Friday, September 29, 2006

Clumpy, Dried Out Mascara (and a Shoehorn)

Yes, that's the mascara I've got. The kind that you have to stir the wand around in lots to get anything out, and then once you do, it's all clumpy and goppy and you can feel your eyelashes nearly getting pulled out of their little eyelash sockets when you're putting it on.

Why am I subjecting myself to such torture?

Because next Wednesday is my favorite day of the year, the Suited for Change In the Mood for Beauty Event! Staging at Saks Chevy Chase from 6-9, the night features male models who walk around glossing everyone's lips, a DJ, cocktails, fabulous hors d'oeuvres, makeovers galore and gifts with purchase at just about every counter (plus a Saks GWP if you spend $100 or more).

The price of admission: a $25 raffle ticket, with all proceeds benefiting SFC. If you purchase your ticket online by October 3, you'll save $3, and you will be registered to win a Manolo Blahnik shoehorn (pictured above). I had this shipped in from the UK (which is where you could get it, if you could get it because it sold out immediately). Anyway, it was no easy feat, due to both its sold-outedness and its across-the-pondedness.

DC Style is the sponsor, so their photogs will be there and pictures will be featured in the winter issue.

These events are near and dear to me: my very first fundraising event was an event like this in conjunction with Neiman Marcus. NM closed down the store, gave about 85 of us a champagne reception, and then we had a dinner and silent auction at the Daily Grill (it sounds so easy, but it was a team of four of us working day and night for MONTHS). We raised almost $10k that night, and divvied up the proceeds between 5 women's charities (of which Suited for Change was one, which is how I got involved with them).

So anyway, come. I promise, it will be fabulous. I'll be the one with the brand new B Bag that is not being returned (due to some SERIOUS begging and dealmaking on my part!).

Details here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Chicago Stroll

I keep hearing how it's going to take me a year to get used to this job, how the first year here is beyond hell, how it's like this for everyone...and yet, I just can't quite believe that it's not just me. My job is harder than I ever though it would be. And the travel is, well, a lot. I feel like I can't catch up, and that I should be better at this by now, no matter what anyone says.

Bright side: Chicago is a rocking town. And we always stay at sweet hotels. And go to amazing dinners.

Last night: Spiaggia on Michigan Avenue (across from Chanel). Truly inventive, tres expensive Italian. Incredible, really. Kind of bizarre on the portions, though--appetizers consist of like ONE scallop (one really, really good scallop, but one $23 scallop). Dinners are fairly small (at least smaller than you're used to, but actually, the portions are just about right--one of the reasons I like Rock Creek at home so much).

But then there's dessert.

We ordered 5 desserts for 6 of us. And none were small (none huge, but none small. Every last one except a weird lemon custard were impeccable). And then the chef came over with complimentary pastry cups of every type of gelato they make (there were 12, including canteloupe, grape, chocolate, cappuchino, mint...). And then they dropped off a box of 6 additional truffles, also gratis. So kind of bizarre on the whole end-of-meal generousity.

By the end of today, I felt a fairly massive headache coming in (MUST get a Botox refresher. Must. And I heard that Vida (sp?) downtown is great AND has 1/2 price Botox days. But I digress.). Anyway, fresh air was in order, so I bailed out of tonight's dinner (we didn't decide until late, and Frontera takes reservations now and was completely booked by 8:30 a.m., the one restaurant worth braving a migrane for).

It's a beautiful night, so I headed out of the hotel and down Rush. First, to Barneys (not even a Co-Op, an ACTUAL Barneys!), eyeing a seriously gorgeous blue velvet Jojovich-Hawk babydoll top, then over to a Henry cuir that could actually make me forget about me beloved and permanently attached Kooba, but then remembering that I got the call on Friday that I made it off the Balenciaga waitlist, so out of Barneys empty-handed, conniving all the while re: how to convince my husband that the little bag with the little B must remain in my possession. Did a lap at Jake (eh, Philip Lim 3.1 etc, nothing you can't find in DC), then left onto Michigan just as dusk started to fall.

