Archive for October, 2008

Maybe I Should Consider Wearing More Pants

October 31, 2008

Spanx make the top ten on my personal list of Best Inventions Ever. They’re somewhere after TiVo and above clumping cat litter. Thanks to Lycra and the wonders of structural engineering, they somehow manage to redistribute my fat rolls. When I’ve shoehorned myself into a pair of power panties, I look less like a mountain range and more like the Great Plains. Sure, getting them back on in the confines of a bathroom stall is challenging and breathing after a large meal can be touch and go, but it’s a small price to pay for hip to thigh fat realignment.

There is one other major problem with Spanx: they aren’t always hosiery compatible. I haven’t figured out what particular type of nylon is allergic to Spanx’s Lycra/magic blend, but something sure is. When I combine certain legwear and Spanx, I can’t keep the stupid things up. Take today for example. Wonder Admin invited me out for lunch. As we walked down L Street, I felt my red tights slowly inch their way down. Eventually I told Wonder Admin I had a situation and we needed to stop. Backed up against a store front, shielded by a homeless guy on the left and Wonder Admin on the right, I grabbed the back of my pantyhose and gave a good tug. Problem solved. But two blocks later, I was once again free falling like a teenage sk8er boy. Wonder Admin waited patiently while I yanked. Around CVS, I needed another pull-up. This time Wonder Admin pretended not to know me while I self-corrected. At wit’s end, I wrenched those things until I had a big ol’ wedgie. With any luck, I reasoned, it would take awhile for the Spanx/tights slide to occur if they had to travel all the way from inside my butt crack.

Wonder Admin and I continued to COSI. Eventually I quit asking her to stop and wait while I readjusted. It was too much effort and I could tell she was becoming increasingly annoyed. Instead, I would just hike up the back of my coat, grab a hold through my sweater dress and enact a pull-jump thing for a few steps. Occasionally, I’d hear sniggering behind us, but whatever. These things happen to me so they don’t happen to YOU, Seven Loyal Readers.

On the way back to The Place of Lawyerly Things, I was mid-tug when a voice yelled:

Nice ass, Katherine!

Why, why, WHY do I always run into eCrush when I am engaged in idiotic behavior?

I Sense Impending Blog Fodder

October 31, 2008

This weekend:

  • I will not be wearing my roller skates to the Metro, despite suggestions to the contrary. I live atop The Really Big Hill and I’d like to arrive at my social engagements in one piece. (But nice try, Suz.)
  • Bionic Kitty is going to the vet. It’s time for the annual Your Cat Has Contracted A Rare Form of Feline Diphtheria Due To Her Excessive Chewing On Table Legs discussion. Of course, curing this will involve a check with three zeros. To offset expenses, I am considering opening a Paypal account for donations. Or maybe renting out Bionic’s womb. I am sure somebody else wants an unkillable RoboCat.
  • I will locate my voting location. And maybe assemble a patriotic themed outfit for Tuesday. After all, one must impress the Hot Firemen.
  • Operation New Housing will commence. My lease is up in December and I’ve decided that despite the availability of Chop’t, Georgetown Cupcake and cheap manicures, Rosslyn is overrated. I’m looking to move to the District. Specifically U Street, Logan Circle or DuPont. It’s time to start trolling Craigslist obsessively.
  • I am going to Target! For the first time in over a year! Not really because I need anything, but more for the bliss inherent in a trip to Tarjoy.
  • If time allows, there will be a GeekFest. January is almost here. That means the series conclusion of Battlestar Galactica. Sniff. In preparation, I am going to rewatch all the episodes and maybe develop preposterous theories regarding the last Cylon. Who’s in?
  • I will compile a list of all friends, relatives and acquaintances that are knocked up. My mission: to convince somebody to dress up their kid as a garden gnome for Halloween ’09. I’ve got a year. (Do not underestimate my persuasive abilities, Laura.)
  • Cleaning might occur. “Might” being defined as “highly improbable.”
  • I have an eHarmony Date Saturday night. He’s 5’3”, balding and apparently illiterate. I refer to this as “easing my way back into the shark-infested dating pool.” My uncharitable friend termed it a Pity Date. (It’s no such thing, Sara. It’s dating before eCrush, and thus winning. Nobody said they had to be quality goods.)
  • Figure out who is the stalker(s) who keeps Googling (Googleing?) my personal email address to find my blog. Happened seven times Wednesday, once yesterday and three so far today. Dude, it’s creeping me out. Stop it!

