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Top Five Scary-But-Not-Scary Movies to Watch if, Like Me, You Didn't Get Invited to A Halloween Party

Oct 31, 2013

My best memories of summertime as a teenager are the ones when my sister, who is 10 years older than I am, would come home from work on a Friday and order me to grab my bikini and get in the car, 'cause we were goin' to the lake! This was fun for many obvious reasons, but mainly because:

A) I had a 10 p.m. curfew so I had resigned myself to another geeky Friday night of watching TGIF then calling 99X to request Radiohead and The Cranberries songs while I lay on my floor writing in my journal.

B) My sister would pretty much let me do whatever I wanted once we got there.

This is what I imagined. This never, ever happened.
My lake friend was Shelley, and we would get into all kinds of trouble together. And by trouble I mean French inhaling her dad's Parliaments and chugging stolen beers under a dock then complaining about how gross beer is.

One Saturday night we met some lake boys. This was the most fun because it was too dark to see what they looked like so we could pretend they were as hot as we wanted them to be. It wouldn't be until the following year that I would actually let one of them kiss me (only to find out the next day he had one and a half front teeth), but that year I went as far as to accept an invitation for a Nightmare on Elm Street marathon the next afternoon, where I let my guy stroke my arm.

This was super scandalous for me, y'all. Not even my mother knows about this!

Long story short, we watched four Nightmare on Elm Streets before I had to drive back home with my sister. That night, peering over my Laura Ashley comforter to the end of my bed, I swear to you I saw Freddy's nasty fedora creep up from the floor and those ghetto razor fingernails tap the yellow and lavender flowers, just shy of my toes.

So you'd think I'd stop watching horror movies after that, right? Wrong. Not until last year, when the Ex made me watch Paranormal Activity, did I finally quit. HOWEVER, there are a few that I will still watch, for various reasons explained below.

1. The Watcher in the Woods
Year: 1980
Plot: Family moves into a big house that's strangely priced below their budget. It's surrounded by woods and it's old. Obviously something scary is going to happen. *SPOILER ALERT* Bette Davis is watching from the woods, but she's not actually the scariest part of this movie. THE LITTLE BLINDFOLDED BLONDE GIRL STUCK IN THE MIRROR IS.
Why I Love It: We find out the trapped girl's name is Karen because somebody writes her name on a window and our heroine's kid sister, who is clearly dyslexic, thinks it's "Narek" instead of the logical word, "Karen," and names her cat Narek. The big sis heroine, who is also blonde (I know there's a connection to her and NarekKaren but I've never figured it out), investigates and finds the missing link is named...wait for it...MARY PIERCE. OMG Y'ALL SCARIEST SLEEPOVER EVER. And also doomed my teenage years as people were pretty sure I was cursed somehow. 


2. Frogs
Year: 1972
Plot: A bunch of pretty people end up on some island around South Carolina (I think) where they stay in a big, old house where a crotchety old man in a wheelchair lives. When frogs and some lizards start killing people, everyone tries to escape, but obviously they can't because frogs and lizards procreate at higher rates than humans, plus lizards can regenerate their tails if they need to. I mean, humans are really no match for frogs and lizards, if we're being honest. I'm not sure how we've survived this long. Anyway, the old man refuses to leave, much like other people refuse to leave their houses during a hurricane. *SPOILER ALERT* He dies. 
Why I Love It: This is the campiest horror flick of all time. The special effects are so awful. The plot is ridiculous. The acting is atrocious. The frogs are supposed to be evil but after a while you start finding them cute. The only convincing killer, an alligator, has tape over its mouth in the shot. Look for it. You'll find lots more mistakes while you're at it. 
Year: 1985
Plot: Teenage kid thinks his neighbor is a vampire and contacts a local TV celebrity, who claims to be a vampire hunter, to help him out. The celebrity obviously thinks the kid (Charlie) is cray cray, but when people end up missing, the local celeb humors him and becomes legit vampire hunter. *SPOILER ALERT* They succeed, and remain friends.
Why I Love It: It has that classic 80s vibe that all of us 80s kids miss so much. Prince Humperdink is the bad guy, again. The pencil through the hand and the vampire skin getting all sizzly is pretty cool too. And Charlie is a total underdog stud. He can do way better than his annoying girlfriend who wears suspenders all the time. Ugh, boys. 

Year: 2004
Plot: Poor Shaun, he's like the Bridget Jones of the zombie apocalypse. He can't get the girl, his brother is being a jerk, he really needs to work out but instead drinks away his problems, and everyone around him is trying to eat him! You just can't win, you know? *SPOILER ALERT* He gets the girl. And shoots his mom in the face.
Why I Love It: I feel like in real life, I would react similarly to Shaun upon finding a zombie girl in my backyard. Scratch that -- I would be hiding behind my couch wondering what the heck someone was doing in my backyard with my finger hovering over 9-1-1, but instead I'd end up calling my dad and my neighbor, in that order. But Shaun seems to have a reasonable reaction, until he and his buddy start throwing things at her because they think she's drunk. Why are boys so mean?!?!?! 


