The Bane of My Existense

It's no secret that I find birds utterly repulsive creatures. Such disgusting flying rats with sharpened shells for mouths pecking away, flitting around in our oxygen, relieving themselves whenever and wherever they see fit, flapping their arms like they are out for vengeance and moseying along the sidewalks seemingly unaware that they are in the way of everyone. I mean, could I paint a more foul picture? (Because I can.)

I'm really not sure where my fear of winged creatures stemmed from or when it began. But just the thought of birds -- and bats for that matter -- makes my skin craw. It could have been the one time I went hunting with my father as a child, and when he shot a bird I proceeded to vomit. I know for certain my symptoms were exacerbated when I tried to overcome my irrationality in public square in Athens, Greece where you could buy bird seed and a little man would put it in your hands for the birds to eat from. Why I thought this would help escapes me. And while my hands shook as the birds swooped toward them the jerk put the seed in my hair and suddenly I was swarmed with the AIDS ridden flying monsters.

So, needless to say my history with birds has not been conducive to a loving relationship. In the past couple of years my bird interaction has been minimal, so aside from the occasional terrifying run-in, the coast has been mostly clear. However, in my recent career transition, my commute now takes my through a small park. Each evening at 6 p.m. there is a group that so wonderfully parks a van and people can line up and they give them hot food. I would say they are all homeless, but I'm quite certain I've seen confused tourists in the line. It always gives me a little renewed hope in society as I pass by these do gooders.

However, it seems that every flying creature on God's green earth knows that at 6 p.m. each weekday the foodvan is going to park at McPherson Square and the park turns into some sort of bird sanctuary. And we're not just talking your average pigeon. Oh no. Ducks and seagulls join in on the fun too. For crying outloud -- what are they even doing in the middle of the city?

It's all I can do to not cry nearly every day. Any sense of maturity and pride I have dissolves and I'm tiptoeing and hopping along, flinching and ducking the whole way. I really have given a strong effort into composing myself like a normal adult human being, but then one of them will scuttle in front of me and it is all down hill.

I always assumed that with age such irrational fear would go away. Nope. I was completely wrong. Growing up is nothing but bills and wrinkles; everything else is the same. So I have given into the fact that I am just oddly afraid of birds and that is just the way it is.

To Whom it May Concern:

Dear attendees of the Treaty of Paris signing away nuclear destruction and eliminating terrorists in the free world, giving away arms, etc. (Hmmmm, that can't be right...),

I am sure you are all conducting very serious work and creating a better world for us all. However, right now, you are all driving me insane. This racket you are causing outside my window is scrambling my brain, so forget even going outside, because that is just a complete nightmare. When the sirens aren't wailing blowing through stoplights one diplomat at a time and stopping all commuters in their tracks. Can't you carpool?

I feel like I am the Grinch when he is imagining Christmas and all the noise, noise, NOISE! "That's one thing I hate! All the noise, noise, noise!"

And the men hanging out the open back hatch of your obnoxiously tinted SUV's with gigantor machine guns just really look ridiculous -- I just want to know which girl in Tory Burch flats or gentleman in Vineyard Vine chinos they are pointing them at. I supposed they are waiting for someone to flip their lid, after they have waited an eternity to cross the street.

To make matters worse, the tourists cannot get enough of this and turn into gawking statues the moment the wailing of the cherries reaches their ears. It is no one's fault but theirs (and yours) when they are turned into human speed bumps for the pede-mmuters.

I hate to say it, but I am not going to miss any of you one bit.

Best wishes.

From, Abbi

Not sure how, but...

So, I got lost on Google Maps today. And when I say lost, I mean, lost like I said, "where am I?" out loud. I'm still not quite sure how it happened. One second I was clicking a path for my little yellow man to follow, zooming in on homes along the way and suddenly I was completely disoriented and couldn't find my way back to Pennsylvania Avenue. I immediately panicked and change the screen to map view to get the hell out of Dodge.

I just don't know what to make of this.


Roooooooooooooosyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Durhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam. (To be said out loud, preferably while playing the Chicago Bulls intro music.)

My best friend is now a bloggin'. Check her out in my blog list on the right side of the screen -- Apartment 16. The blogosphere is about to get a lot more snarky and I can hardly contain my excitement.

And take a second to congratulate her on getting her own place with Mr. Joe Sepka. Trips to Chicago have just moved up on my essential to-do list.

