Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Black Maria Film Fest and Amber Blues

I never realized how good it feels to have time off and use it as a period to do absolutely nothing but relax. This past weekend was the best relaxing, do-nothing type of weekend. In addition I had a few extra days that made it last much longer....ahhhhhh so nice :) I left on Wednesday night last week and stayed home until early Monday morning, yea the day from hell! BUT despite the terrible ending to my wonderfully chill weekend I did a lot. In the city on Thursday, shopping Friday, film festival and cajin blues dinner Saturday, AND Southern Tom's pancake breakfast and an evening of sucky Academy Awards (ICK) Sunday.

The highlight by far was our visit to this sculpture park to see some awesome films part of the Black Maria Film Festival (link). I wish we had gotten to the park earlier to look around a bit but it was really REALLY windy and we were usual...MOM(cough) It reminded me a lot of this recycling center near the Meadowlands in northern Jersey. I went to a bunch of times when I was younger. I guess thats why I have such an appreciation of art and nature because I was exposed to it when I was younger.
On our way to New Brunswick for dinner the grounds were light up with christmas lights! It was so clever and quint. Check them out (Grounds for Sculpture)

I was spoiled that evening with my favorite CAJIAN and MUSIC. What could be better? I had the salmon in bourbon sauce and mom had the pecan crusted catfish. Ooooooohhhh weee! it was awesome!! (Her moreso than mine but it was good ESPECIALLY the bread pudding).  Jersey's own, Amber Blues, was the band of the night. They had a very interesting look and a whole lotta energy. It was nice to heard original and some golden 80s tunes - "take on me" A-Ha!!!! <3 Below are some pics (not very good but I tried).

Academy Awards is just a disgrace. I mean there is no art showcased in the whole show other than people's terrible fashion. What's the point? It seemed like my opinion about the commercial film industry is dead on. The production and big-money companies continue to release the crappiest movies on earth and sequels of the crappiest movies on earth because they are ALL greedy bastards! I'm sorry I love film and thought about studying film at Elon but I'm fed up. Why do you think I prefer to spend $18 going to an indie film festival like Black Maria and see twelve original and creative films versus pay close to $20 now if your in the NY tri-state area to sit through 30mins of commericals/ads on top of hours of crap! HELLO?!?!?! The whole time I was knitting watching the show telling it like it is, I mean come on. During the entire show most of the jokes and intermission announcements were obviously marketing "Go to the movies, make me tons of money so I can be a crap actor doing crap work and give all the rights and privileges to the big-money, art crushing production companies!"

Pew. I'm done on my rant. Don't let me get into my 8hr (yes 8 FREAKIN HOURS) trip back to D.C. on the Megabus. WHAT....A....NIGHT...MARE!!! I will say this if you do decide to purchase a ticket for a Megabus trip DO NOT rely on the website or 877 number for help. The day you need to leave I suggest going to the website and pretend you are purchasing another ticket for the same trip and that will show you where to get your bus. Yea they are SO NOT organized in regards to...well...anything. I made it back stiff, exhausted, pissed and what the hell? It's spring already.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Soho Cupcake, Political Debate, and Relaxation

My first day off (officially) was a nice calm day. I woke up later than usual (11am) and ate leftovers for breakfast. I was extreme peeved that it wasn't raining but also delighted to see it was beautiful and sunny. I decided to walk down to the light rail and hop on the PATH to go to the Soho location for Georgetown Cupcake. Since I've never tasted these lovely decadent sweets in D.C. (where it originated) I figured it wouldn't hurt to try it in my neck of the woods, right?

Conversation among fellow baker, Christine and twenty minutes later I had my six different cupcakes (Red Velvet, NYC Cheesecake, Chocolate chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla on Vanilla, and Pumpkin Spice). Walking back up my FAVORITE street in New York, Bleeker St. I was really in high spirits. I ducked into this neat coffee and tea shop, tried a sample and made some terrifically cheap buys. Another stop into a bread shop for a snack and I was on my way back home.

The bread, cheese and everything European shop. 

The awesome coffee shop on Bleeker St.

Kiddies playing music on the street.