5. Zombieland
Year: 2009
Plot: Mark Zuckerberg Jesse Eisenberg is one of the few remaining humans since the zombie apocalypse (in America this time) because, just like me, he's full of rules. He points out early on that if you're fat, you're probably not going to outrun the zombies. That's right -- these zombies run! So he's very serious about his rules, from keeping up your cardio to not being a hero. Until he meets Emma Stone... awww.
Why I Love It: *SPOILER ALERT* Because Bill Murray is a human for a while and then a zombie. And it was filmed in Georgia, which is apparently where the zombie apocalypse will happen if it ever happens.

Online Dating: A Survey

Oct 30, 2013

Now that the dust has settled from last week's post on online dating, I'm doing lots of research for my follow-up post.


As it turns out, this is a much debated and highly sensitive topic, my goodness! Therefore, I want to give y'all true expert advice, backed up with statistics, psychologists' quotes, scientific research and all kinds of good stuff.

While I'm working on it, I'd like to see what you think. I'll write the post sometime next week, so chime in while you can!


Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

An Apology, and A Break

Oct 24, 2013

Per the request of several readers, I gave my thoughts on online dating yesterday. Soon after the post went up, the comments started rolling in, on the post and on Twitter. Many were cheering me on and vehemently agreeing. Many saw my point but didn't agree completely, so they offered their points of view. But most of them were mean-spirited and caused me to question why I'm putting myself through this.

Do I regret writing what I did? You betcha! And I'm willing to admit that, with no snark or satire. My blog persona is gone this time -- this is just transparent, vulnerable me. When I decided to take down the controversial post, I considered giving up blogging altogether. But, because I'm running on high emotions right now, instead I offer an apology in the form of the lessons I learned during the past 24 hours.

1. Guys in DC want girls to offer to pay the check. I never knew this until now. Even still, I just started not offering to pay -- kinda trying out something new. But I don't want any guy I go out with, gentleman or not, to feel like I don't appreciate his effort or time. So I'll never assume the guy is picking up the check again.

2. I'm not as strong as I thought I was. Blogging has been a nice outlet for me during these past couple of months, but it's turned into something that's more self-destructive than helpful. I was trying to be a few steps ahead of where I actually am right now. I thought I'd made more progress on the broken heart thing than I probably have. It still hurts too much, so I need to be more careful with it.

3. Blogging is a front, and sometimes I get carried away. It feels good to pretend to be someone else sometimes. I'm tired of being so sad, and blogging has been a way for me to feel alive again. I feel terrible for making anyone feel bad in the process, though. All the comments and tweets reeled me back in. Me having a little fun is not worth the expense of others' feelings.

4. People are googling me more than I realized. Within 24 hours, three guys I was talking to read my blog post and swiftly let me know how they felt about me. Not the post, but me. Based on the post. As much as I want people to get that this is just my online persona, not me, I can't expect them to. That's not fair at all. I've been fighting my mother on this point for five years, and I finally see that she was right. I was wrong.

5. Now I remember why I made a point about this not being a dating blog. Dating is a tumultuous topic. I think enough other people write about it that I don't need to throw my two cents out there. The truth is, I'm rooting for all of us Singletons to find a match. I don't want any of us to get hurt, but we will along the way. I wanted to give us -- at least my fellow lady Singletons -- a place to laugh about it, feel not so alone in what they were going through, and hopefully say, "Yes! Exactly!" when they read my point of view. I think I accomplished that with many of them, but again, it's not worth it if it's going to offend so many other people.

So, for those of you who actually like what I write on here, just give me a moment to breathe and get my bearings again. I got in way over my head this time, to the point where I didn't recognize my life anymore. It's too much for me to handle right now, but I'll be okay soon.

xoxo

Editor's Note: After much prompting and encouragement by readers, friends, my mother and even one of the guys who dumped me, I decided to republish the controversial blog post. Read it here.

(AMENDED) Online Dating: Preparing Yourself

Oct 23, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013 9:04 p.m.

Screw it, I'm reposting this. My mom said she thought it was "a cute post," and ladies everywhere loved it. Dudes, if you don't like it...uggghhhhh... [delete delete delete].

Okay, look, I've got two eligible, dating bachelors in DC who are going to co-write a blog post with me to expound on this topic. If you have any questions for them/us, leave in the comments below this week. But don't be nasty or I'll ignore you, got it? I'm trying to make this a productive experience here. Let's attempt to be civil.

Thanks, all, for reading and participating in the discussion. I hope we can all still be friends.

***

Now that I'm single again, I've been receiving a lot of reader requests for my expertise on the many facets of online dating. Personally, I think I'm an expert at staying single, but hey, I'm happy to share my insider knowledge.

Today we'll explore prepping yourself to jump into the wonderful world of online dating. It's scary, hairy and very...what rhymes with hug me?... The point is, don't take it too seriously.



1. Google "online dating" and click the Images tab. Here are two of my faves.

Why would you ever do ET fingers with a guy you met over the Internet? 
Or hold hands like this? 
2. Don't go into it thinking you're going to find your husband. 