Today’s Metro Lesson: I Am Invisible

October 30, 2008

I can’t figure out the ebb and flow of the Blue Line’s passenger level. Some days, it is smooshtastic and others, seats abound. My current theory is the people of Franconia-Springfield only work on odd numbered days. It’s that or every other morning, the Pentagon conscripts Blue Line riders for their top secret research into mass hypnotism (which would explain why George Bush is still in office).

Anyway, during my morning commute, the Blue was all, “Seats for everybody! And their bag! And some extras!” Unprecedentedly empty. Not-even-tourists-or-homeless empty. With my choice of seats, I grabbed the one that parallels the door. Usually I don’t take that spot, believing that it should remain empty in case the elderly or an otherwise infirm individual needs to utilize it. But the Pentagon grabbed all the elderly earlier this the morning, so wheee! for me.

I rode in solo luxury until Foggy Bottom. There, some Badly Dressed Lady boarded. With an entire train of empty seats, it made total sense for her to plop down RIGHT NEXT TO ME. I knew I should have put my bag there. Live and learn, right? As Badly Dressed got herself adjusted and settled, she lifted her mega-purse. Not unusual. Most people sit and then grab their iPod or Sudoku. But not her. Nope, Badly Dressed lifted her bag and PLACED IT DIRECELY ONTO MY LAP. That’s six shades of crazy!

At a loss but clearly not willing to be Badly Dressed’s personal bag holder, I took her purse from my lap and put it back onto hers. She glared at me.

Badly Dressed Psycho: I want to put my bag there.

Me (incredulous only begins to cover it): But I’m sitting here.

Badly Dressed Lunatic (in her best I-am-unhinged-proceed-at-your-own-risk voice): I WANT MY BAG THERE BITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (yeah, you could hear the exclamation points)

So obviously I moved. Sometimes, it’s not worth having a throw down on the Metro.

Wholeheartedly Endorsing the Pedestrian Lifestyle

October 29, 2008

That great font of wisdom, my Dad, once said driving a car is like riding a bike: even if you don’t do it for awhile, you never forget how. While that may be true, I don’t find the concept particularly comforting when the object being maneuvered weights over a ton and doesn’t come with training wheels. Still, the other day I needed to go to Ikea and all that Swedish goodness is only reachable by car. There was no better time to test Dad’s assertion, break in my virginal Zipcar membership and drive for the first time in over a year. Holy Mary and Little Baby Jesus. I thought I was going to die.

District driving is nothing like Ohio driving. Back home, people turn on their car and instantly morph into Cautious Grandma. It’s as if their feet have never been introduced to the gas pedal. At all times, they keep 30 car lengths between them and the vehicle in front; more if any form of precipitation is forecasted. And Ohio drivers don’t believe in signaling. Instead, they rely on Driving Telepathy and reflexes to avoid accidents when somebody changes lanes or makes a turn. Not so in Rosslyn. I was on the road no more than thirty seconds when I saw my first turn signal. Initially, I couldn’t figure out what it was. I just kept thinking, “Ooooooohhhh. Pretty blinky light!” But when the car made a right, I realized I had just witnessed proper signaling behavior.

Drivers around here also believe in highway speeds over 45 mph. Actually, it’s either 80 mph or traffic jam. Those are the two options and nothing else is acceptable. Well, there is “tourist speed,” but only people with Midwestern license plates can get away with it. And DC drivers stay two centimeters away from the bumper in front of them. There’s also aggressive weaving and merging into spaces where a car should only fit with Harry Potter Bus-Squishing Magic. Forget Cautious Grandma; DC driving is NASCAAR on crack.

