25 February 2009

"What you won't do, do for love" --Bobby Caldwell

[A different kind of twisted gourmet?]

According to SiteMeter, someone found my blog by doing a search on "gourmet bondage." This makes me surprisingly happy, on a day when other things are going "crash" and "boom" all around me. Not only found it but poked around for a bit. Imagine their disappointment.

Gourmet bondage.

Asparagus whips? Foie gras gags? Tying down your favorite chef? The Burger King doing twisted things to Mrs. Butterworth?* He does have that sexy mask.

I'm sure the rest of you are up on these terms being the bon vivants you are, but I'm a bit hopeless. (Loop? There's a loop? I'm supposed to be in it?? Is it Metro accessible?)

And I'm at work so I can't even search for it. So clue me in. What the heck is gourmet bondage?

* Don't be a snob. One man's junk food is another man's gourmet feast.

24 February 2009

"He's got a ticket to ride and he don't care" --The Carpenters version (so the pronouns work)

We had a lovely meal with four dear friends Saturday night. I could tell you about the friends or the restaurant (tasty middle eastern yummies) but you'd be all *yaaaawn* so instead I'll tell you about the disgusting thing I saw on the way to dinner.

We were riding the Metro and someone got on at the airport, lugging bags, and plopped himself and his bags down in a seat facing me. It's not like I wanted to look, but there he was, in front of me.

So, as I watched, he took a pack of tissues out of his bag and, one tissue at a time, he blew his nose, inspected the results, folded it over, and dropped the soiled tissue on the silver top of the heater next to the seat. Tissue after tissue. Luvly. There was quite the pile by the time he was ready to exit the train.

Did he take his disgusting rubbish? He did not. Much better to leave it for the next person. Niiiiiice.

What is wrong with people? It's one thing to be disgusting in the privacy of your own car. But in a busy, public subway car? Ewwww.

PS Only a few days left to vote people. Surely you can clicky-clicky on my little poll.* You know, if you want. Either way. Doesn't matter. You know, if you're here anyway.**

PPS Things are getting a little hectic for me and I'm about to be traveling quite a bit (including a conference in FL next week--where my FL peeps at?) so if I disappear off the blog for a bit here and there, know that I am okay (or stuck looping in the nightmare that is the "It's a Small World" ride. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Make it stop! Make it stop!) and totally not ignoring you. 'Cause how could I ignore you? You wonderful you. You wouldn't leave snotty tissues on the Metro.***

* I did NOT call you Shirley.

** I see you lurking, Sri Lanka guy. Or gal. Or bot.

***That's one of your best traits. You should put that on your business cards "Won't leave snotty tissues on the Metro!" Just sayin, lead with your strengths.

20 February 2009

"If I could turn back time" --Cher

I am a broken woman.

I spent the last few days with my personal trainer, Jillian "I'm a bully" Michaels, via her 30 Day Shred DVD.

Feel free to commence laughing at me.

I've been doing the Level 1 routine, which is all of 20 minutes. And it's not like we're doing any fancy choreography or kempo karate. Nope. We're doing jumping jacks and push ups and lunges with weights and old school stuff like that.

And I'm dyin' here.

It's not so miserable while I'm doing it. But clearly some of these muscles haven't been worked in a while because afterwards my legs tighten up, allowing me to nail my Frankenstein's monster impersonation. Of course, without the enormous schwanzstucker.

People at work are giving me weird looks. I mean, worse than usual.

At least I'll be a toned corpse.

19 February 2009

"Chewy, chewy" --The Ohio Express

This ever happen to you?

You'll be eating something and not really paying attention. So, maybe you're sitting on the couch, watching reruns of Family Guy, and munching on popcorn out of the bag or, if you're really ritzy, out of the bowl.

And somewhere between the bag/bowl and your mouth, some of that handful of popcorn decides to go on the lam. It's just not satisfied with the life it's leading. It wants to wear a poncho and a hat and clench a cigar in its teeth and ride the plains.

