Saturday, December 16, 2006

Well this is a day I never thought would arrive...

I got linked by The Volokh Conspiracy. I wonder if the guy who wrote the craigslist post realized he'd create such a stir.

Update: Haha. Thanks for clearing that up. But, "modestly old-school"?

My liver screams for detox

Boy, I guess it's partly the holidays with all their accompanying socializing, and partly cause I'm trying to get all the time in with my friends before I go abroad, and a lot of other random reasons, but I've been drinking myself silly nearly everyday for the past two weeks. A month in India should be good, because I highly doubt I'll be doing any drinking over there. India is fairly dry to begin with, and even if places do sell liquor, it's very suspicious for a women to be drinking alone, and then of course there's the whole safety issue. So Liver, don't fret, rescue is coming.

Ah, but it is getting just a tad sad. I know, I know, it's only a month, but I hate saying bye to people. A bunch of folks have already left on their own holiday ventures, including Sylvie who's in sunny Hawaii, so I said bye to her last week. I met Danielle and Jon for drinks after work yesterday to say farewell. They even claim they're going to start reading my blog now, so I guess I better stop talking all that shit about them.

I keep thinking I'm ready to go, but after I check off the 10 things I put on the list last week, 10 more pop up. I still need to go buy a digital watch sometime this weekend. I'm really just giddy and excited and slightly nervous all the time. It's a good kind of stress, but between that and going out all the time it's definitely weighing on me a little bit. Or not, actually. I've lost a lot of weight since fall and it's poundage I didn't really have to lose to begin with, so I'm just a little concerned about embarking on a month-long trip tipping low on the scale like that. But, there's not too much to do about it now, since I doubt I can really bulk up all that much in a couple days. I just worry that all the walking and the Indian food and the nausea from my malaria pills might make this a bigger problem than just all my pants falling off me.

Anyway. Maisnon and I have been doing a lot of chatting about packing and shopping and all the things we have to do when we first land in Bangalore. It turns out we actually aren't on the same flight, which is a shame, but she still arrives not long after me. I think I've got my to-do list for that time, including finding a travel agent, buying my saris for the wedding, and getting a couple of salwar kameez to wear through the month. I hope to not bring more clothes than the ones on my back, but I probably haven't thought that all the way through yet.

Okay, I'm off. To do what? Get a beer with Paul. My liver hates me.

The Men of D.C. Respond to Me Calling Them Vanilla Pansies

Or at least, Julian does. He proposes that it may not be that y'all are like a bunch of 8th graders at their first co-ed dance party, or that the women here are a bunch of ugly heifers, but that the real problem is, in fact, that Women of D.C. may be on average pretty darn good looking. Okay! That's a hypothesis I can live with. Read his post to get the gist of his argument.

Certainly for the most part, whether or not it's actually true for this town, I can see his point, though it's also more of a catch-all, since there are always a million reasons that factor into why people choose to approach someone (or don't) in bars, and most of it is anecdotal rather than a broad sweeping reason that applies generally. However, I can see that if you're hanging out at the bar and there's a group of pretty attractive females, you can (a) pick one out and go through the often painful process of superficially getting to know someone enough to know whether you'd go out with them and, as Julian notes, risk wasting half your night sucked into a conversation with a bore, or (b) wait until the next group of attractive females come along, because there are always more, and one of them might run into you at the right time and the right place, thereby circumventing (a). So, of course, he chooses (b) and continues to sit there drinking his beer with people he already knows he likes.

And it's not gender specific, if you subscribe to the notion we live in a society where women are starting to approach men at the same rate as the reverse, and I do subscribe to it. I'll say that I think, generally, the men are attractive in this town (at least, I've thought that only since I got the hell out of law school); I've never really found that to be the problem with D.C. I know I (inserting anecdote) have let minor opportunities to approach a guy in a bar, even though I thought he was attractive, and even though I may have even seen him noticing me, to slip by, because of the reasons listed in (a) and (b) above. Though while Julian thinks that for guys you risk being trapped by the Tedious Bore, us girls fear more getting trapped by the Tiresome Asshole, which D.C. seems to excel in corralling into our fine city at extremely high rates.

Therefore, dating in this city sucks because we're all just too pretty.

So, who's got our next craigslist ad to overanalyze?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Well, Christ, that didn't work at all.

Okay, so the html IS all screwy, and I can't even fix it because I can't get into blogger to edit the post, so it's just going to have to look like crap all day. Apparently I can't use html at all, but I wonder if just doing the stuff in gmail will do the trick. Like clicking the bold button? That should be bold. Did it work?

