Archive for July, 2008

Please, no.

July 31, 2008

OHMYHOLYGOD. When did rolling your jeans become socially acceptable again? Thanks for giving me another reason to hate you, Katie Holmes.

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Why I’m going to be incontinent when I’m old

July 29, 2008

Why are the crazies always attracted to the bathrooms I use? It’s not that they are being messy or anything. It’s more that there is some nutso behavior going on and it baffles me. Plus, can’t a girl just pee in peace? 

At the Old Place of Lawyerly Things, there was this woman we collectively referred to as The Grunter. We shared a bathroom with another organization that rented empty office space on my floor, and this woman worked at the Other Organization. She was a tad off, even in her outside-the-bathroom interactions. People used to see her coming towards the elevator, trusty rolling backpack at her side, and beeline for the stairs. Or suddenly remember they forgot to shred that one document. You know, that one document that must be shredded right now or the world as we know it will blow up and it will be their fault so of course they have to go back to their office and save the world via shredder this very nano-second. Once, before I knew better, I rode the elevator down with her and she went on an Anti-Bush/Pro-Kerry tirade that included speculation about each guys’ carb intake, performance in bed, and preferred comic book reading material as a teenager. Being a polite Midwesterner, I sat there and listened for seven excruciating minutes before she paused for breath and I was able to escape.

The Grunter was particularly lovely in the bathroom. If any stall was in use when she entered the facilities, she took this as an open invitation to have one of her Special Conversations. Didn’t matter if she recognized the shoes or not, it was enough that there was another warm body in the loo. By virtue of your need to perform basic bodily functions, you were instantly best bathroom buddies and subject to listening to her Crazy Rant of the Day. And that was just went she was letting loose with the bladder. Daily, between 10 and 11 and again between 3 and 3:30, The Grunter would come into the bathroom, big honkin’ novel in hand. I’m talking 800 plus page masterworks like War and Peace or the latest Harry Potter. She’d wait for the handicap stall and once inside, she’d make herself comfy by taking off her pants and folding them onto the floor (yeah, I totally hunkered on the floor of the bathroom once, and watched in fascinated horror after an admin told me about it). And then she’d start to grunt. A lot. It was like a soundtrack for a good ol’ Animal Planet Mating Special and entirely uncomfortable to be around. Since The Grunter and I seemed to have synchronized bladders, this was especially traumatizing for me. If I was the first to arrive, and found myself relieving my bladder when she got going, I would scamper out of there as quickly as possible. There is something about Rhino-esqe mating sounds that’s a real Personal Show Stopper. In desperation, I even started washing my hands in the kitchen just to get out that much quicker. I mean, it sounded like she was birthing an alien or something. A few times, I was saved the indignity of listening to her by a fellow Grunter Victim. I’d be headed down the hall, clearly on my way to the bathroom, and some poor traumatized soul would whisper, “Don’t. The Grunter’s in there.” On those merciful days, I’d go downstairs.

At the Current Place of Lawyerly Things, there is a Singer. Now, I know people sing in the shower. Heck, I sometimes channel my inner Celine while shampooing. But singing in a public restroom? In the workplace? What is the world coming to? The Singer makes her appearance daily, usually around 1ish. Her repertoire includes everything from Barbara Streisand to the Wicked Songbook to the Selected Works of the Disney Princesses. Oh, and once, she sang Barracuda. That totally ruined Heart for me. It’s not that Singer is nearly as disturbing to the bathroom experience as The Grunter, but it is still a little strange. And mildly off-putting. And these people keep finding me. That’s all I’m saying.

iPhone appears to be making the loonies angry

July 29, 2008

As a person who works in a Place of Lawyerly Things and has a fairly pricey legalish education behind her, I love hearing about funky litigation. Or attempted litigation. Or litigation where there is an element of crazy.

I found this on Denver’s Craigslist the other day (I am not making this up):

Looking for a attorney(s) to make a big class action in regards to Apple/ATT such as being done in California and other states.

