Wednesday, May 30, 2007

do a little dance...

Ok, so now that it has been officially announced at work, I can mention that I'll be starting a new job shortly! I'm pretty excited about the change... it'll be a great opportunity and should be something to challenge me for quite awhile ahead. It's a bump up in responsibilities as well as expansion in breadth of role, so I'm thrilled.

I already had some vacation time scheduled to begin Friday. Most definitely can't wait on that one. Then it's back into the office a tad before formally ending out things here. The odd thing about leaving somewhere is that you learn who really appreciated you and to what extent. Why is it that positive feedback isn't reinforced to the same degree as the negative? Sorry... that's the HR preachiness coming out in me. I'll tone it back down!

Tonight it's off to catch some Shakespeare. What? Doest thou protest a trip to the theatre? Surely ye jest... the Fashionista's picked up a picnic spread that sounds like it wilt be divine...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

(long) weekend review: bikini chickens & circus freaks

Sassy and I managed to zig-zag across the DC metro area in fine fashion on Saturday. It was the Hill to Arlington and back (via car) ... and then the Hill to Arlington (Balllllllston, to be precise) and back ... and then out to U Street. Whew. That's a lot of commuting.

The first trip to Arlington was to my personal fave, Costco. Where else can you get inexpensive and yet surprisingly decent 8x10 enlargements and, at the same time, purchase enough jumbo franks + buns to feed a small army? Oh yeah. That would be Costco. This time no yoga apparel or Madonna CDs found their way into my cart. My wallet says gracias. Sassy might not be up for a repeat run though. I learned Costco's not her cup of tea. Well, call it my glass o' Lipton!

We ran home and then shot to the metro to go to Ballston (oh yeah, you know how I do love Ballston). As my response on the Evite said, "Oh my. Do I find myself going to Ballston again?". And the answer was, oh yes. I did. The theme of the party was "Grills Gone Wild". Unlike the last couple of parties, this one was a four townhouse party. Impressive. I'm already envisioning the new heights for next year's Jungle Bash...

The ratio of the party was pretty testosterone heavy... I'm not a great guestimator, but I'd say somewhere in the neighborhood of two to three guys to every one gal. Not too shabby. Perhaps this is why the guys seemed to congregate around (1) the kiddie pool complete with fountain at the center or (2) at the flip cup table, but of course. Sassy to me: "Isn't there something funny about a large group of grown men standing around a table trying to flip a plastic cup?". True... very true. And you all know my thoughts on the sanitation issues of the game. The funny thing was that D had set up this kid's toy called mount tiki-soak-ee... it was this carved face whose eyes rolled back... back... and back until water came shooting out of the top. Hilarious. The funny part was watching the guys playing flip cup trying to figure out why it was that they were getting sprayed every so often.

I learned all about beer can chicken. D had put a chicken on the grill that was cooking this way... it had a beer can um up the back, which supposedly is to keep the chicken moist. I think the chicken was there more for looks. It had a foil bikini that had been ever so carefully crafted. I commented about her defined mid-area divide... perhaps she'd had a C section? Again, based on the crowd (mainly male), this comment received some groans. Oh well. Sassy and I had to head out though to clean up for our evening out with the gals.

We had reservations for dinner at Coppi's Organic, one of my favorites. They were wanting something different and to perhaps head out on U Street, so Coppi's was ideal. We decided to go all out, being girl's night, and pulled out the dresses and skirts. Sassy and I thought we were running late, but ended up arriving before the others. She'd never been and looked at me puzzled as we observed the wait staff in front of us. Hmmmm. They looked like quite a motley crew. One guy looked like a flight attendant. Another girl had on a mustache. Another was wearing some sort of hot pink unitard. Yeah. We were clearly confused.

They seated us at our table and we waited for the others to arrive. Our waiter walked over. Helloooooo... looked much a la Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise. Many females would die for those locks. As the other four arrived, MsH was smiling as she realized the "fringe" benefit that came with our table as he came back with our drinks. She took one look at his belt and looked up at him and said "nice buckle...".

It was then that we finally asked what was the deal with the attire for the evening. We learned that it was one of the wait staff's last day at the restaurant and they were having a going away party for her after they closed that night. They let her pick the theme and she'd chosen circus freaks, which was the reason for the bizarre attire we'd already clearly noticed. "What are you?" MsH asked. We learned he was a Man-Child?!? Apparently he had some Depends in his car and other props to finish off his ensemble. Interesting. Sel had them bring out some raspberry champagne to toast to MsH's recent milestone birthday. She couldn't jet off to Greece then to avoid the moment, thankfully! We had him take a picture of us all as a group, before making sure to snag one with him as well.

From there, it was off to Cafe Saint-Ex (thankfully, uneventful -- another story for another time) and then Sassy and I made a pretty early exit. What a fab night out with the ladies!