Despite all that, I made it to my destination. Sure, I shaved a few years off my life expectancy, but I’ll sacrifice for Ikea. On the way home, I hit traffic. Lots and lots of beltway traffic. According to the radio, I needed to get off the highway if I wanted to make it back to Chez Apartment before the spring thaw. It seemed like the perfect time to break out the portable GPS eCrush had left at my place and I now owned thanks to post-break-up property rights. I turned it on, typed, and voila! A new route through the city.

All was well until I hit DuPont, the Circle of Death. I am still not sure how that thing works. Supposedly, I entered the Sixth Circle of Hell by way of Mass Ave. Problem was I somehow ended up in the outer ring and my GPS said I wanted to be on the inside. But, I couldn’t get over, even with DC-style signaling. I just went around and around, the GPS was squawking out re-routes and me cursing my inability to switch lanes. After my fourth circle, I decided to give up on my original path and take Connecticut. GPS would catch up eventually.

I saw a Connecticut sign and turned. Drat. Unless Chez Apartment had recently teleported to Woodley Park, it was not the right direction. I spotted a place to turn around, moved into the middle lane to make a left and suddenly there were a million car horns blaring. I have since been informed there is a Middle Lane Direction Switcheroo Thing on Connecticut. How was I supposed to know? It wasn’t in my Welcome to DC Handbook and I’d never encountered this traffic situation before. Michigan left? Sure, I’ve done it. But switching the direction of the center lane’s traffic in the middle of the day? WTF? Figuring out those lane lines and traffic patterns was waaaaayyyy too urban for my Ohio-level driving skills. Knowing those horns were because of me, I made an emergency left, missed a T-boning by millimeters, pulled over and promptly had a panic attack.

There are times when I can’t pull out my big girl panties. No matter how much I want to, my Girl Power Meter is too depleted. It rarely happens, but when it does, I just stop all semblance of functioning. This was one of those moments. Even so, I initially didn’t want to admit it. Several times, I started the car up and tried to pull away from the curb. But each time, I felt the waves of a panic attack. I thought maybe a walk would fix it. Thirty minutes and a scoop of Cold Stone later, no luck. Heck, I even considered sacrificing my dignity and texting eCrush an SOS. But ultimately, I knew I this was my own disaster and I had to fix it. It was time to break the emergency glass, so to speak. Sighing, I dialed information and asked for a tow truck company.

That’s right, I towed my Zipcar from Maryland, through the District and Georgetown, across Key-always-freaking-congested Bridge, and into Rosslyn. Do not ask me what it cost. I don’t want to think about it.

Why Didn’t I Get A Dog Instead?

October 28, 2008

Late Sunday night, as I was doing laundry, I heard yowling, crashing and off-key screeching. I assumed Bionic Kitty finally got electrocuted after months of chewing on power cords. Even so, I didn’t rush to the next room to check on her. That cat has made a Feline Pact With the Devil and I knew she would be fine, despite a little frying. The ruckus continued, but I just rolled my eyes and continued folding. Just as I was about to go investigate, Bionic Kitty sauntered in the room. She looked at me, tossed her head and meowed. It was all very, “See, it wasn’t me this time.” Uh oh. I rushed to the living room. There was Number Two, oddly attached to a Whole Foods bag, flying by at Warp Speed.

Best I can figure, at some point in the evening, Number Two jumped onto the kitchen counter where I had left the empty paper bag. In some strange act of cat physics, she apparently got her neck caught in the handle and could not get unstuck. I think this is about where fight or flight kicked in. When I found her, Number Two was at full tilt, handle firmly around her neck, the Whole Foods bag open across her back. The panicked-cat sprinting made the bag catch air, pull on her neck, and further scaring the living bejesus out of her.

