Sunday, October 29, 2006

Missing: A Bus Driver Drop-off Lane for Wisconsin Avenue

The area around the Mazza (or Mazda as I always thought it was called) Galerie is a center for foo-foo, upscale, don’t have enough decimal places in my bank account to afford products (Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany’s, Prada, and Gucci). The not-so robust mall offers other shopping choices that are more expensive than what you’d find at, let’s say, Arundel Mills Mall. This is all fine and dandy (does anyone else my age write “dandy” anymore?) except during my rush hour drive on the three-lane southbound Wisconsin Avenue.

The dropoff lane in question is enclosed in the squarish-circular red line (that creates confusion instead of alleviating it).

Directly in front of the Hecht’s store (that’s now a Macy’s), there is a drop-off lane for cars that is separate from the three lanes, yet Metro buses do not receive any assistance. Of course a bus stop sign is placed at the corner of Wisconsin and Western Avenues (marking the MD/DC border). When a bus makes its stop, it blocks the right lane which is also a right-turn only lane. Since the left lane is left-turn only, those driving through the intersection may only use the center lane to get by. Thanks to those who don’t know how the lanes work, a forced merge from three lanes into one is created; guaranteeing a backup.

A Metro bus blocking the right lane occurs throughout the drive into DC and isn’t much of an issue, but when it’s combined with a backed-up left lane, it’s hard to crack 10 MPH through the area. If there was any foresight, buses would be allowed to use the right-lane drop-off and cars would have to fend for themselves without blocking Wisconsin Avenue. I won’t even start to complain about the people who cross well before the intersection’s crosswalk…well, I already did complain…I say they’re fair game.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How Not to Prepare For The Army 10-Miler

Back when you were a young lad (is there any other kind?) and a test was upcoming, did you ever kind of study the material, but realized there was no way you'd do as well as you could've if you had given it your all? Though this hasn't happened to me since college, I'’m about to break my streak with this Sunday'’s Army 10-Miler. A few months ago I announced the benefits of a new found running addiction that lasted a few months until my knees and ankles took turns telling me that regular running can't be sustained. My body breakdown spread to my SO whose knee began locking-up on her and can no longer run on inclines.

I'll keep up with people like this for the first second, then they'll be a blur and I'll be struggling.

Fast forward (because just forwarding oneself isn'’t fast enough) to the present day and we'’re three days from a race that I haven't practiced for, let alone ever run as far, and I'm a little worried. There i’s a "Recovery Bus" that scoops you up if you can'’t finish under the 2-hour, 30-minute limit. I will not let myself get on that bus. I can certainly walk 15-minute miles so I should be fine as long as I can keep that pace when my body has already given up on me. If thereƂ's any saving grace, Columbus Day should give my SO and I a chance to recover enough to get out of bed for work on Tuesday.

Is this really the best picture the makers of Nip Guards could find to show how it's applied?

Until my race wrapup blog, I just have to pickup my race packet and timechip, and triple-check that I've got my running socks, shoes, t-shirt, and of course, ample amounts of baby powder for those areas sensitive to chaffing. I hope 10 miles is less then the minimum distance needed for any nipple guards.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Who Knew You Could Sample the Clinique Counter On Metro?

I have never had the greatest olfactory sense, but my SO’s sniffer snuffs out the faintest of smells. This hasn’t worked in my favor when I try to get away with certain things, and has also made her prone to sensory overload when something comes our way that even I recognize as smelling too strong. The other day we were riding up a Metro escalator when we came upon a man who was unaware of what a shower could do for him. As long as I’ve been alive, showers have successfully cleansed people and even improved their scent. The addition of cologne and perfume is supposed to be in moderation as most everyone realizes that cologne and perfume are very potent. You could easily do without it, but it’s fine to go above and beyond the smell your flufa and body wash supply. Unluckily for us, the escalator rider in front had taken a cologne bath. I don’t know his brand, but it didn’t matter. Your face/neck area is supposed to receive one or two sprays, not one or two ounces.

The uglier/weirder the cologne bottle, the cheaper/worse it's going to smell.

My SO smelled him about 20 steps away and I made the same discovery 10 steps later. We were trapped with no exit route or emergency escalator slide to avoid his presence. We booked it like step aerobics instructors with too much caffeine and held our breath from five steps before Calvin Klein’s #1 customer until we were five steps ahead. My SO was a little overwhelmed by the man’s scent so we pushed forward and kept stepping (not this kind of stepping) until we exited the escalator well before the man, who gave Pig-Pen some competition, made it to the top.

The police sketch artist's rendering based on my description.