Friday, October 31, 2008

Free Burrito Day

Don't forget ya'll:

The question is should I dress up like a burrito tomorrow in order to get a freebie at Chipotle? I believe the answer is “yes” and you should as well! Call ahead to make sure you’re location is participating, but most restaurants will give you a free burrito if you show up after 5 or 6pm wrapped in tin foil. Technically you can dress up as a burrito, taco, bowl or salad and I’m seriously doubting that your costume has to be all that elaborate. I’ll probably just cover my face in tin foil, poke a few eye holes, and then enjoy my tasty freebie for dinner.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sigma Kappas Storm The Mall

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Wheels on The Bus Say "Peace Out God"

This is hilarious. From the Washington Post:
LONDON, Oct. 21 -- British atheists announced Tuesday a high-profile advertising campaign to put posters on London buses that say: "There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."
By Tuesday night, as many as 3,400 donors had given about $80,000 on a Web site set up to take contributions to fund the ads. The money arrived along with messages that ranged from witty to nasty, summed up by one from a donor who gave 25 pounds ($42): "Hoorah for the non-believers!"

"We wanted it to be a positive message," said Hanne Stinson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association, which plans to advertise on buses starting in January. "It's about telling people that it's okay if you don't believe in God. If it raises a smile, too, good."

While the vast majority of Britons identify themselves as Christians, only a small percentage attend services regularly. Atheism is far more popular, and socially and politically accepted, in Britain than in the United States.
Many people who do not believe in God call themselves humanists or secularists. The British Parliament has an active and growing group of legislators who describe themselves as humanists.

One of the world's most outspoken and provocative advocates of atheism, Oxford UniversityRichard Dawkins, best-selling author of "The God Delusion," is a member of the humanist association and pledged to personally match donations up to 5,500 pounds (about $9,300), Stinson said.
"This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think -- and thinking is anathema to religion," Dawkins is quoted as saying on the Web site.

The Church of England issued a statement Tuesday defending the humanists' right to express their views but disagreeing with their message. "Christian belief is not about worrying or not enjoying life," it said. "Quite the opposite: our faith liberates us to put this life into a proper perspective. Seven in ten people in this country describe themselves as Christian and know the joy that faith can bring."

In an interview, Stinson said the initial goal was to raise 5,500 pounds, enough to put advertising on the sides of 30 of London's extra-long "bendy buses" for four weeks. But the Web site was swamped with donors.

One person pledged 10 pounds and left the comment, "Spread the word, and consign this superstitious nonsense to the dustbin of history! America, are you listening?"

Another donated 5 pounds and said, "Marvelous. Sorry it's just a fiver -- I'm between jobs at the moment."
Stinson said she was surprised by the outpouring: "It says something about the very loud voice that religion has in our society. People want something to balance that off." The campaign's unexpected success could mean it will be expanded to include posters inside buses or in the London subway.

A spokesman for Transport for London, which operates city buses, said buses have carried ads for religious groups, but never ads promoting atheism. He said the humanists had not yet formally submitted an ad request.
The ads are "not intended as an attack" on anyone's faith, Stinson said. In her view, they do not encourage people to become atheists, but rather are meant to offer support to "people who already do not believe in God."
The idea for an atheist ad campaign first surfaced in June, as a suggestion by television comedy writer and journalist Ariane Sherine in a column in the online version of the Guardian newspaper. Sherine noted that ads running on the London buses at the time directed people to a Web site that declared that those who do not believe in God will spend "all eternity in torment in hell."

The humanist association agreed to take on the project. The bus ads are designed to tell atheists that they will not burn forever in the "lake of fire" described on the religious Web site, Stinson said. "It's about reassurance."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Feel Good Engine

This failing economy is great for my gas tank. Today I filled up....the entire tank! (splurge I know)

About two weeks ago, this would have put me out close to $60. That's dinner at Proof, with wine! This morning it only cost me $37.89 (listen to how conditioned I've become.) It is now cheaper for me to drive lucy to work, then to metro.

Sure, fine lets talk about the reprocussions. If this keeps up, this completely undermines the huge metro funding we just recived (thank you Rep. Jim Moran.) as well as the insentive for alternative fuels. But for one day, just one day, I feel like Queen of the Road again!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What the Fuck Is Buff?

Have you ever laughed so hard your face hurt? Well take that glorious pain and hold it for two hours. That was what a packed Smith Center Arena endured last weekend while Robin Williams took the stage during Colonials’ weekend.

“I know what Blue is, but what the fuck is buff? The color of Washington’s teeth?” he asked throwing the crowd into giggle fits.

The comedian said GW was a receptive audience.

"I'm having a lot of fun playing with my material for this crowd," Williams said in an interview with The Hatchet. "I'm learning more about the school. There's more to it than buff and the hippo."

