Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Friday, April 29, 2005

DC's finest

Last night, I headed off to a social obligation after work with a sense of dread. I was exhausted, having gotten under four hours of sleep the previous night, crabby from having worked for 11 hours, and just not in the mood to be friendly.

So I'm at the corner of 18th and Massuchusetts, tapping my foot impatiently because as always I'm late and this stupid police siren that's rapidly approaching means that I'm going to be even later.

A DC cruiser comes roaring around the corner. It's all over the place - in a controlled manner, but still all over the place - as it veers on the wrong side of the road and swings past a bus.

It passes within a few feet of me, siren blaring. As it goes by, I see that the cop driving the cruiser has one hand casually on the wheel and the other holding a lit cigarette. That he is smoking. While presumably trying to get somewhere as quickly as possible.

Let me tell you, this image made my night. Totally cheered me up, to the point where I even ended up enjoying the previously feared social obligation. Once again, DCPD saves the day.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The reason why we're friends

Last night, Z-Ditty and I realized that we'd both independently run out of toilet paper at the same time. Birds of a feather and all that. Now, as a semi-functioning adult who's been living on her own for some time, you'd wonder how I could run out of toilet paper on a regular basis. I mean, you know you're going to need it - it's not like one has unexpected runs (haha) on the product or anything. And yet I'm often trying to figure out what paper products I have in my house that can temporarily stand-in for TP. I'm proud to say that the kitty litter hasn't been misused...yet.

Anyways, last night, right at closing time, I was able to throw myself between the doors of the liquor store that's within spitting distance of my backyard to purchase a roll. Z-Ditty and I were on our way out to a bar and she thoughtfully suggested that I leave the TP at home. However, I had a bee in my bonnet for some reason and thus insisted that *I* had no shame in my bodily functions, by god, and I was not going to try to manage my image to portray myself otherwise. So off the three of us went: Z-Ditty, me, and my toilet paper. We had a good time. The TP got to sit at the bar, then behind the bar (as, after a few cocktails, I'd forgotten it, so the kindly bartender stowed it away for safe-keeping), then finally in the chair next to me at the Diner while we got late-night cheese fries. I like to think I showed it a good time.

Hurry folks

The Washington Post is hitting an all-time low. Or high. Or something.

For they are having Dustin Diamond, aka "Screech" to those of us of a certain demographic and/or who watched any Saturday morning TV during the 1990s, on their website for an online chat. Hustle on over to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2005/04/27/DI2005042701381.html from 1-2PM EST to ask Screech what he thinks about the mascot of the Nationals, DC's new baseball team.

If you ever had any burning questions about behind-the-scenes gossip for "Saved by the Bell," here's your chance. But warning: while Dustin Diamond portrays himself as a comedian, he is aggressively not funny. He was on DC101 last week and was painfully mediocre. I don't know what blackmail his publicist has over this region but it must be pretty strong. Um, do I know how to sell an online chat or what? Makes you want to rush right over there.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

For once, the stars are on my side

My horoscope today: "There aren't enough holidays to suit you. So make up a special day for yourself: 'I'm a Wonderful Person Day' is a perfect opportunity to spoil yourself."

Gift-giving line forms to the left.

Ha! Burn, Rob, burn!

My nasty little addiction asserts itself again. Skip this entry if you don't want to see any spoilers/ranting about last night's episode of "The Amazing Race."

HA! That was freaking awesome! Rob finally got his comeuppance. Now, I actually don't dislike him. I think he's an excellent player and doesn't really get down to dirty tricks, despite what some of the other contestants were claiming (people: this is a RACE. You are not obligated to help anyone out). He is a bit smug, but usually you get the feeling he's half-kidding. However, last night his little mindgames completely backfired on him.

Rob decided to play fuck-around with the Uchenna/Joyce and Meredith/Gretchen alliance and asked them while they were booking their tickets out of India to Istanbul if they'd gotten the earlier flight. He admitted that he knew full well there wasn't another flight, but wanted to see if they knew about one, and also simply wanted to toy with them. So they all freak out, thinking that there is another flight, and get on the horn to the airline to buy tickets for it. Lo and behold, there actually WAS an earlier flight that got them into Turkey two hours ahead of the other teams. Then when Rob asked about an earlier flight, he was told there wasn't any. So he spent the time before his flight preening about how well he was doing and how the other teams were stupid and clueless. Meanwhile, the other teams keep getting farther and farther ahead. Karmic retribution rears its ugly head. Fan-tas-tic!

