Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nuts to You: My Very First GIVEAWAY!



BOOYAH. That's right, I said BOOYAH, which is a word I've probably never said before. Why am I saying it now? Because I'm really excited that Oh!Nuts is sponsoring a giveaway right here at Suburban Sweetheart! Why are they doing it? Because Purim is coming, & every good Jew likes Purim - it's a holiday based in Torah & tradition that results in a celebration resembling a Mardi Gras/Halloween hybrid. The objective? Dress up & drink a lot. Umm, yes, please.

So Oh!Nuts is giving me the opportunity to increase my Jewish readers' Purim enjoyment by sponsoring this giveaway. The prize is a a $30 gift certificate to purchase any Purim gift basket that strikes your fancy on OhNuts.com. Want to win? Take note:

1) To enter, comment on this post by Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. EST. In the comment, please include:
  • Your email address so I can contact you if you've won (& if you're not comfortable leaving it in the comment, you can email it to SuburbanSweetheart@gmail.com).
  • The name of the Oh! Nuts Purim gift basket that sounds tastiest/most desirable to you (I won't tell you mine because I know how influential I can be... & I can't enter you unless you post this in the comment!)
2) I'll draw a winner out of a hat (seriously) on the morning of Wednesday, March 3, 2009.

3) I'll announce the winner here via blog post & send the lucky champ instructions on how to retrieve your Purim basket (up to $30) to start the par-tay.
So ENTER, ENTER, ENTER - and let the giveaway game begin!!!

PS: If you want a second chance to enter, pop on over to visit my friend Chavi at Kvetching Editor, where you can put your name in the proverbial/literal hat to win the same thing.

PPS: For a third & fourth chance, you can also enter by commenting on the Oh!Nuts Facebook fan page or sending a tweet to @ohnuts.

A (Chocolate!) Bacon Explosion of Our Very Own

A few weeks ago, I noticed that my local liquor store was promoting a pretty odd snack next to the cash register. Chocolate-covered bacon? Gotta be a joke. A joke that already-drunk folks purchasing more liquor would fall for.

But a few days later, one of my friends was having a particularly crummy day, & I figured I could pork perk her up by treating her to her favorite artery-clogging meat, bacon. Bacon's made quite the headlines these days, most notably when the New York Times covered the "Bacon Explosion" phenomenon. I wasn't about to weave any meat together to brighten a friend's day, but remembering the liquor store, I figured I could get the job done by pairing said artery-clogging meat with everyone's favorite comfort sweet (except mine), chocolate.

Enter Mo's Bacon Bar:


I purchased this little suckling sucker from Teaism, the local hippy-dippy tea house that serves weird things I won't eat, like bento boxes, & a few things I've tried to eat but failed miserably at, like zhengzhou pearl tea (the equivalent of sucking wet fruit snacks through a straw) & sweet potato salad (which would've been tasty had it not been covered in mysterious brown sauce).

Today, we ate the bacon bar. It was, astonishingly, not as foul as expected/hoped/worried. It tasted precisely like bacon covered in chocolate, but somehow the combination was not nearly as vile as I'd predicted it would be. In fact... we liked it. All of us - well, except for the majority of my coworkers, who weren't able to try it because they don't eat pork. Yep, one of the hazards of working with so many Jews is that you can't get much appreciation for bringing chocolate-covered bacon to the office. Them's the breaks.

But I admit it: I would eat a bacon bar again.

You know, if it weren't likely to cause an instant heart attack.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

J.E.W. - A Religious Experience

A few months back, I bought tickets to see my favorite band of all time, Jimmy Eat World, play at the 9:30 Club here in D.C. I think that most people who value music, the ones who really consider it an inextricable part of their fiber, remember - nay, could never forget - which single band made them the way they are, which band got the ball rolling, which band changed their lives. My band is Jimmy Eat World.



