11.18.2003

Enough already

I like going to football games, but the Redskins sure makes it difficult to enjoy being there.

Here's a typical game day for me: First, jump on a train and ride out to Landover, which takes about 45 minutes. Then, onto a shuttle bus to get to the stadium, since in their infinite wisdom the team built the new product-placed stadium nowhere near a Metro station. The train ride costs something like $2.20, but the 15-minute shuttle bus inexplicably costs $5. (I guess that's the team's way of gouging people who aren't paying fair market value for a parking pass.)

I like to get to my seat early to watch the teams warm up and listen to some inspirational hip-hops to get me fired up for the game ("I ain't never scared! East side!"... it also gets me fired up for gun battles outside the club).

Eventually, the teams leave the field and are replaced by some sidekick choad from the outrageous WJFK morning zoo crew whatever; his station carries the games on the radio, which apparently also qualifies him to yell at me to get fired up for the Redskins. Typical exchange:

WJFK SIDEKICK CHOAD: The Redskins need the BEST FANS IN FOOTBALL to BE THE 12TH MAN TODAY and PUSH US OVER THE TOP!!!11!

REDSKINS CROWD: [mild response]

WJLF S.C.: LET ME HEAR YOUUUUU!

REDSKINS CROWD: [mild response]
Then, the band gets introduced and plays some tunes. I really like the fact that the team has a band, which is a nice amenity that usually only college teams get. And they're actually on key this year, and have "September" by Earth Wind and Fire on their playlist, which automatically makes them awesome in my eyes. Even if the clothes they wear make them look like the Indian from the Village People after he's gotten a job at McDonald's.

Then, the cheerleader whores come out to do their routine. Supposedly, according to the PA announcer, these cheerleaders are the toast of the league, performing such tasks as flying to Afghanistan to perform for Our Troops. And yet, they only learn one single fucking routine to perform the entire year.

Last year, the entire routine was set to "Song of the Lonely" by Cher, which of course made me want to claw my face off like that guy in Poltergeist. This year, the team dances to a medley of classic rock songs, including the always appropriate "Cherry Pie," Warrant's loving tribute to oral sex.

["Taking Care of Business" by Bachman Turner Overdrive finshes playing]

WJFC S.C.: OK! Are you ready to help the Redskins "TCB"?!

CROWD: [no response, except for my hysterical laughter]
Then comes the requisite over-the-top starting lineup introductions. First, some fireworks shoot off in one end zone. Then, about 10 guys carrying a Redskins flag run onto the field. In one of the most pointless exercises ever, they proceed to run around in a circle, causing the flag to spin around as if it were projected from one of those rotatey-spotlight things at the Capitals game. Except that this is a flag. With guys holding it and running around in a circle. It's hilarious to behold.

Meanwhile, "Carmina Burana" is playing (of course), and the players run out and are introduced by the PA announcer to much fanfare.

So, despite the face that everybody in the stadium is ostensibly a season ticket holder to every home game, the Redskins don't change anything about their presentation for the entire year. It's always the same music, the same schtick, the same cheerleader routine, etc. This is what paying the most expensive average ticket price in the NFL gets you.

Then, for the next three hours, the Redskins proceed to SUCK HARD. (They've lost five of their last six, and the playoffs are pretty much a dead issue at this point.)
Then, I make the hour-and-a-half commute back home.

And it all only cost me $1,200 for the season.

What is WRONG with me?

Anyway, head coach Steve Spurrier might already be on the way out, despite only being in the second year of a five-year contract, partially because of disagreements with owner Dan Snyder. And Spurrier can't seem to figure out that running the ball wins in the NFL. When the Redskins have run well with Trung Canidate, they've won this year. But the Head Ball Coach complained that he was being "NFL-ized" and wanted to pitch and catch more than he had been. So after a 3-1 start, the team is now 4-6. Brilliant.

Oh, and during the first game this year, there was a violent fistfight in my section between a Jets fan and a Redskins fan at the end of the game. Stupid fucking Northerners.

11.17.2003

Republicans Revive D.C. Voucher Plan

It's still not clear to me how "up to $7,500" in voucher money is going to help poor families pay private school tuitions that generally range from $15,000 to $20,000.

