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My Very Own Fast Food Commercial

Jun 28, 2010

I don't understand Pandora Radio.  My Britney Spears Quickmix plays almost all Britney and Justin Timberlake, but my Katy Perry Quickmix (which I added just to hear "California Gurls" over and over -- btw, how high do you think Snoop was when he recorded that? "West Coast West Coast...heeeeeeey!  heeeeeeey!") plays really weird, slow stuff that doesn't sound like Katy Perry at all.  So last week I gave up skipping songs only to get to other weird songs and made an "Up on the Roof" Quickmix, i.e., The Drifters, The Temptations, etc. -- classic oldies beach music.  My mother always says her generation's music will last forever because it's actually good, and my generation's music will fade and die.  I do love me some oldies, but "California Gurls" is pretty darn catchy ("Dai-sy Dukes Bi-kiiiii-nis on top!"). 

As I was walking to work one steaming hot morning last week, "Some Kind of Wonderful" came on.  Right exactly at :32 (skip to it in the video for the full effect), I saw this:


Directly to the right of those posters are more posters, and three men were putting them up when I stopped dead in my tracks and my mouth fell open like a codfish (that's a Mary Poppins reference -- at the Kennedy Center July 1 -- August 22!).  I didn't move until I caught one of them looking at me awkwardly.  And then I only moved a little past them to take the above glorious photo.

For those of you who don't live in the NCR (that's short for "National Capital Region, but I like throwing fake gang signs while saying the acronym), tasting the sweet goodness of Chick-fil-A is a luxury not many of us often behold.  You can travel to Woodbridge (I refuse, traffic is too bad, like, all the time), Silver Spring (Maryland? Pshaw.), Landmark Mall (used to live over there but will never go back if I can help it), or Ballston Mall (I'm a Washingtonian, not an Arlingtonian, thankyouverymuch.). (My friend David says I'm a provincial snob. I do not disagree.)  So you can imagine my glee when I saw the signs that Chick-fil-A would be coming to Crystal City, right where I work! (Of course I wouldn't be caught dead in Crystal City if I didn't work there.) 

You better believe as I walked the rest of the way to work I imagined myself dancing with a cow and biting into a Chick-fil-A sandwich in slow mo.

Don't Make Me Over (MAC guy who doesn't know how to do makeup)

Jun 25, 2010

Whenever the seasons change I get antsy.  I can't explain it, but I know I love new things, whether it be a new outfit or a new tube of lip gloss.  But what I usually crave is a new hairdo.  This year, when summer came early and the heat began to settle in, I wanted not only a new hairdo but a new look altogether.

It started with hair -- I dyed it pomegranate as I usually do in the spring, but that wasn't enough, so I got brave, bought some bleach, and put in my own highlights.  (I knew I'd done a good job when the lady in the dressing room at LOFT told me she loved my hair color.  Or maybe she was complimenting me in hopes I'd buy more clothes?)  Despite the gooooooooorgeous color, it wasn't enough, and split ends were popping up everywhere.  I had been going to Bubbles for haircuts since I moved here, ending the relationship with my Atlanta stylist of 10 years, and I was so far unhappy with the results.  So one Saturday after getting out of the shower I thought, If Bubbles can do a mediocre job on my hair then so can I!  So, yes, I picked up my $7 Conair scissors and cut my own hair.  *KIDS (AND ADULTS): DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!*

At first it looked okay.  My hair is wavy so I could get away with it.  But after a week of trying to style it normally, I needed professional help.  Morgan suggested Bang, and it's about three blocks from my apartment so it's really convenient.  They were able to fit me in with Carol, who looked at my hair and started laughing. 

"That bad?" I said, slouching in the chair.

"Um,  you have a tail," said Carol. 

Okay, so no more cutting my own hair, got it.

Carol asked me to trust her, which I did because it's just hair and what do I really care?  I adopted this attitude when I was 19 and watched "Felicity" and therefore believed when you go to college you should cut off all your hair.  One day I went to the salon for a trim and left with a bob. 

"You knoooooow," the stylist -- not my normal one -- had drawled, "if we cut off 10 inches you can donate this to cancer kids." 

