Ahoy

LandHo

Two mornings in a row, the same middle-aged Asian man stepped onto our metro car and started singing made up Gospel songs. I assume they were made up because they were not any of the three that I’d heard before and I am clearly an expert. One of them was about a sinking ship and obviously that inspired Dave to start singing pirate shanties for the rest of our journey to work.

The Gospel singer really did his job, because when we came home, Dave was still touched by the music. He played sea shanties on YouTube for two and a half hours, swaying and waving his arms to songs about whiskey, women, and waves.

This is my life.

Not so Flat

Guardrails

It turns out there are still people out there who think the Earth is flat and one of them is a rapper who pops up on my Pandora station when I’m on the treadmill. B.o.B. also thinks that astronauts never landed on the moon and that the government is hiding something on the North Pole. But what have they secreted away up there? Santa Claus’ dope digs? Polar bears with laser headgear?

Luckily, the awesome Neil deGrasse Tyson got on top of this and called the dude out. Pop culture and science aligning is pretty much my go to entertainment, so I was all-in for this drama. Not surprisingly, B.o.B. did not respond positively to the truth. I’ve also found that people who believe things that were disproven centuries ago aren’t easily convinced by reality.

B.o.B. was so threatened by the bombardment of facts that he released a track trying to convince us all not to be tricked by NASA. He was just starting to get me to give up everything I hold near and dear (the scientific method, I mean), when he put down Neil’s vest—telling him he better loosen it. Don’t mess with the vest, kid. He forgot to insult Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle, so it wasn’t a very comprehensive diss track.

Things took a really excellent turn in this feud when Neil’s nephew released his own track. It is amazing and calls out B.o.B. for clearly not reading enough books. Now that’s an insult I can get behind. I would love to see more rap battles with snubs like that, confronting people for not memorizing Shakespearean sonnets or forgetting the planetary order of our solar system.

I think the ultimate solution to this problem is to send the #EarthisFlat supporters on a trip to find the edge. The journey would literally last forever and they wouldn’t have any time to become politicians or try to (mis)educate children.

Monumental Snow

SnowBank

Yesterday I walked 7 miles through the snow so I could snowboard at the Washington monument. It turns out it’s not a great place to board, since the incline was about 4 degrees and the powder was too high. Whatev though. Sometimes you have to take life into your own hands.

Here is some of what Dave and I saw while we were out becoming rogue winter sports enthusiasts:

  1. A thousand tiny people sliding down the hill at the Capitol building on make-shift sleds, including tupperware lids, cardboard boxes, political signs, pool toys, and garbage can tops.
  2. Forty-seven people digging out their cars, flinging snow into the street and onto other cars. Don’t ask me where these people thought they were going.
  3. A husky laying in two feet of snow, super chill and obviously in his happy place.
  4. A six year old heading straight toward a statue in the park with his sled, definitely planning to slide down the base.
  5. A mother asking her six year old if he is really going back to the statue after he already hurt himself there once.
  6. A six year old reluctantly deciding not to sled down the base of a statue and instead choosing the steps.
  7. My new friend, Adam, who Dave and I met both on our walk to monument and our trek back. He agreed that the Capitol was overrun with tiny children and shared our general joy for the day.
  8. A super rad dude kite-boarding on the Mall.
  9. A tiny puppy who got lost in the very deep snow but was eventually like, “NBD. I got this.”
  10. A group of international tourists who were probably more excited about the guy using a snowblower in front of the Natural History museum than they would have been in the museum. Or maybe not. They seemed to be really excited about life in general.

Everyone is pretty happy about this whole situation. Except the people who own that car that caught fire because they got stuck and couldn’t accept reality. That’s what denial does to you.

Snow-Love

Snowzilla

I have been doing snow dances around my yard. I mostly just wave my arms in the air, stomp my feet, and yell nonsense about how the snow is here. I look like a crazy woman, but I often look like a crazy woman, so no big deal.

It hasn’t really felt like winter until now. We’ve had cold, rainy days, but we haven’t had any snow. I’ve been wearing my fancy winter coat and this is my first chance to break out the real jacket. Now I can bundle up in all my gear, decide I have to pee, peel it all off, take care of business, get it all back on, and wander through the snow. You snow-folk know what I’m talkin’ about.

