Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"You know, Aphrodite slept with Ares in one myth? That's Venus and Mars getting hot and heavy."

On the many loves of Aphrodite: Perhaps the most notorious of these legends is of her affair with the war god Ares. According to the myth, Aphrodite was married to the god of smiths, Hephaistos. However, the golden goddess apparently tended to abandon poor Hephaistos as soon as his burly back was turned, for on many occasions she was to be found in the arms of her lover (one consequence of this illicit affair is included in the Odyssey and recounted in the Mythography page devoted to Ares). As a result of these romantic interludes, Aphrodite bore three children to Ares: Deimos ("terror"), Phobos ("fear"), and a daughter named Harmonia ("concord"). More here.

I've always been a fan of mythology. Of religion. Of long jokes. Of fiction. Of astrology. Of anything that tells a story. It's a weird fascination of mine. And, I do actually think in stories. For example, often when I'm trying to move on from a bad situation, I'll think about Lot's wife looking back at Sodom and Gomorrah and turning into a pillar of salt. Don't look back. It's gone. The bad is behind you.

And religion, I like religion in general. All religions are fascinating to me. I read a book on Baha'i in college, because Erica was raised practicing it. I always got an A in religion at my Episcopalian school. I love sitting in churches, synagogues, temples, whatever. Mainly, I like the sermons. How, it always seems, the portion of whatever scripture a religion uses seems to teach you something about your current place in life.

And astrology, by direct correlation, has each sign connected to gods from mythology. So, I like to recall why certain signs get along based on how their ruling gods interacted in mythology.

I know, its all a bit weird. In my defense, my father and uncles are story tellers.

Regardless, I adore decoding the mystery behind a Free Will Astrology horoscope. I have send me my daily horoscope in email. And, I read it every morning before I get to work. There's a "daily Tarot Card" generically included for all signs. A couple of days ago, I got the Magician card. I don't read those details, but the card was pretty a perfect to use as an image for my planning in A Night of Mystique.

I set up the website page for Anastasia, the Tarot Card Reader who will be part of the talent at the event. I used the Magician card image as a picture on the page. When I showed her the link, she mentioned she liked the card. I explained how I came to find that card. Here's something interesting I got back from her.

P.S. -- The fact that you got the Magician is very appropriate because it says that you're putting your creative abilities into action to yield great results. (Good news for Noah Cuttler!)

Just thought that was interesting.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Evening Yesterday

5pm: I leave work.

5:15pm: Arrive home. Move trash bins curbside cursing upstairs neighbors for stuffing cardboard boxes that contained their new Target furniture, apparently, making the bins overflow with trash.

5:20pm: I scrub my hands repeatedly.

5:30pm: After a quick change, I decide to deal with the hideous 23rd Street traffic to get to SFW in Arlington for Dietz & Watson Turkey Pastrami (which is strangely better than the Boar's Head version at Harris Teeter and half the price). I was craving it.

6pm: I sit in traffic on 22nd and M where two police cars with lights on are parked on the side of the road. A cop is directing traffic. I make my way up to N Street where another light is out. I notice that the Embassy Suites and Marriott are completely dark.

6:15pm: I walk into my house to find that no lights work. I scavenge my utility container to find the massive flashlight I'd bought after the Northeast Blackout in 2003.

6:30pm: I call 311. "Hi. I have a power outage that appears to be a large blackout in NW DC. There are police officers directing traffic. Could you tell me what's going on?" "There's a power outage." "Yes, I'm aware. Is there any information on why or when this will be resolved? Should I find somewhere to go stay for the night?" "It's a power outage. Do you want to be connected to Pepco?" "Are they open 24 hours?" "Yes." "Okay."

6:35pm: "Yes." "Um, is this Pepco?" "Yes." "I have a power outage at my house that appears to be a neighborhood outage. The police are directing traffic. Could you give me info on the problem and when it will be resolved?" "How did you get this number?" "Um, 311 transferred me." "Well, this is the wrong number." "Is this Pepco?" "Yes. You need to call a different number." "Okay, do you have that number?" "Yes. It's..." "Can you transfer me? I don't have a pen available as my house is dark." "No." "Um, okay. Well, let me find a pen." "The number is..." "I need to find a pen. You're going to have to wait a second." "The number is..." "Stop. What is your full name?" "Do you have a pen?" "Yes, now I have a pen." "The number is..." Click.

6:40pm: I'd written the number on a paper towel. A drop of melted snow comes down from the balcony above me. I squint to read what I just wrote as it's now been smudged. After getting a french operator when I dialed 1-877-797-2662, I realize the number is 1-877-737-2662. "Please enter your 10 digit Pepco account number to report an outage." I push zero. "I'm sorry, the number you pushed is not a valid entry." I enter a random 10 digit number with the hopes of being connected to customer service. "That number is not valid. Please reenter your account number." I hang up.

6:45pm: I call 311. I accidentally push the number 2 and am told that my call may be recorded in Spanish. "Hi. I called about 20 minutes ago. You transferred me to the wrong person at Pepco. They can't give me any information on the power outage. Do you have information yet?" I am told that I am being transferred to an English dispatcher. I repeat the same thing. "No. We have no information." Click.

6:55pm: I call 311 back. "I was just hung up on." Then I repeat my story. "I can transfer you to the Police Department's Public Alert department." "Thanks."

7pm: "District of Columbia Police." "Hi." I repeat the facts. "How did you get this number?" "311 transferred me." "Well, this is the Police Press Office." "Um, okay. And suggestions?" "I live in Maryland, but at the bottom of your bill in Maryland there's a number to call to get an estimated time of when power will be restored." "Do you have Pepco?" "Yes. Hold on, let me check on-line and see what I can find for you." "Thank you!" "Okay, you should call this number..." It was the same number given to me by the guy at Pepco 20 minutes earlier.

7:15pm: I dig through my mail sorter in the dark to hopefully find a Pepco bill Kate hadn't retrieved yet. I am able to find one and call the automated number. I enter the account number and confirm my address "Only the house number in your address will be stated for security reasons. Please confirm this information." "Someone will come by your house by February 27th at 3am." "Would you like a call when the power is restored?" Yes. "Is this your number?" No. I entered my number instead of Kate's. "Someone will call you to confirm that your power has been restored."

7:20pm: Out of curiosity, I call the Government closing alert number. I hear that the severe weather storm warning was released at 3am on February 26th.

7:30pm: I call the Master to see if she has power a block away from me. I get her voicemail. I then call Suave, Vive, Peter and the Pea to see if they are home. I realize the book I'm reading currently is about a murder and not something I'm content reading under candle light alone in my apartment.

7:35pm: I hear my neighbor come in. I pop my head out the door. "We have no power. I called though. They're completely unhelpful. I did put in my number to be called when it's restored, so I'll let you know." "Thanks. Do you need candles or anything?" "No, thanks, I have plenty. I'm a single girl. Who doesn't?" "Yeah. I just got a sandwich at Cosi. Now, I'm going upstairs to have a romantic dinner under candlelight for one." "Oh yeah, I have sandwich meat I just bought. I can make a sandwich." "Yeah, glad I got this from Cosi." "Cool, well, let me know if you need anything." "Thanks. You too."

7:40pm: I call my mother. "Could you Google 'Power outage in DC' to see if there's any current info up?" "Yeah. No, nothing is showing up."

7:45pm: I gather all my candles and light them around my room. I stick my Nano headphones in my ears and set-up to paint something. Eye calls. She's outside. "Are you home? All the lights are out. Do you have candles on?" We had to exchange bags. She had mine, and I had hers from a couple weeks ago. We chat for a bit.
8pm: "Thanks for stopping by my seance." She laughs.

8:30pm: Vive calls. She fell asleep at 6:30pm. "I'm so sick." "Oh no! Well, I was going to see if I could come by, but now I've been hanging out in the dark, and it's not so bad." I hang up and proceed to jump at my own shadow. Okay, it was sort of scary.

