Sunday, December 28, 2008

Night Cap

The other night I went to my first hockey game. I went with my friend Rick who I've known for about four years. His hometown team was playing so he was very excited and I couldn't really cheer for the Washington Caps. I'm afraid of heights so being in the nose bleed 400 section was not initially pleasant. A couple of beers helped though. I was hoping to see one of those infamous hockey fights but it didn't happen. I got the feeling that most of this crowd was not made up of DC residents or frequent visitors other than to hockey games and possibly work. It was a fun night out though - something I'd do with a boyfriend. People have often asked why I'm not dating him since: he is straight, actually likes to go out dancing, we hang out all the time and always seem to have fun. Well, I now realize why. Rick is the eternal frat boy - just not in the really annoying way that some can be. He is a mature frat boy. But for a man in his late thirties, I've never taken him seriously for precisely that reason. While I enjoy partying, it's like a sport for him. He's always had a roommate, plays every college-like sport there is, keeps beer in his car, always knows of a buddy throwing a get together which consists of beer, chips and watching a game, only likes to drink in bars that support his hometown teams...You get the picture.
We went back to his place for a late dinner and movies. And just like guys in college, I had to remind him that we were "just friends" and I was not interested in "fooling around". We're both used to the conversation. I think he figures that he might as well try. He fell asleep in the middle of the movie after his second beer. I called a cab.
And as usual, he called the next day to see if I wanted to hang out at his buddy's "kick-ass" party.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays

What does a single girl do for the holidays when her artist mother has uprooted and moved to yet another city and her married with kids sister is on the verge of divorce? Uh, stay home and make the most of the solitude, of course. While I do have several single compadres to share the holidays with, I've realized that I'm just not a holiday kind of girl. Which is not the same as a grinch - thank you very much! So, I just chose to stay home with me, myself, and I. What did I do?

12:00 noon - woke up and made coffee; check many voice mails and texts. Man, people love holidays! Is this the only legitimate time to communicate with people you know?
12:45 - realized that once again, like Thanksgiving, I'm getting all sorts of text messages from numbers I don't recognize or people I haven't spoken to in over a year. What's up with that?!
1:00 - more coffee with poached eggs and bacon
2:00 - call to sister who almost immediately engages in argument with husband. End call abruptly. Whew! Glad I'm not married.
2:30 - settle in with coffee and begin watching the traditional NBA Christmas double-header. Nothing like big, sweaty men!
3:30 - text messages to and from long distance friends (that I actually talk to on a regular basis) that continue throughout the day.
4:00 - check email; add to and re-order Netflix list. This takes quite some time.
6:00 - make list of what needs to be cleaned, fixed, or thrown away before the new year. I have a phobia about going into the new year with dirty, unfinished stuff.
7:00 - get work done on projects that start in January
9:00 - distract myself with clothes on shopbop.com and netaporter.com. Decide that I need a new look for 2009. But what?
10:00 - realize that beer is making me sleepy and hungry and decide to come up with an innovative dinner out of food in the fridge. Innovative indeed since I have not been grocery shopping in a month
10:30 - decide on a fish stew that combines Asian and African flavors: yummy!
12:00am - while stew simmers, write in journal. Reflect on the bad man choices but applaud those I didn't return to in 2008. Get a head start on New Year's resolutions.
2:00 am - hot bubble bath, candles, soft music, and....sleep.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Love the Blogosphere

I have been outrageously slow in posting lately. Blame it on the cold weather or my crazy draining job or the stressful holiday season...yada, yada. Ok, I'm just a slacker. Well, anyway, last weekend I am happy to say that I finally met up with Shaw Girl, the author of Adventures in Shaw. I am now completely convinced that men in DC have no reason to complain about the availability of great single women. Shaw Girl is a cool, talented, funny, cooking/baking, photographer who can even tango. And she's my neighbor, which is why I love the blogosphere. In this workaholic city we live in, the two of us may never have met were it not for the web. Fortunately, after many emails and text messages, we finally met up at the 14th street Busboys and Poets. Our original plan was hot chocolate at ACKC but it was packed (darn yuppies!). We had some tasty desserts even though my bread pudding resembled stuffing and I would have preferred her sweet treats that I've drooled over on her blog. But the real treat was the conversation. It's nice to know that you're not alone when it comes to crazy guy stories. And it's nice to know that we single girls somehow remain sane in the process.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quantum of Solace: Planes, Boats, and Automobiles

Last night I needed some eye candy so I went to see the second James Bond film starring Daniel Craig as Bond, Quantum of Solace. I absolutely loved Casino Royale and I'm not even that big of a James Bond fan. But this one? Not hardly as much. Like some other reviewers, I agree that there was not enough of the super cool Bond, the glitz, glam, swagger, and sex. In this one, he comes across as mean, callous, unhappy, overconfident (even for James Bond), and just plain stupid. I'm not a guy and even I couldn't understand how he didn't take time to sleep with the main leading lady, Olga Kurylenko, who is gorgeous. After a while, those action scenes in various forms of transportation were just starting to look unbelievably goofy. But then...ok, the man is just hot! The penetrating eyes, the walk, the pout, and the ability to wear anything like nobody's business (as the pictures illustrate). And you've gotta love Judi Dench. She's one of the best actresses ever. By the end of the movie, all you can say is that you want Daniel Craig on your side in times of trouble.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

You and Your Queue

I have to admit that I'm one of those Gen X'ers who can't quite keep up with the new stuff. You know what I mean: ipods, iphones, digital cameras, tivo...you name it. Heck, I don't even have cable. So, it's no wonder that I'm a recent convert to Netflix. And now I'm addicted. I find myself messing around with my queue way too often. I'm checking on what's coming next, adding stuff at 3 am, re-ordering it several times, etc. Of course, this probably has something to do with the fact that's it's so frigid out that even I don't want to go out and watching a movie with a glass of wine seems like such a better option. Given the suggestions I'm offered based on my selections, I got to wondering about what my queue says about me and whether or not I can be easily categorized. Let's see, what do I have in my queue right now?

  • Mad Men Season 1
  • Amelie
  • Bourdain: No Reservations
  • Diva
  • World in the Balance
  • Party Girl (why don't I own this?!)
  • The Starter Wife
  • Project Runway: Season 4 - very long wait :(
What does this say about me? Special request: send me an email or comment and share your queue. What does it say about you?

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Holiday Musings

I'm not a big fan of holidays for various reasons (massive consumerism, useless unexamined traditions, etc.) but mainly because they're rarely single people-friendly and almost always encourage unrealistic expectations. I also find it strange that holidays evoke behavior in people that doesn't exist any other time of the year, not to mention for a day whose origins and meanings people don't even get. Take a day like today, Thanksgiving, for example. How many of us really know the true origins of this day other than what we were taught in elementary school? Like most other holidays, it's been revised and reconceptualized to suit individual needs. Ask most people about Thanksgiving and they'll probably say it's a day to give thanks. Well, here are some questions:

  • Why not give thanks everyday?
  • Why must a whole turkey be cooked and eaten but rarely any other time of the year?
  • Do we have to visit family members (who may just royally annoy us) during a rare 4-day weekend and fight traffic and crowds? There are 365 other days of the year to do this.
  • Why is it that everyone becomes generous on this day, even those who are the most selfish any other time?
  • Why are we feeding the homeless on one day of the year? Does anyone care what they're eating the day after Thanksgiving?
  • And why have I gotten over 10 text messages wishing me a "Happy Thanksgiving" from numbers I don't even recognize and/or from people I haven't even heard from in a year?

