Monday, December 29, 2008

Froyo Fandom Makes Me Famous

My friend & former coworker Debra made a trip to the District this week, meeting me this afternoon for lunch at my favorite pizza joint, Pizzeria Paradiso, where we split a gigantron Pizza Genovese, which is something of a carb extravaganza, topped with pesto, potatoes & parmesan. Yikes, I know!

And as we left, we were full beyond satisfaction -- but not too full to pass up a request from the owner of Tangysweet, Dupont's most excellent frozen yogurt establishment. A reporter from Fios, the Verizon TV network, was looking for froyo fans to interview for a news spot, & we happened to be in the right place at the right time!

Debra & I happily spouted off about all the gabillion reasons we adore Tangysweet, admitting that we visited more than three times a week for the first month or so that they were in business. When asked to describe Tangysweet froyo to someone who'd never had it, Debra came up with a long, involved & accurate answer; when she was done, I chimed in, "Ice cream that I don't feel bad about." For our enthusiasm, we were gifted free froyo, & I enthusiastically zeroed in on the new pomegranate topping option.

My life is a movie, I swear, even when it's at its least eventful.

Suburban Sweetheart Does Philadelphia

On Saturday I texted a friend who was in Philadelphia for the holidays, "I'm bored. Come back!" She promptly responded, "Come here! Take the bus tomorrow."

So I did.

In an uncharacteristic show of spontaneity, I paid $15.75 for a one-way ticket on Chinatown-Bus.com, a sketchy little operation run out of a small, crowded office on Eye Street. The employees are brusque & unfriendly, as can be expected for $15.75. I fell asleep on the coldest, sketchiest bus ever while trying to avoid talking to the Indian dude sitting next to me who asked me to explain the concept of "prom queen" to him. True story. (And for the record, he was very, very nice & unsketchy & even gave me a small bag of Lays potato chips to satiate my hunger - but I was ridiculously tired & just wanted to sleep.)


So your imagination doesn't have to work overtime, here's a shot of the pristine, clean, safe busstop:



It took just under three hours to arrive at the Philly Chinatown, though, where my friend picked me up & we headed to Jones, a modern diner-type place, where I gorged myself on grilled cheese, tomato soup & amazing potato pancakes (yes, again). And then we took an uber-speedy walking tour of Philly, where I saw such glories as this epic fire hydrant placement fail:




Oh yeah, & the Liberty Bell, behind glass late at night:



On Sunday, Rachel introduced me to Fill A Bagel (get it? Phila bagel?) & to chicken cheesesteaks, & then we drove back to D.C. with her little brother in tow, listening to Best of 2008 countdowns all the while. Stuck in traffic somewhere mid-Delaware, we were pretty jazzed to pass this woman, who clearly didn't feel as though she needed two feet or any semblance of proper posture to get the driving job done:

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm the Next Top Chef. You Heard it Here First.

As I've mentioned before, my small apartment is kitchenless. The folks over at my realty company have labeled it a "bachelor studio," which I suppose they think makes it sound jazzy & fun. This is, I regret to tell you, not really the case - it's essentially a dorm room, with all the not-so-comfortable comforts of one except that I'm roommate-free & don't have to use a communal shower.

My kitchen-free lifestyle has led, as you can imagine, to much dining out on my part. I'm on a personal mission to find the best chicken kaprow in the tri-state region, so I chow on a lot of Thai, & the folks at the new Submarina in Dupont Circle practically know me by name because I buy their chili three times a week for lunch. Healthy? Doubtful. Cheap? Hardly. But until now, save for making sandwiches every meal of every day, I didn't have tons of options.

And Wednesday, my mom arrived in the District, bearing Chanukah gifts. The loot? A washbasin, a portable range burner, a pot, a pan & a bunch of plates & cutlery. MY MOM IS THE COOLEST, I know. So today we rearranged half my apartment to fit this stuff in, & we promptly whipped up a batch of vegetarian chili that was ahhhmazaing, if I may say so myself. My pseudo-kitchen look like this:


"Where's your microwave, Kate?" I hear you asking. Ahh, my friend, good question. It used to be on that little counter block where the burner is now. But because that's the only spot of counter I have, it's been relocated... here:


Yeah, my microwave is in my closet. What of it? And don't even ask where I drain my pasta. I don't have a kitchen sink & I don't wanna get noodles caught in the bathroom sink, so... well, you can imagine where that leaves me to do my draining! Needless to say, it's probably a safe bet to assume that even with my newfound kitchen wares, I won't be doing much entertaining.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Say it Like You Meme It

How rad am I? Social networking hotshot @micah (this sentence serves as an ego-feeder, as if he needs it) has tagged me in a meme called 7 Things You Wish You Didn't Know About Me. To be fair, I think there's plenty you already know about me that you never necessarily wanted to know, but if you're still reading, you're probably not opposed to learning more. While I won't get as personal as Micah, who felt inclined to tell all his readers that his testicles aren't evenly sized, I'm happy to play along; each of the following facts relates somehow to the topics of my last seven blog posts.
  1. My Heart (& Liver?) is in Ohio – I’m from a smallish city north of Akron, Ohio. I went to college both in Athens, Ohio, & Kent, Ohio. I miss & love Ohio – but I struggle every day with whether I can see myself ever living in Ohio again.

