Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Video: Typical Day, Psycho Squirrel from Hell

This psycho squirrel taunts the cat for an hour at a time, several days a week, front yard and back yard, until I throw something at it. I think it tries to sound like a bird to lure the cat closer...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Is Ben Affleck in town?

Speaking of the movie business and Ben Affleck (State of Play)--and in case you run into him in G-town and haven't seen his last film, "Gone Baby Gone,"which you should--read this review:

Enchanged vs. Ben Affleck...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Working Makes Me Fat

I’m sitting at my kitchen table in my bathrobe and slippers, hunched over my laptop with increasingly bad posture, my enlarging ass sinking further into a crappy and uncomfortable wicker chair that I hate. I’ve been working for the last two weeks, which a throbbing temporal vein and bad case of tendinitis can attest. What the hell was I thinking? - I think. I had it made. I was happy. I worked hard… to maintain the bod at the gym, to flex my intellect with klassical novels (Count of Monte Cristo), to entertain my soul with blog sites, and to eat cream pastries at cafes as I strategized my “next steps.” Somehow one of those next steps worked out and now my achy back hates my guts. I can no longer deny an undeniable truth: working hurts and makes me fat. Seriously…while working 15-hour days out of town last week, I ate McDonalds twice. Twice! In two days! I haven’t eaten McDonalds since before that kid got his head stuck in the Hamburglar playground equipment. I haven’t eaten partially hydrogenated oils for at least a couple of years, and now all those free-radical-clearing drinks I’ve been chugging lately have gone to shit. I knew my qi (chee) was pathetic when I had a job but I though that was from years of negative-energy build up, I thought I beat all that, I never thought two weeks on two pots of coffee a day would bring me back here. A thought: Is this a message? Yeah, well, I’ve learned my lesson! Except…um, it is nice to have money. But if I’m a beached whale on painkillers at the end of two more weeks, I’m reevaluating this whole making-a-living thing.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Photo of the Day: The Big Time Movie Making Business Visits DC - Aka Russell Crowe

Did I ever tell you about the time I auditioned to be an extra on a Russell Crowe movie and then didn't get a call back? I guess you have to be SAG just to be an extra, too, or something. All I wanted was to be on a big-time movie set.

Close enough!

Rachel & Russell

the man - kevin macdonald ("The Last King of Scotland")

3/24 - I had requests for "more Rachel"... here you go boys...

....and all three together!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Manifesto for the Happily Unemployed

It appears I'm still just an unemployed newbie, a pup at little more than four months weening on little income and loads of insecurity. According to this article in the WCP, seasoned jobless professionals really do exist out there! It's hilarious, and disturbing?, but does ring a certain truth to the wacky, ironic logic that is joblessness. Namely, life is too short to go on putting 10-hours a day into a job that you hate, that hates you back, and leads to the deterioration of your mind, body and soul. It is possible to live on very little. And doing what you really want, and snatching the time to do it by any means possible, may be more a contribution to society than running the corporate rat wheel so you can buy another flat screen TV. I don't plan to never work again (I've got a paying gig right now, as a matter of fact) but remaining without office, boss, or business-casual flare doesn't seem quite half-baked these days. It might just pay off in the end.

Movie Days

This weekend is perfect for watching a few movies. See the review for Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day at my new blog, Film Gal DC. The NYT's didn't think it was half bad, either....

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Chronicles of a Coffee Drinker--Log #1: Big Bear Cafe

Over the last few years in DC, I've had large quantities of seriously crappy coffee. Add to that the number of Starbucks in the district alone (DC has the fifth highest number of Starbucks per capita in the country) and my observation of dear friends who keep returning to the same watery, burnt, boiling sewage found close to home or the office because it's convenient and cheap, and it's clear coffee guidance is needed in DC. Coffee can lead to nasty mood swings, hypertension, overworking, stomach ulcers (really) and poor taste, so "It better be worth it" is my motto.

To a non-worker and one-time college student from Seattle,
coffee shops are a second home. To those with more to think about than coffee roasting traditions, the beauties of a perfect cappuccino, or the sweet, sweet cafe life (you) much can be learned from the diligent research and trials of a coffee addict. I propose to do the work for you.

DC has a growing number of indie cafes--we all know coffee/life at Tryst and Murky, though there be more out there. Try the coffee I mention and be ready to open your mind and taste buds to stimulation and perfection you never knew one could crave in coffee. (Warning: coffee/espresso drinking can lead to snobbery and a suspected surge in fine wine drinking.)

My (current) favorite stop in town:

Big Bear Cafe

Big Bear has become my favorite in the last couple of months for several reasons:

1. I only learned of it in November (it opened last July).
2. The espresso drinks are consistently awesome (translation: smooth, rich, slightly sweet and caramelly, milk is silky and at the right temperature to not burn the tongue or espresso, done with a foam design so familiar to northwesterners.)
3. It's a neighborhood, non-chain cafe, privately owned, with a very friendly staff.
4. French press coffee is available by the cup or 17 oz press.
4. The great space, large windows, couches, and outdoor tables have a Northwest feel unlike other DC cafes and make me warm and fuzzy.
5. Really great sandwiches, salads and paninis.
6. Movie screenings.
7. Tuesday knitting groups.
8. Listen to me when I tell you about the goodness of the coffee.
9. Free wireless all day, all weekend.
10. Good pastries (croissant w/prosciutto and gruyere), teas (ginger is yummy), and GLASSES available to drink free filtered water, not disposable cups!

Yesterday, I had two macchiatos, a house coffee, and a deelish chicken pesto panini. Big Bear is a little out of the way for those not already living in Bloomingdale, but U Street buses all stop at the corner of Florida and 1st, and street parking is largely available on weekdays (weekends are another story, but not nearly as bad as Adams Morgan or Eastern Market.)

My peeve: the Washingtonian twice listed the city's indie coffee houses and both times forgot Big Bear. Bad news for the many in the District who are still missing out.

Big Bear Cafe
1st & R St. NW

Monday, March 3, 2008

Photo of the Day: Margaritaville

The last couple of weeks, I've had dreams of Miami--the February destination that was one of my business trips over the last three years. (Note: For the job I left.) I never realized how much the guilt-free ways of that sunny, manicured town balanced the conservative and calculated ways of DC. Seriously, the day I came back from the South Beach for the first time, I sat at the outdoor seating at Sparky's, surrounded by my usual concrete solace, and realized how much I had gone to the drab and dreary, black-and-white dark side. The lounge couches and billowing tapestries at the Delano and private parties at the Versace mansion were my secret (though very slight) sin, and my salvation. But ever grateful: the margarita at Lauriol today is doing the trick. I recommend it to anyone who can take a long lunch, or a day off, for your health's sake.