Friday, June 30, 2006

Brother, can you spare some change

I had meetings on the Hill this morning. I typically leave meeting with Congressional offices to my boss, so that I can avoid having to put on a suit and traipse around in the heat. No such luck today though. I had to throw on my black suit with the pink pinstripe this morning and make sure the heels were stowed in my bag. I was off to ask for favors and see if I could get anyone to do my bidding right before a long holiday weekend. More disturbing than the heat and the fact that I had to don a suit was the fact that I got panhandled INSIDE the Rayburn House Office Building! I was at once both disturbed and excited. I hate being panhandled; it hits right to the core of my guilty conscious. Yes, I know I'm probably not the direct reason they're living on the streets, but what am I doing to help the situation? Anyway, the sick side of me got a little excited that someone was ballsy enough to wander into a House office building and stand in the hallway asking for change. You think members of Congress would get the impression that there is problem if it asked them change every morning right outside their office? Probably not. I'm curious how quickly the guy got tossed out on his ass by security.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Book spy

I spend close to 90 minutes a day on the metro and, as you can imagine, have a lot of time to think and look around. Late last week I decided I was going to start keeping a record of all of the books I saw people reading on the metro and keep a running list over in the sidebar. I have four days worth of books recorded but am now waffling on whether or not to publish the list. Why? The selections are simply too boring. People are reading mostly crap, and the thought of making that list public kind of depresses me. The rare soul who seems to be taking a more adventurous leap into reading usually has the book I just can't manage to snag the title of. Otherwise, the reading pool is, in addition to boring, a bit homogenous. I see way too many duplicates of whatever the popular* titles happen to be. What are you reading?

* least according to people like Oprah or the New York Times.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Hot hot heat

The heat has been so oppressive the past couple of days. I walk through the streets feeling like I'm wearing a heavy cloak. I feel like I'm carting around Apollo himself on my shoulder. I'm thankful Apollo has made those shoulders a little browner and a lot more freckled, but I would appreciate it if he would lay off the whole head-sweat thing. That kind of wet is never attractive.

Are there people out there who function well in heat? When the heat feels like an actual, tangible object, all I want to do is (1) sit in the shade with an ice cold Diet Coke, (2) find some body of water to periodically throw myself into or (3) lay on my bed in my arctic apartment. Scarlet was telling me she had an old roommate who loved to sweat. Why would this be appealing? I like feeling clean, and sweat leaves me feeling not so fresh. And two sweaty bodies touching? Why do romance novels always include some sweaty sex scene? If doing it gets you sweaty, fine, but we damned sure better not start off that way.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My love muscle's weak

I have a weak love muscle. My heart just breaks all the damned time...for loved ones, people I'm only acquainted with, the average joe on the street. I used to think this fact meant that I was fated for a life of public service, giving back to those I empathized with. I'm beginning to think it means I'm going to waste too much time crying over people I don't even know and probably wouldn't like me anyway.

Actually, I take that back. I think my heart usually aches and breaks for the right reasons and people. It's just an email I got last night really sent me off on one of my "thinking" binges. As I was about to lay my head on my pillow I decided to quickly check my email one last time. A new friend* has a bitch** for a wife. They've been separated, and evidently last night she told him she was dating a new guy and didn't want him around. He's pretty messed up over it and rightly so. Just hearing about it made me lose sleep. Any drowsiness I had was gone, and I couldn't stop my mind from spinning. I couldn't help but think about my brother and how he'd had to go through the same thing. He was young and in love, and some country #$*&@ trampled on his heart. They got married and all of a sudden she stops working and sits on her ass at home all day. Mind you...she was 19 at the time with no kids and no plans to attend school. While my brother was busting his ass working to support them, even having to drop out of college, she was at the apartment evidently meeting men online. I won't get into the whole sordid tale, but I'm glad my brother pushed through his broken heart and had the courage to kick that ho to the curb.

*If you happen to read this friend, this is the best description I could come up with for you.
**Dear friend, I do apologize for using this word, but all I know of her are the shitty things she has done to you.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Always be prepared

Lately I've found myself inadequately prepared for life's little emergencies, and as someone who spends roughly 6 hours a day at her apartment (all of which are sleeping or preparing to sleep), I've decided I need to be a very ready girl on the go. What's in my emergency preparedness kit?

Flask (object of affection above) - Last night my cohorts and I could have used a little something extra in our Diet Cokes but were unfortunately not in a position to pop down to the local ABC Store. If I had been a prepared girl on the go, the evening would have went down a little smoother.
Breath Mints - As evidenced by last week's panic over my most recent run-in with my missed connection, a girl on the go should always be prepared to have sparkling breath.
Beautification Tool - I could never carry around an entire makeup supply, especially seeing as how I don't wear any on most days, but every girl on the go should have a lip gloss, mascara or whatever beautification tool she feels would give her that extra pop.
Swiss Army Knife - Not sure why, but everyone seems to think you need one (try pink). I guess you never know who (oops...I mean what) you'll need to cut.
Camera (preferably digital) - There are too many life moments that must be captured not to walk around with a camera. Who may be meant to tape the next Rodney King video.
Help me out. I don't want to be caught unprepared again. What would you put in your emergency preparedness kit?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

giggle bounce barf

This is the story of sluttycreatorgirl. In actuality, it's a gut check of who I never want to be.