And out of the corner of your eye -- because you know if you totally look away from the TV you'll miss Stewie saying "Mm, Florida. Just think somewhere in this state right now Jeb Bush is eating a live puppy" -- you sort of notice the piece of popcorn falling to the floor.

You're not a complete pig. You reach down to pick up the piece of popcorn and, hell, it's been less than five seconds... you pop it in your mouth. That's when you realize that what you picked up wasn't the piece of popcorn.

You know?



Just me?

*looks away*

Yeah, that never happened to me, either.

It did not! I made it up!

Shut up. You guys suck.

PS New poll up there on the right. Here's your chance to totally make it up to me.

18 February 2009

"Picture this, we were both butt naked" --Shaggy

So, naked sunbathing on the beach.*

I haven't engaged in naked sunbathing. I have skinny-dipped and that felt pretty good. That's pretty racy for me, your classic uptight American and a pretty dang private person, to boot.** Mind you, that was long before cell phones with cameras. And, let's face it, there's a significant difference between being naked in the water and lounging naked on a public beach.

Yes. There. Is.

Gotta admit... questions abound...

Have you sunbathed naked?*** Would you do it? Would you care if you were photographed/videotaped? Would you engage in conversation with strangers while you were doing it?

And why is it, generally speaking, that the people who are first to strip down at the beach are the ones we least want to see naked?

Bonus question: Have you ever seen any guy at the beach who looked good in a Speedo?

That's what I thought.

Extra special bonus scenario: You think your family Thanksgiving is uncomfortable? Imagine the scenario of someone at the table being featured prominently in a "Girls Gone Wild" video which other family members have viewed. Thanks for the awkward!

* I thought that would get your attention.

** You noticed my shyness on the blog, right? Really, it's a credit to you and how comfortable you make me feel that I can do this at all. Yeah, let's go with that.

*** No worries. I won't tell a soul.

17 February 2009

"End this day, show me the ocean... When shall I see the sea?" --James Taylor

[They'd sit but they wouldn't fetch.]

I like the Hudson Trail Outfitters. Much like the kids like the MTV.

But I am looking at a bag from HTO that says "8 Convenient Locations" and this is just not so. You see, they list Gaithersburg as one of the eight. Gaithersburg?! Convenient? That's a lie! You know it and I know it. They should have researched more before putting that on their bags. Gaithersburg may be where some people are, you know, maybe, but it's not convenient to anyone.

But this is the problem with advertising. It is vague. It is specious. We see falsities so often that they don't register. And they chipchipchip away at our souls. And not in the good way, like a Chips Ahoy cookie. 'Cause Chips Ahoy? They're not what I'd call a great cookie but if they're in front of me, I'll certainly eat them. Lots of them. Without even realizing it. So, maybe it is in the same way.

I had a friend who went to a Beaches property in Jamaica. Imagine her surprise when she got to the property and it wasn't on a beach. The beach wasn't far away and apparently they had shuttles running to it. Still a Beaches that isn't on a beach? It's in the freaking name, people!

A number of years back, we went to a resort and paid extra to have an ocean facing room. And we got an ocean facing room. Disappointingly, it wasn't an ocean view room. We couldn't see the ocean. But, management explained, we were facing it. What we came to realize was that, technically, every room in the world is ocean facing. If you face out of a room and go far enough, you find ocean.

So, next time someone asks you about your cubicle, tell them it's ocean facing.

And conveniently located.

Wait, it's not in Gaithersburg, is it?

13 February 2009

Uncomfortable Moment #82

I am putting gas in my car Wednesday evening at a popular (read: cheap) gas station. There are maybe seven of us scattered around the islands. It is breezy but unseasonably warm.

One person has his windows open and his music turned up to 11 while he's pumping. I'm not a big fan of listening to other people's music. I quietly thank heaven it's not Taylor Swift. Really, I figure, how long does it take to pump gas? I'll tell you how long: Long enough to focus in on the lyrics and hear the N word. Repeatedly.

This is uncomfortable. I don't want to hear that word from anybody. Not even set to music. I don't want other people to hear it.

This is a public space.