The Coach House is my traditional diner. I have been going to this diner all my life and I continue to go back. I had Chicken Rollatini and mom had Hungarian Beef & Noodles. We did get into heavy conversation about starting a political moments strong and big enough to make real change in Congress It was nice to get into a debate with my mom because I know that we oftentimes have similar opinions but on some occasions the claws come out. Not literally of course :P

Friday was a rainy relaxing day. Pancakes with banana fosters (and a strawberry cupcake) for breakfast, a trip out to Harmon Beauty supply shop, conversation, lentil soup, and J. Edgar = a good day. It was a day that was worry-work free and I loved every second. I'll have more pictures to post with my new purple Nikon digital camera soon


Tom Tauke and the Megabus

Tom Tauke, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs, Policy and Communications for Verizon, came to speak at TWC early on Wednesday morning. The bonus and incentive for some to go was a catered breakfast by Au Bon Pain (too sweet and heavy for my taste but it was nice). He brought up a lot of useful information about his time in the Iowa Legislature and discussed his experience in Congress and how its changed. One of the topics I found very helpful in my understanding of the present atmosphere in Congress was his opinion on what it would take for each side to come together to make decisions as one body. He said that only a crisis would force a very divided, polarized Congress to come to a solid and collective consensus about how to overcome the crisis and make plans to prevent any further crisis. The national debt of our country is suspected to be the next crisis that Congress cannot avoid therefore will eventually force them to put away their pride and differences of opinions to get the job done.

He also tried to incorporate his role with Verizon and the importance of communications. I thought it was particularly interesting that he brought up the necessity for laws that address privacy and implementation of the Internet for its users and most importantly corporations like Verizon that struggle to abide to constitutional liberties and restrictions making it impossible to do business or protect its consumers from attack. Did you know our Internet systems (in America) get over 3 billion attacks every day??? Granted some are from China and outside sources but some are domestic attacks. These attacks could have the potential to effect our daily lives very dramatically if they are successful and shut down certain sources of energy (i.e. nuclear power plants), natural resources (i.e. water plants), and other necessary system used to function.

I wasn't expecting to receive much insight from this session but as it turns out Mr. Tauke inspired me to investigate Public Services. Mr. Tauke's presentation stuck with me throughout the entire day and was a topic of discussion in a meeting with Mike later that afternoon. It wasn't such a crazy day at work after all since my laptop's battery could be replaced in the store (the night before which was hell) I didn't need to worry about using my roommate's computer (going back to the apt to drop it off before I left for NYC). It worked out pretty well.

The best and most comical moment of the day was waiting in line to board the Megabus. I was behind a stream of Asians. Most of their bags were bigger than them! As some of you might have guessed the group of about twenty or so could not go on the buss with all that baggage. The amount of bags per person equated to one huge body bag, one mini body bag and some shopping bag(s). I felt a bit bad for them because they had to figure out how to take all their stuff on another bus. At the same time you know when you sign up that the policy says what you can and can't bring.

My first Megabus trip was great! It was a smooth 4 1/2 hrs exactly. I had a nice full Chop't salad I got from Union Station in D.C. and my foodie guilty pleasure wheat thins :) I slept most of the trip which was entirely necessary. When I arrived in the Big Apple my mom was there to greet me. Wonderful sleep-full night in our comfy queen sized bed...sweet dreams

Monday, February 20, 2012


Yesterday was a good day spent at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum. I knew it was going to be a crappy weather day so what more perfect time to stay indoors right? Yeah that was obviously what everyone else and all their children thought too. Between a holiday weekend and it being kinda gray outside that people thought, 'let's go to the museum today.' It was so crowded that I think I have minor bruises on my arm and calf of family herds bowling into me.

Despite bodily damage, it was interesting walking around each museum. I knew my mom would've loved the Air and Space Museum because its relevance to aviation. She's always wanted to learn how to fly. So many air contraptions hanging down from the ceiling I think I was tempted to duck. I felt oh-so-small walking underneath these huge pieces.

