Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bedlam in Bethlehem: Our Perfect Family Christmas

We did it, y'all. We successfully had Christmas with no one in the hospital. You may remember that last year, we had to abandon all our usual Christmas traditions because Charlie was very sick in ICU. 

And, wouldn't you know that little nerd tried to pull that crap again. 

In the words of the great Ham Porter in the cinematic masterpiece The Sandlot, "You're killin' me, Smalls!"

The night before Melissa, Pete, Charlie, and my canine niece Belby were supposed to drive to NC, Charlie had a fever of 104.6 and had to go to the ER. It was all a little too familiar. Fortunately, he did not have to be admitted. He was contagious but could travel. So we loaded up on antibacterial hand soap and anxiously awaited his arrival. I wasn't going to miss Christmas this year, even if it meant we all got the plague. 

Plus, I figured, I had two weeks off and would be at home. What better time or place to get the plague? 

But it never came to that. By the time Charlie arrived, his fever was almost completely gone and we were ready to get the Christmas festivities in full swing. 
As promised in my last post, here is the family Christmas card. It was too much to ask to have the baby and the puppy looking at the camera. Maybe next year. We're also photoshopped into someone else's house. Tricks of the trade.

Remember when I said I had two weeks off? Two weeks, you guys. I've never taken that much time off work. Ever. To a rule-follower like me, it feels a little illegal. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Babies, Puppies, Turkeys and Photos.

Since it's now mid-December, I figure it's the appropriate time to go back and talk about Thanksgiving. 


I'm late, but it has just taken me this long to really reflect on all the things for which I am thankful, you guys. I'm sorry I mull over holidays longer than you. You should see how long it takes me to finish my rumination surrounding Flag Day. And don't even get me started on Arbor Day. It should just be called Arbor Month, am I right?
15-month-old Charlie meets 10-week-old Grady.

In truth, I do have an unbelievable amount to be thankful for and was most grateful to get to spend Thanksgiving with my family. It was a jam-packed weekend of laughing, telling the puppy to stop putting things in his mouth, eating pie, telling the baby to stop putting things in his mouth, and watching football. 

Since you already know all about my date with country star Brett Eldredge, I'll skip over that portion of Thanksgiving weekend. But, if you ever want to talk about Brett Eldredge, I'm sure Anna would be more than happy to retell the evening again...that is unless she is off laying smooth game to another country star somewhere in the streets of DC. 

Rather than recap the entire weekend with a verbose account, I thought I'd just share some pictures and a few things for which I am thankful. As you may remember, I shared a similar list last year. 

Well, that post got hacked. 

At least, I think it did. It's telling me that over 1,000 people read it (around three times my normal readership) and I had to censor no less than two dozen comments along the lines of, "Your blog good for me business. I like your point and would welcome chance to be apprentice. Learn from you good writing me nice."

I mean, I've always wanted my own apprentice but how will I ever pick through all 24+ of those "big fans because you write interesting point on important topics." Yes, I do think beer-scented candles and baby toupees are important and I'm glad you agree. 

Nonetheless, I'm going to run the risk of being hacked again...here's my list.

  • Food on the table and good company. Especially when that good company is my mom and she brings five pies for ten people.
  • Babies and puppies. Both are incredibly adorable, scared of loud noises, eat things off the floor, squirm like crazy when you try to hold them, and want nothing more than to pull other dogs' tails.
  • The Carolina Panthers and watching with other fans who make me feel like I'm close to home. And Steve Smith's ability to always pick fights on the field but never get caught.
  • A new job, wonderful co-workers, and a steady paycheck.
  • Friends who know that when I order a craft beer, I usually just want a Bud Light. 
  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and all the other ridiculous platforms we love to hate but that allow me to keep in touch with family and friends around the world.  
  • My nephew for making me laugh. The kid can't high-five, but he can "cabbage patch." 
  • All my friends and family who got married this year and gave me a reason to celebrate, visit with loved ones....and get down with my bad self on the dance floor.
  • The children I meet when I volunteer at the children's hospital - stronger and more positive than any adults I know...and darn good at Candy Land and Uno. 
  • My family for being awesome, slightly nutty, always supportive, and hilariously funny.