"Okay!" I agreed enthusiastically.  My sister was getting married four months later and my mother was absolutely mortified when I walked in the door with no hair.  (At least I didn't outshine the bride, right?)

Which reminds me, the last time I attempted cutting my own hair before a wedding was disastrous.  I just needed a bang trim, but I cut it way too quickly.  Yet another time I definitely did NOT outshine the bride.  She still won't let me live that down.

So anyway, I trusted Carol because her hair was cute and she smiled a lot. I even trusted her when she cut six inches off the top layer to give me volume.  Still getting used to that. But the result was edgy yet classy, and I'm liking it for now, although my hair does look much thinner.  I can afford it though, I've got a ton of hair.

The other part of the makeover was makeup, for after I put in highlights I took a picture of them to see what they really looked like, but instead of noticing the highlights I noticed the horrid dark circles under my eyes and the fine lines creeping up around them.  Plus I was pale as a corpse.  I've finally reached the age where I don't care too much about being tan and have rather decided to embrace my, er, porcelain skin (that sounds prettier) and fend off looming age spots. 

I asked around and the consensus was I should try MAC.  My first mistake was going to the closest location, which is in Chinatown.  I approached the counter and a lady with gorgeous eye makeup said she'd be with me in 20 minutes, so I perused shoes for a little while until she called me back.  She sat me down then disappeared, and then Studderer came over to me.  Studderer was flamboyantly gay, so just try to imagine a skinny gay guy trying to talk like he's fabulous but not succeeding because he can't get out his words.  My second mistake was letting him come anywhere near my face.

"I need a new look," I told him.  "I don't want foundation because I hate the way it looks and feels.  I do want you to do up my eyes, but I need something that is work appropriate.  I have a hooded eye so I need some tips on how to make my eyes pop."

"No p-p-p-p-p-problem!" he said, spitting on my face.  The first thing he did: applied gobs of concealer.  Okay, I thought. Concealer is probably a valid thing I need.  But gobs?  He put so much on that he couldn't spread it over just my eyes, so he spread it over my nose and all the way to my hairline. 

"Um, is it supposed to look like that?" I asked him.  I looked like an albino raccoon.

"It takes a few minutes to sink into your pores," he replied.  "This is the only way to make you look lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-lu-luminous." 

Third mistake: don't trust a guy who thinks makeup should sink into your pores.  Gross.

Next he applied some yogurt to my lids.  No no, seriously, this is what he told me.  "I'm putting yogurt on your lids."  Turns out it was the color eye shadow he was using. 

"Trust me," he said assuredly.  "I do lots of drag queens, this is going to look great."  Fourth mistake...yeah, you get it. 

Then a swipe of some dark purple above that, and voila!  I was...finished?

"Is this it?" I asked, confused.

"Well what else do you want me to do?"

"Um, eyeliner?  Mascara?  Blush?"

"Okaaaaaaaaaaay," he said, like I was weird.

So he added liner and mascara.  I checked it out in the mirror.  He waited impatiently for my response.

"Sorry, but I wouldn't go out of the house like this.  You basically did the opposite of what I asked for."

"No, I did exactly what you wanted.  This is just the only way to make you lu-lu-lu-lu-lu..."

"Um, no.  This is not luminous at all."

Exasperated, he turned on his heel and disappeared for a few minutes.  I sat there unsure of what I was supposed to do.  Could I at least have a tissue to take off the makeup?

Then the original girl came over.  I could tell she was annoyed.  She handed me a wipe and said we were starting over.  After I cleaned my face she put on the palest, most neutral eye shadow then asked me how I liked it.

"Well, my eyes definitely don't pop, so..."

"Well what do you want?!" she said, equally as exasperated as Studderer.

I was really at a loss.  I didn't think I was being that difficult.  But I was at the mercy of the makeup artists.  So I said, "I want to look like you!"

That changed things, shwew.  She ended up giving me a terrific new look, using the same shadow that Lady Gaga does.  Apparently I got the last one at that store.  At that point I didn't care about Lady Gaga because I hadn't seen the Lady Gaga Glee episode yet.  Now I suddenly lurv her. 


Hair color/makeup makeover (before the haircut)

Hopefully this makeover will last me until at least September, but don't be surprised if I end up a strawberry blonde by the end of July.

