Archive for the ‘Da City’ Category

Hopefully It Has Been Long Enough That My Mom’s Not Reading Anymore…

June 2, 2010

There have been a kajillion times in the last year where I’ve added something to my Mental List Of Life Events Worthy Of Blogging About. But there’s never been time to actually take a minute and capture one of those ideas in a post. Because in the last twelve months I’ve been laid off, moved, consumed astonishing amounts of Grey Goose, been hired, decided that sleeping with dating a guy who lives on the fourth floor of my building was a good idea, and stopped sleeping with broken up with Building Boy. More recently, I have spent each morning promising God assorted vodka-related sacrifices if only He’d spare my dignity and let the person on the other side of the elevator door not be Building Boy or his current one night stand. Plus, re-watching Battlestar Galactica and the entire Joss Whedon catalog takes a serious investment of (wo)man hours. All in all, it’s been a busy year. But tonight, the universe gave me a free evening on the exact same day that something happened. You know, one of those humiliating life moments that has to be relayed to the Webosphere. Immediately.

And the story goes like this:

On Saturday morning, my kitchen sink got some sort of clog. It was one of those incidents which support my home ownership theories. Specifically, my belief that plumbing, mulching and bug squashing fall within the job duties of husbands, boyfriends, fathers and/or hired professionals. That stuff involves tools (which I do not have) and the ability to deal with Gross Stuff (which I can do but prefer to avoid). So, when the kitchen sink clogged, I called the Building Engineer for my rent-costs-more-than-my-parents’-mortgage-because-I-live-in-Dupont apartment. After all, I might only have 450-square-feet, but for the price I pay, I darn well will have somebody else fix my clogs.

Fixing these types of things is why I need a boyfriend.

Or not.

Apparently, the property management company charges $150 for the Building Engineer to come out for non-emergencies over a holiday weekend. And gray, refuse-infested water coming up from my kitchen sink doesn’t qualify as an emergency until it overflows. In the interest of the Vodka Consumption Budget, I opted not to pay the fee and wait for the flooding to commence. Three hours later, the water was at the same half-way point it had been when I initially noticed the problem. But my 450-square-feet had developed a funky odor. So, I ran the faucet to encourage the swill level to rise and speed up the moment would I could again call the Building Engineer. But the darn sink just drained back to half-filled. Over the next few hours, there were a few more rounds of Encourage A Flood, but the water level still drained back to midpoint. And in the meantime, the smell had progressed from Mildly Unpleasant to Holy Mother Of God. Two hours later, my eyes were burning, but still not enough for me to suck it up and pay the fee. Finally, around mid-afternoon, I walked into the kitchen to check the water levels and found Bionic Kitty lapping up the sludge like it was manna from Cat Heaven. In that moment, I realized I was either going to pay $150 to the Building Engineer, $300 to the vet for cat stomach-pumping, or I’d have to fix the damn drain myself. A $10 bottle of Draino, a coat hanger and 20-minutes of Googleing “drain clog kitchen girl-friendly fix” later, the waters had receded.

But, before we go on, Seven Any Remaining Loyal Readers, there is something in my past that I must share:

Way back in law school, I happened to go to a sex toy party. I don’t recall the exact circumstances that led to my attendance, but the end result was me purchasing $150 worth of self-luvin’ equipment and a realization that I had answered more of the attendees’ questions than the sales lady. Long story short, that night led to a multi-year stint as a semi-successful Adult Accouterment Seller. It was a part-time job tailor made for me: I got to purchase product for retail prices and my vodka-loving ways were no longer solely funded by student loans and heavy flirting. Anyway, it’s been years since I’ve been in the battery operated business, but my personal inventory has remained more or less untouched. Last count, I had enough vibrators to rival my shoe collection.

Now, to resume my Tale of Personal Humiliation:

Last night, after watching the weather report, I begrudgingly decided it was time to un-Earth my Summer In A Swamp wardrobe. I spent the next 30 minutes pulling storage boxes, and the accompanying cat hair balls, from under the bed. This spiraled into a massive cleaning spree where I rotated my mattress, reorganized my entire under-bed-storage system, and sorted my Personal Satisfaction Inventory into the few items I actually used and those could be stowed in the empty summer clothes containers. And proper sex-toy storage is a big deal. Those things can grow funky bacteria or melt in inclement conditions. Trust me. So, before I packed away the so-big-it’s-only-for-display type dildos and jet-propulsion vibrators, I spent an hour carefully washing a multitude of sex toys and standing them on my one-square foot of kitchen counter. My intent was to let them air dry over night before I finished the packing process the next day.

