tiaras optional

"My only argument is with those who do not view the world as cynically as I do." Michael Korda

Thursday, August 31, 2006

It Is Just Too Early in the Morning for This

This day really hasn’t been going so well. After several insomnia-free weeks, it's back with a vengeance. After a less than optimal night of sleep, I dragged myself out to the kitchen to make my breakfast. Lord Kissington had thoughtfully boiled the water for my tea. I love tea, I drink it every morning, and even though I gave up caffeine a couple of years ago*, it’s part of my morning ritual. As I poured the water into the mug, I noticed something floating in it. It appeared to be two tiny roaches, presumably dead. Yes, we have roaches. It’s basically the price you pay for living in a city apartment. You can exterminate and put down Combat traps, but they will always come back. Usually, it’s not too bad and I can live with the occasional roach, as long as they keep their distance. But this morning, they crossed the line. The mug was empty when I started to pour, so they must have invaded the sanctity of my tea kettle. This aggression will not stand. But I really wanted that cup of tea, so I gave myself a pep talk (“It’s just a cup of tea, princess. You can make yourself another one.”) and resolved to begin again. I dumped out the tea and the kettle. I scrubbed the kettle and rinsed it out thoroughly about 18 times. I boiled the water again. When it was ready, I poured it into a clean mug. And I looked down into the cup as I poured, and what did I see. Yes, two more tiny floating roaches. I really wanted to cry, but instead I just dumped out the second cup and resigned myself to a tea-less morning. Sigh.

*In an effort to combat my insomnia. I’ve always been really susceptible to the effects of caffeine, so I thought it might help. It worked for a short time, but didn’t really make a big difference in the end. Now on the rare occasions when I do consume caffeine, its effects are much more pronounced and it keeps me awake for hours.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Here She Goes with the Politics Again

As my regular readers (all 6 of you) know, I don’t write about politics so much, preferring topics like literature, insomnia, Hugh Laurie, and Britney Spears’ trainwreck of a life. But lately, I have taken up an interest in local politics, being that we’re having an election and all. So prepare yourself for another political post (I promise I’ll get back to complaining about eyebrow waxing and Sienna Miller soon).

1. The Express’ Free Ride mentioned my last post and suggested that I am a Marie Johns supporter. This is not strictly correct. It’s not so much that I support Johns as that I’m opposed to everyone else. I’m not even sure that I would vote for Johns (if I were able to vote in the primary, time to remind myself that a love for Pavement, Wes Anderson, and hoodies doesn’t necessarily translate to being politically indie). But other than the whole having been CEO of Verizon thing, she’s the only one who hasn’t show some fatal flaw.

2. How is a debate between only the two front-runner candidates at all democratic? I wasn’t able to watch the Fenty/Cropp debate since I don’t have cable. I haven’t been able to find more than a couple of short clips on the internets (if anyone has a link to the whole thing, please send it my way). From what I’ve seen, I continue to be unimpressed with them both. Fenty seems humorless, and Cropp’s negative campaigning just makes her look desperate at this point. I will give Fenty points for pointing out that Cropp’s claims to have balanced the budget are ridonkulous. Unfortunately, he loses points for not sending his kids to DC public schools. (He has said he will send them to public school as soon as they finish nursery school. However, they attend a “nursery school” that goes through third grade.)

3. I suppose it’s not surprising that the debate included only Cropp and Fenty. The Post only recognizes five Democratic candidates, even though there are seven on the ballot.

4. In national news, Rumsfeld seems to think that media coverage of the war in Iraq is too negative and that’s why no one supports the war. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the whole situation being a quagmire, now could it? And apparently, any criticism is a bad thing. He said, “Any kind of moral and intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can severely weaken the ability of free societies to persevere.” Sorry, Rummy, that’s democracy. Last time I checked, it was still a free country.

