Friday, December 25, 2009

Wish List

I have pretty much let go of the whole commercialization of the holidays.  It's just so damn tired. Is this really what religious holidays mean?  Standing in line at Walmart? Stressing over gifts for people you don't really like? Staying up all night wrapping a zillion toys for kids who won't play with them after a few days and would rather just know you love them? But anyway, I do love sharing Wish Lists with my friends and family just for the fun of it.  This year I decided to include stupid shit I don't want. Here it is:
What I Want :
Mary Green Silk Boy Pants underwear
I discovered these a few years ago at Filene's Basement but they discontinued them.  Then I found them at Nana on U St. NW, but they too stop carrying them after a while.  Very frustrating because these are the only panties I've found that completely fit my substantial butt ( yeah, I do have a big ole butt).  They don't ride up, get stuck, or show, even with low rise jeans - not much at least and even then, the only thing that shows is a little bit of really pretty lace.  They are a bit expenisve, but worth it.  You do have to take care of these babies. I wash them then hang dry. I would wish for the Week of Undies set of 7 with the day of the week embroidered on them, but I'd get too freaked out about not wearing the right panties on the appropriate day - too much stress.
Cuisinart DFP-7BC Original Food Processor
My new love of purees and pestos has made it necessary for me to move beyond the mini-prep that I've had for the past few years.  I guess it's just a matter of cooking maturation.  I need a bigger, better tool for what I want to do. Before the year is out, I'm attempting to do a sage pesto recipe. We'll see how that goes.
Any Le Creuset French Oven
The thing that I feel is most missing from my kitchen and life. They are useful and beautiful.
Sade's new CD
I know it won't be released until February of next year, but put my order in now! I have always loved Sade and the new single, Soldier of Love, is the kind of emotional work of art I expect from her.  She says what you can't or don't want to say about wanting love.

What I Don't Want
Booty Pop Panties
Who has seen this infomercial?  Absolutely hilarious!  They are "the panties thay make your booty pop."  No, I don't need padded panties. I have enough junk in my trunk.  Hence, the life-long search for panties that fit (Mary Green description above).  And no, my name is not Kim Kardashian.
A Snuggy
We've probably all seen these infomercials. I saw a Snuggy box at CVS recently and thought, who's buying these?  Until I have completely given up and have 10 cats, don't get me this, please!  The side of the box even showed a woman wearing one on a plane and the web site says they're good for sporting events.  Lol.  Who's doing that?
A South Butt Product
While I love this concept created by a college student as a play on North Face, no thanks.  I think it's a good idea to challenge the establishment in this way though, and he seems to be doing well.  I heard that North Face is not happy with this. Wish I had thought of the idea.
A Gucci Mane CD
I recently heard a teenager listening to a song with incoherent lyrics and a repetitive beat. He told me it was Gucci Man, which turns out is spelled 'Gucci Mane.'  Never heard of it.  Guess I really am old.  The only lyric I made out was, "Can't nobody feel me like I'm feelin' myself."  That's going to be my new phrase. Ha!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

DC Snowball Fight - Really?

With almost 2 feet of snow in DC by Saturday morning, I had plenty of time to sit around at home in my PJs and surf the internet, including Twitter. Apparently, like many others (given the comments on various sites), I got caught up in reading about the snowball fight that took place Saturday afternoon at 14th and U Sts. NW. Seems like within minutes of this incident taking place, there was outrage all over the internet about a DC detective brandishing a gun after he and his vehicle were pelted with snowballs. There is just so much wrong with this story that I don't even know where to begin. What I won't do here, as many others have done, is focus on whether or not the detective was wrong for getting pissed and brandishing his weapon. What I take issue with is this ridiculous so-called snowball fight. The social scientist in me says that this was a crazy combination of race, class, and geography (gentrification, residential segregation, use of urban space) issues. But as a DC resident and someone who has always lived in a major metropolitan city, I find this to be the dumbest DC story of 2009, even dumber and more unbelievable than the Salahi drama. Why would grown people think that it makes sense to have a snowball fight at a major intersection in the middle of a blizzard??? Apparently this was organized via Twitter. I would love to know whose bright idea this was. From some accounts there were close to 200 people engaged in this fight. I have no problem with this being someone's idea of fun, but why would this not be done in an appropriate space like a park (lots of them in DC) or the National Mall even? The safety concerns are many, especially during a blizzard. Most of the stories I've read extolled the kindness of the participants for helping drivers who got stuck in the snow. Oh ok, forget the fact that flying snowballs could impair those driving in all that snow. And what about pedestrians uninterested in participating? Most people probably had sense enough to stay home if they didn't have to go out, but there were many others who had no choice. Some people actually had to work and there are many businesses at that intersection, not to mention bus stops, and road crews trying to clear the streets. I mean really, this just sounds like the behavior of a bunch of college students. The intersection of 14th and U is not the QUAD people! What I found to be a common thread in the news coverage is how this was all "good-natured fun." One guy in the Post was even quoted as saying, "I feel that this is just an example of people asserting our basic right to have fun, and the police not being okay with that." Dude, are you serious? I'm amazed at the sense of entitlement in that statement. It's interesting how I'm constantly reading neighborhood blogs where people complain about the "rowdy" kids in Chinatown and applaud the efforts of the police to round them up. I'm sure many of these kids would say they are having good-natured fun. But the difference is that these are actual KIDS. And many of them quite possibly live in Southeast or Northeast where there are no movie theaters, sit-down restaurants, major retail clothing stores, etc. I bet if these kids organized a snowball fight at 7th and H St. NW there would be no complaints about a cop brandishing or even pointing a gun at them. Then there's the issue of the detective's Hummer. For some reason, people felt anyone in a Hummer deserved to be pelted with snowballs. Huh? Sorry, but I think there are better ways to protest your views. And how about taking that behavior to an affluent neighborhood in the 'burbs where you're likely to find many more Hummers and other SUVs? So, given that he was being targeted and then continued to be pelted once out of his vehicle, the detective takes out his gun. To be honest, I'm surprised these people weren't met with violent behavior from others besides the cop. Have people forgotten that this is a city with a very high rate of gun violence? Maybe so, given the level of gentrification in the U Street corridor. A snowball fight would not have even happened at this intersection 15 or even 10 years ago. Yes, I enjoy some of the outcomes of gentrification like the farmer's market, restaurants, and bars. But a snowball fight? No. I think DC police should have dispersed a crowd of this magnitude engaging in behavior that was just plain unsafe and stupid. And why a snowball fight? Do yuppies in DC have that much pent up aggression that they haven't released by posting angry comments to Washington Post articles?

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fun With Root Vegetables

What does a girl do when she doesn't want to go out in all the snow? Make use of all the root vegetables in the fridge, of course. Roasting was the first thing to come to mind - it's simple and easy. That's what I did with the parsnips and carrots. I figured these would go well with the bluefish I was inspired to cook from a Last Night's Dinner post. Even without being smoked, it's a great tasting, cheap fish that's good for you.

And when it's cold out, what could be better than baking bread? The smell and the warmth from the oven are wonderful. I absolutely love sweet potatoes and had a bunch of them on hand. Again, this was fairly simple - a sweet potato quick bread recipe I found on the internet. I tweaked it a little, using yogurt instead of applesauce for moisture and freshly grated ginger instead of ground. I also didn't have dates but I added a little prune juice for fruit flavor. I was quite pleased with the results of everything and happy that nothing in my fridge is going bad. I've come to realize that months of penny pinching will make a girl rather creative in the kitchen.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Web Site Down. I'm Done with Yahoo

Update (12/29/09): back up and running! Domain transfer complete for well under $10/year.

