Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dispelling Myths

Lately it seems I am the subject of several (perhaps unfair) rumors.

The first rumor? That I always and unconditionally smell fantastic. Regardless of what Cheshire Kitty and Tweedle Wit say on the matter, this is absolutely untrue, as anyone within several feet of me after biking home from work through the 90° swamp would undoubtedly confirm.

The second rumor, based on my deep and eternal love for Mediterranean and Middle Eastern spreads, is that I put out when given such delicacies. That I spread for spreads, if you will. (GET IT? ZING!)

Sorry. That was terrible.

Tweedle Wit is responsible for this beauty, after once remarking, "I think if I ever wanted to have sex with you, all I'd have to do is buy you some hummus." I jokingly replied that while hummus will likely allow you to round a couple of the bases, you'll only hit it home after buying me baba ganouj.

This stuck... I can't imagine why. It's the myth that just. won't. die. To the point where telling Tweedle Wit that I planned to take a boy to this little Turkish place on 8th Street and waxing poetic about their heavenly, smoky baba ganouj earned me winks and cartoon-style raised eyebrows.

I make a mean hummus, thanks to my dad's recipe, and I've recently been wondering if baba ganouj isn't just as easy, because the ingredients must be quite similar. Lo and behold, the stars aligned, and a charming chickadee gifted me a lovely recipe from on high!

...Okay, so that charming chickadee was Lemmonex from Culinary Couture... and she didn't so much gift the recipe specifically to me as she did gift it to The Interwebs, from whom I then snatched it. DETAILS, DETAILS. Still, the timing is perfect, no? I stumbled upon this gem mere days after I started wondering about my own potential baba ganouj-making skills.

I tried it last night. The verdict? Delicious! Although, I think the clove of garlic I used was a touch too big, giving it a bit of an unintended kick. I also suspect that using those small, farmer's-market Japanese eggplants would have made it even more flavorful.

Still, homemade baba ganouj FTW! After making it for my own dining pleasure, I might just have to have sex with myself.

Wait... what? I don't know what I'm saying.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Navigating Hell

It's no surprise to anyone who knows me that I abhor Dulles with the fire of a thousand suns. I navigate IAD for one reason and one reason only: reasonably-priced non-stop flights to SFO (god bless you, Richard Branson).

So I was highly amused last night to see the following directional sign pointing me towards my terminal, because it's exactly how I feel about the hub -- you can get there, but you're NEVER LEAVING:

Maybe hell isn't other people. Maybe hell is just Dulles Airport.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Getting Trashed

This just might be the saddest thing I've ever seen:

...I'm just saying.

Going (going) Back (back) to Cali (cali)

It's that time again.

Time for me to leave the (mildly) grown-up life that I've created for myself here in DC -- my own apartment, my real job -- and fly home to California for ten days. I go home twice a year; once in the summer and again at the holidays.

Going home has become even more glorious than it was when I was in college. My big sister only lives a half-hour's drive away from home, so our parents see her relatively often throughout the year. Sometimes they buy her things, sometimes they make her dinner, sometimes they take her out to eat. But because they always tried to make spending even, and because I live thousands of miles away, when I come home they feel like they have to make up for lost time. This almost certainly means I can look forward to ten days jam-packed with restaurant meals (that I get to pick), homemade meals (that I get to pick), and shopping trips.

I'm very close to my family, and don't get me wrong -- in all honesty, I'd be just as excited if spoiling was not imminent. But I know it is, and there's no use pretending it won't be fun. Especially considering we were not particularly spoiled as children.

So here's to sleeping late, authentic Mexican restaurants (take that, DC!), shopping with Mom, and Dad's grilled steak (and ribs and burgers and chicken and salmon)...

I can't fucking wait.

*Oh, also? As soon as I get back to DC, I'm hitting Lemmonex's Baba Ghanouj recipe, and I'm hitting it HARD. Just so you're prepared.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Predicting Plagues

My department resides in the basement of our office building. We have been patronizingly asked by the higher-ups to stay positive by referring to our floor as the "Lower Level." I call it The Dungeon.

Today one of my colleagues lamented the fact that she's being eaten alive by a mosquito the size of her fist, which apparently is living in The Dun-- ahem, excuse me -- the Lower Level. About twenty minutes later, a staffer from a different department visited our floor to obtain some office supplies. On his way out the door, he squealed, declaring that he just saw a rat running around our department. Aforementioned colleague instantly grabbed her bag and fled upstairs to work in the lobby.

