Monday, December 28, 2009

Today's Gripe: Stupid Knee-Jerk Reactions

I hope this post doesn't land me on the TSA's no fly list.

I am having a hard time with the reaction to Christmas Day's terrorist plot aboard an international flight bound for Detroit. Since all's well that ends well I don't feel bad criticizing the newly implemented restrictions that have resulted in the wake of this latest failed attempt by the "evildoers" known as Al Qaeda.

There is no reason to scan my handmade Barker Black brogues (note -- those are my embarrassingly pricey shoes). There is no reason to prevent me from bringing shaving cream that exceeds 3.4 ounces in my carry on luggage. There is no reason to make me stay in my seat with nothing on my lap for the last hour of my flight. What all of these knee-jerk reactions have in common is that they cause real terrorists to think of creative ways to cause havoc subject to the newly implemented regulations. Am I the only one who sees this being the case?

While I generally disagree with law enforcement profiling this may be the exception. Am I the only one who has noticed that the 20 9/11 assholes, Richard Reid and this Nigerian fellow all have a few notable traits in common? All men. All young. All Muslims (at least I suppose). Is anybody taking bets that the next evildoer will fall into this general profile?

But at the end of the day I will be the one who suffers most. I fly a lot. And now I will not be allowed to keep a blanket on my lap for the last hour of my flight, despite the fact that the passed an FBI background check. I guess common sense ain't that common at all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What's With The Lingo?

Many of you may not know this, but I am a social worker. I got my degree in social work administration and have been working in a management position for a non-profit called Experience Corps for the last two years.

On most days I really enjoy my work, but being that I am a normal human, I sometimes totally HATE it. On those days of hate I find myself becoming annoyed at everything. Emails piss me off, phone calls are irritating, and the things that people say around here, really get my goat.

For example:
When can we huddle up? - I am not an NBA star and you are not my coach. Simply asking when we can sit down and chat would suffice.

I need to download with you. - Although I find technology fascinating, I cannot stand it when people use computer or technological terms when talking about a human act, such as speaking. Instead try: I'd like to discuss or assess some issues with you.

Let me firm up with them. - The word is confirm. Please use it.

In terms of... - People are starting to use this phrase way too often and incorrectly at that! "In terms of my lunch being a sandwich, in terms of meals being food." In terms of SHUT UP!

We can talk about this offline. - When may I ask, will I be offline? Hmmm...

There are so many others, but you get the point. Besides, no one is in the office today so I am enjoying the bliss of silence.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Today's Gripe: People Who Steal (my) Shit

Starting late Friday night, Mother Nature hit DC with an early Winter smack down. I'd guess that total accumulation was between 1 and 2 feet, probably closer to the latter.

Among other collateral damage, my Dad and Sis who were supposed to visit this week, got snowed out of DC. They made it as far as Denver on Saturday, but by midday all flights into DC were canceled.

Nonetheless, Christina and I tried to make the best of the inclement weather by heading over to see Matt and Josh, our close friends who live just a few blocks away in Logan Circle. A bit of background is in order for those who don't live in DC. Our neighborhood is a few years past gentrified -- but well beyond transitional. Most who live here are young, professional and fairly well to do. As such, we don't spend any time worrying about our safety or whether our stuff is in danger of being stolen. We leave our Weber grill on the roof of our building for days on end, we never worry about the car parked in our garage, etc. So when it rains or snows we leave our umbrellas, boots, etc., in the hallway in front of the door. Who doesn't?

I think you can see where this post is headed.

So I left my Bean Boots in the hallway in front of Matt and Josh's apartment Saturday night. A few hours later -- GONE! What the hell? Who steals a pair of boots -- a place I put my sweaty feet? Knowing that the poor person who's the rightful owner will be stranded in two feet of snow with nothing to wear on his feet . . . what the hell is wrong with people?

Thankfully, Josh had a pair of Tim's (albeit size 11) that I borrowed to wear home. Still, I am fuming that some piece of shit would have the nerve to steal my boots. I ask you all to keep an eye out for some 12" Bean Boots with a piece of tape around the end of one lace on the right foot. I'll pay extra if you kick the guy who stole them in his nuts.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Are We Getting Cheesier?