Ok, so now is the time I have to admit that I lied to you. I'm sorry. I was so busy being thankful (read: drinking wine and eating cheese) that I forgot to take pictures at Thanksgiving. I mostly just have the photo below. Oops. 
A thankful bunch. I like to call that my "hurry up and take the picture, there is cranberry sauce in front of me and I need to eat it" smile. Charlie is making his "you think I don't notice that I'm not at the table but I do, you jerks" face.
To make up for my lack of Thanksgiving photos, I'm going to share a very special "Behind-the-Scenes" feature of a deCastrique Family Christmas card photo shoot. There was a puppy, a baby, and a dog who wanted nothing to do with the other two. Clearly, it was an orderly, efficient process.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gotta Get There: Our Night With Brett Eldredge

I was initially going to do one giant post about my Thanksgiving weekend -- from the turkey on Thursday to a concert on Saturday to Panthers on Sunday. But, then the Saturday concert turned into a night of incredible music, delicious quesadillas, and bar-hopping with country music star Brett Eldredge. I figured that warranted its own post. And, as an added bonus, it includes a guest interview. (Spoiler alert: It's not an interview with Brett Eldredge. It's better.)

Note: the phrase "bar-hopping" may be a bit inaccurate but I'm sure it's how I'll end up telling the story in the future so I'm just trying it on for size.

With Rachel and Anna.
This past Saturday, I joined the First Family of Country Music -- The Hickmans -- for the Brett Eldredge show at 9:30 Club. I suppose the Carter-Cash Family or the Hill-McGraw Family may be the official "First Family of Country Music" but the Hickmans are pretty close. They know their country crooners and have probably been to no less than 30 concerts this year alone.

Anna, Rachel and Eddie had all seen Brett before in concert and -- while I was already a fan -- I had not. However, they assured me, it would be worth leaving my family and Thanksgiving leftovers for the show. Plus, I have new cowboy boots so, obviously, I was in.

Those Hickmans don't lie.

The show was incredible. We knew Brett Eldredge would be awesome but we were also blown away by the opening performers, The Railers. They were so good that I am actively searching for how to hear their music as their first album doesn't come out until next Spring. That's too long, The Railers, too long. In the meantime, here's a video of them exploring DC and performing a cover of an Imagine Dragons song. .
The Railers. In real life, they are not magenta.
Once Brett Eldredge took the stage, the crowd was already fired up. That includes the 6'3" couple that pushed their way to stand in front of me. It's cool though, guys, I'm not bitter. I'm 5'2" but it's fine, whatever. 

Brett Eldredge and some lady's cell phone.
Tall personal-space-encroachers aside, the concert was phenomenal. Rachel, Anna and I were all swooning over Brett -- mostly because of his voice/talent and also a lot because of his handsomeness. Rachel and Anna were especially skilled at pointing at him and having him point back. I told you, they're pros. Whether covering favorite songs or performing those from his own album -- Brett was awesome. Leaving the club, we joked about how we could possibly try to meet him and get him to come out with us. Now, before you say, "Wow, Lindsay. Look at you! Hitting the club and then going out? What's gotten into you?" I should clarify that it was an early show and so we were out of there by around 9pm and looking for a place to get some dinner. We ended up at Alero (which you may remember from my birthday festivities at the Cleveland Park location) where I got my usual spinach quesadillas and sangria.

This is where the night got particularly interesting.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Your Christmas Shopping...Done.

Today alone I received 13 emails about Black Friday deals. Thirteen. That's more emails than I received from Obama and my mother. (And that says a lot). 

Now, before you stop reading, this post is not a rant about the craziness that is Black Friday. Frankly, if people want to camp outside a Best Buy for a big screen TV, good for them. In fact, I hope I know some of those people because I'd like to watch that gigantic TV sometime. However, come Friday at 9AM, I'll be sitting on my own couch, still in my pajamas, watching my normal-sized TV and debating if cranberry sauce is an acceptable breakfast since, technically, it's a fruit. I have been known once or twice to go to Target late-morning on Black Friday to scope out the damage - and one time impulsively purchase some amazingly heinous, gigantic-yet-comfortable, $3 sweatpants that I wear on the regular and are probably the reason I'm still single. 

Late-morning is the best time to go to Target on Black Friday. The people who got there at 5AM are long-gone and the poor retailers have just restocked for the second wave. Plus, it's less congested so that you can find some of the deals they hide in unexpected places - like the $5 toasters on display in the men's department or the $2 DVDs in the health and beauty section . Because when I think James Bond Casino Royale on blu-ray, I think, Yep, probably located in the tampon aisle. Real sneaky, Target. They really make you earn those doorbusters.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Just Country Boys and Girls Gettin' Down on the Farm

What do pumpkins, apples, aliens, Care Bears, and goats have in common? Easy, they're all part of the Fall Festival at Cox Farms in Centreville, VA. (We'll revisit the Care Bears later..)

