Monday, September 5, 2011

The seriousness with which I approach my future

I'm presently working on practice sets for the GRE while drinking a bottle of $6 Chardonnay--straight out of the bottle. It's actually pretty tasty--Whole Foods doesn't sell shit wine, or the yuppies would stop going there.

I realize that I need to do much better than the 1200 I got last round (in my defense, I didn't study much and I was really sick), but I'm distressed that the results of this standardized test may prove to me and the rest of the world that I'm not actually smart, nor capable of attending grad school.

Hence the wine.

Also, reading these ridiculous GRE passages through the veil of alcohol causes them to become much more understandable. I may consider pregaming the test.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Apparently when you are the CEO of a major hotel chain and the president of Cornell's Hotel Management School, you and your family are entitled to free bike rentals, even though you are probably richer than god.

Apparently you are also entitled to return those bikes incredibly late because you had a conference call in the middle of your bike ride--much to the annoyance of the sales girl who you are keeping from a 12-mile commute that will eventually get her home to dinner.

You better leave a fucking gigantic tip.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Being cheap for Jesus

I really don't understand people who think they deserve special treatment because they're church groups. It's generally not a problem, but every once in awhile, I get a customer who demands that they be treated differently/get a discount because of it.

Do I understand that churches tend to have less money? Yeah, totally. Do I give them breaks because of this? (Like the $10 discount per person I gave this one group in particular?) Absolutely. But at the same time, I work for a business that needs to keep its doors open somehow, and we can't do that by cutting people slack simply because they carry a cross with their name.

This particularly annoys me when I know that the church is affluent, has agreed to the price, has paid for it, then plays the "We've got Jesus on our side and SHAME ON YOU" card me to try and intimidate me somehow. We have policies (i.e. service charges for refunds) that hold true for ALL customers, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim or atheist, and we make them very clear to people. By entering into a business agreement with us, you agree to abide by them.

So pardon me, church in New Jersey, that I'm not weeping holy tears of sympathy for you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jobs you probably don't want to apply for

Most hilarious posting I've seen on Craigs' List all day:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The bulky thighs are a dead giveaway

Guy from Louisiana on tour today: "Are you a cycler?" (maybe he said "cyclister")

Me: "Yes, actually, I am."

Guy: "I could tell."


I hate it when customers point out to me that I have big legs (that's where the guy's eyes were pointing when he asked this question). It's not like I don't know already. It's not like I'm not already aware that, though the rest of me is a size 2 or 4, jeans are designed for muscle-less women, so I instead stuff my legs into 8s, and sometimes those don't even fit.

Am I self-conscious about this? Hell no. I will wear whatever I please because, fuck it, DC is hot in the summer, and when it's 97 degrees and humid, I don't give three shits what anyone thinks.


The other day, a (male) friend of mine looked down past my shorts and went "Woah. Massive legs."

My friend, while I love him, is not the most tactful human on the planet, so I would like to point out to the men of the world that it is NOT a good idea to point out to a woman that ANY part of her is larger than average, even if you mean it as a compliment. Saying, "Hey, you (or, if you're bold: "your legs") look great in those shorts!" is fine. Saying, "Hey, you have big legs" is not. You might as well call the girl "thunder thighs," kick her in the face, and walk away. It has about the same effect.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Work (more complaints)

I am so. fucking. tired. So is everyone I work with. I'm not sure when it became the norm to work 12-14 hour days on a regular basis and to have days off limited to one per week, but that seems to be the case so far this summer. And when you work for a seasonal company, they don't HAVE to pay you overtime, so you can (and will) be at work pretty much all the time--especially when you (and your coworkers) are managers and it seems as though things explode when you are gone. At least I get paid for every hour I work, which is more than I can say for some people at the company.

And they wonder why they can't keep employees.

So today is my one day off, and I'm debating what to do with myself. Anything involving doing anything remotely responsible (i.e. laundry, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom, or any number of things that I really ought to be doing) is out. I was thinking a bike ride along the W&OD trail might be nice, but I don't remember how to find it, and if the above paragraph hasn't made it clear already, I have no energy.

The problem is, I have to do something, otherwise I will sit and stare at my cell phone all day, praying for a call from a new job situation. When they said last week, "We're looking to make a decision by the end of next week," I can only assume they meant today, but it could also have meant yesterday, but I didn't hear anything then, so needless to say, my nerves are on edge.

Blargh. The good news is, I get some vacation time in 3 weeks! Not paid vacation or anything (that would just be silly--who gets paid for vacation?), but a chance to breathe for about 5 days.

Maybe I'll make a I can bring it into work tomorrow...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Futures and such

It's been about a year since I graduated from college, so pardon the minute or two I'm going to take for self-reflection...

I haven't been kind to this blog recently. Updates have been less and less frequent, and when I do update, it's generally whining about how hideous and terrible customers/people on the streets have been.

