29 April 2009

"So you better get this party started" --Pink


[Catchy party slogan, yes?]

Who's up for a flu party? It just makes good sense:

  • All we have to fear is fear itself. Stop the fear! It lowers your immunities. Parties and fear don't mix.
  • No need to leave early because of work the next day. Just apply the best excuse ever: "Hi, Boss, yeah, I'm on my way in but I thought you should know I think I might have that flu everybody keeps talking about. ...well, if you think that's best. You're sure you don't want me to come in? Okay, then."
  • We'll all be quarantined soon so why don't we be quarantined together? Just think, we could be the last known survivors because we were prudent enough to party.
  • What's the first thing people do to ward off infection? Apply alcohol!
So who's in?

And who's hosting? (Hey, I'm the idea person. You can't expect me to be the implementer, too!)

"If you ain't dirrty, you ain't here to party" --Christina Aguilera

[Story of my life. Maybe I should pick a less flattering profile picture.]


I'd like to start this post by apologizing to Fearless in case she's reading this.*

Here's the thing: No matter how great Toronto looks from a distance, I don't see myself going there. Why? Because the first thing anybody ever says about Toronto is "It's so clean!" Admit it, you've heard this:

How was Toronto?


I couldn't believe it was so clean!


Um, this is what you can't believe? You want to be aghast about something? Fine. Home Improvement got a 2009 TV Land award. There. Now, that's unbelievable.

But cleanliness? Is this really what you want in a city? Isn't that why you go to the country? To get some clean air in your lungs?

Do you really want "clean" as your key selling point?

Let me put it this way:

Friend: I want to set you up on a date with a great person I know.

You: Yeah? What are they like?

Friend: Oh, clean! Really clean.

You: Er, no.

Sure, you want them to be clean--hell, you want them to be disease free!--but you don't want to hear "clean." You want to hear "fun" or "easy on the eyes" or "really interesting" or even "wild" but if "clean" is the number one adjective, well, that's sad.

People say a lot about DC, some of it even positive, but discussion of hygiene level? Not really gonna happen. Sure, you might discuss the size of the rat you saw on the way to dinner or the aroma of the homeless guy that spit on you outside the museum but you're not likely going to say that as the first item of discussion. You'll be busy talking about the great meal or the fantastic exhibit you just experienced.

Clean, Toronto?

Really?

Really?



** Okay, does saying you want to apologize actually equate to apologizing? I've never been clear on this. When you hear "I'd like to apologize" do you say "Well, go right ahead..." or "Oh, that was sweet of you"? Discuss.

28 April 2009

"It's a hot one... like seven inches from the midday sun..." --Santana feat. Rob Thomas



Generally, I like warm weather. Especially if I'm looking at a beautiful sea that I can jump into or sitting by a sparkling pool that I can jump into or at least drinking something icy made in a blender that I can... well, drink. But it is August in April here in DC and I am shvitzing with the best of them. 95 degrees and no beach and no pool and drinks go from frosty to tepid in one sip.

And, still, I'd tough it out because I've always said I like warm weather--ask anybody-- IF it wasn't for the fact that my car's air conditioner has decided it no longer feels a need to be cool. It's embracing it's uncoolness. Stubbornly. It is the Steve Urkel of air conditioners.

So, it is now at the mechanic's because I will not have one more of these encounters:

Me, switching it on (hey, I do my part): Come on, be cool.

AC: Who's your favorite ST:TNG character?

Me: Shhh, just be cool.

AC: Once I dreamed I met Marvin Hamlisch.

Me: You're blowing it. You are so not cool!

AC: I don't think our parents would approve of the way you're dressed.

Me: Dammit!

27 April 2009

"I will follow you... Follow you wherever you may go" --Ricky Nelson


Yeah, most of you are on Twitter. Not me.* I'm amazed that people even follow me on Blogger. But, according to Blogger, I do have "followers."

These aren't run of the mill people that read my blog, these are people that have signed on for special "follower" status.