5. This morning, I told Lord Kissington that I wished Zaphod Beeblebrox was running for mayor. He’s for “people, democracy, freedom, and stuff.” Now that’s a candidate I can get behind. Our conversation:

LK: “You’d really want a candidate whose brain is powered by lemons?”
Me: “Well, he wouldn’t be any worse than the other candidates.
LK: “Point taken.”

Besides, his campaign song and video are awesome. Lyrics like

In no way is he stupid
In no way is his brain impaired

It’s just not true

He’s smarter than you
And he’s better looking too.

are way better than

Get down with Brown
He’s running for Mayor in this town

He knows just what to do

He’s looking out for you.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Performance Anxiety Edition

1. I was featured on Wonkette last week, so I may have picked up some new readers. This gives me performance anxiety. Maybe they liked what they read last week and they’re coming back from more. But now, they’re probably thinking, “A crappy numbered post? Whatevs.” So, please come back again. I swear, this hardly ever happens.

2. After all my mayoral research, I decided to check my voter registration card, and guess what? I’m a registered independent so I can’t vote in the primary. I have no idea why I didn’t register as a Democrat. In life, my tastes in such things as music, film, and clothes are pretty indie, but who am I kidding? I pretty much always vote Democrat. So, I guess I’ll be stuck voting for whichever candidate you registered Dems vote for in the primary. If you could find it in your hearts to not vote for Cropp, Fenty, or Orange, I’ll totes love you forever.

3. After my mayoral posts, I got a few comments from people pimping one candidate or another. No support for the front-runners Cropp or Fenty though. I know, shocking.

4. I’ve gone nearly 5 days without any pedestrian rage. Seriously, if everyone continues to behave themselves on the streets of DC, what am I going to write about?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Seriously, What Is It with This Crosswalk?

Yesterday, I wrote that “one loud profanity-laced outburst had already filled my quota for the day,” but apparently, I was wrong. Walking home from work last night, I reached the crosswalk mentioned in the last post with a touch of trepidation, wondering what fresh indignities might be heaped upon me this time. I looked out into the oncoming traffic (it’s a one-way street) and saw that there were no cars (or bikes) coming, so I gingerly put one foot out into the crosswalk. I stopped short as a bike coming from the opposite direction (did I mention that it’s a one-way street) screeched to a halt. All too predictably, the cyclist began screaming at me, “Wake up! Wake up!” I ignored him and hurried across the street. He continued to scream “Wake up!” at me as I walked away. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I’ll be damned if I’m going to take safety tips from someone who is breaking the law and who is NOT WEARING A HELMET WHILE RIDING IN TRAFFIC. So, I turned around and screamed, “It’s a one-way street, asshole!” Then I turned back and kept walking. Surely, this fills my quota for encounters with assholes for the week.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Aggressive Walking

I walk to work everyday, and life as a pedestrian in this fair city can be fraught with peril, what with all the drivers who don’t feel it necessary to stop for red lights and stop signs. I handle these near-death experiences with the same serene grace I apply to all other areas of my life (who am I kidding, I’m filled with pedestrian rage). On my commute, I cross one street that has a crosswalk and a very large (approximately 3.5 or 4 feet wide) sign indicating that cars must YIELD to pedestrians in the crosswalk. Apparently, the majority of the drivers that pass through this crosswalk are illiterate or blind as only 1.2% of them ever stop for pedestrians. Given this situation, I generally don’t push my luck with the cars even though I have the right of way because, well, they’re bigger than I am. But this morning, there were no cars coming, so I and a couple of other pedestrians stepped out into the crosswalk. A bicyclist came out of nowhere and yelled at us for being in the crosswalk as he came within inches of running into us. Now, I have a fair amount of sympathy for bike commuters. I mean, they’re helping the environment, and I’m sure riding in the city is just as much of a pain as walking in the city. But I still think they need to follow the rules. So, when this guy broke the rules and had the nerve to yell at us pedestrians, I just lost it. I yelled back “You’re supposed to yield to pedestrian in the crosswalk, you asshole” really loudly. The cyclist yelled something back, but I couldn’t hear him as he was already halfway down the street by then. I reached the curb, my rage completely dissipated by my outburst. I then had to walk through a crowd of approximately 26 people waiting for the bus, quite a few of whom looked askance at me. I suppose I don’t look like someone who would be screaming on the street. And I’m not usually that person. But I do find the occasional use of loud profanity is entirely called for in certain circumstances, this being one of them. As I walked through the crowd, I resisted the urge to say “What are you looking at, fuckers? Why don’t you get off your asses and try walking to work?”, because one loud profanity-laced outburst had already filled my quota for the day.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yes, I Do Enjoy a Drink with Brunch Now and Then

