Friday, August 31, 2007

T-Shirts For Sale, Fresh T-Shirts For Sale

Polar Gardening
is having a doozie of a Back to School sale! $10 for the wacky graphic T of your choice. But hurry! Sale ends Monday.

Here, in no particular order are some of my favorites.

Mourning Girl

Good Intentions


You Got Some Splainin To Do

Mmmm, Delicious!

Don't Under Estimate Your Abilities

Get Shoppin!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rapt, Rapturous, Enraptured

If you read this blog at all you know that I read a lot. More than a lot, actually. I read like alcoholics drink. Wildly, with abandon, never satiated. I always have one, two, even three books going simultaneously. I never have less than four books waiting in the wings, ready to be picked up the moment they are needed.

But every once in a while, and generally by surprise, my wild run through the literature section is pulled up short, and I am completely arrested by a book. When this happens I want to hang on to that book. Hang on to it's feeling, bask in it, and not let it slip away by starting something new.

I finished reading Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos late Monday night, and here it is two days later, and still, still. It is consuming me.

You can read the synopsis to learn what it's about (don't worry it's not mindless chic lit) but the plot, while good, wasn't the main attraction for me. What I really loved about this book was the language. I wanted to snuggle up in its similes and curl up with its adjectives. I found myself marveling at her sentence structure, spontaneously saying outloud, "Look at that! Can you do that? That's just ... wow." This is a woman who savors language, and knows it is a living fluid thing. I like that in a woman, and in a writer.

When I wasn't going gaa-gaa over her vocabulary and spectacular skill with a comma, I was falling in love and identifying (to an alarming degree) with her main character, Cornelia. I read these sentences,
If I were to ever have a full-fledged vocation, as opposed to a half-assed avocation, I needed to love it and, in my experience, it isn't always easy to figure out what you love. You'd think it would be, but it isn't.
and I felt compelled to ask Ms. de los Santos to keep her little mitts out of my soul. Because there in two lovely little sentences she summed up what I spend hours agonizing over. How did she do that? Alarming? Yes, but also comforting and exhilarating. And terribly, terribly engaging.

If you're a reader, you understand. It's bittersweet finding a book that has this kind of pull over you. The kind of pull that makes you want to buy a crate of them and wallpaper your living room with the pages. Just so you can be surrounded by the words and pause when putting down the mail, or dusting a side table to read a few lines and remember. You love it for so many reasons. But you also hate it. You race toward the end -- oh how you race! -- but with each passing page you get a little bit sadder. Soon it will end. You will have experienced it all. And you will never be able to discover it again for the very first time. It is the happiest tragedy that I know of.

But, alas. I, we, all of us, can take comfort in the fact that there is surely another such book out there. Our only choice is to read like the dickens (but don't limit yourself to only Dickens) and find it. Best of luck to you! I'll be here resting happily with Love Walked In, for just a few moments longer, before I rush back in to join the pursuit.

Flame Roasted Coffeehouse

Several months ago my friend Anna asked me if I had been to the Mayorga Coffee Roasters Coffeehouse, because she'd recently gone for lunch, and she really liked it. I had not. Now, you have to realize something about Anna. If there is anything lovely or of good report, Anna will approve of it. If there is anything shady or unseemly, Anna will gently imply that it might not be a good idea. If I'm ever concerned that my feelings on a particular topic might be out of whack, I can always run it by Anna and know that I'll be pointed in the right direction. I call her The Great Validater. So anyway, the point is, when Anna recommends something, I just do it.

On Monday, I was so worn out from being not very busy I took a sick day (some of which I slept away, thus proving to myself that if I wasn't sick and tired I was at least tired). The reason I mention it, is because it isn't very often I find myself with an entire Monday afternoon stretching out before me. That, my friends, is a luxurious feeling, and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to try out Mayorga's. So I stuck a book in my purse and headed off.

It was everything Anna said it would be. First of all, it was incredibly spacious. I'm so used to cramped places, it felt almost scandalously roomy. They had heavy linen curtains. They had soft lighting. They had abundant comfortable seating. They played world music. They had a tasty sandwich menu. And a prodigious drink menu. They didn't care if you stayed all day. There were freelancer types scattered about typing on their laptops, reading the newspaper, stacking manila folders onto wooden chairs, and rummaging in their battered leather satchels. In short, it was entirely cozy!

I settled in. And fully expected to spend the afternoon reading and nursing a Diet Coke on one of the leather couches.

I'd been there about an hour and a half, and had just about decided that I should chuck it all and become a barrista, when my senses started to pick up on a "commotion." I looked up lazily to see if I could see the problem when a man came running out from one of the back rooms.

"Fire! Fire!" he yelled.