You already know my love of Fall - or Autumn, if you're fancy - is intense. It is greater than my love of award season but less than my love of the Christmas season. And you know how I love a photo op with my nephew. So, when Melissa asked if I wanted to go to the pumpkin patch with them, I thought about it for all of three - nay two - seconds. Pumpkins, apple cider, hayride? The Ultimate Fall Trifecta.
After researching local pumpkin patches, Melissa decided that we shouldn't just settle for pumpkins, we should do the whole shebang - Fall Festival.
Saturday morning, we loaded up the car and made the 45ish minute drive to Centreville. First, we stopped at a 7-11 for coffee so everyone could get caffeinated to keep from becoming jackass-o-lanterns. (That's the Halloween equivalent of Scrooge). We all fueled up on our hot beverages of choice (green tea for me, natch) while the youngest member of our carpool promptly passed out. Much like if he were the first to pass out a party, we took pictures around him. That's how a road trip works, Squeaks. No exceptions for babies.

Much to Pete's chagrin, Melissa and I made him ride up front by himself chauffeur-style. But what he didn't understand was that we had really important things to do - like download this game from the Ellen Show and showcase our knowledge of celebrity trivia. I dare you to challenge us in such a game. 

This is how you play the game. Well, ok, not exactly.
As we approached the farm, we saw a line of traffic and immediately thought "uh-oh." (Enter jackass-o-lantern attitudes here). I had flashbacks to spending many an hour in the car trying to get to the Renaissance Festival in Charlotte a few years ago. (Don't judge, like you don't like giant legs of turkey and flowers in your hair). Fortunately, the line moved quickly and Cox Farms had the traffic/parking thing down. After buying our tickets, which included the cost of a pumpkin, we walked around to get the lay of the land. As you may remember, I'm no stranger to a farm. 

First panoramic photo on my new phone. (Pete actually took it because I didn't know how.) That's my sis Snapchatting.
After getting a feel for all the Fall Festival had to offer - and checking out goats and a ginormous smelly pig named Miranda - we decided to grab some lunch. We determined that kettle corn could not be an acceptable lunch, so we settled on pulled pork bbq (sorry, Miranda). I also threw in a hot apple cider because I was all-in, fully-committed to this Fall afternoon. Go big or go home - am I right?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sorry The Government Shut Down, But Here's a Picture of a Plane

With many of you furloughed because of the government shut down, I figured I'd start to post my backlog of entries, so that you have something to read. I'm a good friend. Sorry you don't have a paycheck, but here are some pictures and words about things I did three weeks ago.

So, let's travel back - back to a time when you all got paid for your work and the Panda Cam at National Zoo was on and streaming. Ah, the good ol' days.

It was about three weeks ago when I received a text from my sister that read, "So, apparently Pete is pulling a plane."

I thought, "Is this some kind of expression I don't know? Like 'pulling a fast one'?"

Maybe it means he's taxiing the driveway and eating tiny bags of pretzels. Or, you see him standing outside the window but he tells you he can't do anything for another 3 hours so you should just go buy yourself a bag of Swedish Fish and an US Weekly and wait.

That seems like a very specific expression.

To the surprise of no one, I was wrong. It wasn't an expression. He was literally pulling a plane. Like, with a rope.

Don't worry, I was confused when I first heard too. Why would anyone do that? Don't planes have wheels and engines? Is this like when people voluntarily hand wash clothes even though their washing machine literally has a setting called "hand wash"? Maybe I'm just lazy. 

Turns out the Dulles Day Plane Pull is actually a very cool fundraiser for Special Olympics - a totally valid reason to pull a plane. I decided I needed to see this feat of strength for myself.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Summertime Part Deux

I did it! I told you there would be a part 2 and there is! 

(Pretend you're reading this three days ago on Labor Day. That's when I was supposed to post it.)

Here we are, Labor Day. We meet again. You, signifying the "unofficial" end of summer. Me, still sweating my face off in the "unofficial" summer heat. But before I know it, summer will be over. I'll once again be searching the sale rack for new fall boots because I'm too lazy to get my old pair re-heeled and my Starbucks order will change from a venti (you heard me) iced green tea unsweetened to a tall nonfat chai. I'll also eat any and all things pumpkin. I'll be spending every Sunday watching football and yelling at the TV with my best football trash talk - 50% of which will be accurate. 

