Tuesday, January 30, 2007

winter weather drama queens

Having grown up in the deep South, I'm accustomed to the snow-induced freak-out. You'll recall I'm a self-admitted snow-wimp. I have though adjusted to a slightly higher threshold in general for tolerating the cold, sleet, snow, or whatever funky "wintry mix" junk DC more typically receives... so when my mom called last night to report some nasty stuff was headed our way this upcoming weekend, I discounted it a bit to that former deep South mentality.

As I was getting on the elevator this morning at work, I overheard a gentleman speaking with another co-worker saying the same thing. He said that the snow was coming in on Thursday evening, turning to sleet on Friday, and back to snow on either Saturday or Sunday with more accumulation than our first "big snow". Of course, my mind was fast-forwarding to the eventful weekend ahead. No! I was bummed at the thought that the weather could perhaps hamper my Cowboy Mouth plans as well as the fun birthday bash I'm headed to on Saturday.

However, I just looked at the weather on weather.com. Um, no. Unless multiple weather sites are conspiring to dellude me into thinking all's in the clear, there's no mass snow/ice looming to ruin our first February weekend. Sheesh. Drama queens.

I'll still be doing an internal anti-snow dance. Just in case.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

finding neverland... in ballston

So, for the last year there's been one party I've heard about non-stop - Jungle Bash. It was touted to be quite the big bash. It almost reached the point where I wondered if it could be anything other than a disappointment, as things tend to be when they've been extensively hyped up - especially over a time period of this length.

Nonetheless, the
Fashionista, Sassy (formerly SW), KM, and her friend B put on our finest in animal print attire and willingly made the trip out to Ballston. I loved the Fashionista's comment of "um, I've never actually been out to Ballston?". We'd raided Forever 21 to dress super high class in the best animal print that Pentagon City had to offer. I mean, seriously - when else can you wear shimmery, glittery cheetah print and look so fabulous? Okay, other than Halloween? Yeah, so we decided to own it.

As we walked into the party, it was truly like stepping back in time. I had to tell myself I was not at a themed frat party in undergrad (and if any of the hosts happen to be reading this, that's not a bad thing... I just can't remember the last time I went to a themed party so elaborately themed!). The wallpaper glows under black lights. And it's left up - year round. There were people wearing tiger/cheetah ears, tails... one guy was dressed as Juan Valdez, with bananas around his neck. Sadly, there was no one dressed head-to-toe as a tiger. I guess that guest from last year didn't make a repeat appearance, or perhaps toned it down a bit for this year.

My personal favorite out of the decor hands down was the bean dip llama. I'd heard about this, again, for quite some time. It truly did not disappoint, and it is such a work of art, I absolutely had to include it in here.

The party was actually more of a joint venture, involving the neighboring townhouse as well. They were interconnected via an outdoor tent -- fully covered to keep everyone as shielded from the cold as possible. I must admit I didn't spend too much time in that part of the festivities.

The music was great... not 100% jungle themed, but we were enjoying it. There was not too much dancing going on, but the Fashionista, Sassy, and myself didn't let that keep us from making our own dance floor, with the host joining us as well.

I met all sorts of interesting people. Perhaps it was the liberation of dressing in theme or maybe it was the magic (or sugar) of the jungle juice. I ended up in the kitchen with a group speaking Spanish at one point. The Fashionista and I took numerous pics with this mechanical monkey (hey, he was funny).

I ended up talking a lot of the evening with a guy we'll call Ian, due to his resemblance to Ian Ziering... although I'll also say something maybe also reminded me a smidge of Paul Bettany? Anyhow, I made the mistake of guessing his age at 34. Ooops. I guess I learned that guys can take equal offense to over-shooting the age thing, although he was just joking about that - especially once I explained that is a good thing... anything slightly on either side of the "30 fence". He learned pretty early on that I could dish right back whatever he sent my way. Any guy looking for a doormat should know upfront I'm not the one. I'm pretty good at dishing it these days... as I am at remembering conversations post-party. And he thought I'd forget details.

I did finally have to check out of the bash though, as I noticed Sassy'd begun to fade. I believe my segue to exit may have unintentionally come across as abrupt. I felt guilty though... Sassy'd waited on me post-NYE bash (unsuccessfully since I went MIA) and now again as I was chatting. I hope the next bash, the tables will have turned.

Thankfully, at that point in the evening, the cabs had come out from hiding and were plentiful. Although, we were beginning to doubt our cab driver was going to be able to take us home since he seemed to not understand where our address. We told him the name of our street and he said "oh, that ends at the Capitol", to which we said "um, no, it does not". I liked Sassy's comment about having once had to switch cabs because the cab driver didn't know where he was going. I'm sure he loved us. With a little guidance from yours truly (and I'm sure he quite possibly wanted me to shut up, but whatever), we made it back to our home safe and sound.

And so today, it's bye-bye Neverland. Sigh. Time to go back to reality. I've been paying bills ... doing laundry ... all that boring sorts of stuff. But last night, we definitely got a hiatus from that. My hats are off to the hosts though... when you guys do a theme party, you do it right!

Friday, January 26, 2007

18 kinds of cold

I don't know the final degree reading we'll bottom out with today, but it's cold enough for this Alabama native to be thankfully indoor, fleece socks instantly on feet. Today I met up with my old manager, CC, to check out the wine tasting at Vidalia. I think I might have liked the restaurant more had I been expecting full-on dinner, but I'll stil say it was pretty nice. I ran into CH at the tasting, which was an unexpected surprise.

