Soul Mates

I believe in soul mates, and I believe in kindred spirits. Despite my increasing cynicism and sense of jadedness, I can't help being a romantic at heart. Perhaps, I spend too much time reading silly romance novels and watching sappy movies. But I grew up, like so many others, singing along with Snow White: "Someday my prince will come, someday I'll find my love." No, I'm not an annoying Gen-Yer who thinks that she is a princess who deserves everything. But I do think that I am meant for a prince, i.e., a great guy who is my soul mate.

Yet, living and trying to find love in the city has gotten to me. So many guys in DC are just playing the field. All the others are either attached or not interested in me. Maybe my standards are too high and if I really looked around, I'd find lots of potential.

I know that I shouldn't be looking for a prince or a soul mate, as often the best partners for us are the ones that aren't traditionally our type or that don't seem to be the "One." Not until time passes and you fall in love, do you realize that that sweet guy you always discounted for a romantic relationship was really the one all along.

My coworker mentioned that she doesn't believe in soul mates and that she is looking for a best friend. Yes, I'm looking for a best friend but also something more. A partner in life, a lover, a father (to cute kids), and a devoted husband. I don't see why this is too much to ask, hope and wish for.

But I guess it is too much to expect from a guy that I just met. I remember Floyd reminding me that I wouldn't have much luck if I went out with the purpose of finding a husband. That scares guys away. Yet, I can't help immediately thinking when I meet a guy, "hmm…he could work for a Mr. Right Now, but his friend is the sort I could marry. Wait, did he say he was a teacher? Oh, I'd be a great teacher's wife!! We could home school our kids..." And there I go planning out my future with a guy I just met.

I think that the moment I stop looking (whether actively or unconsciously) is the moment that I'll actually connect with a guy that will turn out to be the one for me. I still have a few more years until I need to start panicking about my biological clock. So I should disregard the (perceived/real, society-/self-imposed?) pressure to finding someone and just enjoy my single life while I can.

If I truly believe that there is a soul mate out there for me, then I should also believe that eventually (perhaps tomorrow or when I'm 85), I'll meet him. Until then, I need to live fully and freely so that when (and if) my prince does come along, I'll be settled and ready to start a new chapter with him. And if I'm wrong and I never do meet him, I would have lived deliberately (and sucked out all the marrow of life).


Now, where's my check?

I finally got my rebate check, and Uncle Sam gave me the full amount! Unfortunately, it's already been spent so I won't be stimulating the economy anytime soon. Maybe I can convince my "big boss" to push forth a new stimulus again this year--just in time for another kickass trip to NYC.


Memorial Day Thoughts

I love men in uniform.

Last night, I went to an event attended by veterans. I guess my supervisor’s husband noticed me checking out the Marines because he asked, “Are you single? I know my wife likes men in uniform. How about you?” I didn’t respond other than to laugh and to keep laughing at my own good fortune. So many Marines, so little time. Ahh, if only we had gone to NYC during Fleet Week!

Let me say it again: I love men in uniform. Particularly military uniforms but I also like men in well-made suits and even cute police officers. I guess it’s the idea that they are disciplined, strong and able to protect me from harm.

I got to chat with one Marine last night. We started talking about music but the conversation soon turned to guns and war. He was only 20 and joined the Marines right out of high school to serve during the current conflict. He told me he’d rather die young out in the field serving his country than as an old man here at home. That is very valiant and brave but as I told him, I’d rather die as an old lady surrounded by all my grandkids and great-grandkids. I’m just as patriotic as the next person and I respect the service of the military. In fact, when I was young, I often thought about joining the Air Force or Navy because it seemed exciting and honorable. But no matter how much I respect the military and want to honor my country, I can’t see myself having a gun or being a part of killing someone else--even if from hundreds of miles away and for the “right” cause. I think it is wrong to end another life and no hypothetical or real situation can undermine that core belief. People say that war is a necessary evil but there just has to be another way... (Right now Lennon’s “Imagine” is looping in my head.)

It pisses me off that so many of my generation are perishing or becoming injured in the current conflict. These are our brothers and sisters, best friends and lovers, parents and role models that have sacrificed in the name of America. I honor them but I do not honor the leaders that started all this. I understand the perceived need to “defend the homeland” but I plead for another way. Another world in which people put aside their differences, greed, and selfish interest for the greater good. I believe in a peaceful world and I hope to figure out how to create that world. I want our military men and women to serve, but I want them to serve honorably in an time of infinite peace.

I love America but more than that, I love the Earth/creation/the cosmos. I want to defend America but more than that I want to defend the Earth/creation/the cosmos.

