Sunday, December 31, 2006

the inevitable resolutions

This morning I went with SW, the Cajun, the Chef, and our new found Oklahoma friend for the visitation for Ford at the Capitol. So many stories... all of the above with the exception of myself and Sassy had made it an all-nighter, having continued on to several additional stops, bribing the cook at one locale to cook them breakfast beyond the time the kitchen was open. They arrived onto the Mall at 5AM and were interviewed by several local news stations. There are lots of stories here, but I'll save those for another day... partly because I don't want to incriminate anyone and in part because I'm too tired to type them all out at the moment. Lazy, yes I know.

Sassy and I got up a bit before 6 and were down on the mall 7/11 goodies in tow closer to 7. We were up with the rest of the crew, who were at the very head of the line. The upside of being down on the Mall at such a ridiculously painful hour on New Year's Eve was getting to see the sun rise over the Capitol, something I will likely not experience again. It was absolutely beautiful.
I decided I did want to pay my respects. Being in DC, you can't help finding some sort of connection to all things political -- even the politically ignorant, such as yours truly. I do find something fascinating about the way Ford did come into power. Very unique and in a role where so many seem to take advantage of the power that comes with the position, everything I've ever seen of him during his presidency portrays him as a humble man. I'm glad I changed my mind.

Subsequently, I've been napping on and off throughout the day trying to regain steam for tonight. As I ponder the list for this upcoming year, just for fun, I thought I'd take a peek at my New Year's resolutions for last year (the public ones, of course). Hmmm. How did I do? I know it's thought you make 'em to break 'em, but gee... looks like I was 1/4? Thank goodness there's no report card to fear on that status report. Ouch.

This year, I'm aiming for much better luck there... so what's on the horizon for the year ahead? Again, I'm not aiming for the unattainable. So here goes:

  • Finally make that trip to California included in last year's list... I'm hoping to make the second, and not third, try here the charm! SS, my sorority little sis, mentioned making it a goal for us to meet up... and that's a resolution I support. You're right... it was 2001 when we last saw each other. Waaaaay too long.

  • Hit up my next international spots... Prague and Vienna. And no, it's not cheating if you've got plans for the trip already.

  • Tackle my parallel parking phobia. Someday I know I too can park in those random teeny spaces. This might have to be a late '07 goal...

  • Finally pull out my flute. Sorry roomies -- hope you don't mind the serenade.

  • Dust off those skates and hit the rink with Ms. JF, among others.

  • Find a way to get back into practicing my Spanish. Si tu quieres practicar o conversar conmigo, dime. Gracias ;)

Off to get ready for tonight's festivities. DC's cabs aren't feeling the love for Sassy and I, so we're just hoping to be able to schlep our way over to our initial destination.

Anyhow, hope you all have a happy and safe beginning to 2007. Cheers!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

it's almost a wrap - the year in review

My early night in became not so early... but at least it's technically still today (AKA Saturday), so not too shabby. SW and I cut off this evening early in preparation for tomorrow and also in light of our spontaneous decision to join the masses tomorrow early in the AM to pay our respects to Ford. 6AM voluntarily on New Year's Eve... is that right? I just don't know. But I'll be there... shivering... coffee (oh yes) in hand.

So wow, we're on the cusp of 2007. Where did 2006 go? It really was a blur... I was sitting here thinking, what all happened throughout the year? Do you ever sit and try to remember the lines of where one year began and the other left? You realize that lots of things have changed... people have moved in and out of your life. You've faced challenges... had lots of accomplishments... and done lots of great things... but sometimes, can't just pin-point what happened in a certain span of time. What did 2006 bring?

Early in '06, I learned I can again do the job of two people, and somehow survive (and yes, somehow with a social life still in shape - who knew?)

I continued to expand my concert experiences... including Billy Joel in March (second time), the Allman Brothers in June and the Dixie Chicks (also second time) in August.

In May/June, I knocked another international country off of my must-visit list, Italy. Upon returning, I wanted to hop right back on the plane again ASAP. Thankfully, March 2007 will bring more of Europe to my life.

In July/August, I learned it is possible to meet guys at a bar. Who knew? I thought it was just a rumor everyone thought it would be funny to reinforce. And even as I've since joined the ranks of fully single in the city, nice to know it can be done. I also finished up my
professional photography program, something which I hope to explore more in '07.

In September, I learned there is life beyond Dupont as I made the move to the Hill. Several months later, I'm still alive - and smiling! I also learned I'm capable of going from roommateless to roommated (if that's a word -- if not, I like it, and don't honestly care too much).

In October, I learned I can still pull off short hair, as I cut off oh gee some 6-7 inches from my hair. I left my place of work donning a Pebbles costume, complete with fishnets, crazy false eyelashes, and a pink wig. That was mighty liberating. I also rejoined the ranks of the crazies on the road, although I'm still a proud commuter - refusing to pay the insane parking fees at work. The 1.4 mile round-trip walk's continued to be a breath of fresh air in the morning.

In November, I learned life doesn't halt when your childhood home is no longer in the family. Yes, it moves on. I also saw the circular pattern of life continue in November and on into December. Life's funny... when you think you've parted ways with people, it's funny to see how sometimes they come back -- and usually when you least expect it.

And in December... here I sit. Another year gone by... new faces, and others have since gone on to other things and places. What does 2007 have in store?

Friday, December 29, 2006

czech me out. think pink. hot pink.

I am sitting here, caffeine free thus far this Friday back in the office... the last of 2006. I don't know how I've made it thus far, but the caffeine free crown will be relinquished in oh say about an hour at lunchtime, less I crash out here and now on my keyboard. Seeing as who knows how old this keyboard is, I think I'll be opting to track me down some caffeine in some form or fashion.

I can't remember the last time I dragged my feet so much getting into the office. I think I came up with at least ten random things to do today before leaving the house. I think my colleagues were surprised to see me stroll in at our actual 9AM start time today. If I'd known we would be opting, after some debate, not to close on Tuesday in honor of the late Gerald Ford, I might have made it 9:30 out of spite. Just kidding. Man, the lack of caffeine today is making me feisty. I've gotta watch what I'm saying here! Anyhow, the work today's been pretty non-existent, which will lend well to meeting up with the girls for a pre-2007 and we're all back in town hurrah happy hour.