Last night was the third night that The Sing-Off was on, and I was tuned in. As the host Nick Lachey says every five seconds, it's the only a capella singing competition on television, and I'm hooked.

While I sat in awe and watched "The Beelzebubs" sing the great Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline I started to think about how cheesy some of the shows on TV are these days. Here's a list to prove my point:

5. Glee - I posted on this show a few weeks back. I love it. It's about a high school glee club and it's fantastic, but again, it's about glee club and there are showtunes involved...

4. American Idol - The classic cheesy singing competition that has been on way too long in my opinion, but people love it!

3. So You Think You Can Dance - I don't watch this show, but some of my friends love it. It's basically people who have been dancing their entire lives either professionally or for fun who come together to compete for fame and fortune. Well maybe neither fame nor fortune, but definitely street cred!

2. America's Got Talent - How cheesy can we get? It's a variety show/competition. People yodel, mime, perform acrobatics, and train their dogs to jump through hoops -- awesome!

1. Dancing with the Stars - Super Cheesy Cheesiness! Who can resist Donny Osmond dancing his little heart out? I know I can't.

Anyway, I happen to really enjoy cheesy goodness once in a while. I sing along to the Broadway hits being belted out on Glee, I practice my samba while swiffering the floor after a good episode of Dancing with the Stars, and I've taught Bella to juggle like one of the showdogs on America's Got Talent! Okay, so Bella can't juggle, but these shows make me happy and that's all it's really about.

Do you enjoy cheesy shows too?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Self Important People: Part Two

I was really annoyed yesterday when I was waiting on line at the grocery store and two men decided that their time was more precious than mine and proceeded to cut in front of me. I said to one of them "hello, I was actually next," but he ignored my cries. I said out loud to myself, "maybe I am invisible today."

Anyway, it got me thinking about the top five places that self-important people always frequent. I'm not saying that all people who visit these places are self-important, but I guarantee that you will find a few self-important people there at all times. Here they are. See if you agree.

5. The Gym - Oh my god, are the people at my gym soooo important. Just ask them, they'll tell you! Never a kind word in the locker room, just judgemental glares. Always racing to the next available machine and pushing you out from in front of it...

4. Hair salons - Ever feel the need to dress up when you go to get your hair did? That's because the people at hair salons are self-important and un-friendly. Maybe it's just salons in big cities, but I feel like if you're shampooing, and then styling my hair, should'nt we at least say two words to one another? Maybe be friendly and really work for that tip? I guess they're just better than me...

3. Stuffy stores like Brooks Brothers - Okay so Mike loves him some Brooks Brothers, but I can't stand the place. I'll admit, they carry really well made menswear, but their staff are rude, and the people who shop there are the WORST. Talk about snobs...yuck.

2. Starbucks - My grande double stuffed oreo latte, is more important than your tall holiday peppermint patty mocha supreme...AND I will push myself in front of you to make that point very clear. Why can't we order in small, medium, and large? I HATE the people that hang out at Starbucks.

1. Whole Foods or other Organic Markets - AHHH! I swear the people that shop here are the most elitist, snobs on earth. Oh look at me, I only eat organic, and I have the paycheck to do so, (Whole Foods = Whole Paycheck) and therefore I am superior to all others. Whatever. I like to be able to buy Heinz Ketchup and Hellman's Mayonnaise if I want to.

Ohhh! Mike and I flew to Seattle today and I am so happy that I didn't post this entry yet, because MANY self-important asshole-ish people hang out at the AIRPORT! Pushing their way to the gate, placing their carry-ons in the over head bins where they don't belong because MY carry-on belongs there, over MY seat...anyway, the point is, that people need to chill out and not be so pushy at the airport. Your time is not more important that mine and we will all get to our destination eventually.

There I'm done.

Monday, December 7, 2009

China Pictures

Here are a few that my parents took. I spent a good portion of Sunday going through ours, but I have to spend more time to really choose the best ones to have printed so I can make an album and scrapbook. It takes a lot of time and energy to sort through so many pictures...ugh!