Fast forward to this evening, when I came home…

After a long day at work, I dropped my purse and keys by the door and headed into the kitchen. All I could think about was making a margarita and figuring out the Dinner Situation. But as I walked in, I immediately noticed a big blue thing in the middle of the linoleum. Initially, I couldn’t figure out what the heck that thing was or how it got there. I panicked for about two seconds, as homicidal maniac and burglar scenarios ran through my head. But as I reached to turn on the light, I realized the big blue thing looked like a plunger. And then I realized I hadn’t cancelled my Building Engineer maintenance request from the weekend.

Yeah. Great.

On my itsy-bitsy counter was a note from the Building Engineer telling me that he had come to fix the sink clog I’d called in, that it appeared the problem was fixed but he left some drain tablets and an industrial-sized plunger in case I ran into a problem in the future. And to my left, neatly and thoughtfully stacked on the butcher block cart I use to double my limited kitchen space, well out of the range of the sink, were roughly two dozen dildos, vibrators and assorted cock rings.

It might be time to move again…

Today’s Metro Lesson: I Hate Monday

May 4, 2009

8:17: Send text message to office receptionist: Just awoke from dream involving Zac Efron, Chuck Bass and hot sauce. Can’t decide if my alarm is faulty or I have a previously unrecognized fetish for turtlenecks which necessitated I oversleep and finish the dream. Either way, I will be late.

8:17 and 22 seconds: Response from office receptionist: That does not explain the hot sauce.

8:18: Power shower. Actually take Diet Coke in with me. I view this as multi-tasking.

8:24: Attempt to blow dry my hair. Realize that Washington, DC has three seasons: Winter, Tourist and Living In A Bajillion Degree Sauna. Since it’s currently the third season, figure there’s not much point in spending time perfecting my coif. Even with no blowout, I refuse to forgo the other elements of my beauty regimen. But time is limited and I have to get to Lawyer Utopia. In desperation, I run to the front door, grab laptop bag and do a one-armed sweep of all beauty products residing on the vanity. Time permitting, I will make an emergency pit stop in Lawyerly Bathroom to stave off Hag Look.

8:32: Locate questionably clean underwear. Recognize that laundry has become a Major Priority. Decide I should wear my panties inside out and thus maximize Girly Bits Sanitation.

8:39: Dressed. And matching. Huzzah!

8:40: More Diet Coke, the Elixir of Life.

8:42: Fly out door. Forgo elevator for stairs. It’s faster and I try to convince myself that it doubles as cardio.

8:47: Warp speed to Rosslyn. Have adopted new mantra: I can make the 8:50 Metro. I can! I can!

8:47 and 42 seconds: Stupid woman is slow poking down middle of Megascalator, preventing passing on left or right. Irritated commuters abound. Contemplate throwing something at her head but don’t have anything I’m willing to sacrifice for the cause. Instead, decide to engage in a little self-hygiene. Open laptop bag and rummage.

8:48: Realize I forgot to put on deodorant while at home. Mentally explore the logistics of public application.

8:49: There is no subtle way to put on deodorant in a Metro station. Smell prevention beats out dignity. I apply.

8:50: Tourists on Up Escalator point at me and break out camera. If I am going to be immortalized in a stranger’s Adventure In The Big City Photo Montage, I might as well live it up. Strike a pose worthy of a Secret ad.

8:51: Metro pulls into station just as I hit the last escalator stair.

8:52: Sprint! Which for me means walk at a minimally increased pace.

8:54: Apparently, Orange and Blues are delayed and my train sits on the platform for several minutes. I hop on without having to Door Dive. Thank you, Suspicious Package At Farragut West!

8:55: Text office receptionist with update: Unibomber has struck the Metro. Delays. ETA is unknown.

8:57: Continue with beauty regime and put on powder and lip gloss. Pregnant Lady offers to hold mirror for me while I attempt contact insertion.

8:58: Office receptionist response text: See you at noon o’clock. Happy travels! Don’t kill anybody in your irritation. I’ve only been in my new job for a month, yet she knows me so well…

8:59: Metro movement!