8:45pm: The Master calls. She does have power a block from me. I get ready to go over to her house. What can I say? I'm a baby when it comes to being alone in the dark.

9pm: I am over at the Master's place. I have brought my cell phone to charge, and am turning on my laptop. I sign into GMail to find the following Alerts from DC. Geniuses. Because, yes, if we have no power, we definitely have internet access? And, it took them 4 1/2 hours to send anything out! "Still being worked on" below, implies they e-mailed beforehand. They never did.

Utility Alert
Feb 26 10:22 PM(12 hours ago)

Update / Pepco reports the problem is still being worked on and restoration time at 12 midnight.

Utility Alert
11:31 pm (11 hours ago)

PEPCO reports all power restored at 2314 hours.

Yeah, so that was my night. I went to bed at 12pm.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Yes, I've become that person.

I'm sorry, but it had to be said.

To: Customer Service @ LaRedoute

I just opened your most recent catalogue featuring the Spring 2007 collection and was disgusted to see the model who appears on pages 2 through 9. This model is clearly anorexic and her extreme weight issues, amidst the recent ban of underweight models in Europe, is distasteful and repulsive on your company's part. The least of your worries is that a normal sized woman (I'm a size 4 or 6) will turn their noses up at clothing being advertised on someone waif thin as evident by Sarah Jessica Parker's failure as a Gap model. I would suggest you set higher standards for displaying your clothing before you lose customers. I certainly will not be purchasing anything from your company.

The canned response I received:

Dear Customer:

My name is Carri Tibke. I will be helping you with your issue today. Thank you for your email. We appreciate your letter expressing your feelings on the models we use in our catalogs. In an effort to uphold customer satisfaction we welcome your feedback and will forward to the appropriate departments.

Please accept our apologies if you have been inconvenienced.

Experience la différence

Carri Tibke
La Support Team

Although, in all honesty, it's not like I've ever ordered anything from the catalogue. Cheaply made and sort of trashy. But still, they send me these catalogues daily. I'd appreciate models without heroin problems.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Okay, this just almost made me throw up...

I'm seriously sick to my stomach...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Bama folk at the 18th Amendment

The 2nd Annual Heart of Dixie Happy Hour was last night at the 18th Amendment. Organized by the National Capital Chapter of the University of Alabama Alumni Association, the Metro Washington Auburn Club and the Alabama State Society. An open drink and food tab lasted until 8pm, so that was quite nice!

Sassy and AM met me there. I left around 8pm and headed home. Early morning today.

In other news, I'm going out for drinks with District Belle's good friend. He's a nice, attractive man I met Tuesday night. I especially enjoyed that he took the initiative to get my number from District Belle the day after he met me, e-mail me, and schedule a time to meet up right away. The only side note is that he's 40. I've gone on a date with a 36-year-old, but I have to say 40 is definitely the oldest. If he's as interesting as he seems, it really shouldn't be an issue. It does bring me back to the thoughts I had a while back when a girl Jenny and I grew up with married a 56-year-old. We're 27. We're in the age range, officially, to be politically correct arm candy. It's all a bit new and strange to me. Somedays I wake up thinking I'm in my childhood bedroom still. Of course, it's been 9 years since then. I'm all grown up.

And, in other news, this weekend will be fun! There's a wear all black and celebrate Johnny Cash's birthday party on Saturday night and a cocktail attire Oscar's bash at Left Bank on Sunday night. I'll report back in Monday.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tid Bits

Conflict in the Congo

Vive and I attended the HIAS & DCJCC's joint program last night on the Conflict in the Congo. To quote the invitation, "The conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed 4 million lives over the past 8 years... The Victims of a Forgotten War. Yet as the death toll rises, the world continues to respond with indifference and inaction. We all carry a piece of the Congo with us every day. Help us raise awareness of this deadly conflict by learning about what's happening in the Congo and find out how we're all connected to this war-torn country."

Panelists included the former Director of HIAS Kenya, Executive Director of the Friends of the Congo, and an Activist from the Congo.

Basically, the purpose of the event was to raise awareness about the issues occurring in the DRC. Lobbying and letter writing to Senators won't help until the constituency cares. With the media concentrating only on Darfur lately, it is even more impossible for the Congo to get the support it needs at this time. A graphic movie and even more graphic story about the abuse of women in the DRC helped highlight the tragedies (though, Vive almost threw up listening to one story about a woman's leg being chopped off and fed to her children).

More than 1,000 Congolese die every day. Because the Congo river holds every element in the periodic table (including 70+% of the world's uranium), the DRC could be a much richer country. Bad government contracts with major companies have led to major exploitation of the resources in the Congo. Specifically, the DRC has the following natural resources: cobalt, copper, cadmium, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore, coal, hydro power, timber.

The first nuclear bomb was created from uranium found in the Congo. As the Activist, Nita Evele, said last night (amidst fear tactics Vive and I were put off by, actually) "If you don't care about the lives and safety of the people in the DRC, think about the fact that uranium is being sold to Iran and other countries without being monitored. A man was caught trafficking some to Saddam Hussein a while ago. That should make you care about what's going on in the DRC."

The goal of the group is to get the issues on the front page of newspapers now. Then, they can properly petition for help and change from global leaders.

iTap English on the Razr...

has waaaaaaaay more issues that T9 Word on my old phone. The set words don't even make sense half the time. I think they got iTap Spanish mixed with iTap English. Lasy bums at Motorola. For example:

If I type in 469, I'm looking to write "How." I get "Hoy." Because hoy is such a common thing for people to type in text?

If I type in 669, I'm looking to write "Now." I get "Moz."

If I type in 84373, I'm looking to write "There." I get "Viere."

If I type in 668, I looking to write "Not." I get "Nov."

I'll save you the rest of the issues. Seriously though, someone needs to be fired from the programming desk at Motorola. (Update: Blogger spell check just suggested alternate words for every single one of these. WTF?)

Guy with the Striped Shirt

Vive brought me to Kramer Books last night after the Conflict in Congo event to see a book she thought was hysterical. It was pretty damn funny. Called Look at My Striped Shirt!: Confessions of the People You Love to Hate. I'd highly recommend it. From the back of the book:

Target. Observe. Ridicule.

You run into them every day—the striped-shirt guy, the karaoke master, the dude with a pencil-thin beard, the guy who won’t shut up about his fantasy football team—characters who annoy, irritate, and incense us all.

Based on the wildly popular essay on by Mike Polk, this book is a look inside the heads of the most infuriating douchebags on Earth. It’s the best of plus more than fifty all-new, hilarious pieces written by some of your favorite writers from this site.

Everyone’s (Least) Favorite, The Striped-Shirt Guy …I will valet tonight! I will treat the valet with contempt and make sure that he knows that I am superior to him. I will tell him, “Take it easy on the brakes, champ”! When I do not hook up with a girl at the club, I will say that the place is “full of skanks” and wait in line at another bar, only to strike out again!

Your “Cool” High School Teacher …Here are some things I allow in my class that other teachers don’t: eating, drinking,swearing, dancing, smoking, fighting, cell phones, Texas hold ’em, iPods, and sex. Like my Goo Goo Dolls tee? Anyone else here down with the Dolls? No? Me either. I’m just wearing it as a goof.

The Guy with Amazing Taste in Music …Personally, I haven’t listened to the radio in fifteen years. If you have ever heard a band on the radio, then I can assure you, I am not a fan. I stopped listening to American music about ten years ago.

Yawn. The entire city seems out of Red Bull. What's a girl to do??? I'm going to have to splurge on a Grande Latte. Don't think badly of me.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pictures from last night I wanted to share-

District Belle and I being sexy with the beads. Don't you wish you were those beads?

