Currently Watching: The Simpsons Season 2 DVD.
Currently Playing: Diddy Kong Racing (Nintendo 64). I got this a couple of years ago, and just lately got addicted to it again. And I'm stalled out at almost the exact same level that confounded me during my last go-round with it. Arrrgh!
Currently Bemused By: A recent mailing from the MS Fan Club (okay, not really, but it's one of the medical companies with that annoying rah-rah tone) about a new treatment for MS. The good news is that it seems to work well for more advanced stages of MS. The bad news? One of the side effects can be congestive heart failure, so you can't take it for more than two to three years tops. And also, it can turn the whites of your eyes -- and your pee -- blue. The blue eyeball and pee thing could be kind of cool, but the heart failure? Not so much. The insert with all its warnings kind of reminded me of that diet drug a couple of years ago that included "frequent bowel movements and the uncontrollable urge to have them" among its many alarming side effects.
The Entry of Bitch Bitch Bitch.
Sasha has yet to learn that Tails Are Not Toys (TM). She'll attack her own tail as readily as she attacks the boys' tails, though, so at least she's not being mean. She's just being a little dumb.
Things I'm Currently Grateful For:
1. That Washington DC will NOT be hosting the Summer Olympics in 2012. (Or ever, I hope.) Is that shortsighted of me? Am I being selfish? Damn right. I love DC and don't often bash it or take kindly to others dumping on it without sufficient cause, but let's get real: my city is lucky if it can handle an influx of WTO protestors. It only occasionally seems to deal well with the fact that lots and lots of people like to come here in the summer. The Metro trains are overcrowded and dirty and breaking down with increasing frequency; the traffic around here both in the city proper and in nearby suburbs is already an obscenity. I don't even want to think about an influx of Olympic proportions. If anything could get me to pack up and move out of here, that would almost certainly be it.
Maybe Mayor Anthony Williams didn't bribe the IOC with enough perks (the poor guy's probably spending too much money cleaning up his campaign violations mess). Maybe he should have enlisted the help of a Russian mobster or two. Whatever. I don't care; I'm just divinely glad it ain't happening.
2. That this miserable foul stinking disgusting fucking cesspool of a summer is almost at an end. If you're one of those misguided folk who think it's just dandy when it's 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity outside, go away. And don't bitch to me in winter when it's 45 degrees and mostly sunny, either, because you should have more than enough heat and humidity stored up to last you a few years. I've tried to be a good sport about the hot weather, but this particular summer more than exhausted my goodwill. When I'm thinking back fondly to 2001 when the heatwave "only" lasted seven days; when I feel like something's missing if I don't see the "HEAT ADVISORY" warning screen flash up on the Weather Channel in the morning; when I think it's odd if I actually have to pay the bus fare two days in a row (Metrobus doesn't charge bus fare on Code Red heat days), this whole heatwave thing has gone way too damn far. Summer is supposed to be the season when everything's lush and green, but the shriveled up dead dry trees and crispy plants and brown lawns and baked ground around here tell a totally different story.
This will be the summer that I sat around the house a lot, dashed from here to my air-conditioned office and back again, actually said "Huh. It's only going to be 95 degrees tomorrow" with actual relief in my voice, and pondered whether or not that Twilight Zone episode "Midnight Sun" was actually happening. (That's the one where the Earth's moving too close to the sun and the heat just keeps rising and rising and all civility breaks down -- it aired during the Fourth of July marathon on the SciFi channel, and honestly I've been wondering if SciFi knew something we didn't yet.)
Anyhow, today was in the low to mid-70s and it's raining, some of the first actual lengthy rainfall we've had in months. And it's glorious. It's the best weather day we've had in months. And you can quote me on that.
3. That some people out there actually still care about doing their jobs well, or at all. Is this getting increasingly rare?
I have my choice of two bus lines at night: 12C or 12S. 12C is quicker and more efficient and gets me home earlier and seems like the screamingly logical choice. And yet I kind of like the 12S. It's slower and takes a long, meandering route through Fairfax and Centreville, but when we first moved here I really liked that -- it was a neat way to see what was around and how the roads here connected. I still like it a little better. Or would, if it didn't seem to be snakebitten with problems.
Tonight I got to the bus stop outside the Metro early enough to snag a seat on the early 12S. Which would have been good news except that because of the rain and because this particular bus apparently isn't really fit to be in use, the roof of the bus was leaking like the proverbial sieve. Big puddles were forming in the seats and in the aisles.
I found a seat that wasn't too wet, decided that I'd just hop in the shower and change clothes when I got home, and tried to maintain my good cheer while the ceiling drip-drip-dripped water on my head. It was just water; it was no big deal; I changed seats to a drier and non-drippy spot at the first opportunity.
And then the bus driver, who seemed like a decent and good-natured sort, blew right by the road that leads to my stop.
"Hey!" I and the other remaining woman on the bus said simultaneously.
"What?" said Mr. Brain Boy.
"You were supposed to turn there."
"Huh. I'm sorry." He pulled over to let the one woman off, and then kept right on going down the wrong road. Okay. People make mistakes. But then he said this: "I never have any people on the bus this far down the route! Ha ha." Ha ha. What fucking kind of a stupid excuse is that for not knowing the route? What if people were waiting to catch the bus up there -- it's rare, but it happens. When it became apparent that Brainiac the Bus Driver didn't seem to have a clue how to turn around and get back on the right road, or even much interest in getting me to the right stop, I got off by our nearby shopping center, which is in walking distance from the house. I figured I deserved a Starbucks run after the ride I'd just had.
I worked up a righteous head of steam while I stomped over to the Starbucks, which isn't always a model of efficiency or fast service. But two disarmingly polite and friendly young boys handled my order, and I found myself weirdly caught up in their conversation. One was about to go back to high school -- I shot him a sympathetic look when he complained about it -- and the other was going to college next week, and I envied the college kid. Quite a lot, in fact. I should have piped up, but I had to look at myself from their viewpoint -- bespectacled, boring office drone who might as well have been 100, with nothing of interest to say. I wouldn't have listened to me when I was their age, either.
The college kid handed me my drink, apologized for the wait (which was insignificant in my mind), and made a great show of retrieving the drink sleeve to put on my cup and not letting me put it on myself. "It's, uh, company policy. I'm not supposed to let you put it on in case you burn yourself." It was just a little thing, but after dealing with a bus driver who couldn't be bothered to follow the correct bus route, I thought it was charming.
One more thing I'm grateful for:
Cute cats to come home to at the end of a rough day. It makes me laugh to see how incredibly huge Mindy looks next to Sasha. We always knew he was a big cat, but he's a veritable Tubzilla next to her.