Back in the Days

I am sitting here in Soho Cafe checking my email and enjoying my first Sunday back in DC after a nice visit back to Cali. I'm sipping and typing, people watching and clicking on with my bad self when suddenly I hear "step by step! oooooh baby! really wantcha in my wo-o-o-orrld!" I can't believe this grungy cafe, with it's funky art and mismatched cups (my coffee was served to me in a beer mug) is playing New Kids on the Block! I haven't heard them in ages, and why isn't the entire cafe is not cracking up right now?

So now I'm reminiscing over my teeny bopperdom. I'm remembering my NKOTB tablecloth and paper plates I used for what must have been my 9th birthday party. The colorful glossy NKOTB book I begged my mom to buy me from KB Toy Store, which included pictures and bios of all my boys: Danny, Doni, Joe, John, Jordan. I remember jamming to their jams and thinking about how cool they all were, and how amazing it would be if they just showed up at my house one day and professed their love for me. And I remember the noogies and other forms of harassment I was subjected to by my Fugazi/Skinny Puppy/Faster Pussycat- listening cousin who was far too cool her little pre-pubescent Danz. Hey cuz, give a girl a break! Not everyone can be as hip as you were at age 9!

I never got the chance to make fun of some little teeny bopper sister or cousin when I finally became cool. My sister was too busy listening to Barbara Streisand and musical soundtracks in elementary school to pay much mind to the New Kids, and my only younger female cousin was too busy being Orthodox to have bad taste in music. So now I'm feeling a little deprived. Now I have many younger female cousins, but they are all under the age of 5, and by the time they have bad taste I will (supposedly) be too mature to give them noogies and make fun of them. Besides, I caught myself belting out Brittney Spears this morning (Oops I did it Again, if you must know), so I guess I deserve a noogie myself. Dammit, I just can't win.


Currently Listening To...

"The Last Time" by Gnarls Barkley. Best song ever. "Wheeeeenn was the last time....you daaaAAAanced??"


Confessions of a Policy Analyst

Belting out Whitney Houston:
a less-than perfect, but cherished moment

As an MPP, I've been trained to be meticulous, to be able to back up everything I say with credible evidence, to remain consistent, and to pour over the message dozens of times before letting it go public. This is great for making a good policy recommendation, but I find that trying to apply these concepts to my daily life is making me go insane. Maybe being an off-the-clock analyst isn't the essence of Danz: I mean, I impulsively spurt out a lot of bullshit. And I over exaggerate--and I swear to mother earth and all its living beings, it's genetic! I ramble during quiet time and am at a loss for words when I have the floor. I am not, by any means, consistent-- with my moods, my attention span, my interests, or my beliefs.

Maybe you've never noticed some of these things about me. But since I get to observe myself all the time, I've noticed. And since I moved to DC, and probably even before I moved, I have been forcefully trying to change these things about myself. But I'm starting to realize that the problem might not be the behavior but rather the attitude towards the behavior. I am hard on myself. And I am a perfectionist. Not the work-long-hours type of overachiever, and not the straight-A student type either. I want to be a perfect personality; one who never interrupts others, is always up for a party, approaches every situation with the utmost confidence, considerate always, knows what to say, knows what to do. I am not that person, but I think I've been to hard on myself for not becoming the perfect human model. Maybe I have too much heart to be that person. I should take pride in who I am and own up it: a klutzy, interrupting mistake-maker who loves her family and friends. Who sometimes doesn't know what to say, but gives good advice and isn't afraid to try new things. Who overanalyzes herself and easily finds the essence of others. A woman who screws up a lot but always finds a way to fix it. It's not the perfect model of humanity, but shit man, that's human.

I can't be an off-the-clock policy analyst. Public policy, with all its intricacies, is still far less complicated than the average human being. And even in policy analysis: while you always acknowledge your shortcomings, you still make a strong recommendation.

my leeeetle cousins: COULD THEY BE ANY CUTER!?!?!?

good Lord, I think not.


Would I be Completely Evil if I Posted a Cynical Voting Joke Here on Election Day?

..well then, evil must be my middle name. Mwah ha ha!!!!

While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.
"Welcome to Heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, so we're not sure what to do with you."
"No problem, just let me in, " says the man.
"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."
"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the senator.
"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."
And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked
with him. Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...
The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him. "Now it's time to visit heaven." So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good
time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.
"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."
The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."
So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. "I don't understand," stammers the senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"
The devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning...

"...Today you voted."