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Gah. I need a shower!

Posted by barb on Apr 28, 2007 in Random Thoughts

Andrew and I were coming home from DC on the Metro. It’s a Saturday, and we were boarding in the middle of DC (Metro Center, for those of you familiar with DC), so naturally we had to stand for a little while. At the first stop, one guy got off the train, leaving a complete seat empty (i.e two seats together). I quickly went to grab it, but the guy’s bag was still in the seat. Andrew tried to call after him, but the guy had already disappeared. We took back our places next to the door, and just before the doors closed, the guy came back on. We thought maybe he was just coming back to grab his bag, but turns out he was doing god-knows-what out on the platform, and left his bag to hold his seat.

The second stop, he disappeared again, but I saw that he didn’t have his bag in his hand, so I figured he’d be back again. He was. During the ride to the next station, he approached a cute girl who was standing near Andrew and me if she wanted to sit next to him, since he had a seat free. I wondered if she was pregnant (her back was to me at first), and thought, well that’s nice. Nope, turns out he just wanted a pretty girl to sit with him.

At the third stop, the seat behind this guy freed up, so Andrew and I grabbed it. I didn’t really pay him much mind anymore, since I could engross myself in Mini-Golf on my spiffy new video iPod.

At some point (not sure how many stops later), I heard an odd sound – at least, odd to hear on the Metro. I heard a tinkling, like water being poured. I looked around, and noticed the guy in front of me kind of hunched over in his seat, his head bowed looking at his lap.

He couldn’t be, I thought. But kept watching.

After a short time, he shook one of his hands, which was in his lap, and zipped up his fly. In his other hand, he had a styrofoam cup.

I gave a horrified look to Andrew, who was reading his book. He looked back at me uncomprehending.

The guy got up at the next stop, and took his styrofoam cup with him. Thank the goddess, since that was no Mountain Dew in his cup.

I was ready to throw up. As soon as the door closed, I turned to Andrew and said, “That guy peed in his cup.” I convulsed with the willies. Gawd. A guy had peed into a cup in the seat in front of me. Gah. Gah. Eew. Then I made Andrew move to another seat, at the other end of the train.

But. WTF? I mean really. What has to go through someone’s head to think that that is even remotely okay? Seriously? What? I would never, in my wildest dreams think that it was okay to pee in a cup on a public train. Do people really have that little respect for their fellow human beings? Gah!

And I can tell you that it’s going to be a while before I can take the Metro again. I mean, last time I did, someone peed in a cup.

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Giant Organs

Posted by barb on Feb 3, 2007 in Around DC

A couple weeks ago, while walking through Union Station.

Giant Colon

Andrew: What is that up there?
Me: I dunno. Maybe a giant colon.
Andrew: No. It couldn’t be.
Me: Okay, maybe a giant aorta. It looks like some internal body part.

[Getting closer]

Me: It IS a giant colon. Why did I know that?
Andrew: I don’t know.

Giant colon

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You’re not supposed to do that!

Posted by barb on Jun 5, 2006 in Random Thoughts

A bike. On the beltway. Not a motorcycle. A bicycle. Human powered. WTF?

On my way to work this morning, I had many things that I was thinking about committing to the blog. But just as I passed the Kennilworth ramp, I saw a bike coming on to the beltway. I did a double take. Triple take. Possibly a quadruple take (though that one might have been in the rear-view mirror). What was a bike doing coming onto the beltway? I’m scared to ride on little local roads. The rider must have gotten there by mistake, right? But in my second, third, and fourth looks, I couldn’t see any look of “oops” in the cyclist’s face or posture. He should have realized his mistake and turned around, but he kept going.

What I can’t figure out is where he thought he was going to go. The next ramp off was at the BW parkway – another road it is illegal for him to ride along. But it’s morning rush hour, so if he wasn’t getting off there, he’d have to cross through the merging traffic to continue on. But at least he was wearing a helmet. As if that would do any good against the traffic travelling at 70 mph along the beltway.

I just hope he doesn’t take anyone with him when he dies in a messy accident. And I hope whoever hits him on the beltway can forgive themselves – he’s the one who isn’t supposed to be there.

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Yay Vienna!

Posted by barb on Aug 1, 2005 in Random Thoughts

Hey! Vienna, VA, the city Andrew and I live in, was named the fourth best place to live by Money Magazine. How cool is that?

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Mickey Mouse times 75

Posted by barb on Apr 3, 2005 in Around DC, Pictures

Despite the threat of rain, Andrew and I went out to see the Mickey Mouse statues that are in town through April 30. Unlike the panda statues, the Mickeys are all collected in one location — the Reagan Center in downtown DC. Apparently this is the only place, besides Disney World, where all of the Mickeys will be displayed together — the other cities on the tour only get a selection of the Mickey statues.

