Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Festivus!

On this day, the 23rd of December -- the day we air our grievances and demonstrate feats of strength under the glorious Festivus Pole -- I would simply like to wish everyone a joyus and wonderful holiday season.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Through tattered clothes great vices do appear."

~ William Shakespeare

I take this showing up in my email this AM as a strong indication that the Bard is speaking to us through the grave and really wants all of us to go shopping.... Who's with me?!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


(...yeah, what else is new...)

I left last night's post hanging with that solo link, so I thought I would finish up this morning with a few more tidbits about the inauguration:

Officials Expect 10,000 Charter Buses

The 'People's Inaugural Project'
This is a great story about how a local businessman donated $1 million so that "underserved, marginalized and distressed individuals" can be a part of this awesome event.

Walk to the Inauguration if you can!

And finally, a few lawmakers aren't very happy with the idea of 24/7 bars...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different:

...it's time for a quick update.

~ DC in December never fails to surprise me. After spending the better part of 30 years here (wow... what a concept...) you would think I'd be used to the lack of consistent weather. But no, this is not the case. I was freezing cold this weekend, but pleasantly surprised by the light snowfall on Saturday night. Shivered at work today. But tomorrow, it will be in the upper 50's, and there's a chance of rain.

~ Ah, Facebook. Thank you for letting me know that the Nice Jewish Doctor is "now in a relationship". Because I think the boy deserves someone who doesn't feel obliged to go out with him, someone who really cares about him.

~ Why am I feeling so generous to this shmuck? Well, I have recently found myself "In a Relationship", as well. (No, my Facebook status will not change.) And yes, I was hinting at this in an earlier post, when things were starting to develop. Just in case you were wondering.

~ Work is very strange right now. Things are fine for me (i.e. my job is safe, my department is still intact) but there's just been too much change in a very short period of time.

~ This city is going to be un-fucking-BELIEVABLE during Obama's inaguration. (I can't wait!)I could devote several posts to the news stories we see every day about how many people will be here, how we should all walk into the city since the Metro will be a mess, et cetera.

For example, one of my favorites: D.C. Bars Open 24 Hours...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Those Smelly Tourists....

Reid: We won't smell the tourists anymore

By Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin

The Capitol Visitors Center, which opened this morning, may have tripled its original budget and fallen years behind schedule, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid found a silver lining for members of Congress: tourists won't offend them with their B.O. anymore.

"My staff tells me not to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway," said Reid in his remarks. "In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it's true."

But it's no longer going to be true, noted Reid, thanks to the air conditioned, indoor space.

And that's not all. "We have many bathrooms here, as you can see," Reid continued. "Souvenirs are available."

$621 million well spent.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Sometimes the best solution is to say 'No' at the outset. This one word, used promptly, properly and with courtesy, can save you a great deal of time. It's important not to let other people fritter away your time, but when you say 'No' you have to make it stick while not seeming ruthless or unfair. And everybody knows how hard that is."

~ Alan Lakein

Saturday, November 29, 2008

food coma...

... yes, still.

Good food, good company, good wine. Turducken was delish, the extra turkey Dad made was fantastic, and even if the family pumpkin pies didn't turn out as expected (even though I told Mom that if she'd let me help her, I KNOW they would have been fine...!) a good time was had by all. And at least two guests left on Thursday night feeling stuffed to their gills.

A success!

And a great time with my parents. Really and truly. Slept like a baby in my (narrow) childhood bed, ran around in my PJs, and did some fun online shopping with Mom when not helping Dad baste the turducken. Above all else, I am thankful for my wonderful time with them.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quote of the Day

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop and look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' ... You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Countdown

I'm excited that it's almost Thanksgiving -- it's one of my favorite holidays. Even though my younger sister will not be joining me and our parents in our annual overindulgence, I have invited several coworkers and friends to join us, and it should be a lot of fun. There is likely to be some difficulty as my parents and I determine who is responsible for which dish, but things will be fine once we have staked out our respective territories in the kitchen, and I've opened the first bottle of wine.