If you have recently become a follower of mine, no worries! You'll get your follower club kit in the mail in four to six weeks. Bonus: LA's secret decoder ring with genuine diamonelle chip is available for an amazingly affordable three easy payments of $19.95. Isn't it time you got the subtext you were missing? Order today!**

So, I got to thinking, hey, I have followers! Some of you are probably reading this right now. And that's an honor. In a creepy, stalkery way, but still an honor.***

And
having followers is a big responsibility. If you're a follower, you follow.**** By definition. If my blog gets in with a bad crowd, will your blog get in with a bad crowd, too?*****

I worry. And I feel like I should be a positive influence in your life. You know, use this spot to be inspiring.

So, um, crack is whack.

There. That was uplifting, right? Carry on.



* I heard that. I am not lame. I am old school ...in a really lame way.

** Limited time offer. Offer not combinable with LA's Thigh Magic, LA's Chop 'N' Peel, LA's Foreclose and Get Rich, or LA's Wow! That's a Good Turnip!

***Your night vision goggles leave those circle impressions around your eyes. But, you know, on you it totally works. Really. Please don't kill me.

**** You follow?

***** I hate to be the one to tell you but I saw your blog faceplant outside the 7-11 Saturday night. Not pretty.

24 April 2009

"And so I came to see him and listen for a while" --Roberta Flack, Fugees, etc.

This is a great area for live music and it does me good to get out and hear some now and then. So...

We went to the Birchmere last night for the Jazzy Soul Collective with a few friends. This consisted of a fantastic back-up band and three singers who took turns performing all evening. The headliner, Eric Roberson, seemed like he thought he was all that. To me? Mm, not so much.

The other two, Angela Johnson and Anthony David, were quite good. I recommend catching them if you get the chance. Here's a sample of Anthony David for your listening pleasure:



23 April 2009

"Tell me something good" --Chaka Khan



I have finished my class.

Every time I take a class, I try to set my expectations accordingly. If I learn one new thing, I'm pleased. Just one. Sometimes I don't even get that one thing. If I learn more than one thing, well, huzzah! How great is that?

In this class, I learned one thing.

"Check!"
--Monica Gellar

And, because I'm a big believer in education for all and I'm all about paying it forward and I used to have a friend that would always say "Share the wealth" when he meant "Share what you know", I'm about to share what I learned with you and save you three days of your precious time* and thousands of dollars.

Ready?**

All right. Here it is:

You know how when you take your hand up to the side of your head and point at your head and move your hand in a circle, it means "crazy"? Well, in Argentina, this gesture means you have a phone call.

I swear that's what I was told.

So, next time someone does this to you, don't take offense. Just say, "¿Dónde está el teléfono?"




* I know you have lots to do. Like avoiding that one curled, greenish-brown chip in the potato chip bag. Why does every bag have one? Is it some FDA requirement? A government microchip that you accidentally ingest? What?

** Thanks for sitting up a little straighter and pricking up your ears. You look so cute when you do that. How do you do that?

22 April 2009

"Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you." --The King and I (Rodgers & Hammerstein)


When I signed up for a class on Building Better Work Relationships, my thinking was:

  • Review time is coming up. It's good to take a class now and then because it shows the boss I'm still interested in growing professionally.
  • Maybe they'll have snark reduction tips.
  • It'll get me out of the office for a few days.
What I didn't realize was what got me there was not what got most people there.

Quite a few people in this class were there by someone else's choice. Prisoners. There by edict. Their bosses sent them. You know why their bosses sent them? They have unbelievably sucky social skills. Like worse than mine. I know! Right? Hard to believe but there they were.

Monday, it was so bad that, when we broke for lunch, everybody just sort of looked around, grim and lost. I invited a woman to have lunch with me. Relieved, she accepted. Tuesday, she materialized at my side at lunchtime, my new BFF. My own personal Squiggy. Except with less charm (see "sucky social skills" above.)

So, I invited a couple more people to join us, to their intense relief. And the four of us had a remarkably awkward lunch. You ever feign interest in people who aren't interesting? It's deadly. DEADLY.

*narrows eyes*
You're doing it right now, aren't you?

Maybe I do need this class. *Sigh.*

(And, as you can see, so far, I've gotten nothing on snark reduction tips. Well, what's a FAIL in the real world can only be a WIN for the blog.)