When Anal Retentive Neighborhood Associations Attack

Thou shalt not violate the sanctity of the suburbs.

A couple who draped a plastic American flag over their mailbox in support of family members in Iraq has been ordered to take it down by their neighborhood association, which claims it violates local covenants.
Also, NO WIRE HANGERS!

11.15.2003

Miles to Go To Reach Trauma Help

The Anacostia High School football player who was shot and killed two weeks ago might have had a better chance at survival had there been a trauma center at D.C. General Hospital, as there used to be. Instead, it took 15 minutes for the ambulance to get through rush hour traffic to Howard University hospital in Northwest.

The eastern half of Washington, where gunshots and stab wounds are most common, has not had an emergency room equipped to handle the most serious traumas since D.C. General closed. The wealthier and less violent western half has three adult trauma centers, two of them within a mile of one another in the city's Northwest quadrant.
Health care is clearly only for rich people.

Minnesota Moose

Chief Moose may be taking his unique brand of stupidity to Minneapolis.

Poor, poor Minneapolis.

Reader mail

Sigh. And I was in such a good mood.

Hey looser [sic], you don't even live in DC and you have the nerve to blog about it? I have lived in DC for many years and now that I am living in Old Town Alexandria I can't wait to go back. Why don't you move to Sterling with the rest of the city-phobes. You have no place criticizing the city when your scared white-ass won't even go there. I have experienced no crime when in lived DC but I have been a victim of several crime incidents since moving to Old Town.

You are a pussy and for some pathetic reason you rail against something you know nothing about. Get a fucking life and leave the complaining to the people who have actually lived there. But I bet you are one of the losers who always tells people "I am from DC." "I live in the District." Of course you don't, never have nor ever will. You are a scared little pussy who just wants to complain. For the rest of the normal set, who have or do live in DC, I say move away and blog about your pathetic life in suburbia.

Tony Rathbone (toonsmith@comcast.net)
It doesn't make any sense to me that, just because I live outside D.C.'s borders, I'm not allowed to complain about it, and supposedly know nothing about it. I live TWO FUCKING MILES AWAY.

This territorial bullshit, "I live in Virginia and not in D.C.," is actually one of the major faults of the area; all the money stays in the suburbs, and the rivalry between D.C.-Virginia-Maryland keeps the governments from working on the same page (e.g. the sniper investigation). Instead of having civic identity through togetherness, we have civic separation.

I live in Arlington, Va. I don't want to live in D.C., nor will I ever live there (I prefer having voting representation and civil services that actually work). The blog is about hating all of the Washington area, which I do. If you don't like it, there's a little "X" button in the top corner of your browser window you can hit that will solve all your problems.

In conclusion, suck my balls.

11.11.2003

in·con·se·quen·tial (adj.): lacking importance

Is there anything funnier than D.C.'s pathetic and doomed attempts to call attention to the fact that it has no voting representation in Congress?

No. No there's not.

The latest pratfall involves the new and improved Jan. 13 presidential primary. Moving the date up that early would make D.C.'s the first in the nation, which is somehow (don't ask me how) supposed to call attention to the fact that it has nary a senator nor representative in Congress.

Ah, but the plan has a fatal flaw: five of the nine Democratic candidates have withdrawn from the primary, citing party rules against early primaries.

D.C. Democratic Party Chairman A. Scott Bolden called the candidates' move an "offensive gesture."

"They continue to disappoint us," Bolden said. "These candidates are affirmatively sending a message of indifference to the lack of voting rights in the District of Columbia. . . . Either you care or you don't."
I think that would be "don't".

News flash: the rest of the country doesn't care about D.C.'s lack of representation. At all. And the one time this year someone suggested a decent compromise to get D.C. a representative in the House, it was refused.

But really, D.C., keep trying to draw attention to the lack of representation. It's pretty amusing. Meanwhile, I'm going to keep living in an actual state that has actual representation in Congress. (Trust me, it doesn't do a lot of good anyway).

This is supposed to be the safe part of D.C.