I blinked. "Fire? Fire?" I scoffed. Who yells "Fire! Fire!?" What are we, in a movie? But sure enough, a couple of seconds later some thick smoke started billowing out from the back room. Frantically, the freelancers started stuffing their leather satchels with their scattered papers and hightailed it out of there. The barristas started running around in circles; I presumed they were looking for fire extinguishers. I, myself sat there and watched the show. This is the second time I've been in a fire this year, so I can afford to have a nonchalant attitude about it, I suppose. But I didn't see what good my running around would do. So I continued to sit until I could actually smell the smoke strongly, at which point I decided that this wasn't going to be resolved quickly. So I got up, walked across the room to throw away my trash and walked outside.

I was more put out that I had to get up and leave, than the fact that I was in danger of smoke inhalation. And I was, of course, disappointed that I'd barely found such an excellent coffee shop only to see it go up in flames a mere 2 hours later. But considering the spate of odd and shocking things that have been happening in the last week, my overwhelming thought as I walked away from the heavily smoking building was "Of course."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Beach DOs and DON'Ts

Mustard, Maria and I hit the OC beach on Saturday, and it couldn't have been more perfect. It was HOT, like skin-searingly hot. And HUMID, like wear your scuba mask humid. But when you're at the beach, that's just how you like it. That's how I like it anyway.

I'm a Pro Beach Goer. And as a PBG, I'd like to share some do's and don'ts with you. It's my duty to make sure your trip is as awesomely excellent as possible. Not that any trip to the beach isn't going to be great ... I mean, you're at the BEACH! ... but these tips will just make it better for everyone.

The DOs and DON'Ts of The Beach

DO think these waves are MASSIVE for the East Coast.

DON'T be timid getting in. Mustard's such a coward! Dipping his little Mustard toes into the surf like this certainly doesn't declare "Spicy Bold", does it?

DO go wild and get the sauce knocked out of you by that raging surf! (Don't drown though, that would really dampen the entire trip, for you and everyone else.)

DON'T mind people laughing loudly and Nelson-ishly (HA-HA!) at you if you do get pummeled by the surf. I'll admit I laughed at that wuss Mustard, but I shouldn't have because moments later I got rocked myself. Taken down so fiercely my ponytail holder was RIPPED from my hair. Which brings me to my next tip ...

DO bring a spare ponytail holder, as not all of us can be a sexy beach tart with perfectly sun/salt tossled locks.

DON'T linger after romping in the waves, or else that towel hogging punk Mustard will push you off of your own beach mat and hijack your iPod. He's such a little punk!

DO Flirt with the locals. They know all of the do's and don'ts of beach life. ....

DO cover up. Use as much cloth as it takes.

DON'T not cover up. There's no country in the world where backfat is ok.

DON'T ever underestimate the power of matching shoes to anchor a relationship.

DO get a Banana Chocolate Shake from Dumser's. The only thing you'll be sorry about is when it's gone.

... or if you share it with your vacuum-lipped friend, Mustard. You'll be sorry you did that.

DO win stuffed animals from the many carny games up and down the boardwalk. And coordinate them with your outfit.

DON'T wear your daughter's clothing.

Follow these DOs and DON'Ts and you will have as great a time as I did! In my official capacity as a PBG, I guarantee it!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

In The Ghetto

So you know how you can start to lose your credibility on a certain topic if bad things keep happening to disprove you? Like for example, if you keep insisting that you don't live in the ghetto, but then someone gets stabbed with a screwdriver a block away from your house? Like it or not, that kind of stuff just riddles your best defense.

In consequence of the screwdriver incident, I spent much of my Friday evening at a party trying to play down the ghetto card, and play up the "it's an up and coming neighborhood" card. I think I just about had everyone convinced. Which is good, because despite all appearances, I really don't think I live in the ghetto. It's just a neighborhood with some color. Vibrant, vibrant color.

It was important to really press the point because my friend Maria was planning on staying the night at my place (we were making an early start for the beach in the morning). I didn't want her to feel that coming to Silver Spring would be a life threatening experience. I really had my work cut out for me, because she already thinks I'm surrounded by crack-hos and gunslingers.

But to be fair, there is a precedent for her poor opinion. One time a bunch of us went to the movies at the theater down the street. When we came out of the theater and started walking back toward my house (and the parking lot where everyone had parked) we started to see a lot of police activity. Lights flashing, cops sitting in their cruisers, people milling around, and yards and yards of Caution Do Not Cross tape. When we got to the corner, what to our wondering eyes should appear? But a truck squashed underneath a tree. An ENTIRE TREE had fallen smack dab onto a moving truck and killed the driver. Talk about BAD LUCK.

