Tag Archives: Adventures

I’m just here for the books.

11 Oct

Happy Columbus Day, old man.

I walk to the MLK Jr. branch of the DC public library on Saturday to pick up a book I had on hold. It was a gorgeous day, so I was glad to invent a purpose for a four mile walk.

The city was kind of odd — despite the great weather, it was desserted in areas that are normally nuts on the weekend, and over-run with people in areas normally desserted. I suppose I could’ve solved that mystery earlier by picking up a copy of the Washington Post, and realizing a) It was Columbus Day weekend, so many locals were traveling, and b) It was Columbus Day weekend, so Taste of DC was luring people downtown on the weekend.

In any case, I was caught off guard when I approached the library, and saw a virtual party in motion. Lining the street in front of it was a MetroBus with representatives handing out literature about the bus schedule, and a Whitman Walker van providing free HIV testing.

On my way into the library, I passed Mayor  Vincent Gray, glad-handing with a few fans while his bodyguard looked on. (At least, I assume that was his bodyguard. Or his especially thuggish looking cousin. You never know in DC.)

This dog belongs in a library.

Inside the library, the trip continued. A live gospel/jazz band was playing (on Volume 12!) while 50+ people (mostly senior citizens wearing shirts made of Old Glory) looked on, clapping and bobbing. I threaded by way through the crowd to retrieve my book from the Holds shelf.

I got distracted in the Popular Collections room, browsing CDs while tapping my toes to the band’s version of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” but apparently not as distracted as the woman who had walked her two DOGS into the library and somehow lost the leash of the massive Golden Retriever. I looked up just in time to see it sprint out of Popular Collections, into the main foyer and across the stage where the Jazz Band was performing.

I can’t really get on the owner for being slow to the draw, because when I went to check out my book, I asked the clerk what the occasion was. “Is this a Columbus Day festival?” I asked.

He looked at me with some degree of incredulity before scanning the crowd, which — as I followed his eyes, I realized — was made up primarily of people sporting wheelchairs, canes or walkers.

“This is in celebration of Americans with Disabilities,” he told me.

And suddenly, it all made sense — the extra-loud music, the free medical tests, the dogs in a library, the flag-themed clothing.

As someone wearing a tank top and sporting a yoga mat strapped to me, I felt especially foolish for having trotted through the crowd. Next time? I’m going to take advantage of that free vision test.

If only you would do what I tell you…

16 Apr

Some people call me bossy. (You know who you are.) Maybe they’re right.

This is *exactly* what I looked like.

Today I was standing in Thomas Circle trying to cross traffic when I heard sirens blaring. An ambulance was bearing down on the circle, hellbent for leather, and the traffic was gridlocked. The ambulance driver tried to pull a slick trick and bypass traffic to get to an inner-lane of the circle, but ended up stuck, with only his horn to lean on.

Fewer than 20% of cars in the District are tagged with DC plates on a weekday, so there’s a solid 80% of drivers who (presumably) crap their pants when faced with a traffic circle. Even savvy DC drivers sometimes go slack when faced with navigating a circle, what with its flashing arrows and tricky yield signs. Add in a frenzied ambulance and expect IQs to plumment as  otherwise intelligent people to freeze in terror.

Continue reading

I wonder if I’ll get a bill for my 911 call…

11 Apr

Well hello there...

There’s something about the first warm days of the year that compel me to spend every possible minute outside. This weekend we as no exception – DC served up two perfect summer days, made even better by my recent exposure to Chicago’s 28-degree temperatures.

Yesterday Alan and I packed a picnic and walked over to the Shirlington Dog Park, which is all of ten minutes from his place. The dog park borders a creek, so it’s not uncommon for people to walk their dogs down the steep embankment and throw balls into the water for their dogs to retrieve. Alan and I spread our blanket on the other side of the bank, where we had a perfect view of all the activity without the smell of dog crap.

Continue reading

Prior to this, the only PDA I liked was my iPhone…

9 Apr

Tuesday night, my friend Margaret hooked Alan and me up with seats at the Washington Wizards game. Margaret’s husband is a marketing director for the Wizards, so he was able to score us some pretty incredible seats right on the floor. Even a blowout (poor Golden State Warriors) is exciting when there’s a good chance one of the players might crash into your chair. (See how mature I am? I refrained from using the phrase “taking a ball in the face.” )

Anyway, sometime in the second half (OK, according to the jumbotron it was with 7:13 remaining), Alan and I were chatting when I looked up and noticed a camera on us. “Let’s get a kiss for the Kiss Cam,” I heard the announcer urge.

A quick glance up confirmed that we were, indeed, on the screen. Despite being caught off-guard, we obliged:

As it turns out, it wasn’t as random as it seems. Margaret’s quite a conniving little planner. Not only had she scored us seats, she’d asked her husband to direct the Kiss Cam our way and had her phone out ready to snap a shot of the monitor when it happened. She’s a slick one… I can’t imagine what she’d do for a surprise party!

And that’s how I got an eye-patch.

6 Apr

Growing up, I thought I was fairly athletic. I might not have been the FIRST person chosen in a game of kickball, but I was definitely closer to the beginning than the end. At least, I don’t remember ever having to nervously kick at the dirt wishing I were invisible.

Two great things about being an adult are that a) you never have to worry about being THE LAST PERSON CHOSEN for anything, and b) thanks to Oprah, you can always find someone less in shape than you trying to perform an athletic feat. (Seriously, google “oprah marathon stories” and you’ll feel like a turd for not being able to run 26 miles if you weigh under 300 lbs.)

Continue reading