Tag Archive | dc

The Resolution Edition

Happy New YearSo three weeks into 2014 and I don’t have much to report. No concerts, plays or other interesting outings to report. I actually spend the first week of the year participating in a few intimate in-home gatherings, that’s not worth writing about. So what are my hopes for this year? Usually new beginnings beg for new resolutions. This year I decided to focus on strictly tactical resolutions as to not look back and see failure.

That means no:

  • Lose winter weight and stop gaining winter weight (though I still need to lose weight)
  • Find the perfect job within 20 minutes of my house (why lawd why must I commute so far)
  • Meet the love of my life
  • Stop spending so much money on frivolity (every year I think I will be some fabulous saver until Macy’s has its winter clearance (I got five sweaters for $12 each!)
  • Change other people’s behaviors (yes, this has been a resolution of mine in the past, SMH)

On to the practical and seemingly achievable:

  • Make it into the parking garage at work—this has been remarkably difficult, because 1) I am not a natural early riser 2) I have a long 45 – 60 minute commute 3) the garage is full by 8 a.m. This means I need to get dressed quicker, wake up earlier and stop messing around in the morning. It’s a highly complex resolution. That is why I have only been successful 2 out of 3 days so far. This also meant I was stuck in the muddy, crater-filled overflow lot, which is not a joyous place. I can do it!
  • Take better care of my hair—I have been taking terrible care of my beautiful hair lately. This means clockwork washing (under the dryer now), regular trims and ultimately, going to the …ugh….salon!
  • Put up my laundry—I have a serious problem.  I do laundry and sometimes forget it in the dryer for a week (when it’s time to do more laundry). Or sometimes it sits in a little pile for days. I now must return my laundry to its home within 24- 36 hours. My coworker actually gave me a wonderful suggestion to include important clothes (workout gear, underwear, socks) with every load, so that I remember to remove the clothes.
  • Read more—my two books a month slipped to 1 book a quarter. I blame social media and candy crush. Before when I was bored, I would download a book to my Kindle and now I do the aforementioned things. Bad. All bad.
  • Release some tension—one remarkable thing I notice in yoga. I am tight. Really tight. Like I went for massages last year tight. I gotta de-stress somehow and loosen up.
  • Make me first – I do not do this at all. And I feel bad about it. And others make me feel bad about it. I am a born caretaker. I am a wonderful addition to the lives of basketcases. Have some weird neuroses, befriend me. I will get you on track, assist you and in return, I get nada. Well this ends. I will be totally selfish this year to see how it goes.

Those are my simple resolutions. Wish me luck!

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The Reflections on Dating Past Edition

So earlier this week, the Washington Post ran The Cloture Club’s article on the 10 DC Guys We’ve All Dated. I was so excited as a chronic singleton I thought it would be good for a laugh. And it was not. I did recognize some of the “Guys” from men I worked with but honestly never dated any of them. I think the list was missing a little color. So The Root came out with its list of the 10 Guys Black Women Have Dated. It was cute and more familiar but  I came with my own mental list after reading the article that I just needed to share.

Here’s something I discovered over the years, I have a defective girl dating gene. I just can’t date properly. It annoys most of those around me who want me to find a husband already. But I don’t think I know how. My coffee dates seem to turn into Saturday Night Live sketches and the only thing that happens is a sad story to make marrieds and long termers feel better about their romantic lives. When I was younger, I was sold the fallacy that I was “picky.” People often ascribe this problem to the chronically single and feel like you are somehow limiting your choices. So I decided to date a lot more, taking “The Year of Yes” as my model. In the book, the author said yes to every date proposal except homeless people and the visibly mentally ill. I didn’t go that far but I gave it a try. What that yielded was a serious of God-awful dates make me never want to date again. So, here I sit from the sidelines watching others happily (this all seems so mysterious to me) couple. And here without further ado is my list of A  Dozen DC Brothas We’ve All Dated

***This only applies to those that do date. Not those that go on the aforementioned coffee date the year they move here and voila are married for 10 years.

Southern Transplant

Cloture Club had a similar gentlemen from the melanin-challenged perspective. However, our brotha usually went to a HBCU, is very religious and knows only a few people. He is kind, charming and ridiculously polite while a tad boring. He complains all the time about living here, the price of everything and the traffic. Your first date is probably in a nice restaurant in the deep suburbs such as Manassas, Ashburn or Woodbridge. He tells you all the time how “interesting you are.” However, complains that you go out too much. “You are going out with your friends on Friday? Didn’t you go out with them last Friday?” Ultimately, he judges that you are too “wild” for him for having Sunday brunch plans and going to Happy Hour on Friday. Don’t be surprised if six months after you break up, he marries his high school/college sweetheart and moves back home.

