Guessing Game

I'm back. Still don't feel like writing yet. Instead, let's play a game.

Walking out of the Chipotle at 19th and M, I ran into an argument. A white man was accosting a black woman. It was clear that they weren't acquaintances. This was made even clearer when they stormed off in opposite directions.

All I heard the man say was, "That's another example of African-American entitlement!" This was, of course, what caused the storm off.

So, in what context is that statement not racist? I'd love to hear the best guesses in the comments. I highly doubt that two strangers decided to have a spirited debate on affirmative action on a street corner.

The best guess regarding what these two were yelling about wins the best prize I can afford: my hearty congratulations.


Still on Cape

I just received a digital camera for Christmas. Expect this blog to be that much more annoying when I buy a memory chip and some rechargable batteries.



Hurray! I of course, will not be spending the holiday in Washington. I'll be back to my old tricks on Cape Cod. You know, the usual. Drinking, eating for free, and seeing all my very dear pre-Washington friends. If you're on Cape too, try and find me at The Quarterdeck in Hyannis. $1.50 PBRs!

I'm not flying up until Saturday afternoon. So, what to do Friday night? Well, if you see this monstrosity on the streets of Washington, please know that I'm on it. It's immature, silly, expensive, and unnecessary. Also, it looks kind of fun.

I'll be back Wednesday. Don't expect much output until then. I'll still be reading The Washington Post everyday in case something wacky happens.

Happy Holidays!


I Have Found My Nemesis

The one guilty pleasure just about everyone shares is the Missed Connection page on Craig's List. Reading them can be the height of hilarity. Receiving one can be the highlight of one's week. It's a scientific fact: everyone loves Missed Connections.

My love affair with Missed Connections ended on October 10th at 1:01am EDT. I didn't know it at the time, but someone posted the worst Missed Connection in the history of lame Missed Connections. It wasn't brought to my attention until yesterday when a friend of mine from college (who was lucky enough to retreat back to the shores of Miami), sent me this link. That's right. Someone wrote a Missed Connection to the city of Washington, DC.

Attacking the text of the "MC" is easy enough. I'd like to first point out that writing an MC to a city is a vapid exercise. A total waste of time. Who are you trying to impress by writing this? Why did you spend that Monday night in October writing this piece of crap? What the Hell were you thinking?

I miss you already, you wonderful, self-important, walkable, sporty, humid, pretentious, kinetic, dazzling, overpriced, overcaffeinated, cobblestoned, self-conscious, self-unaware, popped-collar-sporting, popped-collar-mocking, preppy hipster college town masquerading as the political capital of the world.

How many of these adjectives are totally negative? Humid? Sign me up! The author also damns Washington with some incredibly faint praise. Washington is walkable? What city is not walkable? Cobblestoned? Like, parts of Georgetown are, but, again, that doesn't seem like anything to be especially proud of. If someone sent me this paragraph and I didn't know what city it was referring to (so, eliminate the political capital of the world reference), I would think this was the worst city ever devised by man. What a terrible opening paragraph. This douche has convinced me to hate Washington even more. Bad thesis statement!

I was just 17 when we met. You were my first love, and you stuck with me through thick and then - the years rat-racing through college, that weird time after college when I worked in a restaurant, the overpaid paralegal job, the misguided semester of law school, and then even when I moved down to Virginia I still visited you every single weekend.

If your first love is Washington, you don't deserve any love you ever feel for another human being to be requited. I hope you enjoyed Virginia though.

When the plane hit the Pentagon, I watched the smoke from across the river and cried.

Fair enough.

I thought the scaffolding around the Washington Monument was beautiful.

I dunno. Maybe?

I sat in Einstein's lap.

I don't know what this is referring to. It seems tremendously unimportant.

When I was flush I drank at the 18th street lounge...

Oh, fuck you.

...and when I was broke I went across the street to Lucky Bar.

FUCK YOU! Lucky Bar is neither cheap nor fun.

I could lie in my bed at night and listen to the monkeys making a racket across the street at the zoo, and wake up on a Saturday and sit in my front yard and smoke a cigar with my best friends and watch your young families and your gorgeous, gorgeous young women strolling by.

Cigars? You pompous asshole. As for Washington's "gorgeous, gorgeous young women," what the fuck are you talking about? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I am from Massachusetts. It's the capital of ugly women. I know ugly when I see it. Washington is an ugly, ugly town.

Georgetown was the neighborhood I loved to hate, and seedy Adams Morgan at 3 AM on a Saturday was the neighborhood I hated to admit I loved. Afternoons laughing out loud at the human circus in Dupont Circle, then getting my butt kicked at chess by some homeless guy. All those weekends we spent Running Against Bush. Man, that seems like such a long time ago. Hitting up Mount Pleasant for real, authentic Mexican food, or crashing with my Hill friends and waking up early to get breakfast at Eastern Market.

I hope people now understand why this blog exists. How can one enjoy a city with these people inhabiting it? What does "human circus" even mean and how does it apply to Dupont Circle? "Running Against Bush"? So confusing.

Running on the Mall. Playing Ultimate or soccer or rugby on the Mall. Flying kites on the Mall. Building a snow sculpture of the Capitol, on the Mall. Worshipping in the temples of Lincoln and Roosevelt and most of all, Jefferson. Taking pretty girls for walks on the Mall and ending up on the top deck of the Kennedy Center, looking out at your beautiful lights and wanting it all so badly.

Ultimate frisbee!? Of fucking course. By the way, I've lived in Washington since 2001 and have spent a grand total of 40 minutes at the Mall. This guy has spent an awful lot of time in tourist traps for someone who claims to love everything this shithole has to offer.

I love the "wanting it all so badly" line at the end. I suppose I should mention that the prose on this Missed Connection is laughably bad. I know that the low quality level of writing should be self-evident, but, just in case, it still deserves a mention. I can picture this guy at his computer writing this abortion of an MC and thinking to himself, "I am so fucking clever." The reality, pal, is that you're about five levels below Carrie Bradshaw in terms of suckage. This overdramatic prose doesn't fit the medium which is FUCKING CRAIG'S LIST, YOU MORON!

