C'est un blague.

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  • Thursday, July 22, 2004

    DC Yankee?

    I am from Washington, DC --  literally born and bred... but not necessarily raised.  I grew up in the Montgomery County, MD 'burbs, just a few miles outside of the District.  Even though I am a "native" of this city, I realized last night that there are natives and there are natives.  This is an important distinction.  I realized last night that I am a northerner of a DC native. 

    You see, I was having a chat with fellow "DC natives" who grew up in the District and Prince George's County.  My PG County counterpart lived as close or as far from the District as I did.  So you would think that our experiences would overlap at least a bit and that our cultural backgrounds might have some commonalities.  However, other than all of us claiming to be "from DC", there wasn't too much more.  It wasn't a socio-economic thing or a race thing.  It was purely a geographical thing... even though we are all "from DC".

    I was surpised to learn that I was a DC Yankee.  You see, they both speak with a twang.  I don't.  They both grew up eating grits.  I didn't (but there are other reasons for that).  They both consider DC to be a part of the South, which it is, technically, being below the Mason-Dixon line.  I always made the excuse that geographically DC is in "the South" but since it is a federal city, it should be exempted from that label.  (I know, I know, DC had segregated schools...)  Even though we all lived geographically very close, mere miles apart, they grew up in the South, and I sure didn't.

    That was quite the revelation.  I guess that as everyone moved to the bland suburban neighborhoods developed in the 1960s and 1970s (when I was growing up), we lost a defining culture.  Our culture was carports and aluminum siding.  We became suburban neighborhood kids with PTA moms and dads who commuted into DC for work.  Our culture was suburbia.  We could have been kids anywhere, North or South or Midwest. 

    So I guess I shouldn't be surprised to learn that DC natives, while created equal, certainly aren't all the same.  Mere miles separated we three "DC natives" physically, but the Mason-Dixon line separated us culturally.

    Huh.  Who knew?

    Sunday, July 11, 2004

    Sexy or Scary?

    The line, which is so fine to begin with, only blurs with age and an increasingly jaded outlook.

    A few thoughts on Sexy or Scary...

    Sexy: flirting with the powerplayers here in DC
    Scary: one of them actually making a pass at you

    Sexy: warm, sultry DC evenings
    Scary: the stink that accompanies that heat

    Sexy: watching a woman strutting down K Street in high heels and a short skirt
    Scary: being that woman, trying to watch where you're stepping without looking down or tripping

    Sexy: looking 25 when you're actually 36
    Scary: acting 25 when you're actually 36

    Sexy: first dates
    Scary: first dates

    Sexy: reminiscing about favorite 1980s fads
    Scary: trying to explain them to co-workers/interns who were born in the 1980s

    Sexy: dating younger men
    Scary: why men your own age are single

    Sexy: driving around viewing the monuments and memorials lit up at night
    Scary: traffic on that same route during the day

    Sexy: John Edwards
    Scary: John Ashcroft

    Friday, July 09, 2004

    What is 50 cents worth?

    Earlier today, I was sitting on the metro when I saw two quarters lying on the ground under the seat in front of me. Not being 5 anymore, I don't usually pick up change. It has to be worthwhile for me to bend for the bucks, and 50 cents... well, that's definitely in the gray zone. However, I figured that since I was sitting, already half way there, I expended the energy.

    The woman sharing my bench commented, "Wow, you're rich." I'll admit it -- 50 cents is decent find as far as change goes...

    And while I noted that no one was sitting in the seat directly over the new-found treasure, the other side of the bench was occupied. So out of good manners and feeling it was the right thing to do, I asked the other woman across from me if she thought she might have dropped the pocket change. To my surprise, she said, "Yes, I think that is mine. I just had my purse out."

    So I gave her her due: 50 cents.

    And I tried to hide my shock. The woman sitting next to me, who was as surprised as I was that this woman's largess was so small, commented, "Well at least you are honest." (don't know if she was stressing YOU or not...)

    Trying to recover my voice, I replied, "Well, it was only 50 cents."

    And it was ONLY 50 cents.

    But what is 50 cents worth? Is it worth claiming when a stranger has found it on the ground not so close to you? Frankly, there is no way that money could have found its way to where I found it from where she was sitting unless her purse had exploded. Is it worth caring about, let alone lying? Would you worry if you lost 50 cents? Have I gained great good will and good fortune by handing away mine? What can 50 cents even buy you these days? A shocked look from the woman who found it. A local phone call. Not even a candy bar. A down-payment on a can of soda from a vending machine. Not much else...

    I did, however, learn a lesson that was worth at least 50 cents: everyone has their price. To me, it is certainly not worth acting like a Scrooge or being petty over two quarters. What would I have done if the situation had been reversed? Even if I had honestly thought it was my money, I would have waved the offer off. Why? Because my self esteem and image of who I want to be (which includes a sense of generosity) is worth more than 50 cents.

    The more interesting question, however, is -- what would I have done if it were $5? Would I have even offered it to her? I think I would have. And I know what she would have done.

    Thursday, July 08, 2004

    Appealing to the Google Gods

    In my ever-resourceful and completely frustrating attempts to meet interesting men (at least, interesting to me), I tried to invoke the powers of the pervasive panacea of people's perpetual problems... that is, I searched for the answer in the online oracle where most find gratification: Google.