1. So, after all my mayoral research (and by all, I mean approximately 45 minutes), I checked my voter registration card, and apparently, I registered as an independent, so I can’t vote in the primary. I don’t have the faintest clue as to why I didn’t register as a Democrat, but there you have it. So, I’ll be stuck voting for whatever candidate those who actually show up for the primary decide to vote for. Or I could do a write in, but meh, I just don’t know. I suppose more research is needed.

2. If you got here by searching for info on the mayoral candidates, you’re probably not getting the information you were looking for. I can’t tell you who to vote for. I can tell you where to get some really great tiaras though.

3. If you got here by searching “stress and cold and wedding and bride,” you have my sympathies. Schedule yourself a massage and start taking Vitamin C. Best of luck to you.

4. If you got here by searching “alcohol at brunch,” please know that I am firmly in favor of it. My favorite is champagne, alone or mixed with various delicious juices (I recently had a brunch drink of champagne and raspberry puree. It looked like champagne mixed with placenta, but it was delish). I also never say no to vodka.

5. We had a few people over on Sunday, and it might the first gathering I’ve ever hosted where nothing got broken. Is everyone growing up or were people just less drunk than usual?

6. Because of cleaning before said gathering, the apartment looks livable for the first time in weeks. I had no idea how large our foyer was. Once I put away the enormous box of wrapping paper that has been sitting there since Christmas, it really opened up the room.

7. I am generally terrified of babies, but this weekend, I learned that they can be pretty fun, especially when you put funny things on their head and take pictures of them, leading to adorable looks of baby consternation. Also, they apparently like to lick US Weekly. But really, who doesn’t?

Friday, August 18, 2006

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Shallowness

After dealing with serious matters for two whole days, perhaps a return to frivolity is in order. I had lunch with my father today, and shortly after we received our food, a couple was seated at the table next to us. Because I am obsessed with what other people wear, I took a look at the man out of the corner of my eye. At first glance, he appeared to be wearing a classic preppie look (madras shorts, button-down shirt, and loafers without socks), but upon further inspection, I noticed that there were several things off about the whole ensemble. The button-down was French blue and the buttons were undone (negating the whole point of a button-down, no?), the madras shorts didn’t match the shirt and were rather ill-fitting (preppie clothes should always fit and looked pressed and clean), and the loafers were dress loafers with gold buckles and thus really not appropriate for sockless casual wear. Then it hit me. From the chest down, he was trying for preppie, but from the chest up, he was all guido*. The shirt was unbuttoned halfway down his chest and he was wearing a big gold cross on a chain. I’ve never really seen such a unique hybrid of preppie meets Jersey. What’s next? A wife beater with pressed khakis? A popped-collar polo with heavy gold chains? Or perhaps a velour track suit with top-siders? The mind reels at the possibilities.

*Please don’t take offense at the term. I discussed the use of it with Lord Kissington, who is part Italian, and he didn't have a problem with it. Also, the word has such a vivid connotation. It’s a style more than an ethnic description.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Election Follow-Up

Gentle readers, thanks very much for your comments on yesterday’s post. It would appear that you think pretty much all the candidates suck. One of you suggested that Marie Johns wasn’t so bad. That was the only positive reaction. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of this batch of candidates, is it?

