Thursday, November 21, 2013

I can see clearly now

I am part of the unfortunate nearsighted majority. I’ve worn contact lenses since I was in middle school at my mother’s urging (probably because my spectacles did no favors for my then-gangly, dorky exterior). Whereas glasses can be associated with cool, urban hipsters, a bespectacled me more or less resembles a mean librarian.

Though obviously discouraged, I often wear contact lenses for 14 hours a day from within 15 minutes of waking up until I come home at night because I like taking full advantage of my peripheral vision, especially when ascending or descending stairs of any appreciable length. Upon a thorough visual inspection, the optometrist observed that my eyes are “very healthy” and my prescription has decreased for the second year in a row.  Booyah, as Mark Cramer would say.

Making small talk is my instinctive way of allaying the awkwardness of being in a small, dimly lit room with a relative stranger staring into my eyeball. Like a moth to a flame, I often find myself in awkward conversations and situations. Fortunately, all my optometrists have been no more socially adept than I am.

But I will make note of their sage career advice all the same. I have, for example, been advised, while I was still a student, to find a job working for the government, where the hours are more reasonable and flexible. Thus, I’ve found myself working in the private sector staring at a computer screen for the majority of my waking hours, and wearing my contact lenses for much longer than I ought to.

My Words with Friends drawing (circa Summer 2012)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Inside the Beltway (VA) -- Food Recommendations

I've spent most of my life inside the Capitol Beltway, so here is a sampling of recommendations for mostly off-the-beaten-path eateries in the Arlington/Shirlington/Falls Church area.
  1. Dogfish Head Ale House: Their pizza is underrated! And the staffers, though young, are very nice. I used to frequent the place in high school and the pizza is still just as good. I can’t speak to the quality of any other entrĂ©e though ;)
  2. Pastries by Randolph: The makers of the best fruit tart. I think I’ll get one for my birthday this year instead of baking a cake.
  3. Song Que: Best place for bubble tea, but I always get Thai tea because I don’t love bubble tea or tapioca balls. (The milk tea, though, is no bueno!!)
  4. Carlyle: Brunch is dope. Lunch is yum. Dinner is gewd. I dream of the ozzie rolls. One time, I might’ve overwhelmed the waitress with my hangry sarcasm about the lack of ozzie rolls at dinner. Turns out she was in my high-school Spanish 4 class. Small world!
  5. Pho Sate: Good pho is not too hard to come by inside the Beltway, but this is my favorite place. Golden Cow, despite its silly name, comes in at a close second. I took Anna here a few weeks ago for her first pho experience at the ripe ol’ age of 26.
Since I gave you all ideas, can someone please suggest a place that offers decent milk tea in the area?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Saturday spin

So, I got into a car accident yesterday. I was making a sharp right turn from Rt. 50 into a shopping center and had to cross a service road running parallel to Rt. 50 to get into the parking lot when a car going in the opposite direction trying to make a left onto the service road didn’t stop in time and crunched my car’s driver’s-side door. He had a stop sign.

That accident doesn’t even crack the top 5 stressful moments in my life. (The other driver and I are 100% OK) Although the accident was scary at the time – especially watching his car hit mine during the half-second collision – there are moments at work, and at times life, that are considerably more tense. That, for me, is telling.

Summer 2013 was undoubtedly the most trying period of my career, and, in retrospect, I am surprised I’d made it to the other side with an ounce of sanity. Trying to keep afloat a hugely ambitious and expensive production amid meltdowns of team members while I was on the verge of buckling under the pressure of all the anxiety-inducing eleventh-hour happenings following the 2 1/2 months of nearly daily beatings to my morale is no walk in the park. Nor is having to defend myself to the powers that be when my well-intentioned decisions are questioned on a visible platform. If I don’t keep it together and defend myself, then goshdarnit, who will? But at least I won the latter argument. 

I pick up my rental car tomorrow. My damaged vehicle will be towed away for repairs some time later this week. Life goes on, and we learn to shed the worries that aren't worth dwelling on.


Also, since I never quite finished the June blogathon (worked picked up and left little time/energy/motivation for anything else), I will carry on where I left off starting today -- this time I'll blog every odd-numbered day for the rest of November!