Monday, June 15, 2009

Dispatches From The HOOD!

From former Chez Copian Mandy! Straight up truth dawg!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Force To Be Reckoned With

Meet the Fab Five. Traveling in a pack, they dominate the waves, not necessarily through skill but shear intimidation. Like their grandmother Beverly, aka Goose, the Fab Five tend to blaze their own trails.  Although the five cousins seem inseparable , Danielle, the oldest, moved to Minnesota from San Diego when the two of us were still eating food out of jars. (We are only 6 months apart.)

After years of persuasive arguments, and persistent nagging, we lured her back to America's finest city when she turned 18. Ironically that's when I shipped off to the East Coast. (Cool your jets - she's still harping on me about it.) Now, with two of us in Virginia, one in Hawaii, and one in Los Angeles, Dani is our lone representative in San Diego. When she's not helping to build the next set of Emerald Towers, she dedicates her spare time to spreading her love of ice hockey as a coach to the Lady Saints hockey team. And they are finally getting some of the attention they deserve. Way to go Dani!

Friday, June 5, 2009

To Go Or Not To Go

We were full speed right out of the gate. Come on, it's one of the biggest horse races in the country. We had infield tickets, a strategy, and even parking passes. Not to mention, it's practically in our back yard, and Meg's was busting her butt to meet the DC chapter of the Team Awesome 810 girls (we were roommates in college.)

Of course, none of these perks were able to counter the three factors we had working against us: Meg's family, rain, and the wait for it....oh now here it comes around the bend....WHAT?!?!?! We can't BYO Booze? Seriously? To Freakness? Tradition Smadition. Albeit safe from Momma McG it looks like the usual suspects also felt the other two obsticles. I'm going to say it was the Rain. What do you think?

Toto, Thank God We're Not in Kansas Anymore!

(March 16) Arlington VA - Not quite considered the District but certainly not the suburbs, Crystal City - the 3rd stop off the yellow and blue line into the sprawl that is Northern Virginia, has undergone a bit of an identity crisis over the bast 10 years. With BRAC in full swing, many of the military offices are relocating outside the beltway.

The Crystal City Business Improvement District has been pulling out all stops to attract new office renters to fill the void. They struck cultural gold with the Arena Stage, who agreed to move in temporarily while the theater's permanent home undergoes not just a face lift but reconstructive surgery near the new ball park.

Only appropriate that the group entitle their annual fundraiser Arena Stage in Oz. Keeping with the cement jungle theme and glamming up the high rise community I've called home for three years now. But it begs the question...if we continue with this metaphor...who then is Dorothy and where the hell is the wizard!?

That was a lot of buildup for this fundraiser. Sorry...ish. If you're still with me lets continue down this yellow brick road.

Regardless, the evening kicked off with a silent auction across the street from home, convenient right?, in an all class office building that happens to block our near perfect view of National airport. Not weird, I like to watch planes, and I have hated this building for robbing me of that. So much for transparency kids.

Heading to the eighth floor, guests were invited to bid on a David Yurman bracelet, Nats tickets among other donated treasures while munching on Jaleo and Ruth's Chris's appetizers. I of course don't understand the concept of nibbling and buzzed around the tables like a buzzard swooping in on last nights kill. Clearly anorexia doesn't run in my family.

Working hard to cover the exposed sheet rock, but tapping the loft design theme everyone seems to LOVE, designers wrapped the area in black and green drapes. The under-construction floor afforded the artist liberty to literally paint a yellow brick road down the hallway. Fun nuevo chandeliers hung over the tasting tables while characters from Oz greeted/ terrified bidders.

The highlight of the contempo construction site had to be the view of the river and airport. Oh and the feet of the tables had Dorothy's ruby slippers. Well done Arena. As it should be. Save some money at the fundraiser, stretch those limited resources and put the money where it needs to go...on theater programs for high schoolers and your renovations.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

One Singular Sensation

National Theater (March 12) - “A Chorus Line,” the longest running American Musical. Tragic I guess that I grew up in the cultural left big toe of the country and missed this one completely. Until Now.

Linds and I went to see THE BEST MUSICAL. EVER., as they say, at the National Theater. Apparently I was the only one who knew zippo about this theatrical phenom.While the audience, donning anything from weekend jeans for formal gowns (cringe, can someone please send out a memo on appropriate theater attire please) sang EVERY word to EVERY song, I bopped along to the quite catchy hooks.

Although considered THE BEST MUSICAL, this probably wasn’t it's best execution. I got the impression aside from a few standouts…like Robyn Hurder, playing the overqualified Cassie, and Deanna Aguinaga playing the Puerto Rican prodigy Lois, the cast left their belting boxes at home with the rest of their costumes. Others compensated with fancy footwork and flamboyant scissor kicks as per Anthony Wayne as Richi. But all in all I was glad I finally have reconnected to our Brodway blood-line.

