Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday this year. Though I'm not really feeling it, I'm trying to get in the spirit by listening to Christmas carols. Check out my beautiful poinsettia from Funny Girl's mom. Can't wait for 2009 to finally end!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Country Christmas

Well, 2009 has certainly been an interesting and terrible year, and it couldn't be over soon enough. I've been meaning to buy Christmas cards and start writing them out, but I realized that I have very little good news to share with people this year. Matter of fact, this year's events kind of read like a sad country song:

My old dog died
My boyfriend left me
My best friend Funny Girl moved hundreds of miles away

So I'm thinking about trying to formulate that into a funny little message somehow so people won't get my card and be severely depressed. Hoping for a creative inspiration!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Things I Love

Here is another installment of Things I Love, my way of lashing out when I get really angry over something stupid that someone does at work. Today it's my boss being totally passive aggressive. She has no business even being a boss if she is as much of a chicken shit as what she showed today.

I wrote some copy for a promotion, and left it with her around 12. Around 12:05 she called a coworker into the office and closed the door. Paranoid, I assumed they were talking about me, but then thought I was being ridiculous and just dismissed it.

Around 1 I had a meeting with her and a different colleague about a different subject, but I saw the copy on her desk with comments written on it from her and the person she had a closed-door meeting with. However, she said nothing about any of this while I sat there.

I get back to my desk around 1:30 after our meeting, and there's an e-mail about the copy I had left with her. She said that basically my copy wasn't treating the audience with dignity (which in and of itself is completely not true), but she said it so sarcastically that ironically I felt I wasn't being treated with dignity. I was really upset, looked at the time it was sent, 1:03, probably just as I was sitting down with her for the meeting. If she had problems with what I wrote, why didn't she have the balls to say something while I was in her office? Instead she sends me a mean e-mail when she's sure I won't see it till after I meet with her.

And BTW, just because you use cute emoticons all over your sarcastic and mean message, doesn't mean it's going to soften the blow ;) :) Bitch.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Dog Named Sundae

I haven't posted in a while, but I've been busy fostering a new dog, Sundae, who I now plan to officially adopt. She has the sweetest disposition, and I think is actually helping to mellow out my crazy 10-year old dog. Check out her photo, isn't she cute? She needs some training, but hopefully she won't destroy my house :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Call from the Angels

I had the most exciting call today. I was in the middle of vacuuming and had just cut my finger. I was rinsing it and putting a bandaid on, cursing a lot, when the phone rang. Highly annoyed, I picked it up and was greeted by an unfamiliar British voice. I immediately was annoyed and asked impatiently who was on the line. It turns out it was one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary! I had recently become a member and donated money, and actually went out there in July to visit. He was calling to thank me for my donation. We had a very lovely conversation about my pets and his, and he told me next time I'm out there I should ask for him as he's frequently around.

It was the nicest, most uplifting call. He was so appreciative of my efforts, when he's the one who started this amazing place that has saved thousands upon thousands of animals. Amazing. I got off the phone and just started crying because I was so touched. I'd heard rumors that the founders made calls like this, but I didn't quite believe it. What an amazing group of people!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Loving Chi-Town

Boy, I have always loved Chicago, and this trip was no different. When I arrived Monday night, I had such an ordeal getting to my hotel that I immediately needed a drink and went to the hotel bar. I had a late reception to go to, then some girls and I went to Devon. Since I'd already eaten, I only had their complimentary biscuit, which was amazing, and immediately regretted my earlier dinner at the hotel.

I also went to a great sushi bar/sake bar called Izumi. My friend and I did the flight tasting of four different premium sake, and it was awesome. We also shared the spicy scallop roll, and it was just amazing.

I was in Chicago for a conference, which went pretty well, and included an architectural tour of the new building at the Art Institute of Chicago. What an amazing place, with a view of Millennium Park, which had been built long after my last visit to Chicago, and the new "Bean." I also finally got to see the "Married with Children" fountain, which I had somehow missed in previous visits.

I stayed at the Hilton Suites, right on Magnificent Mile, and really enjoyed getting to walk around Chi-Town. I had lunch with a friend I hadn't seen in like 12 years at Bistro 110, and my last day got some of Giordano's famous deep dish pizza.

I really, really wanted to go to Vosges Haut Chocolate, but in the end I had to decide between that or the American Girl store to get a gift for my niece who was having a birthday. Being the nice aunt that I am, I chose the latter. Sigh. But overall, a great trip. I just wish Chi-Town wasn't so cold, or I would have moved there long ago.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Back from Beach, Off to Chi-Town

The beach was pretty nice, great weather and I actually got a tan. But even though it was relaxing and I was able to get away from it all, I wasn't able to get away from my own thoughts. I was going to try to post some photos, but I am having difficulties with my camera and can't get anything to download.

This week I'm headed to Chicago for a few days for work. I haven't been in many years, and I know a couple of people there, so I hope to be able to see them. And visit my favorite chocolate store, Vosges!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Beach Bound!