Some of you may have noticed that is currently unavailable. I'm in the process of switching to another web hosting service. So, for now, is the only way to get here. I'm switching service providers because I'm fed up with Yahoo Small Business Services. I'm not too happy with their personal email services either but I've had my account for so long, I'm not even going to bother with the hassle of getting rid of it. A few years ago, when I was even less tech savvy than I am now, I chose Yahoo for a business web site and hosting. They seemed to offer pretty user-friendly services and the package rate seemed like a good deal. Had I done a little more research, I would of gone with another company. By 2007, calling customer service became an ordeal. I once waited almost two hours to get someone on the phone. Up until last year, a domain name was $9.95/year. Not anymore. When my yearly fee was due this year, rather than send a reminder email to both email addresses listed on my account, they decided to send it to only one - the one that is no longer in service. I remembered the date and signed into my account to pay, only to see a $35 fee. I called customer support and in fact, the fee had really gone up that much! The rep couldn't give me a good reason why. Apparently the lower rates advertised are only for new customers. I don't get it. With all the cheap web hosting services out there, why would Yahoo think anyone would keep them? The person I spoke to didn't even seem eager to keep me as a customer. My transfer should be complete in the next few days.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

The Rules

It's been years since I read The Rules but I still own a copy and I'm pretty familiar with most of them. I've heard all the criticism and can't say I agree with everything in it, but a lot of it makes since for single women. As many single women and men know by now, one of the rules is that a man should call for a weekend date by Wednesday. This is one of those rules that should be followed for a good reason. For example:
This past Thursday, after our dim sum dinner, Derek and I met up with Amanda at the Greene Turtle where a friend was bartending. A group of friendly guys who were just at the Wizards game came in. One of them bought me a beer and we got into a long conversation about basketball. He seemed nice enough and we talked about checking out a game together. So, we traded numbers. What I didn't expect was a text around 4pm on Saturday asking me what I was doing that evening. I was having one of those sit around and do nothing but laundry and TV Saturdays. I was bored and ignored the rule. When I agreed to "have a couple of drinks" with him, here's the text I got:

"Ok, great. I'll pick up a 6-pack and u can come over to my place. There's a documentary coming on that I can't miss."

I was initially planning to ignore this ridiculous request but I decided I wasn't going to let him off the hook. I texted him back and asked if that's his idea of asking a woman out on a date. He claimed that it wasn't and then asked if I wanted to go out later. Uh, no. Ladies, no matter how bored, it never pays to take the Saturday night bait.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dim Sum Has Arrived

Back in October, I mentioned my excitement about the opening of Ping Pong Dim Sum in Chinatown. I went to the preview last night with Derek and had a great time. The interior is attractive and subdued with lots of seating. While I can't say this was dim sum on the level of A&J, I was very happy with most of the dishes we ordered. We tasted dishes from each category but I was most pleased with the steamed items. This is definitely the place for dumplings. I wasn't a huge fan of the hoi sin duck spring roll and the choy sum seemed over cooked. Unfortunately, they were out of the valrhona chocolate bun so I'll have to try that next time. Most importantly, the service was impeccable. I will definitely be back next Tuesday for the Tweetup featuring specials on food and drinks from 6-10pm. The restaurant officially opens tomorrow.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Passenger

I finally wandered into The Passenger this past weekend. It's been on my to-do list since it opened recently. I've been longing for a real neighborhood bar in Shaw and was hoping Passenger would fit the bill.
I went early after meeting with a client and was one of a just a handful of people. That didn't last long but while it did, I had the full attention of the staff and those incredibly cute owners, the Brown brothers. Both Tom and Derek made drinks for me that were amazing. Who needs a cocktail list when you've got skilled cocktail craftsmen? My drinks were like adventures in a glass. I've never even heard of chocolate bitters and I would never expect this ingredient to go well with gin. The atmosphere is pretty cool too - no TVs, cozy, and intimate. Makes me think of a modern day saloon. I ran into all sorts of people I know and ended up staying way too long. I probably should have had the kimchi hot dog to soak up some of the booze. I ended up missing the celebration of Repeal Day the next day but I hear it was great.
One other thing I love is The Passenger's slogan, "God save the District." This little place is definitely saving the District from mediocre cocktails.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Result of Transgressions

I got this pic in a forwarded email. I have a feeling it's making the rounds. Funny, but seriously, why do men get married when they know they're going to cheat? Staying single seems so much easier.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reality DC Starring The Sa-LIARS

As much as I hate giving these people anymore attention, now that I've come out of a leftover turkey-eating coma, I just had to vent. The party crashing Salahi psychos personify all that's wrong with DC - incessant social climbers who stretch the truth to appear more important than they are and think politicians are celebrities. One of my personal favorites is a guy I went out with who told me he was patent attorney but turned out to be a docket clerk. He's now known as 'fake attorney guy' to my friends. In most other cities, this guy would've have no problem with his job title. But this is DC. And this WH crashing incident has race and class written all over it - also consistent with the huge social and economic disparities in this city. If this couple had been Tyrone and Shaniqua from Southeast DC, they never would have gotten into the White House. I almost feel sorry for these people...but I don't. How delusional can you be? They were also kicked out of a Congressional Black Caucus dinner in September after sneaking in through the kitchen. I mean come on, Wedding Crashers was funny, but that was a movie. Maybe if they were in their 20's it would be a funny but these 40-something people should know better. But then, I guess not. They're being given validation by Bravo and this whole reality subculture. And it seems that's the whole premise of reality TV - this blurred line between reality and fiction. I think we should start calling it fantasy TV. When you think about it, the Salahis are perfect for the Real Housewives because it seems nothing they do is real, just like the cast of the existing shows. They're a bunch of delusional, fame-seeking people with fabricated lives who often have sketchy, and sometimes criminal pasts. As we now know, the couple has several civil suits pending against them. Maybe we'll be getting footage of them in court when the show airs. Or, maybe coverage of the Salahis and the Bravo camera crew being kicked out of more events they weren't invited to. My theory is that the wife is the mastermind behind the whole operation. Her failed attempt at being a model has made her obsessed with getting in the media anyway she can. They probably know every alley entrance to every kitchen where high-profile political and social events take place in the city. Makes you feel real secure, doesn't it?

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Post-Thanksgiving Day Rant

Seems like every holiday I have the same issues. I've probably mentioned before how the holidays and all their hoopla annoy me. I just don't see the point in blindly following traditions that don't make any sense. I mean really, people do things during the holidays that they would never do any other time of the year just because that's what they've always done or that's just what people are expected to do. So once again, here's my roundup of holiday behaviors I don't get and/or get on my nerves:

  • Getting up at 3am or camping out at a store to get some item you probably don't need that badly anyway. Consumer brainwashing.
  • Sending out mass HAPPY HOLIDAY texts to people you no longer talk to and including women you've ended relationships with on a bad note. Clean up your contacts people!
  • Visiting relatives you never see even though you've been living in the same city with them for years. Don't pretend we know each other only on a holiday.
  • Giving out food to the homeless. Ok, this is nice but what are they going to eat for the rest of the year? How about a job.
  • Cooking a whole turkey. Or, for that matter, cooking from scratch. Maybe if we did more of this throughout the year, some of these awful fast food chains would go out of business.
  • Eating at 4pm. Who decided holiday dinners should take place this early?
  • Treating people like freaks if they decide to spend a holiday like every other day of the year. If I want to stay home in my pajamas watching old episodes of Top Chef, order pizza, and drink beer all day, why not? No, I'm not just being difficult (as my mother would say) and no, that doesn't make me the sad, pathetic single girl. It's just my choice.
So, what did I do this Thanksgiving? Well, I did end up visiting relatives I never see any other time of the year and it was fun. But the point is, why not do this ANY time of the year? And don't even get me started on how this makes no sense when it comes to traveling long distance. As someone who went to school for years in another state from where my family lived, I have horror stories about traveling during the holidays.
But I can say that with all the people out of town during the holidays, going out in DC is a whole lot nicer.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Thoughts: American Music Awards

