Wednesday, January 31, 2007

the problem with myspace

being the incredibly hip late-twenty-something that i am, i put myself on myspace about 6 months ago, so much longer after it was cool that i'm embarrassed. but it is what it is.

don't judge me.

overall, i've enjoyed catching up with a few friends from high school and college that i've really missed - and it's been strangely fun to see how many of them have pro-created and morphed into midwestern soccer moms. and how many have turned freakishly religious. (which is, i suppose, the natural turn of events if you don't leave holland, a town with more churches than gas stations.) (this may not be exactly accurate, but it sure feels like it.)

it's not the myspace stalking of people you haven't seen in ten years that bothers me so much as the awkwardness of the un-friend request. specifically, the friend request from someone you don't really remember and that you're quite certain was not ever your friend. b and i both have this problem - people we didn't know at all sending out a friend request (that's cool, i'll accept) and then proceeding to send message after message. after message. can you really "catch up" with someone you didn't ever talk to?

am i being totally snobby about this? it's not like i think i'm better than these people (after all, i talk to the old friends that have turned freakishly religious, despite my very, very deep suspicion of organized religion and not-so-great personal experiences with people who are freakishly religious).

yesterday, someone encouraged me to go to our 10-year reunion so that she could have someone she knew to sit with.

1. if you don't know anyone, don't go. and,
2. you don't know me either! you're a myspace friend. if i saw you on the street, i wouldn't know you from adam.

add this to the long list of reasons i can be counted out for the class reunion this summer...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

and now we'll return to your regularly scheduled programming....

so there we were, on a saturday afternoon doing what all suburbanites with disposable income do ... going to target (for nothing in particular - just to go). i recently discovered wpfw , a local jazz station, in a fit of reprogramming my car radio when the classical station became a classic rock station. so we're on the 50, on our way to bailey's crossroads, when we hear it ....

ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for having been preempted there a little bit ago. i guess news of impeaching the president is important enough to cut into your jazz time. but we're back now ....

how i didn't cause an accident, with all the yelling and hyperventilating, i'll never know. but suffice to say we were FREAKING. OUT. but why would they announce this on a saturday? and what exactly are they going to impeach him on ... valerie plame? that whole lying about the reasons for war thing? can you impeach a guy for sheer incompetence? did he get a blowjob from someone inappropriate? WHAT?!?!

we couldn't find an NPR station to save our lives (in part because now, as part of that stupid radio shift that took away my classical station and made it classic rock, WETA is now classical music. and not NPR. gr.), so we just sat there for a minute in the parking lot. and stared at each other. were we dreaming? WHAT IS GOING ON?

we called b's mom, and had her turn on CNN.



why is the local jazz station covering this and NOT CNN????

and then it occurred to us that this was perhaps some replayed program from the 90s, back in the good ol' days where the POTUS couldn't even get a decent blowjob from a young intern without throwing us all into a national crisis.

but for a few precious moments there, i have to tell you ... the world seemed right. we seemed like a fair nation, one that held our leaders to task for deceiving the nation. it was fleeting, but it was great while it lasted.

Monday, January 29, 2007

metro monday x: what the hell is wrong with this city?

do you people have no manners? when a 7 or 8 month pregnant woman gets on the train, could someone please tell me why no one thinks it's a good idea to give up their seat for her? really. should she have to ask for a seat? can't you people see that she has a 6 pound fetus in her?

am i terribly surprised? i suppose not. a year or so ago, i slipped on a metro escalator during rush hour at crystal city, toppled down with my laptop and three law books, and not one goddamned person offered to help me. not one. i carry a scar on my shin that looks like a tattoo of an escalator as a reminder of how cold you people are.

episodes like this make me long for the midwest - where people will help you in a store where they don't even work, make actual eye contact with and smile at people they walk past, and make friendly inquiries to pregnant women about when they're due and whether it's a boy or a girl instead of pretending she's not there and assuring themselves that it's someone else's job to offer her a seat on the train.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

ah, the inner workings of the ivory tower

anal leakage and/or seepage, don rumsfeld and diet coke.

these were three main points in class this afternoon.

let's have some fun, hm? i'm taking guesses as to what the discussion was about.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

only in dc, my friends. only in dc.

there are certain events that remind a washingtonian of her location. the last inauguration, when the city was full of fur coats and cowboy hats was certainly such occasion. and last night's state of the union also fit the bill. what's that comedian who does that you might be a rednick if schtick? well, i'm borrowing his schtick. you might be in dc for the state of the union if ...

