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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