So Rob and Amber and Ron and Kelly spent the whole time in Turkey frantically trying not to get knocked out. I was fairly certain it was a non-elimination leg, but I was still ecstatic to see my favorite team, Uchenna and Joyce, taking names and kicking ass.

And I don't even have to say this, but just in case: Kelly. Becoming a POW and surviving a stay in an Iraqi prison during a time of war does not mean that you are trying to get out of your commitment to Uncle Sam. JESUS. What an ignorant twat she is to believe that. And I can't believe she would be so unaware as to actually say it on-camera. Ron handled that very well - much nicer than she deserved. He just refused to discuss it with her. I would've been a bit more forceful, but I can see that he needs her presence in order to complete the race, and her mangled corpse probably doesn't count. They can use that $20,000 Travelocity prize they won last night to go on separate trips - I can't imagine he'd want to see that vacuous face again after this is over.

BTW: These last few legs of TAR have been my dream trip. If you gave me a free airplane ticket anywhere in the I would use it to go to either India or Turkey. Those are two places I'm obsessed with and haven't made it to yet. Can't wait to see where they go next!

Sigh. I wish one of my friends in this time zone would watch the show. I had one sucker on this coast who I could talk about it with, but she had to schedule a C-section yesterday and missed it. I really question her priorities. The other true-blue fans of the show among my social circles are all on the West coast, so I'm forced to text them teaser messages and then call them excitedly after it's over to insist that they watch it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A quick commercial

I'm one of those people who always has to have music on in the background. When I was in college, this took quite a pretentious edge, as I swore I could only listen to classical and forced my roommates to do likewise. Thank god that phase is over.

When I moved into land of cubicles, I shifted over to CDs and earphones. That was all well and good, but it got kind of monotonous, since one can listen to a CD way too many times in the course of a work day. Especially those of us who get kind of OCD about our favorite CDs or - worse - songs and hit replay about fifty billion times.

Finally, I was able to claw my way into my own closed-off area and have the joys of the internet at my disposal. Which is a good thing as DC's radio bites the big one. Lately, the one small cog holding my sanity together has been SomaFM.com's Indie Pop Rocks. They play a good mix of established and up-and-coming indie bands. Because of this station, I can recognize and speak relatively intelligently (or at least as intelligently as I'm capable of, which most days is not that much) about new music. Allows me to keep up with the yoots (kids and their music these days! I tells ya). Best of all: it's free for whoever has a modem that can handle it. Mosey on over there and check them out. If you're not fully satisfied, well, I don't really want to hear about it and furthermore you must have rocks in your ears.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Did you know...

That Hershey's makes 70 million kisses - a DAY? I had no idea that we as a nation could stomach that much chocolate. It's impressive in a morbid sort of way.

Hershey Park was an absolute blast. It's nice to do something completely and utterly cheezy every once in a while, and this definitely qualified. We made a rookie error, however, which came close to costing us dearly. Right after we got there, we decided that the two-hour drive had made us hungry, so let's go grab a bite. The six of us got fries and various grilled cheese products, and THEN went on our first ride. See where this is going? The ride involves you going verrry fast around a loop-de-loop, halting, then going around it backwards. The reverse trip damn near brought back everyone's fried foods. Could've been quite ugly.

Overall, the rollercoasters were as rocket-fast and thrill-inducing as one could hope for. I screamed myself hoarse: my poor vocal chords haven't yet recovered.

I must admit that while they had Hershey's products all over the entrance, I was a bit miffed at the lack of products within in the park itself. The rides had generic rollercoaster names and there was nary a chocolate river nor Oompa Loompa in sight. They did, however, have candy bar mascots running around. I made friends with a Hershey Bar.

Afterwards, we went to Chocolate World just outside the park's gates and went on a free tour explaining how they make chocolate. My god, it's a complicated process. Who knew? It makes you wonder how they clear a profit on a fifty-cent candy bar. I guess this is a situation where economies of scale kick in. And the piece de resistance was the visit to the company store. I loaded up on all sorts of "limited edition" Hershey candies. Yes I am a sucker for that sort of marketing.

