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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