Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Awakening - Minus the Tunes, Plus a 'Tude

It's officially spring in the District, which means a few things:
  1. Cherry blossoms! Saturday's Kite Festival kicked off D.C.'s most touristy season of the year, despite a little drizzle. I, of course, did not attend, choosing instead opting to peruse the Cleveland Park Library's book sale, but I hear Heroes' Greg Grunberg made an appearance!

  2. Let me say it again: Cherry Blossom season means TOURIST SEASON to the maxx - the time of year when I most hate living on the redline, witnessing zoo-going out-of-towners pushing their strollers uphill from the Woodley Park/Adams Morgan/National Zoo Metro Station, which is a blatant falsehood on WMATA's part. Everyone knows the Cleveland Park station is just as close but, more importantly, is a downhill walk - everyone but tourists, of course. As a result, the half-mile stretch from the Woodley Park Metro to the Zoo is always, well, a zoo of its own. Kill me.

  3. Weird odors abound. Happy Spring! The outside of my apartment building reeks of Bandaids & show ponies! Oh, wait, that's just fresh mulch in the "garden" - but while it may look nice, my sense of smell can't tell the difference. Same goes for the "smells like teen spirit" stench that now permeates the Metro, which tends to look just as bad as it smells - like sweaty people smashed together with their armpits in one another's faces as they hold the ceiling rails.

  4. Inappropriate attire. Just because the weather's getting nicer doesn't mean it's ever legit to wear miniskirts to work. With UGGS. That have fringe. And pom-poms. Similarly, unless you're a ballerina, it's absolutely never appropriate to wear leggings as pants, a dastardly phenomenon I mentioned earlier this week. I don't want to see your butt; I don't want to see your wedgie; I don't want to see every dimple in your thighs - & trust me, I know dimply thighs. No, unless you're starring in a workout video alongside Richard Simmons, this is simply not a fashionable fashion. Curses to spring for bringing out the leggings lovers.
I have a feeling this is just part one in a long list of things that nicer weather brings to the District. Expect further rants updates at a later (& warmer) date.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Triumphant Yet Somewhat Lazy Return to Blogging, Complete With Photos

I'm baaaaaack! Mostly. I've just been so darn uninspired, but I've got some good photos to share, in no particular order:

  1. I wish I had been able to more effectively capture this Metro rider's eyebrows, each of which were literally as thick as one of my fingers. My best guess is that he's a holdover from Nazi Germany or is using his forehead as a caterpillar incubator.

  2. My favorite genre listing at the Cleveland Park Library's big book sale. Ten cents a piece! A real steal if feline mischief is your bag. (I admit, though, that I purchased three Mary Higgins Clark mysteries and a $1 copy of the Torah. Yeah, THAT Torah.)

  3. One of my favorite outfits in a long time, making her way through the crosswalk outside my apartment. To her credit, she was Russian, which sortofkindofmaybe makes this OK. And yes, immediately after I snapped this photo, she picked a legging wedgie, which I'm sorry to have missed capturing. Just another reminder why LEGGINGS SHOULD NOT BE SUBSTITUTED FOR ACTUAL PANTS. Also, it was about 50 degrees out at the time this photo was taken.


  4. And finally, my absolute favorite billboard. Maybe ever. I'm blocking the giant face of the Quaker Oats dude. And no, nothing about this billboard makes any sense. But I love it & it makes me more inclined to chow on oatmeal, so I guess someone did their job correctly.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Notes on the Lack of a Scandal

Dear Blogosphere Folks, Real-Life Friends & Creepers Who Read But Never Comment:

I, your Suburban Sweetheart, am on a self-imposed blogging hiatus, a.k.a. I'm having a fairly boring life right now. I'll be back in a hot second as soon as something cool happens. And to be clear, "something cool" doesn't include:

  • Discovering a salad I like from California Tortilla,
  • Watching President Obama's press conference instead of "American Idol," and
  • Going to bed early,

all of which are occurring this evening.

In the meantime, feel free to catch up on notably cool things from my past (history-making, public urination, dancing cupcakes, death threats and porn stars, for example) & enjoy this photo of a Metro rider wearing what appears to be either a polar bearskin rug or a freshly sheared lhasa apsa:



Sorry for being lame, but I've been trying this new thing called "getting sleep" & it eats up a lot of my late-night blogging time.

Best wishes,
Suburban Sweetheart

PS: Just as I was ragging on Obama, he gave a supercrazyballersmackdown answer: "It took a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak. Next question." Boom.

PPS: I got "busy" cleaning my apartment & eating Girl Scout cookies & forgot to post this. That's how exciting my life is right now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'd Rather Die Than Diet

When residents of my building want to dispose of things they feel others might find useful, they just leave them in the lobby near the mailboxes, which is how I got my lamp, my bedside table & a few books.

