Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Tuna.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

I love three day weekends. In fact, I excel at three day weekends. I say we make this a regular thing. Who's with me? 

Speaking of excelling, let me tell you about my dear friend Jay Pharoah. He excels at being funny and doing impressions of pretty much everyone in the whole world. He's my dear friend because we go way back. We go all the way back to the Arlington Drafthouse parking lot last night. That's when we first met. And by "met" I mean "waved." He probably won't admit to remembering it but I'm sure that wave was pretty special to him too. 

Now, let me back up. I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Virginia's own Jay Pharoah, from Saturday Night Live fame, was in town all weekend doing stand-up comedy at The Arlington Drafthouse. Melissa, Pete, and I decided to check it out. 

*Side note: My sister, excelled in her own improv comedy show the night before at Artomatic in Crystal City. It was a very funny weekend. If you've never been to Artomatic, then you should go. It was really cool. A total "art takeover" of a boring office building.*
As we drove around Arlington Drafthouse looking for a parking spot, we cruised back behind the building. We had to stop because someone was getting out of a Nissan Altima in front of us. I can't confirm that that was the exact car, but it was that kind of car. It was not the kind of car you think a TV star would get out of. It was more the type of car that you get out of when your mom or dad has just dropped you off at the movies to meet your buddies. 

So, we were really excited to see that the person getting out of the car was, in fact, Jay Pharoah himself. "Hey mom, just drop me off by the stage door. I'll call you when I'm done." 

He didn't actually say that. As far as I know.

However, here is a real-life conversation from our end about that moment. 

"Is that him?"
"That is him."
"It is!"
"I'm going to wave!"
"I'm going to wave too!"
"Does he see us?"
"He did see us! He gave us a peace sign. Would you say that's a 'what's up' face?"
"I guess so. He wasn't smiling as big as we were. Or, at all."
"We looked crazy."
"I think he thinks we're crazy."
"Pete, did you wave too?"
"Yeah, I think I did."
"Oh Lord, we all waved?"

Later, we got to re-do a greeting with Jay. I wish I could say we were smoother but I'm not sure that would be true.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wine, Tiaras, & Giant Chess

Have you ever gone on a day trip with a famous person? Well I have and that person was Catherine "Catty" Amos.This past Saturday, my high school friend, Catty and I ventured to Culpeper, Virginia. Culpeper was her one-time home but apparently it, and she, left a lasting impression. I was excited to see this town for myself. Little did I know that I was there with one of Culpeper's most popular former residents.

(I should clarify that Catty and I went to high school together. She is not in high school. I need to make that known since the words "wine tasting" will appear multiple times in this post. I don't want you to think I contributed to the delinquency of a minor.)

Now, Catty only lived in Culpeper about a year and a half but we weren't out of the car 15 minutes when she saw people she knows. It was great because I got to learn all of the town gossip. Sure, I don't know any of those people, but I now know all of their business. I don't like to spread gossip. But, I'm certainly not opposed to knowing gossip. Especially when it involves....oh, I shouldn't tell you.
Getting the 4-1-1 from Miss Minerva
(And, in Catty's defense, she wasn't even the one spilling all the gossip. Those Culpeper folks liked to chat. Even to strangers, like me. I guess I was trustworthy by association.)

This is where I should tell you the story of my wallet. Basically, I went to Culpeper and my wallet stayed in DC. Of course, I didn't know that until I was in Raven's Nest Coffeehouse and had ordered myself an acai green tea and a super delicious almond scone. That was the moment when Catty officially became my sugar mama for the day. God bless her. No wonder this town loves her.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lessons Learned (and Not Learned)

It's been two months since I moved to DC. So, I think it's time for a 2 month check-in.

Don't worry, I won't make you read "check-ins" for every random monthly anniversary (like those couples who want you to congratulate them for their four-and-a-half month anniversaries and every half anniversary in between.)

In just eight weeks, I've learned quite a few important DC life lessons. I will now share these words of wisdom with you fine folks. 

Things I've Learned in DC

1. My alphabet 
Ok, so I always knew my alphabet but, due to the alphabetically named streets in DC, I know it much better. I no longer have to sing the song to myself in order to determine if I'm walking in the right direction towards my destination. If I'm trying to get to S and I'm on P then I know, if I look up and I'm on M, then I have been walking in the wrong direction. (Yeah, sometimes it takes me a few letters to realize it. Or, sometimes I'm too busy window shopping to notice until I'm a few letters down.)