And for the trivia whores out there…here you go: Yes - I am talking about YOU so keep reading.

- Each cast member kicks his or her legs a total of 36 times (18 kicks each leg) in the final kick line of the show.
- The only full costume change in the entire show is for the Finale. This costume for the men is a single jumpsuit – pants, shirt, and vest all sewn together with one zipper, giving them time to slip in, add socks, shoes, hat and jacket almost immediately. Question….how can you be sure you’re grabbing the right costume…EWE.
- The men keep battery packs for their microphone in a pouch just below their waist. Oh that's what that was. That changes things.
- Cassie sprays hairspray on her bum to keep her red leotard from venturing north during her solo. Wonder if that works on swim suits…
- They Mop n’ glow the stage floor before each performance to keep it slick for the dancers. Noted. Jen will not be testing that out...I have enough trouble standing as it is.
- They are making a documentary about casting this show….how ironic.

Let Season Begin!

As commencement season wraps up, there's only one thing Washingtonians fear more than tourists....interns. Finally a blog has been created to commiserate together and swap sighting stories. This post was just too funny not to steal!

Heard: Newsworthy Celebrity

Traveling home one evening on Metro a notable news reporter was standing near me. As a courtesy, everyone was adhering to proper Metro conduct by leaving him alone and minding their own business. An intern was also standing near by and quite obviously staring at him. He noticed her and very politely said, "May I help you miss?" Her trance broken, she blushed and replied, "Oh no, I'm sorry, you just look a lot like my favorite reporter." He smiled and jokingly said, "Well is he at least handsome?" Her response was, "Well I think so, but my friends don't. And they all tell me he's gay anyway." He smirked and the conversation ended. Anderson Cooper left our train at the next stop.
I thought the lady behind me was going to die laughing. The intern never figured it out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


As surreal as it was, this was one of those experiences that rock me. It was like watching the opening of an ER episode, only from the other side, as the accident was happening.

Lets just say, when you hear a helicopter's whopping blades, you look up. When you see a helicopter buzz by your office window, you freeze. When you recognize the chopper as a MEDEVAC, you run outside to see what the hell is going on.

Ernie from sales saw the whole accident. As he describes it, "a cock-rocket went screaming through the intersection at 80 miles an hour. When it came time to make the turn, the bike held course...right into the wall [of the shopping center]. All I heard was a boom and I saw bike parts flying from behind the tree."

By the time I was able to make it away from the desk the chopper landed in a a nearby parking lot, riddled with street lamps and Metro drivers. Apparently the cyclist was an off duty Metro employee. Seeing as how the station is across the street, that makes perfect sense.

EMT's worked on the victim for 30 minutes inside a nearby ambulance before finally transporting him to the MEDEVAC. Although the chopper was just yards from the truck, they cracked CPR on him at least twice en route. Literally, they were still pumping his chest as they were closing the door.

Like a ship, our office building must have tilted briefly as we all leaned against the windows breathlessly watching. The gurney they ferried him over on went flying under the blades' wind. The chopper strained as it navigated the street lamps before finally lifting off to the hospital.

Now, I've been lifted from a hairy drop in the Grand Canyon, but in a much smaller copter. This was painful to watch, obviously because we are all rooting for the guy; but also because for a second, it didn't look like the MEDEVAC was going to lift without taking a street lamp with it. From Ernies office the four guys and I watched crouched behind the desk. Meanwhile, the ladies in the next office over where still suctioned-cupped to the glass. Not reading too much into that....

Here it is an hour later and I have just gotten off the phone with Allen Etter, Battalion Chief for DC Fire, and according to him, the driver died.

Everyone on the floor is still completely unnerved. Here he was just getting off work, heading home I'd imagine. Probably just bought that motorcycle this spring, for the awesome weather we've been having.

And his mom is getting a phone call right now. She is going to need to cancel her plans today and head to the hospital. Not to rush to her son's side to help with his recovery; they are going to need her to identify her son, as best she can after an accident like that. She will be blindsided, just as he was, just as we were.

This just hit the wire:

WASHINGTON (AP) - A man who apparently lost control of his speeding motorcycle has died after crashing into the parking garage of a shopping center in Washington's Friendship Heights neighborhood.
D.C. fire department spokesman Alan Etter says the motorcyclist crashed shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday behind the Neiman Marcus store. He says the driver apparently veered into the shopping center's parking garage and crashed into a wall.
Etter says the motorcycle was destroyed, and witnesses in the area were horrified. At least one woman was treated with oxygen after seeing the crash. There were no other injuries, and no other vehicles were involved. Authorities have not released the man's name.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)