Sunday, April 3, 2011

Here's What You Missed on "Today for the First Time"...

You can probably deduce that I've been a liiiitle sluggish about keeping up with this blog. After all, if I hadn't done a single new thing since I moved to D.C., well, that's just impossible. The biggest piece of news is that I have my first big-girl job out of school. I am working at an advocacy consulting firm, and I coordinate our "Stress-Free Lobby Days" program. Basically, when an Association decides they want to fly in 500 of their members to meet with Members of Congress and their staff on the hill for their annual Advocacy Day, I'm the one that sets up all of those meetings. My boss then trains the group on how to effectively advocate (she worked on the hill for a number of years), and I ensure the day goes smoothly with all the last-minute changes that inevitably ensue on both sides (people don't show up for the conference, a vote gets called on the Hill, etc.). I also do some Education and career development policy work for one of our clients. I absolutely LOVE my job, and one of the best parts is last Saturday was my last day as a waitress! When I moved here I started working at an AMAZINGLY delicious restaurant called Founding Farmers. It is wildly popular, always busy, and I made great money there. However, after three years in the service industry, I was ready to be done. Once I got my first career-oriented job, I knew that it was finally time to say goodbye to running food, sore feet, and relying on a stranger's generosity to pay my bills. So three months into my new job, I finally quit the restaurant biz.

Now that I can finally enjoy my weekends the way I want to, the plan is to actually get around to doing the new things I want to do and actually post about them. I know what you're all thinking ("uh huh, we'll see about that"), just know that I am thinking the exact same thing! But let's give it a go, shall we? 

For now, I'll hit the highlights, things that I probably would have posted about in greater detail if I hadn't been working seven days a week.

1) The Cupcake Expansion Act: Yes, not only do I make cupcake earrings now, I make actual cupcakes! For now I'm just playing around with an amazing cupcake book I got for Christmas, but the goal is to branch out and start inventing my own fun designs. Here is what I have made so far:

Pie Cupcakes (blueberry and strawberry)

 Valentines Day Cupcakes

The recipes are fairly easy and have totally inspired me to invent my own. Expect more where this came from!

2) I'm Just an Intern, Sittin' Here on Capitol Hill: Okay, I'll admit that doesn't have quite the same ring as School House Rock. For about three months last year I was a congressional Press Intern for Congressman Harry Teague from New Mexico. It was a great experience and networking opportunity, and I made some good new friends out of it! I spent most days writing press releases, gathering news clips, and hiding from the mouse that haunted me in our office. The Congressman is a great guy, and it was a very sad time when he didn't get re-elected (especially since it meant all of my new friends were losing their jobs). But I am happy to say everyone has found their way since and we all still stay in touch.

3) Watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the big screen: For all the dorks out there, there is a bar in D.C. called the Black Cat that does "Hellmouth Happy Hour" on Saturday nights and plays an episode of Buffy, in order. My best friend Katiri introduced me to it and I'm never looking back. I personally can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday night than to drink a PBR and watch Buffy with a bunch of other fans, so if you ever come visit me on  weekend that is probably where we're going. At least I warned you.

4) This One's for the Ladies: Ladies, 23 years later I finally figured it out. I can now curl my hair. I know there has to be one or two of you out there who are secretly helpless like me when it comes to hair, so this one's for you:
Shampoo, Condition, and Blow Dry (the heat activation helps)
Portion off top 2/3s of hair in a butterfly clip
Wrap 2 inches of hair around curler WITHOUT using the clamp, hold for 10 seconds
You can curl toward or away from your face, I prefer away
Release hair by unwinding a bit then pulling the curler away
Go all the way around head, hair spray, and repeat with last 2 layers of hair
Once everything is sprayed, comb through with fingers to get desired look, and..

Ta Da!!!!

5) Hosted a "The Office" themed party: My favorite part of the year is Christmas, when I get to plan a huge, intense, crazy, randomly-themed Christmas party for my best friends from High School (well, the theme isn't random to us but it seems random to others). This last Christmas I chose "The Office" because everyone in my group loves the show, and I wanted an excuse to make a life-sized Jim Halpert. Even though a crazy snow storm cut my party a little short, I managed to fit in all of the main events, including Margarita Karaoke Christmas, Nutcracker Christmas, Yankee Swap, Dundee Awards, games from the Beach Games episode (including sumo-wrestling, home-made suits and all), trivia, and much much more. There are too many photos to put them all here, but you can find them on my Shutterfly page For now I will leave you with this:

6) Went to a Casino: 2 years into being legal, I finally went to Atlantic City and tried my hand at gambling! I went easy, mostly sticking to the slot machines, where I quickly won 40 bucks and just as quickly lost it. My friend was nice enough to let me use some of his money to play Black Jack, and I got to keep 40% of what I won, so I ended up breaking even and making him some money. My favorite parts included the pink gambling chips, seeing old friends, getting kicked off of a table because my friend said the F word (really? smoking and sexy dancers are fine but no cursing?) and free drinks. My not-so-favorite parts included puking at 5 am and running off the start-and-stop elevator in the morning to puke again. So maybe "free drinks" should be on both of those lists.

7) Speaking of the F word..: Last week I got to go to a fairly exclusive event where Members of Congress did stand up comedy and didn't hold back. F-bombs were dropped, there were many a joke about who is running for President on the Republican side, and everyone was surprisingly hilarious. The food and drinks were amazing, and I went with work so it was free! It was probably one of the best events I will go to all year.

8) Rode an old-fashioned elevator: I went on a business trip to North Carolina (one of our clients is the local government of one of their cities), and I stayed in an old, historically relevant hotel that was small, quaint and quirky. My favorite part was the old-fashioned steel-cage elevator, which scared the crap out of me the first time I rode it, but once I got used to it it was fantastic.

That's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure I've had plenty of other firsts here in D.C. Fingers crossed that I am better about keeping you all updated now so you don't have to read obnoxiously long posts like this one. For those of you who made it all the way through, thanks for caring!