Wednesday, April 30, 2008


just around the corner...

After tutoring tonight I got an empanada at Julia's for old times' sake. Not particularly wanting to scarf it down in front of Lucky Bar, I sat down on a bench in the little park across the street. Eating was uneventful...I tossed little pieces of dough to the little birds, and foiled the pigeons when they tried to steal food not meant for them.

It was strange, after focusing on the little birds, when a pigeon walked into my view, it looked FREAKISHLY HUGE. It must be unnerving to share the world with something of your species that's about 50 times your mass.

So, finishing up both my dinner and contemplations on pigeons, I picked up my drink and a napkin blew off my lap in a gust of wind. I was all, "Oh, Crap!" but it only blew right under my bench, on the right side. So I twisted over and bent down to grab it...and I heard someone call my name.

A friend I hadn't seen in a while happened to be walking on the sidewalk on the other side of the shrubbery and fence right when I awkwardly turned to grab the napkin and he caught a glimpse of my face and recognized me.

So he came over and we sat and chatted for a few minutes until it became a bit too cold to be comfortable.

And, now that I think of it, yesterday I ran into someone else that I hadn't seen in a while. She said something along the lines of how she never walks that route, except that she was picking up doughnuts for her office, and I replied that I only go that way when I'm getting a bacon, egg, and cheese. I hadn't even noticed her (so focused I was on my soon-to-be-delicious breakfast and how the weather was so beautiful that it made me overjoyed to be alive), and she didn't notice me until we were passing, and she grabbed my arm.

I was actually talking about this sort of thing with my boss a couple of weeks ago. I wonder how frequently we narrowly miss seeing people we know because we're distracted, or turning at the wrong moment, or walking parallel streets without even knowing it...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


where is the love?

So...I think that Vanity Fair has gone too far.

Miley's photos aren't that bad, or that provocative, but they have provocative intent. She's supposed to look naked, and she is clutching a satiny sheet to her chest. So, even though her pose could be (a lot) worse, it's still a picture of a young female who looks naked and is clutching a satin sheet to her chest.

And she's 15.

I was just about to go on a rant about how it's so ridiculous and embarrassing and disgusting that we've come to the point where society glorifies sexualizing girls as young as 15...but the truth is, it's been happening for a long time. For example: Sue Lyon, who was 14 when she starred in Lolita; and Brooke Shields, who was quite young when she was photographed in a steamy bathtub by Richard Prince (and 15 during the infamous "nothing comes between me and my Calvins" campaign).

It's just sickening. Is there really a need for these sorts of things? There are plenty of-age women who are ready and willing to bare it all, or some of it all, without having to resort to exploiting young girls who probably don't know better. Then the photographers and cinematographers have the temerity to call it "art."

Miley was quoted as saying, " can't say no to Annie." And it's true. Annie Leibovitz is this amazing award-winning photographer who leaves me in awe. If she told me that something looked good, I'd believe it. I'd have faith in her and her vision, even to the point of trying to ignore a little voice in my head that was telling me to hesitate. Now, at the age of 25, I'd hopefully put my foot down and raise my voice. But at the age of 15, I would not have had the guts, or the trust in my judgment, to say no.

When it comes down to it, I believe that Vanity Fair has a social responsibility to protect juveniles. Just because they're a so-called cutting-edge magazine (at least in their own minds), it doesn't mean that it's okay to bend the rules of human decency and take advantage of a youngster. Should we (as a people, a society, as a magazine, as an award-winning photographer) really push, push, push, and push until someone tells you to stop, or should we draw our own lines and show compassion and understanding for growing young minds? Don't we have a responsibility to others?

Sunday, April 27, 2008


My arm was twisted...maybe?

Last night E and I saw the Cubs at the new Nationals Stadium.

I had been very, very against the building of the new stadium. I thought it was a waste of money, that it was a certain death knell against the $5 tickets that I had come to know and love, that it was a symbol of everything that's wrong with peoples' priorities...we did not need a new stadium. The old one functioned just fine. Couldn't that money be better spent elsewhere?