I’ve done a bit more research, and it would appear that Vincent Orange doesn’t like the gays so much. He has expressed his support for gay civil rights, and according to the Blade, “During his tenure on the Council, Orange has voted in favor of several domestic partnership bills that expanded the rights and benefits of same-sex couples in the District.” However, last weekend, he took a hard line on gay marriage, statingI am the only one that is opposed to same-sex marriage. The other four, they say they believe in God, they go to church, but they’re also for same-sex marriage. So, I think coming down the stretch that that’s going to be the key issue. I don’t think they’re morally fit to run this city.” Sounds like he’s trying to appeal to the super-religious crowd. With his non-love for the gays, his belief that he is somehow morally superior to the rest of the candidates, and his error-ridden campaign surveys, I can’t possibly vote for him. (Thanks to RCR and Jordan Baker for alerting me to the spelling and gay issues.)

Adrian Fenty and Marie Johns both support gay marriage, so props to them. Linda Cropp does not support gay marriage in DC, but according to the Blade, “she supports recognition of same-sex marriages issued in Massachusetts, where gay marriage was legalized last year.” This makes no sense and sounds like she’s just trying to please everyone. Yet another reason not to vote for her.

(And yes, I do realize there are many issues other than gay marriage facing DC; this just happened to be the one I researched today.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Please Tell Me Who to Vote for

As you may know, there is going to be an election soon. The actual election is on Nov. 7, but the primary on Sept. 12 is the real election, since DC always elects Democrats as Mayor. I’ve been avoiding the election coverage as much as possible, but since the date is rapidly approaching, I thought it might be a good idea to familiarize myself with the candidates and figure out which one I should vote for.

The big names and frontrunners at the moment are Adrian Fenty (Councilmember for Ward 4) and Linda Cropp (Council Chair). I’m not a fan of either. Cropp has always struck me as a bit shrill, and she flip-flops all over the place. Also, her volunteers are a bit overzealous and one of them blocked my way on the street the other day and could have put out my eye with their excessive sign waving (those things have pointy corner, people). Luckily, I was wearing my trademark ginormous Jackie O-style sunglasses (style and safety in one fabulous package). I can’t get behind her signage placement activities either. Although rather hot, Fenty has a total student council douchebag vibe that just leaves me cold. When a wine blog asked the candidates about their favorite wines, he answered, “Please know that the Councilmember rarely drinks and encourages everyone to drink responsibly. However, his wine preference is a red from all regions, particularly Australia, and his favorite varietals are Shiraz, Merlot, and Cabernet blends.” He sounds like soooo much fun. And I’m not a fan of Australian shiraz, so I won’t be voting for him.

Michael Brown is a former lobbyist and the son of the late Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown. His web site takes forever to load and plays a truly awful awful song, with lyrics like:

Get down with Brown
He’s running for mayor in this town
He knows just what to do
He’s looking out for you.

And there is no option to turn the music off, so he lost my vote.

Marie Johns is a former telecom executive. She seems very earnest, and her motto is “different.real.better!”, which is one of the worst mottos ever, particularly with the exclamation point. But overall, she doesn’t seem too bad, and I like that she’s not a DC Councilmember, since they pretty much all suck.

Vincent Orange is the Councilmember for Ward 5. I don’t know a whole lot about him, but his web site was one of the better ones and didn’t have anything terribly laughable about it, so I’m not ruling him out. If you can tell me anything about his politics, that would be a big help.

I had never heard of Nestor Djonkam, and all I know about him is that he was born in Cameroon. Unfortunately, his web site was down, so I don’t know anything else.

I had never heard of Artee Milligan either, but at least I was able to access his web site. The site gives a list of issues and “where Artee stands on the issue.” These issues include baseball, affordable housing, and some rather odd ones, like “imaginative,” “listens to people,” and “good at reaching agreements.” I’m confused. Where do the other candidates stand on the issue of “imaginative”?

David Kranich is the Republican candidate and thus doesn’t stand a chance in these parts.