When I was 17, my then-boyfriend Dave instructed me to open the glove compartment of his teal Tempo. Inside was a copy of Jimmy Eat World's "Bleed American" (renamed a self-titled album shortly after 9/11) with a Post-It on top: "J.E.W. for the Jew." I'd heard him talk about the band, most notably when our Spanish teacher asked him to describe to our class what "emo" meant, but I doubted I could dig a band with such an absurd name.

I was wrong.

Now, seven years later, I truly can't remember what I listened to before I knew Jimmy Eat World - &, in many ways, who I was. This music, & the music it became a gateway into, changed my life & my views & my emotions. And if it wasn't the music that did it, well, the music certainly came at a time when all of those things were changing so much that I needed something to cling to, to blame it on, to feel it through, and Jimmy Eat World became that band for me.

Tonight, Jimmy Eat World played the second night of its 10-stop "Clarity" anniversary tour, celebrating the 10th anniversary since the release of its best-selling album. They played the entire album straight through, no frills or interpretations, & topped it off with a few of their best songs from other albums. I stood about eight people deep from center stage, where Jim Adkins & the boys made "Clarity" into real-life musical magic. Seriously.

video

*so sue me, I videotaped sideways... damn.

I've been to a lot of concerts, but never one like that, a show that I felt throughout my entire body. It was like really good sex or playing a sport -- exhilarating, exhausting, emotional. I can't explain it, & I've already been cliche enough, but it really felt like being a part of something much bigger. I felt connected to the people standing around me, dancing & screaming out ten years of teen & former-teen angst, each conjuring up our own meaning & memories to the same notes & lyrics. I burst into spontaneous & uncharacteristic smiles when the crowd around me rocked out in unison particularly hard, like during "Sweetness." And because I'm a crier, I let the tears roll when it felt appropriate, especially during "Just Watch the Fireworks," Dave's song.



I am in awe.
For me, this was heaven.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Into the Woods: Hollywood & Beyond

Last night, I dragged my sinus infected self to Tenleytown, where my friend/coworker/former boss' Barb was hosting an Oscars viewing party at her beautiful (& beautifully decorated) condo. When I wasn't busy inhaling BBQ chips or drinking a delicious daiquiri I didn't realize was virgin, I was live-tweeting the show* from my pretentious iPhone & laughing at my friend Ben as he discovered that there are not one but TWO famous Hepburns.

During Oscar lulls (& after promises that any scene involving our beloved Zac Efron would NOT be considered "a lull"), we read off trivia questions that Barb created herself -- & that most of us couldn't answer because most people are not the pop culture fanatic/savants that she is. Prizes included a game of checkers, a book of Sudoku, a box of Blow Pops & a package of "High School Musical" stickers. I, sadly, was not a winner, possibly because I was too busy tweeting. I did, however, fill out an awards prediction sheet, although my guesses turned out to be, for the most part, horribly misconceived (I only got 12 awards rights, making me the loser of the evening!).




Because Barb's place isn't near a Metro, my friends & I called for three cabs just before Best Actor was announced. A half hour after the Oscars concluded, we were still sitting in the lobby of Barb's condo, waiting for rides - & when I called to check in on our reservation, a Diamond Cab dispatcher told me they still hadn't located any drivers who could come get us. Keep waiting? No, thanks.

So we started walking. The trek from Barb's place to mine is only about 1.6 miles, although everyone else had considerably farther to go. So we began our trudge toward home, & not five minutes in, directly following my friend Etah's observation that "It feels like we're walking into a horror movie," we spotted a deer - in the District. And then another. And then another. And they all crossed Cathedral, hopping the guardrail into some brush - in the District! I've heard tell of stray fauna wandering the Dupont area before but didn't really believe it - what is this, Ohio?!
I know you can't really see it there, but that's the third & final deer making its way back into the wild of D.C.