But I do have my reasons. Every year, my friends and I do what we call a "Glitter Beach Weekend," where we pack all our sparkly tiaras/boas/lotion and head for Dewey Beach, Delaware, for a weekend of guilty pleasures. We drink crap beer, eat crap greasy food, and dance at crap beach discos. A few years ago, we'd stopped for gas on the way back to DC. I nipped into the station to grab a drink for the road, whereupon I stopped in my tracks. Before me was the motherload: dark chocolate Reese's peanut butter cups! But because I'd been shovelling terrible food into my system all weekend, I didn't think my body could handle any more processed foods. And besides, this was a wee gas station in Delaware: surely I would find a dark chocolate Reese's peanut butter cup elsewhere, right? WRONG. I have never seen them since - only the stupid white chocolate versions, which are so not even in the same time zone as the dark chocolate version (or at least, as they would taste in my dreams). Sigh.

I even checked at the Hershey store, which confirmed that they are definitely not making them any more. Take it from me, folks: carpe diem. When life presents you with one-of-a-kind candies, do not hesitate to make the most of it.

Friday, April 22, 2005

The sweetest place on earth

Work isn't really happening for me today, so instead, I'm harnassing my high-powered research skills to a much more lucrative end: figuring out which rides I'm going to go on tomorrow. A few of us are going to Hershey Park (http://www.hersheypa.com/attractions/hersheypark/index.asp). So very excited. I haven't been to a theme park in a decade. I used to work myself up into a froth over them, too. Growing up in LA meant going to Disneyland at least once a year or so. And my hometown is less than five minutes away from Knott's Berry Farm (www.knotts.com), which meant that a sizable portion of my high school worked there at one point or another and would get you in for free.

Besides the fun of going on rollercoasters, I'm hoping this trip will erase past wrongs. Or at least replace an unpleasant memory with a much nicer one. When I was 11, my family did a road trip from DC to my mom's home town in upstate New York. En route, we stopped at Gettysberg to see the war memorial there. I was, I thought, nauseous from car ride, so I spent that time curled up on the floor of the car while the rest of the Ladyship posse explored the battlefield. My nausea didn't subside and in fact got worse as the trip progressed, to the point where we passed up stopping in Hershey so that we could get me to a bed. As it turned out, my appendix came *thisclose* to bursting on that damn car ride. So whenever I think about Gettysberg and the town of Hershey, psychosomatic waves of nausea roll over me. No matter what happens tomorrow at the theme park, it can only be an improvement over my last trip in that neck of the woods.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Etiquette question

I have been boot-less for weeks, as I took them to get re-soled at my usual shoe repair place, not realizing until it was too late that they didn't take American Express. I had to pretend, oops, hahaha, I'd just plumb forgot to pick them up for two weeks. But believe you me, as SOON as I got confirmation that my paycheck had been direct-deposited, I broke all laws of physics to get to the shop to retrieve my beloved shoes.

Alas, they are not so beloved any more. They apparently underwent some sort of trauma while at the repair shop, because now they click when I walk. I'd thought that maybe it was something that I could only hear in my apartment because of the hardwood floors, but no dice. All sorts of environments bring out the inner diva of my shoes. The walk to work (pavement): tap tap tap. The walk to the office's kitchen (carpet): tap tap tap. The walk to lunch (grass): tap tap tap. My colleagues: ready to throttle me.

I've never gotten shoes fixed like this before. So my question is, is this an unspoken by-product of re-soling boots that I'd just never run into? Is this something that everyone knows, but no one speaks about? Like how I didn't know that you're supposed to wear a beige bra under white shirts until G&T wised me up. Or that girls aren't allowed to wear sandals without polishing their toenails first.

I plan on going back to the store and insisting that they fix the boots, but I'm not sure how assholish I should be about the matter. I'm running out of shoe repair stores within easy walking distance, so I can't afford to offend the guy too greatly. But there is no way I'm going to be able to stomach wearing these boots in their current form. Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Fashionistas unite!

In six to eight weeks, I will be rocking the hell out of this shirt: http://www.glarkware.com/securestore/c188252p16536613.2.html. Ladies and gents, this now or never item is only available through the end of April. After that, it, like my misbegotten youth, is gone forever.

