Friday, July 26, 2013

Sellin' It

Two Fridays ago, I sold people.

Apparently this is okay in the name of philanthropy. At least that's what the good folks of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department (VVFD) told me and my co-emcee/auctioneer, Stacey.

That's right...we auctioned off firefighters to raise money for the VVFD.

We even dressed in the official colors of the VVFD. Which hopefully diverted
their attention from the fact that we were gavel-happy and would roast them
mercilessly in them name of sadism raising money.   
Stacey and I go way back to the time we worked for a three-person advertising agency in DC and delivered expensive bottles of wine to clients as holiday gifts. A time during which I brightly said to one client upon presenting him with the bottle, "this is the Cadillac of wines" before remembering he was the General Manager of a Lexus dealership.

With that kind of success under our belts, we were ready to tackle human trafficking. (Note to self: practice the way things sound in head before saying out loud...).

Highlights from our banter included:
    • References to Sharknado, Randy Mantooth from Emergency! and jokes about the French
    • A bit about one firefighter "not being able to be here tonight because he is donating a kidney to an orphan -- and by that, we mean he is attending his future brother-in-law's stag party."
    • Mentioning a fun fact that the Deputy Chief provided about himself, noting that he "enjoys workouts using strange items like sand bags, sledge hammers and kettle bells." (We said, "That doesn't seem so weird. It's the ball gags that are making people talk.")
    • Talking about one firefighter attending University of Pittsburgh where she will pursue her dream of always losing football games to West Virginia becoming an emergency pediatric physician
    • Pronouncing Tobias Funke's name incorrectly and immediately getting corrected by
    • Me (referring to one firefighter up for auction who had a shift that night and could not be there in person):  "You know, it's hard to get people excited about bidding when they cannot see the merch." Stacey: "Did you just refer to people as "merch?"
Jeff went for $250. Which of course made us open bidding for Tina at $251.
She ended up going for $300. Girls rule, boys drool. 
Stacey had the most successful line of the night: (Note: we had noticed earlier that there were about 6 bottles of hand sanitizer on the buffet table. Firefighters = germaphobes.) So, when Jeff Cockey (pictured above) swarthily made his way up to the stage, stopping along the way to wink and flirt with every woman in the venue, Stacey remarked:

"Remember...there is plenty of hand sanitizer available."

I had the least successful line of the night: 

"Jeff joined the VVFD because when he lived in LA he found a man face down in his gym's hot tub and there was nothing he could to until the medic arrived. From that point on, he wanted to make sure that there was always something he could do in that type of situation...He also wanted to make sure the gym bleached the hot tub." 

Too soon?

We were hoping that our shtick would bring some comparisons to the comedy stylings of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey....possibly the name Amy Schumer would be bandied about. Instead? We got a "Hoda and Kathie Lee" and "those two old guy Muppets up on the balcony."

I'm actually understanding this comparison. 
Hundreds of millions of dollars (or something like that -- I'm not great with math) were raised for the VVFD. And really -- all Sharknado and ball gag references aside, isn't that the point?

Settin' it on fire, 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

She Doesn't Have A Prayer

Avery (upon noticing a woman in the car next to us fingering the rosary hanging from the rear view mirror in her car): "What's is she doing?"

Me: "She's probably praying on the rosary. You know how Daddy grew up Catholic? It's part of the Catholic religion. In Catholicism,  people go all the way around the rosary, saying a specific prayer for each bead."

Avery: "Huh. (pondering...)...That sounds like a lot of work."

Amen, Sister,

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Le Jour De Gloire Est Arrive? Mais Non!

I celebrated Bastille Day with many traditional and meaningful activities. It began with baguette relay races at PAUL restaurant in DC and ended with a (non-French) friends' Bastille Day party in Bethesda -- all while dressed in the red, white and blue colors of the French flag. (We upped the nerd-o factor even more as we walked to the restaurant through the crowded streets of DC looking like the most rabidly patriotic tourist family to ever visit our Nation's Capital. We definitely had a certain (what do the French say?), "I don't know what.")

Ave playing a fishing game at PAUL.
Excuse me. I mean "poisson-ing" game.
Honoring the day was important for us because we have such a rich French heritage. And by that, I mean I took three years of public school French, during which I spiked my extra-credit buche de noel with some kind of brandy from my parents' liquor cabinet, earning me a solid "A" from Mademoiselle Bennett.