  • or the whole day before the actual speech, your emails about referred to it as SOTU. (really, the fact that you emailed about the SOTU is evidence enough ...)

  • you know in whose box the mayor of dc sat. (and you told your drinking pals. AND they were interested!)

  • the people at the bar behind you had developed an elaborate drinking game, based on how many times they saw dick cheney frown, the POTUS said specific words (liberty, freedom, terror/ism/ists, good, evil - and i don't think holy war was on the list, but they sure freaked out when he actually said it), and applause. (standing ovations = extra drink)

  • you were involved in a ten-minute conversation about how if john mccain had good advisers, they'd have made him see a plastic surgeon in the fall right after the midterm elections. (because hillary's advisers certainly did...)

  • you're at a full bar on a tuesday night. and it's dead quiet.

  • people know who the hell jim webb is and have an opinion about him. (has he really gotten over saying he's a democrat without twitching?)

  • you make a resolution not to watch next year's SOTU with friend X. and you mean it.

  • you know who gave last year's democratic response (what is the obsession with virginia?!).

  • you were seriously almost brought to tears by the fact that there was someone without a penis sitting behind the POTUS. (maybe this one just proves that you don't have a penis.)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

man's feelings are always purest and most glowing in the hour of meeting and of farewell. -jean paul richter

there's a sad rite of passage that i think is rarely spoken of, but with which we all, in our twenties, are forced to face. b suffered through this in 2004, and now it's my turn. and it's something our parents suffer through too.

at some point, we have to let go of our beloved childhood companions, our pets, who our parents have continued to see through old age in our absence. as kids, we love them with our whole hearts, they are members of our families, perhaps the only one we'll talk to during our teenage angst. back from college, we often greet them with more joy, miss them more, than our parents. and when we leave, the pets and our parents together adapt to a quieter house, the pets looking to the parents for the attention they can't find in our empty rooms.

for me, it was kitty. my brother and i found her the winter of my fourth grade year in the park between our house and the elementary school. thinking she belonged to a neighbor, we took her in - but only into the garage. my dad wanted nothing to do with a cat in the house, no sir. as the snow, and my dad's heart, melted, she became a member of the family. she used to sit on my math books when i tried to do homework, lounged in my suitcases when i tried to pack for vacation, and could sense my sadness immediately. i hung a christmas bell on a ribbon on my door, so that she could ring it when my door was shut if she wanted to come in. and she did. she spent hours sitting between my brother and i as we played mario brothers, ate the food under the table we didn't want, and comforted us when we were sad. she liked to run the length of our midwestern ranch in the middle of the night, and when my bedroom moved to the basement, i'd often wake up to her racing back and forth above me. she ignored me when i would come home from college, but only for a little while. she came with us when we spent a few months in ohio for my dad's job. and when my parents left the house in which my brother and i grew up after we went to college, kitty moved into the new house two weeks before they did. she loved it there. she grew old there. she put up with my parents' grandchildren chasing and pulling on her there. and it was there, over the holidays, when b and my dad were off doing guy things, and my mom, her mom, and her sisters went to see the winter lake, that i tried to say good-bye. kindly, my parents decided to continue suffering through kitty's loss of digestive control so i could say good-bye. but this brain that's been saturated with higher education for a decade could not be wrapped around the fact that this little thing might not live forever.

it happened then on the train after work on monday, when my mom slipped the news into conversation ... that the last vestige of my childhood fell away. i heard my dad jokingly call my mom a murderer, the both of them laughing awkwardly as they commonly do through things with which they can't really stand to face, while i stood there on the metro wishing the tears wouldn't come.

