIDDING me?

no, i'm going to do it. or at least smash them or something so the pigeons will stay away.

ok, gross. no. what if the pigeon sees you?! they're going to peck the shit out of you. seriously.

s, you're being ridiculous. they're not going to peck me.

yes they are.

no they aren't.

yes. they. are.

ok, maybe they are.

let's just tell the management. we pay enough in rent for someone else to deal with this.

s wins. s also hopes that none of the neighbors have heard this bizarre argument that we've just had in the hallway from their apartments.

sitting down in the courtyard, we positioned our chairs so we could see our balcony. and it didn't take long before the pigeons started circling. eventually, momma hopped back onto the balcony, we hoped to kill the eggs and then leave, since we'd tampered with them or some shit. but no.

we got back to the apartment, and she was there sitting on the nest, daring us. we banged on the door a couple times, and she just yelled in to us, FUCK OFF ASSHOLES.

right after she called us assholes, b started to feel a little bad about the whole situation.

s, are we, like, impeding nature or something? i mean, she's just a bird with her eggs.

no we are not. nature doesn't count if it's gross. and that's gross.

fair enough.

*b has recently learned that italians eat pigeons.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

chicago (i fell in love again)

as a kid, i thought chicago had to be the biggest city on earth. and i used to love that it touched my lake ... the lake i swam in every day, back in my little town. i remember holding my breathe as we drove through gary, thinking that it was some kind of moat, some protection for this beautiful city, so that only the people who really wanted to be in chicago could get there.

when i was in college, just a few hours east on I-94, chicago became something of a center for self-realization. it was staring down a terminal in o'hare as my high school boyfriend walked away that i knew that relationship was over. and where, a year later, i boarded my first (ok, only) flight to europe. it was after a daytrip to chicago, as a college boyfriend slept and i drove us back to kalamazoo in my crappy cavalier, that i looked over at him and thought, what the hell am i doing with this chump? and not just because he basically made me pay for everything all day. there were a lot of little things wrong with him, all of which added up to him just not being a man.

and then there was that perfect june afternoon in chicago, six years ago, sitting by the chicago river in the few hours between being dropped off after a long drive back from a two week music festival and catching a train back to kalamazoo, my instrument and luggage stuffed into a locker at the train station. in my mind, i remember this day like one of those pictures where one person is standing still and the whole world around her is buzzing by. having the hurt still fresh from being stood up (again) and left sitting on the steps in front of the building where i was staying until 2am waiting (again), ashamed (again) to return to my room and my roommate, i finally got it. sometimes no matter how much shit you put up with or how badly you want a relationship to work, it can't. or maybe even if it could, it isn't worth it. i realized i didn't want to spend my whole life standing still, waiting, while everyone around me ... lived their lives. a girl has to stand up for herself, and that guy wasn't a man either. more importantly, even if i bought his excuses (again) and somehow it worked out, i didn't really want to live the life i'd have with him anyway. i wanted to fall in line with the suited, happy chicagoans bustling between their highrise office buildings, follow them back to their jobs where they got to think and work hard and laugh with their smart coworkers - and i wanted to leave that instrument in the train station locker, along with everyone's goals and expectations for my music career. i wanted to tell someone that i wanted out, but i had no one (yet). i knew, or at least in hindsight i'd like to think i knew, that i'd find my place and it wouldn't have anything to do with that expensive hunk of wood back at the train station.

i haven't been to chicago since that afternoon. until last weekend.

leaving chicago this time was not on an amtrak back to kalamazoo with my instrument, but asking the bellhop for my luxury hotel to please whistle me a cab to o'hare ... sleeping on the sticky leather bench seat in the back through traffic, and asking the driver for a receipt (so someone else could pay for it) ... watching the skyline disappear under me as my lake glimmered in the evening sun under the plane.

it was like leaving home, and it hurt like hell.