Chris Otten is the Statehood Green party candidate. I know that in theory, I should probably like the Statehood Green party (I’m in favor of statehood and I’m all about the environment), but in practice, I just can’t get into it. Also, he used the phrase Mother Earth in his platform statement and I can’t get past that.

So, if you have a favorite candidate, please tell me why I should be voting for them. Alternatively, if you have concrete evidence that any of the candidates are total douchebags, I would appreciate knowing that too. Thanks.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Why Oh Why Must You Start Hammering So Early on My Birthday?

I didn’t have much planned for my birthday off from work day, but I had really hoped to sleep until maybe 7 a.m. Sadly, I was awoken around 6:15 by loud construction right outside the window. Then I realized that I still had the migraine that had been making my life miserable the day before. Happy freakin’ birthday.

It really wasn’t such a bad day though. The weather was lovely, and I didn’t have to do anything. My new in-laws sent me a book called The Shadow of the Wind, which is really great so far. I went out and ran some errands. When I was at Borders, I donated a book to the Boys and Girls Club Book Drive. Then I was walking down the street and an eager looking college age kid asked if I wanted to help the Democratic party and I said, “No thanks” and kept walking because it’s my birthday and I didn’t feel like stopping. But then I got paranoid and wanted to run back and assure him that I wasn’t a Republican.

I got Chipotle for lunch and went home and watched way too many hours of soap operas, which made me glad for the following things:

That I am not married to a pill-popping loser who’s sleeping with the town skank.
That I am not a fetus aborted in the 70s who somehow became a real boy and is pissed at hell at his parents.
That I remember to shut my apartment door during sex.
That I was never recruited by a secret government agency who gave me plastic surgery to look like a prominent head of state of a made up small Caribbean nation.
That I do not have two, equally annoying personalities.

When Lord Kissington arrived home from work, he found me “resting my eyes” in the bedroom. He quickly realized that I was completely out of touch with what was going on in the world (sometimes it’s either the news or the soaps, and I think we all know which one I’ll choose), so he told me that Lieberman had lost the primary. By pure chance, I actually knew this (I happened to glance at the cover of the Post in the newspaper machine while I was waiting for the light to change). I did miss the news about the big airline terror plot being foiled in the UK. With the new security restrictions, U.S. passengers can’t bring any liquid items on board, and the UK wasn’t letting anyone bring on carry-on items other than their passports and cash. This would be a serious issue for me, given what I like to bring in my carry-on: at least three books, two magazines, a huge bottle of water, all of my toiletries (I’ve had luggage get lost before and this is the bare minimum of what I need), including lots of liquidy items, like sunscreen and three moisturizers, lots of music, my phone, a change of underpants, and a notebook in case I get any great ideas. I realize that these restrictions are important safety measures, but if I don’t have lots of stuff to distract me, I would spend the entire flight worrying about the plane crashing.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

They're Smoking Cigars

Tomorrow is my birthday. Although this may be the year that I decided to stop counting, it’s not really all bad. I’ve already gotten some cool gifts. My complete aversion to sunlight has helped stave off wrinkles and I look a few years younger than I am*. In any case, I’m not having a big birthday freakout or anything. And to honor the day my mother was knocked out for many hours and doesn’t remember at all, except for when she came out of the anesthesia and didn’t believe that she had had a girl and kept screaming, “I know you’re all just trying to be nice. It’s a boy, isn’t it?”**, I’m taking tomorrow off from work.

There are lots of things I could and should be doing tomorrow:

1. Sleeping late.
2. Taking advantage of my Loehmann’s Insider Club birthday discount.
3. Buying heel pads for my new shoes, the left one of which keeps sliding off because my left foot is freakishly smaller than my right.
4. Taking myself out for an elegant and sophisticated solo birthday lunch.
5. Doing an extra-long workout at the gym.
6. Pondering the wonder of another year of me and setting out my goals for the next year.

