Miss Quirky

My Lovely Valentines Day Weekend

In Fashion, Food, Travel, Women on February 16, 2015 at 8:09 pm
Dancing & Romancing at the Italian Embassy in D.C.

Dancing & Romancing at the Italian Embassy in D.C.

Valentines day is the quintessential day for dancing, romancing, and all other “cing” ending verbs taking place. For me, the mise en scene of the weekend was the barrage of flowers, chocolates, and surprises I had that made the holiday all the more lovely.

Valentines Day 2 Last Thursday my bf executed a successful Valentines day weekend that only a professional could do. For starters, he surprised me with a colorful bouquet of roses, a hodge-podge of Ghiradelli chocolates, an iridescent Swarovski crystal heart necklace, and fluffy beanie babies. Of course, these were precursors for the next day but I did feel like a real caramel princess thanks to his princely efforts.

The following day, my bf took me on a grandiose tour around Reading Terminal Market located in the heart of Philadelphia; There we savored warm, award-winning donuts from Beiler’s Amish Market, rich but sweet coffee and a rose-infused cupcake from Flying Monkey Cafe, a delectable cheesesteak from Carmen’s Famous Hoagies & Cheesteaks, and chocolate mice from Sweet as Fudge Candy Shoppe. So I was stuffed with rich food befitted for royalty—or, more like, U.S royalty since I highly doubt Duchess Kate Middleton would eat with common folk after all.

Valentines Day 3 After traversing around Reading, we braved the 10 degree below 0 weather and changed for our next excursion. Which was dining in a cruise around Philly! Spirit cruises had this resplendent Valentines day cruise complete with an open buffet, crab cake appetizers with an edible flower, sparkling champagne, a dance area oozing with 90’s R&B and a single red rose. Looking over the moving waters, being immersed in the city lights above the water, and being immersed into the convivial dance scene yielded an almost perfect night.

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Almost. No fault to the bf or to the cruise line but we were seated to Philly’s most ratchet couple. Every 10 minutes this woman decked in arm, neck, and leg tattoos kept bumping and spilling food all over my bf. This would’ve been forgivable if she lowered her tone of voice and refrained from landing F-bombs any chance she had. Her right-hand man was no different. I heard a lot of colorful jokes that night that left a visceral print in my gut.

This was the first and last time I was grateful to Chris Brown, because as soon as one of his slow jams came on, this unwieldy couple drunkenly scooched on over and danced the night away. After one glass of champagne, and noshing on a plate full of chocolate cover strawberries, I forgave this couple.

Valentines Day 1

The next day, my bf surprised me with an excursion to Italy. Kidding, kinda. We went to a black tie Valentines day bash at the Italian Embassy in Washington D.C. In a way, we were technically in Italy. As soon as we got ready, on caramel princess time that is, a downpour of snow blanketed the streets in a Queen B mean girl kinda way. Oh, I was beyond vexed at mother nature that day. How inconsiderate of her to snow on our lovey-dovey-gooey-ooey-kitschy-cute day.

My bf took my Honda Civic since it had better traction for this weather and we drove at a slow speed. The below zero weather, the large flakes of snow, and the unending traffic was only background noise to our hopes of having a vibrant Valentines day. We were worried we’d be kicked out for either coming too late or for my bf’s shoe choice, which were black tennis shoes.

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Lo and behold, after 2-3 hours on the road, a needed pit stop to Dominos, and after I wrangled a 6 ft fallen tree branch out of the nooks and crannies of my car, we made it to the Embassy. Slightly deflated car tires, bone-chilling weather, and time did not stop us from having a memorable night. The Italian embassy event was draped in well-dressed D.C denizens such as diplomats and ambassadors, home baked Italian cannolis and cookies, all you can drink champagne and red wine, an overflowing chocolate fondue fountain, and a dazzling dance floor. What struck me the most was the art decked on each corner of the wall. Oil paintings from eons ago that still make a lasting impression to any art lover, especially myself.

IMG_5635 What perfected an otherwise perfect night was seeing good friends who saved us a spot on a sinuously,long,queue, for overpriced pictures—which we never received in the mail, even though we paid $65.00 for them– and  having a long laugh over this lovely Valentines Day weekend.