just when you think you know someone

b and i aren't big on surprises. we're terrible at keeping them from each other, and the skeletons in our respective closets have long since been exposed. we finish each others' sentences. no surprises.

or so i thought.

we were watching tv and saw a commercial for one of those "myth or legend" shows on E! - and one of the teasers was whether greg was high during the taping of the brady bunch. b turned to me and very sternly said, of course greg was high. he'd have to be to deal with cindy. that bitch was awful.


you'd think after living with someone for five years, i'd know something like this ... that he has such strong feelings about one of the brady bunch kids. what's next? what else don't i know?!

Monday, January 22, 2007

metro monday ix: thanks for hiring my grandma

maybe i'm a little self-centered, but some days i suspect metro is purposely trying to piss. me. off.

e.g., today.

during rush hour, b and i waited almost ten minutes for a train. unacceptable. all i could think about was how stuffed and hot and smelly the train would be because all the people along the orange line before us who also waited almost ten minutes have stuffed themselves on. uber annoying. but i actually don't think it was poor planning by metro this morning that caused the wait ... unless poor hiring practices or train driver training count as poor planning. the train driver may have actually been my grandmother. and if so, grandma i'm really sorry for all the mean things i called you in my head.

first of all, the train honked when it pulled into the station. i fucking hate this. why. it's not like we're all hanging out on the tracks or something. don't honk. please.** then, it proceeded into the station so slowly that people were actually walking next to it and keeping up.*** it was really obnoxious. of course, this happened at every station. honking, crawling past the people who've all been waiting almost ten minutes for the train. during rush hour.

and i've never actually (knock on wood) had the joy of being on a train that was off-loaded because one of the doors wouldn't close, but i imagine it goes a little something like this:

1. driver tries to close doors like normal. 2. driver tries again. 3. driver tries again. 4. driver says please stand clear of the doors. 5. driver tries again. 6. maybe again. 7. driver says please stand clear of the doors or we'll have to offload this train. 8. driver tries a couple more times, then kicks everyone off.

the driver today? 1. tried to close doors like normal. 2. says please stand clear of the doors or this train will be off-loaded because of mechanical malfunction. 3. driver tries again and doors shut without a problem. jumping the gun a little perhaps? i mean, we were already about to mutiny because it was taking two minutes to get from one end of a station to the other. maybe threatening to kick us off because someone's messenger bag was stuck in the door without trying again to shut the doors was a little much.

... one more thing. on the escalator at foggy bottom, i saw a 30 something guy wearing a suit, carrying a kenneth cole messenger bag, and wearing a hat like this. speaking of things that are not ok...

*why is it so hard for metro to coordinate trains during rush hour so they are a reasonable amount of time apart? really. if you know, please tell me.

**this goes especially for "no passenger" trains. it's like you're taunting us. hey look at this! a train! going in your direction! but guess what, asshole, you can't get on.

i am only slightly exaggerating.

Friday, January 19, 2007

that didn't last long

i was trying to do something good with that resolution to be nicer to the coworker i cannot stand. and i was actually trying to follow through.

and then ...

... i spent the day listening to him alternate between belittling the new employee and giving her faulty instructions, which had she followed (had i not jumped in and told her how to actually do what he needed done) would have resulted in more belittling for doing things wrong.

really, do you really need to unstuff the envelope she just stuffed with a letter and three attachments to make sure she photocopied it correctly? really???

i hate ending my week like this, not sure whether i'm more angry at myself for letting him get under my skin, or more angry at him for being such a prick.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

new year's resolutions, which i have already begun to dismiss ...

being more timely with my blogs (e.g. not waiting to post new year's resolutions until almost 3 weeks after the new year) is not among them.

1. not surf the internet in class. i have violated this already. but so far only in one class. one very, very dull class.

2. recycle more.

