Don’t Be That Girl: Fall Fail

I know you can barely see her blurry image in the top right hand of this cell phone picture I snapped yesterday evening on my way home, but trust me on this: this girl in this picture is hella excited for fall.


She’s got her green striped sweater on. She’s wrestled her way into a pair of thick, dark brown tights. And she’s brought her brown knee high boots out of their long summer retirement.

She’s been buying pumpkin beer, and has already had her first Starbucks pumpkin spice latte of the season. In fact, if I could have gotten closer to her, I’m fairly certain she would have smelled like pumpkin. Or hot apple cider, of which she’s already been drinking gallons.

Her October weekends are completely booked with every OktoberFest in the greater Virginia-DC-Maryland region. She’s lurking in bushes, trying to find even one hint of a leaf changing from green to red or even orange.

She’s got her football jerseys all laid out and pressed and has been chopping wood to feed her fireplace. She’s already stopped shaving her legs, envisioning all the flannel and tweed and corduroy work pants she’ll be wearing.

This chick is mother-foilage-flipping, pumpkin-scented-pee-in-her-tights pumped about fall.

The only problem is: I snapped this picture on September 4, at 6 p.m. and the temperature was a not-so-crisp 84 degrees.

That, by the way, was the above-ground temperature. But as you can maybe discern, she’s entering a DC metro station (which explains my quick and blurry picture – I was afraid she’d get away). Fun fact: DC metro stations (though underground) are generally at least five degrees warmer than outside. Not to mention the metro train, which has probably already stopped running its air conditioning and will be a nice, crowded and toasty 110 degrees and humid.

So enjoy your fall day, dear female lumberjack. And keep working on those arm muscles for all the leaves you’ll have to rake in the coming months. I’m going to continue to wear flip flops, and drink gin and tonics, and use deodorant a little while longer.

fall excitement

I’d Rather Be Having a Beer

I know, I know. This isn’t a real post. But work and life in general have been kicking my butt and  it doesn’t appear that it’s going to let up until sometime in mid-May. Plus, it’s still freezing cold here in DC, which has put me in a very foul and non-chatty blogger mood. I am still wearing a winter coat and tights in April.  APRIL.

AND, to just heap the awfulness on the crap plate that can sometimes be one’s daily existence, it’s High Touron season here, which is just so, so aggravating (for more on this phenomenon, go here).

The other night during rush hour, I literally had to listen to a cheerful (and loud) Touron lament the fact that us DC-Northern Virginia commuters seemed so grumpy on the metro. I’m sorry, excuse me? We’re just trying to get from home to work and back again. It’s not a freaking roller coaster ride: it’s a commute. What do you look like when you’re driving to work, balancing a cup of coffee, your phone and whatever other stuff you have to schlep around all day while weaving in and out of traffic around people who may or may not know where they’re going? Are you cheerful in rush hour traffic? Are you whistling Dixie because you get to go to work? I don’t think so.

Now try doing all of that, standing up, in a moving train, in a skirt and heels, pressed up against some government bureaucrat with a body odor problem.

And then let’s just pretend for a minute that some weird stranger is sitting riiiggght next to you in your car and gabbing away two inches from your face about how uncheerful you are about the often-tardy, always-overcrowded and incorrectly-ventilated logistical device that transports you to work at a highway robbery fair of $7-plus dollars a day. Still whistling, Tammy Tourist?

Sorry. I got a bit wound up there. Better to think of something pleasant. Like beer.

Because, even though life and work are kicking my butt, at least there’s nothing preventing me from enjoying a beer. Maybe if they’d install some serve-yourself coolers in the metro cars, we’d all be much more cheerful about our commutes.

Do You Have This Purse in a Porridge Color and Slightly Smaller?

When it comes to purses, I’m a little bit like Goldilocks—this one’s too big, this one’s too small. But unlike our fair-haired heroine, I have very few bags that I consider just right.

How scary is this Goldilocks?? Nightmares!

Nevertheless, I continue to acquire not-quite-right bags at a fairly alarming—and expensive—rate. Here’s a closer dissection of my two categories of bags.

The big bags: My excuse/thought process when purchasing yet another bag that is larger than an Olsen twin is that I am a daily rider of public transportation. And in order to avoid/deter any interaction with my fellow humans, I have to schlep a lot of crap around.

Princess Pointy Ears is clearly a big bag girl.

For example: I need reading material, like books and magazines, so I can bury my nose and not make any eye contact. I need my iPod Touch so I can drown out all the annoying tourists yakking on about seeing a motorcade while they were heading to the Shake Shack. Yes, there are motorcades. Pretty much all the time. Get over it. It’s probably not even the president. It’s probably one of his kids going to a Jonas Brothers concert.

I also need a change of shoes so I can outsprint my fellow commuters to get out of metro and on my way to work. I’m just kidding. I actually just need a pair of walking flats because I live in the cobblestone hell that is Old Town and I live an 8 minute walk from my metro stop. Cobblestones: Quaint and old timey? Yes. Good on heels? Not so much.

Plus I need to carry a sweater or jacket so when I enter the sub-Arctic work environment from the 95 degree heat, I won’t catch pneumonia and die on my work keyboard. Productivity people! Dead workers are not productive workers.

So that’s why I need a ginormous bag. All of this urban survival gear takes up a lot of space. But the bags that can carry this stuff are a bit too large and heavy.

Enter the too-small bags.

Small(ish) bags

I usually rotate bags in and out every couple of weeks. I don’t change bags every day. That’s way too much work for me. So after a couple of weeks of shoulder-sagging bags, I get completely fed up and do a total 180 and pick a bag that is far too small for all my necessities. Or actually, they’re usually just slightly too small, which is even more frustrating. Because when you choose just a slightly-too-small bag, you have to make choices and leave a few things out.

But when you’ve been carrying a huge bag that holds your entire life, you start to expect that you have things like that tiny tube of emergency sunscreen for when you want to eat outside or that teeny-tiny portable umbrella or wet wipes for times you need to clean your hands after a particularly messy gyro from the food truck. I’m a teensy-totally-manageable-bit OCD (yes, I do have a lint brush in my purse. And I’ll have you know, it’s come in handy on numerous occasions), so being unprepared makes me very, very anxious and cranky.

Then the pendulum swings the other way and I cave in and haul out a large bag again. My security blanket. I wonder what Goldilocks would say about all this vacillating. She’d probably tell me to go take a nap on some bear’s bed.

The bag on the left is going to eat the bag on the right.