Gosh, I don't know where all that come from. Here's the bottomline: I hope that I'm around and healthy long enough to truly experience the world. And you better believe that I want to be around to admire and ogle many more young men in uniform. And perhaps one day, I'll snag one of my own.


Spring Fever & the Man-Fast

Well, it is spring again and I'm already feeling the effects of the warmer temperatures. It was only one year ago that I let my spring fever get the better of me. I think (and I hope) that I will have more self-control this year.

I don't know what exactly it is about the springtime that makes me particularly open to finding Mr. Right. I've learned that my idea of finding Mr. Right is finding husband and not just a random guy to hookup with or to date for a while. I want the real thing and I'm willing to wait for the real thing.

But these damn warm temperatures are making it hard for me to recognize the difference between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now. No, I haven't been tempted (yet) but looking around me, I recognize a few possible summer flings (that will only leave me more jaded that I already am). There is the guy at work, the friend of a friend, the CVS pharmacy tech, the guy on the metro, the Whole Foods helper, the generous bartender, the model in the CK ad…the list can go on.

I think that the only way to combat spring fever is stay at home and avert my eyes away from all the sweaty guys playing Ultimate and soccer. Perhaps, I should continue to cocoon myself in bulky coats and turtlenecks--even after the temperatures reach 90 degrees. Wearing cotton skirts and tops over freshly exfoliated and moisturized skin is just too much of a reminder that I am a woman. A single woman looking for a single man.

But don't get too excited, friends. My man-fast is still in effect. It will just take more willpower to fast now that I am confronted by so much lovely potential.


Hill Perks

There are a lot of perks associated with working on the Hill. This week alone, I've had free lunches, free desserts, and a free back massage. I also got to see a few celebrities (Christy Turlington Burns is so beautiful and unbelievably polished in real life!). Of course, walking around the lovely Capitol and attending events full of Members are also perks.

The perks compensate (though not fully) for the less than ideal pay that staff assistants like myself earn. So, I welcome the perks and freebies--as I did as a broke college student wanting to get my money's worth out of GWU .

The goodies and events also help breakup the monotony of the normal work day. For example, I was away from my desk for most of Tuesday because I was helping out with an event . The events also provide a great opportunity to meet new people and learn what else is happening on the Hill outside of your office's bubble. For example, I just found out that the LoC has a ballroom dance club and a great cafeteria with a view. I am so there!

Next week is Memorial Day recess and I am really excited that I can work normal work hours (9-5). I have a lot of stuff to catch-up on and I hope to take full advantage of the downtime.


NYC Foreva!

I had such a hard time waking up this morning. I didn't sleep much all weekend and I feel so sluggish and icky today. But it was worth it. It was totally worth it.

This weekend, I fell in love with New York all over again. The energy and diversity of the city is phenomenal. I've been to NYC a few times and on those occasions I did the normal touristy stuff. That's why I'm so happy that I got to experience the NYC beyond Manhattan's tourist traps. Here are a few of the highlights

The Farm on Adderly in Brooklyn
I ate the best French toast that I've ever had at this place. Honestly, it was immaculate and amazing. Everyone cleaned their plates.

InSpaWorld in Flushing
"I can't breathe," I told A-M when we entered the 190+ degree sauna. I tried probably 5 out of the 6 saunas at this megaplex. No, I didn't hang out in the same-sex "naked pool" because I haven't overcome my body issues. Maybe next time.

Iggy's on the Upper East Side
I finally got to sing Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" with A-M. That song has been in my head for a while. I got out some residual angst over last summers's foray. Although A-M's and my rendition did not rile-up the crowd like L-M's songs, it was fun. Mostly, it felt really cool to be on stage with all eyes on me (okay, so probably no more than a dozen.).

Other highlights were riding on the 6 (JLo!) and in the front seat of the cab for a trip to Queens. Wow, these cabbies (and all the other drivers) don't seem to understand the concept of lanes and speed limits. And everyone is horn happy.

As we were leaving, I couldn't help but wonder how soon I could visit again. As was noted, I now know folks to crash with in Brooklyn and should start planning my next trip. Perhaps, in June when L-M2 go up for a birthday celebration. But most likely, I'll be up during the heat of August recess to check out Central Park, the area around Prospect Park, Christopher Street, Spanish Harlem (supposedly the birthplace of salsa)...I could go on!

I heart NYC, and I just can't wait to return!


I heart Friday!

I found a bunny in my apartment complex's courtyard. It wasn't just a bunny, but a cute little baby bunny--probably the size of two fists. When I first saw the bunny in the shrubbery, I thought I was a rat, but looking more closely, I saw the cutest little nose and ears. It was perfect!

