Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bureaucracy: 3, Ash: Frustrated/Things that are neat

Can't go to the DMV today, need my birth certificate, which is locked up in the bank, and my mommy has to go get it because I'm not on the account. Already tried to sweet talk the bank employee into letting me nick it and almost had him, but his boss came in and ruined my hard work. It didn't seem to matter that it is lawfully my property, and I had the key and the password. Red tape is so cute.

So to recap: I have no license, I am not allowed to get a new one until my mother gets off of work. Did I grow up at all?

How is obtaining a birth certificate, a passport, a social security card, and a utilities bill in my name the same as punching in an arbitrary number into cyber space? Riddle me that, crap state of Virginia.

At least my hair looks good. Too bad no one will see it. Also too bad Ma and Pa cancelled the movie channels, because the library is closed today. I think the universe wants me to sit in a chair and stare until it's dark enough to go to bed.

Number of Minutes Spent Crying in the Mini Van in Overly Dramatic Frustration: 4

This is a divided post because I am pissed about the license debacle, but had intended more positive things. So I'm doing both.


1. Improving my vocabulary. I wanna find word-of-the-day TP. I suppose I could also just buy and ruin an SAT prep book.
2. My high-waisted shorts. They're cool and twilly.
3. Walking places. I picked up some groceries and flowers yesterday and carried them home while listening to the Best of Beverly Sills. Was also fun to watch other people jolt when she got to high notes.
4. My new desk. It's an old sewing machine table with a butcher block on it. My dad bought it for me for $12 at a yard sale, my grandpa sanded it down, and I refinished it. It's beauuuuuutiful.
5. Wearing fancy flats. Heels make it hard for you to make a quick getaway, plus they're stupid. Flat shoes with a spike on them.
6. Kids who behave properly in restaurants. Its a rare but beautiful thing.
6.a. The fact that I frequently screw up in the grammar department when it comes to kids and refer to 'em as "that" instead of "who". Also I will never understand "whom," but it sounds nice and fancy.
7. Still obsessed with Kate, even in her crappy movies she's wonderful.
8. Watching my co-workers yell at each other. It's sort of scary because they're very hyper and far too old to be threatening with fists. Howev, it's pretty great to watch a tiny 60 year old Asian man with jet black hair leap into a 30 year old woman's face shrieking about how he could kick her ass. I'm not sure who'd win. She has tats which means she's either tough or super emotional.

Back to staring at the wall.

Reading: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and Emma
Listening to: of Montreal "How Lester Lost This Wife"
Number of Hours Spent Re-Learning French: 0

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bureaucracy: 2, Ash: 0

Let's talk about the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Aside from being just about the most dreaded place on the planet, it can also be hailed as inefficient, nonsensical, and moronic with its little "codes" and "privacy acts". If a person happens to lose things, WHY are you hellbent on trying to make them wish to move to another state? It's likely they had considered the gleaming possibility of relocation after realizing the rest of the state is finesies with a racist psycho for a governor, now you're just shoving them over the edge. Being forgetful or having your license stolen sucks enough as it is, why would you annoy such a victim with procedures set in place because you can't crack down on fake IDs for tweens who want to suck down Natty in their parents basement? They're tweens! Just wave Twilight posters and skateboards in front of their faces and lock them in a cage until they're of age to do fun things!!

My grievance is this: if you're going to punish me by making me wait 15 days for a new license because you don't trust your employees to print it out properly, why would you force me to sit in the DMV line for a whole day? Why can't I just re-order my license online? "Oh but you can!! If you just use the number written on your license, you can re-order in 3:20!!!" ....I lost it, you fucking moron. How and why would I have that number readily available? As an American you force me to remember all sorts of codes that "secure my identity", why would I have ever bother to memorize a lengthy number on the front of my driver's license that is only good for procuring another? And besides, couldn't I just use my social SECURITY number? You know, the only reason to apply to college is to memorize that bad boy. "Uhm.... it's not secure, Miss B----".

Right. It's only got security in the name, and neither of us are buying that line. Also, I'm making you nervous because I'm smarter than you.

