My First Campaign

After major annoyance at DCA, I'm now at BWI awaiting my flight down south. Despite repeated attempts at getting an official assignment from the DCCC, I showed some initiative and secured an opportunity on my own.

I am so excited about getting campaign experience. Even before I started on the Hill, countless people recommended that I join a campaign for the resume building experience and also to make important professional connections. I opted out of Obama work in VA, which might have made more sense and given me a greater chance of working within his administration. But I feel that I made the right choice, and I know I will learn something new during the upcoming week.

If I don't get a chance to post much next week, I encourage my readers to get involved in the local, state and/or national campaign efforts (DC folks: there are important GOTV needs in VA for Obama and the senate and congressional races). There is just too much at stake this year. And of course, everyone should vote.

Finally, don't forget the high heel races this Tuesday in Dupont! I'm very sad that I will miss this year's event, but duty calls.


Love at the Club: Maybe it does happen

A month ago, I went to The Park with a coworker, Lacy. As I wrote in my blog, she found a "new boy toy." That new boy toy is now her boyfriend, and he is quality. What's up with that?

The old mantra is that you can't find a good man at the bar/club. My friends know the sort of "quality" I found in the bar last summer. And, all my friends have stories about the horrible guys they've met at the bar/club.

On a typical night out in Adam's Morgan, you tend to find three types of guys: single guys (A), unfaithful, attached guys (B), and faithful, attached guys (C). Guy C is aiming to get drunk and spend the night puking in the street. Guys A and B are aiming to get drunk and screw whatever relatively cute girl will have them. Given that that is what I encounter most often in Adam's Morgan (and many of the other bars I frequent in DC), it's no wonder that my expectations of finding Mr. Right in a club/bar are so low.

This is why I was worried for Lacy. Each day, she would tell me about their progress and their plans for the week. They seemed to be moving so fast. I was happy for her, but skeptical—and waiting for the big reveal.

Lacy and her man just celebrated their one month anniversary, and there is so much potential for their relationship. He is a quality guy and they have great chemistry.

So maybe I should reevaluate my viewpoint. Maybe, there are gems among all the duds at the bar/club. I guess that as a single girl, I should never automatically discount guys that I encounter in specific situations. You just never know.


Crashing a Speed Dating Event (sorta)

Over the weekend, despite the spending freeze I enacted in order to save cash for big my campaign trip down south, I headed out to Chi-Cha Lounge with some friends.

They had just thought of the best plan for meeting singles in DC, at least that's what I thought. The plan was to head to bars hosting speed dating events and just hang around after the event ends. The idea was that there would be a greater percentage than normal of guys who would be available, interested, and open to meeting someone for the long-term. I thought it was most brilliant plan ever, so when I got the call, I put aside my budget woes and donned my favorite heels for the night out.

I had a great time. My friends and I did spot a handful of cute guys that we tracked all night. Unfortunately, that is as far as it went. I would stare check out a guy repeatedly from across the room and when he would look my way and smile, I'd bashfully turn away or look down. It was so silly. Here was the perfect opportunity to practice my game, and I was cowering. I guess it's because of Floyd and the fact that I'm just not the sort of girl who has the ability to attract quality guys in a crowded bar—or anywhere for that matter. I just get so unreasonably shy. More liquor would have helped, but the girls and I weren't looking for a crazy night, just an excuse to get out our homes for a while.

For the record, the plan didn't really work. The folks leaving Chi Cha's side room, where the Speed Dating event had occurred earlier in the night, seemed older and quite ready to leave. Maybe an event earlier in the day would have been better because those speed dating events are quite draining.

So that's it. I was tucked into my bed by midnight--after over 3 hours of attempting to work the room. I'm glad I went out but I was even happier to be at home and in bed.


Don't take my tree!!

Of course, I am flattered that the fine folks at the WaPost Express decided to give a shout out to my blog in Thursday's Blog Log. It was awesome to see my words in print, and I know that myblog counter received a much needed, though short-lived, boost.

But hold on, all you lovesick DCites. Be warned that I've now publicly staked a claim on that tree. I would hate to visit my favorite perch this weekend only to find it damaged by love etchings and littered with pieces of Whole Foods wrappers. There are so many other special places in D.C. to choose from. Find your own. Just stay away.


Where to propose (to Hippo Q.)

I decided to take a walk along the National Mall yesterday after work. The sun was setting and the air was still quite warm. I didn’t make it all the way to the Lincoln Memorial but I did take in the view from the Washington Monument.

I haven’t been on the Mall in awhile, though it was my favorite weekend destination throughout college. I miss my picnics and poetry sessions, and the lazy days I spent watching the cute guys play soccer, rugby, or ultimate. Walking around yesterday reminded me of one of my favorite places on the Mall. That old, bent oak tree near the monument. This picture does not, cannot, do it justice--as the tree is truly beautiful and perfect for a pit stop or a picnic.

