Come on NBC...

Okay first the late night sagas, revealing a new layer of desperation to receive better ratings, all the while turning more loyal watchers against the network. They breached a contract with one of their most beloved characters, especially by the most powerful age group of television viewers. The twenty-something dvr, hulu and schedule life around the shows they follow. And now Conan has been forced out, undoubtedly to another network. Where his loyal viewers will surely follow

I thought that was enough, for a while at least.

Now today is Thursday. Comedy Thursday. Conan has been gone for nearly a week. The line up goes something like this -- Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office and then 30 Rock. Actually, it goes exactly like that. I would guess with the popularity of these shows, this is NBC's best night for ratings and my personal favorite.

So how could they possibly screw this up, you ask?

Reruns. Again. Not only reruns, but 30 Rock is a rerun from LAST WEEK. I mean, really? Last week's episode?! Is there another writers' strike I have not been made aware of, or is the once most powerful network really earning the terrible ratings they receive?

Wow. Another nail in the coffin.

Commuting Fashion continues to be bad worldwide....

I received this update today from my best friend, who resides in the Chicago metro area and works on Michigan Ave. I suppose it's comforting to know that the nation's capitol isn't the only place falling victim to horrific fashion crimes. Joining us to report from the windy city, Miss Wrosanne:

"It's a balmy 6 degrees here in Chicago, sans wind chill. But even as my eye balls floated through the loop (every other inch of me was tucked in or tightly bound) I spied a creature so offensive I was even distracted from the cold. This individual was wearing a spring trench style coat made from what I can only assume was vinyl, buffed to glossy perfection. What better to accompany such an eyesore? Oh, yes...violently pink mittens (made from that fuzzy Muppet skin fabric) and an equally pink scarf patterned with black leopard print. I hope my look of revulsion was reflected in my eyes, as the rest of my face was nestled in my scarf. Oh, and I also saw too fools without coat, but I won't even spare them a thought...except to tell you how stupid they are."

“Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature.” -- Albert Einstein

While I am and always have been a very social being, for as long as I can remember, I have also craved a taste of solitude every now and then. As a child, I would lock myself in my room and read until the tips of my fingers were raw from page turning. During my boarding school days, I would indulge in long naps or hours of studying. In college I could count on my best friend to cover for me while I would be invisible in my room painting and enjoying a box of wine or shopping alone for nothing in particular.

I have discovered that at my age and as a spouse, time to myself is sparse. It seems that every weekend there is a birthday party/ concert/fundraiser/weekend trip/laundry/cleaning/dinner, something going on. So how is a girl to get out of the house – or 900 square foot overpriced apartment – and enjoy the company of herself?

This weekend I ventured alone into uncharted territory. I took myself to the movie theater. Oh yes I did! It was fantastically liberating.

I’m sure I came off as a complete goofball when I ordered my small popcorn and drink – no I do not want to upgrade to a medium for a dollar, can’t you see, it’s just me! – like I was buying my first legal beer in a bar. Though I was convinced people would be staring and pointing at the solo movie goer, I waltzed in and out of the theater with out so much as an eye batted at my solitude; I suppose the latter thought that was vanity mixing with my irrational mind.

It was completely zen to be alone and surrounded by strangers who granted my the pleasure of near invisibility for a couple of hours. Of course it’s not something I could or would want to do every weekend, but I realize that even social events can be enjoyed alone with complete confidence.

And the adult world just got a little less terrifying – if even only a little, it’s something.

End of the Week Excursus: The 37th Anniversary of Roe v Wade.

My fellow Eureka graduate, apartment dweller, blogger and friend, Mr. Mark Rutledge (check out his blog – Blue Notes from a Black Soul) and I have been discussing the prospect of entering a blogging dialogue every Friday, by choosing a current event and, well, you guessed it – blogging about it. As life usually does, it got in the way of our ribbon cutting ceremony to introduce our End of the Week Excursus to the world. However, we have found ourselves with the perfect subject matter to discuss from our respective critical lenses. So here it goes…

End of the Week Excursus: The 37th Anniversary of Roe v Wade.

I woke up this morning, just to realize the anniversary of one of the more controversial Supreme Court decisions had sent D.C. back to somewhere in the early 2000’s. Ignorant conservative ”protesters” running rampant.