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Time to Hibernate

Have I mentioned how much I dislike cold weather? Even though I grew up in the Midwest, my body never adjusted to harsh winter weather. This is a major reason why I will be hibernating all weekend long. But besides that, I just need a break. For one, my job has fully exhausted me and I just might take the entirety of next week off. I also just got into a fight with my married older sister with three kids yet again, over her bossiness and lack of understanding about what it's like being single - for one's entire life! I'm beginning to believe that I really don't like ANY married people and have never been fond of older siblings. How is it that I'm in my thirties and she's still trying to boss me around? My consulting side gig almost brought in a new client which would have been great holiday money. As luck would have it, it fell through - couldn't afford the services after all. Guess they were running low on disposable income just like me. What else? Oh yes, the other day I was completely dissed by my neighborhood bar/restaurant. While I've never considered Old Domionion Brewhouse to be the best when it comes to service or food, I can always count on a good, affordable beer, familiar faces, and neighborhood gossip. When the place is like two blocks away, you can't beat that. And what the hell else is on 9th street near the Convention Center? Unfortunately, I made the mistake of ordering food. When the food was cooked incorrectly, I told the bartender who then talked to the manager. The reply from the bartender: "the manager said you could order something else." Huh? I just wanted what I ordered cooked the right way. Is that so hard? What's really messed up is that the manager never spoke directly to me. As much money as I've spent in that place, I felt violated. Needless to say, I paid my bill without a tip and left. And I won't be going back, ever.
On the positive side, my apartment is stocked with: good wine, Netflix movies, Le Petit Ecolier dark chocolate cookies, and lavender bubble bath. I also learned that mega fashion site, net-a-porter.com, has just launched a new set of virtual boutiques to make it easier to find the items you want. For me, it's like window shopping online. I love dropping things into my "shopping bag" that I will never buy and it gives me ideas for when I go to stores for us normal people. Let the hibernation begin!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pretty Good Weekend

Even as City Girl, I can't say that I have these awesome weekends. When I'm actually working even a somewhat typical Monday thru Friday 9-5 job, I often spend large amounts of time at home bumming around in bed, on the phone, watching mindless TV, eating peanut butter out of the jar, etc. When evening arrives, I consider going out. I look at all the options in terms of what's going on, offers I've gotten and based on what sounds good, will decide on a destination. Only then will I shower, get dressed and head out. This of course, is usually followed by getting in well after 2am and then recovering the next day. I do sometimes try to throw in the occasional errand during the day but that's only if I'm feeling ambitious or a persistent friend gets me out of bed.
This past weekend was actually pretty jam packed with activity. While hanging out at my neighborhood wine bar, I met a really fun and interesting Seattleite here on business. Being the Ambassador of Fun that I am, we hung out afterwards in Adams Morgan and then did the DC tour the next day until late in the night. After my really bad date the weekend before, this was a pleasant surprise even though this was strictly platonic hanging out which is perfect for me right now. The next night was was dancing with old friends to house music on U Street at Almaz Bar at Saturday Soul Sessions. Late night food at the newly re-opened New Bing Wong in Chinatown was definitely in order. The next night was Redskins football watching at Nellie's with Mitch. Even though Mitch is gay, I introduced him to the place and he thinks a gay sports bar is an oxymoron. Go figure.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When Hope Turns Weird

Perhaps I was inspired by the outcome of the presidential election, but I unwisely went on a date the other night. The guy seemed normal enough but... Ok, I won't even go into the details. It isn't worth it. All I know is that the older I get and the longer I live in DC, the less I can tolerate. What's worth telling is what happened afterwards. I ended the date early and since I was in Dupont Circle and didn't feel ready to go home, I took myself to Kramerbooks. I was determined to forget about the awful date by picking up a good read and satisfying my chocolate craving. Of course, a strong martini was in order as well. I parked myself at the cafe bar and flipped through the City Paper while I waited for my Death by Chocolate. Almost done with my martini, the bartender informs me that the couple behind me has purchased another drink for me. Couple? I turn around and see a cute, seemingly 20-something guy/girl couple smiling at me. Ok, this had never happened to me so I was rather confused. It's rare these days to get a guy to buy me a drink, let alone a couple. I figured that maybe they felt sorry for the poor single girl sitting alone on a Saturday night. I waved a thank you and turned back to my chocolate. It didn't take long for the girl to come over and sit next to me. She introduced herself and explained that they saw me sitting alone and just wanted to do something nice. I pretended this was not weird and we preceded to have a normal gal pal conversation. I told her all about my bad date and we talked about the problems with dating in DC. Soon after, the guy came over and he ordered us all shots. So of course the conversation starts to flow! They tell me that their solution to the dating dilemma has been to have an open relationship. These two were actually not even in a relationship. They were friends and in relationships with other people. They go out occasionally, have sex, and their partners are ok with it. Not only that, they often invite others to have sex with them! Alrighty then, is all I could say. Could DC single life get any weirder? I now understand this ad (above) for Kramer's much better.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change. It's About Time!



I'm starting to feel better already.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

In a Weird Place

...why do I feel like I'm in a weird place? No, it has nothing to do with Halloween. I don't recognize this date as a holiday and haven't dressed up since I was 12. But bad things have happened recently and I've been in a slight funk. Is it that I'm exhausted from working a new, very cerebrally challenging job? Is it that I'm undergoing a major life change? Is it that I'm sensing a societal, political, and cultural shift that is undetectable only to those asleep or on another planet? Is it that I hate cold weather and don't want to go anywhere further than two blocks from my apartment, which limits me to like two places. Who knows?
What I do know is that I spent an evening playing a game (darts) I would never have considered playing and getting drunk with a man I've known for 4 years now and still wonder if I'm destined to be "friends" with men because I have never found what I want. Maybe what I want doesn't exist anymore. Could that be? A guy who likes to cuddle. Who wants to come home and watch Netflix movies and have hot chocolate when it's cold. A man who likes to hold hands while shopping. A man who wants to go to NBA games and snuggle up at Clyde's afterwards. A man without drama. A man who respects and values me the way I respect and value him. A man who is mine and only mine. It's the American girl's dream isn't it? Can these politicians promise me that? Unfortunately not.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Columbus Day Fun

video

I ended up spending part of my Columbus Day holiday hanging out at Timberlake's in Dupont Circle with Mitch and a bartender friend who had just gotten off work. Late in the evening, a group of dark-haired men carrying guitars walked in. I was told that they call themselves the Gypsy Dogs and are part of a flamenco band. They sometimes stop by after a performance and do a little impromptu set. Kind of weird coincidence given that Columbus was commissioned by the Spanish monarchy to take his fateful trip across the Atlantic Ocean. As the story goes, Columbus was looking for a new route to the East. Earlier that evening I had dinner at Malaysia Kopitiam. The curry laska noodle soup was hot, spicy, and delicious and just what I needed as I've been getting over a cold/allergy/sinus thing and needing to open up my nasal passages. Flan for dessert over at Habana Village would have been nice but I was stuffed. And yes, Columbus spent quite a bit of time in Latin America and the Caribbean. While I certainly can't say I celebrate Columbus Day, this diversity of food available to me in this country makes me appreciate world travelers. In a melancholy sort of way, I am just thankful that Columbus and his band of colonizers didn't wipe out all indigenous people.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Me - Getting Serious

Ok, so this blog is in no way political. Well, I guess you could argue that everything is political - relationships in particular. But I am really not a politics kind of gal, which is the perfect lead into my big issue right now - Sarah Palin. I'm all about women having power, but this just offends me. Look, I'm not even going to get into my party preference, voting tendencies, and stand on major issues. This shit is about right and wrong and to be honest, I'm scared. I saw the Vice Presidential debates and the Katie Couric interviews, which just got worse and worse each day. Here's just a little of what scares me about the Republican Vice Presidential nominee:

  • Thinks being gay is a choice
  • Seems to think the morning after pill is an abortion pill
  • Thinks global warming is part of some cyclical weather pattern and not due to human activity
  • Can't/won't name a newspaper she's read
  • Can't name a Supreme Court case other than Roe vs. Wade (imagine that)
  • And, let's not forget she's a shooter. Don't we have enough gun-toting shooters in DC?
  • Her speech is worse than a 3rd grader in one of America's worst schools: also, fersure, doggonit, youbetcha - do we really want 4 years of that?
  • Tried to ban books in Alaska
I know that there are people who said they'd move to Canada if Reagan was elected so, I'm not saying anything new but I just may look into the northern region. I just don't get it and I am left with many questions. How is someone in the running for Vice President of this country who treats a debate like a beauty pageant - winking, completely incoherent answers, ignoring questions, hair tossing? Do Americans really value higher education when they can support someone who went to 5 schools before getting a B.A. in journalism and then bashes the media? This is not Clueless. Being stupid is not cute in a presidential election, is it? Can acting like a politician get you into the White House? Hmmm...Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger. And really, who the fuck is Joe Six Pack?
Can we all just get serious for a moment? This country is facing serious issues. What I don't need is a wink and a smile!