What I will probably end up doing:

1. Waking up at the usual time***.
2. Sitting around in my robe for most of the day.
3. Rereading an Agatha Christie mystery that I’ve probably already read at least twice.
4. Watching several hours of soap operas.
5. Spending time stretched out on the couch pondering the wonder that is Stevie Nicks.
6. Shaking my fist at the heavens and screaming, “Why, God, why?”

*Being a vampire has its advantages.
**Mom really didn’t want a boy at the time. She has since remarked that it might not have been so bad to have a boy, since it was likely that any man child she and my father produced would have been gay. She’s probably right.
***Insomniacs aren’t so good at the whole sleeping late thing.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I Feel Like the Three Bears After Goldilocks Paid a Visit

After spending most of yesterday in bed with a stomach ailment, I dragged my queasy self into work this morning and found things not quite as I had left them Friday evening. I first noticed that my phone had been moved. Then I saw that my keyboard had also been moved, my mouse pad was backwards (easy to tell since the wrist pad was now in the wrong direction), all my pens had been neatly placed in a cup, and my haphazard pile of paper clips had also been neatly placed in a cup. Also, my collection of empty styrofoam cups was gone (or used to store pens and paper clips). Whoever did this didn’t even steal the loose change on my desk: all 14 cents was still there. So, what happened? Did an obsessive compulsive neat freak stumble upon my office over the weekend? Were they stunned by the state of my desk (I like to call it organized chaos)? Did they not have anything better to do over the weekend? I don’t think it was the office cleaners, because they mainly just take my trash out and then return the trash can to extremely odd places.

Sadly, the clean freak stopped short at actually attempting to do any of the piles of paperwork on my desk. I suppose that was too much to hope for.

P.S. I don’t know if you make house calls, magic cleaning elf, but if you do, my bathroom could use some attention. Thanks!

Friday, August 04, 2006

I Could Be Zen, If Everyone and Everything Weren't So Annoying All the Time

Things/people that are annoying me:

1. The person who parked in Lord Kissington’s assigned parking spot last night. Ummh, did you pay $125 to park there? I didn’t think so. (I suggested slashing his tires, but LK made a good point: if you’re thinking vandalism, key the car instead, so they can still drive it away.)

2. Everyone constantly bitching about the heat. Yes, it’s very hot. But, hello, this is DC. We have at least a week or two like this every summer. Get used to it. It’s not like we don’t all live, work, and drive in heavy AC. (My exception: anyone who works outside totally has the right to bitch about the heat. The rest of you pussies just need to suck it up.)

3. The people if my office who complain about it not being cold enough. Yeesh, the AC is set to “Arctic,” but apparently, that’s not good enough for you.

4. People who see that I am wearing headphones but insist on trying to talk to me in a normal tone of voice, forcing me to remove my headphones, only to realize that they are saying something like, “So, you’re listening to music” or “Hot out there, huh?”

5. I’m about to be another year older. Can we say bitter? Back I was young and naïve, I used to say things like, “I want to grow old gracefully.” HA! Now I’ve progressed to “kicking and screaming” mode.

6. The cabbie who almost ran me over last night. What part of “right of way” do you not understand?

7. The way everyone in DC dresses. I know I’m flogging a dead horse here, but just give me a little something to work with here, people.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I Don't Want to Wake Up in the City That Never Sleeps

