Tag Archives: dc

press the restart button

2013 has been a whopper of a year for me. the worst ever, actually, but i refuse to dwell on the negative because so many other things went right in my life. as the saying goes, sometimes things have to fall apart so they can fall back together. and it may not look as you expected, but it will come back together in the end. be-lee-dat!!

so here’s the good side to my 2013 because the bad…well, it deserves absolutely no energy.

 

janfeb2013_2

2013 kicked off with dutch playing sports…basketball!!! it’s always a good time watching him play. his game improves more and more each season and he really seems to enjoy himself out there on the court. and that’s what it’s all about.

and while most of the early year was devoted to the game, we took time out to celebrate my stepmama’s birthday down in old town alexandria, virginia. we walked and walked and walked for a few blocks and by the time we all arrived at the restaurant i was dizzy as all get out. it wasn’t the first time. i had a bad case of dizziness on the treadmill too. my husband blamed it on me being out of shape, but after an ekg and blood tests, i found out that my anemia had kicked in rather strongly. (and i have a heart murmur i never knew about too!!) so if you’re feeling dizzy and just plain ‘ol out of sorts, get your bloodwork done!!

in fact, there are a whole slew of symptoms tied to anemia that could be affecting your life: weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath on exertion, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, headache, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), irritability and other mood disturbances, pale skin (however, healthy-looking skin color does not rule out anemia if a patient has risk factors and other symptoms of anemia), mental confusion and loss of sexual drive. i have felt allllllll of those at one point or another throughout the years and although i’ve taken iron supplements before i never stayed on them long enough to feel the total effects. won’t be doing that again! having my blood iron back on track 100% improved my overall well-being tremendously. no more exhaustion, freaky anxiety attacks or nothing.

but anyway…enough of that and my oh-my-goodness-am-i-about-to-have-a-heart-attack scare.apr2013onto april!! it snowed during dutch‘s spring break! weird, but we rolled with it and dutch got to play in it for a bit. we spent loads of time playing outdoors and i finally landed a little job that drove me almost to the point of insanity. i blogged about it at one point, but then i deleted it. so, oh well… just know that it wasn’t a good look for your girl. or anybody for that matter. the job + trying to get my iron levels back on track + everything else going on in my world had my head spinning. but i’m a mama so i kept smiling and pressed forward.

aliyababyshower

and smile, i did!! next up was my cousin aliya’s baby shower. i love these chicks right here to pieces and it’s always a good time when we’re together. always. smack talking and drinks!!! laughing, joking and just utter silliness. no drinks for the pregnant chick of course, but you ain’t seen nothing till you’ve seen a woman with a preggo belly hit the hee-haw (dc, where you at??).

trust, you had to be there. it was a sight to behold. it was also nice to have my mama there to bestow her *ahem* wisdom on us youngins. mayjune2013

this is just a modge podge of 2013 randomness. a guitar i painted earlier in the year for my niece, a demin clutch i made from my husband’s old jeans, me and my mama hanging out in the backyard at a bridal shower cookout for my cousin imari, and me and my dutchie having a picnic at gravelly point park. to know my son is to know he never wants to go anywhere except toys r us. so i drug his behind out the house, grabbed a blanket and some food and we had a grand old time watching the planes take off and land. it’s a day i won’t soon forget because we had so much fun just being silly. mayjune2my sexy librarian look (as they called it on instagram!!). ha! well, i was going on a job interview and i got there a little early so why not selfie, right? well, i didn’t land the job, but daggone it, i looked good!!

and you just don’t even understand the level of excitement i felt when i was finally able to pull my curly bush back into a ponytail. oh yes, hunty was happy!!

mariswedding

my cousin imari jumped the broom!!! we had a great time celebrating with the new couple, but dutch was a little disappointed that we didn’t have a chance to dance at the reception. he wanted to get his party on!

shorthairremember that ponytail i was soooooo excited about having? well, i chopped that sucka right on off. not only was i just getting tired of all that hair and the heat of summer, but i needed change and i needed it fast!! not that short hair is that drastic of a change for me. i’ve been wearing my hair short like this for almost 20 years. at the beginning of the summer i began feeling more like the old me than i had felt in years so it time for the hair to go and for me to get back in my niki zone.