I got it from http://gofugyourself.typepad.com/. I think the best way to describe this site is "What Not to Wear," but a) cattier and b) dedicated solely to taking celebrities down a peg or two. Another excellent site dedicated to deflating Hollywood egos is http://www.snarkywood.com/. My personal favorite is their take on Melissa Gilbert (http://www.snarkywood.com/2004/11/melissa_gilbert.html), as I was such a huge fan of "Little House on the Prairie" that I read every single book that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote, but they're all viciously funny.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


I find it's best to cop the party line when you're outnumbered. While in Boston this weekend, I was constantly surrounded by overly enthused fans wearing various hat/jersey combos. I ended up riding the T right past the stop for Fenway park an hour or two before game time and damn near got squashed by the mass of humanity exiting for the game.

Verdict? Boston was a lot of fun. I must say, however, I think perhaps I did not get a weekend that's indicative of the norm. It was 70 degrees and just stunning out, so everyone was very relaxed and friendly. Kind of like DC when it's nice out - it's like we've been replaced with easy-going pods. I'm sure a winter visit would be a different experience.

We went out for Indian and Italian food and took FilmStar's beagle (he was free. a freeble! ha, that joke never gets old) for a four-hour walk around town on Sunday. I did zero shopping, for which my wallet thanks me. I also got caught up on Season 1 of "Arrested Development" (FilmStar has the DVD). I am very sad to hear that Fox may be canceling that show.

The Boston's T (metro for us DC types) is cute as a button. I understand it's the country's oldest subway, and it certainly looks like it. I found it similar to one of the rides at Disneyland - Autopia, maybe - where the car clanks along a preestablished track verrrrry slowly. Then you go above ground and it becomes a trolley! Neat. I could not shut my yap about the T. I guess because DC's metro is so devoid of any personality whatsoever (except for the whole tardiness and unreliability. So, change that to, devoid of any positive personality traits).

Monday, however, was something of a mess. It was Patriot Day, which I think they made up just to have an excuse to close down the city in time for the Boston Marathon. I got up at 3:30 to catch my early morning flight, because god forbid I miss one second of work more than I have to, and thus was not in the best of moods anyway. It did not help, though, when my flight got cancelled, other flights were far too over-booked for me to ride stand-by, and I got jerked around by various airline personnel. I resorted to quoting FAA regulations in order to get a voucher out of the airline personnel, which I got, but I would have much rather have just had a non-eventful flight. Plus, I kept having to go in and out of various security checkpoints, and at every one, they must have been really bored, because the security guys flirted with me. The first time, I was all, oh teehee, you boys; by the fourth time, my attitude was, stick it where the sun don't shine, I am not in the mood! I ended up spending seven hours in Logan airport, had to fly to one more city than originally planned, and got to DC about five hours before my luggage did. Good to be home.

The first sign of spring

This morning, I realized that spring has truly arrived in DC. It's not the greenery budding on trees or the tulips peeking through the ground.

It's the first spotting of the dread species, Office Mole Wearing a Short-Sleeved Dress Shirt and a Tie.

Why, gentlemen, WHY do you do this? It's not like men don't have it made when it comes to office attire. Put on a button-down shirt, keep a tie in your office, and you're set.

And yet you guys still fuck these things up. I do not get it. Especially since it's not that hard to, oh, I don't know, ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES should your forearms get unbearably hot.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Woman-child in Bean-town

So tomorrow I head to Taxachusetts* for a work trip. I'll be in meetings Friday and Saturday, but by Saturday night, I should be landing on my college roommate FilmStar's door. She lives less than a mile away from, what, Shea Stadium? Ha ha, I know. It's actually Dodger Stadium. Kidding, rabid Red Sox fans. Please don't hurt me.

I haven't been to Boston since I was sixteen and participating in Harvard's annual Model UN conference (I told you I was a geek in high school). (Btw: totally got robbed of our award by the committee chairs. My co-delegate and I owned that committee.) (Good thing I can let go of slight grievances from well over a decade and a half ago.). At any rate, this should be quite a different experience. From what I hear, Boston has a lot of good bars and even better Indian food. Hmm, that does seem to be the criteria I use when rating towns to visit, doesn't it? Well, could do worse. Ooh, maybe we can go to Little Italy too and get pizza - it's been way too long since I had a slice.