I am finally, finally getting away for a vacation after more than a year. I'm headed to a beach in NC near Wilmington. Hopefully the weather down there will remain sunny and in the 80s. I have no itinerary, just beach, beach, beach. I can't wait! After the completely shitty year I've had--losing my dog and my boyfriend--I SOOOO deserve this.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lavendar Moon Cupcakery

Today I spent the day in Old Town at the Alexandria Festival for the Arts and enjoyed a very nice cupcake from Lavendar Moon Cupcakery. It was vanilla with lemon curd, yum! The cupcake was not too big, not too sweet, and just moist enough. And unfortunately better than Cake Love, which I have written about in previous blog posts. I can't find a website for it, but it's at 116 South Royal Street. Check it out!

Friday, September 11, 2009

My Birthday

Today is my birthday, and it's always tough because of the date and what happened 8 years ago. I always take the day off and enjoy a pampering massage, and this year was no different. The difference I guess is that Jeffro and I have decided that living together isn't working, so he's moving out Monday. So happy birthday to me indeed. So our trip to BGR last night was probably our last dinner together and it made me really sad sitting there for the last time. I've been having a rough day today, but tonight I'm lucky my best friend Funny Girl Goes Blog has agreed to go out to dinner with me. We'll be off to the Carlyle for some good food and hopefully lots of wine.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Burger Joint

Tonight we went out to eat at a relatively new place in Old Town called BGR: The Burger Joint. We'd read about it in Washingtonian, and I guess the chef won a Throwdown with Food Network's Bobby Flay for his Greek (lamb) burger, so we'd been wanting to go there. I have to say, I was just dying for a burger, and it was good, but I am not sure I would go there again. The burger was salty, as were the fries. I don't object to the fries being salty, and boy they were awesome, but to me the burger was just too much so. Jeffro got the sweet potato fries, which were supposed to be incredible, but they were just pretty good. Unfortunately I would say there are other local and more convenient places I like just as well or better, so I probably wouldn't go there again, though I'm very glad I tried it.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Best News Ever: Thin Thighs Kill You

This story has been flying around the Internet today: people who have thin thighs don't live as long as those with heavier thighs. Wow, that's the best news I've ever heard, as my thighs have been the bane of my existence since, oh, about sixth grade. Some of the theory has to do with the apple/pear theory, that people who carry fat in their core around their organs (apple shape) have more health problems than people like me who carry it in their thighs (pear shape). Read the story here then go have a Twinkie if you put on weight in your thighs.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekend and Macy's Goes to the Dogs

I spent yesterday helping out a local rescue group A Forever Home at the event Wags 'N' Whiskers in Shirlington. It was fun, and luckily not too sunny out cause we had lots of dogs there available for adoption. We got at least a dozen great applications and collected a decent amount in donations. It was a fun day. Then we had Funny Girl Goes Blog and her sister over for dinner last night.

Today I went to Macy's to finish buying my nephew's birthday gift (party in 3 hours!). Below is an actual account of what transpired and the corresponding conversation. It never fails to amaze me how inefficient Macy's is every time I go, and I always wonder why I keep going back . . .

Jeffro and I stood on line while 3 Ukranian guys were trying to apply for a store credit card and things were not going smoothly. After we'd stood there forever, a manager walked by and saw our completely frustrated faces and told us there was an open register across the store. We get over there, and of course the register is no longer open, so she kindly decided to ring us up. Jeffro had some coupons that we wanted to use, so we were going to put the items on his store credit card to do so.

Jeffro: I'd like to use my "$10 off" coupon on these purchases.

Manager: Well, let me see. It looks like these are our "everyday value" items so the coupons would not apply.

Jeffro: Well, the coupon here says most brand names are excluded. So if most brand names are excluded, and "everyday value" items are excluded, what exactly can you use this coupon on?

Manager: (silence)

Jeffro and me: (snickers and eye rolls. Now, I don't normally laugh right in someone's face, but this was just too good and could not be helped.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kora Restaurant

Monday night Jeffro and I went to Kora Restaurant by Morou as part of DC Restaurant Week. Morou is my favorite local chef, and I was very sad when Farrah Olivia closed (hopefully will reopen one day soon). In any case, the food at Kora was just about as incredible as I'd hoped. I started with the roasted red bell pepper, and Jeffro had the gnudi, which is a pasta. Mine was pretty good, but his was amazing. For the main course, I had the cannelloni with crab, fontina cheese, prosciutto, and sauteed spinach. I was a little worried that the crab would over power everything, but it was delicious and I just couldn't stop eating it. Somehow it was very rich, yet light at the same time. Jeffro had the halibut which was nice but paled by comparison to mine.