All those mornings for all those years, waking up before daylight to row up and down and up and down and up and down the Potomac. Running from the cops under Key Bridge. Drag racing up Rock Creek Park in the middle of the night, and a thousand other crazy stupid things we did together that in retrospect were idiotic but at the time, just meant being young and being broke and alive and full of ideals and most of all, happy.

Crew and ultimate frisbee? Holy shit. I am speechless!

Also, drag racing up Rock Creek Park? As someone who has taken the E bus line two or three times, I'd like to thank you for putting my life in danger. It goes without saying that the author has, at some point, said this to one of his buddies: "Yeah, dude. 'Tokyo Drift' was the shit, man. Next time we watch it we should totally get shwillied in the parking lot so the chicks can check out my Honda, guy."

And now they've finally taken me away from you, and made me come live in this desolate little town in the middle of nowhere where the highest form of culture is the Barber shop/Tattoo parlor combo, and the nearest movie theater is 40 miles away, and the people weigh too much and talk too slowly and I can't complain any more about strangers in bars always wanting to ask what's your job and what's your politics, 'cause around here, everyone's job is the same and people don't understand why a polite person would want to bring up politics in the first place.

This paragraph made me joyful. Total, unadulterated, pure joy. I am so glad this story has a happy ending.

I guess I never really told you how I felt, DC. They say that you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone... only, I guess in our case, you're still there, and I'm the one who's gone, but anyway it works out the same way in the end. But now that I'm gone, I just wanted to tell you hey, thanks for all the memories, all the good times, all the things you taught me about myself and my country and the world.

I'll never forget you, the city of my youth. You're beautiful to me. You'll always be my first love.



I'm Pretending This Is Less Unsettling Than It Really Is

My last post wasn't my best. I mean, some crazy disheveled guy making violent threats on U Street on Saturday night. Yeah, it's kind of scary, but, come on, it's U Street. I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. It's not like someone is going to get shot dead on the U Street strip, right?


All we get from the article is a hypothesis that the shooting resulted from an argument and the block where the shooting occurred. Of course it's the same block where I heard that argument over the weekend. The Post doesn't have a picture of the perpetrator. If it's the guy from Saturday night, one could say that I actually dodged a bullet. City living is the best!


Things You Don't Want to Hear

Volume 1:

While walking down on of Washington's many unlit alleys, I overhear an argument between two men. The argument is escalating. These guys are really yelling. Finally, one screams, "That's it. I'm gonna put a motherfucking bullet in your ass!" As you can imagine, I accelerated from "leisurely pace" to "quick jog." I like my ass unbulleted.

Volume 2:

I was walking through U Street from Woodley Park to meet up with my roommates and other assorted drinking buddies at DC9. Many drinks were imbibed. My friend and I noticed one such female imbiber who was about to pass out at the bar. We got her some water and helped her out. Our goal was to get her a taxi. Her goal was to throw up on the sidewalk. Mission Accomplished. A cop walks by, notices the vomiting girl and decides to intervene. What is the bouncer doing? Nothing. Well, actually, he did say something to the cop: "Talk to these boys. This girl ain't drunk; she was drugged."

It should go without saying that, no, I didn't drug any girls last night. I just really didn't feel like explaining that to a cop at three in the fucking morning. You'd think a bouncer on U Street would have his seen his fair share of girls throwing up their gin and tonics without throwing around comments like that to the fucking police.

So, I had a Saturday of violent threats and attempted date rape accusations! Whee!


Metro Ragegasm


Ok, here it is: the proposed Metro fare hike. It is as confusing as it is steep. It's a disaster. An abortion. A miscarriage of common sense.

Since moving to Washington in 2001, the Metro has gotten progressively worse. It has been unable to handle the hordes of new riders. Rush hour trains come every four or five minutes now instead of every other minute. There's barely enough room to stand on a platform, never mind a six car train. The Friday and Saturday night trains that annoyingly came every 20 minutes now arrive every 30 minutes. I can't think of one aspect of the system that has improved. Nothing. Even the new "doors closing" annoucements and chimes rub me the wrong way. And they still want more.

I didn't mind the last increase three years ago. An extra dime on the train and a nickel on the bus? It sucks. But it's reasonable. I was expecting a similar increase after Metro announced their $116,000,000.00 budget shortfall. This shortfall was caused by financial incompetence, not by improved conditions or anything like that. As Metro gets worse, the bugdet follows, and now we're in some kind of cycle of ignorance. So it's bullshit that the everyday commuter should have to pay for Metro's fiscal bumbling. It's bullshit, but that's the way it is sometimes.

Instead of the expected nickel and dime increase, we have an increase of up to $2.10. Per ride. And it's not just the commuters who are getting gang-raped here. If this plan ever becomes policy, I'm looking at an increase of fifty cents per ride. Fifty cents more to travel from Friendship Heights to Dupont. Fifty cents a ride. One dollar a day. Assuming someone rides the Metro 300 times a year...that's a pretty significant dent in the wallet, isn't it? This is an iPod's worth of bullshit. It's one percent of your salary (if you're an entry-level worker) being spent on a fare increase caused by ineptitude.

So, let's see who this is going to really hurt:

1. Tourists. The new plan just kills anyone who doesn't own a SmarTrip card. The difference between SmarTrip fares and regular fares is going to be significant. Seventy-five cent difference just for riding a bus. Ouch. I doubt many tourists are going to go out of their way to buy cards, so they'll be hit the hardest. Although DC depends on tourist dollars, I don't think a Metro fare increase is going to be the difference between a family vacationing at Disneyland or in Washington. I'm OK with screwing over tourists.

2. Long-distance commuters. This is just insane. We wanted people to stop driving into Washington. Remember? Traffic around here is a notorious shitshow. So, just maybe charging people an extra dollar a pop to ride a train is not the way to improve the situation on our highways.

Oh, and don't worry. They're considering increasing parking rates at Metro garages. I can't believe Metro found a way to make itself more expensive than unleaded gasoline, but here we are.

3. Anyone working downtown. There's a thirty-five cent charge for anyone who gets off at a downtown station. "Downtown" also includes the Court House, Rosslyn, Union Station, etc. This is total bullshit. Metro wants to make these stations less busy? Good luck with that. This is where the jobs are. Commuters shouldn't be penalized for going to their fucking jobs. I mean, do you really want people to work in the city or not? If you want us to work in Tyson's Corner, fine. Good plan.

