Thursday, February 25, 2010

Saturday gems

I love Saturdays. For some many reasons. One is getting to go visit Juanita, who provides endless entertainment. Another is DC bucket list activities.

As a bucket list activity, we headed down to the National Building Museum. Though it was family engineering day, we didn't let our child lack stand in the way. Besides, I think that a group of 20-somethings qualifies for the nouveau family category. (We're oh-so-modern.) We found ourselves at a table-making station, surrounded by all the newspaper and tape you could ever want. So there we were, in the midst of half-hearted 8-year-olds and over zealous fathers, making a newspaper table to see how much weight it could hold. We really poured our souls into this table. JP even brought out his knife, so we knew it was serious business. We drew up schematic after schematic and divided into task forces. When we were ready to proudly present our table, we brought it up for its moment in time. The weighing guy looked at us incredulously, but with no kids to be found, he accepted our over-achieving table.

Weighing guy: "You realize that you're competing against 5th graders, right?"

Me: "Yeah, this is how we get our kicks. We are utterly unsuccessful in normal life, so we have to compete against kids to prove our worth."

John: "Has anybody's been able to hold all the weight yet, or will ours be the first?"

Weighing guy: "Who do you think you are? Just because you're all adults, you think you have a market on strong newspaper tables? Of course others have withstood all the weight!"

Well, all right. Maybe he didn't say that. But his look said it all. Anyway, our pride was merited: our table held all the weight they could bring. In our excitement, we got a tad overconfident and told a 10-year-old boy to stand on it. Now the weighing guy's laughing.


I am in seriously deep smit with this food site. I could content myself just looking at the pictures, the colors, the unusual names. But, they've got recipes and food tips to boot. Sigh of smit.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Is it me... or is it you?

Ah, there you are emptiness. We two are such handy co-conspirators. What force is it that keeps us knocking heads? Big parties, you say? Oh, yes. That's it.

Is it me? Am I the only one who feels empty and deflated after big parties? In theory, these big parties seem like great inventions: see anybody who's anybody in one place. Brilliant. But, once you start getting into the actual details, well, it all falls apart. Talking about inane things with person after person? Not brilliant. Trying to hold the attention of a person so over-stimulated that they can't keep their eyes on you? Again, not brilliant. Screaming at people just to be heard? Not brilliant, I say. I feel my hours meaningless and stale. But maybe that's not the point. I don't think anybody ever sat down and thought, "Hmm, now here's something meaningful: big parties." I don't believe that everything we do has to be uber meaningful, but I do think that as humans we crave meaningful interactions with our fellow beings.We desire something beyond the superficial, something to give purpose a footing. We seek discovery, intimacy, even vulnerability. And big parties just don't do that. Yet we follow after our fallen god.

But perhaps I assume too much. Perhaps I am among the few disenchanted. Either way, I have to ask myself: Why do I do it? Why do I keep returning to my folly? Isn't there a better way? I don't want to be stuck with co-pilot emptiness, but I choose it. I don't know if I go out of obligation, or just because I do genuinely want to see my friends, and I believe it might be different (always room for a little hope, non?). But, something's gotta change. I've got to find a better way. Who's with me?