UPDATED: Yes, I Am Still Dating

Jun 18, 2010

So I've been trying to abstain from writing about boys since several people told me that's all I was writing about and even compared me to "Sex and the City."  As much as I love SATC, I can't stand Carrie and don't want to be associated with her. (Really, she's one of the most annoying TV characters of all time.  How her friends have put up with her this long I'll never understand.)  So I took a break from talking about boys, but this week I am struck with a conundrum so I'm resurrecting the boy talk.

Earlier this year I tried eharmony again, for the I-don't-know-whatth time, and I actually met a really neat guy, but after date two we both knew it wasn't happening so we just stopped talking to each other and moved on, like normal people.  This has been my experience in my adult dating life -- if you get past the first date, the second date is the sure sign if you've got something goin' on, and if he suggests y'all split the bill you've got your answer. (Which is a big fat no.)  After a million emails between our first and second dates, I thought there might actually be something there.  Except I had to suggest our next date, which I did by pointing out it was restaurant week and I wanted to try something new.  I let him take it from there, and he did -- Lebanese food at Me Jana in Arlington.  Yes, I trekked out to Arlington for him.  And we split the bill. 

Soon after I met a doctor, which excited my mother to no end.  We actually had a shot, but everything went downhill when he gave me Bath & Body Works shower gel for my birthday.  Call me picky, but I just couldn't stay with someone who thought I was 15 years old and smelly.  (May I insert here that I expressly told him I didn't want Bath & Body Works lotion when he asked what I wanted?  But maybe I am too picky. After all, shower gel isn't lotion.)

The latest adventure has been with -- who my friend Morgan named -- Dreamboat.  Shall I tell you his stats?  Passed the bar in three states (including DC), 6'4", former National Guard (which means hottttz body), dark, thick, curly hair, speaks four languages, good dresser, good conversationalist, GREAT kisser (oops! did I just kiss and tell?), oh, and he sings.  And yes he sang to me.  Well, sort of.  More at me than to me, but still impressive and romantic.  Basically, he's a total dreamboat.  *sigh*

I met him on our rooftop one night when Morgan and I were bored and in the mood to crash parties.  I don't think I've properly introduced Morgan to you.  She lives in my building and we met one night in the lobby.  She'd just come in from a concert and her foot was bleeding in her shoe because, while her shoe was hot, it was also impractical, so we bonded over her bloody foot.  A few days later I ran into her and she asked, "Can I get your digits?"  Of course I'd wanted to ask her for hers but didn't have the guts because I thought she was too cool for me.  But now we've hung out a few times, mainly in the lobby or at Rite Aid across the street, and I laugh my booty off around her.  So you'll be hearing more about Morgan in the coming months (supposing she dumps her pseudo-boyfriend...).

So...party crashing.  Our building probably has the best parties on U St when the weather is nice, so there was no need to go out.  This particular night there were three parties, and we crashed them all.  Dreamboat was part of one of them, but obviously I thought I didn't have a chance because he was the hottest guy there.  Little did I know he wanted to ask for my number but was too nervous so he was crying to Morgan about it.

"Don't be an idiot!" she yelled at him.  "I'd date her!  Go ask for her number!"

So  he did.  *sigh*  So dreamy.

ASIDE: When he and his friends left Morgan and I ventured onto U St and crashed more parties, including VIP at Local 16 (woo woo!!!) where a local artist asked if he could body paint us for his next show.  We giddily squealed "YES!"  The next day, when we'd had more time to think about it, we decided, um, NO.

The next day Dreamboat and I had our first date and it was lovely.  The next day he called me to see how my day was.  The next day he called again just to say hi.  The next day he called again because I'd accidentally dialed his number and he was calling me back.  But he never called for a follow up date.  So I broke a major rule and texted him, "Hey, I'm leaving Friday and would like to see you before I leave, are you busy this week?"  When I was a teenager I would get in trouble for even calling boys, much less asking them out, but for almost three years since moving here all I've heard is, "You're in the north now!  You do the asking!"  So to everyone who's been badgering me, I asked him out!  (Ish.)