Double bad luck, I'd say. Bad luck for the driver, but also bad luck for me. One wacko accident, and suddenly the entire neighborhood is never safe again. (I doubt the continual police presence in the downtown area has anything to do with the impression of safety that people are likely to get). To add insult to injury, I'm pretty sure Maria's car was behind the police tape and had some stray twigs and stuff on it. Now every time she parks at my place she's never sure what shape her car is going to be in when she comes back. I sort of feel her pain - there's a reason I pay through the nose to park in a covered garage.

So, you can imagine my disappointment at the waste of all of my hard work convincing people of Silver Spring's safety when I arrived home (with Maria in tow) to see those oh-so-familiar Police lights and caution tape strung around MY FRONT DOOR.

It appears that this time someone was shot on the front steps of MY VERY BUILDING!

This is the first time a shooting has occurred within zero feet of my residence (that I know of). I should probably be freaking out about it. In fact, I should probably be in line at the gun store to get myself one of those pearl handled purse pistols. But I have a long standing policy of not getting my feathers ruffled by things that ruffle other people's feathers. Thus I remain happily unruffled.

(However, I was not quite so sanguine about rampant crime and the consequential need for law enforcement when I was woken up at 6AM to the sound of a legion of squad cars running laps around my block for twenty minutes. With their sirens blaring. For TWENTY MINUTES. I was wishing I had a gun then, I'll tell you. I would have been doing some early morning shooting practice and the target would have been anything flashing.)

And call me stubborn, but I still don't think I live in the ghetto. I blame Maria, really. I mean, if she'd stop wearing that black cloak and carrying a scythe every time she came to Silver Spring we wouldn't be having these problems! I'm sure of it.

A Pressing Concern

My iron was abducted ... I mean borrowed almost TWO WEEKS ago. I was on the phone getting some juicy details about wedding shower presents ... so I didn't pay very much attention to what the person was saying about where she lived and how long she wanted to borrow it. Basically all I could make out between talking about fuzzy handcuffs and lingerie were the words "borrow" and "iron".

I (wrongly, as it turns out) assumed it wouldn't be a big deal. It was an iron, after all ... who wants to keep an iron? I thought to myself, "Why not try to be neighborly. 'Can I borrow a cup of sugar' and all that. It's not like you use your iron everyday." And so I loaned it out. Fully expecting to get it back within a day or two.

Two weeks later, amigos, the deadline on neighborliness has expired. I've gone through all of my knitwear, and I need my iron back.

You know the saying, Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures, or in this case Wrinkled Times call for Subtle Hints in the Form of a Clever Missing Person Flyer. My neighbors all recieved a copy of this flyer under their door tonight.

I could have been more scathing in it - but I didn't want to scare off the non-iron-stealers in the building. I still have to ride the elevator with these people. I'll save my ire for the guilty party. To that end I'm in my apartment right now practicing my "stern and disappointed expression" in the mirror while I deliver a particularly fierce version of the Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be speech. I have to say, I look like a total badass. Albeit a pretty wrinkly badass.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Take Your Toolbox Out of Your Car, Just in Case

I have to drive this route almost everyday if I want to get anywhere valuable.

Seems pleasant enough, right? Let's look at it more realistically:

Welcome to Bonifant Street. The Evil Super Villian of Silver Spring. If you venture down it, be prepared for nothing to make sense anymore. Goodbye Farfegnugen. Forget what you learned in Driver's Ed. It will only confuse and anger you. On Bonifant, your only goal is to get out of there as soon as you can, and in one piece.

As the Evil Super Villian of Silver Spring, Bonifant's main power is a crippling Mind Suck. I've seen it a million times. A car turns purposefully onto Bonifant, only to slow confusedly to a stop. The driver then looks around frantically like, "WTF am I going to do NOW?" Then one of two things will happen. They'll either double park. I call it "double parking", but usually that term entails making some effort toward getting near the first row of parked cars. Here it's more like stopping in the middle of the lane, turning the car off, getting out, and then stumbling around in the middle of the street. The second option is for them to roll down the window, hold out their hand to stop any traffic, and make a U-turn. This is best done with a cell phone pinned to the ear. As an Evil Super Villian, Bonifant is indeed powerful.

To me it seems like a pretty straightforward street. No funny signs or one ways or anything. Just drive straight, avoid a couple of potholes, and that's about all there is to it. So I'm not quite sure what the problem is, but my excellent sleuthing skills have caused me to deduce that the global moronification has something to do with a lack of parking. (FYI, I'm pretty much a genius at figuring out what other people's problems are.)

I've often thought about posting about the ridiculous driving and parking behavior on Bonifant, but poor driving is so common here that it really didn't seem worth it.

Until, Edward Banya decided to take the problems on Bonifant into his own hands. His own civilly disobedient, hand tool wielding hands.