Listen, I know how you feel. My eggs are starting to go bad too. But we're all going to get married and will have babies if we really want to. You can't think about that right now. Chances are, you aren't going to find him online. Yes, I know your neighbor's cousin met her fiancee online and things are going great and you told your neighbor her cousin's ring is big when you really think it's merely adequate. SHUT IT DOWN. You are only doing this for fun, remember? Besides, you and I both know when you end up on a date with a guy who is clearly only interested in finding a wife, your interest level plummets. Think about that.

3. You may still be climbing the career ladder, but you are CEO of yourself. You got that? C-E-O. You're about to e-meet some guys who seem too good to be true (they are)...


...and some that seem icky but you're trying to be open-minded so you talk to them anyway.


Stop feeling bad (why do we waste so much time on feeling bad?) and take charge of yoself. Talking to strangers is just how it's gonna be, but you've still got your intuition, so use it. Don't feel like you have to talk to everyone who talks to you, but do be aware that if you are too selective in responding, you'll affect the algorithms that match you with guys in the first place. 

4. You're about to get rejected a lot. Deal with it. 


And don't take it personally. The truth is, as a girl, you're getting way more messages, winks, pokes, likes, and whatever they come up with next, than guys. And generally in life, guys get rejected way more than girls do. Think about this: By the age of 30, you've been rejected, what, a couple of times a year since you turned 15? So let's say 30 times. Guys get rejected every week. That's 780 times. (Please note: I conducted no scientific research, I'm just estimating.) Again, don't feel bad for them, but also don't make a big deal about it when it happens to you. There are plenty of other idiot guys to get attention from. 


We don't because we're hopeful and don't want to skew the algorithms, hurting our chances at finding that perfect match. But a lot of other people do. It's no big deal unless he's a serial killer. I've never encountered one of those that I'm aware of, so don't worry about it. If you do worry, I refer you to No. 3. And if you find yourself on a date with the too-good-to-be-true guy who clearly lied about his height, just enjoy the free dinner and ignore him later. 

6. Wait, I get free dinner? 


Yes. Don't pay. And don't settle for just drinks. Order food and don't reach for your purse when the bill comes. You don't owe him anything. If you start to feel bad, as we girls tend to do, remember that he asked you out, so you've already upheld your end of the deal.

AMENDMENT:

WOW this point generated a lot of discussion. Here, I'm embedding this one tweet for the sake of argument (if you want to be thoroughly entertained, I recommend you go read the entire thread):
So, okay, fine, all guys want you to offer to pay. But guys, please know that we feel UGH about this.

It's not about getting free stuff. Most girls can get free stuff without taking the time to go on a date. It's not that hard, just show some cleavage and giggle. It's more like the consolation for going out on bad blind date after bad blind date. Growing up in the South, but I imagine elsewhere as well, I was taught to expect the guy to do the asking, open the doors, take you to dinner and pay the bill. We were the prize to be won. Well, news flash parents, 99% of the time it's not like that. So we lower our expectations and, in desperate moments, our standards.

However, the 1% is out there. I've dated him.

Here's the thing, fellas: If you treat us like what I'm describing, later down the road we are going to treat you like a king.

I'm sorry if I or any girl has made any of you feel like we're freeloaders. We just want to feel pretty.

The comment from Anonymous made me feel bad (ARGH I'm being such a girl) and that is the reason why I decided to amend this point.

For the record, because I have to state this just about every other post, most of my dates aren't terrible. Only the bad ones end up on my blog. And even then, only the bad ones with guys I don't suspect will ever read my blog end up on here.

And by the way, I still offer to pay the majority of the time. But when I'm out with a really classy guy, I don't because, at least to me, it feels like it drags down the classiness of the evening.

Now, when it comes to No. 7? Screw that. Y'all are on your own. 

7. But what if I asked him out? 


You didn't. Try, I dare you. You will get a 0% response rate. I don't care how modern you feel dating online...guys will never evolve from wanting to chase us. Let them. I know that one guy who keeps looking at your profile is your No. 1 pick and you can't figure out why he keeps looking but won't ask you out. It's because he's dating other girls he thinks are better than you. Neither you nor I want to believe that the guy we like thinks some other girl is better than us, but let's face it, you put that guy in your No. 1 spot which means you think he's better than all those other guys who are actually trying to talk to you. Enjoy the fact that No. 1 is hung up on your profile and move on.

8. Back up...what are these algorithms you keep talking about? It's a fancy term for, the guys who designed all these online sites are aware that girls are picky so they set up these technical thingies to keep you from getting attention unless you're paying it forward. 

The product of 15 years of rejection. I give you permission to feel bad in this case.

So just because your No. 1 is ignoring you, don't ignore all the others because you feel like somehow this is payback to No. 1 (who probably uploaded an old Abercrombie ad as his profile pic, by the way). Give them a chance. Don't go out with them if you don't want to. But give them a chance. 

9. You're going to see some gross stuff. 

{IMAGE NOT AVAILABLE BECAUSE I GOOGLE IMAGED "GROSS" AND ALMOST THREW UP}

I mean penises, of course. The first one will shock you and you'll feel violated and tainted and scarred for life, but after that just report the guy and pat yourself on the back for saving your fellow lady online daters from seeing that particular unsolicited penis.  