DC seems to be emptying out already. There were very few people on the streets on my way in to work this morning, and at least half of my office has already left. And whomever will be coming back to DC for their family Thanksgiving will probably do so at the very last minute... but then stay through the weekend.

It's been an unusually quiet day for me. I've had a lot of time to think about what happened in our office last week, and the bigger financial picture in which these changes took place... and honestly, I'm trying not to be scared.

I've also been thinking about my life as a single girl. I've been dating, spending time "at the buffet", and generally having fun for over a year at this point. I had told myself (and a number of boys, as well) that I would continue to do so until I provided with a convincing argument to do otherwise. Maybe it's because the holidays are starting, or maybe it's the cold weather wreaking havoc on me, I don't know, but I'm starting to think it may be time for a change.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"downsizing", "departmental rearranging"...

... in other words, watching coworkers lose their jobs.

Let me note that I have not lost my job (knock wood) and I am incredibly grateful for that, as well as the fact that my department was not touched by this recent turn of events. But as of noon today, a dozen people were let go from our organization -- four were from my office, the rest from our New York branch. And as this is a very close-knit operation, I am saddened by these changes, and I know I am not the only one.

I looked up from my computer a moment ago to see our impeccably made-up CEO stride by my cubicle, a waft of her signature (heavy, floral) scent following in her wake. I greeted her by name and with a smile; she nodded and gave me a little wave. I wonder if she feels anything about what has happened, or if she simply accepts that these things must happen in an organization, particularly at a time when there is an economic downturn, and moves on...

It's been a long week already.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

home again, home again...

Fortunately, my luggage finally appeared in Tampa, about 12 hours after my arrival. I promptly found my bathing suit and went swimming in the hotel's outdoor pool - a treat one can only dream of in mid November in most other parts of this country.

The conference went very well, I think. And it was absolutely exhausting.

Of course, my flight back to DC was through St. Louis. I mean, it's not like I was going to fly through Atlanta or some other more northern city to get home, right? In fact, I think I should have flown further South before attempting to get home. In any case... upon arrival in St. Louis, I found that my flight to DC was delayed by two hours. And then three hours. Some young, skittish-looking girl told a friend on her iPhone about how she didn't think we were even going to get to DC that evening, an idea that nearly ground my teeth to nubs. (The bars in the airport had last call at 7.30 - I was able to snag one drink before having to vamoose.)

But the plane finally arrived.... they took us to DC... and I got home at quarter of two this morning. It took me another two hours to unwind and fall asleep. Which begs the question as to why I am now awake. But considering that it's rainy, dismal Saturday, I'm sure I'll be unconscious again soon enough.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My trip down to Tampa

- Left the office at 11.30 for my 1-something flight to NYC.
- Flight from DC to NYC waited on the runway for almost an hour after we left the gate.
- After we got into the air, we circled over Atlantic City for another 40 min or so in a holding pattern, before the flight crew said we had to land at LaGuardia because we were running out of fuel.
- Landed, refueled.... waited and waited and waited to go to JFK. Five hours after our original take off, we landed at JFK. (Please don't ask me why I flew to JFK in order to go to Tampa...)
- American Airlines wouldn't take any sort of responsibility for getting me on another flight to Tampa (since my connection was long gone) but told me that my luggage would be directed there. They swore up and down it would be in Tampa, but gave me merry hell for trying to get on another flight out of JFK.
- Called the travel agency that my office works with; my new Best Friend got me on a Jet Blue flight to Tampa, got a refund from American for my missed flight, and called the hotel in Tampa to make sure they didn't give away my room.
- Got to Tampa around midnight and was told that my luggage wouldn't be here until 7-something the next evening.

Upside: Even though I had to iron my unmentionables this AM and steam my jeans, I slept well, the display booth is already here and I don't have to set it up until 2pm. And, I'm going shopping right after I finish breakfast, because it's going to be over 80 today, and the sweater I'm wearing is not going to work with this environment.