random

let me tell you about that skirt in the pic. just before summer i was seeing the weight i had held onto for years sorta melt away. but i didn’t realize just how much it melted away until i headed down old town in that skirt and had to hold the puppy up before it hit the bricks! haha… i did. so it didn’t.

music soothes me and i did a lot of record spinning over the summer to calm my thoughts. i also played music on my kindle, on pandora from my phone, cd’s and i kept vh-1 soul on most times. music all around me. that’s how i like it. hey, like bob marley said, “one good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” unless the wrong song comes on, of course. but that’s another story. random_2see my baby complaining? it’s one of his most favorite-ist things to do in life. haha… we stopped thru eastern market on our way to my mama’s house to get her a bunch of flowers for her birthday. i also attended the wedding of an old friend over the summer and she had the cutest wedding and reception that included skits of her and her husband on a big screen. she was absolutely stunning! joy, joy, joy!!randomness3we attended a family member’s birthday party at a restaurant back in july and the guys were mostly bored, i suppose. but i got up danced because that’s what you do at a party with music, no? i’m all about making the most of any situation so if there’s music and a dancefloor that’s where i’ll be. thank you very much.

lemonade out of lemons, my friends.

that month a girlfriend and i also hung out at a little spot called puro lounge in georgetown. we sipped mojitos and had the most fabulous food! i hear the head chef has left the building so if you go there now i can’t stamp the new cook. sorry!

summer2013

at the beginning of the summer we spent sooooooo much time at the pool. me and my boy…every day at the pool. worked fine for me, i got my tan on and dutch got his band-aid on from scraping those toes at the bottom of the pool. the upside is he became a much better swimmer and is absolutely fearless in the water. which scares me just a wee bit but we worked it out. perhaps next summer he’ll learn to dive off the diving board because the child begged me about doing that alllllll.summer.long.summer2013_2

and not just my tan, i got my workout on too!! i hit the gym when i could, walked a lot and changed up my diet. between that and my appetite decreasing (due too much daggone stress) i was getting right back down to my pre-dutch weight. well, helllllloooooooooo!! took long enough, huh? but remember what i said about the exhaustion from anemia?? i’d literally wake up every morning sleepy. hard to motivate yourself to workout when you’re dead tired all the time.

oh, and my fur baby charlie!! we bond over stare down contests. he likes to stare at you before he decides to attack your face and smother you with puppy love and kisses. he’s special.

pooltimemore pool time at my aunt jackie’s with the fam!! the kids had a great time dancing and swimming and so did the adults. these little people are amazing. smart. talented. just all around good kids. yeah, they can irk the nerves of their parents and all that, but we’re so blessed to have such cool kids.

summerwinddowndutch and i finally hit up a waterpark just before school started and before we knew it it was time for back-to-school with endless school supply lists and back-to-school nights. dutch went to school, we, the parents, went to the movies!!

but ooops!!! just realized i put the same pic up twice of me in a hippie rv at the gas station. i met an interesting trio at the gas station who were all about love and peace and happiness and hope. they coulda been high, who knows. haha… the chick offered me almonds, but i kindly declined. anyway, they invited me to sit in their rv and write a love msg on it. i did. why not? i love people. well, some of them anyway.

birthdaysbirthday time for me and the kid!! i made a birthday banner for my dutchie and then baked cupcakes for his class. the kids loved them!! then the following month i had the most awesome 40th birthday celebration ever!! definitely the highlight of my year. the love in that room for me that night was so thick and i needed it. i needed the laughs, the tears, the dancing, the shouting…the words. chiiiiiilllllld, that birthday will go down in the history books of birthdays for me.

funtimesmy fam… kindred the family soul! aja and fatin came in town for a show at the birchmere and it was a great show as usual. if you have not seen them perform live yet, please do! you won’t be disappointed.