Last night, Rio took me to see
The Light in the Piazza at the Kennedy Center. Having only previously seen Shear Madness (love it), I was excited to have the opportunity to see something in one of the main theaters there. The musical was beautiful. I didn't know too much about it going into last night, other than that it took place in Italy (Florence/Rome) and the reviews online had been nothing but glowing. I couldn't help but think as we were sitting there during the performance how funny it is that so many musicals hinge really on people meeting, falling in love, and making some life-altering decision all within a matter of a brief period of days/weeks. I quickly then suspended my grasp of reality, in time to enjoy the rest of the show. They did a great job I though of set design... made me ready to go back to Italy all over again.

Afterwards, Rio and I headed out in search of dinner and I realized one area where DC is just not quite up to snuff with NYC... late night dining. In NYC, want something to eat (I mean a real dinner) at 10:30PM? No problem. Food a'plenty. In DC? Not so much. We were finally successful in the midst of the smoky bar at Gordon Biersch. Not even the smoke wafting in my face could keep this one from enjoying the great pizza there. It might not be touted to be their forte, but mighty fine, I must say. Thumbs up.

But back to Europe, my mind's definitely on traveling. I'm all set. My mom and I are officially off to Prague and Vienna mid-March. I can hardly wait. I've already begun studying my Prague guidebook to begin deciding on what spots we will want to see. Any suggestions on things not to be missed or restaurants that are especially fine, please do send them this way. I'm already planning on taking a lot of photos and I'm looking forward to the change in scenery for some fresh new ideas.

And on an unrelated topic, I got a surprise Christmas present of sorts on Wednesday. I inherited my mom's old hot pink Razr. I feel so girlie 'round about now, but that's ok. I'm owning my pinkness. No shame from this direction. I'm joining the ranks of the
Fashionista and SW. Guess I can no longer state I don't need a camera phone since I have a digital camera... now that I'm toting one around 24/7, right? I must admit, I'm feeling a bit flashy.

And now, I need to feel a bit productive I do believe... Gerald would have wanted it that way.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


The fam headed out this morning, so it's back to the grind (or at least a move in that direction) at la casa. It sounds quiet, with SW and the DG still out of town for the holidays and with the newfound quietness, thanks to some reinforced insulation my dad helped with installing. It was a good day in general though... after a latte jump start with my parents at DD, I headed back over to the old neighborhood for some salon time. Nothing big on the agenda for the day, other than to enjoy some true downtime and having as few plans as possible.

I made a spontaneous stop at Secondi to see what I thought... the Fashionista had given it the thumbs up, so thought I'd see for myself. I must say, not too bad. Not bad at all. Although my feet did grace quite a lovely pair of Manolos, I escaped shoe-less. I might have been less successful had those Prada grey wool mary janes been a 7.5 but, alas, they were an 8. That's ok though... this holiday season has been a net 3 in the shoe department.

I've had a beautiful afternoon of season one of Sex and the City, legs sprawled across my bed. I think this is what true vacation time is all about, right? Thumbs up. Tonight I'm off to a show... can anything set in Italy be less than superb? Outlook doubtful.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

throw another faux yule log on the fire

Christmas holiday is winding down... the family heads back tomorrow and I'll enjoy one last day of holiday bliss. I've been calling Thursday (tomorrow) "my day", highlighted with a trip to the salon and some much anticipated downtime. I can't remember the last time I had a day like that... the closest would probably be the day I took to wrap up loose ends post-wreck. As enjoyable as I made what was left of the day, it still centered around bonding with my AllState adjuster. I think Thursday's definitely a step-up from that!

Christmas day was great. We woke Tam up enough to do gifts. Lots of fun stuff... I have quite a new selection of music to serenade my office with... some Aimee Mann... Snow Patrol... Phoenix... and some great DVDs -- In Her Shoes... Devil Wears Prada... the new(ish) Tori Amos DVD collection... and Rio's fab contribution -- the ENTIRE series box set of SATC - awesome (thanks again)!

We had a small feast here at my house. I wish I could have bottled up the wonderful smell my house took on to re-create. It was just fantastic. My mom cooked all day and the main course was accented by my dad's pies -- 2 chocolate pecan and one pumpkin. I did make a mini-contribution, making a big batch of sausage balls.

Since I still haven't figured out how to connect my iPod into our receiver downstairs, our main holiday music became my new favorite feature on Comcast On Demand -- the famous Yule Log (imagine "crackle crackle"). Anyone else see this fabulous holiday feature? Classic. You could almost feel your temperature rising as it brought instant warmth to the room - hah.

Rio joined us for Christmas dinner... much akin to Thanksgiving, including turkey + dressing, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, sweet potato casserole, and of course those mighty fine pies. I have so many leftovers right now in my fridge that it's just insane. I'm set for a while!

After dinner we watched what I'm sure is hands down soon to be the newest Christmas staple, Little Miss Sunshine. If you've seen the movie, you'll understand why this quirky comedy might not be the normal family time Christmas movie. I love the movie though... awesome. We did think it might be good to balance the somewhat unique first choice with a more traditional second movie -- so we pulled out Elf.

Yesterday I finally found shoes for my NYE outfit, so I'm good to go. I think I might even be able to manage to walk in these, which should always be the goal - right?
Anyhow, one more day of freedom...

Monday, December 25, 2006

santa! (i KNOW him...)

Officially, Merry Christmas! It's been a busy day of pre-holiday prep. My family got into town yesterday (Sat). I stayed up all night cleaning, scrubbing, washing laundry, etc. It was nice to see the place all shiny and new, but I was pretty much beat by the time I crawled into bed. And poor SW had to get up early in the AM to hop her flight to Detroit. Hope she made it there ok... I know the DG is doing well in Georgia, having texted to confirm she made it back safe and sound.

Anyhow, today (now technically yesterday?) was a pretty traditional Christmas Eve, just a change of backdrop. My family joined me for the Christmas Eve service at my church, which was sort of a combination service... typically, the Sunday before Christmas is obviously not Christmas Eve, so there's usually two services. This year, it was all rolled into one. We have a huge pipe organ in my church, which is accentuated by the hardwood floors throughout the sanctuary. At the close of the service, we sang a series of Christmas carols, which was just perfect. If there was any doubt I was in the Christmas spirit, it has been officially stomped out!

Rio joined us for the service and an oh so traditional run to Lauriol Plaza. Doesn't everyone do Mexican Christmas eve? But hey, we have to spice up tradition every now and then, right? It was nice to see the place very different from the norm, with all three levels surprisingly ghost-town-esque. It was like the Twilight Zone, TX-MX style.

We made a final pre-Christmas run to the mall. Christmas Eve shopping... I swear, I don't know that I've ever really done it? I now have ALL of the required DVDs to be fully armed for the day... we were lacking Rudolph and the Grinch (original - sorry Jim). Unnacceptable. We're now good to go.