Nobody says anything. We just keep pumping.

Maybe nobody notices the words but me. Maybe it's no big deal to anyone else. Maybe people are intimidated by the fact that the guy is blaring his music in the first place. I'll never know. All I know is nobody says anything.

Right? Wrong? Gray area?

12 February 2009

"Pay my own fun, oh and I pay my own bills" --Destiny's Child

[No wonder Charlie had so much angst. Good grief!]

In the "doesn't this seem strange" category:

  • I have paid a man to feel my breasts.* Okay, he was a surgeon and he was determining if the lumps were likely cancerous (they were not) but it did occur to me, as this guy was giving me the once, twice, thrice over that I was paying him to get to second base. This is one situation where you don't want to hear from the guy the next day.**
  • In a related "Wait, what are we paying for??" moment... We pay for termite control even though they never find termites. By that, I mean, we have termite bait stations inside and outside and someone comes out to the house every month or two and checks the stations. They wave a device over the station. The device beeps. They've never found any activity in any of the stations. For all I know, they're playing Donkey Kong on those devices.*** Then, again, maybe the termites are getting smarter and going around the stations. So maybe we're paying for termite control of the termite control stations.

* TMI? Well, it is Thursday.

* Speaking of the big C, was that the reason Charlie Brown had no hair? You'd think the other kids would have been a little nicer to him.

*** Okay, nobody plays Donkey Kong anymore even though there are 22 (!) references to Donkey Kong in the Urban Dictionary not including "It's on like..."

10 February 2009

"(Turn and face the strain) Ch-ch-changes" * --David Bowie

Suck it!

You're probably going to be offended by the end of this post, anyway, so I might as well get it over with. You see, based on everything I hear about blogging, you are probably the very people about whom I am going to whinge.

So, fine: Suck it! Suck it hard!

:Rant on:
I keep hearing how the workforce has to adapt to Gen Y-ers (born roughly 1980-2002). And these conversations about Gen Y-ers are always generalizations. Stereotyping? Oh, yeah. In fact the vast majority of the Gen Y-ers I've met seem like infinitely reasonable people. But dig...

I'm told Gen Y people:

  • Want to have fun at work/don't want to be bored.
  • Want to immediately be respected and promoted, even with no experience, just for being the special people they are. This belief, I'm told, is instilled by their parents.
  • Want to be listened to and praised.

Okay, and who doesn't want these things?

No, really. If I vote for it, can I get it, too? If so, I'm all for it. But if it's just for you, mmm, not so much. And as long as we're at it, can we throw in a condo on the beach and a pitcher of lime daiquiris? You know, as long as we're going for it.

How is it that Gen Y-ers feel entitled to this stuff, right out of the gate, when the rest of us merely feel entitled to a paycheck if we suck it up and do what is in the best interest of the organization? Can somebody explain to me why--especially in a sucky economy--I should hire or promote someone that is blatantly focused on what they get rather than what they can provide?

I'll readily admit that Gen Y folks are way more savvy when it comes to technology. And, if multi-tasking really is a good thing, they've certainly had more practice at that, too. But is that enough?

I'm all for a meritocracy. If a Gen Y-er, or a Gen-anything, can show up and wow us right out of the gate, then they deserve to leap frog up the ladder--over me and everyone else--or get days off for skateboarding, or whatever it is they want. If they can't? Maybe they should suck it up like the rest of us.

But that's just crotchety old Gen X me. I guess it's a good thing I'm on the tail end of my career. This dinosaur needs to retire early because, clearly, I don't get it.
:Rant off:

(Yeah, I know: Suck it.)

* When I was checking the lyrics on the Interwebs, I found that half the sites listed the words as "Turn and face the strain" while the other half listed the words as "Turn and face the strange". Meanwhile, the CD, downstairs, had no lyrics listed.

A) How can the Interwebs be contradictory? I'm so disillusioned.

B) I went with "strain" because, all along, I was sure I was hearing "strange" and what are the odds I heard it right?

