Archive for January, 2009

“UGGs” Are Not Australian For “Snow Boots”

January 27, 2009

DC got a half inch of snow this morning. In Ohio, that’s viewed as a meteorological joke, but for Washingtonians, half an inch equates to full-fledged Blizzard Conditions. I guess all things are relative. Anyway, after the weather guy on Channel Four describe the day’s forecast as “grave” and “climatically treacherous,” I gave serious thought to calling the Place of Lawyerly Things and claiming a sick snow day. Honestly, I didn’t want the commuting headache. Experience has taught me that the Metro does not deal well with things like temperature fluctuation, increase in ridership, fire, or any form of precipitation. So, I imagined my commute would become the real-life version of that movie where the weather goes all doomsday and freezes the Statue of Liberty up to her armpits while almost turning Jake Gyllenhaal into a human popsicle, but then Dennis Quaid snowshoes across four States and saves the Jakester by wrapping him in a hand-warmer cocoon, so Jake only has mild frostbite and possibly snow blindness. Yep, I figured it was going to be a lot like that. But with a train.

Between my apartment and the Rosslyn Metro is a Really Big Hill. And by “big,” I mean, Sir Edmund Hillary could scale it, plant a flag on top, and call it his Bitch. Each morning, I happily walk down the hill and each evening, I dread death marching up. I consider that climb the workout equivalent of the Iron Man. And in the year I’ve lived at Chez Apartment, I’ve had several weather-related encounters with the Hill. Each time there’s heavy rain, mini-flash floods develop at the top and without warning, tsunamis made of run-off barrel down. Anybody in the wake of all this water gets soaked, usually to the knees. I’ve learned to wear rain boots for forecasts that include anything more than a trickle. Also, the one time it got icy last winter, I attempted to climb the Hill. After three failed attempts, a fellow commuter and I admitted defeat. Ice, gravity and a lack of rock salt were just too much. We gave up and hailed a taxi to take us to the top.

Knowing all this, I spent several minutes considering the footwear logistics of my a.m. trek down to the Metro. I was going to need lots of traction, and possibly a miracle, to get to the bottom of Mt. Pedestrian Killer. Theoretically, I own snow boots and rain boots; both traction-acceptable for my icy descent. But, after ten minutes of rummaging through my shoe closet, I realized both pairs of boots were at eCrush’s. Writing them off as Lost Forever, I threw on my UGGs.

As my UGGs and I approached the Really Big Hill, I watched one unsuspecting woman descend about a foot, hit a patch of ice disguised as slush, do that arm flail thing from the cartoons, and land on her tuckus. It was hilarious until I realized that probably was going to be me in about three minutes. As I watched, another person began sidestepping down the face of the Hill, like people do on ski slopes. This method was fairly successful, except for the occasional side slide that caused a lot of muttering and one instance where the guy screamed, “Holy Shit!” A third person was trying to Spiderman down the Hill, body and hands splayed against the side of the building that lines the sidewalk. That just looked like a body scrape waiting to happen. Clearly, the Really Big Hill had elevated to Break Your Neck conditions.

I stood at the crest for a few minutes, studying the slush and attempting to locate the biggest patches of snow-free sidewalk. Mentally, I plotted my course, noting all possible life-saving building and tree handholds in case of an unexpected wipeout. Eventually, it got to the point where I couldn’t put it off any longer. I knew I either had to get down the Hill or return to Chez Apartment and call the Place of Lawyerly Things. While my Sensible Side fully supported a day of Buffy and Hot Chocolate, my Inner Ohioan scoffed. If half an inch of snow, a mere dusting, was going to keep me homebound, I could no longer claim to be a Midwesterner.