Awesome! Suddenly my basement office is home to the ten plagues.

Mosquitoes? Check. Locusts.
Lack of natural light? Check. That's darkness.
Rats, apparently? Check. Basically, pestilence.

I'm predicting fiery hail and death of the first-borns next.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Checking Watches

I can't usually sit through the Olympics' entire Opening Ceremony. I find that I have a fairly low tolerance for contrived announcer drivel, as well as all the ridiculous downtime (the latter is why I am also unable to sit through awards ceremonies of any way, shape, or form).

But, as anyone who has met me knows, I'm a lush.

So when Tweedle Wit, the Caterpillar, and some of the other girls decided to have a party to drink red, white, and blue beverages of an adult nature, eat Chinese takeout, and watch the Opening Ceremony, I of course obliged.

I will say, the Beijing performances impressed me. They were visually stunning -- a feast of colors, lights, rich fabrics, and incredible costumes. We ooh'd and aah'd at all the appropriate times and sipped some CuraƧao-based cocktail that the girls called The Fishbowl.

We cattily judged each nation's sartorial selection as they paraded past our screen. From traditional garb to classic summer suits to fairly hideous matronly floral dresses with matchy-matchy hats, we were not in short supply of fashion police ammo.

We marveled at the fact that all stereotypes aside, some countries really are just full of freaking beautiful people. (Turkey, I'm looking in your general direction.)

We even mocked the announcers' ridiculously vapid commentary:

"China's main exports are silk... and... Chinese cultural values." Uh, seriously? "The ceremony is presented in three languages: French, English, and... China." Oh, come on. You can do better than that.

But the crowning moment of this particular Opening Ceremony happened while watching the camera pan over to President and Mrs. Bush as the different nations marched in. "Haha! Check out Laura's tacked-on smile! What a robot!" we declared. We noticed that to her left, the President was looking decidedly bored. We laughed, and Tweedle Wit diplomatically pointed out that he had likely gone straight from a thirteen-hour flight to some kind of PR whirlwind, and then on to the almost five hour Opening Ceremony. Fair enough, I thought. That probably is pretty rough... I'd be exhausted, too.

But then he upped the ante. He checked his watch.

Not even a subtle check, because we've all done that. You know, the I'm-Just-Looking-At-My-Shoe-But-Oops-My-Watch-Got-In-The-Way thing. This was a full-on, elbow-up, long stare. Come on, Georgie! After eight years, haven't you learned that the cameras are ALWAYS ON YOU? And that, perhaps, some liberal NBC cameraman might just try his damnedest to make you look like an asshole? HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING?!

Well played, liberal NBC cameraman. Well played, indeed.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Marketing Muffins

Remember that Seinfeld where Elaine suggests selling only the tops of muffins? That's all anyone wants to eat, anyway. But what to do with the stumps? Eggo has come up with a solution, by selling small blueberry cakes in the shape of the tops of muffins. Genius!

Um, just one problem:

Who's in charge of this marketing campaign? I get that they've called a spade a spade, but may I suggest, perhaps, that they refrain from naming their baked goods after the unfortunate physique they likely create?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Describing Oneself

The Caterpillar's back. Did I not mention that?

She was planning on visiting last week when she was offered a research position that required her to move from California back to (where else?) this freedom-loving, humidity-stifled, cherry-blossom-adorned, oft-douche-ridden former swampland and tourist mecca. Thus, plane tickets were changed, couches were crashed, house-hunts were started. DC has officially reclaimed what is rightfully ours.

In searching for a short-term apartment rental on the ol' Craigslist, the Caterpillar had trouble answering the question "So, what do you do outside of work?" She thought this to be a ridiculous question, as most people would likely answer in the exact same fashion. Hang out with friends, watch TV/movies, read, dine out, go to happy hours and to the gym (although, if you're like me, it's many more happy hours than gym trips).

I almost want to start asking people this question, in the hopes that one day I will be provided with an entertaining answer. In the hopes that someday someone will reply, "Um, I juggle." Or "I'm big into skeet-shooting." Or, god willing, "I'm the don of an organized hill-staffer crime ring. We're responsible for the city's seersucker explosion."

Perhaps I'm asking too much.