A man suspected by D.C. police in 29 robberies, and who has prior convictions, was inexplicably given no jail time. Residents in Northwest D.C. not happy.

Colbert King writes of carjackings, robberies and gang murders in Northwest.

11.10.2003

Hooray for democracy

Only 30 percent of Virginia's registered voters showed up to vote last Tuesday.

In 2001, Republicans in control of redistricting drew districts that were so safe for Republicans specifically and the incumbent party in general that few challengers chose to run this year.
No reason to vote if the races are fixed.

11.09.2003

I Fought the Law

And the law won, in this man's attempt to refute traffic tickets in D.C. and Montgomery County, Md.

11.07.2003

The Amber Alert is not a toy!

This woman falsely claimed that her car had been stolen with her baby in it.

This is a shameful abuse of the Amber Alert system, but also an ingenious way to get the D.C. cops to actually care about your stolen car.

11.06.2003

Jen Waters of the Washington Times Appreciation Society...

...now in session.

Heather Barthel of Baltimore has worn Red Door perfume by Elizabeth Arden for 14 years. Although there are many other fragrances she could use, she says it fits her body chemistry best.

Her loyalty to the brand started when her mother took her to the Red Door Salon and Spa in Northwest as a high school graduation gift.

"Once you find your signature scent, you stick with it," she says while shopping in Nordstrom at the Mall in Columbia, Md. "I have several bottles of perfume in my bathroom that I will probably never wear."
UUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHH. Nothing quite like getting involved in the plight of some rich lady shopping at Nordstrom.

Apparently this article is about creating different scents for perfume, so of course Jen talks to some people who do that kind of thing in New Jersey, which is primarly where they do that kind of thing.

Mr. Smith, who holds a doctorate in organic chemistry,

[...]

Further, Mr. Warren, who holds a doctorate in physical chemistry,
Thank you, Jen, for allowing these men to, uh, "degree drop," I guess.

So anyway, this article is boring and stupid, etc. etc. If you really wanted to get educated on any of the "Life"-related things Jen writes about (luxury doghouses, the mating habits of bees, installing stucco siding in your fourth bathroom), you could pretty much just do a Google search or crack open an encyclopedia.

Cue Meeno Peluce! "If you'd like to learn more about perfume making, Abraham Lincoln, or panda fisting, take a voyage down to your local library. It's all in books."

Reopening Of Ballou Marred by Shooting

Ballou High School in Southeast D.C. has been closed for a few weeks due to, of all things, mercury contamination. Now, it's finally open again, and the first day back there's a shooting near the school at the end of the day.

Robert Lewis, 17, said everything went well until dismissal. "That's the only scary thing about coming back to school: shootouts," he said.

[...]

Vowing not to let the incident detract from the rest of the day, he said: "It was a good day. School was over. These things happen. . . . We're not going to let it stop us from educating our children."
And yet, I can't imagine it's at all possible to concentrate on getting an education when there are gun battles going on.

Unless you're at, like, Gun Battle School. But that only exists in my mind. And maybe in some Japanese anime shows.

11.03.2003

Vote, dammit

Don't forget to vote Tuesday if you live in Virginia. Here's the Post's voters guide if you need a cheat sheet.

My only endorsement: vote against Sarah Summerville for the Arlington County board. She spearheaded the "No Arlington [Baseball] Stadium" effort, and clearly anyone who's against bringing baseball here is allied with Satan.

D.C. Leads Big Cities In Rate of Homicides

Like this is news. Just reaffirming what we already knew: D.C. is again the Murder Capital.

Some lowlights:

The District ranked third for its rate of violent crime -- which includes homicides, assaults, rapes and robberies -- behind Detroit and Baltimore.
Damn you Detroit and Baltimore!

Joanne Savage, an American University criminologist who has tracked D.C. crime trends dating to 1960, said that "in the long term, we're doing quite well." But that's when comparing the city to itself, she said. This kind of success would look like failure almost anywhere else, she added.

"Some cities have never seen rates like what our low point is," Savage said.

[...]

Ramsey noted the sharp divide between rich and poor in the District. "It just seems like people are on one side of the scale or another, with nothing in between," he said.
Hey, stop stealing my material!

