Archive for the ‘president obama’ Category

I Heart a Good Meal

20.February.2009

Hello.

Soooo, I was in DC over the long weekend, and I JUST HAVE to tell you about this great place we ate at in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

But, first.

Remember this guy?

372518_f260

If you were/are a Top Chef fan, then you are well-acquainted with Spike.

Hi, Spike.

Spike is the creator/owner of Good Stuff Eatery, a burger joint with a bit of a gourmet twist.

dscn1251

Let’s be real here: Spike drove me nuts during the show. But, you see, the thing is that I LOVE famous people so I was on-board with the suggestion of Good Stuff Eatery for lunch.

I was expecting Spike’s nummy little creations, but didn’t think HE’D actually be there.

He was.

I made SURE that I was in his line of vision at least once.

He’s, like, a mini-celeb, but I still swooned in adoration. Famous People in Real Life are number 4 on my list of Top Five Favorite Things in the Universe.

1. Ice Cream

2. Boyfriend

3. Dog

4. Famous People in Real Life

5. Sleep

Anyway, SOMEBODY (Cough, #2, Cough) wouldn’t let me snap an inconspicuous picture because said someone didn’t want to be EMBARRASSED.

So selfish.

Famous Person aside, the food was just as tasty as one would imagine it to be whilst watching Top Chef. I lunched on a Farmhouse Bacon Cheeseburger, had a french fry party with the Village fries dipped in mango, chipotle, old bay, and Sriracha mayos one-at-a-time and…

devoured a TOASTED MARSHMALLOW milkshake.

It was so good that it makes me want to talk in that LOL Catspeak business that is rampant on all the blogs today.

OH MAH GOSH, IT SO GUD

There. Done.

Anyway, it was a gratifying meal and a charming little weekend.

dscn1253

The End.

PS: They also serve an Obama burger.

Yay.

Advertisements

Case Study: Chicken or the Egg?

8.February.2009

In this post, I will attempt to answer an age-old question:

Must one be a hottie to make it in this world?

Thank God someone is tackling this complex and relevant issue.

Right.

So, it’s African American Month and, at my school, pictures of successful individuals are plastered-and-glowing along the walls of the school.

Last Friday, as I scurried past a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr., I couldn’t help but take pause by the thought that he was actually quite a handsome man.

I also passed an enormous black-n-white of Malcom X:

HOT-TAY.

malcomx_e_mlking

I don’t know if that’s blasphemy or whatever, but these two seriously must have been the Brad Pitts of the late ’50s/early ’60s. I’d join that movement, ifyaknowwhatImean.

So, why don’t we ever hear of them referred to a such?

Oh yeah. That’s because they were also revolutionary leaders who changed the world. Silly me.

From Wikipedia:

“To his admirers, [Malcom X] was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. He was also universally considered to be one fine-lookin’ male.”

Juuust kidding.

(Though if we all band together, we could TOTALLY get that in there. It’s historically accurate, right?)

But. I must wonder, did one characteristic encourage the other?

Let’s begin our case study. The following pictures are of men who, according to sources such as TIME’s “100 Most Influential People,” are considered “successful.” A serious question for you, readers, is this: Hot or Not?

459px-bill_clinton

Billy Clinton

Freshman Senator Aaron Schock

Aaron Schock: Youngest Member of the House

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

The Prez

The Prez

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Now, I wouldn’t call all of these men hotties, but they are also far from grotesque. Are they successful because they are attractive? Or attractive because they are successful? Or have I just been in a long-distance relationship too long?

Thoughts?

Maybe next time we’ll take a look at men who have suffered great demise and ask a question that is, perhaps, more difficult. Is there a connection between the mug and the downfall?

Letter to my Younger Self

30.January.2009

Dear Younger Me,

What you thought you’d be as you waded into your late twenties? Forget about it.