P.S. Why does the hotel's "Forget-Me-Not (Female) Kit" include bath salts? I understand the ridiculous amounts of sanitary supplies, and appreciate the scented deodorant. But bath salts??

Monday, November 10, 2008

Quote of the Day

Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.

~ Winston Churchill

Friday, November 7, 2008

this made me smile

From The American Prospect:


On Monday night, at the Obama rally in Manassas, Virginia, I stood by the press railing watching the most poignant scene I'd witnessed during the whole campaign. There were two small children, both on their father's backs. At the beginning, they were about 10 feet from each other, staring anxiously at the stage. One was black, the other white. The little white kid had an Obama sign, the little black kid didn't. They took stock of each other. Soon, the little white kid leaned all the way over to try and give his sign to his new friend. The fathers, noticing, moved closer to each other. And the kids held the sign together. I had forgotten my camera, and was begging others to take pictures. April Winchell, however, succeeded:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


and one more, because I'm SO EXCITED...!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Tomorrow, we vote for president, in case you've been living under a rock.

I'm anxious about how this turns out. My office is near the White House, and I've had several coworkers wonder if we're going to be dealing with mobs, riots or angry hordes come Wednesday morning; to which I've said "Lets just be positive and hope they're HAPPY mobs!"

I'm also coming to terms with being a registered DC voter, which many have told me means that my vote is absolutely worthless. This does not, however, mean that I will not be voting. I know many people -- women more than men, interestingly -- who have no intention of voting tomorrow. I can understand disliking the candidates, but why not get educated about these two men and their running mates? Women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years in this great country of ours. There are women all around the world who have never voted, and who will never have any kind of say over who controls their country.

Even if my vote "doesn't count", I'm still getting my ass up at 6am (okay, maybe I'll hit snooze once... or twice...) so I can figure out where the hell my polling center is from my apartment, get there as early as I can, and vote!

I've been fascinated by this election, and at the same time, I'm really damn sick of it. I want it to be over, I want to know what's in store for us, I want to know if this country is getting the change that it so badly needs...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

cartoon imitates my life

This was sent to me by a friend and colleague who knows about my number one problem with my workspace...

You see, I have a coworker who hums when she's stressed out.
More specifically, she hums the opening bars of "Greensleeves". Repeatedly.
For a long time, this wasn't a problem, because I would only hear her when she walked around the office or if we were in the same room, but her workspace wasn't that close to mine, so I could block her out easily.
This changed last winter, when our office moved into a new space, and into cubicles.
And her cubicle is next to mine.
She's been stressed out a lot lately.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yard Sign

Sunday, October 26, 2008

my piece of DC in late October, one Sunday night

I put all these conditions in my title, because these pictures are from my singular experience, taken in my slice of (upper NW) DC, in late October, 10-11pm on a Sunday evening. Walking back from a wonderful pasta dinner (accompanied by plenty of lovely red wine) with some of my best friends. The colors of the trees and the street lights... the late-blooming wild roses.... the amazing houses that are slated to be torn down (which saddens me enormously), or have already been revitalized/re-vamped/re-constructed... the glow of the street lights... I love this place.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Big Tobacco's Spin on Women's Liberation

"Why do nearly one-fifth of women in America smoke? The answer goes back to an event almost 80 years ago on Fifth Avenue, which is often regarded as one of the most successful P.R. stunts in American history...." (the title of this post has the link to the whole article; I encourage you to read more)

Yet another article that I find fascinating, not only because of it's connection to my daily work, but it's pretty much what my Masters thesis was about. The manipulation of women by our society, that results in their smoke cigarettes in order to conform to an ideal, which ultimately results in making themselves subordinate to men...!!!

Okay, I'm done. (For now.)

And now for something completely, fashionably different, I would like to present the two dresses I've recently purchased:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

those stylin' DC women

A few weeks ago, it was still unseasonably warm enough for my hometown to be a tourist's delight. I was walking from the Metro to my office building and passed a mother, crouched down to her child's height, pointing into the commuting horde, saying: "... well honey, the ladies wear sneakers for walking and carry nice shoes in their purses to change into at work..."