The menu at Kora is very diverse, some traditional Italian dishes, some with a twist like squid ink tagliatelle. Sophisticated dishes like pork shank ossobuco are offered, along with popular Italian fare like pizza. In other words, the menu offers something for everyone. I'm curious to see how it will do in this location, and hope that it fares much better than its predecessors.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Love and Theft Album Out Today

My favorite new country group, Love and Theft, is releasing its debut album World Wide Open today! I've got their live EP and they are fabulous. They are three guys who met up when they quit their day jobs and moved to Nashville to try to make it in country music. I guess they found the power of three to be better than one, and formed an incredibly talented group with beautiful harmonies. Listen to their hit single Runaway and preview the entire CD at Matter of fact, I'm waiting for a phone call from them this morning about the CD!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Keith Urban and Sugarland

Last night Jeffro and I went to the Verizon Center to see Keith Urban and Sugarland. I'd been having a terrible day for a variety of reasons, and I hate to say it but the concert didn't lift my spirits all that much when it took us nearly 2 hours of metro delays and incompetencies to get home. It was infuriating.

Keith Urban and Sugarland themselves were great, though Keith didn't play many songs from his latest album, which is kind of odd. And Sugarland didn't play for nearly long enough. Unfortunately, we were sitting far away, so most of the pics were taken on the big screen as my stupid camera couldn't focus very well on the stage. But here are a couple of shots to enjoy.

Sugarland on the big screen.

Stage shot of Keith Urban--he went running around the Verizon Center and wound up sitting on a makeshift stage near the back for a while so I was able to get a decent shot, not from the big screen.
Shot of the tour bus outside the Verizon Center. They also handed out free posters to everyone. It was pretty crazy.

This weekend will be busy, we are going to some friends for dinner tomorrow, the possibly having some people over on Sunday. In between, I hope to get some cleaning up done, but we'll see if that happens or not . . .

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Busy Weekend

I got a lot done this weekend, including finishing up my deck project (with another run to Home Depot), cleaning the house, watching Mad Men, playing with puppies, and grilling last night. These are all good things, but what I really wanted to do today was go to the pool. Our neighborhood has a million pools, and although I went to three of them, I was too paranoid I would run into someone I know and I just couldn't stand the mortification of facing a neighbor in a bathing suit. So I just came home and I'm pretty bummed about the whole thing. I'm pretty sure today is the quintessential pool day. So I will just shower, run errands, and do some things around the house. Boy am I bored. Jeffro is not a big sun worshipper, so doing something outdoors today was completely out of the question.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jeffro's Amazing Marinade

Jeffro made this great marinade tonight for our grilled salmon. It was quite outstanding. Soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, garlic, sugar, ginger, and red pepper. I added some wilted spinach and rice, and boy was it a great dinner.

And just when I thought I was having another tough day at work, I found out my neighbor has had this kind of a day:

Found out a dog she fostered died
Found out a fellow dog rescuer died
Found out a dog she fostered got loose and was running around

So I guess in comparison my day looked pretty darned good, though I got retested for allergies and found out some have improved slightly, but I have some new ones including a couple of food allergies. Fun!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Things I Love

Here is another installment of your favorite column, Things I Love. It's just been that kind of day.

I love it when:

1. Your boss is off work but she frantically e-mails you in the morning with something that she forgot to do and you have to do it immediately. How is this my problem? Happy Monday!

2. You suggest something for work based on conversations that have taken place where people love the idea. When you actually put the idea down on paper for them to see, you get criticized that the suggestion isn't really a great one. Um . . . we all loved it so why is it wrong all of a sudden?

3. Someone in the office who you don't get along with sends you an e-mail with three attachments and no message. Now granted I know what I'm supposed to do with the attachments, but he couldn't have written "Hi CCHarmony, please edit these documents for me. Thanks. Sincerely, The Asshole." BTW, this is also the same guy as in #2 above. It's a lovefest at my job!

4. Your sister, who's mad at you, e-mails a diatribe on why she's mad at you with bullet points, examples, supporting documents, etc. The sister who's not mad at you, in discussing the situation, provides the same bullet point list as if I need to review it yet again. So now I'm mad at both sisters.

5. A telemarketer pollster calls and asks for me, but it's really my boyfriend that he needs to talk to. I tell him that said boyfriend is eating dinner and probably doesn't want to talk to him right now. Telemarketer asks "when would be a good time to call back" and you say "he probably doesn't want to talk to you at all" and he says "great, I'll try again sometime soon."

Boy that felt good! Now it's on to the Carlyle for some wine!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Highs and Lows

There were many highs this weekend:

Finally nearly completed year-long project to clean and waterproof/stain my deck!

Finally discovered cool young singer Charice. I missed the Oprah she was on, apparently, and she's going to take the world by storm. Great voice, but not sure about first single choice.

Got to visit some very cute puppies. Check it out here then scroll down to "Golden Septuplets."

Accomplished nearly all of my "to-do" list.

And some lows:

My sister is mad at me, long story. So my other sister didn't call today, probably cause sister #1 is mad and she doesn't know how to not get caught in the middle.

I found out about a party that I wasn't invited to that I was last time around.

