House of Cards: Meet Me at the Cathedral Heights Metro

Now that I’m sure most of us have seen at least the first episode of the second season of House of Cards, can we talk about the Cathedral Heights metro scene? Don’t worry, I’m not offering any spoilers here other than the fact that the scene was not filmed anywhere in the DC metro system. There is a Cathedral Heights in DC, but unfortunately there is no metro station nearby (Maybe there could be. WMATA?). But that wasn’t the only way you could tell. The distinctive interiors of the metro system were absent and there were definitely people standing on the left side of the escalator without any fear of reprisal.

Courtesy of living in Washington DC

I know that there are only about 600,000 people living in the District of Columbia, and that maybe there are a million other people scattered around the country and the world who would pick up on that discrepancy. But as someone who has grown to love this city, it bothered me. Continue reading

Which Kind of Writer’s Block Post Are You?

Almost two (!) years of weekly posts on The Wheelhouse Review and I’ve finally hit it.

The wall.

The lethal combination of procrastination and empty headedness.

The moment when your mind goes blank and all original, unoriginal, derivative, and blatantly plagiaristic thoughts go into deep hiding.

Yes, that’s right: I’ve come down with a nasty case of writer’s block.

It’s viral, you know. A lengthy incubation period (the better to infect those around you) and a low mortality rate. I blame Juliet. She blames Ryan, who kicks the can down the road to Sarah, patient zero (if you’ll allow me to mix my metaphors, which when down with writer’s block is tantamount to dragging yourself out of bed to go lay on the couch).

I exaggerate: my mind isn’t totally blank, of course. It’s full of habits to incorporate into my year, 2014 budgeting strategies, recipes to try, yoga classes to attend. Wonderful things, all of them, but they do not a post make, unless “7 Easy Daily Smoothie Recipes for the Yogi on a Budget” is the new BuzzFeed quiz/Upworthy video/political troll post to rocket to success, as success is defined by Google Analytics.

I could try some haikus, but Ryan gets territorial. I could write something thoughtful and considered on the culture news i obsessively consume, but who has the time for that? I could send you on a delightful rabbit trail of links from my Feedly and Twitter, post some Olympic gif roundups, throw in an amazing Miley Cyrus video and call it a day, but just typing that sentence cost me twenty minutes of cute animal videos on YouTube. And what a waste of time; we all know this video is the only one that will ever matter:

Despite what this video may lead you to believe, you’re still better off walking like a penguin this winter, no matter how silly you feel doing it.

Writing is a discipline, they say. It’s not supposed to be fun. You’re supposed to do it every day, whether you want to or not, preferably in the wee dark hours of the morning. The words should flow out of your fingers like blood from a turnip.

And like any discipline – the gym, your daily greens, flossing – some days you just don’t feel like it but do it anyway. And on a few – a rare, precious few – of those days, you run your best mile ever or have a transcendent moment over a cauliflower, capers, soft boiled egg, roasted lamb and wilted romaine salad. But on many more of those days, there’s a 20 minute wait for the elliptical, they’re out of towels and you forgot your headphones at home. Or worse: you end up back on your couch after an innovative meal of penne, shredded cheddar and canned green chile at which even your college self would have turned up her nose. This post, dear reader, is the equivalent of that culinary nightmare I not but two hours ago thought up, “cooked” and consumed for dinner, knowing in my heart of hearts that the odds of flossing before bed are approaching 50 to 1.

And so it goes. (By “it” I mean of course the word count, which has reached an acceptable level for a writer’s block post.) Sometimes you can write yourself out of a corner, get the juices (ew) flowing (gross!). And sometimes you can’t. C’est la vie.

What you can do, however, is close this tab and go watch House of Cards Season 2 on Netflix. How does Claire maintain such an impeccable wardrobe, and how much do you think she pays for her haircuts? Do you think she does Pilates or yoga? Share your thoughts in the comments!

The Growing Season, Chapter Seven: After the Party (cont.)

Jack didn’t wait the requisite and New York-standard three days before calling me. In fact, he barely waited one. My phone rang the next night. With a guy I wasn’t excited about, this would have been annoying, possibly even a red flag for borderline stalker or codependent tendencies. But I had programmed his number into my contacts list and saw his name pop up on caller ID, and when it flashed on my screen I pumped my fist in the air. “Yes.”

The day had been uneventful, which lent itself to lots of wondering whether he would call—a thought pattern I wasn’t proud of and would have good-naturedly ridiculed had a friend admitted it. But brunch hadn’t happened because Abby had indeed been too hungover, and Cara wasn’t taking calls. So I walked the two miles from Kennedy’s apartment back to mine, stopping on the way to pick up a bagel. I ate my breakfast (by this time, lunch—we had all slept in) in front of a TV movie, then killed time with a grocery store visit, then a trip to the gym. The sun was setting and I was feeling just desperate enough to start cleaning my bathroom when the call came through.

“Hello?” I answered, anticipating his introduction.

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Ice Skating in the Desert

Ice Skating, Las Vegas.Serene and peaceful are not words I would choose to describe scenes along the Las Vegas Boulevard in January, especially during one of its busiest times of the year for tourist and conference travel. And yet, nestled into a nook at the foot of Caeser’s Palace, a stone’s throw from the blaring traffic and across the street from the neon pink glare of the Flamingo Hotel, people were languidly skating. I slowed down and stopped to watch them for a while before rushing off again into the windowless, brightly carpeted abyss of a casino complex for dinner.

Image taken and copyrighted by Verena Radulovic

Dad Humor

“Hi, I’m new here.”

“Hi ‘NewHere’, I’m Dad!”

This is me now. Whether I want it to be or not, it’s no longer a question. Five and a half months ago I was blessed with the birth of my first child, and since then it seems as though I’ve been making an unconscious transformation into dadhood.

First there was the sympathy weight gain, which is code for, ‘I’m going to use my tiredness and sleepless nights to justify eating handfuls of chocolate cake.’* This one is pretty straight forward. Funny that I’m getting fat from cake, since most large circumferences are from too much pi (hehe… no, bad David. Stop that.)

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