I can't remember the last time I sat through an entire awards show on TV but last night I watched all of the American Music Awards. Well, ok, I did do a lot of flipping to other channels. It was just one of those stay at home, catch up with all of your out-of-town friends and family nights. And I was literally on the phone for hours. I did a good job of multi-tasking though: texting, IM'ing, emailing, and even tweeting (which I am very new to). After the show was over I was on the phone with my California friend Janell who was watching the show. She didn't see some of the things I saw, which I didn't understand until today when I learned that several things were edited out for the West Coast audience. And this kicks off my first thought:

  • So the big question today is whether or not Adam Lambert's performance was lewd and inappropriate. I would say so, especially for network TV. But the more important issue is that his singing was really bad, which is ridiculous for someone who came in second place on a singing competition show.
  • Similarly, embarrassing, but not a big deal that J-Lo fell while performing. The more important issue is that she's still trying to make music when she can't sing.
  • I have a feeling Jermaine Jackson is rather enjoying his moment in the spotlight now that Michael is gone. What's up with his strange plastic hair and who in their right mind would name their child Jermajesty?
  • Paula Abdul needs to fire her stylist.
  • Good to know that was a fake tattoo on Rihanna's neck and chest during her performance. Only wish I had the body for a strappy bondage jumpsuit - not that I would wear it, of course. Does anybody know if Chris Brown was there?
  • It seems obvious now that Whitney Houston will never sound the way she used to. But as my friend Leah pointed out, it was a touching performance.
  • We can always tell when Janet Jackson is not on tour. As Janell pointed out, she was in "her big girl pants" last night. Just wasn't a good look.
  • As many have speculated, Carrie Underwood's dress looked a lot like a dress from Carol Hannah's final collection on Project Runway. Hopefully she designed it and is having success in the fashion industry.
  • Has Kate Hudson ever heard of double-sided tape?
  • Overall, great show. I absolutely loved the over the top costumes and performances.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Shaw/Mt. Vernon Square Farmers Market

My neighborhood is getting better and better. There's last week's opening of the cocktail bar Passenger and Liberty Market, the new outdoor farmers market on the grounds of the former Carnegie Library, former City Museum, now housing the Historical Society of Washington at 7th and K St. NW. I hate the grocery store but love farmers markets so I'm loving that there's one just four blocks away from me. It's open on Tuesdays from 2:30-6:30 pm. It will definitely come in handy for all the Thanksgiving shopping staples. I'm not a holiday freak but I love using it as an excuse to do nothing but cook, eat, and sleep.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gordon Biersch WinterBock Tapping Party Tonight

I sometimes let breweries in DC fall off my radar as I get caught up with all the trendy new bars opening up like ChurchKey and Againn. But even for big chain breweries/restaurants, Gordon Biersch and District Chophouse & Brewery both have very good beer. I'm looking forward to tasting the seasonal WinterBock at Biresch which they will unveil tonight at the Tapping Party from 6-8pm. Part of the proceeds will go to local nonprofit Mary's Center. Even with the spring-like weather lately, there's nothing like a good strong, dark beer!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

A Single Girl's Best Friend

I've decided that I'm adding to the list of the single girl's best friends. Other than her girlfriends of course, there is the gay guy friend, the straight guy she isn't attracted to, and her hair stylist. I now realize there is another: the married guy who feels guilty for not being what you want and need and for attempting to cheat on his wife and kids. Yes, he must have kids. This makes for even greater guilt and the perfect situation for you. The most significant line in this scenario is, "attempting to cheat." He must feel as if he can cheat with you but, you must never allow this shameful deed. That would ruin the whole friendship, you reason to him. You would never want to put him in such a terrible situation. You care about him that much. And really, it's not like you pursued him. They always find you - at work, the grocery store, the bank, the bar, a friend's party....As far as he's concerned, you 'go with the flow' at all times. You know all the cool places in the city for drinks, dining, dancing - places he's never been. You are open, fun, carefree, and can talk about anything....except his family issues. When it comes to that, it's a don't ask, don't tell situation. You just want to make sure he's having fun. And of course, he's having fun as long as you're having fun. And you're having fun as long as he's buying drinks, dinner, movie tickets, and giving you a ride home at the end of the night to make sure you get home safely. Yes, home to do what and who the hell you choose. Marriage really does work.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

When Drunk Take Taxi Not Train

This incident would NOT be funny if the woman was seriously hurt or killed by the train so, thank goodness she wasn't. Most stories about this have focused on the train's driver who is now considered a hero for stopping. Huh? I'd like to hear the woman's reaction. Where was she coming from and just how much did she have to drink? Can she be charged with endangering herself or others somehow? Has she vowed to stop drinking? Just how embarrassed is she? I am surprised that this doesn't happen more often especially among college students. I guess the saying is true: God protects fools and drunks.

Drunk Woman Falls Onto Subway Tracks and Survives Near Miss [Video]

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Astronauts Can Be Crazy Too

Lisa Nowak in court, with Colleen Shipman in the background. Photograph: Red Huber/AP

One of the nerdiest things about my past is that I actually wanted to be an astronaut. That lasted from adolescence to mid-high school. I have since changed quite a bit and could never imagine being an astronaut. But I think my feelings about that illustrate how we all have stereotypical ideas about people based on their careers. Like for instance, I wouldn't have imagined an astronaut engaging in behavior that would be shocking even for a Lifetime TV movie. When I heard this story two years ago I thought wow, how sad and pathetic. Relationships (or obsessions) can truly drive people to do crazy things. This woman, a mother of three, drove 1,000 miles in a diaper to attack and kidnap a woman simply because they were involved with the same man. What I'll never understand is why so many women will direct their anger at the woman and not the man in these situations. If this guy was being unfaithful, why didn't she deal with him? Now I've gotten back at a guy for cheating in some creative ways but I've never considered confronting the woman. What's the point? I wasn't in a relationship with her, and as much as popular culture would like us to, I don't believe women can steal men away. All too often the men are left unscathed from multiple relationships. And it doesn't send a good public message when the crazy woman doesn't even get jail time like in this case. Soon after the incident she was fired from NASA but this just goes to show that a person's occupation doesn't say much for their stability.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Is DC Worth the Cost?

As much as I love DC, there's plenty I dislike as well, especially the high cost of living. But is DC worth the high cost? Given the state of the economy, I think many big city residents have been asking themselves this question. I thought about this today on my walk home from the Dupont Circle Farmers Market (finally got a spaghetti squash) when I passed a guy wearing a t-shirt that said, "I Can't Afford to Love NY." Funny but sadly true in many ways for a lot of people. Of course, this whole issue of cost of living has a lot to do with lifestyle. The granola-eating green living hippie is certainly not trying to get the same thing out of DC as the social climbing attorney/party promoter. But some things, like the cost of housing, have an effect on everyone. I know I've always felt hugely cheated when it comes to housing in DC. Is a tiny one-bedroom ever worth $1200? When I had a car, did it make sense to pay almost $200 a month in car insurance? If I can get a good manicure in New York for $15, why am I paying $35 in DC? And while there may be more jobs in DC, does pay really reflect the high cost of living? I don't think so. For the kind of work I do, I could be paid the same in Columbus, Ohio and be living in a palace compared to my studio apartment.
I've recently talked to friends about this, who range in occupations from a well-paid accountant to a server whose income fluctuates, and their attitudes vary. Some say they wouldn't live anywhere else while others just feel stuck. I'm definitely closer to the feeling stuck end of the scale. I came here right out of grad school for a job and haven't left since. But at this point, I'm not quite sure where to go to get what I want in a city at a lower cost. I periodically check the Forbes list of best cheap cities but usually don't see places at the top I could see myself living. Do I want to be in a city that's cheaper but requires a car, where I can't walk to almost anywhere I need to go? But do I need to be in a city with a million different trendy restaurants with mediocre food? Can I live without being able to go out and hear the kind of music I like on a regular basis? I love the proximity via train to cities on the East Coast but have I ever taken that day trip to Philly like I said I would? Maybe there is something to be said for living in a big city where you know there's always something to do even if you don't feel like doing a thing but stay home. And this blog itself is a good example. I don't think City Girl Pittsburgh would be quite the same.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

What's Up With the Penis Pics?