Sunday Sassy and I had the gang over to our place to cookout. There was a chance of rain, but that had been the case for days so we decided not to let that rain on our parade (hah). People started to arrive, but we didn't want to rush too much into cooking as to allow others to arrive. We were down on the patio contemplating if we should start when winds flashing me back to my South Florida days started to pick up. Hmmmm. Perhaps we should get on it, we thought, and I ran in for the meat. We frantically threw a full round of burgers and hot dogs on the grill and started cooking.

We'd made it through the first round when the drops started to fall. Within about five minutes, the patio had begun to clear out, with only poor Seattle and Dr. P down manning the grill. Dr. P would later come in and it would be Seattle and Sassy holding down the show. It was quite a sight, Sassy holding an umbrella with her rain jacket on as Seattle kept the food a' coming. [Picture coming shortly]. I think Sassy and I are officially ready to grill away in the coming months.

Yesterday was all about relaxing... the pool in Georgetown had my name on it. Now I'm officially beach-ready. Just the little detail of these three pesky work days in between, otherwise known as Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Ick. May they pass quickly. Mentally, I'm already in vacation mode.

Friday, May 25, 2007

momma said knock you out...

So WSC gives you one complimentary session with a personal trainer. Why not. It's only right to take advantage of what's free, right? Perhaps not the smartest decision to do so bright and early at 6:30AM the day following Stang's birthday celebration, but technicalities...

For the first time ever, this morning I boxed. Hmmm interesting. Anyone who knows me probably finds this as amusing as I did. Surprisingly, I found it quite fun. He told me "put some force into it". Hmmm ok. Next go 'round I did, and oooops almost smashed him in the face. His reflexed though passed the test.

Thank goodness we're on the cusp of a long weekend. The weather promises to be good and I'm all about some cooking out. If I'd wanted to, I could be going to a cook-out every single day this weekend. I'm coming close though at two. Should be fun and eventful, of course.

In the interim... tick tock, tick tock... is it time to vamos yet?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

napoleon, give me some of your tots...

Last night, I made my first trip out to see one of the WAKA games. I can't say that I've played or witnessed a kickball game since, gosh, middle school? I headed over to Adams Morgan directly after work.

Overheard en route to the field:
"Yeah, I heard the team we're playing hasn't won a game. Supposedly they're much better though at flip cup."

I thought perhaps they were talking about the team I was going to watch, until I learned the guys I heard were part of the pink team I'd heard so much about from the Fashionista. Their tall white socks with pink stripes at the top were pretty fabulous.

Yeah, so it had been a long day and I didn't get much sleep the night before, but finally opted in to join in since Sassy mentioned we needed to continue with some celebrating (more on that in a future post). We weren't celebrating a win, but we did have a good time.

Last time I was at Adams Mill, it was freeeeeezing cold out and I remember all I wanted to do was get back home and under the covers. It was nice to be there under different circumstances. The whole game part of the process was clearly not the focal point of the evening. The music was fantastic, leading to spurts of dancing. Always encouraged. The Fashionista at one point commented that hearing Sweet Home Alabama on a weekly basis was making it lose some of its lustre. Blasphemy! This is perhaps reason alone why kickball just can't be in the cards for me, clearly. The Fashionista and I ended up splitting some of Adams Mill's finest (mmmm tater tots - taking me again back to those single digit years and fantastic elementary school lunches, right?).

With all the tot and elementary/middle school talk, just had to include this in.

Good times! Although I must admit, didn't persuade me to come over to the "dark side" and sign up next go 'round.
Lessons for the evening though include (1) do not wear your work clothes -- you will stand out and attract entirely too much attention, (2) it is definitely far quicker to walk on foot to Adams Morgan than to pay to ride the bus (and you save the $$, can't beat that), and (3) no one can convince me that there is anything remotely sanitary about flip cup - ever!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

weekend review: a 3 hour tour...

/Hawaiian punch

Friday was Afterhours at the Hirshhorn. Their Afterhours event always features their newer exhibit, a DJ, a bar, and a full-house (seems to always be sold out). AC said "this is soooo Sex and the City". I must agree (with the exception of the girl wearing the micro-hot pink skirt with black tulle overlay... I don't know what that was about). The exhibit this time was actually photography... works by Wolfgang Tillman.

I was pretty excited to see the photos. It was an interesting exhibition... definitely not my favorite. I was a little surprised my the method the work was displayed, including a lot of simple 4x6 and 5x7 shots, simply taped (gasp) directly to the wall with Scotch tape. Ick. But, that said, I think that was supposed to be part of the theme or spirit the artist was going for. Sort of urban, edgy, with several of the photos seemingly capturing people perhaps after having been out say dancing on the town or something along those lines. However, I think the exhibit would have definitely benefited by the photos having titles. Some photos are strong enough to have somewhat of an interpretation on their own merits. I felt like these shots though needed a little assistance that a title would have lent. I loved AC's comment on one pic. "That guy looks like he has blood running down his body. Blood, slash Hawaiian punch?". Yeah. We didn't know.

