Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Should Have Posted This Ages Ago

Last June, Momma McG invited Team Awesome up to Chez McG to celebrate the nuptials between her and her wholeheartedly endorsed beau Charley.

The combined bus trip/ train commute took a solid 8 hours (twice as long as expected) but when your girls pick you up at the station by abandoning the car open in the middle of traffic to pelt you with hugs and kisses (think 8th grade N'sync concert style) and then you fist pump California Girlz all the way home you know you're in for a good weekend.

The ceremony was as beautiful as much as it was a blast, and short of a little incident requiring professional removal of a ring (ours not hers) and a the border line panic attack proceeding the removal, everything ran smoothly.  (Megs: I knew you were worried Yen because you went silent.)

And yes those are candy necklaces we wore at the ceremony. Don't judge - not everyone can handle the awesome.

Momma McG's Wedding from Jen Richer on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

300 Sigma Kappas Makes Thanksgiving Look Like A Piece Of Pie

BZ, Zeta, Baltimore, NOVA and DC Sigma Kappas
Some ladies need to find a good excuse to hang out with their sorority after graduation. I don't have that problem, but if ever there was an opportunity, Founders Day is it. Every year they drilled into us how critical this celebration was every November, and here I am four years out of school and schvitzing if we haven't locked in the program by July.
Alumnae In Attendance

This year was worth every bead of sweat. The collegians at GWU and University of Maryland put together a beautiful program for over 300 Sigma Kappas. We had Kate Michael (Epsilon Epsilon) and Ann O'Connell speak about life after college and motivating the troops to stay involved.

But the real gold is just like any family reunion, you grown about going, but are so glad you did. There are so many stories to catch up on every year, and new tales to tell - like how I am the only person IN THE WORLD who can mess up a bread maker; or Deanna filling us in on the benefits of a Cuisinart to THE NINJA.

Brain Bleed Panel on The Future of Journalism (among others)

Not going to lie - I see big nerd names that make my brain bleed and I jump at the chance to see them in action. Last month the Creative Coalition hosted a panel discussion on the future of  the creative industry, which currently makes up 8.5% of the workforce. That includes any profession from acting to journalism, to the guy that drives the set golf cart - so my ears perked up.

It was a pretty impressive panel with big names like, Paris Barclay, First Vice President, Directors Guild of America and Emmy-Award winning Movie and Television Director and Producer, Thomas L. Friedman, Foreign Affairs Columnist, The New York Times, Bill Ivey, Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University; former chairman of the NEA, and author of Arts, Inc.
Stephen E. Siwek, Principal, Economists Incorporated and author of Video Games in the 21st Century: Economic Contributions of the U.S. Entertainment Software,  and moderated by: Judy Woodruff, Anchor, The NewsHour on PBS

The question they were looking to answer is where is the industry heading, what jobs are at risk, and what can be done.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


In my attempt to break my addiction, my enablers are sending me alternatives.

For you other junkies - try this on.

It's called stereo mood and just like the name sounds - rather than channels arranged around your favorite artist or song,  they've created channels for over 80 moods. Check it out.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


But worth watching're welcome!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

San Diegans In The House...Switchfoot

The Padres Fans: Drew, Jen, Jon
I can remember when Switchfoot was a local San Diegan band (and Christian for that matter) Then they hit it big with Dare You To Move and off into the land chart toppers.

Yesterday they came in for a little station appearance and I gotta say - these guys are as down to earth as can be! They walked into the room of staffers and introduced themselves to the 10 or so of us there - as if we didn't know who they were. That was refreshing.

In a little Q & A session we had a little baseball sound off between the Yankee and Boston fans, and without skipping a beat Jon and Drew asked if there were any Padres fans in the room! Finally I was in the majority!

Among some of the other little trivia bits that came out in the session - Drew was telling us about his little obsession with guitars. For every stop on their tour map he checks the craigslist for new ones. Can you imagine responding to an ad and finding out who's on the other end of that? Chuh!

I know it's like this everywhere, but So Cal kids are a club of our own - not that we're exclusive, but we're defiantly the odd kids on the East Coast. Granted I've been here for 8 years, so I've embraced the awkward but it was nice to see that these guys still have their 619 area code sheen. Despite their success - they still reek of home, and, in my head at least, it seemed like they were just the guys I grew up with. Oh, not like I'm an expert or authority on anything (other than my self-indulgent bubble of 'momma-like') but did I mention how talented they were! Here's a couple clips of the performance.

***Two corrections from a fellow fan (and good friend, thanks for keeping me honest!)

1) They’re still Christians, they just don’t beat people up with it.

2) Drew is the Craigslist guitar hunter.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Another future Mr. Jen of co-worker Mark. 
Thanks Mark - I'll get right on it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Save The Ta Tas

Johnnie, Angie, Jen
Walking the Mall during the summer can make me feel like one of those tourists that have slowly become as much a nuisance as those afternoon flash floods.