Apparently, Banya grew tired of waiting for someone to pull out of their parking space. So he got out of his car and proceeded to help them out by stabbing them repeatedly with a screwdriver in the hand and torso. (No word on if the screwdriver was a Phillips or Flathead). The other driver wasn't seriously injured, but that didn't stop the ENTIRE Silver Spring Police force from coming and closing the street down for four hours. [When I walked by 2 hours after the incident, there were still 10 police cars and a whole lotta standing around. Of course I rushed home to write out a big fat tax check to support their efforts.]

Now, I don't want to be seen as condoning violence. That's not me at all. In a Fight or Flight scenario all you're going to be seeing of me is my receding silhouette running away from you as fast as I can. But some part of me is giving Banya a high five. Who among us hasn't wanted to throttle an idiot driver? I certainly have. And parkers on Bonifant Street have achieved an extra special level of DUMB.

Frankly, something had to be done about it. I'm not really sure it needed to involve hand tools. But perhaps it did.

Perhaps it did.

Filipino Thriller

I'm a little behind the times on this ...

But have you heard about or better yet, seen this "Thriller" recreation done by Filipino prison inmates? I just learned about it during Wait, Wait .. Don't Tell Me's Bluff the Listener segment. Mo Rocca did a v. clever and v. funny description of this prisonyard stomp. Starting with "So you think you can shank?" and ending with this Vincent Price-esqe poem:

And though you'd like to be set free
Your body starts to quiver
For no mere inmate can resist
This Filipino Thriller!

Check it:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Beer Apologist

"Beer has no calories."

"Dream on dude! Booze = calories = fat. The calories are 80% of the reason why I don't drink. The other 20% is a little thing called 'eternal salvation'."

"Well, we already know you're screwed there."

"You're probably right. Damn."

"So you should drink light beer."

Monday, August 20, 2007

Awesome Dawson

I should probably be embarrassed about this fact, but I'm not. I'm a loud and proud fan, and I'm completely addicted to Dawson's Creek.

I've recently discovered it on TBS, and the only thing I can think about is: WHY didn't I know about this show when it was on Primetime? What was I wasting my time watching when I could have been angsting along with Joey, Pacey, Dawson and the entire Capeside High Crew?

I certainly wasn't watching my other Series That I Most Regret Not Watching: Felicity. Where are my priorities? I also missed most of Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, and Freaks and Geeks. I'm utterly ashamed of myself.

And if I missed those, just think of what great shows I could be missing right now!

No, I can't. I can't think about it! It's too depressing. Besides, I'm doing my best to try and make amends by watching Dawson's anytime I can. The fact that it's on at 9AM, which is an awkward time if you want to stay employed, only demonstrates the level of my remorse and devotion. I suppose I could record it, but I think it means more if I sacrifice. And besides I'm a little bit opposed to recording reruns. I hope TBS starts syndicating Felicity soon, so I can make up there too.

Gosh, I'm starting to analyze my Fall TV line up and all of this "hindsight is 20/20" business is sure increasing the pressure to pick the best shows. I'll post my schedule soon just to make sure that everyone agrees that I'm dedicating my time wisely. Don't want to be smacking my head in 10 years that I wasn't watching Pushing Daisies because I spent all of my time on "So You Think You Can Make Fart Noises Like A Fifth Grader".

In the meantime, help me know that I'm not alone. What TV shows did you not watch that you wish you had?

Fairly Odd

These shoes seem more suitable for work. (I'm assuming her occupation is: Ho)

Cupholders for a motorcycle. Apparently, Harley dudes need cokes too! (Wouldn't it be hard to drink and drive? At the very least, there's an increased bug inhaling risk. Maybe they could use a straw. But that sort of destroys the tough guy image. Hmm. Their strategy may be flawed.)

This was some odd interpretive dance being done by a bunch of Asian kids. They were playing the Mission Impossible theme over and over and had a strobe light going. I've never been prone to seizures when strobe lights are around, but I seriously considered having one. Maybe that would have made them stop.

Fairly Pretty

Sunday, August 19, 2007

White Trash Day

Every year (when I remember) I let down my polished East Coast exterior and channel Kid Rock for the Annual White Trash Day festival. The full blown WTD event entails a full day of being less than you can be.
  1. Tubing down the Potomac river (ONE tube for you and ONE for your chilled beverage of choice, of course!)
  2. A stop at the local diner for tater tots and mac-n-cheese, slathered with ketchup
  3. The County Fair to hang with the local Slack Jaw Cleetuses who worm out of the woodwork
  4. Concluding with the most excellent WT event, the Demolition Derby
Skipping the tubing because we're lazy, we rounded up the troops, and went to the fair and the Demo Derby. Everyone was lookin the part, like the WT wannabes that they are!

Who knew there were so many people who (heart) hot dogs in this world? It's pretty remarkable. But I should have guessed because, really, who doesn't in their heart of hearts just LOVE a hot dog?