As a Michigander, I’m not used to ringing in the new year without any snow on the ground. It was feeling like fall just lingered for too long. Like an awkward guest who stayed at a party even after all the hummus ran out, it didn’t know when to go home. I don’t usually have that problem at a party because I always want to go home. Lucky for me, Snowzilla is forcing everyone inside, so Dave and I can gambol around the neighborhood alone.

Drains, Dangers, and Fiery Deaths

Helicopter

I think the apocalypse is coming because there were firemen on my street corner this evening and my drain is backed up for no reason and there are helicopters circling around us. There’s also that whole super snowstorm rumbling up the coast thing, but this apocalypse is less about that. It’s mostly about the drain and helicopter situation.

Dave is just hanging out with our neighbors, gleefully attempting to resolve the drainpipe situation in a friendly and responsible manner, while I’m over here realizing the world is about to end. Acting like he doesn’t have a care in the world. Pretty soon, he won’t have a care in the world because there will be NO WORLD.

Wait, I don’t think an apocalypse necessarily means the world will dissolve into nothingness or explode into a million tiny pieces. It probably means that we’ll all just be set on fire or turn into fiery mutants or be eaten by fire monsters. Basically, it’s all about a fiery death and scorched earth. So I guess there will be some world, but it’s not gonna be a fun one.

I was excluded from the drainpipe resolving team because of my zest for quick solutions. In the investigatory stage, we learned that when our neighbor turned on her garbage disposal, it filled our sink. And vice versa. Her boyfriend suggested we turn them on at the same time and I immediately yelled, “Go big or go home!” through the wall and flipped the switch. The water overflowed into both of our laundry rooms. I was sent away.

I think they’re coming up with a game plan, but I’ve taken on the most important task—alerting everyone to the apocalyptic realities of the evening. Good luck out there, guys.

Mountain Love

Snowboarding

A few seasons ago, Dave and I bought brand new snowboards. It was a big purchase for us and one that made us a little apprehensive, since we try to be careful about what we consume. We love our winter adventures though, so we gave REI our credit card and bought beautiful Arbor boards. Literally, they are beautiful.

That weekend, we went snowboarding with my dad at a little hill near home. It was tons of fun until a skier took on a hill he couldn’t handle and smashed into me from behind. He hit the back of my board and sent me tumbling. I eventually ran into the chairlift post, which was uncomfortable but not disastrous. The saddest part was that he chipped by gorgeous board.

I think about that story whenever a skier says that boarders need to get off the mountains, which happens a lot. We get blamed for taking up too much space on top of the runs (no more than little ski school babies), scraping all the snow off the mountain (ok, this we do), and just generally acting recklessly (flying down a snowy mountain on a wooden board is inherently a little crazy, regardless of whether you’re strapped to one or two planks).

So that brush with death (or a mild concussion) was at the top of my mind when reading about a recent skier/snowboarder scuffle. While on a chairlift this weekend in Aspen, a skier got angry at a snowboarder’s joke. Honestly, he probably just didn’t understand the humor between all the “dude” and “man” mumblings. The skier got so mad that he pushed the boarder off the lift. While it was heading up the mountain! In Aspen! Falling off a chairlift is one of my worst nightmares, so I wasn’t happy to read that my fear could be realized not only by mechanical malfunctions or my own stupidity, but also the jerkiness of strangers. Luckily, the boarder was totally chill (as they are), landed in some powder, and went down the run.

The best part of this story is that the boarder didn’t report the situation until the end of the day, because he didn’t want it to ruin his time on the mountain. Because, priorities, bro.

Bend Toward Justice

IMG_20160118_0001

Yesterday was MLK Jr. Day—a moment for us to think about the injustices in the world and how we, like King, can act in brave and powerful ways to improve them.

When we memorialize someone as remarkable and influential as Martin Luther King Jr., it’s easy to forget that he was really just a person—same as us. He probably wished he could stay in bed some mornings and I bet he didn’t eat enough vegetables. If we forget that he was merely human, it becomes easier to deny our own ability to effect change and move the world. It makes it easier to tell ourselves that someone else, someone more than human, more than us, will do something about hunger or poverty or discrimination. But it’s just us. That’s all there is. To me, remembering that our heroes are also flawed human beings reminds me that I can help the world and create something amazing. We have enough in us, just as we are, to change our communities for the better. In fact, we have that responsibility.

So don’t worry about binge watching your favorite show while eating an entire pie. Eventually, you can get off the couch and do something great. Apparently, King was a cigarette-smoking Star Trek fan, so we aren’t that different after all.