So this time he did the trekking, from Arlington to DC, and took me to an Ethiopian restaurant.  I was always opposed to eating Ethiopian food, but apparently I break all my rules when a hottie patottie is involved.  The date was just as nice as the last one, and he paid, so it seemed like things were going to develop...but there was just something at the end of it that made me feel like it was a courtesy date.  He asked me when I was getting back from my trip and then said he'd see me next week.

Two weeks went by and nothing.  Then one night I get a text from him.  He'd bought a new car.  He'd read my blog.  He wanted to know how my dog was.  Then he had to go and he hoped I'd have a nice week.  If this was a strategy to get me to ask him out again...it worked.  I texted a couple of days later: "Going to Jazz in the Sculpture Garden Friday, you should come!  Bring friends!"  Him: "Have a party but maybe meet up after?"  me: "Sure! We'll be in Chinatown."  But I did not hear from him.

Another week went by, and then another random text.  I didn't want to play the texting game again, so I flat out asked him, "Why are you texting me?"  His reply? (I could have predicted this...): "Why are you being hostile?!!"  UGH why do guys always turn things around on girls and make us sound like we're crazy?  Puh-LEEZE.  I wasn't being tagged hostile or crazy or anything else, so I called him.

"Heeeello?" he answered sheepishly.  Oh yeah, I'm not a scaredy-cat hiding behind texts, I deal with the issue head on! 

"Hey," I said.  "Listen, didn't mean to come across as hostile, I just would like to know what this is.  It doesn't seem like you're into me, but then you text me...I just don't get it."

"Why can't I text you?" he answered defensively.  "Maybe I just thought you were cool and wanted to say hi!"

"Well you're not trying to see me, and we're not exactly buddies, so what is going on?" I asked.

"I legitimately had something going on last week!" he said, his voice getting high pitched.  I tried not to laugh.  He thought I was hostile?  He sounded like I should have sounded.

"That's great!  I'm sure you did have something going on, I think that's wonderful.  But you're not trying to see me, so what's the point of texting?"

But the conversation had gone sour before it began, and he wasn't talking anymore.  So I said, "Well, it's awkward so I'll let you go. No hard feelings, okay?"

"Oh sure, no hard feelings.  Got it.  Bye." 

Ummmmm...can anyone explain to me what just happened?

UPDATE: I forgot to mention he is moving out of the country next month, so it doesn't make sense for him to just keep me around, right?  Also, if I didn't make it clear, I texted him the same number of times he texted me.  And seriously people, are we in high school?  Why is he texting me and not trying to go out with me?  Rail on me all you want, boys, but if you want to know how to get a girl, you should probably start with seeing her in person.

Apparently Blogging = Free Stuff

Jun 12, 2010

It's been quite a week for me as a blogger.  I got three blog invitations: 1) to try out a new drink and blog about it; 2) to take dance classes and blog about it; and the most exciting, 3) a dinner at Silver Diner

Since I haven't done the first two, I'll just tell you about my delicious dinner.  I'd eaten at Silver Diner once with a friend and her two little boys.  I got the Crab Benedict which a) seemed odd in a diner and b) got me addicted to Crab Benedict.  I had no idea that Silver Diner doesn't serve traditional diner food but uses local, farm fresh ingredients, including grass-fed animals (that means no antibiotics or hormones, which sounds extra healthy).  I showed up late because it was in Clarendon (Orange line...sooooo far away) and I didn't even consider they might have parking (an entire lot!).  Travel time = forever.  Since I usually only leave DC for work, this was a stretch for me, but well worth it. (READ: Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches.)

K, my new bff whom I met on Twitter (more to come on that later), was there too and she had saved me a seat.  When I walked in, the owner, Bob, was talking, and another girl was sitting in the booth with K, but there was room for me. 

"Excuse me," I whispered to the girl, pointing to the spot between them.  "Could I sit there?"

"Oh sure," she said, scooting toward K.

"Sorry, I meant can I sit beside her?" I still whispered, pointing at K this time.  "She's my friend.  Sorry." 

That's when I noticed the girl, who we'll call "Crunchy," (just trust me on this one) (as Margaret reads this she is mentally adding "Granola" onto the girl's nickname), was way preggers.  She looked at me like ARE YOU FOR REAL? and said, "Okay. Fine. Whatever!"