i've had a crush on chicago for a long, long time... and that weekend was the first time i really thought i had a chance with her. she's not out of my league. we are so in the same league. i could get a job, and we'd have enough money to see the lake from our condo, we could spend a random saturday on the michigan avenue side of my lake, gazing out on that big old childhood friend, whose gravity is tangible, like a lasso around my gut. walking through the gold coast neighborhood, i could see us there, with a dog and a newspaper tucked under an arm, looking for a restaurant to sit in front of all afternoon. those were our people - the smart young smiley ones enjoying the big city but (more likely than not) still close enough to home home to visit on weekends. to be a part of both worlds - city and home home.

but b's career path, as unclear and windy as i'm sure it will be, will by my estimates be long confined to the beltway. i like it here, and we can find a neighborhood in this city where we'll be content, where we'll find restaurants to sit in front of and drink away a saturday afternoon (evidence: yesterday). sure, we won't be near my lake, but luckily b is more magnetic. his lasso around my gut has a much, much stronger pull.

Monday, July 02, 2007

did you hear that? it was my my last shred of hope that there is justice in america being torn out of my totally unsurprised hands

dear neglected internet,

let me first be clear: there is no love lost between myself and paris hilton. i think she's a terrible excuse for a twenty-something woman, and i frankly find it insulting that my generation is associated with her. but having said that, all she did was drive without a license a couple times after being caught driving drunk. and initially i thought her jail sentence was totally fair. teach that girl a lesson, right? i mean, don't tell me that girl doesn't have a fine, fine lawyer who knows damn well what a suspended license is.

but then.

but then, today, someone who exposed a mother fucking CIA agent for political reasons got his goddamn sentence commuted.

he exposed a CIA agent. and he is not even serving as much time as paris hilton.

you have got to be fucking kidding me.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

i know, cry me a river.

am i really so busy that i can't spare a few moments for a blog? or that i can't be bothered to unzip my suitcase from last weekend's quick trip to michigan for a wine festival? or to do the four loads of laundry piled up by the washing machine? or put the iron or this morning's paper away? or drop off those shoes from zappo's we need to ship back at the nearest fedex store?

to be fair, i can't exactly skip those obligatory margarita-laden, four-hour happy hours - wherein i further charm people and convince them that i really should get an offer to come back after law school - to clean my apartment. or buy groceries. i mean, i have to get face time, right? and drink margaritas? and stumble out of the cab nearly drunk to make b dinner because it's past ten and he's just left work?

i've been stewing over a debriefing blog, where i plan to detail all the things i've learned over my summer vacation. but i can tell you one thing i've definitely already learned: i am definitely going to need to hire a cleaning service. for real.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

an open letter to nascar

dear nascar,

let's be honest right out of the gate. i don't care for you. and even though rk will perhaps scowl at me for a few days after this revelation, i'm being honest. i don't like you. and b really doesn't like you.

but, i could. really. if you changed. and i have a few suggestions, a few ways i think you could broaden your appeal past the drunken southern white trash crowd.* b might reconsider. that is saying something.

let's make this a real sport.

option 1:
you know how nascar fans are always drunk? (yes, s, of course they're always drunk. they're watching cars drive around in circles for hundreds. of. miles. they'd have to be drunk. or, probably, they'd pull out that concealed weapon the 2nd amendment allegedly gives them the right to and blow their brains out.) well, if the fans are always drunk, maybe the drivers should follow their lead. if the drivers were legally drunk (and for variety, we could just apply the DUI level for the state in which the race is taking place), then i would totally watch. because we all know that driving drunk is not easy. don't act all shocked like you've never done it. we've all done it. and it's a feat. if these guys were drunk, hurling their white trash souped up cars in a circle at 180mph, i would watch. and i would be impressed.

option 2:
let's shorten the race to about 50 miles and give each driver a nice joint before they jump behind the wheel. first of all, the drivers would feel like it was 800 miles, minimum. and that shit would be hilarious. extra points if they broadcast the radio conversations between the drivers and the pit crew: "duuuude. i feel like my head weighs 50 pounds and i've been driving in this car for two weeks. and i can't find the doritos." ooh, the pit stops would include gas, tire changes, and snacks. and drive thrus? taco bell, white castle, you should really look into this. it would be awesome.

i'm just sayin. you've already really won over the south. why don't you work on us yuppie yankees? expand. although, you might have to ditch the protestant minister that says grace before each race. i find that offensive, and even if the drivers were drunk and/or high (and/or? oh, option 3 perhaps???) i'd have a hard time getting over the prayer. what's more, i assume that you'd rather add alcohol or drugs to your races than, oh i don't know, minorities or women.