District Belle, Sassy, and I showing off our pink phones in a variety of colors. You know how it is when you just know you're supposed to be friends with certain people, tehe.

Mardi Gras in NOVA

All hail to the Beatles? The King of the Krewe of Louisiana was named Paul McCartney. Was it my two glasses of wine from Harry's Tap Room (who, by the way, ends a happy hour at 6pm?), or is the funniest thing to you too?

I met Sassy, District Belle, and I-66 at Harry's just after 6pm for some pre-drinkin'. After I-66 left, we were joined by two other girls. two middle-aged men were seated next to our group at the bar and wrapped in beads. I noticed that District Belle and Molly both had beads on from prior Mardi Gras celebrations. "Hi. Would it be possible to bother ya'll for 3 beads? Two of us have them, but three of us are bead-less." I assumed since they were older and married (wedding rings), they'd be more polite. "Well, what will you do for the beads?" I was taken for a second. Yuck. "Um, well, I'm from Mobile where Mardi Gras originated. We don't do anything for beads down there." "Well," the dirtier of the two men smiled, "I've been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and I know there are girls willing to do things for these beads." We all had our noses scrunched up trying to get out of the conversation. "Well, you should keep your beads. I'm sure you're bound to find someone tonight who wants them that badly." We exited as quickly as possible. Yuck yuck double yuck!

We stopped at Starbucks so a couple of the gals could spike coffees with Bailey's they'd brought along. Then, we headed to Wilson Boulevard for the Clarendon parade.

I guess I'm a Mardi Gras snob. Beads suck. I want moon pies and candy and fancy music. The scaled-down parade wasn't bad, though it was more like an advertisement for local Clarendon bars. Whitlow's, Iota, and more hosted makeshift floats created out of open bed trucks. We ended up catching a ton of beads before it started to rain, then we stepped back under the Whole Foods awning to watch the rest of the parade.

We ended up covered in beads and headed to Whitlow's for a post-parade celebration. Though there was a live band, the crowd seemed to be reserved. Considering that it was a Tuesday night and raining out, it was easy to see why the energy was lower than I'd hoped. Around 10pm, I hopped on the Metro and returned to DC. Luckily, I'd stored away a moon pie in my fridge. An excellent dinner for Fat Tuesday indeed.

Hope you got it all out of your system before lent. Does anyone else who's not Catholic, like me, feel a bit guilty not abstaining from something during lent? Just wondering.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

No, I will not show you my breasts for plastic beads!

Mine, sleaze bags out there, are reserved for pearls and diamonds only. I'm a Mobile, Alabama girl. Mardi Gras originated in my city. Oh, yes sir, that it did.

"Joe Cain", to quote Slow Moses (the Mobile-based band from my high school days), is "rollin' in his grave. He is rollin' Joe Cain. Joe Cain is turning over in his grave. How many people in New Orleans have even heard his name?" Below is John John dressed up to ride in a parade in Mobile with his father yesterday. Is it normal that the boy can actually still look hot in a clown wig and mask?


Mardi Gras originated in Mobile, Alabama. Joe Cain is credited with bringing back the crazieness of Mardi Gras to the lower American states around Civil War times. Here's the scoop from Wikipedia.

Joseph Stillwell Cain, Jr. (Joe Cain) (October 10, 1832 – April 17, 1904) is largely credited with the rebirth of Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile, Alabama. In 1866, following the Civil War and while Mobile was still under Union occupation, Joe Cain paraded through the streets of Mobile, dressed in improvised costume depicting a fictional Chickasaw chief named Slacabamorinico. The choice was a backhanded insult to the Union forces in that the Chickasaw had never been defeated in war. The following year (1867), Joe was joined by other Confederate veterans, parading in a decorated coal wagon, playing drums and horns, and the group became the "Lost Cause Minstrels" of Mobile. This was the origin of The Order of Myths parade on Fat Tuesday. Joe Cain is currently buried at Church Street Graveyard in Mobile, Alabama.

And, just in case you don't buy it and would prefer to have a brick thrown at your face while watching a parade on Bourbon Street in New Orleans in denial about where the real home of Mardi Gras is located, here's why Mobile is the ORIGINAL and classier Mardi Gras celebration-

Mobile, Alabama, as the first capital of French Louisiana, has the longest tradition of observing Mardi Gras in America, with the celebration of Mardi Gras in Mobile dating back to 1703, and detailed by the Mardi Gras Museum in downtown Mobile. In 1704, Mobile began the annual masked ball, Masque De La Mobile, and in 1711, Mobile began the first parades. In 1723, the capital of Louisiana was moved to a new town founded 1718 called "Nouvelle Orleans" (New Orleans), and the tradition, which had started 20 years earlier in Mobile, was expanded. Nearly 125 years after Mobile's first parade of 1711, a krewe from Mobile, the Cowbellion de Rakin' Society, began the first known parades in New Orleans (1835).

It's all a bit of a soar spot for Mobilians. Tonight, I'm meeting District Belle, Sassy, and others in Clarendon for their Mardi Gras parade and celebration. Their is bound to be some wasted a-hole who says to us, "I'll give you beads if you..." And, frankly, as usual, I'm bound to toss my Southern Comfort and coke all over his pants.

I want a king cake now. A Pollman's king cake like we used to eat in middle school. I think I'm going to order myself one. Thank heavens for overnight FedEx. Makes my life so much better having access to the Nuthouse and Pollman's. I don't know that I could live this far away without those places.

Monday, February 19, 2007

That's so abstract.

Friday night, I met Suave, District Belle, and Joshy for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe near Metro Center. We enjoyed the guitar-shaped bar and sign that read "The Embassy of Rock and Roll," but just about went deaf when the management decided that to drown out the noise from two loud groups of school children, they'd pump up the music as loud as possible.

I thought I should buy a t-shirt. One of the classic shirts I used to collect back in 1985. Well, the shirt still exists, but the price is now $22. I passed, obviously.

We went to Landmark Theater and met Vive, the Pea, the Master, AM, and LP to see a drugged out Sienna Miller in Factory Girl. My e-mail to the crew:

Yes, we're aware it got mixed/bad reviews, but seeing as I'm completely obsessed with Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol and the whole musing thing, Vive has agreed to go see Factory Girl with me tomorrow night. Nothing like a drugged out Sienna Miller to make you feel better about your life. Next stop, watching Angelina Jolie get AIDS from heroin abuse as Gia, tehe.

The plan is to go see the movie at 7:45pm tomorrow night at the E street theater near Metro Center.

If you don't know much about Edie, here's the website for the movie.
And the wiki entry on Edie is

Anyone interested? The fashion should be fab, worse-case scenario on the plot.


Well, first of all, we LOVED the movie. It was definitely well-acted, and, though I agree with The New York Times that it veered away from truth a bit much (Dylan fighting with Andy for Edie's heart and being the voice of sobriety and reason), I still thought the plot was fascinating and the facts recreated well. In particular, I loved the scene where Andy puts Edie in Vinyl. The Master after it's conclusion, "Well, there was a nice light movie." I had nightmares of my butt covered in heroin track marks. Oh, and I now have body issues thanks to seeing Sienna completely naked throughout the whole thing. Hayden Christiensen is unbelievably attractive. Yum.

We left the movie and went back to the Hard Rock for some ice cream. Strangely, we were seated under a Bob Dylan gold album which was pretty cool. Seemed fitting to have a sex, drugs, and rock and roll night.

I slept very little Friday night. I dreamt I was falling naked down a mountain, because I was high on heroin. I spent the day painting and reading until 10pm when I met Vive, AM, Vive's friends, and Peter and Ralph at Dan's Cafe. After several Red Bull and vodkas, I was ready to go out. We headed to Bourbon for brief dancing before settling into the top floor of Brass Monkey. I wasn't feeling it, and decided I was horrendously bored. After trying to instigate a bunch of 22-year-old boys to do something to entertain me, I left with Vive around 2am and crashed.