At this point, I figured I had two options: chase Number Two around the kitchen/living room/entrance way loop or stay where I was and catch her on the return. I opted to wait. About two seconds later, Number Two and the bag whizzed by. I reached down to grab her, but missed. OK, try again. I crouched down, arms spread. She tore past and I got nothin’ but air. After the third fail, I knew it was time to fall back on the chasing option. Number Two hurtled around the bend and I took off behind her. But by now, she was at unprecedented levels of cat hysteria and was moving too erratically me to catch. A few laps later, I realized my best bet was to try and herd her to the bedroom. If I could trap her in a confined space, I reasoned I could catch her and get the bag off her neck.

Despite my efforts, Number Two would not stop running the kitchen/living room/entrance way loop. In desperation I decided to block the doorway to the kitchen. Effectively, it would break the circle she was running and I hopped she would head to the bedroom. The key was to find something long enough to close the extended opening and high enough so Number Two wouldn’t try to jump it. I looked around. Hello, coffee table. In a flash, I had it cleared, flipped and in position. It worked like a dream. Number Two approached, spotted the obstruction and rerouted straight under the bed.

For half an hour, I tried and tried to get Number out. But little cat, queen sized bed, no can reachie. Plus, with limited storage space in my apartment, under the bed is fully utilized. It’s a warren of plastic containers, Space Bags, and junk. You know those cheap games they sell at Cracker Barrel? The ones where you move the squares around the little plastic frame to make a picture and one piece is missing so you can shove all the other parts around? Well, those are my car ride nemesis. And this was just like those games, but worse. I’d move something, trying to force Number Two into arm’s reach, but she’d scramble somewhere else into the hodge podge. So, I’d shift something else. And on and on. As time passed and I still didn’t have Number Two, I became convinced the bastard child of Einstein and Stretch Armstrong couldn’t get her out this way. It was time for a Masterly Plan.

Eventually my Inner Thinker decided to rearrange my under-bed-junk to enclose Number Two and then remove the mattress. If she tried to escape, I hoped it would be up and straight into my arms. Even if she bypassed me, with the bedroom and closet doors closed, Number Two’s hiding spaces would be limited. Still, I was a bit nervous about the mauling I knew was coming my way. Cat Anger means spitting, teeth, and claws. Not a problem with Bionic Kitty. She’s declawed. But Number Two is a Hemmingway Cat. With her funky paw bone structure, the vet couldn’t declaw her. So, not only was I dealing with lethal cat claws, but Number Two’s got extra ones. Pleasant.

Well, the plan worked. Pretty much. Step one: I got Number Two was boxed in. Sure, this lead to yet more Cat Anger but what could I do? Step two: I wrestled the mattress off. Step three: box springs. But the Number Two’s not stupid. She knew what was coming. The minute an opening appeared above her, Number Two sprang. And I was ready. Thick sweatshirt and four shirts to prevent chest mauling? Yup. Oven mitts for hand protection? On. I grabbed Number Two and attempted to remove the Whole Foods bag from around her neck, but she was squirming, spitting and scratching everything in sight. While the oven mitts were necessary, they hampered my dexterity. I couldn’t get the handle untangled from her neck with them on. Wrestling Number Two was increasingly difficult, so I decided to take one for the team. I removed an oven mitt, braving the claws. I was yanking the handle off her neck when Number Two reached her breaking point. Cat urine. Ev. Re. Where.

Two days of keeping the bedroom balcony door open and four bottles of carpet cleaner, my room still stinks of cat urine. I’ve done eight loads of laundry trying to remove the smell from everything that got wet. And I think I’m going to have to replace my mattress. Initially, I thought it wasn’t hit, but now I’m not so sure. The best part of the entire story is last night, when I got home, I found some devious cat had gotten another Whole Foods Bag from my stash between the fridge and the wall. And of course, Number Two was sniffing around the handle.