Sad to say, when you work with tourists, at least 45% of your conversation is occupied by whining about customers and how much you hate your job. And when you're a cyclist, at least 50% of your conversation is devoted to bitching about how much better you are than everyone else on the road--including pedestrians. That leaves only 5% for topics such as--oh, I don't know--world politics, the economy, what other people are up to, future aspirations and to be fair, I haven't had much to say these past few months.

There's this little bubble of hope in my chest that promises I'll find another job soon. It's not so much that the job sucks as the frustration that comes with having been in the same spot for a year since graduation. My job search has been less-than full-throttle, and I seem to lack the luck that some folks have had in landing something that pays halfway decently.

Then again--part of me sees some of my friends in positions that truly, truly suck with bosses that are truly, truly incompetent assholes, and I don't feel like I have it so bad. DC also seems to be full of positions that sound really good, but in actuality--aren't. It's lots of people wanting to make a difference caught up in a bureaucratic whirl. At least I harbor no delusions about my own in the rat race. I'm just another rat--albeit one who rides a bike.

So that all being said...I need to go back to school. Badly. And I need to move away from this city. I've struggled back and forth with getting a business degree in sustainable tourism management, going for a PhD in library and information sciences (still on the list), and going to school for anthropology. My goal for right now? To get into UBC's socio-cultural anthropology program, and to bike across the continent to get to Vancouver.

I was looking to buy a new bike recently, and when I ticked off the different bikes I was looking at to my coworker (including a single speed, a 3-speed townie bike, a road bike, and a touring/commmuter bike), he said "It sounds like you don't know what you want." It's the same thing with grad schools...all the subjects that I've thought about would work in one way or another, but it's a matter of honing in on the right one.

It may be taking me longer than most folks...but I'll get there. Eventually.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Someday, dear (lack of) readers, hopefully soon, I will no longer be a DC tour guide. But I don't know what blog fodder I'll have then...maybe I'll convert this into a food blog....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

You know that...'s been a bad day when customers call and you're smacking yourself on the head with the phone.

Monday, March 14, 2011


The Washington Nationals called and wanted to use our tandem bikes for the Presidents' Race, then some guy came to rent a bike for the president of Georgia.

Just a typical day, really.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dear DC Rush Hour

Dear Redheaded Mohawk Lady on Massachusetts Avenue,

Please don't mutter hateful things at me under your breath just because you decided to cross in the street, well outside of the pedestrian crosswalk. If you decide to angle suddenly into the street and a cyclist smashes into you because you're not looking...well...that just isn't the cyclist's problem. I will do everything in my power to NOT hit you, but you realize that you do play a role in your own safety, yes?

Dear Guy in a Car on Connecticut Avenue,

Yes, the traffic is a hideous bottleneck here. That's why I ride in between the lanes, constantly dodging side mirrors and the sides of 18-wheelers. It's a fairly terrifying experience in itself, and it is made even worse when you angle your car into my path to block me. Especially because me and my bike are fairly thin, so I'm going to pass you anyway, and this will probably just anger you further. Really, it's best to let me pass through and move on with your day.

Dear DDOT,

While I very much appreciate the new bike lanes, I beg you wholeheartedly to fix the wintertime potholes in the roads. For those of us skinny-tired folk, they create dangerous and unnecessary obstacles on streets that already need repaving.

In addition, pedestrians who get stuck halfway across Pennsylvania Avenue are standing in the bike lane, and you neglected to give them a place to stand where they don't have to worry about getting flattened by some roadie.

Dear Other Guy in a Car on Connecticut Avenue,

I would like to emphasize how utterly unnecessary it is to lay on your horn, then flip off the guy in front of you for not moving fast enough at the green light. Why? He was attempting to turn left, there was a giant truck in his way, and really, where was he supposed to go? Get over yourself.

Dear Guys in Suits,

Stop standing in the 15th Street bike lane. I will mow you down.

Love and kisses,


Monday, February 21, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My favorite part of the day...

Is when the security guards at the federal building where I work wave me through the line while all the stuffed suits have to wait and show their badges.

I don't have a badge. They just know me.

Take that, Washington.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A few brief thoughts on weddings

1) The uploading time alone makes it not quite worth it to put up nearly 600 photos of your wedding on Facebook, even if the ceremony was beautiful.

2) I am so not ready for one of those things. I don't WANT to be ready for one.

4) When I am ready for one of those things, I will not get married with a 7-foot high medieval death instrument (a cross) at the altar.

5) 99% of the time, flower girls are beyond adorable.

6) I'm seriously impressed/terrified by the amount of planning that goes into them. The cake, the food, the flowers, the reception hall, the church/ceremony location, the chairs, the tables, the photography, the dress, the bridesmaids and groomsmen, etc. etc. etc.

7) Graduating from college = 400 weddings and engagements.

8) So that means an oncoming rash of babies. Oh god.