Camie, Anna, and Nathan, are looking about as H-O-T as the undercarriage of a souped up Pinto in their wicked sexy Demo Derby t-shirts. Sleeveless, baby, sleeveless. Like I said, H-O-T!

Look at these cars! If you've never been to a Demo Derby before - Get thee Hence, my young friends! Get thee hence! I promise, it will become one of the highlights of your ordinary drab little life. Just so you aren't surprised, here's the recipe for a great Demo Derby:

48 cars that are no longer fit to be on asphalt. Vividly painted and given names like "Killer" or "The Grim Reaper". A large portion of them should be assigned the number "69" - not sure why that is, but just go with it. The crowd counts down, 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 ... and engines roar! Cars zip around in a frenzy bashing and crashing! Things light on fire. The firemen come. Cars flip over, and are pushed back upright. More ramming and jamming. Repeat as necessary.

It's totally freaking awesome.

But ...... perhaps you're a lover, not a fighter. Well, there's something for everyone at the Demo Derby. Why, a simple glance over at the pit and suddenly ....

Introducing the sexy WT mechanic, Mr. Foxy Foxx:

Bam-Chicka-Wah-Waaaaah. Why are those "Jump Her" cables I see? Oh my! You want to do what with that chain?! Mr. Foxy, you're sooo naughty!!

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold yer horses! This is a family blog (sort of). Let's keep it clean for the kiddies, shall we?

Moving on to the Fair Food. The approach is simple. You survey your choices, and make a carefully considered decision. Try not to be persuaded by the overt advertising.

Oh, say for example .....

"STEAK!" as if you need to say anything more. I'm sold! Oh, but wait, perhaps what I'm really looking for is ....

"FRIED DOUGH!" Nothing better than dough. Unless you fry it!

But beware, If you are interested in "looking around" at any of the other Fair Food options (fried oreos, lemonade, corndogs, icees, kettle corn, hot dogs, or what have you), do not look directly into the crazy Bride-of-Chucky-Fried-Dough-Lady's eyes. They're Hypnotic!

"Come buy my fried dough, you pasty doughy people! YOU MUUUUST buy my fried dough! Muwahhhaahahahaaa!"

I didn't look away quickly enough. And had 7 funnel cakes.

All in all, a VERY successful White Trash Day! See y'all in 2008!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fall Fling

Mrs. Dub has sent her readers on a Fall Fashion Scavenger hunt, so of course, I'm on that like white on rice! We're supposed to find a Fall shoe, a piece of outterwear, and a smashing accessory.

Here are my picks:

Chie Mihara shoes in violet/brown would look super cute with a swing or trapeze dress, tights, and some long necklaces. (Maybe throw in a chunky cocktail ring too! Oh-la-la!)

This super cute Gap jacket is fleece, which makes it both stylish and wicked comfortable. It's also a good bi-coastal jacket, which is hard to find. The style is all uptown East Coast, but the fleece will make you fit right in if you find yourself in the Pacific Northwest, as I sometimes do. (PS. I also really like the striped turtleneck you see peeking out there too. A sucker for turtlenecks, I am.)

Speaking of the Gap. Hello? have you been to the Gap lately? Yeah, me neither. But I went in today, and I just about had a heart attack at all of the CUTE CUTE CUTE things they had! I found a short sleeve turtleneck, an item I've been looking for for literally YEARS! I should have bought out their entire stock, given how hard they are to find. Well done, Gap. Looks like your efforts to get back on track are working. You're back in my Mall rotation, right between ALDO and Nine West.

I really like this little cocktail ring form Urban Outfitters. It'll sass any outfit up, for sure! Comes in 4 colors and is a very reasonable $16.00 (especially since UO is always really overpriced.)

If you decide to do this scavenger hunt too, let me know in the comments, I'd love to see your picks!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back to the Beach Basics

Is there, I ask you, a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than romping in the ocean until you're so giddy and seaswept (and practically drowned but still happy about that fact) that it is all you can do to stumble up the beach and situate yourself on your beach mat without getting sand all over everything? Then snuggling your head into your towel and letting the hot sun warm up your chicken skin before drifting off into an exhaustion induced nap?

Aaahhh! I love it! The Beach! I feel shame that I don't make it a higher priority in my life. I mean, really, what the hell am I doing with my time?

Answer: Nothing as important as regular beach attendance.

It's a shame that this past Saturday was the first time I've been to the beach all season. Especially considering that I'm all tricked out with the essential beach-going gear, as seen below. Check out my sweet Jesus tote. It works great as a beach bag! Plus I enjoyed its holy protection all day. No jellyfish or skanky metal-detector dudes on it's watch!