Today’s Metro Lesson: You Wanna Search My Bag? Go Right Ahead…

October 27, 2008

Dear Metro Muckity Mucks:

It has come to my attention that you are implementing random bag searches. Since nobody likes to be blown up during their morning commute, I appreciate the pathetic lame attempt at extra security. I’m confident that an 8 to 10 second search, conducted by a team of five to eight super-specially trained Metro Police, is going to catch the Big Bad among the million riders. Yup. I have faith. I mean, if Metro can keep the trains running so efficiently, this search thing is going to be cake.

Also, I would like to take this opportunity to volunteer for a bag search. You heard me, Metro. Pick me! Pick me! Because, as of tonight, I am going to be carrying around a little something just for the Metro PoPo. It’s battery operated, purple, and vibrates. Some people refer to it as The Rabbit. I think of it as my gift to the Metro Ridership.

Sincerely Yours,

Katherine

Today’s Metro Lesson: Thank You Metro (and I actually mean that)

October 27, 2008

I am under the impression that Metro rarely gets Atta Boys. And that’s understandable. Between the delayed trains, broken buses, dripping AC vents and sex rings operating from the stations, there’s a lot for the Ridership to complain about. But today, by some minor miracle, I benefited from a Metro initiative. It appears WMATA doesn’t always screw up. So, gold star to Metro!

There’s been a lot of fuss about the beaucoup bucks Metro’s been spending on new hand straps. And yeah, I agree the metal handles are pretty moronic. If a rider can’t reach the overhead pole in the first place, how are they going to reach the handles in an “up” position? Even if the things are spring-loaded and easy to pull down, they still are too high and there’s no way a Shortie can lower them to a hold-onable level. Metro Logic: it’s the best.

But today I came across the supposedly older vinyl strappy version. In nearly a year of daily Metro riding, I’ve never before seen these things. Are they only on the Green line? Is Metro taunting me? Anyhoodles, the Blue was delayed and only half the usual trains were running through Rosslyn this morning. When I finally, finally managed to wedge myself onto an Orange, it was particularly sardined. I’ve learned from experience that Free Riding (aka the practice of riding with no hand-hold or other support), no matter how cramped, is not a good idea. I didn’t want to a repeat of my last no-hands Metro ride, so I jammed myself in the direction of a vertical pole. Eventually, I got close enough, only to find a Pole Hog had wrapped her entire body around it. Drat. The door closing bell was dinging and with nothing to hold onto, I decided some bargaining was in order.

Me (in my head): Dear Great Train Deity, please let the first 20 minutes of my week not suck. I promise that if you help me out here, I will stop my Days In A Row That Farragut West’s Escalator Has Been Broken count. I know that 32 is a new record, but I’m willing to forgo a scathing letter to WMATA if you just give me something to hold onto and help me avoid Metro Humiliation.

And the Train Deity listened. Compelled by a higher force, or maybe just to stretch my neck, I looked up. Hanging above me were two, brand-spakin’ new vinyl straps.

*This is where churchy music played in my head*

Another other victim of the Pole Hog, also a Shortie, was next to me. As the train began to move, I grabbed a strap and she hunkered down into the Brace Yourself Stance. Her knees were sorta bent, hands splayed, feet planted in her allotted two square inches of space. Shortie’s face was concentrated, like she was attempting to become one with the swaying of the train. There was still one free overhead strap and no reason for her to attempt a Free Ride. But I was not about to break the Metro Code of Silence to tell her about it. I’d done that before and had been shushed so hard, you’d think I was telling a five-year-old about Santa. So, instead, I opted for significant eye gestures.

Eye contact upon the Metro is universally frowned upon. People go to great lengths to escape it. They awkwardly angle heads, dart their eyes around, anything to prevent an eyeball to eyeball exchange. And Shortie was a champion avoider. No matter which way I looked, no matter how hard I stared her down, there was no eye contact. In desperation, I nudged her with my foot. That got her attention. Within seconds, she was face to face, trying to invade my limited personal zone. Her eyes screamed, “YOU TOUCHED ME UNNECESSARILY? Do you not have Metro Manners?” Calmly, I looked her in the eye, then glanced up, motioning with my head. Shortie’s face went from Violent to Oh! to Bliss in two seconds and she grabbed the hand strap. A few minutes later, as we rounded a shaky bend, one of those that give Free Riders particular difficulty, Shortie broke the cardinal rule of Metro riding. Faintly, I heard her whisper, “Thank you, Metro Jesus.” I whispered back, “Amen.”