So, as summer comes to a close, here's the second installment of my summer scrapbook. (In case you missed the first installment - which was quite mindblowing - you can see it here. If you're truly stalking my summer escapades, you can also find last year's edition here.) 

My New Ride

 A few weeks ago, when my parents were in town, we went to the car dealership to "check out my options" since my lease is up this month. Six hours later, we left....with a new car but not with our sanity. The lovely new Honda Fit pictured above is mine. Well, at least it's mine for the next 3 years. After that, who knows. If buying the sucker means I don't have to spend six hours in a car dealership ever again, then I may just have to do that. Fortunately, my dad was there to help me weigh my options and negotiate the price. Thank God for Dads, especially my dad who is unbelievably patient. At one point - around 9pm, when all I could think about was the dinner I hadn't yet eaten - the guy came back with a counter offer that was worse than the original offer and that's when I had to lean over to my dad and whisper, "I don't know what's going on. $215 is greater than $200, right? Isn't that math? Am I losing my mind?" After a few more rounds (of negotiating, not drinks. Man, I wish we'd had drinks), we got everything squared away, signed lots of papers and arrived back at my apartment shortly before midnight with a new ride. We celebrated by eating a delicious midnight meal of wine, cheese, and potato chips.

So far, the new car is great. It hasn't been hard to adjust to driving it other than the fact that the air conditioning control is located where the volume control used to be on my old car. So every time my favorite song comes on, I get an intense blast of cold air when I go to turn it up. I like to think it just makes me look like one of those girls in the music video with her hair blowing in the wind while she lip syncs to the song with a combination of both grace and swagger. Although, in my case, I'm grimacing because the cold air is hitting me right in the eyeball and I'm most likely singing the wrong words. But otherwise, we're totally the same. Plus, nothing says "pop music icon" like a leased hatchback with a solid safety rating. 

Charlie County Fair
Believe it or not, it's been one year since I first started bombarding you with posts and pictures of my - dare I say, genius - nephew. That's one year since the poignantly titled  post, "I'll Just Buy A Bunch of Nipples." And what a year it has been.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summertime in the City

Sorry guys, I was on sabbatical from the blog. I'm allowed to do that. It sounds more official than the real story: I got kind of lazy and, instead of updating you - my loving friends and family - on my life, I spent much of my normal blog-writing time doing important things like binge-watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix and trying out gluten-free beer. 

In truth, I've been quite busy, not lazy. I started a new job! Since I don't like to talk about work on this blog, I won't give specific details. However, I believe 95% of you are my family or my facebook friends so you already know the details. The other 5% are probably the people who Blogger informed me stumbled across this blog because you searched "Walking Map DC" or "Reba McEntyre Nipple." I'm not sure if I'm more bothered that you searched for information on Reba McEntyre's nipple or that your search led you here. Either way, I don't really want you to know where I work. Nor do I have any insights on that matter. 

And, to those of you looking for "walking maps," sorry I couldn't help you. But I hope you found the post about baby toupees just as practical and helpful. You can't unsee a baby in a toupee. Enjoy your walk. 

Now, where we? Ah yes, what I've been up to this summer. 

My second summer in D.C. has been a busy one. I don't know where to start so I'm going to mirror last year's end-of-summer post and present you with my Summer Scrapbook. Since it's only the end of July, let's call this "Part 1 of 2." Unless I go on "sabbatical" again, in which case, this will be "Part 1 of 1." Let's be honest, I'm nothing as a blogger if not inconsistent. And that you can consistently count on. 

A Davidson Wedding
As I mentioned in my last post, I have several weddings this year - five, be exact. Wedding #2 was a Davidson Wildcat-filled fiesta for one of my most favorite couples, Christie and Adam. In my mind, these two have been married for many years now but, I guess my judgment doesn't hold up in a court of law of a house of God so it was wonderful to be able to celebrate as they made it official. As you can see, a good time was had by all. This wedding was also a first for me because it was the first time I wielded a fully-functional sparkler for the send off - it lit on the first try, it sparkled 'til the end and I'm pretty sure it made all the difference. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Weddings and Parties on Farms

Yep, I know, it's been a few weeks. I've just been so busy hanging out with farmers. Seriously, I had no idea that I knew so many farmers. 

Hang on tight, this post is a two-for-one special.

Farm #1: First up is Liz and Declan's beautiful Memorial-weekend wedding at her family's farm, Hickory Nut Gap Farm. Not only did I get to visit a picturesque setting to see one of my most favorite couples get married, but I got to stay in my favorite town - Asheville, NC.