I ran inside to grab a bit of celery and carrots to put out for it. The bunny didn't move. It was frozen in place and afraid of me. But when I checked the area where I placed the veggies this morning and I could tell that the carrot had been nibbled, though the celery was untouched. How cute!!

I'm comtemplating kidnapping the bunny and taking him/her with me to Georgia. I know that there was at least one adult rabbit in our subdivision when I was in high school and it would be so cool to have more animals hanging out in our purposely overgrown backyard.

The Big Apple
I'm headed to NYC tonight to celebrate L-M's 30th birthday (and my own bday). L-M grew up in Brooklyn so I'll get to hang out with all her buddies and experience NYC with real New Yorkers. A-M is coming along and given that both L-M and A-M (and the rest of the crew) are crazy, this should be wickedly amazing and cool weekend.


Do I really need this Crackberry?

I've become one of "them." One of those annoying people carrying around a Blackberry. My Blackberry was activated yesterday and I found myself on the metro yesterday evening checking my email. I hate, hate, hate having a blackberry because it ties me to my job after the workday is over. I don't see why such a lowly staffer as myself needs one and I fear that I will end up checking my messages at inopportune times like so many other folks do.

For example, there have been so many times that I've been talking to someone and they pause to check their Blackberry. "Keep talking. I'm listening," they tell me. Yeah, right. It's so rude and I don't think that anyone is so important that they need to be connected 24/7 to their job. Same goes for cell phones. I always observe the right to keep my phone on silent or turned off. I don't want folks to have constant access to me and the ability to invade my free time.

So I have a Blackberry, but I refuse to become addicted. For now, it sits in my bag turned off--right next to my silenced cell phone.


Wanted: Language Exchange Partner

During my last Spanish language class, I realized that I need to practice my conversation skills. I repeatedly faltered in comprehending my teacher and in readily responding to his questions. I guess my weekly, informal Spanish phone calls with Floyd just aren't enough. My teacher recommended that we all practice with native speakers and even noted that getting an language exchange partner helped him learned English.

So that's what I'm gonna do. I've already talked to a few of my native and non-native Spanish speaking friends about setting up sessions over beer or coffee. But I don't feel ready to embarrass myself in front of them with my lack of vocabulary and comprehension. Sure, practice makes perfect and my friends will be understanding because they like me. But, I'm thinking of getting a stranger to be my partner and have a real language exchange--30 minutes for English and 30 minutes for Spanish.

Hopefully, it will help me become more comfortable with the language and be able to follow conversations given by people with different dialects and accents. Until then, I'll just be stuck watching the novellas and only half-understanding what is going on.


McDonald's: Free Food!

McDonalds is at it again. This Thursday, May 15, McDonald’s is offering free southern style chicken sandwiches/biscuits with the purchase of any medium or large drink. So you have a choice between a breakfast chicken biscuit or lunch/dinner chicken sandwich.

It’s obviously an attempt on the part of McD’s to compete with Chick-fil-a. It’s so odd that McD’s is doing this now as I remember them promoting the chicken biscuits/sandwiches back when I was a child. I guess Chick-fil-a is a larger chain now (and therefore a competitor with McD’s in places beyond the deep south) and folks are interested in branching away from red meat.

I know that McD’s can’t do it better than the originator. McD’s chicken biscuit is nothing like Chick-fil-a’s biscuit nor their sandwich. Chick-fil-a will remain the “special occasion” stop it was when I was a child.

But then, I’m not the type to shun free food. So, of course, I’ll be in line on Thursday for a free breakfast and a free dinner sandwich.


Get your choo-choo on

Tomorrow is National Train Day. According to the site,

On May 10, 1869, in Promontory Summit, Utah, the "golden spike" was driven into the final tie that joined 1,776 miles of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways, ceremonially creating the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. And America was transformed.

NTD will be celebrated this Saturday in DC, LA, Chicago and NYC. In D.C., National Train Day Spokesperson Al Roker will join the Amtrak CEO to celebrate "the way trains connect people and places." I’ve already addressed my love of trains on this blog before, so I guess there is no need to iterate. But the celebration at Union Station this Saturday sounds pretty cool--specially the historic train tour and the free concert with Sara Bareilles (Sara who?).


Happy Birthday To Me!

Indeed, it's going to be a good day. I spent the morning doing a few sun salutations to Depeche Mode, Billy Idol and Marvin Gaye. Yoga was cancelled last night so I'm not in a total Zen-like mindset today inspite of my mini-session this morning. But who could be when you spend your yoga session wriggling your hips along to Enjoy the Silence.

