12.30.2005

DC Restaurant Week, January 9-15--the Beast is Back

Yeah, I know that all my food service buddies would rather get an itchy rash on their nether-regions than deal with the unwashed hordes at yet another Restaurant Week. But for those of us whose food-serving days are well over, it sure is a good way to try out some new eateries on the cheap--3 courses, prix fix at $20.06 for lunch and $30.06 for dinner. Problem with RW is that at some places those prices aren't much of a deal--for instance, you'd have to pay ME 30 bucks to eat a meal at Tony & Joes at the Georgetown harbor (shudder).

But remember, when making your selection--a general rule of thumb is that the pricier the establishment, the more limited their RW options tend to be--which makes sense, considering they’d lose their shirts on food costs otherwise. In the past I’ve had fairly pleasant experiences at Bistro Bis, Vidalia, and Ten Penh. I also had a fairly craptastic experience at New Heights (boring food, few choices, and lackluster service). Got any good RW stories of your own?

Here is my short list of places I'd like to check out this time around:

  • Acadiana
  • IndeBleu
  • Zengo
  • 1789
  • Corduroy
  • Rasika
  • Dino
  • Tabard Inn

Let me know if you have been to any of these spots for RW--I'd love to know how they performed.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm, food-dah!

Viola

12.29.2005

Weekly Stats for Vital Fans
This week features a random selection of slightly disturbing stats
  • Amount of money Americans spent on chocolate in 2004: $15 billion
    Source: NPD Group (reported in The New York Times) , 6/19/2005
  • Number of brands recognized by the average American 3 year-old: 100
    Source: Albany Times Union, 2/2/2000
  • Average weight of a mall Santa: 218 pounds
    This number is down from 225 pounds in 1997
    Source: General Growth Properties Santa survey
  • Last words spoken on the moon: "OK, let's get this mother out of here"
    The words were spoken by Eugene Cernan, an astronaut on Apollo 17. Apollo 17 was the last spaceship to visit the moon, departing on Dec. 14, 1972.
    Source: The Observer, 4/29/2001
  • Average annual fees and tuition in 2005 at a nonpublic American university: $29,026
    Source: Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/28/2005
  • Amount the NRA has provided student gun clubs since 1990 to purchase guns to promote "responsible firearms handling" : $61 million
    Source: Spokesman Review, 4/14/2004
  • Number of Americans without health insurance in 2004: 45.8 million
    Up 800,000 from 2003. Source: Washington Post, 9/4/2005
  • Number of world's poorest people necessary to match the income of the world's 500 richest individuals: 416 million
    In other words, when added together, the world's poorest 416 million people have the same income as the 500 richest inhabitants of our planet.
    Source: The Guardian (London), 9/8/2005

Karmic Retribution Can Kiss My Lily-White Ass

Yep, I know it's been a while since I’ve pimped out my personal life for online laughs (got burned on that one when the ex-BF found this blog--yeeOUCH) but I just love you all so much--and trust you not to judge, lest you too be judged (and you KNOW you've done some baaaad stuff--you're just smart enough not to tell the blogosphere about it)

Anyhoo...

Yesterday I was shamelessly slacking on doing actual work and exchanging snarky IMs with a coworker. The verbal jousting had been going on for some time, and reached its zenith when said coworker began to taunt me over the "wall" of my "office" (read: cube). To squelch his 'tude once and for all, I sent the following message to Coworker X: "Shove it, ass-monkey." Turns out however, that I actually send the missive to MY EFFING BOSS. Who then responded with a confused "What?!" to which I replied (I shit you not) "You heard me." It was at this point that I realized I had IMed the wrong person, and sent profuse apologies to BossLady, who took it with amazing grace and humor. Still, my new office nickname appears to be Ass-Monkey. Which is just the super-professional tone I was hoping to set in my new management role with BigCompany. Awesome.

To add insult to injury, I found myself confronted with more karmic reality later the same evening at a local watering hole, where I encountered A) some bartender I drunkenly gave my number to months ago, accompanied by a sluttish note that I think may have actually contained the words "hottie" and "call me!!!" Urg. and B) VisorBoy, who you may recall being featured in an earlier post on this very blog. Thankfully, I kept my eyes on my beer and avoided an embarrassing conversation with both, but still--last night seemed much like Viola's Greatest Hits of Drunken Miscalculations. If only some guy named "Cheyenne" (for real, people) from college had showed up--could have been the trifecta.

Sooo... Karmic lessons learned: 1.) don't hit on the bartender--no good can come of it, and you will not get your drinks comped 2.) do NOT blog about bad sexual encounters, even if they were kinda funny (and may I re-emphasize--VERY VERY BAD) and 3.) stop fucking off at work.

Oops, already screwed up that last one.
Gotta run!

