Friday, April 12, 2013

Kathryn in Bathroom Land

Does it ever bother you that as a woman, you'll never know what 99% of men's restrooms look like? Except, if you're me, like 93% because of the ones you accidentally walk into and then - stunned - hustle out of. For men, vice versa. In middle school, we convinced the boys that our locker room had a couch and free soda...and frankly, though we were lying, I still often think: I wonder what lays beyond that men's room door. Especially at work. Is their area just a mirror image of ours? Or is there a club house? The Emerald City? A Cheshire Cat or the Queen of Hearts?

Eh, most likely just a bizarre balance of looking at the guy next to you but not, you know, looking at the guy next to you. Thank God for stalls and the other amenities in women's rooms - like rainbows, roses and unicorns.

That's all for today. I'm really trying to get back in the writing groove - can you tell?

Smell ya later.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Don't pee where you sleep

Happy New Year!  It's been a while, so let's jump right in...

Like many of you fine people, I have made myself some 2013 resolutions.  At the top of that list is my skin care regimen.  I wash my face diligently every morning, but in the evenings (when I probably need it most) I often lapse in the face washing/wrinkle cream-applying department.  I have some other resolutions as well that I won't elaborate too fastidiously on, but they're your standard, drink less, love more, blah blah. Number One: skin care.  Remember it.

That indirectly leads me to something that came to fruition today.  I've been sleeping in some type of yurn spot in my bed all week.  Yurn, if you must know, is code for 'urine' - but I can't bear to actually write the sentence, "I may or may not have been sleeping in a giant urine spot for the last week or two."  Ugh.  Just did.

Let me explain.  I moved into my parents' guest house 2 weeks ago.  I have been sleeping there with their/my dog, Gumbo.  Gumbo is a fabulous little creature with a face and personality that I could talk about for hours.  Sometimes he looks at you and you can tell by his big eyes that his whole world revolves around you.  He kills me.  But, Gumbo also has a skin condition, or a food allergy or something that likens him to the beagle, Itchy from All Dogs Go To Heaven.  The poor guy is in a constant state of scratching.  To further digress, my favorite thing is to scratch him and get his little leg thumping.  If I scratch with two hands, he gets two legs going at once.  Then - he's so ticklish that he'll be scratching and tickling himself at the same time - legs.everywhere.  This is generally the highlight of my day because I'm unemployed and he puts some laughs into my otherwise uneventful country life.

What was I saying...  Gumbo.  In my little house.  Scratching and licking up a storm.  At some point in the last week to ten days, I woke up in the middle of the night and could've sworn I smelled yurn.  But whatever, nothing was wet.  Days 2, 3, and 4 were similar.  As I was falling asleep, I'd catch a subtle whiff.  I brought my Mom's super-nose in to sniff it out, but she said I was smelling things and just washed my pillow cases.  2 days ago, I was utterly convinced that because Gumbo licks himself so much, his saliva was making my bed smell and that 'saliva-smell' combined with 'dog-smell' equals something resembling the putrid, unimpeachable odor of urine.  I'm going down a rabbit hole here because I seem like some girl who sleeps in pee and doesn't really think twice about it.  I promise that's not true.

That brings us to today.  Laundry day.  I stripped my bed to bring the sheets to the house and what caught my eye on the mattress pad was none other than a giant, dinosaur-sized yurn stain.  This wasn't even at the foot of the bed.  It was dead center and top near the pillows.  There's no way something went that much on my bed, right where my head lays, without me knowing about it.  I'm utterly convinced it was not Gumbo as he does not occupy the little house without my supervision.  He's also impeccably mannered.  Frankly, it's a mystery.

Alas, this all loops back to my Numero Uno Resolution because in my week long effort to step up how I take care of my skin, I've been cleansing, toning and moisturizing right before I (essentially) put my face in something else's pee.  Is that irony?  I'm going to go with, 'yes.'

This is now my worst "Yurn on a Mattress" story ever.  There's more than one?  You bet your bladder there is - but last time, I sure as hell didn't sleep in it for a week.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How to survive a hurricane like a toddler.

Most of you know I work in politics.  And all of you know that Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast pretty hard yesterday.  DC was lucky and I'm so thankful that I kept power and kept dry for the last 24 hours.