8:59 and two seconds: They were just taunting us. The train actually only moves an inch and three quarters. Time to break out the eyeliner.

8:59 and six seconds: This time the train actually leaves the station.

9:00: Eyeliner application is not going so well.

9:01: I avoid tragic eye poking incident by millimeters. Begin to weight the pros and cons of blindness over vanity. Opt for vanity.

9:02: One eye done. Pregnant Lady Holding Mirror is snickering.

9:08: Complete eyeliner application. I resemble a drunken raccoon. Decide to delay the remainder of my beauty regime until I reach Lawyer Utopia and can utilize the bathroom. I fear that if I try for lip liner, I’ll end up biting off the pencil tip and face the age old conundrum: spit or swallow?

9:12: Arrive Farragut West. Suspicious Package has lead to a Commuting Cluster Fuck. Text office receptionist: I am in a stampede of people at Farragut West. If I die, please fix my eyeliner before they bury me.

9:13: Response text from office receptionist: Noted.

9:19: Emerge from station, proceed to 17th and I. Truck passes and sends up tsunami of puddle water directly at me. I am soaked.

9:24: Enter Lawyer Utopia and proceed directly to bathroom. Office receptionist follows.

9:25: As I begin to sponge myself off, office receptionist risks life and limb to voice an opinion: You should have stayed in bed. At least you had Zac Efron. But I’m still confused about the hot sauce.

Sigh.

A Lame Photographic Montage Of The Weekend

March 31, 2009

GETTING CULTURED ON FRIDAY NIGHT

Things I discovered:

  1. Sangria is not a popular gum flavor. Which might explain why it was on sale at Soviet Safeway.
  2. I hereby officially declare that I will put out for any date who takes me to Founding Fathers
  3. Modern dance is very, um… Well, let’s just say it’s not ballet.

 

Founding Fathers

Moi, Lulu and McFly smiling pretty at Founding Fathers.

Kennedy Center.

Go stand in the rain. I want a picture. You'll thank me when we're 80 and can remember this moment.

 A SATURDAY NIGHT VISIT TO WONDERLAND, CELEBRATING THE ANNIVERSARY OF McFLY’S BIRTH

Things I discovered:

  1. Contrary to previous speculation, I am not the worst dancer in the Metro Area. It’s actually Brian.
  2. Cab Number One: 22 minutes spent listening to the dispatcher’s detailed explanation of why Cab 84 is “a retard.” As evidence, he cited 84’s inability to locate building entrances, lack of proper radio responses and apparent preference for Pakistani country music. 
  3. Cab Number Two: My second strangest cabbie experience. Ever. Included a drunk driver snacking on ho hos while making a three point turn into oncoming traffic. 
  4. Cab Number Three: If somebody with a nose bleed asks to share a cab to NoVA, don’t do it. Trust me. It won’t end well.
  5. I have developed a vodka immunity.
  6. Delirium fixes that problem.

 

Yes, I got her the card crown. And I am overly proud of myself.

Yes, I got McFly the card crown. And I am overly proud of myself.

I've succumbed. Footless tights are my new pants.

I've succumbed. Footless tights are my new pants.

The Great 2009 Grind Off.

The Great 2009 Grind Off. I lost.

Entertaining the Bathroom Line.

Entertaining the Bathroom Line.

I even have culinary disasters in restaurants.

I even have culinary disasters in restaurants.

 MONDAY’S KICK BOOTY ROAD TRIP TO REHOBOTH

Things I discovered:

  1. It’s not pronounced “Ray-booth.” 
  2. A text recap… Me to Stella: It has come out in our road trip conversation that McFly sees me as an old lady with a collection of lawn ornaments. I am sort of insulted. Stella’s reply to Me: Hahahahahhahhaha. I TOTALLY see it. Me back to Stella: Fuck you. But McFly says holler. 
  3. Rehobothers liberally interpret “ocean front views.” 
  4. Waves are aggressive. 
  5. McFly does not appreciate the genius of Bob Evans. My new goal in life is to rectify this.

 

Unintentional Detour Number One: the Pentagon. And seeing as we're still in NoVA, this does not bode well for the trip.

Unintentional Detour Number One: the Pentagon. And seeing as we're still in NoVA, this does not bode well for the trip.

Guess I'm screwed.

I'm screwed.