Tomorrow's day off will not be spent laying in a hammock reading guide books about Portugal. It will be spent at the DMV. Let's hope I don't get pulled over; evidently, answering four full minutes of questions pertaining to my identity does not a legal driver make.

Also, yesterday I was pulled over by a cop needing to check the car seats in the mini-van I was driving. Evidently, the people who's children I take care of will have to set up an appointment to learn about car seats (the kids are 6, 11, and 14), one of them wasn't up to code by the officer who pulled it out of the car and shook it around. This is what Arlington cops do. Which surprised me since I figured their time was generally spent on the prowl for teens hot-boxing cars.

New Reasons to Move to France: 6
Number of Miles Run This Morning: 3
Number of Games out of First: 3.5
Days 'til I Get Skin Cancer: 11

Sunday, July 25, 2010

In the Land of Plenty there is no mayo on sandwiches

Good time family fun in the city that boasts of puking on non-Phillies fans heads. Brother bear got in around 2AM Saturday so he missed the boys rallying to stomp some faces and Halladay pulling his weight. He also missed what my father affectionately calls EatFest (feet of hoagies and cheesesteaks, and pounds of pizza, candy, and beer) but was saved some choice bits that he made short work of later. Highlights of the weekend below.

Missing Totem:
We faithfully bunk at a seedy Holiday Inn off Broad Street and have every year since before I was born. It's too late to stop the judging and quite frankly my Arlington, yuppified family scorns the place, but it has one glorious thing working in it's favor: location. It is literally across the street from Citizens Bank Park; enabling the blissfully intoxicated to stumble home at little risk to their person. As far back as I can remember there has been a bloated Oompa-Loompa in a Speedo guarding the hotel pool like a terrifying and craggy mascot, my family calls him Guido. He hasn't shown up yet this year, but he was getting on in age. If you can hear me from above, buddy, I hope you went quickly, painlessly, and eating a cheesesteak. As was your way. Homeboy probably just had a pool pass and didn't even bother with the games.

Trojan Men:
Friday night was "Italian Night" at the ballpark. Racism comes in every color, my friends. Some Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra (how it can be an orchestra with only two instruments was beyond me) played the National Anthem....and got some crucial notes wrong... and the music in between innings was schmaltzy restaurant/elevator music. Not to mention questions on the Jumbo-tron pertaining to the ethnicities of a number of players. The best part was four men forced to wear Trojan costumes and dance the YMCA. Weak effort, no pizza, and laughably ignorant. Well done.

Jimmy Rollins can cook AND wake up early:
I went for a run Saturday morning (it was like 80 and the sun wasn't even up) and ran into Jimmy Rollins (SS, 11) around 6:30 going into the stadium. Naturally I had to speak to him even though I was in the midst of my workout so I screeched "EVERYBODY HITS, ONE ONE!" (my dad is full of old-timey baseball phrases. see below) as I trotted past. He laughed and asked if I was at the game last night, I hollered congratulations and kept going around the stadium. If it had been Utley I would have stopped to desperately flirt despite the sweat pouring down my body.

Rolen the Terrible:
My dad is a cool guy. He's hilarious, smart, and personable. He has two soapboxes: his unbridled affection for the Estate Tax, and his deep-seated hatred for Scott Rolen. Rolen, for those who don't follow Philly Nation, was a former Philly who whined his way off the team when they weren't great, and Dad has never forgiven him. He loved to go to Cardinal/Blue Jay/Reds games and scream things like "HEY ROLEN, YOU'RE A BUM!!" and other mild language insults that my brother and I were taught from an early age. When it was reported that Alberto Pujols' son, aged 6 or something, asked Rolen "What are you doing here?!" in the All-Star locker room, my dad bragged about the kid like he was his own son.

Unfortunately for Dad, the Reds weren't in town, the Rockies were, but the Phillies stomped faces both Friday and Saturday so everyone was happy.

We saw Inception at the Roxy, which, to quote my aunt, "is like watching a movie in a boxcar". Tickets are only $8 to sit in a very uncomfortable chair. They also only take cash. What a world.

