Thursday, July 29, 2010

City summer livin'

Loving city summer livin' in my sweet town lately, which was perfectly embodied in my happy hour with the ladies last night at Circa, a favorite regular spot of Dana's...and maybe a new regular spot of mine?  Great location right on Dupont Circle (a 15-minute walk from home), great atmosphere, great tween music, and the owners (who treated us all to aglass of vino) were just as fun and charming as Dana assured.  Not an impressive wine list, but they don't hold out to be a wine bar, so I won't fault them for not being one.  Not to mention, I can't think of any self-respecting wine bar who welcomes me in my weeknight casual sportswear...

I ran into an old mutual friend and his new girlfriend.  He is 45+ and she is at most 24.  Charming couple!

Tonight will be spent with the lovely Miss Frazier, at the gym then at her place while we drink all those calories we just burned and finally watch "He's Just Not That Into You"- can't wait to see this flic.  I couldn't agree more with the premise- you've got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em ladies.  For reals.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Family fun days

Happy summer daze all!  I am just back from a fun family weekend with the Smiths, who joined my sister and I up in the Mid-Atlantic for the hottest day ever in DC history- a whopping 106 degrees on Saturday.  Yikes (extra yikes because I ran 11 miles that morning and nearly expired).  But we took the heat in stride given that we're all hot-blooded Floridians, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Marriott Ranch in Hume, VA.

Despite the fact that we arrived to find a massive Mormon celebration (Didn't y'all know that the Marriotts are Mormons??  Open up the telephone table drawer next time you visit one and you'll find a strategically placed Book of Mormon where you'd normally find a Gideon Bible), the crazies quickly dispersed and left us to a peaceful weekend in our natural habitat:  the sticks.  We explored the lovely Front Royal, VA, and escaped the afternoon heat in the town's quaint movie theater to see "Salt," the newest DC-themed Angelina Jolie flic.  Not my typical weekend activity, but I did enjoy the action, much of which was filmed in front of my glamorous (not) federal office building!  I kept my eyes peeled for the girl in full suit and city-commuter flip flops, fumbling with her two blackberries on her way home from working on the energy bill (which FAILED.  SADNESS.), but alas, my film debut was not in the cards.  I'll stick with plan A and hold out for the role of Lady Brett Ashley, originally cast as Ava Garnder, in the remake of Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" (not that I've thought about this or anything).

As a result of the Smiths coming in two waves this week (brother came and went before parents and sister arrived), I spent and re-spent a good chunk of the weekend in the Newseum, a real gem of a one-stop-shop for the last 100 years of American history as seen through the eyes of the media.  Because of the redo venue, I spent most of the second trip frantically finishing Lolita in a corner on the second floor and I'm pretty sure most of the tourists were convinced I was some weird introverted perv. 

All in all a great weekend of good, clean (err...mostly) family fun!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wakee wakee eggs and bakee

I wish this were my alarm clock.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sing to me again my Russian darling

"Sometimes...Come on, how often exactly, Bert?  Can you recall four, five, more such occasions?  Or would no human heart have survived two or three?  Sometimes (I have nothing to say in reply to your question), while Lolita would be haphazardly preparing her homework, sucking a pencil, lolling sideways in an easy chair with both legs over its arm, I would shed all my pedagogic restraint, dismiss all our quarrels, forget all my masculine pride - and literally crawl on my knees to your chair, my Lolita!  You would give me one look - a gray furry question mark of a look:  'Oh no, not again' (incredulity, exasperation); for you never deigned to believe that I could, without any specific designs, ever crave to bury my face in your plaid skirt, my darling!  The fragility of those bare arms of yours - how I longed to enfold them, all your four limpid lovely limbs, a folded colt, and take your head between my unworthy hands, and pull the temple-skin back on both sides, and kiss your chinesed eyes, and - 'Pulease, leave me alone, will you,' you would say, 'for Christ's sake leave me alone.'  And I would get up from the floor while you looked on, your face deliberately twitching in imitation of my tic nerveux.  But never mind, never mind, I am only a brute, never mind, let us go on with my miserable story."  Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Coco avant Chanel

Watched this fabulous flic on my lazy Sunday and it was a lovely depiction of Coco (nee Gabrielle) Chanel's extraordinary story.  Remarkable that two of the most famous female pop culture icons in France were born orphans and completely self-made (the second being Edith Piaf, hauntingly portrayed by the exquisite Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose, one of my favorite films of all time).  Can I get a witness?

These frenchie films are right down my alley (great weekend practice), and for those of you non-frenchies who let subtitles stop you- for shame!  There are a ton of stimulating foreign films out there and you will expand your mind and your world if you just put up with a little light reading on the bottom of the screen.  ;)


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Living lately

Can you believe we're already almost finished with July?  Where has this summer gone?!

I've been making the most of every minute, and admittedly haven't been reading or writing a ton in the midst of turning pages in the 'ol summer calendar.  I'm definitely going through a time in my life when I need to be alone, particularly mentally, which means I'm not seriously focused on organizing my feelings and sharing them with the world at large.  So apologies, lovelies, if I have been a bit stingy with my thoughts as of late!  'Tis the season for light-hearted fun with friends!