But thanks to Team Neighborworks - we've made it a tradition every June to lace up our tennis and strut for the Ta Tas at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Susan G. Coleman Race For The Cure

Top that Saturday morning sleeper-inners. (And yes Johnnie I did cheat a little bit - but I don't see the point in sitting in traffic - even if it's for a good cause.)

It doesn't hurt that we follow up our morning of exercise with a Bloody Mary and eggs Chesapeake at Clyde's. (also part of the tradition)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Totally Booked: Threes and Fours

I've been racking up some frequent flier miles and burning through my reading list this month. Wahoo! Here are a few more:

Wahine Take on:
The Rule of Four, by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason

Straight from the fan club of Dan Brown, we've got another cult meets academia suspense book. I know it was a Da Vinci Code knock off but I couldn't resist a thriller where historical research plays as much a role in the plot as the characters.  "The delicious futility of impossible tasks is the catnip of overachievers," the author quips. How much fun is that!

Rule of Four follows four Princeton undergrads wrapping up their college career as they try to crack a 500 year old puzzle: The Hypnerotomachia, a book published during the Renaissance (in real life), that holds an ancient secret. All this Sherlock Holmes-ian drama sparked by an on-campus murder.

I wouldn't mark it as the next classic but it's deliciously rich with riddles and twists making it a fun summer read, especially for the nerd crew.

Wahine Take on:
Three Cups Of Tea
And of course it couldn't be helped...a nonfiction had to be thrown into the mix. This book came highly recommended to me by at least three different people, ahem, Adam, so I borrowed (stole) it from my sister.

You don't have to be an international affairs guru to appreciate this story (but it certainly tickles those of us who do). Greg Mortenson may have failed at climbing K2 (the second tallest mountain in the world) but it wouldn't shock me if he took home a Nobel Peace Prize in the next decade. An admirer of his organization likened his efforts to the firefighters of 9/11. He says, "This guy Greg quietly, doggedly heading back into a war zone to do battle with the real causes of terror is every bit as heroic as those firemen running up the stairs of the burning towers while everyone else was frantically trying to get out."

After nearly killing himself on his mission to climb to the summit, he was stumbled into a rural village in Pakistan ten years ago. The locals adopted the infidel, nursing him back to health. To repay them, he promised to build them the school they so desperately needed. Eighty schools, two countries, a war, and a decade later, Mortenson is still on his mission to bring education to the farthest, most war torn parts of the globe. But it all comes down to building relationships long before breaking ground, relationships based on trust, established over many cups of tea.

The lessons he shares, I believe, hold the key to solving the War on Terror. We have the most sophisticated tools, the strongest and brightest (I know, my brother is one of them) fighting tirelessly. But he says, "I've learned that terror doesn't happen because some group of people somewhere like Pakistan or Afghanistan simply decide to hate us. It happens because children aren't being offered a bright enough future that they have a reason to live." We are going to have to help make that future - and it's going to have to be in the form of education.

His story is inspiring, a few times I caught myself figuring out how I swing a trip out to help him - only to remind myself I'd be more of a liability than an asset. (SHOCKER). If don't have this book in your it! 7% of the proceeds go to his effort. And if you're in the DC area - he will be visiting promoting the sequel in September!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Totally Booked: Sarah's Key and The Help

Last night we rallied for our "book" club, meeting at Palena in Cleveland Park. I put book in quotes because we really meet for dinner but carve out about 5 minutes to talk about the month's selection - and then it's back to girl talk.

What's neat about Palena is that they've divided the menu up into their pre-fix dinner menu or their a la carte cafe menu for whatever your spending bracket is. Very cool. And although I was craving my Italian go-to gnocchi - I wasn't hungry enough for three courses, so I went with the hand cut Pece with bolognese - a little salty but delicious. Just as good as the food what the atmosphere. Sitting across from the bar in cozy little booths we chatted about Sarah's Key, but ultimately the conversation came back to The Help.

Wahine Take On:
Sarah's Key
, by Tatiana de Rosnay

Although a powerful plot, the writing itself left something to be desired. The book is a compilation of two totally different stories, set sixty years apart that chapter by chapter become related. The first is a story of a little Parisian girl and her family who suffer horrible atrocities during the round up by the French police during the occupation named the Vel d'Hif after the stadium the innocents were locked in before being shipped to Auschwitz . During the police sweep, Sarah, a ten-year-old Jewish girl, hides her baby brother inside a locked cupboard to protect him from the sweeps, not realizing the family would never return.

Fast forward 60 years, we follow an American journalist living in Paris with her husband and daughter, who is assigned to cover the Vel d'Hif anniversary. But her investigations lead her to discover Sarah's story, and just how close to home her story hits. Her discovery changes her completely, and ultimatly becomes a wedge between her and her husband.

