Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend Report: Driver's License and Pooling

People are always telling horror stories about the DMV, but I’m here to say it’s actually not that bad! I entered the District DMV office at 11:15 Saturday morning, passport, phone bill with the mail-in stub that has my address still attached (fyi that little detail is key), CA driver’s license, and credit card in hand, totally prepared to abnegate* my CA statehood and 17-year-old picture in exchange for a summer of free public pool access.

Done and done. The worst thing about the whole experience was listening to the incredibly racist people next to me complain about DMV employees.

I read a Harper’s Magazine as I waited my turn, which is officially my new favorite thing. I realize it’s incredibly pretentious, but sooooo good! The articles are interesting and thought-provoking, and there are many many GRE words. I especially enjoyed an article on “The Language of Work.” The whole thing isn’t online without a subscription, but here’s an excerpt I found: Awesome, right?
Jargon, slogans, euphemisms, and terms of art are all weapons in the upgrade/downgrade tradition. We might class them together under the technical term bullshit, set out by philosopher Harry Frankfurt. The routine refusal to speak with regard to the truth is called bullshit because evasion of normativity--correctness being, after all, a standard external to one's personal desires--produces a kind of ordure, a dissemination of garbage, the scattering of shit. This is why, Frankfurt argues, bullshit is far more threatening, and politically evil, than lying. The bullshitter "does not reject the authority of truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it. He pays no attention to it at all. By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are."
Anywho, by noon my CA license was put through the shredder and I had a shiny new DC card in hand – two years after moving here I can finally prove I’m a resident!

And I put that proof to good use. Sunday afternoon I donned a swim suit and walked to the Francis Pool in Foggy Bottom to pool run. (Shin splints as of Friday. Booooo! Am I in high school??? Apparently.)

Despite my annoyance at missing my Sunday long run, there are some benefits to pool running in an outdoor pool:
  1. You can tan and exercise at the same time.
  2. People watching is endlessly entertaining. I’ve decided there are 3 main demographics at the Foggy Bottom Pool: gay men, European couples, and people with kids. All equally annoy me when they get in my way, but amuse me as I observe their antics.
  3. The pool is open until 8pm on pooling anyone?
  4. No lanes, so I can free-form circumnavigate the deep end, circles, X'es, U-shaped routes are all acceptable.
Sunday afternoon I metro’ed to Arlington to meet my teammates for a happy hour and celebrate our coach’s birthday. (Happy Birthday George!) It’s weird to see running friends outside their natural habitat (the track). Like, makeup? Skirts? Straightened hair? Who are all these people? Turns out we look better when we're not running workouts at 6am...shocking! 

 Hope you had a good weekend too!

*Abnegate – v. reject, renounce