Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What is this???

Does anyone from Ohio know what this contraption is??? Believe it or not, this is a parking meter. I parked outside Barnes & Noble in Georgetown and was excited when I didn't see a meter to pay. Then I read a sign posted on the lamp post that said "Pay to Park." So, I looked around and didn't see anyone taking money (like a parking attendant) and then noticed someone else standing by this so-called green box meter thing. I read it and realized this was in fact where I pay to park. But is it as easy as dropping in a few quarters and watching my time increase? No! It wants a credit card and it's not, I repeat NOT, a simple process to pay at this dumb box. Here's the gist - insert credit card, push 1 of 2 green buttons (instructions said to push green button but not which one, so I did eeny-menie-miney-mo and hoped for the best), then push the tan button to add minutes to the card (what the heck?! I'm not adding minutes to my credit card, I'm BUYING parking minutes), but actually instead of seeing 15 minutes/30 minutes/etc. it actually increases the time on a clock (took me a couple seconds to realize 2:00 didn't mean I had 2 hours but rather my time will be up at 2:00 PM - it didn't say PM, just 2:00), and finally the green box spits out a ticket and my credit card at which point I have to walk back to my car, unlock it, and specifically place it on my front dashboard on the sidewalk side. Whew!

Now I ask you, what is wrong with the time honored tradition of dropping coins in a meter and turning a little metal crank precisely showing the number of minutes remaining?? Nothing! There is absolutely nothing wrong with that method and no need to confuse people just trying to run into Barnes & Noble and purchase a book. Hmph! And for those of you laughing right now at my midwestern attempt to use a parking meter, I assure you, I'm not the first nor the last to be confounded by a contraption that should NOT be called a parking meter.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My "detour" through the monuments

Another driving fiasco but with nice side benefits. I've not done so bad navigating my way around DC the past couple days, with the exception of tonight. In attempting to get back home, which should have taken 25 minutes max, I somehow managed to end up in Virginia at Ronald Reagan airport not once but twice, circled the Washington Monument not twice or three times even but 5 times, passed the WWII memorial from two different angles, made a full circle around the Jefferson Memorial, and had a policeman blow his whistle at me for taking a picture from my car. The nerve of him! Clearly he didn't see my Ohio license plates and realize that the Dublin cement corn monuments are slightly less impressive than DC monuments and just maybe I was stopping to take a picture because I was so frustrated at going in circles and needed something else to do! Hmph! So, while fumbling my way home, I decided to take some quick pics at night of the Jefferson Memorial and the WWII memorial. Beautiful at night! Hopefully soon I'll take the time to walk around at night and get some actual pictures of DC's beauty in person instead of from my car. This is some city!

The 6th largest mall in the USA!!

Saturday I had the honor of shopping in the 6th largest mall in the country - Tyson's Center Corner - home to 300 stores plus a movie theater. What a great place and it makes me think that one of these days, I need to take a road trip to the top 10 largest malls in the country. Now, some may scoff at that idea, but hear me out:
1. Malls are really just little communities bringing people of all different religions, nationalities, and ethnicities together under one roof.
2. Malls reach all employment sectors of society - architects, construction workers, engineers, interior designers, entrepreneurs, maintenance and janitorial personnel, business men and women, financial gurus, chefs, temporary and full time employees, etc. What other building can say that???
3. Shopping at a mall is fiscally responsible because all the stores are under one roof, therefore saving money on gas by not having to drive place to place. Additionally, we cut down on pollution by walking store to store and not driving.
4. Malls provide for our basic needs - food, clothing, and shelter. We therefore have a civic duty to thank communities for providing us with malls by using them....frequently.
And that my readers, is why I am planning a cross country mall road trip. Those who would like to join me in this American responsibility are most welcome. I'll work on a map and after we tackle the US malls, we will expand to the world, since of course we are a global society interdependent on other nations.

A prime example of how malls are good for us is illustrated by the exercise classes at TCC that take place in the middle of the mall. Now, I'm guessing those who use it are probably not the ones who need it the most, since quite frankly, who in their right mind that needs to lose weight would want to work up a sweat struggling to do a push-up in front of hundreds of gawking strangers, but I suppose for those with no self-confidence issues it would be great. So, it's a nice option offered at the mall. Ironically, it was situated right outside the grand opening of Christian Audigier's store, which was giving away free cotton candy and food. I laughed and thus decided to take out my camera and capture both the store and the exercise area.