Unwilling to relinquish my geographic motherland, I gingerly placed my foot on the slope of the Hill and sort of squished it down for traction. Once I knew I was stable, I positioned my other boot about six inches further down the hill, dug into the slush, and prayed. As I shifted my weight forward, I maintained traction. I mentally thanked Whoever-Is-The-Patron-Saint-Of-Commuting. And again, I stepped, prayed, shifted, over and over, inching down Rosslyn’s version of K2. Everything was fine until, about eight feet from the bottom, I misstepped. Instead of putting my foot on a strip of visible brick a few inches ahead, I accidentally overshot my mark and my UGGed foot landed on a frozen piece of plastic. It was too late to do any readjustments so I shifted my weight forward, but the rubber sole of my UGG couldn’t grip the plastic beneath it. Inadvertently, I had created the perfect storm of snow, slippery plastic, and traction deficient footwear. My UGGed foot, still atop the plasticy thing, began to slide down the hill and because I was mid-weight shift, with my back foot still planted firmly behind me, I began to do the splits. I am not Mary Lou Retton; I do not bend that way and it hurt. As my legs continued to spread, every single time I had declined Stella’s offers to introduce me to yoga flashed through my head. At some point, cussing ensued. Just as I was about to split in two, my self-preservation instincts kicked in. I lifted my back leg, the one that was holding me in place and essentially keeping me steady. Instantly, the UGG/plastic thingie morphed into a foot sled. I shot down the Hill, doing an impression of a wobbly, one-legged surfing flamingo. Death was imminent. Either I was going to fall and break my delicate neck, kamikaze into a building, or get smooshed by one of the cars whizzy past the base of the Really Big Hill. Wanting to shorten my time in purgatory, I closed my eyes and admitted to God that I really was the person who broke my brother’s Optimus Prime, not Little Sister.

I continued to confess the sins of my past, and had made it through most of puberty, when I realized I’d stopped moving. Somehow, I’d slid one-legged down the Really Big Hill and reached a graceful halt at the bottom. I sighed with relief. It was over. For a moment, I envisioned Johnny Drama, then, confident that all was well since I was on the level and semi-slush-free sidewalk, I took a step. That’s when my UGGs lived up to their tractionless nature. I promptly fell flat on my butt and let out every four letter word I knew.

A Hypothetical List Of Ads Gmail Would Generate Based On The Real Life Subject Lines Of My Email

January 23, 2009

Subject Line of Email: If I get laid off, I am considering an alternative career in porn

The Ad:

Porn Star At-Home Starter Kit

For Serious Entrepreneurs Only!


Subject Line of Email: Greetings From The Arctic Tundra

The Ad:

Sarah Palin Porn Tapes!!!!!

She’s A Real Maverick In Bed! Same Day Delivery Guaranteed.


Subject Line of Email: Attorneys Unite!

The Ad:

Discovery Channel: Shark Week!

Learn More About The Villains Of The Deep. Because Blood Sucking Isn’t Just For Vampires!


Subject Line of Email: Your emotional support is requested for impending Bridesmaid Dress try-on session

The Ads:

Obtain Valium Legally From Mexico!!

Discover The Single Greatest Secret To Effortlessly Surviving Yet Another Wedding.


http://www.BridesmaidsAgainstButtBows.com

A Support Group. Please Also Visit Our Sister organization At http://www.ThereAreNoScrewableGroomsmenToMakeThisWorthwhile.com.


Taffeta: The New Cotton

Learn About The World’s Nineteenth Most Popular Fabric And Why It’s Not Just For Bridesmaid Dresses!


Subject Line of Email: We should do this sometime

The Ad:

Prostate Exams

Experience The Fun!


Subject Line of Email: The Great Pregnancy Scare of ‘08

The Ads:

101 Upsides of Astro Glide

A Helpful Pamphlet. Includes Tips, Tricks And Hints For Successful Usage.


http://www.vasectomy.com

The Durable, Effective, Easy-To-Use Birth Control Designed For Over-Breeders Everywhere!


Screw Him!

A One Stop Shop For DNA Testing, Finding Your Local Child Support Enforcement Agency, And Nailing That Bastard Just Like He Nailed You!