You say there are museums and historical monuments and stuff in Boston too? Good to know. I guess I could at least pretend I was going to do anything besides shop, eat, and drink. But I'm not. In case you hadn't noticed, I'm pretty shallow. See you guys Monday.

* Obligatory Simpsons reference. Gold star to the first person to identify both the speaker and the episode.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

7 habits I apparently need to break

Yesterday, after having sent one of my standard witty and insightful email missives, one of MSN's little teaser headlines caught my eye: "7 habits people who live alone need to break." (http://msn.match.com/msn/article.aspx?articleid=2090&TrackingID=516311&BannerID=544659?GT1=6332) Well, I must admit this piqued my interest. I mean, I *have* been on the market for some time now, but maybe it's not just my repellent personality and appearance that's been scaring the men off - maybe it's simply one measly habit that could turn this train around! So off I clicked.

And, to my horror, ALL SEVEN applied to me. Yikes. How did author Bob Strauss know me better than I know myself? Allow me to describe.

1. 45-minute showers.

I actually take 15-minute showers, but that's only because my crappy hot-water tank runs out right about then. Otherwise, especially on the weekends, I see no reason to hurry. How else am I going to keep warm while my hair is being deep-conditioned?

2. Spoiled pets.

Ahem. My precious angel is beloved by all. How could he be considered spoiled? Doesn't everyone find his ankle-biting and constant clawing adorable? I'm sure it's just a coincidence that one houseguest nicknamed my cat "Shrapnel" after a particularly active weekend.

3. Casual Sunday.

I groom on-demand, and on-demand only. Thus, if I'm not leaving the house, remind me why I have to clean myself up?

4. All TV, all the time.

This one should be tweaked to "all music, all the time." Although if I had cable or some means of getting more than 4.5 channels, TV probably would be a constant presence in my house. The idiot box and I have a long history together.

5. Pretzels in bed.

It's not the crumbs that bother me. It's the coffee stains, largely because those usually are the result of having accidentally dumped a cup on myself. OUCH.

6. Aimless whistling.

Again, tweak this to "aimless singing" and we're on. I didn't realize that perhaps not everyone is continually singing along with music until a recent conversation with my mom. She used to sing professionally and, now that she's retired, has taken up with her church choir. Mom said it was something of a rough start since she hadn't sung in several years. The silence on my end prompted her to ask, rather defensively, "When was the last time YOU sang?" Um, this morning while I was blow-drying my hair. I may even have changed the lyrics so they were appropriate to my cat. See #2 above.

7. Lack of silverware.

Okay, this one I think we can chalk up to my crappy housekeeping skills more than anything else. This truly perplexes me. My silverware never, ever leaves my house - I don't take it with me on the rare days I bring my lunch to work and while I have lent out my plates, no one seems interested in my forks and knives. And yet I am down to like three forks, two knives, and a couple of sorry, dented spoons. I have no clue where they go. On the other hand, I have sufficient chopsticks for all the inhabitants of Rangoon.

So now I have a blueprint of things to change about myself on the off-chance that some unsuspecting patsy might darken my doorstep in the distant future. Best get to work.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Here's my deal: April 15, love it or hate it?

Hate it: I leave that day for a work trip that I have not even begun to think about heading towards possibly sometime initiating preparing for. And, you know, something about taxes and the IRS.

Love it: I get paid. Hosanna in the highest! This pay period my bank account has been coasting not on fumes, but on the memory of fumes. Thank you, American Express, for loving me when all else forsook (-saked? -saken? This is what I get for zoning out during CCD. Although, to be honest, I sincerely doubt our horrid catechism class actually covered biblical grammar. It might actually had been interesting if it had.) me.

In the end, this is all a moot discussion, because, try as I might, I have not discovered a way to slow down or stop time. Given one superpower - and why shouldn't I be - I would totally go for Evie from "Out of this World"'s capability of putting her index fingers together and freezing time for everyone but herself.

Stop laughing, you know you used to watch that show too. Come on, they even visited Universal Studios and went on the Jurassic Park ride! How hip and happenin were they.