We got a late start on the tradition, but we still had the family norm of homemade of homemade cinnamon rolls and chili. Does it get any better? I just don't know. Hope your Christmas is off to a great start wherever your celebrations have taken you!

Friday, December 22, 2006

thursday night date with safeway

Seriously, what else would one potentially want to do with a Thursday night? It ended up being the perfect time to hit up the store. I managed to miss the post-work crowd and am a few days ahead of the last minute, pre-Christmas rush. I did come prepared, armed with list in hand, ready to fend off other carts as I maneuvered through aisle after aisle.

My family arrives in town on Saturday, so the goal was to have all of the ingredients for the things my mom and dad are going to cook/bake over the course of the holiday stocked in the pantry so we don't have to waste time once they're here on things like that. Good plan. Probably 99% successful. I think with all the holiday baking, the XBox of Safeway must be confectioner sugar. Who knew? Absolutely zip in the store. That's one for round two.

I have to say just when I think I have a full appreciation for my parents, something new comes along. This will make me sound like a wimp (but that's ok - I'm not hiding here), but I was pretty tired by the time I made it inside our place with the last plastic bag of groceries. I don't think I've ever bought that many groceries in my life. Period. I was thinking that the amount I bought was less than the weekly or so purchases my mom made. I can still remember being impatient wandering through Bruno's... and then asking incessantly when the food would be ready once we arrived back home with all the items. I tell ya ... walking the aisles and picking out all of those things gave me some perspective.

I then had to find a parking space. I would like to say I'm soon to be the queen of parallel parking but um yeah that would be a lie. There was this prime parking spot right in front of my place. Score! I thought this should be a cinch.

I pulled up beside the car in front, threw it in reverse, and tried to work my way in. Mmmm not quite right. I turned the heat off, pulled forward, and gave it another shot. Ummmm no. Third time... yeah, still no good. Darn it! Defeated, I pulled up and decided I would just go around the corner.

As I was getting ready to go elsewhere, I saw this huge soccer mom mini van come tooling down the street and watched the gentleman (ok, so clearly not literally a soccer mom vehicle) whip into the spot in about 5 seconds. Man, am I an amateur!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

hitting the holiday home-stretch

Four days until Christmas... two days until the family comes to town... and wayyyyyy too much cleaning and organizing still to be done than I'm prepared to digest. C`est la vie.

Last night, I intended to head to bed early, to get some much needed rest (I'm so in the red) and energy to help with rallying on the cleaning project. Um yeah, so not so successful. Last night I went with Rio to the meeting of the International Photographic Society. The guest speaker was Walter Calahan, who has had the opportunity to do some pretty interesting photo shoots throughout his lengthy career. I really enjoyed hearing him speak and seeing some samples of his work. It definitely made me start to think of some things I should be shooting... I must, and will, get back into shooting more often.

We'd planned to meet up with Sassy at La Tasca for happy hour, but the speaker/meeting ran waaaaay longer than anticipated. Happy hour will have to be saved for another day...

I went home to find the Domestic Goddess in full swing, wrapping up her holiday baking. The complexity of her recipes far usurps my chocolate covered pretzels, even though they were nothing other than a smashing success in the office. By the way, the picture in the previous post is actually my pretzels. Yum.

So my attempts to resist holiday sweets yesterday definitely were not aided by the fresh baked goods prepared by the DG. My dinner last night, while balanced by a turkey sandwich, was complimented by homemade hazelnut truffles, dulce de leche bars, and cranberry shortbread cookies. How could one turn down such a sugar feast?

I did finally order some more prints of my photos, with plans to have them hung on the wall prior to the familial arrival. Definitely much more polishing to be done at our lovely house, but I still have some 48 hours to do so... tick tock...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

georgia's on my mind

Today my boss took me out for a Christmas lunch. I thought that was such a sweet gesture. She took me out to lunch one other time, as a way to get a chance to talk more out of the office setting. It's nice to have a reason to get out of the office. And what better place celebrate Christmas than Georgia Brown's, a little slice of the South. Mmmmm... not 100% Southern cooking perhaps, having a bit more Carolina influence, but it's mighty mighty fine. Any meal that begins with cornbread and biscuits can't veer too far off course... especially when it's rounded out with a finale of the best peach cobbler I think I've had yet.

As tiring as last week was with all the different places to be, the empty columns in my planners have been a welcomed change. Don't get me wrong, I've definitely picked up the slack on other fronts... staying later in the office to catch up ('tis our busy season still in the midst of other seasons...), wrapping presents, cleaning for the familial visit looming rond the bend, and - of course - a bit o' Christmas baking.

Tonight I made my annual Christmas contribution - white chocolate covered pretzels. Perfect balance of salty and sweet. This year's didn't disappoint... over a couple of episodes of House I was able to knock out around a pound and a half worth of pretzels. Not too shabby!

And now, somehow, I find myself looking at the clock and it's 11:20PM. I think I definitely missed my goal of being in bed by 10. Oooops. Maybe it's all the sugar from the left over chocolate (those reject broken pretzels need a home too), but I definitely lost track of time. Oh well... maybe tomorrow night?

Monday, December 18, 2006

and down came the amazon fairy

So it's the week before Christmas. Thankfully, I'm just sitting here waiting for the last box from Amazon to arrive, and then I'm all set. I spent the weekend wrapping presents, so now things are not only organized, but the house looks especially festive and Christmasy. Love it.

The anticipated weekend of holiday parties got downgraded a notch as I was unexpectedly under the weather on Saturday night. Instead, I curled up on my bed and watched
Akeelah and the Bee. It was a nice, feel-good movie for the holiday season, even if it wasn't a true holiday film (and, sadly, no Jude Law to gaze at). If you need a movie to watch with the fam over the holidays, this might be a good one to consider. It reminded me in some ways of Bee Season, except for the absence of the whole idea of Jewish mystecism (a notion that didn't quite transfer to the film version -- I've yet to read the book, but I've heard it's much clearer there). The way Akeelah tapped her leg for the rhythm of the word reminded me of the way Liza could almost envision the words which she was spelling. I'd say Akeelah gets the nod on content, but that Bee Season gets the nod for overall visual and aesthetic appeal.

Sunday was my church group's holiday progressive dinner. I thought this was something many people had done, but seems it may be something that isn't quite so common. Growing up, I remember countless neighborhood progressive dinners where my sister and I had a baby-sitter and would try to sneak in whenever possible to swipe some of whichever course my parents happened to be serving. I remember thinking I was mighty sly and stealth, but I'm sure many of the neighbors caught me as I snuck in and out with the stash of baked goods. Seems like such a short time ago...