McFly: Which way do we go on US-9? Me: It doesn't say. McFly: Ummm. Right? Me: Commence Unintentional Detour Number Three.

McFly: Which way do we go on US-9? Me: It doesn't say. McFly: Ummm. How about right? Me: Commence Unintentional Detour Number Jillion.

Race?

Race?

X-rated sandcastles.

X-rated sandcastles.

Holler!

Holler!

Grrr! Arrrrgh!

Grrr! Arrrrgh!

Stupid wave.

Stupid wave.

I wanted to bury her. This is what compromise looks like.

I wanted to bury her. This is what compromise looks like.

My Thinking Face.

My Thinking Face.

I wanted to be the man, but I couldn't get his face to open. Thus, I express my feelings accordingly.

I wanted to be the man, but I couldn't get his face to open. Thus, I express my feelings accordingly.

I feel like I'm in an episode of Gilmore Girls.

I feel like I'm in an episode of Gilmore Girls.

Bestiality.

Bestiality.

I sometimes do strange things.

I sometimes do strange things.

McFly and Me.

McFly and Me.

Today’s Metro Lesson: Where A Granny Saves Me From A Roving Hand

March 4, 2009

Apparently, Metro was fulfilling its monthly derailment quota this morning. And, in a tale that’s beginning to feel old as time, the Orange was once again causing Commuter Headaches. As all savvy members of the Ridership know, issues on the Orange mean spillover delays on the Blue. With O-trains sharing rails and both lines behind schedule, by the time I arrived in Rosslyn, enough people were huddled on the platform to overpopulate Antarctica. It took five trains, 20 minutes and some aggressive elbowing before I was able to wedge myself onto a Blue. And by wedge, I mean I took down a woman with a mid-sized child, tunneled between two sets of legs and, once on the actual train, vice gripped my butt muscles, thereby creating the extra millimeter of space needed for the door to close behind me.

I’ve accepted that when a train car is super-sardined, there will be some inappropriate touching. Generally one person shifts, and their hand inadvertently gropes the innocent commuter standing next to them. Or there’s the occasional dry hump as a rider reaches for a distant handhold. But today, amidst all the accidental foreplay, I encountered somebody who thought overcrowding was a license to molest. As I listened to my God Help Me Have Patience playlist, I felt a hand go into my open coat. Initially, I thought it was an unintentional boob-brush. Except the hand stayed. And stayed. Until I realized this was no hand misplacement, but a targeted Bags ‘O’ Fun grab. I was appalled. Some pervie stranger thought it was acceptable to feel me up on the Metro? Oh hells, no!

Me (irate, but still whispering because of the sacred Metro Code Of Silence): Excuse me! Would you please release my boob? That does not belong to you!

Pervie Guy (playing dumb): Are you talking to me?

Me (deciding I don’t have to be polite to the pseudo-accidental boob grabber): It looks like the hand on my chest is attached to your arm, which would indicate that yes, I am indeed talking to you. Fair warning: I’m very anti-men right now. I recommend you let go of my breast before some of my ex-boyfriend issues displace.

And that’s when another hand came from nowhere, straight towards my ta-ta. But instead of copping a feel, the hand diverted and smacked Pervie Guy’s wrist. I looked over to find a schlumpy granny glaring at the boob rapist.

Schlumpy Granny (in that prim I-am-disgusted voice only the Over 80s can do): Want to grab some tittie, son? Well, go for mine. It’s been awhile and I assure you I wouldn’t mind. Otherwise, hands to yourself.

That? Was almost enough to make the molestation worth it.

As Randomly Seen On Florida Avenue On The Way To Brunch

March 3, 2009
Yep. For reals.

Yep. For reals.

The Snow Day That Wasn’t

March 2, 2009

Yesterday, sometime in the mid-afternoon, I became aware of the “Megastorm” (The Weather Channel’s word, not mine) that was barreling towards the Greater DC Metro area. I’ve seen this city’s hysterical reaction to .002 inches of snow and based on that, I was pretty sure four to nine inches was meteorological code for Armageddon. This over-reaction to snow has always struck me as strange. I’m from Ohio, where the approach to bad weather is similar to the Eskimo’s: layer up and strap on the snowshoes. But things are different in DC; the political reconfiguring of Congress and flurries cause equal levels of panic.