Liz and Declan's wedding was the perfect way to kick off wedding season, which for me lasts the rest of the year and includes five celebrations. It may just rival the legendary "Summer of Eight Weddings" a few years ago. 

In case I get behind and am not able to write about all of these sure-to-be splendid events, here are general statements that hold true for every single wedding I ever attend. Feel free to just rearrange the order and write your own post.... 

  • "It was so wonderful to get to see all my [friends/family] from [high school/college/life]. I wish I could see them more often but love that we can celebrate times like these together." 
  • "Normally I'm a red wine drinker but I drank white to avoid the "red wine teeth" in pictures. It's a gift I'm providing my friends in the future when they look back and don't have to see me with a purple mouth. Also, my grandkids won't think grandma was a lush."  
  • "I made everyone stop to take so many pictures which I then uploaded at 6am the next morning. People pretend like they're annoyed that you take pictures but they always love them later. It's a service I provide the people. I'm so giving."  
  • "I tried to sit on the aisle so I could see the bride because everyone is so tall that when they stand, all I see are backs. At my wedding, we're going to assign seating based on height because, if I'm going to buy a dress that's more than $50, then everyone sure as hell better see it. And also, you know, witness the moment of me walking down the aisle, love, marriage and stuff."  
  • "Although I teared up several times during the ceremony, I was able to hold it together until the father-daughter dance. That one gets me every single time." 
  • "I cried again during the toasts. Goodness, what's wrong with me. I blame the champagne." 
  • "I accidentally finished all my champagne before the toasts were over. Why are champagne glasses so much smaller than real glasses? I had to toast with water but the sentiment was still there." 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

As It Should Bee

This is a sports-related post which means I need to begin with this disclaimer: I actually know very little about sports. I know a fair amount about being a sports fan but am in no way qualified to comment on "the sports" in general. I'll probably use sports terminology incorrectly many many times in this post. You'll just have to forgive me. After all, you were disclaimed.

Disclaimer #2: I'm a Charlottean at heart so I write this from that perspective. Basically, while you're pretending I know how to write about sports, also pretend that I still live in Charlotte. Sorry, D.C.

You guys, I have to write this random Sunday afternoon post because I'm very excited. Actually, eight-year-old me is very excited. 

I guess you could say, I'm buzzzzzzzzing with delight. 

Rumor has it, my Charlotte Hornets are coming home. Can it be? The Hornets? Back at the hive?

My first introduction into the wonderful world of professional sports was in a magical place called the Charlotte Coliseum where the music was loud, the pizza was hot, and the Hornets....were...awesome.

The Charlotte Hornets.

I was three-foot-nothing and they were larger than life. I knew the players by name and when to yell DE-FENSE. And I was pretty sure that Larry Johnson's Grandmama was the funniest character that had ever been created in the history of the world, at least during my single-digit lifetime.

The Hornets were our team and we were their biggest fans. Charlotte was draped in teal and purple, there was a multi-story Charlotte Hornets mural on the side of the First Union building downtown/uptown (I don't even have time to get into the downtown vs. uptown debate), Hugo would visit schools and give high fives to kids with perfect attendance and every one had a favorite player. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

John Hodgman Loves My Mom

One day a few weeks ago, I was minding my own business, reading tweets and clicking on important BuzzFeed lists like "38 Dogs Who Suck At Hide-and-Seek" when I saw a tweet from comedian John Hodgman about an upcoming show in Alexandria, VA.

I'd never seen John Hodgman perform but I loved him on The Daily Show, as the poor PC guy in the Mac commercials and those times he did voice-over for the Emmy Awards and shared fake background factoids about celebrities as they walked to the stage.
I'm a Mac. I'm a PC. 

"Eric Stonestreet hails from Kansas, and reports that while growing up, he wanted to be a disc jockey, a Marine, a prison administrator and a clown. Apparently that is all one job in Kansas."

And, there was a time when he roasted President Obama for being a nerd.

Turned out Hodgman's show was the same night my mom was in town. While my mom is a loyal watcher of The Daily Show, I wasn't sure if the stand up routine was something she'd be into. I decided to go straight to the source. No, not my mom. John Hodgman. 

Yes, I was the only one who "favorited" this. 
Well, that settled it. Plus, now he was expecting us to be there. After some quick email correspondence with my mom and sister, we impulse-bought tickets.

The show was at the Birchmere Music Hall which none of us had been to before but we'd all heard good things.

