Thursday, April 24, 2008

James Bond: A Conspiracy in Real Life?

Hmmmm - two serious car accidents in just four days while filming the new James Bond film in Italy - Quantum of Solace. The first, James' famed Aston Martin is accidentally driven off a cliff crashing into a lake below while being transported to the set for filming the next day. Allegedly due to rain-slicked road. The driver was ok. Then, just yesterday, two stunt drivers in an Alfa Romeo filming on what is likely the same windy Italian road, crash into a wall. One is seriously injured and airlifted (by a helicopter that happens to be on standby...) to the hospital; the other less seriously hurt. Neither of the stunt men's names are being released to the press. A bizarre coincidence? A trumped-up serious of 'accidents' to build buzz for the film? You decide. It reminds me of the series of accidents on the set of the Crow back in the day that ultimately led to Brandon Lee's death (son of Bruce Lee.) Ladies - Daniel Craig is just fine...for now.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cupcake Controversy: A New Contender

Hot off the presses and straight from Apples and Bananas, the news has hit the blogosphere that another cupcake bakery is going to throw its muffin tin in the ring and compete in the cutthroat competition for best cupcake in DC.  Georgetown Cupcake - watch out!  Cakelove - pay attention!  Baked & Wired - listen up!  There's gonna be a new cupcake in town!  As reported on Apples and Bananas from discussion in the Don Rockwell forum - Hello Cupcake! is coming to town.  You'll have to wait for summer, but this newest contender will be strategically located in Dupont Circle.  

Post Script:  Summer in DC = humidity.  I wonder what the humidity will do to cupcakes???

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cupcake Controversy Continued: NBC4 Gets in the Game

If you haven't already read (or tasted) there is a DC debate over cupcakes being cooked up.  Now, NBC4 has thrown their hat into the ring by conducting a cupcake taste-test.  The four cupcake contestants - Cakelove, Betty Crocker (homemade), Safeway (store-bought) and the over-priced Georgetown Cupcake.  First, let me say this unscientific test is skewed in that there is not an apples to apples comparison - IMO, you can't compare Safeway to Cakelove.  Please.  One is mass produced, one is gourmet.  That's like comparing a shopping experience at 7-11 to Whole Foods.  But, nevertheless, they went about it.  The results can be found here.  The fun part - no one seemed to think that Georgetown Cupcake is worth the price!  Um - duh!!!  What I would have rather seen them do is a cupcake to cupcake comparison - only bakery cupcakes.  Or, let's pit G'town CC against Magnolia and see which city wins cupcake honors...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Kemble Park Tavern: Blonde's I-REview - The Restaurant Edition

The BF and I had dinner last night at Kemble Park Tavern in the Palisades - formerly the Starland Cafe, a personal favorite of mine.  I've been really looking forward to eating dinner here as the reviews were pretty good and with it's theme of an English pub, it's right up my alley.  Let's just say the decor is great, very cozy, and the service is stellar.  We were off to a good start.  They had a nice selection of wines by the glass - nothing crazy, nothing extravagant, just all the stuff I like.  The BF ordered the tomato and onion salad to start.  I don't like tomatoes or onions, but thought I'd be adventurous and try them.  The tomato was great - clearly a beefsteak tomato - it was large, crunchy, with good texture and flavor.  The onion - quite spicy - I'd have much preferred a vidalia onion.  That would have made me order my own salad.  Moving on - I ordered the shrimp over grits, BF order a cheeseburger with real Vermont cheddar!, and we split an order of the housemade bacon.  We voted on the bacon based on the  housemade bacon at Jay Caputo's Espuma in Rehoboth Beach, DE.  Guess there is a reason why Jay is semi-finalist for the James Beard award and Kemble Park Tavern is not.  The bacon was white?? and mushy.  The flavor was good, but after a half of a strip, I was done.  Disappointing.  The shrimp - which I believe were actually prawns (yes there is a difference) - and came head-on despite my request to have them removed and were at best mealy.  The grits were chunky - not creamy - and the sauce my dinner was drown in was flavorless.  All in all, I was pretty disappointed.  It was decent enough to eat - I didn't send it back - but that is the best I can say about it.  The BF's cheeseburger was quite tasty though - now I will know for future reference, although I am not anxious to return there anytime soon.  So, we decided to end the night with a treat of apple and strawberry cobbler, topped with strawberry ice cream, with a complimentary strawberry puree, rum, and champagne apertif.  Sign me up!  I was thinking that perhaps the night could be revived!  The dessert arrived - burning hot - literally I had to spit my first bite out because it was beyond scalding.  The cobbler topping was burned and the apertif was unimpressive.  It tasted like a smoothie with just strawberry and ice - nothing sweet about it.  You couldn't taste the rum and I'd argue if there was actually champagne in it.  Once the cobbler cooled, it was pretty good, but all in all the whole meal was off.  My advice?  Save your pennies on Kemble Park Tavern - with all the good choices for cuisine in this town, they'd be better spent elsewhere.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

