Announcing: our winner

Posted on December 28, 2011
Filed Under Giveaways | 3,581 Comments


Our winner for tickets to see ‘Ann’ at the Kennedy Center January 4, Holly Marshall, wrote in with some images of the item in her wardrobe that makes her feel most powerful: cowboy boots! “Smooth black leather boots sewn with multi-colored stitching and inlaid with white cowhide in the shape of a longhorn heads on the front,” to be exact. She writes:

“Over the years I’ve gone on a rampage of gratitude for these boots. What do I wear while standing tall and ready in sweats in the kitchen for that phone interview, surrounded by scripts of talking points? My cowhead boots. How about that meeting with my VP of Marketing? The favorite Levis, a silk blazer, and the cowhead boots.”

She’s worn them on daytrips to Charlottesville with a strappy summery dress (in the pic shown), dancing, and to the Texas State Society Inauguration Ball.

“Ann was strong, bold, and unique. She was a superhero because she had all that–and the fun.
When it comes to power, if you’ve got not just strength and bravado but also a sense of fun and humor, you’ve got the scales tipped in your favor. Wearing these boots, I always get that second interview and usually I get the job.”

Looks like those boots aren’t letting you down this time, either! Congrats, Holly, and enjoy ‘Ann.’

p.s. Readers: I’ve just been packing and I’ve decided that if it can’t be worn with boots, it’s not coming with me. That seems about right.

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Posted on December 27, 2011
Filed Under Everything Else, Inspiration | 3,143 Comments


{photo by torgy2k]

I fly out for Austin, TX Thursday morning, where I’ll divide the time between the city and a house in the Hill Country. I’ve been doing a little internet research, including listening to “The Road Goes on Forever” by Robert Earl Keen (who sort of reminds me of “I’m Good Now” by Bob Schneider) and tunes by tortured troubadour Townes Van Zandt, who, as it turns out, I’d already been listening to without realizing (Steve Earl, Willie Nelson, the Cowboy Junkies – To Live’s To Fly! – Bob Dylan and oh, like everyone else has covered him).

All the more fitting that I return to check out ‘Ann’ at the Kennedy Center! In terms of what to pack, I’m not sure yet. Except for my Tony Lama boots, which are all oiled up and ready to go. I feel like I somehow need to pay homage to the “Keep Austin Weird” motto and pack something bizarre…

Any Austin must-do/see/eat/buy recommendations? Sounds like South Congress is the way to go for vintage and shopping generally (though this Roadhouse Rags sounds like an experience). Lustre Pearl looks like a good time. We might try out The Salt Lick on the way out of town. Let me know your favorite spots!

I’ll be back tomorrow eve (while I pack!) to announce the winner of the ‘Ann’ tickets. Thanks for all the email comments – it’s so fun to hear from you all, and there have been some awesome, and lengthy, inspirations.

For now, I leave you with Townes, Ke$ha style:

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Giveaway: Tickets to ‘Ann’ at the Kennedy Center!

Posted on December 21, 2011
Filed Under Giveaways | 35,543 Comments


Former Texas Governor Ann Richards told it like is. She also (for better or for worse) helped define the 80’s power suit look in Washington, with its wide shoulder pads, large buttons and straight lines. In many ways her power suit became one of her key striking visual elements, her superhero outfit. She was known for speaking her mind in the great tradition of the powerful Southern woman, and was known for killer political barbs and smart humor. She once said of women in politics: “If you give us the chance, we can perform. After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.” I had heard that quote before–maybe you had, too? but didn’t realize it was Ann Richards.

“Ann” at the Kennedy Center is played – and produced and written – by another powerful female figure in her own right, veteran and impeccably-cheekboned actress Holland Taylor (read about her research for the play at POLITICO here).

One lucky winner will score 2 tickets for the 7:30 show on January 4. Show (email me a pic – to rachel(at)projectbeltway(dot)com) or tell us (by leaving a comment) your “power suit:” What do you put on that makes you feel powerful? It it one thing? A go-to badass outfit? Hilarious or downright serious, talk about that outfit that makes you feel in charge.

“Ann” runs from December 17-January 15. Check it out here.

Enter before 8pm December 27. Good luck!

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WH Holiday Cheer

Posted on December 20, 2011
Filed Under Only in Washington | 3,669 Comments

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I went to the White House for a holiday party and what can I say?! It was as gorgeous and special as you would hope, and truly an only-in-Washington experience. Our President and his Lady have such star power and were as gracious and funny and somber as you’d expect when they made their appearance, thanked everyone, and spoke about the meaning of the holiday season.

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I loved this tree!! And look at this pretty food…

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There were Bo-the-dogs everywhere! Also: I’m sitting in cool White House furniture. Fun!

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Thanks, White House! See you next year?

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