Tag Archives: Washington

One Born Every Minute

Just today I realized that I really am a good person.  Nice.  Law-abiding.

It’s true. Because somehow today I did not live out my longest held fantasy.  One that I’ve wanted to enact since childhood.

I will admit that I was close to doing it.  Possibly closer than I have ever been to saying “What the Hell, I’m gonna do it! — Now!  Today!”

I will admit to seriously considering doing it just for the moment when I was struggling to get into the driver’s seat of my car today at lunch time.  The moments.  OK, it took half of my damn lunch hour.

You see, I had an important errand that I had to take care of.

But some asshole had parked so close to my car that I couldn’t even get my purse into the car from the driver’s side.

Did I deserve to be placed in this, ummm, position?  Did I park outside of the white line? No. I was parked just fine, thank you very much.  Parked within the designated parking spot.  Straight.  Did I mention that I was well within the white lines on both sides of my car?  Well I was.

I did not deserve to be treated in such a manner.

So when I realized that without liposuction, a detention in a concentration camp or a colonic, there was no way in hell I could get to the driver’s seat from the driver’s side.  I was annoyed, I stood there for minutes with my hands on my hips, glad there were no children milling about to increase their vocabulary.

But I had no choice; I had to go. So I walked to the passenger side of the car, to climb into the driver’s seat. I soon realized that the driver’s seat was as close to the steering wheel as vehicularly-possible.  I realized that I was also not supposed to exert myself following my surgery.

Did I mention that it was important that I go?

So I struggled to get my body into the driver’s seat without a cerebral hemorrhage.

Somehow, I managed.

The cerebral hemorrhage happened when I carefully backed out of my parking spot, and realized two things:

  1. There were 24.5 parking spots in that section of the parking lot alone, and five floors of empty parking spots on the floors above us; there was no reason for someone to park in such an assholic/inconsiderate manner.
  2. The car sported a special license plate.

Instantly, I started fantasizing. Within a heartbeat, I was transported back in time. Teleported to the very first movie I remember watching.

I was very young.  Young enough to be crabby that my brother, Bob, had control of the TV.  Annoyed that he was watching a movie instead of cartoons.  Annoyed enough to forget that as long as the TV was on I didn’t really care what was showing.  (I had, just that morning, been watching the test pattern.)

The movie was brilliant, and I have never watched the test pattern since.  It was called

If I Had A Million

 It was a compilation of a bunch of sequences where various characters were given a million dollars that they could spend however they chose.  It later became the TV series “The Millionnaire” where a wealthy man would give people $1 million as long as they didn’t tell where it came from.

Anyway, in the move If I Had A Million, WC Fields’ lady-friend Mary had just had her new car ruined by what we would today call an “asshole,” but who was then called a “Road Hog.” When WC Fields and Mary Boland  got their million, they knew just what to do:

They bought a bunch of old clunker cars, and whenever there was a road hog around, they would ram their clunker into him, causing the jerk to totally wreck his own car, along with theirs.  But that didn’t matter, because that was why WC and Mary had bought those old clunkers!

They did this repeatedly.  And it has been my fondest wish since I was about six years old, to be able to do that to the bad drivers, the folks who cut people off, who weave and edge and drive dangerously.

Revenge would be so sweet!

But in spite of being a wise ass, I am not an asshole. I did not smash the car that parked so inconsiderately. I did not accidentally-on-purpose run my keys along the $60,000 Audi Q7 SUV. I did not even spit in its general direction.

It was especially challenging because I realized that the owner is represents everything I hate. I realized that I’d seen him before, changing lanes discourteously.  He (and yes, it was a he) had an overpriced car that he drove like he owned the road.  And those specialty license plates?

Photo Credit:  VA DMV Website

The Asshole was A Tea Partier! Photo Credit: VA DMV Website

 

And I realized that I really needed to feel sorry for the dumb rich guy.  You see, this genius paid extra taxes to the Commonwealth of Virginia so that he could protest paying taxes.

Photo Credit:  izquotes.com

Photo Credit: izquotes.com

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Campaigning, Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Driving, Elections, GOP, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Taking Care of Each Other, Taxes, Virginia, Wild Beasts

Well, I Was A “Star”

There are days when you just look your best. Most women I know can point to just a few times when the stars are aligned – when we are simply movie star beautiful. Every hair is in place (or perfectly out of place). The dress hangs just so; the pearls, even though fake, hang at just the right length. The dress accentuates the right things and hides the imperfections.

Perfect. Stunning. Memorable.

I had a new dress to wear that spring day in 1984 . I had waited to wear it until I needed the perfect combination of professional and sexy.  This was it.

A meeting with clients in my DC office. Lunch with an old friend. A date.

So on that Friday morning I put my new dress on. After all my health problems and surgeries, I was finally looking pretty damn good again.  But this was my best.  And I knew it instantly.  I would remember this day.  Unusually, I primped in front of the mirror.  Everything looked perfect.

