Friday, December 29, 2006

What I Hate....

Automatic flush toilets that flush while you are still on them.

I'm also a bit afraid of what all the suction power is going to do. One of my biggest fears is that a snake will bite me in the butt one day while on the toilet. (Yes yes I would've made a HORRIBLE pioneer, I know). The pre-emptive auto flush taps into all those fears.

And not only do I feel rushed and paranoid, but also a little, well, unnecessarily cleansed.

I'm all for the european bidet (or even a well timed ABW), but come ON.

Enough said.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The War on Singletons

If I didn't know the whole Jesus backstory to Christmas, I'd swear it was created for the sole purpose to make single people feel like crap. Judging by the number of jewelry commercials on TV, if I don't get a diamond pendant necklace from some rugged man wearing a cashmere sweater I'll be compelled to put my head in the oven or, at the very least, be forced to whisper disgustedly to someone "He didn't go to JARED!"

This surfiet 'war on singletons' is brought to you today by: the office Christmas party. Apparently, at my company, it's 'family friendly' - meaning that spouses, significant others, partners, children and other hanger's on are welcome to attend, eat, drink and be merry. And it's tonight. But my question is this: What if you don't have any hanger's on? What if you just started and don't know anyone?

What if you're in the middle of reading a good book and, after a hard day of work, would like to relax at home in front of the fire?

And, although I know this is my comment every year, I am on a rampage right now and I just need to reiterate it one more time: it really stinks that I have to buy two Christmas presents for my married family members while collectively they only have to buy me one present. They live in a two income household!

Bah, humbug.

Furthermore - for all of you men who are thinking of going to JARED, why don't you take your greedy little wives to see the movie Blood Diamond instead? That ought to cure her.

M is for Only Married People are Allowed to Celebrate Christmas;

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

East Meet Mid-West

Across the courtyard from my brand new office highrise, there is a little art gallery. On my first day, I walked past and pointed out one of the photos in the front window to a new co-worker:

"Hey!" I said, "That's where I'm from!"

Today I wandered into the gallery on my lunchbreak and discovered that the artist, Maxwell MacKenzie was born in Otter Tail County, MN, incidentally the same county that my own mother was born and raised in. Now living on the East coast, he periodically visits MN, ND and Montana in the summer to take photographs of "desolate landscapes."

The nostalgia of these photos for me was overwhelming. A squat line of Sioux grain bins, sentinels across a blank prairie; huge skylines highlighted by one lonely silo; long forgotten farmhouses slowly being reclaimed by the earth, tiled at precarious angles and poised to collapse (I remember crawling through how many of those as a kid?!? Mom, why didn't you stop us?).

And then, when I noticed the $1500 price tags, I started to laugh.

I've been sitting on a gold mine all these years and didn't even know it!

M is for MN,

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What Is To Come

What is to come we know not. But we know
That what has been was good - was good to show,
Better to hide, and best of all to bear.
We are the masters of the days that were;
We have lived, we have loved, we have suffered...even so.

Shall we not take the ebb who had the flow?
Life was our friend. Now, if it be our foe-
Dear, though it spoil and break us! - need we care
What is to come?
Let the great winds their worst and wildest blow,
Or the gold weather round us mellow slow;
We have fulfilled ourselves, and we can dare
And we can conquer, though we may not share
In the rich quiet of the afterglow
What is to come.

-Wiliam Ernest Henley

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Stupid Megan Stupid Tagged Me and Took All the People I Would've Tagged. She's Greedy.


Six weird things about me:

1) I HATE folding my clothes once they're clean. My underpants often end up in a wad in my drawer. Strangely enough though, I DO like to refold my clothes when I'm done wearing them (if they're still clean within reason, ofcourse) and put them BACK in the drawer. Go fig.

2) I don't like anything in pop culture if I percieve it to be 'too popular.' (ie, it took me a long time to read the Harry Potter books!)

3) I recently found out that 'it is weird' to announce the number of boyfriends a person has after counting the remaining lit candles on a birthday cake that's been blown out. Apparently, this meaning is regionalized to the upper midwest and El Salvador. (These are the only people I can find to verify this!)