While preparing for his weekend routine, he must have snuck into the Gelman Starbucks as he described the cliché scenario in perfect detail. “Five girls are sitting around the table feverishly jamming away at their crackberries in silence. Then one looks up at the other and giggles ‘I know’ before returning to her text.”

Acknowledging the parents, “who were checking up to see what their $52,000 is going towards,” he went on to steal the campus’ Foggy Bottom location as a “gentle way to describe the current status of the economy.

Skipping through topics from Palin to porn, Williams hit the mark and held it while we in the audience held our gut and grasped for air between punch-lines.

Noting the difference between Palin and Cheney, “when Palin shoots you, you stay down.”

But a deeper purpose was not lost on the “future interns of America,” as he encouraged the audience to vote on November 4th.

Becoming Jane

Talk about a motivational video. Stick six girls in front of a tivo and next thing you know they’re starting a Jane Austin Book Club.

Well that’s what’s happened to the ladies of Chez Copa. Following the order of the film, we will be kicking off the first discussion with Emma. Plus its not a bad way to get us all together for wine and cheese! Stay tuned!

On The Move

Well we did it! Angela finally caved and signed the lease on her new palacial apartment in Crystal City. And one weekend and 6 trips later, the new Virginian resident is almost completely moved in! Sidebar – you really learn a lot about your friends as you pack up their belongings! The move of course was then toasted by Chez Copa at our very own McClarins (Crystal City Sports Pub)

Playing Dress Up

Not to give too much detail away…Linds has completed her mission and decided on a bridesmaid dress for her sister’s big day. No, this is not it, but this was day one of the search.

Presidential Reading

It may have been a muddy mess, but the 8th Annual National Book Festival went without a hitch this year, unless you count the raging blisters I procured care of the driving mocks I stupidly decided to break in! Note to self – muggy weather and leather do not mix. Wear Socks!

So aside from the wardrobe malfunction, I was set to start my book tour with none other than the hostesses of the event themselves, Laura and Jenna Bush. Their new children's book, Read All About It, was the kick off reading.

Following in her mother’s footstep as a teacher, Jenna co-authored this tale about a former student of Laura’s. Tyrone is your typical ADHD second grader who refuses to focus in class. Rather than dope the kid up with Ritalin, the main characters transcend the disability and capture his youthful enthusiasm for recess and channel it into reading…..a likely story. Author's note: FICTION.

Jenna said about working with her mother on the book, "if you're wondering if working with your parent, they still boss you around, the answer is yes."

An interesting side note, the illustrator was able to sneak a few shout outs to the current president by converting his birthday into the elementary school’s gym number. Throw that one out at your next cocktail party!

While the mother daughter team read aloud to the eager tots, I couldn’t take my eyes off the first daughter’s huge rock! I’m sure if every teacher married comfortably, we would have a much stronger education system. In the meantime, let’s give them a raise!

After the meet and greet, I had to return home, to attend to my developing wounds.

Freedom Day

Guest Blogger Tommy McFly

“It was an AMAZING event with The South African Embassy. We gathered together to celebrate South Africa's Freedom Day. FREEDOM DAY celebrates . . well Freedom and commemorates the first democratic post-apartheid elections held in 94. The party really got started when an authentic South African Band (I wish I knew their name) took the stage.”

Between the wine and the Amarula (south African liqueur) the crowd sure did its dance on.

Tapas That!

On the top of our foodie list for chez copa has been the tapas king Zaytinya in Gallery Place. So when Linds sister Tiff came down for dress fittings, we jumped at the excuse to make a reservation.

I won’t bury the lead on this one – it was superb. Tapas and buffets are very similar to each other for me, perfect for the A.D.D. taster, only unlike a buffet, I don’t feel like Violet “blueberry” Beauregard.

But not all Tapas are created equal. Having just visited Bodega in Georgetown , which was mediocre at best, I was hoping Zaytinya would earn its rating on the Washingtonians Best of List. And just to be clear, Zaytinia serves mezze, or Mediterranean tapas.

We were not disappointed. Just being three of us, we tried to limit the selections. Tried but failed. Twelve dishes were paired with, “the wine that will change your life,” as suggested by Jeff our waiter. I can’t recall the exact name of the Greek red, but for all intents and purposes it may as well have been named Zeus for how powerful it was.

All in all – this is a definite revisit, for both happy hour and a mezze-fest!

I Don't Wanna Grow Up, Because If I Did....

Every year the Kennedy Center opens its doors to the public Millennium stage style. Every theater fills its stage with free programming for all ages, from opera to orchestra.

