Friday, March 30, 2007

Peep Dipping

Have you ever dipped those cheery yellow peeps into a lake of vodka and ate it?

I wouldn't recommend it.



At the end of January I shelled out a large amount of money (large to me, anyway) to get a gym membership through my work. I promptly went 3-4 times a week for the first month, but as soon as the weather got nice, I found myself outside, trying to pound the pavement in anticipation of the yet-signed-up-for 5k.

Right, so March was pretty much a waste.

However, one of my coworkers - who is better organized than I - informed me a few days ago that our gym offers free yoga classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. (I hadn't even thought of looking at a gym schedule....!) My hamstrings have been excruciatingly tight lately - radiating pain through my lower back and neck - so I thought, hey! A yoga class would be just the thing!

Last night I joined my co-worker at the yoga class (no small feat, it requires that I remember to bring a gym bag to work). I was pretty psyched, a) to be using my gym membership again and b) to get back into the yoga groove. The first ten minutes were awesome. Lots of stretching, deep breathing, arm raising, more deep breathing, etc, etc.

Then the real workout began. Now, I likes me some downward facing dog, but when it's coupled with high and low pushups, 10 minutes of triangle pose and some high leg kicks - I get tired awfully quick. I was actually sweating...and no, there were no 'Oldies' involved. At the end of it, the teacher was all "now I'm going to ease you into the splits" (!!!!!) By that time, I was shaking, my muscles were quivering and I had falled over about six times.

Even though the class totally kicked my ass, I really enjoyed it. It felt good to stretch and work some different muscles rather than keep beating away at my thighs and hips by
running. I actually walked away alot looser than when I started, which helped with my neck and back pain. And the teacher was hilarious, helpful and supportive. (I kind of have a thing about group exercise, stemming back to phy ed classes in elementary school - I'm always afraid I won't be able to do some or all of it and will embarass myself in front of everyone and/or hold the class up. Also, I like the option to stop and leave when I'm tired, and the semi-social atmosphere of a class doesn't allow that!)

The only down part - getting home from work requires that I take the metro to a bus. At that hour (8:30) busses only come about every 45 minutes. And of course when I got out of the metro, my bus was just taking off down the street, so I had to walk the mile home. So much for my loose hamstrings.

As Megan would say though, ain't no thang: when I got home I found some krispie kreme's on our kitchen table and that helped!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Me me me me me me me me me

1. First best friend: Inanimate? Max. Animal? Duchess. Person? Annie Tieman. She made Megan and I the perfect trifecta of kindergarten fun.

2. First car: My dad's '84 Jetta. Once, during an ice storm, the doors froze open and I had to drive stick shift home while steering AND holding the door shut with my foot. Yeah, I landed in the ditch about a quarter mile outside of town.

3. First love: Since no one from my childhood will never let me forget this; Joshua Saunders.

4. First vacation: car trip to South Dakota, third grade. My mom taught us how to crochet in the car.

5. First job: Ug. Working for the city clerk in my hometown. Most. boring. desk-job. ever.

6. First piercing: Ears, one week before my twelfth birthday.

7. First concert: Can I lie about this one? Because I think it was Kenny G. Don't laugh, Megan. You were there, too.

8. First record/CD bought: Tuesday Night Music Club, Sheryl Crow. I promptly scratched it over the best song, Strong Enough.

9. First real love: My life, every day.

10. First screen name: Mtanga.

11. Latest alcoholic beverage: something called a 'Blue Nirvana' tonight at a bar with Ann. I thought it tasted like windex until Ann pointed out to me that was champagne.

12. Latest car ride: Angela and Ann dropping me off at my house after drinks.

13. Latest movie watched: Um, 'Coyote Ugly' was on TBS on Saturday afternoon as we were cleaning up - I only watched 15 minutes of it, does that count?

14. Latest phone call made: calling George to ask him why he wasn't at happy hour. Then, running into him on the street after his impromptu 'date'!

15. Latest jacuzzi bath: Staff retreat in February. We each got our own suites with fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs!!