However, being that the election doesn't stop for 'a little rain,' I worked all weekend - and yesterday, and today and 7 days a week for the last 6 months.  So, what I'm trying to say is I haven't had a lot of time to go to the grocery store.  In fact, what I found out last night is that my cabinets consist of only Cheerios (no milk), Pasta (no sauce) and a lot of expired canned goods.  I also found some really moldy yams in my refrigerator crisper.  I don't even want to talk about that.

So what did I do last night when I got home from work, hungry for dinner and not a restaurant delivering or open for miles?  I survived the Frankenstorm like a toddler - munching on dry Cheerios and pasta with butter.  In fact - when I woke up this morning, it was the first time in months that I thought, "I can't WAIT to get to work....And order some lunch."

And that, my friends, is how to survive a hurricane as a baby adult, which I still kind of consider myself to be, considering I can't even get to the grocery while CNN is predicting the end of the world.

Monday, October 1, 2012

In Conclusion...

Here it is.  Week 61.  And so concludes (less than) 60 hikes in 60 weeks.  I'm ready to recap, and make excuses for, the last 60 weeks of my life.

I just tallied and I have completed:

19 hikes.
2 Guest Hikes (thanks April and Matt)
8 Races (from 5k to 10 miles)
A slew of museums, events and sights to see in the DMV.

Seems kind of anti-climactic, am I right?  I definitely thought I'd done like, 35 hikes...  But I've also survived an earthquake, a hurricane, an apartment fire, bike theft and car theft.  Oh, and election season...I'm surviving election season.  Frankly, 60 hikes in 60 weeks was a bit unrealistic to begin with because winter happened - which took up 3 months, and work happened - which has been occupying my last 4 months of weekends pretty solidly.  Every other year, I lose summer and fall.  It's sad, really.

And another excuse?  I started out hiking and walking, but ultimately a lot of my hiking weekends were replaced with runs and races, and I'm pretty proud of that!

Other things to report...

Though it was a major goal of this blog, I didn't lose any weight and my calves have grown two pant sizes.  I did however go from running a 12 minute mile to a 10 minute mile - so there's the silver lining.  I'm basically all muscle.

I kind of just lied because I only run a 10 minute mile if the distance is 6 miles or less and if I was running two months ago.  That whole thing about work has really cut into my running, as well as my hiking.  Also, I'm not all muscle. I'm all calves - I thought we established that?

So, What is the future of le Blog, you ask?  Fret not, little hikers.  It turns out I kind of like nature (not to be confused with liking bugs or sleeping on the ground) so I think I'll stick to the hiking and the running and adventuring as hobbies.  But, I'm also thinking I'll try to write more about whatever strikes my fancy and see what happens, so you'll see some changes in the weeks to come.  Most likely, you won't hear from me again at all until after November 6.  But Thanksgiving through Christmas is going to be a really exciting few weeks, with trips to San Francisco and Georgia in the works.

Special thanks to my guest hikers of course, and to the people who laughed at my mishap-fraught life along the way.

And that's it.  The sixty's survey...I accomplished less than a third of the goal I set for myself.  Which I'm NOT going to take as a metaphor for my life or anything.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Questioning My Moral Integrity

Last Sunday, I completed my first ten mile race!  I've been wanting to up the ante as far as my race mileage is concerned and Revenge of the Penguins was a low-key way to do that.  I've been horribly inconsistent in my workouts over the last 2 months, but that didn't keep me from getting to the finish line.  If I'm being honest with myself, and you, I'd say I jogged about 7 miles and walked the other 3, finishing in 2:10:47.  But also, if I'm to trust my Nike Plus running app, the course was actually 10.7 miles.  That's a serious discrepancy, and obviously I'll be trusting the one that says I ran 'almost 11' because it makes me look more hard-core.

I 'placed' 97th out of 104 runners.  By the time I crossed the finish, I would have sworn I finished dead last (which I feel would have made this a funnier story).  There wasn't a runner with a bib on for miles in either direction.  My very supportive running buddy, who finished far ahead of me, tried to assure me that there were still plenty of runners behind me.  All I could think was, "Yeah, the people who are doing 20 miles..."