Many residents sense that conditions are getting worse. "I have what I consider to be a crisis of crime today," said Sam Bost, a Deanwood resident and president of the Far Northeast/Southeast Council.

His Northeast neighborhood has been plagued by shootings and robberies. Drug dealers and their customers block streets, he said, and teenagers go joy riding in all-terrain vehicles. "I certainly don't want to leave home," he said.

[...]

In interviews, the mayor and other civic boosters agreed that this kind of crime and the struggling public school system remain the two major impediments to Williams's goal of attracting 100,000 new residents.

"I get e-mail from people who've moved into the city. . . . In some cases, they're sorry they have moved" because of crime, Williams said in a recent interview.

[...]

One illustration of what the city is up against comes from police reports detailing Washington's many armed robberies.

Those reports show that in many D.C. neighborhoods, robbers do not feel the need to tell their victims, "This is a robbery."

Instead, they merely show that they have a weapon, and let the victim know in street lingo that they are about to be held up.

One common phrase was used during a 1 a.m. holdup last month near the Howard University campus. The robber simply told his victim, "You know what time it is."
So it's come to this. "Hi, my name is Bob and I'll be your mugger today."

Un-smarty growth; just blows me away

"D.C. Sprawl Crosses Into A New State: Pennsylvania." Another example of smart growth not really working:

There is still plenty of open and developable land in Frederick County, which begins about five miles south of Liberty. But just as Montgomery County did in the 1960s and 1970s, the Frederick government in recent years has clamped down on construction, sending developers elsewhere to fill the region's voracious appetite for housing.

The same is happening in Virginia, where booming Loudoun and Prince William counties are tightening development restrictions. Developers in search of more lenient zoning and greater profit margins are leapfrogging farther out where laws are more permissive and local governments less experienced.

For local governments in the throes of rapid growth, "[housing] density is a four-letter word," said Stephen S. Fuller, a public policy professor at George Mason University. "The consequence is they're pushing the problem to their neighbor, and developers are having to go further and further away because they can't meet the demand for housing closer in."
And there's the problem with so-called smart growth: if you just limit the growth in housing, but not the growth in population, the demand will outstrip supply, and you're going to have sprawl and property value problems.

Meanwhile, the counties that have limited development in the past still have to deal with traffic from the people they've displaced:

A Washington Post reporter leaving Rockville at 4:55 p.m. on a recent weekday arrived in Liberty [80 miles away] almost exactly two hours later, at 6:54 p.m.

Traffic on I-270 came to a complete stop nine times during the ride. The first full stop in traffic came a mere 14 minutes into the commute, where the highway narrows from 12 lanes to eight.

As the sun began to set, and I-270 narrowed to four lanes near the Montgomery-Frederick County line, the rearview mirror was filled with a solid column of white headlights. Ahead lay a continuous strand of red brake lights.


Et voila... Washington. Since concentrated development near D.C. doesn't seem to be an option, the only way to fix sprawl is to reduce the number of jobs. That doesn't seem likely either.

11.01.2003

No problem

Once I figured out that Key Bridge was not a good way to do it, getting to Adams Morgan last night was no problem. I even found a parking space on the street there, which probably used up all of my good-parking-karma for the rest of the century.

And I have to say, Halloween is pretty cool down in D.C. Lots of creatively costumed folks walking around; clearly people who have to dress conservatively and work nonstop all week need some sexy masquerade debauchery as a release. Too bad it's only one day a year.

10.31.2003

Hooray for guns

An Anacostia High School junior, apparently an innocent bystander, was fatally shot in front of the school.

Meanwhile, three miles away at the Capitol, an office building was locked down and the House of Representatives forced into recess after a toy gun meant to be part of a Halloween costume made it through security.

Calvert Plans to Limit New Homes

Previously rural counties like Calvert in Maryland and Loudon in Virginia have a habit of enacting strict slow-growth policies, limiting the number of residential developments that can be built.