It took me a while to process getting a cell phone picture of a guy's penis with the message, "take a sneak peek." I mentioned in my last post how we parted ways after talking about it. I had to think about it for a while before I posted about this and ask a few friends what they thought. My friend Leah in Ohio said that more than likely, men think it's a turn-on. My girl Janell in California was disgusted and accused men of bastardizing technology. My favorite reaction was from 20-something DC friend Bridget, who's gotten several of these. She finds them funny and has taken to using them as the photos attached to the guy's number in her phone. As she says, "I like to make it ring!" Gives new meaning to the expression, 'ring-a-ding-ding.'
I on the other hand, started thinking all sorts of things. My first reaction of course, was surprise. I mean really, who ever expects an unsolicited penis pic? Has this become normal? Back in September I mentioned that a guy at a bar showed me a picture of his penis that a girlfriend supposedly took. I didn't think much more of that since I would never have given this dude my number. But this time was different. I met this guy while out helping my cousin celebrate his birthday. And for the next three days we went out every day and had great (non-sexual) conversations and seemed to have a lot in common. From what I could tell, he was a cute, funny, never married, no kids-having IT nerd. Then I thought how juvenile it was for him to send that picture. I'm sorry, but this is just not appropriate behavior for a 37 year old man, especially after knowing a woman after only three days. Maybe 37 has become the new 16 for men. And then I had one other thought: the presentation was bad. It looked like he woke up with a hard-on and just whipped the thing out of his pants and snapped the picture. That's just lazy. And I've seen better looking penises. Didn't it ever occur to this dude that this was a little risky? What if this was a turn-off for me?
The next time I saw him, we did talk about it. And you know what the worst of it was? No, not that he didn't think it was a big deal. We also got into a conversation about relationships and what we were looking for. He said he wasn't fond of relationships and was just looking to have "fun." All I could do was laugh. A penis picture-sending freak is giving me the no relationship speech! I think it's time I stop giving out my number altogether.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Weekend Recap: Three Men and a Lentil Stew

While the freelance work is steady, it's just not streaming in fast enough so a girl's got to be on a budget, which means eating and drinking at home way more often. I did a version of both Adventures in Shaw's and Fab Frugal Food's lentil soup - mine with spinach, sweet potato, and leftover beef ragu. With a big helping of brown rice, I could eat this for days. This was coupled with Barefoot Pinot Noir, on sale at my corner grocery store for $4.99. Not bad at all.

The owner of my favorite neighborhood restaurant that I used to do marketing for is married and apparently dating, seeing as though I got a late night booty call on Friday. Let's see, how does that work? You get married and then call any and every woman you know to get you off when the wifey is out of town. David Letterman, Steve Phillips…yawn.

I decided my Halloween costume would be the truth: a never married, childless woman, over 35, with a PhD, thinking she can make it on her own outside of the system, in DC. I will more than likely scare the Census takers away. But then, maybe not. This is DC.

Mr. "Cell Phone Penis Pic" and I parted ways on Saturday. Who gets into a long-term relationship with a guy who sends this kind of picture after just three days of knowing a woman? I don't care how cute, nerdy, and sweet you are, I just can't reconcile that with my psyche. More to come in my next post on this one.

Sunday night was drinks with Mr. Cheftastic, Chef-extraordinaire, Chef-egomaniac….whatever. I met this guy two years ago and have literally only hung out with him a handful of times because he is just so busy, busy, busy and life just can't exist without him at that damn restaurant. He was spouting the same BS but seemed a little calmer these days. We met at the bar in the Henley Park Hotel where I've been meaning to go since I moved to Shaw. It was convenient for us both but I've always had an obsession with hotel bars, especially quaint little historic ones like the Henley. This seemed like the kind of cozy spot where you would sip single malt scotch, and so we did. I'm not at all familiar with scotch so, sixteen-year-old Glevlivet was a new experience for me. Once again, I reminded him that my life will never magically transform to meet his every need but this was a nice ending to the weekend.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Random Friday

Another random Friday folks because apparently I have more of these than coherent, singular thoughts these days.

  • Wow, surprised and quite happy to see Mike Isabella get eliminated from Top Chef this week. Oh, c'mon, we all know he's a jerk and running into him last night at Clyde's with other restaurant heavies like my girl Gina Chersevani, didn't dispel that belief.

  • Is there really a treatment facility for cheating? I heard Steve Phillips was entering such a facility but I didn't believe it. Are we really giving men this kind of pass?

  • Is DC the only place where, "Do you a have security clearance?" is an acceptable pick-up line at a bar?

  • On dating: Is courtship dead? Has it been replaced with text messages? Do men really expect meaningful conversation from a text messages? Have I become too old to date or care?

  • I'm absolutely in love with the newly opened ChurchKey, on 14th St. NW and upstairs from jointly owned Birch & Barley. I went on Wednesday night and felt like I was in draft beer heaven. I haven't tasted the food yet but I can tell that I will definitely be a regular at this spot.

  • Is it just me or is there something disturbing about a very pregnant (7 months) bartender?

  • Good to see the start of basketball season. Nothing like scantily clad, sweaty men! But how many of you Wizards fans just know Arenas will get injured again and be out for the rest of the season? Go Pistons, Celtics, Bulls, or Miami!

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

High Heel Race?

I was supposed to go to the Annual High Heel Race with Derek and a bunch of his restaurant friends but I wimped out. Last night was the kind of night to stay home and watch a movie with a bottle of wine, which is exactly what I did. But of course, the rain never stops DC drag queens for this race. Based on these Washington Post and Fox DC photos, looks like I missed a great show. I'd love to hear from anyone who went - to the race and/or the after parties. Pics, comments, whatever ya got!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Chia Obama

Ok, Chia Obama has got to be the dumbest product hawked on TV. Maybe my late access to cable TV this year is the reason why I'm just now seeing this commercial. All of that Chia crap is bad but this has gone too far. When I saw the commercial I thought I was watching an SNL sketch. This is even worse than the Snuggies for dogs. What's even crazier than the product itself is that it's been embroiled in controversy and snatched from some store shelves for fear of being offensive and even racist. I had no idea that other presidents have been Chia heads so I guess this doesn't bother me. My only question is, who the hell is buying this thing? Probably those same people who have been giving out weird holiday gifts for years. I know I 'd have no qualms about swiftly returning this gift to CVS this holiday season.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why Do People Have Kids?

Why do people have kids? This question may seem odd and even offensive to some. But I just don't get it. It probably doesn't help that none of my close friends have kids and don't get it either. The answers I've gotten over the years have never been satisfactory for what seems like a lifetime prison sentence. They've ranged from the narcissistic (I want a mini-me in the world) to the selfish ( I want someone to take care me of in old age). Then there's the conformist response, "That's just what people do, it's part of life." I've never heard it voiced by actual parents, but the tax incentive that comes with having kids is certainly a bonus. Among them all, the very common unplanned accident explanation makes the most sense. I've also never understood this desire some women express for wanting something growing inside of them or the idea that motherhood is akin to sainthood. Can we all just agree that children are the result of sex and not a miracle? I do sometimes see a big chubby baby and want to hold it but after about an hour I would be bored and want to give it back to its parents.
And what's up with these extremes people will go to, like fertility treatments, in vitro, sperm donors, and surrogate mothers? Lately, I've come to realize that there is a very lucrative reason for having children: reality TV stardom. There's Octomom (even without a TV show, we all know she's getting paid), Toddlers and Tiaras (very weird), Jon and Kate Plus 8 (this cash cow may be over), and now Balloon Boy. I guess you've got to pay for all those happy meals somehow.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