Update: Well now I really don't understand. It's unblocked. Like, it was blocked yesterday with a giant red banner that told me I was visiting a social/dating site that was unacceptable, and today, it's fine. EXPLAIN. Or don't explain, just don't block it again, please please please.

Tragedy! And Vindication! At the Tragedy of Others!

Okay, the first tragedy? The Powers that Be blocked blogger.com at work! No, actually, they only blocked beta.blogger.com (which I use) and not regular blogger. You know what that means. Oops. Luckily, Maisnon showed me how to email in my posts, so that's what I'm doing now. Hopefully the html isn't all screwy. I seem to be able to read blogs still, but anything that opens a beta.blogger address - like comments - gets an Unacceptable Use Alert. Boo.

My vindication, you ask? THIS. How many times have I told you people that lettuce is the abomination of vegetables and, though I rarely have proof, that it's the most common source of food poisoning in fast food restaurants. I'm sorry that so many people had to get sick so that I could sit here in my rightness and be right, except not really because YOU SHOULDN'T BE EATING LETTUCE EVER. Much less at freaking Taco Bell. Yeesh.

P.S. Today is my last day at work until January 22!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Largely, yes.

A faithful reader just forwarded me this. First, it's a little funny that somehow this has turned into a dating blog. Or at least, every time I mention dating people send in mail. Or maybe my intern just keeps all the checks and gushing fan letters people send in and only passes along the craigslist forwards. It's even funnier considering the conversation we had last night during the Collective about how no one on DCist could write a sex column cause it'd be full posts of, "So last night I tried this new frozen dinner from Trader Joes (yum-o!), watched Top Chef because Sam is so dreamy, and went to bed early."

Second, re the craigslist posting, I also think it's a little funny that dating would be your only analyzation point of whether or not a city is a good place to live. Sure, it's up there in the list of annoyances about living somewhere, but I'm not sure I'd factor it into my decision whether or not to pack up and move there.

Thirdly, the person who wrote this was clearly a dude, so I don't exactly empathize with his point-of-view ("guys: all the chicks are ugly; chicks: all your friends will be ugly"), but, okay. He's definitely on point with some of it ("The men here are a bunch of vanilla pansies that are scared to approach a woman in a bar"). Ah D.C., The City of Vanilla Pansies. I'm curious to know if most guys really think that all or most of the girls in this town are ugly and out of shape. Taking a quick look down the street and at the mental picture of my friends here, I don't really see that. Anyway, I wonder what event made him break down and post a rant about it. Did he finally snap from the crushing inevitability that he's gonna go to every Rumors happy hour for the rest of his life and never find his One True Love? I guess that'll do it.

er, what?

Pet peeve #894223: Strangers who leave you a voicemail to call them back at "fivefivefiveseveneightthreefour." Please, pretend someone's actually trying to write this down.

I didn't know this game we were playing even had a set of rules.

Woo hangover. Last night I had drinks with the...wait, what are we calling it now? The First Collective of D.C. Lady Female Women Blogger People? That sounds about right. I had too many jack and cokes for my apparently ginormously tall body. Or maybe just the right amount, after all, I had to toast to getting this up and running finally. Have you taken a look through the pool yet? Totally great. These photogs are going to bring the house down.

I also met one of my neighbors at the Collective, who Sommer and I semi-stalked after she left a comment on DCist saying she lived on a block that's actually my block, and then we noticed she had a bunch of folks we knew on her blogroll, so we figured we must either know her already, or should totally try to meet her. And so we did! Good times. We trekked around the hood until last call at a bar I seem to remember swearing we wouldn't ever go into again, and then just as I was about to hit the hay at the reasonable hour of 1am, I ran into another neighbor on the way home and stayed up for another hour or so. Clearly the question shouldn't be Should We Rename U Street "Little Etiopia?" It must be renamed "Little Bloggerland."

So I finally make my way home and check my email to find one labeled, "I'm totally pissed at you, except that you're completely in the right and I have not one iota of legitimate argument to make, so I'm going to send you a pissy little email about something totally insignificant and pulled from nowhere even though I'm being wholly transparent and really, a little pathetic and sad." Ah, the crazies. I seem to attract them like crazy moths to the flame. I should get a bugzapper.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I love it when a plan comes together.

DCist Exposed Photography Show

Apply here.
Submit your work here.

Waitin' in line, gettin' my visa.