  2. I'm an Open Book – I wear somewhere between a size 14 & a size 12, somewhere between an XL & an L. I would love to lose some weight, but I haven’t made the effort I ought to.

  3. American Express is a Scrooge – I’ve had to have my debit card replaced four times this year alone, & I’ve had it replaced around Christmastime for the past three years.

  4. Livin’ the Latke Life – I cannot cook. Anything. I mean, I microwave a mean bowl of mac & cheese, but I even screw up oatmeal. My omelets are scrambled eggs. I don’t have a kitchen in my apartment, & it’s probably for the best.

  5. DIY Bartending… with a Twist! – My favorite alcoholic drinks are cheap beer & nice champagne -- & nothing in between, really. I love both Miller Lite & prosecco & basically dislike all liquor.

  6. Latkes & Vodkas – My dad, who died when I was 10, was (secularly) Christian, so we celebrated Christmas until then & a bit beyond (because I was attached to it!). I was raised Jewish but didn’t become particularly active in Jewish culture until I moved to D.C. & started working for the Tribe.

  7. The Day I Didn’t Meet Yet Another Politician – I knew zero about politics until I moved to DC. I’m still not sure whether I really like politics, & I can never keep up. My memory for celeb gossip is much sharper than my memory for political goings-on, but I’m trying. For now.
And now, I tag: Sarah at Was It For This, Lynsey at The New McGuinness, Chaviva at Kvetching Editor, Jaime at Barks Blog & Caiti at The Crazy Life of a Navy Wife. And I realize that's only five, not seven, but I make my own rules.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Heart (& Liver?) is in Ohio

I realize this post isn't in keeping with my typical DC-related M.O., but bear with me because it's totally worth it. Promises.

Earlier this week, I received a Chanukah card from my grandmother, along with $50 and a Got Milk? ad featuring Trisha Yearwood (I collect them, OK?). I read through the card quite happily - until I reached the last line. Can you read it?


Yes, it says exactly what you think it does: "Have fun over the holidays - stay sober!" And although I tried more than once to interpret my grandma's handwriting in other ways ("Stay solar?" Hmm, nope), the final conclusion is that it does, in fact, advise me not to imbibe over the Chanukah season.

Now, it's possible that my grandmother, who's fairly Web-savvy, checks out SuburbanSweetheart.com & has been reading all about my adventures at such soirees as last week's Latkes & Vodkas. It is more likely, however, that my favorite septuagenarian is instead recalling the Miller Lite she saw me drink over Thanksgiving weekend & interpreting it to mean that I am a regular & forceful abuser of my liver.

The best part is this: My mother arrived in the District yesterday from Ohio, unpacking a myriad of complimentary sundry groceries into my pathetically understocked refrigerator/pantry. She bought me Cheerios, hot chocolate, applesauce, Lean Pockets, yogurt, pasta... and two small bottles of Sutter Home.


But even better than that? When I called her on it, she revealed that these are not, in fact, for me. Her response? "I thought I might want a little drink." As though we don't have liquor & wine stores in D.C.?! Also, please bear in mind that each of these bottles is no taller than the length of my palm. Needless to say, in light of the Chanukah card, this made me laugh hysterically.

Who needs the advice now, Grandma?!?!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm an Open Book

I recently read a Craisglist Missed Connection from a guy in search of a young lady he'd spotted reading J.D. Salinger's Franny & Zooey on the red line. And while Franny & Zooey is easily one of my all-time favorite novels, I can't say that my current read is one I'd be proud to be caught poring over on the Metro -- & it's definitely not one that's going to garner me any positive attention, Craigslist or otherwise!

A peek into my purse reveals the following:



I tried to surreptitiously read this today in the Dupont Circle Metro station while sitting next to a girl reading something wise-sounding called "At Death's Widow." Unfortunately, my book has the title printed at the top of every even-numbered page, so even if I shield the cover, Nosy Nancies peeking over my shoulder can still see what I'm reading.

How embarrassing. I think I'll read this one in my apartment alone from now on.

American Express is a Scrooge

There ought to be some way for credit card companies to contact a cardholder in the event that some kind individual finds her American Express card on a sidewalk in Woodley Park & wants to return it before the holidays. Instead, the kindly folks over at AMEX just invalidate the card & contact the cardholder afterward to tell him or her that a new one's on the way in five to seven days -- which means it won't arrive for awhile, given holiday closings for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. (And yeah, I'm speaking from personal experience - lost my debit card on Christmas Eve & didn't get it back til after the new year, circa 2006-2007).