You can also see my most beloved beach item, my grass beach mat. What did people do before grass beach mats? I can't believe that a towel was ever sufficient. Towels are for wadding up and using as a pillow. Grass mats are for burrowing your nose into so you can smell their sweet grassy smell mixed in with salt and sun. If that doesn't lull you to sleep, its probably because there are some annoying people near you who are talking about their aunt Peggy's affair with her boss. And you'd be right to stay awake to hear those details, despite the lull of the sweet beach grass mat smell.

In addition to my mat and beach bag, you see some other trinkets that are useful: my No-Ad sunscreen, which I always bring but hardly ever use (sorry future skin!)

And my orange hoodie cleverly draped over my iPod and a couple of magazines, items that might tempt thieves who would dare to do their thievery right out from under Jesus' nose! If you can believe that.

The only other required item is my swimming suit (not pictured above because it was on me a the time, and really, I want you to continue to visit this site. No need to sear your eyes out.)

I like this suit (I sometimes call it The Green Monster, whether for the jealousy it induces or the resemblance to Fenway Park I'll leave up to you to decide), and it's relatively flattering except for the part where it lets my fat show. But in the fatscape of the beach, I'm never the biggest offender. In fact, I'm a little pissed off that I spend all winter freaking out about getting into a swimsuit because it appears that the no one else on the beach has had this concern. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.

I'll be posting some pictures over the next few days of my visit and the goings on at Ocean City, Maryland. The REAL OC, as we like to call it, is a goldmine of tackiness. A true treasure trove of the absurd. Walking its boardwalk will open your eyes to things you never considered possible. As well as answer the age old question "WHO in the WORLD would buy this ugly-ass shirt?" People the go to Ocean City, my friend. That's who.

Monday, August 13, 2007


We are a nation of multitaskers. And I, in fact, am a master multitasker. I suspect this has a lot to do with my current "bored with life" status. If I had twelve things to do simultaneously instead of a mere 3 things to do all day, I'd be a lot more content. But when all pistons are firing, I am a multitasking machine! These are some of the things that I commonly multitask:

  • Conference calls, email, desk cleaning, blog reading
  • Eating lunch, reading newspaper, listening to music, eavesdropping on coworkers
  • Showering, cleaning shower (This usually evolves into bathroom cleaning, and on special occasions can escalate to full blown naked house cleaning.)
  • Brushing teeth, turning off lights around the house, checking email, getting a glass of water, ferrying things back and forth across my apartment (this is perhaps my most productive time of night).
  • Driving, putting on makeup, practicing snarky comebacks, talking on phone, yelling at other drivers/pedestrians.

The list is endless. Basically, if I still have a hand/foot/eye/ear/finger/mouth free I'll add something to the currently scheduled program.

Of course, there are a few things that do require being single tasked. Such as:
  • Driving, when a policeman is behind you
  • Reading assembly instructions (trust me, if you try to fake this, somehow or other you'll end up with five extra screws and your cat in the dryer.)
  • Ordering a sandwich at Potbelly Sandwich Works

Now, you might think that ordering a sandwich is a perfect time to do some multitasking. But you would be wrong. Dead wrong. The tricky bit about Potbelly, is that even though there's some waiting involved, you could be asked at ANY MOMENT what you are going to order or what you want on your sandwich. You've got to be on your toes ... otherwise, you're mucking up the entire Sandwich Works. And I'm going to be pissed off at you.

So for example, if you were getting a sandwich today at one-ish in the Bethesda location, and you'd decided to read the Washington Post instead of keeping the line moving and deciding what you wanted, I would be pissed off at you. If, when you were asked what you wanted it took you 3 minutes to decide, well then, once again, I would be pissed off at you. If, after ordering, you decided to spread your newspaper out on top of the sandwich bar instead of proceeding along to the "fixin's station", well, it would be pretty surprising if I didn't rip that paper out of your hands and take you out back to teach you the hard way how to follow proper Potbelly etiquette.

I know you don't want me to be pissed off at you. No one wants that, really. And so I'm glad we've taken this time to define what is in and outside the realm of multitaskability. Just remember that if you think that getting a sandwich at Potbelly requires anything less that your complete and undivided attention, well, you better just be sure that I'm not standing in line behind you. Putting yourself between me and my food is never a place you want to be.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Becoming Depressed

I just watched Becoming Jane.

It was stunning.

But it broke my heart.

I had to listen to practically the entire Thriller album before I felt better. Thanks, Michael. I know I bag on you sometimes, but your smooth jams and sweet dance moves saved me from feeling thoroughly glum. I hate it when history isn't magically rewritten for the sake of a film. Yeah, I knew going in that the guy wasn't going to get the girl and it would technically be an "unhappy" ending, but man. That was rough. Anyway, I owe you one man. Carry on with the craziness.