No New Coat for You: Riot at Burlington Coat Factory

I certainly needed a good laugh this week and I did just that when I saw this story on the news about the riot at a Burlington Coat Factory in Ohio caused by an unusual prank of sorts. View here.
Somehow I don't think this is the kind of advertising Burlington Coat Factory was looking for but as they say, any publicity can be good publicity. It got me thinking about how I need a new winter coat. Too bad the closest store to DC that I know of is at the City Place mall in Silver Spring. I visited the store last year and left within ten minutes of being forced by a security guard to check my shopping bag from another store at the entrance. I have a hard time understanding how that mall is still open. If it wasn't for the DSW on Ellsworth Drive and a few good restaurants, I'd never go to Silver Spring. Anyway, while the story is funny, it also makes one wonder if this is a sad result of the recession - for both the woman who made up the story and the people who believed it. Obviously the woman is mentally ill in some way but hey, times are hard, and maybe people are even more likely to wish they had won a million dollars and be able to play Santa Claus for a day. It's quite shocking how many believed her. According to the story, there were 500 people inside and 1,000 outside the store ready to get free merchandise. And what could the store employees, especially managers, have been thinking to allow this to get that far? Has business been so bad that they were willing to believe anything to get sales?
All I know is, the idea of riding in a Hummer limo to Burlington Coat Factory to pull off a stunt like that, had me laughing to tears!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Random Thoughts Thursday: Top Chef

The cold, windy, rainy weather has kept me inside for several days. I luckily had some consulting projects to keep me busy. But as usual, staying in has turned into much mindless internet surfing, experimental cooking (pasta con le sarde, tofu noodle soup, ...), and TV watching. I love Top Chef and have been a regular viewer since it started, but this season has been awfully annoying.
First off, I would bet my last dime that Eli has never gotten laid. That little troll actually lives at home with his parents. His bad attitude matches his looks. We really don't need him showing up on Iron Chef. Then there's the nasty snubbing of Robin. Eli even had something negative to say about her mentioning that she was diagnosed with cancer! While I agree that she's not as talented as some of the other chefs, big deal. Let the judges handle that. And the ageism is very apparent, especially from Mike Isabella. "I hope grandma goes home"?! I think every woman in DC over 40 should boycott Zaytinya or at least show up and taunt him. He's already been called out for sexist remarks. As I mentioned last week, what's up with Padma's tacky clothes this season? She usually looks great. At the beginning of this week's episode she had on this awful big white belt and tall white boots with her jeans tucked in. Does it have something to do with being in Vegas, like Vegas equals tacky? Last but not least, if one of those Voltaggio brothers wins Top Chef, the other one will surely snap and we will be in for the best reality TV cat fight ever.
On a more positive note, the episode has inspired me to learn more about food and wine pairings. A friend in the restuaurant industry recommended the book, Perfect Pairings: A Master Sommelier's Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food, as a good start. I'll keep you posted.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ping Pong Dim Sum

I was excited to learn that London-based Ping Pong Dim Sum will be opening up this fall in Chinatown. Like a lot of people, I joke that all we really have here is a Chinablock - that little strip along H street. But Ping Pong is located on 7th street, further away from all those dives I don't really care to patronize anymore. From what I've seen on their web site, the menu looks promising. Hopefully this place won't be yet another corporate chain that plays down the flavors to accommodate the palates of DC residents and tourists and hikes up prices.
The lack of good Asian food (or other authentic cuisines besides Ethiopian) in this city has been a sore spot for me. I love strong flavors and ingredients that many might consider odd and that wouldn't show up on most restaurant menus in the U.S., especially DC. And when you do find them, they are at outrageously expensive places. Since my budget doesn't allow me to hop on a plane to San Francisco or Saigon for an amazing, cheap, noodle dish, I've learned to be a voyeur of web sites and TV shows like Eating Asia (their photos are like food porn) and Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie on PBS. Come to think of it, now that Gourmet magazine has gone under, will the show continue?

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Random Thoughts Friday

  • Why are there so many big dogs in DC, a city with so much small-space housing? Ok, maybe these people I see walking sheep dogs and greyhounds live in townhouses with backyards, but I doubt it. In fact, I've seen plenty of people coming out of buildings with units that I know for a fact are no more than 400 sq. ft. That's just animal cruelty.
  • What was up with that crazy green 70's disco outfit Padma was wearing on this week's Top Chef? I'm almost sure there was a bit of cameltoe going on.
  • Is it just me or is Project Runway boring as hell this season? Would it have been better on Bravo? Maybe, but there's no room with all the stupid Housewives. And more importantly, why does a 36 year old celebrity woman with several kids, who has been married for years, need to change her last name?
  • Do single people in DC actually participate in Things To Do activities and do the Things To Do people ever find more men to participate in their singles events?
  • Can someone please give Hillary Clinton a makeover? Rachel Zoe, where are you? I just can't take another putrid-colored pantsuit.
  • Uh, no Barbara Walters, David Letterman is not "a very attractive man." I can only hope that none of his female employees risked losing their jobs or career advancement for not sleeping with him. Can you imagine seeing that goofy mug in the CBS hallways snickering the day after?

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Half Off Dining

Why am I just now finding out about this great deal? Probably because I haven't been keeping up with DC's social scene lately. But when it comes to a great food deal, I need to keep my radar alert. Like most single people in DC, I eat out at least once or twice a week to socialize, relieve stress, or just not have to bother with cooking and cleaning up after. When I was in grad school I ate out so much that I had a mysterious case of missing forks. The culprit? I was accidentally throwing out my forks with the carryout containers my leftover food came in. These days I've wised up and put my leftovers on a real plate. The City Paper is making eating out a whole lot easier by offering $50 gift certificates for only $25 at some great restaurants around town. A couple of these have been on my "must try" list for a while so I can definitely see taking advantage of this deal soon.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Insomnia Baking

What does a single City Girl do when she's battling insomnia? Apparently, bake. It's weird because I'm way out of practice with it aside from the sweet potato pie at Thanksgiving. There's just something about baking that goes so well with being up at 5am for no reason. Maybe it's all the waiting around - for dough to chill, for the finished product to be done, for the product to cool.... And it gives you a reason to sift through saved recipes that you've been procrastinating about trying and then figuring out if you have the ingredients to make any of them. What I've produced so far in the early morning hours have been gooey walnut brownies that I spotted on and a version of black forest cookies I saw demonstrated on the PBS show, Everday Baking. With dark chocolate bars, dried cherries and walnuts, I was good to go. I am now a huge fan of Divine Chocolate, a fair trade product available at Whole Foods and perfect for baked goods. I managed to escape a 10-pound weight gain by sharing these goodies with neighbors. So far I've gotten rave reviews. I figure if I don't get over the insomnia, at least I'll have a shot at a baking career!

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

RedRocks for Lunch...and Happy Hour

For over a week, I took a mental vacation in my head and apartment. It didn't do much good for my to-do list but I do feel somewhat rejuvenated. I can always be motivated by food and thanks to my empty refrigerator and an Adventures in Shaw post, I got out and finally tried RedRocks pizza this past Friday. I can now see why they were voted 2nd best pizza out of 32 in the Washingtonian Pizza Pool. Even though the bartender got my order wrong, this was one amazing pizza!
My day started with a promising meeting that could result in a steady consulting job. I decided to treat myself to a lazy afternoon lunch. I had no idea it would last well into happy hour. When I got there I was one of maybe 5 people there. Since the weather was so nice I almost sat outside on the patio but when I noticed Top Chef was on the TV, I settled in at the bar. Within twenty minutes, the place had filled up and I had plenty of company at the bar. I quickly realized RedRocks is one of those cool neighborhood joints where people come in and are immediately friendly. I also realized that I wasn't the only one who decided to have a leisurely Friday afternoon. The most talkative of the bunch was a wiry, horn-rimmed glasses wearing, 50-something real estate investor who knew something about everything and appeared to have done it all. After several glasses of wine and leftover pizza, I was ready to head home for a nap. I was told by the bartender that I didn't have a bill. Apparently the wiry talker had paid everyone's tab at the bar. Wow! I need a fairy barfather more often.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Seen and Heard in DC