Here I am trying to be all pay-it-forwardly, thanking the do-gooder gods for my November wallet return by some Good Samaritan, but the scrooges at AMEX won't let me cash in my karma points. Maybe one of the benefits of American Express Membership Rewards should be access to your card when some nice neighbor wants to give it back to you. Blargh.

Before you suggest it, yes, I've tried -- and this woman is basically unGoogleable.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Livin' the Latke Life

I realize I've blogged about latkes a LOTTT lately, but what can I say? I've had latkes five times in the past seven days. Tuesday was Latkes & Vodkas; Wednesday was my office's Chanukah party (at which I was gifted 5 lbs. of hideous stationary in a White Elephant exchange) and Thursday was my friend Joanna's Christmukkah shindig.

And tonight? Tonight was Chef Spike's Latke Mania at a local synagogue, where Spike Mendelsohn, a former contestant on Bravo's "Top Chef" (which is only my
favorite show), taught an audience of a couple hundred how to make everyone's favorite Chanukah treats.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2349/2418756298_33c2a121fc_o.jpg

Joining Spike in the makeshift kitchen - on the bima, no less! - was his mom, which was cute & uber-Jewish, although she talked muuuch more than he did. Together, they showed us how to make regular (but gourmet!) latkes & applesauce plus sweet potato & zucchini latkes (um, separately, not together, because that would be sick). The first bummer? I don't have a kitchen in my teensy-weensy studio apartment, so I won't be whipping up a batch of my own potato pancakes anytime soon.


But the biggest bummer was that at night's end, the only latke that ended up in my stomach was a little half-dollar-sized shenanigan that just served to tease my palette -- even cold, it was a delight, & the homemade applesauce was swoon-worthy. The fried rice I consumed later in the evening came in at a very sad second place compared to what could've been, had the Latke Mania folks allowed each audience member more than a mere half a latke. Very, very disappointing.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

DIY Bartending... with a Twist!

My boss & his brother hosted an awards dinner this week, & one of the special guests requested that we have Absolut with a twist of lemon for him when he arrived. One of my coworkers (my boss' assistant) was in a bit of a frenzy about the term "twist of lemon" - what it meant, what it entailed, how it was prepared & whether or not she was likely to screw it up.

To make sure she was doing it right, she grabbed me & we headed to a local restaurant, Urbana (remember my birthday dinner with the porn star?), to ask the bartenders there for a little bit of their expert guidance. The result? The hostess & bartender teamed up to not only explain to us what a "twist of lemon" means but to actually create two of them for us & our Absolut-drinking guest. How's that for hospitality?

Nuts to you -- & to me!

This post is coming a bit late, but as Chanukah begins tomorrow, I suppose it's just in time. Recently, a nice lad over at Oh! Nuts, a New York-based nuts & candy company, contacted me to ask if he could send along some free Chanukah goodies for me to review on my site. I, of course, said yes, because who turns away free stuff? Especially free food?

I told him he could surprise me, that I wasn't particularly picky about my free treats, so he sent along two boxes of gelt (bittersweet & milk chocolate), a bag of blue & white Jordan almonds and a bag of mint chocolate lentils.

Let's start with the lentils, because their name is probably confusing you as much as it bewildered me. "Chocolate-covered lentils?" I thought to myself, "Well, that's new!" In fact, the lentils were actually just lentil shaped, little M&M-sized buggers with slightly misleading names. They're crunchier than M&M's and less chocolatey (which is good news for me because I'm not a massive chocolate fan) & the mint taste is light & unexpected. They're something you'd find in a bowl at a party -- a bowl you'd park yourself next to so you could sneak candy out of it as often as possible.
If we're being honest, the truth is that I spilled about half the bag of these on the floor of my cubicle, but I picked them up & ate 'em anyway because I couldn't stand to waste any.

Next up: Jordan almonds! At age 15, my first job was woking in an Italian bakery, where I often stole the occasional Jordan almond out of the jar on the counter. I haven't had them since them, so I was darn glad to find them in my mailbox. A couple people in my office didn't like these because they said they were too crunchy, but I think if you knew what you were getting into (i.e. knew that Jordan almonds are always crunchy!) then they were a delight. I polished this bag off with a couple coworkers -- good for staving off the midday snacking blues!

The gelt was, well, exactly as gelt ought to be. Not one to snack on straight chocolate, I took these to my office's Chanukah soiree, where they were promptly gobbled up by every other Jew in the place.

Long story short? I'm nuts for Oh! Nuts. If you want more info, check out my friend Chavi's blog, where she reviewed candied cashews & almonds last month. And in a shameless act of promotion, I encourage you to get on over to Oh! Nuts for all your Chanukah, Christmas and secular snacking needs. Happy winter, lovelies!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Latkes & Vodkas

You should know that because I am fairly lame/Semitic/alcoholic, I did not attend Jenna Elfman's previously talked-up Scientology party this Tuesday. A local Jewish PR agency had its annual Latkes & Vodkas party at the same time, & in the end, I had to go with my own and choose the Chosen People's soiree. I also consumed approximately seven of the former & four of the latter Chanukah treats, so I was sufficiently sauced by night's end. Get it? Sauced, as in apple, as in latke toppings... OK, OK, I'm done.

