Monday, January 23, 2017

Marching in the Women's March in Washington, DC: What was it like to be there?

It wasn't so much of a march... more like a mosey, I'd say. Actually it was more like standing around for a hella long time, punctuated by short busts of mosey. And when I say, "standing around," I mean standing as still and straight as a bottle of beer nestled firmly into a 550,000 pack. It was an amazing experience I wouldn't trade for even the most luxuriously non-claustrophobic conditions.

Here's inside the metro subway car on the way into the city:

Inside the metro train.
Picture a medium sized room. Picture 250 people in that room.

I had carpooled to DC with four friends, some of them brand new friends, staying with Casey's cousin and her husband-- two more brand new friends. Casey's cousin had bought a metro card for each of us earlier in the week. Luckily. Because the lines to the ticket machines were an hour long. And that didn't count the line down to the platform and the massive rabble in the station after we arrived downtown:

Metro Platform.
Still on the Metro platform, on the way to the escalator.

Picture of the Metro platform from the escalator.

All in, a 45-minute Metro ride took over two hours. It was uncomfortable to breathe on someone's neck with someone else's arm in your face for a stretch that long. 

The conductor on the train was my favorite train conductor ever. He had that microphone humming with travel-time updates and words of encouragement. Meanwhile, everyone on the train got busy chatting each other up. I have never been squashed together with so many amazing, tolerant, agreeable people. Above ground, all afternoon, exactly the same scene.

What was it like to be there? It was heartwarming and heartening, inspiring, encouraging. It felt like a dragon stirring, with a tail as long as city streets and a heart as big as the mall. I will do my part to keep that dragon lumbering forward.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Blinded by Broccoli: The Incident with the New Blender

Tom and I bought a blender for ourselves for Christmas. Tom wasn’t as keen on the blender idea as I was. But don’t get me wrong, the blender still counts as a gift in the Tom column. That box is checked.

Our new blender:

I didn’t pick out one of the really really fancy blenders. We aren’t good enough chefs to warrant a blender that costs as much as an artificial leg. But our blender is good enough to have a smoothie setting that makes your cheeks vibrate when it gets going. The little wheel spins like a helicopter blade. The whole blender might go airborne if you don’t clamp your hands around the chassis.

As soon as the new blender arrived on the scene, I got busy with it. Nothing has been safe from categoric pulverization. Early on, I had a broccoli moment. We had a lot of broccoli. I jammed a bunch into the blender and it was go time. Except not much happened. 

The little wheel was spinning around like a champ but not connecting. It was a classic engineering dilemma. I needed to smoosh the broccoli down further. I took the lid off the blender and brandished the included smooshing tool. I’m a very good smoosher, it turns out. I pummeled so hard I went right through the broccoli and got the smoosher caught up in the blade. 

There came a horrific squeal and a cosmic broccoli explosion. I was all fresh faced and happy-go-lucky one second, and the next second I had so much broccoli plastered to my glasses I couldn’t see anything. I had to change my shirt and I spent ten minutes combing green chunks out of my hair.

Broccoli on the ceiling

The next day, I went to get a haircut and had a little panic attack. If the stylist washer girl found a remnant chunk of broccoli in my hair, how would I pass this off nonchalantly? 

Darcey said to just proclaim that half smashed florets of broccoli are a new secret shiny hair beauty trick. 

I think I might get out of the broccoli smoothie business. Romaine lettuce holds some promise. It would seem to have a shorter propulsion trajectory.