SPAM-A-LOT

I have every line of Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail memorized. I think I used to watch it three times a day - and I never get tired of it. It's only second to Roman Holiday as my favorite movie because Audrey Hepburn is not in it. Wouldn't THAT have made for an interesting movie!?

I jumped at the chance to see SPAM-A-LOT now that it's at the National Theatre. I had never been to a show at National. And although I once auditioned for a dancing part in the show, I had never actually seen SPAM-A-LOT as a broadway adaptation.

I found myself reciting lines along with the actors (it's that close to the movie), and still loved every minute. Still wish I were up on stage, though... It's definitely a musical for people who don't like musicals...and for those that do!

(Photo - Tim Curry as Arthur in British production - credit Chris Rand.)

Key West, Happy New Year!

Although New Year's Eve plans changed for me (I thought I would be in Anguilla - British West Indies - already by now), a sad occasion and a blessing kept me in D.C. for just a few extra days.
I'll be heading down to Key West, Florida this afternoon to ring in the new year with some sand and sunshine. Expecting no time for posting while on a true vacation... check back after the 3rd of January.
Happy New Year!

Travel and Hindu Temples

If I were to tell you that the largest Hindu temple outside of India is located within the United States in Lilburn, Georgia, I'm sure you wouldn't believe me. I didn't believe it either until I saw it for myself!
Built of Turkish Limra limestone, Italian Carrara marble and Indian sandstone, this 227' (length), 123'2" (width), 73" (heigh from ground) structure was built on site in Lilburn with almost all volunteer manpower. Incredible!

Equally as incredible are the intricate carvings... and the large number of people, of all faiths, who visit each day. I went on Christmas day with my best friend Lillian (who refused to be pictured) and my brother. The most fun fact: each of the religious statues is dressed, undressed, and re-dressed for "bed" each day - like a living being. So interesting!

NYE??

I just got this message from a KStreetKate reader:

Merry Christmas to you, too! Looking for a New Year's Eve idea/fun
party to go to. Any tips? Single, smart, attractive female with no date :-( can
you believe it! All my good friends are either our of town/country with their
husband/boyfriend/family... You can e-mail me directly if you don't want to post
the answer: [redacted]. Thank you and hope to meet you someday!

Well...I was one of those escaping the city, but my New Year's Eve plans all of a sudden went up in the air, too, and as I've looked into some options here in town, I have some great ideas to pass on! Last year, I made the rounds of all of the Latin Concepts resturants in town, and it was a great time. I ended up at Chi Cha, which I think may be sold out already - but any of them Mate, Gazuza, or Ceviche are a great place to ring in the new year.

Some other parties that I know will have good, fun crowds and people worth meeting:
The City Tavern Club New Year's Celebration. I am a member of this club, so I'm biased, but every time I go there, I have a blast, and
Midnight Mischief in the Park. It's black tie optional (why would anyone want to ring in a new year not in their very best??) $75 in advance for two whole floors of fun.
Teatro is having two dinner seatings, and if you are still hungry after that, you can head over to The Space for a $25 open bar from 3-5 am and breakfast - yum!

There are so many I couldn't possibly list them all. Let me know if there are other great places to check out - or if you figure out a way that I can hide myself in my roommate's suitcase to enjoy the sun in St. Barths!!

Still Loving Literacy in the District


Family's magazine has selected the Junior League of Washington (JLW) as the beneficiary of its 2007 Young Author's Competition and book drive!

How can you help?

1- Make a purchase at any DC area Barnes and Noble locations on January 12th and present a "Young Author" coupon so that a portion of the proceeds can go towards JLW literacy efforts.

2- Bring books (new or gently read) to a participating Starbucks or Wholefoods location to be donated to JLW.

Christmas 2007

My oldest brother got a dog (no, not for Christmas) and this is the first pet my family has had in a LONG TIME. His name is Catfish, and I think he wants my present!

These are my adorable nephews. The youngest has absolutely the best reaction to receiving gifts I have ever seen. Makes you want to give him a million more presents. Must be something about being the third child.