How to Throw a Fancy Birthday

In Fashion, Travel, Women on February 13, 2015 at 12:51 am

February 2015 images 047

If you love parties that ooze effulgence then consider throwing a fancy birthday party (or birthday events) for your birth month. This year I decided to luxuriate myself with fun activities this year. In fact, some of these treat yo’ self moments would have befitted Tom and Donna (Parks and Recreation reference).

My Birthday this year was a panoply of memorable events, foods, and gifts. I started celebrating it February 3rd when the Washington Caps took on the Los Angeles Kings. The caps had a strong offensive as well as a defense and totally humiliated the Kings. I can see why Backstrom is loved like a deity at these games. It’s like he has magical arms or something?

February 2015 images 015 February 7th I trecked all the way to Northern Virginia for it’s annual Chocolate Festival. Imagine an an entire day of chocolate tastings? It was pure bliss. Any bon vivant would’ve contested that any festival rife with chocolate fountains, rosemary infused chocolate bites and white chocolate mousse squares can conjure up happy endorphin-rich moments.

February 2015 images 049After the Chocolate Festival prematurely ended, I had a full Korean BBQ/ Sushi meal fit for a queen. Each tangy, spicy dish adhered to everything that I love in a meal. Kimchi, meat, and more kimchi. Yechon has a large sampling of different Korean and Japanese dishes were peerless to several other dishes I’ve had in the Northern Virginia area. One bite of Yechon’s bulgogi will render you speechless or full, whichever tickles your fancy.

February 2015 images 028February 8 was teeming with stuff to do. Around 10 a.m, I had a delicious Birthday Brunch at Mosaic Cuisine & Cafe in Rockville, Maryland. I was able to get 20 of my favorite peeps to come have waffles and bacon with me.

birthday brunch with friendsI was able to successfully orchestrate this event because the managers at Mosaic are amazing. Despite the fact that this highly sought after brunch spot has select seating, upper management warmly welcomed everyone and insisted we take our time. I totally felt at home at this place and devoured everything on my plate. They really do perfect French-style brunch at this cafe. My friends were also dazzled by Mosaic’s top notch food and services too.

hira playing poolAfter the convivial brunch, we all ambled on over to our friend Brian’s apartment complex where there was a pool table, fooseball, darts, and an open bar. The party became epic in titanic proportions after a couple rounds of pool, and karaoke. pretty artMy good friend Kamila Kokosynska had a delicious art gallery opening at VisArts in Rockville, Maryland. It has been said that her oil paintings radiate with candor, complexity and with warm emotions. I know whenever I take a long gander at one of her oil paintings, I quickly get enmeshed into its world and feel melancholy when I have to leave. Come to her art exhibit which is open until March 2015. I bet you will find the perfect painting for your office right there.

February 2015 images 038After luxuriating myself in Kamilla’s fine art exhibit (which had sweet white wine and hor dourves) I went to Delaware to see Tom Green perform his latest stand up act. Ironically enough, Tom sang “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie and even had this Hip Hop great’s hit single on repeat. I call this ironic because I love Biz Markie and had no idea Tom had similar feelings for him too.

I’ve been a fan of Tom Green’s since he had that ridiculous Bum Bum song out on TRL. I was totally nervous about meeting him but he was really nice. He noticed how patient I was when it came to waiting for him to autograph my Hello Kitty usb keychain and he even said that he noticed me and not to worry. He really does treat his fans well, even nervous fans like myself.

Parsing through this entry, many of you may think that I don’t know what the word ‘Fancy” means since most of what I detailed does not sound fancy. Within this context, Fancy means making me feel like a queen. I felt like royalty this week thanks to my bf, friends, and loved ones.

Hope these ideas help you out when you have to throw a picky Queen a fancy schmancy party. If not, sucks to be you.


City of Lost Souls: Jason Baustin’s Full Length Directorial Debut

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2015 at 6:54 pm

Jason Baustin movies

City of Lost Souls, directed and written by acclaimed Maryland artist Jason Baustin, made headlines in November. His thirty- minute feature film premiered at the AFI theater and amassed notable attention. In fact, the Montgomery County Gazette even highlighted notable experiences from the film.