This past holiday weekend was fun and exhausting to say the least. It included birthday celebrations, a going away party, catching up with people I hadn't seen in years, and quite a bit of crazy. I don't know if it was the full moon on the 4th or resistance to summer coming to an end, but crazy was definitely on the loose. By Monday, I even came down with cold/flu-like symptoms and ended up in bed until today. Here are some of the things I saw and heard since last Friday:

  • On the X2 Bus, woman sucking on a peach points to a guy in a security guard uniform and says loudly, "are they hiring?" After guy responds with a yes, she asks, "do they take you if you got a misdemeanor?" Guy says no. She says, "It ain't like I got a felony."
  • While walking to the grocery store in flip-flops, capris, tank top, and ponytail, a cab driver slows down and asks me, "are you working?" Are all women prostitutes now?
  • At a bar in Dupont, a really young and annoying guy is trying to hit on me. When I tell him I could be his mother he says, "I don't care about the exit, let's just deal with the entrance."
  • At Utopia, a well-dressed, seemingly intelligent, non-drunk guy offers to show me something on his his cell phone. He shows me a picture of his penis taken by an ex-girlfriend. No words.
  • Attempting to help a friend celebrate her birthday at Josephine on Sunday night, Baxter and I get to the door and they're charging $40! I forgot how crazy DC can be the Sunday night before a holiday. People willing to pay anything to get into wack clubs and get drunk since they don'thave to work the next day and clubs all to eager to rob them. We caught up with her later.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Brazil vs. Argentina Soccer Match at Muse

I'm not a huge sports fan but there are a few that I enjoy watching like basketball and soccer. They're both fast-paced enough to keep my attention and the guys are generally hot. I love watching a highly anticipated game in a room full of passionate fans. Tomorrow, The Muse in Chinatown is offering up the Brazil vs. Argentina soccer match on six screens along with some great drink specials. I love Brazilian food, music, and culture and its high on my list of fantasy vacations. I'm hoping the venue will offer a taste of some of that culture, especially music, during and after the match. I'll be cheering on Brazil but there's also an incentive: a free shot whenever Brazil scores! Get the details at

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Models of the Runway: How Stupid is This?

In the words of my friend Lena, the show Models of the Runway, which airs right after Project Runway on Lifetime, is a waste of air time. It seemed like a good idea in theory but has just fallen flat. Given the success of America's Next Top Model, one would think this new show would work. I have to admit that Top Model is one of my guilty pleasures. It's hard to deny that the show reinforces the stereotype that models are just stupid. And it doesn't help that in the fashion industry, models are expected to be very young which comes with obvious problems. They're often awkward in their own bodies and don't have a clear sense of who they are which comes through in their photos. Last season, one doe-eyed contestant could only manage one facial expression - confused. She, however, was preferred over a talented but "too old" 25 year old. But you get a combination of things with Top Model. It's comedic to watch the drama between the girls, enlightening with regard to the world of modeling, and offers a critical forum around beauty and acceptable female images in this country and around the world (since they do go to other countries). So far, Models of the Runway just seems like an afterthought to the creators. And a pet peeve of mine is that the age of the model is not displayed by their name when being interviewed yet designers ages are always shown. Hmmm....why is that?

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Still on the High Horse

I am watching the Chris Brown interview on Larry King Live with a necessary glass of wine. The assault on Rihanna by Chris Brown was hard for me to hear about because I have personal experience with dating violence and know family and friends who have experienced either dating or domestic violence. I think these two young stars dealt with the aftermath of the incident terribly. I mean really, jet skiing at P. Diddy's? These two people have millions of impressionable young fans who needed to see this as a serious incident. But then, as far as victims of violence are concerned, trauma can make you do all kinds of things - including getting a gun tattoo. But anyway, I am having difficulty listening to Chris Brown who I think is just trying to save his career. I don't see the point of even having him on the show. He has said very little to nothing about his state of mind and reasons for why he behaved so violently. But then, this is not unusual for abusers. They tend to see their actions as justified no matter what anyone says and will continue to claim "love" for their victims. Like so many others, I think he is: delusional, insincere, in denial, defensive, immature, arrogant, and will most likely abuse again. Sadly, I think many of those characteristics also describe Rihanna. It seems as though many women don't wake up until well after their twenties and some never do. I think Brown, like so many others, unfortunately still believes that violence in relationships is just part of life and this belief is detrimental for both men and women. And why does his mommy need to be there or "keep an eye on him" while picking up trash in Virginia? This coddling of grown men by their mother, or other female relatives, is pathetic and a significant part of the problem. I don't think his sentencing or treatment will be effective. An "aberration?" I think he will hook up with another immature woman and he will hit her too. And like teenage girl-loving R. Kelly, female fans will be there to defend him and buy his music. Until we change our beliefs about violence, especially in intimate relationships in this society, nothing will ever change.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Dancing With the Stars: Don't DeLay

Ok, so I'm getting on my ideological high horse. I have to. I am offended by the decision of Dancing With the Stars to include former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay this season. A Texas grand jury indicted the man on charges that he violated campaign finance law back in 2005. While he hasn't been convicted, others involved with him, like Jack Abramoff have. The investigation of him and others revealed that he had knowledge of and benefited from all kinds of atrocious and illegal activities including the slave-like treatment of workers in the U.S. territory of the Northern Marianas. There's a very good PBS documentary by Bill Moyers on this whole situation called "Capitol Crimes", which prominently features DeLay, Abramoff, and others. I actually don't even watch DTWS, but I really won't now. I've noticed from the blogosphere and ABC's own site that some fans are planning to boycott the show and/or advertisers. I think that's a good idea. It's just disturbing what TV producers will do to get ratings. I mean really, we're talking about someone who, whether indirectly or not, contributed to major human rights violations as well as violating the democratic political process. The thinking that DeLay would boost ratings is just odd to me anyway. That mug shot of his is just creepy. Who wants to see this guy dancing around? But then again, that seems to be the direction of reality TV. One of these shows had no problem casting a dude with a criminal record who may have murdered his ex-wife. All I know is that I'm adding two more categories to the "Who Not to Date" list: politicians and reality TV participants.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Looking Good for Less

As the dog days of summer drag on, the need to look good and show more skin continues. I've tried many DC salons and spas over the years to narrow down a list of go-to's from inexpensive but good to splurge spots. It's not easy in DC to manage looking good all the time if you're on a budget. I've heard for years from friends and family in other areas how even in New York, it's not hard to find great, inexpensive nail and hair salons. When I visit family in Jersey, I frequent a hair salon that only charges $15 for a really good roller set. In DC, the lowest I've been able to find that same service is for $35. And don't get me started on manicures a pedicures in DC. What's up with all the $50 pedicures? This is why I was happy to stumble upon Spalon in Dupont this summer. A mani and pedi combined is only $35 and I've been consistently happy with the service. It's a comfortable, friendly, and professional environment and my toes have looked great for at least two weeks. A couple of times I've even gotten complimentary brow waxing. I recently walked in without an appointment and decided to use the time to test the hair services. I've been extremely satisfied with my regular stylist but stylist-owned salons can be rather pricey. I usually don't trust a whim when it comes to my hair but the stylist I requested was doing a good job on the woman in her chair. Once she was done with me I was pleasantly surprised, especially for only $35. My coiffed hair even stood up to the steamy DC air. Looks like I'll be adding Spalon to the list.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Againn - Not a Typo

Looks like DC is getting another British-style gastropub come this fall - and right in my neighborhood - from the Whisk Group. I keep hearing how Shaw will explode with restaurants and retail once the Convention Center Marriott goes up, but it will be a while before that happens. That's why I'm always happy to hear about a new opening within a few blocks from my doorstep. I passed by tonight and noticed that the windows were still covered with paper. It's called Againn and no, that is not a typo. Why the extra 'n'? I don't know. Must be a language thing. It's located on street level inside the Tishman Speyer office building at 11th and I NW. It's also a block away from Brassirie Beck. Considering how packed Beck is almost every night after five, another option will be quite welcome.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Project Runway?