I loved Sarah's story, and I thought it was strong enough to stand on it's own as a short story. My major issue was with the second half about Julia. In taking the voice of Julia, the author seems to have completely lost her ability to write. There is nothing more condescending then having a writer try to tell you how you're supposed to feel about conflict. Just tell me what happened and if you've done your job - I will organically feel the same way about it as you do. She waists paragraphs on useless angst and unfortunately that was a deal breaker for me.

Wahine Take on:
The Help
, by Kathryn Stockett

Now here is some superior writing. I would let you borrow, but I think you need a copy for yourself. This book is going in the Wahine library.

Like Sarah's Key, it is several narratives woven together, only in this case they are contemporary. Set in Mississippi against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, two maids and one young privileged debutant share a common mission - to secretly gather and publish the testimonials of the help. But the larger story here is how life on both sides of the racial divide in Jackson is intertwine.

"Wasn't that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not much that separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought, " author Kathryn Stockett asks in her acknowledgments.

Unlike Sarah's Key, the words don't get in the way of this powerful story and if you read only one bestseller this year - this should be it.  It lives up to the hype.

Preaching To The Choir

Our new super news girl Amanda at WMAL forwarded me this snapshot of life on the Vampire shift in a newsroom. TVnewsgrapevine hit the nail on the head. We certainly are a special breed!

Morning shows: The Vampire Diaries

Recently a client was being considered for a morning show. This person had never worked the morning show and asked what it was like.

So, for those of you who have never worked the vampire shift and might run into this situation, I thought I'd give you a taste of what life is like as a nocturnal creature.

Being a night person, I always dreaded filling in on the morning show. At one point in my career we were shorthanded, and I had to do it for two months. After that I vowed I would never, ever consider a job as a morning anchor or reporter. (By the way, those of you who are offered morning reporter jobs should know that you'll NEVER get to do a good package. You'll just chase the scanner all night and do follow-ups. It may be the worst reporting gig in all of television.)

Anyway, here's a typical week:

-Monday thru Friday: The alarm goes off around two or three in the morning. If you have a significant other, this person gets a rude awakening, mutters something unintelligible, and goes back to sleep.

You stagger off to the bathroom and hope a shower wakes you up. (If you're a guy, you discover that trying to shave with one eye open leaves you looking as though you've gone ten rounds with an angry cat, so you start shaving before you go to bed.)

After getting dressed, you drink coffee and try to decide if you should eat breakfast. You really don't want breakfast, but you think you'd better eat something or you'll run out of gas by the time the newscast starts. (Thus the "morning show weight gain syndrome" begins.)

You chase the raccoons away from your car and head to the station. Oh, if you live in a cold climate, you'll have to either shovel the driveway (you don't dare crank up the snow blower and wake the neighbors), scrape your windshield, or both. What fun!

You notice birds are flying around in the middle of the night. Oh, wait. Those are bats. You wave at them. Professional courtesy.

After arriving at the station you discover your muse doesn't work nights and you try to write intelligent copy as you drink more coffee. Your co-anchor checks your copy and informs you that Reagan is no longer the President and is dead, to boot. If you're a weather person, you try to remember what state you're living in and note that all your weather cam shots are pitch dark. You start to get hungry again... didn't you already have breakfast? Or is there another name for meals eaten at three in the morning?

You notice you have put on two different colored socks, your shoes don't match, or both.

After the newscast you have to deal with those pesky cut-ins for a few hours. Staffers start to drift in, looking refreshed after a good night's sleep.

After cut-ins you're hungry again, so you eat breakfast for the second time. And if you work for one of those stations still crazy enough to run a noon show, you have to prepare another newscast so you drink more coffee.

So maybe you're home by one in the afternoon. You're dog tired, but do you take a nap now? You curse the fact that you don't have dark curtains. And if you take a nap, you might not be able to go to bed by seven and end up staring at the ceiling till eleven and getting three hours sleep. Your option is to fight to stay awake all day. Oh, yeah, it's time to eat again.

Around six your other half arrives home and is ready to eat dinner. This is now your fourth or fifth meal of the day.

Now you have to go to bed at seven. Nice social life, huh? You turn in, but you've still got too much caffeine in your system even though you're exhausted. You toss and turn till nine.

Saturday: You relish the thought of "sleeping in" but your body clock is so screwed up you wake up at five. Your other half mutters something unintelligible and goes back to sleep. Hmmmm. Time for breakfast.

Your other half sleeps in and gets up at 9, wanting to go out to breakfast. What the heck, you eat breakfast again.

If you're a guy you decide to play golf with some friends, as you need sunshine. By the third hole you need a nap and are so out of it you use your putter to tee off.

Then it's Saturday night, so it's time to go out with your other half and friends. You start yawning at seven o'clock and fall asleep in the movie theater during the coming attractions.

Sunday: Ah, now you've got this "sleeping in" stuff down cold. You wake up at a quarter to six! Your other half mutters something unintelligible and goes back to sleep. You eat breakfast for the 14th time this week.

Sunday afternoon you start to feel normal. You enjoy Sunday dinner... or is it lunch?