a couple weeks later it was off to philly for fatin’s 40th birthday party at ms. tootsie’s. it was a quick trip but we packed in the fun…’cause that’s how we do it. good food, good drinks and GREAT music ’cause the dj was allllll the way on point! i woke up after 4 hours of sleep and it was just about time to hit the road again.

i also caught up with my girls and former sister 2 sister magazine coworkers for an open mic night at the legendary bohemian caverns. it always freaks me out a bit being down in the caverns, hadn’t been there in years, but it really is a cool spot. it’s been around since 1926 and hopefully will be around for many, many more years.Christmasand then came Christmas! dutch’s excitement over his mile-long wwe everything list rubbed off on me a bit. i couldn’t wait for him to see all that he had gotten. i fell asleep waaaaaay before him on Christmas eve (i’m talking 8:30pm, y’all) but was wide awake before him and ready to get crackin’ Christmas morn’! nothing like family love to bring a smile to your face.

so now that 2013 is over and done i’m ready to press the restart button and begin new again.

happy new year, everyone!!

only in dc :: go-go zumba

i saw someone post a pic about go-go zumba on instagram and i was all like, “weerrrrrrrdddd?? where?” if you are from (or have been to) the dc area and know anything about go-go it’s not hard to imagine how this idea would offer a great workout. in fact, the creator of this workout, dani tucker, said they burn 1,300 calories during each class!

i googled to get more info and found that go-go fitness’s z go-go holds classes all around the dc area and for just five bucks!! the schedule of classes can be found on their site. i also found this video on youtube to give you all a little peek at how it goes down during go-go zumba.

love them

my little family and i recently went downtown to check out the martin luther king, jr. national memorial. yes, we live in the dc area and it took us this daggone long to drive about 20 minutes away to see it.

wack, i know.

anyway, it was a beautiful day, dutch had his skateboard, my husband had his usual silliness poppin’ and a good time was had by all.

dc's west potomac park
dc’s west potomac park
dc's west potomac park
dc’s west potomac park
mlk memorial dc
mlk memorial dc
mlk memorial dc
mlk memorial dc
martin luther king, jr. national memorial in dc
martin luther king, jr. national memorial in dc

after avoiding accidents with dutch and his skateboard vs. various downtown visitors we strolled through the franklin d. roosevelt memorial.

family

me and the husband
me and the husband
franklin d. roosevelt memorial in dc
franklin d. roosevelt memorial in dc
my little family
my little family
west potomac park dc
west potomac park dc

 

drum circle at malcolm x park

i am ashamed to say i have never been to malcolm x park (as it’s officially known by locals, it’s called meridian hill park by the national park association) to witness the drum circle. it’s something i’ve always said i’d do, but i’ve never made it out there.

being a native of the washington, dc area…fo’ shame!!!

but this very awesome video i found recently by vita foto creation has me really wanting to go and check it out.

Malcolm X Park D.C. from Vita Foto Creation on Vimeo.

if you’re not familiar, the drum circle started back in the 1950s and is held every sunday from 3pm to 9pm during warm weather months. the park is located in columbia heights and is bordered by 15th, 16th, w, and euclid streets in nw.

“friends of ricki” networking event for mompreneurs

on wednesday, october 3, 2012 “friends of ricki” (ricki lake, that is) and capital city mamas are hosting a mompreneur networking event at urban chic in georgetown! come hang out to learn more about starting and growing your business.

urban chic georgetown

come out and chat with women who are living their dreams by running their own businesses and…enjoy appetizers and wine!

this FREE event takes place from 7pm to 9pm. go to capital city mamas for more information and to rsvp! see you there!

alexandria king street arts festival

i miss it every daggone year, but this year i am determined to make it out to the 10th annual alexandria king street arts festival in alexandria, virginia. september 8th-9th king street is transformed into a huge outdoor art gallery. although i haven’t had the opportunity to stop through yet, i did ride by it one year and it was brimming with goodies…that i spotted as i drove by.

festival scene by alexandria daily photo.

the festival is six blocks of awesomeness featuring over 200 artists from all around the country and abroad.

saturday, september 8th from 10am to 7pm

sunday, september 9th from 10am to 5pm

 

good-bye to dc’s legendary godfather of go-go chuck brown

the city weeps.