10. Married guys, guys who can't speak English, guys with weird fetishes, guys who know you're way out of their league, and guys who are just looking to get laid are all going to hit on you. 

This guy encompasses all five of those descriptions, and, sadly,
I've been out with him more times than I have time to count right now. 
Take screenshots of them and send them to your friends for entertainment. Or blog about them. Don't be mean; I'm not telling you to give out identifying information. But, like I've been saying all along, have fun with it. 

Are you ready to take the plunge? I'll write more of these posts over the next few weeks. There's so much more I have to share with y'all. 

District Peach Debuts Tomorrow!

Oct 18, 2013

The day has finally come, y'all! District Peach launches tomorrow, Saturday, October 19, 2013. It gives me butterflies just writing that.


AHH!

In my very first post on Cupcakes & Shoes, I wrote about the dream I had (with Ashmi, at the time). "...opening a shoe/cupcake boutique would be a wonderful dream come true," I wrote. What you don't know is I envisioned displaying all those shoes and cupcakes on antique furniture that I refurbished.

As time went on, this idea of starting a business began to form. I would walk through Miss Pixie's and my heart would ache. This is what I want to do, but better! I would think as I inspected old knick knacks and ran my hand over the backs of antique chairs that desperately needed to be painted and reupholstered.

I tip-toed around my idea quietly, scouting out spots to open a store and inquiring into the lease pricing with a few owners. I researched small business loans, made connections with other small business owners and picked their brains for advice, and I practiced on my own furniture, resulting in some really beautiful pieces in my apartment.


But I could never muster up the courage to take the plunge.

When I heard about District Flea coming to the U Street Corridor, I saw a low-risk opportunity to get my feet wet in the well I'd been tip-toeing around for five years. I figured out my product (starting out with housewares), spent most of my free time the past two months researching, designing and making my product, and then, largely in part due to other small business owners in the neighborhood who were happy and willing to help me out, I finally found a way in to the flea market.

So, tomorrow, I will be partnering with Stylish Patina, a shop that is basically my dream realized: refurbished furniture and decorative home accents. I can't tell you how excited I am for this opportunity, because it means I'm finally taking the plunge (and it's not nearly as scary as I expected it to be), and because, even if it's in a small way, the dream is finally coming true.

How's that for a happy ending?! Now I just need that handsome stranger to come along and sweep me off my feet buy me a row house to renovate. At this rate, though, maybe I'll just do that for myself in five more years. #girlcode

Here are the deets:
  • District Flea is open from 10-5 on Saturdays at 945 Florida Avenue, NW. This was supposed to be the last weekend, but the owner decided to extend it through November, I'm guessing on account of the amazingly lovely weather we've been having. I wouldn't be surprised if it's extended beyond that, so stay tuned. Please note, the address is slightly misleading as the entrance is on Vermont Ave. Just go to the 9:30 Club and you'll figure it out. Green/yellow line, U Street, 10th Street exit, for Metro-goers. 
  • District Peach will be in the far left corner with Stylish Patina. Come for refurbished furniture, paint, painting demonstrations, coasters, magnets, trivets, jewelry organizers and some other little things.
  • There's also really good food there. Red Hook Lobster, Dolcezza, Whisked! (which was just voted best baker in DC!), Churchkey and many more. So come for that if you don't want to shop. But please at least stop by and tell me how cute my stuff is. Here's a sampling:
Coasters
Jewelry Organizer
Animal Magnets
Graphic Magnets
P.S. Yes I know it looks like I stole my name from "District Flea," but here's the skinny on that: "DC Peach" was already taken on Twitter, and District Flea doesn't own the word "district," so, there.

Boy Band Bonanza Part II: Important Things I Learned from Justin Bieber's Believe Tour

Oct 15, 2013

Yesterday, on the day of Columbus aka It's-Time-To-Clean-Out-Your-Closet Day, the Biebs dropped his newest video. See the EXCLUSIVE here! (see, not hear)


No one's sure why there's no sound, or why he decided to make a mockery of the Great Wall of China, or why he's still wearing a diaper as a bona fide sex symbol to 10-year-olds and thirtysomethings.

But I am sure of one thing:


As promised (two months ago), here are all the amazing details of that time I took K to see JB on his Believe Tour. I should state for the record that I am a Belieber but K is not a Belieber. Our Bieberifferences caused some awkward moments, but we're still friends. I should also warn you that I'm going to be saying things like "Bieberinfferences" throughout this post. 

1. Beliebers have terrific lung capacity. The screaming begins the minute the opening act goes offstage. It is constant and spikes for no apparent reason. This is what we call "Bieber Fever." 


2. The Biebs can fly. Still not sure what this had to do with anything, but the crowd loved it. 


3. The Biebs can danceswim. Also very confused about this. Mermaid angels were dance-swimming all around him. Is there a metaphor I'm missing here?


4. The Biebs has his his own fashion police force, so don't even bother. Diaper or skirt? We couldn't figure it out. Also, he had a new haircut that resembled the front of George Washington's wig. 



5. The Biebs is quite the romantic. Except, as we found out, he should never serenade a girl in real life because he is an atrocious singer. Everything you hear on the radio is auto-tuned. In real life, his voice still hasn't dropped and he's very nasaly. But he does play a mean acoustic guitar on a rotating crane thing that K and I were very nervous would malfunction and squash the screaming girls below. 