CC and I ordered a bottle of
chenin blanc, which was new to me. I really liked it... highly recommend it. Very subtle, but still really good. Think I may have found a new fave white. It was great to catch up though, having not seen her since pre-Christmas. One of the topics we ended up in a round about way discussing was the whole genre of 29 going on 30 men. What is the deal there? Anyone care to share some sort of insight into that? Ironically, a couple days ago I ended up finally seeing The Last Kiss -- which was but of course focused on the exact same topic. I thought 40 was the big age that triggered the mid-life crisis. With the move to people staying single longer in the city, has 30 become the new 40? I remain adamant though that no guy gets a straight up get out of jail card upon reaching that pinnacle -- no carte blanche. I just don't get it. Last time I checked, guys were still able to have children at that age, so really what's all the fuss?

I did manage to scurry in my front door in time to see Grey's Anatomy, the only show these days I actually really follow. I missed the beginning 15 minutes and still managed to be enthralled enough to find myself crying at the end of it. How?? Have I become that person who can't watch some certain show (um, Grey's) with any other human being because I'll end up inevitably at some point welling up and fighting back tears? Argh. But on the flip-side, I'm a big believer that crying is cathartic. I'd much rather be shedding tears over someone else's catastrophe than over my own issues. Not to say I don't have my own... but thankfully Grey's has been my cleansing ritual as of late.

And now, with the cold knocking on my door, my bed is calling my name. I'm looking forward to my weekend... lots to do on the horizon. But somehow, I just know that come Sunday evening, I'm going to be wishing I had another weekend all over again. Then again, the art of sitting still is something I've yet to master.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

fondue + strong women

Last night was JP's last night in town, so I met her at the Melting Pot for dinner. It's tradition that every time we meet up we have to make a trip there for some cheese and chocolate (skip the meat - it's a waste of prized space better filled by cheese... or chocolate). She brought her new friend L2 along, who is also a part of the group undergoing training to be part of Team SOAR. Like JP and myself, L2's also a Tori Amos fan. Instant bond. JP and I are pretty pumped about the potential of a trip up to NYC for whatever shows happen to be up that way on the next tour.

They're also in town today, but head back tonight. Some of them will be having the opportunity to possibly meet with Hillary Clinton today and the others will be touring the RAINN headquarters, which I never before had realized is actually right here in DC.

In listening to the two of them talk last night, I just had to say that I have a tremendous amount of respect for people who go through those types of experiences and are able to bounce back. I think the strength that shows is absolutely amazing. I'm not saying it wasn't hard - if anything, I'm saying I just can't imagine how difficult it would truly be. I'm inspired by their strength, their willingness to speak to others publically to help others who have had similar experiences, and their openness to discuss something that many rope off as taboo. Kudos to strong women. Truly inspirational.

Monday, January 22, 2007

at long last, the decent of winter on dc

So the first snow of the year finally arrived. It wasn't super eventful. JP was very excited that the snow chose to come while she was in town. She'd seen snow on the ground, but never the actual snow falling. Yesterday was to have included a visit to the Phillips Collection, but the snow led us to make other plans. JP wasn't up to doing anything that entailed walking outside in the cold, so we went with plan B -- brunch and bumming around inside Union Station. I ran JP over to her hotel and came back and parked before the snow kicked in too much. Call me a wimp, but post-wreck, I was not up for gambling on the snow. I must say I did feel like less of a wimp though after seeing on the DCist that there were 200 accidents as a result of the weather. Thankfully I didn't make 201.

It was nice to have an excuse for a wild and crazy night in, filled with laundry, chicken noodle soup, and wrapping up (finally) one of the many
books I started throughout the course of last year and never finished.

I'm usually super organized and today, I'm feeling a bit disheveled. I spent the tail end of last night scrounging through my room for my passport. One of those minor details pre-international trip. It seems to have not made the move with me to the Hill. I never misplace documents like this. And then this morning, I realized the placement I signed up for JLW that I was so excited to have been selected for has the big event we plan while I will be in Europe. There both events were in front of me on my Google calendar. I'm hoping the disorganization bug is out of my system now. Can't... deal... with... disorganization!

But back to the snow... it was beautiful to see our house covered with a light dusting of snow. Much thanks to TMcK for shoveling off our walk last night. It made this morning much more pleasant (and made it much less likely that the morning would begin rump to ground!).

Sunday, January 21, 2007

playing tourist + dc foodies

Yesterday JP and I were aiming to do the works... monuments, museums, plus some local spots I'd deemed as essentials for the trip. However, the cold slightly altered our plans. Hmmm monuments. We can see those from the car and in the distance. That plan became good enough for the 20-30 degree weather which, by the way, would not have been quite as painful had it not been for the random 60-70 degree weather heat waves we've had periodically lately. Yo-yo weather much? Think so.

Anyhow, we started off the day with brunch at
Bread and Chocolate. B&C has become one of my favorite spots, so I was definitely disappointed to find my favorite part of the meal, this tasty maple butter with the complimentary bread, didn't make the cut on the menu revision. This always happens. I shouldn't be surprised. And the complimentary bread? Not so complimentary anymore. $2.95 price tag. Thumbs down. They still do a mighty fine latte and I overlook the hit-or-miss (heavy on the miss) service, but I don't know that I'll be so kind to overlook it in the future.

We then wanted to run to Sticky Fingers up in Columbia Heights to grab some sweets for our movie we planned to watch under cozy blankets later that night. We took a somewhat scenic route along the mall so JP could see a little more of the city. This was my first time actually going to Columbia Heights and must say, I thought it seemed like a pretty nice area. I really liked the diversity.