Saturday was more of the theme party mania. Can we go to non-themed functions? Nah. The challenge was trying to dress for party #2 without looking too random for party #1. I think we managed to pull it off just fine.

Oh those Havana Hill Nights...
First it was Dr. P and her roommate MD's "patio opening". Thankfully, the weather cooperated. Muchas gracias. It was a Cuban theme. Cuban beats were pumping, Che Guevara was on the laptop slide show, and the mojito magic was cranking at the hands of Dr. P and CK. They were already contemplating the next event, as we looked at the bricks from a bordering rowhouse forming the back wall of their patio area. We have Screen on the Green but what's our answer? Flicks on the Bricks, baby. Someone owns a projector. Can't wait for that.

Like Robinson Ca-rusoe, it's primitive as can be...
From there, it was off to a Gilligan's Island party, which was a farewell celebration for one of their roommates. By the time we arrived, the Island was dying down a bit. We were hoping for there to be some dancing involved, but it wasn't in the cards. The tiki torches were a nice touch, as was the coconut cream pie.

Typical Sunday, Hill-Style

MsH and WT joined Sassy and I back on the Hill (wow, making that two days in a row) for Brunch at Bread and Chocolate. Me to MsH and WT: "Brunch is more enjoyable at Bread and Chocolate if first-timers are told upfront that the place is more about the location, the good food, and the people you are with and that it's most definitely not about the service!". This was further confirmed as the staff proceeded to dump water all over and under the table where we were initially going to be seated. Plan B. I said, "Um, can you put us over there?", pointing to another table. They went over to clean that one, and proceeded to dump milk all over the bench. Argh. Me to the server, "Um, never mind. Can we go back to the initial table? The water seems to have dried?". It was too funny. Well, funny now. Then, it was slightly less funny, with the tiger-like growls my stomach was emitting. Not pretty.

Afterwards, Sassy split off to head on home and MsH, WT, and myself made our way back out to the market. What a perfect day for the market! The first stand we went to indicated that the trip was going to hit the wallet a bit. The dresses we found at forever, Heather were too good to pass up. The self-imposed shoe purchase restriction has now been expanded to include dresses, having purchased two over the course of the weekend. Ooops.

It was great to see all of the community still out at the market in full force. Today was the first time I really took a look at the inside of the market. As I've said before, I'm not too keen on a bunch of photos of it in its current state. What I did love was the beautiful blue sky with a smattering of clouds, and the ray of sunshine coming through the ceiling of the main building. It seemed to radiate the emotion of hope and the spirit of the community. This was a shot I really loved.

Continuous since 1873...

We all picked up t-shirts that are being sold to benefit the Capitol Hill Community Foundation. The shirts are $20 and $14 of the cost go towards this great cause. Read about the shirts here. You can order them online or pick them up Saturday and Sunday at their tent in the market. I believe they are usually in front of Port City Java, close to the intersection of 7th and North Carolina.

Just to note, tomorrow's the next fundraiser - Dining out for Eastern Market. If you haven't checked it out, definitely do so. It's a great cause and perfect opportunity to check out some Hill restaurants you've always meant to visit.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

barry white, gazpacho, and fondue fountains

How's that for a title for your daily hodge-podge of District ramblings?

My day began with a sprint as to not miss the Orange line train at the bottom of the escalator. I was elated as I barely slid into the car in advance of the "ding ding, doors closing" sound. As if that wasn't enough, oh no... there's more. It wasn't just the Orange line train... it was the Orange Line to Vienna-Fairfax, with none other than the Barry White train operator. This is where the non-audio nature of this blog inhibits my communication with you, the reader, but let's just say he has this distinctive, sing-song voice... has very much a Barry White tone to it. My sister and I love him. So much, that the last time I was on his train, I had to text her the second I got off of the train. Her response? "Oh my gosh. I love that guy. Are you in love?" Um, clearly.

My tongue is on fire. Our cafeteria is getting all fancy... today's soup offering: gazpacho. Oh my. I'm a bit of a gazpacho snob. It was my favorite when I studied abroad in Spain. Let me just say, I love my A/C. About as much as I love my A/C, I do not like strange red meat. Spain was definitely lacking in A/C but waaaaay to plentiful at time on the strange red meats. What I learned to love was some gazpacho. It gave me a meal of choice and, at the same time, was cold! Many times, it would even come served with ice in it. It served at least to momentarily offset that lack of A/C. Anyhow, I was skeptical that our cafeteria could swing gazpacho without it coming off as some sort of nasty tomato puree. I stand corrected. [Pero, mas agua, por favor!]