Mom and I went early to get seats and order dinner while Melissa waited for Pete to get home to stay with Baby Charlie. I'm not a parent myself but it seems you can't leave an eight-month-old by himself, no matter how much of a genius he is. (Seriously guys, he knows how to pick up Cheerios now. It's amazing stuff.)

Right before we left, my mom, Melissa and I were all talking about the superiority of North Carolina barbecue so, of course when I saw barbecue on the menu, I had to get it. Barbecue, comedy...is this what heaven is like?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Twenty Eight

Well, it happened again. Another year has passed. I'm 100% officially and undeniably in my late twenties.

I was holding on to mid-twenties for as long as I could. But 28? Now, that's a solid round up to 30.

I exercised just ten minutes longer than I normally do the other day and almost died. 

DEAR GOD, IS THIS WHAT 28 FEELS LIKE? How old am I? Is this the rest of my life?!

But, I quickly realized, No, Lindsay. This is not 28. This is called "you ate Easter candy for breakfast and need to not be such a wimp."

Ah yes, moment of clarity. Now that's 28. I'm becoming wise in my old age.

The first smart decision I made as a 28-year-old was to celebrate this new year with all my favorites - good girlfriends, arts & crafts, sangria and an over-sized sombrero. 

We kicked off the evening at All Fired Up in Cleveland Park where, not only can you paint pottery, but you can bring your own wine and snacks. Wine and crafts? This was made for me. After much deliberation on what to paint - including several attempts to try to get someone in our group to paint the Wolverine bank - we loaded up our paint palettes, filled our glasses and got to work. 

Monday, April 15, 2013


Hi, it's a been a while. 
This is the only photo I was able to take.
High quality photography skills, obviously. 

I tried to draft a post about the hilariously amazing Aziz Ansari show my sister and I attended a couple weeks ago but it never quite came together. We weren't able to take pictures once the show started and I didn't want to be one of those annoying stand up comedy fans who just retells the jokes, thinking it's as amusing when, in fact, it is not. Why do people do that? This ain't no comedy karaoke, bro. 

So, I didn't have much to go on. 

I did have a anecdote about how, while looking in my sister's purse before the show, she and I learned she is a hoarder of small boxed hand soaps. That was going to be the highlight of the post. That is why I scrapped the idea. For your own sake.

And, while this current post is almost less coherent than a review of a comedy show that includes a hand soap tangent, I feel like I have to write something. Why? Because I'm just so excited. We waited, prayed, complained and waited again. And finally....FINALLY....it happened. 


Hallelujah. It seems like just a week or two ago it was 20 degrees outside.

Most likely because, it was. But, no more, my friends. 

I was originally going to welcome the season with a post all about the Cherry Blossom Festival - a quintessential sign of a DC Spring. Then I remembered that I can't actually go down to the Tidal Basin because I have severe allergic reactions to strong smells - smells like hundreds of beautifully blossomed trees. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013


DISCLAIMER: This post is real heavy on the videos. I went a bit YouTube-happy which may mean they don't show properly on a mobile device or the post will take forever to load. 

As I mentioned in that last post, it's been a very busy week. After shaking my boum boum at La Boum Brunch (I swear I'll never write that again) over the weekend, I ventured out on a Tuesday night (*gasp*) with friends Anna and Rachel to get our country fix in the form of a Gloriana concert at the 9:30 Club.

I have to admit, I only knew about three Gloriana songs at the time I bought my tickets, but I liked those three songs, tickets were cheap, and it had been a long time since I'd been to a concert. It was an impulse buy on a Sunday night last month but, by the time the concert rolled around, I was very excited. 

I binge-listened to Gloriana songs on Spotify all day Tuesday which gave a break to the Beyonce, JT, and Lumineers I had on heavy rotation. If nothing else, I wanted to be able to sway to the right beat and maybe even sing along every other word.

Anna, Rachel and I decided to meet at the 9:30 Club and grab a bite to eat beforehand. I, of course, was late because I have this condition called "Metro Disorientation" which means that, no matter what, I will always emerge from the underground Metro stop and walk the wrong direction. Always. After walking four blocks out of my way, I realized that I hadn't seen a single cowboy hat or pair of boots (aside from my own). Completely normal for this area, but not normal for the night of a country concert.There were no fellas in slightly-too-tight Levis in sight. Those are the tell-tale signs of a country concert.  If you aren't sure whether or not you are at a country concert, here's how you know:
  • Boots
  • Belt buckles
  • Cowboy hats
  • Woo girls
For some reason, I find the Woo Girls are plentiful at country concerts, more so than at any other genre (aside from boy bands, natch.) You know the Woo Girls. Either you saw the phenomenon explained on How I Met Your Mother (below) or you've encountered them yourself. We all have. At times, ladies, we've all probably been them. Then we realized how irritating they are and, hopefully, reined it in. 