Okay, I'm one of those sneaker-wearing-ladies. Granted, I wasn't until this past summer, when I finished the process of recovering from a broken foot, but I've joined the ranks for women who carry their nice shoes to change into at work.

But that's besides the point. Overhearing this snippet of conversation made me wonder: Why is this child so observant of the footwear habits of DC women? Is DC really so fashionably backwards that wearing sneakers for part of one's commute is that strange? Strange enough for this child to ask his mother why women aren't wearing their heels?

I'm glad the tourists won't be back until the holidays.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Its hard not to love a job in which a serious day, spent with the heads of government health agencies, discussing tobacco control, also includes a serious lunchtime discussion about Jamie Lynne Spears' getting pregnant again. Exclamations of "How could she think she couldn't get pregnant again while breast feeding? What are they telling her?!" were interspersed with "Did you hear the first baby isn't her boyfriend's?" while someone's assistant offered to get the scoop from TMZ.com

Truly a fantastic, productive meeting.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Sarah Palin's control panel:

oy vey

We went to a relatively nice Italian restaurant. We had a nice meal, we had a great conversation, and I thought to myself "well, there are no sparks flying here for me, but he likes me, and I suppose I could go out with him again."

Then the bill came. And granted, I did reach for my wallet -- but I always do, and okay, maybe it's playing a game or a test, but if I've been asked out, I expect that I'll be told "Put that away, I'm paying..." and then I can say "Fine, then let me buy you a drink/coffee/dessert!" -- and the next thing I knew, we'd split the bill.

I'm not saying this is a major offense. But... but... fuck it, that boy is a DOCTOR. I'm a measly non-profit employee!

He did take the metro with me to my neighborhood and walk me to my apartment building -- which I told him was unnecessary, but he insisted, and he lives one stop away from me -- and that was very nice of him. We got to my building, he said "Soooo...." and I gave him a peck on the mouth, skipped up the stairs, saying "Thanks! Hope to talk to you soon!"

He's already texted me to ask me out for this weekend. My sis is in town so I have an excuse to postpone. I also talked to my mom, who said (in a stern voice) "... oh he'll pay next time!" I started laughing hysterically but said I wasn't sure yet about a next time.


.... Update: We're going out again.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

my mother, the yenta

Two Jewish mothers (both doctors) are deep in a serious talk,
Referrals exchanged and medicinal information they swap.
Business concluded, diagnoses confirmed, they turn to a more pressing concern:
Each has an eldest child who is single. But surely, this issue is one they can turn!
"My son... he’s a gentleman… truly a sweet little guy.”
"And my daughter… she’s a darling – and, really, not too hard on the eyes!”
Voicemails are left, and emails are sent; surely this match they can cook –
Both daughter and son are joyfully told: "You can find each other on Facebook!"
- - - - - - -

I don't write poetry, so pardon my sloppiness, bad rhymes, horrid meter, et cetera. But there was something about the particular situation in which my mother placed me that inspired me to write that "poem" earlier this month.

Anyhow. I have dinner with that young man this evening, and (after fuming at my mother for her meddling for the past two weeks, but now having gotten over it.... sort of) I'm sure it will be perfectly nice. Although I did tell my mother a few nights ago that I think her biological clock for me is ticking much, much faster than my own; she didn't disagree.

If nothing else, I'll be wearing one of my favorite DVF's, the Spotted Frog Jessica. It looks something like this on me...

Guess I should go get ready.....!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Most people search high and wide for the keys to success. If they only knew, the key to their dreams lies within."

~ George Washington Carver

Monday, October 13, 2008

Samantha, say it ain't so....!

The fact that American Girl Samantha is going to be retired has been a subject of moaning, wailing and nostalgia on several sites I visit. I read as many of the "Samantha" books that I could as a 10 year old; my parents didn't really mind my reading those stories, but they were outraged at the cost of a "Samantha" doll. And her outfits. And her accessories. And the cute dresses that I could possibly wear to match her.

