Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Went for Food and Got That, Plus Some Food for Thought

Last night, I went to a charity reception with a friend on a whim. She had heard about it from a friend of hers and really had very few details about it. She didn't even know who was sponsoring it. But since it was at a hot new restaurant that I wanted to visit, I thought why not? (Food is always an effective lure.)

I am glad I went because the (free!) chicken+waffles, ribs, and wine were most excellent. But I am also glad I went because I learned about a great non-profit that gets young men who are jailed as adults to read, write and think about a different way of life--

Free Minds Uses Books and Writing to Show Incarcerated Youth A Better Way

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Clan of the Cave Men

I was in the grocery store and overheard two men who were stocking produce discussing the following:

"Yeah, now they got the greens all cut up in a bag, making 'em lazy."

"They cain't cook as it is..."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Girl, You Is a Woman Now

So Dora the Explorer is growing up and Tampax is getting real...

Some parents feel betrayed that Dora is going to be a tween, and like many "betrayals" it all comes down to money. If they thought there was a market for a thirty-something or octogenarian Dora, they'd make those too. As I said to someone else, at least the new tween Dora will be solving mysteries with female friends, not traveling around in some van with boys, a talking dog and strange snacks.

I actually felt more betrayed by "Princess" Dora, when they took her from being a spunky, adventuresome, problem-solving girl and morphed her into a long-haired, pouffy gown and tiara-wearing princess. What was that about? (Money.) If Disney was going to continue to parade out princesses, they thought why not make Dora into one too?

As for Tampax, it's interesting that they want to go snarky: Instead of being dressed in a flowy white dress and having a talk on the beach with your mother about the 'time of the month' or 'that not so-fresh feeling,' that wicked witch Mother Nature will show up with a red gift as you lounge on that beach in a white bikini.

Have we really come such a long the one hand, they are keepin' it real about what a nuisance a period can be? On the other hand, if we are going to blame "Mother Nature," then that is still woman-bashing.

(And this isn't their first attempt, check out this Mariachi band period commercial)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Conversation with an Almost Three-Year-Old

Nearly 3: That's a lollipop.

Me: It's a necklace.

Nearly 3: I'm going to eat your necklace.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Everyone Wants to Jump in and Carpool on the Bandwagon I've Been on for Years

I just left church where the sermon was about the prodigal son, with the emphasis being placed on that wayward son. But when I came home and read the following opinion piece in The Washington Post, I could totally relate and started to feel a little like the scornful elder son...

I'm Not Buying Recession Chic

"The recession-chic advice isn't for the people who actually need it. It's for the people who put their summer homes on the market, not those who've lost the only home they had... And when it comes down to it, if you need to be told that packing your lunch saves money, you're probably not someone who needs to pack your lunch. So please don't pretend that you are. "

Friday, March 13, 2009

Recession on Refreshments?

Earlier this week, I went to a networking happy hour that is sponsored by an agency that specialized in outplacement for people who work in creative fields. I was happy to see that they had not ceased this happy hours due to the bad economy. The continuance of the happy hours did not mean that these event continued as they had in the past: the invite mentioned "light refreshments." Last year those words meant quesadillas and fried plantains, plus salsa chips and a one free drink for everyone. This year it meant salsa and chips, plus a free drink for the 25 people who cornered the guy who was not advertising the fact that he had 25 free drink tokens.

But tonight, I went to a happy hour sponsored by a newspaper. Now by all accounts, the newspaper industry is seriously hurting...but this happy hour had free tchotchkes and lots of and food from a rather top notch restaurant. And they were generous with the pizza and the mini burgers.
Go figure. Is this a smart investment or are they fiddling while Rome burns? Either way, the burgers were good.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

When Do You Break the Rules?

The other day I went to see Stars on Ice with a friend. The show began with a black and white film that has a voiceover featuring a woman with an regal, British accent talking about Art (or Aht, as she said it)...then the first skater came out in a loud colorful shirt and skated to a decidedly non-classical tune. As I watched all of these disciplined Olympians do backflips and shimmy in colorful costumes, I thought about a skater like Rudy Galindo.

Galindo had the audacity to do such things during Olympic competition and he was penalized for it, meanwhile all the skaters who adhere to the stuffy (and unofficial) guidelines, end up doing those same things when they retire and get on the ice show circuit.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Teacher, is that you?

I went to a screening of a film at Busboys and Poets, this really great at forward-thinking restaurant/bookstore/lounge/all around cool place to be. The film was touching and thought-provoking (Busboys and Poets Screens ARUSI PERSIAN WEDDING), but the highlight of the evening was when the waiter came back after swiping credit cards to tell one of the people at our table that she had been his fourth grade teacher.

Now, if you saw this woman, you'd hardly believe that she could have been the fourth grade teacher of someone who is old enough to be working as a waiter. Even though I know her age, I was still surprised.

Of course I had to tease her, since he had trouble understanding that we wanted him to swipe the cards of those who were paying that way and provide change for those who had cash, I asked what exactly had she taught him all those years ago...

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Double Take

The other morning as I was in between sleep and something like wakefulness, I heard a commercial for some new flavors of a certain soft drink. At that time, all I thought about was the different flavors, marveling at all the ways they could come up with to shove sugar down our throats...

But the next day, I was slightly more awake and not just getting up when I heard the same commercial. During this listening, it occurred to me that this commercial might be some kind of pastiche* of The Vagina Monologues. They even called termed this 30-second beverage reverie, "The [Diet Soft Drink] Monologues." And the woman in the commercial, talked about how women weren't indecisive, they were open to the physics of various soft drink flavors (this is why we stock every flavor, you know, just in case).

Considering all that The Vagina Monologues stand for, should I be offended? Or just chalk it up to everyday capitalism?

*Nerd writer alert--I really love the word pastiche and rarely find the opportunity to use it in any meaningful way...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I am still grateful for mercy...

although on the same day that I got the official written notice stating that my tickets for minor moving violations were void because the officer did not submit the paperwork in the required 15 days...

I got a parking ticket.

Monday, March 02, 2009


I tried to pay a ticket for a minor moving violation online and got this message:

The ticket you have entered has been voided because it was not submitted timely as required by District regulations. No payment is required. You will receive written notification of this action in the mail.