Friday, April 23, 2010

Things To Do: Pole Dancing Ain't Easy

So I've decided to make 2010 my year to try new things and be more open, as well as get some things out of the way before I turn the big 3-0. Earlier in the year, I purchased a deal from to take 5 pole dancing lessons for $25 at Pole Pressure. I figured the deal couldn't be beat besides I'd always wanted to try it so I figured what would I have to lose besides my dignity.

This week, I went to my first class not knowing exactly what to expect. I arrived early to see the ladies from an advanced class leaving wearing skimpy tops, booty shorts and hooker heels (you know the ones with the clear platforms) and wondered what I had gotten myself into. Time for my class to begin and I see several of the young ladies in my class practicing by doing various twists and turns on the pole.

My class was taught by Jessalyn, the founder of Pole Pressure, and began with some stretching exercises including some very sensual movements. After the first 10 minutes, I had worked up a sweat. One girl plopped to the ground, guess it was more than she could handle. Next thing I know we're swinging around the pole and doing butterfly kicks on the ground. I have to say my favorite part was what is referred to as a "lift". You lift yourself off of the ground and use your thighs to hold yourself up then you slide down very slowly.

What a workout! By the time I got home I was already sore, who knew? Even today, I'm still sore from my biceps to my ankles (don't ask :-) ) Can't wait to go back and put what I learned to work.

Ladies, if you're interested they offer a FREE introductory class on Saturdays and they are available for private parties.

UPDATE -- Tuesday, June 14 there's a Groupon Deal where classes are 50% off. Click here to take advantage of today's deal.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Girl Effect: Empower A Girl Today!

I came across an organization called Girl Effect from someone I follow on Twitter. There's a short video explaining what Girl Effect is all about along with some statistics you may find interesting.  It's a very empowering piece.  Please check it out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Woman Of Many Hats: RIP Dr. Dorothy Irene Height

It is with a heavy heart that I'm writing this blog this morning.  I was awakened by phone calls, text messages and BBMs to inform me of the passing of Dr. Dorothy Irene Height

Dr. Height is most known by the general public for her 40 year position as President of the National Council of Negro Women.  She is also known to my Sorors as the 10th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, a position she held from 1947-1956.

It was just a month ago that I remember singing Happy Birthday to her along with those attending the Greater Washington Urban League's Annual Whitney M. Young Gala. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a very emotional person but I almost shed a tear while singing as I thought about how she had lived so long and had done so much for our community through her work in the Civil Rights era and beyond. 

A week after that joyous celebration, on March 24 her actual 98th birthday, I was saddened to hear she had been hospitalized.  I immediately called my Aunt who lives in the same building with Dr. Height and is friends with her long-time assistant to get the inside scoop.  She told me she hadn't heard anything but that it wasn't looking good.  Later I found out she had been sworn the secrecy and was not able to tell me the severity of Dr. Height's condition.

Several years ago, before my journey in Delta began, I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Height on the 90th anniversary of the founding of Delta Sigma Theta (January 13, 2003).  I remember her having a warm spirit and how inviting she was.  Since then, I've heard her speak on several occasions and have read her memoir Open Wide The Freedom Gate

Although, I didn't know her personally, I can say she's truly made an impact on my life.  When I go out and volunteer, I think about how she was able to accomplish so much during her lifetime through the service she's provided to others, it reminds me that my efforts aren't in vain.  If I can accomplish only a quarter of what she was able to get done, I'll know my life has been a success.

Most people don't know that Dr. Height never married nor had any children.  Even though she never had any offspring, she has served as a role model to countless women around the globe.  With that said, Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, you will truly be missed and I will always remember you as a women who wore many hats, both literally and figuratively. AOML

Monday, April 12, 2010

WWWTW: KFC Double Down Sandwich

WWWTW = What's Wrong With The World

So I was watching the local news and the two anchors showed a clip from Saturday Night Live featuring a new sandwich from Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) called the Double Down.  I thought it was a joke until the anchors unveiled they were going to do a taste test on live TV. 

As you can see from the photo to the left, the Double Down is a sandwich with 2 slices of cheese and 2 pieces of bacon which wouldn't be so bad if they weren't served between 2 CHICKEN BREASTS.  There's no bread bun, the 2 pieces of fried chicken serve as the bun.  Really?  How fat can you be to even order that?  If anyone were to wonder why Americans are becomer more obese, this is one of the clear reasons why. 

I find it interesting how the government can regulate drugs and what can and cannot be said on TV but they can't (or choose not to) regulate these ridiculous food options chain restaurants are coming out with.  The FDA needs to get on their job because this is not acceptable.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

San Francisco Treat Pt.I

Right now I'm breathing a sigh of relief.  I'm glad to say my job's annual spring conference is officially over and went off without a hitch.  Well actually that's not completely true, but nothing terrible enough happened to leave a bad taste in peoples' mouths unlike last year's conference.

I arrived in San Francisco on Monday evening and ended up meeting up with a guy I used to date in graduate school for dinner, yes the same one who was recently in VA.  We went to a restaurant called Sens.  Sens is a Mediterranean place located in the Embarcadero section of the city. The food was good, nothing to write home about but it was fairly tasty.  I should've known when I only saw 4 other couples/groups of people there, I shouldn't expect much.

