Monday, January 30, 2006

My Truck

So I have a truck. And yes, it's a big truck. It'a Super Duty F250 Crew Cab V10....

I'm not sure what a truck does for girls, whether it's a turn-off or a turn on. Good friends always told me that a good man would love it. I practically had a Ford saleswoman jump on my yesterday at the auto show when I told her I actually owned one, a big one. She'd said it was so great to see a woman in there. I hadn't thought much about it until I remembered how it used to be...

Whenever I pulled up to gas stations with a guy, inevitably this is how the conversation would go:

stranger: "Nice Truck"
guy: "thanks"
stranger: "what do you have in that thing"
guy: "uh (looking at the side of the truck) V10 (hoping that was the right answer)"
stranger: "off road package, pretty cool"
guy: "thanks"
stranger: "how does it drive"
guy: "um, great, powerful"
stranger: "been looking in to getting one. what's the (insert here - horsepower, gas mileage, transmission like)?"
guy: "uh....."

If the guy knew me well, sometimes he'd play it up pretty good. I didn't care, hey if he felt like he was getting some glory, all the better for 'em. But usually by the time I came back out from paying for the gas-gussler, he would admit to the man that it was in fact my truck, often because he was at a loss (or couldn't lie in front of me). But it was sure funny watching him scramble. And even though I always drove, they never assumed it was mine. Especially when I was dressed in a skirt and heels :)

Funny though, I still inevitably got surprised at seeing other women have big trucks (at least in areas that aren't completely horsey). I'd think, man, that's a powerful women. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. Then suddenly remember I was driving one too. So now I'm deciding on whether to sell it. It's such a cool truck, and so much fun to drive. But not very practical in the city. If I do though, god I'll miss it (and all the funny looks!)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Chronicles of the Open Mic (First Dispatch)

I decided to start off low risk-someplace close to home (or as “I like to say I’m not going to pay a lot for this muffler”). That took me to the Heart & Soul Café. The first fear with a name like Heart & Soul is if I am walking into a Christian Open Mic. The second is if it might be a spiritual healing sort of scene.

I am happy to report that neither was the case and in fact there was an eerie absence of total freaks and not a sub par musician in the house. In fact the first good sign when I walked in was the presence of both a mic and an amplifier. You can never be too sure, especially considering this place was about the size of my living room and there were about 8 people there. It was truly the type of open mic where everyone performs and everyone stays for the duration. Next time I’ll do like Lana and bring a flask to extend the enjoyment. Had an enjoyable evening and even enjoyed an essay that picked up some major themes from The Progress Paradox by TMQ maestro Craig Easterbrook.

All in all it was an interesting cast of characters. Here’s my run down of the folks; the recent college grads (I suspect some living at home), one or two that may have even been in college, the 40 year old African American woman (who wore a black beret and kept talking about all her friends that died of AIDES), and the best of all a 60 year old folk singer that kind of looks like a Muppet with that mustache. He talked about war, frozen blueberries, and seemed somehow fixated on the derrière as a poetic device in his songs. Well, sometimes I guess you have to be there to really understand. Good people all good people. If they could somehow be combined that would be one hell of a protagonist-but I digress. I did enjoy myself. Who knows I may even go back; but as for people to really start jamming with there was nothing there.

So the search continues and I guess that really is the progress paradox. Now that I have a basement/drum room I can’t find people to jam with (at least for now). Stay tuned for the next Dispatch from more perilous venues of free speech.

Washboard

Chronicles of the Open Mic (Taking the Plunge)

Well no one can question my desire to find people to jam with at this stage. Having burned through craigslist and plenty of other listserves/blogs and the like; I now find myself doing what I had hoped to avoid all along. That’s right its time to hit the open mic circuit. Recently, I have been thinking that it some ways the open mic is the musical equivalent of the Wednesday Nite. All are welcome and usually those who show up (for better or worse) represent views far out of the mainstream.

But as many of us know there can be a downside to allowing anyone to get up and perform. So now I will brave the perils of free expression and speech. Join me on my odyssey and see what can happen where everyone is welcome.

Washboard

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Stormy Monday Blues (So Much for Better Weather)

Ah the trials and tribulations of the Wednesday Nite Sierra Club’s Northeast Extension. Yesterday I awoke to find out I had to go to work despite three inches of snow on my driveway and the fact that it was still snowing quite hard and would be until noon. Now these situations can cause serious quandary. You cannot just leave the snow, but when you shovel mother nature covers your work quickly. It is almost impossible to use the snow blower effectively while it is snowing.

Well finally I cleared the drive enough to leave. I jumped into my care turned the key-dead battery. So I had to get a ride to the bus stop and fight my way in on foot. When I returned home I couldn’t even jump my car. So I drove Amanda’s car to Napa Auto Parts and bought a new battery. Of course a new battery isn’t fully charged so I had to jump start my car AFTER installing the new battery.