I made a comparative analysis of New York's Natural History Museum and the one here. I think one of the most distinct similarity is the amount of dust collected on the model animals. I found that greatly annoying in the Air and Space Museum, there were videos playing footage and documentaries from decades ago. It worked perfectly with the dust and retro-look of the displays but come on people! This is Washington D.C. the country's capital! You'd think they'd get it together and revamp the place.

IMAX theater "Born to be Wild

With the original intent to go to the IMAX showing of 'Born to be Wild,' I decided to take advantage of free admission to the Natural History Museum and browse the exhibits while I wait. I snapped a cell-pic of a hanging butterfly for my Aunt since it was in honor of the "new" butterfly exhibit (Pretty sure that was in NY a long time ago). After a few hours almost falling a sleep (lack there of) I went to the mobbed cafe to get $3.25 cup of crappy coffee! Yea federal govn't paid food. I was suckered into purchasing some postcards at the gift shop. I realize once I got back to the main floor that I didn't need to cut time short seeing the film today so I changed my ticket for today, Monday, Feb 20 at 250pm. More time to get back and get pumped for boot camp (oh yea I'm feeling it today).

Fortunately my coffee date with an old Elon colleague needed to be rescheduled so I'm off the hook. I can go back to the apartment and rest? Nope not really. I wish but for the next two days I won't get much sleep. Too many things due for TWC, Elon, reading to do, internship work (very tedious). It will be fine though I'll have a four day weekend starting Wednesday night. Mommy I'm coming home!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

V-day, new possibilities, and a night for fun!

Instead of being bitter or upset that I am spending another V-day as a single gal I decided to bring light into the day. Valentine's Day has become this circus of commercialization heart shaped candies and chocolates, an enormously nauseating amount of flowers everywhere, and outrageously expensive meal out. What's the big deal? I've always felt that everyday was a gift to have people who love you and who you love back. I try my best to make sure everyone I care about knows it. So what makes V-day any different? It doesn't. I agree with Brett Aarons on the WSJ morning Podcast when he says, "with my wife everyday is Valentine's can make it Valentine's day any day!"

So that's what I did. Of course I did send my mom a V-day card but I understood from when I was young that she would always be my first Valentine. And apparently she feels the same way even when she has a guy in her life. I received a wonderfully thoughtful (and practical) care-package this week. It was full of the little things that I really did need like hand lotion and things I love like black & white cookies :)

Thursday was a bit chaotic at work. I had been very independently working during the first half of the week due to Mike and Kevin's hectic schedule of back-to-back meetings with congressmen. However, by Wednesday evening I was getting a bit burnt out. I had yet to review my IDP (internship development plan) or read or any of the things I wanted to do for myself because I felt so tired. In addition I now have a new hatred for computer screens. I sit and look at them so long my eyes hurt constantly. Thursday did turn out to be a day of cutting it close. I had a few assignments I needed to get done and a newly scheduled meeting with Mike and Kevin that was later than expected. After the meeting I proceeded to power walk/jog from the office to the Metro, out of the Metro and to the building on M St. for a Campaign Jobs Panel hosted by DemocraticGAIN. In less than 25mins I made it to the panel and slipped in the back.

I really was glad I went and got the chance to hear about peoples' experience in the field. People who have extensive work history campaiging. I was ignorant of the fact that there are campaigns for state senators and congressmen.  I'm really grateful for as much information about campaigning because I feel like it would be a perfect career after graduation. It's flexible and a non-permanent job that give you the opportunity to build a more political resume while gaining a lot more experience in a variety of fields like finance (fundraising).

Friday night was the first opportunity I've had in a month to go out to a club. I would've gone last weekend but if you refer to my last post that didn't happen. My roommate Terranova had mentioned going out to a mardi gras themed event. That sparked an idea to check out clubs in the city for events like  catered to mardi  gras fun. BINGO! I found a Carnival themed event at Ultrabar on Fridays throughout the month of February. I decided early this week to go no matter what with or without people. As it turns out I went with a girl named Kristi from Iowa University who is in the Criminal Justice program at TWC and Eloisa (my roommate). It was fun and it was nice to have options of what floor you wanted to go to (out of four).