Endings, Or The Last Of The eCrush Chronicles

January 22, 2009

Looking back at my Personal Dating Timeline, I realize there are distinct eras. But instead of Mesozoic and Jurassic, I have “Binge Dating: The College Years” and “The Great Law School Drought That Was Only Relieved By A Mediocre Sex Buddy And, Mercifully, Graduation.” There are also the men who have become the milestones of my dating history. The first shiny star was Russell Arnold, who married me under the monkey bars and sealed the deal with a saliva-heavy kiss placed half on my lips, half on my cheek. And there’s the guy I made out with on the back of the high school ski club bus. It was an awkward introduction to male genitalia and led to my shortest relationship on record. We clocked in 14 hours of coupledom before I dumped him, citing the classic “it’s not you, it’s me.” Over the years, the guys have been many and diverse but each interaction has taught me something. It’s been a string of important dating lessons, like pubic hair waxed into a star shape is a massive, red warning flag and that I like guys with a suppressed geek side.

It seems it’s time to officially add another dating era to the Timeline. The eCrush Chronicles have ended. It all went down in the wake of a girls’ night. After the last leg of our martini spree, I found myself a few blocks away from eCrush’s apartment and thought I’d take advantage of proximity for a booty visit. I taxied over and pulled out his apartment key. Many moons ago, when eCrush gifted me with that little piece of metal, I thought it represented more than the ability to physically get into his place. In my head, it meant he had nothing to hide; that our relationship was honest and trusting and transparent. I felt like he was essentially sharing everything. That was the point where I buried our past issues and began to trust him again. Little did I know that damn key didn’t just unlock his front door; it also opened Pandora’s Shit Box.

I made it about two steps in before I saw eCrush standing in his living room, sportin’ his birthday suit. There was something surreal about walking in on my boyfriend totally naked. His wanker suddenly looked less like a Pleasure Inducing Man Appendage and more like something awkwardly comical. I was trying to mentally adjust to eCrush’s nudist status, when I looked past him. A little further into the room, on his couch, was a woman wearing nothing but a tank top and butt-floss. Every single, solitary body-related insecurity I’ve ever had was suddenly embodied and magnified in her size four thighs. As I envied her skinniness, I knew there was no explaining this situation away. It couldn’t be like last time, when I gave into love and faith by accepting a far-fetched explanation for a mysterious pair of lacy panties. The Ghost of Underwear Past was literally sitting on eCrush’s couch, giving me the once over. In an instant, my dreams of being Mrs. eCrush and producing a handful of Republican eCrushletts were gone. At some point, I must have shifted my gaze and looked eCrush in the eye. That silent glance was the most profound conversation we ever had. It said everything. Without knowing what else to do, I fled. And as I sprinted towards the stairs, the Earth literally shifted. But it could also have been the force of me slamming the door. All in all, that was undoubtedly the longest two minutes of my life.

Since the unexpected nuclearization of my relationship, I keep examining every point on my Personal Dating Timeline and reliving every moment of my relationship with eCrush. It’s like rubbernecking at some tremendous accident, but the wreck is actually my life. I search for reasons to explain what happened with us, trolling for answers in each of our conversations and from the archives of my dating history. But after hours spent over analyzing and crying, I know there are none. Well, at least none beyond him being an overly horny fucking tard-faced jackass.

After the initial hysterical crying jag, the sudden and complete breakdown of our relationship has left me emotionally numb. I’ve been existing in a form of quasi-blissful emotional denial. My brain understands that it’s over, but all other types of comprehension are in deep freeze. The real legacy of eCrush will hit later, in the form of a walloping dose of neurosis that’ll take months of therapy and a heavy investment in Kleenex to resolve. Until then, I’m investigating the logistics of a drive-by Zipcarring at the dog park.

Inauguration Pictorial: I Still Haven’t Bought A Hat

January 21, 2009
Waking up this early sucks. But it's better when Stella makes breakfast.

6:00. Waking up this early sucks. But it's better when Stella makes breakfast.

Farragut West

Farragut West at 7:45 a.m. Matchy match tourists abound.

Walking down Conn Ave

Walking down Conn Ave. I'm waiting for a Transformer to pop out and stomp on us or otherwise cause havoc.

Metro buses blocking off the streets

Metro buses blocking off the streets. Because apparently, WMATA doesn't need 'em to shuttle people around.

00 a.m.

The trash can...at 8:00 a.m.