20 April 2009

"Don't stand so close to me" --The Police



[Side note: Pssstttt... Don't mind if I haven't commented on your blog lately. I was traveling Friday through Sunday and now I'm in an all-day class Monday through Wednesday. So, it isn't that I don't care. *looks sincere* Because I do! I totally do! *looks both ways, lowers voice* Just between you and me, you're still my favorite.]


Anywhosits, our topic du jour comes from this weekend and I'd like your opinion.

Saturday night, we are a group of five (three women, two men) clustered by the bar. I know, me in a bar, quelle surprise! It is a moderately busy place but not packed by any means. There is plenty of space for us to move around.*

I know two of the folks (my husband and my friend) and am introduced to two more: a man and a woman. Let's call them Edgar and Lucille. I have been told by my friend, in advance of meeting them, that Edgar is interested in Lucille but she would rather just be friends.

At some point in the evening, Edgar's hand comes in contact with the side of my breast. It isn't a lunge, it isn't a grope, it's a brush. I don't know if it is accidental or intentional. Edgar doesn't make eye contact. Just carries on as if nothing has occurred.

Is it a huge thing? No. Is it inappropriate? Yes.

Now, I don't know what to think. If it's intentional, it's pretty creepy. If it's just an accident, we let it go. Either way, I move away from him. Decidedly out of arm's reach.

Additional data:

  • I witness Edgar's hand pat Lucille's butt at some point in the evening.
  • After we separate from Edgar and Lucille, I tell my friend that Edgar brushed me and she says that Edgar touched her chest, too. Edgar is short and was telling a story about where he came up to, height-wise, on a woman in bed and touched my friend, ostensibly, to indicate where. Not so much breastularly (shut up, that's a word) as chestularly (mid-way between shoulder and breast), but Edgar did, in fact, touch her.
Of course, we have no way to know for sure but, I thought you, with your vast experience of all things male/female might divine... Going on nothing else, do you think the brush was an accident or an act of deliberate skeeviness? Is he just a touchy kind of person? Or is this some sort of cheap thrill? And, finally, what is the appropriate response?



*Ominous foreshadowing.

16 April 2009

"It takes every kind of people to make what life's about, yeah" --Robert Palmer

Two things caught my eye yesterday:


See that blurry white SUV up there*? Not only did it have a "Palin 2012" bumper sticker on it but it's NC license plate said PALIN012. I imagine the Department of Motor Vehicles scene:

Palin Fan: Hi, I'd like to order a special license plate, please, Ma'am.

DMV Drone: Mm.

Palin Fan: I hope I can get it! I'm so excited!

DMV Drone: Mm.

Palin Fan: I want PALIN012! You know, for Palin 2012? I love Sarah Palin. She's so gosh darn smart and spunky and, well, just wonderful! Don'cha think?

DMV Drone: Mm.

Palin Fan: I hope nobody has that plate already! I'll just die if someone has it already! Please hurry!

DMV Drone: Mm.


Also, yesterday, I saw this:

Look what some kind heart is giving away. Yup. Christmas candy. On April 15th! Mmmm, fresh! And where is this located? That's right! That's bathroom tile you see. At least it's wrapped. I have a feeling it'll be sitting there until someone throws it out. But that's just my take. Would you eat candy found abandoned in the bathroom?




*Sorry, it was the best I could do in the rain with my "piece of garbage" replacement phone camera. For those following our saga, the latest POG is not exhibiting the old problems but started exhibiting screen color bleed on Day 1.

15 April 2009

Hallmark cards for blogger holidays

(front of card )

Sorry about your TMI

(inside card)

I read your post about your pooping
And how coworkers call you "Stinky"
To new lows, you're really stooping
But you're still my favorite linky!



Hallmark? You know where to find me.

14 April 2009

"You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before you make it"--Michael Jackson


I haven't exactly told you everything about our monkey experience in Barbados. I wanted to keep it happy and light... to remember the good. Why get creepy, right? But I'm feeling a need to unburden myself.

