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!

Sphere: Related Content

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?

Sphere: Related Content

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.

Sphere: Related Content

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.

Sphere: Related Content

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.

Sphere: Related Content

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.

Sphere: Related Content

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.

Sphere: Related Content

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.

Sphere: Related Content

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?

Sphere: Related Content