It is Sunday and I have to go to work tomorrow. I didn't have a good day at work Friday and wound up leaving while the rest of the staff was having a happy hour cause I didn't want to be with them.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

RIP John Hughes

John Hughes, my favorite 80s filmmaker, died today. My favorite movie of all time is Sixteen Candles, but Ferris Bueller is a pretty close second. This has been a very sad year for celebrity deaths. RIP, John.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Kora . . . Italian by Morou Is Open!

Morou, my favorite local chef whose wonderful restaurant Farrah Olivia recently closed, has just opened Kora, an Italian restaurant/bar/lounge in Crystal City. This restaurant features cuisine by his brother Amadou Outtara. I can't wait to check it out! Make your reservation at Open Table. I'm pretty psyched, especially for the $20 Prix Fixe 3-course brunch! Morou, we're so glad you're back! (Don't forget everyone, DC Restaurant Week is August 24-30, featuring $35.09 fixed price dinners and $20.09 fixed price lunches, though Kora unfortunately does not seem to be participating.)

All About Dogs

This weekend started off with a visit to the new Lost Dog Cafe, recently opened on Columbia Pike. Jeffro and I had been to the Washington Blvd location many times before, but this new one just opened a couple of months ago so we went to check it out. Nice location, spacious, and a great menu including tons of interesting beer selections. Our waitress was very well-informed about the beer, and I wanted help picking something interesting so she suggested Sea Dog Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale. I can't find any info about it on the Sea Dog Brewery Web site, but it's definitely a great summer beer, refreshing and not too sweet. As soon as I took the cap off I got a strong whiff of fresh blueberries.

The weekend continued with puppy sitting for a neighbor's foster puppies--seven cute lab/shepherd mixes that were little balls of fur. I've been around a lot of puppies, but these were the sweetest, most even-tempered little things I'd ever seen. I don't know how I would choose if I had to pick one. I'm kind of sad that the weekend is over and I don't have to take care of them anymore.

On the recommendation of NOAAgirl, Jeffro and I watched The Best Years of Our Lives, made in 1948. Generally, I don't really like old movies much, but I have to admit this was pretty good and sucked you in from the start. We had to stop watching it halfway (it was 3 hours long!) so I think it kind of lost its momentum at that point and the second half wasn't as good as the first, but still a solid movie. Then last night Jeffro went to see Paul McCartney, so I rented a chick flick at home by myself, Catch and Release. For some reason I just love Jennifer Garner.

Today, besides the puppy watching, was kind of slow since it rained all day and my dog refused to go outside. A nice break for me . . . now I'm wondering how the weekend went by so quickly and why I have to go to work tomorrow when Jeffro has the day off . . .

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Next New Car?

Well, my wonderful Honda Civic is approaching 10 years old and the dealer keeps calling me to, well, make a deal on my next new car. It's tempting with interest rates as low as they are, but I just don't want a car payment. Plus I haven't really been that excited about any of the Honda models, and don't know if I want to get yet another Civic. However, Jeffro just sent me a link to a new car coming out in 2010, the CR-Z. It's a hybrid and totally cool looking, so if the price is right, I just might be thinking about purchasing a new car soon . . . I'm also sort of in love with their S2000 hard top convertible, which I keep seeing all over town, so you never know.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Trip to Utah

I was in Vegas last week for a convention for work, but afterwards I took a little time to go to Red Mountain Spa in St. George, UT, and then to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT. I had a great time and didn't really want to come back to the congestion and chaos that is DC.
Red Mountain Spa was awesome--very beautiful and scenic with lots to do. I took two long hikes and enjoyed a couple of awesome massages. Best Friends was an amazing place tucked into the mountains. I volunteered there one morning and got to walk some awesome dogs--Tigger, Rose, and Beau. Here's a photo of Tigger, he was such a sweet boy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Vegas, Baby!

Well, I'm off to Vegas for a work conference. It will be absolute hell. I'll be there through 7/18, then going to my dream spot: Red Mountain Spa (see left) in St. George Utah (I want to buy one of their condos!) then to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

I am so excited about my post-conference trips I may never come back! Particularly if I win a lot gambling, I'll just quit my job on the spot! I have needed a vacation for a long, long time. Everyone have a great couple of weeks, as I won't be able to blog when I'm gone. Gotta get myself a laptop one of these days!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy July 4

Boy it's been nice having a 3-day weekend, though it's been a really busy one so far. Yesterday we had someone come here to do a minor household repair, then I went to lunch with Funny Girl Goes Blog, got my hair cut, went to the eye doctor (might have found some contacts that work for me!), and then to a July 3 party. I can't believe how much I did! In between all this stuff, I discovered a slow leak in my tire and had to get it patched and bought some stuff for my impending trip to Vegas next week.

Today has been busy too, attended my neighborhood's July 4 parade, went out to lunch. Tonight is another party. Not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I have so much to do and not enough time to do it!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Beautiful Morning!

Wow, what a beautiful morning. The sun is shining, a slight breeze, and not too humid. Hopefully this will last all weekend.

What a weird week it's been . . . I have to say I can't believe Michael Jackson died. What a tragedy. But it seems these sort of stars seem to flame out young . . .

