Yay, for McNuggets!

Finally, on Friday, I got my fill of McDonald’s six-piece nuggets for a dollar. It’s part of a new promotion in D.C. and I think it’s great. Putting aside issues of nutrition and agribusiness, the dollar menu has done a lot for America. In particular, poor and homeless people, in addition to busy, working folks like me, are able to feed themselves quite well for only a few bucks. I think that’s great and I only hope that McDonalds will continue to enlarge its dollar menu to include more “healthy” options.


Destination: Mexico

One of my goals for 2007 is to save up enough money to have a
leisurely trip with Floyd to Texas and Mexico. So far, I don't have
much saved, but I figure that by my August departure date, I'll be
fully funded.

I haven't been to Mexico since I was a kid, and even then, I hung out
with my parents at some sort of resort hotel full of Americans that
didn't afford real cultural exchange. So for this trip, I am counting
on Floyd, my proud Mexican-American guide, to show me the "real"
Mexico, its people, cuisine, customs, and environs. Unfortunately, I
still haven't mastered the Spanish language…though I do know a few
curse words thanks to Floyd. But, I think the trip will be a great
experience and give me a taste of the international travel I crave.


My first time…at the DC Auto Show

Today, I attended a symposium hosted by the German Embassy on the future of automotive technology. Afterwards, I got the chance to check out the vehicle displays at the DC Auto Show.

Given my interest in environmental issues, I kept an eye out for the hybrids and other advanced technology vehicles on display. I saw the newly introduced Ford Edge Hydrogen PHEV concept, the Chevy Volt EV concept, the Ford Airstream Hydrogen PHEV concept (It’s a Scooby-Doo van look-alike with really cool seating! See the picture above), and a range of new hybrid and FFV models. It was a great experience and fitting given some of the anticipated topics of tonight’s State of the Union Address: biofuels, fuel economy, and hybrids.

Note: EV- electric vehicle; PHEV - plugin hybrid electric vehicle; FFV - flexible fuel vehicle


The first snow of the season

Yesterday, it snowed in D.C. It was only about 1 to 2 inches, but it was so nice to see the city covered in a pretty, white blanket. I hate the cold, but I love snow: the way it looks, the way it feels. If it were possible to have 80-degree weather and snow, I would be in heaven.


"Hello. My name is Hippo Q. and I read chick lit."

I didn’t start reading chick lit until I finished graduate school. Before then, I rarely had the free time or the will to sit and leisurely read a book that wasn’t related to my coursework. Since I graduated and moved to an apartment a mere 2 blocks from the public library, I’m a fairly avid chick lit reader. Of course, I read the classics as well, generally alternating between chick-lit and something along the lines of Dickens, Hardy or Austen to stay engaged. But I feel somewhat ashamed of my interest in such frivolous, and sometimes poorly written and predictable reading.

A few days ago, a coworker noted that chick-lit and romance novels are pretty much the same thing. I beg to differ...to a point. Chick-lit, to me, is a minor step up from the more romance/sex focus of romance novels. Most chick lit has romance and sex in the plot, but, unlike romance novels, they also include a more in-depth exploration of the female main character’s navigation of the professional, personal and social demands of being a “modern” 20- or 30- something in the city. And I can relate to that.

So for now, my bookshelf will continue to be stocked with an assortment of both the classics and chick lit like: The Nanny Diaries, The House of Mirth, Everyone Worth Knowing, A Tale of Two Cities, Bergdorf Blondes, and Bleak House. BTW, I'd recommend them all (yep, I read a lot in my free time).


Gym Blues No More

I got a letter in the mail yesterday notifying me that the gym I signed up for won't be open until March. I live near the gym so I knew that the place wouldn't be ready on January 16. Still, I was really looking forward to fulfilling my new year's resolution of fitness yesterday with a trip to my new gym.

Not to be undone, I convinced myself to battle the elements and walk the 10 yards across the courtyard to the gym in the other building of my complex. There I enjoyed an hour long session of cardio and weight training. I'm glad that I did maintain my promise of starting my workout on January 16, and I know that it will be great to walk in the new gym (whenever it finally opens…) and be closer to, not further from, my 2007 fitness goals.


Let the Dream live on - MLK Day 2007

As today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of remembrance and celebration, I figured that it was only right that today’s entry talked about the importance of his beliefs and contributions to America and the rest of the world.

It’s pretty amazing that it was only a few decades ago that life in America was so different. The population was segregated and our culture was separated. As an African American girl, I wouldn’t have had all the opportunities for advancement as I do now. I wouldn’t have had the freedom to eat, travel, work, live, or just sit wherever I wanted. Life would have been limited by the way I looked or didn’t look. Things are definitely different now and we have MLK and all the others who worked (and continue to work) so hard for equality, love, and acceptance to thank.