And on that note, I found this gem on Top 10 most memorable movie dance scenes.  Spent a good half hour re-watching these in bed before mass this morning:

Speaking of mass, my little downtown DC Catholic church has recruited some serious music talent in the recent past.  I have discovered this little church only in the past two years or so, and quickly made the switch from the lovely yet large St. Matthews Cathedral (where JFK was laid to rest).  My new church is quaint and very southern, with a really diverse crowd and some nice gospel hymn choices sprinkled throughout the traditional stuff (which I also love).  Unfortunately the gorgeous wood-stained sanctuary isn't air-conditioned, so during the months of July and August, mass is held in the auditorium.  But even in the not-so-ideal settings of the Catholic school auditorium, we were all in silent tears this morning when this uber talented black man sang an acapella version of "This Little Light of Mine."  It was astonishing.  I'm talking broadway talent level.  And for those of you who don't know, Catholics do NOT get up and clap for anything during mass.  But this man got a standing ovation and the priest had to kindly ask us to sit down after a good two minutes of applause.  When we shared the sign of peace, none of us could stop moving down the rows and warmly greeting each other, with a shared understanding like we'd all just witnessed something divine.  This was an almost exact replica of my experience one month ago (which was only sweetened by the fact that we were in the beautiful wooden sanctuary) when a woman who must be a soprano for the Washington National Opera (for reals) blew us all away during communion.  It was beyond words.

I love moments that bring us completely into the present. 


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tom Robbins revisited

"They glared at her the way any intelligent persons ought to glare when what they need is a smoke, a bite, a cup of coffee, a piece of ass, or a good fast-paced story, and all they're getting is philosophy."

"Twenty candles on a cake.  Twenty Camels in a pack.  Twenty months in the federal pen.  Twenty shots of tequila down a young girl's gullet.  Twenty centuries since Our Lord's last pratfall, and after all that time we still don't know where passion goes when it goes."

"All outlaws are photogenic, and I love that."
Tuesday toe art.  Chanel's spring nail color and the Dallas Ritz Carlton roof pool (where I mourned the loss of my favorite book mark).

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sing to me Nabokov.

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita. Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, an initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for fancy prose style. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns." ~Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

Government follies

Happy Monday all! 
Here's a gem that's proudly displayed over our water cooler in the office. 
Just another day in the government!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Post-4th bliss

Hello sweet readers!  I hope you all had a lovely long weekend celebrating America's birthday.  I had a fantastic time at my parents' lake house in Tennessee- it's just at the foot of the Smoky Mountains and couldn't be more picturesque.  The lake water was the perfect temperature, all of the boats behaved (with a minor slip up from the pontoon boat while watching fireworks, but all ended well), the guests were in top form and the food was flowing. 

I (of course) manged some productivity:  an 8-mile run on Saturday morning (per my Marine Corps Marathon training schedule) and I finished the first Harry Potter.  I know I'm an extremely late HP bloomer, but as I mentioned I'm tentatively planning a trip to the new park with Mumsie so I figured I needed to get my act in gear and read the series.  Given their popularity and the low reading level, I won't grace Rowling with a full-length book review, but I will say that I enjoyed the "cheap-n-cheerful" read and will gladly move on to the next this weekend.  I should wrap up Lolita soon and will more than make up for it with that review because it is juicy y'all.

In other news, my blogging bestie is officially coming to DC and I cannot WAIT to host her for what is sure to be a superlative weekend of champagne wishes and caviar...err...veggie burger dreams!

I have listened to some titillating podcasts of late, and just stumbled across a blog written by my favorite podcasters:  Sara and Katie from Stuff You Missed in History Class!  Woot!  I almost always need to follow up on wikipedia after one of their teaser history lessons, and now I can go straight to the source.  I revisited some of my Irish travels this morning while learning more about Bloody Sunday, which was an incident on January 30, 1972, in Derry, Northern Ireland.  Twenty-six unarmed civil rights protesters and bystanders were shot by members of the British Army (a la Kent State), and the facts of that fateful day were finally released on June 5th of this year in the Saville Inquiry, originally commissioned by former Prime Minister Tony Blair.  This recent report could re-open the controversy and potentially lead to criminal investigations for some soldiers involved in the killings.  Britain intentionally delayed release of the results until after the most recent Northern Ireland elections because anything involving "the troubles" is sure to be loaded with baggage, and they were right.  If it ain't the piss ants, it's the bed bugs, as my Memom used to say, and these fools could really use a big dose of getting over it if you ask me.  (And by "it," I mean the differences between Protestants and Catholics, and not the dead, of course.)

So there's your history lesson y'all!  Enjoy this hot hot hot day (102 degrees in DC yesterday, and even hotter today!) and stay curious!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th lovelies!

Helllooooooooooo dahlinks!  (As my Aunt Linda would say, who I'm excited to share will be joining me tomorrow at my parents' fabulous lake house outside of Knoxville, TN).  It's been an unbelievably busy week and my heartfelt apologies for lack of posting the past few days.  For a government employee especially, I've been working like a maniac!  But I did make it to book club on Wednesday night at Jackie's lovely Georgetown flat.  I even managed to run home after work to grab my bike and ride there, which, as the girls quickly pointed out, resulted in a wardrobe combination of spandex and my typical costume jewelry.  And they say people in DC can't dress!  Pshaw...

We thoroughly discussed Oscar Wilde for approximately four minutes, which was plenty long enough to establish (1) none of us cared for the book; and (2) enough with the woman-hating already.  On to Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (sprinkled with my dabbles in Harry Potter and my normal New Yorker appetite)!

For the next four days I'll be on the water, sipping vino, water skiing, reading, running, and otherwise making fun of my mother and sister (which will be reciprocated so don't start feeling sorry for them).  My stepdad and Kaycee's boyfriend will also be in tow, two high-ranking officers of the small, elite group of "men I don't hate."   I'm positively thrilled about our visitors- Aunt Linda and Uncle Griff (ab fab power couple who are certainly worth of their own blog spiel sometime soon) and the famous (infamous?) Biscuit and her lovely boyfriend.  And, most importantly, the tiny sheriff will be on duty all weekend at the helm of the pontoon boat when she's not napping in my lap.  What's not to love y'all?

Hope you all have fantastic fourths and please be safe!  xo