I hopped up to Embassy Row this morning to get my Visa. Luckily, I'm freakishly overprepared for everything (I had like ten documents I didn't even need — my vaccination records, a copy of my vaccination record in case I had to give them one, etc etc). (I imagine some people at dcist could tell you right now how annoying this habit of mine is.) I got there at 9, pulled a ticket from their nonworking ticket machine, with the help of the six people already in the room who had to jerryrig it themselves. Every time a new person came in they'd wander around until someone said, "Get a number," Then, after they go over to the thing and see no ticket sticking out, four or five people: "No you have to lift the thing. Lift the thing. The red thing. No, like this. No, lift it up." Ah, India here I come!

The thing about being freakishly prepared is that while I breezed in and out (I was #5, I handed him my application, passport, and visa, and he gave me a ticket stub and I left), the guy in front of me got royally fucked. He drove four hours to get here (I know because he kept yelling, "I drove FOUR hours to get here! FOUR! And now you're telling me I have to come back?? FOUR HOURS!"). I don't know for sure what his problem was, but I suspect that he wrote that his intent was to go there for research, thus putting him under the auspices of a journalist visa, which is much harder to get than a plain vanilla travel visa. He kept asking, "What if I just change it to 'vacation'?" But the guy wasn't biting. I feel bad for the guy, but this is why you have to look into things before you drive FOUR hours to do something. Of course, I don't actually have my Visa in hand yet, so maybe I should knock on wood. I'm supposed to go back at 4:30 to pick it up. (I want to complain about the 1.8 mile walk from my office, or the $10 cab ride because Mass Ave is not metro accessible...but I didn't have to drive FOUR hours to get there, so). And of course, I rag on this guy, but here I am extremely unprepared (for me) to do, like, ANYTHING when I get to India. But I figure as long as I can get in the country, I'm golden, right?

Monday, December 11, 2006

like giddy little children

Despite the 11.5 hour time difference, I often get the chance to chat with Chai since she left for India (before she heads off to bed, while I'm having my first coffee of the day). Our conversations sound a lot like this:

YIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEE!!!!OMGIMSOEXCITED!!!1!

Few things can garner such energy from me at 8:30am, but hearing about Chai's shopping trip to buy her wedding sari (or, twenty saris) and how she saw the house today that we'll all be staying at, and realizing I've got just over 9 days until I get to do all those things myself (actually, 11 days...it'll take me two days to travel there, as the crow flies, with the turn of the earth and all that), just gets me all riled up. And I get to see Maisnon soon! In Heathrow even, since it seems we separately chose the same flight from London to Bangalore. What's more fun than meeting up with your friends in foreign lands? I submit to you, not much.

You know in college I had a globetrotting friend and, this was before I'd ever left the country, we used to make up life stories that included meeting up every five years in another part of the world. Oh, it's 2003? I'll see you in Cairo, darling. And now, well, I'm kinda doing it! See you in Bangalore baby.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

10 days. TEN DAYS.

Yeah, I leave for India in ten days, which means it's close to freak-out time. Luckily, and thanks to my new friend who informed me of a camping store in Pentagon Row, I finally managed to buy a backpack today, which means I'm more or less ready to roll. Any random thing I'm missing I'm sure I'll be able to get while I'm strolling around Bangalore that first week. Oh, except for my Visa. Right. Gotta get that Visa this week.

As suspected, I'm getting a little angsty. Though I'm sure the month will pass by too quickly, and though I'm sure by all accounts I'm about to embark on - even if just in the slightest - a life-changing adventure, I'm still sad about leaving for so long and all the random things I'll miss during that time. Is that lame? I've hardly had a chance to enjoy my new place yet (and have paused the unpacking, once everything was 'clean' for the party and preparing for India took center-stage, my totally disorganized closet/desk/etc seemed like projects too big to embark on just now). And over the past year and a half since I graduated, I really feel like I've made a pretty good life for myself in D.C. I've spent that time becoming very close with people I met during the terrible Staffwise days, and have recently been becoming better friends with folks in the neighborhood and through DCist (e.g.). I may not have a "real" job, but I've made a lot of inroads here (uh, yes, I'm at the office Sunday, taking a break...I have to hand my major case over to another guy, and it turns out I've been keeping a ton of information in my head, which doesn't help him a whole lot) and garnered respect from the people I work for, not to mention a big office and good pay. And for some reason I have this strange and fairly irrational feeling that it's all going to get fucked up if I look away for a second.

Maybe it's because of the new year, and that always requires some forced awareness of your situation. And maybe because I know for sure that there are some changes that will happen next month that I'm more or less informed of, but will still be gone when it all shakes out. Regardless, I know it's all a very silly feeling, and things will be fine, and my friends and my job will still be here when I get back, and I'll spend the next year interrupting people with obnoxious anecdotes that begin, "Well, when I was in India..."

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