Sunday, August 23, 2009

...and then I moved

^^ not a picture of moving. But a picture of my new bffs (Miss Virgin Islands and Miss Puerto Rico) from my trip to orlando.

Moving is not something I wish upon anyone. That said, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I decided it was a good idea to completely pack and move from somewhere I’ve lived for over 2 years in less than 24 hours. On top of that, I thought it was a good idea to say yes to an appearance that was to start downtown exactly one hour after I was scheduled to drop off my u-haul. How exactly was I planning on doing this? Welcome to being Miss DC. You can get dressed in 15 minutes… a sequin evening gown, hair, makeup, heels, bag, crown, sash…. Uh oh… I had left my crown and sash in my car, which was parked at my old apartment. The bigger problem? I couldn’t find which bag I threw my car keys into. No biggie, I’ll call Onstar on my way there and have them unlock it. Next problem? I can NEVER find a cab when I’m in a rush. I called for a cab at 7:15 knowing I had to be there at 7:30 AND I had to stop clear across town to get my crown and sash. No biggie… knew they would start late. I was preparing to make a fierce entrance at Miss Gay DC wearing my competition Miss DC evening gown. I knew they’d love it.

So there I am, standing outside my new apartment where no one knows me or why it is completely normal to see me standing on the side of the road in a sequin evening gown. The woman had told me 5 minutes for the cab. I stood outside for 45 minutes in the heat… and heels… waiting. I called twice, got some nasty woman who told me I had NOT called 30 minutes earlier, when I did. And then I had to bust it out… “Do you understand what I look like right now!? I am Miss District of Columbia and I am trying to get my crown and sash to get to an event and you have left me standing on the side of a road in a designer sequin evening gown.” I didn’t want to… but I felt it was necessary after 45 minutes of waiting. They immediately changed their tone and sent me a new cab, which got there 5 minutes later. By the time he arrived I was already tearing up because it was 8:00 and I was totally stressed out. There would be no time to get my crown or sash so I went straight there.

In the end, it really didn’t matter. I had a fab time at Miss Gay DC. Probably the most fun event I’ve been to. All the men (and queens) gave me the most sincere compliments, the best being all of the genuine “thank you’s” for being there to support their pageant and their lifestyles. They even called me up on stage twice! The first to show off my gown, which one of the hosts wanted to buy off me, and the second, to help Miss Gay America crown the new Miss Gay DC 2009, NAME. The entire show was completely entertaining and those girls are so talented!

After the pageant it was back to unloading the car…. I think I may own too many clothes……………………..nah!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

...and then my puppy ate my iphone

So I drove to visit my parents in NY this past weekend for a double photoshoot and a party in Connecticut. I drove there Friday afternoon (big mistake), stopped in Manhattan to pick up Claire, and got to the house around 1 am. The next morning, I had to be up at 7 am to get ready because Greg Sleter from the West Islip Tribune was coming by to take some family shots with my crown while I was home.

After that little photo op, my mom, dad, uncle bob, claire and I all went down to Winters Brothers Garbage and Recycling company to do some fabulous shots with a green evening gown and some sweet garbage trucks for my "Let's Talk Trash" platform. Let me just tell you, that Claire Buffie is one talented girl. I'm pretty sure this was her first photoshoot dealing with evening gowns and garbage trucks, but you would have never known. That girl was directing the garbage trucks and hanging off a ladder trying to get the best shot. We love her.

We then came back and ate three slices of the best pizza around--> Albert's This was my parents favorite pizza growing up too. Nothing beats a good Long Island pizza.

Then it was onto photoshoot number too. Claire ghetto-rigged a backdrop in my parents bathroom and we got to work. I knew when it was a good picture because Claire would yell out "yessssssss!!!!" every time. I can't wait to see these shots!

I ran up to Connecticut to visit my friends Alyssa and Mike for their housewarming party. So much fun and their apartment is so sweet. I can't wait to move into my new apartment and decorate it. I must have been day dreaming about that when I got in my car to drive the 2 hours back to Long Island because instead of putting in my parents address, I somehow put in my DC address and hit the road. It wasn't until I was on the George Washington Bridge that I realized what I had done. I got off somewhere in the ghetto of the Bronx where the first thing I saw was a very large man carrying a very large snake next to my car. My GPS, of course, lost signal all of a sudden and I was just aimlessly wandering around trying to get back onto a main road. I eventually made it home about 2 hours later. ugh.

Then today I was sitting nicely on the couch helping my sister when my mom started screaming and dove at our 7 month old golden retriever. He had somehow gotten a hold of my iphone and had broken the glass into very small sharp pieces. After I cried a little, we rushed over to the apple store and got me a new one! I can't live without my iphone! Let's just hope I backed it up recently.... eek!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

...and I was just crowned Miss District of Columbia 2009!!!


Two years ago I competed in my first pageant, Miss D.C. 2007. Going into it having absolutely no idea what I was doing, and receiving 2nd Runner Up, made me realize that this was something I could actually succeed in! So I took the next year to step back and learn what I needed to in order to be competitive and successful in this organization. I came back to Miss DC 2008 with more confidence and thought I was ready. And I got close. But in hindsight, I realize that I really needed to grow and experience everything that I have in the past year. As Miss DC Sweetheart, I took advantage of every opportunity to be an active titleholder and therefore prepare myself to be Miss DC this year. This gave me the confidence that I was capable of the job of Miss DC and the second the crown hit my head, I knew I could hit the ground running.

In the weeks prior to Miss DC 2009, I was nervous and scattered among everything between preparation, my job, and more. I was receiving so much encouragement and advice from friends, family and coworkers, but to a point that I was overwhelmed and felt as though the true “me” was getting a bit clouded or lost. My roommate who was Miss Maryland Teen USA 05 sat me down and gave me a reality check. She empathized with me, sharing that the same thing happened to her entering nationals. She emphasized the importance of going into the interview room and on that stage as ME – just Jen. Once the week came, I felt an all over calming feeling. I was ready.

And that’s about all I’ve got until I was crowned because the actual pageant felt like a complete blur. The afterparty was pretty baller. My grandfather took everyone across the street from the Lincoln Theatre to Ulah Bistro. Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated with us!!

Obviously with an event as significant as this, I have some people to thank:

Miss DC Organization and volunteers, especially Teri, Tricia and Sonya: You have encouraged me to come back each year, and I’m here because of that. I finally did it! Thank you.

Former Miss DC’s: For offering your advice and making yourselves available to me in this next year.

My family: For putting up with my ridiculousness and for not telling me to sit down and shut up when I wanted to stand on tables in restaurants and sing.

Poppy: I don’t even know what to say to you. Thank you for being the most awesome person I could have in my life. And for always being my biggest fan.

Neil: For calling my boss the morning after Miss DC and telling him I’m not going to work!

The Washington National Opera: For supporting me, for making my talent costume, and for being flexible with my new exciting, yet hectic schedule.

My friends:

All of the Pike boys who come to everything for me. Get ready for Vegas!!

Patrick, Cori, Prieto, Danielle, and Ashley for coming all the way down to support me!

My DC friends- thanks for putting up with my crazy life all year and for always being there for me when I just want to be Jen and not Jen-Miss DC.

Ashleigh and BettyAnn, Claire, and all my Sweetheart girls (and boys, Chris) for defining the quality of women in this organization. We all started as competitors, but became fast and wonderful friends, who are unconditionally supportive of each other in our quest towards the same goal. I am so excited to be reunited with the Sweetheart Class of 08 at Miss America in January – Congrats, girls!!