Now let me give a brief soliloquy: I don’t mean to say that everyone considered to be conservative is ignorant; actually quite the opposite -- I full heartedly believe, that even though my views are quite left winged, there is many any ignorant liberal. I am only referring to the conservatives who ARE ignorant. One step further, I’m not even calling out their agenda ignorant; the purpose of this entry is not to disperse my social views – rather, the parenting of said protest participants.

Yes, it’s true, I’m not a parent, and that title isn’t even on my horizon…as far as your eye can see, I promise you don’t see me as a parent. But, does that mean I don’t have an opinion on the matter? Ha, right. I have an opinion on everything.

Now back to this morning’s local news.

So I’m waking up, turning the coffee back on, because my husband had been awake and gone long enough that it automatically shut off from lack of use, and in the fog of my waking, I hear the voice of a young girl from my television. “I’m just so excited to be hear and fighting for such a great cause with other people who have the same views and passions that I do.” Oh! Something interesting in the city today, and it’s not Joe Biden’s motorcade running over someone or another wealthy suburbanite trying to become a spotlighted socialite. Considered my interest captured. The camera pans over the crowd – screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech. (That is the sound of my eyeballs rolling to a stop.) March for Life. It sounds innocent, like a march to raise funds for cancer inhalation; this however is a march against a rigtht. Yep, anti-abortion rally.

Fine, whatever, I appreciate folks getting loud about their beliefs – and yes my teeth are gritted. But why in the world are there children at an anti-abortion rally? Why are they holding signs, why are they chanting, and why why why are they wearing homemade t-shirts displaying a move to overturn Roe v. Wade? What parent wakes up in the morning, tells their kid they are going on a vacation to Washington D.C. and sticks them in the middle of rally on something so controversial? Also, quite frankly, why are they stuffing their political and social views down their impressionable little throats?

This is how the divide was created and continues. How people come to hate those with views different than theirs. The reason people get set in their ways and root their feet in a concrete floor of ignorance.

Piss poor parenting.

Now, I grew up in a very uncommon household. I am the bi-product of a blue blooded Democrat and farm raised Republican and who came to age in America’s heartland. GASP, I know. Until I was about 13 years old, I thought it was bad etiquette to discuss who you voted for in political races. What I’m trying to say is, my parents did a beyond wonderful job at keeping their political leanings out of our household – for the most part – and encouraged my brothers and I to make informed decisions on the path toward choosing a political party. I mean, my dad may now claim to have sent me to boarding school to hopefully be surrounded by good conservative kids and my maternal grandfather might have taken me to get the cool free merchandise at the Democrat booth at the state fair, but overall I gathered information and made my own political decisions.

And to this point, know that it’s okay to have friends that don’t share the exact same views as you. In fact it can make for great conversation. That unless in the right setting can listen to someone who has the polar opposite opinion on a controversial issue and give my two cents without also giving my two fists in their face. Yes, I am passionate about things, but I also realize that at the end of the day, we all crave camaraderie.

Taking your children to a massive protest for the overturn of rights deemed by the Supreme Court as constitutional is simply using them as a puppet. An extra body to create a crowd. A child laborer. Plus, if you are really trying to present an intelligent, united and of-voting age front, do you really want a crowd that is half composed of 13 year olds?

Oh, and in this particular instance, dear protesting parents, you are going to have to explain to your children on the long car ride home, what exactly you were standing out in the cold for all day long and chanting about. So, while you had been avoiding that sex talk, enjoy the discomfort that you are confronted by and the questions that are sure to ensue. Surely you didn’t think they wouldn’t absorb the words of the mob you threw them into, did you? They are sponges. We all were once. Until we lived a little life, tasted a little of our own medicine and tripped over our own shoe laces and then made up our own minds.

While this was a little more infused with my views than I intended, regardless of what side of the aisle you sit, a Roe v. Wade protest is not a place for children, or school field trip. Like I said before, piss poor parenting folks.

Come on ladies...get it together

There is a travesty happening amongst the streets of Washington, D.C. Women all across the district are breaking simple laws of fashion with out so much as batting an eye. It's time for us to take a stance against this heinous crime; from one woman to another, we should be embarrassed that we have allowed this to continue on as long as it has. How though, can you tell someone how out of line they are, when they walk down Connecticut Avenue like it's the catwalk at New York Fashion Week? Sigh...