The new locale for Sticky Fingers was much larger than their former Dupont/quasi-Adams Morgan operation. I was amused to see this guy I'd met at Local 16 sitting in the cafe in a group. I didn't say anything to him, but it seemed pretty fittting that an attorney for the Humane Society be hanging out at a vegan bakery. If you haven't hit Sticky Fingers, I'm a huge fan. Go and get yourself a cowvin or a sticky bun. Delish! (And no, I'm not vegan... not even vegetarian. Just have a major sweet tooth)

We opted for indoor DC touring, so we then headed back to the Smithsonian museums for a bit. We decided on the National Gallery of Art and the American Indian Museums. I'm still a bit disappointed that the American History Museum is closed until summer of 2008. I still say closing the whole thing for that long is a bit much. Did anyone ever hear of wings?? You can close things in portions... oh well. There's a beautiful floral display at the National Gallery at the Mall entrance that is just amazing. Walking in, you can smell the mixture of beautiful fresh flowers. If you haven't been, it's worth going through security just to take a peek at that if nothing else. I did manage to get scolded twice by the museum guards. Once for touching the protective glass on some exhibit (oooops) and another for talking on my phone (quietly!) in one of the wings. I guess my loud Sex and the City ringtone brought a little initial attention to myself. We decided to leave a bit later. I didn't want to get us thrown out if I dared to do something wrong for a third time...

It was interesting to see the American Indian Museum since I'd never been, but I was a bit surprised that there was so little of older history captured and such an emphasis on more recent events. They do have a fabulous cafe though. It came highly recommended and I definitely don't feel misled on that one.

Our plan for the evening was to meet up with Rio and WT at my all-time fave, Lauriol Plaza, before turning in for our movie + sweets. Perfect. I thought some Washingtonians might have decided against venturing out with the drastic change in temperature as of late, but at least at Lauriol that proved to not be the case. We did beat the mad rush though, and had a great meal and good time catching up - much to the dismay of our server. Rio had just returned from a couple of weeks in Buenos Aires and WT had been on the road quite a bit lately for work, so it was great to get to see them both in one evening!

We did understand our server's anxiety a bit better as we forced our way back out through the sea of waiting patrons. Oh well. We arrived early to take our claim to a spot to avoid the later night circus.

Rio was nice enough to drive us all home, which in the cold was just about the biggest present anyone could have given! JP and I crawled under blankets on our couch and watced In Her Shoes. I just love that movie. Such a great movie about family and especially mother/daughter/sister relationships. So good!

We're off shortly for round two... hopefully this snow threat nonsense is just that. Nonsense. Anyone who's reading this outside of the DC metro area would scoff to think that an inch is a threat. But then again, that's why I'm here. I like being a snow wimp.

Friday, January 19, 2007

never was a cornflake girl

It's such a Friday... I think the power switch on my work productivity has officially flipped to off, although I'm going to hang around here a bit more to work on some things that keep getting pushed aside. We have a department "snack" once a month around 3:30 on Friday, and it seems on those Friday's it's even harder to focus.

I have a good friend of mine coming into town tonight, which I'm looking forward to. JP's coming in from Orlando for some training for
SOAR and tacked on some additional time to enjoy the fine sites and such of DC. Our agenda of activities may be slightly altered though with the 20 degree weather perhaps looming on the distance. The weather's been decent enough to walk to and from the office, etc. but down on the Mall, it can be downright brutal.

I love the story of how I met my friends JP and JC since it's definitely non-traditional. This is a great story, by the way, to lay the groundwork for what will likely become more present in my writing shortly. Most people who know me know I am a Tori Amos fanatic. I love to see concerts in general, but Tori Amos is the one artist I will go to the extreme for. At last count, I had some 60 CDs. I've only been to 10 concerts thus far, but that should be changing again this year.

My first Tori Amos concert was in Melbourne, Florida. I went to the concert by myself. No one I knew at the time was really into Tori. The concert was some three and a half hours away. Besides, I wanted to not only go to the concert but I wanted to wake up at the crack of dawn and haul myself out of bed to get there to stand in line with the masses in hopes of getting to meet Tori.

Yes, I am one of those people.

It was probably around 11:30 when I arrived, Chick-fil-a in hand (fast food of champions). Tori Amos fans are a unique crew. Some refer to them as Toriphiles. Some as
EWF (Ears With Feet). There was a mish-mash of different people already congregated on the grassy spot suspected to be where the barracades would later follow. When does she arrive, you might ask? It depends. Could be 3. Could be 4:45. In the meantime, if you want a shot - you wait. Some others were there alone and others were in groups. It's always fun to recap with friends after going to a show... never a lack of stories or interesting characters.

That show I met one guy who had been on the crew for Bruce Springsteen. That guy kept calling me Jessica Simpson. I already stood out in the midst of the crowd as it was, so setting me apart as the lone bubble gum-esque one in the crowd was much appreciated. So much that I still remember. Another lady is a tattoo artist who brings her supplies to all the shows, just in case you want a tattoo in the parking lot while you're waiting. Later the group of tour regulars who go to every show would arrive.

So, let's summarize. In the grander scheme of things, I am a "normal" Tori Amos fan. People don't get that, but I swear. I am! I do not have a second job to support my ticket buying needs. I do not live out of a suitcase for the entire stint of the tour. I've never taken out loans to purchase tickets. I will admit to having hurdled chairs on countless occasions to rush the stage, but that's normal. It's just where you're supposed to be for encores!