I'm not sure why I always encounter them at country venues but I think it's because hats and boots are very woo-inducing accessories. You get excited - I get it. I went to my fair share of pop concerts when I was younger (Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, 98 Degrees....basically if 4-5 guys were on a stage dancing, I saw it) and you've never heard "woooooos" like that before. But, in those cases, the wooos are age-appropriate. I have no problem with squealing teenagers at a concert. My annoyance is when those woo girls grow up and enhance their woos with alcohol, meaning they woo but also bump into you and think it's adorably hilarious. Or worse, they woo throughout the concert in your ear. No good comes from a drunk woo girl. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

La Boum Brunch

This past weekend, my friends and I discovered the secrets to the perfect Bachelorette Party:
  • Start the champagne at 11am
  • Dance
  • Eat 
  • Dance
  • Dance
  • Stop the champagne at 5:30pm
  • Two rounds of Dominos delivery (because sometimes the first order just isn't enough)
  • Everyone to bed by 11pm
Our lovely bachelorette
But that's all I'm going to say about the Bachelorette party specifically because we all know, "What happens at a Bachelorette Party, stays at a Bachelorette party." If I wrote about everything, I'd have to change names to protect the innocent and then I'd have to keep up with a whole new set of names and it would just all get so very confusing for me. In truth, things didn't get too crazy - no one was arrested, no one got lost, no one was in an alcohol-induced coma and there were no strippers. Well, there was a bizarre burlesque bunny.....but I'll get to that. As I said, we were all in bed by 11pm. In fact, I even made it to church the next morning. 

(God, I know you probably don't give extra credit but, if you do, I would just like to call your attention to that last sentence....the one about going to church after a bachelorette weekend, not the sentence about the burlesque bunny. Ignore the sentence about the burlesque bunny.)

While I won't give you a play-by-play of the entire fun-filled weekend, I would be missing a huge opportunity on this blog - which is supposed to chronicle my DC adventures, after all - if I didn't highlight the 3.5 hour dance party we called brunch. 

This ain't your mama's scrambled-eggs-and-toast brunch. This is stand-on-your-chair-sparklers-in-the-champagne-tambourine-and-booty-shaking brunch. This is La Boum brunch. And it. is. ridiculous.

You show up to L'Enfant Cafe, a seemingly normal French restaurant, at 2pm and wait out front. (Or, if you're us, you show up too early and have to go to the bar next door to pound a pitcher of mimosas and an order of tater tots.) You have to have a reservation but you can't go in until they are ready for you. Meanwhile, people are sitting out on the patio, enjoying their French brunch and judging you, knowing you're about to go inside for La Boum. 

Then, you hear a tambourine. They are ready for you. The host opens the door and, tambourine-in-hand, shows you to your table. There's no turning back. 

At this point, my only thought was, "I have to get my hands on that tambourine. That tambourine will be mine."

We had a party of 10 and were seated at a long table along a front wall. The place isn't very large and seats perhaps 50 or so, including seats at the bar. A nice, cozy, intimate brunch. 

We ordered our food - a house salad and spinach souffle crepe for me - and enjoyed our free seasonal mezze plate and shots of kir. We also ordered three bottles of champagne for the table since this was a celebratory brunch.

After we finished our first course, the owner walked out with a microphone, highlighting the special occasions being celebrated - two bachelorette parties, a birthday, and - as he said - one girl celebrating not being pregnant (um, congrats?). That girl kind of kept to herself - lessons learned, I suppose. 

Then, it got real. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Big Dance

I love to dance. Usually by myself around my apartment when I'm supposed to be cleaning. That is, until I see myself in a mirror and realize my "in-my-head" dancing and my "real-life" dancing are severely incongruous. 

I swear I'm doing the same thing Beyonce does, why does it look so different? Am I having a seizure? Oh God, maybe I am. I should sit down. 

I also love dancing at weddings. I love it so much. Mostly because everyone else is either a) too drunk to care that you're a bad dancer b) so blissfully happy that they don't even notice or c) a just as bad - or dare I say, worse- dancer.

