Tag Archives: Washington DC

Tourism is cheesy, so you’ll have to indulge me.

7 Oct

Want to know why I haven’t written recently? Because I’ve been busy entertaining. I know, hard to believe, but it happens.

For the record, I’ve had visitors the last two weekends – first my sister,  then two childhood friends – Steph and Kelly. And although my OCD-self was running the washing machine twice as much as usual to stay on top of the bedding situation (and my environmental-self was stressing about the excessive energy consumption), it was really great to have such a slice of my history under this roof for a few days.

Yeah, Ben Franklin cautioned that visitors and fish stink after three days. Apparently everyone who visited me must have known that rule, because no one was with me more than 72 hours, so they left before they stunk. My washing machine and I salute them. And wish the rest of you would make a note right now. [Seriously, write that down – I’ll wait.]

Here’s a quick run-down of the highlights of their visits:

Between the two sets of guests, I walked 37 miles. I love that DC is such a walkable city. Also? My sister and I turned in a 17 mile bike ride. She’s five years older than me, but she smoked me on the final uphill climb. [I’d like to point out that she weighs approximately fifty pounds, whereas I am shaped like Jessica Rabbit and need to rest my breasts on the handlebars so my back won’t give out. Or something like that. Let’s just agree: she was better equipped for the ride than I.]

Bummed we didn’t think of this.

Speaking of rides, Steph, Kelly and I rode the bus to Eastern Market to give our feet a rest. The bus, as always, was *quite* the experience. One man who got on smelled so strongly of urine that all the passengers started clawing for windows, trying to get some fresh air circulating. It was so bad that I saw Kelly discreetly breathing through her hair (like a mustache) to help filter the oxygen through the calming scent of hair products.

Eastern Market was fantastic, as always. Steph and Kelly bought jewelry, and we all had pretzel dogs for lunch. [Who doesn’t love an all-beef frank wrapped in a pretzel? I think even vegetarians would go for it, since we all know hot dogs are just, like, toenails and nipples and stuff.]

The weekend before, when my sister, Alan and I had walked up to Eastern Market, we managed to stumble upon a nearby street fair – the Barracks Row festival, hosted by the Navy Barracks, as well as the DC State Fair, which – as best I could tell – primarily involved a donkey walking down the street on a leash. But then again, DC really isn’t a state, so we can’t really be offended that they don’t take something like a state fair seriously.

My sister, Alan and I logged a few hours at the Library of Congress Book Festival. As always, I was inspired to hear authors such as John Green, Jeffrey Eugenides and Tayari Jones speak. The tents were packed, so we were spread out in different rows. I’d catch my sister’s eye periodically and she’d give me an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

“Did you like it?” I asked as we walked home.

She nodded emphatically. “The sign language interpreter for Jeffrey Eugenides was AWESOME,” she gushed. “I wish we could invite him to dinner!”

Leave it to my sister to attend a book festival and be impressed by the signers rather than the authors.

Although really, I’ve given up  trying to give up what will make a mark on people. During Steph and Kelly’s visit, we saw a cyclist almost slice a squirrel in half with his tires. I’m pretty sure that factored into Kell’s Top Ten List of the weekend.

And as for me – what was my over-arching impression from these visits? It wasn’t an animated ASL interpreter or an almost-disembodied squirrel – as memorable as those would be. It was a feeling of gratitude. Grateful to have a sister who has become a friend, and grateful to still be friends with people who knew me before I had breasts to heft onto the handlebars of my bike.

Because, as they say: you can’t make old friends.

Pretty sure *I* am that friend.

Review: Friends With Benefits

19 Jul

My friend Holly has a DC Film Society membership so she often receives passes to movies before they open locally. Tonight, as her guest, I was treated to a sneak peak of “Friends With Benefits,” the movie starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis that — based on the previews — you’re pretty sure is a remake of something you saw last year.

And that’s where you’ll be pleasantly surprised: although this movie does honor the time-tested formula of a romantic comedy, it manages to weave in so many laugh-out-loud funny lines and fresh details that you don’t even care. It’s just a straight-up great time, and this is coming from a girl who is no great fan of romantic comedies.

JT and Mila have believable chemistry and play off each other solidly, but the real gems in this movie are the quirky side characters — including Woody Harrelson as a rather masculine gay sports writer for GQ, and Patricia Clarkson as Mila’s flaky, hippy mom — who get to deliver some of the funniest stand-alone lines.