chuck brown is gone.

it’s unbelievable. to see that man perform (even in his 70s) you really believed that he would forever be up on that stage crankin’ and making the crowd move. but so it goes, yesterday the dc area mourned the loss of our beloved godfather of go-go.

yes, we all cried and we were all very saddened by the news of his passing yesterday, but we also pulled out our chuck cds and tapes and pumped up the radio stations that played chuck nonstop and did what he would’ve wanted…we jammed.

we tweeted, facebook’d, called our friends, talked about the shows and the last times we saw chuck, we talked about meeting him in person and what chuck songs reminded us of a specific time. some were able to go to soul factory for a vigil, some made it over to howard theatre to pray and celebrate his life, we all just needed to be around or talk to folks about our loss because chuck brown was really like family.

if you’ve ever been to a chuck brown then you know what i mean. i’m talking about people getting together to have a good time, bodies moving non-stop, sweating, dancing, groovin’, shoutin’ out the lyrics to every joint. to see chuck brown perform live was an experience. it’s a shame that his popularity never soared outside the washington, dc area, but you know, i think it’s okay for us who truly loved him and his music. he was ours.

i was dancing to “bustin’ loose” back in the ’70s before i even really knew who chuck brown was. as a matter of fact, my mother just mentioned that one day she came to pick me up from school at satellite americana on good hope rd. in s.e. and my teacher was showing us how to do the rock while “bustin’ loose” played. and that’s how it goes for chuck brown fans, they pass down the love for chuck to the next generation.

 

 

growing up my two best friends, shawn and michele, and i would sit on michele’s front steps with her brother’s boombox and blast music during the summer. in fact, i’m pretty sure “moody’s mood for love” was playing in the background when i was about 12 and had my first (and very sloppy) kiss with a kid named brian who lived down the block. whenever i hear that song it takes me back to those steps, the good times we had talking smack about boyfriends and blasting chuck on the radio.

by the time “we need some money” came out in the early ’80s i was a full blown fan. please, who in dc at that time wasn’t singing…mastercard, visa, american express. i ain’t got nothin’ against no credit cards, but the cash is the best? and you had to have a “run joe” t-shirt with mickey and minnie mouse on it. me and my friends hopped on the train to go downtown and buy ours off the vendor stands and when i couldn’t wear those shirts anymore (because the things were worn out) i hung them on my wall.

 

 

it wasn’t until years later that i was finally able to meet chuck. i worked as the associate editor of sister 2 sister magazine for close to ten years and throughout that time i met and interviewed a ton of celebrities. from jay-z to beyonce and destiny’s child, queen latifah and luther vandross. just a bunch of folks. but the day i met chuck brown at the black family reunion? oh, i was siced!! ummmm…hello, this is chuck. brown. if you’re not from this area then i’m sure you don’t get it, but his music had been the soundtrack to my life. meeting him and having the chance to tell him how much i loved his music meant a lot to me and it’s something i’ll always treasure.

i’ve seen chuck perform so many times…outdoor festivals in dc, at p.g. community college back in the day, at go-go live in ’87, cabarets, clubs…and i’m thankful that i had the opportunity to see him twice last year. my fam, kindred the family soul, recorded a song with chuck brown and dj kool called “going to the go-go” and they did a few shows with him here in dc.

 

 

can i just say how hype i was when i first talked to aja (a dc native by the way) about the song?! oh my goodness, we were so excited that chuck was on the album. when kindred had a performance with the godfather at ibiza for their daydream party last april me, my mama, and friends were all at the front jammin’. chuck was on point as always and the crowd was in full mode. we were all sweating, tired and had sore feet by the time the night was over. and it’s not just seeing him live that gets people in this area excited. you can best believe that nothing gets people more hype in a club, cabaret, cookout, basement house party…than putting on chuck brown.