Anyhow, eventually the crew arrives and begins to construct some sort of make-shift barracade to keep us crazies under control. As luck would have it, for this concert this included being shoved up against a metal fence. In the hot Florida weather, this started to get a bit uncomfortable. But we were committed to the cause. And we stood this way for a good two hours. Niiiiiice. And who happened to be smashed against the fence with me? Ms JP, of course. We patiently waited, hoping that the heat and waiting wasn't all in vain. We weren't close enough to get a photo with her (although I did get a ton of her), but we were both able to pass up things for Tori to sign. Pretty sweet (just to note, I have gotten two pictures since as well as a couple of autographs... not to mention great tans from all those hours in the sun haha). We exchanged information and then everyone sort of dispersed for a while before the concert.

I actually ended up going to eat with a group of Toriphiles at Chili's. When I sat down at the concert, who should be sitting in the same row with me but JP as well as her friend JC. It was so random that we were seated that way. And we've stayed friends ever since.

There's supposed to be a new album coming out this summer so undoubtedly there will be a tour to follow in the summer/spring. I'll have adventures to tell of as that will all but ensure I'll have a trip to South Florida as well as be putting the Fit to use to any concert offerings in reasonable driving distance to the DC metro area.

In the interim, I'm glad that JP's headed up. The weekend ahead promises to be a fun one, even if sans-Tori show.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

obrigada e um beijo

My horoscope in the Express yesterday read: "It's a good day to let your feelings for someone be known, even if it's someone who already knows how you feel. 'I love you' never gets old". How true. Working in HR, it's always the negative that seems to get reinforced. How rare it is that we stop and say thank you for the positive things. We just don't say thank you as much as we should... even if we make it a conscious effort, I still think so much of the positive goes unsaid throughout the course of the day. We take for granted that people know what they often may not know.

My manager summarized it perfectly yesterday as she recounted a story about a stressful weekend and interaction with her children. The gist of her story was that she was exhausted from the weekend and wished that at some point during the weekend, her children had just said "thank you, mommy" one time. She said it was unfortunate that you had to come to work just to get to hear a "thank you", albeit typically the obligatory polite kind.

I try to let my friends and family know how thankful I am for their support. I just thought I'd take the opportunity to extend the realm to anyone reading this post. I must admit, I was a bit anxious when I made the decision to move this blog off of being just a private one posted to MySpace to being one available to anyone with a computer worldwide. I guess some people get a rush out of taking chances... skydiving... other crazy stuff. I think this blog has been a bit like that for me. It really has been simultaneously liberating and slightly frightening at times to put down my thoughts here and send them off into cyberspace.

Thanks to my friends who you all see as characters of sort in my life here. Behind each name or set of initials you see in every post, there's someone who's very special to me. I'm glad that they understand I'm not aiming to air out dirty secrets here and have continued to be the people I love so dearly uncensored. And, of course, I've done and will continue to do the same in return ;-)

Thanks for all of you who've sent kind comments and thoughts about my writing and those who've passed on supportive comments along the way. I really do appreciate them, whether you're someone I've known for years or an anonymous poster I may never know. It's always nice to see and hear there's someone reading that which I've decided to post through.

Fret not... the road's not ending and, oh yes, I'm sure tomorrow there will be another story to tell. My Google calendar's out of control still for January through March... never a dull moment.

Anyhow, I just had to pause to say thanks for those of you who are along for the ride.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

what's the 411?

Last night was a fun and well-needed break in the midst of what promises to be a hectic week at work (it's our crunch time, which is actually shaping up to be far less painful than it's ever been). The Fashionista had the idea of an old school girl's night in, complete with all sorts of nostalgic things from our childhood years. I must admit, it was my first time (hmmmm and, honestly, probably last) watching Clarissa Explains it All. It was fun though to cheese it out and sprawl out with friends on a matress on the floor like you would have done when you were 8. I've been joking that I think it's legal to maintain that carefree mentality at least a few more hours into the morning. Why not?

The Fashionista insisted on prank calling some of her guy friends, who we put on speaker for the entire group to enjoy. I've never been good at stuff like that. I crack way too soon, so I'd have been laughing and unable to speak if put on the spot to have done the calling. It was nice to have some good harmless fun in the midst of the workweek. We unfortunately never made it to playing Girl Talk, but we did get in some quality time with the magic 8 ball (classic). It's true you never appreciate things, such as the simplicity of life when your age is in single digits, until it's gone.

I brought a bag with me to work so that I could properly dress for a faux sleep over, which meant on the way out that I would be traipsing in my fashionable bright blue snowflake fleece PJ bottoms up to Dupont Circle, until a cab arrived to sweep me away to the Hill. It was pretty nice I must say to be able to literally just roll into bed once I got home. Very nice.

I will say, it was mighty hard to pull myself to sleep last night, post-massive sugar intake. Good grief. Coming off of potential food poisoning, perhaps it wasn't the smartest decision to ingest mass quantities of sugar. Oh well ;-)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007



One Capitol Hill resident with uber sticky fingers and a bleeding heart that cannot resist their compulsive addiction to love on mother earth. Please return BOTH recycling bins you've lifted from our sweet little rowhouse and no limbs shall be lost. We actually don't even need or want you. In return, we will gladly provide you the phone number for the city we called last time you pulled your shenanigans and you too can get a brand new shiny blue bin. Until then, consider yourself a wanted person. Beware, as we're inclined to unleash the creepy spirits of our old haunted house on you. Now is that the way you really wanted to start your 2007? We didn't think so. Thanks.

