Thursday, July 27, 2006


I never mentioned Day 2 with Cousin Joy, which provided us not nearly enough time to bond/catch-up/enjoy each other, but I was thankful for what I got. She & K came over to see my apartment, which they loved, and I stole her away to go shopping and have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, where she immediately got an eyeroll out of our server only to completely win him over a few minutes later. The last thing I remember him saying is, “I want one of her.” - a pretty common response on first-time encounters. She’s one of those people that you want to put in your pocket and take everywhere. There’s never a dull moment with her around. She ended up leaving him a great tip, plus a note that read, "WE LOVE YOU. BYE AHMED."

My workout plan has officially started this week. I’m giving myself 6 weeks and if I don’t notice a difference . . I’ll keep working out, I’ll probably just allow a little more chocolate back into my diet. I’m not going to be so strict as to not allow myself ice cream when Best Friend visits this weekend, but am trying to make an even more conscious effort to eat healthy and make the 3 floor trek to the workout room every day. Instead of getting breakfast with my officemates nearly every morning, I instead limit myself to a) my bowl of Wheaties (which fills me up for about 30 minutes) or b)a cup of strawberry/banana yogurt and an Odwalla bar. The second option isn’t much cheaper than buying breakfast at the bakery, but it’s definitely healthier. I told Joy about my plan and discussed how much power dessert has over me. Granted, I don’t ever buy sweets at the grocery store, but if someone offers me some, I just can’t say no. Joy offered me this suggestion, “The next time someone offers you dessert, just act irritated and say, ‘I don’t eat that *#$@’ and they’ll never offer it to you again.” She’s probably right. They probably won’t ever offer it to me again, but they also probably won’t be my friend anymore. I did try semi-implementation of this tactic. I was just nicer about it. Sure enough, New Girl now says before heading to the candy jar, “Well, I know YOU don’t want any, but Leigh, what about you?”

Best Friend, her brother, and her boy are in town. It's SO good to have her in "my" city. Her boy lives in NH (they're doing the long-distance thing) and has brought his whole family along to meet her. They have a family business and are all attending a leadership conference this weekend. Obviously, it's more important for her to spend some QT with her boy and his family since they never see each other, but fortunately it looks like I'll be invited along quite a bit. Last night, we hung out at the hotel and tonight we may all catch a movie. So excited!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Hanging out with Rochester and Joy

Friday night, Rochester and I hung out. I mean, we're still friends, so we're going to keep hanging out . . The only thing is . . it totally felt like a date. We figured out that neither of us had plans. . although, I think it's one of those situations where neither person makes plans, because they'd kinda rather hang out with each other. In my defense, I thought I had plans with my cousin, but that didn't end up happening.

He asked what I wanted to do, and my first idea was . . "Ooh, ooh, let's go sightseeing!" The only thing I've seen since I've lived here is the WWII Memorial, so I haven't really been sightseeing for years. He didn't get overly excited about my plan, so I suggested we go to Old Town Alexandria for dinner. I love Old Town. It's sooo cute, and if I stick around for a while, I'd love to live there (even though the commute is longer).

We ended up eating at the Chart House on the waterfront. The seafood was delicious. Afterward, we got ice cream and went to a movie at an old historic theater.

These pictures don't at all do the area justice:

We walked around Old Town and happened into a store full of eclectic items and lots of souvenirs. Toward the back of the store, there were several tribal mask-things and a sign on the wall in terrible handwriting that said, "If you shoplift, you will be cursed." I, of course, had to laugh and make fun of the store and how random and weird it was. First of all, I don't know why anyone would want to steal anything from this place and second, I think I'd be a little more nervous if the law were to get involved than to risk these folks putting a curse on me. As we walked out the door, I saw another sign mid-laugh . . . "You insult . . You cursed." I couldn't stop laughing. Apparently I'm not the only one that found that place to be an easy target for ridicule.

Weekend on the Metro
Saturday night, I was going to meet my cousins (Joy's in town) at Zaytinya where they serve the most amazing Greek & Lebanese mezzes (tapas). I decided that rather than pay for garage parking or valet service, I'd just take the metro. Bad idea. I had to wait 10 minutes for a train, which I suppose isn't bad, but I'm not used to waiting even 1 minute during the week. It wasn't crowded, so when I spotted two empty seats, I promptly plopped down in one of them, leaving a seat for another passenger next to me. Another bad idea. Would standing have killed me?
No sooner had I sat down, a crazy, dirty man stepped on and greeted me. He then proceeded to ask if I had a boyfriend, to which I emphatically answered, "YES". He told me that he dates white girls and just as I feared, came to sit next to me . . aaaahhh. He was dirty, people. Dirty. He smelled. I immediately picked up my phone and pretended to be on a call until my stop, where he kept tapping my shoulder asking my name as I waited for the doors to open. Remind me next time, no matter how inconvenient, to just drive.

You Just Don't Do That
After Zaytinya, CousinJ dropped Joy and I off in Georgetown to hang out for a couple of hours. Joy is . . a "character". I guess that's the only way to describe her. I love her with all my heart, because there is no one like her. As we walked down the street, she spoke to every homeless person we saw, either dropping a penny in their cup or saying "Sorry, I gave all my change to another 'one'". She told one homeless man in an electric wheelchair that she liked his dinosaur cup holder! After getting ice cream at Haagen-Dazs, hanging out at a piano bar, and then Barnes & Noble, we hailed a cab to go home. She was so excited about riding in a cab that she jumped into the front seat and started chatting with the Ethiopian cab driver. I could see him looking over at her and practically salivating. She told him she liked Indian food and actually asked him if he wanted to go get some! Of course, she would never have done it, but she is just random and crazy like that. The cab driver didn't think she was kidding and suggested that he drop me off since I clearly didn't want to go along. I couldn't believe this was happening. I yanked on her ponytail and directed the cab driver to the corner where we would get out and walk a block, because he didn't need to know exactly where we were going. I was so exasperated at her behavior that, instead of staying the night, I asked for a ride home. Hopefully today she will show some signs of normalcy. :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Happy Again

Lonely didn't last long.