Just Another Sports Show

We won't be taping this week - but you can watch the show from last week now that it's been updated on line.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Pictures to come of opening presents as soon as we actually do it...
Santa came for the kids.
He actually found a Wii. Are you kidding me? Even the three year old has mastered it before I did!

National Treasure

I know the sequel, Book Of Secrets came out last weekend, but since I hadn't seen the first one yet (shocking!) I enjoyed watching National Treasure with my parents and brother on a quiet evening at home. How different things are in Georgia! The book reminded me of "home" since it focused on history and D.C., but I think it took some liberties... For example, I don't think the paintings on the wall in the Capitol rotunda are also on display in the Archives. It was good but I hope the sequel is better!

Trivia!


I joined my brothers for their weekly trivia night at Summit's in Snellville, Georgia. I'm the good luck charm... they have never even placed in trivia at Summit's, and they say they go twice a week! With me on the team, we take FIRST PLACE!

A Friendly Lunch

Airports around the holidays can be stressful places. But I found everyone to be MORE than gracious. For example, I met these fine gentlemen in the security line and then joined them for a sandwhich (at the only place in Reagan's Terminal A). They were even nice enough to try to upgrade me so that we could continue our conversation on the ride to Atlanta. Sorry Cleotus Napolean (we got nicknames - it was a super fun lunch bunch!), the Christmas cheer did not extend to seat assignments... I had to stick to economy class.

Over a turkey sandwhich I learned a little bit about United Protective Technologies, LLC (a competitive provider of products which protect and extend the life of aircraft - military and civilian - dedicated to seeking workable solutions to real world problems...) and a lot about how fun the season can be if you take the time to really enjoy it.




My First Fun, Fabulous Fete

Bill let me plan a holiday dinner party for our friends at his house before I left for Georgia to spend time with my family for Christmas. If I do say so myself, dinner was incredible! I can't take credit for the divineness of the menu because the catering service did such an excellent job presenting me with one... and I only made minor changes. I'm absolutely in love with Leah at Fete Accomplie... just look at the little moose centerpieces she made for us!
I think everyone had as much fun as I did... it's just great to spend time with some of those who matter most at the holidays. Now - off to Georgia!

Last Minute Christmas Party


Jennifer Millard and I, pretty in purple, at McFadden's for a "Last Minute Christmas Party" to benefit the CORD Foundation.

D.C. Quarter

I was pleased to report yesterday that we got our postmark stamp back, but today's news is even better for those who have long paved the way for D.C. Statehood. (Not that coinage really means much, but incrementally, it's a step forward, I guess...) D.C. is getting it's own "state" quarter! By 2009 we can add D.C. and Puerto Rico to our collections!

Also in coins... Yesterday, I tried to give a new dollar coin to a tollbooth operator, and they told me they couldn't accept European money. It has Sacajawea on it!

Fire Alarms


The building where I work was evacuated for a fire alarm this morning. Purely by coincidence, the Old Executive Office Building also had a fire this morning (I say also though I have no proof that ours was not a false alarm).

Help Anacostia Get an HGTV Makeover

D.C.'s own Anacostia neighborhood is in the running for a renovation! A current HGTV contest, "Change the World, Start at Home," has selected Anacostia to compete with nine other cities for a major makeover.

Vote here, or go to http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/ah_change_the_world/text/0,,HGTV_30676_65469,00.html to find out more about the community revitalization and environmental cause effort that could be coming our way!

Thanks to Kathleeen Wiederman for submitting this story!

National Treasure II: Book of Secrets

The Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation is hosting an exclusive advanced screening of "National Treasure II: Book of Secrets" tonight.

I'll be taping for the sports show, but will try to get reactions from some screeners before it is released in theatres TOMORROW. This is not only set in D.C., but about D.C., so it's sure to be AWESOME!

Yeah, Mr. Postman!


We got our postmark back! After the anthrax/ricin/terrorism scare, most of the District's mail was sent to Maryland for processing. A recent article brought this little known (or cared about) fact to light, and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton worked with the Postmaster to make sure that D.C. got its postmark back in time for holiday card mailing. (Umm... FYI, D.C. - if you haven't mailed your holiday cards by now... you're LATE!)

P.A.R.T.Y.