- The Purple Ladies

Ok, just had to vent. Seriously. Who steals recycling bins? Is that some new fetish? Something like a, oh I don't know, recyclophile? Gee. I never knew how hard it could be to be a good citizen. I'm learning, day by day.

Tonight, I've got a stress-free evening of old school girl bonding is on the horizon. Coming off of last night's girl's night in watching the Golden Globes (I think we though the biggest red carpet disaster honors went to Ms. Diaz), I should be good to go for a while... but round two can't hurt.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

what if the devil's shoes are choos?

I haven't left my house all day, and won't be. At least I'm sitting up now. I thought at first it might be that stomach bug that's going around, but I think it must just be food poisoning or something along those lines. It seems bar-b-que and I are just not friends. It led me to the hospital back in college and I'd only recently begun to eat it. Ban back on. I don't know that I can hold the same ban to chocolate (also one of last nights culprits). That would be just criminal. I re-watched The Devil Wears Prada and finished off season one of Scrubs.

I'm glad I made the most of my Friday and Saturday since I've been stuck in bed. Friday was a lot more than I'd expected. The
Fashionista and I hit Georgetown after work. We were pleasantly surprised by Mr. Smith's. Who knew? I'd always wanted to check out the spot anyhow since that's where Tori Amos got her start, and you know how Tori obsessed I am. It had a really cute courtyard area, which definitely wasn't to be expected from it's rougher façade.

We then hit up
Blue Gin, which took a little effort for us to find - even with address in hand. Somewhere like Blues Alley sure, you'd expect to be down an alleyway. Blue Gin? Not so much. Ironically we found it by asking someone passing by on the street. He quickly replied he was new in town (so wouldn't know) but as soon as we mentioned Blue Gin, he knew exactly where it was. It was pretty funny. So warning to the ladies, the upstairs bar has a glass floor. If wearing a skirt, beware. It started to feel a bit like a big pick-up scene, so we opted to head on to our next option - a birthday party at Local 16.

It was after 11 when we arrived to Local 16, so it was packed. We ended up on the roof, where I was really missing the wonderful tent from New Year's. Why oh why could they not just keep the darn thing up? There were some interesting people out though. I met one guy who was an attorney with the Humane Society. While there, the Fashionista's friend the Giant met up with us, along with his friend. Having started the evening at 6, I was pretty maxed out and ready to head home, but somehow ended up heading back to the Giant's with the group. VB, I should have slid out when you did!

At 3ish, I decided it was time to head out when my cellphone was swiped from me and one of the guys decided it would be funny to skim through my last dialed calls list and call one of the guys listed there. I'd like to think I can take a joke... I can throw the quips back and forth without taking what's said to heart. However, calling up someone I used to date and leaving him a message telling him he was a fool might be a bit beyond the line -- even for 3AM. I know he didn't mean any harm, but I was a little bit frustrated with how the whole thing went down and decided it was time for sure to cab it home. Never a dull moment, although sometimes you'd like to look back and delete out a bit of the drama.

Thankfully, Saturday was already scheduled to be low-key. Having gone to bed at 4AM, I wasn't exactly rushing the clock to rise and shine. I ran out to do some errands and then headed over to LH's place for girl's night in. It was really nice to balance out Friday with staying in on Saturday. We watched a couple of movies I'd never seen, including Singles. I especially appreciated that one! I love Cameron Crowe. His movies seem to have so much heart behind them.

Now I'm watching The Break-Up and on the diet of champions, saltines and Sprite. Mmmmm. Good stuff. Could I feel like a bigger bum?

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Friday, January 12, 2007

let the long weekend-ing begin

5:30 cannot come fast enough. I'm most definitely looking forward to the long weekend that is so close now I can smell it. I think I've been distracted since yesterday, when I finally purchased my tickets for my upcoming trip to Europe. So it was originally slated as Prague and Vienna... and we ended up throwing Budapest into the mix. Turns out my second cousin and her family are over there as missionaries, so we figured we'd might as well visit them while we're over there. I'm so ready for a change of scenery... although, I think it won't be until the end of February when I head to Chicago (brrrrr!) that I'll actually get to get one.

Fashionista and I are off to a series of Friday evening events... happy hour, then the JLW evening out, followed by a party for a friend of Van's. The final party is supposedly in honor of a guy who knows a ton of people in the city, so I'm curious to check that one out. He's supposed to be like the DC version of six degrees of Kevin Bacon.

All I have to say is if we talk to any guys this evening, I'm hoping they're not like the rico suave who sent me a message on MySpace this morning. Although, I will give him props for starting off my morning with a bit of amusement. The message simply said "such a beauty. holla at the PRINCE".

Prince? I'm still looking. Frogs a' plenty? Those I can find.

Ahhhh, the true way to my heart. Here's to hoping for a step up from that and to a good kick-off to what promises to be an eventful, as always, weekend.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

my interview prep-course - any takers?

Last night was a blast. Definitely none of that mid-week blah stuff going on here. It was just another day at work. Things (thankfully) seem to be calming down a tad, which means it's much easier to leave at that crazy time, AKA normal quitting time, and enjoy life a bit. So that's exactly what I did yesterday.

Yesterday was truly about everyone coming to DC... NM is here for a conference for work, JW (henceforth Titan, and he knows why - hah), and a group of my SFL friends were all in DC! I knew in advance for all except for the SFL group who, funny enough, called me as they were entering the metro to say "hey, we're in your city on our way to NY!". Unfortunately, they were the only ones I wasn't able to squish into my Wednesday evening adventures. Perhaps they'll swing back by this way en route back to the Sunshine State.