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Night in the UK

The other night I finally stopped by Commonwealth in Columbia Heights owned by Jamie Leeds of Hank's Oyster Bar. One great restaurant should result in another, right? I had also been hearing so many great things about this British-inspired gastropub and Metrocurean's description of the fried olives had me determined to get there.
I usually prefer sitting at the bar but it was full so we sat at one of the bar tables which was even better because the seats were comfy and there was a great view of the patio. The patio is great and would've been nice but it's been kind of chilly these days in DC (I hear it's going to warm up next week, so take advantage of a patio while you can!). Comfort food was exactly what I was looking for. Luckily, the menu at Commonwealth is filled with comfort food. There's your typical British pub fare and some interesting twists like the smoked tofu shepherd's pie. And what I really love is that they're using local, sustainable, and humanely raised meat. I had the fish and chips. The Smithwick's beer battered haddock melted in my mouth and the chips were nice and crispy. I also had a pint of the cask conditioned ale which rotates. On this night, they were featuring the Victory Storm King Stout. It was amazing! Not at all bitter like some stouts but slightly sweet with hints of chocolate and coffee. And at 9% abv, I was very satisfied. I was also very satisfied with our extremely attentive and hot server, Alex. Not to mention that there's a late happy hour from 10-11:30 pm. It's a guarantee that I will be back to Commonwealth soon.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Going to Town

Last year I blogged about the opening of Town Danceboutique. As I imagined, Town has been a much needed addition to the DC nightclub scene. While $17 for admission may seem pricey to some, it was well worth it: two dance floors, great music, several ATMs, several bars and plenty of bartenders (which equals little to no wait at the bar), a spacious dance floor, and lounge areas where you can sit and actually have a conversation. I was there the other night with my gay friend Mitch. While watching the shirtless guys dancing on platforms, he leaned over and said, "aren't gay clubs so much more fun that straight clubs?" In many ways, I had to agree. The most common reason of course that women will give for going to gay clubs is that you don't have to worry about all the creepy dudes touching and hitting on you. But there are other reasons as well. For instance, I get to see some major skin that I don't get to see at straight clubs. Gay guys are all about being shirtless and so many of them are hot. I've also noticed over the years that the drinks are better. I even get asked to dance more often at gay clubs. While I have no problem dancing by myself (and even prefer it sometimes), it is nice to have someone ask or even playfully grab your hand and lead you to the floor. And gay guy compliments are so much more creative. One guy I danced with spun me around and then shouted, "these queens ain't ready for all your jelly!" Hilarious!

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Free Fun at the Kennedy Center

One of the things that I have accepted about myself is that I am not a weekend warrior. I am not a, "hey, let's get up early and get things done" kind of person on the weekends. I believe in sleeping in late, really late, and then bumming around doing whatever. I occasionally force myself to go to the farmers market only because I love good food. No, I don't take advantage of "all the great free cultural stuff DC has to offer" on the weekends because I don't get up early enough for that, ok? And then you have to take into account the screaming kids and strollers people trot out on the weekends and you know how I feel about that! I usually don't even leave my apartment until sunset. So, I was very happy to see that the Kennedy Center is offering a full day of free performances this Saturday featuring artists from across the country and DC at Prelude 2008: Arts Across America. There's a wide variety of acts to see and the festival goes on until 11pm. Imagine that, even in DC.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Drink Wine for a Good Cause

I just checked out the relatively new bar in the Grand Hyatt hotel at 10th and H Sts. NW called Cure Bar & Bistro. As often as I walk past that hotel, for some reason I can't for the life of me recall the name of the place that was there before. All I know is that Cure is definitely a step up. Its decor is chic and clean and the atmosphere is tranquil and cozy. It also helps that I love hotels and hotel bars (usually). It's like everything you need is in one place. This will surely be a frequent stop for me. While there, I had some great salty, smoky small plates and a very nice glass of wine from the Carmel Road Winery (featured in the movie Sideways). The bread basket came with butter and tray of different kinds of salt. While the menu and decor seemed somewhat innovative, I could sense borrowed elements from places like Proof and Vinoteca. I also got info on a great fundraising event sponsored by the Washington Wine Academy being held tomorrow to help fight breast cancer. It's called, Uncork the Cure (I love that name!) and will be at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Tickets are still available and while somewhat pricey at $150, it's a good reason to check out the Wax Museum, if you haven't already, and drink great wine. Here are the details from the WWA site:

"Uncork the Cure" at Madame Tussauds

Date: Friday, September 5, 2008

Time: 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Location: Madame Tussauds, 1025 F. Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Provisions: Wine and food. Wine provided by the Washington Wine Academy

Attire: Come as you are… Pink is always an option, and in this case the best one!

Silent Auction: Silent Auction – bidding from 6:30pm until 9:00pm

Admission: $ 150.00 - (Ticket is 100% tax deductible)

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy (Be)Labor Day: Debunking Myths

Like many of you, I don't even think about the meaning of Labor Day, I'm just happy for the day off. But as one would imagine based on the name, it is a holiday in honor of American workers according to the U.S. Labor Department web site. Well, on this day that I should be taking a break from labor, I'm finding myself having to belabor a point that should be clear to most reasonably sane people. But apparently not. I recently wrote about men and clowns and how I'm sick of bad male behavior. As expected, I get comments which pretty much paint me as the perpetrator of this bad behavior. It's happened quite a bit over the course of this blog and over the course of my lifetime when I am baffled by idiotic male behavior. I am honestly beginning to believe that when called out on such behavior, men have this need to blame women. Interesting. Well, I have a need to debunk some myths.

Myth 1) Women make men behave badly.

Here's one of my favorite comments: "Despite your
protestations, you DID "give dudes a reason to call [you] this late" simply by
being the kind of person that will "go out with friends or by myself after
midnight. If you want it to stop, just go to bed at 11 and stop answering the
phone."


How ridiculous is this? First of all, I never said I answer the phone when these guys call. Voice mail messages are just as bad. If I meet a guy while I'm out late at night with my friends, does that mean he should call me to come over late at night rather than ask me out on a date at an appropriate time??? I should go to bed at 11 pm every night so that guys won't call me for disguised booty calls??? Wow, way to keep a woman in her place!

Myth 2) Only certain types of men behave badly and women should know who they are and be smart enough not to associate with them.

Here's another good one: "Men generally act in such a disrespectful manner when
they believe that they will get what they are asking for. You say that you did
not give them reason to believe so. Maybe you are just hanging out with men who
have a low opinion of women, in general."