3. dress better. i had this resolution last year. it lasted about 6 months. i have inserted this resolution instead of the standard lose weight resolution. in 6 months, i'll be at a firm for the summer, so i'll definitely be dressing better than jeans and long-sleeved t-shirts. but i'm a student for 4 more months, and the temptation to show up in a hoodie every day is sooo tempting.

4. chill the fuck out. seriously. it's like i believe that if i don't worry about W losing the nuclear codes, he would. (in fact, he may have already anyway ....) i mean, i could spend the next 4 1/2 months worrying every day about whether i'll get that fellowship that will allow me to not work during my last year of law school - but honestly. what good is that going to do?

5. work on my posture.

6. have more dinner parties.

7. be nicer to coworker i can't stand. or avoid all conversation and eye contact.

8. exercise. not to lose weight, but because my blood pressure is high. (also, see #4.)

9. talk to my dad more. unless he starts pissing me off, then i'm totally cutting that dude off. again. but lately he's been pretty normal, so i'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt to start the year.

10. help rk embrace her inner diva.

11. knit.

12. read books for leisure. i read one over christmas before the new year, and one on vacation afterwards. so one this year ... which ties last year.

13. watch more movies. b loves movies. and i like them, once i've started watching (usually) ... but getting me to the theatre or to sit down to watch a movie is like pulling teeth. but for b, i'm going to try.

2007 is going to be a good year, so i'm excited. we're getting a new neice or nephew (i'm betting neice) this summer, and some good friends are also having a baby ... better them than me. i get to spend the summer pretending to be a bona fide member of the real world. that's sweet. some vacations in the works. also, american idol has started again,* so clearly things are looking up.

viva 2007!

*does anyone else think that the awful people don't have quite the je ne sais quoi this year? or that maybe they're picking on people who shouldn't exactly be allowed to sign a waiver without some guardian? i'm feeling a little dirty after watching these wide-eyed sob-stories make complete idiots of themselves. they're the kind of people i wouldn't dare mock on my blog for fear of karmic retribution. just sayin'.

(i tried to get the font to be uniform, but i can't. blogger, what am i going to do with you?)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

metro stinks.


i am pretty sure my particular train must have hit a deer somewhere between dunn loring and west falls church, or a whole herd of deers, and then proceeded to drag their bleeding, rotting carcases all the way down the orange line. are you wondering how i know what a bleeding rotting deer carcase smells like? ah, well let me tell you. a couple of christmases ago, back when b and i used to suffer the drive back to michigan, we hit some nasty weather just south of detroit. really nasty. and of course, the kia is less than stellar in those (or any) conditions ... and we ended up spinning out in the middle of the interstate. luckily, we didn't hit any other cars, but we were facing the wrong way on the shoulder. frankly, i was shocked that we hadn't careened right into the median. so i got out (since b couldn't very well open his door out onto on-coming traffic) to assess the situation. i yelled through the open window for him to rock back and forth a bit - i thought it looked like he could get unstuck pretty easily. well somehow rock back and forth ended with the rear passenger side tire spinning a whole mess of disgustingness onto ... moi. from head to toe. i was covered. but the car was free, so (in shock) as i peeled off my sweater and threw it in the backseat, b (annoyed) asked why the hell i was getting in the back. but i got in the front, and then he knew. we both knew. what had stopped us from careening into the median was a dead animal, which now covered me. in all its stankiness. it was a long, quiet car ride, my friends. i alternated between tears of anger (that was SOOOO not rocking back and forth) and pain (dear god, the stank!). and that ... that is basically what the train smelled like this morning.

also, there was a muppet murderer on the train this morning. seriously. he had this fleece on that honestly could only have been the skinned remains of a muppet. the green of this fleece (wait a minute - i did say fleece. it's 20 degrees outside and this joker's wearing a fleece. maybe there's something super warm about muppet fur) occurs nowhere in the natural world, and it was definitely the nappiness of a muppet. he was sitting behind a lawyer with whom i interviewed for a job at my old firm - who thankfully didn't recognize me. (i know i didn't even take the call-back interview, sir, but really i don't think you could pay me enough to go back to that place ... um ... and have a nice day ... there ... at ... that place ...)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

oh no no no i’m a pocket man ... and i think it's gonna be a long long time

i think my subconscious may still be sitting on a beach a few hundred miles away.