Anyways, I used to dream during my scholastic days about how I would use this special power to get caught up on papers/tests. Nowadays, my fantasies are much more prosaic: I'd use it to get more sleep. In a heartbeat.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Electric Bugaloo

One of my co-workers mentioned over lunch today that, back in the 80s, he'd gone to break-dancing camp. This was not your one-day seminar, nosiree - it was a two week, hard-core, intensive training camp. He also apparently had some signature move back in the day which he refuses to reveal. I'm waiting until the next work happy hour, at which point I will casually unfurl a cardboard box and wait for him to show us what he got.

This all got started...I'm not sure. But one thing I'm positive we can all agree on: "Electric Bugaloo" is THE best sequel name. Ever. As for the content of the movie, well, I had to wait until it came out on cable before I could watch "Breakdancing 2" on video, because I had something of an attitude the day we were supposed to go see it in the theaters (shocking) and as punishment, my parents withdrew the trip to see "Electric Bugaloo." Monsters.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

A list of grievances

My word, I am pissy today. I feel the need to make a big ole list of things that bug the ever-living crap out of me:

* Co-workers who insist on using the speakerphone for every fricking conversation
* Places of business that charge $10 for a cocktail but won't take American Express because of the minor fee the company charges for transactions
* Intern applications. I think that they are fornicating at night and reproducing themselves because no matter how much I work on it, that pile is not. going. away
* Cats who decide for no good reason to claw your plastic shower curtain to shreds
* That unexplainable and yet oddly persistant BO funk that is floating in my office hallway
* DC 101's Elliot in the Morning show talking about serious things. I love that gang with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns but am not ready to hear anything non-frivolous at 8 in the morning
* Flat shoes that manage to rub holes in your ankles at the exact place that every other pair of shoes you own hits you
* My hair's insistence on forming an odd bump off the back of my head
* War, hunger, and humankind's inability to make a nail polish that does not instantly chip

I'm meeting the urban tribe to play pool tonight, which should either catalyze my aggression or release some tension. If it's the former, maybe I can start a fight with one of those pool sticks, or at least snap one in two across my knee - I've always wanted to do that. If it's the latter, well, that's probably healthier in the long run.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

No va a NoVa

Okay, that doesn't quite work grammatically but you get the picture. I spent yesterday at a conference in the wilds of northern Virginia. It took for-freaking-ever to get out there. I mean, I do tip my hat to WMATA: this place was 25 miles away and I got there via public transportation for the low low price of $4.70. Still, I had to get up at 5am to ensure that I would make the 8am kick-off and I was not a happy camper.

Plus it was stultifyingly boring. My god. It was an issue area I follow but not too closely, so I figured that the conference would be a good way to bone up on my background knowledge. About 20 minutes in, I realized why I don't spend so much time on that subject. It bores my socks off. I got into a routine where I'd get up every hour and get more coffee or hit the ladies' room or, as the day went on, both. By lunch time, I'd had so much caffeine my skin was crawling.
What really capped it for me was that spring has finally sprung in Washington and I was stuck inside all day. DC's weather can be heartbreakingly gorgeous when it chooses and yesterday was one of those days. So every time we had a break, I would grab my phone or a magazine and go sit outside for a few minutes. Drove the front doorman nuts because he had to let me in and out all day - kind of like the way your cat is never on the right side of the door. Poor J-Dawg and G&T got several phone calls from me. "What are you doing now? How about now? Now?"

Luckily, today seems to be even purtier. I finally got the chance to wear my new flip-flops to work. I don't mean to brag, but they're the prettiest flip-flops ever. A friend gave them to me for xmas and I've been tapping my toes, waiting for the opportunity to use them. They're cherry red with Swarovski crystals on the straps. Really they're more of a night-time flip-flop - I know that rocks during the daytime are passe - but you gotta live a little, am I right?