But really, who could pass up a party that put out these invitations?

http://www.rabinowitz-dorf.com/images/latkes/latkesvodkas_08.jpg

http://www.rabinowitz-dorf.com/images/latkes/latkesvodkas_08b.jpg

http://www.rabinowitz-dorf.com/images/latkes/latkesvodkas_08c.jpg

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Day I Didn't Meet Yet Another Awesome Politician

A little lost in the basement of the Dirksen Senate Building this past Monday morning, I stopped the only person I saw -- a tall, 40-ish man in a suit who I made sure was not donning a Member pin. "Excuse me," I began, in my friendliest voice & with my most confused-looking face. "Do you know which hallway goes to Russell?"

My would-be directions-giver looked a little unsure, too, but after a bit of apparent mental waffling, he pointed down one of two corridors & answered, "This way, I think. Yep, this way." I thanked him profusely, answering, "You, too" when he told me to have a nice day, & then I set off down the hallway toward aforementioned Russell building.

Only when he'd stepped into the elevator did I realize who my Kind Stranger was (confirmed by a quick Google image search on my iPhone) -- He was, indeed,
Gov. Mark Warner, Democratic Senator-elect of the great Commonwealth of Virginia, for whom I did a day of door-to-door campaigning back in October when I got out the vote for Obama!!!

Umm... HOW DID I NOT NOTICE? WHY DIDN'T I SAY ANYTHING?? I am so mad at myself. This will go down in my personal history book as second only to the day I almost met former Ohio Senator & astronaut extraordinairre John Glenn.

http://msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/050601/050601_markWarner_hmed_1p.hmedium.jpg

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Beginning to Looks a Lot Like Christmas?

Yesterday evening not one but two homeless men serenaded me with "The Christmas Song." While walking through the Dupont Circle area with two friends, we stopped to give each of them a couple bucks, and each, in turn, began to croon us a carol -- the same carol, as it turns out. You know the one: "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..."

It's not often that three Jews receive Christmas musical performances while walking to the bar on a Tuesday evening.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Cellular Elitism

Did I forget to mention that I purchased a much-coveted iPhone last week? My friend Sean came along to help me brave through my technological terror at the AT&T store about a block from our office... & I emerged victorious with aforementioned piece of Apple awesomeness.

It's taking me awhile to get used to, but I'm loving it. I am, however, trying VERY hard not to become an Apple asshole, one of those people who's like, "Oh, you want to know some random piece of information? Lucky for you, I have an iPhone! Lemme look that up for you!"

I've heard mutliple people say that D.C. is a BlackBerry town, not an iPhone town. Districters, what do you think? Which do you have? And most importantly, how do you keep from being a pretentious data-phone jerk? And are you jealous of my iPhone yet?

...Oops.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Putting the "Celeb" in "Celebration!"

Does anyone remember when I was chatty with the president of the Church of Scientology last year? Apparently my interfaith schmoozery has paid off in the form of an invitation to Jenna Elfman's Christmas holiday party!



My favorite part about the invite (which I received both via snail mail & email) is that the email version includes the line, "This event satisfies the ethics requirements of the widely attended event provision." While I have absolutely have no idea what this means, I'm glad to know that the Church of Scientology has taken my ethics into consideration. Holiday spirit, indeed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What a Gas (Leak)

As I putzed around on the Internet & chatted with a friend tonight, I mentioned to her, "My apartment smells like burning rubber. it's making me nervous."

A few minutes later, I stepped into the hallway & was about bowled over by the smell. A neighbor was knocking on people's doors, telling them the fire department was on their way to investigate a suspected gas leak.

The entire fifth floor (& a few nervous stragglers from elsewhere) spent the next hour or so on the front steps while a gaggle of firefighters checked it out. I met the woman who lived in my apartment for seven years in the '90s; the three hippieish guys who party a lot down the hall (including a very attractive one who just moved out); the homebody woman whom no one had ever seen (apparently she'll show her face in times of crisis, luckily); the new neighbor whose Netflix are often delivered to me...

As it turns out, the fiefighters couldn't find the source of the leak. They ventilated the whole floor to try to get rid of the smell, & they assured us that it was probably an errant spill that's already evaporated. I'll just say that that doesn't make me feel terribly comforted, & I probably won't go to bed until every last drop of that miserable scent leaves my nostrils.

Nothing like a home emergency to meet all your neighbors, huh? Feels like a little community now. A community of people whose throats are burning because they just breathed in a bunch of mysterious gas fumes.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More Than Red Ribbons

All typical comedy aside, one of the most beautiful things about living in this city is that there's never a shortage of free advocacy-based events to attend. Sure, I skip most of them, but last night I had the pleasure of working an interfaith service & candlelight vigil commemorating the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day.