'Tis the season! And the number of holiday parties on my calendar is making my head spin! Or is that the champagne?! (Thanks, Windy!)

The excitment (and abundance) of candy canes and cocktails is easier to enjoy than to detail. Look forward to snippets (and pictures) from holiday events this week!

Ebong Eka's Hoop Dream


STYLE just posted my feature on my good friend, Ebong Eka, and his efforts with the non-profit Hoop Dreams. Ebong - you're a super star!


Santa Loves Sigmas


Am I the only one who was super involved in my sorority in college only to let the "sisterhood" slip as I got more involved in career and adult life? I paid dues to a alumni group for a while, but sadly was never able to attend a function. But before I relegated Sigma Kappa to just a line on my CV (still there, in hopes that a potential future employer may love me because we're sisters...) I got a holiday get-together invite in my e-mail box.

Stacey Hinton (President on my chapter at UGA) and Erin Mote, two Sigma Kappas keeping the sisterhood alive in DC, organized a small party at Sofitel's swanky, Le Bar in downtown DC. We shared family traditions and sipped some holiday cheer. It was fun to meet some new girlfriends. Maybe I'll renew my alumni membership after all!


Children's Hospitol Toy Drive


Girl Scout troop 1390 collected new toys at the Adventure Theatre today during the last weekend of performances of the Secret Garden. A "Gold Award" girl scout myself, I'm proud of the girls for organizing a drive for such a wonderful cause.

Ruder-Finn Holiday Party

I totally crashed this one, and it may well be the best office holiday party of the season! A snapshot of the awesome affair from one end, courtesy Joe Reblando...
Ruder-Finn is a private, family-owned public relations firm located downtown. They specialize in health and wellness PR, but have a number of other areas of expertise, as well as global offices. And their holiday spread was incredible...

I love PR parties because the people are always so fun and willing to meet, network, and share great stories! Honestly, I only meant to stay for a few minutes - maybe half an hour. Two hours later I had to force myself into the elevator. Gold star!

Bye, Bye Bobby (Boswell)


If you haven't gotten your daily dose of sports news yet today, you might not have heard that Bobby Boswell is leaving D.C. United. He's been traded to the Houston Dynamo for goal keeper Zach Wells and a draft pick.

Let's hope one of the new guys is an entertainer. You have to give it to Bobby - he may not have started many of the last games, but he made us love to watch!

Teatro's Perfect Pairings

I really didn't think Teatro could get any better, but when Executive Chef Nicola Amroune (Teatro's new addition) flexed her culinary muscles earlier this week, I had to sit down and shut my mouth - full of pan seared scallop topped with oxtail raggout!



Starting a tradition of paired wine dinners, the restaurant and DC Modern Luxury magazine hosted the evening with delights from the Antinori Family Winery & Vinyard. My personal favorite dish was the second of the five course dinner, the white truffle risotto. I couldn't get enough - I ate Bill's, too! And the final red wine, the Antinori Tignanello was incredible!

Speaking of perfect pairings, I've been forcing Pamela Sorensen to be the second half of my dyanamic duo lately... mostly just stealing her pictures because I forget to take them. But, be on the look out for further collaborations between the two of us - and others - very soon!

I PASSED!

On an even more personal note than usual, I'm congratulating myself on years of hard work and social sacrifice (yes - I could have been even more social!) as I successfully defended my thesis for a Masters in Government degree today at Johns Hopkins University - and PASSED!

Thank you to all who supported me (and dealt with my stress) throughout the effort. It's done!

Mile High Holidays


Everytime I think back to that summer when my family visited D.C. and made me spend an entire day in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, I say I'll never go there again. I lied. Kind of. And I'm glad I did.

There is a second (expansion) Air and Space Museum in Dulles that opened not long ago - the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, that fills four hangers full of every flight relic you could imagine. Really cool ones, including the Enola Gay! And I bet you can still get space ice cream there, too!

On the same day that the center welcomed it's 5 millionth visitor, M.C. Dean - one of the nation's premier engineering and integration firms specializing in complex electrical, electronic, and telecommunication systems - rented the site for its annual evening holiday party. The choice of venue wasn't random. M.C. Dean had a hand in completing many of the construction, engineering, and design projects that make the center such a huge success. I'm no engineer - I just enjoyed having the dance floor next to a huge spacecraft in the James S. McDonnell Space Hanger!

