Posted by barb on Jul 25, 2006 in Movies

I’ve been seeing preview for Scoop, a new Woody Allen movie. I like Woody Allen, for the most part. Scoop also stars Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson. I like Hugh Jackman. He’s rather cute in addition to being able to act. The dilema? I hate Scarlett Johansson. Ghost World? It was middling. Lost in Translation? Hated it (I want my 2-hours back). Girl with a Pearl Earring? Middling, bordering on boring. The Island? Actually, it was okay (not great cinema, but I didn’t expect that), but it also had Ewan McGregor in it (yum).

So, do I go under the assumption that Wood Allen and Hugh Jackman will nullify the mindnumbing performaces of Scarlett Johansson? Or do I finally learn my lesson and skip it?



Dumbass drivers

Posted by barb on Jul 17, 2006 in Random Thoughts

Note to you after-morning-rushhour drivers: Don’t stop at the top (or bottom) of the ramp to get on the Beltway*. I know it’s scary to see all of that traffic moving on the Beltway, but the only way you’re going to get into it is if you move your ass. Stopping is only going to make it harder, and it’s going to piss off the drivers behind you, like me.

Second note to after-morning-rushhour drivers: Don’t act startled when I honk at you for drifting into my lane. I happen to like the finish on my car as it is, and while there’s less traffic than during rush hour, it’s still not acceptable to just veer into someone elses’ lane.

*I realize that this happens during rush hour, too, but I generally only see it occasionally when I’m driving to work. This morning, driving in at 10:30AM I saw it twice – once directly in front of me on an entrance ramp.



Quietly Growing Gills

Posted by barb on Jun 27, 2006 in Random Thoughts

As of last Tuesday, Weather.com says that our area had had 0.76 inches of rain to date this month. As of yesterday? It says we have 10.10 inches to date this month. That’s over 9 inches of rain, most of it since Sunday. As much as I like rainy days and thunder storms, it seems that this is just about too much.




Posted by barb on Jun 15, 2006 in Random Thoughts

You know the saying, “you don’t need to be good, just lucky?” Well, it’s a good thing I’m usually pretty good, ‘cuz I’m sure as hell not lucky.

The traffic report on the radio mentioned an accident on I-66 this evening, so things were backed up a little bit from the Beltway to Nutley – exactly how I usually get home. Sometimes I ignore the warnings on the traffic report, and about half the time I regret it and half the time I don’t see what they were talking about. This time, though, the Beltway was backing up about three miles before the I-66 exit, so I bailed out on Chain Bridge Road.

Big Mistake.

Chain Bridge is always busy, but not usually stopped for longer than one red light, except at the first light into downtown Vienna. Today, however, it was a nightmare. In fact, it was closed in the middle of Vienna, and there was a one-lane detour around the problem. A one-lane detour that took 45 minutes for a net distance down Chain Bridge of one mile.

I can’t win. Traffic around here sucks.



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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Dignity. Period!

Posted by barb on May 19, 2006 in Random Thoughts

Imagine a box of tampons costing half of your monthly income.

Sound ludicrous? That’s the situation in Zimbabwe.

Feed your family? Pay rent? Or buy sanitary products?

From this article in the UK Sunday Times:

SHE has been arrested 22 times, tortured so badly that her front teeth were knocked into her nose and had an AK-47 thrust up her vagina until she bled. Thabitha Khumalo’s crime: to campaign against a critical shortage of tampons and sanitary towels in Zimbabwe, one of the least talked about and most severe side-effects for women of the country’s economic crisis.
So desperate is the situation that women are being forced to use rolled-up pieces of newspaper. Zimbabwe already has the world’s lowest life expectancy for women — 34 — and Khumalo believes these unhygienic practices could make it drop to as low as 20 because infections will make them more vulnerable to HIV. “It’s a time bomb,” she said. The shortage is forcing schoolgirls to stay at home when they start menstruating.
When an MP raised the issue in parliament, government ministers fell about laughing and dismissed the matter.

Read the whole article.
Head over to here to see what you can do to help.

[Via Feministe]




Posted by barb on May 4, 2006 in Random Thoughts

Small, black, enclosed tent in the sun + throngs of 6th graders = margaritas!

