Monday, October 24, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Strategic Defense

First, I want to mention that my sister wrote a really great post on her blog recently. You can skip through the first 10 paragraphs and just watch this youtube clip instead:

Around paragraph 11, though, Mandy writes a really touching and well-written bit about our dear friend Jeri Roberts, who we lost recently (and quite suddenly). It's worth taking a few minutes.

Moving on: After reading a really hilarious post on, I decided to make a list of things you can say to street canvassers. Some of you reading this might be lucky enough not to deal with strangers yelling at you to save-the-environment-or-else-you-are-a-demon. Unfortunately for DCists, this is a daily struggle. Therefore I give you, in random order:

Responses to Approaching Street Canvassers

"I shot a whale in Reno. JUST TO WATCH IT DIE."

"Just brushed my teeth, sorry!" (You can also say other hygiene-related things: Just got my nails done, Just had a wax, Just cut my hair...whatever will confuse and disarm the most effectively).

(This one involves props.) As soon as you see one honing in on you, get on your phone and start talking into it. When the canvasser tries to talk to you, cover the mouthpiece with your hand and say "My grandfather, who's been in a coma for 40 years, just woke up and is calling from the hospital. This is the first time he's ever heard my angelic voice and I was about to tell him I'm gay and that my life partner and I are adopting an Asian baby. I'd say that right now I really don't have 2 minutes to talk about the environment."

"I don't want this flier, but I think that other guy in the same shirt you are wearing would probably be interested."

"I'm sorry but this is misspelled."

(for use when dealing with scary Pro-Life people that commandeer street corners guerilla-style and shove photos of bloody fetus in your face) "OH MY GOD I have that SAME dead fetus pic as wallpaper on my computer! TWINS!!!" (follow through with a hug)

"I'll give you money but only if I can pay you in all coins. Also, I'd need to throw them at your face."

"I don't like your face."

"A dolphin stabbed my brother once, so if you'll please excuse me."

*These were all brainstormed while I was riding a bus with a fever. Apologies.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Financial planning for any weather

Before I get into this, let me just note that I'm running a 100 degree fever right now and have been cooped up in my bed ALONE ALL DAY and might sound crazy.

On Friday, before I went home in a fever-induced funk (possibly related?) my co-worker and I went to TWO seminars on retirement planning/saving for the future. Just to be as ironic as possible, we got lunch at Kinkead's in between the seminars (stop it. We had a Groupon.) Sure, I was too sick to eat anything besides chowder and hot tea, but at least it was delllllicccciousssss chowder.

The first seminar was for Fidelity and the next for TIAA-CREF. I went into them thinking I'd like TIAA-CREF better, because Andy's dad works for them (SCIENTIFIC REASONING), but it turns out the two presenters gave basically the exact same presentation. Points go to Lady TIAA-CREF for speaking faster and letting us out early, but overall both presentations were made up of:

--three parts crazy
--one part AGGGHH I'M POOR
--one part hackneyed, misused and/or confusing phrases

As many a Morocco PCV knows, my note-taking skills are...creative? At best? I started out earnestly, writing down things like "save more" but then it was suddenly more interesting to make note of every crazy thing the presenters said. Here are some favorite quotes and lessons I took away from this invaluable experience:

  • TIAA-CREF lady, on the dangers of living past 65: "...and the last thing anyone wants to do is be a Wal-Mart greeter." Naturally, everyone kind of cringed when she said this so she back-pedaled and followed it up with something like "Now, if you WANT to be a Wal-Mart greeter, there's nothing wrong with that! HAHA! YAAAAA Wal-Mart! (roundhouse kick) Greeting is fun! Have you guys ever heard of Happy Feet? Because it's totally on sale at MY FAVORITE STORE WHERE RESPECTABLE OLDER LADIES AND GENTLEMEN WILL TOTALLY SAY HI AND BYE TO YOU IF YOU GO THERE."
  • I know now that if I had invested $1 in stocks in 1926, I'd have over $2,000 today. I resisted the urge to raise my hand and ask how this fact was helpful for an individual whose grandfather was born in 1930.
  • Fidelity lady, responding to a question: "As long as you've been saving 10% since you were 22, you're fine." Well, shit.
  • The Fidelity lady was fairly slap-happy with the hackneyed quotes, and yelled "CASH IS KING" a few times near the beginning of her presentation. It was, therefore, confusing when, near the end, she pointed out that "cash is only king 12% of the time."
  • TIAA-CREF lady, on the services her company provides: "I'm not sure how many of you know this, but we have a service called "advice."
  • This is my favorite (!!!) quote from the TIAA-CREF lady because she said it TWICE, clearly demonstrating that she doesn't have a good grasp of the phrase "don't put all your eggs in one basket": "Now, you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket. You don't want just white eggs. You want some blue, some yellow, some green. You want to diversify." She literally said this, verbatim, twice in her presentation. I had so many questions on this concept but felt like it was smarter to stare at my notepad.
Of course, I can mock them all I want, but I'm still a bum that can't manage my money.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A quick one

Tonight, as I was sittin' on the curb in Farragut Square, eatin' some dinner and waitin' for my bus, I realized I totally looked homeless.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Here is a true scene from my office:

It is midmorning in a quiet administrative office. Alli and Emily sit at their desks, minding their own GReaders, when A Random Dude walks in.

A Random Dude (to Alli): Hi there. Do you have a panic button?
Alli: I...what?
A Random Dude: A panic button. Under your desk.
Alli: No?
A Random Dude: checks something on his clipboard. Okay, great. Thank you!

A Random Dude exits.

Alli (to Emily): WHAT!
Emily: I don't know! Panic buttons?
Emily: I don't know?
Emily: In case of thieves!
Alli: Yes! Except I'm not here whenever things are stolen.
Emily: Oh. That's a shame.

Alli and Emily return to their computer screens.

No homo? part two

These gems come largely from the second and third installments in the series, A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords.

"They plunged through Stannis like a lance through a pumpkin, every man of them howling like some demon in steel."

"His father had spent his life grubbing in other men's fields..."

"Harwin had pushed ahead of Anguy, but both were coming hard."

"House Manwoody"

"Anguy, on the morrow, take the rear with Beardless Dick."

And finally...a touch of bestiality:

"The Dornish leader forked a stallion..."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

No homo? part one

I've been pretty into George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones series. It's sort of got a LOTR feel, but with more of a focus on politics and feuding families than fantastical elements. There ARE fantastical elements, to be sure: dragons, sorcerors, people who see the future, whathaveyou.

Of course, my favorite fantastical element is the homoerotic writing style of Mr. GRRM. It doesn't always show up, and sometimes only mildly, but I've been taking note of the gayer quotes as I make my way through the series. What follows is the first installment of what I hope will be a riveting series called "No homo?" No big spoilers!

5. I will go to my grave thinking of my brother's peach.

4. It made Jon remember cold nights long ago at Winterfell, when he'd shared a bed with his brothers. These men were brothers too, though the bed they shared was stone and earth.

3. Stannis will never march north with Storm's End untaken in his rear.

2. Renly will scarce have unlimbered his siege engines before Father takes him in the rear.

1. Yet he could scarcely tell Lord Mormont it was another man's sword he dreamt of...