Well, I've been seduced the riches that awaited me at the new park. The scoreboard is so beautiful and shiny and glittery. The grass is so green. The seats, so new! And so many food options...there's the usual chicken and fries fare (and hot dogs, and pretzels, and beer), but now they have Ben's Chili Bowl! And Senator's Sausages! And "The Boardwalk!" Oh, and the food stations accept credit cards. Which is a very, very big deal.

AND—the greatest news of them all—they have $5 day-of tickets. We had been trying to get seats online, but we had been trying to get three in a row, and the cheapest available were around $80. Eh, not so much. I had pretty much given up hope, then C-note told me about the $5 tickets. The hitch is that every member of your "party" has to be in line to get can't purchase any additional.

Of course, we saw people getting around this rule by recruiting random strangers to stand in for their friends and then bribing the stand-ins with beer. Hey, whatever works.

So E and I got there around 4:15, which put us about 20 people from the front. The line opened at 4:30, and we got our tickets shortly thereafter!

As much as I'm trying to like the Red Sox, for me the integral part of being a fan is actually being able to attend games. It's a struggle to get passionate about tracking the team's stats, to learn about the players, or to care how they do against other teams. But to see it in person is an entirely different story...I'm there with my $5 ticket doing the wave, drinking beer, and shouting "CHARGE!" with the best of them.

I've heard my aunts and uncles, brothers, and friends commiserate about how hard it is to get reasonable tickets to Sox games. It's great living in a city where the fanbase is dismal enough that it allows people like me to stroll up and get a piece of the experience without having to be a megafan or the girlfriend of a sugar daddy. It seems backwards to make the effort to become a fan, only to largely lose the one aspect of the sport that I naturally enjoy.

Friday, April 25, 2008


hello, friend!

I got out of bed a little late this morning...I had set my radio alarm for 7:15 (I like it to go off first so that I am gently awakened by the dulcet sounds of country music), and I had intended on setting my cell alarm for 7:25, but apparently I had been in wishful thinking mode when I set it last night, because when I rolled over to check my phone at 7:40, I saw that it was due to ring at 11:25.

No matter. Luckily I don't work in a "powder keg," as my dad has teasingly called it. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I was in a pretty jocular frame of mind by the time I got to the station. Once I turned the corner, what I saw made me grimace. Red Line Delay, a sick person at Farragut North, a crowd of people six or seven deep waiting for the train to come.

Now, when you talk to someone online, some character traits don't bleed into your conversation and only come out in true life. When he visited, Cam found out that I hate lines. I don't necessarily hate all of them...just unnecessary lines that you can avoid by walking faster than tour groups. Or lines that are going the wrong way. And I really, really don't like unformed lines. The reason for that is that I'm not a pusher...and in the world of loading trains and a crowded platform, if you're not the pusher, you're the pushed.

I looked at the boards to see which train would be arriving first—the train going in the direction of work, or the train going in the opposite direction. Though they were rolling in around the same time, the platform for the opposite direction had the plus of being nearly empty. My plan (which had worked out quite well the first and only time I implemented it) was to ride down one stop, then hop on a nearly-empty train going in the right direction, thereby avoiding the fight with the crowds.

Unaware that I was being observed, I glanced back and forth at the boards, and decided to stick with the train going in the opposite direction. An older man standing nearby asked me, "So, you're going to ride down to NY Ave to beat the rush then come back in the other direction?" I was surprised, and smiled at him and said yes as our train pulled into the station. He looked at the boards, and decided to take the gamble with me.

I realized that I had unwittingly gained myself a buddy, though he was not unwelcome. He was probably in his late 50s, had white hair and was wearing a blue and white striped shirt, and sported glasses in front of endearingly unruly eyebrows. Our doors closed as the train going in the direction of work pulled in. We were both surprised to see that it was nearly empty. My new commute buddy made a move to leave our train as our doors opened slightly, then snapped shut. Then our doors opened again, but he decided to stay.