I met a couple of neighbors last night for the season premiere of Project Runway at the Duplex Diner, which was guaranteed to be showing it. I got there somewhat late but I don't think it would have mattered. The place was packed! Could there have been more gay guys in one place? I've noticed that in my old age I've become claustrophobic so I couldn't take it, not even for Project Runway. I took my old ass to Clyde's for a roasted turkey sandwich and a beer and called it a night. At least now I know Clyde's is having a filet mignon special for the month of August and a 1st Annual Old Ebbitt Grill (same owners) Block Party on September 5th. But the question was Project Runway?

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

DC Beer Week

Looks like there's something to celebrate this week: It's DC Beer Week. Tonight's lineup looks particularly good. While I'm not a beer snob, beer geek, or cocktail nerd (as explained by Derek Brown in the City Paper), I do love some good beer. I didn't start drinking beer until later in adulthood compared to other beer drinkers. I think this is why I bypassed the bad beer drinking (Bud Light) of college years. I didn't even have beer from a keg until a couple of years ago. I also love being served beer in the appropriate glass. It's like beer fashion. And it really does make a difference in terms of taste as well as how it feels in your hand. I absolutely hate huge mugs. I fell in love with the Sam Adams pint glass (right) a few months ago. The Boston Globe has a nifty little guide to glasses on their site. The good thing is that I've seen a growth in bars and restaurants with good beer on tap and in bottles as well as bartenders who are passionate and knowledgeable about beer. When I want a beer, you'll tend to find me at: The Reef, The Saloon, Commonwealth (the cask conditioned ales are amazing!) , and the Brickskeller. If I lived closer to Granville Moore's, I would be there more often too. Ok, I'm getting thirsty.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hot and Bothered

I'm quite sure I've ranted before about my dislike of hot, humid DC summers. And yes, I do agree that this summer has been rather kind comparatively. But today, I'm particularly bothered by this uncomfortable weather and thus, feel like ranting about other stuff as well.
First, could someone please remind me never to go on a job interview in 90 degree heat all the way out in Virginia?! I still haven't decided if I'm returning to my job next month after the restructuring and being offered less money and fewer benefits so, I've been looking yet again. Too much to think about. That, coupled with these freakish, gun-toting town hall protesters just makes me want to pack up and move to Copenhagen, where the summers are cooler and apparently Denmark is the happiest country in the world.
I'm also hoping to cure myself of this bad habit of giving out my phone number to stupid dudes. I got a healthy dose of Trickster Dude the other night and he has continued to text me for the past few days. The scenario: British journalist in town for business I met while out with friends. Seemingly nice, fun, interesting, yada, yada. He's here for a month and is having trouble finding fun places to go. At the end of the night we were both hungry and went to The Diner. We share a cab afterwards and as a typical dude, suggests I hang out in his hotel room. Uh, no! There will be two stops Mr. Cab Driver.
The next day he texts several times about my day and what I'm doing. I told him I'd be out later and to let me know if he wanted to meet for drinks. He said he felt really tired and might not be up for it but would call if he did. While I'm out later that night I spot Mr. Brit over in the corner with a woman getting pretty cozy. We glanced at each other a few times so I'm sure he saw me. I also notice him making the rounds and approaching several other women. At the end of the night when I walk over to speak, he acts all surprised like he didn't know I was there. I say good night and leave. About a half hour later, I start to get a barrage of texts asking me why I left and how he really wanted to see me. He actually said that he thought we had plans. Plans? I don't think so. He never called to make any.
Apparently he thought he would try his hand at a few other women (why waste time when you're only in town for a month?) rather than commit to hanging out with me. So, when he doesn't get lucky he figures why not make another attempt with Good Time Girl (me) from the night before. Same tactic as every other dude who likes to call/text at the end of the night to "see what you're doing." How stupid am I supposed to be? I'm done ranting for the day.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Mad Men Party Recap

Last night's Mad Men viewing party turned out wonderfully, even with one broken TV. The venue, show, and people were all great. I want to thank all the folks from Yelp for showing up. I just wish I had more time to mix and mingle and take pictures but was off to another spot right after the show. As expected, the Season 3 Premiere was worth waiting for. It was a thought-provoking, conversation starter that has already taken the characters to the next level. I can't wait for the next episode.
Ulah Bistro is one of those U Street places in my regular rotation but I obviously don't hang out upstairs enough. The lounge is gorgeous and it's a great place to throw a party. Since I'm usually there late when there's a limited menu, I haven't had much other than the typical bar food - burger, pizza, wings - and it's all been good. Next time I'll have to try one of the many entrees that sound delicious like the short ribs with gorgonzola polenta or the braised lamb fettuccine. They also have a great beer selection. While I didn't have a true Old Fashioned like Don Draper, I did have a bourbon drink prepared by Brian the bartender, who was great. As luck would have it, he informed me that Ulah will be showing Mad Men every Sunday now! Brian assured me that other TV will be fixed by next Sunday. So, for all of you TV-challenged people like me or those of you who just like coming out and watching a great show and socializing with cool people, come on out to Ulah next week. See you there!

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Mad Men Viewing Party at Ulah Bistro

After hearing a friend's rave reviews of Mad Men, the show has been in my Netflix queue since late last year. I absolutely love the show. I'm always amazed at how few people have heard of it especially since its been on for two years now and has received so much critical acclaim. I would say 16 Emmy nominations is quite impressive. One of the best things about the show is how stylish it is. The fashion has obviously struck a chord with women and I see that Banana Republic has jumped on that. I have a feeling we will be seeing lots of women in DC this fall wearing pencil skirts and shift dresses. But I can imagine how the slow pace, intense yet subtle dialogue (you really have to pay attention while watching this show), and overt sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. could turn some people off. I look at it as a sociological study. It's unbelievable how much behaviors have changed since the early 60's.

Well, given that I still haven't upgraded my television situation to a full cable lineup and only have basic cable (that's another post altogether), I can't watch it at home. Apparently, there are others with this same dilemma. So, the folks over at Ulah Bistro were kind enough to offer the upstairs lounge for a viewing party. This works out great! I love the food there and it's right at the U St. metro. And don't be shy! Why not show up in your favorite 60's inspired outfit?

What: Mad Men Season 3 Premiere Viewing Party
Where: Ulah Bistro, 1214 U Street NW, upstairs
When: Sunday, August 16 at 9:30 (show starts at 10pm)

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Old School Hip Hop

So i'm at the De La Soul concert at the 930 club. Are there really that many goofy hipsters in DC or do people really remember this music the way i do? I do love this venue though. How do I always run into people I've known for a few days or a few years? Tonight I ran into a guy from grad school who was in one of my undergrad classes I was teaching. He claims he had a crush on me back then. Ha! Really?

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Three Men, One Night, No Money

It's a Saturday afternoon and I'm trying to sort out the last two days: where did these numbers in my cell phone come from and whose cards are these in my purse? What's missing? ATM receipts. And that would be a good thing even if I wasn't so broke right now.
Things got interesting on Thursday when I double-booked dates for the night. The first was for happy hour at Urbana. I met Bachelor #5 at a free small business seminar a week ago. Urbana was the perfect choice because I've been craving their bacon wrapped dates stuffed with goat cheese. These little delicacies are amazing! They're like warm, crispy candy with a soft center and a touch of saltiness. Perfect for one of those sweet/salty PMS-induced cravings. The date went well. We played a fun little game of this-or-that to get a sense of our likes and dislikes. Around eight, he headed to the train and I was on my way to date #2. I decided to take a stroll to my next destination and walk off the wine I drank. As I was walking, a harmless-looking guy approached with an armful of papers and a briefcase. I generally don't speak to random guys on the street but I guess the wine had me feeling friendly. Apparently he had just left the office after a long day where he worked as a legal consultant. I had some time before the next date, so when he suggested a quick drink at Local 16, I figured why not. He turned out to be rather nice and we made plans for a movie the next day. I was refreshed enough to continue my journey to Vinoteca, where I was meeting up with Bachelor #4. I knew exactly what I wanted - the lamb sliders. We decided to get a bottle of wine so, we went with the 2007 Turley Zinfandel which has been on my must-try list for a while. It paired extremely well with the lamb. As for the date, let's just say I don't think I pair too well with #4.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Julie & Julia

I have been eagerly anticipating the movie Julie & Julia and I happily accepted advance screening passes from a friend. I have to be honest though. As a kid, I thought Julia Child was "that weird old lady" on PBS. It wasn't until much later that I understood her significance in the culinary and TV cooking world. Her cookbook, Mastering The Art of French Cooking is a must-have for any kitchen.
So, I want to see this movie for two main reasons: 1) It celebrates the life of an amazingly brave, pioneering woman and 2) It's the first major film about a blogger. And that's a lot for one movie! I'm just so excited to see a blogger in the spotlight. I really do think this is an important statement about the significance of blogging. So, on Friday, all of us bloggers should toast to this milestone! And of course, I'd love to hear how you enjoyed the movie. Cheers!