Last, but definitely not least, I was absolutely thrilled (sad, but true) to find a link to a YouTube clip of the Cheese Fondue Fountain from Saturday's Chiluau. Awesome. And, of course, you too now get to enjoy...

Monday, May 14, 2007

weekend review: leis, chili, & ballllllston...

(or Jungle Bash, Part Deux...)

Got Chili?

My understanding is it began as their answer to the $35/$40 ticket prices attached to DC's Chili Cook-Off. While there was no line-up of live music, there was the favorite 80s/90s party rock on rotation, complete again with the dancing flower in front of the speakers. Last year's celebration took it to the parking lot, with the party going from the houses out fully into the parking lot. Apparently "the management" squelched that from this year's offering, although I don't know that it was altogether too different. Upon walking up, you knew where to go. Like Jungle Bash, I'd heard plenty about the Chiluau in advance and was looking forward to checking it out, The party was the whole cluster of the four townhouses that were clustered together, with people out in the back spanning the whole "party runway" in between (AKA the sidewalk running back out into the parking lot).

The prime line-up though was the crock-pot line-up. It was a virtual buffet o' chili. I was a little concerned coming in. I don't like beans. I like my chili sans-beans (and I'm part of a select few that roll that way). I thought it might be hopeless when I saw D's comment on the Evite, stating "Attention Hippies: There will be vegetarian chili available. Please take Beano before the party". However, I was pleasantly surprised upon arriving to see the spread in variety, even including chicken. Aweso,e.

Fire it up!
There was actual voting on different categories. Tastiest... spiciest... most creative... best presentation... even a write-in category (my selection was best naming convention). The names were hilarious, including Derrick's Frickin' Chicken Chili, Hotter than Your Mom, Traci's Trucker Chili, and Becky's Bustin' BBQ Chili. My favorite name though was Stinkin' Hippie. It wasn't just Stinkin' Hippie. It was Stinkin' Hippie v. 2.0, stating "No animals were injured during the creation of this chili. Chili does not stink." Good thing I wasn't up from Miami visiting, seeing as the ballot upfront disqualified Floridians from voting. Guess they were aiming to avoid any potential hanging chad fiascos. Best presentation for us was clearly the Velveeta-y masterpiece here at the left. It started off chunkily sliding from tier to tier, but was soon rolling off like buttah!

The host was manning the grill, which definitely got Sassy and I thinking of learning how to tackle our own grill. She's got plans to take it for a test drive before we commit to a formal cook-out at our place. Thank goodness warm weather is here at last. It looked for a long time like the afternoon showers were inevitable, but thankfully they held off for the bulk of the afternoon. It was the perfect day, even if we were in Ballston... (kidding).

"Look at you, you have a baby... in a bar..."
We had a good crew... Sassy, WT, MsH, Buckeye, among others. There was an ecclectic crowd at the event as well. It was hard to keep up with who knew whom from where and how... with people going in and out of four different townhouses, all of which had I believe some four tenants. You do the math! I was surprised though to see a 3 week old baby there, even though yes, it was a cook-out in the afternoon. Something I guess struck me as ironic about that, as I weaved my way in front of the keg (?). One of the partygoers managed to catch my initial flash of confusion on that and I'm guessing that's a Kodak moment that will shortly be surfacing.
Of course, we started taking pics. D was wearing a straw hat with clip on flowers, similar to what I'd planned on making but ran out of time to complete. He was happy to contribute to the cause, so shortly thereafter we had flowers to complete our pics. Nice.

The event started at two though so around 5:30, we decided it was time for a change in venue. Sassy'd headed out with a couple of others to a party out in Rockville/Bethesda. I said um no to that hike, but WT and I decided we could handle hitting some spots on the Hill. MsH gave us a ride to the metro. En route to her car, WT decided to snag a photo of the pimped out Transmero we'd passed walking to the party. Of course, the guys working at the auto store decided to come out and talk to us (clearly, when you have loud floral print on, it's kind of hard to blend into ones surroundings). He told WT it was for sale, and she was trying to hold back laughter as she told him thanks, we'd keep that in mind. Guess you had to be there, but yeah, pretty funny. So funny MsH was tearing up!

Back on the Hill, WT and I ran into E2 en route back to my house. Why is it when you are dressed in random theme attire that you all of the sudden manage to see a whole slew of people? He was headed out with some friends and we made plans to meet up later. In between wading our way around through three different massive downpours (spread out just so we'd be drenched and dry out and then drenched again - nice), I managed to show WT quite a line-up of Hill faves... from Finn's to Banana Cafe to the Lounge. Might make her a Hill rat just yet!