Displaced New Yorker

He’s really cool. He constantly tells you that he is from New York. He puts down DC as “country.” Don’t be surprised if he quotes rap lyrics in casual conversation. He absolutely loves debating for hours about random facts or trivia. Even though you are right that Marla Gibbs was on The Jeffersons and not Good Times, he continues to discuss it for a solid hour as he gets excited and you get annoyed. For your first date he probably picks you up in his SUV while loud hip hop plays, taking you too a really nice restaurant in Georgetown though he is wearing shorts and sneakers. These relationships work best if you yourself are a Southern Transplant because it works something like the Jay Z / Beyonce pairing.

Military Dude

He is really dependable, protective and smart. He occasionally has anger issues about some things that shouldn’t faze him. You counterbalance this by being extra sweet. He will shovel your snow, wash your car and fix a leaky toilet. Your first date is usually coffee so he can scope you out and then if he likes you, some hiking, biking or other outdoorsy nonsense that you may or may not like. He doesn’t like you to drink (empty calories) and if you make it there, the sex is awesome. However, you always feel inadequate because he does so much: work, exercise, take care of his friends/family and you like sitting on the couch watching HGTV. This relationship is tricky as you can quickly lose yourself in his life and cannot figure out if you want to or not.

International Lover Part I

He is usually from West Africa and came to school here in the U.S. He is usually extremely smart, capable and funny. Your first date is usually a chain restaurant in the suburbs that he absolutely loves which perplexes you. His friends and family must meet your quickly in the relationship and you could be blindsided on date two with an impromptu meeting. Said friends and family also have first right of refusal on his schedule, so he often cancels dates if they want to do something instead. This grates on your nerves, but he doesn’t see the issue. If you like to keep things casual for months than this relationship could work. Otherwise, it will not.

International Lover Part II

This brotha hails from the Caribbean. He is sweet, charming and always willing to help you out of your clothes. Your first date is usually some hole in the wall for authentic (fill in the blank) food and drinks, then grinding at a tiny club the size of your bathroom. You can’t tell why you like him but you do. Then he requests that you call him regularly to check in. At first it’s endearing but then you realize that you have an important job to do and don’t want to be that “girl” always on the phone with her man. He makes plans for you without your knowledge. “What do you mean we are going to Ocean City for the weekend?” And again if you make it there, the sex is incredible. However you start to feel smothered and can’t breathe. You eventually break up and he takes it coolly but continues to call you constantly. You then change your number but run into him in moment of weakness and give him your new number. This continues for years unless you marry somebody else. This could also continue if he marries someone else, so be careful not to get your tires slashed.

Baller

This brotha is awesome. You and he both know it. He is moneyed, legitimately connected and usually comes from one of those Our Kind of People families, athletics or somehow lucked upon the secret formula for wealth. He has houses in various parts of the country, Caribbean; knows famous people and is never in town for more than four days in a row. He usually lets you pick the first date as a test of your taste level. Then buys out the menu for one of those elusive $200+ dates Twitter debates. Subsequent dates include car services, parties with people from the White House administration or box seats at sporting events. You realize quickly that your wardrobe isn’t ready for this relationship but try to fake it the best way you can. His family is okay with your presence but hasn’t totally warmed up to you. You finally discover that there is another miss taking his time and you seriously consider if you should break up and leave the perks behind. You do, but don’t really like it.

Frat Bruh

There comes a time in every DC sista’s life when they meet the fraternity  member. This brotha loves his fraternity. Your first date is probably some happy hour after work. He always asks if you are a member of a sorority, if you are he rattles off a dozen sorors you should know and if you aren’t he wonders why not. If you make it, get lots of rest, as you will have picnics, cabarets, charity events, day parties and comedy shows to attend. You will be exhausted. There will be some knucklehead frat that you will hate but have to see all the time. You will never get a moment alone as most fraternities guys are natural extroverts. So if you are a fellow extrovert, you may thrive but too much and steer the focus away from him. It’s a really fine line.

Entrepreneur

This brotha has decided to become rich by 40 or 50 depending on his age. He read somewhere that the best way to become rich is to own a bunch of businesses (that’s how Bill Gates and Steve Jobs got their starts right? No, umm…okay). So he normally has a 9 to 5 or 10 – 6, then does wedding photography on the weekends, flips houses, sells bootleg Louis Vuitton purses, does web design and landscapes on Sundays. You usually met him at one of his gigs though you didn’t realize he was working or online. You chat for hours but rarely sees each other. Your schedule must somehow align with the 3 -4 waking hours that he is free a week or you must (horror of horrors) allow him to kick it at your house at like 11 p.m. when everything is done. If you don’t, your first date is a meeting at one of his jobs, like a hotel lobby to a quick drink. You chat for months but nothing ever comes of it. He quickly becomes your “guy” friend that you use for advice on other guys.