As we chugged to the next station, he said that our gamble would be worth it if only one more train came while we were on this one. I told him that I was a bit worried that he had placed his money on the wrong horse, since I'm notorious for making bad bets. While I was saying this, another train sped by. And our train stopped. On the track. Before our station.

But he was a good-natured fellow. He said that he loves to consider different questions of economics, like the merits of this train ride, and like how much change he should carry in his pants' pockets. He wants to carry enough change so that he can make change, but he doesn't want to carry too much, since he always ends up getting change back. And then he tries to factor in whether or not carrying change wears down his pants, speeding up the point when he has to buy a new pair.

Another train sped by. Whoops.

I apologized again for my bad idea, and as a way of explanation, I told him that I always walk into the locked door when faced with the option of two seemingly unlocked doors. He asked me if, when I see two lines at the grocery store, if I get into the longer one because I think it will take a shorter amount of time, and I laughed and said that, yes, I usually do.

He asked me where I'm from, and I told him my town. He said that it sounded very familiar, and whipped out a book about John & Abigail Adams. He opened the front cover, showing me that he's had it since 1976, because he had dated the first page.

Our train started up again, and it deposited us on the platform, where the board said that the train going in the direction of work wouldn't be coming for two minutes. At this point it was pretty clear that my idea had technically been a huge waste of time, but I was glad that I had made the wrong choice.

Once our train arrived, lo and behold, it was crowded. I was laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation as I and my friendly stranger then began talking about the Red Sox, and somehow we got on the topic of the Dupont Circle escalator, and he said that an ex-girlfriend of his used to be scared of the steep ride, so she'd ride down backwards so that she wouldn't have to see how high up she was. He thought it was a grand idea; I thought it was a bit silly and seemed like it would make the problem worse. Must be one of those quirks that made him love her more?

(Oh yes. We started talking about the escalator because he told me that one time he was meeting his girlfriend for a special dinner and he was 3 hours late because the trains broke down, and he couldn't reach her because he doesn't carry a cell. I told him about Valentine's Day last year when I was two hours late for work because of the snow, and he asked me where I work.)

At this point we were surrounded by people, and merrily chatting away. We got to his stop—only one past our original starting point!—and we parted ways, saying goodbye.

I think it would be nice to talk to strangers more often (maybe once a week?) but I don't want to be the one ("weirdo") who starts it. The last couple of times I've been in Boston the guys were really friendly (e.g. my heel got caught in the sidewalk and I tripped, and two guys walking behind me jokingly yelled that I should sue the city)...maybe they weren't an anomaly.

Fingers crossed. A lot!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Call and Answer

I used to love Stunt by The Barenaked Ladies...I remember listening to the CD while slaving over chem homework sophomore year of high school. Though the homework was awful (and I barely scraped by with a C that year), having that as my soundtrack really creates quite a fond little scene when I'm looking back. My cute desk lamp that casted a yellow glow, my little desktop fountain...pencil scratches on paper that pushed indents in the blue paint of my desk.

There's this one line from a song that really fascinated me—it still does.

"You think I only think about you when we're both in the same room."

What a wonderfully ambiguous statement. Did he mean:

You think that when we're in the same room I only think about you and no one (and nothing) else. How egotistical!


You think that I only think about you when I'm looking at you, but really, you're in my thoughts a lot.

I've always secretly gunned for the second meaning. It would be such a nice sentiment.

The rest of the lyrics can be found here:
Call and Answer

Monday, April 21, 2008


Up, Up, and Away

I'm so excited...tomorrow I'm interviewing a hot air balloon pilot. Ever since I stumbled upon the web site of a wine + hot air balloon festival last October, I've been daydreaming about getting my feet into a (sturdy) basket and gaining altitude. My hot air balloons fantasies are two-fold: I want to go to a festival and take tons of pictures...seeing them inflate at sunrise, capturing them floating majestically at sunset...and then I want to go on a ride in a balloon (but not at a festival! I'm superstitious), ideally while wearing a cute Irish knit sweater and wrapped in the arms of a hottie.