(I already mentioned this once, but I feel the need to reiterate that "reverse commuters" can just shrivel up and die for all I care. Your trains are empty and you miss out on this bullshit surcharge. You motherfuckers. I need a job in Rockville or Silver Spring.)

4. Drunk people. "Rush hour" is being extended to Fridays between 2 and 3am. Ok. Fine. If you want to send trains every five minutes in that one hour period, that's awesome. I don't think that's going to happen. Trains are going to come every 25 minutes and drunk people will be charged extra just because Metro feels like they can get away with it. There is no reason for this increase other than to pick on people who spend money in DC establishments. I mean, do they want us to just drink at home? Because I have no problem with that. Seriously, it's like Metro is daring me to get hammered on a Friday night by myself while I'm playing Guitar Hero II. I've done it before and I will do it again, you fucks.

5. Anyone with a job. I love how Metro wants discounts for people riding between 9:30am and 3pm. If I had a fucking choice, I'd "get up at 12, start to work at 1, take an hour for lunch, and then at 2 we're done." But I don't have a fucking choice because I have a fucking job. The only way this will help ease congestion is if the people who can go to work whenever the fuck they want (rich people/higher-ups) decide to start coming in at 10am. Wow, a discount for the people who don't need it. DC is the best.

By the way, if you work downtown at a 9-5, you are doubly fucked. DC will leave no orifice unfucked. If you work downtown at a 9-5 and you're commuting from Vienna? Oh man. I would just give up. Move somewhere else because DC clearly doesn't want you.

Ok. I'm probably missing some key demographics, but I'm starting to hyperventilate and I need a break from this garbage. I can't believe how many times I've typed a derivative of the word "fuck." So, let's end with the best quote from the Post's coverage of the story: "Riders have reacted angrily to any proposed fare increases."



I'm going to keep going with this as long as I can. Send suggestions to me via comments or e-mail.

6. The homeless. Whether we like it or not (and let's be honest, we all hate it), the homeless have every right to ride a bus or train from one line to another. Busing is especially important for the homeless because, well, I don't know why. But there's always a homeless dude on any bus I take after 8pm. Anyways, you know who can't afford SmarTrip cards? Homeless people. They're going to have to spend an extra 75 cents to get from part of town to another. 75 cents buys food. It buys water. It shouldn't have to buy a stupid fare increase.

I guess this is really only a small concern. It's not like Washington has a shit-ton of homeless people or anything. I mean, if we did, this kind of fare increase would seem really insensitive, wouldn't it?

7. People who don't live anywhere near a Metro stop. So, you need to get a SmarTrip card to avoid the buggering you're going to get if you pay for public transporation with a proletariat fare card? Well, I hope you live near Shady Grove, Metro Center, or one of the few Metro stations that actually dispense the damned things. And if you don't live near a Metro station or if you exclusively ride the bus? Well, then you're fucked. Enjoy running the thankless errand of getting to a Metro stop and riding around DC all day just for the opportunity to spend five dollars on a card.

This would especially suck if you're one of those Ward 4 people who live nowhere near a subway stop. Can you imagine catching the S line, hopping on a subway, transferring to the Red line, paying five dollars, and then doubling back. All to avoid paying an extra 75 cents per bus ride. That sounds like a soul-crushing experience. Way to improve city morale, Metro!

Creepy Asshole

So I'm getting off the Metro yesterday at Friendship Heights. I take the Jenifer Avenue exit. Unlike most Metro stops, this exit does not feature a disorientingly long escalator. Instead, I have to deal with four elevators. This is phenomenal if you're lazy. I qualify.

Because I know what train to get on and because of my strappingly long legs, I am the first one to reach the elevators at about 5:45pm. There's one other dude right behind me and a bunch of fellow commuters a few paces behind.

The elevator arrives, I step in. I'm followed by the dude. The dude then starts frantically pushing the "doors close" button even though there are about 15 commuters right behind him. The doors close just as they arrive and suddenly I am by myself in an elevator with this creepy mouthbreather. I do not want to be in the same elevator as him.

Who the Hell does that? Like, was he in some kind of rush that necessitated inconveniencing a dozen people so he could save himself a maximum of, what, 20 seconds? That's an asshole move. Either that or he was petrified at sharing an elevator with 15 people. But if being surrounded by 15 people presents that much of a problem, perhaps the Metro during rush hour isn't the right place for you to be.

I assume it's just another guy in Washington who assumes his convenience is more important than the convenience of others. Another person who thinks of himself first and foremost. This city certainly seems to have its fair share of these cretins.

On that note, I'm going to look into the gigantic Metro fare increase being proposed by the WMATA. I don't expect to be happy with it.


Scary Town, Confusing Headline

My predecessor wrote something a ways back about the creepiness of Great Falls, VA. For those not in the know, Great Falls is a rural area that happens to be smack dab in the middle of Northern Virginia. It's right over the Potomac from, uh, Potomac.

Unlike Potomac, MD, which is of course developed, some rich folks bought up the land in Great Falls and have since refused to let their 20 acre lots be disturbed by nuisances like sidewalks or black people. Seriously, I bet that Clinton Portis and Gilbert Arenas (who is now on my blog roll) are the only two black dudes living in the area. They can certainly afford it:

The median income for a family in the CDP [census designated place] was $170,618 and the median income for a household was $250,000.

That's a very rich census designated place. Also, so it doesn't appear that I am plagarizing, I got that statistic from Wikipedia.

It must be nice to live only twenty miles from a city while completely ignoring the crime emergencies and stadium deals.

Again, this is old news. I bring it up as reminder that Virginia is weird. I also being it up because The Washington Post ran an article on how some blasphemous Great Falls community members are asking for amenities like sewer lines, sidewalks, restaurants, and, yes, even a Starbucks. All things that will attract more black people to their quiet town.

Again, creepy, but nothing new. What I don't get is the Post's headline: "Questioning Growth on the Q.T."

I have no idea what "Q.T." means. I've read the article three times, and it's never explained. I know that headline duties are usually relegated to the editors, so what the Hell happened? Did they edit out a "Q.T." reference then stick with the headline. I mean, Virginia is a really bad place, but awful journalism is just as much a thorn in my side.