09 February 2009

"Stepping out with my baby" --Irving Berlin

Saturday night we go to a fusion restaurant in Arlington--Chinese and Peruvian. I am not making that up.

It's sort of like Latvian-Ethiopian.

Okay, it's not. That part I made up. But it could be. Who's to say?

I am the one that has brought us to this Chinese-Peruvian juncture. I am forever in search of something new and different. It creates quite the tension in me (and not in the good way) because there are so many restaurants that we have enjoyed and probably should support, and, yet, there is always something new and wondrous, at least in theory, around the next corner. So, off we troop...

We arrive, via Metro, in what should be plenty of time, but the Interwebilicous directions are off. We follow them only to arrive... not "here." We call the restaurant three times (first time by me, second and third time by Hubby) because we are tragically lost. The second conversation goes a little like this:

Hubby: We are still trying to find you.
Manager: We are at the corner of X and Y.
Hubby: We are on X and we've traveled in both directions from the Courthouse Metro station but don't know where you are.
Manager: We are right at the corner of X and Y.
Hubby: What is the street address?
Manager: The intersection of X and Y.
Hubby: The street address? Is there a number?
Manager: At the corner of X and Y.

We grab strangers on the street: Do you know where X intersects with Y? They are befuddled. They scratch their heads. They point but without conviction. They give vague guesses. We wander some more. We are in Arlington so we pass restaurant after restaurant after restaurant. Each has shiny, happy people inside. Couldn't we just... No. We press on.

We finally get there after the third call when Hubby gets better at playing Marco Polo.

Hubby: It's still us. Listen, are there any landmarks near the restaurant?
Manager: I can see a Wachovia and a Wendy's from here.
Hubby: OKAAAY!! When you look out of the restaurant, where is the Wachovia?

And so on until we find the freakin' restaurant.

The food is... interesting... and some of it is quite good. Some is just eh. They have a dim sum menu with curious juxtapositions.

The place is modern and chic where it appears one must always have a "too cool for school" expression and all the waitstaff and much of the clientele are dressed in black.

The hostess, who is clad in a simple black dress, looks tasteful even as she is showing some cleavage. In contrast, our waitress, in a different black dress, is on the verge of popping out like the winning muffins from a greased pan on America's Test Kitchen. Her breasts overfloweth. A lot. She is clearly Wonderbra-ed but, more than that, her dress is arranged like that J-Lo piece of cloth a while back. We hope for the invisible tape because we, and everyone, see way too much of her flesh. No really. Way too much. Sort of like this but not as tasteful:

Even Hubby, who has never denied his fondness for female anatomy, nearly gets whiplash, trying to avoid looking into the blazing breastitude that is at eye level every time she comes by.

Me: That's a bit much.
Hubby: Um, yeah. I'm not even going to pretend to not notice that.
Me: It's ridiculous.
Hubby: I'll bet she gets a lot of tips that way.

I feel awkward for this waitress and for us.

No one ordered a side of boob?


Yet, here it is. Now, what to do with it?

Ultimately, we do leave her an okay tip because, despite the overmammification, the service is okay and I feel for the busboys who probably get a share of the tip money.

Plus, we joke, maybe now she can afford to buy something decent to wear.

06 February 2009


A lazy Friday. La-Zy. Are you feelin' it?

It's like I don't even feel like climbing the water tower so I can swim around naked in the town's water supply. (And they complain about lead in the DC water system. Sheesh!)

But you showed up today and that should be rewarded with something. So, I'll pull a Mike. Here's a few entertaining bits:

Bumper sticker I spotted: I love my country but I think it's time we started seeing other people.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/4344890/Virgin-the-worlds-best-passenger-complaint-letter.html - A funny letter complaining about a flight. If you read it, do follow the pics.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1136463/Theres-reason-poor-people-malaria-The-moment-Bill-Gates-released-jar-mosquitoes-packed-conference.html - Bill Gates scares people (even more than usual.)

PS It's just so many levels of wrong to make the dog wear the petticoat.