Now this really makes no sense. Men will try to get what they want the minute they see it. They don't need to know anything about you or the situation and most women will attest to this from rampant street harassment. I can be dressed to go to a funeral, to work, in gym clothes, whatever, and have the most disrespectful things come out of a man's mouth. And no, these are not just bums on the street. Do they think they will get what they want? I doubt it. But hey, why not try. Why do men pull over in their cars and try to get women walking home from the grocery store in flip flops and a ponytail to come over? Has this technique really worked for them? Probably not but they do it anyway. Don't tell me that men behave badly because they believe they will get what they are asking for. And I have friends who do in fact go to bed before midnight during the week and still have disrespectful things happen to them. And for the record, I would under NO circumstances hang out with men who gave me a reason to believe they had a low opinion of women. If they do, they hide it very well and I resent the idea that I should have to decipher this trickery. Also, I have met plenty of men who seemed perfectly normal on a first encounter who then call not for a date as one should, but to "come over". Is there a reason why those guys don't know any better but many other men I've met actually do?

Myth 3) Where you meet a man makes all the difference. Bar, club - bad. Work, school, church, through friends - good.

I do feel somewhat conflicted about this one, but my personal experience and that of others, has made me realize that this truly is a myth. This past year made me even more convinced. Most people will tell you that there's more of a chance at finding good relationships when you have something in common with the person and going after similar goals, hence the work/school thing. Well, not so much. I have met guys through work and school before and neither worked. This year, I met a guy with the same job title, in my own department (academia, no less) who seemed perfectly normal and about as nerdy as me. After a lovely dinner and conversation (about history, politics, teaching, etc.), why did he ask if I wanted to go to a strip club? Freak! Yes, him, not me. I also met a seemingly normal guy at work a few years ago who I had lunch with a couple of times. We talked about what it's like being single in DC and would occasionally email when work was boring. Funny, never once did he mention that he had a fiance and child. I found out through another co-worker in casual conversation. This year I also met a couple of guys at bars. First dates were great. What does that mean? Who knows. But I do know that there are no hard and fast rules, and until you've been single for as long as some, like me, just shut up and stop blaming women for all the bad male behavior out there.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Official

When it comes to restaurants I like, I've certainly praised Corduroy here once or twice before. And it's mainly because I love having such great food in my neighborhood now. I also admire a pioneer like chef and owner Tom Power who had the foresight to open on a not so great looking block that makes it hard to find the place because there's hardly anything else around. Oh yeah, there is the Convention Center across the street which is slowly but surely propelling development in the area. With great service, food, decor, and great reviews, the restaurant is a recipe for success. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed the sign had just gone up on the building and a beaming Power was standing outside. Of course, I had to get a picture of this momentous occasion. And as it turns out, he also had another reason to celebrate. Yes ladies, one of DC's most eligible bachelors is off the market. The chef just tied the knot last weekend and I was lucky enough to get an invite to the wedding party. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. Chuck Brown and his band played at the party and it was my first time hearing him live. That was definitely one of the best parties I've been to in a long time. I even took a picture with Chuck!

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

An Actual Date

I actually went on a date recently. Odd how that's not very clear in a place like DC. I do a lot of "hanging out" with guys and I'm not always sure if these are dates. Especially lately. After ending something that lasted for a while, at least for me, I have not been romantically tied to anyone and have been cocooning myself among familiar people and places so as not to subject myself to what's out there. So, over the weekend I went to a friend's potluck which ended with us all out on the sidewalk dancing. Rather than disturb the neighbors any further, we headed over to The Space where a live reggae band was playing on the first floor. I was intrigued by this really great band and hung out while everyone else took off to the rooftop deck. A cute guy with an accent liberally put his arm around my waist and started talking. After having had several drinks at the party, I wasn't too hard on the guy but, his hand was really almost on my ass. Turned out he's from Antigua and does web design. The conversation was good and we danced for a while and exchanged numbers. He pretty much convinced me to take a trip to Antigua. The next day we met at Tryst for a late lunch (anything after 3pm isn't really brunch is it?). I haven't done that in years! The service was as always, terrible but the coffee is good. We talked forever then took a walk and stopped for beer at an outdoor patio. It was kind of cute how he tried to reassure me of his identity with his passport in an attempt to walk me home (and come in of course) but I'm just not really feeling any form of involvement right now. Such is life.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Men and Clowns: Yet Another Saturday Night in DC

Last month I read that Bozo the Clown died at 83. It made me think about something my grandmother said to me during one of my last visits with her before she died. She was in her late 90's and I was in my late 20's. At my age, she had been married for many years and already had several children. I had done neither. I hadn't seen her in a while and I arrived with my married sister with her two children. When she realized I was still single with no children, she said: "They haven't been able to trick you yet, huh?" She was referring to men. I was taken aback for a moment but then laughed it off. My mother was quite amused as well. And for good reason. During one of my episodes of being heartbroken by a guy in my 20's, my mother told me that she thought clowns were evil and that men often resort to behaving like clowns. Yeah, who wants to date a bozo? It took me a while to figure out this behavior.

Tonight, I find this to be very true yet again. Why, why, why, do I continue to get calls from men after midnight asking me what I'm doing when I have asked them to stop doing that? And no, this is not male bashing, as some of you might say. This is me telling the truth as I see it. And no, I did NOT give dudes a reason to call me this late, as some might say (you know who you are). Just because I go out with friends or by myself after midnight does not mean that a man should call me at that hour to spend time with me when we haven't even been on a date. Hmmm....let's see. How about call the day before even, which is still rather late and inappropriate, and ask me out. How is this related to clowns? Well, here's what really bugs me. Why, why, why, why do these guys try to trick me into believing this is all innocent. Yeah, they just thought I might be hanging out already. Or, they just thought I might want company. Right! Might as well slap on the wig, white paint, and big floppy shoes! That's just a lazy and obvious form of trickery. If you wanted a booty call situation, then just say it. For the love of all women, don't try to trick us into believing it's something else. Come on, I'm in my 30's. On too many occasions, men have tried to trick me with regard to their children, wives, fiances, girlfriends, living arrangements, jobs, you name it. Other clown similarities? I have noticed that men like to do tricks (I was once on a date with a guy who did card tricks at the bar) and sometimes turn tricks (prostitutes), which of course would mean that they might just give you trich if you're not careful.

And while this is merely a generalization about men, it does beg the question as to whether or not women really are being tricked when it comes to marriage. Happily ever after? Honest and true? Monogamy? Just ask John Edwards' wife. Apparently, she was tricked into believing his affair was "their" private matter. No, it's called politics and it was his dick.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

Ok, I have truly been busy these past couple of weeks. Good for my eventual bank account, but not good for right now. I seriously haven't had the energy or time to do anything else right now, especially blog (how did blogging become an activity?). In addition to teaching, I took on a short-term contract assignment. It's great work - educational outreach for an important cause - but it's in Reston!!!! I think I've blogged about this before but I have extreme suburbaphobia. Can someone please tell me what's up with these corporate parks with acres of land set in front of office buildings that look uninhabited except for the gazillion cars in the lots surrounding them? I even saw a band of geese as I was walking toward some form of public transportation. Maybe they were long-neck ducks, but whatever. As some of you may know, I am without car and have begun to believe that people like me are not welcome in places like Reston. If so, where are the sidewalks? How was I supposed to get anywhere walking across wet, grassy land? I am just not a fan of town centers. They are fake substitutes for real cities. Even the perfect little townhouses I saw while walking seemed unreal. Where were the people? I got enough of that while in the Midwest as a grad student. The point is, while in Reston, I felt lost, stuck, stranded. I was seriously scared. This situation may sound like no big deal, but it is so much worse in extreme weather. As we know, DC has been so extremely hot that people have been advised not to go outdoors on some days. So, imagine how I felt when I am standing in the middle of nowhere, with no store, restaurant, hotel, or any other form of shelter, waiting for a bus. I was so relieved each day when I finally got on the train and it pulled into the L'Enfant Plaza metro station. I could get out, hail a cab, walk home, find food, rest at a nice hotel bar...whatever. These were not options out in northern Virginia. While this assignment was good experience, I have no intentions of ever going back that far into Virginia for work again. Hey, these are the sacrifices we have to make.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Gay or ....?