4) Raw chicken frightens me. I am compuslive sanitizer when I cook it. Just short of pouring a bucket of bleach over the counter tops/chopping block/knives/etc.

5) I don't like pie. Or anything with slimey fruit. Bleah. Conversely however, I luuuuuv pie crust.

6) I'd pick a ham sandwich over chocolate any day.

While I think this might be an interesting exercise for some, I've had a tough time coming up with 'weird things'. Per #3, since living in a large house, with many different people, from many different nations, I've learned that weird is a very relative term.

For example, I had a roommate in college that would, before eating, put down a place mat, set the table, pour exactly a 3/4 cup milk, make a plate of food and fold her napkin in a neat setting. I used to think this was weird. (No, not everyone eats out of a trough like I do!)

Of course, I used to think that paying your rent on time was normal - but I guess I've been proven wrong there, too.

So yeah, weird. Sometimes I am, sometimes I'm not.

Depends on who you ask.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

I Go for the Coffee.

I've come across an appropriately liberal Methodist church in DuPont circle that I just love. The church is what is known as a Reconciling Congregation - and being Dupont circle - it's full of same sex couples and others from the GLBT community. Also, there is a sign language interpreter and many handicapped individuals in wheelchairs assisted by wide aisles and even a few shortened pews so they can sit 'with' the congregation and not in the aisle. (If I were handicapped I would hate that!).

Also, lots of mixed race couples, which is reassuring.

And very friendly people, without being pushy (ok, maybe they're a little pushy, but it's nice).

The only down side is the parking, which can be brutal as there's no lot and it IS DuPont. However, even that has a plus side because you know how many people are out at 10am on a Sunday morning in downtown DC? Comparatively, not many.

PLUS, once you have parked for church you have a rockin' spot to check out the farmer's market, grab a cup of coffee and a newspaper or go to brunch in this terrific neighborhood.

But the real kicker? They have fair trade coffee.

Yes, I go to church for the coffee.

Jesus should've forgone the grape juice and went straight to espresso shots. He would've REALLY had the pews filled then!


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Communal Living is Not for Sissies

So, duh. DC is an expensive place to live. Studio apartments in an area you'd want to live in run a minimum of $1000, so I live in a group house (sometimes affectionately called a 'group home' by those of us who live here - tee hee).

Ahem, anyway, to live for under $1000 per month, I live in a gorgeous house five bedroom, three full bath, two full kitchened house with five other women. My first six months here were great. It was exactly the type of homey atmosphere I needed (I didn't know anyone in DC and TOHMF hadn't moved here yet, so I had an instant community.) And I like living with people - there's always a new recipe to learn, or someone to chat about your day with. Loneliness is not a real problem.

Every group house has its own personalities. Our house falls into 'garage sale homey', I think. It's comfortable, mostly clean, and full of lots of plants and light. There's tons of free parking and a great backyard (as someone put it to me last night: you could play football in your backyard!) I love the house (even its quirks) but sometimes the people...not so much.

Point blank: it's stressful. When someone moves out, or moves in, or someone invites their high maintenance mother over for six weeks, or falls seriously ill, or doesn't pay their share of the bills (or their RENT!), it is stressful. Living in a group house is a lesson in interpersonal communication, conflict management and controlled chaos 24/7. Sometimes, I'm just tired.

And while I love the house, I've been ready for a while now to move out on my own. Yet, I still can't afford the $1000 price (to live above ground, mind you, in a place I won't get mugged) and this house still has too many amenities to keep me (did I mention the ample non-zoned parking? Guess who hasn't switched her MN plates yet?)

Yet, when the stress comes (and it always does), I just want to run away. Or live with mutes. Or move to Tora Bora.

I can only hope that someday I will look back on these days (and the eleven roommates I've had so far) with lots of forgiveness of myself and others. I know that this season of my life is very short, comparatively, and I AM trying to enjoy it.

But really, how hard is it to change the toilet paper roll?!?