Some problems are 2 years contracts from ATT in regards to G3 networks and the Iphone not working on the G3 network and defaulting to the G2 (edge) network and this is bad and not write or fair
and very misleading information on battery life in addition to Apple not allowing a G3 phone to be unblocked by a phone that has been disconnect from att..ATT seems to think the own the phone for 2 years, even if you transfer the service to another Iphone….

  • Location: Colorado, Denver
  • Compensation: %

Today’s Metro Lesson: Farragut West, Get it Together

July 29, 2008

Periodically the Farragut West Metro stop experiences a Mini Commuter Apocalypse. It’s always during the evening rush hour and after Orange/Blue line delays elsewhere in MetroLand have supposedly been resolved. It appears Farragut West is special this way. Take today for instance.

1. The Farragut West station manager closed all the turnstiles in the direction of Vienna/Franconia-Springfield sometime before my arrival at 5:48 this evening. The flashy flash Metro Sign Things were alerting commuters that Orange/Blue Line delays had been resolved and there were no other apparent holdups in MetroWorld. Keep in mind, I never got an eAlert from Metro about any delays (at all!) and I checked WMATA on my handy Place of Lawyerly Things Crackberry all during the Commuter Cataclysm for possible holdups. It appears the People At The Big Metro Office were acknowledging nothing. Anyhoodles, I am assuming the turnstile closure was an attempt at crowd control and more effective herding of Commuter Cattle onto the platform below. But really, it just meant people used the gates on the New Carrolton/Largo Town Center side to try to reach the Vienna/Franconia platform. For the one millionth time, the Metro Workers were out foxed by the commuter-savvy Washingtonians on a mission to get home. Of course the Station Manager was having none of that, so after a few minutes, all the gate-thingies were closed except for one. And to get through, a passenger had to have the magic passwords, “I am going to New Carrolton and/or Largo Town Center.” Like that was hard to figure out.

No Entrance! That means YOU!

No Entrance! That means YOU!

2. A massive group of tired workers eventually began to form in the Farragut West 18th Street entrance. They were waving SmartTrip Cards menacingly and saying angry things.

Waiting...

Waiting...

3. The crowd grew.

....and grew....

....and grew....

4. And grew.

Lotsa People

Lotsa People

5. And got Really Big.

6. Until finally, an Orange Line trained appeared from the Misty Tunnel and took five people off the crowded platform below.

It's a Train! We're saved!

It's a Train! We're saved!

7. Then, another train came. Line undetermined. More left the platform.

Yeah! Train!

Yeah! Train!

8. This was the signal for the Station Manger to open all the turnstiles at once. The Mob of SmartTrip waiving, deodorant needing, Metro Riders surged fourth in a manner similar to forth grade girls swarming the Jonas Brothers. It was ugly. And slightly brutal. And several people got pushed through gates without actually having their SmartTrip cards read. The Metro Peeps response: deal with it on the other end, yo.

9. Most people, including me, made about three feet of forward progress. After 15 minutes of wiggling my big bag between people and flat out ignoring the rules about Lining Up I learned in kindergarten, I actually made it to the escalator, where I stand on various stairs for the next six minutes. All the while, trains are sllllllllllllooooowly coming into the station and sllloooowwwwly leaving.

10. Finally. Finally. I made it onto a train which was fairly empty when it pulled out of the station. This again confirmed my theory that Blue Line Rocks.

11. The remaining passengers rioted. Well, not really. But I bet they felt like it.

Today’s Metro Lesson: I love Metro Conductors with attitude

July 25, 2008

After leaving The Place of Lawyerly Things last night, I had to make a quick trip to DuPont. Yeah, DuPont! Anyway, after I had my fun, I took the red line to Metro Center and then picked up a blue line train headed toward Franconia-Springfield. The Conductor was a hoot. He was perhaps the best Conductor I’ve ever had. In fact, he was even better than the guy who sounds like he just left the Soul Train at 8:30 a.m. weekday mornings. A sampling:

Metro Conductor: There are 18 doors, folks. Six cars, three doors each. Six times three is 18. Let’s utilize them all, if you would be so kind.

My head: Metro does Math! No way!