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my momma always said...

There are lots of choices we get to make in life. A career. What type of car we're going to purchase. What we're going to do with our vacation time. What people we're going to let in our odd lives. There are also things we don't ultimately control. It's like there are multiple chutes that we can funnel our way through that are defined. And then there are some things that we are just dealt and for better or worse, we must live within that realm.

Parents - they are one of those things. We don't get a choice in defining who those are... somewhere along the way, they made decisions. Chose each other and to bring you into the picture. It's one of those life equations where you're the end result. Standing there on the opposite side of the equal sign.

Today at church our pastor's sermon focused on mothers. Their seamingly boundless "strength" from the perception of a young child's eyes. The way they can do no wrong, know all the answers to the seemingly unanswerable, managing to instantaneously receive god-like powers from the moment of delivery on that hospital bed. He rationalized that the reason behind these powers was not that they were something supernatural, but the faith lying behind the eyes of the little one peering up at their mother. That was the true reason. And that, over time, the perception of these powers began to fade, leaving the child with the realization that their mother was in the end human, with faults, just like the person to her right and left.

I heard his words and the message behind the sermon was very powerful. But I still believe in the magic of mothers. At 27, I might look at my mom and realize she has faults. I'm sure she can do the same to me. But I also see all of the other things she's managed to do that could never be outweighed by any of those things on the other side of the fence.

I see someone who learned every subject I learned going through school. Someone who always managed to have time to shuttle me around to all the different things I was into, from ice skating to piano lessons. Stayed up late at night recording the main points on biology on cassette tapes, so I could listen to them and better memorize... helped with countless science projects... helped to go to battle with teachers when my voice wouldn't be heard. If there's a stain that won't come out on an item of clothing, chances are my mom knows what to do. People often asked me how I handled my mom teaching at my school. My answer was meet my mom and then you can understand why it clearly is not an issue.

I don't know. I beg to differ. I don't believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy -- all those other things that we lose as we gain in years. But I still believe in the magic of mothers. I hope that some day when a pair of eyes are looking back up towards me, that I too are so blessed with the Midas touch. And even though perhaps that "touch" is all in its perception, it's truly a type of magic that just can't be paralleled.

"Mama says they was magic shoes. They could take me anywhere." - Forrest Gump

I still believe. Oh yes, I still believe.

Being a mother I think has to be one of the hardest jobs anyone can sign on to undertake, and on this Mother's Day - as every year and really every day, I'm really thankful for all my mom's done for me. Thankful she chose to sign on for the task. Thankful that she's my best friend. Truly thankful.

Friday, May 11, 2007

i promise i brought clothes to the party

Last night it was another benefit event as a part of the Team Cuttler campaign. I'd gotten The Writer to join in on the festivities, which began with a nice little cruise on DC's public bus system. The Writer's comment to me went something like this: "I never take the buses around here. How does this work? Where do we get on?" as we screamed trying to converse over the random (and very loud) free concert at Farragut Square. Thanks for the thought. Will ear plugs be provided next time? Just a little feedback there.

I'd never been to Bourbon in Adams Morgan. I will admit to having attended the sister establishment of the same name in Glover Park upon many occasions, in large part due to a massive crush (harmless) on the bartender who bore striking resemblance to Dave Matthews. Drool. I chose to overlook the tattoos that adorned his arms. Wonder if he's still there... ok, I digress. So yeah, it was nice to have a reason to check out a new spot as well as to know this was sort of a "bring-your-own-crew" type of party, since it was basically guaranteed that we'd know at least 75% of the attendees.

I'd agreed to sell raffle tickets to help out with the cause. However, I finally learned that they were selling them at the door, which meant I was hard to find takers once they'd entered the bar. Sad. So what's a girl to do? Clearly, make them props. Perhaps if people had them in front of their face, they'd be more quick to pay the $2 per ticket. The Fashionista and I had waaaay too much fun with those tickets. And were really amused to discover that most of the pics seemed to miss that we were wearing clothes altogether, since I was wearing a tube top and she was wearing a strapless dress. I promise, we were both fully clothed, even if the photographic evidence would suggest otherwise.

The Writer offered to help me sell some tickets. Her report back cracked me up. She said it was a summary of who not to date in DC, as she pointed out the guys who with a straight face said "but, I paid $10 to get in, and then I've been buying drinks". To which she replied, "Um, they're only $2?". When they had no reply, she said, yeah, clearly not high on the list of DC's most eligible. C'mon. It's for a good cause.

Ever have nights where the pictures are just far too random for the event? Yeah, that's probably a good summary for last night, from the Bama can-can to all of the fun pics of our friends serving as guest bartenders. Sadly, MF's tip jar didn't surpass the $100 threshold. Who knows what would have ensued then.