For a single girl in a big city like DC, you've got to have some guidance about dating. That's when you turn to your circle of friends - women, men, gay, straight, etc. There's got to be some level of definitive sexual orientation in my opinion. But hey, I'm in my 30's, and maybe that's all gone out of the window with the 20-somethings. All I know is, it's nice to know who you're sleeping with. I had this discussion at a recent neighborhood wine tasting. As the discussion went, "How do you know the guy you're sleeping with is gay/bisexual/experimenting/unsure/whatever?" Here are some questions a group of us came up with that could possibly be of use:

  • Does he have a rack of magnum condoms but is not so well-endowed?
  • Can he recite lines from Sex and the City?
  • Is he better at being Martha Stewart than the woman herself?
  • Does he like and request a finger up his ass?
  • Can he accessorize your outfit better than you?
  • Does he think the decision to sleep with a man is a matter of mere self control?
Just some thoughts. Any others?

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Gordon Biersch 20th Anniversary Party

In celebration of their 20th anniversary and their Sommergold beer, Gordon Biersch is throwing a party this Wednesday, July 23rd. Join them at their Gallery Place location at 9th and F Sts. NW for complimentary hors d' oeuvres featuring items from their Sommergold seasonal menu including: Shrimp and Crab, Asian Chicken Salad, Prime Burger, Roasted Half Chicken, and Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi. The party will be held in the Bar/Cocktail areas only.
Between now and August 3rd you can enjoy their seasonal Sommergold beer, a Kölsch style pale ale that is light and dry with just a hint of fruitiness. It's hot and sticky in DC which means, a it's a great time to try a new summer beer while it lasts! And I've always loved the space. It's convenient, airy, and spacious. Bring your friends. Cheers!

Location: 900 F St. NW, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Time for a Vacation?

I'm beginning to believe my taste buds are trying to tell me something. For the past two months I have not only been craving strong flavors from far away places, but I have actually been cooking such dishes. And believe me, cooking does not happen often for me. Just a few weeks ago, I blogged about spending the weekend eating homemade lentil curry. A couple of weeks later, I found myself craving a spicy noodle dish called Dan Dan Noodles. I made my own version and boy, was my mouth on fire! But it was delicious.
Then, just the other day I was craving Greek. So, I decided I would use the ground lamb I bought from the Bloomingdale Farmer's Market and make lamb soft tacos. I seasoned the lamb with salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, lemon zest, onions, garlic, chili peppers, and plenty of fresh mint and oregano. I also made use of my mini food processor, which has been collecting dust, by making a yogurt sauce. Into the food processor went onions, parsley, cilantro, a little ginger, lemon juice, garlic, and chopped kosher dill gherkins. This mixture was added to some Greek yogurt and seasoned with salt and pepper. I loaded up the tortillas first with a little sour cream, the lamb, shredded green cabbage, cilantro, and the yogurt sauce. A few squirts of hot sauce (I like everything hot!) and I was done. Of course, I had to pair this meal with something. I was recently given a bottle of Selene Merlot, 2002 as a gift and it paired wonderfully with the lamb. I popped in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, kicked up my feet, and enjoyed.
Apparently, I need to make use of my passport and go somewhere. The question is, where? Greece, India, Southeast Asia....Suggestions?

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Affordable Summer Cocktails

In hard economic times like these, you have to have your priorities straight, right? Well, of course. And the first on the list if you're like me is figuring out where to go any day of the week for a good, cheap drink. The last thing you want to do is give up cocktail night with the girls. Lately, I've noticed a few I thought I would mention. And yes, it's always good when the place is within walking distance of your home.

Sundays at Merkado
Bring your own wine night - no corkage fee. If you love wine and have a favorite for under $10, this is the place for you! As we who eat out know, it's the alcohol that always hikes up the bill so, this is truly a bargain. And if you order the giant plate of nachos which are excellent for sharing, you're all set.

Corduroy Happy Hour
As Metrocurean recently mentioned, this newcomer to Shaw but known to many foodies for the past several years, is now offering a happy hour from 5-7 pm every weekday. It includes: $6 house wines, $7 cheese plate featuring 5 different cheeses, and $4 spring rolls. But just a glance at the amazing full menu will make you want to break the bank and stay for a 3-course meal!

Veranda
This little Mediterranean gem now has a lovely patio. Here's their lineup of specials:
Tuesdays - 1/2 priced bottles of wine
Wednesdays: - $4 Sangria
Thursdays - $4 Mojito
Fridays - 1/2 priced Mussels

Cheers!

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Divorce Is In The Air

One of the things I love about being single is never having to worry about getting a divorce. Bad dates, bad breakups, heartbreak - yes. But attorneys, court proceedings, and dividing up property - no. Way too much to deal with. Divorces are just so drama-filled and just downright sad when children are involved. And when there are celebrities involved, even more so. This whole Christie Brinkley thing is unbelievable. What I never understand is, why get married in the first place? If you want to sleep with teenagers and get involved in online sex adventures, do you really need to get married? No. Then there's the Alex Rodriguez or A-Rod divorce. Given his level of "alleged" infidelity, the nickname A-Rod seems appropriate. My take on this situation is that he falls into two categories of men not to date and especially not marry: an athlete and a man who is prettier than most women. And I hate to say it but in this case, he is way more attractive than his wife, which isn't hard. Given what we know about most men, it's no wonder his wife is alleging marital misconduct. So, while not making excuses for men and cheating, I wouldn't even have bothered getting A-Rod to stand up in a church and take a vow to keep his rod in his pants.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Day Rant

After a long night of hanging out on Thursday and what felt like an allergy/sinus attack, I decided to stay in and chill for the holiday. The previous two 4th of July's that I've lived in Shaw must have been spent elsewhere because I do not ever recall such loud fireworks. I felt like I was in the middle of a war zone! Like most people, I appreciate a good professional fireworks show even though I do stay away from crowded venues to see them like the National Mall. But this shit was ridiculous and went on from 6pm until at least 1:30 in the morning. What I wanted to know while enduring this and possibly going deaf, was whether or not this was legal and where was the police. According to the news, DC police were expecting a high volume of calls. The article mentions what is illegal but none of that means much to someone like me who knows nothing about fireworks. I don't know and really don't care to know what a cherry bomb is. All I know is that the article and DC government Fire and Emergency Medical Services state that firecrackers and fireworks that explode are illegal. And this stuff going off in my neighborhood was definitely exploding! Being the pissed off citizen that I was, I called the police. Of course, the dispatcher assured me that someone would be out. Two hours later, I still felt like a hostage. My other question is this: how can the police distinguish between firecrackers that sound like gunshots and actual gunshots? And given my experience with DC 911, if I had said that I heard gunshots outside my window, no one would have shown up for hours anyway. While I love my neighborhood, it's times like this that I miss upper northwest!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Is This For Real?

Why do I feel like this Washington Post article, "Plea Deal for Woman Accused of Having Sex With Senator's Husband", should have been in the Onion? According to the story, radio executive Tom Athans, husband of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow basically pulled a Spitzer. Apparently, even husbands of politicians are partaking of prostitutes. The article seems to have been written with just as much brief sarcasm as I would have written it and makes you ask:

· How does prostitution get reduced to trespassing in a hotel?
· Why didn't authorities bring sex charges against Athans?
· What happened in that hotel room for only 15 minutes?
· Is $10 per minute too little or too much for sex acts?
· How does he get off free and clear while she faces 90 days in jail?
· How are nude lap dances really any different from paid sex acts?
· Just how prevalent is the use of prostitution in marriages?
· Could you really sleep with a man after he's been with a prostitute?