The next day, I ventured out slightly to The Ferry Building, which was originally the Port of San Francisco, as displayed on the buidling.  It's a beautiful space that serves as somewhat of an upscale Farmer's Market.  There were tons of cute little shops selling everything from wine and cheeses to freshly baked baguettes and live lobsters.  They also have several small cafes where you can grab lunch to go.  I went to the San Francisco Seafood Company and had a Jambalaya, the best $9 I could've spent.

Later that evening, I had heard many wonderful things about a restaurant that was also located in the Ferry Building called The Slanted Door, a modern Vietnamese place, so I made reservations and went with a co-worker.  As we entered the place we were greeted by a very lively crowd.  It was very diverse in age and race, yet my coworker and I seemed to be the only brown faces which I thought was interesting.  I sat facing the expansive window which displayed The Bay Bridge perfectly like a picture.  My coworker decided she wanted to share the view so she sat next to me instead of across from me.  I thought it was a little strange but the view was beautiful guess she just wanted to see it for herself.

They had an extensive wine list so our server gave us the option of having half glasses to test out a few.  We sampled a few German Rieslings that were amazing!  We ended up ordering the Grapefruit & Jicama salad with candied pecans and spring rolls with pork and shrimp.  The portions were hearty and both appetizers were absolutely delicious.  I ordered the Carmelized Tiger Prawns for my entree. Yummm (rubbing my belly)  I can still taste it, it was that good.  By the time I polished off my meal I was too full for dessert.  Maybe I can make a second trip before I leave.

To be continued...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Event: Corcoran's 1869 Society Presents ARTINI

On March 27, I went to Artini an annual fundraiser and cocktail party held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Artini is hosted by the Corcoran's 1869 Society, a group of young professionals who have an interest in the arts and networking with like-minded individuals.  In addition to Artini, they sponsor the Fall FĂȘte as well as numerous happy hours throughout the year.

I went to Artini with my friend/ex. It's nice that we have so many shared interests and he was just as interested in going as I was. When he dropped me off to park I knew it was going to be an amazing event. 

The entrance of the Corcoran if you've never been is covered in beautiful white marble.  As I walked up to the building, there was a sign stating the museum was closed for a private party.  Once I walked into the door, I saw a massive staircase with multi-colored lights shining up the columns and a large crowd of people dressed to the nines.  It seemed like all of the young and beautiful people, surprising of all ethnicities, were gathered in one place. 

We were greeted by 6 stations to our left and 6 to the right, each was manned by a local mixologist (aka bartender) who created a special cocktail inspired by artwork on exhibition at the Corcoran.  My favorite drink by far was the Dark & Stormy prepared by Vannara of J&G Steakhouse at the W. It consisted of rum, lime juice, ginger beer and something called John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum. Absolutely delish!  All of the bartenders were so friendly and eager to please their awaiting public, one even made his drinks to the beat of the music, a true performer.

The food was definitely not what I expected, but was good nonetheless.  They had mini-burgers, demi-hot dogs, fried mac & cheese triangles, hummus & crackers, and truffled popcorn.  Glad they had something substantial because after testing out all 12 drinks if all we only had light finger foods everyone would've been drunk by the end of the night.  Then again, many people were but everyone seemed to have fun.

The DJ (Chris Nitti) started off playing techno music.  There's something about techno that always gets people moving.  After a few drinks and touring the Turner to Cezanne exhibit, the DJ started playing "What is Love" made famous by Saturday Night Live and A Night At The Roxbury.  We instantly sarted doing the infamous head jerk to the beat along with others on the dance floor.  Next thing I know he started playing 80s music and everyone's was dancing and singing along loudly.  By the end of the night he was playing Alicia Keys & Jay-Z's "New York".   I love a versatile DJ!
Not only was Artini an event I hope to place on my calendar for the next few years all of the proceeds go to support ArtReach, the Corcoran’s community outreach program. ArtReach extends the resources of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design to underserved communities in Washington, D.C. through free high-quality arts education programs.  Cheers to the 1869 Society for putting on such a wonderful event!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Event: Gentleman Jack Art Beats + Lyrics

Last week, I went to the Gentleman Jack Art, Beats + Lyrics event held at the Mellon Auditorium in DC.  I heard about it through one of my girlfriends and instantly RSVPed.  I went to a Johnny Walker tasting at Mellon before and remembered how nice that was, unfortunately it didn't make me like Johnny Walker anymore.

The Gentleman Jack event featured a tasting of Jack Daniels whiskey along with a hip hop performance and art inspired by the music.  Oh and did I mention it was free?!  I'm not much of a whiskey drinker but why turn down free drinks, besides they had some tasty Jack cocktails, I had a few whiskey sours. Apparently, this event goes from city to city, in hopes of introducing a "younger, more urban" crowd to the product. 

At one point, random people started break dancing, which got the crowd hype. The girls and I enjoyed looking at all of the artwork which was actually for sale and ranged from $200-$3000 while partaking in some beverages and snacking on some tasty heavy hors d'oeuvres.  It was definitely a fun-filled event and I look forward to when it comes back to the area. The photo to the right was my favorite piece, love the coloring. 

So the night could've gotten more interesting because not only was my ex (the one I was snowed in with there) but I also ran into Mr. Right Guy Wrong Time.  Haven't communicated with him since he told me that he'd read my blog about him and he confronted me about it.  Surprisingly it wasn't awkward just a hug and a quick catching up convo.  DC really is too small.