But things aren’t entirely perfect. People around the world continue to be routinely limited by their skin color, gender, religious background, socioeconomic status, disability, orientation, etc. It just isn’t fair.

And of course, there are those who take the sacrifices of prior generations all for granted. That’s truly unfortunate.

I am very thankful for all that MLK and my forefathers/mothers did during their lifetimes to ensure that I can have opportunities and dreams that aren’t limited by anything but my own determination.


Another Saturday Night Party

I had a really good time at a coworker’s belated birthday party last night. I enjoyed gossiping and bonding with my coworkers and meeting new people. Of course, my lips are sealed on the office gossip I heard, but some of it was juicy and quite amusing.

I’m looking forward to a sedate holiday tomorrow. I picked up a bunch of books and dvds from the library, so I should be set for in-house entertainment.

Of course, I’ll have a moment of silence tomorrow to remember all that Dr. King believed, did and taught us. I’ll also remember the time that I fainted while on a tour of MLK’s house in Atlanta. But that is a story for another day.


Wow...The Power of Blogging & Information

I just want to take the time to share this link, which refers to an earlier posting of mine.

Gosh, I had no idea that random folks were actually paying much attention to my blog let alone the insignificant details that my entries contain. I guess that's the information age for you.


How much green tea can one girl drink?

I don't want to get sick, but it seems that I'm on the verge of
officially having a cold. There have been several bugs going around
my office since the holidays, and I've struggled to ensure that my
body doesn't contract the latest virus to circulate.

Green tea is part of my second line of defense, after ensuring
regular, restful sleep, low stress, and a balanced diet. I read that
the antioxidants and other properties of green tea help one's body
ward-off sickness. So far, it seems to be working, as I haven't been
seriously sick (i.e., had more than a sniffle or minor sore throat)
since early November, which is when I first started regularly drinking
green tea.

I'm hoping that adding green tea to my diet will ensure that I have a
cold/flu-free winter and will be able to save my sick days for the
allergy season.


Thoughts on a Thursday

Oh, boy! Tomorrow is Friday, and I don't have to work MLK Day. I am so excited about the three-day weekend. I have a few things planned, but mainly I hope to just relax and read.

Friday, I have a movie night planned at my home (for me, myself and I-—yes, I’m a loner...). I plan to re-watch the Bridget Jones' Diary movies. I read the books during the holidays, and I look forward to catching any differences between the screenplay and the book.


Networking on the Hill

Last night, I attended a Hill reception hosted by a few green groupsto welcome the new members of Congress. I had a good time and it was a great opportunity to chat with folks from other organizations. In general, I avoided approaching the members in attendance as they were usually surrounded by folks and I didn't know exactly how to approach them. But, thanks to a new friend's encouragement I did get a chance to say hello and shake hands with Jim Moran (D-VA-8).

I think I did an okay job networking at the event. Networking is not my best skill, but it is something that I value and hope to do more of in order to increase my contacts within the community. My usual minimum goal when I attend such a function is to give out one card, forcing me to meet at least one new person per event. Sure, it's a bit nerve-wracking but it ensures that I feel a sense of accomplishment for my after-work time.


Get In Shape Girl!

Ahhh....I remember getting GISG for Christmas in the 1980s.

Well anyway, today I went to the gym for my free personal training
session. It was pretty neat. I learned about a few of the weight
machines that usually intimidate me and worked out for about an hour
on my arms, abs, and legs. I know that when I wake up tomorrow I
won't be able to move, but it was nice to get a guided jumpstart on
the new, fit, healthy me. I still have to wait a few more weeks for
my gym to open, and I'm getting anxious to resume my fitness routine
after a 1.5 year hiatus.


Oh dear, I joined MySpace last night...

I finally broke down and signed up at MySpace. While I was home my
friends noted that they had pages and talked about all the interesting
things they found out about our high school classmates through the

It was interesting reading about and seeing pictures of the people I
used to hang out with and sit next to in class. Some of them look
quite the same and have stayed in Georgia, while others have moved
away and found their true sexual orientation identity (guau, I never
suspected it of those two classmates!).

Anyway, last night I joined in on one of my generation's many
phenomena. But don't worry, I'm not going to start blogging on
MySpace and forget all about good old Blogger. My Space is just a way
for me to feel connected with some of my old pals from the class of

Happy New Year!

Well, I'm finally back to my normal routine in D.C. I had a great 1.5
weeks in Atlanta with my family and high school friends. It was so
nice to be home and sleep in my old bed, though I must say that there
more homes and less trees in Atlanta these days. I hope that the city
will start thinking more seriously about vertical growth and stop the
sprawl that is overtaking once-rural, wooded Northern Georgia.

I am really excited about the New Year. I have at least a dozen
resolutions for 2007, including regular exercise, career development,
and travel. I hope to accomplish all of my goals and ensure that this
year is successful and fulfilling. Wish me luck!