Yes, yes, we saw green monkeys and they were way cool and they climbed over the fence of the reserve every day to eat up the free food and then climbed back out to explore the island. They were lovely, curious things and, you know, monkeys! Can't go wrong with monkeys! At least, that's what I always thought. But there was one more monkey-related experience, that, well, wasn't as exciting or pleasant...

We are at the hotel, having spent the morning swimming, lazing by the pool and walking on the beach, and we decide to head up to the room to change into dry togs for lunch.

Drinks in hand, we board the elevator and a bride and groom get on with us. (He is in linen pants and shirt with a flower pinned to his lapel. She is in a tea length bridal gown. And they are hanging onto each other.)

Us: Getting married today?
Them, gazing into each other's eyes: Just got married!
Us: Oh, how nice! Congratulations.
Them, barely aware of our presence: Thanks.
Us: You had gorgeous weather for it.
Them: Mm... yes.

Hubby and I exchange looks, figuring they're not looking at us anyway. He gives me the "pointing with the eyes" thing that says, silently but emphatically, "did you see that?!" and I casually let my eyes drop to where he's indicating. There, on the bride, is the worst case of monkey feet I've ever seen. Her toes are long and angled in a variety of directions and her third toe (Yes, the middle of the foot toe!) is the longest toe on each foot.

Ugh! And this lucky groom is about to get some of that monkey foot action. What a brave fellow.

As we leave them to their honeymooning and make sure we're out of earshot...

Did you *see* *those* *feet*?!

Wasn't that horrible?!!


What do you suppose is wrong with him?

It's gotta be pretty bad to put up with that!


So, here is the question du jour: Would "watch me peel a banana" monkey feet be a deal breaker?

13 April 2009

Sprint Employee of the Month



Saturday, in the Sprint store:

Him: Can I help you?

Me: I was here a couple weeks ago and I'm back with the same issue plus a new one. My cell phone... *describe problems*

Him: Oh, you have that phone. I hate that phone. It's a piece of garbage.

Me: *blink* Excuse me? You sell these. *I point to a shiny new one in the case between us*

Him: Sprint sells them. I don't. I recommend that people don't buy them. I had one, myself, and had constant problems with it until I traded it for something else.

Me: Well, one of your compatriots convinced me it was the best thing since sliced bread.

Him: They're terrible. It's a piece of garbage.

Me: *stare* Can you fix it or not?

Him: I can have the tech give it a look...

20 minutes later they tell me they are ordering me a replacement piece of garbage and they'll call me when it's in and, when they do, I should bring my current piece of garbage in so they can transfer the data.

Delightful.

10 April 2009

"Insert song lyric here"

Yeah, it's been a heck of a week. (I HATE it when you show up at work and they expect you to WORK! WTF?)

So, rather than burden you with something creative, I'm giving you this:


Not sure what it's all about but strangely intrigued? I thought so, My Pretty. Go here:

Link

09 April 2009

"Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me" --The Fray


Why is The Fray so sad? They've never been what you'd call stable but lately they're even sadder and angrier than usual. I worry for them.

Should we do some sort of intervention?

Any volunteers?

Who can bring the horns?

Silly hats?

Who's got The Golden Girls on DVD? That Sophia. What a nut!

Let's keep the menu simple and cheerful. Mmm... String Cheese and Twinkie Bites? Oooo, WAIT!!! Fudgy the Whale ice cream cake!!!!

08 April 2009

"Make a meal of some bright-eyed kid" --Tom Petty


When I was little, I loved McDonald's. That was back in the days when you didn't need a forklift to carry your fries to the car.

The food made me happy. The brightly-colored sign made me happy. The jingle made me happy. Hey, there's a reason they call 'em Happy Meals.

I can remember we (the family unit of Dad, Mum, sister and yours truly) would go on road trips. Back then we'd never heard of Cancun. We went places like Luray Caverns or Ocean City, Maryland and LIKED it! Ah, Ocean City, with it's biblical sand sculptures... bizarre, no? And, yet, Ocean City was ours.


Whatever the road trip, I always wanted to stop at McDonald's which worked out well because they were everywhere. I could spot those arches from two exits away. So, thanks to exceptional whining on my part, we often stopped at a McDonald's (who wants to eat the turkey sandwiches that Mum lovingly prepared and packed when there's a Big Mac congealing under a heat lamp only half-a-mile away?)

