Sunday, April 27, 2008

Do You See a Resemblance?

The National Portrait Gallery has a large painting of the much lauded mezzo soprano Denyce Graves. In reference to her portrait, I overheard one museum patron ask another, "She looks like Jordin Sparks. Who is that?"

Well, they are both singers...perhaps Denyce Graves would be flattered to know that someone mistook her for a singer who is decades younger.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Domestic Violence

Bianca, I hardly knew you, but I'll never forget you.

Rest in peace.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Kindest Cut

A magazine in a waiting area promised hundreds of the best beauty solutions on its cover and I took the bait.

Flipping through, I realized that all of its "solutions" involved knives and lasers, as it was basically a plastic surgery magazine wrapped in the package of the regular mags that tell us how to fix our problems/ourselves.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dinner of Champions

Scrambled eggs and tea.

Sad, I know, but it is late and I don't need a heavy meal.

Yesterday, I came home without shopping and fell asleep because I intended to go back out again. But it was raining buckets and my plans were canceled.

Earlier today I was near a Whole Foods, so I went in and enjoyed the free samples, but I didn't want to get groceries there because I can get more somewhere else than I'd get at "Whole Paycheck."

Then on the way home it was raining buckets again and I figured I had something I could eat.

As I scrambled the eggs, I remembered that I had the stuff to make my favorite variation of gallo pinto, which consists of (you guessed it) gallo pinto with scrambled eggs. But by then the eggs were done and I wanted to eat.

Usually, I would not let some drops of water deter me. And usually, I'd have planned and shopped for the week...but hey, sometimes ya gotta break the mold.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Back to Basics

I am part of a mentoring program and during a group discussion, one of the mentees was starting to make a point and asked in all earnestness, "Is France in America?"

Fortunately, a few in the group indicated that it was not without anyone making a big deal about it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Richmond: Through the Looking Glass

I went to Richmond for the first time this past weekend, and although my friends there seemed puzzled by my interest in it, I enjoyed my visit. Like many other cities, such as my own adopted home of DC, Richmond is working to build up previously neglected/undeveloped areas. No, it isn't exotic, but it is somewhere I hadn't been before, so that made it interesting.

Actually, I take that back, Richmond is a little like walking through the looking glass because some things there are definitely a little topsy-turvy.

Take the swanky Arby's, for example. I thought of Arby's as a dying breed, but in Richmond there is an Arby's housed in a rather elegant building (for an Arby's anyway). Rumor has it that there is a piano bar in there and people go there to lounge. I only rode past the Arby's and heard the tales, so I am sorry to say that cannot confirm this.

Late at night, I rode past a club that looked like any other club: people were lined up outside dressed in club-going attire. Some young ladies were out there dropping it like it was hot, obviously practicing for a hedonistic night at the...Have a Nice Day Café. Yes, that was the name of the club. Complete with smiley face. I could not have imagined a more incongruent name for a club.

So there you have it. They do it different in Richmond. Ritzy roast beef and a club that wishes you well.

Monday, April 14, 2008

All the News That's Fit for Free

I had all sorts of brilliant and witty things to say about the Newseum right after I visited it on Friday...but I went away for the weekend and forgot them all.

The line was loooong because there was free admission on Friday. After walking what seemed like a interminable distance (maybe the length of 5 blocks) to get to the end of the line, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the line moved quickly.

The building is impressive, there is a lot to see and read and the interactive exhibits really enhance the experience. The view of DC from the top floor is great.

Most of all I am happy to report that I saw it for free because as nice as it was, I doubt I'd pay the regular $20 admission price for the experience.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Baby Mama

I got a free pass to this movie and though at first I was uninterested, something made me take advantage of the offer. It was smarter (and longer) than I thought. And while there were some stereotypes thrown around, it was entertaining.

As much as I'd like to deny that by their late 30s many career women who followed the rules, put up with a lot of crap, and climbed up the ladder, find themselves more than a little baby crazy, I know this is quite true. So while the main character seemed like a stock character at times, her story still rings true.

It also had elements of the typical Odd Couple narrative: one straitlaced, neat and fussy person vs. one wild, crazy and undisciplined person.

I think because it was written by a woman, there were a lot of nuances and small details that I think a male writer would leave out and that made it more appealing.

With all of the baby mix-ups and false pretenses, I guess it is a Look Who's Talking for this millennium.

Then again, the baby didn't talk, so maybe not...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A Bus Built for Two

I got on a bus, and seeing that the back was occupied by teenagers, including a girl sitting on a boy's lap, I sat in the front.

This seating arrangement was old news to me, so I was surprised when, after I'd been on the bus for 20 minutes, I heard the bus driver come over the loud speaker and say in a very quiet way, " Young lady. Young lady in the pink jacket, this ain't the love boat."