Even without yoga, I had a good evening last night. I went to the playground for a bit of personal reflection on the swingset. I also viewed my latest guilty pleasure CW shows, and I watched the Marvin Gaye documentary on PBS. It was so disturbing. I love Marvin Gaye and I am so sad that he couldn't overcome "his demons (e.g., the family dysfunction and drugs). It is so sad that such a creative genius died so soon and in such a way.

I don't feel older today but fulfilled. It has been crazy and amazing year and I can only hope that I can spend the rest of my life going through ups and downs with so many great friends

It is odd to pass my birthday at my new workplace. Everyone is very happy for me but it's not the same as celebrating your birthday at a workplace of friends. I miss the LB, especially on days like this. But no worries. I'll see most of them tonight for what should be a very good evening of strong drinks and tasty food.


Ode to Fruit Tarts and Firehook

As I lustfully bite into my fruit tart from Firehook, I want to acknowledge how amazing the desserts at Firehoook are. The cookies are sweet and monstrous (as big as a baby's face!). The muffins are moist and delicious. The fruit tarts...oh the fruit tarts...are amazing

To celebrate my 25th birthday at my last job, a coworker bought me a fruit tart from Firehook, and I fell in love. When I was in Paris, the cute little pastry shop near our hotel had amazing fruit tarts and croissants and every morning I stood in line for both.

I'm thinking of buying a tasty cake from Firehook for my birthday tomorrow. The only problem is keeping myself from ravaging it with my fellow coworkers before my birthday happy hour.

Firehook rules. So do midday desserts.

Apartment Searching, again

Uhh. I hate searching for housing in D.C. I've done it so many times before yet it doesn't seem to get any easier over time. I'm hoping to find a shared space on Capitol Hill, near the metro. My rent ceiling is pretty low so my options are rather slim. I'm thinking about branching out to the areas surrounding the RI and NY Avenues metro stations, but living near Eastern Market or Potomac Avenue would be ideal. My goal is to not only save money on rent and transit but also have the opportunity of living downtown again. I loved, loved, loved living in Foggy Bottom for those six years that I was in school. I could walk to work/class and have easy access to all the cool bars and cultural attractions. I don't want to live in Foggy Bottom anymore. Those GWU students can be annoying. So hopefully, I can find digs on the Hill.

False or incomplete advertising on Craigslist and in the City Paper are so annoying and the one reason that I hate apartment searching in the city. So many ads are untrue or leave out crucial information. For example, a few years ago, I had back and forth emails with a woman who needed a roommate to share her condo. The area was okay and the price was right. I arrived to check out the place and see if she and I were compatible. Well, what do you know. She has two cats. She never mentioned pets—as most ads do, and I was so pissed to have wasted my time trekking to her place. I am totally allergic to cats and dogs (though that never stopped me from volunteering at a cat shelter in high school---asthma inhaler in hand) so it would have been a nightmare for me to live in such a place.

My Helpful Hint to Housing Ad Posters: Details, detail, details!
Add as much information as possible. It will cut down on the number of pesty emails from folks like me who need more information. Housing seekers need to know about the housing set-up, neighborhood, local transit, roommate backgrounds (especially gender and age—I do not want to live with immature 22 year old guys). Plus, by putting all the necessary information in the ad, you'll avoid wasting your time with potential roommates who aren't okay with certain features/conditions of the housing (e.g., in my case, not wanting to deal with cats).


Sunday Ramblings

Things are really looking up these days. Perhaps, it's just the warmer weather and the constant singing of the birds in the courtyard (even at 2 am! Poor birdies!). But, I'm feeling very positive about the way things are going. We'll see how long it takes before the "newness" of my Hill job and routine wears off. But for now, all is well.

I hope to work a big Cinco de Mayo event tomorrow. I've been advised to volunteer for as many things as (outside of my normal duties) as possible to increase visibility and to be seen as a team player. I also plan on introducing (and reintroducing) myself to all the Big Wigs so that (eventually) they know who I am.

I went to lunch with a coworker on Friday and she filled me in on all the gossip and back story of my coworkers. I definitely will steer clear of any drama but I want to know exactly what sort of environment I'm stepping into.

One of my goals for this month is to join as many staff associations as possible. I need to meet more people--particularly women on the Hill. Floyd's friends are mainly guys and I feel odd relying on them to show me the ropes.

My birthday is in a few days. It's amazing that I'll be turning 27--only a few more years until the dreaded 3-0. I have no idea where the past year has gone. But it has been a good year. Not everything I did or that happened was marvelous but I can think of so many more good times than bad.