After 10 minutes into our walk, fed up with my increasingly runnier nose & the fact that the majority of our friends had already snagged cabs on Wisconsin, I burst into tears & refused to continue my walk home. My remaining friends were kind enough to join me in hailing a cab back to Cleveland Park, where I proceeded to collapse underneath my comforter & continue with my illness. Now, I'm hanging out with a roll of toilet paper (because I'm fresh outta Kleenex) & a few episodes of "Wife Swap," watching TV from my bed (which I NEVER do) & falling asleep intermittently.

Blurgh.

(*If you want my Twitter handle, email me at suburbansweetheart@gmail.com & I'll be happy to divulge.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Fast Food Fling & the Return of Total Singledom

I've got a sinus infection somethin' awful, & I'm sick enough to be blogging from bed, eating Ramen, burning incense I cannot smell & watching "Ocean's Eleven," which I've yet to successfully finish because I always fall asleep midway through. I'm also sick enough to be bored enough (follow that?) to blog twice in one day.

For a couple weeks now, I've been pseudo-seeing a guy my friends & I refer to as "Johnny Fajitas" because I originally misheard his name (& stuck with because it sounds like a Mexican fast food restaurant, which amuses us every time). This week, Johnny Fajitas was offered a job as a TV news reporter in Colorado right near the Utah border, & he'll be moving in a couple weeks. That is, in my head, roughly the geographical equivalent of his moving to Jupiter. To be sure, I say "pseudo-seeing" because he & I were certainly not on the road toward entering into some serious, extended relationship, even if he were to have stayed in the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area. But while it's not like I'm losing the love of my life here or even a potential contender (geez, this sounds cold), that doesn't mean it's not disappointing.

Furthermore, as a moderately attractive young woman who holds a degree in magazine journalism, I've seen my share of media types & feel fairly confident in saying that t
he really good thing about broadcast folk is that they're always a little bit vain because their jobs essentially just require them to be pretty. And on second thought, being vain is not necessarily a positive trait - but being pretty is, so I guess that's the really good thing about broadcast folk. Anyway, bottom line is that Johnny Fajitas is absolutely one of the better looking guys who's ever expressed interest in me (& not very vain, surprisingly), & I will certainly be sorry to see the East Coast (& my romantic life) lose such a gem.


(For the sake of not sounding like a shallow jerk,
I ought to mention that Johnny Fajitas is also quite nice,
& I hang out with him not just because of his Zoolander-ish appearance.
I legit like him.)

On an only mildly related note, writing this entry also reminds me of the time I secretly freaked out when I found out that a guy I'd gone on a couple dates with in college was secretly blogging about me. The only difference, I guess, is that he was blogging on a site he thought no one knew about (in reality, of course, I'd actually given the link to everyone I knew), writing about his undying, immediate love for me & the plans he had for our future; while I don't think my lamenting the loss of an extremely attractive pseudo-relationship really comes anywhere close to that level of creepster, I can't help but wonder whether said attractive individual would be weirded out to read this post.

So now, a few things can/might happen. One, I will consider Facebooking the Web manager at the Pew Forum who I mentioned in my last entry, but will, of course, not actually do it because THAT is creepster. Two, I will continue to have an awkward relation-/friendship with a guy who has a girlfriend he does not like. Three, I will effectively return to the life of singledom with which I am so uncomfortably comfortable, & all will be right in the world again.

Who's taking bets?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Illness Entry: A Simple Recap & Some Not-At-All-Undercover Photos

Although this weekend didn't start off so stellarly (I made up that word, enjoy), it certainly got better. I am, however, currently too ill to be very witty, so this post will be a simple update. Forgive me, my loves.
  • On Thursday, I participated in a focus group test with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life that essentially amounted to an online scavenger hunt. It resulted in interacting with the Forum's very attractive Web Manager & receiving a $75 AMEX gift card as a thank-you for my participation.

  • On my way home from Pew, I located a Robek's, which is only one of the best smoothie joints to ever grace the universe. I indulged in a (healthy!) pumpkin smoothie, which sounds gross but in reality tasted exactly like autumn in a sytrofoam cup, whatever that means. And no, I have no idea why they launched such a flavor on February.