16. Latest played CD: Jackie Greene, "American Myth" (Thanks Alyssa!)

17. Latest time you cried: Monday morning, when I got out of bed for work.

18. Latest meal: the biggest plate of nachos I've ever seen and a diet coke.

19. Latest curse: roommate boyfriends!

8 Things You Wear
1. my new black ballet flats.
2. white tuxedo shirt.
3. navy blue yoga pants
4. long stringed pearly necklace
5. any kind of tunic (brown, green, blue, forest green)
6. my brown Ann Taylor suit
7. My japanese glasses
8. green and amber alexandrite necklace

Have You Ever........
1. Dated one of your best friends: Yes.
2. Been arrested: No.
3. Fallen in love at first sight: No.
4. Been in a TV program: Not to my knowledge!
5. Had your heart broken: Yes.
6. Said you love someone without meaning it: Yes (said you love someone when you meant something else, check)
7. Made a prank phone call: um, don't remember. Probably.

6 Things You’ve Done Today
1. walked a mile (at least!)
2. listened to classical music on the metro
3. sorted receipts against field reports
4. wore a polka-dotted dress
5. met two friends randomly in the middle of downtown DC, at separate times
6. talked to my parents

5 Favorite Things
1. books books books
2. sleeping late
3. snuggling
4. Law and Order
5. my iHome

4 (+) People I Can Tell Anything
2. Emira
3. Mel and Julie
4. Mary
5. My strong ladyfriends, you know who you are

2 Things To Do Before You Die
1. See all 7 continents.
2. Have children.

1 Thing You Regret: Not having a better post for today. :(

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Taxation without...wait, what?

So the Senate today voted to indefinitely curtail the the District's desire to have an actual vote in Congress. Poor Eleanor. It seems she is not fated to see her star rise on CSPAN, but remains relegated to the Congressional equivalent of the 'back of the bus'; that is, committee comments only.

I remember as a kid, hearing about the push for DC to have voting rights in Congress. I remember thinking it was kind of silly - I mean, why would we want to upset this perfect balance of 50 states that we have?? And if DC had a vote, that would mean, constitutionally speaking, that it was a state, right?

But since moving here, since seeing all the tourists and commuters and shit that gets left behind when NOVA's (that's Northern Virginian's to you plebe's) evacuate at the end of the workday, my sympathies have changed. The District is our National Capital. Home to the Constitution, monument to Americana, bloomer of fresh cherry blossoms. Why wouldn't we want her to have a say in how America is run? Isn't that, well, kind of anti-American?

I understand from NPR that some deal was in the works to give DC, which is like 98% rabid democrat a vote and also provide Utah (Utah?) another massively Republican vote.

I didn't follow up too closely today on how this deal fell through, but it did raise an interesting point. Statistically, urban areas are almost always voting for the Dems (MN is a great example of this) while rural areas fall on the Repub side. I like to think this is because, living on top of each other in sardine cans, people in urban areas deal with dirty old humanity on a day to day basis and learn to basically get along with others. It's hard to ignore poverty when you see a homeless person every day.

In rural areas, it's easy to forget that you're not the only lunatic on earth and that other humans exist (and coexist) without relying solely on their own resources (read: nuclear safe bunker and AK47). But it also teaches you responsibility, because hey, no one ELSE is going to shovel the walk for you, but it still needs to get done.

Having straddled the fence between the two, I can honestly see the pros and cons of each. Intellectually, I understand why the deal would've been struck between Utah and DC and I'm sorry that it didn't work out.

Well, kind of.

I'm not sorry that Utah doesn't have another vote, a deal I saw as caused by some frightened Republicans worried about a 2006 election repeat.

I AM sorry that DC still remains this psuedo-state of 500,000 fresh faced interns without so much as a whisper of control over their neighborhoods, their communities and their cities without needing - literally - an act of Congress.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Are you FIERCE?

I love America's Next Top Model. But let me just say, I would never EVER want to live in a house full of skinny, competitive, hormonal chicks. Even if I did manage to make on the show (as the stereotypical "plus-sized" model, of course), I'd be the one stompling around throwing steaks at everyone and telling them to grow up.