*yes. i said it. so what! this is my blog. i'll engage in broad generalizations if i damn well please. rk is the obvious exception. frankly, i'm still perplexed over her nascar affection. she's an enigma. truly.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

the bizarro world that has become my life

tonight, my "professor" - after watching a video for the first 45 minutes of class - gave us cookies.

what a strange juxtaposition. by day, faux lawyer extraordinaire. going to court to watch oral arguments, being told to "pencil in" the prep for that eight circuit argument next month, hearing the word perfect to describe my work by a partner a half dozen times. by night, a first grader.

i'm not complaining. i'm just wishing i could've gotten a cold glass of milk and a mat to take a nap on.

(and no, i won't be gone all summer ... but i won't blog from work (not, uh, that i ever blogged from work) and also, as i mentioned before, i don't want to bore you all with my temporarily awesome life.)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

and i feel fine

as i exited my office building onto k street friday evening after my first week as a fake lawyer, the draft of my first project sitting on my desk waiting for me to proofread her tuesday morning, i decided to shuffle my ipod and see what insight my little friend had. i got r.e.m.'s it's the end of the world as we know it (and i feel fine). i nearly stopped in my tracks. it really is, isn't it? oh, ipod.

the bad news: i've been trying to craft a post about how incredibly awesome my life has been for the past six days, and is going to be through the end of july, but it turns out i'm only funny when i'm jaded. when i'm happy and excited and completely satisfied, i come off as a conceited ass. and you don't want to read that, trust me. because there's a fine line between cleverly describing this new world i've entered and bragging about it ... and right now i think i'm coming down on the wrong side of that line.

the good news: when this little bubble bursts (temporarily) and i have to return for my third year of law school, i'll be bitter and even more annoyed that usual.

bear with me, friends. i'll try not to make you sick over the summer if you try to stick it out until bitter s returns in the fall.

Monday, May 21, 2007

metro monday: better late than never OR fake lawyer and ventriloquism

did i even ride the train this morning? is it still monday? i have this vague recollection of being in the shower contemplating the fucked up dreams i had last night (including one where i was clinging to a giant stone column in the middle of the ocean, huge waves crashing on me but somehow still hanging on, for example. also my dad was there talking to me. i think he was in a raft. and i think he may have thought i was my nephew. wtf?), freaking out over my collar not lying quite right under my suit, then i was sitting in the park across from my (gulp) office waiting to go in so i wouldn't be too early, and then i was on my 4th cup of coffee, talking about cabbies in dc v. ny and the importance of not putting off your billing.

and then i sat in my office staring at my desk for 20 minutes. i really wanted to stare out the window ... my window ... but that just would have been weird.

but b, he had a perfect metro monday ... one way more interesting than reading my scattered reminiscing about the weirdness of my first day as a fake lawyer. but as i'm a bit exhausted and b isn't much into the blogging, i'll just relay his telling of it.

b: so i got on the train this morning, and there was this woman just standing in the doorway with a wheelchair.
s: you mean, sitting in a wheel chair.

b: no. standing.

s: was there anyone
in the chair?
b: no.

s: so she's?

b: standing behind an empty wheelchair.
s: ah.

b: right, so first of all, if i had an empty wheelchair on the metro during rush hour, i'd at least take a seat.

s: you mean, move it out of the way or ..

b: no, i mean in the wheelchair. i mean, jesus, it's an empty seat, right?

s: [smiling as i picture b, suitclad, sitting in an empty wheelchair, legs casually crossed, reading the metro express, in a crammed rush hour train.]
b: i almost asked her, is anyone sitting there? i mean, we were crammed in there like sardines. i could've used the seat.

s: that would have been something, dude. seriously.

b: but that's not the weird part. then she started doing ventriloquism.

s: ventriloquism? did she have a puppet?

b: no.

s: oh.

b: it was fucked up. she was definitely crazy, and i felt kinda sorry for her. but it was hilarious.

s: ventriloquism?

b: yeah. all i could think was, dude i wish s were here.

s: and that you wanted to sit in the wheelchair.
b: and that.