Ah, Michigan Ave. Beautiful New York-caliber store windows juxtaposed with sharp Chicago accents. Anxious Loyola students milling about, awkwardly checking each other out (not unlike how I feel at work a bit), tourists jostling with women carting their dry cleaning and men carrying groceries. Beautiful couples sitting at outdoor tables observing the same scene from their perches.

And then I crossed the street, nearing my hotel, and a looked down and saw a handwritten sign:

"I'm Just Hungry."

He was sitting on the corner, covering his face with the sign. I felt ashamed to be so self-consumed.

I tucked my money into his dirty paper cup, and he lowered the sign, looked up and directly into my eyes.

They were beautiful. And tired. And sad.

I gave him the nod to say "it's cool and good luck."

He gave me one back that I think said "thanks."

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tagged! (in Dutch)

By the looks of it, my old job just found my blog. So--hi. The pages you are looking for are here and here. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Random Celebrity Spotting

I went to the Muleh/Moet event tonight at the Four Seasons. Not a bad concept, really. A strange crowd--I'd say only 5% were the usual suspects that you see everywhere, although as the night wore on, more began appearing.

A lot of friends got a bounceback email when they tried to rsvp saying that the guest list was full (one of my cohorts made a few phone calls to get us in)--but here's a few pointers: 1.) they didn't have a list at the door. Or at least not at the door that I entered (it was in the courtyard, I think we entered through the back side of the event). 2.) it wasn't crowded at all. 3.) their plan is to do six more of these.

Each week they're getting a different store or boutique (for a fee), to be the feature--with models roaming in the store's clothes, etc. That part didn't work at all--nor does it at any party ever. Models have to be elevated or separated for that to work. But the champagne was flowing and I was with two friends that I love dearly, so all was well and good.

Around 8, it was time to head home. I bid my farewells and headed out. I was looking down at my fabulous shoes, which were starting to hurt like all hell (Viktor + Rolf pumps with gold chain toes--which means that the toes don't give AT ALL, which means that ze big toes start feeling like bigger toes after a few hours). Anyway, I look up whilst concentrating on trying not to limp through The Four Seasons because that just wouldn't be cool at all, and there's Andre Agassi, just walking through the foyer. Just him and another guy, and it was pretty empty save for him and him and me and my two big big toes.

I gave him the "nod"--like "you're frigging famous, but I'm cool enough not to acost you." He looked back like "Um, yeah, whatever, you're the 5 millionth person to give me the 'nod' today."

So dork status confirmed, I said the hell with it and broke into full gingerly-stepping limp down the remainder of the foyer, out past the limos, and across the traffic on M. Viktor + Rolf make some funky shoes, but not shoes destined to walk down cobblestone streets before and after partying/standing up for two hours. And no amount of champagne or heroic tennis players in the world can fix that.

Another Hypothetical.

So imagine you used to work with someone for, oh, say, eight years give or take. And they were cool out of the office (not that you had that much interaction, but all of those that you had were surprisingly cool), but REALLY UPTIGHT within. To the point where she would drive her employees kinda (okay, very) nuts because she was SO uptight.

You knew her husband, too, who was also really cool.

And then you stumbled across this.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My Random Life

My husband hit the Black Crowes at 9:30 on Sunday (one of us had to stay home on babysitting detail). However, his ensuing guilt did buy me some leverage. So when I received an invite from my friend Christie who is just very, very cool, I took it, and headed off to the Diddy party last night.

I had an event that morning, followed by work all afternoon, pitch meeting straight thereafter, then home to play with/bathe/feed/brush teeth of my child who just gets more animated and hilarious with each passing day. Then a few hours labeling DSS photos for the press (sounds so easy, in reality is quite complicated), another hour answering emails, then off to get ready. Skinny Superfines and my new fantastic Black Halo cowl neck (but in a good way) top from Alex, fast becoming my favorite boutique in DC (especially since my Intermix discount card expires at the end of this month! Even still, Alex's clothes prevail.).