Connector

This brotha is in DC to become the next Barack or Eric or Cory. You usually meet him at a function as he loves functions. He vaguely knows everyone, whether or not they remember him is the question: bouncers, bartenders, bell hops. He belongs to a charity but doesn’t do any work such as Urban League, NAACP, 100 Concerned Men. In the summer, he attends Essence, BFF and other events in Martha’s Vineyard, Atlanta, etc. In fall, he is consumed with CBC and Howard’s Homecoming. Your first date is drinks at Park. Always Park, then you can move to other hotspots as you are deemed worthy. He is always stopping to chat with someone when you’re out but you are never introduced. You feel like a prop and soon grow bored. You eventually part ways but you see him occasionally at events where he doesn’t acknowledge you while intensely chatting someone up.

Native

Every once in a while, you attempt to date a Native. Not many outsiders in DC has successfully dated Natives. Your first date is usually some long term DC institution, such as the waterfront for crabs. You sort of connect though he often refers to you a “college girl” though it annoys you. He seems knowledgeable until you realize that he knows nothing about Washington things such as the museums or historic landmarks and calls them “tourist traps.” You are never really allowed to visits the suburbs even if that new spot in Bethesda is right by the metro. DC Natives are a rare breed and hard to decipher. He truly believes in the ratio thing and constantly reminds you that there are more women that he could be dating. You break up and vow to never date a DC brotha again.

Mr. Ivy League

He is smart, cultured and reads! He reads! He is very clean cut and usually has a post-graduate degree i.e. law, MBA, doctorate. Your first date is usually at Best 100 list restaurant. Then he drops a bomb on you: he has never really dated a Black woman, but you seem nice. He makes attempts to seem down but stays surprised that you don’t act like a woman on Love and Hip Hop. You ignore these things because he reads! However, he has a tendency to ask you about “Black” things and is trying to figure out what you are attempting to do with your hair. Eventually you break up. However, all isn’t lost. You continue to keep contact and he eventually marries a Black female version of him. You served as a great entry that Black women aren’t crazy.

Professional Student

You usually meet this brotha as he waits on you at a restaurant or sits next to you at a sporting event. He is fun, funny and engaging. You decide to date him because he is in D.C. to take advantage of the great universities in the area and not really a waiter. Your first date is usually a visit to the museum or an outdoor free music festival, then on to a nice restaurant with afternoon specials. You like him a lot but you wonder when he will make actual money and take you on a real date. You always hang out at your apartment as he has at least two roommates and two girlfriends to accompany those roommates. You think you can hold on for the Barack and Michele fantasy until the day that he mentions it would be fun to get a dual medical and law degree, then you bail. You hold out hope that he will graduate, get a great gig and come back to find you.

The Shake Off the Blues Edition

Last week was not a banner week. In fact, it was a terrible week. It was the kind of week that reminded me of why I started this blog in the first place. Somehow along the way, my job became not fun. There is no shame or anger in that; it is a grown-up job in a cubicle-land with pleasant coworkers. However, I needed outside interests that inspired me, gave me something to look forward to. Outings, friends, music always soothed me. That would need to continue in order to survive everyday life. So what did I do last week? Lots. Some fun, some necessary.

alice_smithFirst, I went to see Alice Smith on Thursday. People love her and I was oblivious, but the tickets were $25, so why not. I loved her too. I heard her new album “She” free on OkayPlayer. I will admit I am so glad that album previews are back. This is wonderful as I can hear and judge without payment. Yay! I liked the album (it will always be that to me) and was ready for the show. Boy, was that show late. On a weekday. Luckily, I was off on the following Friday. I dread opening acts now and another great thing: there wasn’t one. I had to google Ms. Smith, sorry for not being a devoted fan, to be prepared for banter or whatnot. There was no banter. I liked that the audience was very multi-cultural. It’s a weird statement. But I have a strong preference for soul music and the occasional hip hop. Therefore, my concert experiences are pretty homogeneous. 9:30 usually brings the multi-cultural and I found good parking. Viva la weekday shows! It was great. I adore Alice’s voice. It’s really a bluesy-rock voice that actually reminds me of Ann Wilson (Heart). I admire distinctive voices that are easy to recognize. She’s definitively on my list of those I plan to follow closely.

