Archive for August, 2009

Window into my Brain

Have you ever been on an escalator at the very moment that it stops working? I have. Thank you very much, Friday night. Let me tell you: it might not seem like it’s going very fast, but when it slams to a stop, it is rather jarring. 

Over the last few weeks, as inspiration strikes (as it generally does on the metro… I suppose I am inspired here more readily because I am forced into quietude and stillness), I have written a few thoughts down on my blackberry memo pad to share with you when the time seemed right. I guess today’s the day… 

Random thought #1 (not previously recorded. This one’s fresh): I’ve recently been told that I have a very expressive and transparent face. What’s more: not only is this true (and I most often dislike this about myself… it means no secrets), but my EARS are also expressive. I’m serious. They give me away every time: Am I riled up? Angry? Nervous? Embarrassed? Anxious? …My ears burn with the fire of 934 suns (a thousand suns sounded too pedestrian). Watch them: they turn bright red. And it’s an unforgiving and uncontrollably vicious cycle. Angry? Ears burn. I feel them heat up, and it agitates me. Burning gets worse. Redness increases. I become embarrassed and acutely aware that my flaming ears are smoking. This incites anxiety… Eventually, they’re the color of a McDonald’s roof, and I have to slink away to find a fire hose, embarrased and “outed.” Thank you, ears, for betraying me. Thanks.  

Random thought #2: Making friends is like dating. 
That’s all I wrote before, and even though that doesn’t say a lot, it’s true and can be understood a dozen different ways. For example: how soon is too soon to hug? Do I refer to you as a coworker? Colleague? Acquaintance? Dare I say… Friend? When we meet up to hang out, how much should I open up? Do I tell you how I honestly feel about my life here in DC, or do I sugarcoat it? Should I make fun of that tacky screen-printed, foil, iridescent, wolf-“art” that people buy at flea markets and that you probably save up to buy and proudly display on your walls at home? If we find something in common that excites me…play it cool, Laura, play it cool. Don’t get all weird. Be the right amount of excited. And for goodness sake, don’t let your ears turn red.

Random thought #3: Metro conductor is asleep or drunk. 
No kidding. In DC, people don’t talk on the metro (except tourists and families – and even then, only to each other). But on the day that I wrote down this thought, people in my train car actually spoke to one another! We discussed the conductor’s speech, and marveled at the comedy of it all. Instead of announcing “next stop: east falls church,” our train conductor sounded like she said “nest stahhp, easfahws slurst.” Come to think of it, someone probably should have reported that…

Random thought #4: You know you’ve got issues when your arm hairs have split ends. 
I’m not even going to attempt to explain this one. Sometimes I am just plain odd. 

Random thought #5: The man standing next to me on the metro could kill me with his pinky finger. 
He looked like his nickname might be “Little Bigs” or “Muscles Leo.”

Random thought #6: Flower in hat, American flag bandana hanging out of pocket, walkie talkie on hip, an eye patch, and muttering.”
These are the observations I quickly captured while watching a man on the metro. I tried messing with the settings on my cell phone camera to take a picture without making a loud “click”ing noise, to no avail. You’ll have to settle for my meager description. He looked like a cartoon.. I should also note that the “flower” in his hat was of the variety that is generally found in clowns’ hats. The kind that squirts. I had “Yankee Doodle” in my head for a while after that…



I know, I know… I need to post some pictures of my recent family visits here in DC… Here are some samples:


Fourth of July on the National Mall:


Natalie and me being “French” with our disc berets…




My parents came about 2 weeks after Matthew and Natalie…




Mike and me took a walk to the White House after our yummy anniversary meal downtown. 4 years, and going strong! Praise God!





A chandelier in the bathroom at the restaurant. Yes, I took a picture of the bathroom. Actually, I took several…




We went back to “Founding Farmers” (the restaurant we went to for our anniversary) when Sarah visited – 2 weekends ago:







Outside the Capitol building:




In Georgetown, by a pretty canal:



At the National Cathedral… it was breathtaking!












It’s funny, living in a different climate than the one you grew up in/know/love. All through winter, I promised myself I would NEVER complain again about the heat. So far, I’ve held almost true to the promise. I’ve reveled in the humid, sticky, muggy days we’ve had here in DC recently, and I am firmly committed to appreciating it while I can. 


You see, cold weather is only about 2 months away for us. That means I have approximately 60 days to wear shorts, get a tan, wear flip flops, bare my collarbone, and show off my shoulders. You should know – only in VERY HOT weather can I wear sleeveless stuff. I am so cold natured, that I was wishing I had a light jacket with me on the fourth of July when we watched fireworks on the National Mall.  I’m not kidding. By the way, that was the trip when Matthew and Natalie came up – I still intend on posting a blog with pictures, but I’ve just been crazy/busy… stay tuned for that.


I digress. The cold weather last winter, the hot weather now, and the impending doom of winter approaching have all brought about a new appreciation for me: an appreciation for my shoulders. It turns out, I like my shoulders! And, especially, I like SEEING them. I miss them in the winter. Them, and my knees. I have come to appreciate these bony parts as a sign of the heat, the sun, the GOOD weather. And, as I await my second arctic season, I am clinging to my tank tops and sundresses with a passion.


I had to take a new picture for my Dept. of Homeland Security ID yesterday. I intentionally wore a sleeveless dress so I could have a little reminder in January, in that 20 degree weather, that I do – indeed! – have shoulders (and knees). I lose these parts under fluff, down feathers, parkas, hoods, wool, and layers upon layers of winter wardrobe.


But for now, it’s 90 degrees. I’m sweating, it’s humid, my hair is frizzy beyond belief, and my makeup is melting off. But I can see my shoulders, and for that I am grateful.

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