6. The Biebs still hasn't gone through puberty. I mean, we already determined that with the voice thing, but I have further evidence to prove it. (Wifebeaterbieber, tunic, jammies or dress?) (Either way, he's not filling it out, which leads me to believe the diaper thing is for illusion purposes.)


7. The Biebs really loves his fans. Just look at the lovely purple and mauve flower wreath he made this Belieber wear onstage as he sang "One Less Lonely Girl"! (Again, don't worry about how ugly it is. It's Bieber Fashion and it makes sense in the proper context.)


8. No matter how underdeveloped he is, the Biebs will always bring down the house with this classic. But we really would prefer he keep his sleeveless tunic on. 


9. The Biebs really wants his Beliebers to belieb in their dreabs d-r-e-a-m-s. He's been beliebing since he was two when he played those mad ill beats, so you can do it too! But you have to have been showing some sort of talent by the age of two and have it well documented so you can remind everyone constantly that that's your thing and what sets you apart from the rest and why it's okay to think you're a sex symbol without having gone through puberty yet. 


10. Even if he does ever get muscles, body hair and a normal haircut, he'll always be The Biebs.

The Second Time in My Life I Was Really White in Front of A Member of Outkast

Oct 11, 2013

Buzzfeed is trying to start a meme about black people being not amused by white people antics, which reminded me about the Big Boi concert I went to last week with still-furloughed Anne.

The first time I encountered a member of Outkast (Andre 3000) was 12 years ago while I was on a date with a married pothead (both qualities were unbeknownst to me until that evening). We were walking out of the Regal Hollywood 24 and there he was with his six-year-old. Did I mention all four of us were there to see the late showing of Hannibal? I tried to go say hi, which would have either come out as "Fo shizzle my nizzle YKK on your zipper!" or "OHMYGOSHANDRE3000ILOVEYOUAHHHHH!" (Both equally white introductions.) Sadly, my date got protective (of Andre, not me) and gave me a sneak peak into what dating him would be like when he grabbed my arm and jerked me back.

AND THAT'S WHY I DON'T DATE MARRIED GUYS, Y'ALL.

Last week when businesses around DC started offering free stuff to federal employees, Howard Theatre jumped on the freewagon and gave out tickets to see Big Boi, and I saw an opportunity to interface with the other half of Outkast and therefore be able to tell people I've almost met Outkast and not just Andre 3000.


Technically I'm neither furloughed nor a federal employee, but I do have an ID so I took advantage of this deal.


And I got a free doughnut at Astro Doughnuts. SORRY! If it's any consolation, everyone's probably going to get back-pay and I still had to work under very stressful circumstances.

Wednesday night I met Anne in front of the Howard Theatre, and she had a few furloughed buddies with her. Everyone was relaxed and in a great mood except for me since I had to work late, find an alternative route home since streets around the White House were blocked off for some reason, shove three spoonfuls of cold mac and cheese down my gullet and feel guilty about taking out Noli then immediately leaving.

It was standing room only inside, and the opening act was running late, so we all got drinks and made small talk about things that made us all sound really white. I looked around and was not surprised at all to find we were in the vast minority and the worst dressed people in the place. I took to social media to make myself feel cool again.


The first guy came onstage finally, and the crowd went wild, and I realized my feet hurt. I noticed a couple cuddling at a six-person table and made a bee line over to them.

"Mind if I sit here until Big Boi comes onstage?" The guy didn't answer. The girl looked me over then nodded yes. I sat down and made a mental note: You could learn a thing or two from her.


My attempt at a "going out" outfit
Two more guys did their thing before we got to Big Boi. No one seemed to mind because, I assume, they were either used to this kind of concert format or they were furloughed and were on no real schedule. I fell into neither category. All I could think about was how good chicken fingers would taste right then (because people around me were ordering them) and how I was spiraling into tiredness and wasn't going to last much longer. To stay awake, I internally criticized the performers.

None of them had talent, as far as I could tell. Anyone can get up there and yell into a microphone. Half the stuff didn't even rhyme, and if it did, it was words like "duck," "luck" and "suck" to rhyme with, well, you know. Even the guy on the turntables wasn't doing that great of a job. So I again took to social media to make myself feel cool and show I am a true hip hop expert.
Then DJ Qbert followed me on Twitter and I felt EVEN COOLER.

And then Killer Mike came on and I almost walked out of the place.

This guy was so incredibly offensive. He was hating on the government, which is fine, but he took it way too far.
Then he hated on every religion he could remember existed. Then he hated on prescription drugs and talked a lot about how doctors want to give you a pill to help you lose weight. Clearly his doctor offered something like this to him because he wasn't taking any other advice, and instead he rebelled against all the advice and became obese. And the fact that he had to give us a long speech before every song to explain to us what the song was about shows me that he's a terrible lyricist. (How cool am I for using the word "lyricist"?!) During his rant rapping, the couple at my table got up and left, so I know I wasn't the only one who didn't care for him.

