Archive for October, 2012

If you’re looking for a way to break into someone’s conversation, might I suggest this technique, used by a random gentleman in Chinatown last night.

MJ and I had finished our dinner date and were getting ready to head home, when all of a sudden we were approached and heard…

I’m the black rain man!

And then: “Come on, baby dolls, pick a country. Any country in the world!

My gut instinct was to avoid, and just say we had to go.

But then MJ responded: “Japan,” and the self-described black rain man burst out into a rap.

I didn’t catch it all. A lot of it was mumbled. But I did hear the words Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Tokyo, and Okinawa.

BRM: “That’s some educated shit right there! Your turn, baby doll! Pick a country!

And so, being the international nerds we are (phrasing courtesy of MJ) we went a few countries more, with BRM rapping about our choices, and MJ and me trying to understand what he was saying.

When we finally stopped him, being clear that we had to go, he said goodbye and put his hand on my shoulder to impart some final words of wisdom.

Baby doll, listen up. Don’t let him touch you. I don’t care if you have one kid off him or 10,000. Don’t let him touch your *mumble mumble*

And as he walked over to another group, I turned to MJ.

Don’t let him touch my what?

Your vines? I think he said your vines.

Don’t let him touch your vines.


I’m sure that’s good advice, but I think I still preferred the country raps.

At least, what I understood.

*That line is original BRM – one of the few parts we understood and remembered.

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Bikers: Beware the black Fuji.

She will park on top of you and cost you 45 minutes trying to loose your bike.

Due to how she’s manipulated her frame around a space that’s built for just one bike (and Andre was there first), this endeavor could ultimately take 3 people – pushing, pulling, yanking, and cursing.

And, in the end, it might take removing (and reattaching) a wheel of the offending bike because even though it’s attached to the cable lock, removal allows you just enough space to free the victim.

To the fellow commuter (owner of the bike with the blue handlebar above!) who helped, apologized that he couldn’t help more, left, and then came back to help and eventually free Andre! I can’t thank you enough. I’m sorry I didn’t get your name, but I think you saw how frazzled and grateful I was.

To the owner of the black Fuji, I really hope karma comes back to bite you in the ass. Hard.

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As per my 27 list, I’ve been at the yoga studio a lot more often recently, and thus feel compelled to share some of my observations. Especially when I start to notice the same types of people over and over.

1) The Stereotype

Before I started doing yoga, I attributed it as a practice best left to hippies and crunchy-granola types. Not in a bad way, but in a I’m-too-Type-A-to-meditate kind of way. I’ve since realized that everyone has their own way of practicing – even us Type A-ers – but it still makes me giggle (on the inside) when I hear someone behind me talking about how they camped out at a Bob Dylan concert and it was so wonderful and soulful.

2) The Competitor

Yoga is not a competition. In fact, every instructor I’ve ever had emphasizes that it’s a personal practice, and that you should focus on what your body can do, not what everyone around you can do. The Competitor hears that and thinks, you clearly don’t know me and how I operate. I can say this because I fall squarely into this category. Sure, I want to focus on my own practice, but if the girl next to me is trying a bind, you bet your ass I’m going to give it a shot.

That is, until I wobble and fall. A Weeble, I am not.

3) The Underdressed Yogi

I suppose that if you’re comfortable, then it doesn’t count as underdressed. But when I look up from my downward dog and I’m staring directly at butt cheek, it’s a little disconcerting. And I find myself wishing that the UY would wear spandex that’s just a teensy bit longer.

Also disconcerting? When that spandex rides up in the front and you’re standing directly across from the UY. But there’s one in every class.

4) The Dude

No generalizations about guys that do yoga. Just an observation that I see a lot more gentlemen in my classes now than I did five years ago. I’m impressed. And also jealous when they’re far more flexible than I am.

5) The Picture-Perfect Yogi

The Picture-Perfect Yogi isn’t defined by how well he or she does yoga, but by how prepared they look for the class. That is to say, I’m not passing judgment on their practice, by any means. But there’s always one who is decked out head-to-toe in the latest yoga clothing (likely from lululemon*), with a brand new mat, and a perfect slip-proof towel to match. If the PPY is new to yoga, at least they look the part. If they’re seasoned and adept at the poses, then you can bet there’s a Competitor close by, eyeing not only the binds, but also the clothes.

Damn that PPY.

My observations are clearly colored by the fact that I am undoubtedly a Competitor (even as I know that that’s not what yoga is all about). But help me out – who have I left off the list? Or, if you’ve never been, who do you imagine I’ve left off?

*Again, no judgment. Just another minor case of jealousy, since I want everything in the store.

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When I first moved down to the DC area, more than five years ago now, Cla and I lived in a spacious two bedroom apartment. I had two closets, two dressers, and more clothes than I actually needed.

When I moved into a studio in DC proper, I lost one closet, but still had my dressers (plus some under-the-bed storage), and saw no need to pare down my wardrobe.

These bad boys can hold an awful lot of clothing.

Nearly two years ago, though, I had to downsize a bit. I was moving in with Husband and had to consolidate everything into one closet and one dresser. (Don’t worry, I got dibs on the tall one.)

So Cla and BnB helped out, giving me the hard truth and convincing me to part with pieces that should have been gone years ago.