This morning I decided (since I was out of cereal) to make blueberry muffins. Yum! Then I planted some things I've been meaning to plant for like 2 months. Tonight we're going to see one of my favorite singers, Holly Williams at Iota. She hardly ever comes to the DC area, so I am psyched she's going to be so close.

Tomorrow is a completely open book, so I may do more gardening that I've been meaning to get around to. And maybe grill?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tragic Events of Late

Boy, this has been a rough week, to say the least.

My brother in law's cousin, who was only 10, just passed away on Father's Day. She was born with a problematic heart and has had a pacemaker her whole life. So I guess there was always the chance something bad would happen, but she'd been doing so well, and having a fun, normal "kid's life" that you forget about the hand that fate dealt her. She had probably a heart attack this past week and passed away after about a week in the hospital on life support. She was a great kid--very kind and considerate of others, always willing to lend a hand. I would have liked to have seen the woman she would have been. I just got back from the funeral, and found out that prophetically she had told her grandmother that she didn't want to grow old, she wanted to die instead. Freaky.

The other sad news of the week is about the DC metro crash. I can't even imagine the hell they went through. My grandfather, who is 94 years old and still sharp as a tack, called me in a panic last night to make sure I hadn't been on the metro, remembering that I used to take it for work. Boy, that sure made me feel good that he cared enough to call, as he doesn't very often pick up the phone.

In any case, let's hope the week of tragedy has ended with the Ed McMahon trifecta . . .

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Weekend Wrap

Boy, it has been way too busy . . .

Friday night I got home later than I expected and barely had time to get dinner before Jeffro called. He'd gone after work to see a movie and needed me to pick him up.

Saturday was really busy, I took a makeup yoga class in the morning, then the evening was the annual Lawn & Dock Party at the Old Dominion Boat Club. Luckily, the clouds that had been plaguing the day disappeared and the evening was beautiful on the water on the Potomac. At the end of the party, we decided to head over to Ramparts to see Niki Barr, who is an awsome singer from Annapolis. It was an acoustic set, very different than the crazy footage on her Web site of her jumping around. We got home really late, and I've been wiped out all day.

Tonight we're getting ready to fire up the grill, then looking forward to the new season of The Next Food Network Star and a new Iron Chef America. I will be dead at work tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Things I Love (About Working)

As most people know, I am not overly fond of working. Things have been particularly bad at my job currently, and I'm actually worried about getting laid off. We'll see what happens with that. In the meantime, I'm going to occasionally post about "Things I Love."

1. I love finding errors in e-mails my boss has sent out without asking me to proof them first. She used to ask me frequently to proof things. Not so much anymore. So I just love getting to point out a big old error after something has already been sent and seeing the doh! reaction. (This one I'm serious about.)

2. I love when you do something one way, a new modern way, and your boss makes you do it over in a time-consuming, outdated fashion just because it’s “how we’ve always done it."

3. I love it when your boss assigns you something on a tight deadline that doesn’t really make sense for you to do—like pulling statistics when that’s not your responsibility or forte. Then when she doesn’t like how you did it cause you don’t really have the best access to the information, she asks someone else to do it over again and uses that data instead.

Monday, June 01, 2009

New Holly Williams on June 16

One of my favorite singers, Holly Williams, finally has a new CD coming out on June 16! I am very psyched. Thanks to Jeffro for the reminder.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Back from Berkeley Springs

Jeffro and I spent a nice relaxing weekend in Berkeley Springs, WV. We stayed at the Country Inn, which was a nice enough place I guess, central to everything and right next to Berkeley Springs State Park. The springs were not what I envisioned them to be, but it was kind of cool to think that George Washington had made the trek there hundreds of years ago to enjoy the mineral springs' restorative and healthy properties.

Friday we arrived at lunchtime and ate at Tari's, which also had a nice amount of local art to view. Dinner was at the Panorama at the Peak restaurant--excellent local food and a view to die for (see photo). We made a new friend sitting at the bar waiting, a very interesting "local cowboy" who, much to our surprise, liked Obama. But also said he couldn't tell many people that. Apparently WV just went non-smoking so he ran out about three times during our 15-minute conversation to smoke.

Saturday we went to Cacapon State Park and enjoyed walking along the lake to the dam/waterfall. Then we spent the rest of the day exploring the shops in Berkeley Springs and talked to a nice guy who owns a cabin nearby and told us we should have stayed at Whispering Hills. We wanted to see the Paw Paw Tunnel and the railroad bridge at Great Cacapon, but wound up unfortunately seeing neither. But the winding drive to get there was really fun. I wanted to eat at Lot 12 Public House, but there were complications so we weren't able to do that either. But I'll give them a plug here anyway since they had a booth at the farmer's market selling amazing-smelling food. When it started pouring that night, we found a great wine bar La Luna to enjoy a glass of wine and chocolate lava cake, as well as take in more local art.