At 9:45, when Killer Mike said he had all night and was gonna take his time, I decided I was leaving at 10 unless Big Boi came onstage. Thankfully, a couple of minutes before I turned into a pumpkin, he did. And he was AWESOME.

Kanye ain't got nothin on Big Boi.
He played all the great hits, including "Rosa Parks," "Ghettomusik," "The Way You Move" and "So Fresh and So Clean." Anne and I took turns photobombing Big Boi as we attempted to sing/rap along. 


I danced until 11:30 and then gave in to the fact that I had a job to report to in the morning. It was the first time in my friendship with Anne that I showed signs of being old before she did.

And then this happened:

White people antics

I wrote a really great comeback, but my phone died before I tweeted it to this stranger who only has, like, six followers. I said something along the lines of "Well guess what IDIOT I was hashtagging #ATLiens because both @BigBoi and I are from Atlanta, so YOU just embarrassed YOURSELF!!!"

The next day I was too tired and busy at work to tweet Trent "Asshat" Walker, but I did complain to Anne about it when we met for free doughnuts that afternoon, and she responded, smiling and singsonginly and all children-of-the-corn-like, Stepford-wives-like, "Don't engage."

I miss non-furloughed, stressed out, no-time-for-this-shizz Anne. If this shutdown lasts much longer, we're going to have 800,000 mentally disabled people on our hands. But at least we'll have Obamacare to cover their medical expenses.

BURN! That's called IRONY, my friends.

What's NOT ironic? A white girl trying to fit into a black crowd by bragging about the vegan pizza she ate with a DJ. Now does everyone understand the difference? (I'm lookin' at you, Mr. President...)

The Man with One Blue Shoe

Oct 7, 2013

Much to my mother's disdain (direct quote from Facebook message: "Mary El......dating on line.....are you CRAZY!"), I decided I needed to get out there and get back to dating.

As I mentioned last week, the easiest way to do this is online -- not to say I haven't been asked out the natural way several times in the past month, but this way provides me a little more control over who asks me out. And, if I want to run for the hills when he does, I can just stop talking to him.

I'm not mean, people. It happens to everyone. It's a doggy dog world out there, okay? (Translation: A beautiful world filled with puppies.) 

The first fine fellow to nail down a date with me will henceforth be known as "Shoe Guy," and the way he asked me out went something like this:

Are you free Friday? 14th Street area? 8ish?

Uhhhhhhgggggggh. Shoe Guy was also Indecisive Guy.


Listen up, fellas! It's exceedingly easy to impress a girl in this town. 

Step 1: Ask her if she's free this weekend at least three days before the weekend. 
Step 2: Suggest a restaurant that has the best [fill in the blank]. 
Step 3: Make a reservation.
Step 4: Don't assume you're just getting drinks. Ask if she'd like to order dinner. Have in mind something to recommend she order.
Step 5: Pounce on the check when it arrives and tell a funny story while you do it so you don't have that awkward moment where she's reaching for her purse.

If you follow these five, simple steps, you are 99% guaranteed a second date. If you don't want a second date, she will rave about you to her friends and your gentlemanly behavior will become an urban legend that single girls discuss for the next year. However, if you do not follow all five steps, you will still receive points for following any of them. 

Shoe Guy did two of these, so he wasn't all bad, but certainly on par with Hipster Guy

I told him sure and waited for him to suggest a place, and he finally came up with Marvin, famous for its mussels and rooftop bar. At 7:40 p.m. Friday he texted me: I'm here. On the roof. I texted back I'd see him at 8. Not my fault he couldn't set a firm time!

When I arrived, the rooftop was already busy and the music was loud. I sat next to him and ordered a drink, as I saw he had a beer. 

"WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?" I yelled over Janet Jackson and ever-so-slightly moved my hips along to the beat when he responded. All I heard was "tag football" and "we are a part of a rhythm nation." 

"NICE! I LIKE WATCHING FOOTBALL, JUST NEVER REALLY UNDERSTOOD IT. I GUESS I'M NOT THAT GREAT AT MATH," I offered, trying to give him an in and playing dumb. (It was a rookie move. I won't do that again.)

"I MEAN, I COULD TEACH YOU..." he started. I smiled and nodded enthusiastically. "...BUT IF YOU HAVEN'T FIGURED IT OUT BY NOW, I FEEL LIKE THERE'S NOT MUCH I CAN SAY." 

That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the evening. We made some other small talk, and, right before he ordered another drink, he told me, "I CAN ONLY HEAR ABOUT 50 PERCENT OF WHAT YOU'RE SAYING. IT'S REALLY LOUD IN HERE."

I played How Long Can I Let the Awkward Silence Last? while he finished his beer. Finally he suggested we go somewhere not as loud. I was getting really hungry, so I mentioned Ted's Bulletin.

"Do you like diner food?" I asked as we walked down 14th Street. "They have fantastic milkshakes."

"I love diner food!" he said, showing an expression other than boredom for the first time. 

"They make these crab hushpuppies too, I highly recommend them," I said.

"Oh, I'm not hungry. I went to Marvin early so I could eat something."