Anyhow, the dinner was amazing. TXDem made some amazing jalapeno poppers. We had the main course at the church, where ES and DH had gone all out with pork tenderloin and fresh carved roast, followed by some absolutely immaculate desserts at RM's. The dessert line up included homemade eggnog (for a former eggnog free holiday goer, this has TRULY been the season o'nog), homemade sweet potato pie, and a fruit and poundcake trifle. What a feast to end all feasts! Hmmm I'm thinking maybe it'll be soup for lunch today, after all the food of yesterday!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

humid bliss, straight ahead?

Ah the joys of winter. Along comes winter, and then certain joys enter into life. It's that one time of year when you actually seek out to create humidity. Gee. In the midst of summer, who would have ever remembered those days would be just around the corner?

So yes, I'm soon to be on my THIRD attempt of the season to buy a humidifier. Should it really be this hard? I mean, really? In case any of you are waiting on the edge of your seat to get a quick synopsis of what to remember when making this potentially life-altering decision, I thought I'd share my encounters thus far with the wonderful product offerings at the wonderful little renter's oasis, Bed Bath and Beyond (or Linens and Things, since we all know they might as well be the same store).

The first purchase seemed to have it all... for the record, it's Bionaire's Filter Free Warm Moisture Humidifier. Doesn't that just sound swell? No filter, long run time before needing a refill, but yet didn't come with the $100ish pricetag its neighbors did. I snatched that one up and thought I was set. Wrong. Set it up that night, ready for heated humid bliss (another benefit... heated steam!). It wasn't even five short minutes later that I started to hear some loud glub glub noises coming from my purchase's direction. Argh. It didn't take me more than five additional minutes of trying (unsuccessfully) to fall asleep to realize that:

  • I now had a pounding headache. Ugh.
  • This humidifier managed somehow to accomplish two things I didn't think possible... it was both more annoying and louder than the obnoxious child(ren?) on the other side of my blessed wall... and was louder than the constant traffic from the noisey road outside my door.
  • I was really wishing that my tendency to want to clean and expunge anything unnecessary out of my room ASAP wasn't quite so strong, as I'd already broken down the box it came in. No refund for me. Craigslist? (If anyone wants to give it a home and sleeps like a brick, let me know).

Before I go on to humidifier numero dos, must say much props to Mr. Rio for kindly assisting in toting the darn thing all around Friendship Heights. Much appreciated, whether it was successful in performing the intended function or not!

Purchase number two should have been it. I managed to scrounge up yet another 20% coupon since no self-respecting consumer goes to BB&B/LNT without them. This time I was going to buy a
Crane Adorable Ultrasonic Humidifier. The DG had already purchased one of her own (an elephant). Worked like a charm. So I should be set, right? Wrong.

I purchased a cow... it was cute but not too obnoxious. It was also kinda funny considering the magazine Tam's been working at. Moo?

I came home and set it up, ready for some success. But to no avail. The fact that it's a child's humidifier does ensure it's not loud (so thumbs up on that front), but in this case the "adorableness" inhibited the vapors from escaping out of the darn thing's ears. Argh! I'm now letting it dry out since this smart cookie learned one thing from the first time around, keep the blasted box!

So tomorrow I'm going in for round three... if I bomb out, I just give up. The humidifiers just might win at that point. I'd feel pretty defeated if that's the case. To be continued...

But what I have won is the dry battle on some different turf... so every winter, my hair gets a mind of it's own. Midway through the day, it just becomes statically charged and begins to drift towards whatever happens to be around it... your jacket, a scarf, my office chair, etc. So annoying. Nothing fixes it. Brush it, and you'll hear crackle, crackle. I've even seen sparks. Sort of the time of year when my hair can be it's own 4th of July. Pretty spectacular.

This year though I've figured out how to win - haha! I've started carrying this hair stick stuff TIGI puts out called
Bed Head Stick. I must say, it's pretty magical stuff. The slogan though is that it's a hair stick for cool people, so guess you have to judge yourself on that pre-purchase. Anyhow, I've found it to be such a winter blessing, I had to share it here. Kind of like a stocking stuffer for myself. Nothing wrong with that.

So, while any male who's made it to the end is slowly drifting into a lull over their keyboard, I promise next post will be a little more exciting... hah.

Martha, Martha, Martha...

On a more exciting note, SW and I headed over to Ms. LH's for a wonderful Saturday morning brunch. I still absolutely love that the brunch had to be moved due to LH's apartment scheduling a mass power outage for the greater part of Sunday. Granted, Sunday was unseasonally warm, but did any of us know that would be the case? Precisely. Logic present? Not so much.

Anyhow, the change of date worked perfectly, and SW and I were off to brunchly bliss. LH went all out... from citrus french toast to turkey sausage to a strata (which even I, the egg-eating-challenged-one, enjoyed), to her family's sinful, once a year indulgence -- an amaretto coffee cake of sorts. She'd even prepared cranberry mimosas and her lovely place was accented by a beautiful tree. S and I were saying we'd have to do a brunch sometime at our place... it really was the perfect way to catch up with the girls. Something we'll definitely have to do again, post-holiday craziness.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

good matt hunting

Yes, I am posting separately on this one. It's that important... according to the DCist, Matt Damon is roaming around the greater DC area (ok he's in faraway-ville VA, but for these purposes I'll count it hah). Ok, and I guess technically not roaming... just here for a Hardball taping. If anyone sees him in the DC area, you know who to call ;)

foggy beginnings and tainted beautiful faces

I just typed a wonderful blog that I rather liked and, as is the case from time to time, the stupid system here just POOF took it away. Grrrr. I will now make a feeble, half-hearted attempt to recreate it. As I'm sure you're all aware, it just never comes out the same. Tear.

So yes, in the midst of the holiday marathon, it was nice to have a bit of a change of pace last night and mix things up with a good holiday-related movie. I always like to check out at least one new holiday film a year, and this year I definitely didn't want to miss out on The Holiday. Last night I went to check it out with SL, EB, and MP. We'd all heard the mixed reviews but didn't care. SL mentioned it was supposed to have an Indie film vibe to it, which to me made it seem even more appealing.