This year the station had a booth, but I managed to sneak away for a few performances. Snagging a co-workers daughter, I disguised my curiosity with my babysitting duties…what, I’ve never played a tuba before, and I wanted to try too!
Then we ducked into the NSO performance, geared toward elementary school students, playing tunes the crowd was familiar with. What a great way to introduce families to music and theater!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Powerful Portraiture

What timing for a show like the Corcoran’s exhibition of Richard Avedon’s Portraits of Power. As the country sits poised watching the presidential face off for the white house, this collection brings together not just the names and faces of the Washington political scene but players from all layers of the century’s power struggles.
Acclaimed as one of the America’s pre-eminent editorial portraitist and fashion photographer’s, we literally walk through the past 50 years of history starting with a pixilated grey shot of a glaze eyed Oppenheimer, perfectly appropriate for the genius behind the splitting of particles.
Though most shots are black and white on white background shot with an 8 x 10 lens, there are a few color images, like that of Barack Obama from the 2004 Democratic convention. At that point, still just the junior senator from Illinois, we are drawn particularly close to him. (Camera technique used to pull his head closer in focus than his body)
While former Sec. of State Kessinger was being photographed, he asked Avedon to “be kind,” clearly referring to the power the photographer had over his image. Interesting that it came from one of the most powerful men in the country.
Toward the middle of the exhibit stood a huge picture titled, Napalm victim #2. Completely disfigured and obviously blind, she stands next to an 11x14 head shot of a decorated Vietnam war hero shamelessly cheesing just four days after her portrait was taken.
With the power of his images not simply resting in the titles of his sitters, its no wonder one of his greatest followers is Annie Leibowitz. 

Calling All GW WONKS

Its time to step up our game...mentor our GW legacy!

American University Students are 'Most Politically Active' According to 2009 Edition of The Princeton Review Guide : 'The Best 368 Colleges'

See the whole release 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Take That Reaganomics

Paul Krugman wins Nobel Prize for economics
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — American Paul Krugman won the Nobel economics prize on Monday for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity.
Krugman, born in 1953, and a professor at Princeton University in New Jersey and a columnist for The New York Times, formulated a new theory to answer questions about free trade, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.
"What are the effects of free trade and globalization? What are the driving forces behind worldwide urbanization? Paul Krugman has formulated a new theory to answer these questions," the academy said in its citation.
"He has thereby integrated the previously disparate research fields of international trade and economic geography," it said.
Krugman was the lone of winner of the 10 million kronor (US$1.4 million) award, the latest in a string of American researchers to be honored.
The award, known as the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, is the last of the six Nobel prizes announced this year and is not one of the original Nobels. It was created in 1968 by the Swedish central bank in Nobel's memory.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pompeii and Circumstances

Opening this weekend at the National Gallery of Art is Pompeii and the Roman Villa exhibit. Of course, I can't wait for the general opening and decided to slip into the press preview today.
These are some of the most precious artifacts. With almost perfectly intact portrait busts and still life frescoes preserved from the era of Christ, would have any art historian salivating, I would know. But this is not your average snob fest showcase.
NGA went to great lengths to create a gallery for the masses. Here the patron is transported into a roman vacation home situated in Pompeii. From the moment you cross the Greek style threshold, complete with mosaic tiled dog welcome mat, you've stepped into this ancient villa resort.
Pompeii was a prosperous town, made wealthy by its agricultural goods like oil and wine. These products thrived from the rich nutrients provided by the same volcanic ash that would eventually envelop the area. Trade brought great wealth to Pompeii, and "anyone who was anyone had a vacation home in Pompeii, said guest curator Carol C. Mattusch.
Because these were vacations homes, they were used for entertaining, exercise and leisure. “They were fascinated with Greek Style." Mattusch explains. Homes often had several dining rooms, each with seasonal themes in executed in mosaics and frescos.
In this exhibit, entire rooms have been reproduced, but one of the more impressive is the courtyard of a Pompeian home. In the fashion of the Emperor Octavian's taste in the beginning of the century, focus on the interior gardens became the rage.
As you exit the gallery, an interesting tidbit of trivia…the Pompeian style can be scene daily today by some of the worlds most powerful. In the Senate Appropriations Committee room housed in the nation’s capital, the walls have been duplicated from this Greco-Roman Tradition. Something to ponder – the last one was buried in ash almost 2 millennia ago.

Pint of Puns!

Nothing more puneriffic than those Punny Ben & Jerry's pints. But this appeals to my wonkish tooth.
New flavors of the season:
Chocolate Lehrer Cake
McCandy Cane
Baracky Road

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reunion of Sorts

Well in true Pink Cashmere style, when someone Peaces-Out on the District, we show up in full force to celebrate.