But...since that ain't comin' any time soon, at least not until September or October rolls around, I decided that the next best thing to going on a hot air balloon ride is to interview a hot air balloon pilot/meteorologist for work. I can't wait to hear all about his stories. And I didn't even realize it until now, but I'm wearing my hot air balloon pajama pants. Talk about dedication. Hopefully this will go well tomorrow!

At any rate—I thought to mention this because I spied this article on msn: Priest Carried Aloft by Balloons Still Missing. Holy moly. The subhead is "Fund-raising stunt goes awry, but supporters still hopeful."

Last they knew, he was thirty miles from the Brazilian coast and dropping. But he's wearing a flight suit, has a parachute and a buoyant chair, and he's "experienced." So, here's hoping they find him. I kind of admire what he's doing...I mean, it seems really idiotic (like, really? take off in a chair made buoyant by balloons?!), but he was doing it to raise money for a spiritual rest stop for truckers. He really is dedicating his life to God's work by risking life and limb for a cause that will hopefully be an inspiration to thousands of lonely, tired truckers on the road. It must be really hard to always be on the go and away from your loved ones, you know?


Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I <3 graffiti

Graffiti Meets the Digital Age

Monday, April 14, 2008


Conversation Piece

Yesterday I was in a spending mood, and I decided to lose control while the impulse was there...and I knew exactly where to go. I hit up Nine West, this new sporty cool-person clothes store...and then, I remembered. For the past couple of weeks I've been walking by the Knot Shop, peering in at the scarves while I turned the corner, picturing myself twirling about town, my head fashionably bedecked in swirling gauzy fabric.

I decided that it was time to indulge my inner flight stewardess, and I fingered the scarves, deciding which patterns I should go with. One for $15, or two for $25. Two it is! Why waste a perfectly good deal, right?

I found a nice, calm, muted khaki-colored scarf with simple black , delicate lines. Pretty atypical, actually. But I read last week that if one wants to "instantly look put together" they should go for muted colors. Might as well put a few of those in my repertoire.

To balance that out, I picked a navy and white zebra-print scarf, with stripes along the edge of the pattern. Woo! "What Not to Wear" would probably tell me to focus and find my look. I'm a style schizophrenic.

I got to the register and the cashier didn't really pay much attention to me. He kept peering over my shoulder and checking on the other customers. Once he rang me up, though, and I signed the slip, he looked at me with a smirk, and said, "That's an...interesting watch."

I laughed, because he said my favorite word. I responded, "Interesting! What a nice thing to say!"

I love it when people use "interesting" in that ambiguous way. It can be mean "lovely" or "ugly"—when someone is trying to be polite, they say "interesting."

And he laughed me out of the store.

This watch...people always comment on it. Pat's dad made fun of it (as did Pat), a cashier at another store loved it, my sister-in-law admired it so I got her one.

I love my tacky, beautiful, cheap watch. The day that the "snakeskin" snap breaks will be a sad day indeed.

OH AND BTW. I watched the last two innings of the Red Sox game...and they won! I was talking to Pat online while the game was going on—he was educating me on the finer points of pinch hitting. In the final inning, the Red Sox were up by 2, there were 2 outs, and the Indians were at bat.

All was right in Mudville...then...

me: woo!
maybe I'm good luck
Pat: I was going to say that but then I decided to wait until the game was over so I didn't jinx it
If you screwed this up....I swear


me: hahaha
that was almost bad
Pat: Jesus Christ Meg that scared the shit out of me
Good lord
me: hahaha WHEW
Sent at 10:50 PM on Monday
Pat: I would have needed to pop you one in the eye

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Game Theory is fun!

I read (part of) a book on Game Theory...I found it mostly interesting, but didn't finish it for various reasons.

I kind of wish I had, because now that I know about it—and I was certainly late to the game on this one—I've noticed it popping up everywhere.