9) I am DEFINITELY not ready for one of those things, so kudos to you ladies and gentlemen who are.

10) Weddings = good food. I should befriend more engaged people.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

That's it

All right...listen up, every last American to whom I have spoken about this. Most recently, to my boss.

I am really sick and tired of you all ragging me about having spent time in Canada, and having fallen in love with the country.

Trust me, I know exactly what's going to come out of your mouth before you even speak. "It's no different from our country." "Yeah...did you learn how to speak Canadian?" "Canada, eh?" "Oh, you mean America's hat!" "Studying abroad in Canada is kind of like studying abroad in Minneapolis." "Did you spend a lot of time with the moose up there?" You're not clever, and I've heard it before.

Don't you see? That's the problem--American arrogance. Plain and simple. Just because a country's cultures are similar to those found within our country (though let's be honest, how many Quebecois, Acadians, or Inuktitut-speaking peoples have you seen wandering around the United States?), it must be a lesser version of what we have. And we eclipse it, of course, so that makes it less valuable.

I could launch into the umpteenth version of my explanation for having gone to Mount Allison, and why Canada is NOT America Lite, but you know what? I'm not going to bother, because you're not going to listen to me, and you don't care. My words and intellect are wasted on you.

Just because I couldn't afford to jet across the globe and immerse myself in some strange, more "exotic" culture does NOT mean that my experience was lesser than yours. To put it into further perspective for you, pretty much anyone who can get into American University can get accepted into an AU Abroad program. But not everyone who gets into American University can win a $10,000 national scholarship to visit our closest neighbor and ally, with a different mindset, a slightly different way of thinking, beautiful, unknown lands, and a diverse landscape of cultures and histories. This doesn't mean AU Abroad programs are worth any less, obviously, but I'm saying that there's merit to ANY sort of travel.

Yes, I WILL travel geographically further in my life, and with the added benefit of knowing a country that many Americans don't--which, let me clue you in, is one of the biggest hallmarks of our country's extreme arrogance. Especially to Canadians.

I don't devalue your experiences. Don't devalue mine.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Me: The girl dismounting her bike outside of her apartment, when my front wheel slips on the ice, causing me to crash into the ground. I stand up slowly, clearly in pain because my shoulder feels like it's been dislocated, and I lean on the bike for support.

You: The guy walking by on his cell phone, who has witnessed this whole thing. You walk by and do not say a word--not even a brief "Are you OK?" You walk around me, a foot away, and continue yakking on your cell phone.

I hope Lady Karma finds you.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Things that annoy me:

1) A company that's too cheap to buy new sponges for the sink, so your only option is to use your hands or mildewy, 4-year-old sponges.

2) Contagious death-plague viruses. Especially when you give them to your boyfriend, so he gets to spend the evening gray-faced, sweaty, delirious, and crawling between the toilet and his bed.

3) People who forget that the workplace has boundaries. And that jokes about vibrators should probably NOT be directed at the only girl in the office that day.

4) People who can't. Throw. Anything. Out. Ever. So you get stuck sifting through boxes and boxes (and digital files) of old papers that bear no relevance whatsoever to the present.

5) Snow storms that keep threatening to come, then wimping out and spitting like 3 snowflakes on DC.

6) Sales calls. Doing them, not receiving them. They are awful.

Things that make me happy:

1) Being the only one at work and blasting Great Big Sea, the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack and Julie Fowlis to my heart's content.

2) Getting in early so I can leave early, and blogging during my lunch hour.

3) One-year anniversaries (tomorrow!).

4) Shepherd's Pie, green bean casserole, and chocolate chip cookies--all homemade!

5) Bagels and free coffee.

6) The XKCD comic that is taped to my broken laptop screen, ending with a "FUCK. THAT. SHIT." and reminding me that life is more than some people make of it. I wish I could remember the number of it, because it's brilliant.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A quick comment on an article I read this morning...

First of all: I know it's a lot to read through, but it's worth it if you're into masochism, because especially if you're an American, this article WILL make you hurt. If you've taken ANY courses in international development, this article will make you feel ill. The many layers of misunderstanding are apparent here. First, there's a reason why these changes are called "long term"--and you really can't just plop things into someone else's hands and run away with no oversight. Minimal oversight, maybe? But not this.

Second, water parks?? Dance halls? Has ANYONE working for these people taken a class in cross-cultural communication? Certain social codes and norms are present in Islamic countries, and while you may be trying to "democratize" the country, at least respect the existing value systems. To quote, '"We don't allow dancing and singing outside," said Hassan Alizerjawee, a Sadr City elder who lives across the street from the proposed site.' Why didn't we invest those $250,000 in taxpayer dollars in measures that preserved what was already there (whatever was left to save) or at least spending another $50,000 to make sure militias didn't bomb the shit out of everything?

Another quote: ""We did run a danger of looking like Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned." from Lt. Col. Yates, whose men worked on the water park in Baghdad.