Now we have to talk about something serious.  In upping said ante, I may or may not have contributed to terrorism.  When I registered for this very small, local race, the registration was through a parent website called Marathon Charity Cooperation.  On top of that, the race was called Revenge of the Penguins 10-Miler and 20-Miler.  What does that even mean?  There were no further details and I didn't think much about it at the time.  Well.  There I am Sunday, just jogging my little jog, and at Mile 1 there was a sign that said "Iqraa! Run for a brighter Palestine!"  And that's when I realized - Was my $30.00 registration fee possibly funneled to Hamas?  Am I presently pal-ing around with terrorists?  Is pal-ing a word? Oh my GOD!

At that point I couldn't change anything, so I continued running.  Running for a brighter Palestine.  And I hope my Jewish friends will forgive me.  But they weren't exactly offering refunds.

Monday, September 17, 2012


It's been brought to my attention that my good friend and graphics artist sent this email to his entire company just 2 months ago.

Guess what?  


Sorry I'm not sorry.


H Street NE (or The Atlas District) is kind of the next up and coming area in DC.  Rejuvenating (and what some call, gentrifying) the area has been in full swing for the last few years.  It's now got great pubs, restaurants, the Biergarten, tons of art and hipsters - and the only thing IMO from really stunting it's full potential is the fact that it's impossible to get to (and home from).  If I had a dollar for every time someone said, "Oh, they're building a trolley that goes out there..." I'd be a much wealthier woman, and safer having not waited 30 minutes at 2 AM looking for a cab.  This has been in the works since 2009. Said Streetcar is apparently opening up in 2013. But I'll believe that when I see it.  

Luckily, I have my trusty bicycle to get wherever my heart desires. So Saturday, I was pedaling to the H Street Festival - complete with food trucks, music, art exhibits and other local staples.  Some girlfriends of mine who live in the neighborhood met up with me as well.  They said this was the first year that the festival was so huge.  By 2:30 pm, it was wall to wall people and practically impossible to walk around.  They even lamented that it reeked of Eastern Market - that the festival had traditionally been just H Street fare and not just a new location for the Market one weekend.  I think that if I frequented Eastern Market as often as I'd like, I'd have had the same complaint.  It's nice to go somewhere that feels unique and not attend an event that has literally transplanted one section of DC into another.  H Street has enough unique-ities to offer that with everything extra, the festival wound up being overwhelming, similar to being in a crowded bar - except redeeming itself that it was outdoors on one of the most beautiful days DC has seen in months.

Here's a little recap:
I ate at two food trucks, the Lobster Truck and Dangerously Delicious Pies.  The Lobster Truck is a favorite of mine, great lobster on a yummy roll.  The only complaint is it's like, a 4 inch roll.  It's the measliest 15 dollar sandwich you've ever seen in your life.  But sometimes, I like to treat myself to things absurdly priced if only to remind myself that I'm part of the privileged elite who live in a metropolitan area (like, my rent comes to mind...).  I justified my pie craving by the fact that I ate a doll-sized sandwich and meandered over to the DC staple, Dangerously Delicious Pies.  I've been dying to try this place because people are always gabbing about it.  And, chocolate peanut butter pie, I dare say was just dangerously dry.  7 dollars for a slice of dry chocolate pie was another chance for me to say, "Whatever, who else can say they ate pie out of a fancy truck? I am seriously lucky. And awesome."

I feel like I'm complaining now, when actually I had a great time, and would definitely recommend these neighborhood festivals to any resident or tourist.  But go early, because the crowds get crazy and bring a wad of cash to just throw at somewhat mediocre food.  I got there around 1:30 and it was much more pleasant than when my friends showed up around 3.  Pictures below!

H Street NE now has it's own historical 'Heritage Trail' DC walk.  
I think there's about 13 different historical trails through DC neighborhoods. My apartment building is actually along the U Street route.

I didn't write anything here, lest my ideal city be tainted by 
'California' and 'More Vegans.' 

Art of every bar and restaurant sign from H

Toki Underground Book Exchange.
This bar/restaurant converted itself into a bookstore for the daylight hours.

Lobster Truck!

Banana Car. I don't know why this exists.

We're in the same order here as the Banana car. That was unintentional.