Name Me

October 27, 2008

Interwebs, I have acquired roller skates. (God bless Craigslist and Donna In McLean.) That means I am officially going as a Roller Derby Girl for Halloween. Dum dum dum…

Now I just need to figure out my Roller Derby Alter Ego.

Briefly Considered But Ultimately Rejected:

  • Punchin’ Judy
  • Muscles McQueen
  • Ann Acostia
  • Camilla the Hun
  • Beltway Betty
  • Pam Ann
  • Meg Myday
  • Kat Astrophe
  • Goldie Knoxx
  • Ruth Less Killer
  • Mensa Misfit
  • Dirty Harriet
  • Bonnie D. Stroyer
  • Pearl Knuckles
  • Steely Jan
  • Polly Ester
  • Joan Ranger

On Repeat

October 25, 2008

Today’s form of therapy:

Play at neighbor annoying volume. Do the in-the-privacy -of-my-own-home-only dance moves. Repeat as necessary. Hairbrush mic optional.

Sometime Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event

Oh and when your friends say,
“What is it? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Then you walk, under the streetlights.
And you’re too drunk to notice,
that everyone is staring at you.
You just don’t care what you look like,
the world is falling around you.

Wishing Well by The Airborne Toxic Event

And she emerged from the dark,
Like a ghost in my head.
She said, “I haven’t forgot,
Any words that you said.
I just stare at the clocks.
And I cry in my sleep.
And I tear up your letters.
And I burn them in heaps.
And I gather the ashes,
In that hole in the ground,
Where we fell.”

Who gets L Street?

October 23, 2008

eCrush works about three blocks over and one block down from The Place of Lawyerly Things. Despite our office proximity, when we dated, I never ran into him without pre-planning. But that all changed once we hit Ambiguous Relationship Status. Lately, he’s popping up all over the place. It’s like our mutual homing devices have been activated.

Initially the random run-ins weren’t a problem. After Monday’s, I figured these things were bound to happen. We frequent the same places; I’m sure some law of probability applies. While I accepted the concept, the first encounter at a cross walk was still sort of surreal; very low rent Katie and Hubbleish. On Tuesday we saw each other at Borders. I was stocking up on trashy romances; he was holding The Ex Recovery Program. Post-relationship superiority points for me! I was not resorting to self-help books, let alone being imbecilic enough to actually buy them in a store. All in all, the run-ins still weren’t bothering me much. But when we both stumbled into the same Caribou yesterday morning, things were a wee bit uncomfortable.

Me (totally in disbelief): Christ on a cracker. Not again.

eCrush (throwing up his hands in real horror): Why didn’t you go to Starbucks for your muffin? You always go to Starbucks for you muffin!

Me (havin’ none of that): Oh my God! Are you purposely trying to avoid me? Is that what’s going on?

eCrush (exasperated): It’s called giving you space.

Me (below the belt): Did your special book tell you to do that?

eCrush (loudly): It was either that or risk you ripping off my balls.

Me (never one to underestimate the value of a good eye roll): I would be justified. Now, shut up and order.

Appears we’ve run out of Polite.

Anyhoodles, this morning, I was leaving Farragut West when I happened to catch a heel in an evil sidewalk grate and went down on all fours. Sometimes my Inner Klutz doubles as the Queen of Timing. The hand that helped me up belonged to eCrush.

eCrush (with actual worry): Are you OK?

Me (mumbling): So much for superiority points.

*sigh*

So, in order to avoid further humiliation, I’ve decided we have to split up the town into His and Hers. eCrush can have Starbucks. All of ‘em. But that means I get everything else.

Seems perfectly fair to me.