Sadly, Washington has a habit of attracting people to come here to work, and is one of the few places in the country where unemployment is relatively low. As more people come to live here... they have no place to live, because all these suburban counties won't let them build homes. So property values go up because the supply of homes is low. And thus, people move even further and further out in an attempt to find affordable housing, thus clogging the roads of the slow-growth counties anyway.

The only way to limit growth is to stop being so attractive to potential workers. Fewer new jobs would mean fewer new residents and slower growth. But since everybody wants more new jobs in order to spur on the economy, population growth is going to continue whether these outlying counties want it or not.

D.C. Metro is Ghetto Rich

That is to say, spending money on luxuries it can't afford.

Metro has spent nearly $1 million on a writing coach for its lawyers, a class to teach integrity and trust to managers and other unusual projects at a time when the system is contemplating another fare increase and wants more local tax dollars.
That integrity and trust class sounds like a blast:

One participant, who spoke on condition of anonymity, called the training a waste of time. "Everybody in our office said, 'Why are we here?' " the employee said. "There's no substance. What were they trying to get us to do -- trust other people or have other people trust us? Not only does it cost the authority money, it costs us time away from work."
Brilliant.

Frightening

It's Halloween. The scariest part will be trying to navigate through Adams Morgan at 11 p.m. tonight trying to get to a party. [shiver]

10.29.2003

Democrats Shake Their Booty

I don't even... I can't... I'm speechless. I don't know.

The funny thing is, I'll bet the people who went clubbing at this fundraiser think they're the shit because they got to hang out with quasi-celebrities like Biz Markie and the creepy lobbyist from "K Street" on HBO.

Two years, man

Two years ago today, I started working at my current job.

And it's all right. Probably about the best I could hope for given the current economic climate. We moved here in the midst of very bad economic times, August 2001, so that my wife could attend graduate school.

I started sending out resumes to Washington-area companies in March. I got absolutely no response. Some of my resumes were eventually returned in the mail because the company or headhunter I'd sent them to had gone out of business. When it finally came time to move, I still had no job, but figured it might be a little easier if I had a Washington address. No such luck; every week I would frantically comb the Post classifieds and Internet job websites for a software engineering position I was qualified for, but when I would find one and send a resume out, I got no response.

This continued for weeks. I would send out 20 resumes and cover letters in a week, and get nothing in response. Once, I did get a response to an ad that promised opportunities in database programming; it turned out be just a shill for a class at Rockwell "University" and not an actual job.

9/11 didn't make the job situation better, and just made me more stressed. Then, a virus ate most of the data on my hard drive, including the contacts I had saved. I think that during the couple days it took me to reconfigure my computer, I finally reached my breaking point at about 4 a.m. I was absolutely destitute; there was no way we'd be able to pay the rent on our apartment for more than four months without going broke, especially after being ripped off by the movers. I cried and cursed myself for moving to Washington; away from a steady job, away from friends, and into serious financial difficulties.

Finally, in mid-October, I found a listing on a website that sounded right up my alley, for a software job requiring a master's degree but no experience. I sent out a resume at 2 a.m. and was surprised to actually get an actual phone call, from an actual human being who had read my resume, the next morning. I interviewed, they liked me (of course), and I took the job.

And that's how I landed a job in Washington; after my first and only job interview.

Two years later, I'm still here. It's actually a good place to work and I shouldn't complain much; the hours are very flexible, good benefits, a good amount of vacation time, etc.

But man, it can really get boring. I'm in a windowless office, and basically contracting to do government work; I didn't realize that it was possible to create that many acronyms. There are literally over a hundred acronyms I have to remember in order to do this job; some of them spell funny words; some of them don't spell actually words but you pronounce them like they do. Many of them are just random conflagrations of letters that make little sense.

I guess the disappointing part of working here is that I always envisioned myself doing something a little more creative. I've got the computer skillz, but I also always enjoyed writing and designing things; I've got to get my left brain working as well as my right brain to keep myself happy. I could totally do something related to film/video that involves computers, like computer animation, or creating video games. I think I would love that.

But clearly, Washington is not the place to go if you want to do something creative. With all the monolithic government jobs and bulildings, this city is like a giant iron that flattens out the wrinkles in your brain and keeps you from thinking. I just hope that, when this is all over and I finally get out of town, I'll still be able to pursue my dream of creating things that other people can enjoy; I hope that I'll still have some wrinkles left up there.