So it came as no surprise to me when we secured two seats at the bar and the bartender asked, "Food or just drinks?" and he said, "Just drinks." *womp womp*

At Ted's, we mostly argued about anything that came up in conversation. He had a Breaking Bad theory that was different than mine, so he passionately told me I was wrong. (Remember when I told you how happy I was to find he was wrong?) He insisted he was a Southerner because he was from Bethesda. For some reason he was using every charming conversation item I had in my arsenal and turning it into an argument. Which is why I found myself bragging, "You know, I'm actually great at math. How high did you score on your SATs?"

"1050, I think?"

"Yeah? Well I got an 1170. And I scored higher in math than in English."

He chuckled condescendingly. "What's six times six?"

"36."

"What's 20 percent of 60?"

"12."

"What's 20 percent off 60, I meant?"

"48. You're giving me really easy stuff here."

"Okay, what's the square root of 845?"

"That's not real-world math. Nobody knows that without a calculator."

He shifted uncomfortably on his bar stool. And then the bartender walked past him and put two milkshakes in front of the people next to him. His eyes followed the milkshakes and locked in on them for a good seven seconds. When he turned back to me, he seemed dazed. My stomach growled. I saw an opportunity to get some nutrition.

"Looks gooooood doesn't it? Should we get one to share?"

"Nah," he scowled. "If I drink a milkshake I'll be f@#$ing all night." 

(Editor's note: In my childhood household, the f word that rhymes with cart and means "to pass gas" was the worst of the four-letter words. To this day I cannot say it out loud, and there's absolutely no way I'll write it on a public blog post.)

Well. That was the nail in the coffin of our date. I should have known he had a couple more up his sleeve. 

Next up? We're talking about football again, and he tells me he hurt his ankle the previous weekend. Seeing as I recently had surgery on my ankle from a running injury, I encouraged him to go see a doctor, and as I did he crossed the injured, left ankle over his right knee and began rubbing it.

"Man, talking about it is really making my ankle throb. I think it needs to breathe," he said. 

I wasn't sure what he meant by that, so I decided to keep my mouth shut. I took a sip of my drink, and by the time I set it back on the counter, he had removed his shoe (it was blue) and was handing it to me. I looked at the shoe and instinctively plugged my nose, fearful of catching of whiff of Man Foot Funk. He pushed the shoe toward me, as if to say, Take it! I kept my hands firmly gripped around my glass, as if to say, Not a chance, weirdo, and breathed through my mouth. 

Looking confused and lost, he waved the shoe around, trying to figure out what to do with it. Since I wouldn't hold it for him, he decided the next best option was setting it on the back of my bar stool. And then he began unwrapping the Ace bandage. Mortified, I turned to the people next to me and talked to them about their food for a couple of minutes. When I turned back to Shoe Guy, he started up some other conversation that I can't remember now, and I'm sure we argued for a while, and then, after I'd made my point and was waiting for his reply, he said, "I gotta go pee."

When he returned from his pee, he paid the check (good effort but not enough to save the date) and put on his shoe (or maybe he put on his shoe before he went pee? I can't remember, I was feeling faint), and we left. I was walking home (with plans to stop at Subway for a $5 footlong first), and he walked along with me. I had nothing left to say, so we didn't talk. About a minute in he stopped and said, "Are we going somewhere else or going home?"

"I'm going home," I said declaritively. 

"Oh. Okay. Nice meeting you." He gave me an awkward hug (why do we feel the need to do that after dates, by the way?) and walked away. 

And then I went to Subway and got hit on right outside of it. (Please, let me take you to dinner, the stranger said. I came thisclose to saying, Yes! Anything my love! Take me away from here to food land! but I got a text right before I could say all of that and he walked away. Probably divine intervention.)

The Zombie Apocalypse Is Totally Gonna Happen

Oct 4, 2013

It's been a strange week.

It started with the masterful ending of Breaking Bad, which for me felt like recompense for LOST. (Don't worry, lame people who are just now jumping on the Breaking Bad bandwagon, no spoilers in here.) Since I don't have cable and therefore couldn't host a party with blue cupcakes, I watched it at Duffy's, which briefly changed its name to "Heisenberg Pub," with my friend A who is way cooler than I am.



Shoot...I haven't told y'all about my date last Friday yet. Note to Self: Write blog posts in chronological order dum dum. I will post about that Monday or Tuesday next week, so when you read it, I want you to remember that his Breaking Bad theories were so off and that made me happy. Mine were off too, but I'm terrible at predicting what will happen next when the storytelling is actually good. The guy who was sitting next to us was dead on, which made for excitable tweeting on my part.

The last minute of the series was one of the most satisfying minutes of my life. No major questions left unanswered, every area of concern dealt with. My biggest question before the finale was not about a plot point but how would I feel about the characters when it was all over? The answer was that I was rooting for every one of them (not Todd, Lydia, Jack and the crew -- the main ones: Walt, Jesse, Skyler, Marie and even Flynn). Not rooting for happy endings, mind you, but rooting for each of them to be honest with themselves and move on from those wild two years.

Once it was over, no one knew quite what to do. We hung around with our barmates for about 10 minutes and then, without formal good-byes, the place emptied. There was nothing left to be said. It was a masterpiece. The end.