Recently, a friend asked if I wanted to go to New York City for the weekend for another friend’s birthday. I couldn’t go for a number of practical reasons: bad time to take off from work, will probably be taking time later in the summer, it’s too damn hot, etc. But another reason is one I don’t always like to admit. I don’t really enjoy visiting NYC. This makes no sense really. I’m a city person. I love big cities. My vacations are always in cities. I love museums and NYC is chock full of them. What is my problem with NYC. It’s not any of the issues that people usually have with NYC (too big, too loud, too dirty, too many tall buildings, too many rude people, etc.). I’m actually originally from NYC. I was born there and lived there until I was four. I’ve returned many times over the years to see relatives, and I have many happy memories. My aunt had a great apartment on the Upper East Side and I used to stay with her there (until she inexplicably decided one day to up and move to Florida). My grandparents, who lived right outside Manhattan in Queens, used to take me to the city all the time when I was little and I loved it. They took me to the Empire State Building, all the big department stores, and Broadway shows. Over the years, the trips became less fun as my grandmother’s agoraphobia grew and every visit to the city was a huge project (and particularly mortifying when I was a teenager). But that’s not why I’m unenthused about New York.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I’ve traced my issues with NYC back to the ex-boyfriend I like to call Mr. Ex. Our first trip to New York was to see an exhibit at the Whitney, which was closing that day. He insisted that we had to do the trip in one day. This didn’t make any sense. Sure, hotels are expensive, but we weren’t broke at the time. And we never went anywhere or did anything, so it wasn’t like we were spending a lot of money. We probably could have even stayed with a friend. But he just flat out refused, and I fell into the pattern that defined much of our relationship: I stopped arguing and went along with his plan because it was just easier in the end. We got up at a ridiculously early hour to make a 6:30 a.m. train. We arrived in NYC around 10 and went straight to the museum, where we had to wait on line for a couple of hours to get into the exhibit. That sucked, but the exhibit was worth it. By the time we got out, we were both starving, and since he was one of those people who gets really awful when his blood sugar plummets, he was a complete jerk until we got lunch. I was walking on eggshells to try to keep him from getting angry (although I hadn’t done anything wrong). We spent the rest of the day going to a couple of other museums and wandering around and went to some very cheap place for dinner (he had purchased a book called Eating in New York City for under $10; I should have run screaming at that point). We headed to Penn Station to get our train. While waiting, he announced that he had a migraine. I felt awful, because I get migraines too and they’re the worst, but I couldn’t help but think that if he hadn’t insisted on doing this entire thing in one day, he might not be so worn down. The whole trip was really draining, and I was exhausted from packing too much into one day and tiptoeing around him.

You would think I might have learned my lesson after this trip, but I went to NYC another time with him two years later. He made plans to go there for a couple of days by himself, insisting that he wanted some time alone. Then he generously decided that I could come, but there were some restrictions. I could go up with him on Friday, but I had to leave Saturday afternoon, so he could have the rest of Saturday and Sunday to himself. I agreed to this (don’t ask me why). We took the train up Friday morning at not quite such an un-Godly hour. Although it was November, it was utterly freezing when we got there. We made our way to our hotel in Little Italy. I had let him do all the hotel planning stuff, and he insisted he had found this great cheap hotel (did I mention that he was very cheap?). Well, it was cheap, but there was nothing great about it. When we arrived, they said we could have a room with a shared bath down the hall or a room with a bathroom, but with no windows. We stood at the reception desk (which was behind what looked like bullet-proof glass) and argued about this. When I agreed to this cheap-ass hotel, he had assured me that we wouldn’t have to share a bathroom with anyone else. Now, he wanted to do the shared bath because he didn’t think he could live without a window. Windows be damned, I had no intention of getting up several times in the middle of the night to traipse down the hallway in my PJs to pee (I’m a very light sleeper with a very small bladder). In the end, I prevailed (one of the few times that ever happened in the relationship) and we took the windowless room. It was clean, but depressing. The TV was small and chained high up on the wall. The furniture was all kind of small, not quite child size, but not quite for adults either. The whole place was bizarre and had these twisting hallways that were easy to get lost in. It was hard to sleep because people were stomping up and down the halls all night. The whole thing was very David Lynch.

On Saturday, we were meeting friends of his for lunch. He made me walk, with my suitcase (because I had to leave that afternoon), all the way from Little Italy to the start of Central Park. This is probably 50 or 60 blocks, but in 20 degree weather, it felt like 400. I begged to take a taxi; I said I would pay for it, but he was so cheap that he couldn’t even stand to have someone else spend money on a taxi. By the time, I got on the train back to DC, I was really happy to be leaving. Mr. Ex apparently spent Saturday evening alone in his hotel room, bored. Whatever.