Late Sunday afternoon fear hits you in the face like a cold bucket of water. You have to fall asleep soon! But your body clock is messed up again! You go to bed at seven. You finally fall asleep by nine and get about five hours of sleep. Except when your other half crawls into bed at ten and wakes you up. You mutter something unintelligible and stare at the ceiling for thirty minutes trying to fall asleep again.

One Month Later: You're now eating 22 breakfasts each week and have a box of Count Chocula stashed under the anchor desk for times you need a sugar rush. As you put on a pair of pants, the button gives way, ricochets off the mirror and hits you in the face. You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

There are those who love morning shows, and more power to them. They always argue that "you can get things done during the day!" (That's right, they think grocery stores are not open after six.) So people on a normal shift might actually have to shop until seven. The horror!

But if you aren't a morning person, think long and hard before even considering a shift like this. Your life will be dominated by the thought of going to sleep. You'll have absolutely no social life. Your friends will stop calling because they don't want to wake you up. You'll age two years in six months.

But you will discover the incredible number of choices in the cereal aisle.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Update on Momma Kim

Just landed this morning back in DC and I wanted to get everyone updated before I head to Florida for a convention this afternoon.

Dad is doing better. As expected we were all hurting pretty badly last week and although we are spread out all over the world, we are no strangers to airports. I flew in Friday and our stepbrother Jeff drove in from Tennessee Friday night. Carly flew in from Taiwan on Saturday and Ben flew in from Nevada on Monday. Having the kids around him was as much a relief as it was a distraction and with a little airplane-spoon feeding and downright bullying we were able to get some food into the old man. He still refuses to sleep in their bed. 

Family is good medicine - (write that down.) Something about the five of us kids together breeds mischief and gigglefits regardless of how deep the wounds are. I love a good from-the-other-side story but the reporter in me is trying to keep it objective. Whichever side of the fence you fall on Kim was with us the whole weekend too (ask dad about the spooky light bulb and the cell phone).

I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support - from the phone calls (even the 2 minute ones), to the emails, facebook messages, and flowers. They helped Dad immensely and me get through the day. When someone is taken away, its such a lovely reminder of who is still here.

As far as between creating avatars on Wii and chronic redboxing in our pajamas, we were able to sneak in a little local Nawlins fare, backyard fireworks (Carly and I were severely outnumbered on the bro-mance bonding idea), and a quick (ghost) tour of the French Quarter as navigated by our own personal guide (who clearly had enough time on his hands over the last year to catch up on his ghost history).

We were also able to wrestle some details from the powers that be. I know there have been some rumors circulating but the final diagnosis on Momma Kim was congestive heart failure. The pathologist called it a textbook case - she had edema of the lungs and an enlarged heart. Grandpa Beck said it best, "we're not surprised that the doctor found her heart was just too big."

Thanks also to everyone for getting the ball rolling - Dad and Jeff are going up today to pick her up from Hadesburg, Mississippi and Jeff is flying out with her to San Diego tonight. Tomorrow Dad, Ben, Carly, Kyle, Kiana, and baby Madison are flying to San Diego. Tentatively the ceremony is set for Friday July 16 with a wake to follow. The Becks/Estes/Richers will be making those arrangements this Friday so stay tuned. I will be flying in Wednesday (14th) at night.

Also, the idea has been floated to ask for donations instead of flowers for San Diego Hospice (not Dad's Harley fund), as it was a cause Kim really championed while going through Grandma's illness. I will also keep you posted on that. I know the family is working on a page as well as an online memorial.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Not even 14 hours ago, Momma Kim, the best thing that ever happened to Daddy, passed away suddenly. It was unexpected, and no one is to blame. But her fan club is still in shock. We will have more details later today when I arrive in New Orleans today.

Honeygrams is one of those rare, strong, angels I instantly loved. I often quipped with Dad - "Don't you mess this up...because we are taking her in the divorce." Hardly appropriate now but that would send the two of them into fits of giggles. The way they love each other - you'd think they were childhood sweethearts. And maybe they were in another life. She is far to wise for one lifetime. 

Although we Richers only got a brief time with her - she changed all of us. Momma Kim - There are no words to describe how much you are loved and how much you will be missed. You left your mark on all of us.

As the girl usually scrambling to find the nearest foot to shove in my mouth (hence the blog), ironically,  I am coming up short finding the right words. They will come, but in the mean time I'm going to borrow from you all.

Aunti Jo's email late last night: (Thank you Jo) 
Jen just called.  On a trip home from moving her son, she and Matt and Kyle were almost back to New Orleans and she died suddenly about 4 p.m. this afternoon East coast time.  The causes are not yet known.  Jen will be in New Orleans tomorrow.  Stay tuned for more information.  Presence and support of family is going to be very important.  He and Kim were very happy together; Kyle said she was his right hand, always there when he needed her.  Now Matt needs us and Kyle needs another right hand. 