But I digress; I believe these mournful sentiments are best expressed by my friend, ilovemygeek, on her blog: http://www.dinklifestyle.com/?q=node/21

(I'm working on the hotlinking thing... sorry!)

scenes from my neighborhood

It's hard to believe it's October. Even though the trees are changing, so many of the flowers in my neighbor's gardens are still in full bloom. But it's a gorgeous combination.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

who doesn't love a long weekend

My office is observing Columbus Day tomorrow, so I have more time this weekend to goof off than usual. And, yes, goofing off is how I spend most of my weekends; I try to run errands and do other responsible, adult-like things during the week so I can make the most of my free time. Of course, there are weeks when I'm too tired after work to even think of getting groceries, but this past week was not one of those.

ANYHOW... I like to keep something amusing in my G-chat status during the week for my friends. In light of the fact that I don't have work tomorrow, and am not likely to be online chatting, I thought I would share a few of the entertaining items I have recently found:

EepyBird's Sticky Note experiment from Eepybird on Vimeo.

9 Reasons Not To Date a T-Rex

The Sherman Foundation: Some loser douchebag's phone messages to a girl

Enjoy, pass along, share your own favorites, and, by all means, please tell me if they're not nearly funny enough to keep in my collection of "funny stuff".

I'm off to curl up with one of the books I'm reading, American Wife (which I highly recommend, even if you didn't like her previous book, Prep.):

Friday, October 10, 2008

another reason not to smoke, ladies

Cigarette Smoking and the Development of Premenstrual Syndrome

Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson, Susan E. Hankinson, Susan R. Johnson, and JoAnn E. Manson
American Journal of Epidemiology Advance Access published on August 13, 2008

Smoking at various ages was assessed by questionnaires. After adjustment for oral contraceptives and other factors, current smokers were 2.1 times as likely as never smokers to develop PMS over the next 2–4 years.... Results suggest that smoking, especially in adolescence and young adulthood, may increase risk of moderate to severe PMS. These findings may provide an additional incentive for young women to avoid cigarette smoking.

- - - - - -

Why does this fascinate me? Well, since you asked... I was a women's studies minor (so close to a double major) in college; my Masters thesis was focused on women and smoking; and a great deal of my work has to do with tobacco control and cessation. "The time of the month" can be unpleasant, so why make it worse?

And now, from feminism to fashion.. it's time for something completely different...

The Diane von Furstenburg dress that I am craving at the moment:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

working hard for the ... uh, cause

This evening marks the end of Yom Kippur, and thus the New Year has truly begun.

If I still belonged to a temple, perhaps I wouldn't have gone to work today; perhaps I would have fasted and truly atoned for the wrongs I have committed in this past year. But I haven't been back to the temple where my sister and I were both bat mitzvah'd for at least 10 years, nor have I felt compelled to join a synagoguge on my own. I often describe myself as a "Bad Jew" and say that the only thing Jewish about me these days is my affinity for Tiffany's -- but today, there were a few moments during which I silently apologized for the wrongs I have committed during the past year, and for anyone I have hurt.

But really, today was like any other day. I hit snooze too many times this morning and had to rush getting ready. While commuting to work, I marveled at both the slowly-changing foliage and the fact that my fellow Washingtonians really do seem to lack any sense of style. And I spent the day working diligently, in the national headquarters of a non-profit organization.
(Note: As I am just starting out in the blogging world, I'm not sure how "anonymous" this will be. I expect that the majority of my readers will be people who know me, but I'd rather err on the side of caution... for now, and in this arena, at least.) It was a busy day, but those are the best -- when I don't have time to do anything but try to make a difference in people's lives.

That may sound too corny to be true, but knowing that my work changes lives keeps me going to work every day. Plus, I have fantastic, hysterical, caring and incredibly dedicated coworkers. I can tell you that it's not the money, that's for damn sure. I truly love my job, and consider myself fortunate to be able to say that.