Monday, April 07, 2008

Tag, You're It!

Last week, I was tagged by Mary at StellarSelf. And yes, if you read her post, you’ll see that I have happily borrowed plenty from it. But isn’t that what the best (or at least the most efficient) writers do—borrow something and make it their own?

This is a much savvier take on all those e-mails people used to send answering a list of questions and then instructing someone else to answer the same questions and send the answers to you and others.

I think you’ll find the people I’ve tagged are an eclectic mix—some formal, some a little more personal, but you’ll learn something from each one.

How This Tag Works:
Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
Share seven facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
Tag seven people* at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Note: As always when I pass along these memes**, there is no pressure for those of you whom I have tagged to respond. I will not be offended if you do not perpetuate the tag. My main purpose in tagging those whom I've chosen is to bring attention to some wonderful blogging talent!

Seven Scintillating Facts About Me:
1. I love alliteration
2. I’ve kicked the sugar habit (well, in my tea, anyway)
3. I’m fluent in Spanish
4. I once lost my glasses in Lake Erie
5. I’m crazy about classic British literature
6. Like Mary, I longed for an older brother (but unlike Mary, I didn’t ask for one)
7. I make a mean bread pudding

Seven People That I Am Tagging:
1. Quinn @ queue
2. Liz @ Missing the Point
3. Olga @ Cooking-Shopping-Crafts-Etc.
4. Nancy @ Web World Watch
5. Jennifer @ 8junebugs
6. Scott @ Exif: A Photoblog

*Yes, I know there are seven facts and six people. Sometimes ya gotta break the rules.

**I am not ashamed to say I had to look this up. Merriam-Webster says a meme is “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.”

Friday, April 04, 2008


Yesterday I saw a man walking down the street holding an ADT sign. My first thought was that he stole it and I wondered what would make him want it. As they say, people will take anything that is not nailed down.

Then I thought better of it: perhaps he was an ADT customer going home to gently stick the sign on his own lawn.

Then I thought better of that: maybe he'd stole the sign from another house protected by ADT, so he could put the sign on his lawn to make it seem like he has a security system.

If that is the case, then I would not have been wrong in assuming he stole it, but wrong for assuming that he had no lawn of his own upon which to display the sign.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Marjane Satrapi

Last night I went to hear Marjane Satrapi speak and I have to agree with the gaggle of college students who stood behind be in the line to books signed: she is amazing.

She wrote the book Persepolis and the Academy-award nominated film based on the book, as well as Chicken with Plums and Embroideries. In these books, a girl from a secular Iranian family comes of age and comes to grip with the consequences of the suppression of freedoms in Iran. The books are literature and works of art and the movie does a great job of capturing the books, with a soundtrack that really punctuates the story's themes.

Apparently Satrapi is not a fan of the term "graphic novel" (this is how her books are categorized). She thinks is was invented by publishers to make people feel better about reading comic books. Although she does admit to understanding why people view comic books as something for children because she once held that view herself.

She is just as clever, sly, entertaining and thought-provoking as her work. I wish I could have recorded her talk or at least stopped being enthralled enough to write down some of her quips and commentary. Oh well.

The only quip I can remember was not from her, but from one of the girls in line. One said, "Oh, she'd so cute. She's really pretty." And another, not sounding mean or as if she intended to insult Satrapi said, "You're just saying that because she wrote four books."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Can I Buy a Vowel?

Suddenly and without warning, the cap for the U key spring-vaulted itself away from the rest of its alphabet brethren and sistren.

I've now made some adjustments, but for a minute I contemplated life sans U.

It was nbearable.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Gmail Helps You Get Over

I'm certain the real techies already knew that Gmail's latest innovation was coming, but for plebes like me, this was news: Gmail now lets you customize the time stamp on an e-mail.

As a ghost blogger, I have made use of this tool on other blogs. (Not for this one though. Dear reader, have no fear, the time stamps on these blogs are all authentic :-)

Big deal, so you can customize the time stamp, so what? Well, it does matter. As our Google-y friends tell us, you can make it seem like you didn't forget birthdays and anniversaries because you can always set the time for your e-mail in the past.

E-mail isn't perfect. I've had someone send me an e-mail and have it arrive the next day for reasons neither one of us can understand.

And how does this change work-related e-mails? I'm a freelance writer and I send in assignments using Gmail. I guess you can say you made a deadline when you send it in late...although I'm sure there is some way to find out when it was really sent. But who is going to do that much investigation? You can always say that your e-mail got stuck in traffic.

It's Back to the Future, people. "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need...roads."

p.s. You only get 10 per year, so you'll have to be scrupulously honest, except for those 10 times...
p.p.s. I kinda thought this might be an April Fool's joke, and apparently it was.