05 February 2009

"I been in the right place but it must have been the wrong time" --Dr. John

Tuesday night I am driving home on the Beltway when all four lanes of traffic come to a halt. Urg. After a bit, emergency vehicles whip by on the shoulder, then, ten minutes later we see more on the median. Double urg. As irritating as it is to be stuck in traffic, someone is having a much worse evening than us merely annoyed commuters.

We inch forward. We do that weavy thing where some cars hug the right side of the lane and some hug the left side of the lane just to try to get a glimpse of whatever is causing this. We can't see it; just a sea of tail lights. It takes over an hour of inching along to get up to and past the problem.

In the meantime, there is much jockeying between lanes. I am impressed that, for the most part, people are not being jerks. They are signaling before they switch lanes. They are allowing for others to get over into their lanes. (We're living in a society here!)

But well into the hour, I notice an entrance ramp on the right. And the reason it catches my eye: Someone has decided to use the ENTRANCE ramp to get OFF the Beltway. Clearly they recognize that it is not an exit ramp because THEY ARE BACKING UP! Yes. They are backing up on the shoulder --thank god for the shoulder-- of the rather long entrance ramp.

This seems to me to be incredibly dangerous, illegal, and --though I risk insulting readers here-- just plain stupid.

Does this make sense to anybody? Have you done this? Would you do this? How bad would you need a bathroom to try something like this? Wouldn't the scare of doing this defeat the need to get to a bathroom?

04 February 2009

"People, they're the worst"--J. Seinfeld

As long as we're talking about interactions...

A long-standing peeve of mine: People who don't know how to carry on a decent conversation. Those who've met me will never label me a scintillating conversationalist but there are people that don't even seem to get the basic ebb and flow concept.

These are people that, upon a question from you, will gladly talk about themselves for forty-five minutes without pausing to see if you're paying attention (or still alive) but once they finally wind down, will just sit there, basting in their own juices, rather than learn anything about you.

You ever find yourself next to these people at a dinner party? It's brutal. You ask Wally a pleasant, polite question and suddenly it's "The Wally Show" and there's no off switch.

So, fine. you now know way more than you wanted to about Wally. Okay, you asked. Fair enough. But then Wally sits and stares.

Wally doesn't know anything about you and can't be bothered to ask. No "What do you do?" No "Tried the cheese dip?" No "Single or multiple?" Nothing.

A variant of this but no less irritating, are the people that can't be bothered to respond with more than a one word answer, much less show a polite interest in you.

Me: So, how do you know Sally?

Dick: Work.

Me: Uh-huh...

Dick: *stares into middle distance*

Me: Do you like the company?

Dick: Eh. *stares into middle distance*

Me: *stabs self in eye*

How is this acceptable?

03 February 2009

"Some girl to thrill me and then go away"--John Mellencamp

[A different way to a simple relationship.]

Do you have people in your life that are there for one specific reason and nothing else? No, not a booty call. Well, maybe for some of you, that's what it is.

Here's what I mean... I know someone at work that I have nothing in common with except one very specific thing: we both like to travel. So, when we cross paths a couple times a year, we pounce on each other with "Where were you last?" or "Where are you thinking of going next?" Immediately animated, we share pros and cons of a particular island, share what we've heard about different resort chains, swap information on new booking sites, etc.

And then we talk about nothing else. Nothing. We go about our lives.

We've established that this is our only common ground. We accept that we'll never swap recipes or get tattoos together. We're certainly not going to travel together.

And that works. Remarkably well. Ours is sort of the idiot savant of relationships. One dimension deep. And deeply one dimensional. It's so refreshing!

02 February 2009

4th Annual Silent Blogger Poetry Thingy

And now for something completely different...

I have too short an attention span for most poems. Even long greeting cards get put back on the shelf, unread.*

But I do have some favorite poetry snippets. Without further ado, here is my entry into the 4th Annual Silent Blogger Poetry Reading.**

[Feel free to picture me on a tacky bar stage, dressed all in black, reading this to myself. (It's a silent reading, fergawdsake.)]

Three from W.S. Merwin and one from Rumi:

There was never a time
when you were not walking toward me
from under great trees.