Sassy's mom was in town for the weekend, and last night she cooked us all a delicious meal to celebrate Sassy's upcoming birthday. The three-tiered chocolate cake is talked about much by Sassy and District Belle, and I was thrilled to eat some finally. Sassy, "we've cut smaller pieces. If you want more, you can get more, but I can't stand to see any thrown away. So, smaller pieces to start now." After eating it, I can see why!

This morning, Vive and I met up at the Hirshhorn Museum for some culture. Incidentally, now that we've all seen Factory Girl, the entire group is way into art and Warhol. The Pea just invited us to some museum thing on the 9th. I purchased Ciao Manhattan!, Poor Little Rich Girl, and Heat on DVD. We're going to have a night of tomato soup, grilled cheese, and Coca-Cola to watch them.

The museum made us laugh much. Back when Josh and I were at the Museum of Modern Art with my parents when we were children, my dad tried to explain to Josh the importance of modern art. As we walked into the museum with Josh declaring "this stuff isn't even art. Someone just decided to throw paint on a canvas and hang it up in a museum!," we happened upon a large canvas painted black. Nothing on it. The title was Pittsburgh. The running joke about modern art (which I actually tend to like) is that sometimes it's so bad it's
"Pittsburgh." Vive and I examined a white canvas in the permanent collection with a lightly colored graph drawn in pencil over it. I felt like I should be in Geometry 101. Pittsburgh.

We enjoyed the travelling exhibit on light and also the new Ways of Seeing program which brings in noted artists to pull items from the museum's permanent collection (12,000 pieces to choose from) and create an installation that reflects their "own unique perspectives."

Oh, and we cringed watching Magnus Wallin's animation based on his dreams, "I do NOT want to take any medicine he's taking," I whispered to Vive during the movie. Though extremely fascinating (a bald evil eagle is shown with a body made out of an hour glass in Anatomic Flop), the second video featured a skeleton playing leap frog with muscles while trying to avoid a large snake and a large white ball with a person stuck in it. The sound effects of the skeleton and muscles made us almost vomit. Persuasive, I suppose.

Afterwords, we went in search of a wig shop in DC for accessories to our costumes at A Night of Mystique. We found Strong Wigs (202-396-8948) on H Street NE (near 11th street). The area was completely undeveloped. Vive says aloud, "what did you do on President's Day. We went to the ghetto. Oh no. I just said that out loud. In the ghetto. Two girls in a BMW. Great."

We were given wig caps and had a great time trying on all varieties of hair. After trying on one that could have been Edie Sedgwick style but realizing it was way more Carol Brady, I switched to black bobs. I found one I adored only to be told by Vive I had just chosen my current natural hair style with bangs. We decided to go back with costumes as it was hard to decipher how feathered hair looks when you're in a trench coat and sneakers.

And that was the weekend. Favorite line in Factory Girl (okay, one of many), Andy to Edie regarding sex, "well sex is so abstract anyways."

Friday, February 16, 2007

Karma and the Corcoran

Yes, I'm huge on karmic retribution. I do believe that life is a balance of good and bad. Why do bad things happen to good people? Because, I fully believe, karma has a way of balancing out life so that no one person has all the luck in the world. My life is a complicated equation of figuring out how to make things even. The second I win at gambling or talk behind a friend's back or get undercharged at 711, something else goes awry in my life. Usually whatever happens is multiplied in extremity.

AM last night at the Corcoran's 1869 cocktail hour, "so I killed a mouse myself last night. I know you're way into karma. How do I make up for that?"

Ah, I was just grappling with this dilemma myself seeing as our house mouse died in my bedroom! Washington Hebrew is asking for $18 (this number is significant in Judaism, I've learned) per member to add to it's Ritzenberg Fund to help feed the children of Darfur. I'm donating more though as my friend Lyss's grandfather just passed away too.

AM invited us to join him at the Corcoran Gallery last night for their 1869 Society cocktail hour. I was interested to see the difference in the crowd and atmosphere as compare to the Contemporary events at The Phillips Collection (where APK was a member). The 1869 Society is $105 a year to join (Corcoran membership at $55 and 1869 Society at $50). Contemporaries pay $100 a year to join.

The Phillips Collection has selected private openings for Contemporaries plus one guest. Wine and appetizers are free, and the curator discusses the exhibit. The crowd tends to be younger and less social. Fairly unattractive and poorly dressed. The entire banquet room is open to the group for the reception though. Coats are checked. There is no where to sit and limited table space for socializing. Appetizers are great (cheese platters, quiche) and replenished often. Conversation slow and uninteresting.

The 1869 Society gets to invite non-members who pay $10 to be admitted to happy hours. We check our own coats and buy $5 drink tickets. Members must buy these tickets too. A roped in section of the lobby is selected for the cocktail crew. Another party had a roped in section on the other side of the lobby. A third party was viewing a showing in the student gallery. When we arrived, the platters on the catering table were completely empty. A wheel of baked brie sat untouched because the caterers brought nothing to cut it with. It took the servers about 30 minutes to replenish the empty table. The crowd, however, was much more attractive. Everyone was dressed extremely well, and the conversation was interesting and political. In the Waverly toile covered bathroom, I talked to two girls about astrology for a good thirty minutes. One of the girls (a Leo who knew she had a Libra moon sign and a Gemini rising sign) kept dating guys who were born on June 6th. That's Jerk's birthday. We had much to discuss! I was definitely thrilled more with the 1869 Society conversation. Is a pretty crowd worth the extra bucks? You decide. I'll continue to be a plus one for now.

Random thought of the day: do you remember the movie Love Potion #9. I haven't seen it in years, but I suddenly woke up wanting to see it again. I vaguely remember the plot. Two scientists invent a potion that can make them irresistible to the opposite sex and end up falling in love with one another. Sandra Bullock and Tate Donovan star according to IMDb. Forgot about them being in the movie.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Steve hoped to impress his Valentine date with his large package."

[Steve, on this card from my mom, is drawn knocking on a door dressed in a large, wrapped box with a ribbon on his head]. Open card. "Have an impressive Valentine's Day."

Is it wrong my mom sent me a dirty card?

District Belle, Sassy, the Pea, others, and myself met at Guarapo in Courthouse (not Clarendon stop. Damn has given me the wrong stop twice in the past week!). We finished three Voss water bottles full of sangria (and one District Belle said they finished while I was walking the 10 blocks from the Clarendon stop) and several plates of tapas. The girls suggested we go to Dremo's, which meant nothing to me. You, however, the reader, may have knowledge of the place being, as the Pea said, "the most legendary dive bar and pick-up scene in Arlington." It wasn't so bad on Valentine's Day. We had full reign over the jukebox and played all the angry girl music we could find (Garbage, Hole, Heart, Madonna) and some hippie songs we HAD to hear for no apparent reason (Rusted Root?).

There was some open mike comedy night going on in the back room. When it ended, we noticed all the guys in the bar wearing these black tees with "The beer set me up!" on the back. It felt like the entire bar was blanketed shirts. I approached a larger group of them to find out the back story. We assumed it had something to do with the comedy earlier. It turns out some old guy who worked at the bar was giving out shirts sporting Bardo Rodeo (the bar's name before it became Dr. Dremo's) and a clever saying about Marion Barry liking beer.

So, of course, the sangria in me didn't fail, and I HAD to get me a free tee. The bartender gave me the very last one behind the bar. When I got back to the table with it, the Pea and District Belle decided they HAD to have one too. The bartender told them there were no more. Then, I spotted to boys in the shirts playing Golden Tee.

I approached them, "It's Valentine's Day. I'm single for the first time in 5 years. We're having a most fabulous night out, and my friends over there have been so supportive. There was only one t-shirt left, so I was hoping ya'll could donate your free tees to my friends. The shirt isn't even that cool really."