I'm also aware that I'm probably missing something.

No. I read it a fourth time. It's not me. I even Googled it. That only exacerbated my confusion. What the Hell does "Q.T." mean? I always used "Q.T." as an abbreviation for "quality time" when I wanted to guilt my father into taking me mini-golfing or to a baseball game. I don't think that's what the Post was going for. Can someone please help?


Drunk on Hat-Tipping.

A rare double hat-tip today to Read Express. The first is for the their question of the day. It reads, "Are you getting your money's worth from Metro?" You all know what to do. Click the link, find the poll, and answer "No."

I try to avoid writing two Metro posts in a row, but, a $116,000,000.00 budget shortfall? Jesus Christ. Now fares may be increasing and weekend service will be trimmed. But, to make up for all that, Metro is considering discounts for "reverse commuters." Eff that. Those motherfuckers should be paying more. They actually get to sit down on their trains. Hell, they have enough room to stretch their legs. Today on the crowded Metro, some moron was using my back as support for his Sudoku game. Fuck reverse commuters. Riding to Rockville in the morning is like riding on a cloud of luxury.

If DC had any extra money to spend on Metro to prevent a fare increase, that would be nice. But, as we all know, DC money is tied up by stadiums and lawsuits. So, the second hat-tip to Read Express is for leading me to this pleasant story: Judge Lets Abuse Claim by D.C. Prisoners Go to Trial.

When the men and women behind DC's blue line aren't hog-tying innocent bystanders watching a protest, they may be withholding prisoners' food, water, toilet privileges, and medications. It's nice to have a second hobby. Unfortunately, this hobby also leads to class-action lawsuits.

I say "may" because it's not like anyone has been found to have a preponderance of guilt or anything like that. Some correctional officers are merely accused of being dickheads of unconstitutional proportions. It's an accusation from a particularly litigious set of prisoners, but it's not exactly something that the city wants to deal with right now. I would be more inclined to dismiss the accusations as rubbish if Washington weren't involved.


WMATA Masterpiece Theatre

A big shoutout to the fellow who sent me this video courtesy of the WMATA. A warning to all of you worker bees: there is audio here. Turn down the speakers or throw on the headphones.

This is sublime. The photography is top-notch. The acting, scrumtrelescent.

Seriously, though. Every time you swipe your SmarTrip card, remember that you're funding this ridiculousness.


Voting Rights Update (Don't Worry, I'll Have Something New Up Later Today)

This morning's Post had an editorial that was just overloaded with disdain towards Republicans for not pushing this legislation forward. Between this and the Post Editorial Board's eagle opus, I'm starting to think that the brain trust on 15th and L isn't quite all it's cracked up to be.

Just look at how this clunker starts:

DON'T BELIEVE...that the decision was put off because of worries that a D.C. voting seat would not pass constitutional muster. At this point, the only plausible explanation for the demise of the bill is that Republican leaders in Congress and the White House oppose democracy for anyone who happens to live in the nation's capital.

I really hate to defend George W. Bush, but leave the White House out of this. I am confused at how this can be blamed on the Executive Branch. Can Bush float from the clouds deux ex machina style and make Congress do his bidding? Maybe two years ago, but not now.

And the Post is being dishonest by claiming that Constitutional worries are implausible. I certainly have my Constitutional worries. Granted there are some scholars who believe this legislation would pass Constitutional muster, but I doubt they're in the majority. Any doubts are legitimate. Please don't call those with gripes anti-democracy. It's hardly fair.

The beauty of the compromise crafted by Mr. Davis and Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city's Democratic nonvoting delegate to the House, was that party politics was taken out of the equation, as two new seats would have been added to Congress -- one for the mostly Democratic District and one for predominantly Republican Utah.

So, the "beauty" of this compromise is that it doesn't really give Washington a vote. It will immediately be canceled out. Brilliant! The simple act of voting does not mean that Washingtonians are fairly being represented. Where else can a people only get the right to vote if its canceled out by another?

So, Post, what advice do you have for the incoming Democratic leadership?

They should make clear that they won't countenance any talk of stripping Utah of its seat, which would kill the deal.

First, would it kill the deal? I mean, Dems will have a majority in the House. It's not like Republicans can filibuster in that chamber. Why wouldn't they want to give Washington a vote while stripping Utah of its phantom extra representative. I'd still be peeved that we wouldn't have any senatorial representation, but it would represent a fair start.

(By the way, some people left comments mocking me for advocating two votes in the Senate for the District. I don't get it. Why is that laughable? Wyoming has less residents than the District and they have two senators. Alaska and Vermont are just barely ahead of us. Each of those states has two Senators. It's crazy that a set of islands in the middle of nowhere has more senatorial representation than the District. So, why can't we have senators?)

The Post continues to act as if democracy only works if it preserves an even fight. That is ludicrous. People have the right to be represented regardless of what balances it maintains or destroys. The Post is not nearly as interested in the District's welfare as it would have you believe. Shame on them.


Legislative Hurrah

I'm not going to have the Republican Legislature to pick on for the next two years. Hurray for that. So, to celebrate the upcoming Democratic takeover of both houses of Congress, I'd like to send some lovin', touchin' and squeezin' to the Republican-held 109th Congress.

Republican congressional leaders decided yesterday not to bring to the floor a bill giving the District a full voting member of the House, dooming the measure's chances in this legislative session.

That's right, folks. DC's quixotic attempt to secure federal voting rights has again ended in failure. And I couldn't be happier.

Now, I want the opportunity to have an elected voting member in the House of Representatives as much as the next guy. I really do. But not at the price being asked by Representative Thomas Davis (R-VA) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). That one vote in the House is meaningless. As American citizens, DC residents deserve their cake so we can eat it too. We want the same representation as everyone else. That includes two Senators. Passage of this compromise legislation would mean that DC would have that one shiny vote, but we would still be less represented than every other American.

Furthermore, the Utah compromise vote is total bullshit. Let me explain to Rep. Davis and Del. Norton how representative democracy works. The people elect representative to vote on their behalf. It's not meant to preserve political balance. If an area that's 90% Democrat is having their human rights trampled on, giving Republicans an extra vote to offset that new vote is not an appropriate solution. Someone explain to me the purpose of having a DC vote when Republicans in Utah get a new vote of their own. Everything cancels out. DC residents are no better off.