But what a fun night. The Writer and I finally grabbed a cab outta there after 11. We've both learned the important lesson of living on the Hill -- never disclose your destination until you're in the cab, seatbelt fastened. As we left out, our cabbie was pulled over by a cop for picking us up from across the road. Interesting. No ticket, but a pretty stern barking reprimand from the cop.

So I must admit, I felt a bit like I was still in college this morning as I am mentally in weekend mode. Oh well. I guess we all have weeks like that.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

out for a cause

Last night was the Rescue Eastern Market Night. Sleepy and behind at work, I still managed to make it out to support the cause. I met up with WT, Coop, and EH for some quality time at Tunnicliff's. We chose Tunni's since they were donating 10% of their profits to the Capitol Hill Community Foundation's 'Eastern Market Keep it Going' fund. I tell you - I don't know that I have ever seen the place quite like that.

The exterior gave the false sense that it wasn't going to be crazy packed. The interior proved to be the polar opposite. You could tell the employees were a bit frazzled by the massive increase in customers, but they were good sports about the whole thing. When we were finally seated, they had to bring half of our waters in styrofoam cups. We didn't mind the lack in fine china (hah not that Tunni's really has that anyhow - and we love it for that), as it definitely indicated a great turnout.

I ran into E2 and his friend T there. I still say I love the Hill. I love that I run into people out that I know. That happened oh say never in Dupont.

Because we wanted to continue to contribute to the cause, we wandered up Penn a bit for an additional stop at 18th Amendment. I told WT that we just have so many reasons to not stay home to help out so many great causes... Thursday night, we're off to Adams Morgan to support Team Cuttler's campaign to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The evening ended on a humorous note, with WT commenting "oh my! someone lost their weave..." - lamenting what appeared to be the remnants of a hair weave in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue.

I haven't seen final figures for what last night's benefit evening managed to raise, but it has to be good. It looks like the fund was at $170,000 prior to last night's event. I love the fund's slogan... "Our Market; More than a building". Next event - Dining Out for Eastern Market on May 21st.

Just can't put into words how much I love being part of the community there. From someone who's for so long solely claimed her birth state (AL) as home, it's nice to finally have a true second home to claim.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

benefit goes gotham

(... or why Duane Reade is still my boyfriend)

So, after a quick run back to Dr D's, we were back to Manhattan for our evening on the town. She'd got us tickets to see the
closing evening of Jane Eyre. Having never seen an off-Broadway production, it was interesting to see the differences in the presentation styles. The set was much more simplistic, but was still effective. Really glad that Dr D invited me to join in.

From there we headed on over to the benefit.
Red Sky was a pretty cool venue. We had the third floor roof top area reserved, which was nice and open but proved chilly as the temps began to drop. Guess my cap-sleeved new dress didn't help, but it sure looked nice!

Cold and wanting to make a beeline for the dance floor, we ended up crashing the birthday party downstairs. The DJ got us out there with the typical 80s/90s selections that somehow seem to work everytime.

I was making faces at Dr D as I noticed the guy behind me who had been dancing closer, seemingly thinking that was going to get me to talk to him. Do guys really think that's going to get them somewhere? Ok, especially considering obviously dancing is not their forte? Anyhow, another great event for such a great cause.

Being Dr D's last weekend, I wanted to make sure we had a great night. As it started to get really packed, I suggested a change in venue. Once she learned I am into karaoke, we were quick to choose the next stop.

Karaoke 1 at Union Square was a blast. I wish there was somewhere comparable on DC's metro line. Although, perhaps that would be a dangerous thing. There were a few different groups there and can't say I've ever seen NYC so communal. Love it.

I chose to sing "Extraordinary" (Liz Phair), which I learned goes a lot lower than I notice when screaming errr I mean singing over Liz. Dr D picked "Baby One More Time". Ahhh Britney. She proved a crowd pleaser. We ended up there as it became a smaller group, and they'd try to get us to join in on their more soulful selections, such as Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing". A bit of selection contrast!

It was rather late as we got off the subway in Flushing. Thankfully, Duane Reade was nearby, since I realized I had $0.50 to my name. Bless you Duane. My cold self and sore blistered feet never loved you so much.

It was way too early when I had to head back into the city for brunch. I met the Master and Suave and crew at
Blue Water Grill in Union Square. Fabulous brunch.

The rest of the day was long... from Manhattan to Long Island and back around the city to DC. I was loving my bed as I crawled in last night close to 11. Such a fun weekend. And now off to love on my bed some more. Batteries still aren't quite fully recharged and ready for the week ahead.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

uptown girls

I love that within 15 minutes of being in Manhattan, I could already smell the cinnamony smell of roasting peanuts from a street vendor. That I'd already been passed by two different people comfortable enough, or more likely indifferent enough, to be jamming and singing aloud to their iPods.