Last night, I discovered a far less useful throwaway - a week's supply of chocolate cookies! Sounds great, right? Billed as "a hunger controlling good," Cookie Diet chocolate cookies are intended to, well, control your hunger as you attempt to lose weight. You're supposed to eat six cookies a day, each followed by a glass of water, & the only meal you eat should be "a reasonable dinner."



My friend & I, of course, spent a good half hour laughing hysterically at almost every facet of The Cookie Diet, including its messaging, packaging and advertising. Oh -- and the TASTE! Yes, we opened a package of cookies & tentatively tried out the cookies that Cookie Diet founder Dr. Sanford Siegal has promoted on The Today Show. As suspected, they taste like sponges. But oh, wait:
The cookies' primary ingredient is water. A little further down the ingredient list is beef protein hydrolysate &, finally, cocoa powder. These cookies ARE essentially sponges - with a hint of meat flavoring.



My other favorite aspects of the Cookie Diet:
  • The guaranteed way to control your hunger is to EAT. Go figure! The Cookie Diet amounts to starving yourself all day (eating the occasional chocolate beef sponge to tide you over) & then eating a healthy dinner. Essentially, this diet amounts to cookie-encouraged anorexia.
  • The tagline at the top of the bag is "The Proven Weight-Loss Program That You Can Do With Your Doctor." Ummm? 'Nuff said.
  • In his photo on the cookie bag, Sr. Sanford Siegal is wearing a stethoscope, as though he needs to convince you that he really IS a doctor and, yes, the Cookie Diet is totally legit.
Fret not! A Cookie Diet kiosk is now open in Tyson's Corner, just a few miles away from the District! Anyone wanna go on a cookie adventure with me???

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Urinetown:" The Union Station Edition

Last night was Bizarro World. I Metro'd out to Silver Spring for a local band's performance at Austin Grille, which is more of a Tex Mex restaurant than it is a concert venue. Also, it's about a 30-minute ride away.

One of my biggest public transportation fears is of being stranded on the Metro when I have to use a restroom. When I lived in Glenmont in Fall 2007 (so long ago!), I lived in anxious anticipation of this scenario coming true, especially because I have a child-like bladder (a.k.a. I have to go every 20 minutes); luckily for me, it's never come to fruition.

Until last night. On the way home from Maryland, my greatest Metro fear came true. I actually had to get off the train at Union Station to find someplace to relieve myself. This is how it went my 16-minute adventure went down from there:

  • I run off the train & note that I have 16 minutes until the next one comes, which means I've got very little time to accomplish my relief goal before missing another train - very late at night.
  • Literally running, I enter the almost-empty (& fully creepy) Union Station food court, where I am beyond dismayed to discover that the doors leading to the hallway where the bathrooms reside are closed. The sign reads, "Bathrooms Closed. Additional restrooms at Gate G." I haven't the foggiest where Gate G is, but it sounds far: I ain't got the time, & I sure ain't got the control.
  • As I prepare to test out the truthfulness of the sign, a girl bursts out from behind said closed doors, laughing, & yells, "Do not go in there! I mean it! Don't go in there!" and runs away.
  • I go in there.
  • Detecting the sound of running water, I notice that a guy immediately to the right of the doors is peeing on the wall outside the locked men's restroom. Disgusted, I ignore him & keep running down the hall.
  • As I enter a cul-se-sac at the hallway's end, I am shocked to discover at least six guys peeing on the wall outside the locked women's restroom.
  • I try the restroom door anyway. It's locked.
  • Feeling like I just walked into some horrifying fetish sex scene, I flee the hallway & don't stop running until I get to the movie theater.
  • I beg a women who doesn't appear to work for the theater (?!) to let me use the restroom. She agrees (probably because she don't work there), & I take care of business.
  • Upon exiting, I thank the woman & turn to a security guard who's hanging out on a folding chair. "Are you the security guard for this theater or for the whole food court?" I ask him. He's the former.
  • Regardless, he's as horrified by the story of men peeing the walls as I am & thus accompanies me down the hall & we part ways at the bathroom hallway, where he bravely makes his way into the urine-tainted corridor.
  • I run back to the Metro. I have six minutes to spare, most of which are spent recounting my terrible story to the friend who's waiting on me.
So many things are wrong with this story. The first peeing man should've scared me away, but he didn't; the second through sixth peeing men should've scared me away but they didn't. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do when nature calls, but I still feel pretty filthy about this entire experience.

Moral of the story: The further the distance, the fewer the beers I should drink.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Jump, Jump Around

Yes, Bowie, Maryland is really freaking far - or it's actually relatively close, but not Metro accessible, which is LIKE being really freaking far. I had to trek out there today, though, & while I complained heartily about the distance, all was forgiven when I got to partake in an activity one typically only finds in the suburbs - jumping on a trampoline!