NM and I met up for dinner in Chinatown. I can't remember the last time I saw NM... I want to say about a year and a half ago? Anyhow, it's been a while. She's on the rotating holiday schedule now that she's got the in-law factor, and our holiday schedules don't seem to be in sync these days. Our poor server at the restaurant was so sweet... don't know if she would have been so kind upfront if she knew she'd not be turning over that table for a good two and half hours. It was great to catch up. There's some people you don't see for a while where you can feel the effect of time - and there's others where you can just pick up. I love that we can just run with it and talk like old times. Very nice.

NM had an early start this AM, so she headed back to her hotel once I heard from the Titan. He was only in town last night for an interview today. Last time he was in town (also pre-interview), we met up for
dinner and I invited him to join in on a holiday party thrown by the DG's friend. His interview was at 8AM so he said he was up for the party, but not too late. When we got there, he wouldn't check his coat... again, just making a brief stop. Not staying long.

I'd neglected to mention that (unfortunately for myself - ick) a given part of this guy's parties are cigars. Blech. Oh well. Seemed tolerable until the Titan mentioned he was wearing the same suit for the interview the following day. Oooops. Eau de cigar. Not so good. So a drink at the open bar turned into just growing roots and being amused by the mix of people and the not so hot live music (although, props to anyone who can pay for live music of any sort on their own). The party started winding down around 11:30, and we ended up drifting over to
Hay Adams - with an evening ending much closer to 1:15AM than the original short evening as planned.

I felt a little bit guilty as I struggled to get out of bed the next morning. I might have to drag myself to the metro and into work, but I definitely didn't have to sit in front of the firing squad for an interview at 8AM. It was around noon-ish that the Titan surfaced. I thought great, the blame's about to fall. If I'd heard it though, I would have come back with some sort of quip. That's just the way it works with us. It's expected. Instead, I was given kudos for my interview prep skills. I guess somehow in the midst of the evening's chaos, the underlying HR-savvy must have come through, since he got the job offer the same day. Anyhow, the point of the story is that the joke became that I clearly needed to be the responsible party for proper interview prep in the future.

So anyhow, when he learned he was coming to DC for a second interview (an interview which, ehem, yours truly helped him to secure) he of course asked for my well-regarded assistance. No crazy throw-downs last night, but we did head over to
Capital City Brewing Company, where we spent quite a few hours catching up, harrassing the bar tender, and enjoying those crazy Cap City pretzels alongside some smuggled baked goods courtesy of the Marriott. Awesome. The Titan was especially amused when I tried (unsuccessfully) to order a glass of Fat Bastard Chardonnay without breaking a smile. Instead, I giggled my way through the whole order. You would think it would be then that I got carded right? But no... it was long before. It was pretty funny.

We were just sitting there sharing quite a few random stories when who should stroll over but the Realtor. It was just too funny. I've been on a roll lately of learning just how small of a city DC can really be. I introduced the two and the Realtor chatted a bit about what he'd been up to before heading back to the bar. Ah the Realtor. That's a funny story, but this one's been long enough without adding that background. Sometimes you just have to smile.

We made our way to the door 12:30ish as last call had long since been made and we noticed there were maybe two other couples in the bar remaining. I'll catch the debrief later today to see if my prep was as successful this time around but should be a shoo-in. Isn't third time supposed to be the charm? Oh and I thought it was so fitting that as I slid into the cab, Sweet Home Alabama came on the radio!

Where the skies are so bluuuuuue...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

orange + blue = #1

I'm not a sports blogger. Not by far. I know this. So I'm not going to sit here and try to run any commentary play-by-play 'cause, yeah, that's so not my thing. I will say what a game. I really wanted to join in with the alum groups to watch in one of the viewing locations either in Columbia or Alexandria, but on a Monday night and so far away ... yeah ... not happening. I was thankful when the Cajun called with a more local alternative within District lines. Perfect.

Donning my helllooooooo obnoxious orange sweatshirt, I met up with the Cajun shortly before game time to head over. We ended up at an Irish bar, which ended up being quite fun. The bar was really spirited and it was kind of fun that both sides were represented amongst the crowd. Kept it interesting. I'd taken a lot of heat from various people throughout the day knocking the underdog Gators, but wasn't letting that get me down. I must admit the first play where the Buckeyes ran clear down the field made me think there was a long night ahead. Of course, there was... but of a different sort, thankfully ;-)

Our server added to the fun Irish feel, sporting a thick Irish brogue -- so thick that you couldn't understand him so much at times, but we seemed to make do just the same. HS would say he was 100% ok in her books, as he was willing to brew her a fresh batch of coffee so close to closing time. The Cajun would probably prefer to thank Mr. Bailey's... anyhow, much thanks to the crew for riding out the majority of the game with me. I caught the last couple of minutes of the game at home downstairs, trying to keep from waking up my roommates. I sat on the couch and ate a couple of the buckeye balls SW brought back from the holidays. It somehow seemed fitting.

So here I am with my trusty cup of joe, ending my almost two week streak of coffee-free-ness (thanks Starbucks... thanks a latte). Not even the banging radiators were enough to get me going, but this cup right here - it just might.


Monday, January 08, 2007

perhaps i don't do low-key

Well for the most part, I think I was at least quasi-successful with maintaining my intention of a low-key weekend. Successful enough to not be sick as a dog come Monday - and that, that I'll take. Friday night I decided just to stay in and decompress and put my Netflix subscription to full use.

