Archive | October 2019

The Hot Dame Summer Edition

So we are one month into fall and the leaves are steadily changing, I forgot that I planned to recap my Hot Girl* Summer (*more like grown woman with a 401K. So what is that? A Dame?). So I entered the summer, not in the best of moods. In fact, I truly wasn’t feeling anything. But I thought the best way to shake the blues was to actually overschedule myself. Did it work? Maybe.

First, I kicked off the summer – since most consider Memorial Day as the unofficial start – at Linganore for the Reggae Wine Festival. My husband had never been and I thought it would be an easy outing. It truly was and he had fun. We then attended Capital Jazz Festival, which had perfect weather. I repeat. Perfect weather. What did we do to earn such amazing weather – warm, breezy, adequately sunny? Well, the acts were ho hum. No one was really excited for any of the acts, even the headliners for the stages: Brian McKnight and Gregory Porter didn’t elicit any great fanfare. BTW, I adore Gregory Porter, so I don’t count.

Capital Jazz Festival logo

For some reason I couldn’t find my Cap Jazz photos

Hobbies

Another decision I made was to return to golf. I joined another league. They didn’t meet as much as I would have liked but they were way more pleasant than my previous group. I didn’t achieve my goal to improve my handicap, but I realized how much I liked playing, despite the fact I am nowhere near good. This is a revelation for me that I can have a hobby where I don’t excel and it’s okay.

I returned to my paint and sip classes, which soothe me so. I came up with the brilliant idea to create a gallery wall and strategically planned my color schemes to coordinate. I am really proud of the result.

Wall of paintings

My gallery wall. Isn’t it great?

Concerts

I booked a bunch of concerts at City Winery. I can say I see steady improvement. Initially the service was slow and easily confused. I once received three glasses of the same wine from three different servers who didn’t notice they all gave me the same thing but were cognizant enough to charge me for all three. Who did I see? Yahzarah (fun). Christian Scott (late and too chatty). Tortured Soul (so cool). Van Hunt. Omar. In addition, we made it to see Lizzo for only $25. That was the bargain of the year. We traveled up to Baltimore to attend the Nas| MJB concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of their classic albums. We were so overdressed for the evening that we looked like we should be on stage too. Such a true culture clash.

My hubby turned 40 and I was kind enough to throw him a party. Hold your applause. Plus he wanted a birthday trip (see in a bit). He tapped me out. Luckily the DC / Baltimore area is great for something free to do. We wore these out in August and September. First we journeyed to Afram with the main headliner as Rick Rozay or Rick Ross (did he pay for this name yet?). Plus all of Puffy’s kids performed a bunch of mediocre songs. The Fort Dupont Summer Concert season was great this year. We went to see Deborah Bond and Raheem DeVaughan. We also saw Stokely and someone else I am not googling. Both shows were amazing and free.99. I hope they keep the same booking agent next year. We saw the really cool REACH festival at the new venue at the Kennedy Center. While I didn’t make it in to see Robert Glasper, I did spend a great day at the Hip Hop day which ended with a free performance by DeLaSoul. I also was treated to a Don’t Mute DC concert with Backyard Band at my favorite place in DC: National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Picture of Lizzo

Lizzo for $25

Randomness

I also did some typical and out of the box activities. We visited the highly popular but oh so nice new Top Golf. My hubby is terrible at golf. He would not like me to point this out. I went to an HBCU kickball tournament. Sure. It’s a thing. A really silly, fun thing.  I made a pilgrimage to a winery out in VA. You have to do at least one winery day a summer. I  went to northern Virginia more this summer than I have since I stopped working there in 2014. We attended so many of these planned activities that have become the norm over the years: A rose festival. An all you can eat Oyster festival (umm…turns out I do have a limit). The Beer, Wine and Crab festival. There is an entire industry now cultivating events for people who want to leave the house with predefined fun. This doesn’t feel like it was a thing 10 years ago. I attend a game of the WNBA champion Mystics. I always forget how much fun their games are and think: I should go more, then do not. I will fix this next year. Finally, we went to a 70’s themed birthday party. Without irony, I found my costume with ease at a major retailer selling the jumpsuit as an actual outfit they thought people should wear.

Shalina and Omar in 70's gear

70’s costumes

Chicago

As I mentioned earlier, my hubby wanted to visit Chicago for his birthday. I have been in more than 10 years and he hadn’t been since high school. What a great city to visit. We ate so much. Visited the largest rooftop bar in the world. Took a river cruise. Threw axes. Went to a beach party.

Picture of a Chicago skyscraper.

Chicago Architecture River Tour

Conclusion

And by 23 September, summer concludes and it’s all over. It wasn’t bad. Thanks Megan.  To quote my hubby, “it is time to sit your butt down.”