10.28.2003

Welcome to the D.C., bitch

Yeah, guess I'll have to rescind my compliments of this blog. Basically he takes me to task for whining about my lack of going into D.C. much lately.

Washington has one of the fastest, cleanest and newest subway systems in the world, designed to move people in, out and around the city.
Oh, you mean this Metro? The one that arrests people for eating french fries?

The last time I went to Lauriol Plaza, it was a Saturday, and I had to drive because I was working a football game in D.C. earlier in the afternoon.

But let's see what would happen if I did take Metro on a Saturday afternoon, which I have often done. It's about a 10-minute walk from my apartment to the closest station. According to the rail timetable, trains run every 12 minutes on Saturday from my station, so figure an average of 6 minutes waiting. Fifteen minutes to get to Metro Center, where I wait for a train to Dupont Circle, average wait three minutes, to get to Dupont, average travel time three minutes. Then, figure about 15 minutes total getting-up-the-escaltor-and-walking-to-the-restaurant time. Thaaaaat's... about 52 minutes travel time. To go 3.7 fucking miles. That is fast!!!...? No. It's three times longer than it would take for me to get there by car, even if there was traffic.

Also, is traffic really better in Virginia? There words: Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Two more words: Mixing Bowl.
Since when have I defended Virginia traffic? Make no mistake about it: I FUCKING HATE VIRGINIA TRAFFIC AS MUCH AS I FUCKING HATE D.C. TRAFFIC AS MUCH AS I FUCKING HATE MARYLAND TRAFFIC. Have I ever once defended Virginia as a decent place to live? Jesus fucking Christ on a crutch, last Friday night it took me 2 hours 15 minutes to drive 40 miles down I-95 into Stafford County. REST ASSURED I DID NOT FUCKING ENJOY IT.

Don't let the title of this blog fool you; I hate the whole fucking shebang, and not just D.C. proper.

As for the crime rate – well, I don’t know where his party is, but I think it’s safe to assume it’s not in gang territory.
No, it's not. But, on the off chance that I do run into trouble and, heaven forbid, need the police, I would clearly be fucked. The ineptitude of D.C. public servants has been well-documented on this selfsame blog.

If he truly wants to live in a "vibrant, metropolitan city" with no crime and no traffic, he's dreaming.
I can live with crime and traffic to an extent, if the city is indeed vibrant and metropolitan, and I have in the past. I'm more than willing to balance the bad with the good. But here, there is no good.

And that's why I have... this blog. So that I may whine about the seemingly infinite supply of things I hate. I know it's whiny and self-absorbed. But, by definition, that can't really be helped, can it?

Oh, and one more thing...

Still, James has every right to avoid Washington while complaining about it from afar.
This always drives me nuts. I tell D.C. or Maryland people I live in Arlington, and I might as well have told them I live in Kentucky. Complaining about it from "afar"? I'm two fucking miles away. By all rights, a young person like me should be able to enjoy and take part in what a downtown area like D.C. has to offer.

Instead, apparently I'm a fucking prude because I no longer have the wherewithal to get out of the suburbs and deal with you yuppie motherfuckers. Well, fine. If anyone needs me, I'll be sitting in my shitty suburban apartment, counting down the days until I can leave this vibrant, metropolitan hellhole.

Tired of being ripped off

Blah. I rented a video from my neighborhood Hollywood Video (on Wilson Blvd. in Arlington), watched it, and returned it in the drop box in the morning. The next day I get a cryptic call from an unnamed employee saying the box was missing its DVD.

I'm not the kind of person to forget something like that, especially considering I used to work in a video store myself. I looked around the house and car in case I'd misplaced the disc, but to no avail.

Naturally, nobody I call can help me, and they all refer me to the store manager, who's only around on weekdays. I was dreading the confrontation, but it went about as well as I could have hoped; he only charged me $10 for the missing disc and called it square.