I decided yesterday that if I’m still in D.C. during the next five to ten years and during that time I find a guy that is to be my husband, I want to be proposed to on that spot. On a warm, fall day while the sun is setting so that everything seems to be alive and on fire, with amazing shades of red, orange, and yellow emanating from the sky. A day like yesterday.

They say that the wedding is for the bride and the proposal is for the groom. But I've decided that I want a say in both. Anyone who really knows me knows how much I love the Mall, picnicking and being outside. Anyone who truly loves me would give me such a picnic-proposal.

So there, I’ve put it out there, into the cosmos and onto the web. That’s what I want, and I ask my dear, sweet [insert name of future fiancĂ©] to give that to me.


Capitol Dome Tour

I recently took a Capitol Dome Tour. My supervisor spent forever trying to organize the outing but it was so worth the wait. It was an amazing experience.

I thought I was going to die, climbing up (and down) all those steep, narrow steps. But I made it without injury. It was so fascinating to learn that the current dome was built over the original dome and that we were able to walk between the two on our way up to the observation levels. I’m slightly afraid of heights, so the view down was a bit unsettling. The little dots are people on tours. So far up--- 152 feet!

I don’t know how Constantino Brumidi and later artists did it. Climbing those stairs everyday and standing on a wooden platform in order to create the frieze. What an ability to establish proportion and shading that looks amazing from a few feet away and even more realistic and vivid from afar.

The view from the top was spectacular. It was a beautiful, breezy day. We all took lots of pictures and marveled at the view and Lafayette’s plan for the city. I enjoyed the bird’s eye view of the Senate’s private tennis court and hearing about the Supreme Court’s basketball court (top floor). I could have stayed up there forever.

What a great tour. I learned so much and gained an even deeper appreciation for the beauty and historicalness (is that a word?) of the buildings that I pass by and work under every day.


The Macallan Whiskey Tasting

Over the weekend, I attended a Macallan tasting event with A-M and GFA at the City Tavern Club—indeed the second oldest house in DC followed by the Old Stone House, also in G-town. It was a really great event and totally topped the Johnny Walker event I attend a few months ago.

It was a well-attended event and given the small space, it was standing room only. In comparison, the Johnny Walker event took place in the airy Mellon Auditorium where there was more than enough room for everyone to sit down comfortably. But what the Macallan event lacked in space and flair, it more than made up for in tasting opportunities. As soon as you entered the door, you were handed a drink and ushered into a larger room where servers were circulating hors d'oeuvres. Surprisingly, they didn't card anyone.

Once we found a table and settled in, the program began. I think I actually learned something at this event, which was nice. I'm not a whiskey drinker at all but I think that if given the choice among brands, I would probably opt for Macallan out of familiarity—which I guess was the point of the night.

We got to sample 5 glasses of whiskey up Macallan 18. And unlike the Johnny Walker event, they were quite generous. By the second serving, my mouth was starting to feel numb and I struggled to finish glass #2 while the staff was already handing out glass #3. Macallan isn't something to chug, so it would have been nice to have more time to enjoy the sensation of the drink. Unfortunately, aside from a tasty apple pastry at Le Pain Quotidien, I didn't eat anything before the event. I left the hall rather tipsy but very excited about the little Macallan sniffer parting gift. On to Julia's Empanadas for some grease and bread to help absorb the alcohol.

It was a very good night and I can't wait for the next tasting event.


You don't think he's cute? (Part II)

It's amazing how reluctant I've felt about posting to my blog. It's not that I don't have things to write about (I do!!), but I've been feeling sorta blah about life in general. I blame the weather and the disappearing daylight. I abhor waking up in the morning to darkness and cold. It's the worst way to start a day and puts me in a sour mood that nothing seems to get me out of. I don't know how I will get through yet another winter in DC.

At any rate, I want to provide an update after my last post. Yesterday, I talked to a friend in another office, Christina, about the cute guy in the Sergeant at Arms office and immediately she made a face. Although she admits that he is nice, she also doesn't think he's that cute—but cute for the Hill. Also, it turns out that he and another coworker have/had a thing, so he's basically off-limits. I don't feel any allegiance to my coworker, but I'd rather avoid any drama in our office because I sense that she has fangs.

Next, I told Christina about the cute guy down the hall. Immediately, she exclaimed, "he's gay!" So, he's out too. I mean I can look but sometimes I like to at least think that there is the possibility of a romance to develop.

Finally, there is this guy who works in a Leadership office, who I think is very cute and seemingly approachable. As soon as I mentioned him to Christina, she warned me of his reputation of disrespecting women in bed. More vaguely for those who aren't in the know (which included me until very recently): he likes to Superman, among other things. I still think he's cute but I plan on avoiding him altogether.

So that's it. After five months on the Hill, I feel that I can definitely say that the Hill is made up of guys who are:

a) gay
b) jerks
c) taken or off-limits for some reason

Christina insists that the Hill mainly has Type B but I always seem to encounter all three. Perhaps, things will change in '09, but I'm thinking that though DC is full of Types A, B and C, the Hill will always have a particular tendency of attracting Type B. Que lastima!


