365 Days of Random

Random musings about nothing at all

Rooftop Views

This morning Squeaks and I hit up the climbing gym as the rain last night did a rather good number on our plans to get on some real rock up in Great Falls. When we left this morning it was still kind of grey and icky out. But by the time we came OUT of the gym (around noon) it was sunny and gorgeous. Since my BF and I didn’t really have any other plans lined up for the afternoon we decided to go get some lunch and hang out up on the roof of his building playing cards for the afternoon.

One of my favorite things about where he lives is the view. His building is in Crystal City and he has an amazing view of DC, the river, the airport and National Harbor. It’s so nice to just chill up there and watch planes coming and going, watching boaters enjoying the water and just absorbing the DC Skyline. From his roof there is a perfect view of the Washington Monument, the Capital Building, the Jefferson Memorial and even the National Cathedral in the distance. I have never actually figured out exactly what I love about DC but it’s just always felt like home to me and spending the afternoon enjoying the sunshine and fresh air and just taking in all of the beautiful things our city has to offer is just a great great thing.

Another highlight of the afternoon is just how much my BF has picked up the “Cribbage” addiction. If you’re not familiar, cribbage is a card game (can be played by 2, 3 or 4 people) that involves ‘pegging’ points on a board based on the cards you have in your hand and the strategy you take against your opponent. The first person to 121 wins. It’s really hard to explain the purpose of the game online so I’d just suggest looking it up if you don’t know what is involved. Anyway, it’s a game that I’ve played with my mom since I was a kid. We still play every time I go home for a visit. It’s just a fun way to pass some time that doesn’t involve TV or movies. I don’t know very many people my age that know how to play it but I enjoy it very much and few months ago I started to teach my BF how to play. When we went to Canada in March to visit my family he also got some tips and lessons from my mom. When we got back he had downloaded an app for his iPhone and started playing against the computer quite regularly. He does admit to ‘quitting’ when the computer starts to really take the lead, but I think all in all it’s been a great way for him to learn the game. Now when he and I play I have to explain things a little less and helps him count his score a lot less. In fact in our first game this afternoon he seriously kicked my butt (and took photos to prove it). I did beat him in a close second game and he declined a tie break game but I have a feeling we’ll play again another day.

Playing cards is one of my favorite pass times and playing cards with my BF sitting on the roof absorbing a bit of vitamin D and some nice spring air was the best way we could have spent a Sunday afternoon. It’s been nice to not really have anything to do this weekend and be able to just relax and catch up on sleep and general down time. It seems like we’ve both been running around for the last few weeks with no real break so we’re both taking huge advantage of our Sunday as a day of rest.

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May 15, 2011 Posted by | Random | , , , , , | Leave a comment

DC Traffic

As I am sure that I’ve mentioned before I am not from the DC Area originally. I grew up just outside of Ottawa Ontario and lived and worked in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for 6 years before moving here. For the six years I was in the GTA I lived in a city about 60 miles north of Toronto. But I WORKED in Toronto so I drove into the city every day. If there was no traffic at all and I was driving a normal speed I’d get to the city in about 45 mins. But, add the Toronto traffic into that and my NORMAL commute was about and hour and a half (each way) every day. Traffic in the GTA is some of the worst I’ve ever seen…. even compared to DC traffic which people complain about all the time.

When I moved to DC 5 years ago I was insanely excited to only live about 10 miles from where I worked. And on top of that I could take public transit to work every day and not have to worry about sitting in traffic at all. I completely love being on the bus and then the metro where I can read my book or nap or just stare out the window and day dream. It’s a great time to wake up or just relax and ‘come down’ after a long day. I honestly have no desire to get back into a daily commute to work involving my car and a busy highway.

However, there are definitely days when I need to drive into the office. This spring/summer I have been driving into the office every Thursday because I have to leave early to get to Little League practice and if I metro’d home first to get my car I’d never actually get to the practice or game on time. On Tuesdays I generally catch a ride with Squeaks so that we can leave directly from the office and go to the gym to climb. Normally there is a rather large difference between our drive on Tuesdays and my drive on Thursdays. Tuesdays we leave about 8:30am and get to the office shortly after 9am. There is definitely a good deal of traffic around that time and some days it can take us more than an hour to get to the office (although not often really). On Thursdays I leave home by about 7:15 in the morning and am generally at the office by about 7:30. There is still traffic but it’s generally much lighter than later in the morning. Of course with today being a pretty big exception. When I got to the highway this morning it was backed up for the entire trip. Fortunately I know a couple of back routes now to avoid the worst parts of the highway and I was still in the office by 7:45.

Given that my total commute distance is about 12 miles 45 mins to the final destination definitely seems like the result of excessive traffic. But if you’d spent six years driving into Toronto (as I did) you’d sing a different tune. As I mentioned before, with NO traffic my 60 mile commute in Toronto was about 45 mins and my AVERAGE commute was about an hour and a half. But here’s the thing about Toronto traffic. The first 50-55 miles of my commute were driving at normal speed… the last 5-10 miles were always what took the bulk of the time. And sometimes… it would take an hour and a half just to go those last 10 miles. If you added bad weather into that in the winter… and it was even worse. I’ve had more than a few 3 hour (one way) commutes in my past.

So, while DC traffic is bad (I would never say that it’s not), it really does pale in comparison to traffic issues in Toronto and you will never hear me complain about it. When you’ve sat in your car on a 16 lane highway (8 lanes going either direction) – and no I am not exaggerating – for more than an hour not moving… well THEN you know what bad traffic really is.

May 12, 2011 Posted by | Random | , , | Leave a comment