Apologies in advance for the misleading title of this post - if you came here searching for tales of hot, freaky, partner-swapping sex, you'll be disappointed. Homie don't play that. I chose the term "orgy" to refer to a pleasurable excess of various things/sensations which I experienced over the past few days.
My weekend actually started, in a sense, on Thursday night, with...
Arak Orgy: Some of you might not be familiar with Arak....it is a type of alcohol, similar to Ouzo, which is licorice-flavored and very strong. I was introduced to it by my Lebanese boyfriend (hereinafter "LBF" - The term does not imply that I have more than one boyfriend, as I have only one, but it used in a strictly descriptive sense.) So, if it's an Arak Orgy, that means that LBF is involved, as I do not drink Arak without him. I don't know anyone else who likes to drink it! The proper way to drink Arak, LBF-style, is to pour a small amount of it in a glass (we use champagne glasses), add water and ice, and stir. The normally clear liquid will turn cloudy like milk. The first time I drank Arak, LBF warned me, "You have to eat something when you drink Arak, you can't just sit and drink it like beer or wine." He was right, it is very strong, and it can hit you unexpectedly with a very unique type of buzz. Anyway, on Thurs night LBF and I enjoyed some excellent Middle Eastern food and Arak together at Chez Jewgini.
One of the thoughtful things about LBF is that most times, when we get together at my place, he brings food with him. We're talking a full spread - appetizers, entrees with meat and rice, tabbouli and other salads. There are some very excellent middle eastern restaurants/take out places in Northern VA, and he just happens to have friends who work there, so he usually stops by one of them on the way to my place.
Why, you may ask, would LBF even think of bringing dinner to your house? Well, I'll tell you why. One evening, about a year and a half ago, I cooked dinner for him. Simply shopping in the supermarket for the ingredients was a traumatic experience for me. I knew I needed chicken breasts....holy shit, there are 20 different types of chicken breasts here, which ones do I need? Anyway, my dinner took me several hours to cook, and while it tasted OK, I think it demonstrated that I am clueless in the kitchen. It is easier for LBF to bring food or for us to order out. The next orgy I participated in this weekend was the....
Jewelry Orgy: On Saturday I went to the International Gem & Jewelry Show at the Dulles Expo Center. It was the first time I had ever been to something like this. I went with a friend who makes jewelry as a hobby and who is a seasoned veteran of these shows. Luckily I had a guide, or I would have been totally overwhelmed by the selection. What seemed like hundreds of vendors, many with loose beads and gems to buy, for those crafty types. Think Beadazzled multiplied 100 times. Then there were the vendors with precious stones, what I call "real jewelry" - gold and diamonds and pearls, etc. The vendors were from all over the country. I wasn't looking for any serious jewelry, just browsing for fun stuff. I was rewarded by several vendors who were selling beaded shawls, tops, and belts. I found a couple of things that will be great for my new hobby - belly dancing (more about this in a future post). I found this really cool beaded belt with a velcro closure, so you can move it down far on your hips, with silver dangly coins suspended all the way around. I tried it on and did a few shimmies - SOLD! I also found a great beaded evening bag with these little feathery type dangly things - in a really fun fuschia/purple color. The bag was zippered, actually had some room in it for stuff, and was only $20. I could easily see something similar selling in a store for $50 or $60 bucks. So, the jewelry orgy was a success...Later on Saturday evening, I was lucky enough to enjoy a-
Jazz Orgy: I snagged two of the few remaining tickets to the Tenth Annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center. I went with my Jewelry Show friend, who also loves to do things at the Kennedy Center. The show was over three hours of jazz playing and singing. It was really wonderful. There were three separate acts. The first was a group of older women called the "Jazzberry Jam" who played and had a male vocalist, who was just fantastic. The second was a pianist named Geri Allen who played an original piece by Mary Lou Williams called the Zodiac Suite. This was amazing - jazz piano, accompanied by bass and drums, and it was a series of separated yet related pieces, each named for one of the Zodiac signs. Finally there was a tremendous and edgy vocalist, Rene Marie, who started out with an a capella version of a jazz standard (sorry, my mind if blanking on the title, but the song was all about love) which gave me chills (the good kind). She did a breathtaking version of Send in the Clowns, as well as a song she wrote as a tribute to Nina Simone. I really enjoyed her, and I plan to get one of her CDs from her website.
I almost forgot to tell you about the Mashed Potato Orgy. Before the jazz orgy, my friend and I had a quick dinner at the Kennedy Center Cafe on the rooftop. This is a cafeteria-style place, but the most elegant cafeteria you have ever been to. The food is fantastic and features "gourmet" selections, such as the prime rib my friend ordered. The dining room has dramatic views of the DC area. I have previously had the mashed potatoes at the KC Cafe, and they had made quite an impression on me. I ordered a pasta dish, but then got a side order of the delectable mashed potatoes with truffles. This very skinny older woman looked at my tray with utter disgust, as if to say, "You carb hussy!" I was not deterred. The side order" of mashed potatoes was an entire large soup bowl full of mashed potatoes. My friend shared them with me, but I ended up eating most of them. "These are so good they should be illegal!" I declared in a brief moment when I was not stuffing my face. Moral of the story. Go to the Kennedy Center. Get there early, before the even you are seeing. Eat in the rooftop cafe. Pray that they have the mashed potatoes on the menu that evening. Order the mashed potatoes. Experience the ecstasy :)
My final "orgy" of the weekend was a Yoga Orgy. I went to a 3-hour "shoulder workshop" at my yoga studio. I have a HUGE knot at the top of my left shoulder, so I thought that this class would help me with positions and tips to alleviate my "problem area". The teacher was very good, and gave me individual attention when I approached her after the class and showed her my knot. She felt it and actually seemed a bit frightened by it, "Oh MY!" she gasped. I'm sure she was wondering, how can someone who practices yoga be so tense? Well, I don't practice yoga every day, that's probably how....but anyway, she did show me a couple of good stretches and modifications that should help me. One was a variation of downward dog with your palms facing up and resting in a folded yoga mat on a folding chair. It helped to rotate my shoulders out in a good way and made it less difficult for me to maintain the pose.
One question I have for all you yogis and yoginis out there:
Why is it that inevitably I end up in a yoga class right next to an old dude who breathes like Darth Vader? For real, I am very sensitive to weird "people noises" like that, and I find them distracting and they gross me out. Yes, this happened yesterday. Even when the instructor tells us to "breathe normally" there is always at least one in the class who does the "special effect" breathing. Yes, I know, I know, it's not very yogic for me to be annoyed by someone's breathing in a yoga class. But, hey, welcome to my life :)