"Well, my buddy here loves this place, so I think he's going to keep his. But, it's my first time here. So, tell you friend with the short blond hair to come play Golden Tee with us, and we'll give her the shirt."

It wasn't as creepy as it sounds. They were totally normal nice guys.

"Uh," I said to District Belle, who seated chatting with the Pea and Sassy, "that guy doesn't want his shirt. But, he wants us to play Golden Tee with them to get it."

So, that's what we did. The boys coached us on choosing the right iron for the sand trap and the right level of our back swing to get the ball in the hole from 25 yards away. The boys had been playing as Player AAA and Player FUK. I was FUK. District Belle was AAA. In between turns, I got to talking to one of the boys about his hometown of Pittsburgh. I expressed my love. He expressed his despise. It was a strange conversation. We finally agreed on the aesthetic appeal of Pittsburgh and got back to getting FUK out of the woods.

We cabbed home just before 12am. The clock struck midnight, Valentine's Day was over, and guess what, I didn't turn into a pillar of salt (or worse, a lady with warts on her face and 60 cats I've named after famous poets).

You know you're at a dive bar when the decoration involves blow-up beer bottles hanging from the ceilings. We don't drink beer, but we felt like exalting the decor all the same. All hail to the beer.

P.S. How come DC doesn't prepare to salt the sidewalks? It does snow, like, every year. I don't get this city.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I love-

I love playing skeeball at Coney Island with a yard of pina colado. I love the memory of Angelina and I getting pink unicorn fake tattoos there after a Brooklyn Cyclones game.

I love barbecuing with hickory chips and diverse sauces from Uncle Brutha's. I love sitting around on my back porch with friends listening to Rosemary Clooney in Brazil and smelling barbecue smoke in my hair.

I love Cadbury Mini Eggs. I love when they finally put them out in stores around Valentine's Day, and how they disappear after Easter.

I love the smell of a real vintage dress before it's dry cleaned. I love knowing it has been stored away for years and feeling like a piece of history wearing it.

I love driving down Old Shell Road in Mobile on the same route from my house I took everyday to elementary, middle, and high school. I love seeing what has changed, but, more importantly, what has stayed the same. I love that the high school students there still meet at "The Dick" to start a party train on weekends. "The Dick" was an abbreviation for Colonel Dixie (a fast food chain in Mobile once upon a time) which was torn down in Springhill back when I was in Middle School. We used to go there for french fries after Ballroom Dance classes. It then became an empty lot throughout my high school days, and we'd still call it "The Dick." Now, there's CVS and a bank in the place of Colonel Dixie, and yet, kids still meet at "The Dick."

I love watching reruns of The Nanny on Lifetime.

I love throwing peanut shells on the ground at minor league baseball games and getting excited about the silly games the mascot gets the fans to play during innings.

I love horse shows and state farms and elephant ears and getting dizzy on the Tilt-A-Whirl.

I love the People Mover at Epcot. I love how in the 1980s, the ride claimed this would be how people in the next century got around town. Instead, it has helped us get from terminal A to terminal I in the Atlanta airport.

I love road trips. I love road tripping with my Mom and planning our driving around where the Crate and Barrell Outlet or Macaroni Grill might be located. I love road tripping with my Dad who makes me stop to go caving in the Shenandoah Valley or for coffee in Asheville. I love road tripping with my friends who moon truckers and stop only to eat at Denny's.

I love the cheesiness of Vegas. I loved playing slots with real quarters and a Sinatra-esque lounge singer behind me. I loved seeing Wayne Newtown's name on the Stardust marquis.

I love the Chi Hair Iron. I love that "chi" or "chai" in Hebrew (one of the few things I know) is the letter that signifies life. I love that a Chi Iron can literally give you back your life.

I love that I've had the same Magic 8 Ball since middle school. I love that I received another one at some point and gave it away.

I love that I can look through the one album I still have here of Jerk and I (the other's are home in Bama) and not feel upset. I love that this is possible because the one album I have left is of the two of us camping with his family in the cold Vermont rain.

I love when Ali bakes brie into Pillsbury croissants. I've tried to replicate the recipe, but I always burn the croissant.

I love how Lyss says "pardon me" instead of "excuse me."

I love that Erica has two different color eyes. I loved how while buying Almay's Bring Out eye color, she laughed that she didn't know which eye color of which to buy the palette.

I love that the Master keeps her Prada boots in a box on top of her dishwasher. That's something I would do.

I love that Peter and Ralph own two or three copies of the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series on DVD. In case one breaks, I suppose.

I love that District Belle, Vive, and Sassy go out all over the city and are willing to try out anything. I love that it makes me more adventurous as well.

I love that I finally have a toile bedspread. I love that I wandered by Laytner's Linen Store for months eyeing the expensive set and that my mother graciously bought it for me as a present while she was visiting.

I love that it's just Valentine's Day. It is the first time in five years I'm single, and here it is. Here I am. Guess what, I'm okay. I love that I'm not so sad. I'm not so scared of being alone. I'm going to be just fine.

I love you for reading this blog entry. Hope you have a wonderful day filled with chocolate rivers and edible flowers and a goose that lays a golden chocolate egg.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I once loved art supply stores...

I loved the neatly lined paint tubes with interesting names like Phthalo Blue or Titanium White. I loved the stacks of card stock, the turning display of markers in warm and cool color sections, and the varieties of blank canvas in all different sizes. I loved feeling smug as I pursued the paint brush selection knowing I was trained to know which brush to buy. I loved the plastic Caboodle-like cases that could carry supplies for an entire painting series to a studio. But, most of all, I loved the possibility. And I know this may sound cheesy, but, when you know you can make something entirely unique out of whatever you find, you begin to love art supply stores.

I loved to create. More than anything else, until I was about 20, I loved to create art.

I would lock myself in my playroom in middle school and high school with a soda, art supplies, Enya, and, later on, cigarettes. I'd sew or draw or paint completely in my right brain until my mother would come tell me I needed to go to bed.

I was in an intense bunch of fundamental art classes freshman year of college. The teachers insisted we start from the basics again. Trying hard to forget how much I used art to escape and focus instead on making it a career, I fell out of love. I fell hard. I went to business classes the next semester only. I refused to paint at all.

Instead, I took up cooking. Then, I took up vintage fashion. Next, I started to like decorating. Finally, I found party planning.

And today, I went through the snow to Utrecht Art Supply store on 13th Street. I walked the isles for an hour, purchasing a new set of acrylics and a couple brushes. I listened as a college-aged girl asked for advice on stretching her own canvas. And, I got a little sad. Sad for who I was back then when all of this meant so much to me. Sad for all the time I've wasted not locked in my room focusing on myself and my dreams. Sad for forgetting what it felt like to be in an art store.

I think the guy at the register thought I was insane. I was clearly crying when I check out. You can laugh. It's okay.

So, on this Valentine's Day Eve, my love resolution #1 is to remember how to create. Pain is not a relative feeling. Just because someone is hurting more than you, it doesn't make your hurt any less painful. For me, the cure is taking those supplies I studied to learn how to use and turning them into one perfect expression.

End. You can gag. I don't mind.

Dip Me, Baby!

Re: The Grammy's.

Can I pleaaaaase wake up tomorrow and be Shakira? She's the hottest girl on the planet. Period. How does one become so blessed with, like, everything?

But anyways.

The Master, the Pea, and I went to the Melting Pot last night for some fondue. We split the Big Night Out dinner between the three of us- cheese starter, salad course, main course, and dessert. Two people finishing that much food must be highly impressive. Our attractive and attentive waiter was incredibly helpful and explained everything several times for us. While trying to recall how long the waiter said to keep the chicken in to cook, the Master remarked, "I don't think I like cooking my own food at a restaurant."

My first piece of chicken got stuff to the bottom of the pot. The Master said when out for fondue in Atlanta, if you dropped your food in the dip, you had to do something like kiss your neighbor. We couldn't come to a decision about what we should do and thus did nothing.

