Tag Archives: DC

conversations, part IV

19 Jun

At the end of April, Swede and I finally emptied the Walnut House of our belongings in preparation for the Great Closing and Move-In of ’13. In the span of 24 hours, and with the help of my dear friend Panda (who actually LIKES packing) (whuuuut?) (and without whom I would have had a total nuclear meltdown), we stuffed all of our remaining belongings (re: 95 percent of our stuff) in a UHaul, and drove it back to Chicago.

Including the cats.

To say that the two felines—one of whom had left Walnut House approximately never times—disliked the journey fro DC to Chicago would be a gross understatement. They yowled and molted all over the fucking place for the first 90 minutes of the trip, until blessedly Lady Gaga(1) gave up and crawled under Swede’s seat and did not reappear or make a sound for the next 14 hours.(2) The other one, Fat Ass,(3) finally calmed the hell down as well and rested on the seat between us for awhile until he felt he’d given me a sufficient allergy attack,(5) at which point he, too, crawled under the seat to hide. But unlike his silent cohort, Fat Ass would poke his head out(6) every once in awhile and meow, the cat version of “Are We There Yet?”

Each time he’d poke his head out, I took it as an opportunity to have a chat with him about the House Rules for our new home.

Me: Listen, they’re not terribly different from the last place, so you shouldn’t have any trouble following them.

Him: BlinkBlinkBlink

Me: Play dumb all you want, but there will be no jumping on the counters, no scratching of the furniture, and you are not allowed in the human sleeping quarters.

Him: Mrow?

Me: No, you are not. You do not get to make me allergic while I sleep.

Him: Mrow.

Me: Also, you should know that there is in fact a Kitty Jail in the new place. So when you start acting up, don’t think the Big Man with the Deep Voice won’t throw you in there.

Him: Meow.

Me: Except this time it’s a laundry room rather than a basement. And Guerilla Ninja Cat under the seat there will love it—there are all sorts of shelves she can climb and we’ll put things on them that she can hide behind. You, I suspect, will hate it.

Him: Blink

Me: On the plus side, there is a balcony where we will let you frolic, provided you don’t eat anything we plant out there. Just stay away from my chives and basil, okay?

Him: Mrow. BlinkBlinkBlink Mrow.

Me: No, don’t worry—the balcony is nothing like jumping out the back window.  First of all, there’s a barrier. Second, if you did jump off, you’d be screwed, because we’re three floors up. So I recommend you just hang out, sun yourself, and be your usual, lazy-assed self, okay?

Him: Mrow mrow.

Me: Great. Now go crawl under the seat and make sure Lady Gaga isn’t dead.

Him: Mrow.

Navigational Cat

Navigational Cat says get off at the next exit, he needs a frosty.



(1)Her name has been changed to protect her innocence tand reflect the fact that she’s not a little off-center.

(2)We were mildly worried that maybe she’d worked herself into such a later that she’d had a heart attack. Thankfully, she is just extremely skilled at Being Quiet. It is one of the many reasons I’m convinced she’s part guerilla warrior.

(3)His name has been changed to reflect his current state.(4)

(4)For the record, SWEDE gave him this moniker, I did not. It’s his cat, so he’s allowed.

(5)I made it all the way whopping way to Breezewood before wearing contacts was just too much to handle with my watering, puffy eyes, and I tossed them out and put on my glasses.

(6)In case you’re wondering why these cats weren’t tranq’d and travelling in carriers, I will only say this: we tried. It didn’t work very well. And Swede and I happen to quite like our skin without accompanying scars from where those assholes tried to cleave out the Grand Fucking Canyon with their claws.(7)


productive goal-keeping, or, if you’d like fries with that

21 May

Swede and I spent a month in DC this winter, and the night before we were to head back to Chicago, we happened to be cruising up Connecticut Avenue, just short of my old ‘hood.

“Medium Rare,” I pointed out to him as we drove past a strip of restaurants. “I hear it’s supposed to be good.”

“Want to go?” Swede asked. “We can go for dinner tonight.”

You guys, it’s true. I DO have a type. I obviously have taken to dating geniuses.

And also, five bonus points for spontaneous dinner outings!


Is there anything better?

Maybe spontaneous popcorn popping and movie night.

It’s a toss up, really.

We called a couple of friends to meet us and our awesome friend The Republican responded with great enthusiasm, as it seems that Medium Rare is one of her new favorite restaurants.

And after our visit there, I can understand why.

Restaurant #2 of 12: Medium Rare 


The Food. Now obviously, as I discussed with The Publican, I am wholly on board with meat. But unlike the Publican, Medium Rare specializes in one dish: Steak frites. And they do a superb job, simply superb. They butter you up with some crusty French bread, then serve up a lightly dressed mixed green salad, both of which are delicious, but then, then they get to the true highlight of the meal.

They’ll bring out your steak—cooked to order, of course—in two helpings, starting with one portion, drizzled with their secret sauce that is savory and smooth, slightly creamy, yes?, and essentially a tray of fries. (Which, of course, are made even better when dragged through the secret sauce.) And when you polish that off (And you will. It’s okay. Embrace it.) they bring you out the second portion of your steak. And then you can roll around in beefy ecstasy. (Again: you will. It’s okay. Embrace it.)