The Show Still Goes On!

For those of you who haven't made it out to see a performance of the Secret Garden, you have just one more weekend to see it before the set transforms into 'Narnia' for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!
Saturday and Sunday performances at 11:00 and 1:30 are filling up fast! Call Adventure Theatre to reserve your ticket NOW!
(Rehearsal photos - credit, Billy Bustamante)

Junior Monumental Milers Program

On Friday, the National Marathon, Greater Washington Sports Alliance, D.C. Parks and Recreation and other supporting sponsors hosted a Kick-Off event for the the Junior Monumental Milers Program (JuMMP) at Kennilworth Parkside in Anacostia.

JuMMP promotes youth health and fitness in the District. Participants will complete the equivalent of a marathon, 26.2 miles over the course of 17 weeks to promote the daily habit of running for fitness and good health. Hundreds of area youth took part in the day's activities as Mayor Adrian Fenty, Councilmembers Harry Thomas Jr. and Yvette Alexander, D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation Director Clark Ray and Greater Washington Sports Alliance President, Robert Sweeney and GWSA Chair, Fernando Murias gave supporting remarks.
A highlight of the day was seeing the children's excitement... and the running of the first lap!

George Mason University DIVAS!


If you're a fan of opera, you might have heard about the George Mason University Fall Opera workshop last Friday evening.

While I ventured to Fairfax (truly not a bad drive to enjoy an artistic evening!) to support my good friend, Miss Virginia 2006, Adrianna Sgarlata (pictured at left), everyone was equally as impressive. Yes, all were DIVAS, which was fitting as it was the theme of the evening!
The first scene was a restaging of a new American opera which comes out of the University of Indiana, "Too Many Sopranos," and showcases four sopranos auditioning for a single spot in the heavenly choir. It was fun to watch them battle it out to see who could sing higher, louder... better.

Bravo!

Magnificence at Miller's (Furs)


Fur fashions are showing up everywhere these days.

Last night, Miller's Furs in Tyson's Galleria Centre held it's annual evening of customer appreciation, and hired me to model the collection. I could have tried on every piece in the store.. In fact, I think I did!
(photo from Miller's Furs online catalog)

The Hattery

Someone I know wants a hat - a very particular hat. And [they] have mentioned it three times, so I know it's serious. And it's Christmastime. And I need to buy them a gift. Viola! You know where this is going.

So... where in D.C. does one go to buy the hat? There is only one place. The Hattery.
I met Anthony Gaskins, Owner and Milliner-extraordinaire tonight at The Hattery in the Georgetown Park Shops. After trying nearly every fabulous hat in the place on my own head, I remembered that I wasn't there shopping for me, sadly. So I left not with the cutest 20's cloche or the 60's Audrey Hepburn widebrim, but definitely with exactly what my friend wanted. And it is PERFECT.
But I'm going back, and so should you. It's cold. Keep your head warm - and tell Anthony I sent you!

It's Snowing!

Not enough for a real snow day - although it looks to be accumuluating! - but it's so beautiful and should cut down on the cold for the rest of the week.

Beets, Beets, Baby! The Department of Transportation says that this year they are going to try something new to clear the streets of dangerous ice. Salt is out, beet juice is in. Haven't heard the research yet on that one, but I'm sure it's the latest in efforts to maintain D.C.'s image as a "walkable city".

Almost Ready to Defend!



This is page one of my almost 100 page "almost masterpiece" on the subject of D.C. school reform under Mayor Adrian Fenty. It's called "Trending Mayoral."

Why an almost masterpiece? 1) When do things slow down enough in D.C. for masterpieces to happen? 2) How does a writer reconcile the extremely different opinions of thesis reviewers? 3) After 100 pages, I still haven't really decided if I'm 100 percent behind the reform initiative...

On another note, why do printers always break down when something super important is in the que?!

Wish me luck! Defense is next week!

K Street Kate - Voted "Best Local Online Magazine" by Metromix!