Did I mention she wasn't whispering and Bob was standing right beside us?  Geez, Crunchy, get a grip.  I wondered if I should excuse it because she was pregnant, but no, I think that's just her personality.

Once I squeezed in I whispered -- 'cause that's what you do when someone else is talking -- to K, "I don't think she likes me."

"I don't think it's you," K answered with a smile.

I was starving (1.5 liters of water and cherries have been my afternoon snack lately -- that only works till about 5 p.m.) so when I saw crab dip on the table I considered dumping the whole thing on my plate and sneering "MINE!" to anyone who dared touch it.  Half the dish later I was feeling less insane and more excited about what else they were going to let us sample.  (Oh yes, it was all free.  I'm kind of a big deal, you know.)

The chef, Ype, came out and told us what was in the food we'd be eating: fresh blueberries, crab caught yesterday, dandelions...DANDELIONS?  Okay but let me tell you, dandelions and arugula plus whatever else he put in that salad was Amazing!  And don't get me started on the soft shell crab, my first time ever eating it.  I woke up this morning thinking about it.  It was THAT GOOD.

After several bloggers took pictures of everything I was first in line to fill up my plate.  Back at our table Bob was waiting for us. 

"What is your blog?" he asked me.

"Cupcakes and Shoes," I said sheepishly.  Suddenly I felt very silly and hoped he wasn't suspicious as to why I was stuffing my face at his event.  There were some serious food bloggers there -- like, they make money off their blogs.  But he talked to me about cupcakes and asked for my recommendation (Lavender Moon, of course). 

Then he asked Crunchy about her blog.

"I write about children's nutrition and mothers advocating gluten-free blah blah blah blah I'm boring and annoying but I think I'm cute and smart."

(For the record, I think it's great she blogs about important issues, but my goodness was she on her high horse about it.)

"Really?" Bob said. "I may have a job opportunity for you then!  We need someone to write about..."

"Oh no," she shook her head.  "I can't take on work, I'm having a baby!"

"But you can do it from home and it won't take too much time..."

Crunchy smiled condescendingly as if to say, "Oh Bob, what could you possibly know about being a mother?"

"If only I didn't have a 4-year-old," she said, touching her belly with both hands.

(For the record No. 2, I don't have kids, I don't know what it's like to balance that with any kind of career, but I do have friends who have kids and still freelance write, so...)

"I know someone who might be interested," another blogger piped up. 

"Really?  Great!" Bob said.

Crunchy's eyes got big with panic.

"Well I might be able to do it," she jumped in, cutting off the other blogger, right as that blogger began telling Bob of her friend.

It was at this point I stopped paying attention to the conversation and began to wonder, who would do it with this woman, TWICE?  And when he did it, did she chirp at him the whole time?  "Move to the left, dear.  Oh fine, whatever, have it your way.  At least I'm smart!"

Then I glanced at her left hand.  No ring.  Hmm, artificial insemination?  I knew a guy in college who "deposited" at a sperm bank to pay his tuition.  He wasn't allowed to "deposit" anywhere else between appointments.  "Rolling Stone" wrote an article about him.  He eventually quit his job to marry his therapist.  He took her last name.  Ahh.  Memories.

(Sorry Mother.  Unfollow me if you must.)

But back to the Crunchy Pregnancy Mystery.  Oh who cares, I got to eat free crab!

(For the record No. 3, I've never been pregnant, but I think if I were pregnant and getting free crab I'd be elated and not snapping at everyone.  On the other hand, if I felt people were eating the crab that I could be eating, I might bite all of their heads off.  Touche, Crunchy.  Touche.)

After dinner K and I went to the bathroom.

"Isn't it annoying that..." she started, and I was expecting her to talk about Crunchy, but she didn't.  I agreed this other thing was annoying and we chattered about it until we were washing our hands...and then Crunchy stepped out of a stall.  We waited for her to leave then K laughed, "That could have been SO BAD!"  We were both totally thinking the same thing.

Wait, are we Mean GirlsOh to have Tina Fey as a teacher, it would be worth it. 

(Speaking of Tina Fey, I met Jonathan, Jack's assistant from "30 Rock," at Jazz in the Sculpture Garden with K and Margaret the next night!)