Despite what might seem like a bad review, I highly recommend going to see "Becoming Jane". (Unless you happen to be staring spinsterhood square in the eyes and can sometimes be a little sensitive about that. (Not all of the time, you understand, just sometimes like while watching a really romantic love story.) If so, just proceed cautiously and make sure there's a bakery or a mall close by.)

I almost forgot. The chemistry between James McAvoy and Anne Hathaway had me wanting to lick the screen too. That was fun. Go see it just for that!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

My Mental Health Day

Yesterday I took a long awaited mental health day. (BTW, who was the GENIUS that invented the Mental Health Day? Whoever he is, Einstein's got nothin on him.) It's actually been less than a week since I decided I needed a mental health day - but it feels as if it was long awaited because I spend my entire day at work watching the seconds stroll by as if they have nowhere in particular to be. And are just sauntering along like world-weary little sloths touring the neighborhood. So a week is roughly equivalent to an ice age. Give or take.

I'll confess though, my MH day wasn't entirely "I need a break from work" related. Stephenie Meyer's new book Eclipse hit the stores on Tuesday. This is the third in the Twilight Series and I've been waiting oh-so-impatiently for this book to come out for about a year now (or with my new time-counting system - about five millennia). If you're into Young Adult fiction and dare I say it - fantasy - then you must read these books. They are page turners. And I knew that once I started this book, there wouldn't be any breaks for things like eating or sleeping, hah! As if! So I said, "Perfect! I'll get it on Tuesday and read my little eyeballs bloody on Wednesday!"

And I did. And it was G-O-O-D!

629 pages worth of good. I finished at about 4AM. And I am here to tell you, having to go back to work today was about as much fun as sewing my face to the floor. But it was worth it - it was a lovely day off. So lovely in fact, that I'll probably do it again next week. Four day work weeks are just about my speed, right now.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I'd Like to Thank the Academy

It was a little weird rubbing Erin's belly for good luck. But boy oh boy did it pay off! I just won a Neat Receipts Scanalizer from one of my fav new sites: Sk*rt! I love love love winning!

Sk*rt is crazy cool. It's like Digg, but with stories that I care about such as:
Seriously, this is important stuff. Sk*rt keeps me up to date on all of the really important things people are talking about. And they give me presents. So of course I like them!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Tomorrow I'll Be Calling Out Fat

It starts as a general feeling of discontent. I fidget. I cross my legs one way, then switch. I sigh. I look in the cupboard. Nope, nothing there. I check my email. Just spam. I look in the fridge. Nothing there either. I go back and sit on the couch and try to read ... but it's no good. I need something. I'm not sure what it is ... but I need it.

And then, from nowhere a whispering thought comes into my mind, "How long has it been since your last cheeseburger?"

"Too Long! Too Long!" I cry.

It's as if the clouds of my discontent are parted, and angelic light streams from the great cheeseburger in the sky. Of course! I need a cheeseburger. And fries. Lots and lots of fries. Oh, and a Diet Coke. Hooray!

Having finally pinpointed the source of my discontent, I practically fly to Five Guys, my burger joint of choice. And there I find satisfaction with my life as I eat about 4000 calories worth of burger joint food and finish a book. I'm glowing with satisfaction! It is close to perfect. In fact, the only thing that marred the experience was that Muzak played "Freebird" for what felt like 38 minutes. That song kinda sucks. May I never be caught requesting it at rock concerts again, even if it is just to be funny. If the band actually took me up on it, I'd be pissed that I'd wasted my request on crappy Freebird when I could have used it on something like "She's Like the Wind." Now that would be perfect.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Still Scratching My Head

Waiting patiently for the bus this morning, the oddest thing happened.

A homeless guy strutted up to the trash can on the corner, and very deliberately placed a baby's bottle full of what I could only assume was pee on the top of the trash can.

Not in it. On top of it. As if he were placing it on the mantle next to his Emmys.

Brimming with pride he turned on a dime, and without a word strutted right back across the street. It was obvious he'd just one-upped someone, somewhere. I could almost hear him thinking, "Awwww YEAH! Take that you summana bitches! I'll SEE your bag of poo, and raise you a baby bottle full of pee. That's right. A baby bottle. FULL. of. PEE! Yeaaaaaah- Boyeeeee!"

Incidents like this remind me how much I love my neighborhood. What? Move and leave all this? Not in a million.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

U-G-L-Y, You Got Yourself an Alibi!

In my research on associations, I uncovered a society that definitely merits an entire post dedicated to it, and it alone. I won't waste my time coming up with clever witticisms about this association. The entry in the Encyclopedia of Associations says everything I could and more. Oh so much more. Before you read this, I just want to emphasize that I did not alter this entry in any way (except for removing the contact information.)