Daddy: Thank you to all that have been such wonderful fiends to Kim over the years. At this point I just want to express to one and all: Love all for there may not be a tomorrow. Take each day as the gift that it is and share it with the ones you love as Kim has showed us. You will never know the depths of the void one leaves until they are no longer with us. Oh how I miss you already Kim I love you.

Kim was one of my best friends in highschool and I just before she moved reconnected with her as we shared memories of our past I realized how much I had missed her and now she is gone. I will always hold her close in my heart, my prayers are with her family and friends. RIP Melony

I miss you so much Kim! I've just read your page and girl, you are loved. You have so many wonderful friends that have said so many wonderul things about you. You truly will be missed, Kim! I'm so glad that Matt found you, "the girl of his dreams", and I'm glad that we got to be as close as we are. Remember... we get y...ou in the divorce. lol Say Hi to mom for us! Keep an eye on Matt, he's gonna need it. Love you always! - Sue Babes

Eternal rest grant her, oh Lord. Let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul rest in peace through the mercy of God. Amen. - Aunti Steph

I'm stunned to hear this news. My prayers and thoughts are with Kim's family. She was clearly a woman who put her family and friends first. A huge loss. - Julie M.

Kim, we have been friends since grade school, and were just getting back in touch after so many years. I am so saddened... you will forever be in my thoughts and in my heart. - Laurie S.

I am sorry to announce that my BEST FRIEND IN THE WHOLE WORLD passed away 3 hours ago. I love you Kim! I will miss you so much! -Yvette

Hawaiians traditionally return their leis to the sea as the flowers die as a form of renewal... Take care...John

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chez Copa Crop Talk

Is it just me or has DC siphoned in a little green fever from the left coast? Not that its a bad thing. But I'm not that touchy feel-ey about the whole Captain Planet movement.

Look -I'm from California - so I've had a few things drilled into me at an early age. I compulsively turn off lights when I leave the room (occasionally someone else is still using them - hence the compulsiveness) because I've been threatened with blackouts. I recycle because I've seen how gross the landfills are. And I turn off the faucet when I'm brushing my teeth because it's the right thing to do (and stealing water from Arizona is not.) Even though I don't live in my big fat green state of CA anymore, Linds and I still do our best to accommodate my So Cal -OCD. But I bet if you did an Al-Gore audit - there would be more than a few things I could do to clean up my footprint. Phooey.

Last Weeks Delivery
One of the new things Chez Copa is trying is local organic farming. It cuts down on transportation, supports local growers, and the food theoretically is better for us. Linds saw Food Inc (it's still in my netflix queue) and the idea of going local seemed pretty neat. But it can be such a hassle trying to get to farmers markets on specific days. Or chaining myself to the tomatoes at Shoppers until they bring local produce in seems ridiculous.

So we joined a local farm co-op. Sure I can rattle off all the environmental and social benefits it has,  but the biggest perk is having FRESH produce: apricots, basil, kale, strawberries, blah blah blah delivered every week (different each time). And I know those suckers came off the tree the day before.

Plus it's pretty bad ass to say...We own a farm (or a part of one rather). And although they don't offer bargain basement prices - it's comparable to the grocery store. We pay about $20 a week during the summer and get a crate worth of whatever was picked that week. And we can head out to the farm (about an hour away) and grab some more. In addition to our crate, every week they send out an email with recipes - should you need some inspiration. And the produce bags are bio-degradable - should that be at the top of your check list. If you're in Arlington's the link. If not a quick Google search for a local co-op. Very cool.

Peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and Flash Floods?

The DC Alumnae chapter of Sigma Kappa met up at the Nat's game only to be surprised by a flash flood.


Oh the horror!

Yesterday's Typhoon took out our kitchen...blocking the flavia and Tassimo machine!  Chilli got it with her flip cam!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

But That's My Stapler

Not something I would usually find blog worthy but it's been driving me nuts. Maybe you can relate.

Will Hunt You!

Sometime between 5p and 4a, little elves creep from under the desk into the newsroom, and shop in my desk. One day it's the stapler, or post-it notes, and forget pens - I might as well just get them inscribed...'take me please.'

All of these are replaceable so I just write it off as 'playing nice with the other kids on the playground.' But the one item that seems to garner respect among my office-mates is my pair of scissors.

Do Not Steal!
 It's the one tool that gets used every day...clipping articles, cutting newspaper bundles, wagging at people etc. But they always make it back to my little holder on my desk.

Well this week, my scissors walked. Not pointing fingers (can't point the scissors when they're missing),but when the scissors go missing - we all suffer. (Mixing a little Catholic guilt in now.)  I have since bought another pair but these have been outfitted with warning rhetoric. Wakapow! Play nice now!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Date With The Secretary

Tuesday Jon tipped me off to a speaking event with Sec. of State Hillary Clinton. I flip-cammed the event but the quality from the Department of State's website is so much better.

Clinton addressed a standing-room only crowd of several hundred during her address at an event co-hosted by the State Department's Office of Civil Rights and GLIFAA, the organization for Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies.