However, note to self never mix dark and light. I understand now what that meant since when I arrive back home I didn't feel too great AND I've been paying for it all day. Live and learn right? But never again...thank you Rebekah for reminding me that at least it is a weekend day. Hopefully you'll hear from me again this weekend since I have an extra day to do whatever. Thank you Presidents of the United States :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jammed Pack Week!!!

What a week its been...I don't even know where to begin. Monday was a packed day of assignments and hours at a Career Boot Camp hosted by The Washington Center. It was interesting and I did receive some useful information that I'll try to use while I'm here (especially Emotional Intelligence in the Workforce). Tuesday was first day back. Research, research, and more research. Not as illuminating as other days but I was busy. I often find myself questioning whether or not I'm doing the best I could. I'm trying to do my best but its hard to stay that confident and enthusiastic. It probably doesn't help that once a day's work is over I feel so tired. It also doesn't help that I wake up early (6am) to exercise and can't fall asleep until midnight or sometimes later.

The rest of the week was a little trying. Wednesday and Thursday I was displaced from my desk at work. The company's bookkeeping comes in twice (and sometimes more) a week and uses the same desk that I do. So on the days the bookkeeper comes in I have to go somewhere else. This week was particularly chaotic because Kevin and Mike had a lot of meetings and work outside the office. In and out, in and out....I was a bit frustrated with myself because it would have been smart (from the beginning) to have asked Anne (the front desk receptionist) to use the conference room (which hadn't been used all week). From now on that is the plan....ANYWAY.

I had a minor and unnecessary freak out the other day because my technological jinx caught up with me. I took a bunch of pictures for a project and later in the afternoon on Thursday I realized that I took a video. I tried to delete and thought I had deleted everything!  Long-story short, it turned out that when Mike uploaded the pictures onto his laptop ALL the photos I had taken both in the morning and in the afternoon were on the memory card. THANK YOU GOD! But I was pissed that I had worried so much when I didn't need to waste time taking the same pictures over and learn huh?

Friday was a more relaxed day. I was at the desk, Kevin and Mike were very chipper, and I got a lot done on a deadline. Kudos! I even managed to leave early to get to a seminar at GW on-time. I was a bit perturbed that what I thought would be an Egyptian liberation talk and seminar turned out to be a Q&A/book signing but they had a nice reception so I guess it made up for it. (More information check out: Institute for ME Studies)

Met up with Marlena (former Elon student) who came on the Metro from College Park - UMD. We ate dinner and had smores at Cosi near Dupont Circle. Too bad that we couldn't go into the hookah bar I had planned for us to go since I had forgotten she isn't 21 and apparently ALL the hookah bars in D.C. proper are associated with bars therefore 21+ venues. Went back to my apartment and chatted a bit more. None the less it was nice to catch up and make some plans for the semester like going to 9:30 in March...wooot culture!!!

Saturday: in a nutshell, peaceful until the evening. I got up late (10am) and ate breakfast. I even went to the gym! Afterwards Terranova (one of my roommates) and I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond in Chinatown for some much needed things like a dish rack and bath matt (no more slipping and sliding outside our shower/tub). We also had a nice lunch at Tony Changs - traditional Chinese. Leftovers!!!
At the apartment I wasted no time to just kick back, knit and watch "You've Got Mail". Here comes the night's disappointment (2 for 2).

Plans were to go out to this club with a colleague I met earlier this week. Ana, works as a volunteer for the Human Rights Campaign and hear from a work-colleague about a party at The Warehouse Loft. Ana invited me and I invited my roommates. By 8pm Saturday night I heard back from Ana and she said since it was freezing (it did snow earlier) and she had a ton of work she was bailing out. But Terranova and I still wanted to go. BUT just making sure (since I didn't know the place that well) I asked Ana the age requirement for the club. Turns out that unless you are on the guest list you must be 21. Good for me bad for Terranova. (GRRRRRRRRR.....hence last night's Facebook status).

I looked up a few other clubs in the area but Terranova wasn't interested. I called my friend Marlena but she was staying in for the night. So here I was. Ready to go out but nowhere to go. I would have (should have) gone by myself (I mean I've done it before....all over the world!) but I decided it wouldn't "be the smartest" thing to do. I guess these are just a series of unfortunate events. I'm super annoyed but I know that I'll make the best of my situation next time. I've only been here for a few weeks....its bound to get better right?