But still, blah. I know I returned the disc in the drop box about an hour before they opened, which probably means that one of their employees either misplaced the disc or outright stole it, but I couldn't convince the store manager that I hadn't just misplaced it somewhere like a moron.

Oh, and you'll be glad to know that my situation fulfilled Murphy's Law of Video Rentals: that the film you lose and wind up having to pay for is as embarrassing to your psyche as possible.

Now that I've closed my account there to prevent further rip-offs (and I'm still getting letters from the corporate office telling me to return the video), I'm not sure what to do about renting movies. Maybe Netflix, although I hear it has its issues as well. I've been to Video Vault in Alexandria, which reminds me somewhat of my beloved Movies Worth Seeing in Atlanta, but the distance and lack of accessibility (little parking and short hours), combined with short rental period and annual membership fee (!) keep me from frequenting that store, quirky as it may be.

I suppose it was bound to happen

The Washington Times ran an editorial today entitled "With us, or with the terrorists".

Perhaps they'll want to look into purchasing one of those Ann Coulter action figures.

D.C. Schools Overpaid Contractor, Audit Finds

Wow, money is being misspent in the D.C. public school system? That never happens.

Dirty money

The state of Ohio sued America Online Inc. yesterday, alleging that the Internet service deceived more than 250 customers by continuing to bill them after they called to cancel their monthly subscriptions.
If you can't get people to subscribe to your service, just cheat the money out of them, I guess.

Delays, 'Missteps' Kept Man In D.C. Jail

A schizophrenic man charged with minor parole violations has spent nearly two years at the D.C. jail because of repeated delays in providing him with a proper mental evaluation, a series of mistakes that a federal judge yesterday called "egregious."
Pray that you never have to be at the mercy of D.C. law enforcement, or the Public Defender Service, which "lost track of their client." Fucking morons, every one.

This is similar to a situation where a deaf schizophrenic man was wrongfully imprisoned from October 1999 through August 2001. Clearly the D.C. prisons didn't learn their lesson.

10.25.2003

Twenty-four Officers Have Faced Charges in 2003

It's one thing to be incompetent, which the D.C. police clearly are. It turns out that many of them are criminals, too. Fantastic.

Somebody's majoring in robbery

"Nerves are getting frayed at the University of Maryland's College Park campus, which is now the scene of seven armed robberies this semester. Students and teachers have been the victims of the attacks, including the latest early Friday morning."

Oh, and also, Georgia Tech 7, Maryland 3. Nyahhh.

It's time to play "What's More Sad?"

Is it the fact that the Redskins want to sign Danny Wuerffel? Or that the currently unemployed quarterback doesn't want to play for them?

10.23.2003

Unlovable losers

The Redskins are officially a disgrace to football.

Two consultants were brought in to "help" Spurrier, presumably against his will, and presumably by owner Daniel Snyder. Starting linebacker and NFLPA self-exile LaVar Arrington (a.k.a. "LB #56" to those of us who play Madden) criticized his teammates for not taking last week's third straight loss seriously enough. The situation is so bad at quarterback that the team is thinking of re-signing Danny Wuerffel... again. Woo-hoo.

Meanwhile, according to this story in the New York Times entitled "Redskins Slipping Away From Spurrier," players are being cut by the front office without the coaches knowing about it:

The Redskins' special teams coach, Mike Stock, was analyzing game video with several special teams players, telling defensive lineman Ladairis Jackson what he did right on a play and what he did wrong.

Finally, one of the Redskins spoke up and said of Jackson: "Coach, he's not here. He's been cut."

The players realized instantly that Stock did not know it. They believed Coach Steve Spurrier, who was reportedly also in the meeting, did not know it, either.
Hilarious. Wonder if I can sell the rest of my tickets for this year?

In hockey news, whiny Jaromir Jagr is making roughly a bazillion dollars, but he the Capitals are in the midst of their traditional October slumber, going 1-4-1 so far.

Also, Abe Pollin explains that he had to fire Michael Jordan from the Wizards, because the rest of the players on the roster didn't get along with him. Call me crazy, but if your marginally talented players aren't getting along with the best basketball player in history, maybe you should find new players rather than firing the one good one.