I loved it. It was fun to do a mid-week movie. I can't remember the last time I did that. The only downside was I think that as classes have started to dwindle down on the college end (since we were in Georgetown) that the number of mid-week movie-goers must have gone up, which would explain the chatty fellow movie-goers who felt the need to add a running commentary which was most annoyingly inclusive of oooohs, ahhhhs, and noises of the cooing family. Gag. At some times, I expected the lights to come on and a discussion leader to emerge for us all to talk about what we were feeling at the moment. This movie definitely didn't seem to have the need to have that group sort of feel. Now, my story about watching Waiting to Exhale at the dollar theater in AL is another story. That was one prime example of where the group feel worked. Great story ... haha for another time.

I think it's always interesting to watch a film like that when you have mixed feeling about the actors as people. You want to think, or at least I do, that you can walk into a theater and fully disconnect from any form of reality, including which actors have been arrested, are in rehab, or have been spending a bit too much quality time with the nanny. Ahhhhh the nanny. I have to admit, Jude Law's some nice eye candy. But that's about it. I was glad I was able to enjoy him for that... he can have that hour and a half of my time to be attractive. However, any attractive-related adjective that includes in any sort of connection to imply an attractive personality, yeah, he can't have that. SL and I were talking about this after the movie, and there's definitely a difference. He can have one, but the other - he certainly is denied in my books.

So this morning my schedule lined up with the DG again, so this inbound commuter was very thankful and happy to accept a ride in to the metro (and skip out on that invigorating 0.7 mile walk). Today was especially foggy. It looked like DC had plummeted into a thick vat of fog. As we were driving across the Mall area, you couldn't see any of those elements that I think of as symbols of DC. Looking to the left, the Capitol building was completely non-existent. The Mall in general had this eerie air about it, akin to visiting somewhere like the Korean War Memorial at night with the ghostly statues seemingly floating across the ground. The commuters walking across the Mall seemed to take on that ghostly air themselves. At the far right, the Washington Memorial too was just lost in the sea of fog.

It made me think that DC is still DC with or without those elements. While they're such visual elements representing the nation as a whole -- who we are and where we've been -- that they're really and truly just cosmetic elements. As I boarded the metro this morning, I found myself watching the people interacting more... watching their behaviors... wondering what each person's career happened to be. It's fascinating to think the multitudes of people we walk by each day. Each one has their own life. Their own mini-sphere. They have their own group of people who are important to them. They have their own unique sub-set of the area, be it their families, their families, their co-workers, etc. Each person is representative of such a different slice of DC, or for that matter even VA... or MD... it's those people that make up DC. It's definitely not the monuments.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

let's take it back to the prologue...

It's interesting how little time it takes before people find their way over here. Don't get me wrong... I love it. If I didn't want to share, I wouldn't be here and definitely wouldn't be posting so regularly. However, some comments as of late made me feel the need to list my thoughts on blog etiquette.

I was curious the other day and googled blog etiquette, and found an interesting hodge-podge of comments on do's and don'ts ... some of which I agreed with, and others to which I did not. I think you can blog without fearing your career is on the line or without feeling like your right to some form of privacy is being voluntarily relinquished.

In the absence of any form of good blog etiquette to reference, which was my original goal, I thought I'd pull a quick list of where I've chosen to draw some of my personal lines...

  • You'll notice I don't use real names. Just because I've decided I want to write about things I'm encountering and things I think doesn't mean my friends have signed on to do the same. It's just a respect thing.
  • I don't focus on extremely personal stories, be it mine, my friends, or members of my family. There's a line between private and public. Some of that just never will have a place here. I honor that. If we're friends, there's no need to feel like you have to hold back or worry that I'll divulge something private here. That's definitely not the point of this at all.
  • I'm not going to air out details of any recent break-ups here. What's the point in that? I'll tell you how annoying someone was in their lack of respect towards others on the metro ... that's an angry incident in passing, no long-term damage done. Relationships ending or the process thereof is more of a different type of pain... something you might say something about and then turn out to regret it. It's hard to see the big picture at that point... the value of each stop along the road... so I'm not planning on going there. Friends-only turf.
  • I try to talk about stuff that's not an impulse feeling here. Anything posted online is truly a lasting record (if you're not already aware, it is possible to pull up things pretty much from any point in time that were online, whether they've since been taken down), and if I'm not ready to live with it and it doesn't represent what I'm likely to think tomorrow, it's not going to be here.
  • I do revise, from time to time. I'm a self-admitted perfectionist, so if you skim back to an old post, you may see a few things which have changed here and there. Don't be alarmed. Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. {Phew} If you use a blog notifier, like my trusty Bloglines notifier, you probably get harrassing notifications every tweak I make. Sorry for that... anyhow, isn't the saying all great writers revise? I like to think that this trait is just at least one guaranteed connection between this humble blogger and the greats, past and present.

advances or just a new path?

So I was remembering back to the days of the traditional journal. Not that people don't still keep them. However, on most days I find myself here on the trusty blog, as my typing skills (even though I proudly don't type on the "home keys") far exceed my rapid penmanship. It's a no-brainer that the majority of the time, I'd much rather sit down, keyboard in front of me, and express whatever is on the top of my mind.

Technology's a funny thing though. The phrase "technological advances" surfaces constantly, almost daily, be it in conversation, in the news, or in this DC-resident's blog's ramblings. It made me think though... it's somewhat funny to call them advances. Sometimes it's things that are simply just improvements on what we already had. Sometimes though it's something that you never used to need that somehow becomes something you rely upon. That you can't live without. I'm guilty as charged here on so many levels... be it my cell phone, my iPod, my email, or even gchat (which, I'll admit to being quite annoyed when it has the nerve to go down).

It makes me remember the time though when it wasn't expected for you to be reachable 24/7. I know many people resist the Blackberry at work thing (even though I have one coming January-ish, I must admit I do love the "crack-berry" references I have heard from many directions), saying that they don't want to be reachable at anytime for any reason. But don't we live in a society where we just don't wait anymore? And aren't you already reachable 24/7 by another means (i.e. that cell phone you can't be without)? I'll be the first to admit to not being patient. It's something I work on... and I'm well aware it's a fault. But our society doesn't encourage anyone to try to develop patience by any means.

Sometimes it's nice to remember the old fashioned way. One of my favorite possessions is a small three-ringed binder with a clear sleeve on both the front and back. Each has a collage of random pictures that capture my interests, hobbies, etc. It's served as a sort of journal as well as a place where I write my poetry.

Don't get me wrong. I love my blog. I love being able to share thoughts with friends in all corners of the world, and I also love to be able to express those thoughts to people who I have never and perhaps will never meet. That's pretty powerful.