RIP, Breaking Bad. (Don't click that link if you're not caught up.)

***

The next day the government shut down. Y'all. THE GOVERNMENT. SHUT. DOWN. 


I get the feeling that most people outside of the Beltway, except for those with government jobs, do not understand what a huge deal this is. I'm not going to get on a soapbox here, but since so many people have been asking me what's it like right now, I'm giving my perspective.
  • I am still working, because my work is considered essential. That's the skinny of it. It's actually more complicated than that, but I'm happy to be receiving a paycheck.
  • Traffic is just as bad. Not all of the NCR (National Capital Region) is employed by the federal government. But I'm guessing that if this goes on much longer, everyone is going to begin feeling it. States are losing millions of dollars a day. Small businesses are suffering, and those who rely on government contracts are already laying off employees. Some large companies are in the same boat. 
  • Furloughed federal employees are not guaranteed retroactive pay. Congress has yet to decide if they'll get paid for this forced time off, so don't be so quick to assume their unemployment is easier than yours. 
  • Freebies abound. Local businesses are being absolutely awesome by offering deals, discounts and freebies to furloughed employees. Anne's daily objective is to get free food. I met her yesterday for a late afternoon snack, and in the middle of my rant about something that was annoying me at work, I noticed she was ethereally smiling at me. "Are you even listening?" I asked, becoming more enraged. "Oh yes," she said singsongingly. "People, man. People," she said, shaking her head, still smiling. It was then that I realized she had checked out of the professional realm. She's a lady of leisure now.
     
  • If you blame the GOP, the Tea Party, John Boehner, the Democrats, the President or Obamacare, you've fallen into the game and will only add fuel to the apocalyptic inferno. This is politics, people. Everyone has an agenda. Watch five minutes of C-SPAN and you'll see what I mean. The finger pointing and dirt slinging is all part of the show. This is a power struggle at its worst and most embarrassing. I'm proud to be an American, but I'm mortified this is happening.
  • Zombie Apocalypse! That's the second thing I thought when I heard about the shooting at the Capitol yesterday (may have been somewhat influenced by Shaun of the Dead airing on HBO Wednesday night). The first thing was Uprising! The third was I am super impressed an out-of-towner found her way from the White House to the Capitol, while being apprehended by police no less. When you watch the video, you'll see she even got caught in a dreaded circle! Listen, it's no laughing matter. But I worry this is the first of many unsettling things that will happen during the shutdown.    

So if you're wondering what it's like to be in DC right now, the best I can tell you is it's super weird. The air is heavy with anger, frustration, uncertainty and instability. Right now it feels like an event of the likes of Snowmageddon and Hurricane Sandy, but the repercussions, I fear, will be catastrophic.

But for now, most of the furloughed employees are walking around like the children of the corn Stepford wives (Editor's note: I watched that movie the other night and realized my comparison was highly flawed.) in an early-retirement daze. Zombie apocalypse, y'all. See what I mean now?

Let the Dating Games Begin!

Oct 2, 2013

It had to happen sometime. After the one-month break-up mark, I decided my time had come. Ready or not, I was going to go out on a date. Better to break the seal in a strategic, rather than desperate and lonely, way, right?

(Editor's Note: I'd like to take a minute to again clarify that this is not a dating blog, and I typically only write about bad dates because they make better stories. That does not mean I'm only going on bad dates. *winkiewinkie*)

*ahem* You're welcome, longtime reader Sam.


I chose the easiest dating commencement option, which is online dating. (Joanna, feel free to cut off my hands.) It's not that I haven't been asked out, because I have and it's been blowing my mind. I do NOT remember it being this easy to get a guy's attention.

Case in point: I was standing by Subway last Friday night and a very nice looking man in a fancy lookin' suit walked right up to me and said, "Please. Come get food with me. Let me buy you dinner." Take note ladies, standing outside of a Subway is the modern way to get an instadate. Or Tinder. Eewies. (I am very concerned for the up-and-coming single city girls.)

Why was I standing outside of a Subway on a Friday night, you ask? Because I was starving after the drinks-only date I'd just ditched. That story will come soon enough, and Sam, it will feel like Christmas when it does. But first, a peek into what it's like being a single girl in DC, aka Mary El's Online Dating Hall of Shame:

Radioactive Where's Waldo Guy
(How many arms does it take to get a girl's attention?)

Gross Bathroom Selfie Guy Who Wants You to Think He Practices Good Hygiene
But Is Visibly Gross and Taking A Selfie in His Bathroom

Guy Who Everyone Thinks Is Shameful Because He's Posing in Front of the Capitol and/or Is Wearing Leather Sandals
(Only the single girls know immediately why he's in my Hall of Shame.)

Twin Love Guy(s) (Package Deal?)
(Every photo was the two of them touching each other in some way.)

Needs a Better Opener Guy
(This is only the most recent conversation. I deleted the three others.)
(Also, it's not a conversation if only one person is talking.)

Englishly Challenged Guy
(I don't know what he's talking about that I said. Not a clue.)

Guy Who Wants A Bitch Guy
(My personal favorite.)

(This post is dedicated to my furloughed comrades. Hope you got a good chuckle out of it!)