I suppose I'll take the passive aggressive route and list the inappropriate attire I have seen recently and simple quick fixes. 

1. There is a difference between a bag and a purse and even a handbag for that matter. Thus it is NOT okay to carry your portfolio, shoes and work necessities in a purse -- for one it's just not big enough. On the other hand, it's NOT okay to carry a bag in the evening (unless your happy hour turned into happy hours -- then this rule is allowed to be broken). We all have the giant Longchamp bags -- a great example of a bag that should be carried to work and switched (to even the smaller version) out for evening. Just keep the duffles out of the bar and the clutches out of the office.

2. FLIP FLOPS ARE NOT APPROPRIATE WINTER FOOTWEAR. Ever. Yes, we all know that heels are not comfortable commuting shoes. So, bag them and wear your Ugg boots, rain boots, flats -- anything but flip flops. Your feet have to be freezing, not to mention in the sort of shape you want to bare to the world. Summer will come again and you may welcome flips back into your wardrobe; until them keep them off the streets. Even if your boots don't match you gain points for making the intelligent decision to keep warm during your walk to and from work.

3. These giant plastic neon colored sunglasses do not look good on anyone. And they are not a joke. They are simply disgusting. Who saved these from their childhood in the 80's and brought them out to wear in 2010? You had better have a good excuse.

4. Why do briefcases come with an option to have wheels and who in their right mind opts for a rolling bag outside of suitcases? I mean, really, you thought that was a good idea? Pick up your bag and carry it. Please.

I will step down my soap box for now, but I'm sure my commute tomorrow will reveal many more poor life decisions by fellow commuters, so watch for this list to grow. And by grow I mean, exponentially.

The Spirit of Giving

Over the long weekend we finally did some much overdue closet analyzation and reduction. It's quite impressive how much junk we were able to cram into three closets in our 871 square foot apartment. I assure you that by impressive, I mean ridiculous.

We were able to part with three giant Ikea bags full of clothing, hats, jackets and a porcelain joker face, that somehow managed to make into the "keep pile" in our most recent move last June. Even though I had not worn some things since I moved to the East Coast, and are hardly appropriate attire post college, it some how became a thirty minute decision if I should keep a toddler sized t-shirt, just because I wore during a winning beer pong game. (Note: It can now be found at the Good Will on South Glebe in Arlington)

As soon as we had bagged up our goods, they were taken to the car so we couldn't give them a second thought and take anything back out. To ensure the severance of all ties, I headed for the Good Will drop off the following day...

Only to be greeted by complete and utter chaos.

The line to drop off goods to be donated wrapped around the building out the parking lot and into the road. And that is no exaggeration. At first my hear soared -- wow, all of these people must have gone through their homes to give to the earthquake victims of Haiti; how wonderful! What goes up must come down and reality is a long and hard fall. Nope, these folks probably all had the same idea as me and took advantage of the long weekend to go through their unneeded crap. Because, quite frankly I don't think the people of Haiti are in need of old tea cups or a gold framed black and white photo of Bugs Bunny.

I say the majority of cars in line were not giving out of the goodness of their heart with confidence, because their attitudes were that of Black Friday shoppers in line at Wal-Mart at five minutes to 6 a.m. Honking, yelling, blocking other cars in, flooring the gas to cut around two cars in line -- you can picture it. It was completely obscene, and at one point I was so disgusted and angry that I took part in honking at a woman who with five feet in front of me, refused to back up an inch to let a car she had blocked in back up.

I am sure all of these people left their homes with good intentions and hear and the disorganization of the ordeal created impatient animals, suddenly as obsessive compulsive as myself. Who is to blame for this situation? Perhaps it's just the nature of the beast -- it doesn't matter if we are hoping to get a good deal, a good view at a concert or ridding your home of your old treasures -- regardless of the event, if their is no instituted order, we as humans are prone to creating chaos, simply by putting number one first.