8-GO-GO-PosterFriday was spent getting one of two of my broken computers fixed (therefore, no post). After beautiful weather all week, Saturday had a bit of a chill, still sunny. I decided wrong-headedly to drive into the city for the free Corcoran day. This was terrible because everyone decided to drive into the city. It took more than an hour to get to the National Mall area. This may or may not be due to something called cherry blossoms. The cherry blossoms were a little anemic on Saturday. I understand full bloom was Tuesday. I admit that I am one of those cheesy people that loves cherry blossoms, but there weren’t many to see. Then onto the Corcoran to see the Pump Me Up exhibit. I have another confession. I don’t believe that D.C. is a great indigenous music town. There are some good local acts but would I call the music subculture vibrant, no. My friend who has lived in DC since the 1980’s didn’t like that viewpoint, but oh well. It was interesting seeing what DC was like then, as DC in the 80’s, except for 227, seemed like a scary place. Of course I grew up in the metro Detroit area, so I can say this without judgment. The exhibit felt cold and detached as if the curator thought of DC as some faraway thing and not a place s/he loved. I really thought the exhibit could benefit from some multi-media. It was the 1980’s, not the 1880’s. How about some music, videos, documentaries? I didn’t feel that DC was too different from the movies I saw about the East Coast in the 80’s save Go-Go. Punk is punk, hip hop is hip hop.

drink the distictFinally, after a lot of walking, I decided to walk around some more gathering wine samples. I went to Drink the District. I wish it was warmer. I purchased the evening ticket from Living Social because I knew there were things I wanted to accomplish that afternoon, but the sun went down and the wind by the water kicked up. So it was cold. As an aside, in the early 2000’s I worked at the Navy Yard. The changes that have been made to that area are remarkable. When I worked in the area, there was a working crack house on the corner and now there is a Gordon Biersch. If only a sushi restaurant, a Potbelly, a trapeze school and other cool amenities were there when I was saddled into that spot. Back to the wine tasting, I didn’t like many of the wines, which is really rare. I decided that I really like Naked Grape products and some Moscato wines, because Moscato wines are tasty, which is why it is a dessert wine. I loved the concept and hope they do another one when it’s warmer.

My Sunday was spent running errands, being locked out of yoga and getting computer #2 fixed before settling into the return of Mad Men. Then back to the weekday grind.

The Discount Edition

Last weekend was a burn off weekend. We decided to burn off all of those pesky discount deals we purchased that quickly became annoyance. I already have wasted two in the last year as the parameters are strict and finding other discountpeople to help with these twofer deals is quite difficult without a stable plus one. I’m convinced these things are for the long-term marrieds who can force each other to do anything. I love deals as I have mentioned in the past and cannot seem to pass up anything that seems truly awesome.  I am a discount site retailer’s dream client.

First the most difficult: a two tickets to West End Cinema for $10 voucher. This was problematic for several reasons. One, it is an independent movie theater. Lately, there have been no movies that I would even consider seeing. Two, it is tiny. I discovered some don’t like the tiny. That means getting to the theater early. Three, people buy tickets online. With a voucher, I cannot. This means unless I get there super early, the movie I want could sell out. I actually attempted to use this voucher previously without success because we got there late and the movie was sold out. This time I was nervous. We were running so late that I didn’t stop by the ATM en route. (Sorry, cabbie I couldn’t tip).  We made it into Life of Pi, barely. There were only two seats left together, in the front. Not ideal, but still together. Later groups came in and didn’t have the chance to sit together, so we had perfect terrible timing. Life of Pi was lovely. I adore Irrfan Khan, so I was quite pleased with the film.

Then we cabbed it over to Mova Lounge (sorry again cabbie). We had a martini tasting for two voucher for $17. This was however expired but it gave us $17 off our purchase. We purchased two very inventive martinis a piece. The venue was lovely and empty. Despite the emptiness, there are only about 4 non-VIP chairs, so I couldn’t sit in the pretty yet sparsely populated venue. I really wanted to sit, because I was getting over a cold and easily winded. We weren’t sure if the venue became hopping after midnight or on other days of the week, but it was awfully apparent why they were offering vouchers to entice visitors. The coolest feature of the space was the showing of videos to coincide with the music playing. I actually have no idea what videos for songs look like outside of VH1 Soul’s rotation. I appreciated seeing videos for popular dance hits outside of my nemesis, Ke$ha.

On Sunday, I used my free.99 voucher for two tickets to the Travel and Adventure show. Sunday was perfect because there was track work on the metro and I was able to find rather close parking in the neighborhood, which is allowed on Sundays. The show could have been better in my opinion. However, I am biased because I find the Washington Convention Center, despite its relative newness, rather ugly. This is my professional opinion as a marketer who has attended many tradeshows in many cities. I gathered good information about potential trips and got an opportunity to see an adorable penguin courtesy of the Orlando Sea World. I hoped for some instant deals aha moments for vacations, but didn’t find anything that I must do, just some nice to haves. I then spent a wonderful Sunday in DC having brunch, going to yoga and visiting my favorite bartender. Unfortunately, I was forced to pay full price those activities.