Sunrise

Darn it's early.

The Washington Monument

Really, really, really early.

aim for the Hirshhorn

Jumbotron Map: aim for the Hirshhorn, settle for a view of anything.

The crowds settle in for a long wait

Get comfy. Three and a half hours to go.

Determining a meetup with other friends is an impossibility

Determining a meetup with other friends is an impossibility.

Obligatory touristy photo

Obligatory touristy photo.

The view from mid-Mall

The view from mid-Mall.

Calisthenics. Necessary for warmth.

Calisthenics. Necessary for warmth.

Jumping Jacks and a Wiggles impression.

Jumping Jacks and a Wiggles impression.

This lasted for about 30 seconds.

This lasted for about 30 seconds.

Wonks will not be denied their news.

Wonks will not be denied their news.

She has better documentary toys than I do. Jealous.

She has better documentary toys than I do. Jealous.

We didn't get the "bring a flag" memo.

We didn't get the "bring a flag" memo.

We've got a blanket, but Stella is still eyeing the kid with a sleeping bag.

We've got a blanket, but Stella is still eyeing the kid with a sleeping bag.

Just missing the igloo.

Just missing the igloo.

Hot water with a token stir of coca. Orgasm in a cup.

Hot water with a token stir of coca. Orgasm in a cup.

Every Porta-Jon in a 100 mile radius.

Every Porta-Jon in a 100 mile radius.

Even the kid got the Flag Memo. Gah!

Even the kid got the Flag Memo. Gah!

44 talks it up.

44 talks it up.

Five people, six layers each, and still a whole lotta Cold.

Five people, six layers each, and still a whole lotta Cold. But worth it.

Security.

The eagle eyes of security.

Standing on the Porta-Jon for a better view. My inner germophobe is hysterical.

Standing on the Porta-Jon for a better view. My inner germophobe is hysterical.

TOURIST!

TOURIST!

Buh Bye Bush.

Buh Bye Bush.

The grass on The Mall is officially dead.

The grass on The Mall is officially dead.

Masses inch up 18th Street. Every two feet, I hear, "Where's the nearest Metro?" Sigh.

Masses inch up 18th Street. Every two feet, I hear, "Where's the nearest Metro?" Sigh.

Shoving through shrubbery.

Shoving through shrubbery.

This Metro Bus is not in service. But it's got a spiffy sign!

This Metro Bus is not in service. But it's got a spiffy sign!

Everybody's a critic...

Everybody's a critic...

The HOV lane for locals.

The HOV lane for locals.

I’m Drinking The Inauguration Kool-Aid

January 18, 2009

Plus, I really like the Dancing Lincoln.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “I’m Drinking The Inauguration Kool-Aid“, posted with vodpod

The Cool Kids Are Doing It: Bloggerational Ball 2009

January 18, 2009

Good morning, Seven Loyal Readers! I am anxiously trying to figure out how I’m getting across the Potomac today, thanks to all the Inaugural bridge closings. It’s looking more and more like a midday swim is in my future. But never fear! I’ll be dethawed and wearing party shoes in time for tonight’s Bloggerational Ball! Just a quick reminder that it’s at The Reef in AdMo (Google map here). Festivities begin at 8 pm. I’ll be the one holding vodka. And having recently viewed the Guesty List, I thought why not give some link love to the bloggers who are coming (this in no way represents all the attendees, just the oversharer contingent). So, in no particular order…

PS — If I left you out, please email me at whoinventedroses at gmail or leave a comment and I will amend once I am done pole vaulting over the river.

Soliciting Suggestions For My Inauguration Playlist

January 16, 2009

Please put them in Comments…

And go!

Today’s Metro Lesson: Wherein I Almost Maul A Stupid Tourist But Bestow Helfpul Advice Instead

January 16, 2009

I was boarding the train at Rosslyn, noting the disproportionately high number of Uggs being sported by the female contingent of the Commutership, when a woman elbowed her way past me. Totally a tourist; she was clutching a Metro Map like it was etched in gold.