Even in Haiti, some troops discovered while trying to deliver water and originally simply left it and those who wanted were supposed to take a bottle and move on, without mandated order there is chaos. Dropping the water by air literally created madness as the dehydrated scrambled to quench their thirsts, however, once the soldiers began handing the water out to formed line of people, politeness suddenly returned.

I'm not the only one who craves organization; at the core of our being, it's in all of us.

From the ocean and straight to F Street (NW of course)

Ah, the glories of Restaurant Week. For those of you who reside in areas that host the great week of restaurants on parade, I hope you take advantage. If you aren't familiar with what it entails, during Restaurant Week, many eateries city wide -- most of which are among the best in the city, thus pricey -- offer three course meals from a limited menu, for $35 a person. It is a great opportunity to experience places you wouldn't normally go (ahem, afford).

We try and pick a new place each Restaurant Week and it usually happens to be the two or three times a year we actually go on a date by ourselves -- going to see a movie doesn't count, as my hubby points out, because it's nearly the most impersonal two hours you could possibly spend with another human being. This go round we finally went to Oceanaire Seafood Room; after nearly three years of absorbing the good reviews, it was a way overdue reservation.

And let me tell you, it is exactly what it is cracked up to be, lived up to my expectations and was worth the wait! Such a rare occurrence.

Allow me a few sentences to ogle and drool over my meal. Some are obsessed with Taylor Lautner, however, for me fresh seafood will suffice. Dustin and I both had the clam chowder as our starter -- I would say the best I've ever had; bacon and diced potato gave it a whole new flavor. For an entree I chose the ginger glazed Norwegian Salmon with snow pea salad. Absolutely delectable! It was a giant grilled salmon steak with a light glaze and topped with Julian sliced snow peas, carrots and peppers; a totally crisp combination. To finish the meal we split our desserts of apple and toffee bread pudding and chocolate peanut butter stack; both indescribable.

Oh and the WINE. We let our waiter guide us to a white blend selection -- Evolution, Lucky Edition created by Sokol Blosser, a vineyard in Oregon. Too good to be true.

So now that I have wiped my chin, I encourage a visit to a new restaurant with your significant other soon: if there is an Oceanaire in your area you may want to try it out. We had put this off for way too long, though like I said it was worth the wait. And for the first time out by ourselves in months, we had a surprising amount to talk about.

More Favorite Things

1. Family
2. Friends
3. Barefoot Moscato
4. A combination of the three

My Favorite Aunt Colleen

For those of you who didn't have the opportunity to know Colleen Miller, let me tell you, she was quite the spit fire. I think the first thing she said to me when I started my college waitressing job at the Chanticleer was, "You better be able to keep up, this isn't play time."

From there she became a sort of psuedo aunt -- offering advice, laughs and a backbone that repelled "bullshit." She was there for my first real break up, and told me to keep my chin up, because it would happen again and I would wonder how I let it -- that's life. Her tiny frame somehow schooled me in carrying plates from the kitchen to the dining room; while I struggled with three or four until I moved on from the Chanti she could balance them up her arm like it was nothing. She loved apple butter, steak and her family. Which, consequently I ultimately became a part of -- she could hardly believe it when I started dating her nephew. "That is 'favorite Aunt Colleen' to you!"

The most important thing I learned from my "favorite Aunt Colleen" was to grab life by the horns and never pass up an opportunity. At the end of my junior year of college when I was accepted into an internship program in Washington D.C., all I wanted to do was continue living in my little bubble of comfort. I literally fought tooth and nail to stay in Central Illinois that summer. However, it only took one conversation to change my mind entirely.

When I told Colleen that I had been offered the summer gig in D.C., but would much rather not go and enjoy my vacation in Eureka, just like I had for the previous two, she said, "honey, are you nuts? You have to go. You have to go and see and experience it for me. Go and be my eyes, because I'm not going to make it there myself."

That put it all into perspective. Why would I chose ordinary over opportunity? Well, I guess I wouldn't and didn't on her watch -- my parents didn't raise me to be a fly on the wall, and I suppose I just needed a little reminder of that. As we know I did intern in D.C., just to fall in love with it and move back after graduating from college.

You never know how people can come into your life and completely change its course without even meaning to. Colleen was one of those people and I'm sure I'm not the only life she touched. She passed away last weekend and has left a legacy of women who stand up a little straighter with thanks to her.