I won't even attempt to take on the blatant unconstitutionality of this proposed law. I covered a lot of this stuff here anyways. But, seriously, thank you Republicans. You probably didn't strike down this legislation for the right reasons, but, whatever. Now Del. Norton and the new Democrat 110th Congress can work towards getting Washington its representative and its two senators. I don't care if it takes absorption into Maryland or a Constiutional amendment, but something has to be done. Not letting a majority-minority area have the voting rights its deserves is the worst kind of disenfranchisement.

Bravo, Republicans. You did something right while in the majority. Good luck in 2008.


Oh God, They're Actually Doing It

Metro is going to propose that music be allowed at subway entrances. My feelings on this have been quite clear. Please see here and here. The Metro proposal will involve auditions to make sure that all the music is appropriate. There will be no "mudbucket music" allowed. So, Asian dude playing that one string instrument at the Dupont South entrance...FUCK YOU. You have not been approved. Metro is going to sanitize the street performers so as not to offend anyone's sensibilities. In other words, it will be completely soulless and lame. They are taking music and destroying its soul. Why would we expect any less from DC?

And it wouldn't be DC if someone didn't inject politics into the whole matter:

John Butterfield, 52, who works in publishing and commutes on the Orange Line from Court House to McPherson Square, welcomed anything "that brings a smile rather than dead silence and boring people walking." But he doesn't want musicians who win an official "seal of approval" to "squeeze out current musicians."

"I worry that we end up with elevator music," he said. "That rubs my libertarian bent the wrong way."

OK, John. No one asked you about your "libertarian bent." No one cares. Although I share many of the same worries as you, I get the feeling that you're a bit of a pretentious asshat.

Just in case you're inclined to support this malarky, there's also this:

...the Metro Performs! program would include music, theater, literary arts, mime, magic and dance.

The horrible emphasis is mine. I don't think anyone supports magic shows or, God forbid, mimes. Mimes! When you're accosted by a creepy man in clown make-up who is stuck inside his make-believe box, I want you to think to yourself, "Rusty is always right."


Losing My Religion

My hatred for Virginia continues to grow strong. First, some personal history:

I was baptized Catholic. I went to a Catholic school. That's as far as my Catholic experience goes. Since I was a wee toddler, I was going to Episcopalian masses at St. Mary's Church in West Barnstable. I was confirmed Episcopalian. I was an Episcopalian acolyte. My first experiences with public oration came when I would read long Biblical passages for the Sunday morning mass. I met my first girlfriend through church. Our moms were Sunday school teachers. Norman Rockwell, eat your heart out.

Beyond personal history, St. Mary's was also featured in a few Kurt Vonnegut works. That's pretty sweet. Admit it. Like many disaffected high school and college students, Kurt Vonnegut was an absolute savior. Surely many of you feel the same way.

The church parking lot was the setting for a scene in his 1959 novel The Sirens of Titan. The first passage in Vonnegut's collection of short stories, Welcome to the Monkey House is titled "Where I Live." It's a short non-fiction story about how great Cape Cod is. I don't imagine it being very popular with the people who are annoyed by my insistence that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the bestest place ever. Regardless, I speak of the story with pride since it claims that the St. Mary's church garden is the most beautiful spot on Earth. What author can make a similar claim about a spot in Washington?

So, the general theme of all this is that I was raised Episcopalian and I love it. I'm not the best Christian anymore and I have almost completely stopped going to mass, but, damn it all, Episcopalians are the greatest. I have a vested interest in the strength of the Episcopal community.

Virginia doesn't. Virginia wants out. The Episcopalians in New England are too nice to the gays. Nothing riles up the Virginia folk more than being nice to the queers. It gets their blood boiling. The 2003 promotion of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson, an unprecedented position for a gay man within the Church, was the last straw. Virginia will not stand for such tolerance!

Two Fairfax County congregations have certainly had enough. It looks like the Falls Church and Truro parishes are going to vote for secession from the American Episcopal community. Instead, these knuckleheads plan on becoming members of...wait for it....the Nigerian Episcopal community. It came down to whether Virginians would continue their long-standing intolerance of gays or their long-standing intolerance of blacks. Congratulations blacks, you're off the hatred hook.

It's probably very comforting to these Virginian Episcopalians that Nigerian Archbishop Peter J. Akinola is pretty tough on homosexuals in Africa:

...there are questions about a suburban Washington congregation technically under the leadership of Akinola, who has supported a new Nigerian law that penalizes gay activity, whether private or "a public show of same sex amorous relationship," with jail time.

Um. What? That's some Taliban-esque shit right there. Actually, to be fair, the Parable where all the gays are incarcerated has always been my favorite. Fuck the Prodigal Son. Many Biblical historians believe that Jesus himself went door-to-door in Galilee to speak of the homosexual threat.

"They're in our schools and in our churches and they will convert your children," spoke Jesus of Galilee on the Sabbath.

The irony is, I kind of agree with the Virginians that having a homosexual bishop might not be theologically sound.* Of course, throwing gays in jail isn't theologically sound either. And it's not like a bishop in New Hampshire is going to have any effect on Virginia parishioners. Those parishes are like night-and-day. That's one of the things I like about Episcopalians. There are liberal branches and conservative branches, but they're still united for social justice. But now Virginia doesn't want a part of that. They'd rather blindly hate gay people. The gay bogeyman is their new serpent in Eden.

I mentioned the Prodigal Son earlier. Much like the the titular character of this parable, Virginia has lost its way. If these parishes do indeed decide to hitch their wagon to the Nigerian Church, I guess I have to wish them the best of luck. But when they come crawling back, I'd like to think that, much like Jesus's teaching, the Virginia congregations would be welcomed back with open arms. It's the Christian thing to do. Hopefully Falls Church and Truro will live by that example.

*I'd love to debate this in the comments. Hopefully with other Protestants. I'm really on the fence about it and would love to hear what others think.


Jilted by a Metro Area Blogger

What's a man to do when the love of his life won't return his e-mails? The hurt just runs so deep that you end up paralyzed and staring at a computer screen waiting for some kind of contact. The misery is overwhelming.