Heat Index in Philadelphia: 103 F
Number of times I've seen Inception: 2
Number of cheesesteaks consumed: 3
Number of games out of first: 6

Friday, July 23, 2010

Christmas in July

I have a roundtrip flight to Paris, departing on September 8th and returning October 13th. I will bring with me few clothing items, loads of maps, and a fellow pasty girl (the one with the red scarf). France, Spain, Italy and Portugal for five weeks. This blog just got a whole lot more interesting.

In other news, I'm going to Philadelphia tomorrow with my brother and parents. We will drink beer, eat hoagies, and enjoy our favorite pastime of jeering at the Phillies. My dad always explains like this, if you go to a great restaurant and your meal sucks, you have a right to complain. It doesn't mean you don't still love the restaurant, it just means you won't tolerate a crappy dinner, especially if you know the restaurant has prepared unbelievable meals for others.

Currently reading: Brideshead Revisited
Currently singing at work: Robert Schumann's "Meine Rose"
Most recent purchase (other than a plane ticket): wool hat and a straw fedora. I do, in fact, realize that it's July.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I read too much Jane Austen

A disappointing truth: Pride and Prejudice is not only my favorite book, but also my favorite drawn out tv mini-series (and that's a toughy, BBC rules) and I am not a heroine (yet). Letdown central, as I have all the makings to be a great one. I'm a Lizzy, never a Lydia, close to an Emma, definitely not a Elinor.

Heroine requirements that I currently meet:
1. Sass. Acerbic wit is probably closer to the truth, but I do have a pretty spot on sense of humor. Life is funny, it deserves to be laughed at more often than not.
2. Overly active imagination + overly emotional responses. Drama at it's finest, I'd get scorned pretty good and fall in love nicely after.
3. Not butt ugly. Heroines can't be busted, otherwise they'd be relegated to best friend with glasses.
3b. Not stupid. Which is nice.

1. Grace. I am a clumsy fool.
2. Dance skills. Apparently that's the only place you can meet men like Darcy or Knightly, so I'm a bit screwed there.
3. Waistline. Drinking my face off in college didn't do me any favors.
4. Mess of sisters. Even Emma had a sister. Fanny did, but she was sent away. I would have sent her away too, she was wretchedly boring and Edmund was a turd. And a blood relative. Anyway, Mom and Dad failed me with only one younger brother. I did use to dress him up as a girl though, so maybe all isn't lost.

The great appeal of being a heroine is that they don't have to change anything important about themselves. They find true love and only have to modify the parts of their personalities that were irksome, if at all. The love between the hero and the heroine is big potatoes, enhancing what is good and mollifying demons. Every girl deserves to be her own heroine in her love story. I need a bit more guts and a little less caution.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

it's like Oprah, but you don't get presents.... Things iLike

Katharine Hepburn. I think she's a genius, gorgeous, and why the hell would anyone bother with Audrey? Homegirl is feebleminded, borderline talentless, and definitely not more beautiful than Kate. A is a simpering idiot, Kate has guts. I will watch literally any movie (shout out to public libraries across the nation) she has been in, including her version of Little Women which is as dreadful and preachy as the novel itself. The best so far: Woman of the Year and The Philadelphia Story. The 1940's are back, her outfits are trendy as hell right now. Also she's just a bear of an actress. I want to be her.

House MD. This guy. Not even disappointed with him dating his boss. Love this show. Also fancy myself a bit of a medical expert after this and my previous Grey's Anatomy frenzy. Hugh Laurie sorta looks like my dad.

Running. I don't like the act so much as the endorphins and the trust I can place in losing those always-out-of-reach 10 lbs that need to be banished. I go to the gym in the mid-morning so it's just me and senior citizens. And sometimes my ex-boyfriends, but that's not ideal.

Strawberries. On ice cream. Also ice cream.

SPF 50. My family is going to the Dominican Republic in August, which is a nightmare for Pasty McGee. I will get certified in scuba though, which will be cool. I hope I see a shark.