(I have chosen this photo of us entering in a serious game of over sized soccer common to the folks of Memphis, circa spring break 2007.)


My aunt sent this photo to me today -- my grandpa is in the suspenders in the front row, last one on the right. Looks like he dressed up for the photos; sounds about right. Yep, that's the man I have looked up to my whole life, as a little boy with a shit eating grin. It's hard to believe that my grandpa wasn't always a grandpa, but was once child. That man who drilled hard work and strong ethics into our family, who built his successful life with my grandma from the ground up and is quite possible the most particular person I know, was this little boy kneeling in the grass with disheveled hair.

His mother, my great grandmother Florence, and namesake is also in the photo. She is the gal second from the left in the fabulous wrap dress. Which means, what I have stood by all along, that my love of pretty thing is an inherent necessity. I mean really, how cute it that dress?! And, further more, my love of wrap dresses was born generations before me. So, I finally have photo proof that my blood runs linen and silk.

Ha, told you all that I can't help my obsessions and my neurotic tenancies. On a side note, J Crew's final sale is ending in the next couple of days.

And on the Third Day, God Created Public Transportation.

It's no secret that I despise public transportation. It's like the college cafeteria of life; the worst comes out in everyone and nobody really wants to be there, but it is the most convenient and economic option. Other than the overly enthusiastic -- especially for 8 a.m. on a weekday -- tourists, enjoying their first trip on the subway, nobody wants to be smashed into a germ ridden, sweltering, rickety train car with 100+ people standing closer to you than your own family would be allowed. It's not exactly the picture of comfort.

However, it is only as miserable as those around you can make it. And today my commute was beyond that; I was so angry, I'm certain my pulse was visible in my neck and my teeth feel as if they have been filed down.

With the weather so unseasonably warm and the cherry blossoms just beyond their peak, the tourists have come to my town in groves. Not only that, but with Reagan National Airport in my backyard they are also practically vacationing in my living room and are most definitely taking up space on my metro. Thus, my morning travel to work has become less of a commute and more of a survival of the fittest. (Which, with my, ahem, fabulously polished attitude at eight in the morning, I do just fine job of.)

Today in an above average crowded train, I was unable to find a seat and resorted to standing near the front, reminding myself that I would be sitting the rest of the day, so remaining upright for 15 minutes wouldn't kill me. Nor would it kill the two gentlemen riding comfortably in the seats next to me, but that is beyond the point. This however, is not -- two stops after I got on the train, it was all the more crowded when a young mother and her pre-school age daughter boarded. Only to squeeze their way next to me, while the two suited douche bags watched them stand. Further more, the offender closest to me had the audacity to have his leg sticking out in the aisle. I must look a lot more tolerant than I am, because he looked stunned when I "accidentally" kicked his ankle. But that isn't the worst of it, while the little girl and her mother clung to whatever fixed object they could, the other man closest to us played Brick Breaker on his BlackBerry.

It is disgusting the disregard people can have for each other, and the simple courtesies that were nearly law forty years ago and are now practically an unheard tale. When I studied abroad in Rome, to remain seated while a woman your senior stood would most likely get you kicked off the bus. And not by the driver, the passengers do treat this politeness as law. What has happened to the this commodore in our cities? Nobody really wants to be on public transportation, so why not make it as least painful as possible?

A photo of another perpetrator -- they are everywhere!

New Digs

I have three and a half days under the belt of my new job and so far everything is going well. Other than a little disorganization, which of course made my blood temperature rise ever so slightly, things have gone off without a hitch. It still feels like I'm at some sort of professional summer camp away from my old job; where I had worn everything in and was comfortable, but I am adjust much more quickly than I did the first time around.

It's like the transition from boarding school into college all over again. Thankfully no icebreaker games and bunk beds, though. I do feel like I have made some lifestyle changes with this career move that seem to be for the better. I went from a terrible sleep pattern that left me waking up in panic every morning, having slipped into an apparent coma while my alarm clock had neighbors pounding my door down. Since the hours are a little different, I have begun turning in at a much more reasonable hour, aiming to be glimpsing sheep by the time the late news starts and waking up with my alarm around 6 a.m. so I can head to the gym to rack up some endorphins. I am also not leaving until 6 p.m. these days, which I thought would be a bummer, but it turns out that it just corals me away from an after work nap. Which, as we all know, is one of my favorite past times.

This job seems to be right on the track that I was aiming for, so I’ll check back in ten years to see if I was right. :)