(photo courtesy of Adam Gerhardstein)

There's SO much to be said about global HIV/AIDS & everything we ought to be doing to correct (& prevent) some of the problems that are so prevalent both domestically & abroad. I could say it, but Summer over at Wired for Noise has already done it for me, so I direct you her way, or to any of the following sites:
Bottom line? Stop treating sex like it's something to be ashamed of: Get informed. Educate your kids. Use condoms. Get tested. Give money. Donate time. Wherever you are, DO SOMETHING.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Grandmaisms

I've been in Ohio for nearly a week now, hanging out with the family &, of course, experiencing the joy that is Thanksgiving. My family is (as most are) more than a little bit quirky - we sing in restaurants & we talk about food a lot, & actually, we have very little in common with one another except for singing in restaurants & talking about food a lot.

I love them, of course -- & they're hilarious. My cousin, for example, just gave my aunt, her mother, a birthday card that reads "As You Turn 90." My other aunt got us all electric toothbrushes for Christmukkahgiving (half the fam's Christian, half's Jewish, we so exchange gifts the day after Turkey Day), and my uncle bought us all Blistex & screwdrivers. You know you're an adult when you start getting tools & toothbrushes for the holidays.

My grandma, however, has some of the best one-liners I've ever heard. She doens't mean to be funny -- she just is. Here, I present you with some of this week's best grandma-isms. Enjoy.
  • Annoyed that a group of teens wouldn't scootch to the side of the parking lot row as we tried to locate a parking spot, she exclaimed, "They wouldn't hurry if their butts fell off!"

  • When my curly-haired aunt announced that using "product" had changed her hairstyling life, my grandma asked, “Is that the name of the stuff you use? Product?” (In case you were curious, no. It's not. She uses some Aveda stuff.)

  • In response to my aunt's extreme, menopause-induced hot flashes, she announced, "That never happened to me. I just dried up."

  • After placing the word "QUIT" on our Scrabble board for a none-too-shabby 13 points, she lamented, "Well, it's better than poking a stick in your eye." Aren't most things better than that?

  • As she attempted to convince me to salvage the ¼ of a raw potato I dropped into the trash can while peeling potatoes for mash, she yelled, "Just get it! The trash in that can is NOT dirty.” Isn't that the point of trash cans? Needless to say, I refused to retrieve it.

  • And my favorite... When I asked whether any of our breakfast bagels were plain, she replied, “These are plain, they just have a little stuff on them. They’re called ‘Everything.”’ When I laughingly told her, “Grandma, that’s the exact opposite of plain," she looked a little flustered & reponded, “Well, when you say it like that, it makes me sound a little dumb!”

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Weather Outside is Sort of Frightful

Even if it never snows in the District (30-second flurries DO NOT COUNT, Washingtonians!!!), it sure does get windy, which means I need some warm, cozy scarves to keep myself from Mother Nature's fury. Luckily, I have about 50 gabillion of them back in Ohio (& that's just an approximation). One of them, hand-knitted by my wonderful mother, seems to stretch out a little bit more every single time I wear it. As a result, the scarf is now so long that if it's hanging from my neck (not wrapped, just hanging down), both ends of it touch the ground. I'm about 5'5," which means the scarf is, in total, about 11 feet long - which is absolutely ridiculous.

I mean, just think about it, & let's be real: That is the longest scarf ever.

These pictures don't do justice to the scarf's sheer length, but I thought I'd at least give it a whirl. Needless to say, it's gonna keep the wind out - & if I ever break my collarbone, I can just wrap this thing around myself to wear as a neck brace. Thanks for the multipurpose neck gear, mama!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Apartment Complex is Really Classy, Part III

I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one who finds stray apartmental beer cans amusing and/or blogworthy, but I come home this weekend to find a few more cans than usual in the potted plants on the front step. There's also a Coca-Cola can buried in there, like someone felt bad about being a porch alchoholic & tried to switch it up for a bit.



But in the potted plant on the other side of the stoop was a red party cup, so maybe the Coke drinker was just sipping on a mixed beverage. And smoking, of course. Gotta keep it REALLY classy:



And in the mailroom, one more can, just to top it all off:



I was comforted, though, to see the following scene in the lobby of a friend's (by all standards much classier) apartment building.



It's not just my apartment complex! What a relief.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Election Reflections

Because I never wrote the post-Election Day blog entry that I promised, & because it's probably now too late, I'm just going to post some cool pics of that fateful day that was November 4th, 2008. What a beaut.


***


At brunch at Open City, we got 10% off our check just for voting -- &, presumably, for being Obama supporters, as was evident by our intense accessorizing (& all the waiters'!).



On the walk home, I spotted this lovely sign encouraging Washingtonians to vote -- & to have a midday cocktail for $1!