Kisses,
Viola

12.27.2005

Holiday giving
One of the greatest gifts you can give is a donation in someone else's name...
  • Heifer International
    When I first heard about the types of gifts that Heifer gives to families in developing countries, I thought they sounded too practical to be true. Heifer donates the most useful of gifts; one that literally keeps on giving: livestock. Livestock produces food and material and then reproduces so families can sustain themselves and others, for years to come.
    The best thing about donating to Heifer is the "cafeteria" style menu. If you don't have enough money to purchase a single animal, you can put money towards several animals!
  • Public Radio
    Here in DC, you can listen to WAMU or WETA. Both WAMU and WETA are filled with compelling and innovative radio programs.
    WETA
    WAMU
  • We all know the reality of the DC real estate market: DC is exempt from this so-called housing "bubble" and the price of home ownership is frankly, astronomical.
    Organizations like MANNA help low-income DC families learn about the home buying process and build/renovate homes that come with an affordable price tag. Home ownership is not about stainless steel appliances and granite countertops; it's about investment, roots and quality of life.
  • There are people who used to live in New Orleans who are still struggling to get their lives back in order. As our lives move on, some New Orlean'ese are faced with daily challenges such as living and eating arrangements, employment, mental and physical health and an overall feeling of questionable stability. Lots of organizations are still taking donations:
    Direct Relief International
    Red Cross Katrina Fund
    Bush/Clinton Katrina Fund
    The Idea Village
    National Urban League Katrina Fund

12.22.2005

No news about the War, Senate Bills or Rove's involvement with Valerie Plame
Today, it's all about a fun, new product called Zubbles
I must have tuned into NPR after the morning headlines. At first, I was kind of annoyed with this story about colored bubbles; the kind you used to blow at little kiddie birthday parties or if you grew up in my house, the kind your mother would hand-make when you got sick of playing with the homemade playdough (and started to eat it).
A couple minutes into the story, I was suddenly intrigued. The idea man behind Zubbles was so driven to create a colored bubble that he spent thousands of hours (11 years!) and dollars experimenting in order to produce this magical creation. Not mention, he used his own kids as guinea pigs. The photo posted by NPR reminds me of the georgeous Chihuly glass featured in the Bellagio lobby. The bubble is so organic and alive.
If you are looking to be pleasantly surprised by a topic most would find mundane, I encourage you to listen this story.

12.21.2005

random gift ideas for those annoying people who have three of everything





12.20.2005

I hear ya, Antigone. I may actually have to consult the following publication for my work:
"Illustrated Anatomy of the Bovine Male and Female Reproductive Tracts" - by K.J. Mullins & R.G. Saacke. Can you believe that shit??

Office Space Moments
For those of you that are lucky enough to never experience horrible moments where time stands still and the insanity lingers for eternity, I am very, very jealous. I would like to share some of my most recent, horrendous Office Space moments:
  • I had to produce a technical deliverable, for a web-based SOA project that I am working on, in which the sentence "Bob met Alice and magic happens-they get married. " appears.
  • My co-worker received an email that stated:
    "You owe $2 in the 'ambiguity' bucket just inside of my office. I've bolded the two no no's below."
    The sender was serious.
  • One of the project leaders sported a mullet because he thought it was fashionable.
  • As "take aways" from a conference, we received a set of legos with the name of our project printed on them.
  • We volunteered a couple months back with Americorps (a really neat and action/results oriented organization); however, they did make us do team huddles and high-five every hour to promote "togetherness". We also had to do some warm-up exercises that reminded me of the "I must, I must, I must increase my bust" exercises.
  • I worked in a cube-stall-like space referred to as a POD that I had to share with someone else.
  • I was micro-managed by three project managers.

12.07.2005

Like all good horror movies...Vitals' posts are baaaack!
There are very well-qualified, solid reasons for our absence. My reason is going to sound quite far-fetched and almost inconceivable, but I pinky-swear that it is the truth. I was recently abducted by Aliens who work for a subsidiary of one the world's largest media companies, Time Warner. Blindfolded, I was placed in a car and driven for what seemed liked days, until we reached our final destination.
The blindfold was removed and I felt displaced and confused. I was surrounded by 6 identical buildings with large glass windows and bridges that connected all of the structures. There were cars everywhere and people with badges swinging from their necks. The only other form of civilization, that was half-way close, was this entity across the street; some sort of food market that covered close to 2 square miles (or, at least appeared to).
Was I in Hell? Where was the red guy with the horns? Hades? Where was the lusty "bad" people and the fire pit?
Unfortunately, I was not in Hell. A somewhat bloated yellow man floated down from one of the bridges and landed in front of me. His head was perfectly round; he didn't even have a neck. A little odd if you ask me. He told me that I was now part of the "family" and these surroundings would be my new home. I tried to poke him, but he shied away. I tried again, and this time, I think he tried to bite me. Feisty little yellow, running man.
Here's hoping that I can escape this world before my sanity deteriorates and I am nothing but a badge-wearing driod!