Thursday, September 30, 2010


While the onset of autumn signals a season of introspection for me, I haven’t sunk all the way into the deep reflection on life’s big issues quite yet, but hover, like the weather, so that tonight’s introspection falls on lighter fare.

Things I am Officially Over:
Cupcakes from boutique cupcake shops.  So not worth the price.  I can do better with a box of Betty Crocker mix and a tub of frosting. The only thing that makes these worth silly waits in line and money you could buy a good espresso drink with instead (yes, I do see the irony) is if you think of it as buying art.  With a very short lifespan.

Tapas.  Leave me feeling vaguely dissatisfied and definitely hungry.

PEPCO.  Hiss.  Boo.  Stop letting my power get knocked out every time a raindrop threatens to fall from the sky!

Tea parties.  The whole phrase has been ruined for me by the right.  Though I do still love clotted cream and jam on scones and those cute little cucumber sandwiches.

Things I am Officially Into:
Peruvian food.  Especially La Canela and Carbon, a fine dining spot and a casual place, respectively, located a block apart on Gibbs Street in Rockville Town Square, Rockville, Maryland, and cleverly owned by the same company.  Best steak ever (note to the Green Police--yes, I still eat red meat once in a while, get over it)—a pleasing heart attack on a plate when served with egg on top. 

Chicha Morada.  See Peruvian food, above.  My new favorite drink is one of Peru’s favorite drinks, made of purple corn juice and pineapple, spiced with cinnamon and cloves.  I enthused to my son about it, thinking that with his international inclinations he’d want to give it a try, and ran down the ingredients for him.  “So basically, sugar?” he cracked, in that wonderful wry way of his.  No you can’t spoil it for me, Sammy!  I looked it up and it apparently has one of the highest levels of antioxidants in the vegetable kingdom.  But I mostly drink it because it’s refreshing and delicious.

Alegria shoes.  Less than two years after I decided I had to give up Birkenstocks and wear more elegant—while still comfortable--footwear, since I was single (don’t ask for the logic that came between those two clauses), I have started wearing the most incredibly comfortable shoes that have a big funny- looking toe bed and a clunky rocker sole.  They come in a pleasing array of whimsical colors.  Of course I had to get the purple tortoise patent.

Sidewalk recycling.  I saw my first Big Belly Solar Compactors in Philadelphia earlier this year.  Meanwhile, in the DC area you still can’t find a plain old recycling bin at public event or in front of your local strip mall, so we dump tons of plastic and glass bottles, etc. into the landfill.

A new favorite—if perhaps less than PC--expression:  “a random” (used as a noun, not a verb).  I have not Googled to find the origin because I’m afraid I’ll find out it’s widespread slang, thus revealing my dinosaurhood);  I prefer to think it’s an original quirky catchphrase.  A colleague and I were out and about and a weird guy kept coming up to a vendor near where we were sitting.    I asked if she’d seen him before.  “Yeah,” she said, “a random.”  Later that day an oddball with a creepy edge walked by.  I looked at her. “Yeah,” she said, “another random.” 

Things I am Reserving Judgment On:
Twitter.  So far the main benefit I’ve found is information sharing.  And by information I mean things like links to interesting articles that have appeared in the media, or controversial comments from thought leaders.  Not what you had for breakfast.

Freecycle.  Love the idea.  Don’t love getting all the emails about junk people are willing to put out to the curb for me if I want to come get it, bringing clutter to my Inbox that I just spent months getting rid of.  Though I did get someone to come get an old mini CD player system off of my curb and take it away for me.  And my son just furnished his first place with a decent sofa and other living room furniture thus garnered. For now I sideline the digested email notices into a folder in my Inbox and check them occasionally when I am on hold on the phone (see below entry for Verizon).

FIOS.  Got it after I got fed up with my Comcast TV going out in storms even when the power was back on, and after much soul searching about changing from the devil I knew to…another devil I knew.  At least with Comcast I could get a live person on the phone in fairly short order.  As for Verizon, well, that’s when I read my Freecycle emails, while I search in vain for a live person to talk to while wildly pushing phone keys and angrily yelling at the phone like a crazy person—“Agent!”  “Agent!”

Glee.  The wildly popular Fox TV show used to be on the Things I’m Into list, as I’ve been a hard-core Gleek since the show started and just finished happily watching reruns of it all summer.  But this new season—are they bending over backwards trying to make all the characters unlikeable, and the likeably unlikeable Sue Sylvester just thoroughly unpleasant?  And the slutty numbers they performed this past episode two dedicated to the (imagine heavy air quotes) “music” of Britney Spears?  Gratuitous.  Please, Ryan Murphy, don’t get jaded so quickly and ruin Glee!

Now I’ve Heard Everything:
An old friend from North Carolina told me about a billboard in Charlotte that advertises a grocery store meat department and THE BILLBOARD EMITS THE SMELL OF GRILLING MEAT—adjusted remotely, turned up during rush hour traffic to tantalize people into wheeling off the highway for some good eats.  This also comes under the category of ideas stolen out of my head, as I have for years been saying the next big thing in computers would be the ability to transmit smell, so your screensaver could not only give you an eyeful of a Caribbean beach but the smell of suntan lotion and tropical flowers to complete the mood.

Now I’ve Seen Everything: 
As a taxi deposited a friend and me outside a very posh hotel in Philadelphia, a woman walked by with a Westie Terrier IN A STROLLER.  I snapped my head back for a second look, delighted, laughed aloud and told my friend, “I can die now, I’ve seen everything!” 

What are you Into, Over or All Agog About these days?


  1. I'm currently into your posts. I wish they were more category'Can't get enough of'. Your posts are my sherbet between tastes; in this case, my thought transitions.

    I'm at work and you've walked me safely across the street to another task.

  2. Loved this one - especially the part about a screensaver that emits the smell of the Caribbean. For years, I've been wanting to invent "smellovision".

  3. Great blog. I am not into Twitter; however, I have an account. Information overload. I like the new Peruvian restaurant. Let me know when you are going again; I would like to join you. Lurdes

  4. I so agree about FIOS and Verizon. Took us one entire evening to program our two tvs, running up and down the stairs with a Verizon rep. on the phone. I literally begged the man to send someone back out to the house, sighing "I can't push one more button and unhook anything else..." I got three months free of HBO out of the deal, but my tv still doesn't work right!

    Diana Martin (a freelance writer who sould be blogging instead of watching television anyhow!)