Monday, September 12, 2011

VMobile FreeFest isn't for virgins....

or is it?  Based on my experience this weekend - it's up for debate:

Walking from the Festival Stage to the Pavilion Stage (3pm):
Drunk girl to boy: I can smell that girl's...dirty vagina from here.
Sitting on the lawn post-Grace Potter (5-ish pm):
College Freshman, boy:  I smoked all my weed in the car before I got here.
During the James Murphy show (6-ish pm):
Bouncer:  Man, you all have a lot of energy.
 Set break before Deadmau5 (9-ish pm):
Boy walking through the crowd: Mollie! Mollie!
Girl hanging out: Hi!
Boy: Hey, are you mollie? (reaches out & takes Girl's hand)
Girl: No.  Uh.
Boy: O, hey.  I'm looking for my friend mollie. 
Girl: O. hey, I thought you were someone I was looking for.....
Boy: No.
Girl: Er, alright.  Have a good time!

good times, indeed.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

99 problems....

Scene: Sunny afternoon walking north on Charles, crossing North Avenue.  A weary commuter approaches two men as they wait on the median for the light to change.

Man 1: I dunno what to do.  Things have been tight lately.

Man 2: What are you talking about?!  You're a drag queen bitch - you make bank.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

as American as apple pie

Lunchtime in DC.  Georgetown to be exact.  The hot weather has subsided enough that office buildings have more people sitting outside than inside. It's a perfect day, really.

A group of young professionals sit-down next to me and begin their conversation by reviewing the contents of each of their lunch bags:

YP#1 - Is that Chipolte?
YP#2 - No.  This is from the Cha Cha Pizza place next door.  It was only $6!
YP#1 - Really?  They make burritos too? I'm not sure I trust a place that makes two different cuisines from the same kitchen.
YP#2 - Well, I figure everything's American.

Aren't we all.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We'll meet again on the avenue.

Spring is in the air.  This is my favorite time of year.  The sun is warming the air and the cool breezes bring sweet scents of blossoms and grass. 

The first days of warm weather bring so much activity to the street.  People open their front doors and sit on the front stoop with their neighbors and friends.  Breezes sweep through open windows of lace or sheer curtains, pulling back, for just a moment, the interior secrets houses held during the colder months.  The streets come alive with a cacophony of motor noises, barkers selling cold water, and chatter from people reconnecting. 

Earlier this month I was walking in Station North, moving south along Charles Street toward the Charles Theatre.  The Maryland Film Festival was in full swing and I was en route on this particular Sunday morning to spend some time in the volunteer tent.  Along the way I encountered two wayward men in debate.  Approaching me from behind, I hear:
Drifter #1: SHIT! Of course you should take it – 3 hots and cot, man.  That’s a good deal.
Drifter #2: I dunno man.  I don’t want to have to deal with that bullshit.  The cop said I could get probation.
Drifter #1: WHAT?! No way man.  Too much responsibility. That’s at least a year and you have to show up for shit.  You miss one check-in or get busted for sumthin' else and they’ll send you straight to jail anyway.  Then whaddaya got? Take the deal – 3 hots and a cot, man.
Ah, spring. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

This isn't the Emerald City

More than a few weeks ago, the weather was blistering cold.  Single-digit temperatures felt sub-zero as wind gusts blew sporadically and freezing rain fell - in short, it was awful.

I am not a big fan of cold weather.  I tolerate cold weather in the same way one manages stress while waiting in a long queue at the supermarket.  You grab a tabloid and occupy yourself reading about the trashy rich and public lives of others until it is your turn at the register.  In winter months, I hole myself up in my apartment and wait the darkness out.  If this was the Paleolithic age, and I was the only female, the tribe would be in trouble.

However, as a commuter, this is methodology is not possible.  NO.  I must exit the den, layer on clothing, zip up my down parka, and brave the elements.  O joy. O rapture.

It happened upon one of my transverses between my cave and Penn Station that I found myself standing at a bus stop, trying to shrink into my coat to stay off the chills.  A woman approached me asking for directions.  It was her first time using the MTA and she wasn't sure which line she should take to get back to her sublet in Charles Village. 

After I confirmed what bus she should take, she began to explain what she was doing in Baltimore.  She spoke excitedly about her studies of the interconnection of transit networks or was it public health policies?  Um-hum...