So, come with me into the way-back machine...

We pull into a McDonald's and there is a crowd out front. What's this? Have my prayers been answered and they're giving away those thicker-than-cement vanilla shakes? No.

As we get closer, the bright orange fright wig of Ronald McDonald becomes clearly visible. Yeah. Some clown (yeah,yeah) is dressed up as Ronald McDonald and a crowd of children surrounds him. It doesn't look like he's giving anything away. Just doing the "meet and greet" like John McCain stiff arming you and calling you "my friend."*

So, what to do?

Ronald is near the door.

I am filled with dread.

My sister-- three years my senior, she has the considerable height and weight advantage-- starts pushing me to go see Ronald. I am having none of it. She pushes. I push back. She drags. I dig in my heels and pitch a fit.

Sister, all wide-eyed innocence, as if talking calmly to someone screaming bloody murder: L.A., don't you want to see Ronald?

Me: *screaming bloody murder*!!!

Because, really: why? Why would any child want to go up to a strange man, dressed in a disturbing clown outfit and freakish clown make-up? Every message to children is "stay away from strangers." Well, what could be stranger than this?**

And, frankly, I always think it's a great big FAIL when someone tries to take an animated character and impersonate them. It never works. Even with a good costume, it just doesn't translate.

I wish I could say I did something really cool and memorable that day but I just provided the standard tantrum.

Eventually, my parents hauled my laughing sister and the freaked-out little me away from there without a Ronald encounter or a Big Mac.

I never whined for McDonald's again.




*That would have been funny a year ago. Note to self: You may have to stop phoning it in.

**Okay, Grimace was stranger. What the hell was that thing, anyway?

07 April 2009

"What's your name" --Usher


I have a lot of rules. Sadly, most of them have little to do with reality. But, hey, this is my blog so my rules should stand for something here.

Right?

No?

Oh.

Well, fine, I'll just share a few anyway. *phhttt*

New Rule: If you are the first person in your organization to have your name, you get to keep it. Woot! Woot!

Equal and Opposite Rule: If you are not the first person in your organization to have your name, you have to change your name. On the spot.

Before you get all squinky, think how freeing that could be. You no longer have to suffer the burden of the name your parents gave you. When your ex comes to stalk you and asks for you, people can honestly say "No, the only [your name here] doesn't match that description at all."

Biggest Loser Obligatory Secret Twist Rule: If you don't pick something quickly, we'll pick something for you. Yesterday you were Nicole? Today you are Conchita. Yesterday Robert? Today Caramel Frappuccino.

Corollary: Where I am all for interesting and unique names, if you have a common name, you have to use the accepted, common spelling. That's right. No silent letters or cutesy spellings. Sharon is Sharon. Not Charrhun.

That is all.

06 April 2009

"Bite back..." --The All American Rejects


Can we just agree, here and now, that if I ever date you and you are a vampire, that you will bite my neck?*

Well?

Not just a graze. Not a nibble. Not a hickey. Oh, you can do all that, too, but you better get around to a bite.** I'm talking chomp city. Because where's the value in dating a vampire otherwise?!

So, by now you can guess which movie I got stuck watching on the flight to Barbados.

Ooo, the teen angst. Ooo, the bleached out features. Ooo, the smoldering intensity.

Yeah, talk about biting.***



* You might as well tell me here and now as this is the kind of thing that's bound to come up. One night you'll be flossing in that annoying way you do--you use way too much elbow--and I'll say "Hey, if you were a vampire would you bite me?" and you'll have to answer me then and there with floss hanging from your teeth, which, trust me, won't help you at all.

** Okay, maybe I'm a wee bit too old for hickeys.

*** This was the better of the two movies I saw. I could, sadly, remember all of Twilight. But, try as I might, I couldn't remember the other film we saw on the trip back at all. It was close to two weeks later when I saw an ad on TV (it's coming out on Blu-Ray) that I realized we had seen The Day the Earth Stood Still on the return flight. Bleah. Really, really bleah. Promise me****, if you're ever Keanu Reeves, that you'll do better than this dreck?