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Summer Bounty

One of the best things about summer in DC is the abundance of farmer's markets throughout the city. This year I've been making regular trips to the Penn Quarter FreshFarm Market. Even closer to home, is the fairly new Old City Green, an adorable community garden center, where I picked up a lovely purple basil plant. They even repotted it for me. Unlike the summer bounty of men, the food bounty never disappoints. Cooking with summer produce is so simple and delicious: tomato and eggplant sauteed in garlic and olive oil becomes a quick sauce for pasta. Yummy! And perfect with the Treana viognier I have. As you can see in the picture, I also picked up some really sweet plums in varying colors.
I think I'll take it easy tonight and play around with a new recipe. Given that there's also a bounty of things to do in the summer, I didn't get home until the sun was almost rising this morning. The night included dancing to the sounds of Quentin Harris, one of my favorite DJs, over at the Trinidad and Tobago house. This place has undergone vast improvements since the last time I was there a few months ago. The ventilation, dance floor, and bar have all been upgraded, making for a much more comfortable place to party. I could probably stand to rest up a bit tonight.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Get Your Daily Deal

Just got an email from the folks at Living Social, a Facebook Application Development company, who have launched an on-line site offering significant discounts to some of the best restaurants, spas, museums, and services in DC. As the email states, "each day, a new deal is launched at and people have 24 hours to “get in” on the deal." Today's deal? A 50% discount on tickets to the International Spy Museum. Sounds good to me. In these hard economic times, who couldn't use a deal?

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Swingers in DC

Late last year I posted about a weird experience I had at Kramerbooks where I was approached by a couple of swingers. Well, now I know where they hang out. I was on my way to meet Mitch and Clayton at Halo (of course) on Saturday and got a text from Mitch that there's a swingers party upstairs. Once I neared the door, it was clear that something different was going on. A stream of seemingly straight couples going into Halo is odd. Who knew there were so many swingers in DC. They were all headed upstairs after paying the $40 charge and only if they have signed up on the web site. The name of the party is Entre Nous and apparently there's a strict dress code: classy skank. A couple of women came downstairs to mingle with us non-swingers and immediately latched onto Clayton. They looked like the Real Housewives of Orange County. And let me just say, I have serious issues with these shows and I'm curious to see what they'll do with the DC version. But anyway, back to the swingers. One of them whipped out her phone and proceeded to show him her portfolio of nude pictures. Well they do like to share, don't they?
I do find it kind of discriminatory to allow women to come alone but not men. What's up with that? I would imagine this would make it difficult for a woman trying to hook up with two men. Hey, I'm just saying.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gay Night

After several occurrences lately of turning down invites from my friend Derek in favor of dates with straight men, we finally hung out last night. Our neighbor Lori had the next day off and decided to join us. We started off at The Fireplace, which I've been to before. The place kind of creeps me out but you can't beat the cheap, strong drinks. We then headed over to Apex. I had never been there even though both Derek and my friend Clayton have said how much they love the place. In comparison, I like this place place a lot better than Town. While Apex is also big, it doesn't have that cold, industrial feel like Town and instead of two levels, it's sectioned off into different rooms. The music in each room was better as well. And multiple bars with plenty of bartenders helps too. I also noticed there were more women there than I've seen at Town and fewer shirtless guys. Not a fan of the bathrooms though. Overall, lots of fun. I love the gigantic sequined shoe (left) on the wall.
We ended the night at DC Cafe. Love their shwarmas!

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sometimes Talking Just Isn't Necessary

I feel like the last few days have been a blur as I have been constantly on the go at one party or date after another. As usual, when it rains it pours. On Thursday I had a promising date with Bachelor #2 at the new W Hotel's very pretentious POV Roof Terrace. It's weird because I remember not too long ago when this was Hotel Washington's Sky Terrace and was filled with tourists in shorts and sneakers. I'm starting to wonder if every place in DC will turn into a scene from a music video. Anyway, the weekend also included a birthday get-together for a relative, a great Indian dinner at Mitch's place and a Sunday night date with Bachelor #4 - a new addition to the list. Another former college athlete and trader at a Baltimore firm. This guy is definitely lots of fun.
I was exhausted on Monday and decided to chill out in front of the TV for the night. My 20 minute venture out was a good example of why people really should just shut up sometimes. I headed to the convenience store around the corner for a 6-pack of Sam Adams Summer Ale (my current summer favorite). The guy in line in front of me was buying one of those single cigarettes they keep behind the counter and matches. He glanced at the beer as I sat in on the counter. On my way out he asks if he could join me for a drink. Okay, what kind of pathetic line is that? Let's see, can I have some of the beer you just bought? Yeah, if you pay for it!
I also ventured around to CVS. It's unfortunately that time of the month and I needed supplies. First of all, going to any CVS in the city is annoying with the long lines, nasty workers, and over-priced products. The one in my neighborhood now has a DC police officer at the front counter due to robberies. So, as I handed the cashier my pads, she loudly says: "Looks like a lot of people are having issues today." I looked confused so she pointed to the pads and dropped them in the bag. What?

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mega vs. Bolt

Update: The Washington Post has set up its on survey of DC to New York buses today (8/28/09). What's your preference?

I've been taking the bus up to New York from DC to visit family for years now. I love the fact that there are so many more choices now. If I could afford it, I would just take Amtrak because I love the comfort level and not having to worry about traffic. But I still find it ridiculous that Amtrak costs so much. I mean really, does it make any sense that it costs less to go from DC to the Midwest than it does to New York? I especially love the convenience recently of having two bus carriers -Megabus and BoltBus - right up the street from where I live and there are plenty of departure times at all hours. But comfortable? Not so much. I do like the comfort of Washington Deluxe, but the schedule is limited. So, I still haven't found that perfect combination of comfort, convenience (location, schedules, payment methods, etc.), and affordability. Of course, I'm sure I haven't exhausted all possible options though either. I'm curious to know what others think. Do you Mega, Bolt, or do something else to get out of town and why?

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Late Night Out

The lazy days of summer have been dragging on and rather than stress over what I'm going to do with my life or watch late night public TV cooking shows (I love Lidia's Italy) or my latest Netflix movie (Feast of Love) or search the net, I ventured out. This is new only because I've become somewhat of a hermit lately. Ok, a few days doesn't really count as being a hermit but, whatever.
I hung out with Derek and his service industry friends at the usual Monday spots. But given that I couldn't sleep the night before and fell asleep at 6 in the morning and woke up at 2pm, I was still wide awake even after breakfast at The Diner. What to do? Well, fortunately in DC there is always someplace to go even at 3am. We headed to my new favorite after hours spot where I had the most weird and interesting conversations I've had in a while. It was exactly the kind of fun I needed. I even have a dinner date scheduled for later this week with a rather cute performance artist and have agreed to accompany someone to see The Color Purple at the Kennedy Center. The perfect nightcap? Falling asleep in the early morning light to Michael Franks' Passionfruit CD of course.

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