Sunday we explored the local farmer's market, then discovered the beautiful Exline Iris Garden. It was tempting to buy some irises, but I don't think they would do well in my yard. Quite a spectacular place with hundreds of irises in bloom in every color.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Restaurant 3 Review

Last night Jeffro and I went to Restaurant 3 for his birthday. I wanted to try someplace different, and thought I'd remembered him talking about it sometime. Even though the menu didn't seem to be quite his thing, I went ahead with it anyway. Boy are we glad we did.

We had some old fashioned cocktails to start with, I had a Raspberry Rickey and he had a Ginger Collins. Even though I don't really like gin much, my drink went down pretty easy. For appetizers we had the Tuna Lollipops and Fried Oysters (Funny Girl Goes Blog would love both of these!). The tuna reminded me of Carlyle's awesome Seared Tuna Salad, and the oysters were substantial, the cornmeal crust perfectly crispy and the inside melt-in-your-mouth creamy.

For dinner Jeffro had the Scallops and Grits and I had the Smothered Trout. I had been debating the Crab-Crusted Black Cod or Blackened Catfish, but when I asked the waiter which he would recommend he said the Smothered Trout was the best. Since I don't normally go for "smothered" food I was doubtful, but this wasn't a typical "smothered" dish. The trout was smothered with mussels and shrimp over a bed of grits, with a wonderfully fragrant tomato-based sauce. It was crazy good. To accompany the trout I chose the Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc, which was divine.

Altogether a great, and very filling, meal. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to foodies everywhere. My only complaint is I would have preferred to sit out on the balcony.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Time Flying By

This was another incredibly busy week. I had something going on just about every night, concluding with a neighborhood Pet Happy Hour I organized on Friday night. We had record turnout, probably close to 100 people came! Luckily the rain held off. The crowd cleaned us out food and beverage-wise. It was a great time.

The rest of this weekend I've tried to take it easy cause I'm so tired, but we did grill out last night between the rain. Awesome turkey burgers by Funny Girl Goes Blog, and great grilled veggies. Finally got arond to watching Sling Blade, I'd never seen it before. Today I'm just going to run some errands and clean up around the house. This next week will be a bit busy, but then next weekend Jeffro and I are going away for the weekend for his birthday! I can't wait to get away for a bit of R&R!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


What fabulous weather this weekend, finally, after over a week of rain! The weekend went by way too fast, but I did enjoy grilling out, and I finally made my key lime pie, which I have to say came out quite well!

Tomorrow starts another day at work, and a crazy week of meetings. Boy do I need a vacation. Luckily Jeffro and I are going away next weekend for his birthday, I can't wait!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Weekend Goes to the Dogs

As Funny Girl Goes Blog noted, I spent part of the weekend raising money to help A Forever-Home Rescue Foundation, an animal rescue organization that my neighbor is involved in. Our community had its annual spring yard sale yesterday, and a bunch of neighbors got together to donate "sellable" items, including me (yeah, cleaning out the basement!). Luckily Saturday didn't have much rain, so the turnout was great and sales were brisk. We made just over $300 (with the most expensive item being a $25 bike) in just 5 hours. It was a fun way to spend the day, visiting with neighbors and haggling over prices. At the end, even though we sold a ton of stuff, we still had a carload of items to donate to Goodwill and another carload going to a local church. It was a good day. I must say, though, that I missed NOAAgirl's presence at the yard sale this year :(

Today was completely rainy and gross but somehow that inspired me to cook. I'm making turkey burgers for dinner but a couple of other things too, and enjoying all of that creativity with a glass of Barefoot's new Pinot Noir. I bought key limes at the store and may even attempt a key lime pie! Pretty nice way to end the weekend.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Change: Farrah Olivia Now Staying!

My beloved favorite restaurant Farrah Olivia by Morou was supposed to be temporarily closing and moving from its location in Old Town. However, now apparently they are not moving, at least not for the near future. Yeah! Apparently Balducci's originally was not going to renew the lease on the restaurant, forcing them to close and search for another location. So we'll have to wait and see what happens.

On a bright note, they are opening a new bar/restaurant in Crystal City in the location of Bebo, which I really liked, so it's kind of sad that they are gone too. The new place is called KORA, at 2250 Crystal Drive. I can't wait to check it out!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Busy Part Three

This week has been nuts, I've had something almost every night this week.

Tuesday I had a neighborhood committee meeting . . . Wednesday I went to see a dog trainer (Best Behaved Dog) speaking, think I'm going to call her about my sometimes bad dog . . . Thursday I had a work event to go to . . . Friday I took the day off and accompanied my niece on piano for her viola competition, which is a whole story in and of itself.

Today I decided to sleep in and I've mainly been outside all day. Took a long walk with the dog, then gave him a bath, then did some gardening and planted the first few flowers of the season. Tonight we're going to break out the grill for the first time and have salmon and shrimp. Yeah!

Tomorrow I need to run some errands, but I'm enjoying a weekend with nothing "set" that I have to do.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Too Busy Still

This was a crazy weekend . . . what did I do?