I found this article on to be very interesting. This is not to say that I agree with it or am feeling the squeeze myself, but it's quite well-written and informative. From what I understood, the crux of the argument is: there are fewer amazing eligible bachelors the older you get, because by that time, they have been snatched up, and most likely not by the super beautiful and intelligent female catches, but by the girls who are less advantaged in either some or all of those departments. Why did the losers win, you ask? Because the super hot girls knew that they had a stronger hand in the game of love, and therefore we more reluctant to "bid" on a husband if he didn't have the qualities she sought. The ladies with the weaker hand knew when they had to strike, and did so at the appropriate time.

The Eligible-Bachelor Paradox: How economics and game theory explain the shortage of available, appealing men


Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Oh, because that's normal

Last night I met up with E for some dinner in Silver Spring. After finishing off a hearty meal at Noodles & Co, we decided to partake in the joys of discount shopping.

There's this...let's put this delicately...up and coming mall right next to Noodles. It's experiencing a growth spurt/identity crisis, and is trying so hard to be upscale with stores like Nine West, but still supports the likes of The Rave.

We made a beeline for Steve & Barry's, which is the home of Sarah Jessica Parker's line. Every item in the store costs $8.98 ($8.97? $8.99? something like that), so you have jeans for 9 bucks, but also semi-crappy necklaces for 9 bucks. It evens out.

I picked up a few pairs of shorts, a bright yellow cover-up thingie, and two shirts. E was still wandering around when I made my way to the back of the store. There they have a line of dressing rooms. It's not a separate area, just doors against the wall. Comprende?

The dressing room attendant was off flirting with her little boytoy coworker, but I spied the key to the doors dangling from a rack. I looked around, and seeing no employees, I gingerly grabbed the key off the rack and used it to open a door. I even thoughtfully grabbed my number (okay, it was the wrong number, but it was a number) and hung it on the door. Looking to my left, I saw a guy on his cell in the corner. Late-teens, early 20s. Nothing special, you know? I made a conspiratorial "sshhh" look at him (you know the drill, fingers to lips, saying "shh"), and then went off on my merry way into the dressing room to change and try on the clothes, which I was anticipating to be ill-fitting.

The first pair of shorts were indeed ill-fitting. While I was taking them off and putting on the next pair of shorts, I heard a knock at my dressing room door. How awkward. I projected my voice and said "Someone's in here!" Silence. Then another slight knock. I said it again, louder. Another knock. I looked at the floor and could see sneakers, probably a male's. Then a male voice, saying something to me, and I had NO IDEA what he was saying. It was heavily accented English. I was like, "what?" "huh?" He repeated. He said something like "I *unintelligible* phone *unintelligible*. It's Me."

By this time I was getting annoyed and feeling rather threatened. He jiggled the handle. I said, forcibly "Give me a Minute!!"

I started buttoning the buttons on my shorts, and decided that I should put a shirt on so I could open the door and be like "What?!?!" Still shirtless, I was feeling very vulnerable.




I started kicking him frantically, barefoot, saying "What are you doing?! Stop!! Stop!! Get out!!" He got as far as up to his thighs, then realized that he was not welcome in my 3 x 3 box of hell, and reversed out of there.

I tried to pretend that all was normal, but after that invasion of privacy and decency, I was not equipped to determine whether or not the shorts looked good on me. I was kinda shaking as I put the shorts back on the hanger, and I heard E come into the room next to me. She was all "Hey Meg!" and cheery, and I hissed, "E. E. E. I have to tell you something. I have to get out of here. Meet me at the accessories."

She thought I had some cool boy story (oh did I ever!), but didn't understand my manner. Finally fully clothed, I shot out of the dressing room and hung out sketchily at the front of the store, flitting around like a moth, touching everything, and looking shifty.

We met at the register (I decided to get the shorts afterall. We'll see how they really look without the flattering light of terror), and I told her the story. Our assumption is that cell phone guy thought that I was telling him "Shhh. Meet me in the dressing room for sex when you finish your call! It will be great!" She also pointedly thanked me for leaving her in the danger zone, oblivious, and said that Darwin would have approved. Whoopsie. You only have to be faster than the slowest person, right?