Our Jonney T. is headed off to Nigeria with the State Department. Sending him off in Pinkie style we sipped our California Dreamin' Martinis  at Dupont Circles Halo.

And yes, our New York anchor Meg's received a singing update from her correspondents!

Anything You Can Do...I Can Do Better.....?

Nothing like an Army 10-miler through our quaint Crystal City neighborhood to inspire greatness right? Well amid Linds and my leisurely stroll down to the pentagon to check out the newly unveiled 9-11 memorial, we seemed to be swimming upstream against a current of extremely fit Army runners.

Rather than feeding into the intimidation, we channeled the Powerade and are now kick-starting our 5k training program (same difference right?!) The couch to 5k program lasts 8 weeks and promises to have us jogging the three miles with ease. I'm a week into it with minor injuries (sore tush) but with a finish line in sight.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Congrats Tommy

So in honor of Tommy getting his new evening show on Mix 107.3, I thought we would revisit a few of the more entertaining calls that perhaps brightened his audition experience! Can't wait for your guest hosts...the ladies of Chez Copa!

Convention Spirit - A DC Novelty

A friend of mine recently decided to throw a party...a themed party.

Now in other parts of the country this would include some of the regular offenders like angels and devils, bros and hos, etc.

This friend rocked a non-partisan Convention party - complete with credentials. The party was a huge success, people came decked in the appropriate attire - I of course went as a pool captain with a notepad and trench coat.

The next morning, as I worked off the hangover, I had to think to myself...only in DC can you mix business and pleasure. I love this town!

Movie Nights

Surprisingly I have been able to sneak away to the theater on three occasions now to catch some of the fall releases.

The Duchess
After two failed attempts we made it finally in to see The Duchess. I can't complain because all attempts were funded by the studios but inconvenient nonetheless. As a huge fan of period dramas, this story based on the near ancestor of Princess Diana did not disappoint. Between the brilliant costumes, the spectacular panoramic shots, and the aggravatingly juicy dramatic plot line, I was completely locked in!

Vicky Christina Barcelona
As for Vicky Christina Barcelona, the cheese stood alone on this one. While the rest of chez copa loved the film, I found this Woody Allen satire to be entirely too far reaching. While trying to make a sarcastic snapshot of two best friends spending a summer in Barcelona, the witty point of view fell flat on its face. I don't want to spoil the ending, but with such an amazing cast I thought it was a total waste. With an opportunity to really develop these characters after taking the audience on a wild sexcapade, Allen seems to have drop kicked the thematic paradigm off the deep end of irony. Sorry this one sucked.

The Women
And lastly, we indulged in the highly touted juicy chick flick The Women. After reading several reviews, I expected this one to be a big fat flop. But the promise of a catfight and an all star cast, I couldn't help it. The story of four friends attacking the one of their husband's mistress was all too tantalizing. Having never seen the play or the original movie, I had no expectations of grandeur. I thought the film was well written and nicely executed for a modern sex-and-the-city audiences.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Backyard Wine Tasting

Living in Crystal City has its perks, one being the CC wine festival literally in our backyard every year. This four hour ode to wine, sponsored by our favorite local restaurants was stuffed to the gills this year, probably as a preventative measure against last year's mishap. (run on wine in the first hour) Jillian and I of course decided to go on Chez Copa time, leaving just an hour to power through the festival.

But we gott'er done, with plenty of food and drink to float us through the rest of the evening. The one selection that stood out was the Stone Coast Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia. "This selection is elegant and beautifully structured, showing rich fruit characters and a soft finish," as it was described to me. The vineyard is situated on above a limestone bed, which ultimately concentrates the grapes moisture and flavor.

But the real surprising finish was bumping into a fellow fair- goer....Dave Chapelle. Chatting we found out he was there promoting a good friend playing in the jazz festival. Very cool.

The Great Schlep

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

When Hell Freezes Over

My boss Jerry sent this video to response: when pigs fly!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blowing Into Town....

I dare you to find a better motivator to get out of town then bad weather at home. If you can't head for the hills, the next best thing is a convention dedicated to travel. Nothing better then roaming the aisles of the new Gaylord Hotel on the waterfront, at the Travelganza travel show while a hurricane blows through DC. YUM.

Linds was a trooper and headed over with me. Although most of the vacations were way out of our budget.... there was plenty to aspire to!

Presidential Six Pack

What can I say its October, and I'm German. So this weekend with girls in tote, we headed to Shirlington's Oktoberfest to embrace the season and drink some beer (and watch Linds get hit on!)

But you know I love to multi-task so I enlisted the help of the ladies to mix a little business with pleasure and knock out a street talk. Now you may be wondering, what relevant and timely news issue could Jen possibly present at a festival dedicated to beer? Looks like you'll just have to watch and see.