Friday night I saw Chelsea Handler at Warner Theater with Funny Girl Goes Blog. I got Chelsea's autograph!

Saturday I went to Solomon's Island. It was such a beautiful day, but unfortunately I didn't get to stay there very much and enjoy the weather. Long story, and stupid me. I didn't even get my annual drink at the Tiki Bar! Major bummer.

Sunday I went over to practice with my niece. I am accompanying her on piano when she has her viola solo judging. I also got my first pedicure of the summer!

This week is going to be even more ridiculous. I have stuff almost every night, including having to go to a black-tie thing for work. I am not excited and my one dress that fits is not even clean but it just might have to do as I doubt I can get it cleaned now. Luckily, I am taking Friday off, and boy am I going to need it!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Too Busy and Too Much Music

Boy, I haven't really had much of a chance to write at all. Here are the highlights of what's been going on. And the month is just beginning, it's going to get worse before it gets better:

Washer's been on the fritz so I've had to deal with the home warranty folks to get a new one. Supposedly it's coming Wednesday.

To make room for said new washer, Jeffro and I have had to clear a big space in the basement, which is not easy to do. We're still working on that.

This past weekend was my niece's ballet. When did I find out about this opportunity to see it? The day before it happened. Luckily I had no real plans this weekend so I could make it.

Lots of meetings, meetings, meetings. I'm on a local board and that's been keeping me very busy. And poor Jeffro's gotten roped into helping. Hopefully it will die down a bit soon.

Music, music, music. Every week for the past few weeks one of my favorite artists has released a new CD. See my list to the right. This week Rascal Flatts will be added.

This coming weekend Jeffro's mom is coming for Easter. Luckily I have a 1/2 day off Friday to prepare after the washing machine debacle.

Next weekend I am going to see Chelsea Handler, then going to Solomon's Island the next day and another party that night too! I've been having to turn down invitations. When it rains it pours!

Anyway, all good stuff, relatively speaking, but I feel I haven't had a moment to breathe.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Survivin' Atlanta

Well, I'm back from my travels, and they were about as difficult as I thought. Lots of work, and I'm exhausted today. I went in to work, but was told by the boss I could go home midday cause we worked so hard over the weekend. Which is great, but I would have liked to not get up early this morning instead . . . oh well.

The best part of my trip was Thursday night before things really got into high gear. The weather was like 70 and I walked around a bit before having dinner at a sushi restuarant near my hotel. I enjoyed my favorite new drink, the French martini.

Today on my half day off a repairman came over . . . the washing machine is on the fritz and it probably needs to be replaced. I have a home warranty, luckily, but I think I might want to upgrade to an energy-efficient model, so that's gonna cost me. I also cleared out the basement closet, and it felt so good! Part of my plan to finally get this place whipped into shape once and for all . . . wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Work from Hell

So today we have yet another staff meeting (after sitting there for two hours yesterday in staff meetings) but this was impromptu, and I was worried that someone was leaving the company. In this time when we are in the middle of a salary freeze, when they've cut our 401K contribution, they decided to have a big meeting with champagne to announce that four people are getting promotions! I love that in this time when I've been working late every night and the only one left in the building, in this time when I've exceeded our financial goals for sponsorship, not only am I getting little to no recognition, but I'm getting treated like shit by my boss every day and everyone else is apparently getting promotions and presumably a raise. Yippee for them.

The other good news is I have a big thing going on for work, so I'm bound for Atlanta for a few days. After working late most nights this week, now I get to go and work 15 hour days over the weekend. Boy am I psyched. I definitely need to find a new job soon, I can't take it anymore.

I wish I were going someplace cool, but man, Atlanta just sucks. Scary. But tomorrow at least I hope to get a little free time and order room service and a movie and enjoy the peace and quiet before the madness begins.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Grief . . . a Week Later

The sad thing about our ridiculously fast pace of life today is that there is no time to reflect, to mourn, to grieve, to think about anything anymore. I remember when my grandmother passed I had to go to work THE NEXT DAY cause of various things going on. Everyone just moves on to the next thing like nothing ever happened. It just sucks.

The house has been very, very quiet and strange without Pepper. My other dog has seemed a little out of sorts. I think he and Pepper fed off each other more than I realized. He's actually stopped being my alarm clock these days and lets me sleep later than ever before. He also seems a little lonely and clingy, so I've been trying to give him extra attention as much as I can.

I did decide to take last Monday off (despite the surprising flack from my boss), but I just think it's sad that there is no longer any respect for the emotions of life. You're just expect to go on as usual no matter what happens.

The surprising thing about this week has been the reaction of friends and family. Here are some reflections about that:

1. Family. They have called a couple of times to see if I'm ok but no "gestures" as friends have done, like cards or flowers.

2. Friends. Some friends I never expected to contact me have sent me cards or flowers. It has been so sweet, but made me cry each time . . .