Time check: 11pm. Have been on the go since 6:45am. So there's that.

Drive down, walk up, finagle through the lines, past every NBA player I've ever seen but cannot identify, past Rock Newman (who, though he has no idea, I used to wait on all the time in college when he represented the WORST tipper of all time, Riddick Bowe), past hordes from a B+T crowd I didn't know existed outside of Weehawken. But they do. And they smoke. All of them. And wear cologne. And like to stare directly at your breasts as you approach. Yeah, that couldn't be any more uncomfortable.

Hung with friends, met KAC **finally**, after emailing for forever (for her fabulous and continual support of my charity events, I am forever in her debt), headed up to the VIP area, and right to the free drinks table. Only they weren't free. They were $10 for a crappy V+T in a plastic cup. Crowds upstairs: as thick as the B+T smoke two floors below. Had to get. out. now.

Back down the stairs, guzzle the last of the champagne, say my goodbyes, and head out the door. To air. Ah, sweet, sweet air.

Down I Street to my car, past the homeless men wrapped in their grey issued blankets, one by one down the row of park benches.

Start the car, then left on what is now a quiet K, the opposite of my commute home down the same path every day. Up the Canal, trees whisking by, keeping an eye out for deer, potholes or the random axe murderer (it is quite creepy at night, I'm just saying). Through the stop sign, up my street, into my door, and out to my porch to leave my stinky, stinky smoke clothes.

Tiptoe into my son's room, where he's snuggled like a buggle in his green giraffe blanky. "I love you Jack" is met with the sigh of a contented boy who has just recently started to dream (and in turn, talk in his sleep).

Up the stairs, splash on the face, crawl into bed, and a groggy greeting from my husband:

"Bet the Black Crowes were a million times better."

So uncool to say. But true.

But even a million times better than that: my bed, my pillow, my husband, and my son (dreaming about ducks by this time, apparently).

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Recipe for 2 Totally Worth It Zits

Ingest all of the following:
Course 1:
Duck sliced over potato crisp with carmelized onion
Brie and mango in phyllo dough
Coconut shrimp

Course 2:
Lemoned Avocado and Spicy Crabmeat tower with a Balsamic Glaze
Layered grilled vegetable sandwich with phyllo "bread"

Course 3:
Boston bibb salad with bibb flan
Argula bowtie salad with reduced balsamic dressing

Course 4:
Lamb with lamb shank
Filet with potato cake and shrimp

Course 5:
Mango cheesecake
Homemade chocolate brownie
Raspberry Tart
Triple-chocolate layer cake
Creme brulee

Pour wine over all.

A pre-event tasting at the Ritz: the definite upside of my day job.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The DSS Review

There are other, non-invested parties who have done a great job of summing it all up here and here.

But here's my tale from the inside. Blogger still won't upload my photos.

Got there around 2:00. Some boutiques had started to move their wares in; music was thumping from the iPod, the caterer was buzzing around getting things prepared. The vodka, beer and wine were all MIA, but really, that's what event planning is all about: it's not about doing all the stuff to get an event ready, it's about solving the problems that arise from doing all of the stuff to get an event ready.

4:00: Vodka: found. It's kind of illegal to send it through the mail, but our sponsor's vodka isn't distributed here yet. So some bottles got broken in transit. UPS: not very happy. That problem goes on the backburner for another day. Beer: still MIA. Wine: um...arriving on OCTOBER 12. Not really going to help. So quick panic call to the caterer--BRING WINE!! LOTS!!! Problem solved.

5:00: A line begins forming. First 10 women, then 50, then 100, then--holy crap, it's all the way down the block!! It was incredible. I'm browsing the racks a bit as they're rolling in--shorts marked down from $188 to $20. Shoes from $300 to $99. Racks of brand-new fall stuff for 25% off. It's looking great. Beer arrives. So the 15/400 men in line will be happy, as there's enough to satiate an entire army. I wave at a woman I know. She looks at me like I'm a bit crazy. Oh, because that's George Stephanopolous' wife--I've just seen her on TV (she was there to help her sister, jewelry designer Sissy Yates). I'm such a dork.