Metro Conductor (after the door closing announcement was used like five times): This is supposed to be Rapid Transit, people. We were doing so well up until now.

My head: Hahahahahhahahahahaha!

Metro Conductor: Please allow those exiting the train to do so in a civilized fashion. Please move to the right or left of the doors so they can exit with ease. No pushing or shoving. We can make this painless for everybody.

My head: Metro is never painless, but thanks for playing.

Metro Conductor: Passengers on the platform, please remain clear of the granite area until the cars come to a full and complete stop. We don’t want any injuries tonight. My employers do not like inquiries, I don’t like injuries, and I am sure you don’t like injuries.

My head: Gold star.

Metro Conductor: I know you are sick of me saying it, folks, but I’m going to say it anyway. This is an 18 door contraption. Let’s utilize all 18 exits and all 18 entrances. The sooner we get everybody off and reload, the sooner we can get outta here.

My head: Thanks for riding Metro.

What’s in a name? A few random news links

July 24, 2008

I really don’t understand what types of drugs people must be on when they decide to name their child Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. Or what about Sex Fruit? And naive little me thought Pilot Inspector was bad. And speaking of names, it appears 50 Cent doesn’t want to change his, even if Taco Bell wants him to.

Evil Genius in a Musical Form, or “What a Crazy Random Happenstance”

July 23, 2008

My Dear Fellow Peoplekind:

I am about to enlighten your otherwise ho-hum Wednesday by telling you about the wonderfulness that is Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. It springs forth from the genius mind of Joss Whedon (aka the Man Who Helps Me Get My Inner Geek On). Apparently, he was bored during the Writer’s Strike and decided to write and produce a three act musical extravaganza. The title character, an every-man’s super villain type, is played by Neil Patrick Harris. That’s right. Doogie Howser is evil! And the premise is simple: our anti-hero is trying to take over the world via freeze ray and song. Musical hilarity ensues. Oh, and there’s a girl and Captain Hammer and…Just trust me, it’s goodness.

This masterwork is only available on the interwebs now. Specifically on iTunes. And all the Dr. Horrible evilness can be yours for a low, low price. Not sure of what, but it’s worth it. Now go. Scatter! Download! You will thank me.

That is all.

Because I need more distraction

July 22, 2008

My friend Terri posted about finding your super-secret Viking Name. Think porn star name (just call me Alexis Helston) but so much more.

There is an easy five step process:

1. Use the first syllable of your favorite alcoholic beverage

2. Then, use the first syllable of your hometown

3. Put in the word “the”

4. Identify your most deplorable character trait and

5. Be a Viking!

World, I am WiVoCo the Obstinate. I couldn’t pick between wine or vodka. I just couldn’t.

Today’s Metro Lesson: Well, really it was from a few days ago…

July 22, 2008

Some guy Metro operator on the Orange Thursday night: This stop Rosslyn. First stop in the Commonwealth of The District. Transfer to the Blue Line. Wait, I mean first stop in virgin. Virginia. Whatever.

I was rolling.

Today’s Metro Lesson: Hold onto something or there might be a boob incident

July 22, 2008

I had outpatient surgery on Friday and I’ve been couching it since then. This morning saw my return to the Land of the Living and by extension, The Place of Lawyerly Things. I was totally bummed about leaving behind the Chinese delivery and teen melodrama DVDs for real work. Because really, couch time rocked. Especially the part where I got pain killers and people sent me flowers and I got to watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt over and over and… Anyhoodles, to get to The Place of Lawyerly Things, I had to take my first real walk and Metro ride post-op. It didn’t go so well.

Picking up any Metro at Rosslyn means a crowded car. Everybody and their second cousin twice removed are already on the thing, riding into The District. It’s a sea of commuters and this time of year, tourists are thrown into the mix. That makes the ride akin to transportation in Hell. If I catch a Blue, a few people usually get off and I can squeeze on with minimal sardine-ness. But an Orange. Well, let’s just say I don’t like Orange. Orange in the morning means Cranky Katherine pulls a personal Incredible Hulk and becomes Rampaging Katherine. It’s ugly.