  • I found both my camera & my mouth guard (I'd already found the former by the time I wrote my "FML" post but didn't want my mom [hi, Mom!] to know I was scrambling to locate the latter). I can now go back to sleeping like a nerd, which is a relief, because I contracted some sort of massive cold/sinus infection & have been sleeping full-time today.
  • This morning, I rallied against my disgusting illness to have lunch at Urbana for Restaurant Week. You may remember Urbana as the setting of my August entry, "The Porn Star who Came to Dinner," in which I detailed my birthday encounter with adult entertainment star Sara Jay. While this afternoon's outing involved no celeb sightings of the sort, I did have an excellent waffle & a fruit salad that didn't include honeydew - & if you know me, you know these are both a big gastronomical deal.
  • In the past week, I've seen at least three women wearing these shoes, & I want it to stop. They're entirely unforgiveable.


  • My boss got a piece up on Huffington Post, which somehow just feels very baller to me.
  • Last night, I remembered how embarrassed I always am to drink at Brickskellar in Dupont, where the beer menu is a multi-page novel. Granted, its website lies when it says its got more than 1,000 kinds of beer on hand, because typically, it's only got about 1 of every 5 in stock. But that doesn't make it appropriate for me to order Miller Lite.
  • While at Brickskellar, however, I did see the following sticker affixed to the bathroom mirror. It's too blurry to tell (I was in a hurry because I didn't want anyone to walk in & see me taking cell photos in the mirror, Myspace-style), but it reads "Rabbit Liberation Society," whose existence I sadly cannot find evidence of on the Interwebs.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

FML: Suburban Sweetheart-style

Today's post is done in honor of (& in the style of) my new favorite site, FMyLife.com. You heard it here first: "FML" is the new "WTF." It's also probably less controversial than my favorite woe-is-me phrase, "God hates me."
  • Yesterday, I was asked on a pseudo-date by someone I thought I'd effectively dodged for the past year & a half. FML.
  • It hasn't rained in about two weeks. Today, I broke my only remaining umbrella while it sleeted buckets on my walk back from the doctor's office. FML.
  • Today, all three of the Dupont North Metro escalators were out. The sign next to them says the project will be completed by March 20th, more than a month away. FML.
  • I spent the past three days thinking I'd lost both my digital camera & the mightily expensive mouth guard I have to sleep with to keep from grinding my teeth at night.* FML
  • Tonight, Paragon Thai accidentally gave my to-go order to someone else, so I had to wait 15 minutes while they made me a new one. FML.
  • For reasons unknown, the kee mao rice I waited an extra quarter of an hour for made me vomit - into the washbasin in the laundry room. FML.
*Don't worry. I've located at least half of this potentially misplaced duo, but just to keep my mom on her toes (hi, Mom!), I'm not saying which one is still at large.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tapas Stimulus

I don't have too much to say today, but I do like this sign outside Sabores -- celebrate the stimulus! Eat expensive food for really cheap! Ogle the insanely attractive server who waited on us the last time I was there! YUMMM on more than one count!



That is all.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Taxi to the Dark Side

I house sat this weekend in the suburbs for a nice Jewish fam with a miniature poodle & a long-haired cat. Today, I planned to cab it back to the Cleve so that I could visit Bravo's Chef Spike Mendohlson's Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill, which I've been waiting forever to go to.

Short on cash, I phoned Regency Cab 20 minutes before I actually wanted to put in a call, just to check that they took credit cards; I was assured they did. I called 20 minutes later to get a cab, no problem, & a friendly operator told me it'd be 10-15 minutes.

That's where the friendly ended.