In City of Lost Souls, Assistant State’s Attorney Roger Kenfield is determined to eradicate crime in his city, while ex-con Mikey Wallace just wants to stay out of trouble upon his release from prison. As they work toward these goals, both men encounter stumbling blocks that seem to expose their true nature. The drama reveals how, under certain circumstances, anyone can change…for good or bad.

This film may embrace the grit of Baltimore but several scenes are actually filmed in Montgomery and Charles County. Baustin is well known for using Maryland has a backdrop in his previous films such as Change is Coming (2009), and Gone Forever (2011).

city of lost souls

Baustin’s passion for film was ignited when he took film classes in American University. After he graduated, and landed a job writing web content for Discovery Communications, he has been producing and directing films in the Silver Spring area. His prolific work sparked attention in the previously dormant movie industry of the D.C/Maryland area and has spotlighted notable Maryland actors such as Waldorf’s Johnny Christos and Bobby J. Brown.

After working at Discovery Communications, Baustin left to found and run Travestee Films, which is an innovative production company focused on creating high-quality films for the web, home video and theaters.

Sherryn Daniel’s Blog was fortunate to have had both a private screening of this gem of a film and an exclusive interview with Baustin, himself. Check out both my thoughts on this stellar movie and what Baustin has been up.

Jason Baustin

Movie Review

Baustin’s full length directorial debut was stellar. The character study on the Attorney General and the felon painted several, emotional layers. For anyone who has gone through a crisis of conscience, this is a great film for you. The cinematography was clean and emphasized when a central character is trying to exude an unexpressed thought. There should be more movies like this that paint a more accurate portrayal of Baltimore. Not enough of that these days.

Jason Baustin Q&A

Sherryn: I noticed that some of your films seem to be about Baltimore, even your recent film City of Lost Souls takes place in Baltimore. Why?

Jason: This is the third film I’ve made that takes place in Baltimore. I started filming there because most of my cast and crew lived there. But the more I visited Baltimore, the more it became a place I wanted to film. The city has a cinematic look and feel and is quite filmmaker friendly.

Sherryn: I also noticed that several indie directors use crowdsourcing platforms to raise capital for their feature length films. Have you ever considered going down that route?

Jason: Yes I agree crowd-funding is all the rage right now, but it seems we are getting inundated with campaigns and there are too many people asking for money. I will probably stick to raising funds privately.

Sherryn: Also, how was your movie premier? It’s awesome it premiered in AFI in downtown Silver Spring, Md.

Jason: It was a fantastic experience, about 300 people attended the premiere. It was great to see the film with an audience and get their feedback afterwards. It was also nice to hang out with the cast and crew.

Sherryn: Tell us more about the plot. How did you come up with this idea and what do you think audience goers will gain from this film?

Jason: So the idea for the film came about a year ago, I became interested in the criminal justice system and what drives the law enforcers and law breakers. From there I developed the story and characters, and hired two other writers to help me. I think the audience will see how the characters’ decisions reveal their true nature and also showcase the notion that anyone is capable of change.

Sherryn: What should we know about the relationship between the ex-con and with the Assistant State’s Attorney?

Jason: The ex-con (Bobby J. Brown) and the Assistant State’s Attorney (Altorro Prince Black) are on opposite journeys and in the end they meet for the first time. One is trying to stay out of trouble and the other wants to rid the city of crime. We see how their personal relationships affect their motivations and goals.

Sherryn: What makes this film different yet more intriguing than other films about Baltimore?

Jason: I’m not going to say my film is better than other Baltimore films. But I did try to create an original and compelling film that shows the underbelly of Baltimore.

Sherryn: Since I always love your work! What else are you planning up your sleeve in the future?

Jason: So the big news is that I’m moving to LA at the end of the month! I’d like to do a sci-fi short film over the summer.

Sherryn: For fans of your work, how can we stay in contact with you? Do you Facebook?

Jason: Fans can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

https://www.facebook.com/TravesteeFilms

https://twitter.com/TravesteeFilms

 

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