Monday, May 14, 2007

metro monday: the mystery of the ghost train

i'm a showoff. you see, b doesn't have very good vision, but refuses to go to an eye doctor and get glasses. i, however, have great vision. and whenever possible, i like to read something really far away to remind him that he can't bloody see and for the love of god will he please get some glasses.

for example, the metro signs. i like to tell him how long we have to wait for a car of what length as soon as it is in sight in the morning - knowing full well that he won't be able to read it until we're less than twenty feet from the sign. it's my little passive aggressive wife thing, and i'm sure he doesn't notice and it's getting me no closer to having a wildly hot husband who also wears glasses. (i like glasses.) nonetheless.

this morning was no different. as we scooted past the lost retired tourists and the sign came into the sight just before we stepped on the escalator, i chirped, ooh! an eight car train! in three minutes! perfect!

we hustled down to the front of the platform, b pointed out the schmoe wearing a black shirt and brown shoes. you could blog about that guy! what the hell is he wearing? (god i love this man.) a train came and went in the other direction, and suddenly b said, hey, i thought you said the train was in three minutes. i looked over to the sign and imagine my surprise. it said our train was boarding. curious, seeing as how there was no train and all. so the invisible train came and went, the platform quickly filling, and we waited for the next train. that train also arrived, boarded and left (according to the sign) with no actual train. the only logical explanation was that, of course, somehow time and space had intersected, and the metro was invisible, full of ghosts. a ghost train. obviously.

but the third time was a charm. as we got on the train, i couldn't help but wonder if we'd be transported to the great beyond instead of foggy bottom. and things seemed normal, until i made a face at bob about the big old man behind me who kept bumping into me with his gut. then, after he looked at the fellow, his eyes got really big. he leaned in as close as possible and whispered in my ear, oh my god! it's hemingway! and i couldn't get a good look - all i could see was the book in his huge hands. what's he reading? i mouthed to b. i can't tell, he mouthed back, and then grinned. but i've always wondered.

ok, maybe it wasn't hemingway. maybe. but, i don't know. maybe he missed the ghost trains and hopped on ours instead.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

i am a watermelon.

a few weekends ago, when b was in detroit and i was here studying for exams (was that really only a few weeks ago?), b called as i was sitting down for a little dinner.

above all the laughter in the background he said, if i was a fruit or a vegetable, what would i be? my grandma thinks you're an artichoke. as it turns out, our brother-in-law has revealed he likes to think of us as fruits or vegetables. that's weird, right?

i am a watermelon.
a watermelon has stripes, and i love stripes.
a watermelon is sweet, as am i ...
but a watermelon is also sometimes hard to enjoy, with those seeds.
also, have you ever tried traveling with a watermelon? it's miserable. traveling with me is also generally miserable.
finally, a watermelon is a lot fun when you make a hole in top of it and fill it with vodka. (that one was my dad, which i find slightly disturbing. i mean, it's true, but he's never seen that side of me. do i come across as someone who's just way more fun when they're liquored up? wait, is that a bad thing? now i'm confused.)

my mom is a strawberry.
i have never met anyone that didn't love strawberries.

b is an onion.
everything good has onions.
i don't know what i'd do without onions.
onions work well in any situation.
they are versitile and i love them.
but occassionally make you cry for no reason. (damn you, elizabeth from arlington!)

lukitza's mom is garlic.
when garlic is in something, you always know.
and i love garlic, but raw it can be a bit overpowering. (which i sometimes really enjoy.)
but once the garlic warms up, it mellows out. and then it's lovely.

rk is a pineapple.
pineapples are somewhat exotic.
they're also delicious once you get past the somewhat intimidating shell.
with all those leaves on top, they're a little flashy.
they're great in tropical drinks.
and they thrive in tropical climates.

dag is a bunch of grapes.
sometimes grapes are, on rare occasion, unexpectedly sour - but usually just delightful.
grapes come in different colors, much like her hair.
grapes can be friends with lots of different fruits.
also, grapes were cool in the 80s.