Our dessert was a flaming turtle dip... chocolate, caramel, and pecans in a pot with a flaming rum tossed in. To dip, we received Oreo-crusted marshmallows, angel food cake, brownies, strawberries, and more. Mmmmm.

I, of course, researched the history of fondue the second I got home. When I asked the waiter if he knew, the girls laughed, "I bet we'll all know tomorrow. Check out Chapter 2006."

Like pizza's beginnings, fondue started as a peasant food in Switzerland. The Melting Pot's website provides the best history here. With pizza, Naples peasants only had access to tomatoes, basil, and the ingredients to make fresh mozzarella and dough. A pizza was their filling concoction. Fondue was created by Swiss cow herders who only had cheese, bread, and wine with them. Since they didn't have money, they'd save the scraps of cheese and stale bread up. By melting the cheeses together, they created a fusion of taste and the stale bread would become moist when dipped in the cheese.

Servants brought fondue into the houses of nobles in Switzerland much like peasants brought pizza to Queen Margherita as an offering in 1889. French chefs brought fondue to America. Vincent Lombardi brought pizza to New York City (and when soldiers came back from Italy after WWII, they had experienced and fallen in love with pizza).

Read more. It's quite fascinating.

I'm going to look out my window now and enjoy the snow. Isn't it lovely!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Another Obscure Word

I decided I don't want to do this everyday. But, here and there, I'll post some funny words. I'm not very good at follow through, as you know. Get bored easily. Come on, does anyone actually read my blog to educate themselves? Anyways, here's a funny one Peter found.

Pronunciation[sahr-dn-uh-peyl-yuhn, -pey-lee-uhn]
excessively luxurious or sensual.

John Tucker Must Die so screw you Valentine's Day!

Nine people were supposed to come to my house for dinner Friday night. Three of those nine I don't know. It was a cluster dinner. So, those three people just didn't show up. No call or e-mail. They just failed to come. Seriously! I was so annoyed. After dinner, Eye and I met Vive, Jude Law, and their friends at Lucky Bar. I was entirely too exhausted to deal with the massive meat market scene. JK called and said she was headed to McFadden's for the CAN T-minus 60 Days Until Softball party, so I jumped in a cab and went to meet her. I saw my friend SW immediately. He'd been drinking for 3 hours. I, again, wasn't drunk enough to deal with all the drunk people hanging out. SW bought me a beer and then JK and circulated.

JK's friend: "How old would you say that girl right there is? Wait until she turns around."
Me: "Based on the tapered acid wash Levis and square-toed chunky heeled boots plus the Jennifer Anniston circa 1996 haircut, I'd say 36 or over."
JK's friend: "Wow, wait. You're like the oracle of fashion. She didn't even turn around. She's 39. How'd you know that all?"
Me: "Welcome to the life of a pseudo-bitch."
JK's friend: "You intimidate me."

I did absolutely nothing Saturday. I woke up around noon and lazed around all day until 8pm when I went to meet Sassy for a housewarming party at Taffy's. His new house is somewhere between Friendship Heights and Tenleytown. There's no reason why I'd have ever been there before. I doubt there's much reason why I'll be there again. Good thing the party was much fun.

Peter, Ralph, and company met us there. Taffy's mom came with a three-tiered chocolate cake shaped like a heart and drop oatmeal raisin cookies. Five or so glasses of wine, and I was dancing with everyone else in Taffy's living room to his record collection of Donna Summers, Abba, and Toni Basil. I know that vinyl is, like, totally cool and hipster, but changing the record every five minutes is a little much. I think iPods make for a much easier hosting duty.

Around 1am, I left with the Lost Boys and hitched a ride to Missdy's Love or Lust Valentine's Day party. Evite text:

LOVE or LUST?We're having an (ANTI) Valentines Day Party, that's right. We're taking all the good stuff : booze, candy, & chocolates, and getting rid of all the bad stuff: cheesiness, forced romance, and lame dates. So ha ha valentines day, screw you, we're getting the best of you and there is nothing you can to do to stop us. You, the invitee, are desired to help us partake in this Yay-Nay V-day Extravaganza. Please attend and enjoy the alcohol, food, decorations and games. All you have to do is get off your couch, put down that container of Ben and Jerrys, and for god's sake turn off that emo music. Put on your sexiest black and red attire AND get ready for all your valentines day dreams to come true and they WILL-we promise. Look at it this way, you'll have a blast and not have to spend tons of money on someone who may not like you or is already having sex with you...

Eye and I got realllllly into the decorations. I was so drunk. Dancing was fantastic. The Lost Boys left, and I stayed around until Eye and Jack Black were ready to leave. We all shared a cab home and annoyed the driver enough that he finally agreed to let Eye and I just jump out for no additional fee to Jack Black when he got back to Glover Park.

This morning, I slept through my alarm and missed seeing my visiting friend from NYC. I'm entirely too hungover still to call and apologize. I'll deal tomorrow. Suave had organized a brunch at Logan Tavern, and I called her around 10:30am. "I'm so hungover and have no greasy food in my house. Can I come meet ya'll?" "Sure. You'll be a whole lot of fun, huh," she giggled.

"Sam, you hungover?" BG asked. "Gee, what gave it away. Her slicked back hair or the no makeup. Or the repeated trips to the bathroom?" Suave giggled. Yeah, I was definitely not my best today. After bacon, egg, and cheese on a croissant, I stopped at Blockbuster and picked up John Tucker Must Die and Material Girls (had the intention of getting Last Kiss, but couldn't think about using any brain cells). I haven't left the house all day. Yeah, I'm 18 again. Didn't you know? John Tucker Must Die is the greatest teen movie EVER, by the way. I laughed, I drooled over Jesse Mettcalf, I wanted to be Brittany Snow. Such a rockin' choice for a lazy Sunday.

Need sleep. Will write more tomorrow.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

House Mouse RIP

Our house mouse died here. Here is a quick goodbye to the mouse. His tail was sticking out the back. It was in my room. I feel like I might vomit.

House Mouse (January 2007-February 2007).

House Mouse, I do hope you lived a good last few days in our apartment. You came along with a sofa from the Salvation Army that our upstairs neighbors purchased, and you found your way into our apartment. We hope that you enjoyed the vegetables, cereal, and crackers on our counter tops which we had to throw away because of your droppings. We are sorry that it came to trapping you, but we did not understand why you would want to show yourself to us on a bright weekend afternoon when we were both obviously out. Although you thought because I wore mink, I must be one of your species, I apologize for my wanting you dead.

House Mouse, I'm sorry that the trap snapped your neck. If there are more of your friends running around, perhaps your death will make them realize that they'd do better moving into the GW students' Spot House next door. I'm sure there is leftover pizza out there which would be much tastier than our minimal calorie options here.

So goodbye House Mouse. I'm sorry it had to end the way it did. I hope that your last days were spent in warmth and without hunger.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Word of the Day

I've decided to include the definition of one obscure word a day. I challenge ya'll to use it during the day and let me know how you were able to work it into conversation. Hopefully not sporadically.

Today's word:
litigious Unabridged (v 1.1)
li·ti·gious –adjective

1. of or pertaining to litigation.
2. excessively or readily inclined to litigate: a litigious person.
3. inclined to dispute or disagree; argumentative.

—Related forms
li·ti·gious·ly, adverb
li·ti·gious·ness, li·ti·gi·os·i·ty

—Synonyms 3. contentious, disputatious, quarrelsome.

About last night-

Urg. Why do I do this? My head hurts.

I met District Belle, Sassy, and crew at Saki in Adams Morgan based on this article.