I probably look like this kid when I dance. It's awesome when you're 7. Not when you're 27.

This time of year, you know what my favorite place is for dancing? A basketball court. 

Say what? See what I did there? You thought this post was going to be about real dancing when, in fact, it's about metaphorical dancing. NCAA Dancing. The Big Dance. March Madness. 

Yes, my friends, Davidson is dancing. I am PUMPED. 

Sure there are other teams that are bigger, perhaps better, and have more money in their programs. But, let me remind you of a little moment in history known as the NCAA tournament of 2008. Perhaps you remember a gentleman by the name of Stephen Curry and an excellent team of Wildcats that defeated teams analysts said we shouldn't? I know Gonzaga does. And Georgetown does. Then there's Wisconsin. And Kansas certainly does. 

That year, people who had never heard of Davidson before became Wildcat fans, cheering for our guys - rooting for the Cinderella story. (Dancing and  princess references - basketball is awesome.)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy Anniversary, DC!

Dear Washington, DC,

Happy Anniversary!

Making the move.
Just one year ago today, I was trekking from apartment to apartment with my mom, searching for a place to live. The day before, we'd packed up my car and I made the one-way drive to you. I remember it was March 15 because it was a Thursday, two days before Saturday, March 17th. I remember that not because March 17th is St. Patrick's Day but because - if I'd still been in my old job - I'd have been working at a taping of The Bachelor - a taping of The Bachelor that included The Muppets. That's not the kind of thing you forget.

Yet, I wasn't there with Kermit and Chris Harrison; I was here with you instead. We were embarking on our own journey of love (ugh, *gag* I almost couldn't type that.).
Me and The Bachelor.
Just kidding. This was actually the beginning of my love affair
with sangria at Alero and the first night in my new 'hood.
Although I miss my family, friends and co-workers in Charlotte, I have to say, you've been pretty good to me, DC. It's been an exciting, confusing, fun and patriotic year, filled with great people, new experiences and the overuse of numerous navigation apps.

Since this blog was established to chronicle my move and experiences in our nation's capital, it seems only appropriate that we reflect back on our year together and commemorate this milestone.

(We should also celebrate that this blog survived a whole year. I have to be honest, I thought this thing would be kaput after three months, six months tops.)

DC, you've provided me with many memorable moments over the last year. Some of my favorites include that time...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What's in a Name? (Certainly NOT Snow)


Well, that was lame. 

I was all ready for a midweek winter wonderland. Being from Charlotte, I don't ever set my hopes too high when it comes to snow. Then again, I've never been promised 3-6" of snow. And then 4-8" of snow. And then 5-10" of snow. 

I've never been told my neighborhood would get "hammered" with the storm or that I would "definitely need a shovel." (Yeah, ok, I was never going to shovel anything.)

I was pumped. I know snow can be dangerous and a pain-in-the-ass as it cancels events and ruins commutes. But, we had enough warning ("IT'S COMING! BIGGEST MARCH STORM IN HISTORY!") that I figured everyone would be safe and we could enjoy the beauty of the snow.  

As I told a co-worker, I mostly just wanted to lay eyes on the snow. I didn't actually need to "interact" with it. (I was looking forward to having a reason to wear my snow boots because they are so cozy but I look ridiculous wearing them when it isn't snowing. Which I have done.)

Warnings...panic... excitement..and then, nothing. At least not for my neighborhood.  

It did snow for the majority of the day but we have nothing to show for it. This morning, they were big, beautiful, fluffy flakes. I ran to the window when I saw them. Then, I looked down at the ground - it was snowing hard, there had to be some accumulation already - and saw nothing but wet ground. Dirty, grassy wet ground. 

8 a.m.

A light dusting.

9 a.m.: 

Big snowflakes.
 "Why is the snow not piling up? They said there would be 5+" so it must be coming, right?" I did what any rational person would do and immediately took to Twitter, looking for evidence that the snow would start sticking. Again, I was given hope by photos and tweets from highly credible sources. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, and I have to put my snow boots back on the shelf in utter defeat. 

Still snowing.

(BuzzFeed described it best with this sadly accurate run-of-events.)

I don't entirely blame the weather forecasters and meteorologists. They are always the unfortunate scapegoats for jilted snow lovers. Could they have used less exclamation points in their tweets and blog posts? Sure. Could they have not led us on with their intoxicating colorful maps and sexy videos of snow plow preparations? Absolutely. 

But it isn't their fault.

Well, it's a little bit their fault. 

After all, they named the stupid thing.