I do hope that you enjoy these. The one of Mike and me was taken at the Forbidden City in Beijing. That's where the imperial family lived from the during the Qing to Ming Dynasties. The one of the white temple is at Beihai Park and although it was a chilly day, the sun was shining and it was lovely to see the snow glisten. The two of the Buddha and Bodhisattva carvings were taken at Dazu which was one of my favorite places.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Congratulations Tiger: You're a Douche

I'd like to think that someday there will be a role model for my (future) child who is BOTH a stellar professional athlete and a top notch human being. Now that Tiger is officially off the list, let's start the search anew.

I'm starting to think that Sir Charles may have had it right when he disclaimed the "role model" label. Maybe he's right that professional athletes are simply doing a job that happens to be highly lucrative and places them in the spotlight. And it is probably true that the old timers from our parents generation weren't any different -- present day media and the utter lack of privacy for celebrities are probably more to blame than the declining moral character of our supposed role models.

Nonetheless, I can't help but be disappointed in the addition of Tiger Woods to the list of total douche bags who just happen to be really good at a professional sport.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Gripe of the Day: Self Important People

They are everywhere in D.C. Of whom do I speak? Those self-important assholes, of course! Just take the White House State Dinner crashers, for example. So self-important that they made themselves believe that they were invited to the White House, when they are really just pathetic fame seekers...anyway, I digress.

Back to my personal gripe. Why is it that when I'm walking to work at a brisk pace that people feel the need to shove me out of the way just to get by. The phrase commonly used is "excuse me." Please try it.

I also wonder why it is that when I have the right of way and the signal says walk, a lunatic driving a Volvo feels the need to make a left at top speed, damn near hitting me! It makes no sense. First off, it's Friday. If you're in that much of a hurry to get to work, you're a loser. Second, if you're running late, try leaving your house earlier, to avoid RUNNING SOMEONE OVER! Just a thought.

I also feel like people here are blindly unaware of their surroundings. Wake up and smell the city people. There are others that live here. During rush hour, don't let your dog poop in the middle of the sidewalk where people are walking. It's rude. Also, if you're walking with a friend or a loved one, hand in hand, please know that you are taking up the entire sidewalk and that single file walking might be necessary so that others can pass. That would be polite. Lastly, your time is not more important than mine, nor is your life. So pretty please with sugar on top, clean the fucking car. Um, I mean be aware of your surroundings, and don't do drugs.

That's it.

*If you're not a movie line kinda person, "So pretty please with sugar on top, clean the fucking car" is a line from the film Pulp Fiction. "And don't do drugs" is a line from the film City Slickers. Two very different, but awesome movies in my opinion.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

That's how I finally feel. Like I'm finally getting my groove back. Jet lag sure takes a long time to get over. Throw in a stomach flu, and a husband with a head cold, and it takes even longer.

Anyway, I feel good today. The sun is shining and it's brisk outside and feels great. The holidays are just around the corner and decorations are starting to go up all around the neighborhood, which I love.

I promise to post pictures of China this weekend when I have the time to sit down and choose the best ones to share. One of my goals for this weekend is to go through all of the pictures, all 800 of them, and to start on a China scrapbook/album. It's hard not to take so many pictures when you're in such an amazing place.

I am happy to be home though. Although China was fantastic, there were a few things that drove me crazy while we were there.

In particular:

1. ROCK Hard Beds - Why is it that the Chinese like to sleep on beds that feel like marble?

2. Squatters - Hello! "Western" style toilets are the way to go people! Cleaner, more efficient, EASIER TO USE!!!

3. Two Double Beds in EVERY Hotel Room - I guess the Chinese didn't get the memo. Married couples like to sleep together in ONE bed, preferrably a soft one.

4. Spitting - What is with this? Men, women, babies, all spitting, all the time. Gross!

5. Volume Control - Inside sacred temples, airplanes, restuarants, wherever. People don't practice voice volume control and are instead extremely LOUD!

Those were my top five. I never thought I'd be so happy to see my toilet.