Simply Vera = Simply Excruciating

Happy New Year, originally uploaded by dcwriterdawn.

So there’s this new “Simply Vera” line at Kohl’s, and I picked up a pair of shoes for New Year’s to go with a cute, tiny Nine West purse of the same ash color that I was planning to wear. (Yes, I start with the purse, move on to the shoes and eventually find an outfit.)

Anyway, I had to buy the shoes a full size up because those bitches hurt in every other size I tried on. Yee-owch. Simply PAINFUL, people! Don’t you know how much hoofing around you have to do in D.C. to bar-hop on New Year’s Eve?!?!

We started the evening at La Tomate, which was lovely although speed of service is definitely not their specialty. As I was with a white-wine drinking crew, I ordered what turned out to be an ass-flavored Pinot Grigio — I was really salivating over the Amarone and the Sangiovese, but our bill was already a few hundred bucks without adding another buck-and-a-half for the chianti.

Anyway, it was an abbreviated menu, as restaurants are apt to do on such busy nights. Which SUCKS because I knew exactly what I wanted, going in, but had to make do with the limited selection. They kind of gave my vegetarian friend the run-around because there were no vegetarian dishes on the menu and it clearly said “no substitutions.” And the point was made very clear to them that their Web site made no indication that there were any changes to the regular menu for the holiday, so figure it out.

I had to laugh when they gave me the wine to sample before pouring it for the table. I asked my friend what they would have done had I said, “Holy shit, this tastes like battery acid!”

My dessert was sort of dismal, too. I ordered what, in Italian, sounded beautiful for pears and Parmesan cheese, but talk about truth in advertising — they cut up some pears and a few hunks of cheese and slapped it raw on a plate with a couple of leaves of lettuce.

Anyway, the slow service made us an hour late for the New Year’s Eve countdown performance at the D.C. Improv, which set us back nearly $80 each. We missed most of the opening act, Paul Morrissey, but he seemed pretty cool. (Did I mention that we were LATE and had the front-row table at the edge of the stage? Gah. That seating nightmare didn’t make it easy to slip in unnoticed.)

The headliner was Jeff Caldwell, who was awesome. Hell, he made fun of North Huntingdon, Pa., so he was all right by me. 😉

At 20 minutes till midnight, some drunken asshole yelled out, “You’re not making me laugh!” and we were ready to burn him at the stake. Sure, he’s no George Carlin, but still — give the guy a break. I mean, 300 people paid to see him, so he can’t be all bad, right?

We all yelled “Leave!” to the heckler, and out he went. Good luck finding another place to celebrate midnight — there were lines of people outside of every bar we passed between La Tomate and the Improv.

Anyway, we were given dollar-store party favors and the world’s WORST bottle of champagne EVER. It was by J. Roget, and a quick Google search says it’s about $3.99 a bottle. The “light straw” color is the same shade my urinalysis tests produce, so to say that the champagne tasted like it was transferred from a catheter bag to a bottle is probably the kindest thing I can say about it. Asparagus pee probably would taste better. *gag*

That’s how I know I’m getting older — I used to be able to drink ANYTHING alcoholic. And my championship boozing days have prepared me for nights like this. I’d already had a bottle of Pinot and some Riesling on top of it, so this champagne that put the “ass” in “battery acid” was just a chaser. The problem is, I had heartburn all damn night. Bah. No fun getting older!

In any event, all in all I had a good night, which I believe bodes well for a positive 2008.

The only unsolved mystery is, who was it that called me with a blocked number at 12 a.m. on the nose? I didn’t hear the phone ring over all the goofy music from 1981 that the Improv started blaring at midnight, but I am definitely curious who was thinking about me as the clock struck 12.

In any case, I wish you all the most joyous of years — when this one is over, I hope we all truly have much to celebrate!

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