 

 

my husband and i went to see kindred and chuck again on our anniversary and aja’s birthday on september 25, 2011 at the birchmere in virginia. when we were walking towards the venue my husband said, “there’s chuck right there,” pointing to chuck sitting in his car. me, being the pressed chuck brown fan i am (haha!!) was all loud and excited and waving, “heyyyyy, chuck!!” he just smiled back and said hi. there’s no doubt that he was used to getting that kind of love whenever he traveled through dc, maryland and virginia. and trust, nobody else in dc is getting that kind of love from folks. nobody.

my husband recorded some of the show from that night at the birchmere:

 

 

i always expected that chuck brown would perform until he just couldn’t anymore and that’s exactly what happened. go-go was in his blood and the music was so much of who he was that i think we all started to get worried when he recently had to cancel shows. chuck brown cancelling? it’s just not something that happens. we all prayed for him to get better.

it’s kind of crazy that one of the most popular chants that we alwaysssssss said chuck shows is chuck baby don’t give a f-ck!! it’s crazy because it’s just the opposite of everything i’ve read about this man and who truly was as a person. he had a deep love for people. so in response to our chant he always said, that ain’t true…i love all of you.

i truly believe he did, but i really think we all loved him just a little bit more.

contemplating pork n’ beans

remember when i posted about having a crappy 2011? well, part of the crapaliciousness of 2011 was due to being laid off. it’s okay. really, it is. i kinda saw it coming. not that that means i knew how to feel about it when the hammer actually came down though, you know?

i’ve never been laid off before and let me tell you i went through a full range of emotions in the very beginning. the first one being a freak out emotion (if you can call it that)…”how am i going to pay my bills??” “oh my goodness, Christmas is coming. i’m going to be so so broke!!” “my unemployment check is how much? no, that can’t be right, you’re joking right? oh, you’re not joking…”

but i got over it. my faith in the Lord is strong so i got myself together and came to the realization that it’s time to pick up it on up and move on.

that’s more of the idealized version of what actually takes place. you know, “pick it on up and move on.” what is being laid off really like on a day-to-day? well, there’s the dropping the child off to school and walking po’ charlie (i promise to post a pic of him soon). then there’s this huge block of time in the middle of the day until i have to walk po’ charlie again and pick the child back up. i’ve managed to fill up those hours doing all sorts of things: job searching and more job searching, washing dishes, washing clothes, talking on the phone, folding clothes, blogging, cleaning the bathroom, dusting, talking on the phone, painting picture frames, googling tutorials on a variety of topics, talking on the phone, making jewelry, dancing to videos on vh1 soul… you know, that kinda thing.

i really should be spending mucho grande time in the gym, but that’s another subject.

then there are times when i am slam bored! you hear me? times when i just sit around and contemplate things. what kind of job should i be looking for? should i stay in social media and web management or do something totally different like become one of those sign turners because, i mean, every business needs a sign turner, right? oh, decisions, decisions!

and then there are the times that i get way inside my head like this one particular recent day: after preparing some pork n’ beans and hot dogs for a little late lunch—not because we’re so terribly broke over here, but because dangit i actually like pork n’ beans and hot dogs—when i wondered, exactly what kind of beans are in pork n’ beans?!?!

i bet you don’t know either.

i decided to google the mysterious bean and here are ten facts gathered from wikipedia about pork n’ beans that i just know you are dying to know.

here goes…

  • pork n’ beans generally consists of navy beans stewed with pork
  • commercially canned pork n’ beans were introduced in the united states during the 1880s
  • a recipe for pork n’ beans was included in the 1832 cookbook the american frugal housewife
  • according to the 1975 better homes and garden heritage cookbook, canned pork n’ beans was the first convenience food
  • pork n’ beans is a stereotypical cowboy food dish
  • pork n’ beans is an american canned classic
  • the dish became popular when h. j. heinz came out with their version in 1895
  • pork n’ beans are usually stewed with tomatoes
  • the dish was mentioned in the song “the old chisholm trail”: “oh, it’s bacon and beans most every day/i’d as soon be a-eatin’ prairie hay”
  • but what wikipedia failed to mention is that pork n’ beans were also mentioned in the hugely popular go-go song “sardines” by the one and only junkyard band. dc stand up!!!!! like to hear it? here it go…

 

and there you have it, all the pork n’ beans facts you’ll ever need in life.