A mere 25 minutes later (please note my immediate sarcasm), my cabbie shows up, & when I got in, he lazily says, "So where we goin'?" as if I hadn't, you know, called in with my origin & destination. And then he says, "And how do I get there?" Right, because I know how to navigate the 'burbs of Bethesda. YOU'RE A CABBIE; Connecticut Avenue isn't exactly an unknown back road. Annoyed at my ack of directional information, he puts my location into his GPS & we set off for home. A couple blocks before my apartment, just for good measure, I ask, "I can pay with a credit card, right?" & he says no. Ina bored tone, he "explains" that his credit card machine worked earlier but now "it don't have it," whatever that means. When I tell him I only chose Regency because I was assured I could pay with a credit card, he says, "I can drop you at an ATM."

Clearly pissed, I get out of his car at the ATM two blocks from my place, where I take out a $20. When I get back to the car, I discover my driver has run the effing meter while I was getting money out! At my wits' (& patience's) end, I tell him, "I'm not giving you $19.50. It was $18 when I got out. I'm not paying you for having a broken machine."

Oh, & did I mention that he dropped me off two blocks from my destination? Didn't even take me all the way? Just left me at the ATM, luggage & all? What a gem of a driver.

Me being me, I called to complain, of course, & in all fairness, the dispatcher was VERY nice & apologetic & took all of his/my information. But me being me, I'm still a little bitter about it, & I hope this guy gets fired or at least reprimanded, if not for his crap credit card machine that goes against company policy then at least for being a huge jerk about it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Testing the Strong Ones

I rarely get too personal on this blog, where I prefer to post photos of poorly dressed city folk & rant about Washington's many, many quirks than to reveal anything very telling or intimate. But today, here's some insight into my life - who I am & where I've come from, what's made me the way I am & how. It's rare, & I may take it down in a few hours, but mostly I just need to get it out.

Four years ago today, my high school boyfriend took his own life by hanging himself from the rafters in his garage. Dave was supposed to leave the next week to study broad in Australia. He was supposed to graduate from the College of Wooster with a degree in education. He was supposed to finish an album with his band, The Supporting Cast. Dave was supposed to do & be a lot of things, but a mental illness no one could see or stop got in the way, & instead, his friends & family buried him on a rainy Valentine's Day, just two months past his 20th birthday.

Cliche though it may be, Dave was one of the most beautiful people I've ever met, both inside & out - one of the beautiful, most artistic, most creative people I've ever met, but also one of the most volatile & unstable. He felt everything too strongly, sort of like April in "The Secret Life of Bees," so strongly that he couldn't adapt to the pain or work around it. And in the end, I think, Dave just got sick. He wouldn't have chosen this for himself; I don't think he had any choice.

But I don't want to remember Dave for the way he died. I want to remember him for the way he lived, for the things about him that no one ever asks about or mentions anymore. I want to remember him as the boy who introduced me to Jimmy Eat World's "Clarity" & a million other albums that have now stood by me at my lowest points. I want to remember Dave as the boy who gave me a failed guitar lesson in a park, who set up a scavenger hunt on my 18th birthday, who sent me a heart-shaped box of hard-to-find Sixlets for Valentine's Day, who sang "Hands Down," dedicated to me, on stage at the high school talent show, who came over to visit unannounced & always when I was napping. I want to remember Dave as the boy who
wore Chucks to his high school homecoming before Chucks were in, who had a long-awaited red star tattooed on his bicep on his 18th birthday, who got arrested for stealing an orange road cone & was punished by having to paint a fence, Tom Sawyer-style. The boy whose bright ideas included getting high & then doing the laundry, who hated pizza & almost always ordered chicken fingers, who wanted to move to New York City someday, who drove a teal Tempo but had to lie down when I was behind the wheel.

Every year, I think it'll hurt less, & every year I'm proven wrong. But it's not just the anniversary of his death or his birthday - it's every single day. It's a daily struggle to keep my head above the proverbial waters, to remind myself that it is a braver feat to live than to die, to convince myself that my 17-year-old trespasses neither took Dave's life nor rule mine. It is a constant battle to live - and even more importantly, to live in love rather than in regret.

