Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kickball Team Building

Like every team needs to become a cohesive unit to produce better results, the Declawed Kittens have hit our stride. 

No, we didn't go off to some retreat and do trust falls and problem solving exercises, we did what comes naturally with kickball: we drink.

Between the flip cup after the games to the charity bartending events, we are all sorts of team building.

It was a great time this week as we managed to win our THIRD straight game! Which I'm glad to report that we've won when I've been there and not been there, so I'm not the weak link. (phew.)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Virginia Gold Cup

As a consolation to going to the Derby Party at the Denver Botanic Gardens, I went out to The Plains, Virginia with Jen and Liz for some horse races, champagne, seersucker and hats! It was a perfect day for races...not too hot and a little overcast.

The festivities began with mimosas and ended with mediocre salad from the closest restaurant to the place the buses let us off. I saw some of the races, but the track is different from the tracks I'm used to, but it was fun all the same.

Being surrounded with all the pastels, seersucker, and hats, I was in preppy heaven.

How we started the morning.
On the bus on our way to the track.

The party bus

Homeboy had a tough time balancing and peeing....Clearly, I had to document this.
The track

Argyle pants. Win.

Staking our claim on a table.

Paisley blazer. Win.

Pastel pants with horse and jockey print. Win.

The Capital Club tent

Our newest BFFs...I think...whatever.

A proper picture of the hats, but I have fascinator envy.

Pastel print, seersucker tie, cheap wayfarers. Fail.

At the rail to watch some races.
 Although I would have liked to know that the food wasn't unlimited, but more "while supplies last", mostly for the fact that it's a long day and there's lots of booze, so it's more of a necessity. I actually would love to go next year....but this time I'll bring protein bars for sustenance.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dad's Visit

My dad came into visit last weekend. Granted, I should have blogged about this visit on Sunday or any day before today, but I have had lots going on after work as of late.

*cough* Meeting Jen Lancaster *cough*

But, here's a recap, with some pictures from my dad's visit.

On Thursday, I took a half day to meet up with my dad so that he wasn't wondering around DC by himself. Our first stop was Hello Cupcake before we went over to my kickball game. My dad had a lemon zest cupcake and said it was perfect. I had a GF banana with peanut butter frosting. Divine. After the game, we went to a Mexican restaurant by the fields. (Not even worth the time to google the name of it.) It was a mellow night, but nice for the first day walking around the neighborhood.

We (read: I) started off Friday early because I wanted to watch the Royal Wedding. I just wanted to see people arrive, the dress, and of course the little bit of the ceremony that they participated in before really old dudes started talking. I managed to sneak in a nap before we started on our morning. We went to the Udvar-Hazy Center for the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. It's a HUGE hangar next to Dulles and houses a Concorde, Blackbird, and a Space Shuttle. It was crazy to see the evolution of flight. While there, my dad signed my up for a membership (they were on sale) which gives me a discount at the cafes, gift shops, and IMAX films at all the Smithsonians. While at Udvar-Hazy, we also saw an IMAX of fighter jets and a flight simulator. It was pretty cool.

Me and the padre.
After that, it was onto the grocery store so my dad could make some of my favorite meals to freeze and have for lunches and dinners. I chose stuffed shells and green chile. Both are amazing and I have so much to hold me over until he comes back to town. Simply delicious. 

On Saturday, we went down to the Mall and went to the main Air & Space Museum. That place was cray cray busy. We anticipated that, but I don't think that I'll ever grow used to the droves of teenagers in  matching shirts and their inattentive chaperons. We saw an IMAX about building the Boeing 787. We both agreed that going to Everett, Washington and seeing it first hand was way cooler than some IMAX movie.

We walked down the Mall hitting up the monuments and memorials along the way. After we had our fill of people and places, we decided to walk into Georgetown and get some dinner with another visit to a cupcakery for comparison purposes, of course. (That, and I had a free six pack from Sprinkles.) For the record, my dad said that Hello Cupcake was superior.