Malls are our friends, and we should take the time to get to know them better :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Strike 1 for DC!

I found something I don't like about DC....actually, it found me 3 times! The above disgusting bug with very long antennas, ugly legs, and a propensity for jumping long distances, showed up on my PILLOW the first night in DC. I stifled down a scream and proceeded to act like a grownup - thoroughly killing it repeatedly with my shoe and then disposing of my pillowcase in the clothes hamper all while holding it at an arms length just incase the guts decided to attack. Day 2 in DC, I am minding my own business at work playing my new role as a professional when the wretched bug finds me in the office supply closet. On a mission to find envelopes, I opened the closet door and came face-to-face, eye-level, with the very same type of bug sitting on the side of the envelope box. Much to my dismay and the bug's relief, it jumped off the box and under another stack of boxes before I had time to take my stiletto to it. And that brings me to today's encounter with Mr.'s back and it's in my apartment yet again. While walking around my living room holding my computer trying to phish a wireless signal, I look over the top of the screen and there resting on my wall guessed it....the ugly brown bug! Lucky for you all reading this, my camera was sitting on the table next to me and I thought to take a picture before annihilating it with the same flip flop I used the first time. Bye bye bug....or perhaps bye bye addition to setting up a Vespa fund, I will also be taking donations for a penthouse in the city :)

Monday, September 21, 2009


So, yesterday was one of the most gorgeous days I can remember in a long time for two reasons: 1. crystal blue skies, and 2. national monuments. Let me just say this now - WOW! While driving towards Capitol Hill, I decided to take an "easier" route that actually turned out to be longer yet was worth every minute just for the scenery. I drove along the Potomac River and watched in envy as boaters and kayakers enjoyed the blue skies, light breeze, glittering water, and breathtaking monuments. I was tempted to stop my car right then and there and join in the paddle boat fun, but instead opted to take pictures from inside my car as I drove....another reason why I should be driving a Vespa and not a car. But anyways, there's just something indescribable about being surrounded by the most important historical pieces of cement carvings and buildings in the country. Really, I think everyone reading this should abandon whatever they are doing and drive to Washington, DC. Right now. See some monuments, enjoy the weather, and come visit me! Oh, and bring me some Ohio corn....DCers just don't have the whole sweet corn thing down.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

And the greatness continues...

Another reason to love DC :)

The future me!

Scooters are EVERYWHERE!!! This what I should be driving! After trying to drive in DC for 3 days, I've decided to start a Vespa Scooter fund for everyone's sake. I figure the damage I can do with only 2 wheels would be nothing in comparison to me in my actual car. Notice the stylish pant and helmet ensemble to match?? Nothing but high class in DC.....although in my case, I should probably pass out helmets to pedestrians around me :)

Weekend numero uno in DC

Welcome to Washington, DC! Home of the White House, the Capitol building, lots of monuments, and excellent shopping....oh yes, I found the shopping mecca of DC - GEORGETOWN!! Now, moving from Columbus, OH to DC a mere 3 days ago, I was certain that no shopping in DC could possibly compare to the excellent shopping of Easton, Polaris, and Tuttle....oh me of little faith. My day started off apartment hunting on Capitol Hill, but after driving past the White House 3 times, fully circling Dupont Circle twice, going the wrong way on a one-way street, attempting to read my city map while driving (since there is absolutely no place to stop and read it), and narrowly missing a group of college students texting instead of paying attention to the crosswalk signals on George Washington University campus, I decided to head back to a place of comfort I passed starting out this morning....Georgetown! "M" has become my new favorite letter of the alphabet since Georgetown shopping all happens on M St. Imagine high-end 5th Ave. shopping in NYC + vintage college campus stores + chic boutiques, and you'll get a sampling of all Georgetown has to offer. And if that wasn't enough, there is an indoor mall disguised behind all the street shops - no joke! I would not have known the mall was there if not for asking a kind lady on the street where her Anthropologie bag came from. What a way to spend my first Saturday in DC :)