Whether or not you’ll be up for dessert, well, I can’t really say. We passed, but that’s not to say that the selection wasn’t tempting. I was just full of beef and didn’t want to ruin my steak high.

The Price. All that food I just mentioned? (Minus dessert.) $20. Yes, you read that correctly. Beverages not included. I’m not really sure you can find a better deal at such quality in DC.

Brick Walls. I’m a sucker for brick interior brick walls. There. I said it. And being that the restaurant is at ground level, the brick walls and open(ish) kitchen create an intimate environment.


Seating. The tables themselves are fine (though a bit on top of each other). My con on this one is that they won’t let you sit until all members of your party are there, which I find incredibly annoying and off-putting. As a patron, it tells me that you either think I’m cheap and I’m going to sit there drinking water for an hour waiting for the final member of my party to arrive or you only want me to be in your restaurant for as little time as possible so you can turn as many tables as possible. Neither of these are feelings you want to blanket your patrons with, and both are insulting, leaving me feeling like more chattel rather than a welcomed diner.

Service. At least, our server, whose name I’ve forgotten. But what I remember is that he was mildly surly and had a vague air of annoyance any time he had to come over to our table.

Service can really make or break a restaurant for me, and if the food was not so scrumptious, I probably wouldn’t return to Medium Rare. But the food is that good, and well worth plunking down $30 (tax, tip, all that stuff), and I’d go back in a heartbeat.

On a scale of one to Go?


Right now, in fact.

You won’t be sorry.

Take me with you?

Or maybe I’ll just see you there.

photo friday: viewing party

11 May


So when I mentioned that Swede and I went bowling at the White House, I left out the part about how he scored a strike on his first roll.

That’s right, all. I’m dating the Big Lebowski.

As such, we felt is on right that we celebrate with white russians afterward. Well, he celebrated with a white russian. I had a glass of cabernet.

Either way, the celebratory merriment happened at POV, where we’ve wanted to go for some time now. It’s often touted as having the best views in DC. “You can see into the Obama’s backyard!” is a common descriptor. And you…can…kind of. Really, you can see straight onto the roof of the Treasury. And from another vantage point you can see the Washington monument, the Capitol, planes landing at Reagan, and the general buzz of city life.

And it really is one of the best views I’ve had the pleasure of seeing, with the lights in the bar dimmed, and the lights outside glowing bright.

“This is a pretty great view,” Swede and I agreed.

And as an added bonus, we got to cross one more place off our ever-growing list of “Places To Go And Things To Do.”

photo friday: shoes to fill

13 Apr

For those of you who know me on the Facebook, you know from whence this photo comes. For those of you who do not, these are presidential bowling shoes you’re looking at.

After we returned from vacation, Swede and I hit up the Truman Lanes at the White House for some bowling. Before you get your laces in a knot, his high school alumni group sponsored the event.

I totally should have just lied to you right then and been all, “Oh, yah, we bowl with Barry and Michelle twice a month. How do you think Michelle got those guns of hers?”

But I’m not a very good liar.

So there’s the truth.

I’m also not much of a thief, and Sister #1 was disappointed that I didn’t walk out with these shoes on.

“I make it a policy not to bogart shit from the White House,” I said.

She said I should rethink my policies.


march photo challenge: day thirty-one

7 Apr

Today’s theme: END

Where she stops, nobody knows.

photo friday: wherein it’s time for happy hour

16 Mar

Back on President’s Day, Swede, his roommate and I took a trip out to Catoctin Creek distillery as part of Swede’s birthday extravaganza, and, well, because we are partial to tours that hand us free booze at the end.

Thankfully, this was pre-Lenten promise to not drink during the week, though to be honest, I’m not much of a straight hard booze drinker, and handed off most of my samples to Swede. Except for the sample of bourbon maple syrup.

That one I kept for myself.

And then immediately wanted to eat a short stack or a plate of silver dollars.

Yes, it was that good.

(For the record, however, what you’re seeing in the glass is not maple syrup. It’s Catoctin’s Roundstone Rye, which, if you’re a rye drinker, is apparently pretty delicious. Me, I preferred their gin, and no, not a soul from Catoctin Creek is paying me to day that. Of my own volition I will tell you that if you’d like a boozy good time, pay those friendly distillers a visit. You won’t be sorry.)

photo friday: shminter

24 Feb

To say that this winter has been mild would be an understatement. The past couple weeks we’ve been in DC have been especially warm, though that hasn’t ended sightings of commuters bundled up in scarves, gloves and hats as they bustle to and fro. Which means that hasn’t ended me rolling my eyes at said commuters and yelling, “It is 50 degrees outside! This is not Antarctica! It’s not even Alaska! Their mountains are much bigger!”

Okay, I didn’t really yell that. Except that one time, at that one girl. But it was in my head, so I don’t think it really counts.

And so now, at the risk of bringing another snowpacolypse down on our heads, I’m just going to go ahead and say it: Happy Spring, everyone!

And I swear to God if I see you walking through McPherson Square bundled up like Nanook of the goddamned North I will crack you upside the head.