DC Drivers: Today is Disrespectful Driver Day!

How hard is it to be a respectful, while still driving defensively and assertively? In my relatively short commute to work today (less than 3 miles) I encountered SEVERAL disrespectful people. It started off with the bitch on the bike in a too-short summer dress, a backpack & blazer, and winter gloves (um - what? Fashion Police!! Make an arrest!), holding up her gloved pointer finger at me signaling for me to wait for her AFTER I had already come to a full stop to let her cross the intersection before me. Since when do bikes rule the road? Too bad a bus wasn't around to hit her. She subsequently kept trying to race me to intersections (um, I'm a car. You are on a bike. I hit you, you die. You hit me, I sue you. Either way, you lose) and then cut off a bunch of other cars as she crossed against the RED light on Reservoir Rd. Damn, that class at Georgetown that you are late for must be really really important.

Then, on 35th, there was the woman in the Range Rover who clearly had nowhere important to be. I had fully stopped to allow a nanny to cross the street with her two cutie charges, when the RR was already at the intersection. According to the drivers' ed class I took (not sure if DC drivers forget the rules of the road when driving in the District), it would be her turn to go. She was at the intersection first.
Me: Lady, it's your turn - go!
Her: lalalalalalala, oh! I should go? Its my turn?
Me: Yes lady and in the amount of time you've taken to realize that, I could have been at work already!!!
She represents an example of a not-so-smart blonde or at least one who had no respect for other drivers and that they might need to be somewhere in a timely manner. On a day that the papal appearance is already clogging traffic, can't people just have a little respect and pay attention? Is that too much to ask?

The morning culminated with arriving in the parking lot to have a very large black SUV up my butt. I turned toward my parking spot, which is typically reserved with an orange cone, and she turned right behind me, slamming her brakes on so as not to rear-end me (what happened to the rule about leaving at least ONE car-length between you and other cars??). I jumped out and asked her if she were going to be parking in the spot next to me, thinking I would save her time also - even though I was late - by moving the other spot's cone out of the way so she would not have to get out of her car too. What did I get in response? An angry wave and a "No! I'm parking over there!" which btw, would have been much easier for her to get to if she had gone around - where there were no other cars in her way.

So as a way to let go of my anger and turn the rest of my day into a productive one - I'm declaring today "Disrespectful Driver Day." And, I'd recommend everyone stay out of my way on the commute home.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ann Taylor LOFT: A Blonde Moment!

Just because I have vehemently asserted that REAL blondes are SMART blondes, that doesn't mean that you can't experience "blonde moments"! (Note to others: you can only make fun of being "blonde" if you are a blonde, otherwise its offensive to the blonde.)

I was super excited as a colleague had passed only an Ann Taylor LOFT Friends & Family discount coupon for 25%. They are already having a significant %off sale, so coupled with this coupon, I could really super-size my savings. So, I printed off several copies of the coupon to share with my own friends and family and headed off to my local Ann Taylor LOFT (Rehoboth Beach, DE) with the BF. After circling the store several times and dragging dear BF along to hold my growing mountain of things, I searched out the dressing room, tried on several items, showed them off to the BF, and returned what I didn't want to the lady running the dressing room.