On what appears to be the first date of a hook up, sluttycreatorgirl is upping the giggle ampage early on for barelystraightboy. I'm combining a little more subtle flirting of my own with a refill on the caffeine when I first spot the couple and eavesdrop on the nervous conversation. The meetup that begins in a Barnes & Noble cafe moves to the music department and much closer to where I've ended up. I couldn't help but watch and grimace. Sluttycreatorgirl was giving it 180%, and it would have been hard for anyone not to notice. Barelystraightboy was getting hit over the head with the most obvious, pathetic kind of flirting.

Sporting her fitted green shirt and lowrise jeans, she began visually flirting when she showed up for the date. Evidently it wasn't enough. Sluttycreatorgirl was pretty sure she had a voice and must have thought it added to her date value. She came into the music department singing broadway tunes and doing that perky girl chat. I'm not really sure if barelystraightboy thought it was hot, but if he did, then I should rename him boywholikesboy or am in serious trouble if I have to bust out the vocal talents to flirt. Sluttycreatorgirl pulls the boy over to the listening wall and then she brings out the big guns. With the headphones on she begins to dance for barelystraightboy. Scratch that. She begins bouncing to the music and trying to dance. Girls who make their boobs bounce and girate their hips in stupid ways while listening to pop music all for the sake of a guy get on my nerves. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure you can come up with tons of places this would be appropriate. Listening to music with headphones on in the middle of a music department at 10:00 pm on a Tuesday is simply not one of them. Flip the hand, shake the head, swoosh swoosh swoosh of the hips. Girl, I don't see a hoola hoop around your hips so give it up.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Family is everywhere

I don't have the privilege of being the veteran of too many weddings,
but I do know a good time when I see one. This past week I have the
honor of joining in the wedding festivities of my roommate's sister in
Detroit, MI. Over the years, the bride has transitioned from simply the
relative of a friend into part of an extended family I claim. One of
four girls, my roommate and her sisters are these amazing, funny women
who have adopted me in my home away from home. Not just her sisters but
mothers, aunts, cousins, and friends of the family, too. Being there
these past 5 days just solidified that some people start to feel more
like family than just friends. Having known both the bride and groom
from when they were just coworkers and friends and seeing the
relationship blossom made it even more special.

I've spent the past five days in both a state of rest (way more than I
usually get) and the wedding errand crazies. I burned last minuted cds
for all the guests and went on a hunt for slim cd cases, made sure
grandmother to the bride got to the wedding on time, printed out last
minute changes to the seating chart, showed the groomsmen how to hold
the bouquets, helped the hostesses get ready for the reception, and
generally drove my ass off (literally...we got back to DC at 5 am this
morning). I had also brought my video camera and appointed myself the
unofficial videographer. I love how holding a camera makes me feel so
comfortable and gets me into situations I wouldn't normally get into. I
caught almost everything on film, from the practice runs to the behind
the scenes conversations to the soul train chain. The best part is that
I get to turn it into something memorable for the family.

Holding the camera also means that very few people caught me trying to
do the hustle or dance down the soul train line ; )

Sunday, June 04, 2006


I left Rocky Mount, Virginia haunted. An entire weekend overshadowed by a series of small events that shook my core and reminded my of the dichotomy that exists in our world. All is not well in Denmark.

After the first day in Rocky Mount, I thought I'd leave the town knowing it was a little boring and remembering The Crooked Road, Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. Instead, all I remember is how nauseous I still am. We were on our way out of Rocky Mount, just making on quick stop at the tattoo parlor (yeah, I got another one), when a man walked into the shop. Something just didn't feel right about him; the air changed a bit. Like a cat, I felt the hair on my arms stand on end. Evidently he wanted one tattoo finished and wanted to talk design on a second. He kept eyeing all the women in the shop and even went so far as to make some comment toward the owner's daughter (the resident body piercer). I was still a little on edge when it came to the other patron's after a group of kids had come in earlier wanting the nazi symbol tattooed on, but I didn't pay him too much mind as I was about to head back and get a little color. However, when Allie was done and we were headed out, I realized why my guard was raised. On the computer screen was a hooded figure peering out from behind a cross. I glanced at the back of his elbow and saw the tattoo he already had for the first time, the confederate flag with the words Ku Klux Klan written above it. Even typing this I'm shaking. Are we really still there? And how dare this mother fucker hide his hatred and ignorance behind the cross and the cloak of Christianity. I don't own a gun and never will for times like that. I was hot with rage and might blown his testicles off in my rage had I had a gun. Instead, I felt bile rise in my throat and left haunted with fears of the Rocky Mounts of the world. As we stopped off in Wal-Mart, I viewed every white person with wariness and anyone nonwhite with the wonder of how much shit they must put up with. I wondered yet again where I should be. Am I hiding in the suburbs of D.C.? An ironic twist to all of this is the fact that earlier that day we ventured down to Greensboro, NC. There I stood in front of the Woolworth where the lunch boycotts began and a civil right's war was waged. The awe of the morning smashed by the present that still looks so much like the past.