Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tiny Ninjas With a 5K and a New Bike!

Some highlights from the past few days....

First, Tiny Ninja theater showed up on the Millennium stage of the Kennedy Center this week to celebrate Shakespeare in Washington. If you have to wonder what ninjas are doing with Shakespeare, then obviously, you are not a connoisseur of ninjas like I am. I dragged my pals Ann, Angeli and Beth (and one disbeliever from work, Andy) along to watch - you guessed it - tiny plastic ninjas act out Romeo and Juliet. Two words: Hi-larious.

Also, on a side note, I found out that there is a Pirate bar in my new neighborhood (through a friend, not by stumblng around searching for a place to park my peg-leg.) In accordance with my ongoing obsession with the age old question of Pirates vs. Ninjas, I find myself drawn to show up there in a ninja costume, just to see what will happen.

More updates to follow on this front, I'm sure.

Anyway, the bigger news today is that I RAN MY FIRST 5K today! Woot-woot! Those of you who knew me growing up, you know that the closest I have ever come to being a runner is - well, not close at all, actually. I've by and large left it to the professionals. But, I put it down as a New Year's Resolution this year and have been "training" (ha!) since March. I even bought new shoes.

Well, the HMF and I finally decided to pony up the money and chose the Tim Harmon Hep C Memorial Fun run (I mean really, how much more random can you get?) to run this morning in Fairfax, Va. I finished in just under 37 minutes. Not bad for a non-runner! It was a good feeling to cross that line - even though my splits were well over 10 minute miles, I had 1) run the whole thing and 2) lived!

After that, we were in such a fitness groove that we drove around to a few REI's in search of a new bike. For my grad school graduation, the HMF promised to subsidize a large chunk towards the cost of a machine for me. Seeing as I bought my last one in college and have since moved on to longer rides, it has been time to upgrade for sometime now. After much research, discovering my inseem, and much learning on my part about what a "real" bike enthusiast must know about her machine, we ended up buying the Novara Big Buzz.

I am so psyched to go riding now! I got two new jersey's over Christmas and I've been dying to try them out on the roadways here. Finally perhaps my bike will inspire envy instead of pity. And maybe - just maybe after all this - I'll be able to fit into a new swimsuit, too :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Nuclear Groceries

I love snow peas. I use them in stir fry, on salads, and more often than not, just plain as a snack to go with my lunch. Today, after a long hiatus, I popped a few munchies into my mouth. Instead of the juicy sweetness, my tongue was met with rancid putrescence. Any sane person would've spit them out - which I did. But, just to make sure I hadn't grabbed a bad patch, I went ahead and threw some more in my mouth.

Yep, they were bad all right.

Now, here is where I reveal how truly cheap I am. During one particular rough patch in college, I discovered that groceries - within reason (no broken eggs, please) - are totally RETURNABLE. I used to buy things that were too big for my wallet, and then return them, two hours later, remorseful but happy for liberal store policies.

But that's just the set up, not the real story. As a result of all this, tonight after work, I made the HMF drive me back to the Giant to return the rest of the snow peas - they were expensive, dammit! That's 2.99 for what amounts to two cup fulls.

So anyway, we get to the store and find the customer service area fairly easily. I parked myself about two feet right behind the man at the counter and waited to make my case. As I was doing this, an old black man walked right up to me, scanned me up and down, stared me in the face and then stepped right in front of me. Didn't say a word, either. But he had clearly seen me and clearly still felt the need to step right in between me and the next person in line.

The following was our exact conversation:
Me: "Excuse me, sir? Are you in line?"
Him: "Guh?" Staring me full in the face again, about a foot away.
Me: "Are you in line?"
Him: "Well, yeah, I am."
Me: "Well, I was here first."
Him: "You must be invisible!"
Me: "Dude, I was totally here first. You saw me. You cut."
Him, moves slowly behind me: "Well, now you know how black people felt all those years!"

Neither the HMF nor I really said anything after that. I mean, what do you say in response that doesn't make you look like a racist ass? Later, the HMF and I joke that this man went from zero to nuclear in about 5 seconds - all over a check out line! Of course, when waiting in line for groceries one should always use the race card.

The only appropriate response I could come up with (about 10 minutes later, in the car) was :

"You're totally right. Being cut in front of in line is JUST LIKE slavery. My bad - here you go ahead!!"

What would YOU have said?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Back from Baku

The only thing memorable about my two flights home (aside from the fact that it began with a 3:55 am leg from Baku to Frankfurt - ouch!) was the fact that I got upgraded to Business class for the first time ever. Woo -hoo!

Not only were the extra leg room and fully reclining seats a welcome change from economy, my 5 hour lay-over in Frankfurt between 5-10am was much improved by the private business class lounge (filled with free food and comfy seats!). Life is good.

Anyway, I am now safely and happily back from Baku!