And it's amazing how you can have been away for quite some time, but it's so easy to just head down into the metro and transfer trains, just as if it were yesterday when you were last here. Nevermind that the truth is it was over a year ago.

I love that I've now been to NYC enough that I can come to NYC without having an exhaustive list of must-sees. My must-do's instead was a list of people to see and places to eat and wander through. My ideal way to visit a city once it's become an old friend.

Friday was about the trip in. Ok, so I'd boasted that the 2pm bus would beat the traffic. It still is far superior to the one that leaves after work on Friday, but think I'd take it even earlier next time 'round. Traffic coming out of DC was thick for sure, although it really could have been much worse.

I met Dr D and her friend at Times Square for some pizza at John's, my fave. It was Dr D's last day of rotations, so it was definitely cause for celebration. I remember a visit to NYC that doesn't seem too too long ago where that series of rotations was just beginning.

Saturday we headed to SoHo to enjoy the day. The weather was absolutely perfect. Not a cloud in the sky. Warm, but not hot. And we had nowhere immediate to rush to. Perfect.

On the subway, we were serenaded by a mariachi trio (nice). We thought that would be our slice o' Cinco de Mayo, but ended up continuing the theme as we happened on Gonzalez y Gonzalez - a pretty large Mexican restaurant on Broadway, just on the edge heading into SoHo.

The afternoon become shoes + sugar. I admit to a relapse here in self-induced shoe detox (does super practical and functional qualify as an exemption?). We ended up over at Crumbs, a new cupcake place for me out of the NYC cupcake afficionado scene.

Having been to Magnolia and Buttercup Bakeshop, gotta say this one ranks right up there. They even offered mini-cupcakes (definite plus). I personally endorse the lemon buttercream. Mmmmm.

Since this is getting long and I'm getting finger cramps for deciding it would be smart to click away at this on my Blackberry, think I'm going to break this into two. Perhaps after brunch + latte, etc...


Friday, May 04, 2007

the wheels on the bus...

Today I'm off to NYC, the first in my series of upcoming travels. First it's NYC, then it's off to Destin, and then my first trip to California. Promises to be a fun and eventful spring/summer.

I'm headed up to see my friend DP who is about to move to St. Louis to start her residency. She leaves NYC on Wednesday, so I'm just barely catching her before she heads out. We've got a pretty laid back weekend planned out, which I'm looking forward to. She asked what I wanted to do for the weekend and my priorities were (1) NYC pizza, (2) cupcakes at Magnolia, and (3) shopping in SoHo. I think those three things are becoming my NYC essentials. Anyhow, so that's our plan! Along with seeing a show Saturday night and then heading over for the benefit event that is actually how I ended up choosing this weekend in the first place.

I schlepped all of my luggage on the metro this morning. Always fun. Even managed to carry it all as I was concealing a Dunkin' Donuts iced latte I'd smuggled on. After last night going later than planned, it was a necessity - not a luxury. It helps to make a Friday less painful when there's caffeine flowing through your system along with knowing it's only a half-day for you, cause I'm outta here post-lunch.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

$$ for the market

For those of you yet to see it, next Tuesday there are quite a few local bars which will be donating a certain percentage of their proceeds to the effort to rebuild Eastern Market. If you don't have plans next Tuesday, you should definitely try to make it out to support these great, generous businesses and, most importantly, a really great cause.

And look, even Science Club is on there, so those of you not wanting to head to the Hill, you even have an option ;-)

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

no one puts baby in a corner

One of the most classic film quotations of cheesey(/great) chick flicks of all-time. Period.

I still remember the first time I saw Dirty Dancing. I must have been ten, and I don't think I'd seen any movies classed as PG-13 before. I was over at a friend's house for a sleepover party with some 5-6 other girls. The racier components/innuendo flew over our heads. We were much more interested in the love story, the music, and of course the dancing.

I remember us rewinding the part where Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey sing Mickey & Sylvia's "Love is Strange" and singing at the top of our lungs. How do you call your loverboy? We thought we could mambo just like they did in the movie. The most complicated decision of the evening was who would lead, as we tried to immitate a much more simplistic form of the basic dances we saw on-screen.

Granted, we most definitely didn't try the lifts. [That would come later in college in the prime of my swing dancing kick, with the low point being my head on the cement of the fraternity house basketball court -- ooops]. But we sure had fun.

Deep Thoughts on Life... by Johnny Castle...
I'm gonna do my kind of dancin' with a great partner, who's not only a terrific dancer; somebody who's taught me that there are people willing to stand up for other people no matter what it costs them; somebody who's taught me about the kind of person I wanna be...