All Obama'd up for an Election Night viewing party at Cara's



Screen shot I took during our results-watching festivities -- Obama takes Ohio! The home state goes blue! I'm kvelling!


It's getting close... & we are beyond joyful. Look at those faces! (I'm texting, of course...)




And it's OBAMA FOR THE WIN!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When Karma's Anything but a Bitch

Never underestimate the kindness of absolute strangers in the big city.

Yesterday evening, I left my wallet on an L2 bus on my way home from Adam's Morgan -- my wallet containing two debit cards, two credit cards, my driver's license, my student ID, my SmartTrip card & the key to my office. I spent the next 20 hours or so figuring out the mess -- waiting for the final bus to arrive in the station for a report on whether the wallet was turned it, borrowing $40 from a kindly friend, waking up at the crack of dawn (as though I slept) to check with WMATA lost & found, filing a police report, canceling credit cards, checking with TSA to figure out how to fly home to Ohio sans ID...

And around 6:30 today, a coworker called to tell me that an employee of a nearby Days Inn had found my wallet & was holding it for me. I trekked down to Van Ness to pick it up from Jose, the maintenance man who now has the best karma ever, to retrieve my belongings. And amazingly, everything was returned to me in tact -- including the $80 in cash that I thought I'd lost.

I spent all of last night crying about my lost stuff & my own idiocy, & I spent a couple minutes crying today out of sheer amazement & good luck. I absolutely cannot believe that in a city of this size & this demeanor, I got everything back. I don't speak often of my faith or my feelings on God, but on days like today, I'm just bowled over by the way the world works & the blessings I'm given.

I'm going to buy Jose a gift card, I think, to thank him. I was too stunned at the time to think it through, but I really want to make clear to him how appreciative I am of his rare kindness. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Dawn of a New Era

I have so much to say about the history that was made last night. Unfortunately, I am simply too exhausted to do a damn thing right now. Expect it tomorrow, perhaps. Suffice it to say, I have never, ever been prouder of this country & its voters. I am so proud to be an American, an Ohioan, a Democrat, a Jew, a voter, a volunteer, a liberal - everything. I will be proud to call Barack Obama my President.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Whatever You Do Today...

GO VOTE!!!!



Today is history in the making. Today we choose a new President. After all our hard work & our dedication & our prayers & our steadfast belief that we can & will change America -- with all that & with any luck at all, today we will elect Senator Barack Hussein Obama the next President of the United States of America & we will be goddamn proud. 

This is it, America.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Sticky Political Situation

My good friend Rebecca, a native Manhattanite, snapped the following photo someplace in the Big Apple. Frankly, I'm quite jealous that I didn't see this sign on my own, in my own city, because this is so blogworthy, & I feel a bit like a cheat posting someone else's photographic experience. That said, this is awesome. I love guerilla art. If I could find this sign online someplace, I'd post it in Dupont Circle myself!

I also love that the McCain-haters plopped their gum right on his eyeballs. It's like the McCain supporters weren't even comfortable enough with their dislike to go all the way in defacing the Big O's likeness.


Wastin' Away Again...


My apartment complex is still really classy:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Even in Australia..."

Today I stepped in a puddle of vomit on a P Street sidewalk, which pretty much sums up my day.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Size Does Matter

One thing I can safely say of MoveOn.org is that they're clearly not particularly concerned about the environmental effects of excess packaging. This observation is based on the Obama button I received from said organization this week &, more specifically, on the envelope it arrived it. A size comparison is as follows:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Redline Carnivore Makes His Mark

I forgot to tell you that when I got on the redline today to head to Chinatown, this was sitting on the floor:



A CHICKEN BONE!!! If you know me at all, you know that I loathe meat on bones with all my being. I had to expend a lot of energy in making sure my easily offended eyes didn't look at the purpley, gristly bone any longer than necessary - save, of course, to take this blurry, indiscernible photo.

And most importantly, who eats chicken on the Metro???

Halloween Hatefest

Halloween in Ohio, for me, meant drunken, costumed festivities at both of my alma maters, Ohio University & Kent State -- far & away known as the two best Halloween celebrations in the state. Halloween in Ohio is passing out candy with my mom on Trick or Treat night, wandering the Akron Zoo for the widely enjoyed Boo at the Zoo, visiting every haunted house within a 15-mile radius (& there are, surprisingly, tons), carving extravagant jack-o-lanterns for the front stoop, visiting Lake Farm Park for the occasional corn maze & attending friends' ridiculously memorable costume parties.

Halloween in Washington, D.C. means absolutely nothing. Everyone despises it but, it seems, for yours truly. Everyone here is too serious, too adult, too formal to let loose while dressed as a pair of dice or a gaggle of pirates, as Quailman or the Keebler Elf or a giant pink crayon (all of which I have been, for the record). Everyone here would rather pretend like Halloween doesn't exist. And everyone here would rather ridicule me for loving this holiday (THE BEST HOLIDAY EVER) & for wishing the District wasn't so devastatingly disappointing come every October 31st.