The dress was black, with three-quarter sleeves. It hung straight at the sides with just the hint of a curve at my waist. The six-inch white stripe down the center added a little bit of elegance to the dress, and to me.

My shoes, slightly professional black pumps with two-inch heels, worked. The pearl necklace – yup a perfect accessory.

My curly reddish-blond hair was swept back into a French braid, but wisps of curls invariably straggled out, softening the lines around my face.

I looked like a movie star. At least as good as Marilyn.

Google Image

Google Image

Or Audrey

Google again

Google again

Or Eva

Eva Marie Saint

Heads turned towards me as I walked to the metro. A man offered me his seat and then flirted with me until I got off. More heads turned as I walked the two blocks to work.

My office was at the end of the hall, and I passed my colleagues.

“Wow, Elyse!”

“You look great.”

“Nice dress!”

“Got a date tonight?”

With each compliment, each appreciative look, I preened just a bit more. Smiled a little bit more. Walked a little taller. I couldn’t help it.  I looked gorgeous!

When I arrived at my doorway, I turned to go in.  I looked back down the hall feeling as if I’d gotten off the runway at the Paris fashion show.

Ed, the lawyer who sat in the office across from mine, got up from his desk to see me.

“Elyse!” Ed said. “Wow!  You look like a movie star!  You look just like Pepe Le Pew!

Le Google

Le Google

 

See?  I was a star.  And a star’s a star.

82 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Criminal Activity, Fashion, History, Huh?, Humor

Places

The Beatles, as they so often did, said it best:

There are places
I remember
All my life
Though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some are gone
And some remain
All these places have their moments

I’ve always formed strong attachments to places. The house I grew up in in Connecticut. The house we bought in France across the border from Geneva. My office. Yes, I have a deep love of my office. Because when the company gave me that office, it was as if I’d gotten the winning office Lotto ticket.

For 11 years, I’ve dragged everyone I know up to my office to see the view. I’ve even taken you, my bloggin’ buddies up there a few times, like when the space shuttle flew over on its last lap and when two Supreme Court Justices visited us immediately after the oral argument on Obamacare.

From my three large windows, I can keep my eye on all things Washington. I can see much of official DC and a big hunk of Northern Virginia. Nobody in Our Nation’s Capitol gets on a helicopter without me knowing about it. And I can tell you for a fact that Dubya’s motorcades caused a lot more disruption than Obama’s do.

My pictures all suck.  But this is from the building's own website (Photo credit http://www.rosslynoverlook.com/image-gallery.htm)

My pictures aren’t as good. This is from the building’s own website (Photo credit http://www.rosslynoverlook.com/image-gallery.htm)

 

As you can see, my office overlooks the Lincoln Memorial up the Mall to the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian, the Capitol Building. During the Inaugurations, from my office I could see the bunting hanging from the Capitol Building.  I can also see the Jefferson Memorial, the bridges, National Airport (which I will never, ever, ever call “Reagan Airport” while there is life in this body),  Arlington Cemetery.

The Iwo Jima Memorial to the U.S. Marine Corps is one of my favorite places to walk on nice days.  It lists all the major battles the marines have seen. The Iwo Jima doesn’t list the “Civil War,” though. Amusingly to this Connecticut Yankee, it lists “The War Between The States” because, after all, it is located in Virginia.

A picture from last night's walk.

A picture from last night’s walk.

The Pentagon is ahead, just to the right. Folks who were present that day heard the impact as the plane slammed into the side of the building there on the right, although no one actually saw it hit. They smelled the smoke, heard the sirens, saw the fire engines fly from every direction. For a while, when we were all still expecting an imminent attack on Washington, I worried that I might have a window on history to something I would rather not see.

View 4 Pentagon

That’s the Pentagon, behind the Netherland Carillion. Oh, and my window is very dirty. Gonna have to leave this place.

When there was a small earthquake in the middle of the day a few years ago, I watched (from my spot in the doorway) as government helicopters swooped in to inspect the bridges for structural damage before the ground stopped trembling. I’ve often imagined that drivers on the bridges must have felt like they’d suddenly stumbled into the filming of a James Bond movie, as the choppers dipped and spun to get a closer look.

A month after I started working there, a townhouse just down the road went up for sale. The ad highlighted the view from the rooftop terrace of the townhouse, and priced it at $2.25 million. I clipped the ad, taped it to the fridge in the kitchen with a note:

“Hey, we get PAID to look at this view!”

Sadly, today is my last day as an office space lottery winner. Monday, my company will begin the week in new office space.

I’m just not sure how I will be able to keep an eye on Washington for y’all.

Sigh.

 

Sigh.

 

 

90 Comments

Filed under Adult Traumas, Huh?, Virginia

Obama Is A Weak Leader: A Generic Republican Interview

Do you ever feel like another blogger has occupied your brain?  Well I certainly did when I read this guest post by the brilliant  List of X one of my very favorite blogging buddies.  Please send him a message in the comments — a strong message!