3. Boss. Despite our "friendly, flexible work environment" where everyone knows WAY too much about each others' business and supposedly everyone cares about each other and personal time off is allowed, my boss was very reluctant to let me have one frigging day off cause we had a big thing planned last week. The big thing was on Friday, and mind you I took Monday off, leaving plenty of time for the planning of Friday's big event. But she was literally trying to talk me out of staying home Monday, saying things like "how considerate my dog was to pass over the weekend," the implication being that I wouldn't have to take any time off. I couldn't believe it! Most people in my company take time off for important things like hangnails; however, I was obviously not allowed one stupid day to mourn my dog of 15.5 years. Assholes! So despite the disapproval, I did take Monday off cause damn I well deserve it. Let me tell you, if it weren't for this crappy economy, I would be so out of there . . .

Sunday, March 08, 2009

RIP Pepper

Last night I had to rush to the vet emergency room in the middle of the night. My 15-year old dog, Pepper, who has been sick with kidney disease for a year, seemed to have had a stroke or something and could no longer move. So I knew, unfortunately, the time had come.

I loved this dog like a best friend. She's been with me for most of my adult life, having moved to AZ and back with me. We had lots of adventures and she's seen me through thick and thin. The house seems so quiet already without her. I will miss her always and never forget how much she meant to me. RIP, Pepper, August 18, 1993 - March 8, 2009.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Smoking Ban in VA!

I never thought I'd live to see the day, since Virginia is all about producing tobacco, but apparently the Virginia General Assembly has finally passed a smoking ban for restaurants and bars in Virginia, effective December 1. How excited am I? Check out the facts here and story here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Loving Farrah Olivia

Tonight, I finally collected on my Christmas present from Jeffro, a dinner at my favorite restaurants, Farrah Olivia. It was absolutely delicious--white grits, haddock, and mango with ice cream for dessert. Outstanding! And the coolest part is some guy was there from the Food Network filming for some upcoming special! How exciting would that be, me on TV in my favorite restaurant?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Holly Williams and Martina McBride Coming Soon

Two of my favorite artists are releasing new CDs soon. I can't wait!

Martina's CD Shine will be available March 24.

Holly Williams, daughter of Hank Jr., was on an independent label but just got signed with Mercury. Her new album is coming out this summer and you can play her single, Keep the Change, on her MySpace page.

Valentine's Day Treat

Last night Jeffro and I went to Del Merei Grille for our Valentine's dinner. I had filet mignon and Jeffro had rockfish and we split an order of their famous Frickles--fried pickles, a Southern delight. Peppermint brownies for dessert. Yum!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Weekend Goes Too Fast

Yet another weekend coming to a close. It was a fairly good one, but way too quick. I did love the sunny warm weather, what a treat! I didn't do a whole lot this weekend, just some stuff around the house (finally got the bathroom set up after 2 weeks!), a party at the neighbors, and out to brunch with some friends. But I am completely exhausted and feel like I need another weekend to get some rest. My older dog has been getting me up a lot at night to the point where I feel really tired and run down.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Balmy and 40?

You know it's been a very cold winter when you think sunny and 44 degrees is a real treat! I am so excited, the air even had a sort of spring-like smell today. We're supposed to hit 50 so let me go find my bathing suit.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bathroom Gets a Facelift

I'm so excited! Jeffro and I are "remaking" the bathroom with a brand new color scheme. We just bought new shower curtain, rugs, and towels which are in the wash. We hope to get everything up tomorrow. Then I just need to find curtains and we'll have a completely new look with a cool blue "spa-like" color. I can't wait! I've been wanting to do this since I re-did my shower a couple of years ago.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Best Worst Cookies

Oh. My. God. Jeffro bought us the best--and worst--cookies ever at the Italian Store last night. They're called Bergers and they are the most delicious things I've ever eaten. The minute you bite into it, you just can't help but make a deliriously happy noise. Of course, at 140 calories and 4 g of fat a pop (1 saturated and 1 trans), they are probably also the worst cookies I've come across in a while with lots of terrible hydrogenated stuff in them. So while they are delicious, definitely be careful not to overdo it!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Here in DC, it's all-inauguration, all the time. If you're happy about it, like me, check out this countdown until Bush is finally, finally out of office!

Check out the site for 75% off promotional items like t-shirts, mugs, etc. As far as my weekend goes, I'm staying far away from DC. Doing errands, having dinner with friends, and most importantly, today I'm getting a massage!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Les Mis at Signature Theatre

For Christmas, I gave Jeffro tickets to his favorite musical Les Mis, playing at local Signature Theatre. I've seen this once before at National Theater, and must say I was less than impressed. So I was not looking forward to seeing it again. I have to say, this was quite an impressive performance and I really recommend going to see this before it leaves February 22. The seats were practically--and quite literally--almost on top of the stage. People would come running out right next to you, sing next to you, etc. It was almost like you were a part of the show. The actors were excellent--I can't imagine how they stayed in character having the audience so close. The singing by the men was excellent and sadly outshined the women (though I loved Fontine, Eponine, and Mrs. T).