I overheard one person asking what the take away message of this event was...the headline if you will.

Well, when you have the Secretary of State, who represents the US abroad telling Americans that she is not only rolling out an initiative to stop LGBT discrimination in her office, she's pledging to defend gays abroad, you're telling the WORLD, on the record, the United  States will not tolerate LGBT discrimination. Back that up with the President's speech that afternoon, reinforcing that message and you have quite a statement on your hands (and CSPAN). What a breakthrough. No other President or SOS has touched that topic in such an official capacity. This is a big deal and in my opinion a step in the right direction. Not perfect, but I'll take it.

As a niece of a lesbian, and best friend to a gay man (not that it matters) I stand behind the Secretary completely. But it is one thing to speak against discrimination and another to continue to legislate for it...ehem...California. Regardless, I couldn't have been prouder Tuesday.

Here is the Foreign Policy Recap:

"Human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights," Secretary Clinton declared today at a State Department event celebrating LGBT pride month. In her remarks she mentioned that 10 years ago, she was the first First Lady to march in a pride parade, and she went on to say:
This is a human rights issue. Just as I was very proud to say the obvious more than 15 years ago in Beijing that human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights, well, let me say today that human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights, once and for all.
Clinton also highlighted LGBT-friendly policies that have been enacted during her tenure:
Last year, I received a petition with more than 2,200 signatures supporting equal benefits to same-sex partners [of State Department employees]. And I was delighted that soon after, the President signed an executive order to that effect. This month, the Bureau of Consular Affairs issued new regulations making it easier for transgender Americans to amend their passports, ensuring dignified and fair processing. And today, I'm pleased to announce that for the first time, gender identity will be included along with sexual orientation in the State Department Equal Employee Opportunity Statement.
In her remarks, Clinton said that the State Department's annual Human Rights Report includes a section on how LGBT individuals are treated in every country and mentioned that the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor recently announced a new grant to provide aid to human rights advocates in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia who are in danger because of their LBGT status or because they work on LGBT issues. The State Department is also working to provide more protection for LGBT refugees who face persecution in their home countries.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Old Man Richer

Happy Birthday Old Fart!
Dad just celebrated the Big 5-0 in San Diego. 
Ben tells me it was a riot! Carly and I were there in spirit - we're just allergic to Geritol.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just Another Day At The Office

Rather than sit in the chairs...this guy was insistent on sitting as close inside the office as possible....which meant the floor. So yes, I flip cammed him.

Real Housewife Dishes on "Real Housewives"

DC is finally getting the respect it deserves with it's relatively new cool factor. But with cool comes celebrity, wannabees and a petri dish for both.... reality shows.

Last year it was Real World and Blonde Charity Mafia. This year it's Top Chef and the show all us Bravo addicts have been waiting for Real Housewives.

This season has already stole headlines with our own special, highly developed, local breed of gatecrashers...the Salahis.

A bona fide Real Housewife herself, (you'll notice the only cameras following her around are legitimate media) Carol Joynt, former owner of Nathan's in Georgetown and host of Q &  A cafe, sat down with the couple to get their side of White House crash. Yesterday, rather than waking up to our morning show here at 630 WMAL, she stopped by to recap for us.

Round of Applause

Tis the Season for big congrats! Sam, a good friend and colleague just graduated from film school (ok it's really not film school, but that's what she majored in - so that's what I call it!) She's been working her tail off and it finally payed off! Brace yourself world - expect big things from this chica!

Also a huge kudos to Katie Santo. Lady bug just ran a half marathon! She went from barely running across an airport to jogging 13.1 miles. And get this - Linds and I were there to cheer her across the finish line and the first thing she told us was how EASY it was. I was having a hard enough time staying awake after Tommy's birthday party the night before and let alone fathoming a breezy trek around Annapolis.

Speaking of Tommy's Birthday, that brings in the final congrats. One of my dearest friends Tommy turned 24. You can read what the DC blog chatter had to say about all his accomplishments, but the biggest is that he turned some serious lemons into lemmencello and now is doing fabulously - for any age. Congrats Tommy and Happy Birthday. We celebrated at The District in Adams Morgan with Mix 107.3's Stephanie Flax, Pamela Sorensen of Pamela's Punch, On Tap's Ashley Estill, WTOP's Bob Madigan, Chris Brown, and HOT 99.5's Toby Knapp ......good time was had by all - from what we can peace together of the evening.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Taiwan Dispatch

For all you Richer Watchers:

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a's probably a Richer. In this case we're talking itineraries only billionaire trophy-wife jet-setters could keep up with. After Carly graduated last month from University of Hawaii, she took off to San Diego for our cousins wedding and then off to Nicaragua for a week - just cause.

Then it was back to Hawaii for a day and straight through to Taiwan to put her shiny new Marine Biology degree to work. She was scouted by her NOAA affiliated professor to join on of their grad students in Tawian to work on coral research. Not to shabby! Here's her latest dispatch. (Thanks Kim for forwarding!)