I've had this problem with the apple of my eye, Michelle Malkin. Every e-mail I send her is unanswered. Every single one! I e-mailed Paul Mirengoff and got an immediate response. Mr. Mirengoff is clearly above Mrs. Malkin in the "Montgomery County Conservative Bloggers who are Nice to Rusty" power rankings I keep in my head.

I was hurt by Mrs. Malkin's decision to ignore me, but yesterday I thought I had her. She would have to respond to my hot tip.

Yesterday, The Washington Post reported that an illegal alien obtained a driver's license, kept the driver's license despite refusing Breathalyzer tests in the past, and then killed someone in a drunk driving accident. The kicker: the unfortunate victim was a Marine on leave from Iraq.

This has every element of a Michelle Malkin ragegasm. Authorities not protecting the public from drunk drivers? Check. The needless death of a soldier? Check. The presence of an illegal alien? Big check. Surely my hot tip would at least get a response.

No. Nothing.

That's it. I am through with e-mailing Mrs. Malkin. This unrequited love can move no further. If we're at the point where she won't write a column or make a comment about an illegal alien killing a Marine, well, that's just not the Michelle Malkin I fell in love with.

She is totally not getting another Valentine e-card next year.


You'd Think That Asking the Federal Government for Money Would Be Second Nature in Such a Democratic City

When I saw a headline stating that the "District Faces $300 Million Budget Shortfall," I'll admit that I was praying that it would be because of the stadium. If bad things are happening in DC, and they inevitably are, I at least want to be proven right.

No such luck here. DC Council incompetence doesn't appear to be the cause of this mess. Instead, it's DC Bureaucrat incompetence.

...two health-care agencies -- the Department of Mental Health and the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Administration -- routinely fail to submit the proper paperwork to receive federal reimbursement for Medicaid and Medicare services.

Washington has a reputation for being filled with bureaucrats. That reputation was mostly created from the presence of the federal government. Still, you'd hope some competent bureaucrats would trickle down to DC government.

The key word in that quote, of course, is "routinely." We keep forgetting to ask the federal government for the money that is rightfully ours? That seems like a pretty big "routine" mistake. Why hasn't this been fixed? We're talking about a lot of money here. And we're just leaving it on the table.

Of course, anytime the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Administration is in the news for something other than the death of one of their wards...that's got to be considered good press for them. Way to go Mental Retardation Administration! No one has died in your care for, like, five months. Keep up the good work!


Anyone Else Excited to be Back at Work?

Things I will miss about Cape Cod:

1. Friends and family. Duh.

2. Free meat. So much meat. Turkey, pork, and kielbasa. I love kielbasa so much that it's hard to explain within the confines of written language. I was so filled up on meats that I forgot to grill a steak. I will not repeat this mistake come Christmas time.

3. The Cape Cod Times. This paper has long been respected for its photography of ducks and for breaking important stories. For example, their exhaustive investigative reporting has revealed that The Mars Company won't print "Capt. Dick" on their M&Ms. Would you rather read about Captain Dick or about the resurgence of manners?

4. The Quarterdeck. Best bar on Cape Cod. Certainly better than anything that Washington has to offer. Owned by Frank Black's father, best jukebox within 100 miles, and it serves pints of PBR for $1.50. $1.50! If Washington bars followed The Quarterdeck's lead I could go out every night and be financially solvent. Forever. This is what happens when an area is devoid of hipsters. Cheap beer stays cheap. Down here I'm paying three dollars a can. That's absurd.

Four things may not seem like much, but they represent a welcome respite from the bumbling incompetence that surrounds me in Washington. Now, back to the grind.


One More Post Before My Flight!

Ok, I wrote my holiday send-off before reading today's Post. That was a mistake. Check this out. (Also, a hat tip to Read Express.)

I'm constantly disappointed by Americans' ignorance regarding the First Amendment. Here's a fun game: At the Thanksgiving table, ask your family members if they can name the five freedoms protected by the Amendment. I bet it takes them a while. The answer is of course speech, religion, press, petition, and assembly.

Apparently the MPD isn't so hot on assembly.

The D.C. police department agreed yesterday to pay $685,000 and take steps to protect protesters from police abuse and ensure their rights to settle a lawsuit over the treatment of demonstrators at President Bush's inauguration in 2001.

The lawsuit uncovered evidence that the department had suspended rules limiting the use of force during the protests, had pressed undercover officers to infiltrate protest groups and had sought to provoke protesters and uninvolved bystanders by attacking them with batons and pepper spray.

Good grief. The MPD decided to take away a Constitutional right. There's no way around that. They knew very well that people had the right to protest a questionably elected president and the police decided to take it away from us. This is beyond outrageous. They started fights as an excuse to arrest protesters! The police shouldn't do that!

The MPD also has some issues with the Fourth Amendment as well:

The settlement, which comes as Ramsey is preparing to leave his post, is the latest in a series of payments the city has made stemming from police conduct at demonstrations. In January 2005, the District government agreed to pay $425,000 to seven people caught up in a mass arrest at Pershing Park in September 2002. More than 400 people were rounded up at the downtown park during demonstrations against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Several investigations found that Assistant Chief Peter J. Newsham, after conferring with Ramsey, had ordered arrests without warning or evidence of a crime -- including of people who had nothing to do with the protests...

In January 2004, the city agreed to pay $7,000 to $10,000 to each of three Corcoran College of Art students who sued. The students had said that they were photographing the Pershing Park protests and were encouraged by police to enter the park and then arrested in the roundup.

(Emphasis is mine.)

Between the $20 million we're going to have to pay the Rosenbaum family and the million dollars we're spending because of blatant Constitutional violations, I would say that the incompetence of Washington officials is costing the taxpayers (like myself) quite a pretty penny. Now do you see why Bethesda is the Holy Land?

I shouldn't overreact. It's only $21 million dollars being wasted. Not too much in the grand scheme of things. It's not like Washington would be dumb enough to spend, oh, I don't know, $686,000,000.00 on a doomed "public works" project. I mean, that would be crazy!

(It was only ten minutes ago that I published a post where I promised to try to not write about the stadium so damn much. My promises are worthless.)