Every guy that walked by, she asked if it was him. I had no clue. All I knew was that he was wearing jeans and reddish sneakers. And his shins are hopefully covered in bruises begotten by my punishing bare feet.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I like Rodney Atkins, but...

ever since I noticed that he has the same backup chorus for every song, I've been turning off the radio when he comes on. Enough is enough! You're strong enough to carry it alone, man.

(Seriously. Check out "Cleaning This Gun," "If You're Going Through Hell," "These Are My People," and "Watching You")

If you like him and haven't noticed this, I (kinda) apologize for bringing it to light.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


veni - vidi - vici

About to go to bed...but I wanted to let all know that Cam's visit was phenomenal. He was probably the most low-maintenance person ever, and didn't even complain when we went to the Times—twice!

The beginning was a bit awkward, of course...I flew into Union Station like a bat out of hell, late, carrying a dripping umbrella and looking all out of sorts. On our way to his hotel to drop off his suitcase, I accidentally poked him in the head, twice, with my umbrella. I babbled a bit, even touching upon the scintillating topic of taxes. Overall, not a good look. But once we got to the Times for dinner, surrounded by friendly bar people and members of the Cattle Association of America (or something), all was well.

It was so strange at first, to be sitting across from Cam. I had seen tons of pictures of him, and it was so strange to be sitting across from him, seeing him make those faces and looking like those pictures...only know, 3-D. Real life. To remember things that he's said over the years, and then kind of reconcile that as having been said by the person sitting in front of me. To see them as one and the same.

Over the weekend we did a random (though rather thorough) tour of D.C., hitting up hot spots such as the old post office tower, the portrait gallery, the national building museum, the Jefferson + FDR + naval memorials, the Mall, etc. had been forecasting "heavy rain" all weekend, but except for the miserably freezing rain on Thursday night, it was beautifully sunny for the rest of the trip. Well, today it was kinda overcast. But it was beautiful on Friday and Saturday, and that's when it was important, I think.

It's hard to pick a favorite moment...I'm so glad he took a chance and decided to visit. And I'm bummed that it's over.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Client #10?

As you all know, Cam is coming tomorrow (!!). Being Little Miss D.C. Tour Guide, I told him that I'd meet him at Union Station and show him where his hotel is.

Now, since my sense of direction is a bit, shall we say, loosey-goosey in general, I decided to take some time out today to make sure that I actually do know where his hotel is.

So, after a nice walk along the Mall with C-note, I headed toward Cam's hotel. Or, rather, where I thought his hotel was. I went down the street, and saw...The Hyatt, The Washington Grand Park Place Plaza Court Hotel (or something like that), and I even saw this new one called...The Liaison. Catching the name, noticing its location literally in the shadow of the Capitol (at the right time of day, at least), I cracked up. Why didn't they just call it "The Torrid Affair"? Why bother with the pretense?

I got such a kick out of it that I contemplated taking a picture of the beautifully lit name and sending it to Cam, but then figured that I could just show it to him sometime along the weekend. It would give me to something chatter about in case there was a lull.

Walking down the street, growing kinda cold and wondering just where exactly the darn Holiday Inn was and how I could have screwed this up, I passed a cabbie waiting outside his vehicle. I turned back, and asked him if he knew where the Holiday Inn is.

He pointed down the street, and said "Oh, they just changed the name on that yesterday! It's now called The Liaison."

I shit you not.


Oh. My. God.

Cam is coming TOMORROW!!!!!

So excited. And nervous. I kinda feel like I'm taking an exam that I haven't quite prepared for, but I know the drama will dissipate after 10 seconds of our meeting. I cannot wait!!!!!

**NOTE** After posting this entry, I looked up "dissipate" to make sure I used it correctly, and one of the definitions (according to is: to live a life of pleasure, especially with respect to alcoholic consumption


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