Im in Taiwan now, and everything is awesome! Our lab is at one of the largest aquariums in the world and they have whale sharks which is super cool! We're spending upwards of 18 to 20 hours in the lab every day doing coral larvae biology, which is awesome but a lot of work. Hope your day is fun and Ill talk to you later!

In other Richer news - Carly joined skype finally!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto

Apparently there is a genetic marker for jet-setters. As the Richer clan gears up for their cross country pilgrimage for Carly's graduation in Hawaii today, (I am bringing up the rear and making an entrance tomorrow), my cousin Dave Smith will also be racking up the frequent flier miles. He and his girlfriend will be studying abroad in Japan for the summer.

As you're downplaying your jealously (ok fine replace your with Jen in the previous statement), feel free follow along as the crazy kids get their blog on as they adventure. (also a genetic marker for blogging! It's the reporting/hamming it up gene!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

From The Road Friday

Parking in DC is quite the spectator sport. 
Bullies are in Bumper bras, out

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ladies and Gents Step Right up...We Have a Sucker!

Ugh I hate to admit this but after months of defiantly ignoring the buzz of the DC Real World circus, I finally have been sucked in. Don't get me wrong, I love me some junk reality tv (did anyone say Real Housewives?) but I'm not going to lie, I think I'm hooked (don't worry John - not LOST hooked, just enough to not gag every time it's mentioned in a conversation.)

There was a story this morning in the Reliable Source about a Bethesda woman signing the waiver while intoxicated, and now she's suing. Apparently, while she was trying to lure a cast member away from his girlfriend, she came off as a bit snarky to say the least. So here I am, 6 am in the newsroom, reading the original filing trying to track down the appearance on

Thank goodness they post the episodes in full online - but because I have no frame of reference.  I had to sift through the episodes and babaBLAM - that's when I was sucked into the black hole of another junk tv show. Sucker! It's not even that good - it's like watching sophomore year all over again only this time as the outsider.

Looks like I will be loading this crap onto my ipod for my flight next week. I have 20 hours to kill after all. (DC to Hawaii for Carlys Grad+ Hawaii to San Diego for Rachael's Wedding+ San Diego to DC for reality= 20.)

This one kills me - for all you fellow wonks - just watch the kid in the WH briefing room - Gates is going right over his head. Flashbacks of my Freshman year culture shock. (Then you realize everyone has a one-sheet at their finger tips. That comes senior year.) And he had the opportunity to do a poli-toon for the now defunct Washington Times. Dun Dun Dunnnnn. For the Digi kids in the house - I know you're thinking it too -way to reach out to the dead-tree versions kid - where is your millennial ingenuity!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bulb Blitz Crystal City

For all of you playing hookie on Friday:

The Floral Frenzy: Bulb Blitz is this Friday, May 7th, from 9-11AM. Come to the 2100 and 2200 block of Crystal Drive ready to dig up tulip bulbs and take them home for planting in your garden! The event is free and open to all. The Crystal City BID will provide trowels for digging and small bags to help you take the bulbs home. Garden Guides provides some helpful tips on digging up and preserving your bulbs for the best time to plant them in your own garden.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Put Your Thanks Where Your Mouth Is!

The idea is simple - to honor, remember, recognize and above all - appreciate our service members. There is nothing political about that. I don't care what your stand on the war is. These are our people. My step-brother Jeff just got home over the weekend from his 15th trip to the middle east, it was his 12th time in Iraq.

For 11 years a small but determined group of volunteers in San Diego sought more than just three-day weekends, that often celebrate no more than vacation time. They demanded a month of recognition for our troops…… and in 1999 The United States Senate designated May as National Military Appreciation Month. This is the second year we at the station have participated in that effort.

Sam and I created this video to continue that mission, to remember those who have served and to honor those who continue to protect us. Please pass it on.

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Orleans Rent-al

At fifteen, I couldn't wait to shake the parental units. Fast-forward ten years and I can't wait to hang with them. Who knew they were so cool? (k - well I did - but I would never have said while they were within earshot.) So when Dad and Kim bit the bullet and moved down south, cutting my flight time for a visit in half (it was for me after all - not Dad's work assignment- chuh) - I kicked my self into high gear and managed to finagle a weekend of hang time in. What's not to love -down time with the big kids, not to mention - being the only child for the weekend. Plus, I was able to line it up with Jazz Fest - what has been defined by the locals as the authentic New Orleans holiday (as opposed to the imported Mayhem of Mardi Gras).

I hadn't been to the whoodat nation since aforementioned shit show. So the plan was: fly in, burn through my magazine stock on the flight (2 months behind), hang with the parents, get fat, do some jazz fest, and roll out. The real success of the weekend was I made my flights - both of them - shocker.

I rolled in alright - completely exhausted from the week. All I wanted to do Friday night was pjs and sleep. But Dad and Kim were so flipping adorable. I was expecting to the obligatory rolling curbside pick up. But as I come down the gang plank - there are these two little faces peeking out from the Useless TSA Forbidden items/threat level placard. Damn near scared the crap out of me. Loved it.