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Best of Washington

As a single girl in DC, you just need to be reminded sometimes why you live in a city: so humid in the summer that you could choke, where the cost of living is so high you've considered buying shoes from Payless and/or prostituting yourself, where the gay men seem to be outnumbering straight men by 5 to 1, where roaches the size of your foot roam the streets when it's hot, where it's hard find a good meal after 10pm...OK, I'll stop because I really do love DC! And what better way to be reminded than at the Best of Washington Party hosted by the Washingtonian magazine. With a ton of the best restaurants and an open bar, you're sure to remember by the end of the night what keeps you here.

Where: The National Building Museum, 440 G Street, NW
When: Tuesday, July 8, 2008, 7-10pm
Tickets: $95, $125 for VIP

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Good Laugh

Laughter really is good medicine. I was just jolted out of a pity party after spending the past two days with great friends who always give me new insight, even if indirectly. Yeah, I may be broke and still searching for love and meaningful gigs that pay well enough and yada, yada, but what's the point in being down? I watched the last game of the NBA Finals at my friend Jared's and celebrated late into the night with pizza and beer over the Celtics winning the championship. We always have these playful debates over who has it worse in the dating game - men or women. He always claims that the problem with women is that they don't know what they want and can't recognize a good guy. Yeah, whatever! Lol
Then, I got a call from Pam yesterday just as I was going to call her, to see if she had eaten dinner yet. As it turned out, I had the perfect vegetarian side to her delicious spicy chicken dish. We had dinner then sat on her stoop with a bottle of wine. She told me the funniest story and agreed to let me share it on my blog. Well, here goes. Pam spent the weekend with friends in Annapolis. After a day of shopping and sightseeing, hitting the hotel bar was mandatory. Seeing as though Annapolis is quite Navy friendly, it is no surprise that Pam met a sailor. After several drinks and last call, the party moved upstairs where more drinking ensued. While everyone was enjoying the lovely accommodations at this chain hotel, Pam and the sailor took quite a liking for each other and moved to the bathroom for privacy. No one knows exactly when this happened (not even Pam), but sometime after the party left and Pam's roommate was asleep, she and the sailor have such wild sex straddled on the toilet that the tank breaks! This is not known until Pam wakes up, the sailor is gone, and she gets a call from the hotel that there is water leaking from her room to the room below. I could not stop laughing! And the only thing I could think to say was, "Well, that was a convenient location because you usually have to pee after sex, right?"

And I thank the universe for giving me the climate-perfect day. Why can't DC be like this every day?

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend @ Chez Moi

Do you ever go through periods of time where you have no physical or mental energy to go out and socialize? Well, as hard as it is to believe, I do occasionally. Like this weekend, even with the weather being so nice. I had an overwhelming desire to just stay home, cook, sleep, surf the net, watch TV, and think - not in that order. I was basically a homebody all weekend. Oh wait, not the entire weekend. I did go out on Friday for a late night snack and drinks at Kramer's with an old guy friend, but this was not very memorable. If I answer the phone when he calls it means that I'm bored and he's been out all night and is on his way home to the burbs but is looking for company and a nightcap. And I did venture out to the grocery store for a paper and a few ingredients to make a lentil curry (picture not mine but my dish looked very similar) I saw online. I absolutely love videos that accompany recipes! I was introduced to "domestic goddess" Anjum Anand by the DC food blog WhereInDC. Her lentil curry recipe seemed like something I could do and I love strong flavors. Chopping up vegetables and watching things simmer and saute, turned out to be very relaxing. With a side of rice and a handful of cilantro, this turned out really well. While at Giant, I also picked up a Malbec on sale. Lucky me, as it turned out that this is a great wine to pair with spicy Indian flavors. Good food, wine, and repeats of crime dramas (I'm beginning to love Without a Trace) can often be the best weekend of all. I even resisted the temptation to respond to the after midnight text from a random guy on Saturday night.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

The Heat Is On

It is truly hot in good old DC and it's not even summer yet. According to the Washington Post, we're supposed to cross a record high today. While I don't need any reason at all to head to my neighborhood bar for a beer, there is even more reason right now. I am one of those unfortunate DC residents who lives in an old brick building that is hot as hell and did not come with AC. I do have a window unit, but does it really cool down the entire place? Not so much. Especially the bathroom which makes it very difficult for a girl to get ready for a night out when she can't stop sweating. So, when I can actually make it out of the door looking halfway decent, why not use up someone else's AC? I am also one of those people without cable. I have been coping with fuzzy TV for the past two years. Yes, it does suck when I want to see things like Project Runway, What Not To Wear, Top Chef, and of course NBA games, but other than that, who cares? So, during playoff season you know where to find me: a bar with big screen TVs. And right now is crucial. While I could check out the NBA Finals on my fuzzy screen, I refuse. As I've mentioned before, big, gorgeous, sweaty men need to be viewed in all of their glory.
But of course, hanging out at the sports bar does come with a few problems. I am really sick of the tired question, "So, you're into sports?" Guys don't ask other guys this question. Yeah, you couldn't pay me to sit through a football game but I love basketball and not just for the eye candy. I do love the game. Then there's this problem: the guy who buys you a drink, engages in conversation, hands you his card, asks you out, and finally places his left hand - clearly bearing a ring - on the bar. It has happened many times before so I should be used to it, but this time I found it extra funny. After I asked a couple of questions about his wife, he said to me: "Why do you keep asking about the W." The what? Yes, he refers to his wife as the 'W'. Sweet.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Romance Lives?

Like most women, after seeing the Sex and the City movie, I am still talking about it. Being reunited with the girls, the clothes, the shoes, the relationships with men... It really was great but it left me with a lot of questions. I couldn't quite figure out what was bugging me until now. There was not one but two weddings in this movie. Both of these weddings seemed to be based on this: if you give the guy long enough, eventually he will come around and realize you're the one. As SATC fans know, the last line from Mr. Big in the series was, "Carrie, you're the one." While I still don't want to give much away, (even though if you haven't seen the movie by now, what the hell are you waiting for you!) this just seems to be an idea I found running through the script as well as this undying belief that "love" will conquer all.
Then, this weekend while having dinner at a very nice restaurant, I witness something that I've only seen on TV and in film. A very cute, well-dressed couple who appeared to be in their mid to late twenties were having dessert and all of a sudden the woman lets out a scream. It becomes obvious why when the guy gets up and kneels down on one knee. He proposes and of course, she starts to cry. I notice that she spends the rest of the night on her cell phone, probably telling her friends and family about it and planning the wedding. Call me jaded, cynical, bitter, whatever, but all I could do was wonder how long this union would last.
Sorry, but my date tonight was so bad that I'm considering joining a nunnery. We met at Proof. The food was great but absolutely no connection or conversation. His main pastime? Playstation. And yes, he is over 25. I mentioned that I forgot to bring my umbrella and he jokingly (or so I thought) said that he hoped I wouldn't get rained on. I walked to the restaurant, and he drove. His car was actually parked two blocks away in the Gallery Place garage. As we were leaving, I stood by the door watching the rain and not once did he offer a ride or to pull up and drop me at home which is only a few blocks away. What did he say? "Give me a call sometime." Yes, romance lives and eventually men will come around. Right.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

SATC at Last!