Still I wouldn’t want to be in Florida perhaps the most pedestrian unfriendly state in the pedestrian unfriendly south. I revel in the irony of weather that is so nice and everyone driving even the shortest of distances.

Once everything settled down (and yes the Blue-Green started this morning like a dream) I realized that the battery on my car had never been replaced. The Blue-Green was born in 1994 not a bad life for a little battery (replacement cost $68)-but don’t they pick the worst times to break down…

Monday, January 23, 2006

what i learned in florida

1. you can spill mustard on an orange shirt and no one will notice

2. when staying somewhere, make sure they have a blanket for you

3. do not stand in the wind with a wind blocker. no matter what the producer says, it will try its best to knock you over

4. remember moleskin. you never know when you'll get a blister

5. never voluntarily give up a weekend when you know you'll have to get up at 6:00 in the morning.

...but yes, the weather is better there.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Trucking, got my chips cashed in...











He Has Risen, Hon.


So, our lovely neighbors to the north, I speak, of course, of Ballmer, have changed their city slogan to 'Believe.' not sure what I'm supposed to believe, that the Orioles are good? that Brian Billick is an offensive mastermind? that the Bay is nice and clean now? Luckily, someone has found the light, and annouced their belief in Him...

All Praise the FSM- May you all be touched by His Noodly Appendage.

Tip o' the hat to Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy for the lead to the Baltimore City Paper from whence this image first came.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

So, over at Chris's place

is his complaint about a Cingular commercial. Apparently, having commericals shot in your neighborhood is a pain in the ass. I'll trade that any day for having drug dealers shot in your neighborhood...

Tuesday Panda Blogging

So, I get lucky enough to snag two tickets to the hottest show in town: Tai Shan. So I head on up to the National Zoo on the nicest morning you could ever hope for, sunny, crystal clear and warm (for January) to see the little guy. And he was actually doing something! Of course, I can't upload the ridiculously bad video my phone takes, but I can honestly say, if you have the chance to see a six month old panda cub get rambunctious, I heartily recommend it.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Role of Semantics in the Rising Costs of Health Care

In case anyone is wondering; razor blades are not a good way to cut holes in tennis balls. However, attempting this feat can lead to an exciting joy ride in an ambulance and several stitches. During this whole process (which began last Monday evening) I have observed that doctors use huge words where a simple one would more than suffice. For example I would describe what happened as a cut (albeit a really bad one). But in the ER (where you would think they are pressed for time) it’s a laceration. That’s at least three more syllables than necessary. I do know they are pressed for time in that ER as I had to wait hours and when things did happen they happened all at once. I was getting shots of Novocain in my right hand and a tetanus shot in my left shoulder at the same time. This caused quite the conundrum as I typically like to look the other direction when I’m getting a shot.

After popping in a few stitches I was bandaged up; then the Doctor placed a huge piece of foam on the table. They molded the foam over my hand and arm and covered it with a splint announcing it would harden in the next couple of minutes. I wanted to say, “Hey Doc it’s pretty deep, but it’s just a cut-excuse me laceration.”

Now just for fun try tucking your shirt in or going to the bathroom (#2 for greatest effect) without using your right hand. It really is amusing (but can get tiresome after say ten minutes). So I was very relieved when I went to see the hand doctor today (they call themselves Orthopedic Surgeons) and he pulled out the scissors and cut the darn thing off. He went on to pull a MacGyver; using a twisted paperclip to test for feeling in various parts of my hand. So just when I thought I found a Doc that was down to earth he told me how difficult is was to “suture” (pronounced Sue-chur) muscle. But I soon figured out that suture means the same thing as sew. Alas he then replaced my monstrous splint/cast combo deal with two band aids.

Maybe if it were just a matter of sewing a cut and popping two band aids on it the cost of health care would be a little more reasonable in this country. But then I might not get that joy ride in the ambulance.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Festivus Miracle

This past holiday season brought about a true Festivus Miracle. Amanda returned from school one day in late December and pulled three items from her bag. They were the three remote controls which have previously been reported missing on this blog since our move in June. I thought I would never see them again I was ready to call pioneer to buy a new remote for the stereo. No one has ever been so happy to see the remote for their television. Apparently they were thrown in a box of Amanda’s teaching materials which she did not open until December.

It truly has been a joyous Festivus for the rest of us. Next up the feats of strength.

Washboard

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Smoke 'em if you got 'em

but only for 2006. The City Council just approved a blanket smoking ban for indoor DC. Probably a good idea, but some places will never be the same. How can you play pool without smoking? It just doesn't make sense. And now walking into a bar will entail weaving through the crowd of exiled smokers.

Still, it's probably a good idea.