I wasn't allowed on my friend Julie's trampoline when I was younger - primarily because they're dangerous, but also because their dangerousness was compounded by the fact that Julie lived on a steep hill that led directly into the Cuyahoga River. I'm fairly ungraceful, and gravity wouldn't have been good to me if I'd fallen. Today's trampoline seemed relatively safe, though (note mesh netting & flat terrain), & the friends who joined me on it seemed relatively cautious/paranoid like me, so I indulged.

Verdict? I WANT TO BE ON A TRAMPOLINE ALL THE TIME.



Unfortunately, I doubt my downstairs neighbors would be very happy with me or with the state of their ceiling if I bought myself a mini trampoline to bop around on while I watch very important TV shows such as "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody."


Yes, I just publicly admitted that.
And yes, I'm approximately 12 years old.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just Your Average DC News Round-Up

I find it pretty ironic that a Metro bus driver punched McGruff the Crime Dog in the face. You know McGruff, the friendly canine mascot who encourages kids to "take a bite out of crime" (a.k.a. snitch)? Yeah, he was the victim of a crime. And don't get me wrong, I also think it's horrific (& am damn glad the driver accused of it has been given the sack) but still... irony, anyone? Anyone?

http://www.manitowoc.org/Police%20Website%20folder/website%20images/mcgruff.jpg

Oh, and the level-headed folks over at MSNBC clearly went a little berserk with their headline, "McGruff Survives a Beat-Down," as though the oversized dog was gang-shanked in Rock Creek Parkway or something.

Also, when I clicked on the MSNBC piece, I was provided the link to the next most popular piece of local area news, "Woman Injured in Power Tool Sex Toy Encounter." Seriously, do not click through. My nether regions ache are angry with me just for reading it.

Listen, I love this city, but I never claimed that it was freako-free.

It's Like 10,000 Spoons...

Dear Cleveland Park Starbucks:



Utensil fail.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Force is Strong With This One...

If James Earl Jones were a young, white woman, I think (s)he'd sound exactly the way I do now. While everyone else in the District (including the massive gaggle of folks traipsing through my neighborhood to get to the zoo) is relishing the 60+-degree weather, I'm battling my second allergy-induced illness in as many weeks, & the effects are not pretty.

In other (entirely unrelated) news, I'd like to eat a falafel sandwich from Fresh Med every day for the rest of my life, please.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Post in Which I Realize I'm Sort of Actually a Real Adult

I don't have a great track record with keeping people's opinions of me positive. In fact, I moved away from my hometown partially because I needed to start fresh - not just because I was tired of the Buckeye State but because I was tired of being known only for my mistakes. I'd spent a really long time worrying that I was going crazy - & for a time, probably actually being crazy - & since then, I've spent a lot of time attempting to NOT be. If you want details, I can give 'em, but the moral of the story is that I came to DC in part because I was running away from Ohio.

So here I am, one year & seven months into my District residency, & every once in awhile something happens that causes me to reevaluate not only my life here, but my life in general - who I am & how far I have (or, in some cases, have not, but luckily this isn't one of those times) come.

Today I had one of thoe cartoon-light-bulb-over-my-head realizations that my emotions are finally in tact. And while I still have some absurdly undefined issues that need to work themselves out, I'm pleased to notice that I'm not a 16-year-old emo kid anymore. This afternoon, as I made one last shot at communication & then cleanly & efficiently severed ties with someone I care about who has no interest in reconciliation or talking things through like a mature adult, I happily recognized that I am:
  • relatively emotionally secure
  • ridiculously resilient
  • not nearly as creepy as I sometimes think
  • sufficiently but not unrealistically optimistic
And, in closing:
  • pretty freakin' normal.
Amen.

Thanks, DC.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Metal of Honor

I went to a new doctor today!

Guess what kind?

Here's a hint:


Ummm, who buys that as a gift? Did he buy it for himself? Who made that in the first place? My grandpa used to have one of these in his office, I think, but he was a dentist, & somehow a woven metal dude peering into a woven metal woman's mouth is far less uncomfortable than this one, semi-prominently displayed on the bookshelf next to my new doc's desk.

Discuss.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

And the Winner Is...

My giveaway has ended! Thanks to the 46 people who entered to win some Jewish snacks. I wish *I* were winning Jewish snacks. Then again, I work with Jews. And we snack every day... so I guess I'll be Jewish snacking tomorrow, as usual.

Anyway, the giveaway went down like this. Very exciting: First, I wrote on little slips of paper. Chopped up Post-Its, actually. I keep it classy. Don't worry, I tossed the sticky parts.