Really, what's not to love? What's not to adore about the one night a year when it's perfectly acceptable - nay, encouraged - to dress up as anything you want? It's like a college sorority party times 1,000 - no theme, no boundaries, no rules, just whatever you feel like being. It's the only night when creativity is both welcomed & warranted.

I have a sweet, witty costume planned for this weekend, should any plans come my way. But more than likely, no plans will. More than likely, I will spend All Hallows' Eve wistfully recalling my days as an Ohio Halloween goddess extraordinnaire, the girl with the cool costumes, & I will drown my sorrows in brown-bottomed candy corn & ghost-shaped marshmallow Peeps. And I will vow, yet again, to go home for the holiday next year. And I mean it this time. I cannot spend another October 31st stuck in the Halloween Hatefest that is Washington, D.C.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Goodbye, Beverly Hillbillies; Hello, Mob!

Lest you think that hillbilly tendencies only exist in the 'burbs & in them good ole rural parts of the country (also known as the "pro-America" parts, I hear), here's a snapshot of the hallway outside my apartment as my next-door neighbor moved out. Mind you, this was a day-&-a-half-long process - as in, that sofa sat in the hallway for 24+ hours. I've been missing Halloween back in Ohio, but who needs suburban corn mazes when I can experience this furniture maze right here in my own dwelling?


In actuality, the old neighbor was a young cop, a really nice guy, & I'm bummed that he's gone. Now living in his place are a few Russian chain-smokers who come & go at all hours of the day & night, which is really great for me, considering my headboard rests right next to their often-slamming door.
Based upon their frequent foot traffic, I have concluded that they may or may not be the mafia or a drug cartel, with an accent on "may."

OK, OK. I
did think my old neighbor (yes, the cop) was secretly a serial killer based on weird bumps in the night I heard from his place, so it's entirely possible that my new neighbors are perfectly upstanding individuals with some really legitimate explanation for the crazy hours they keep. Who knows. I've been reading too much Bret Easton Ellis, & I'm sticking with the criminality theories.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Problems in Voting: A Write-In Wrong

So, it's election season & all, which you're probably aware of because, I mean, I guess some people have been talking about it a little tiny bit. But for all the discussion of our Presidential candidates, it's important to bear in mind that you'll be voting for state & local politicians in this election, too. If you're living in the District of Columbia like me, you may have seen signs advertising candidates for City Council. I pass approximately seven of these puppies on the three-block walk from my apartment to the Metro. Can you spot the problem?




No, the problem is NOT the cheesy slogan (incidentally, I used to own a shirt that said that. Seriously). No, the problem here is that this write-in candidate has not told me what LAST NAME to write in.

In all fairness, her full name is on the other side of the sign (the one stuck in the bush), but why isn't that side facing out instead of jammed into the foliage???

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pavement Poetry

You don't see sidewalk chalk too often in the District -- it's more of a suburban thing or a sorority-girls-on-a-college-campus thing. Yet as I crossed Dupont Circle this afternoon, I was pleased to see chalkings around the fountain:



This one reads "D.C. GUERILLA POETRY INSURGENCY," which sounds both prosaic & violent at the same time.


This one reads, "URBAN_ISOLATION" on two sides of the squares. The other two sides say the same, but with a drawing of an eye + "SOULATION."


Deep, right? Or something. Eye only sort of get it. Leave it to me to discover crazy hippie peace chalking.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Workin' for the Weekend (For Our Future President, That Is!)

I canvassed for Obama in Burke, Virginia, this weekend, knocking on the doors of undecided or unreported voters. Although it pained me to awaken at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday (I'm a noon+ kinda gal myself), the overall effect was one of adventure & social justice. Highlights:

  • A middle-aged couple drove two friends & I into VA, getting lost both on the way to the DNC headquarters & again on the way to our neighborhood destination. It was a bit like a family road trip with people who are not only not your family but actually complete strangers.

  • Before we even hit up our first house, a hilljack loading a pickup truck asked us, "Who are you out for?" When we answered, he replied, "That's too bad." It's too bad you're a Republican, dude, but I won't insult you -- Barack Obama can do it himself on November 4th.

  • Lest you think that the Great Commonwealth of Virginia is all tobacco farms, cotillions & class, I snapped this photo of a Beverly Hillbillies-style lawn ornament to clarify.


  • A really, really enthusiastic & apparently lonely Obama supporter ushered us into her home, offered us glasses of water, tried to give us a donation, told us she was calling off work to provide people rides to the polls & roped her 14-year-old son into promising to help her do it, too. She practically begged for the names of her neighbors who had also pledged their support for Obama, & sent us on our way with warnings about which houses weren't going to be amenable to our Democratic ways.

  • I scored an Obama/Biden yard sign from the DNC headquarters in Springfield. I lack a yard, so I instead hung it in my apartment window, which faces the other side of my U-shaped building -- including the home of some neighbor whose unsightly McCain/Palin sign stares directly in my bedroom window. BOOM, sucka.