Late I came to the joy of this
whatever I have

is yours.


In my dreams
we keep traveling together

face to face.

Come to the orchard in Spring. There is light and wine, and sweethearts in the pomegranate flowers. If you do not come, these do not matter. If you do come, these do not matter.

*My favorite greeting card of all time has a picture of a dog on the the front and its leg is actually a separate piece of paper that is attached with a spring so it looks like the dog is scratching itself. Inside it says "I'm itching to wish you a happy birthday!"


'Cause I'm deep like that.

*sniff* Ah, good times.

**For the romantics in the crowd, these (and others) were all readings at our wedding. Insert "awww" here.
I know, we're nauseating. (You're a shmoopy! No, you're a shmoopy!)

"Although nothing seems right in cars" --Gary Numan

[Not the situation Friday night.]

We had a strange experience Friday night. I know. Strange in DC. That never happens. *rolls eyes*

A little stage setting:

We have company for the weekend and the four of us meet up with another two friends for dinner and a comedy show Friday night. The four of us have Metro'd in and walked the two blocks to the restaurant. It is maybe 20 degrees out, but luckily none of us notices how cold the temperature is because we're too busy freaking out over the wind chill which makes it feel like -75 degrees.

We have a great meal (at Sonoma) and the six of us debate about how to get to the show. It is eight blocks away. We can walk the eight blocks in the howling wind. We can cab. We can walk the two blocks in the howling wind, get on the Metro, go one stop, get off the Metro and walk another two blocks in the howling wind. Or we can cram into the car of our friends, who drove to the restaurant.

Decision made. We will squeeze into Friend's car. We walk the block and a half to Friend's car and here's where it gets weird.

Friend has done a miraculous parallel parking job in a very tight space, despite the fact that his car is a compact but the space is more Smart Car sized. I notice that the car behind his has about three feet of room behind it.

There is a couple, standing on the sidewalk looking at Friend's car. Let's give them a random name so you can keep the players straight. How about: Mr. & Mrs. Ass.

Mr. Ass is just staring at Friend's car. Mrs. Ass is holding a newspaper, pretending to read it, in the howling wind. Yeah, not too strange. She continues this behavior through 99% of the encounter. Did I mention that it feels like -75 out?

The conversation goes something like this...

Mr. Ass: That's your car.

Friend: Yes. Is that your car? *pointing to the car behind his*

Mr. Ass: Yes, the one you hit.

At this point, we all stop and look at the two car's mingle point. Where it is true that Friend has his back bumper kissing the license plate of Mr. Ass' car, both cars appear to be perfectly intact. Not a ding, not a dimple, not a scratch.

Several of us: It doesn't look like it./Where?/No, I don't think so.

Mr. Ass, in a quiet but angry voice: He hit my car.

Me: They're very close but, actually, I can see a sliver of light between his bumper and your plate.

Mr. Ass: He's probably going to hit it again.

One of us: Are you leaving? Looks like you have a lot of room to back up.

(No response.)

Friend gets into his car to start to remove it from the very tight space.

Friend continues to maneuver a few inches up and back and gently touches Mr. Ass' bumper again.

Mr. Ass: He hit my car again!

Me, indicating Mr. Ass' car: Woudn't it be easier if this car was just backed up a few feet?

(No response.)

Me: It just seems logical...

(No response.)

Friend gets the car out of the space in under a minute and we all hop in and take off. At this point, Mrs. Ass lowers the paper and follows us a few steps into the street. I wonder briefly if she is checking for Friend's license plate number. Not sure what she'd do with it as there was no damage to either vehicle. Maybe she was hoping we'd take her with us.

So, WTF?

Friend was maneuvering at a very slow speed. He never damaged his or Mr. Ass' car. Friend did tap Mr. Ass' car at maybe 3 miles per hour. Isn't that exactly what bumpers are made for? Isn't that why they call them bumpers?!

Could this man have been any more difficult? And it wasn't like Mr. Ass was driving a mint condition Rolls Royce. It was a very average looking car. So, again, I gotta go with: WTF?