Saturday the consensus was we needed out. On the town. Somewhere. Somehow. The Fashionista had a friend who was celebrating their birthday in pretty elaborate fashion, with a full day's menu of activities. The evening was to cap off at a club not too far from Chinatown, so our plan was to join up for the finale of the day. We never quite ended up making it so far... we met up at Clyde's, with the intention of just hanging out a bit in advance of heading over. The bar wasn't too full when we arrived and it was interesting to watch the crowd around us grow from practically non-existent to thick as pea soup.

We ended up right at the front watching the Seahawks/Cowboys match-up. I tell you, DC residents do not have any love for the Cowboys. We had some guys come up and start talking to us, who had just left out of the Caps game. The bar soon was overrun by others exiting the same game, shortly combined with those exiting Mayor Fenty's Inaugural Ball. We finally decided we had to get out of the midst of the masses, and headed to the upstairs bar. The guys followed suit and continued to buy us drinks.

To stir things up a bit, the Fashionista and I decided to wander over and talk to a cluster of pretty cute guys, who were strategically located in front of the elevator at Clyde's. Random locale only warranting what would turn out to be equally random conversation. It was fun though just to walk up to a total group of guys and strike up a conversation, even if they turned out to be somewhat conversationally challenged (as well as quite challenged in the age department).

Sunday was Alabama Day at my church, so of course I went to represent my fine state. The Fashionista joined me, which was great. I really do love my church... and the Pastor Jim always gives me something meaty to ponder. This time it was about how things speak to you... something little, but the ways in which you sense the presence of God. And Luna surely didn't disappoint on brunch.

Last night, Dr.P had myself and LH over for dinner at her new place. Welcome, officially, to the Hill Dr.P! Her place was an absolutely beautiful 3-floor rowhouse with all of the fun and unique peculiarities of overall lay-out I've come to love in the older homes in the area. Dr. P always pulls together quite an impressive spread of a home cooked meal, and last night was certainly no exception. Superb. It was perfect to be all cozy on a down sofa, wine in hand, catching up with the ladies.

LH and I talked more en route back to my house. We agreed. It's a fine line. You want your friends to know what's going on in your life, but so many times I think it just confuses things more and you end up with an assortment of opinions in front of you that might ultimately make finding clarity more of a challenge. One of my goals in the new year is seemingly contradictory... one, to have a select group of friends to be totally honest with -- that I can be uncensored. And, two, is to learn when to stop talking. When enough's enough. When the details should be contained. Finding that balance, now that is ideal... and will be a bit of a challenge, but I'm on my way. LH gets where I am on this issue though, and I'm glad to have ended the evening on that note.

Tonight's the big championship game. I'm pretty pumped. I love me some SEC football. I have my Gators sweatshirt in tow today, ready to head out as soon as the clock announces the go-ahead. The Cajun's stirred up a couple of options for this evening, so it'll be a two-stopper. Should promise to be fun, even if the boys don't ultimately pull out the win. I realize they're the underdog, so we'll see. KM is there rooting I'm sure decked out head to toe in support of the opposition, so we'll see how things end up landing!

Friday, January 05, 2007

... and that's just what they'll do!

One of my friends posted a comment on MySpace...
"Wow! That is brutal. Hope you've found some hot tea, good music, and heat."

To which I responded:

  • Hot tea? Check. Got it before leaving Georgetown...
  • Good music? Check. iPod on rotation as usual.
  • Heat? Hmmm not as much as I'd like... shoes are so damp they are still brown shoes masquerading as black.

The highlight though was we just had a department lunch at work. Our department head misunderstood something I said. Basically I said that due to all the crazy warm weather, I couldn't believe it was January. He just caught that I couldn't believe it was January, to which he replied, "hello, Christmas came and went!". Not meant smugly, but very sarcastic. He proceeded to tell me he saw I was sporting a new 'do (referring to my poodle-esque hairdo I am now donning). Ouch. Hit a nerve much? Needless to say he felt badly when I told him "hey, it hasn't been a very easy day for me, ok?" and shared my sad tale of woe. I just have to laugh about the whole thing... I know I must have looked pretty darn pathetic! Anyhow, it was nice to have a laugh with the department about the whole fiasco AKA Friday morning.

these boots are made for walking

I am just now getting into the office. What a morning. It started off dreary and icky enough... rain on a Friday should be illegal. Seriously. Today I knew that I had to make the hike over to the DMV - and rain and getting sick... all that nonsense couldn't stand in the way. The redeeming thing was timing happened to fall into line such that the DG was headed out at the same time. Perfect. Considering a walk from the metro to the DMV was required anyhow, I was relieved to find that I could save a little energy there.

There I was, standing at the elevator to get into the metro at the Smithsonian station, when I changed songs on my iPod and reached for my wallet. Um wait. Wallet. Nice. Not there... wallet equates to both money and SmarTrip... both of which were not to be found. Ouch.

I took the elevator back up to street level as I rummaged frantically through my purse. Yep. No wallet, no cash... no metro ride. What's a girl to do? So, I started walking... I've done the walk from the top of the Mall to our place, but here I was all the way up the mall. What a long walk -- and, I must say, a walk MUCH better done in running shoes than my loafers.