Well, I just returned from an advance screening of the Sex and the City Movie and as I imagined, it did not disappoint. If you are as big of a fan of the show as I am, you couldn't wait until this movie came out. I have the entire DVD set at home and would pop one in whenever I felt the need. Like needing to see a particular episode that reminds you of a date you just had. I swear that at this point in my life, every crazy thing that happened to them, has happened to me as well. I have now had every freaky dating situation there is to have! But the show was about so much more than men and sex. They became like your own girlfriends and the friendships were so familiar. I will not however, give anything away for those of you who haven't seen it yet.
What I will say is that if you haven't already arranged a spot for you and your friends to have cocktails before and/or after the movie, you should seriously consider Corduroy. As I've mentioned before, the restaurant recently reopened in a new location across from the Convention Center. The chef is highly acclaimed Tom Power and the food is amazing. What I am loving most is the incredibly chic bar and lounge upstairs. The service is impeccable and bartender Pichan, has just introduced his new lemongrass cocktail. Delicious! A great way to toast to a great movie.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bag of Tricks

Yeah, I know. It's been a while since I posted. Well, lots and nothing have happened since my last post if that makes sense. All I know is that I feel like I'm in the twilight zone and what I needed most is familiarity. So what does a girl do when still nursing a broken heart? Stay home and be sad? Absolutely not! You dig into your bag of tricks and pull out the guys from the past who are always good for a drink and conversation. While I am not a fan of small, trivial talk, there are times when I just need that. And ladies, you know who I mean. The guys you neglected when you were "involved". They're always happy to see you and you're genuinely happy to see them too. The interaction is easy, familiar, comfortable. And they seem to care, even if somewhat superficially. Even the flirting is kind of sweet and minimal enough not to be annoying. The funny thing is that they do it to us too. I just got a call the other day from a guy I hadn't heard from in a year. I didn't ask but I knew it was totally about him being out of a relationship and needing to hang out with a familiar face. Nothing wrong with that. That's what being single is all about.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sugar Daddy

After the conversation I mentioned in my last post, my friend Jay thought it would be funny to buy me an entire box of these. Cute. But for the record, I wasn't the one with the balls to come up with a web site devoted to finding matches for Sugar Daddies and their kept partners: SugarDaddyForMe.com. Both gays and straights can find matches on the site. I wouldn't be surprised if this site is more effective than traditional dating sites like Match. Might as well be honest about what you're looking for!

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Beer Dinner


This post could also be called, Things I Can't Afford, or Why I Need a Sugar Daddy. However, I got flack over the latter after mentioning the need for a Sugar Daddy to a male friend. Why the resentment, I thought? He seemed to be of the the belief that a modern, educated woman would have no need to marry a man for practical reasons. Quite the contrary I believe. Smart women marry smart, right? And smart men marry women they believe will be beneficial to their lives and careers. Doesn't always work out but hey, that's the thinking. Anyway, can't attend this event at Brasserie Beck that I just got an email about, but love the idea. Beer and fatty food - you bet. Cheers!

On Tuesday, June 3rd, Brasserie Beck holds its first-ever Beer Dinner
featuring Samiclaus Vintages and the last known keg of 1997 Hurlimann
Samichlaus in existence. The five-course dinner will include bottled
vintages from 2000 to 2004 and 2006-2007, a 2005 keg and the 1997 that was
keged at the Hurlimann Brewery in Zurich Switzerland.

Samiclaus is known as one of the strongest lager beers in the world
with 14% alcohol by volume. The pours between the dinner courses will be
approximately 2 oz. each and paired with robust Brasserie Beck menu
items of Pork Belly, Duck Confit, Steak with Peppercorn Sauce, Cheese
Course and a Dessert with a beer reduction.

The evening’s guest speaker will be Karl Stohr, seventh generation
owner of the Eggenberger brewery in Vorchdorf, Austria and also attended by
Martin Wetten of Wetten Importers, Inc.

Dinner Details: $110 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity)
7pm at Brasserie Beck, 1101 K Street, Washington, DC 20005
Reservations by credit card only by calling 202-408-1717
Seating is limited. Valet parking available for $7

The coveted 1997 keg will be available for sale at the bar after the
June 3rd dinner.


Michael Jackson aka The Beer Hunter, had something to say about Samiclaus:
Traditionally, this immensely strong (14 per cent alcohol by volume)
rich, darkish, lager was brewed each year on St Nicholas' Day, December
6. It matured for the best part of 12 months, gaining strength in the
lagering tank, and was released on the same date of the following year,
with a vintage date. Of the world's super-strong lagers, Samichlaus was
the most complex and satisfying. It had a reddish chestnut colour; a
brandyish aroma; a firm, oily, body; creamy and cherryish flavours; and a
warming, spicy, peppery, finish.

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Rejuvenate

What do I need right now?
1. To dance until I sweat late at night in a dark club playing deep house music on a floor sprinkled with baby powder and heads with whistles and tambourines in the background.
Just got an email from one of my favorite DJs, Double 07, that he will be producing the first in a series of underground warehouse parties at the old Warehouse on New York Avenue. The party lasts until 5am.
2. An intriguing mood enhancer before the party that I've never tried: absinthe.
The folks over at Modern Liquors will be doing a tasting of Kubler Absinthe from 6pm-8pm tonight. I've been told that its hallucinogenic properties are just a myth. Hmmm...
3. A good meal and good service at a fancy schmancy restaurant. Corduroy, which is run by one of the best chefs in DC, just recently opened in my neighborhood.
4. And an amazing neighbor (and cook extraordinaire) who offers homemade cookies!
Happy Friday everybody!!!

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hope

Maybe it's the new moon or my new shoes, but I'm feeling hopeful. Does it matter why? Hope is always good. So I thought, as I walked to happy hour today and saw this license plate. Maybe there really is someone for everyone as I've so often heard. Maybe a girl can really find love after years of being wrong, wrong, wrong, and going down the wrong road. Just maybe I will stumble upon the real Lovah-man in Lovah-ville at the right time and place for him and me. Just maybe. And just maybe there's a Citiboy for Citygirl.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Impossibility Redux

I broke my own rules. And you know how that always goes. I'm now brokenhearted. It was all so impossible. Guy from Southeast DC and girl who doesn't venture outside of Northwest. Nerdy, educated girl and street smart guy who has dabbled outside of the law. Has two kids (comes with the prerequisite crazy baby mama) and I don't even know if I like kids anymore.
But here is the good stuff: He's kind and considerate. A hand holder - the intertwining fingers kind with hands slightly rough from hard work. Takes his mother to bingo. Gives to the homeless. Loves to cuddle and eat in bed. Frequents the "carry-outs" but is comfortable with fine dining. Knows the best Dollar Store in DC. Used to listen to go-go as a kid but prefers oldies like the Manhattans. Holds my purse when I dance to music he doesn't like. Knows exactly what he wants and is not afraid to say it. Best of all, doesn't play games or need ego stroking like so many men in DC.
But haven't I been here before? Like over a decade ago in college. He's just dressed up in different clothes. But this time I was honest about my feelings and what I needed. And I've noticed that each little heartbreak brings me closer to knowing exactly what I want. But what I need right now is lots of chocolate and alcohol!

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Ultimate Shoes

I heard about Cole Haan and Nike teaming up to produce stylish and comfortable shoes for women but hadn't gotten around to testing them out. Megan recently purchased a pair and is now hooked. I decided I absolutely had to check them out and now the Geena Air OT Pump will be my spring/summer favorite shoes!
It's like a revolution has taken place. A manufacturer of women's high heels has actually had the sense to create comfortable shoes. Could it really have been that hard to do all these years? While I love a pedicure just for the sake of it, it has been a necessity due to my need to be cute wherever I go. Yes, they are at least $300 a pair but it's worth I think. And Cole Haan has always been known for quality. A small investment to be stylish while I walk, shop, dance, whatever. The problem is that DC streets are not kind to heels.
Even the best shoes in the world can fall victim to DC shoe traps: metro escalators, sidewalks, grates, sewers, etc. The other day I got this email from Megan:

I almost became a statistic on metro this morning. I had to dress up today b/c I had a meeting scheduled. I'm going up the escalator at Foggy Bottom, about to step onto the sidewalk when I realize my heel is caught in the grate on the escalator step!! A moment of panic ensued but I was able to free myself without falling or coming completely out of my shoe. The left heel of my beautiful Cole Haan's bare the teeth marks of Metro but it's barely noticeable. Wearing fabulous shoes and Metro just don't mix.....