it's day three of classes, and despite having zero time between vacation and class to prepare, i've been getting by alright. in fact, this morning i dutifully finished my reading for class this afternoon, even knowing i wouldn't be called on in two of the classes. things were chugging along fine, i thought i'd slipped right back into the groove.


i got to school at 12:30 today (after waiting 17 minutes for a train. are. you. kidding. me.) for my 12:40 class. i waited out in the hallway for the class before mine to let out ... hm ... why aren't any of my classmates here? having already gone to the wrong classroom once this week, i triple-checked the room number. right room. doesn't class meet on thursdays? i grabbed the syllabus again and saw it ... class starts at 12:05.

and i'm an idiot.

but, this clears up some time for me to blog a little about vacation.

before i get to mr. pocket (which is probably NSFW), let me offer a series of photographs to give you an idea of i did all week.







i didn't take pictures of the bottles of heineken that were always at my side, but i have to tell you heineken never tasted so good. anyway, you get the idea.

on new year's day, our first full day in st. martin, we trekked to part of orient beach that was nearly on the opposite end of the beach from our hotel. we were on the north end of the beach, and the south end of the beach is nude. i should add the whole beach is pretty, hm, laissez faire about bathing suits anyway. so, we're close-ish to the nude beach, and a few stragglers made their way up. turns out nudists like to walk. guess it makes for an even tan. first, we saw naked guy. that's cool. sometimes he walked with his friend, naked sidekick. he seemed to be having a good time. lots of topless sunbathers, which was great for rk because she had company. lots of shapes and sizes. but only one ... mr. pocket.

we love mr. pocket. but after day one, we stuck closer to the north end of the beach - not because we didn't like giggling at the occassional naked guy, naked sidekick or mr. pocket sighting, but because we were lazy. it was kinda a long walk. so we didn't see mr. pocket all week. it was sad. we talked about him all week, mind you. but he was nowhere to be found.

then, on saturday, rk's birthday ... he was back. classy man that he is, mr. pocket eschewed his informal white garb for formal black in honor of rk's big day. and, ladies and gentlemen, i didn't miss my chance.

i caught him in action.

if i could ask mr. pocket just one question, it would be this: what the fuck is the point of that thing? seriously.

also, i'm pretty sure i'd ask at which jr. high he is a principal, because you totally know that's what this guy does. he's some boring ass guy who no one pays attention to at home who goes to st. martin and walks around with a pocket for his business.

Monday, January 08, 2007

metro monday viii: like a ton of bricks

welcome back, all. metro monday is back in business, and you know what that means - i'm not sitting on a chaise listening to the waves of the light blue waters and wondering when that beach boy is going to show up with my beer. son of a bitch.

i was hoping for a gem this morning, for something to make me laugh and remind me that DC can be fun in its own way.

but no.

i couldn't even focus on one person this morning. it was like a sea of drab. dark coats, dark suits, dark faces. a few beige coats for those who were feeling spunky. i glanced up at the reflection of myself as we approached rosslyn, in my winter white coat (to highlight the tan, of course! folks, i haven't been this tan since i was 15) surrounded by blah, i couldn't help but feel like it was a bad dream. and when the train stopped at foggy bottom, some of the overhead lights were out. it was like a cave down there.

24 hours ago i was taking the morning stroll down rue mont vernon to the boulangarie for the daily croissants and baguettes with B - walking slowly in flipflops that caught every stone in the road ... the sun pinching my sun burnt arms ... and the salty air. this morning, as i trudged through the foggy bottom station, lights out, the smell of burnt train brakes ... i couldn't help but feel like i could not have found a place on earth further from st. martin.

welcome back. sigh.

on a brighter notes, pics and stories to come soon. including the infamous (at least to B, R and i ... as well as the many beachgoers on orient beach) mr. pocket. people, you are in for a real treat. a little teaser.....