Uglies Unlimited (UU)
Founded: 1973
Members: 100
Description: Unattractive individuals who are vexed by discrimination against "uglies." Purposes are to: serve as the guardian of ugly human beings; encourage society and employers to accept people for what they are instead of what they look like; assist members in finding a new self-image. Solicits more exposure for uglies in mass media advertising ("Uglies can sell products too!") Pickets, boycotts, and files complaints with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Conducts public awareness program. Holds Ugly Stick competition (prizes are awarded by a "select committee of washed-out judges of past beauty pageants.") Compiles statistics.
Awards: Ugly Stick
Frequency: Annual
Type: recognition Recipient: for promotion of discrimination awareness based on appearance. Committees: Ugly Stick competition Conventions/meetings: Annual meeting -- always October. 2007 Oct 23-27, Portland, OR. Avg Attendance: 50.

I'm already booking my ticket. My only question is, if you receive the Ugly Stick is it poor form to use it to beat the living hell out of the person that gave it to you? Because I have an inkling that would be my first impulse. I'm just sayin.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Universe 867, Me 0

There are times when things are going along just swimmingly, and there are times when you step in the proverbial Cow Pat of Life. This week is nothing short of Craptastic.

A few examples, for your consideration:

Last Saturday I went to a Luau in an effort to get my flirt on. Things were going pretty well, until the helium balloons blew into the chocolate fondue fountain. (Yeah, it was that kind of party). Wanting to be helpful while cleaning up the mess I suggested just popping the balloons so they A) wouldn't blow into the chocolate again, and B) no one would run into them and get all chocolaty. So The Hostess held the balloons and I popped them - thereby splattering her white shorts with chocolate. I left promptly.

Later that evening I was meeting other friends in Old Town Alexandria, VA. It's a quaint and charming city, but one that is practically impossible for the novice to navigate what with all of the One Ways, No Turns, Do Not Enters, and such. I've known for years that VA is a nightmare to navigate. And so I should have known better than to venture into virgin territory. At night. I was practically asking for trouble. And I got what I (apparently) deserved: A ticket for making a left turn where there was supposedly a "No Turns" sign. I fully admit that there are times when I deserve to be ticketed. This was absolutely NOT one of those times. To add insult to injury I have to go to COURT to take care of it. That will be a fantastic day in my life, I'm sure.

On Monday, after a day of feeling grumpy, and hating any activity that was keeping me from curling up into a ball under my covers, I decided I should go to the gym and get some endorphins pumpin. So I drove to the gym and waited patiently for this moron to master backing out of their parking space. When they'd finally managed it, this little snot-nosed punk sped in from the other direction and took it, a la Fried Green Tomatoes. I didn't ram his car screaming that I'm older and have more insurance ... but I did scream, "Oh, YOU LITTLE SH*T!" and glared at him really really fiercely. He didn't care.

After the gym I felt a little bit better. I went to go find a Great Harvest Bread Store so I could have some bread for sandwiches (I'm picky about my bread, what can I say). I knew it was on Rockville Pike, but there are about 45 shopping centers up and down the Pike, and I wasn't quite sure which one had the Great Harvest store. So I drove in and out of them for 25 minutes, before finally finding it. Of course, it was closed.

At work on Tuesday I remembered that I'm interested in taking a writing class at the Writers Center in Bethesda. The website was down, so I said, hey it's only a couple of blocks from my office, I'll just walk down there (in the sweltering heat while wearing high heels) and get myself a catalog. Surprise, surprise! It was closed. Despite it being right smack dab in the middle of their advertised office hours.

Crossing a crosswalk (against the light, I'll admit), I see a car flying down the street. When I saw it I said, "So THAT is what a Bat out of Hell actually looks like!" Fast. Dark. And seriously bloodthirsty. This car had to be going 50 miles an hour through downtown Bethesda. It started honking about 1/2 block before it got to the intersection to let us know that it was NOT STOPPING. Nor would "slowing" be on the agenda. It was move, or be moved (presumably by her bumper). I was practically to the curb, so I wasn't as concerned about my life as I was about the 4 people who were behind me. I looked back to make sure they wouldn't be flattened into road pancakes when the driver flipped me off, pointed very POINTEDLY at her green light, flipped me off again, and continued to honk all the way through the intersection.

Today, I drove to work because I had an orthodontic appointment in the morning, and I was running late. A massive traffic jam only made me later. My normal parking lot upped it's price from $5 a day to $10 a day. I opted to park in a metered lot instead. But there weren't any "extended time" metered spots in any of the SEVEN parking lots I checked. So I've been running down to feed the 2 hour meter all day long. And now, just two hours before I am due to leave I went to go fill it for the final time. And I had a ticket.

I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I can tell when the Universe is trying to get me. So you can quit now, Universe. I get it. You hate me. How about I just take a mental health day, stay out of everyone's way, and we call it even? That work for you?