Never had I seen DD on the big screen. Until today. Oh yes. In honor of the 20th anniversary of its release, DD was re-released. There were only 2 showings, one today at 7:30PM and the other yesterday at the same time. Along with some friends, our tickets were purchased on Fandango last week in advance to ensure no issues with getting in.

Little wimp. He wouldn't know a new idea if it hit him in the pachenga...

Yeah, so excellent call Dr P on the Fandango-ing. Some of us started off the evening at the Green Turtle (formerly Drinx). Not half-bad, although you could instantly tell they'd just opened and were sorting out the little kinks here and there. It was a short visit though, as we had our minds on the important part of the evening.

As we walked up to print out our tickets from the machine, we saw "SOLD OUT" flashing up on the display. Yeah. Three cheers for planning. The Writer and I jetted ahead to secure a block of seats for the crew. We were in the very back row, which proved to be key for stashing our random pile of daily odds and ends along with allowing us to dance, gesture, and comment to our hearts content with minimal disruption to those around us. Fabulous. Dr P was the last to arrive, but she brought her newest Southernly proper hat purchased for the occasion along with other "squire-ly" items for the evening.

Once the movie started though, the audience participation was clearly fully supported by the crowd. Granted, it was not to the extent of Rocky Horror Picture Show, but it was fun. Acording to Em, it was officially a return to "Patrick Swayze: The Hot Years". Oh yes. The cheering was frequent, with the exception of the initial tension. Gasp. The movie was started much um stretched horizontally. It was like Dirty Dancing meets the Big Screen meets Laffy Taffy. No. It soon flicked off the screen and the screen came in a bit and all of the sudden, things weren't distorted. Much appreciated, Regal.

Back of Audience Member's Shirt:
"I carried a watermelon?!?"

The best though had to have been when the final number came on. Of course the crowd was in an uproar as Johnny declared "no one puts baby in a corner". But the best had to have been as "I've Had the Time of My Life" came on and that final dance number began. A group of about ten audience members were on their feet and dancing all along in front of the front row of chairs.

I can't remember the last time I've had this much fun at the movies. What a fun girl's night out. Refreshing to feel ten all over again, if only for an hour and a half.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

i'm not ready to make nice

To: DC DMV, Adjudication Services
From: LJ
Re: Violation P113 ("Inspect No Disp Sticker")

Back on Tuesday, April 3rd I received a ticket for not displaying a zone sticker in my car window. I was parked directly across the street from my residence in the proper zone for my vehicle. I was surprised, as there is a sticker in the front left-hand window of my car, where it has been displayed since I obtained the final zone 6 permit back on January 5, 2007 from the Georgetown Office of the DMV.

Enclosed you will find the receipt for payment of this permit for zone 6. Prior to that time, I had a temporary permit that was displayed on the dash in the same location when my car was initially purchased back in October 2006.

I have enclosed a photocopy of the initial temporary certificate prepared at ___ Honda, as all paperwork was handled by the Business Manager at the dealership initially. Should you need to contact them to verify this process, they can be reached at ____.

I have also enclosed two photos of the vehicle, showing the sticker in the window as it was affixed at the time of the ticket.

I hope this helps to clarify that I am registered to legally park in zone 6 and was not in violation of anything at the time of the ticket. Please let me know if I can further assist in this matter and thank you for your attention.



[And may the best WOman win...]

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i'm freezing that frame

As I was walking home from the metro after work, I noticed several people go by me with their professional camera gear towards Eastern Market, presumably to take photos.

Why? I don't get it. All day long, we've seen a barrage of photos showing the damage. The news channels clearly have their photos to capture the day's events. I don't have any desire on my part to take one as a momento of what happened today. I must admit, it made me a bit angry to see.

Looking off from 8th Street, I did not need to cross through to get close enough to see the damage. It was sadly perfectly noticeable from where I was. Eastern Market is a large part as to why I chose this neighborhood, electing to the shock of some of my Dupont dwellers to make a change from my red line days. It's representative of the community that is the Hill. That friendly spirit and neighborhood feel that drew us in.

I am sad I will not be in town this weekend to go if, in fact, they do open on Saturday. I read that Saturday was/is to have been Market Day, a fundraiser. I also saw they are pursuing options which would enable the vendors to be able to set up their stores in other areas nearby.

I love the Hill. The smiling eyes. Even the family with kids on bikes that make it impossible for you to speed walk to the metro as you would like.

But I guess the lesson is that community lives on, without a building. In watching the video footage from Fox News, it's obvious that the residents remain a community. So this photographer won't be snapping away at the state of the market today. Instead, I've spent my time pulling out some of my favorites of the market at its best.

After all, these photos represent what it really is - as well as what it will again someday be.

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