BTW: It really chafes me to have to refer to them as "flip-flops." When I was growing up, we called them "thongs." Yes, laugh away. I stubbornly continued to call them thongs even when that took on another meaning, but finally had to give up a few years ago. The place where I was working at that time had a function on a weeknight, so most people went straight from the office. But one of my colleagues obviously had gone home and changed first. Making chitchat, I commented, "I see you went home and put on your thongs." HE winced and replied, "I really wish you wouldn't call them that." It was then that I realized that no matter how much I push this, society has decided that thongs are not worn on your feet. Generally I have no problem with raging against the machine but, in this case, I will let it drop.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Still scratching my head over this one

AnimalStyle had an unusual restaurant experience Saturday. She was having lunch in Tenleytown with a friend. Her dining companion came back from the bathroom and vehemently insisted that AnimalStyle go check it out. Thinking that there was some sort of cool architecture to admire, she duly went off to see what it was.

She was half-right. The bathroom of that restaurant consisted of one room...with two toilets. Facing each other. With no partitions or any means of privacy between them.

I've been trying to figure out why on god's green earth someone would set up a bathroom like that. Under what sort of configuration would that be a handy arrangement? I'm pretty relaxed myself about this kind of thing, but even I would have issues about directly facing someone while using the toilet. That may be just me though.

I think I need to make a field trip and check this out for myself. Who's with me?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Many happy returns

My sister BeachBunny is, we figured out one bored afternoon, one year, one month, one week, and one day younger than me. But for all intents and purposes, she has been more like my twin. Growing up, we went through pretty much everything together: matching headgear for our braces, soccer games where we would alternate languishing at left wing, and xmas gifts from well-meaning relatives where hers would be pink and mine purple. (Now we've got it down to a science: when we get these identically wrapped packages, we make sure we each have one in our hands, count to three, and then race to see who can open it first.) It was nice always having a friend along on family vacations.

Despite being so much alike - or perhaps because of it - we fought constantly. Not just petty bickering, which we did endlessly and without thinking. And not just irritating your sibling for the sheer hell of it. No, I mean knock-down, full-out brawls, where someone's getting whipped around by her ponytail in the middle of the street. She's the only person I've ever gotten into a physical fight with (for the record, I think we whaled on each other an even amount of times). Our older brother learned very early on to steer clear of the fray, lest he get dragged in. And for a long time, our parents were certain that only one of us was going to make it to adulthood.

But as we got older, things smoothed out. She is truly the funniest and warmest person I know. When our mom got sick a few years ago, it was BeachBunny who resolutely rolled up her sleeves and waded into the morass of health care to make sure mom got the care she needed. She is always sending little cards and gifts just because: in fact, she's one of my primary sources of candy. There isn't anything she won't do for her friends and family. She is smart as a whip and works much harder than anyone should. And she is my ally who I can turn to and know that someone fully appreciates the bizarre comments our parents make.

When she got married last year, she asked me to be her maid of honor. I was really pleased, touched, and yes, honored to stand next to her as she started a new phase in her life. It was also wonderful getting to see how many people just love her.

She lives in California and I am exiled to DC, so we only get to hang out a couple of times a year. Tomorrow she turns 30 and I won't be able to wish her a happy birthday in person. But I will lift my glass westward and wish her many happy returns. Hope you have a wonderful birthday, BeachBunny.

And as proof of my love and affection: your gift has already been mailed! For once, you should actually get your birthday gift on your birthday (well, plus or minus a day or so. Baby steps).


Last night I was out at Helix for a fairly extended happy hour. I was with my VP, who is awesome, if something of an enabler (every time I neared the bottom of my glass, she'd helpfully point it out and ask me if I wanted to order another drink. Why yes, I think I do). Now, I love Helix. It is indeed, as they brag on their matchbooks, "a world gone fabulous." You can't beat the happy hour prices, the waitstaff is to a T courteous and friendly, and their Pajama Party cocktail is the nectar of the gods.


Last night was weird. Normally, it's hard to get a fix on the crowd at Helix. Sometimes it's DC's equivalent of the bridge and tunnel set, sometimes it's government worker bees on happy hour, sometimes it's the young and overprivileged. But last night there was something in the air. Two burly firemen were making out in the corner and I'm fairly sure they were straight. A group of 20-somethings in shirt sleeves and ties cleared a path so that one of them could do a standing backflip in the middle of the bar; then, apparently not satisfied, a second guy in the group did another standing backflip (were they traveling circus members here to court Congress? Olympians off of their training schedule? frat boys with way too much free time on their hands?). And a homeless guy was lurching around, clutching a glass of champagne. Was there a full moon last night and I missed it?