But there's something powerful too about the old fashioned way. Something I love about thinking in the most random of times and jotting down thoughts on anything from a plane ticket to a napkin and holding onto that. Some of the posts I've transposed onto this blog originated in such "humble", old-school beginnings. With the online blog, you get the finished product. With the lined scrap of notebook paper, you can see the scrapped stanzas, the tweaked words which might ultimately pan out to be the more superior alternative or, at minimum, represent the process that led to the ultimate end product.

Perhaps it sounds funny, coming from someone who's self-admittedly techno-dependent, but sometimes it's nice to go back to the way it used to be. To appreciate the differences and the upside to the other method. To, if only for a couple of hours, turn off the cellphone, pretend you don't have to be there at any given second for whomever happens to decide they need you at that moment, and just exist. Just disconnect. Even in the midst of the busy city, it's possible.

Are they "advances"? Sure. If we're not advancing, we're standing still... and I don't think that's something society knows (or even wants to know) how to comprehend. Ultimately though, I'd much rather think of them as new paths... new chosen courses. What we were doing before - yeah - it wasn't broken. Even sometimes, who knows, it might surprise you and turn out to be better approach in the long run.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

getting our wrap on and pm am hipster parties

I'll admit to not being the hugest AM fan. Everytime I go there I feel like I'm stuck amidst spring break gone wild (ish). Out of the woodworks, the average age of the DC-goers that surround you plummets to the low 20's and, oddly enough, I find myself feeling old. It's an interesting role reversal, but not one I too frequently decide to bring upon myself.

Well, I knew in advance that this Saturday included heading to AM for a big party, so I planned accordingly. The Fashionista got in some of our required volunteering t:ime at B&N for JLW. We met another new member and the three of us held down the fort, wrapping presents for 2.5 hours for donations to Bright Beginnings. We definitely didn't pick the busy shift, which afforded lots of time to catch up, dissect the world, and even snag some delish recipes courtesy of Sra. Bisquick.

The F brought up an interesting concept... do more math-oriented people typically prefer baking versus cooking? I'm a math-oriented person for sure and baking is my preference for sure. Give me a recipe and I will painfully shake that flour until it is exactly perfect in the measuring cup. However, expect me to whip up some sort of dish with a "dash" of this and a "pinch" of that... yeah, totally different story. Interesting concept. It plays well into my resistance (and I don't know why I still resist so much... perhaps it's lack of time staying in) to fully getting into cooking at home.

Anyhow, before long I found myself on my couch at 9:45PM loving life for being in... making use of that fabulous funky blanket we got from work (one roasted LJ coming up) and rotting my brain watching the latest brain rotting version of the Real World, egg nog and cookies in hand. Could Friday night be any better?

Saturday's plan was to finish off the Christmas shopping. I was um let's say a tad bit frustrated when I sat down to my lovely Fit and tried to turn the ignition and nothing. Hmmm. Try number two. Click (key) + noise? Nope... no noise. Noise from LJ: loud grumble. Hmph. 45min to 1 hour later, finally back on the road, with mental shopping list in full swing. Once I complete my order on line, I will officially be good to go. Quite a few presents are now wrapped, adorning our living area. Sadly, my little tree can't accommodate them below, but I'm making it work. The house should be nice and cozy for the family to arrive to.

Prior to the party, we had a girl's dinner at L'Enfant Cafe at the start of AM. Once SW and I finally found the place, we were good to go. My photo classmate, VK, had recommended the place one upon a time. I was a bit anxious, as I'd never been able to pinpoint where it was before. I felt a little oblivious when I saw the French flag displayed proudly on the awning. How did I miss that last time? Ummm yeah. I think I didn't make it quite that far up 18th before. Anyhow, always nice to check out a new spot in the city and this one did not disspoint. Great list of French wines... fabulous crepes... it would have also made a fun spot for a quiet romantic dinner. File that one away for such occassions.

We finally got ourselves out of the warmth of L'Enfent to begin the hike to head to the party. It had been billed a hipster holiday party (it's my one and only party claiming to be attached to Festivus). I'd never been to the Angry Inch, but the word on the street was that dancing would be a part of the plan, and that's an initiative I fully support.

Lots of observations... we ran into quite a contingency of military guys, which wasn't to be expected. I'm hoping to have more stories to enjoy in the day-after de-brief. You know who you are ;-) We had one bartender who seemed to be hating life. Maybe he was clinging to the "angry" part of the bar's name. No worries, bud, we believe you on the name anyhow.

The music was superb. 80's to mostly early 90's... and eventually bringing in some of the dance tracks and hip-hop hits of today. Loved it. Naturally, it wasn't too long before people began to make their way to the dancefloor -- and it was by that point in time that a somewhat spread apart crowd became about 2-3x as dense. I was loving that the Fashionista had given me the heads up that it would quickly end up being on the warmer side on the inside of the bar. She doesn't get the name for nothing you know...

One of the things I do miss about Miami once upon a blue moon is the dancing. It was nice to get that itch (bad pun fully intended) out of my system. I don't know if the DC crowd fully appreciated my capability to get fully down to the ground, but I busted that out, proud to see that it was still in tact.

It was nice though to be in a scene where there's not a sea of guys swarming in on the dance floor ready to swoop in. It never failed to amaze me that guys in Miami were confident enough to try to penetrate the forcefield of a circle of single girls dancing on the dance floor. What part of girl's night out do they not get? Sheesh. Anyhow, the DC crowd was much more respectful. Just 'cause a girl's dancing doesn't mean she wants a partner, and this dancing gal was pleased to be able to do just that. For that alone, I'd call it a successful evening.

SW and I were maxed out on the dancing and eventually decided it was time to make our exit, taking our coats and throbbing ears back home. Fun evening though... not the "normal" holiday excursion, so nice to have a wild card in the mix.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

this woman knows her chosen "place"

Ok, once upon a time, I thought it would have been neat to live in the 50's. I've always been a fan of the music of the era. I love the whole look of the fashionable poodle skirt, the saddle shoes, and bobby socks. Maybe even a scarf in hair. I can just picture myself, sitting on a tall stool at a soda fountain, either a tall cherry fountain coke or root beer float in hand. Ahhhh heaven. I'll admit to finding many a bartender cute, so I'm sure the classic "soda jerk" would have been potentially problematic for me. My friends who accompanied me on many a run to Bourbon there for a while know what I'm talking about here - haha.

I even still have this lovely piece of nostalgic attire in my closet from back in the third grade -- a purple felt poodle skirt handmade by my mom, which I've sported on many occassions, from school talent shows, brownie/girl scout lip syncs, to Halloween in college.

