Someone at work referred me to the quiz in this article when I said that I have a hard time with decisions. When I took the quiz, I learned that I am an “extreme maximizer.” Hmmm. That sounds better than “indecisive.”

The writer of the article says: With all the choices available, we may believe we should never have to settle for things that are just “good enough.” Those who accept only the best, I call maximizers. In my research, I’ve found that maximizers are less happy, less optimistic and more depressed. At the very least, maximizing behavior can lead to dissatisfaction—and, sometimes, paralysis.

My grandfather says he wants to put a big sign in his yard that supports Kerry. He’s very fired up about this. My grandmother won’t let him. She doesn’t want the neighbors to see. “But that’s the point!” my grandfather says.

I love knowing where my activist-y streak comes from: Good ole Papa, former union organizer and town council candidate who registered as a Republican just so he wouldn’t get run out of town.

He usually refers to Bush as “this guy here…” as in “this guy here, he’s working for the oil companies, he doesn’t care about Joe down the street with the four kids…”

Sarah and I went to a minor league baseball game tonight: the Bowie Baysox vs. Altoona Curves, baby. Sarah got tickets through work. We were obviously not avid Baysox-ers, which anyone seated around us could tell pretty quickly. Much of our conversation went like this:

Sarah: Where’s Altoona?
Me: Which color uniform are the Baysox?
Sarah: I think it should be the Altoona Tunas, not the Altoona Curves.
Me: Why is it pronounced Boo-ee and not Bow-ee?
Sarah: I can picture a red sock and a white sock, but what’s a bay sock?

Sarah wanted to have our picture taken with the mascot, Louie, but I refused.

Last night I went to my first-ever improv comedy class at D.C. WIT. I was not sure what to expect before I arrived: loser-ish middle-aged men who want to be Drew Carey? Theater prodigies destined to be the next Chad Michael Murray? (Chad went to my high school, by the way. It’s true.) Luckily, it turned out to be a diverse bunch of normal twenty and thirty-something people who were not naturally drop-dead hilarious but who wanted something fun to do on a Monday night. Whew.

on break-ups:

Me: I think I’m going through withdrawal. I think I’m going to become a smoker.

My roommate Sarah: Why?

Me: Because that would give me something new to be addicted to.

Sarah: Why don’t you just take up smoking crack? That’s like starting a whole obsession… where you’re going to get it… how you’re going to pay for it… before you know it, you’ll forget all about everything else.

Sometime between work and home last night, I saw…

-Pirate guy: A man with a bright blue parrot on his shoulder, calmly walking laps around Dupont Circle.

-Long-lost Russian brothers reunited: Two men each clearly waiting for someone in Dupont Circle, a few yards apart. They kept making eye contact with each other and then looking away uncertainly, glancing at their watches. Finally one came up to the other with a big smile, shook his hand and slapped him on the back. “I almost didn’t recognize you!” he said in a Russian-ish accent “We’re big now!” One was much taller than the other.

-Dollar bill man: A man who looked kinda California-skater in mirrored sunglasses holding up a dollar bill and shoving it in the faces of people passing by in an accusatory, silent, manner.

-Super-enthused small business man: A man, walking with his wife/girlfriend, who passed me and then turned and interrupted his own conversation to hand me a business card, saying “Hey, how ya doin’, here’s my card. I own a barber shop. And I make business cards too.”

Couch poem

they say love is hell
maybe love is a couch
a used couch from craigslist
that’s comfy and striped
and looks good when you
buy it from geeky-man roger
and good in the back
of your rented green pick-up
but which starts looking bad
when you can’t fit it past
your apartment door.

and you find yourself

at your roommate
(your partner-in-couch)
from opposite ends

of this monstrous THING.

you are stuck
and you know it
so you measure the angles
and even the windows
and you pray and you reason
until finally you face it
and call geeky-man roger
begging please take it back.

roge lets you sit
through the world’s longest silence
and at last says okay
though it’s 10:30 pm
so you do it –
you unwedge her
and drive back across town
and then haul her inside,
pallbearers, embarrassed,
leaving perfectly arranged
covers and cushions
taking your fifty bucks

from roge’s fist
and pretending that all this
never happened.

which it did,
of course,
and you go home
and sit on the floor
and stare at the doorframe
and remember how you really
almost had it.


The original poem, based on the same couch.

“To all interested folk- Beer can be purchased from either me or Tyler for the low low price of 3 beers for $2.00. Enjoy.” — Laura’s post-Costco e-mail to office (a.k.a. what happens when the bosses are on vacation)

After Williamsburg, I drove with my family on their long journey back to Buffalo, with stops in D.C. and Poughkeepsie, NY along the way. We did this in one gigantic 18-hour drive on Saturday. Then I hung out with family and high school friends on Sunday and Monday and flew back to D.C. on Tuesday. It was definitely one of those flash-bulb weeks, where every moment was something. More here.