I’ve posted an album of all the Mickeys, and here are a few of my favorites:

Lots ‘o Mickeys
Lots 'o Mickeys Lots 'o Mickeys
Circle Vision TRON Mickey
Circle Vision Mickey TRON Mickey
Space Mickey
Space Mickey

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Panda in new habitat

Posted by barb on Mar 12, 2005 in Around DC, Pictures

Andrew spied one of the Pandamania Pandas a few months ago in the lobby of a nearby office building. We were finally able to take a picture of it today on our way home from the movies.

This is the “Clean Panda” that was outside RFK Stadium and that we saw on our 9th panda-hunting trip.

Clean Panda in its new habitat

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75 Mickeys!

Posted by barb on Mar 5, 2005 in Around DC, Pictures

After the DCIFF sessions, Andrew and I stopped at the Shops at 2000 Penn to browse at Tower and grab dinner. While there, Andrew spied this Mickey statue:
New Mickey

Turns out 75 Mickey statues were made for Mickey Mouse’s 75th anniversary. Those Mickeys are going to be in DC from March 19-April 30. Yay! The statue we spied is a 76th Mickey that will be on display with the others.

The Shops also had on display some cool kites for the Smithsonian Kite Festival, coming up on April 2.
Kites at the Shops at 2000 Penn   Kites at the Shops at 2000 Penn

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DCIFF

Posted by barb on Mar 5, 2005 in Around DC, Movies

The DC Independent Film Festival kicked off last week, so Andrew and I decided to catch a couple sessions today. We caught two shorts fests: “Politics, Conflict, and Controversy” and “Cinematic Love & Death”.

I suppose I should have been prepared, during the first session (politics, conflict and controversy), for films with a message. I wasn’t. I’ve been a writer for a long time (not paid, not published, but a writer, none-the-less), and I know that a good story comes from, well, a good story. It needs strong characters with real problems and conflicts. If there’s a “message” to the story, it will come through the problems and conflicts that the characters encounter. There’s no need to hit the reader over the head with the message. Most of these filmmakers have not learned this lesson yet. Nearly all of them had a message and felt that they needed to shout their message at us stupid viewers.

Having said that, there were a couple noteworthy pieces during the first session:

  • Convictions: Prisoners of Conscience was a documentary about protestors at Fort Benning Georgia who are regularly arrested and face federal prison time for their peaceful protests.

    In some ways I felt that the actually content of the protest was missing — I got a general idea of what they were protesting (the School of the Americas), but there wasn’t enough “evidence” to make me support the protestors. On the other hand, the documentary was really about the protestors, not the subject of their protests, at least that’s what I gathered. In that sense, it was well-done with an underlying arch that brought the film from beginning to end and told the story of the protestors without shoving anything down our throats.

  • Daughters of Abraham was a documentary about two girls in Iraq — one a suicide bomber, the other her victim, both looking so similar that they could have been sisters.

    This one was also more powerful than the “fiction” shorts that had a message to convey. Here, there was a message of sorts, but the filmmaker did not take sides. Rather we got to see both girls’ parents talking about their girls. We get the sense that the parents of the bomber, while sad that they lost their daughter, were supportive (not necessarily proud) of their daughter and her convictions. On the other side, we see the grieving parents and classmates of the victim.

    This one was not as well crafted as Convictions: Prisoners of Conscience, because at times it seemed that some material was just thrown between scenes of the parents without a real plan for connecting events.

The second session was much more enjoyable than the first, though two of the pieces were almost indecipherable. Particularly enjoyable:

  • Handshake — an animated short about two people who get entangled due to a simple handshake.
  • Samuel de Mango — Samuel grew up eating only mangoes. His mother grew mangoes. He hated mangoes. When he finds that he’s interested in the married woman next door, he decides that his only escape is suicide. Unfortunately, all those mangoes in his system make suicide difficult.

All in all, a fun afternoon. We’ll probably be back for another session or two next weekend.

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Worst Commute Ever

Posted by barb on Jan 19, 2005 in Random Thoughts

We got about an inch of snow here in DC, so the idiots were on the road. I knew the commute would be bad, so I left work at 11:30 AM, after a half-day. I got home at about 3 PM. Yup. Three and a half hours to go 35 miles.

It took 30 minutes to get the 2 miles from work to the Beltway. Another 30 minutes to get off the Beltway at the next exit (about another mile); turned out that the Beltway was essentially closed there due to a multi-car accident, and despite a police, firefighter, and ambulance presence, traffic was still chaos. Then I took an hour getting back to the Beltway (I cut across the inside “corner” of the Beltway). Then another hour and a half to get the remaining 15 or so miles.

At least I didn’t get into an accident.

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