Molt Be Blog

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Day Two? Wait. No. Three.

I didn't find time to write for the mandatory half hour yesterday. Given that it was only day two of my attempts to meet the requirement, I could say it was either a pathetic showing or a habit that will take some getting used to. I think I'll go with the latter.

Yesterday, R and I rented a Zipcar and drove down to the jewelry place in VA where I got her engagement ring. Sometime earlier in the week, one of the small stones in the ring had fallen out and we needed to get it replaced. The jewelry store is run by three brothers from Korea and located in a strip mall somewhere near Dunn Loring.

Driving down Lee Highway and Rt 50 reveals an American landscape that is vastly different from downtown DC and probably more akin to what you'd find somewhere in the Midwest... except for all the Vietnamese grocery stores. The four lane highway undulates over little hills blanketed in cars and SUVs waiting at any of what seem like 10,000 stoplights. A small strip of grass separates the main road from an access road on either side. The grass has grown tall and started to seed. Plastic bags and cigarette butts dot the shoulder and are caught in the long grass. More strips of uncut grass separate the access roads from the parking lots in front of strip malls. The strip malls repeat the same basic stores: a Chinese carry-out, a nail salon, a hair salon, a convenience store, a real estate office, and a gift store that sells mylar heart-shaped balloons, teddy bears, cards and little porcelain statues of dolphins and angels. Occasionally, a larger parking lot is encountered in front of one of the big box Wal Marts, Targets, K-Marts, and your lesser Ross' and Marshals.

With the same stores repeating endlessly, It's easy to not recognize where you're driving down these roads. There are no more unique landmarks, just street names or recognizable traffic back-ups (“We must be close to Glebe road,” you catch yourself thinking as you wait for ten minutes as the stop light ahead runs its cycle five times letting a trickle of cars through.

After dropping off the ring to have the stone replaced, R and I headed back down Lee Hwy to look for a suit for me at Sym's. I'd never been to Sym's before, but found their selection of ugly pleated pants vast. Pants aside, I ended up with a good tan suit that I'll get altered next weekend if I don't find one better between now and then.

Searching for something to eat afterwards amongst the vast stip-malls off Lee Highway proved nerve-racking. We ended up at eating some Pho at a Vietnamese restaurant called Saigon Cafe. The soup wasn't bad, but the beef in both of ours had that rainbow thing going on that's usually reserved for the roast beef at a Subway. According to the Internet (where else?) this iridescence is caused by the combination of the muscle fiber structure of the meet and water droplets; the effect is enhanced when phosphates are used to increase the amount of water that the meat can hold. No matter what the science is behind it, rainbow meat still looks bad in my soup. R and I both left most of it on the side... looking at the reasons for iridescence now, I won't do the same thing the next time.

After we picked up the ring, we had some extra time in the Zipcar and spent it driving around Columbia Heights looking at houses. We might be moving in year or two and the possibility of finding something affordable and big enough is a lot better up north. Also, there are a lot of excellent hipster bars up there that could use me as a customer.

We returned the car around 5pm and headed home for a bit before going over to PC's apartment for his birthday party. An enjoyable evening was had by all, including the fun of getting into a long winded argument about single-payer health care that ended in only minor cursing. Hooray! For now, I need to get ready for another week.

1 comment:

fabulous fabs said...

rainbow beef!! OMG. that stuff freaks me out. good to know it wasn't caused by a chemical spill over at the Subway.