The rain went in waves as I made the walk. Just for the heck of it, I just checked... 2.4 miles. I thought I needed some more exercise in my life. Guess I got it today, huh? Along the way I did encounter a really nice Capitol police man (who didn't grump at me for walking along the closed sidewalk - oooops) and I did get a nice addition to the scenery of the Capitol, as some of the Marines were out for their morning runs and exercise. Niiiiice.

I picked up my wallet and then began the mile walk to the metro. From the metro, it was another mile to get to the DMV. As I was walking along, I realized that there is somehow a hole that developed in my umbrella -- as I occasionally felt a drip on the top of my head which would proceed to make it's way down to the tip of my nose. I think CVS truly carries some busted umbrellas. I think this one made it almost a month. The saving grace was the DMV, who graciously does let you opt to keep your prior photo. The last thing I wanted was proof of my soggy appearance. I'll pass.

I'm actually excited to be back in the office. Newfound appreciation for my wacky, triangular office. It's looking mighty dry about now... and I'm loving my chair here, after the unexpected 4.4 mile walk.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

geaux tigers?

I'm an SEC girl. I like to think between the two different times I looked at schools in the South, I've pretty much got it covered.

  • Alabama - I grew up in an Alabama household. When I didn't go to UA, there was many a doubt if there would be a newly formed rift in the family. Thankfully, not the case.
  • Auburn - My college debut. Only a quarter, but still part of the mix.
  • Florida - Where I obtained my MBA. My Florida school of choice when it comes to sporting events, due to my tenure in the interesting state of FL.
  • LSU - Looked at going here once. Auditioned for the flute professor, but ultimately decided it wasn't meant to be.
  • Mississippi State - Geaux dogs ;) This is where my heart is, regardless of the sad sad scoreboard at football games as of late. Ah, I remember the better days...
  • South Carolina - The school that almost was. I almost transferred there sophomore year to do a double major in international business and music. I would have likely had no life. I ended up deciding to opt to stay closer to home.
  • Tennessee - My parents went to grad school here. Not a super strong connection, but one none-the-less.

I've gotta say, I think LSU fans are the craziest in the SEC. My sophomore year I marched in the band to waive my out-of-state tuition. I vividly remember as I was styling ever so much in those hideous polyester pants them having the girls in the inside of the formation as we marched in since the fans were throwing glass bottles at us. I remember them stealing some of our flag corps equipment. I think the icing on the cake was the 60-65 year old man who mooned our bus. Yeahhhh... so that's what I think of when I think of the LSU fan.

So I did feel a bit "dirty" last night as I stood at the bar with the Cajun, the Writer, and the Chef rooting, ironically, for the Tigers. Not a huge LSU fan. However, when it comes to SEC vs. anyone else, I'd like to think I'd default to whomever's the SEC team (with the exception of Ole Miss -- sorry. Never can do there). I originally headed over to catch up with friends but I'll admit to getting quite drawn into the game. I was victim to an occasional "stanging" from the Cajun. Oh well - makes me stronger... just jealous I beat you to your NY resolution? ;)

The scene was quite funny. To our right, there were about 4-5 deaf men watching the game. I was fascinated at their multi-tasking capabilities as they somehow managed to converse, eat their quesadillas, and watch the game without missing a beat. Very impressive. I was equally amused when, from time to time, they managed to turn around and shoot comments over our way in support of LSU. Spirit like that makes the stroll from my place even in cold weather worth it almost every time.

That and the new smoking ban. Let me tell you, people can complain about the potential loss to businesses and who knows, maybe it will change. I think that some though like yours truly will be more prone to venture out to such venues than perhaps in the past. Some of my city snob friends would definitely not schlep to VA or MD just to be able to have a cigarette alongside their beverage at the bar. I'm loving it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

still no regrets

Only the third day of 2007 and I've already broken some of my very personal resolutions. I think I spent a lot of yesterday angry at myself. I'm always thankful I'm not surrounded by critical people. because I'm hard enough on myself that I don't need any assistance. Last night while watching some quality female television, I was hoping to be able to write a bit, as that's always what helps me to feel better. But, there I was, pen to paper and no words were coming. I have always had a true understanding of the pain of writer's block, as it feels like you're bottled up, under pressure, with nowhere to go.

Sometimes, seeing things from another person's perspective can be the hardest thing to do. Perhaps they aren't even asking you to do, but you're left with some event or set of circumstances that you're trying to make sense of. I'll own up to not being able to see the other side of the coin. Sure, I'm understanding. I listen very well and surprisingly, there are a few select things in life I do manage to muster up a bit of patience for, and people are usually the exception.

It wasn't until today, sitting in my office, Excel spreadsheet open in front of me on my monitor (as usual) that it broke. I'd closed the door and put on some of my favorite Tori Amos and Aimee Mann on rotation on my iPod. And it broke. It's the weirdest thing. As I was listening to a rare Tori song that's my fave, Cool on Your Island, I had this feeling of peace and calm wash over me. It gave me goose bumps.

I realized that I don't know the outcome on lots of things. Perhaps I'll get a better sense eventually, but I don't know now - and that's ok. It will come in time. In that, I have faith. Taking circumstances and events out of the picture, I can't explain it but I could see the path from the other side of the road. I haven't truly walked a mile in those shoes and I might not necessarily feel like everything was the right way to go, but I can understand and respect the other side.

It's so easy to think people mean to do something and have it impact you a certain way, when that may or may not be the case. I don't know that I've ever truly been able to see both. And that's why as much as I was tempted yesterday to pull the regret card that I oh so emphatically avoid, I'm equally glad I didn't. I don't regret a thing.

So yes, no regrets. Still, no regrets.

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