Now I’m not saying this would be my top pick for men heading out to the movies, but — if they were dragged by girlfriends who won the weekend coin toss — I am confident they would surprise themselves by actually busting a gut at times. (And it doesn’t hurt that Kunis spends a fair amount of time rolling around in her teeny tiny underwear.)

You know who SHOULDN’T see this movie? Anyone who thinks that “friends with benefits” actually means “pals with  healthcare plans.” Because this is a movie centered around sex and its ability to complicate even the simplest of relationships. So if you’re not hip enough to know what “friends with benefits” actually means, chances are, you might find this movie a bit too racy for your taste.

Unless you’re this badass couple, in which case: AWESOME. You’re retired and you’ve won contest sponsored by KY Jelly. Somehow, I don’t think they’d be flustered.

So, overall, how to summarize this flick in a way that is movie-poster quotable?

Friends With Benefits: Almost as fun as an old-fashioned romp in the sack.

I’ll take “Witch’s Tit” for $500, Alex.

7 Dec

After a gloriously warm fall, winter has finally arrived in DC. It’s COLD outside.

Walking to yoga last night, I found myself exclaiming, “It’s colder than a witch’s tit!” to pretty much everyone who made eye contact with me. Based on the looks I received, I’m going to stick with that greeting all year round. Seems like it could be a real conversation starter.

When Alan and I headed out to dinner, I told him I’d changed my Facebook status to “I’ll take ‘witch’s tit’ for $500, Alex.”

Instead of laughing, he just nodded and said, “Except it should’ve been titty. The phrase is colder than a witch’s titty.

First: Not where I come from.

Second: Really? An entymological discussion of “witch’s titty?”

Naturally, I ignored his correction and continued, “I was a little disappointed. I thought people would post responses in the form of a question, like Jeopardy.”

In my world, acceptable responses would have been:

  • What phrase best describes the temperature in Washington right now?
  • Where might a topless bar run by wizards be called?
  • Where might one find a witch baby suckling?

Or, what is something I might tell you to suck if you refuse to play my reindeer games with me?

An Ode to Fall: I’m ready to hibernate.

14 Nov

Alan’s in Michigan for the opening of rifle season, hoping to fill his freezer with venison for the next year.

Since I tend to be someone who gets energy from “alone time,” I’m using this week to recharge batteries through simple daily indulgences. This weekend, food has been the basis of some good exploration.

Friday night my friends Dan and Molly came over for wine and a simple spread of antipasti. (They brought the most amazing contribution – spicy meat and a meat/cheese-filled bread from Trinacria in Baltimore… check out the photo to the right if you’re drooling to get one yourself.)

Yesterday morning I hit the Farmer’s Market – hauling home sweet potatoes, broccoli, honeycrisp apples, spaghetti squash and a bag of purple kale – before walking into Georgetown to check out the Spice & Tea Exchange.

It was the kind of place where I wanted to go nuts and try everything, but at $4.89/oz, could easily go broke. Fortunately, I had a $20 credit (purchased for $9.60, courtesy of homerun.com), so I poked around and ended up leaving with four envelopes of spice blends –  Thai Coconut Rub, Autumn Blend, Tuscany Blend and Backwoods Hickory Rub. I’m testing out the Autumn Blend this morning on a pork roast, and my place smells awesome.

While it’s a bit pricey for my own daily consumption, the envelopes of tea, spices and flavored sugars would make excellent hostess gifts. In fact, I might be inspired to make some spice blends of my own at home and – with a few vials from the Container Store – have a little something extra that I slip in with a bottle of wine to take to this winter’s holiday parties.

Go ahead, steal my idea. Just make sure we don’t go to the same party. Or I will place this sticker on whatever you bring:

I’m sipping on a mug of freshly mulled cider as I write this, and I’ll be honest – the real reason I mulled the cider was because I wanted to make my place smell like fall. And you know what? My place DOES smell great now, and as opposed to burning a Yankee Candle, I can drink the finished product. Fall is the best season. Ever.

Dancing with the Stars? Not so much.

15 May

Last night Alan and I went to the State Theater in Falls Church to see Donna the Buffalo perform. Both the band and the venue were new experiences for us, despite the fact that the theater has been a live music venue for twelve years, and that the band has been around for more than two decades.

What can I say? We’re late bloomers.

Continue reading