You are not that perfectly-planned established self. You’re living in an apartment, but not feeling the need to make moves any more permanent than that. You aren’t married or on the verge of starting a family. You look around and see others who have taken that path and feel respect, but not jealousy. You’ve learned not to compare, though you still may be guilty of it every now and then.

You’ve loosened your grip on the black-and-white world you once craved. You don’t automatically choose judgment – not because you’ve suddenly become enlightened, but because you’ve been there. And it sucked.

You’ve started to shed the layers of illusion that surrounded adulthood. They had stopped being protective and started becoming restrictive.

Relationships are no longer put into boxes and you don’t get angry when yours has strayed too far from the status quo. You’ve started to grapple with people you love finding that love isn’t enough. You accept the fact that your mother was right when she told you that your mouth would get you into trouble someday.

You were right about your friendships, for the most part. You knew that when your cousins told you that “ten years from now, you won’t be as close with your high school friends” that they’d be wrong. Friends are friends and close is a relative term.

You did grow apart from your oldest, closest friend and, along with it, you felt the heaviness of your first big regret. Now that it’s impossible for you to pick up where you left off the way you’d always assumed, you miss her more. You rest on a hope that your memories are tucked safely inside her head and that she didn’t lose the feeling that was “us.”

But regrets aren’t your thing, so you consider yourself lucky that after 27 years, you have just one.

You’ve experienced the elation of a country coming together. You feel all World-War-II as you watch your fellow countrymen promise to do and be better because they feel that – finally – their values are being represented instead of minimized.¬† You sense that you’ve stood witness to something bigger than yourself and you close your eyes and vow to remember what this is like.

You’re realizing that you aren’t yet satisfied enough with where you’ve been and what you’ve done in your life to come within a 50-foot radius of the word “settle.” If you are to live your life like Anthony Hopkins in Meet Joe Black the way you promised, you’ve got a lot of work to do.¬† Uncomfortable though it may be, you get that it is something valuable to wake up one morning and say “I don’t want anything more.”

So, appreciate the shades of gray. Find out new things about yourself and have some confidence. Outwardly love others in an unconditional way. Save and spend wisely. Don’t let fear hold you back. Let your disappointments in all their varying degrees make you strong and thicken your skin. Don’t expect it to get easier, but enjoy it when it does. There may come a point where you have it all figured out, but it will likely be fleeting.

In the words of the Emily Saliers, “there’s more than one answer to these questions pointing me in a crooked line/the less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine.”

As you write this, you won’t know any more about what lies ahead than you did before, but you’ll savor the uncertainty.

Love always,

Your 27-year old self

I’ll Stop Being Such a Re-poster Right After This

22.January.2009

Some Recently-Discovered Pics from Yes We Can (hold babies)

picture-13

Tears

picture-2picture-3Giggles and Tears

Currently

22.January.2009

Loving: My new and completely unnecessary Blackberry. It just feels so natural in my loving palm.

Consuming: Yogi Tea in Immune Protection “Flavor” – Yogi Wisdom in this cup: Your heartbeat is the rhythm of your soul.

Craving: New York City

Hoping: For “easy” to come strolling by and sit down to stay awhile.

Netflixing: Sex and the City: Season 3, Disc 3 (hence the NYC lust). Fav ep: “Hot Child in the City”

Listening to: “Birds Fly Away” by Theresa Andersson

Reading: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Wanting: a clean and organized desk

Looking Forward to: President Obama’s leadership and innovative ideas. PRESIDENT Obama. Loving it.

Sasha & Malia’s Most Adorable Inaugural Moments

20.January.2009

Click for Cuteness

picture-11

Elizabeth Alexander’s Inaugural Poem

20.January.2009

Praise song for the day.

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others’ eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, “Take out your pencils. Begin.”

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, “I need to see what’s on the other side; I know there’s something better down the road.”

We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by “Love thy neighbor as thy self.”

Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp — praise song for walking forward in that light.

No – I’m not there, BUT…

20.January.2009

THIS is the country I believe in.

“My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many.

They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn. Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.

We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.”