City Musings: All in the Family

In case you were concerned that my penchant for photographing strangers & city surprises was a hobby unique to me, I want to inform you that it is, in fact, a genetic trait. Case in point? My little cousin, Emily, moved to the Big Apple a few months ago & diligently catalogs all the weirdos she encounters. A few of her latest & greatest are as follows:


Exhibit A: Not just the hair, but the lashes, too! Work it, guuuuurl.


Exhibit 2: Spontaneous hula hoop competition? Colorful!


Exhibit the Third:
Contortionist street freakshow, complete with neon animal print


Exhibit Cuatro:
Scary old man playing music with weird dolls


Exhibit Awesome:
For those of you who eagerly await the day I'm caught by a photographee, I present to you this photo, in which my cousin was clearly busted snapping a shot of this maze 'do. The girl knows her friend's hair sucks, though, so she's not even gonna argue it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Blogskillz Bring All the Boys to the Yard...

The glory that is Google Analytics allows me to browse the Google keywords that cause people to stumble upon my little blog. Some of them are, frankly, incredible. I love it. Ready? Commentary included, of course!
  • "jdate" (Lonely, single Jews searching for their soulmates.)
  • "sara jay" (Fans of the porn star I met on my birthday hoping for nudie pics)
  • "1 br dupont circle" (Folks looking to move into one-room shacks like mine)
  • "bar-b-quin with my honey" (Someone looking for Rap Snacks!)
  • "bow tied men" (A lady interested in classy gents)
  • "bow to men" (Some subservient woman?)
  • "buckeyes for boobies shirt" (I HAVE NO IDEA. How is this relevant to me?)
  • "cinematic concepts in goodbye lenin!" (College film major)
  • "city wife" (How did you get to ME? My apologies.)
  • "class of spiders daddy longleg where dose it hange out" (Some poor arachnophobe)
  • "day time hooker" (Governor Elliott Spitzer)
  • "feel the power between my legs" (Armageddon fan... or huge perv)
  • "four and a half punctuation" (A grammarian led astray)
  • "glenmont metro and tow" (Some sad Marylander with a broken down vehicle)
  • "is there a city name sweetheart" (Someone hoping I constitute an entire city)
  • "metacarpal contusion" (Some sad sack with a broken hand who hopefully has quieter neighbors than I had)
  • "musical metro" (Not sure... but they no doubt ended up with the story of my attempted murder last autumn)
  • "my sweet babe" (Sweet-talker)
  • "navy wife" (Again with the wives flocking to me for reasons unknown...)
  • "ohio porn stars" (More Sara Jay seekers?)
  • "palin" (There's no way I'm even in the top 1,000 results for this, so someone was REALLY dedicated in terms of vetting their Google results on this one.)
  • "porn star jan b" (PERVS LOVE ME)
  • "sex" (See my comments for "Palin," incidentally)
  • "she makes the city seem like home" (Anberlin fan! Emo kid!)
  • "sole decision" (Someone looking for shoes?)
  • "sweetheart coffee cincinnati" (Beats me.)
  • "sweetheart cupcake i'll be there for sure" (Beats me, part two.)
  • "the machinist schizophrenia" (Christian Bale fan. Or someone with a mental illness. Whichev.)

Text of the Month

"So I have decided, given the current f*cked up state of planet Earth, if McCain/Palin get elected, I am going to start preparing for the end of times... because I am pretty sure all of the shit that is going on right now is stated in Revelations as signs of the apocalypse. I double-checked: It does in fact state, 'If a redneck moose-hunting Alaskan becomes VP, prepare for the end.'"


-My lovely best, Sam


(OBAMA-RAMA, folks!)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Smorgasbord of District Dislikes

1. Fanny packs. I've blogged about fashion faux pas in the District many a'time, but the fanny pack issue remains one of my favorite offenses. And this dude riding the redline, (who by the way was around my age) (which is, by the way, less than a quarter of a century), totally owns the fanny pack look. Which, frankly, is not the best look to take ownership of.


2. Tacky undies. This is what I get for attempting to shop at A.J. Wright, which is T.J. Maxx's skanky little cousin (& that doesn't bode well, because the Maxx is not always the cleanliest of locales). These intimates were $.99, which still feels like an unforgivable ripoff.


3. The Management. I'm guessing you can't actually read any of this sign, but it details the new security measures my realty will be installing in my building. The last line is, "Thank you for your continued residency & patience during this process," as though I'd quit living there because they're making it more secure. And as though they'd let me break my lease even if I wanted to!


4. Public Displays of Affection. Hold hands on the escalator, fine. A little peck on the cheek on the bus, OK. But when tired on the Metro, must you rest your weary head in your boyfriend's crotch? You could just as easily lean against the window as against your significant other's junk. Thanks in advance. or, in this couple's case, "Yuck."
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