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

To Dance or Not

As I have blogged about before, I am a true Disco Queen. I love house music and dancing to it in heels and my City Girl outfit of the week. Being an East Coast born, Midwest raised girl, I was happy to find my house niche here in DC after a long and arduous search. Believe me when I say, I still had not had enough of Red even as it closed during October of 2005. I spent many a great night there. I danced and sweated my ass off, met the most amazing and interesting people who I am still friends with, took friends and relatives from out of town who still ask about the place, and of course, a DJ saved my life... well, you know how the song goes. And so was the case for Club Five and the Sanctuary on H Street, which is sadly no longer. I was skeptical when my soulful Sunday night house party moved to Dragonfly, and for good reason - it is now closed. I mean really, how do I dance until I'm sweaty at a sushi lounge? When I learned that Eigthteenth Street Lounge (ESL) was continuing the party I was a bit hopeful. There is enough room to dance, the sound system is good, more than one bar, outdoor area, space to escape the crowd if need be, etc. However, my first night there late last year was yet another disappointment in my expectation of a Red experience. ESL is unfortunately another Connecticut Avenue/18th and M club that attracts posers, Eurotrash, and whatever other undesirables who are not about getting their dance on to good music. The space is horrible and there is a strange interplay of sound with the DJ booth on the other side of the club. But what is even worse is the fact that this past Sunday, I was subjected to the most offensive song being played everywhere right now. Rather true or untrue in its internet rumored meaning, Crank That, by the teenage rapper Soulja Boy, is just not something I want to hear or dance to. I have a feeling that this song does fully intend to mean "superman dat ho" as urban legend has it. But as most legends go, it doesn't really matter. The offensive connotation is now out there. And women are always the victims of such nonsense (however, I could just as easily superman a dude as he could to me). So, as you can imagine, I was not expecting this at a house party where all I wanted to do was dance to progressive, liberating music. I was pissed with the DJ who should know better. People who have followed this Sunday night party and who are house music purists, lovers, dancers, etc. just expect more. And given the $10 entrance fee, I will probably not be back.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's Raining Men

It is indeed raining men these days which I suppose is appropriate given that spring is here and the whole April showers thing. What is interesting is that these men have all been young. That is, much younger than me. I don't really get it. Do I have a sign on my forehead that says I'm looking for a hot, young, stud? What's really weird is that I've been thinking about how I should probably start dating more age appropriate men who are more serious about the future. Yes, this is what happens after one too many conversations with my mother. But of course, as my luck would have it, I get approached by men who can barely remember the 80's because they were still in diapers. Let's see, within the last month:
· I left Lovah-ville where I was chilling with a 24 year old
· I get stalked at my local Potbelly by a 22 year old who works there
· When exiting the metro, I'm stopped by a very sweet 24 year old who pretends to need directions but then tries to follow me to my destination
· My new neighborhood bartender is extremely cute and generous with drinks, but turns out to be 23. He's asked me twice now if I want to go out.
· My girlfriend's 22 year old brother shows up at her birthday party and decides to stick to me like glue. He now keeps asking her to hook him up with me.

And this, I still haven't gotten over: Just the other day while walking to U Street to meet the girls for happy hour, I get stopped by a boy wearing a book bag and what appears to be a school uniform. He says he wants to "holla" at me and get my number. Of course I want to know how old he is and as I imagine, he's 16. And even though I kept walking, this child didn't give up. He claimed that girls his age were all young and dumb. Wow. So teenage boys actually go looking for pedophiles.

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Stroller Hell

Now that the Cherry Blossom Festival has arrived, I am once again made aware that children actually exist. While I don't dislike them, I have just gotten used to living in a child-free world. I often tell my friends in other states how I never see kids in DC. It is rare to see kids who are not tourists. I noticed this soon after moving here from the Midwest where kids are a regular part of life. And for me, it would be rare to see them anyway. First of all, I'm a night owl and you don't usually find kids out at night. I'm even lucky enough to have a job that requires me to check out things to do at night. While I am sure that kids live here, in the past six years that I've lived in DC, I've lived in four different apartments all in different neighborhoods and rarely if ever saw kids. They don't live in my building and they are not outside playing. I don't go to the grocery often but when I do, I don't see them there either or actually any of the places I frequent. I avoid shopping malls because of screaming kids and strollers but the malls are not even in DC so that doesn't count. I do see the loud, annoying teenagers on the train, but babies and stroller dwellers are rare - until this time of year.
It is always evident that tourist season is in full bloom when I see them - kids in mega-strollers and the parents who push them around. What is up with these monstrosities? They're on the train blocking the aisles and the doors, clogging the streets, in the stores, at restaurants. And the kids in the strollers sometimes appear old enough to have their own children. What's the point of learning to walk if you don't walk? It's like strollers have become the equivalent of rickshaws and the kids are the elite while the parents are the peasants. I overheard a woman at a restaurant the other day ask the hostess if she would help her lift the stroller up the steps and to her table. What? Do I ask a hostess to help me with my stuff? Why not hire a babysitter? And let me tell you, there really is something disturbing about a kid at a bar. I don't do the daytime touristy stuff in DC but my friend Megan often does. She attempted the Kite Festival but found herself in stroller hell and just left. Here's an idea: kid-free zones. Kind of like non-smoking sections. And even smoking is now banned in DC.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

What the hell is.....

Horny Goat Weed?

Now that Spring is here, I have been crazy busy planning events for Going Out Tonight? I have also once again landed in Lovah-ville and have not had time to do much of anything, including shop for toiletries. So, I made a last minute run to the Chinatown Bed Bath & Beyond before going on a movie date last night. As I was dashing through the aisles, I noticed a strange product on the shelf and couldn't help but stop to see what this was about.
You just don't expect to see this kind of thing while picking up soap and toothpaste. And what a strange name for this Viagra like Chinese herb. I just want to know who's buying this stuff? At the small price of $10.50 a bottle, just who is taking a pill that is legendary for making goats have sex? Really, I want to know.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Damn Shame

Kwame Kilpatrick, Mayor of Detroit




No words. There are just no words.

Read about it elsewhere.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mating Season and the Modern Panda

I saw a news report yesterday about the artificial insemination of the female giant panda, Mei Xiang at the National Zoo and it got me to thinking. Apparently, it's been very difficult for her to get pregnant since pandas are generally sexually inactive. One of the zoo doctors said that she "doesn't assume the brooding position which makes it very hard for the male". At a zoo in Thailand, the male hasn't been cooperative either. According to a report last April the male was shown videos of pandas having sex but this didn't help. The director general of the Thai Zoo said that he just didn't want to mate and was looking at the female as a friend. And even artificial insemination hasn't worked very well. So why are we trying so hard to get these pandas to mate? Tourist revenue, human amusement? I have issues with keeping wild animals locked up in an artificial environment but I will leave that alone for now. I do think these pandas have the right idea. First of all, I strongly believe that friends should not be having sex. I am not an advocate of the whole "friends with benefits" phenomenon. For me, a friend is a friend. Why blur the lines? And why would the female panda want to be pregnant? Most women I know go to extreme measures not to get pregnant until they have decided the time is right. She's probably still enjoying her single, childless life climbing trees and eating bamboo all day. And she may not think the male panda would make a good father. Then too, she's already pretty huge so I'm sure she doesn't want the extra baby weight. Women get awfully cranky in that last trimester. My 9-months pregnant sister almost ripped me a new one when I joked about how big she had gotten. I don't think Mei Xiang wants a bunch of people gawking at her when she's dealing with swollen ankles that she can't even see over her gigantic belly. Even humans can't come up with good reasons for having kids. Ask enough parents and I'm sure they will tell the zoo keepers to just give those pandas a few shots of Patrón. Couple that with the panda porn and we'll be seeing some bouncing baby pandas in no time!

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