And that setup’s been working – aided by frequent “spring” cleaning.

But now, it’s time to downsize again.

In the interest of freeing up space in the bedroom, we decided (I say we – it might have been my idea) to consolidate two dressers into one.

As in, one shared dresser.

And we decided this about two months ago. Right around the time of that Ikea trip I mentioned, when Husband warned me that we couldn’t overstuff the car.

We didn’t overstuff (nothing sticking out the windows!), but we did get a dresser.

And two months later, we finally have it put together.

I’d be lying if I said that consolidating was easy. I have a hard time getting rid of things all at once, which means that I have an ongoing pile of clothes to donate (I might change my mind!) and some piles that just don’t fit in the drawers when everything’s clean. I’ve also had to find new ways to maximize my closet space. (Further suggestions on that are very welcome, by the way.)

But overall, I’d still say that the one dresser move was a good one.

For one thing, the bedroom already looks bigger. For another, having to weed through my wardrobe has uncovered hidden gems that I forgot I had.

Like the gray sequin dress I wanted to wear for New Year’s last year, but couldn’t find. Or the super comfy sweater that got tucked away in the depths of the closet. Or those leather pants that I haven’t worn since…freshman year of college.

On second thought, maybe some things are better left hidden.

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I felt like a traitor

I went to my very first postseason game ever yesterday, and it wasn’t even for the Phillies.

Granted, that would have been hard to do, considering they were effectively eliminated months ago. (Though, officially, it’s only been a couple weeks.)

But I digress.

Yesterday I went to the Nats-Cardinals game – Game 3 of the NLDS, and the first postseason home game for the Nationals – and I cheered for the Nats.

It didn’t feel right.

It didn’t feel natural.

It didn’t feel as intense.

But it did feel like the lesser of two evils.

If my Phillies weren’t in the same division as the Nats, I wouldn’t have thought twice about rooting for the home team. But they are, so I did.

The Cardinals, however, killed our posteason last year, and I can hold a grudge with the best of them.

Even so, my Nats cheers just weren’t heartfelt, and I tried to explain it to Husband.

I feel dirty. I don’t like cheering for a division rival.

Husband understood. He didn’t try to convince me otherwise, and he nodded (without explicitly agreeing) when I rationalized.

I can’t root for the Cardinals; they beat us last year. And it’s not like the Nats beat out the Phillies for the division. We were never really in the running.

In the end, though, my reasoning – sound or not – didn’t matter. The Nats lost to the Cards, and I realized the only slight silver lining of not having your own team in the postseason: I wasn’t sad about the loss.

Last year, when the Phillies were in the NLDS, my emotions were tied up in each and every game. And I cried when we lost the series.

This year, I won’t cry either way. I’ll cheer for a good game, and get goosebumps when I see all of the “Legends are born in October” commercials. And I won’t be emotionally drained by the end of the month.

But truth be told, I’d always rather be in the running and risk the heartbreak, than not be in the game at all.

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I don’t do a lot of research before I set my birthday goals. They’re kind of a gut decision – things I want to do, ideas I’ve had. That kind of thing.

So when I added “Take a bike ride out to Mount Vernon,” I wasn’t thinking of how far it was, I was thinking, A bike ride! That sounds lovely!

Turns out, it was beautiful, but I don’t know if I’d call it lovely.

You see, Mount Vernon is about 20 miles (a little more, as we found out) away from the apartment.

The longest ride I’d ever done was also about 20 miles – and that included a wipeout.

I did not think about these things in conjunction until we were already on our way to Mount Vernon.

Husband had done the Mount-Vernon-and-back trip before. He told me it would be about 40 miles total, but I must have just let that wash over me, not registering that 40 miles is SO FAR.

I was also anticipating that this would be more of a leisurely ride, where we would stop and rest and relax for a bit along the way. You know, no hurry to get to the end.

Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.

But, for the first 10 miles or so, I was peachy. We rode down Rock Creek and picked up the Mount Vernon Trail. We passed the airport, which was as far as I’d been on that trail before, and ventured into new territory. And it really was beautiful.

We had a perfect day for riding and only minimal crowds on the trails, so we weren’t dodging people left and right.

Just after we passed under the Woodrow Wilson bridge, however, I started to feel it. We’d been riding for more than an hour, and my butt was beyond sore. If we’re being honest here, that whole general region was sore because my bike seat, while comfortable enough for a daily commute, was not built for use for hours at a time.

That, and I still haven’t bought padded bike shorts. And that’s on me.

Regardless, the next ten miles to Mount Vernon were filled with me alternatively shifting in my seat, cursing myself for this idea, and wondering how such a beautiful ride could be so painful.

But we made it.


I was stalling, trying to prolong getting back on the bike for the ride home, so we wandered around the visitor center for a bit, trying not to collide with the tour groups.

Eventually, we had to go. It was getting cooler and windier and, by that point, we both wanted to be home.

I’d be lying if I said the ride back was easy. It was still painful and made me appreciate the cushy-ness of our couch more than I ever have before.

But I did it. And now I know what 40 miles feels like.

And I know that if I ever want to do it again (which seems unlikely right now), padded shorts are a necessary investment.

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