Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our town

I love spring in Washington, but tourist season is a pain in the rear. You expect this when driving downtown near the Mall and the memorials, but it's particularly obnoxious when you walk out your front door into a flotilla of strollers. Or when it takes 20 minutes to get out of your neighborhood because of all the zoo-bound families trying to park their minivans on the side streets.

Saw State of Play this evening at the absolutely-packed Uptown, and dude, was it gripping. Highly enjoyable movie, even more so if you live in DC. The audience got a huge kick out of certain details that only DC insiders would get (like blink-or-you'll-miss-it appearances by local tv anchors: "Hey, it's Jim Vance!").

When the movie was shooting in town last spring, most of my coworkers and I watched them film a scene outside the Watergate from the windows of our office, with Russell Crowe and Rachel McAdams and his blue Saab, which figures prominently in the movie. The entire street between Virginia and the Kennedy Center was blocked off with equipment and trailers and the version of the Saab that they were apparently using for interior shots (mounted on a wheeled platform, with cameras pointed through the windows). We did not get much work done that afternoon.

Anyway, it was extremely entertaining--I recommend it--and then I had frozen yogurt afterward. ‘Twas a perfect spring evening.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Heard... ("things you don't want to hear from your unmarried daughter" edition)

...while chatting with Dad this evening
Dad: What are you doing?
Me: Shopping for baby clothes.
Dad: Uh...that's a scary sentence.

[I was shopping for a baby shower gift.]

39 Things I Like

A blatant rip-off of a recent blog post by my cousin, MC

Bones (the tv show)
Nabisco Oreo Cakesters 100 Calorie Packs
planning trips
the tulips outside my apartment
getting Evites
Gustavo Dudamel
old photos
crossing things off lists
Facebook stalking
new posts at
Ann Taylor Loft
princess parking
reading recaps of my tv shows the day after they air
Samurai Sudoku
Rhapsody in Blue
pictures of Bo Obama
nonverbal conversations with G
the smell of old books
my Chuck Taylors
the trailer/promos for Glee
the Steelers
mentally rearranging my apartment
the beach
Neil Patrick Harris
Hairspray (the recent version of the movie)
my bed
roommate bonding
timing the Metro just right
NCIS reruns
when my car is clean
new dresses
boys who hold the door for you
home at Christmas

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Don't go! It's still me!

I know I confuse some of you when I redecorate over here. Sorry. But I finally made my own blog header (yay for me!), and I had to change the rest of the color scheme to match. Ain't it purty?

It's a lot of pink, I know, but I couldn't find a yellow background, which is what I really wanted.

Unfortunately, it also screwed up the formatting on the old posts (no line spaces, alas), but I'll just have to live with that.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Audience Participation Time!

I have a baby shower to attend in a couple of weeks, and each guest has been asked to give a book. I’ve been mulling over this for a while, and I am considering the following:

1) The Classic: Charlotte’s Web. Obviously, every child needs this book.

2) The One No One Else Would Ever Think Of: The Philharmonic Gets Dressed. Awesome book! Also where I first learned the word brassiere. In case you were wondering that.

3) The One I Read With My Mom: Little House in the Big Woods. I read (all? most of?) the Little House series with my mother at night before bed. Seems like a good tradition to pass along.

Any other suggestions? I want to avoid obvious choices—Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Everybody Poops*, etc. Also, I recognize that two of the books above are for a slightly older audience, but that doesn’t bother me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Heard... (typed, actually)

...on Gchat as Jules and I discuss programs for her wedding, which I am designing and printing
Jules: such a helpful bridesmaid
me: it is nice to be able to use my skillz to help my peeps
Jules: word

Monday, April 6, 2009


...from my rather eccentric boss, who is helping to answer phones (loudly, and with varying accents) in the box office today
BC: Please spell your name, it sounds fascinating.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Story time

As many people know, Washington had, at one point, a fairly high crime rate. To this day, every time I’m home Betty Jo, a rather nutty lady at my church, says to me, “But it’s so dangerous! Aren’t you scared living there?” To which I reply that most of the city is quite safe, and I tend to avoid the areas that aren’t. Not to mention that this is the seat of government, home of (huge and fancy) embassies, and a tourist hotspot. But to listen to Betty Jo, you’d think I lived in South Central LA in the '80s.

That said, in the seven years that I’ve lived in Washington, I have experienced exactly two, shall we say, unsettling incidents. Today is story time here at Unagi, so I shall tell you about them.


Unsettling Incident #1

It was December of 2003. Jules, Miguel, our friend Iain, and I had just had dinner and finished visited the White House Christmas Tree. We were walking down F Street to the Metro when a lady crossed the street and called, “Excuse me!” Jules and Miguel kept walking. Iain and I stopped.

That, it turned out, was a mistake.

She said that she was from Baltimore and had been in town volunteering with some sort of Catholic charity, but her purse had been stolen and she had no money to get home. We told her we didn’t have any cash, but offered to wave down a cop for help, but she freaked out at the suggestion. At that point, we noticed her bloodshot eyes and bitten down fingernails. Stranded do-gooder? Not so much. Tweaked out druggie? Bingo!

For ten minutes, she begged for money and we tried to extricate ourselves from the situation. Eventually, we gave her three dollars and she left.

Jules and Miguel, it should be noted, were standing behind a column, out of sight, avoiding the whole situation.

“I could tell immediately that she was high,” said Miguel, ever helpful.

“And it didn’t occur to you to come rescue us?” I replied.


Unsettling Incident #2

This one goes down really well at parties. A couple of years ago, I was walking home from Friendship Heights—home to Neiman Marcus, Saks, and numerous other high-end stores—after an afternoon of shopping. It was the middle of the day, with people out enjoying the nice weather, and I was moseying down Wisconsin Avenue, with my Booeymonger’s iced tea in one hand and a shopping bag (probably from Ann Taylor Loft—I can’t be sure, but really, what are the odds?) in the other, minding my own business.

A lady was approaching from the other direction on the sidewalk. She was pushing a Cart O’Stuff, as many of the homeless in this city do, and she appeared to be talking to herself, but that’s not really all that unusual in this town, so I thought nothing of it. But then! Our respective paths met, and she suddenly yelled “AAAAHHHHH!” and hauled off and walloped me—HARD—in the arm with an umbrella!


I, obviously, picked up the pace to get away from the crazy lady, who had proceeded in the other direction as if nothing had happened. But a half-a-block later, I abruptly stopped, looked around wildly to see if anyone had witnessed the proceedings (there was no one else in the vicinity), and said, loudly, to no one in particular, “Did that SERIOUSLY just happen?!”

And that, friends, is the story of The Time I Was Assaulted By a Homeless Woman in Broad Daylight on Wisconsin Avenue. Not in Anacostia, or northeast DC, or even the more questionable areas downtown, but in tony* upscale, normal FRIENDSHIP FREAKING HEIGHTS.

*UPDATED Friday at 1:36PM:
Dude. Never have I received so much ridicule as for this stupid adjective. IT'S A WORD. confirms it! It comes up as a synonym for "stylish". Don't you people read?