The silver lining in all this mess is that Chief Charles Ramsey is finally gone. Maybe now I can start a petition without the fear of incarceration hanging over my head. I like how the progress that America made 215 years ago is just now coming into vogue here in Washington. It's like The Village, but without that dreamy Joaquin Phoenix.

Holiday Navel Gazing

I'll be flying into Boston this afternoon as I prepare to give thanks for friends, family, and Massachusetts on this glorious holiday. I most look forward to not spending nine dollars everyday for lunch. That's going to rule. I have no preference for white meat or dark meat as long as it's free meat.

This break will be good for you readers since the quality of the blog has been decreasing a bit over the last few weeks. I do love getting comments about how much I'm sucking. As if I'm not aware of my own writing quality and its pertaining suckage. Thanks for the constructive criticism anyways. Things will be slower in the office around the holidays so I expect to do a little more creative brainstorming instead of depending on Metro and stadium posts.

I'll be back Sunday afternoon in time for the conclusion of the Bears-Patriots game. I may post once from Cape Cod if I'm feeling especially bored. Maybe complaining about how I can't buy alcohol in grocery stores or something like that. In the meantime, travel safely and enjoy the turkey and pumpkin pie.


Oakland > Washington

Oakland, like Washington, wants a new baseball stadium. Makes sense. Both RFK and the Oakland Coliseum are dinosaurs. Their accommodating confines generates little in the way of offense (offense attracts stupid fans) and very little in terms of income generating luxury boxes. Both teams needed out.

We all know what happened to Washington. $686,000,000.00 of public funds are going down the toilet for what even Linda Cropp admitted would be a merely above average stadium. For the most expensive stadium ever, I want the most awesomest stadium ever. Fuck you, Linda Cropp.

Let's see what they're doing in Oakland. Oh my. They're making us look stupid.

While Washington is shelling out enough baseball cash to start an Army (which would be an interesting solution to our lack of federal representation problem), Oakland is building a stadium without the use of public funds. The Oakland Athletics bought some land in Fremont from Cisco Systems at a heavily discounted price in exchange for stadium naming rights. The money for construction is being raised in exchange for land around the stadium. That land is sure to increase in value next to a baseball park, so it's win-win for everyone.

Obviously I'm comparing apples and oranges. The Athletics had all the time in the world to come up with this ingenious plan. Washington was a bit under the gun in terms of getting a stadium built since Major League Baseball was threatening to move the team. Of course, that would have never happened. If anything, the team would have moved to Northern Virginia.

The Oakland Athletics are building in Fremont. That's 28 miles from Oakland. McLean is only 11 miles from Washington. Has it never occurred to anyone that saving the $686,000,000.00 was worth traveling the extra 11 miles? It certainly never occurred to Mayor Williams or Councilman Evans.

While our bond ratings are being jeopardized by this stadium madness, another city is showing us the easiest way to create a money-generating stadium that improves the land around it. It's exactly what we wanted at almost no cost. I honestly think that the new ballpark on the Anacostia (you know, the one surrounded by the above-ground parking garages) will end up being the shame of the city. Go Nats!

If You're Going to Get Mugged and Beaten, Try to Do It in Bethesda

Anyone remember this nightmare post? Well, I'm glad to report, with a hat tip to DCist, that the children of David Rosenbaum are suing the bejesus out of Washington. Of course, it's impossible to put a price on human life, but twenty million dollars seems like a fair place to start. Especially when there is no doubt that Washington killed Rosenbaum about as much as those two muggers did.

Rosenbaum's brother admits the suit is more for attention than for money. Good. I assume a twenty million dollar lawsuit will draw more attention to the Rosenbaum fiasco than my bitching and moaning on Blogspot. People need to know that Washington's "apathy, indifference, and complacency" could very well kill you.


George Michael is Never Gonna Dance Again

One of the few perks about living in Washington, DC is the surplus of great sports personalities the city has to offer. I'm not talking about the players (although the city is lucky to have both Clinton Portis and Gilbert Arenas). I'm talking about the journalists. Sally Jenkins and Thomas Boswell doth do good work at The Washington Post. Jenkins isn't my favorite and Boswell is a bit too old-fashioned, but, to deny the quality of the work they've done throughout their careers would be unfair. We also have Tony Kornheiser who has been terrible as a Monday Night Football commentator. Don't let that distract you from his years of great work on ESPN, the Post, and on radio.

Michael Wilbon is such a great sports writer that he gets his own paragraph. He's so good that I kind of want to hug him. Once I ran into him at a McDonald's and he ordered a burger with no onions so I know he's my type of guy. He let me cut him in line too! How courteous! In short, I have a massive man-crush on Michael Wilbon.

Of course, the local sports television scene is dominated by one man, and only one man. He has revolutionized the way sports are covered on television. That man is WRC's own George Michael. And he is stepping down from his Sports Machine and his regular weekday sports anchor duties.

Let me be the first to say "good riddance."

George Michael is responsible for the worst kind of sports journalism. The kind where an old dude screams at you and makes snide little remarks about the opposing team. The kind of anchor that wishes he could laugh at his own lame jokes. The kind of journalism where you achieve access to Redskins Park by giving ridiculously softball interviews that make a mockery of the term "sports journalism." The kind of journalism where you show highlights of a dog show and refer to the poodle as an "AU Princess."

Ok, that last one is kind of funny, but you still can't say that.

Michael's on-air personality, that of the pompous jackass, was grating. It was like he was trying to ruin sports for me. Some of the better ESPN anchors are self-deprecating. George Michael was the opposite. Someone whose opinion of himself was more important than whatever the Nationals were doing on a July evening. This quote solidifies my opinion of him:

Michael said he made the decision after NBC, which owns WRC, announced significant layoffs and staff cuts.

"I told them, that if I have to lay anyone off, if I have to get rid of any of my staff, then I'm going to take the first bullet," Michael said.

Yeah, George, you're the man. Fighting for the little guy. I'm sure this decision had nothing to do with your advanced age and the fact that your body was broken a year ago when you fell off your motherfucking horse.