I was so hungry that Dad vetoed Mother's (a highly recommended diner) and opted for a local dive in Bucktown called Deanie's. EVERYTHING on the menu was deep fried. So I thought I'd combat that with a salad and share some shrimp off Kim's plate. Only their small servings could feed three. Shamelessly I waddled out. Mission accomplished.

The next morning - Kim and I got up early to get our walk on to hopefully clear some room for the rest of our gastro-weekend. I think we may have spent more calories gabbing than striding.  They're neighborhood has three lakes - and I kid you not - Kim knows every web footed resident. Bonus Mom gets bonus points for trying to pawn me off on the single neighbors, quaking and otherwise.

The plan was to hit the jazz fest - but I had been whining about my quickly depreciating caffeine levels - I was demanding a Starbuckios sippie cup. So to shut me up - Dad pulled over. Only my green headed maiden was not the Seattle goddess - she was a Frenchie caked in powdered sugar called Cafe du Monde. I'd been to the sticky dive in the French Quarter last year - but who knew the powdered sugar, cash-only palace was a franchise! I split the beignet and splurged on my big cup o' joe.

Not only did they look at me like I was crazy - the clerk openly judges, "You gonna drink all that?" Before I could fire a witty zinger back - Dad jumps in with a, "hell yeah - she's from DC." To which the line (clearly eavesdropping) understandingly nods in unison. Once again the caffeinated cheese stands alone.

Wholly unprepared for the our next stop, we make our way to the Jazz Fest. Couple of notes for next time - not media, flip flop, definitely not conservative Palin-loving-parent-friendly and if you didn't pack your umbrella/camp chair/ or rain boots - not Jen friendly. It's a great deal - $60 for a full day of awesome performances but when Dad offered to drop me off rather than buy into activity, I started making plans to go next year with my sissie and our matching Koozies instead.

Instead we headed back to the French Quarter. Dad insisted on taking me to see Marie Laveau's tomb. I'm thinking dead people over covers of the Grateful dead? Really? But I have to say - the man did his research. He's zipping between tombs (totally creepy btw - there are over 600,000 people burried in this graveyard the size of a city block) firing off facts like an ipad loaded to a Wikipedia page. Thirty minutes later we finally get to Marie Laveau's - the voodoo queen's, tomb. I could go through all the info but here's the important part - everyone comes here to make a wish on her tomb. And there are quite a few "thank yous" on there too. Say what you will about throwing salt over you shoulder - but this diva's got something going on when people are coming back to say thanks. So here Kim and I are marking x's and spinning around like fools. If you told us to hop on one foot and say the alphabet backwards I bet we would have done that too. Not the highest point in my wishmaking career.

Then we hit Canal Street for a little shopping and more food! Don't judge - I said FAT! So we split a muffaletta at Central grocery and a pellegrino. Then swung by the tourist trap - Jimmy Buffet's for a Mojito. I've had better - but Daphne the bartender was HILARIOUS. If your in town say hi for me!

On the way back - it occurred to me where I get my frugality - Dad insisted we play in Harrah's casino for 30 minutes so we could get free parking. BRILLIANT! They even won $30 between the two of them. I lost $10 but earned it back in cocktails. Should have brought my own sippy cup - shake shake. Just sayin. had these big plans to cap the night with a movie and ice cream but Kim and I fell asleep as soon as our purses hit the couch - let alone our bums. I'd like to blame it on couch commando and his NHRA but we were whooped.

Day two they tried so hard to keep me entertained. I have to be honest we could have driven in circles and I would have been completely happy.

They drove me through the Garden District and like a good real estate agent - told me how perfect I would fit into these multimillion dollar estates. "Look Jen - there's even a Land Rover. You could move down here and work for the news media (guess who else listens to talk radio) and cover the corruption. That's a hot story." Thanks Dad I've still got my work cut out inside the beltway. The sad part is - I think he was serious.

As the tornado watch burned we had breakfast at the original O' Henry's and toured the neighborhood.

Then it was time to catch the ugly flight - N.O. to Chi-town and red eye into BWI. Stupid Jen...Stupid Stupid Stupid. What part of red-eye did I miss? I had just enough time to drop my suitcase - change into work clothes and head into the District for work.

Apparently Pres. Obama had the same idea I did, because on the way to the airport, Air Force One was taking off right over our heads. He was in town for the oil spills. And while Dad and Kim were dumbfounded - I'm thinking - wait- come back - I need a direct flight back to DC too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Dad and Kim finally made the hard move to the Big Easy from San Diego. If you haven't heard me gushing yet...I am a HUGE fan of move!

They are now just a few hours instead of a days worth of flight time away....and my super Bonus Mom is really good about keeping me abreast of the differences between So Cal and No-leans.

For example....the you think Hermes gives a discount if you bring your own material?