See, I couldn't concentrate on her words.  I was freezing and, as she uttered her first words, a gentleman stumbled out of the station distracting my attention.  He swayed on his feet, back-and-forth, in a way that could only mean one thing - he was wasted.

My fellow bus rider followed my gaze to the new arrival.  She didn't blink, continuing on with her one-sided conversation. I, frozen, continued to watch the drunk.  Then, the grossest thing happened.

The drunk hiccupped, opened his mouth, and let forth the loudest, largest vomit I have ever witnessed.  It caused reflux in my throat.  I turned around quickly, trying to erase the image from my mind.  I immediately forgot how cold I was and concentrated on holding back my own sympathy puke.  It was disgusting.

My new friend was non plus.  She looked over at the man, who continued to puke, and said:

Woman: "O that doesn't bother me much.  I'm from Detroit."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What if Balzac rode the Amtrak?

As you may have inferred from my previous post, I am a commuter.  Yes, I am that office slave you see in the morning speed walking to Penn Station so as to not spill my coffee from my eco-friendly travel mug.  And, yes, that was me standing at the bus stop in the rain staring up the street hoping the bus will actually show up. 

Commuting by public transit rocks. 

I mean that seriously.   I will take commuting by train/bus any day over driving. The stories I encounter daily are beyond real and make the tedious trip entertaining.

Where else can one hear the conversational hat trick that follows:

Overheard #1 on the MARC train, southbound just outside BWI Airport Station 
Man on cell phone: "so for dinner tonight we are having pickled tongue and heart. That'll get you going. The tongue is dense, while the heart is soft and rich. Quite a combination."
 Overheard #2 on the MARC train, northbound just outside Odenton, MD
Middle-Aged Woman #1:, she is tall and thin.  And, the husband, is short and a little homely looking.
Middle-Aged Woman #2: Do they live in your neighborhood?
MAW #1: I think so.  At least, they are always exercise walking on my street.  I think they live in the house with all the gopher holes in the yard.  I think she's an anorexic.
MAW #2: That's my brother's wife.
 Overheard #3 on the Baltimore MTA Bus, northbound on Charles St.
Young Man: The jobs is sh*t right now.  Ain't no one I know whose gettin' work.
Older Man: I know that's right.
Young Man: I've had like, two three different jobs in the last two years.  That's why I've been dealing drugs.  I've been dealing since I was 16 and that sh*t is consistent.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Golden memories can turn the night into day.

A good friend of mine is studying for her MLA at Johns Hopkins.  This semester she is taking a course about memory (the title of which, ironically, escapes my memory) and how individual memories are shaped by senses than by cognitive process.  Essentially, you are going to remember an event not because the event happened but because you can recall a smell or sound from the event.  Cool, and way more intellectual than I prefer to get on this blog.  Don't worry, there is a point to this tale.

I have been giving this theory some consideration lately.  See, I have plenty of time to do so as I commute by train at least an hour a day between Baltimore and DC.  If memories are formed by senses more than by thought, what can I trust of my collected memories? Childhood is a faint blur to me now, but I do remember the smell of the leaves the morning after a rain as I walked to school.  I also remember the pain I felt when my brother and I used to test one another's mettle by giving each other indian burns and waiting for the other to yelp.  

Yet, childhood is more than these simple memories.  I am the character I am today because I have memories of friendships and experiences, both good and bad, that influence my mental process.  But these memories are not connected with a sound, touch, or smell - at least, that I can trace.  So are they true memories or something I've created over time to justify my emotions?  Okay, I know, I promised a point.  

A few weeks ago, I was stranded at Union Station - waiting on a train to eventually take me where I needed to go.  In an effort to occupy myself rather than sit in the waiting room watching the Amtrak Customer Courtesy video one more time, I went window shopping.  Well, after I ate Taco Bell.

So, there I was in Claire's boutique (don't ask) with a gaggle of tweenies running about the store.  Keeping away from these girls was not an option as the space is not large and it is crammed wall to wall with so many brightly colored accessories. SO MANY.

After a few minutes I decided it was time to move on and precisely as I turned toward the entrance/exit the girls discovered the most amazing thing ever:

Tweenie #1: OMG, you guys, we should all get remember.
Tweenies #2-6: OMG YOU ARE SO RIGHT! (in unison and in high C)

I've decided, I think there is something to this sensory memory stuff.  I TOTALLY would remember things better wearing a tiara.