Archive for August, 2004

Playing in Traffic

Listen touristas, I know you love our fine city and I am SO GLAD you are here, right now, in the height of summer because God knows if you can come here when it is as humid as wet tissue and 180 degrees outside and still love it, damn it so can I, but REALLY. We gots to have words about your commuter etty-kette.

  1. It cannot have possibly escaped your notice that during morning and evening rush hours there is a lane for WALKING and a lane for STANDING on the escalators. I’m sure you must be in some kind of jet-lagged awestruck heat-addled COMA not to have noticed this because otherwise I cannot understand why you would walk onto the steepest escalator in all the world in two-by-two formation and STOP DEAD. How do you not a) not see the hordes of commuters in suits carrying their lunches in those little Banana Republic or Godiva Chocolate bags streaming down the escalator in front of you and b) not feel the five-car pile up hit you in your enormous backside as us working folk gasp in fear imagining our suited lunch-carrying selves somersaulting in a tangled pile down to the metro floor? Please people. Get on and GET OUT OF THE WAY.
  2. Also during rush hour, metro trains come EVERY ONE TO TWO MINUTES. There is no need to charge the doors and RAM your bodies and the bodies of your children into those of us who are already smooshed in the car with the rest of the commuters standing perilously close to each others sweaty armpits trying to read. Hungover. Just wait for the next train. What’s the rush at 9:10 am anyway? Think the monuments are going somewhere?
  3. There is no need to stand inside the car with your nose touching the doors blocking other people from exiting at their stop. If you look at the maps posted ALL OVER THE PLACE and listen to the nice conductor naming the stations, you can tell how many stops are left before you get off. Feel free to SIT DOWN ALREADY.
  4. Group singing is highly discouraged. I know it is super cool to be traveling in your huge group with your matching shirts and slogans, but the rest of us don’t want to hear your insane jollity.
  5. Back to the flow of traffic thing, PLEASE DO NOT walk out of the metro train car and STOP DEAD, leaning over to wipe your children’s noses. Please DO NOT get off the top of the escalator and STOP DEAD, looking at your map. Keep it moving until you are out of the way of the rest of your fellow subway travellers!
  6. NO AMBLING THROUGH OR STOPPING IN THE CROSSWALKS, NECKS CRANED HEAVENWARD. Drivers are people too, and some of them want to turn right.
  7. If all else fails, just do your public transportation travelling between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. Most of us are in before 10 am.
  8. Yeah right.

Thank you dear touristas. We love your pie-eyed cash-spending presence. At least it takes our minds of the TOTAL BULLSHIT CIRCUS that is American politics and the foreign policy of the current administration.


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August Weather

How lucky am I? I come back from Hawaii where it was sunny and warm and beautiful every day (save one, the last day thank goodness when I was shopping like a mad thing trying to buy presents for everyone which basically means returning to the mainland with double my weight in macadamia nuts) and DC is in the middle of the most beautiful fall weather — dry, sunny, almost crisp! Everyone PLEASE come over for drinks on my roof deck.

Whew. I have missed posting and have wanted to earlier but our internet connection is unreliable at best. Plus I was too busy in Hawaii using every spare minute of time that I wasn’t working either LYING ON THE BEACH wearing 30 sunblock trying to get tan without getting fried (the day I hiked up Diamond Head, though, I did get slightly lobsterish) or DRINKING UMBRELLA COCKTAILS and watching the sunset. Beautiful.

Beautiful I tell you. I didn’t want to come back. But, I used to live there (Navy brat) so I know I would eventually want to come back. The real reason I didn’t want to come back is because I had a BALCONY. A lovely large balcony where I could pour myself a gin and sit in view of the ocean and prop my feet up and leaf through magazines.

The Cartographer came with me. We had a blast, lots of good conversation and AMAZING SUSHI. Oh lord don’t even get me started on how amazing the ahi sushi is there. Holy Mother of our Lord. So here are the highlights:

  1. amazing sushi, especially the ahi katsu (rolled in nori and flash fried, with amazing special sauce)
  2. balcony, complete with gin and good friend for long conversation
  3. the buddha I bought from here, now residing on my kitchen windowsill between the champagne bottles
  4. the cute PhD student I met who hiked up Diamond Head with me
  5. walking along Waikiki the first night and hearing three random guys singing in Hawaiian (and laughing a lot) in three-part harmony whilst watching their friends play volleyball (I think it was half to mock them, half to cheer them) — completely unscripted, unstudied, and totally fucking amazing
  6. the moon making the white sand glow
  7. torches on the beach at night
  8. my super cute bikini and getting a little brown in spite of the sunblock
  9. swimming in the sea

Now I’m back and my flat is in TOTAL DISARRAY because the contractor still isn’t finished installing my tub. There is dust everywhere IN EVERY CONCEIVABLE CREVICE and crap everywhere and did I mention dust and the only thing that works in my bathroom at the moment is the toilet (thank the HOLY because I obviously need that). Every morning I brush my teeth at the kitchen sink and the Champagne Buddha gazes back at me beatifically, reminding me with his enigmatic little smile to have compassion.

Compassion for the contractor, compassion for my boss, compassion for myself, lately returned from paradise and trying to get back into the swing of the real world. Namaste everybody.

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