Saturday, December 19, 2009

Kate's Open Letter to... Many People

To my mother, who is probably reading this: At this writing, I am in my apartment, wearing sweatpants, and watching the West Wing episode when it's snowing and the Whiffenpoofs are at the White House and Dulles and National are closed and Josh realizes that he's in love with Donna and the Whiffenpoofs sing O Holy Night. Also, my shoes are drying out-- it looks like the two coats of waterproofing chemicals were a good investment.

To the awesome bellman at the Willard who tried so hard to find us a cab: You are, indeed, awesome. Your heating lamps are awesome, too.

To the cabbie who pulled up to the Willard and then sped away when we explained where we wanted to go: Are. You. Serious. Really, are you serious? To recap, a cabbie pulled up to the Willard and asked where we wanted to go. We said Dupont and Adams Morgan. He responded, "Up? I can't go uphill." Seriously? You drive a Crown Vic. I have seen these cars before. Driving around Connecticut. Frequently uphill, sometimes in snow-- occasionally both at the same time. Imagine.

To all the other cabbies who passed us and did not stop: I do not fully understand your business model, as it seems to involve passing hoards of partygoers wandering through downtown at midnight in the snow. P.S., about half of them were wearing very tall, very unwieldy shoes and inadequate clothing. We really wanted to get in a cab. I would have paid a lot of money to ride in a cab.

To the girls at the Willard who were considering getting a room at the Willard instead of braving the Metro: In what way did that seem like a good idea? Because getting a cab will be so much easier once a foot of snow has fallen? Because your feet will be warmer when your four-inch heels magically turn into snow boots? Furthermore, I particularly liked your logic to explain why it was unreasonable to walk four blocks to McPherson Square: "I'm sorry, but I'm a woman, and it is midnight, and I am not walking to the Metro alone. I do not want to get raped." Honestly, it is snowing. Vigorously. So much so that even cab drivers in their cabs don't want to be outside. All the rapists have taken shelter. It is probably the safest night of the year to wander the streets, unless your concern is wiping out and breaking your leg.

To the guys we passed somewhere around 14th and New York Ave., who decided to grace us with a little Tim McGraw serenade, specifically the miniskirt line from "Bbq Stain": Thank you; I'm glad you liked my dress. I wish I had been as drunk as you were; I probably wouldn't have minded the cold as much. On a related note, my feet were freezing-- why could they still feel pain?

To the people of the fair District of Columbia: I will see you when the snow melts and you all return to normal. Or, you know, what passes for normal here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kate Attempts to Grow Things

Steps to becoming a vigilante gardener:

1. Identify abandoned reality TV house.

2. Look for signs of an herb garden producers probably planted thinking the cast would care about sustainability. Preferably on public property, i.e., the sidewalk. See anything you think you might not kill if you transplanted it to a pot in your kitchen?

3. Double check that you're not going to uproot a perfectly good plant only to slaughter it brutally in captivity.
3a. Hmm, Wikipedia says that rosemary does well in drought conditions. The top of my refrigerator gets very little rain, so this is excellent news.

4. Liberate your target plant from its sidewalk home. Preferably under cover of darkness, even if it is on public property.
4a. You probably shouldn't remove the all the rosemary--that's a little greedy. And, furthermore, you're going to feel like an asshole if you kill all of it in one fell swoop. You have to pace yourself.
4b. You probably didn't plan this exercise very carefully, so chances are you lack an appropriate vehicle in which to transport your rosemary plant to its new home. Fortunately, since you're not a greedy asshole, you can carry it in one hand.

5. Pot your exciting new plant. You might have an enormous bag of potting soil living on your fire escape, an artifact of your last foray into the wonderful world of herb gardens. Seriously-- you might have carried a 20-pound bag of potting soil four blocks from Garden District and up two flights of stairs, because you might struggle with gardening, but you try hard and you appreciate economies of scale.
5a. You might also have some concerns about that potting soil and blame it for the stunted growth and eventual death of your basil plant. Maybe. I'm just saying. If that's the case, maybe you pick up a fistful of dirt from the garden in front of your building.

6. Enjoy your new plant. Remember not to over-water it, in the manner you over-water the Christmas cactus you keep at your desk hoping to reenact Little Shop of Horrors.