I told myself I wasn't going to buy anything for myself in February, but broke that promise at Meeps with these vintage earrings. They have little tennis players on one side and a court on the other! Look at them! I was going to let them go but then I saw another girl pick them up and my competitive spirit kicked in. Tennis!
Here's what I made last week at Meeps DC's very adorable "Palentine's Day" party hosted by Alison Baitz of On Flora. They had all the supplies and stickers and glitter ready for crafting, including this pre-made "I Hate You" slogan. "Can I make a mean one?" I asked, and the unsaid answer was: It's your world, girl. So here's what I came up with. I carried it on the 96 bus, out in the open so the glitter wouldn't smear, then scurried home via K Street.
"Look, Joe, I made something for you," I said casually. I didn't really make this for anyone but I thought it would be funny to punk Joe. Which is actually very mean.
He took it seriously. "I don't know how to take this," Joe said thoughtfully, contemplating what this might mean for our relationship. "Actually, you couldn't have been more clear."
It's a pretty cute hate card though, right? Joe wrote this tweet about it:
I better do something really sweet on Valentine's Day to make up for this. Joe's birthday is on February 13, which is inconvenient because I feel like it detracts from Valentine's Day. Haha, ok that was mean! Really, it means I can't nag him too much about planning something nice in the lead up to V-Day because his birthday takes precedence.
"Just think, next week you will have two days of pampering and gifts," I told him. He said, "No, I'll have one day of pampering and one day of crying." That's true. I have had my sky-high expectations burst in the past, leading to me crying at the dinner table in a crowded restaurant. This will be the year I mellow out. "You don't have to do anything for Valentine's Day," I told Joe, but he knew that was a trick. He's too smart for that.
I keep asking him if he's planned anything. "Not yet," he said today. "Is it because you hate Valentine's Day?" I needed to know. "It's a lot of pressure because you know whatever you do, the evening's going to end with your girlfriend crying."
It doesn't have to end that way! To be fair to Joe, I cry a lot. And he's gotten used to it, because it's so unpredictable. I'll be laughing and then suddenly crying. Laugh-crying, we call it. It used to scare him, but now it's no biggie. No matter how crazy I am, it doesn't scare him. It somehow doesn't even faze him. When I tell him every detail about a book I am reading, and the fact that I like Miley's "Adore You" single, or that I saw a cute dog on the street, he always listens like it's the most important thing in the world. And we think the same things are funny. I hope he thinks this blog post is funny. I love you, Joe! Happy Valentine's Day!
I went to interview the manager of Pulp about the store's very sad closing, and then went on a bit of a card-buying bender.
Employees told me other people had bought more. What can I say? I love cards and this was my last chance at Pulp and everything was 40% off. They always had the coolest assortment, and the best window-shopping experience too. It's a shop that seemed very cosmopolitan to me when I first moved to D.C., after growing up as a NOVA suburban kid. This is what city shopping is supposed to be like, I thought. This is it.
Now I need to be ok with putting these cards in the mail and letting them go. Life is change, and Meryl from Pulp had a good outlook on it: "It's ok that it comes to an end. It's difficult and it's sad and you kind of wish it didn't have to be that way, but it does."
Once again, I love end-of-the-year lists. I read that the singer from Wye Oak had a quasi-R&B side project and I thought this is something I need to listen to now.
This one is on repeat. The background is pure 80s, but her vocals give it some gravitas, don't you think? There's a wistfulness to this track that stops it from totally floating away.
Best-of-the-year list time is my favorite time of year, so if only for posterity, I am writing one for my own blog. Here it is:
Book: I couldn't put down Detroit: An American Autopsy. You'll shake your head in disbelief just about every page. Charlie LeDuff doesn't pull any punches, even when he's writing about his own disfunction. What will happen to Detroit? How will this story end? I also was surprised that Bourdain pretty much rehashed the book in his Detroit Parts Unknown episode, but at least LeDuff was along for the ride.
Music: I felt kind of behind on new music this year, so I am going with what I know. Sorry haters, Vampire Weekend is a crowd-pleaser for a reason. Their latest, Modern Vampires of the City, seemed heart-felt. I played "Step" about a million time, but that's not my favorite moment. That has to be the spoken word lyrics on "Finger Back" that goes: "Should she have averted her eyes and just stared at the laminated poster of the Dome of the Rock?" This is just the best for some reason I can not articulate.
Concert: This is cheating, but Coachella. I can't believe we went. I wrote here about all of our adventures, including falling in love with Father John Misty and nearly getting squished by a giant snail.
Politicians: Our leaders continued to let us down this year at nearly every turn, so I am turning to Canada for some dark comic relief. Put aside Rob Ford's crack scandal for a moment, and let's just focus on his pratfalls. Running into a camera, inexplicably collapsing when attempting to throw a football, dropping candy just out of reach of children at a parade — here's one person who actually does need a reality show.
Blog: The Racked.com universe!
Fashion: I like that the Topshop section at Nordstrom Pentagon City exists, that the Brooklyn Flea made it to Washington, and I thought that Thread at Union Market was ambitious, lovely, and unlike anything in D.C.
Personal: I left Mount Pleasant and moved in with Joe to a groovy little (emphasis on little) apartment on H Street. I loved living in Mount Pleasant with the best roommate ever, but I was excited for Joe and I to start a home together. I counted down the months from January until July. We fell in love with our place and the neighborhood, from Hunted House to Boundary Road.
After three years and some change of growing my hair out, I pulled a Miley and chopped it all off. I think my hair likes being short. Don't know if the world likes it, but who cares.
I took barre classes and yoga classes and tennis classes and quit my gym.
I've challenged 10 bartenders in D.C. to make cocktails on the spot with crazy ingredients like quail eggs, Four Loko, and marmite for my WCP column Remixology (!) and I've been so amazed at the results from these creative folks. So impressive and unflappable.
I still need to pinch myself about Racked DC, I can't believe it. It's been amazing and I can't wait to hit the ground running in 2014. I made some tough decisions over the past two years, knuckled down and did work, got some very lucky breaks, and help from folks around me, and maybe that's the secret, huh? Just stick around and keep plugging away.
We went to see The Walkmen this weekend at Union Market, and that outdoor space is a very cool spot to catch a concert. I hope they book more bands there this summer, it would be an intimate little outdoor venue.
Anyway, I forgot how much I enjoy "The Rat," a track that is truly dripping with attitude. Maybe it's just really fun to snarl sing, "You've gotta nerve to be asking a favor/ You've gotta nerve to be calling my number." They're on the verge of breaking up, but let's keep this one going for sure. PS: This song made #49 on Rolling Stone's 100 best songs of the 2000s.