    Yes, I googled for Mr. Right.

    And true to past performances and a stellar track-record, Google returned approximately 175,000 hits. Astounding and very promising! I can certainly say that I haven't been hit on by anything even approaching that number. I guess I have been missing, rather than hitting, the big picture, so I am going to put aside some time to explore those 175,000 hits. Most will be red herrings and other things which stink, but what my googled results tell me is that I need to think outside the box.

    After all, there are thousands and thousands of single women in DC looking for Mr. Right. I've always been good at getting what I want, once I know what that is, that is. It takes creativity, ingenuity, energy and strategery to track down the elusive and much sought-after quarry. I intend to succeed.

    Who says that intentions don't count for anything? 175,000 and counting...

    Wednesday, July 07, 2004

    Coming to terms

    The more I think about it, the more I realize that Kerry made the best choice in asking Edwards to run with him. Of all the possibilities, Edwards brings the most of what Kerry is lacking. Dean would have brought the internet generation and energy, but his negatives (incoherent screaming, reinforcing the NE pro-gay marriage image) were heavy. The rest were great on paper, less so on TV and in person. Edwards balances Kerry in that way.

    Compared to Kerry, Edwards looks youthful, vibrant, animated and optimistic. It was painfully evident in this morning's joint press appearance that Kerry wants that and wants it bad (he also needs it). I mean, he was even holding Edwards' son's hand and tossing him around like he was the father or grandfather! That was over the top as far as I was concerned, but it is true that the John-John ticket does have an air of two brothers ready to take on the world... and the Camelot comparisons with Edwards' young kids in tow cannot be helped. The charisma factor counts for a lot. After all, look at this administration: Cheney was chosen because he had the resume that Bush lacks whereas Bush had the appeal of "I'm running for frat house president, please vote for me" (too bad so many fell for it) which is the antithesis of Mr. Vice "go f*ck yourself" President's personality. Kerry is just doing it in reverse, and frankly, I'd rather have the guy with the experience in the White House than as the back-up.

    Also, I love the fact that both of the wives of the ticket are older than their husbands and equally as accomplished.

    And speaking of older women, I tried to put my hair up in a ponytail this morning, a style which generally looks quite youthful. However, the "young, carefree" factor was obviated by the obvious gray roots that have laid seige around my face. Needless to say, my hair is down today.

    Tuesday, July 06, 2004

    It's the John-John ticket?

    Well, Kerry just announced John Edwards as his ticketmate for this November. I can see the jokes already... One prostitute says to the other, "Hey, did ya' hear? The two Johns are going to try to take down Bush this fall?" The other responds, "Huh, two Johns for one Bush? Isn't it usually the other way around? How do they make any money?" Or how about "I heard we may have two Johns running the country..." "Wow, the qualifications to run for office are really dropping, aren't they?" or maybe "At least politicians are finally getting honest with the public."

    Okay, okay, enough. But there's so much there to play with.

    Anyway, my initial reaction to the John-John ticket isn't very positive. Let's face it, I wasn't thrilled with Kerry in the first place, so I was hoping he'd strengthen his credibility, not weaken it, with his Veep choice. I can see why he chose Edwards; he wants to avoid the mistakes of Gore (and let's face it, aren't Gore and Kerry much the same? different accents, but the same wooden exterior with good credentials but not a lot of charisma) -- he wanted someone photogenic and charismatic who is vibrant and a good stumper to offset his own shortcomings. But why would you choose a loser? Not to disparage Edwards, but pretty much everyone knows that he won't even carry his own state, so what does that say about his viability for higher office? And what does that say about Kerry's decision to pick him? It saves Edwards' face, but does it add anything other than photo ops to the ticket? I dunno. One term as Senator just doesn't cut it, but then again the Rs can hardly throw lack of elected experience as a criticism of Edwards... but they'll probably try.

    I think that any way you look at it, Kerry had a hard choice. He needed someone who would make up for what he was lacking, and that boils down to sex appeal and geographic balance. He has money, brains, and military/public service. What he needed was someone who energized the masses and made them believe that his ticket would be smart, modern and fun and not stuck in the mud while still being moderate and informed. The Rs have forever been trying to paint him as this ultra-liberal New England guy (ha!) and shove him to the extreme left to piss off those who think gay marriage is the worst thing to happen to politics since Hillary Clinton. Edwards adds flash but I don't think he adds much content. No doubt that he is smart and sexy and vibrant and will make the Sunday morning pundit shows much more interesting to watch (not necessarily listen to) than before. Maybe that's enough to win the White House? Shades of the other John-John?

    It's easy to criticize and harder to offer constructive solutions. Who would have made me happy? Dunno. Gephardt was the "front runner" but he's just another Kerry clone -- great credentials and little mass appeal. So, in that respect, Kerry was smart to shake things up with Edwards. I would have loved to see a younger version of Ann Richards or another ballsy woman. All in due time.

    But if the John-John ticket takes the White House, at least the dating pool here in DC will improve dramatically after January!

    All politics are local, aren't they?

    Monday, July 05, 2004

    C'est un blague...

    Is it a blog, a blague or an UNblague? Recognizing the inherently narcissistic nature of online journaling, it may just be.

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