MLK Day Video: I Have a Dream

19.January.2009

The dream comes true tomorrow.

If you haven’t seen it in awhile, I encourage you to watch in its entirety because it has come into a new context.

Do you see a theme?

31.December.2008

This year, I hate Year-End-Reviews. Because if I did one for myself, it might look like this:

2008: The Year of the Almosts

January: The Boyfriend Who Shall Remain Nameless (TBWSRN – long and annoying, no?) begins Elusive Job Hunt- all interviews are out of town.

(And before you get all- it’s just your boyfriend, don’t you have a life, blahblahblahhhhh… YES. I have a very good life, actually. Thank you for asking. BUT when you’ve been together so long you’re practically married and literally EVERY job interview was out of town, YES. My year did kind of sort of revolve around his job search. You spend your year going… are we? aren’t we? And this is meant to be a bitter list. So, bitter it tiz.)

February: TBWSRN has a heavy moot court month – competitions out of town

March: TBWSRN and I plan a trip to London. Which he has to miss because of unanticipated job interview.

April: Um, think he’s in town.

Beginning of May: TBWSRN interviews for more jobs. And gets one! Oh yay!

End of May: Another, better job offer! Takes it!

June: The “better” job (with the G-O-V-T) is moved to a new department. Has to re-interview. Gets it!

Beginning of July: The entire department is cut. No job. Seriously.

Mid-July: People feel bad for him (as they – ahem – should) and help him find a new job. We’re moving and it’s settled. Yaaay.

End of July: New job -fun surprise!- wants him to stay in Minneapolis for first six months. Not moving anymore. At least not for awhile.

August: Month spent in godforsaken hotbox that is apartment that was meant to be temporary because …we’re moving, right?

September: TBWSRN gets an AWESOME opportunity to work with an AWESOME “someone’s” campaign. Does it. Obvs.

October: TBWSRN is still campaigning. Doesn’t make it home.

November: TBWSRN takes a job offer from said AWESOME “someone.” Angels come down from heaven and shake my hand. I Hyperventilate. Break out in metaphorical hives. Annnnnd- he gets to come home for Thanksgiving! Wee! Head spins like the chick in the Exorcism.

December: Able to calm down. The Boy is still working between Chicago and DC. So, no holiday visits. Temporary Sadness.

SO – good year, no? Well, if you want to get all technical on me, there were some incredible parts. My wish for 2009, though, is for a little freakin’ stability.

So let’s get to the many good, incredible things that happened in 2008 that had nothing whatsoever to do with a male, like:

  • my principal having mercy on me and giving me my job back
  • friend’s wedding
  • a trip to fabulous Las Vegas with Bean to visit Amanda (the PCD, remember)
  • getting incredibly acquainted with the girls from SATC during my alone time (that sounds dirty, but isn’t) (but would almost be sort of cool if it was?)
  • experiencing London with Kirsten
  • Rachel’s health getting better and better every single stinkin’ day! Take that, TBI! Take that desensitized and overworked doctors! Lesson learned: you NEVER give up on people.
  • adopting a little doggy friend, Iris
  • going to DC for .5 seconds, walking around all independent-like
  • meeting up with TBWSRN romantic-comedy style in New York City. It’s about the city, not the male.
  • training for and running my very first half marathon
  • OBAAAAMAAAA (okay, this one has to do with a male)
  • encountering Netflix and making it my new boyfriend (not technically a male)

Though it’s been a rough-and-tumble kinda year, it could absolutely be worse. I can still say I’m genuinely happy. AND healthy. I even overcame my fear of the dentist this year. We’ll save that story for another time.

For these, I can be grateful.

Sidenote: I figure that, for those of you who don’t know me personally¬† and who don’t *get* to hear the day-to-day details of the litany above, I should clarify that the bitterness is directed towards Lady Luck – who I will not adjectify because it wouldn’t be ladylike – and not toward TBWSRN, who has been thoughtfully maintaining our relationship through all of the crap.