If I were given the choice between having Dave gone & having him here, the answer would be clear. But that's not a choice I'll ever be given, of course, & so four years has given me plenty of time to think of ways to accept & even appreciate Dave's death. I've learned to look for the meaning behind every change in my life, to seek out every cause, effect & influence. Dave's death changed everything – it led me back home again, transferring colleges to be closer to my mother while I gave myself time to heal. It brought me closer to my rabbi, who encouraged me to apply for a summer internship with the organization where I now work. It created friendships with people I never dreamed I'd befriend & strengthened friendships I never imagined would last. Dave's death changed all of our lives. It tore some of us apart & thrust others of us together & set into motion a series of events I couldn't have foretold in any "what if" scenario.

The moral of my story, of Dave's story, is, I suppose, two-fold. The first is that maybe some people were born to live short lives but, in doing so, to change dozens. Maybe everything really does happen for a reason - or that even if it doesn't happen for a reason, there's something good to be found in it just the same.

And the second part of our story is this: Don't be afraid to reach out. People commit suicide when they think they have nowhere else to turn, when they've exhausted their options & connections & intimations. People commit suicide when they think no one else is watching. So watch. If you're worried about someone, tell them so. If you think they need help, make sure they get it. You will never regret anything more than you'll regret not having done your best to save someone who, at the very least, would have died knowing you cared.

And if you're the one who needs help, please find it. I love & appreciate my life the way it is now because there's no going back & because these are the cards we've been dealt -- but I would give anything to catch even a glimpse of what we all would have been had Dave gotten the help he needed. In the words of one of Dave's & my favorite bands, "Feel the pain, teaching us how much more we can take, reminding us how far we've come" -- it takes infinitely more effort to live than it does to die, & it's more painful, too, but nothing worth fighting for ever comes easily. Fight for your life - I wish to God that he had.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Colors of Love

Yeah, yeah, this is my third post today. It's a Saturday, suckas, & clearly I've been on a roll with underground photography lately. This photo is one of my faves in... well, ever, maybe. Tell me these aren't the most killer pants you've ever seen? They look like Hypercolor, but they're not. Nope, they're denim. Purple to the knee, salmon on down.


Fail of the Week (Last Week, Because I'm Posting Late)

Check out that issue of US Weekly. CVS magazine rack placement fail?



A blurry zoom... I believe the word "House" is under that red rack bar someplace.


Awkward.

F.A.D.D. -- Frenchmen Against Drunk Driving

This sign is a pretty nice gesture on the part of Lavandou, the schmancy French joint near my apartment. I don't particularly understand, though - how can you show them your post-dinner/drinks cab receipt if you're taking the cab home from the restaurant? Am I missing something?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Triumphant Return of My Pseudo-Surreptitious Metro Photo Skills

Look! I found an aged Legolas, riding the Metrorail in the District! Apparently he's deserted Middle Earth for a more political climate.



I'm no Lord of the Rings fan, & I had to Google the characters' names to make sure I got this one right, but come on. The resemblance here is sort of hilariously uncanny.


Also, sometimes I feel almost slightly bad for the poor, unwitting folks whose photos make it onto my blog... Almost.

A Wintry Dialogue of the Gods

It's as though Mother Nature & the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority conspired against the residents & frequenters of Dupont Circle this afternoon. "Why, yes," Mother Nature told the WMATA gods in a voice literally dropping with icicles, "It will, in fact, be 16 degrees in Washington today. And actually, Weather.com will report that it feels like just ONE! One, degree, hahaha." Oh, that Mother Nature is a jokester.

But the people of Washington would've been able to handle Mother Nature's tricks had the transportation gods not chosen this time to play tricks of their own.