Three not-so-extra-dirty martinis later, and I was ready to go out. It was only 8pm. So, really, it wasn't that bad. Sassy's friend's fiance and his friend met us to go out. We wandered down to an empty Dan's Cafe. The only two girls in the place walked out, "It's too weird in there," they said. Noise was coming from the second floor of Tom Tom's. Despite my apprehension about going to Tom Tom's (smelly, dirty, under-21 year old clientele), I was buzzed enough to not give a damn.

We happened to wander into a City Paper party of some sort. First we thought we crashed something, but then randomly we ran into Missdy and her friend Will. Apparently,
this was going on. Missdy says, "I read about free beer. That was really all I needed to know." Of course, we'd both run into each other at the most strange event.

Some boy was wearing an Express tee. We thought that was funny. District Belle interviewed him to see why he was wearing another publications shirt at a City Paper event. He said he delivers Express papers for a living. We thought that was funny, and I suppose annoying too. Turns out their group was all from New Orleans. I declared that Mardi Gras originated in Mobile. Then we battled a little, but, ultimately, we decided all in the conversation were cool considering that we all loved Bear Bryant, couldn't say enough about grits, and thought that my cooking Jambalaya was awesome.

Then, for no reason, District Belle and I decided to continue bar hopping and go to Mille and Al's. I don't know why. I mean, you saaaaaaaaaaw the pictures from the last Thursday night I spent at Mille and Als.

It turns out that we crashed a first year GW Law evening out event. Luckily, the boys we ended up talking to (you sort of have to flirt in these situations to have a place to store your coat) were normal. Actually fun. So, District Belle and I posed for the required random pictures with random boys who names I actually do remember (I stopped drinking after the martinis and the buzz wore off as we were there). Then we sang Sweet Home Alabama with some dude who was standing near by and seemed okay with holding one of the microphones and screaming with us. And, at 11:30pm, we hopped in cabs and went to sleep.

Here's a picture. Enjoy. I'm getting a little sick of this pose. I need to expand my silly picture abilities.

My head hurts. Blah. He was cute though, no? I still always feel sketchy giving out my number to guys in Adams Morgan. So, I didn't give it out. Again. But, hey, I do remember his name. And his friend's name. So, I'm one step ahead of last time.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Did you see this email forward yet? It had me laughing!

George Carlin's New Rules For 2007

New Rule: Stop giving me that pop-up ad! There's a reason you don't talk to pe ople for 25 years.Because you don't particularly like them! Besides, I already know whatthe captain of the football team is doing these days: --- mowing mylawn.

New Rule: Don't eat anything that's served to you out awindow unless you're a seagull. People are acting all shocked that ahuman finger was found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost lessthan a dollar. What did you expect it to contain, Trout?

New Rule: Stop saying that teenage boys who have sexwith their hot, blonde teachers are permanently damaged. I have abetter description for these kids: lucky bastards.

New Rule: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's howmuch men care about your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we'redone.

New Rule: There's no such thing as flavored water.There's a whole aisle of this crap (water) at the super-market, butwithout that watery taste. Sorry, flavored water is called a softdrink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let itmelt. That's your flavored water.
New Rule: Stop f***ing with old people. Target isintroducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square, with a bigger label.And the top is now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out howto open it, his ass will be in the morgue. Congratulations, Target, youjust solved the Social Security crisis.

New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order, thebigger the ass hole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a "decafgrande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbreadcappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low and oneNutraSweet," ooh, you're a huge ass hole.

New Rule: I'm not the cashier! By the time I look upfrom sliding my card, entering my PIN, pressing "Enter," verifying theamount, deciding, no, I don't want cash back, and pressing "Enter"again, the kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing thereeating my Almond Joy.

New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinesecharacters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crackof your ass. And it translates to "beef with broccoli." The last timeyou did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren'tpregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.

New Rule: Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one ofthe seven deadly sins. ESPN recently televised the US Open ofCompetitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker tablewas just too damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting? Ohwait. They're already doing that. It's called "The Howard Stern Show."

New Rule: I don't need a bigger mega M&M. If I'm extrahungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two.

New Rule: No more gift registries. You know, it used tobe just for weddings. Now it's for babies and new homes and graduationsfrom rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buyit for you isn't gift giving, it's the white people version of looting.

My toes hurt.

This car accident has shown me more of DC and Virginia than I'd care to know about. Yesterday, I brought my car to Allstate's Drive-in Claim Center in the District. It's located at the very very end of H Street NE. Right across from the Pepco Plant. Housed in a Shell Gas Station/ Enterprise dealership, the only signage for the center is a rickety old easel sign that balances on the building's far left side.

Oh, and I can't use the heating in my car. My body hurts from the cold.

My questions regarding this experience?

1) How did Allstate decide upon this location? Is it some deal with Enterprise to have definite advantage over people needed rentals? Why wouldn't Allstate choose to locate their center within a body shop? Wouldn't it make more sense to have advantage over that? And, what car dealership is located within a gas station? Isn't that sort of partnership usually reserved for Dunkin Donuts or Subway?

2) If you are a business operating across from a power plant, do you have to get special insurance to cover your employees in case of a nuclear meltdown? Just wondering.

3) How come residents in not-so-great-economic areas have so much time to "hang out" on the street? It's cold. It's the middle of the week. Don't these people have a school to be attending or work to be doing or a heater to be sitting near?

As I drove into the claim center/ car rental place/ gas station yesterday, a man in a leather jacket with skulls and snakes all over it was loitering in front of the gas station smoking a cigarette (fyi: My dad totally had patients who were burnt when a BP station exploded on account of a cigarette). The man looked at my car, shaking his head, and remarked, "Baby, please tell me that's not your BMW. Baby, that thangs a mess." I smiled and replied, "Yes it is. I can't use the heat so I'm freezing." "Well, good thing you've got you that fur coat. I wish I had me a coat that warm." I smiled and rushed inside. I mean, not that I assume he's going to do anything. He seemed perfectly nice, aside from the skull jacket and apparent lack of anyplace to be on a Wednesday at 11am.

Today, I was in my freezing cold car for 2 hours trying to find Duke Street in Alexandria. Mapquest sucks, by the way, and sent me down King Street. The auto body shop couldn't give me directions from one street in the same city to another, which honestly sort of makes me question how they'll fix my car, but anyways. So, I drove up and down King Street from I-395 to Route-1 and back. Didn't realize that there's a Bruegger's Bagels in Old Town Alexandria. Back in college, Erica and I used to go to Bruegger's in downtown Amherst so much that the hot guy who worked there once asked us why we didn't just go the supermarket. I finally found the place and metroed back to work. My toes are so cold right now still. This was not a great day to skip the shearling Merrell boots. Does anyone really care how I look when I can't move because I'm covered in a layer of ice and frostbite?

I'm alive. My car's getting a nose job. I didn't like my toes that much anyways, so who cares if we cut them off. Right?

From Missdy this morning via email:

In unrelated news, I came across a really interesting blog. This crazy (yes, literally crazy) middle aged guy who lives in my neighborhood writes incessantly about his tragically sad but intriguing existence. He's clearly very intelligent, he has his law degree and writes very well, but also completely insane. He's obsessed with the manager of the Cleveland Park library branch and a good chunk of his blogs are 'letters' to Brian (the library manager) but is completely aware of just how crazy he is and is honest about what meds he is on and how he has failed at everything in life. Anyhow, as someone who is into blogging and inquisitve about the world, I thought you might be interested. It's a great distraction from work.... check it out, it's fantastically bizzare

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

AIPAC Professionals Forum

I'm not much of a classroom-style discussion talker. Never have been. Well, that's not entirely true. I did take a Graduate class in college called Dress, Gender, and Society which examined how appearances have always played a role in determining ones place in society. I was big on talking about Chinese foot binding and discussing Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. But, usually, I'm not one for talking in those settings. So, when the Master sent in my name for AIPAC's Professional Forum list, I decided it would be a good place for me to test out speaking. I'm fine talking in work meetings. I think as long as I know the material, I am comfortable discussing it.