And what I said about not hanging out with QGP's friends anymore? Not true. I'm hanging out with his friend's girlfriend, CzG, tonight . . and her roommate, Dallas, that I also met. We're actually gonna scope out a lady's furniture, because she's moving out of state and literally giving her stuff away.

Last night, I hung out with a girl from back home. (She and I rushed the same sorority freshman year. I transferred, but she stayed and became good friends with my best friend. She moved out here a couple years ago.) We ate at a delicious Mexican place that has half-priced burros on Tuesday nights! Practically the whole time, we talked about BF and how happy we are that she met "the one", etc, etc. BF and her boy are going to meet up here in D.C. in a week - yay! His whole fam is going to be here to meet her. I'm so glad they're meeting up here, because now I get to see her, too.

D.C. Dislikes
So, I've enjoyed living in D.C. so far, but I've been here long enough to find some things I don't like (which isn't that tough, I guess). For starters, I don't mind the metro in itself. It's fast, it's easy, and it saves me lots of money. If I didn't use the metro, I'd be paying an extra $100/month for parking (and that's half price!) plus gas to drive to work and back. I already pay $85/month to park underground at my apartment. The thing about the metro that I don't like . . the smell. It doesn't smell like garbage or even body odor . . it just smells. And there are plenty of times that I have to smoosh myself in there when it's packed. Full house. I mean, you couldn't fit another half a person if you wanted to. Also, the fact that I have $8 in unusable metro fare just sitting in my purse is frustrating. It's because two of my tickets have been demagnetized by either my cell phone or iPod or something in my purse. And I have to go to a specific metro stop to get them refunded. Of course, I never feel up for that. When I leave work, I'm going home!, not taking a detour!

Another thing that's annoying is the parking, of course. The majority of times you go somewhere, you're going to have to pay to park in a garage or something. It's just too time-consuming to drive around looking for a spot.

So basically, I have issues with transportation.

I also have a hard time with all the homeless people. I ignore them . . all of them. Pretend like I don't hear them or see them. . like they're invisible. Most people do. But it kinda makes me feel bad. But it's not like I can drop change in every cup I see. I'd be broke! The number of homeless people, though, is just crazy. Every morning, as I walk to work, I walk by at least six . . usually they're talking to themselves or something as they sit on their benches or the sidewalk.

Of course, I can't list things I don't like without mentioning the humidity. It really is that bad. There are days I walk home thinking the heat isn't unbearable, but the air is so thick, and by the time I make it home, I want to shower again.

D.C. Delights
What I love about the city is how fast-paced it is. You can't help but feel important when you walk down the street . . whether you are or not. It's an important city . . one of the most important cities in the world. I love feeling a part of that in some way.

I like knowing I could go take a walk on the Mall . . even though I never do. I like being able to see the Memorials, the Washington Monument, and the Capitol from my roof. . especially at night when they're all lit up.

I like that there are people from everywhere. (Kinda like college, but all grown-up.) And that none of them (or not many) plan on staying forever. I don't either, but I'm going to enjoy it while I'm here.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Got my hair fixed!

Two things are frustrating me right now:

1. My hair.
My hair has been a source of frustration for as long as I can remember. The only time I feel it turns out even remotely well, is when I wash it with soft water, which is only at my parents’ house. Otherwise, it’s either too dry from lack of conditioner, or too ‘gunky’ from who knows what. Basically, it feels like I have too much product in it when I have none. I spend FOREVER rinsing out the shampoo and conditioner that I do use. The only time I’m completely happy with my hair is when it’s washed in a salon. It’s always been a great mystery to me how my hair can behave so completely different when someone else washes it! Do hair stylists literally have magic fingers? Several times I’ve tried the very products they use, but to no avail. I tried styling my hair with a round brush the other day, just to see if styling was the issue. Nope. So instead of having silky hair that I can bounce around, my hair will basically stick in whatever position I style it. There’s no real running my fingers through my hair. It’s not usually obvious to those around me that my hair is gross and impossible, but it screams at me constantly. I’ve asked several hair stylists what the solution is and NONE of them have given me an answer. Sometimes I wonder if it would be worth it to pay a stylist to blow it out for me (or at least wash it) once a week or every other week. Has anyone else ever experienced this?

2. My bank account.
Mom, don’t panic. I have plenty of cushion in my bank account. However, the other day, a large amount of money was withdrawn from my checking account when several checks came through. The only reason I knew this was that my debit was declined. I knew it was impossible that I had gone over and sure enough, when I checked, I had plenty of money left. Apparently, unbenownst to me, you can’t go over a certain amount in one day. How was I to know all the checks would go through the same day when I had written them out to different vendors? At any rate, my bank charged me $31 for every check that went below a certain amount. Now, everything appears to be back to normal with my account, but I’m about to file a complaint and beg them to waive the charges. I can understand not allowing me to use my debit card for more than a certain amount in one day . . but charging me when too many checks go through?!