You don't think he's cute?

I know that this has been covered a hundred times before. But there is a lack of eye candy on the Hill. Of course, this excludes the youngins, the skinterns, that grace us every summer and make all the guys in our office happy. IMHO, the male interns are too pompous/entitled or awkward/annoying to deserve any notice.

Ever since I arrived on the Hill last spring and even when I was an intern back in 2004, I scoured the halls for a handsome face. I rarely found anything and instead, found myself crushing on the "cute" guy down the hall, who in any other setting, any normal girl would probably avoid.

Case-in-point may be that "cute" guy who works in the Capitol. Today, I admitted to one of my coworkers that I was developing a crush on one of the Sergeant at Arms guys. She was a bit appalled, which made me doubt my attraction meter. Has living in D.C. lowered my standards? If I was living in NYC, Miami or LA, would I consider that same guy attractive? Maybe not.

They say that DC is the "Hollywood of Ugly, Smart People," and given responses to The Hill's Most Beautiful on the Hill every year, the Hill may be no exception. But hold on, I don't think that folks on the Hill, or in D.C., are ugly, just average. No, I don't have any false sense of my own looks, as I've already admitted that I'm only a 6 and perhaps a 7 on a good day (i.e., if I had an expert stylist). I'd say that the Hill is full of 6s, with a few 7s and 8s thrown in, which is sad. I like having hot guys to look at. I think it makes me work harder and smile more.

Until things change, I'll continue to settle for the rarity of "cuteness" that I come across--and probably have a heart attack when I finally encounter a truly hot guy up here.

For the record, I still think the CAO guy is cute, just not hot enough to catch my coworker's eye. And that's alright with me (sort of).


Share the Sidewalk

One of my biggest pet peeves since moving to Columbia Heights is the alarming amount of encounters with folks riding bicycles on the sidewalk. Not just riding, but speeding along on the sidewalk--irrespective of whom or what else is in their way. It isn't just annoying but dangerous to pedestrians.

Despite the wonders of sidewalk cycling that have been professed, I don't understand why the cyclists in my 'hood insist on using sidewalks when there are perfectly sound streets and even a few bike lanes for their passage. I know that the DC streets are dangerous as I've witnessed and heard about countless pedestrian and bicycle accidents in DC. Taxi drivers and out-of-towners are particularly prone to ignoring traffic signals and signs and not staying within lanes. But that is no reason to transfer that risk and danger to the sidewalk and unsuspecting pedestrians like me.

So here are my simple suggestions for sidewalk cyclists:

1) Slow Down. If you want to go fast, try the street. The sidewalk should be the domain of the pedestrian. I don't mind dealing with little kids on bikes, skates, and scooters as they rarely are going fast. But an adult cyclist going several mph faster than I is ridiculous. Getting hit by a bike won't cause as many injuries as getting hit by a car—but that is no reason to put my flesh at risk.

2) Right of Way. Pedestrians have the right of way on the sidewalks. Don't even try to rush us or force us off to the side to let you by. If you feel the need to go faster, use the street. Same rule goes for those really narrow sidewalks where I have, in the past, stepped into the street to let a cyclist by. Also, in really crowded areas (e.g., DCUSA), it makes the most sense and is safer to get off your bike and walk along side it.

3) Pass on Left and Indicate your approach sooner rathern than later. I cannot count the number of times I either heard an approaching bike or heard a random "on the left" a mere seconds before having to jump aside to avoid a collision.

So, that's it. It's really simple. Please stop putting me at risk. It's not fair and I'd imagine it's not legal (or at least, shouldn't be).


Festivals Galore

After last Sunday's Fiesta D.C in Mt. Pleasant and last month's raucous Adam's Morgan Day, Columbia Heights finally gets its day to shine. Check out the CHD website for the schedule of events, noting the cupcake eating contest.

I almost forgot about Fiesta D.C., and if I wasn't forced to leave my house on Sunday due to dwindling food supplies, I would have missed it. As I headed down 16th, deciding if I wanted to venture to Giant or Safeway (both annoying and inadequate), I was greeted by lots of traffic. That's when I noticed the crowds and bandstand over on Mt. Pleasant Street. There were LOTS of booths. The parade of nations was cool, and I enjoyed seeing my new parade favorite, Bolivian dance groups. Before I left, I was reminded of the ignorance of others when I overheard this guy yell into his cell phone "Hey Dude – I'm at this awesome Mexican Festival!" You cannot be serious. But perhaps, he is exactly the sort that should be welcomed to such an event in order to get educated.

I resisted buying any mouthwatering food on display in favor of heading to Giant to buy supplies for my own Mexican feast. Thanks to Floyd's coaching, I made enchiladas with lime-avocado rice and refried beans. It was very good and surprisingly authentic. I've been dying for a real home cooked meal for a while, and especially dying for Mexican food (what I wouldn't give for Floyd's arroz con pollo!!). I think a soul food feast should be next.