For some mysterious reason, I was running early today. Since Metro Fate has it out for me, as I was walking to the platform, an Orange pulled in. The next train (another Orange) wasn’t coming for 6 minutes. In the perfect timing that defines my life, a Metro Voice started talking about Orange and Blue delays running in my direction. I took all of this as a sign that I was supposed to get on the Orange pulling into the station, regardless of my distaste for Early Morning Orange rides. Of course, not a single person got off the stinkin’ train. Not. One. But there were about 10 people who wanted on through the particular car doors I was using. Just like every other day I ride an Orange, I was swept up in the rush of Metro Humanity and shoved onto the train.

Usually, I try to hug the walls or beeline for a pole or seat back grabber jobbie. On a good day, I am 5’ 3” (well, two and ten-twelfths so in the interest of optimism, I round up) and reaching the overhead horizontal pole things is a wee bit difficult for me. I can do it if I sorta stand of tip-toes, but it feels like my arm is being jerked from the socket when the Metro moves the least bit. Not fun, but do-able in a pinch. A few times, when I’ve not been able to get to something to grab onto, I’ve barely come out alive. Apparently, I have no sense of balance and a moving Metro is not the friend of the balance-impaired.

This morning, I tried to hug the walls. I tried to make it to a pole or a seat back. No dice. Instead, I was wedged in between a guy with a backpack, a girl who was in a fouler mood than I was, some linebacker behind me, and an unidentified but still very much not moving body. I stood smack dab in the middle of an aisle. So, I looked up with the intention of doing the over-head bar thing. There was nothing. Instead, the overhead bars were not in the middle of the aisle where I was, but along the sides. I was on a newer Metro Car. Drat. So there was nothing to hold onto. Not a pole, not a seat back, not an overhead arm jerker. I was literally in a no-man’s land in the center of the aisle, adrift with no stability once the Metro started moving. Plus, by this point I was hurting a bit. Not a lot, but enough to know that I really needed minimal jerkiness or there was going to be real pain and then there was going to be tears. I don’t do pain, especially pre-morning Diet Coke. So I tried one last time to wedge my way toward something to hold onto. I really did. Heck, I even shoved. But I never got a handhold. I was deadlocked by the Linebacker and the Grumpy Girl.

When then Metro started to go, my balance-less self was jerked into Backpack Guy’s bag. And then when Metro went around a bend, I was smooshed into Unidentified Human Mass. I got thrown around and around. Not enough to fall, but enough that I was really struggling to keep steady and minimize the post-op pain. It got worse at Foggy Bottom, when more people got on the train and I had even less room to plant my feet and try to maintain equilibrium. By this point, I flat out hurt. I wanted to demand Grumpy Girl stop glaring at 5’3” me and move her grumpy, tall, overhead-bar reaching rump so I could get close to a seat back and thus something to hold onto. Or better yet, I wanted to play the surgery card and get a seat. But I’m a big girl so I kept it together. Despite the particularly bad start-and-stop action the Metro driver was engaged in, I kept my balance. Even with the pain, I was going to make it.

Well, that was before the Metro approached Farragut North and Linebacker decided that he needed to be first off the train. Forget the 13 people between him and the door; he was going to lead the Commuter Charge off the Metro and up the escalator. So he pushed me. Maybe not intentionally, but the result was handhold-less me lost any semblance of balance and went hurtling straight into Grumpy Girl’s happy morning face. Then, in some act of Metro Physics, I was rebounded off of her and into the space where Linebacker had been. With nothing to stop me, I kept going, into a sleeping bald guy. (Dear Dad: please don’t read this part, because I love you and want to spare you) I landed straddling his lap, with my generous chest cradling his face. My hands were wrapped seductively over his shiny noggin. It would have been great — if I were staring in a Metro Porn. When I am able to disentangle myself, the boob-attacked Bald Guy said, “Well, good morning to you, too.” I wanted to pull an Anna Karenina.

So, the long and short is that I’ve begun to realize that I need to look into getting my chakras realigned or something. Metro hates me. It knows I’m coming. It just knows. And it’s angry.