I didn't say a word last night. I was impressed though. Only in DC would one get to have a discussion with the following person on the following topic:

Israel's Strategic Posture Today
Featuring Ido Nehushtan
Director of Plans for the IDF, Former Deputy Commander of the Israeli Air Force

Tuesday, February 6th at 6:30 pm At the AIPAC Office

Major General Ido Nehushtan was born in Jerusalem in 1957. He joined the IAF Flight School in 1975 and graduated with distinction as a fighter pilot in 1977. General Nehushtan was appointed Head of Planning Directorate in August 2006. During his service, General Nehushtan has served in various command and staff positions: Head of Planning and Organization Department, Commander of "Hatzor" Air Force Base, Director of Air Force Intelligence and, Chief of Air Staff and Deputy IAF Commander. He will talk about Israel's security outlook today and into the future.

I don't think we're in Bama anymore, Toto.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Miss USA, Nationwide is on Your Side

We're #3!

We placed at Fado trivia night FINALLY. We always come in 5th or 6th place, but this week, we kicked some serious trivia boooootay. And, we got a prize. We're movin' on up.

Our team name was Miss USA, Nationwide is on Your Side. Very science and math oriented this time. JM's a human calculator, so the math questions were easy for our team. Arnold is an Engineer, so he helped with the science questions. Luke's a writer who is remarkable at geography. Questions of note this week? What country is the Orinoco River located in? What's the most popular blood type in the world? Who sang "I Feel for You" in 1985? What is the common name for iron pyrite? What type of animal was the cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn? And, how many Ivy League schools are there?

WTF? My horoscope today. Needs to be freakin' decoded!

Here is your horoscope for Tuesday, February 6: The good news from the stars right now: You're extra sweet and you've got extra heat. Now, aren't there some intriguing new people for you to meet? The bad news? Nope -- it's all good.

I have no issue with people wearing fur.

I have no issue with people eating meat. I have no issue with hunting or fishing. I have no issue with bacon cheeseburgers.

I do have a problem with cockfighting. I do have a problem with man creating Mad Cow Disease by feeding sick sheep to sick cows and then sick cows to other cows. I do have a problem with people abusing dogs and cats and other animals because they have anger issues. I do have a problem with muzzles and neglect. I do have a problem with sick horses carrying carriages around Central Park in the snow. I'm not a monster. I do have maternal instincts.

But, I want to point out, leather is 700 times worse to wear than a mink coat. Cow's give us milk. Not only do we eat them and drink their milk, but we kill them for fashion (leather's not any warmer than synthetic down). Mink are rodents. We poison rats to stay out of our trash. We set glue up to catch a mouse alive. We buy cats to chase away raccoons and skunk. So, the point is, either we set every cockroach, rat, mouse, slug, and ant free, or we shut the hell up and let people wear fur when it's -5 degrees below zero, and they (I) must wear a skirt to the office!

I'm not condoning abuse of animals. But, I do recognize that there is a food chain, and I'm not an amoeba. If you want to carry spray paint around in this weather, my coat's insured. Go for it.

Two girls in Maryland watching SoapNet?

Vive pointed out the story about the two teenage girls in Maryland found dead doesn't make sense. It doesn't. Though, at 16, I was pretty freakin' screwed up. And, Daryl was 19 when I took my first drag of a cig to impress him. Anyways, is it at all possible that the girls caught a rerun of the Big Hurt 90210 episode? The one where Tara follows Kelly home from rehab, dresses like her, gets her hair cut, and then tries to kill Kelly along with herself?

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Name of the Band was Cowboy Mouth!

What a fun and looooooooong weekend! It started off meeting up with almost everyone I know in DC at Cue Bar on Friday evening. We enjoyed the $5 Absolut special thoroughly before heading over to the 9:30 club with adequate buzzes and having convinced the Master to come along too. Far in advance, I'd warned everyone to dress down. A Cowboy Mouth concert is all about jumpin' and screamin' and sweatin'.

Two more drinks and an opening band (starring a guitarist with an Afro that looked like Justin Guarini but sounded like true New Orleans soul at Tipitina's during Mardi Gras), and we were all passing around Mel's pink cowboy hat screaming the lyrics to How Do You Tell Someone You Don't Love Them?
I was on my second bottle of water by the time Fred had us squatting on the ground for Jenny Says. My hair had already been tied back in a ponytail, and I'd given up on looking cute or sober. He played my favorite song in the encore... the Love of My Life [is a shady lady]. I used the last bits of my energy to jump around to that song with the guy in front of me who I had already determined was from New Orleans. This, by the way, at a Cowboy Mouth concert, makes me, from Mobile, his new best friend for the evening. I'm not joking. Erica and I picked up 4 Yale football players from New Orleans and Pensacola up at a Toad's Place concert in 2000. We stayed friends with the boys for 2 years.
My entire body was sore and hungover Saturday morning.
Vive and I went on an adventure in Virginia to find the Goodwill of Arlington for sequin dresses to be worn at the Mystique party in April. The Goodwill in Arlington is better organized than the Pentagon City Macy's. Color coordinated racks of clothing. Clean floors. Attentive staff. Seriously, the most organized second-hand store I've ever seen.
We couldn't find anything formal and went in search of the Salvation Army in Alexandria instead- the biggest damn Salvation Army store you've ever seen. On Little River Turnpike. The building is round with a collectible doll section and annex containing dishwashers and oriental rugs. It could double for it's own flea market. We found 3 dresses. Vive's had a dry-cleaning tag on it and was Laundry. Cost? $12.99. The Master's dress and my backup dress (in case the one I ordered on eBay looks bad) were $6.99 each. Gotta love it.
Afterwards, Vive showed me my first ever Harris Teeter. I'd never even heard of it. Sorry, Virginians. It was clean, and I appreciated the mixture of Kashi frozen meals like at Whole Foods and DiGiorno pizza like at Safeway. Oh, and my Harris Teeter brand turkey pastrami was only $4.99 a pound. So much cheaper than Safeway! But, I did pay double SFW's charge for soda. Much like any shopping experience, I think Harris Teeter has it's pluses and minuses. And teeter sounds dirty. Just pointing that out.
I met District Belle for her friend's 29th birthday party at Nolan's at 8pm. The birthday girl's evite read: Next year, I will be thirty, and will have to start throwing birthday parties at upscale places where guys are douchebags, girls wear too much makeup, and you have to pay $10 for an obscure beer that tastes like crap. Essentially, my social life will begin a slow shame spiral until before you know it I will think Blue Gin is awesome and turn my nose up at Millie and Al's. I am not happy about this. But I refuse do go down without a fight!
Great idea, except we had the following 3 problems- 1) We were exhausted. 2) We weren't drinking. 3) We don't play flip cup, which we learned quickly, makes the party not so fun. So, we met Vive at Adams Mill for about an hour and then both headed home to our warm beds.
Yesterday, we all gathered at Cleveland Park Bar and Grill for the Super Bowl. I was there at 4pm to help hold a table. I ate about 5,000 calories and won quarters 1 and 2 in our grid pool. I only win at gambling when something else is off in my life. Due to this issue, I gave the waiter a $25 tip. I felt like that might balance the karma. Oh, and not that I'm a huge NFL person, but how cool seeing a touchdown in the first 14 seconds of the Super Bowl? That was the quickest touchdown in game history. I feel like I witnessed something amazing.
And, since everyone I was with routed for the Bears, I defied my usual way of picking the team I route for- Manning is hotter than Grossman. Of course, later in the game, I determined that Grossman is pretty damn hot too. According to Jenn, he's a nice guy too. Married to a teacher (not dicking over a model) and close to his family. So, the Bears it was.
Question during half-time: Okay, you're going to be killed unless you sleep with either Michael Jackson or Prince. Who do you choose?