Instead of doing all the things I was supposed to do yesterday, I spent a lot of my day revamping my blog and sleeping. I’m still working on it, but I hope it’s a little more reader friendly now. I just need to figure out how to post entries into categories rather than onto my main page…anyone out there have any Internetz/webpage skills they care to share? I don’t really have all that much to share today but I want to try out my new blog format so here is a detailed account of my weekend thus far:
On Saturday morning, I tried out another Zumba place with this lady who bills herself as Chica Glenda. Chica Glenda, at least her Zumba version, is a high-energy, enthusiastic, friendly Venezuelan lady who claims to have lost 30 pounds doing Zumba. As with most Zumba classes, my classmates were mostly middle-aged ladies, BUT this particular class had a man. A real life man — an Argentine — shimmying and shaking it alongside a dozen women. That’s something you don’t see every day.
After class, I was floating on feel-good endorphins and drove to Trader Joe’s for a little Saturday morning grocery shopping. As I’ve written before, I personally feel that Trader Joe’s is one of the best places on earth. I tried Mom’s Organic Market a couple of times, but I just can’t afford to go all organic. What I learned is that although Trader Joe’s is fantastic at 8am on a Saturday morning, it is not so fantastic at 11:30am on a Saturday morning. This is because everyone and their mother, grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousin is at Trader Joe’s at this time. Finding a parking spot becomes a competitive sport, mostly because there were are no spots. I was making very slow circles around the parking lot when I witnessed a real life parking lot fight between a man in a truck and a man in a regular car:
Man in truck: What the F are you doing? Can’t you see people are trying to get around you?
Man in regular car: I apologize sir, I’m waiting for this guy to pull out of his spot so I can park.
Man in truck: People are trying to drive here Mother F’er!
Man in regular car: I’m about to pull in, please calm down.
Man in truck: (in ladies voice): Ohhhh, I’m sorry, it’s all about you! How could I forget. It’s all about you and nothing else matters! Flips guy off.
I had to keep driving so I didn’t get to see how things turned out, but this should give you an idea of how competitive parking is at the Bailey’s Crossroads Trader Joe’s. It’s competitive and it can get ugly fast, apparently. And inside things weren’t much rosier. For example, there were no carts, so I had to creepily stalk the people who were checking out in order to steal a cart. When I finally got a cart, the aisles were so crowded that I had to do some pretty aggressive maneuvering to get what I needed to get. One of my favorite things about Trader Joe’s is that there’s always a free sample of something. Yesterday’s was turkey chili and corn bread, which I found pretty exciting, but people were taking samples faster than the worker could make them. Not once but TWICE I had the sample I was reaching for stolen. The first time by an innocent looking kid who then turned around and gave me what I would describe as a pretty evil smile and the second time by an elderly lady in one of those zoom around wheelchair carts. So I gave up on the turkey chili and paid for my stuff. I was feeling pretty frazzled and then, while I was putting my groceries in my trunk, I was stalked by several people asking if I was leaving and claiming my spot. That’s a little too much action for a Saturday morning if you ask me.
So you see, my Saturday trip to Trader Joe’s was not the relaxing, joyous occasion I had envisioned. There were fights, crowds, stone-cold calculating and food sample thievery. It was kind of like a Greek epic. The only good thing about my trip is that I found a tiny carton of milk. I never drink milk anymore because it always goes bad. In fact, one of the things that makes healthy eating when you’re buying for one hard is that things go bad before you can use them. When I lived in Colombia and Panama it was almost cheaper (and definitely less effort) to eat out pretty much every meal, so I never really dealt with solo grocery shopping. But yesterday, I was really happy to find tiny milk! As you can see, I placed the milk next to an eggplant so you can appreciate just how tiny it really is.
By the time I left Trader Joe’s my feel-good Zumba endorphins had pretty much vanished. One of the major problems I have with exercise is that one hour of exercise makes me feel energetic, motivated and happy for about one hour, but then all of a sudden, I am overtaken by an almost uncontrollable need to sleep. For hours. So one hour of exercise can easily lead to a three-hour nap, which then makes me feel horrible about myself and puts me in a bad mood. So you see, exercise = bad mood in my world. Once the happy feelings faded, I spent most of my afternoon like this:
And I had plans. Big plans. like studying, hanging out with people, finishing up my blog makeover, doing “work” (work = surfing Internet) at St. Elmo’s or one of my other neighborhood cafes, cleaning my apartment, watching crime TV…but none of that happened. Instead, I slept. And slept, and slept and slept. But I had to wake up eventually because earlier in the day, while feeling energetic and motivated, I had invited my dad to dinner for his birthday and was supposed to meet my sister and my dad at 7:30 in Old Town Alexandria.So I turned up my Iggy Azalea Pandora Station and awoke from my Zumba-induced slumber.
We went to this restaurant called Il Porto Ristorante because my sister had recently watched a Sopranos marathon and said she was in the mood for Italian. I knew this would be a challenge because an Italian restaurant is not the best choice when you’ve recently given up carbs, but my sister felt pretty passionate about her choice of Italian. The restaurant was very “Old-Towny:” Wood beam ceiling, cavernous, dark, and upscale in that traditional, old-fashioned way. It was so old-fashioned, in fact, that there was some kind of Civil War reenactment party going on: Women in full Gone with the Wind costumes donning ridiculous hairstyles and men in full Civil War Uniforms, looking equally ridiculous. All I can say to that is that I wish there was something in my life I loved enough that I was willing to go out in period-piece attire for it. Although I’m pretty sure they were representing the South. I tried to take some pictures discretely, but unfortunately didn’t get any good shots. But back to the restaurant: The food was pretty good and the ambiance was great, but I do have one complaint. Our waiter forgot to put my food order in and it took probably 45-50 minutes for my meal to come out. Which would have been fine if they had taken care of my meal, but they didn’t. I did get a free dessert, but, as I said, I’ve sworn off carbs so it was pretty torturous to look at this beautiful, rich creamy, chocolatey concoction and not be able to do anything about it. Well, to be honest, I took a few bites. I am human, after all, and I did an hour of Zumba. So that’s really the only complaint I have about Il Porto…good food, nice ambiance, great spot for a low-key family birthday dinner…they just might forget to put your order in and charge you for you dish anyway. What I did realize is that it’s been a while since I’ve had a good meal at a nice restaurant, and it really is a nice feeling.
So this nearly concludes by boring, overly detailed new-blog format debut post. But before I sign off I’d like to share the following: To all you DMV residents complaining about the cold, just think that on Monday, Minneapolis is expecting lows of -26 on Monday. That’s 58 degrees below zero. I don’t even know what that feels like. I have a friend who lives in Madison, WI and she recently told me it’s so cold that she gets spontaneous nose-bleeds when she walks around. Now that’s cold.