This all sounds so awful now, but at the time, I thought it was pretty normal. When you’re in a relationship like that, you lose perspective of what’s normal. I put up with things I would never put up with now, but I suppose that is part of being young and learning and growing as a person. And I know it’s not NYC’s fault that my boyfriend was a cheap bastard, but sometimes it’s hard to separate the memories from the place. Maybe I need to take another trip there to make some new memories to exorcise the old ones.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What Is This "Heat Advisory" of Which You Speak?

On Monday, the Washington Post had a Q&A with Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. Apparently, it’s really hot out there, and we should all be wearing sunscreen, avoiding the outdoors as much as possible, and drinking lots of water. I had no idea.

Dr. Benjamin would be excellent at testifying on Capitol Hill, because he’s very good at not answering the questions he was asked. For example:

Q: Every year, we hear warnings about not leaving kids in hot cars; yet every year, children die or become ill while being left in cars. Why do you think people ignore these warnings? Thank you…
A: Children, pets and seniors should NEVER be left in a car.

Well, thanks for clearing that up.

Q: I am training for a marathon and have long runs that go 2-4 hours. What time of day is best to do them in, early morning or evening?
A: Early morning and evening is best

I believe that was an either/or question.

Q: What are area public health facilities doing today and during this period of extreme heat?...
A: They are letting people know that it is going to be hot with some high humidity…

Because we wouldn’t have noticed otherwise?

Q: I was born a desert rat out in the American Southwest. I like dry and dusty environments. Though I’ve lived in D.C. for six years I still pour buckets of sweat after walking even a few blocks. My body doesn’t like humidity. Any recommendations on how to adapt?
A: It takes a couple of weeks to adapt to the heat and humidity. Over time your body becomes more efficient at sweating and getting rid of heat (Called acclimation). Drinking fluids and slowly exercising helps even when fully acclimated.

Did you miss the six years part, Doctor?

One might think that this is all fairly common sense advice, seeing as the answer to 85% of the questions was "drink plenty of fluids," but perhaps the public does need to hear it, as evidenced by a woman on the news last night telling an interviewer she was keeping cool by drinking diet coke. Because, you know, caffeinated, carbonated sodas are way better than water. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


1. I just noticed that yesterday was my 200th post. I’ll refrain from posting 200 fascinating facts about myself. (Could I even come up with 200?) You may note that, in a probably fruitless effort to close the barn door long after the horse is out, I’ve changed my blog name to Lady Tiara. The new name is courtesy of Kathryn. Use it. Love it. Or, you know, whatever.

2. It’s sad to say, but the death of Aaron Spelling has been a publicity boon for daughter Tori*. She’s had two US Weekly covers in the last month. This week’s story is a fabulous piece of propaganda. Mother Candi comes across as a heartless shrew for screwing poor little Tori out of her inheritance, while Tori is totally “just folks” and was never about the money. She totally hated growing up rich. The article includes photos of her with her new husband shopping at a dollar store in Toronto, scratching off lottery tickets, and standing outside a pawn shop looking at a neon sign that states “We buy gold.” It’s awesome.

3. For those of you who got here by searching for some variation of “dreaming of surviving a plane crash,” please note that although I am an anxious person who has plane crash dreams on a fairly regular basis, said dreams do not actually provide any useful tips for surviving plane crashes.

4. For the person who got here by searching for “Hugh Laurie in The Guiding Light,” I’m pretty sure that if my beloved Mr. Laurie had made an appearance on my favorite soap opera, I would know about it. I think we can file this under “pipe dream.”

5. As I’ve mentioned previously, my fingers have a tendency to swell, and my brand spankin’ new wedding isn’t fitting so well. During this latest heat wave, I seem to have developed elephantiasis of the fingers, and my ring is killing me.

*The death of Aaron is a sad sad thing because now there will never be another Dynasty. And don’t even try to convince me that Desperate Housewives is the Dynasty of our time, because that piece of crap is no Dynasty. It’s no Dallas. It’s not even Knots Landing.