Lest you think I'm some neophyte in the Bastille Day games arena, years ago I handily secured 3rd place at the Les Halles Bastille Day waiters' race. (Insert haughty French laugh here.) A somehow perfect bonding experience with my friend, Kath, who was part of instigated the buche de noel shenanigans.

Me & Kath. With our l'eau and pommes frites. And big winnins'
The race at PAUL had a massive attendance of about 50 people who were willing to sweat like pigs in the blistering heat while waiting for the opportunity to win a $25 gift card. While it sounded quite promising to do a short walking race passing off a baguette in lieu of a baton, you must remember that this is DC. And even though the race sponsor said no fewer than five times that we were to walk -- every other team ran. Worse? No one was disqualified for this infraction.

Me. WALKING with the baguette/baton.
Canetto. Also a rule follower. 
I really don't know what is more "Washington" -- cheating to win a "fun" race or being as incensed as I am about the injustice of it all.

All I know is that some vin and excellent food at the next stop certainly took the edge off.

Real French people!
This is the work of a hostess who loves a theme.

Jour de bastille heureux, les tricheur,

Monday, July 08, 2013

At least we didn't sell her panties to a geek

Here in the DC metro area, we don't have a lot of celebrity sightings. (Sure, sometimes we see people who are on television -- but they are always pundits...or Senators...or the President...) Bor....ring....

So you can imagine how refreshing it is to be included on the guest list for the anniversary party of a PR firm that hires a real celebrity to mingle at its celebration every year, which is how I've had the opportunity to rub shoulders with the following folks:

The "perfect ten," Bo Derek, for the 10th anniversary in 2007:
Look! It's Bo Derek. And my
gigantic melon!
Buzz Aldrin, the astronaut who piloted Apollo 11, for the 11th anniversary in 2008:

I've never been this close to greatness. (Well, except here.)
Boxing legend Joe Frazier, with whom we were invited to "go twelve rounds" for the 12th anniversary in 2009:

Instead, I just made him laugh.
Former New York Jets and Washington Redskins football star, John Riggins, with whom we were invited to "make our own luck" at the 13th anniversary party:
I was not lucky enough to persuade him to say, "Loosen up, Brutalism baby..."
And not for lack of trying.
I missed the party for the 14th and the 15th anniversaries...rather than getting to meet some interesting character, the big draw at the party those years was the lease on some fancy car for a year (Cobra Schmobra) so I opted out.

But for the 16th anniversary this year, the firm came back huge...with none other than #3 on Canetto's "list":

This was a total set-up. On our way to meet Ms. Ringwald, Tim quickly printed this up
and left it on my car seat then pretended it fell out of his wallet inadvertently.
Canetto does look a little like Molly's husband. Which might
explain her nice smile here.
But then Canetto's shiny wife happened along and ruined everything...
My friend, Terri, who you may recognize from her earlier work in "I will talk to absolutely anybody about absolutely anything" and who has also attended all of these parties with me, decided that a photo with Molly was not enough. (Sure, she may have been emboldened by Molly telling her that she "smelled nice," which we all know means, "I will not be satisfied until this results in a restraining order.") So, when Molly finished up her photos with the guests and headed toward the restroom with her handler, Terri strode purposefully after her, and -- wanting to see how this would play out -- so did I. 

I actually used the restroom, while Terri spent many, many minutes positioned at the sinks waiting for Molly to exit her stall so she could ambush talk to her. Once Molly emerged from the stall, she again noted how good Terri smelled, Terri returned the compliment, some mutual smelling of perfumes on each other's necks occurred and yadda...yadda...yadda....Terri is now on the Christmas card list.
The 17th anniversary cannot possibly top this.

Monday, July 01, 2013

A little insight

About three times a year, I decide that I'm boring.

This happens when I don't have the next big thing to which I can look forward. Whether a vacation, a race, an event...I'm convinced that if something interesting is not going on in my life I will stagnate, age about 10 years, and then no one will want to be my friend, my husband will lose interest and I will die penniless and alone.

This is only a slight exaggeration.

So during these times, I overreact. (What? No!) Which would explain why I am taking a writing class, training for a half marathon, serving as an auctioneer for a firefighter auction and going zip lining

All in the next two weeks.

I go from nothing going on to too much going on to the point where I get overwhelmed, am not fun to be around, my friends think I'm a pill, my husband wants to throttle me and after spending all the money for classes and entry fees and training programs...I am penniless and alone.

Shocker that Mensa has not made the to-do list,