Folded 'em for aerodynamic drawing...


Asked one coworker for a hat & asked the other to draw...


And boom! We've got a winner!


I feel marginally guilty that one of my good friends won my giveaway, but it was fair & square! So CONGRATS, my dear! The winner shall be contacted a.s.a.p. via text message, which is our primary form of communication.

Thanks to all who participated - & even if you didn't win, I encourage you to buy your Purim goodies from Oh!Nuts. And now - back to your regularly schedule Suburban Sweetheart broadcast.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hippie Hill Invasion (Or "Disasters in DC Fashion")

Now that I work in communications rather than in legislative advocacy, I no longer frequent Capitol Hill much. Still, I like to think that when I do, I clean up fairly decently. I mean, sure, I participated in The Great Seersucker Suit Day of 2008, whereupon two of my closest friends & I took to the Hill to lobby & simultaneously attempted to reclaim the summer pinstripe for the Dems. OK, & no, not all of my "dress-up clothes" fit me particularly well because I have an apparent "pants problem" that mysteriously renders all my slacks massive on me, despite my lack of weight loss.

But even when I don't look my Sunday best, I know that there are a few things you just shouldn't wear when you make a trek to Capitol Hill to visit your elected officials. Things that come to mind include:
  • Sweats (pants, hoodies, the like)
  • UGGS (or any footwear that involves pom-poms)
  • Patterned, footless leggings
  • Any skirt too short/scandalous/ugly for church or dinner at your grandma's house
  • Tie-dyed anything
  • Patchwork anything
  • Anything made of hemp
I saw all of the above today, when 1,200+ college-aged hippies from Power Shift 2009 took to the Hill to demand Congress pass stronger environmental legislation. The worst fashion offender of the day? See for yourself:


Come ON. No matter how you slice it, wearing Crocs to the Hill - IN WINTER - is wholly (hole-y?) unacceptable. And she's not even going to try to blend in & pretend like she's wearing normal-person shoes? She's just gonna go straight to bright red?

Oh, & did I mention that it was 21 degrees & snowy out today?!?


PS: Hippie protests - Just one of the many joys of living in our nation's capital:


Let It Snow, Let It Snow, & Let Me Be More Careful About Future Screenshots

I know it's blurry (WTF crummy screenshot?) but LOOK WHAT WE HAVE! The "snow emergency" was canceled around 11 p.m. (which is good, because cabs charge a 25% fee to drive in 'em, & I had to get home from Arlington tonight), but we've still got a little bit of the fluffy stuff goin' on.

And though I have zero faith that it will manifest into any more of a winter wonderland (or that the precipitation-phobic residents of this city I call my second home would appreciate it if it did), I was pretty gloriously jazzed at tonight's weather sitch. And yes, I realize that I just may be the only girl in the District whose fingers are crossed for more.



PS: Gotta be careful 'bout those screenshots. Like, hypothetically, if you're looking at the blog of someone who most assuredly has no idea you read their blog, then you might, hypothetically, have to retake the screenshot in a flurry of anxiety at having almost outed yourself.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pushing My Love Over the Border(s)line

Last night was particularly brutal. After a really great time at a couple Cleveland Park bars with Johnny Fajitas & his fairly awesome older brother, he & I engaged in a killer argument circa 5 a.m. that resulted in his leaving my apartment in a cab, saying we wouldn't see one another before his move to Colorado in a week & a half. As a result, I spent today feeling like a huge jerk & just basically being really disappointed that such a fun dating experience ended on such an abrupt & negative note.

Today's sort-of solution? Wandering Borders by myself at 8:30 p.m. I was on my way home from dinner with a friend & decided that if I was near a bookstore, I couldn't help going in. Whether I'm in the 'burbs or the big city, the one constant soother, for me, is bookstores. Big ones, small ones, chain stores, Mom & Pop shops, new books, used books - they all have the same effect on my emotions. Tonight, I spent about an hour browsing titles I refused to drop full-price cash on, including awhile spent reading PostSecret books (& leaving a secret of my own inside one, written on a receipt). And while it didn't solve my Johnny Fajitas problem, it did relax/distract/calm me. As I tweeted earlier, "Nothing solves everything like a trip to Borders."

As we all know, my apartment is incredibly, unbearably tiny. In fact, it's so small - & my book collection is apparently so large - that I've run out of room for new novels. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do when I start wanting to read new stuff. My mother, the librarian, is going to read this & encourage me to stop shelling out dough for books when I could get the same at my local library (conveniently located right next door), but there's something about owning books & looking at shelves full of them - of my books, ones that I like & want - that makes me infinitely happy.

So here's a quick peek at my personal library. What's on your book shelves?

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