In an instant moment of kindness and sharing, I whipped out the extra coupons I had with me and passed them out to another cute blonde and her friend who were in the dressing room. Then, I gave a few to the random husbands and boyfriends milling about the door, fretting over their money being spent without their control. After feeling really good about having shared my discount with nearly everyone in the store, BF & I marched up to the counter and checked out. In another moment of kindness and compassion, the BF offered to pay!!! (And, this is why he is the best BF EVER! - among the many reasons...)

As I watched all of my sale items ring up, I proudly handed over my coupon and announced how I had received it. The clerk smiled and continued ringing my items. I turned and smiled at all the other Ann Taylor LOFT devotees standing in line behind me with my coupons in their hands, thinking how much I had helped them to save too. They all smiled back or nodded in appreciation. Man, was I feeling good!

Then the clerk showed me that I had saved over $77 and handed me back my coupon. I was beaming, the BF was thrilled too. Then, I explained sweetly to the clerk that she could throw my coupon out since today was the last day to use it and I wasn't planning on making any more purchases. Without skipping a beat, she sweetly explained right back to me that the coupon is good for NEXT THURSDAY - SUNDAY (4/17-20).

Doh!!! OMG! A blonde moment! And, everyone in line was going to realize within seconds how blonde I am!! Oh dear! The BF and I hightailed it out of there! I'm STILL embarrassed.

Have fun with that one - any nasty blonde comments from you my dear readers will be immediately DELETED!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Georgetown Cupcake: A Blonde's I-REview REdux

So, just to follow up with you, my dear readers, about my opinions regarding Georgetown Cupcake. Recently, my co-worker, Claudia, after observing my disappointment in GC's red velvet cupcake baked her own version of red velvet mini-cupcakes - which, thankfully restored my faith in cupcakes - especially red velvet ones. Hers were not dry like GC's and had delicious vanilla icing with just the right amount of sweetness - and no tart taste like the one I had from GC. And delivered right to my desk - no waiting in an hour long line!

Apparently, this may have sparked an inside-NMS bake-off because today, James brought in red velvet cupcakes with white icing that were also quite spectacular. Incredibly moist, deliciously delectable, and made at home (2 dozen cupcakes!) for not much more than the cost of just 1 at Georgetown Cupcake.

Hmmm - I love capitalism so I applaud Georgetown Cupcake for getting the high prices they do for lousy cupcakes, but I will stick with the ones made a home.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Political Celebrity Sighting!

As I raced into to work this morning, I decided a full stop at P & 35th Streets would be a good idea. Good thing too - since Madeline Albright was hobbling across the street headed to Georgetown University - right in front of my car!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Celebrity Sightings! Fresh From Milan!

The BF is in Milan on business and just sent me these photos from some big swanky party he went to! I have few other details than this, but will post more scoop as soon as I can! This sure tops my Russell Crowe stalking!

Better Blonde

I've updated my profile picture.  The other one is one of my favorites of myself - which is odd for me to say at all b/c I tend to hate all pics of me, but nevertheless, I digress... So, the other one is really good in the actual picture, but when it uploads it makes it too small and I thought I looked cross-eyed.  Which is sometimes how I feel.  So, this is the new one - I think its a bit better and I don't look crazy.  What do you think?  Keep this pic or keep trying?  

Safeway v. Peapod - A Blonde's I-REview of Grocery Delivery Service Sites

Being lazy all day, I thought I would have my groceries delivered to me - a quick and simple solution so I didn't have to get up off the couch today.  What a great idea!  After spending some time on to get organized and comparison shop the items I needed at the local store, I selected Safeway - they had the best deals on the things I needed or the coupons I had.  And off I went to the land of cyber-grocery shopping.  Much to my chagrin, the website was not so user-friendly.  I could have shopped the Social Safeway, waited in its horrendous lines, and been back on the couch faster than just trying to get my list loaded and matching my products to those instore.  What a PITA!  So, I resorted back to  What a delightful experience!  I cut the list that I had painstaking loaded into the Safeway site and pasted it right into the Peapod express shop list and was done my shopping in no time!  And, I am getting it tomorrow evening for a delivery fee of only $6.95 compared to having to wait until Tuesday and pay $12.95 for Safeway - forget about it!!!  In addition, with some savvy shopping and couponing, I saved $14 at Peapod - more than enough to cover my $6.95 investment of the delivery fee.  That included signing up for their direct check (debits right from your checking account) which saved me $5 on this trip and another $1 on this order as well as all subsequent orders.  All in all - skip Safeway, stick with Peapod!