**** Yeah, that's two promises I'm demanding. It's Monday; I'm feeling needy.

05 April 2009

04 April 2009

And now for something completely different

We meet friends for lunch at Rice and enjoy quite yummy Thai food. They offer some classics but also some interesting new twists. And, near as I can tell, nobody spit in my food. So, that's always nice. Not really primo blog material without the spitting, but, you know, lunch-wise, it's a plus.

By the time we leave, the wind has died down and it is a gorgeous day. We make our way over to Dupont Circle where we meet up with more friends for the second half of DC's portion of International Pillow Fight Day 2009. With pillow in hand, I charge into the fray.


video

What a hoot!

Update: For better video, go here: Urban Bohemian

03 April 2009

"Froggy went a courtin' and he did ride, uh-huh" --traditional folk song


In between the long-term relationships in my life, I've, um, kissed a few frogs. I've already mentioned Baby Oil Guy, so why not elaborate on a few more... you know, the ones I haven't blocked out altogether. I go out with some of these guys. Others, um, no. Just, No.

Assorted Reasons I Have Rejected Guys (in loosely chronological order, with one bullet per fella)

Age 7:

  • He thinks armpit farts are the height of hilarity.
Okay, at 7, I didn't so much reject him, as stop crushing on him. In my mind, he was appropriately devastated.*

Age 14:
  • He doesn't know how to play pinball.
Mind you, this was in the era of pinball machines in every pizza place. It wasn't that he was bad. He. Didn't. Know. How. It was like he'd never encountered one. He stood there and read the instructions on the pinball machine. If you want to get a feel for how odd this was, substitute "use a microwave" for "play pinball".

Age 16:
  • He brings a boombox on our double date, so he can express himself by playing one Foreigner song, over and over.
You can imagine how thrilled the other couple was. This pre-dates the movie Say Anything, which, by the way, featured a Peter Gabriel song.**

Age 17:
  • He is wrong. Insistently so.
Now, I have been known to argue a point that is clearly bogus just to see how far I can take it but get this: He takes me to a Tom Petty concert and every time Tom sings "Don't have to live like a refugee", he sings over Tom, "Don't have to live JUST like a refugee", as if Tom needs correcting. People turn and stare.
  • He looks like Howdy Doody. With acne.
You're looking for elaboration?
  • He waits too long.
He is adorable, but friends with Howdy Doody (see above). He waits until a week after Howdy to ask me to the dance, leaving me in the awkward position of not being able to go with him because I've already told Howdy I'm not really into "the dance thing".

Age 18:
  • He abandons me.
He makes me take the bus back from our first date. Alone. In an area I don't know. I wind up back at a skeevy bus terminal late at night, scared and unclear which stranger I must trust for help.***

Age 23:
  • He kisses like a two-year-old.
Copious slobber.

Age 25:
  • He wears a light brown, corduroy, three-piece suit to a black tie affair.
And not in an ironic way, either.
  • His dog bites him. Often.
I see the dog's point.



* But, then, in my mind, they always are.

** I sensed your longing for a useless bit of data. No thanks necessary. I'm here for you.
And about as accurate as Wiki. Wiki don't lose that number, you don't wanna call nobody else... What? Maybe you'd prefer Oh, Wiki, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, Hey, Wiki! Hey, Wiki!...

*** That's right. I was an after school special. Luckily, like all after school special heroines, I had pluck.****

**** But mostly luck.

02 April 2009

"I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy, snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty" -- Hair (Macdermot, Ragni & Rado)


Things not to say while in the hair-cutter's chair:

  • "Why did they give you the station by the bathroom? Jeez, you have to smell that all day?"
  • "You know who's really stupid? People who tip. You're already paying for good service in the base price, right?!"
  • "I've been so blah lately. How about something really, really different?"
  • "Remember last time when you messed up my hair?"
  • "The problem with my job is, it's ridiculously easy and they overpay me so most of the time I'm bored."
  • "Is that a black eye?"
  • "Remember A Flock of Seagulls? Gosh, they were cool."
  • "What the hell happened to your hair?"