2. Pace yourself
When walking up the Metro escalator, you need to pace yourself, especially if it's Dupont Circle. No one is impressed that you can juggle a tote bag and an umbrella while also sprinting up the steepest escalators you've ever seen. And, they certainly aren't impressed when you're wheezing and close to death at the top. I insist on walking up the escalators instead of just standing and riding because I think of it as a bonus work-out. I like the way my muscles burn. I don't like the way my lungs burn. And, I'm pretty sure the people around me don't like the gasping sounds.

This is a picture I tried to take while walking up the escalator. I should add that to the list. Don't try to do that. 
3. It is possible to surreptitiously hold on to strangers for balance on the Metro
But, you have to be very stealth. (Which is probably redundant with "surreptitiously." But I want to really drive this point home. I also wanted to show my knowledge of SAT vocabulary.) Really, my encroachment on the stranger's personal space is his own damn fault. Hey, gentlemen who are 6 ft+, how about you hold on to the railing on the ceiling instead of blocking the poles for the shorter folks? I was hoping you would notice as I,  all 5 foot 2 (and a half!) of me,  stood on my tip-toes to try to hold on above my head. But, you didn't. Even when I timidly said, "Excuse me. Excuse me." So, instead I held on to your brief case. I'm the reason you were inexplicably jerked backwards whenever there was a sudden stop. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Poem for Mom

An Illustrated Poem for My Mom

Today is the day we celebrate you,
But I think we should celebrate every other day too.

There are so many reasons and I think you should know 'em,
So I thought I'd list a few of them in this amateur poem.

When it comes to Moms, I'd say you're better than great.
When it comes to cooking, your food is first-rate.

You say you'll "just make a casserole" with whatever you feel
Then the next thing I know, we have a four course meal.

Unfortunately, those dinner skills didn't fully transfer to me
I just had wine and tortillas because I overcooked broccoli. 

You put up with my tantrums when I was young, day and night. 
I was such a know-it-all. Good thing I grew out of that....right??

You told me I was pretty when I had acne and braces, 
Apparently being a Mom means you lie to kids' faces.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My North Carolina

Siers cartoon: Marriage Amendment Wins
(Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer)

I had a blog post all planned out about things I've learned since being in DC. They were things like, "Pace yourself if you're trying to walk up the escalator at Dupont Circle" and "Learn your alphabet so you know how to find L Street" but then Amendment One passed and well, I don't want to talk about those things just yet.

I don't want to talk about it because I am sad. My heart is sad for the families in North Carolina who are affected by this. My heart is sad because I - someone who is not even close to being married - could be married next week but those who have been in loving, committed relationships for years, are farther from that dream tonight than they were this morning.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Drinking Beer Alone in An Elevator

This past week my apartment building had a pre-Cinco de Mayo fiesta. It was really fun. Unless you were me or people I tried to talk to while I was there. Not only was I painfully awkward but I was so awkward that I made other people uncomfortable too. Good job, me.

Let me start from the beginning.

Last week, flyers went up in the elevators advertising a Cinco de Mayo party. Guacamole, sangria, margaritas - what's not to love? Normally, I steer clear of situations in which I don't know anyone. I'm a very unsocial, social person. I like meeting new people but I tend to stress about it. All that small talk? It's exhausting. And then, when does the small talk become just normal talk? And then when are you friends? It's so much easier just to hang out with you people online.

However, I decided that, since I have this new DC life that, as part of my new DC persona, I would become one of those people who is totally smooth in social situations. I'll be the one who can just walk up to strangers and make instant friends and then introduce other people and coordinate the social landscape.

Um, yeah, not so much.

I decided to check out the party on my way upstairs from the laundry room. (If this doesn't set it up as a exciting evening, then I don't know what will.) I was especially intrigued because, earlier there was an elderly gentleman, on a walker, dressed in his finest clothes, heading into the party.

I should explain that my fellow tenants fall into age ranges of around 25 - 35 and then 80+. There is no in the middle. The social psychology student in me is fascinated by this. Throw margaritas in there? Sign. me. up.

So I wander into the club room only to find hundreds of people. It was quite a boisterous crowd. This was it. My time to shine in the social scene. Hmm..where to start? There's no better place to bond than in the line for booze.

But, the margaritas were gone. (And, I later learned they bought machines to make 400 margaritas. FOUR HUNDRED.)

I turned to the sangria table. Gone. (I'm thinking we may need to reserve the Club Room for an AA meeting in the future).