McElbows Amazon Tall Tourist Woman (in her Declaration Voice): I can’t stand here. I get off in one stop. (This is when she glared at me.) You have to switch places with me.

Me (eyeing the fanny pack strapped over her hot pink Columbia Geothermal SporTech Wind Resister 5000, and wondering how long it took to find a coat to match her 1986 relic): Um, pass. You’re two feet from the door and you’ll have eons of time to get off. Also, if we switch, there is nothing to hold onto but the bars overhead. I’m too short to reach the bars overhead and you can. I’m happy here, next to the pole.

McElbows (holding up her Metro Map threateningly): SWITCH WITH ME!

Me (maybe overreacting a wee bit, due in part to countless Annoying Tourists Incidents this week): NO! And you can’t make me.

McElbows, deciding she could force the situation, started to shove and bumped into an Eskimo-bundled Older Lady, who consequently looked like she wanted to bitch slap McElbows with her Grandma bag.

McElbows (totally breaking the Metro Code Of Silence): MOOOOOOOOOOVE!

Me (rolling my eyes and deciding I’d not had enough morning Diet Coke to put up with this hassle): Fine. Whatever.

So, we did the Switcheroo Dance. You know, the hip-locked 180-degree turn thing that probably originated in some remote South Pacific Island as a lusty courtship ritual but has now been universally adopted by Metro riders as the proper maneuver for exchanging spots during rush hour.

McElbows (clearly a crankypuss this morning): Your music is too loud.

Me (wearing my headphones solely as an anti-cold-weather ear-protectant, having not been able to locate any form of appropriate headgear this morning): It’s not on.

McElbows (with no concept of an Inside Voice, let alone a Metro Voice): TURN DOWN YOUR EFFING MUSIC!

Another Member Of The Commutership Who Should Be Awarded A Valor Medal For Willing Jumping Onto McElbows’ Radar: It’s not too loud, I can’t hear it and I am so close, I am practically grinding on her leg.

Me (feeling validated and superior): Like I said, it’s not on.

And that’s when we pulled into Foggy Bottom. Where McElbows supposedly was going to get off.

McElbows (tapping me on the head, which was level with her waist, thanks to her Giantess heritage): What stop is this? Is it Smithsonian? Because I have to get off at Smithsonian. Is this it?

Me (absolutely dreading four more days of similar behavior): No, this is Foggy Bottom. You have about four more stops. Please stop touching my head with your man-hands.

That’s when McElbows decided her seven layers of thermal clothing had to come off. Sure, every other Metro Rider was encased in yards of Gortex and fleece but they were all quietly sweating, feeling no need strip anything more than their gloves. And maybe a hat. Because that’s how things work in Commuterland.

McElbows (unable to get her arm out of her puffy sleeve, because the train was Tokyo Crowded): MOOOOVVVVEEEEEE!

Me (not sure if that was directed towards me, or to all the commuters within a five foot radius of McElbows, so mumbling): I can’t hear you over my turned-off iPod.

Another Member Of The Commutership Who Should Be Awarded A Valor Medal For Willing Jumping Onto McElbows’ Radar: *snicker, snicker, guffaw*

The train pulled into Farragut West and half of humanity began to exit. McElbows got swept up in the crowd and was pushed off the train by passive aggressive riders bent on exacting their special form of Commutership Revenge by not letting her back on board. I stepped off the train behind her and did my best to put distance between us.

McElbows (apparently faster than I thought, tapping my head): Hey, hey, hey! Why did you push me off the train? This isn’t my stop.

Me (trying to decide if “tourist” would be an acceptable defense before a jury of my peers): I did not push you off and please leave my hair alone.

Suddenly, like an angel from heaven, Another Member Of The Commutership Who Should Be Awarded A Valor Medal For Willing Jumping Onto McElbows’ Radar appeared. If things got ugly, I figured I had a witness. I was going in.