One thing is for sure I will NOT rely on my roommates anymore. They are nice and fun to hang around but like so many other people I shouldn't "put all my eggs in the basket."

THIS WEEK: working everyday to make up for my four-day weekend next week! I want to do a lot more this week. Goal: go to at least three events after work this week.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Day in Georgetown was a very long and cold experience but worth the trip. Took the Red line to Blue to Foggy Bottom/GWU stop and walked about 1/2 mile down Pennsylvania Ave into brick district of Georgetown prep. My interruption of M St Georgetown is New York City's Fifth Avenue meets Elon prep Greek village. A lot of high end designer shops meet regular bohemian boutiques.

I was a bit annoyed that it took us double the time to get there since someone in the group lost his IPhone on the metro. Luckily a transit officer found the phone but the down side of the story is that we had to wait 45 mins in the Metro Center station. Despite the hold up in the morning we did get to walk a bit on the strip before it started to rain. After a disappointing visit to my favorite Urban Outfitters ending in a 10 minute search for yet another person in the "group" we ran into my other roommate Lee (from South Korea). We all decided to go to Thunder Burger & Bar as suggested by Lush worker Vicky. Check out the place (link). AMAZING food and the beer wasn't too bad either. Oh and for anyone who is like me and never eats the "bread on the table" unless I ask if its free...the sugary tortilla chips are free and delicious :)

 The exact spot where we sat, under the eagle. 

*Copyright of Thunder Burger & Bar Gallery

Later we met up with my other roommate Taranova (from Anchorage, AK) who was house-sitting for  former Congressman Steven's wife. It was great to be chauffeur around in Mrs. Stevens BMW to more private area of Georgetown. The house was like a museum with thousands of different items ranging in size and from all parts of the world. The biggest wine collection I've seen in someone's home!!!! I was in love and I even made friends with one of the house cats that looked like my former cat Gus. 

We closed our time in Georgetown catching the Circulator bus back to Union Station and thankfully caught the shuttle back to the apartment. I couldn't believe how cold it had gotten over the course of our trip across town. But boy was I happy we caught the shuttle! Up to the room and crash......RING RING RING RING!

Yep the freaking fire alarm went off at 330am! Someone probably drunk, high, and stupid did something like burn popcorn. We waited for over 25mins outside and I was so grateful that it didn't end up raining. I wished it ended there but it doesn't. The alarm continued to arbitrarily go off. Eloisa (my roommate) and I went downstairs to see what was going on and of course it was hopeless. The RAs and security guy could not tell us anything. We waited and waited and waited....nothing. Tired at 430am we went up to the room to sleep. The alarm continued but I just was too tired to care. Pillow over the ear and I was out. 

I only hope I don't find out who was responsible for the alarm because I will truly give them a piece of my mind. Till next post  have a good week!

Big Board

Early rise today (Friday) to work but good thing since I got to leave early too (130pm). Met up with an Elon Alum, Brett Cooper aka Coop. Its really nice to get to know people from Elon that are now off doing their own thing out in the big brave world that so many alum and present students at Elon are so very afraid of...don't get that but whatever. I'll definitely check out some of the campaigning information he relayed to me that will be extremely useful next fall semester in NC. Thanks Coop!

Made a return to H&M near Metro Center station and decided to purchase this AWESOME garlic chopping robotic looking thingy. A Martha Stewart product (ehh) but oh so cool! It has wheels like the childhood Hotwheels cars I used to play with...tom girl YEAH! Here look at:
Later tonight I went out with my roommate Eloisa and a bunch of her Mexican friends from The Washington Center (TWC). We went to this cute and cosy bar near the apartment called The Big Board. But that wasn't the best part. It turns out that one of the guys who works there is Mexican (so said one of the Mexican girls I was with) and it turns out he wanted to really impress us with loads of free food AND his co-chef Andrew (and spanish guitarist) gave us a round of free drinks!! WOOT WOOT! We stayed out for four hours getting back to the apartment around 130am. I was exhausted and slept immediately. Look out for another new post....

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