Smart Blondes Series

I've decided to start an ongoing series featuring various blondes who I find to be intelligent and exemplifying a true blonde - attractive, smart, witty.  While you will mostly see women featured in this series, the occasional smart blonde man will show up.  I am also very interested in finding out who you all think are smart blondes - I'd love your suggestions for future profiles.  Please submit.  The only requirement is that they must be a real blonde as far as you can tell - for example, Hillary Clinton, despite her horrible blonded frosting, will never be a REAL BLONDE.  Thanks!  Stay tuned for the inaugural post in the series...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cupcake Controversy: Don't Believe the Hype about Georgetown Cupcake

After much discussion, debate, and dreaming of cupcakes, two colleagues and I decided to finally suck it up and wander over to the much-hyped Georgetown Cupcake, wait in the ridiculous line, just for a personal experience with the cupcakes to beat all cupcakes.  The cupcakes that make Magnolia hang its head in shame, the cupcakes that make Cakelove cringe, the cupcakes that will make my mom hang up her apron from cupcake-baking forever!  Man, I couldn't wait for these cupcakes.  And, then - the client called and I had to bail from my much-dreamed about trip to the soon-to-be world famous Georgetown Cupcake!  I was devastated.  But, all was not lost.  My favorite co-worker, Tracey (did you like the shout-out Trace?!?), brought back a dozen in the prettiest PINK box.  And then she offered me one - my choice!!!!  We ripped open the box and... there were the little tiniest mini-muffins I've ever seen.  Like the kind third-graders bring to school on their birthday to share with the class.  But, ok, so they were small, but I was sure, convinced, I believe these were going to be an eating ecstasy, so I carefully selected a red velvet cupcake with white cream cheese icing (I mean, really - how could you go wrong with that?) and took a giant bite!  I threw all caution to the wind and chomped down, without a thought of having red velvet cupcake all stuck up in my braces.  And, then - I was crestfallen.  A slightly dry mini-cupcake with unpleasantly tangy tart cream cheese icing is what I ended  up with, mushing it around in my mouth.  Trying to recover from my first bite, I shoved the rest of it in my mouth with one fell swoop.  That just confirmed that a nearly $3, over celebrated cupcake, is exactly that - a too expensive, not tasty enough, too much talked about piece of cake.  Well if nothing less, as a marketer myself, I respect how successful their Word-of-Mouth marketing efforts have been.  But that is it.  Skip the trip and head over to Baked & Wired on Thomas Jefferson St. (just three short blocks from Georgetown Cupcake) and try theirs.  I hear they are expensive, but well worth it!  Now that's what I am talking about!
For others' views on the cupcake controversy, check out:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Russell Crowe is Stalking Me!

Dear Russ,
I think its kind of cute that you camped out just within eyesight of my office building today and pretended to be "filming" a new movie just so you could try to get a glimpse of me.  It's cute for now...don't get all creepy on me though.  And for what it is worth - I never leave the building for lunch...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Crowe & Cherry Blossoms: A Great Weekend in Georgetown

A bit late to post this, but I couldn't help recapping my weekend.  The BF's mom was in town, so in typical fashion, I had planned a full weekend of events - the culmination of which was a scenic cruise on the Potomac to view the Cherry Blossoms without the torrents of tourists.  I was very excited and all-in-all it was a huge success.  What I had not planned, and truly could not have planned it better myself, was our accidental run-in with Russell Crowe

No lie!  Really! And he is WAY hotter in real life than on the big screen.  Even despite his scruffy attempt at being incognito.  He's taller than expected and exudes the intensity of blue eyes staring directly at the sun with no sunglasses on!  He kind of made me squint - in a good way.  I've recently seen American Gangster and 3:10 to Yuma - both of which he is stellar in!  I'm now officially a fan...

Out of deference and respect I restrained myself from approaching him (we were 10 feet away from each other at the most!) and introducing myself - but it was hard.  Look out Russ - next time, I will quickly remind you of our chance encounter on the streets of Georgetown!