Me (doing the general DC populous a solid by educating this moron): Let me give you a little Visiting the District 101. First, don’t tell a DC resident how to ride the Metro. Some of them will cut you. Second, leave your coat on while you ride the Metro. If it helps, think of it as a protective anti-groping layer between you and the pervy guy who is trying to cop a feel. Third, don’t tell a person to turn down their music. The proper thing to do is to glare disapprovingly in their general direction. Unless it’s Kenny G. Then you can totally ask them to turn it down. Finally, it’s stand right, walk left. That’s one you better memorize now or else you’re going to get pushed down the Rosslyn Megascalator. Helpful hint: your left hand can make an L-shape if you go like this (that’s where I demonstrate). If you have a problem with any of these rules, write an angry letter to WMATA. They’re very responsive.

And with that, I pranced up the escalator.

I Have No Feeling In My Toes

January 14, 2009

This morning, the Grand Poohba of the Universe broke out his Uncle Sam impression, pointed at me and said, “YOU!”

YOU! Will be my bitch!

YOU! Will be my bitch!

Ever since, it’s been Shit City around here. The day kicked off around 4 a.m. when I woke up and noticed it was a wee bit chilly in my apartment. Clutching my down comforter, I crossed the arctic tundra that had taken over my living room and checked the thermostat. 42 degrees. As if to confirm my apartment was unexplainably Frozen Monkey Balls Cold, I could see my breath.

Suspecting the HVAC was acting up again; I opened up the utility closet and frowned threateningly. I have a theory about computers, machines, and other stuff that runs on electricity and/or has parts. It goes like this…

If semi-technological things develop an attitude, the best way to fix them is to:

a) kick/hit/shake some non-important section, like a handle or a door;

b) jiggle wires, cables and cords until it turns back on or beeps;

c) cuss at the object; or

d) glare menacingly.

Usually, some combination of the four will fix the situation. But not this time. As I gave the HVAC a few love taps with my foot, it made a sputter-sputter-pop sound. Even with my limited Miss Fix-It knowledge, I recognized that as a Death Groan.

I was at a loss about what to do until I could make this my landlord’s problem. So, I put on a hat, layered up and googled the warning signs of frost bite. After I was sufficiently paranoid about losing toes, I constructed a blanket fortress on my bed. The cats and I huddled for warmth until dawn, when I felt it was reasonable to call Landlord.

The cavalry, in the form of the building’s Engineer On Call and his assistant, arrived at about 7:03. Chez Apartment has two walls of floor-to-ceiling single pane windows, so the cold pours in until it turns into a really big cryogenic chamber. Upon arrival, the ever helpful EOC told me my 900 square feet was down to 38 degrees. I would have cried, but the tears icicled on my eyeballs. There was 20 minutes of intense pounding and cursing in Spanish before the EOC admitted the HVAC was in appliance heaven. My thoughts immediately turned to cold-weather survival methods and how many space heaters I could carry home on the Metro.

By 8:30, Landlord had secured Saturday instillation of a new HVAC system. But that was not good enough.

Me (shivering like Mr. Freeze): Can you come any sooner?

Unsuspecting HAVC Installer: Um, no.

Me (determined to win this one): Look Buddy, I have the worst case of THO on the planet. My cats are huddled under a bathmat because I won’t share the blankets and I googled hypothermia. That’s not how I want to leave this world. Now, what time tomorrow can you get here?

We settled on 4:45 p.m. I’m literally counting down the hours.

What I looked like before I spent 40 minutes hugging the heater in my office.

What I looked like before I spent 40 minutes hugging the heater in my office.

My Descent Into Geekhood Is Complete: BSG is returning!

January 14, 2009

Friday night at 10:00 EST Battlestar Galactica returns (that sentence is followed by twelve exclamation points in my head). I am doing my best to contain my squeeing fangirl excitement.

In honor of this momentous occasion, how about a little Battlestar Galactica: Catch the Frak Up!

(Stella, this one’s for you!)

more about “Hulu – Battlestar Galactica: Catch th…“, posted with vodpod

 

Hmmm… So that didn’t work. I am a technophobe and clearly, Hulu is defeating me. Since the pretty video didn’t display, how about just clicking the link? And a hearty special thanks to Urban Bohemian for his attempts at technical assistance! I am Queen of the Incompetent and the lack of picture is entirely my fault.