Dad couldn't wait to try the coconut.

Saturday night was spent watching the NASCAR race and me reading. It was a nice evening to end a whirlwind trip.

Since my dad and I only see each other a couple of times a year, it was nice to just be me and him, not catching up with other people or having other people around. That, and he wanted to check in on his baby girl  because I'm living in a big city by myself. I don't think that he'll ever grow out of that.

This weekend holds the Virginia Gold Cup. Thank seersucker, hats, and horse races. I'll have a whole post detailing the sights and preptasticness of the weekend.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Meeting Jen Lancaster

Last night, I checked one thing off my Bucket List: Meet my favorite author.

For years now, I have been reading Jen Lancaster's memoirs Bitter is the New Black, Bright Lights Big Ass, Such a Pretty Fat, Pretty in Plaid, and My Fair Lazy. Yesterday marked her debut novel If You Were Here. To commemorate the book, she has set out on a month-long book tour. Her first stop? Well, right here to Washington, DC!!

For years, my friends and I have contemplated making a weekend trip out of somewhere she would be on tour. Chicago, New York, Houston, basically anywhere that Southwest flies. However, her schedule and ours never seemed to pan out. However, now that I live in a city that she not only comes to, but returns to, I HAD to make sure that I was there to see her in the polo, pearls, and Wayfarer glory.

I'm all ready for the reading and signing.

To meet Mrs. Fletch, I had to alter my work schedule so that I could go to Barnes & Noble at 8am to get my hard copy and wristband for the signing. I wasn't the only one there at 8am waiting to pound the doors down. There was a line of about 15 people doing the same thing. Naturally, I had to tweet about it and mention Jen. And to my surprise, Jen tweeted me back!! Proof:

Jen Lancaster
@ - Holy. Crap! See you tonight! Promise to be full of inappropriate stories and covered in flop sweat! Swearing imminent!

I literally SQUEEEEEED in my office.

Not kidding. May have made the sharing-of-an-office dynamic a little awkward.

On the high from the tweetback, I was itching to get back to Barnes & Noble to get a seat for an awesome reading and Q&A from my fave. We managed to snare the last two seats with some switching and got SECOND ROW. Alright, by this time, I'm DIE. YING. DYING.

Jen was her tan, preptastic self with a Lacoste, Lilly, Yurman, Tiffany's, pearls, and Wayfarers.
Jen read an excerpt from If You Were Here with the inflections that I would have in my head. She also chose a passage that, if you read her books and blog, would realize that Mia, Mac, and Tracy are very close to Jen, Fletch, and Stacy (her BFF).

The Q&A portion was great because she was candid about writing, her life, and advice that people were seeking. The highlight of which was when someone said that she asked her writing teacher about making her life a fiction novel, she was shot down. Jen replied with you have to write what you know and maybe there's a reason that person is a teacher and not a novelist.

At the signing, I had already decided that I had to point out that it was me that she tweeted back and I've been so excited to meet her since she's my fave and I love her, blah blah blah. Nervous chatter, basically. I'm glad that I made it to the store when it opened because I got in the A group which meant that I didn't have to mill about Barnes & Noble while everyone else was meeting her.

As I walked up, she complimented me on my dress! (Kohl's) We chatted about how we like them. When she saw my name she asked me if I was the one that tweeted about the line. ME. She asked me. She's amazing. That? Right there? Made my night, week, and month. (I would say year, but the whole move to DC will probably trump all of that.)

Of course, I took a picture with her and it's now my profile picture on fb. I can't help it. I'm so freaking pumped.

The first thing people comment on is that we both have on our pearls. On a related note, I need a tan.
Do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy of If You Were Here. It's a great read and I look forward to more novels from Jen (and of course all of her memoirs).

p.s. This is posted on both Caffeine & Cocktails and Adventures in the District.