D.C.

Our taxi driver arrives in front of The Hotel Palomar at fifteen to seven. I sit inside drinking coffee with soy milk and eating the everything bagel I stole from work the day before. Free breakfast. Heather’s afraid the cabs are going to be poached by other hotel patrons so we begin to load early, throwing our bags into a 1989 Cadillac station wagon. The cabbie later tells us it is reliable and easy to fix; his third one in his cabbie lifetime. The dense foliage blurring past us, wood sided suburban houses slipping through. In and out, in and out. Jam funk music circa some disco era plays on the stereo. The blue synthetic felt fabric that was once tightly adhered to the ceiling droops overhead. Meg moves it away with her hand a few times. Karen and I share a blue leather bench seat and listen to the cabbie talk about gas prices cutting into revenues. Although he never uses the term “cutting into revenues.” He says something closer to “shredding into my money.”
Dulles Airport is a mid-century take on “an airport of the future.” The main terminal rises out from the surrounding flatness. Inside the ceiling swoops overhead, allowing you to imagine what it would be like to be under the belly of a UFO. We ride from the main terminal to Terminal D in a military-esque transporter as wide as a boat and one story high, riding on wheels the size of a semi-truck or some discarded military vehicle. I’m not usually a sucker for chatzky garbage, but when we pass the general store with 2008 election paraphernalia I can’t help but want to buy the GOP Cookies and Democrat Snacks. I buy Danika a visually uninspiring “Barack Obama for President” pin, a Republican and a Democrat “Got President?” mug both decorated with a red, white, and blue version of their party mascot. I now feel vastly more connected to the democratic process of my country.

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Models Digest

Yelling over the inane prattle at Hyde one night, I told my MIT graduate friend that my brain was atrophying like the legs of a paraplegic. My prescription came in the form of a subscription to The Economist, a worldly and well written weekly periodical discussing business, politics, the road to global explosion, etc. Having grown up on a diet of The Wall Street Journal and the Financial TImes, it fit well within the boundaries of my regular reading habits. I attribute my rebound into the intellectually capable crowd to a combination of my friend’s generosity and my giving up on a six month Vegan bender in which my brain received little protein.
It would seem that the number of people in my field rarely share my enthusiasm. The reading regimen of my peers consists of US Weekly, Star, In Touch, Cosmopolitan (most often read by the Mormon’s), and Elle. Generally Vanity Fair does little to offend my senses and when it is present I consider it a step up from the usual fodder. Call me completely self-involved but I care far more about my own life than that of some MTV reality star. I don’t give a shit that Shiloh met the twins. The size of Mischa Barton’s thighs should really be no concern of mine and I frankly don’t understand why it rivets anyone else. Admittedly there have been a few times that flipping through one of these trash mags provided me with a few little gems: a picture of an Ed Hardy clad male model I work with following behind Britney Spears titled “Is Dante the new K-Fed?”, a photograph of another male model with Paula Abdul (easily twenty years his senior), and I struggle to come up with a memorable third.

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Seat 7F Virgin America STAC to LAX

The red paint encasing the engine to my right glides past the blue. Seattle beneath me. I watch as it dips further to the side, now contrasting against water and green. A beautiful city although a bit sad. After pulling out my camera to document the view I feel sick; the trail mix swishing around with the latte I had earlier from the chocolate shop. These trips never fail to sap my energy and ravage my otherwise decent complexion. Even though the hotel was user friendly and aside from the first morning (a 4 am wake up for a 6 am flight), the schedule wasn’t necessarily grueling. Not grueling like working in a Chinese computer recycling camp or a diamond mine in Ghana, and probably not as grueling as my high school tenure at Robek’s Juice. I suppose I’m tired from the three days of community complaining about this job and all it entails. “This shit doesn’t pay enough” followed by “fucking __________ .” The food sucks, the money’s shit, the traveling blows, the fittings are long, and the rehearsal is tedious. We are a bunch of insolent children in our mid-twenties.
The woman the seat in front of me is watching CNN. Barack Obama greets hundreds of Berliners: shaking hands and smiling. “Obama is widely popular in Europe” the tag line reads. I try to imagine a foreign political figure being greeted in such a way stateside; that we Americans would put aside our self-centeredness long enough to care about the politicians of another country. The Germans look at him with the kind of hope only generated by those of us who will eventually be able to punch is name in a ballot card.
Her son, this woman’s son, has Alvin and the Chipmunks on. I never realized how ridiculous the basis of the cartoon’s storyline was until seeing Jason Lee pick up a stack of waffles leaking maple syrup from under a rug and glower at three seven-inch tall squirrels. I would watch my own TV but I am stuck in the window seat with an overweight woman plugging up my exit like cork in a bottle of Merlot. The boy’s headphones don’t work and the mother tells him to be patient, saying she will get the flight attendant for help (which she never does). She continues to watch CNN. I can’t help but think that my mother would have switched seats with me so that I could watch the movie.

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