In anticipation of the “Blizzard” (Channel Four’s anticipatory description), I called a Lawyerly Place Colleague to clarify our closing policy. Generally, lawyers are like postal workers: only alien invasion, and possibly a nuclear strike, will keep them from performing their jobs. At best, I thought “the biggest snowfall DC’s seen this decade” (Fox’s doomsday weather prediction) might garner a two hour delay. But Lawyerly Colleague told me Big Boss takes inclement weather seriously; that if the Feds closed, Lawyerly Place closed; and that four inches would shut down the national government faster than Newt Gingrich playing Budget Chicken. Basically, Lawyerly Colleague said, count on a day off working from home.

Confident that I was about to enjoy a three-day weekend, I came up with some Big Plans. Plan A involved trudging to McDonald’s, requisitioning a tray, and sledding down Rosslyn’s various hills. In the event that I couldn’t acquire a sled-substitute, there were Plans B and C. One involved spending the day in bed, engaging in my secret shame (aka rereading the Twilight books) and only getting up for potty breaks and to pay the Chinese Delivery Guy. The other plan was basically me, enjoying the forced hibernation from the comfort of my couch. Extrapolating from the TV viewing and caffeine consumption habits of my recent illness, and taking into account that a snow day would not require nearly as many life-sustaining naps, I figured my house was stocked with enough Diet Coke, Michael “Yummy” Rosenbaum-filled DVDs, and Thin Mints to last until Thursday. Regardless of what I actually did with my snow day, I knew it was going to be awesome. So, I went to bed, hoping the weather people weren’t once again big fat liars and that the Storm of the Century (WUSA 9’s rosy forecast) would actually materialize.

This morning, when I looked outside, there was snow. But it didn’t look like any “overnight whiteout conditions” (StormWatch 7’s weather prophecy) had occurred. In fact, I could still see patches of pavement. My Inner Snow Bunny demanded I double check the TV and on-line. Sure enough, the stupid Federal Government was open and the majority of the snowfall had hit east of the city. DC got enough snow to cause commuting delays and up the chances that I will slip and die, but not enough to spiral the city into a bona fide Weather Panic. And just in case dashing my hot chocolate and Snuggie filled dreams wasn’t depressing enough, I got text-attacked this morning:

Your snow boots are still at my apartment. On my way to work, I plan to locate a deserving homeless person and personally put them on his/her feet. Karma? eCrush

Does anybody know how to tell The Universe to go shove it?

NoVA, I Want To Quit You

February 18, 2009

A few weeks ago, a friend sent a text that read, “Started my Metro journey to your place. Watch for my SOS flare.” I responded with a pithy comment about Rosslyn not being that far into the NoVA interior. An hour later, my guest arrived at Chez Apartment, demanding life-sustaining rations and declaring that true friendship is demonstrated by trips on the Orange line. To certain residents of the District (i.e. all of them), crossing the river only occurs under duress or with bribery. This particular friend made the pilgrimage because I promised everything short of sexual favors. And also, because I was in the midst of a breakup induced non-showering-slothy-mess phase and she didn’t want to be seen in public with me. Clearly, NoVA is where Washingtonians go only in extremis.

When I moved to the Metro area, I didn’t know about the Great Potomac Divide. I figured Rosslyn was the ideal compromise between square footage and paying heart-attack inducing rent. It had two Metro lines and Georgetown Cupcake was in easy walking distance. But I was geographically naive. Instead of experiencing neighborhood envy, I’ve endured zip code ostracization for over a year. And I’m tired of it. I’ve vowed to move into the District, even if I’ve got to prop up a box on the corner of 18th and U.

The Apartment Hunt has been in progress for about a month. Daily, I scour Craigslist. I rearrange lunch meetings so I can see just-listed English Basements and one bedrooms. But so far, nothing has met the Criteria List. A friend recently suggested that my real estate expectations are a wee bit unrealistic. However, I maintain that somebody somewhere has the ideal home for me and my demonic cats. My dream residence would include an in-apartment washer/dryer, at least 550 square feet, adequate shoe storage possibilities, minimal stair-climbing (or an elevator), it wouldn’t smell sketchy or be excessively fugly, and it would have access to decent Chinese delivery. It’s also gotta be in the Geographically Approved Zone. A one bedroom is preferred and bonus points will be awarded for cute, single, straight male fellow residents and/or bar proximity. Really, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for.

I will only live within the black line.

I will only live within the black line.

“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.

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.

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.