"One degree weather?" rumbled Zeus, who doubles as the god of the Metro, which you probably don't know because they don't teach it in mythology, but of course it's true. Anyway, "One degree weather?" rumbled Zeus. "Well, this is the perfect time for the escalators & elevators to stop working! Yes, the freezing people of the District of Columbia will be absolutely screwed. Walking up & down the long escalator stairs as they hurry to catch their trains - they'll sweat & melt under under their layers! Their muscles will quiver & exhaust under the physical exertion! They'll stumble & trip over their bulky snowboots!" And then Zeus paused. "Wait? What are the good folks of Washington doing wearing snowboots when it's literally too cold to snow?"

"On second thought," Zeus said, scratching his beard (because Zeus has got to have a beard). "Never mind. Those people deserve to trip."

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cleveland: School of Hard Knocks

I know, I know, this is belated because the Superbowl was two days ago. Then again, it's my blog, so I get to set the timeline.

I watched the Superbowl from a friend's place in Adam's Morgan, where everyone but said friend was rooting for the Cardinals. Why, you ask? Well, certainly not because any of us are from Arizona. For me, at least, an admittedly confused & infrequent football watcher, the Steelers' presence in the game automatically meant I'd be rooting for the other team, whoever they might be.

I've said it before & I'll say it again: To be a Clevelander watching a Steelers v. Ravens game, deciding who to root for is like deciding whether you'd prefer to die by drowning or by house fire. I knew from the moment that game began that I didn't care who the other team heading to the Superbowl was - they'd be getting the wave of my big foam finger.

So come Sunday, the Steelers won another Superbowl. With the help of Ben Roethlisberger, a bonafide Ohioan traitor. And I, who don't know much about football but know enough to hate the Steelers, mourned yet another game that somehow felt like yet another loss for us Clevelanders (& the 'burbs count, so shove it). I may not be a sports mega-aficionado, but I'm fan enough to know that I love my home city, no matter our level of suckage. Indians, Cavs, Buckeyes &, yes, the Browns - I love 'em all, & win or lose (& LeBron James or not, when it comes to the Cavs), I'll root for 'em every time, & just as surely, I'll root against the Steelers. I said it in 2007 & I'll say it again: Keep your chin up, Cleveland. Some day our day will come. And until then, I'll happily smother a Yinzer or two with their Terrible Towel!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mom Knows Best

The best thing about living away from home is the care packages!

OK, maybe not the absolute best, but they're up there. My beloved mother is notoriously crummy at sending things -- like the birthday gift my grandma bought me (my birthday's in August) that my mom tried to play off as a Chanukah gift.

But speaking of Chanukah, my mom today sent me a great & mostly unexpected little care package:


Yes, I said Chanukah - there's a package of dreidel-adorned goodie bags in there with a Post-It on it that says "for next year's Chanukah party." And in the category of Things That are Slightly More Timely, we've also got two pairs of earrings, two iPhone cases, a pair of Valentine's Day socks & a cute, nubby rainbow scarf (Post-It says "to go with your red coat") that my mom may or may not have knitted herself.

Cutest?

Just a Little Day Trip

Sometimes my boss says things like, "I don't know. I might have to make a trip to Kurdistan, but if not, I'm free that day," & I realize that there are very few places I could work & be as constantly amused as I am here. Who says Washington's too serious?

DC is a Wuss, Except When it Comes to This Mural

This story makes D.C. sound like the biggest whiner ever. In case you don't feel like clicking through, it says: The average temperature in D.C. last month was 30.6 degrees, while the average temp in the Windy City was 15.9 degrees. In cities throughout Maine, average ranged from 2.5 to 17.5 degrees. Ummm... why does D.C. get to be in this story at all? President Obama was right about us! And when's the rest of the snowing coming, Mother Nature? Bring it!

In other news, although I typically despise urban art, this is the best mural I've seen in... well, ever. It was painted just last month on the brick wall of Mama Ayesha's, one of the restaurants listed on yesterday's "Places to Go" list, & my crappy dark photo doesn't do it anything close to justice. It's 11 presidents (past & present!) with a little woman who I can only assume is Mama Ayesha herself, standing outside the White House with the Capitol & Washington Monument in the background. AND I LOVE ITTT.
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