Not such good television.

But Tyra is always yammering on about being FIERCE. From what I can tell, it's either a look, an attitude or just an adjective. ("Girl, that bag is FIERCE!") It's kind of become a running joke on the show. It does get a little old, but I think the underlying meaning is kind of cool.

Instead of being strong, confident and independent, a woman can just be FIERCE. That is, a force to be reckoned with.

I was thinking about this last night surrounded by old friends and work colleagues at Jaleo. Lately, I've been totally humbled by the strength of my friends. I've witnessed the dissolution of marriages, lost pregnancies, transitions to new jobs, growth and maturation a well deserved relationship, and the discovery of new paths.

I have been so blessed to be surrounded by FIERCE women from all backgrounds and ages my entire life. I never thought when I moved here that I would be able to re-create that circle, but as it turns out, fierce women are everywhere.

I just wish I'd come up with the term before Tyra co-opted it for her evil ways.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

IKEA is Swedish for Babies

So this weekend I discovered where Swedish people dump their babies - and also where my crazy Swedish cousin got that weird caviar in a tube he sent us last Christmas. That's right, IKEA.

TOHMF and I decided to waste some time on Saturday by shopping for new living room lighting. Yes, we're boring suburbanites. But I had a hankering for some church basement Swedish meatballs, so off we went.

Now normally, I love me some cheap household goods. And well placed depository's for rugrats in giant ball bins. How nice! A store where kids can play and families can shop! Oh, if only that were the case.

It was fun for about 20 minutes, until we stopped wandering through the mazey showroom and actually tried to find something. At first, I was blinded by the cheapness - wine glasses, $10 for $5! Cocktail ice cube trays, 10 for $2! (TOHMF lost 10 minutes of his life prying me away from the wicked cheap plants and pots in the gardening department).

But slowly I began to realize that the children were multiplying and the number of attentive parents were rapidly diminishing. I don't know where the parents were going, but they certainly weren't going to put their kids in the kid depository. If anything, they were going to find more three-wide strollers to block the aisles. The ones that weren't otherwise strapped down were running loose, screaming, hollering and licking things.

Tiny tots twisted in between our legs, ran loose through glasswares, pulled on exposed lighting cords. There was one tense moment as I played peek-a-boo-let's-find-your-mother with a set of three year old twins. TOHMF even stopped pointing out cute sleeping babies (either out of finger fatigue or lack of sleeping babies - most of them were screaming...)

Things reached a critical mass by the time we hit the lunch counter. No grown up food here, only macaroni and cheese with french fries, or 50 cent hot dogs were left by the time we got there. Oh, and all the cartoned 2% milk you should shake a tiny Ikea golf pencil at.

Now, I'm not anti-kid. But two hours of walking through a kiddie maze on a merchandise treasure hunt was enough to make even the most soft-hearted singleton's run away (run away!).

Kids, god bless 'em. But please, mix your kids and kid-friendly shopping wisely. This stuff is not for amateurs.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

There Is A Spot

In the stairwell of the parking garage near my office that smells just like my dad's workshop on the farm.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Windy Weekend

As my friend Kate says, I'm the ONLY person who takes a vacation to a placer colder than the one in which I currently live. So while it was a balmy 50 degrees in DC this weekend, I headed to Chicago where it was 25 degrees with windchill that would make your grandmother weep.

But, I just had to go. My college roomie is getting married in July and as I've rapidly learned, weddings are no place for catching up with the bride. Plus, the tickets were waaay cheap.

Just like in college, Mel and I stayed up late giving each other advice, gossiping and eating brownie ice cream with whip cream and chocolate sauce. Yes, just like old times - minus all the pillow fights in our vickie's underwear, of course. We hit Michigan Ave like fallen rock stars on a budget and ate sushi until midnight. We polished off the weekend by sleeping late, drinking expensive tea and getting our nails done.

Turns out, life outside of college isn't so bad afterall :)