And that's sports in Washington. Hmmm... on second thought, maybe don't bring a baseball team here. We don't need more sports-related disgrace heaped on top of what we already have.

E-mail link fixed

Hey loyal readers,

My old e-mail account expired and I forgot to fix the link on this page. It's fixed now. My apologies to anyone who's been trying to send me mail.

10.22.2003

Monday, bloody Monday

"Three people were killed in separate incidents in Washington between Monday night and yesterday morning, D.C. police said."

• About 11:25 p.m. Monday, Joseph D. Patterson, 24, was found shot in the head, sitting in the driver's seat of a Honda at 61st and Banks streets NE. Patterson, of the 3500 block of Stanton Road SE, died at the scene.

• About 11:40 p.m. Monday, Mario A. Johnson, 26, was shot in the 4600 block of Hunt Place NE, police said. Johnson, whose address was not known, was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

• At 3:55 a.m. yesterday, police found Wilton Anderson Jr., 49, at Georgia Avenue and Park Road NW with stab wounds. Anderson, of Silver Spring, was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later.

Newsie news

AOL = fucked. First banished from the name of parent company Time Warner, now AOL management has been subpoenaed in the ongoing SEC probe into some apparently shady accounting practices. Oh, and AOL lost 2 million subscribers last year. They must not have sent out enough CD-ROMs in the mail.

Some private-school teenagers appear to enjoy beating on public-school teenagers until they die, as a hearing in juvenile court revealed yesterday.

And a D.C. woman missing for a year was found... dead in her own basement. Under a pile of junk, which supposedly concealed the dead body. Ewwwww.

10.21.2003

Officer Too Friendly

"According to investigators, [D.C. police officer] Officer Parnigoni — who is single — organized several overnight visits to his home that would include groups of boys he coached in a D.C. youth league. During the gatherings, Officer Parnigoni would encourage the boys to take part in games of challenge, with the loser having to disrobe and run throughout the house."

REDRUM

Happy 200th murder this year, D.C.! Just in time for Halloween!

10.20.2003

Oh by the way

So much for us getting baseball. The deadline for announcing a destination for the Expos came and went yet again. Thanks for dicking us around, Bud Selig and friends.

I wish I lived somewhere else

I'm 27 years old. Way too young to be confined to life in the suburbs. I should be enjoying my youth in a vibrant, metropolitan city.

Unluckily for me, I live in Washington, and lately I seem to be confined to the drudgery that is Northern Virginia. I was in D.C. on Saturday, and I realized it was only the second time I'd ventured into the District since the summer started (without just driving through). And both times were to visit this one restaurant, which is admittedly good.

But my horizons aren't exactly broad; every time I think about going to D.C., I think about all the crap I'll have to deal with. The traffic is ubiquitously bad; on Saturday, even just driving across town in the morning was fraught with peril, including surprise construction, closed-off streets and bridges, insane drivers cutting me off, etc.

Then, there's finding a parking space. My aforementioned usual restaurant has a complimentary valet lot, which saves me from having to drive around all of Northwest looking for a space. But even the simple act of attending a party in D.C., such as the Halloween party I've been invited to, fills me with a sense of dread, as I ponder driving around for half an hour frantically trying to find a place to park the car, and then walking through poorly lit neighborhoods in a city with the highest murder rate per capita.

And, if something should happen to me or my car (and I don't love challenging the relatively high odds of these crimes occuring in D.C.), I know that if I need the police, they will be characteristally unresponsive and/or retarded.

Anyway, these factors, combined with my laziness, conspire to keep me stuck in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. Blaaaaannnnnnnnd. At what point did I skip all of my late 20s and early 30s and become a suburbs-only dweller? This is bad. I'm only accelerating the onset of my mid-life crisis. Nobody wants that.

Eggshells

A Lorton man is suing Pat Sajak, host of TV's Wheel of Fortune, claiming that, after winning on the game show, the "bear hug" Sajak gave him after winning has caused his chronic back pain.

The Washington Post was the only newspaper in the nation to pull controversial comic strip "The Boondocks" last week, as the characters were poking fun at White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice's dating life. Pander much?