*    *     *

From the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, every Republican leader and right-wing pundit has criticized Barack Obama for not being tough enough on Russians. If we could interview a generic Republican leader, the interview would go something like this…

Journalist: “Generic Republican Leader, would you have a few minutes to talk about Barack Obama’s response to the crisis in Ukraine?”

Generic Republican Leader: “Yeah, sure.”

Journalist: “Do you agree with the way Obama is handling the crisis?”

GRL: “I don’t. Obama has proved himself to be a weak leader. He needs to be strong, and get tough on Putin.”

Journalist: “And do what?”

GRL: “Obama needs to lead.”

Journalist: “How?”

GRL: “By being a strong and decisive leader.”

Journalist: “Which is…?”

GRL: “Which is the opposite of a weak leader like Obama.”

Journalist: “So what, do you think, is Obama’s weakness?”

GRL: “He’s not a strong leader.”

Journalist: “But what he should do to become a strong leader?”

GRL: “He should act decisively.”

Journalist: “And by ‘act” you mean…?

GRL: “Not mince words, like he does.”

Journalist: “Should military option be on the table?”

GRL: “All options should be on the table – military, diplomatic… but not vegetarian, I hate that option.”

Journalist: “Do you think it’s time for diplomacy?”

GRL: “No, it’s time to send Putin a message.”

Journalist: “But not for diplomacy?”

GRL: “No, because we’re just going to send a message, and we’re not interested in anything Putin has to say to us.”

Journalist: “So what message should Obama send to Putin?”

GRL: “It has to be strong message.”

Journalist: “About what?”

GRL: “That we’re strong and we’re not going to stand for it.”

Journalist: “And what should we do if Putin ignores our message?”

GRL: “We should act.”

Journalist: “Act how?”

GRL: “Decisively.”

Journalist: “But what should we do exactly?”

GRL: “We should put an end to Putin’s imperial ambitions.”

Journalist: “Would you oppose Obama if he proposed a military action?”

GRL: “Yes.”

Journalist: “Would you oppose Obama–

GRL: “Yes.”

Journalist: “Sorry, I haven’t actually finished the question.”

GRL: “Oh. I thought you did. What was the question?”

Journalist: “Would you oppose Obama–

GRL: “Yes.  Absolutely.  My answers still stands.”

Journalist: “So what do you propose?”

GRL: “We need to send him a strong message.

Journalist: “To Putin?”

GRL: “No, to Obama. What about Putin?”

Journalist: “You also wanted to send a strong message to Putin.”

GRL: “Right. Then we need to send two strong messages. Or we can just send it to Obama and copy Putin on it.”

Journalist: “Shouldn’t Obama, as president, send the message himself?”

GRL: “No, he’s too weak.”

Journalist: “But it’s just a message. Obama can just type it and press ‘Send’.”

GRL: “No, Obama needs to physically print the message and walk to the mailbox to send it. Otherwise Putin will see that Obama is too weak to even walk to a mailbox. We need the president who can not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk. We need a strong president!”

Journalist: “Do you think Putin is a strong leader?”

GRL: “Yes, definitely.”

Journalist: “So do you think Obama should be more like Putin?”

GRL: “………….Have I told you that Obamacare will kill three million jobs?”

Journalist: “Thank you for the interview. Any last words for our readers, Generic Republican Leader?”

GRL: “Yes. Vote GOP in 2014! Unlike Obama, we have a clear, strong, and decisive foreign policy!”

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Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Campaigning, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Elections, GOP, Guest Posts, Huh?, Humor, Politics, Stupidity, Voting, Wild Beasts

The Congressman from A Galaxy Far, Far Away

You know that old phrase “Truth is stranger than fiction?”  It’s true!  And it is, in this case, beyond sight and sound.  Which makes it much stranger than fiction in my book.

I learned this today when I was watching a news report about the Texas primary election, and Congressman Steve Stockman (R-Beyond the O-Zone).

OK, I wasn’t really watching it.  I was reading a blog post.

But John was watching it.  And he froze the frame with the DVR shouting:

“Now I know why Stockman is so weird!  Look at him!  What IS he?”

I looked back at my husband with love, respect and concern for his sanity; I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.

What IS he?” my husband of 27 years repeated.

As a political junkie and movie lover, John gets a special thrill when worlds collide.  And if outer space is involved, so much the better.  And tonight they did.

Because Steve Stockman, (R-Area 57) is clearly not of this earth.  And finally, there was proof.  Verification.  Actual photographic evidence.  And only the best sleuth/husband has so far identified it:

The evidence is right there on his face. Photo credit:  http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com

The evidence is right there on his face.
Photo credit: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com

As John rightly pointed out, Congressman Stockman is from another planet.  Remember Men in Black?

Stockman is clearly a Ballchinian.

I’m guessing that you now understand why I married this guy.

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Elections, GOP, Huh?, Humor, Politics, Stupidity, Voting