I never think though about all of the other cultural things that would be so different from the progressive times of today. Last week I was having lunch with my boss's boss to talk about several work-related things and, oddly enough, the topic of dual-career households and the increasing importance or interest by the female in their career. It was ironic that today WT sent me the below article from the May 13, 1955 issue of Good Housekeeping. Wow.

Now, granted I do realize that if we were living in 1955, very likely my thoughts, opinions, and expectations would be very different than they are now. I would like to think that I would still be as independent, free-thinking, and ambitious as I am today regardless of what decade I were to be placed in, but I'm sure LJ in any other decade would not necessarily be the subtly opinionated one you find writing to you now about the horror of the below comments. Maybe it's the tone they take in the following... or maybe it's just the assumption of what's the correct role for males and the correct role for females that bother me.

I've often been told from my taste in music to some of my personality traits that I'm an old soul. I wonder if I'm losing a bit of that? I'm truly Southern. You meet me, and I think people pick up on some of that Southern-ness that you never really lose. I've never taken to cursing. I've never smoked in my life. I pride myself on always looking presentable, and not for other people, but for me.

But there are certain Southern "rules" that I don't abide by. Perhaps those who are 100% by the book Southern would view me as one who's strayed from the pack in some ways. I don't believe a girl should have to be asked out by a guy. If I want to ask someone out, I will. And, I have. I don't believe in certain timeframes to wait before returning phone calls. I don't do the whole cool and disinterested thing. I'm not a game player. I do own a copy of "The Rules", but more for amusement and to see where I see myself differing from the standards they're laying out.

So I definitely don't see myself in the 50's female role... not the Stepford Wife mold, that's for sure. My lack of skills in the culinary arts would likely be exhibit A. Below I've inserted the full and exact text from the article...

  • Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  • Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.
  • Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc. and then run a dustcloth over the tables.
  • Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
  • Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if neccessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimise all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate the noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
  • Be happy to see him.
  • Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
  • Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  • Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
  • Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
  • Don't greet him with complaints and problems.
  • Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.
  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  • Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
  • A good wife always knows her place.

Well, this single girl knows her place. Hah. I was telling my boss's boss at lunch that I'm thankful that I've passed that window where there was such pressure post-college to settle down with that person you were seeing at that point in time and, in many cases, shelve dreams and ambitions that would potentially conflict with theirs. I'm to the point of knowing and appreciating that my career and my dreams are equally as valuable... and I'm proud of that personality trait that I was kind of uncertain about at the time. At the time I didn't know the specifics of where I wanted to go specifically with my career, but I knew it wasn't to go back to MS/AL and that it wasn't to be the "trailing spouse". I think many females think being too open about what they think on these types of things will scare guys away. As harsh and direct as it might sound, it is what I think... and if that scares someone, then they just aren't meant to jive with my perspective. Period.

As a side note, thinking about this decade has made me really want a root beer float. How wrong is that for this early in the morning? Pretty darn wrong, I'd say.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

when old collides with new

So we just got our presents here in the office ... they gave us this big massive fleece blanket that looks like a poncho kind of thing. Interesting. I've never heard of these, but apparently they're widely available? Basically, you stick your legs in the bottom part of the blanket (it's sewn at the bottom to hold your legs in) and there's a pouch in the front for your remote. Now this is one perfect present for some serious holiday couch time... a screening of some of those Netflix films I've been meaning to get around to or my holiday staples, consisting of Christmas Vacation, Elf, Rudolph, and of course How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Little Cindy Lou Who!). Much needed now with winter officially having arrived in the District. Nice of them to top the blanket off with a gift card for Barnes and Noble. Sweet deal. Gracias al hombre ;-)

The past couple of days I've been wild and crazy and escaped out of the office for lunch. Rio got me out of the office for a very interesting screening and discussion of a documentary titled "The Imam and the Pastor". It was very interesting to hear about the religious struggles in Nigeria. It's so hard to imagine being so staunch in your beliefs as to believe that someone else's is so off, to the point of resorting to violence and murder. I do love that DC is the type of place though where you have the option to attend something like this on your lunch hour. Very interesting event and definitely made me think a lot.

It was a very different use of my lunch hour than yesterday. LH, Ms. Bon Bon herself, got me out to grab a bite and then, why not, a quick round of shoe shopping. Very dangerous to learn that there is such a great place so close to my office. Pocket book beware...

Last night I had dinner with EH, who was in from MS. I love it when you meet up with people you know from somewhere else in your new location... it's like things haven't really changed, but mixed within the context of a whole new atmosphere. It was so good to catch up, and I learned she'll be back up here for a couple of months beginning in May. We were sorority sisters together at MSU, so love having her in town.

Another friend from the past (even further past... we're talking high school here) is in town tonight. The Titan was supposed to be here last week for an interview, but Old Man Winter had other plans since the airports said no can do. He'll be in tonight, so that'll be fun. He may be taking a job here... so many old friends coming or potentially coming to DC. I love it when the old and new worlds collide.


Monday, December 04, 2006

random monday morning ramblings

Gator Bait!
How 'bout them Gators? I'm very pleased to see UF will be headed to the National Championship!! May this weekend's buck-eyes (buck-eye balls) be the only positive buckeye-related thing in our household!

Recycle much?

Today as I was walking out of the metro station, I was so sad to see the number of people who one by one chucked their own copies of the Express into the trash can -- a trash can located directly beside the recycling bin. C'mon! I'll admit to being one of those people in the morning who scurries by you on the metro, who just can't take it if someone is not respecting the stand to the right and walk to the left rule, and who can't wait for any possible expansion to the SmartTrip lane to more metro stations. However, I will take that extra two seconds to recycle my paper. Heck, I've even been known to scrounge through a co-worker's trash bin when I see that they've included in recyclable items, even when there's a recycling area in our kitchenette area. Why is it that people just can't be bothered to recycle?

Bill Assistance

The Express highlighted a pretty cool service today. It's called Buxfer. The website helps to figure out who owes who money for what. Pretty sweet. My roommates and I definitely have yet to get our settlement process down to an art, so this is a pretty appealing service.

Christmas Shopping 911

I think the holiday shopping blues have settled in though. I've been so wrapped up in all the holiday parties that I haven't been my usual focused self when it's come to shopping. Today on the metro I started to take a mental inventory of the very few select items I'd already purchased versus the mountain of purchases to be completed. Yikes. But have no fear... I just looked at Amazon, and Season 5 for Full House was just released. AND, you save when you order ALL 5 seasons at one time. Phew. Uncle Jessie, here I come ;)

velour, the 'nog, and wine faux pas

The Tour Guide made a "guest appearance" for the evening, trekking from far far away (have to pull your leg there hah). She commented on my change in chosen footwear for the evening, a spontaneous purchase during my Saturday afternoon run to Georgetown. I'd originally planned to sport my favorite winter staple, the tall high-heeled boot. I'll save those for the next round of holiday parties.