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Want proof that appliance repair companies are slimy?

Posted by barb on Dec 5, 2005 in Random Thoughts

We had the oven repair guy out this morning to…well…repair our oven (duh). While he was out in the truck, I saw some of his paperwork on the counter. Notes on the page for his next job? “Requested 10% senior discount…quote higher to make up for it”.




Airport Blogging

Posted by barb on Sep 13, 2005 in Random Thoughts

Dear Dallas-Fort Worth Airport:

I don’t care how shiny and new your hallways look. I don’t care if you have interesting-looking shops for me to waste my time and money in while waiting for a connection. I don’t even care if you have lots of fast-food restaurants so that I can grab a bite to stave off hunger during my cross-country trek.

What do I care about, then, you might ask? Clocks. For goddess sake, put a freaking clock or two around the concourse. I’m not asking for much. Just a display of the local time on a wall somewhere on the concourse other than the “departure” or “arrive” schedules (on which I couldn’t actually see the time — I assume it appeared at the bottom, which would only have been visible from a good twenty feet away, and then likely illegible at that).

This might come as a shock to you, but unlike shoppers at a random mall in middle-america, it is not a good thing for your customers to lose track of the time. I understand that shopping malls want their customers to lose themselves at the mall — spending for hours and hours without realizing that the sun has long since set and the moon is high. However, when customers to your shiny-new stores get lost in time, they delay flights.

Sure, the flights may not actually wait for the passengers, but in this post-911 age, there are rules about luggage flying to destinations before their assoicated passengers. So, in the worst-case scenario, should someone get lost in time, and completely forget about their flight (or, more likely in the D-FW case, have no access to the current time) they will cause the baggage handlers to locate the errant passengers’ luggage in the already packed cargo bay. In the not-so-worst-case scenario, said passengers will arrive, huffing and puffing, onto the plane late, and expect that their space in the overhead bins is still free.

Of course, setting aside the worst-cases, it is just nice for your passageners to know what the time is, so that they can feel free to wander through your interesting stores and grab a bite at your numerous fast-food joints, and not feel rushed to return to the gate 30 minutes before boarding just because they don’t have a watch.

So, I implore you, and many other airports across the country…nay, across the world…to feel free to liberally install clocks throughout the terminal.

A not-so-worldy traveller

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Big Fat Biker

Posted by barb on Aug 18, 2005 in Biking

Kameron at Brutal Women had a post yesterday about a fat guy at the gym. This reminded me of my many insecurities about being a fat woman (sorry, Andrew, you can argue all you want, but I am fat). I won’t join a gym. While there are several reasons that I won’t join (easier to exercise in the basement, cost, dealing with twiggy women), the main reason is that I’m too self-conscious to exercise in front of other people. I don’t even let Andrew stay in the basement when I’m doing my weights, unless he’s on the exercise bike. Of course some of this self-consciousness is from the years of being “the fat girl” in elementary, junior high and high school. However, my aversion to others watching me exercise comes primarily from my brother and father. Years ago, when I still lived at home, and my mother and I were trying Weight Watchers yet again, we decided to try an exercise video to get ourselves moving. We would wait until Dave and Dad were supposed to be out of the house for a while (either working or at bowling or some such thing), and then we’d pop the tape in. No sooner had we started, but Dave or Dad would show up at the top of the stairs and laugh at us. That’s right. They weren’t encouraging us in our efforts to become more healthy; they were mocking us. Nice, huh?

When I first started biking a couple years ago, I was still self conscious, but decided to ignore that in favor of doing something that I really enjoyed. Occasionally, I would go out alone on the streets near our house, and I would get “whoop”ed at by passing cars. This only happened when I was alone, or so far ahead or behind Andrew that it was not clear that we were together. Do you think those drivers were telling me “way to go”? No. Of course not. They were saying “look at the fat girl on the bike” with their “whoop”s. After that, I stuck to biking on bike trails. While other cyclists pass me, at least no one was making fun. I have not ridden on the streets this summer at all, even with Andrew. I’m so proud of the progress I’ve made over the last couple years (from barely able to do 5 miles at the end of 2003 to doing 17 miles last weekend – yay me!), that I just don’t know that I can bear another “whoop”.

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