6:00: One final lap to let everyone know that doors are about to open. Cue the doors.

6:02: Absolute pandemonium. Women ripping racks apart. Great music (iPod traded in for full-fledged DJ around 5:30) getting everyone in the mood to shop. Bar flowing. Life: good. Such a high.

7:02: 5" black patent platforms have got. to. come. off. right. now. My flats are in my car, and I can't even walk the 20 yards to get them--I hobble over in flipflops (tights wedged between my big & 2nd toes--it was a good look).

8:02: all is well. Attendees: happy. And fabulous. Friends I didn't even know were coming showed up--such the perfect surprise. Vendors: thrilled. Committee: proud as can be. Bar: ah, yes, that's right, I can walk right up and pour me a martini!

9:00: Crowd slows. Am getting loopy. Sherr, I'll dethinitely haf anuuthr marteeene.

10:30: Pack it up, stop by the WL party down the street, then head over to Blue Gin for a drink with my girlies before heading home for a night of adrenolin-packed non-sleeplessness.

We raised lots of money for Suited for Change, my favorite DC charity as it really plays a huge role with helping to break the cycle of poverty for women in need and their families--and does their work on an incredibly small--I mean SHOESTRING--budget. So that was the best part of all.

So thank you to everyone for your support: attendees, boutiques, our army of volunteers, friends who helped to get the word out, those who couldn't make it this time but asked us to do it again. See you in the spring!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The DSS.

Recap later. Maybe tomorrow. I'm so tired I can barely type.

But to the 600 of you, most of which started waiting in line at, oh, around 4:30: thank you. You were fabulous.

Photo by Abby Greenawalt.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Live From Las Vegas: The Budgets From Hell Edition

I'm in Vegas for the day for work.

Of note:
Mark Warner was on my plane. And he's looking a bit manorexic if you ask me. He's got the good governing/bridging the two sides thing going, but if he's going to really hit the big time (and ever get over that heinous NYT mag cover), some free weights, a few oxygen facials and some practice smiling comfortably would do him a world of good.

Chippendales? I still don't get it. Never have. (Saw the billboard on the way from the airport). I think a format that would work better for me would be more of a "zoo" type of concept--where you could drive around a park and see "22 year old mowing lawn" or "24 year old washing car". Anyway, I have no idea how they stay in business here. Oh yeah, because Vegas is a huge bus stop, that's how.

I was too busy today to head over to Scoop, and that, my friends, is a complete bummer. There's just something about that place--yes, a lot of their stuff can be found elsewhere, but I always find a perfectly fabulous unique something or other that I simply must have. It's for the best, however, as I'm planning on shopping till dropping at the DSS.

Heading over to the Wynn for dinner. Being that we've all been up since 5, it's blazing hot, and dinner is at 11:30 EST, I'm thinking that there won't be a whole lot of raging going on after the fact. But you never know.

Wow--Project Runway is almost over on the east coast--can't wait to read Capitol Hill Barbie's synopsis!

Monday, September 04, 2006

District Sample Sale Scoop #4

Roberto Cavalli Vodka cocktails. Yummy hors d'oeuvres from Occasions. Desserts from Kafe Leopold. Shopping like you've never done before within the District line. DC's most fashionable charity, Suited for Change. Do you REALLY need more of an incentive? Okay, okay, here's some more scoop on the DSS:

Last minute addition: Sherman Pickey.

Last minute bonus: a fabulous raffle onsite, including a $300 gift certificate to Relish!!!

Insider track: the stores are bringing KILLER wares, from DVF dresses to Philip Lim 3.1 to my favorite Ts in the world by Splendid and Ella Moss, so get there early to get the best loot!

Tickets are going quickly, so get yours pronto...