I love shoes. I really do. The top of my closet is just about maxed out. What's a girl to do? I originally set myself a limit. No more shoes than the closet can hold. End of story. Hmmm... my new thought is end of that rule! I found this wonderful
little shoe store in the indoor shopping area in Georgetown. It was amazing how a little store with probably some 25-30 pairs of shoes max could have so many shoes I would be willing to spontaneously take home with me. How does that happen?

Three cheers for tax-free shopping week. Yes, I needed this wonderful pair of patent leather heels for my fall holiday school wardrobe. Muchas gracias. On sale and tax-free. It was like they were just begging to come home with me.

The party was fabulous. A little less crowded I'd say than our housewarming party. Everything came together well though, from the downstairs decorations to the food we prepared. Good job, Purple Ladies! We learned from our annihilation of food at our last party that we needed to a bit more on that end this time around, so this time we have a ton of leftovers. Need some munchies? You know where to find 'em.

I learned that I do in fact like eggnog. I finally had my first taste of it, courtesy of JF. She is the
'nog expert. She brought the Turkey Hills version, which I understand is an acceptable one you can find here locally. Anyone else have any recommendations? I'm open to my own taste-test. I've decided it's holiday in cup, and 'tis the season!

My one post-party rant is on red wine. Okay, now I am clumsy. I try to be as graceful as possible but I do on occasion, from time to time, spill something here or there. Oooops. And, as embarrassing as it is, I make sure to fess up to whatever I've spilled/dropped/etc., whenever applicable.

I have a round dining room table, with four plush pale yellow chairs. So comfortable. Love them. Always was a bit anxious that they were screaming "spill on me", but this far had never had any problems. Ironically, my boss and I were discussing the red wine thing on Friday. She mentioned she never serves red wine at parties and I said oh that we'd never had any problems surprisingly enough. How do I continually bring these things up just before they happen?

Anyhow, so I walk into the living room midway through the party to find my chair with red wine scattered across it. Warm body that had been consuming that wine some time prior? Not to be found. Any self-admitted spillers nearby? Zip. Now c'mon. In the interest of holiday cheer -- while it did momentarily dampen my holiday spirit, I didn't let it turn me into a Grinch. Yes, the wine did come out (that is some magic gel, I must say). But I do have to say I think it's pretty crummy not to tell someone when you've made such a mess. Okay. I'll get off of my soapbox now.

Next weekend is full of holiday parties as well. Thank goodness for Google Calendar.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

dc, with all the trimmings

It's officially the holiday season. I say officially since I've now been to my first holiday-themed party. Last night was TX's housewarming party. What an amazing place... we were so impressed as we drove up with the way it just radiated from the street-side. They have a beautiful large window on the front portion of the house with a large tree, with white lights and green and red trimmings. As we saw it from the car, we thought it was a family's house. I love that my friend's places look that warm and inviting.

To help people keep track of their beverages throughout the night, TX had set out some stickers. They had come as a part of some sort of networking game. The stickers had one word catch phrases for the most part. I'm not quite sure the rules of the original game, but the stickers made for quite a great conversation piece for the remainder of the evening.

The Writer and I opted to upgrade our stickers, adding an additional one to give our name a bit more pizzazz. Henceforth, I was "Single Babe" and she "Big Tease". To test out our newfound titles, we went out to the back porch to refill our empty fine wine glasses. The white wine was just to the side of the beer. Nicely, we were able to go get some wine and do a little experiment with our newly refined labels.

Luckily, the responses from the Keg Boys did not disappoint. I did not go back out that way again, but I admit to wondering (and in the interim, assuming) that they felt it was their obligation to babysit the keg for the entire evening. We're guessing they didn't go too far. How we managed to have a 15 or so minute conversation with them solely based on our lovely stickers, I don't know. But it was amusing. We're still mighty proud of those stickers.

There was some concern expressed at the party that certain comments and/or outbursts (including some made by yours truly) might be included in on the my next blog posting. Have no fear, m'dear. Your secret's safe with me ;)

So today was supposed to be pretty busy... complete with finishing off the car repairs in the early AM before rushing back into town for the cookie exchange. However, realized (thankfully before the DC police did) that my temp tag was expired by a few days, so slight change in plans. I did, however, still squeeze in that trip to G'town for a little pre-party shopping.

I'm off to prepare some more for tonight's shin-dig. Lots of baking to be done. I purchased some fun lit garland and other Christmas-y trimmings so our place will be all festive for the bash.

Friday, December 01, 2006

not a goodbye girl

I hate goodbyes. I'm awful at them. Period. Any sort. And I don't know why that is. If I go out on a date, I'm always the one yammering on, extending out that awkward moment as we work towards parting ways.

I definitely don't like those goodbyes that are a little more permanent... whether it was parting with my parents when I was miserable my first year at college, saying farewell to friends as I've moved from location to location, or even that last connection of sorts with someone that you know, despite the best intentions in the world, you will likely never see or hear from again.

Today I met up with some friends as a send-off to Miss Mix... the soon to be MRS Mix. I think she's the first of my DC friends who will be making an exit since I joined the somewhat interlocking DC scene (here, I believe it's probably a 2-3 degree max, versus 6 degrees... and no Kevin Bacon). With a fiancee living in another city, she's off for a while but will hopefully move back. Sounds promising. And, either way, we've already got a "reunion" of sorts slated for late December. Hopefully that spa talk will come to fruition... that sounds pretty amazing 'round about now.

While it wasn't a sorrowful farewell (and how can it be, when it's simultaneously a celebration of an impending union? that's something you just have to celebrate), it was a reason to pause and bring friends back together.

It was also a reminder of that small twinge of pain that farewell brings. Even if just a slight ping. I'm a firm believer that it doesn't go away... that it shouldn't. You just learn to deal with it. I think there's certain things in life you may grow dull to, where the pain doesn't hurt. But there's certain pains you shouldn't lose. It's those types of pains that are proof that we haven't let the experiences of this world harden us. It's my goal and hope that life never takes me down to the point where I'm dull to that.

A toast to Miss soon-to-be Ms. Mix! May the District welcome you back shortly and may you find nothing but happiness in the road ahead.

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