The way the AP is fawning over Michael makes me think that I'm a bit out of the loop. Apparently, George Michael was an incredible trailblazer. I've only been watching him since 2001. Those five years were unbearable. I used to watch the local news just for sports. With Michael it was the exact opposite. As soon as I saw him, the television went dark.


The Future!

I was on one of these Monday evening. The train wasn't close to full so I can't tell you how it handles under the pressure of a ridiculously busy commute. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with these newfangled "6000 Series" trains. There was a ton of standing room and the same number of seats. Well played, Metro. Well played.

Of course, when I'm the guy standing in the middle of that ring with nothing to hold on to, my opinion could very well change.


Two Notes

You people who think I complain too much about bars and the Metro...you're not going to like this post. Sorry.

1. Another great DC bar bites the dust. Townhouse Tavern on 17th and R was one of the best spots for weekend drinking. People had been telling me about the excellent Townhouse jukebox months before I made my first appearance there. Hell, it's even mentioned in the Post's write-up. Although I wouldn't call it "the best jukebox in DC," it's certainly top-5. The bar was augmented by a great clientele, good cold bottles of Miller High Life, and a smoking hot bartender who also had the distinction of being one of the friendliest bartenders I had run across in the city.

The bartender is gone. That sucks, but I can work my way through it. Her replacement was super-friendly. Not as hot because he was a dude, but I can deal.

The jukebox is gone too. Replaced by an Internet jukebox. Although I'm against Internet jukeboxes on principle, I'll admit that there are some good ones out there. DC9 and Big Hunt come to mind. Unfortunately, Townhouse purchased one of those evil jukeboxes. The same jukebox featured at Asylum and Buffalo Billiards. The ones that only carry the big hits. If you want to play an obscure song, you're shit out of luck.

This drives me up the wall. The Townhouse jukebox was the bar's biggest draw. Now it's gone. I can't imagine how that makes any business sense. Townhouse isn't a bad bar now, but is it worth the effort when there are a plethora of establishments scattered around the Dupont Metro? Probably not. Way to destroy the thing that made you unique, Townhouse.

2. I mentioned earlier that my morning trains were coming every three minutes instead of every two minutes. Not the end of the world. Now it's every four minutes. It's so bad that I can't get on the train at Friendship Heights since the trains are so full. I feel sorry for the chumps waiting at Tenleytown, Van Ness, Cleveland Park, or, God forbid, Woodley Park. You guys must be sick of this crap.

A common criticism of the Metro is that it runs for work and not for play. Well, it's not even getting the work part right anymore. Maybe I should jog to Bethesda every morning. I'd get a good cardio workout and be able to fit into a train. Win-win.


Sad Story, Stupid Article

Anyone here have Veteran's Day off? Well, not me. Stupid veterans.

I was thumbing through the Metro section of The Washington Post during my morning commute when an unintentionally hilarious headline caught my eye.

Thieves Victimize Mother Nature.

I love it. Just reading the headline makes it seem like that some hooligans illegally obtained the power of wind. Or maybe one of the Captain Planet kids got mugged and lost their element rings. How can Captain Planet "bring pollution down to zero" without the power of the five element rings!?

(Two notes on Captain Planet:

1. "Heart" is a bullshit elemental power. Wind, fire, earth, water...those are the four major elements. Why couldn't the fifth power be "radiation"? That would have been awesome.

2. The vocal talent on this show is surprisingly strong. Some names popped out at me going through the Captain Planet wiki article. I mean, Jeff Goldblum!? The Reading Rainbow Dude!? Awesome.)

So, anyways, nature was mugged by some eco-bandits who stole a tree that was lovingly planted 25 years ago by kindly Arlington resident Peter Jones. It was donated to the city a week ago. It was almost immediately stolen. It's a weird combination of human interest and grand larceny. My favorite paragraph? Why, I'm glad you asked!

And so it was that Jones and Ike Sneed, facility manager at the recreation center, were left feeling like saps, angry with themselves for not chaining the tree into the ground. Such is the society: Even nature must be shackled, lest it be seized.

When I read the "feeling like saps" line on the train, I audibly groaned. That's a joke my dad would make before awkwardly chuckling and winking. Like, good one, Dad.

As for the "such is society" line, I double-checked the byline to see who wrote this article. Jamie Stockwell, you are not Henry David Thoreau. So save the prose for the book deal. "Nature must be shackled, lest it be seized"? Christ. Even the Style section essays avoid that crap.


Too Tired to Write Well

First and foremost, let's get this out of the way:


I am absolutely exhausted from the late night (and the 3.5 mile walk from Smith Point to my house), so I'll make this short and sweet.

My trip to Smith Point was a disaster. The LateNightShots people were really nice to me. Like, they went out of their way. God damn it, how can I complain about them now? My biggest complaint would be that the beer selection there is an absolute travesty. No beers on tap and the best beer they had there was, honest-to-God, bottled Budweiser. What the eff kind of rich-kid bar doesn't have top shelf beer?

Also, it was weird seeing people so dressed up for the purpose of getting drunk. I stuck out like a sore thumb in my blue-plaid "Mr. Fantastic" shirt. I looked ridiculous. At least it made it easy for people to spot me. In retrospect, I should have worn a suit.

I had a good time. Smith Point isn't as much fun as those dirty hipster bars that people complain about on the LNS boards, but I made due. It says a lot that I was able to show up looking like an idiot and still make small talk with everyone. Considering how socially awkward I am, that's amazing. People avoid eye contact with me at DC9 if I'm wearing something out of place (like my precious sweater vests), so, score one point for the rich-kids.

Of course, some people were still suspicious of me. I just picked this up from the LateNightShots forum:

Who was the guy in the cowboy-type flannel who showed up at 8 pm sharp and was standing around awkwardly. Was that wonkette? He looked like he was up to something.

I would attack this if it weren't kind of, you know, accurate.


The Big Day

Who has two thumbs and is wicked excited about the midterm elections? This Guy!!

Ok, so that joke doesn't work on the Internet unless I become one of those newfangled video bloggers, but, nevertheless, I hope you can feel the excitement through whatever Internet tubes you're reading this on. Excitement!

If you're lucky enough to be outside the city and blessed with Congressional representation, you know what to do. Vote. More specifically, vote Democrat. This especially goes for Maryland and Virginia. These states feature three elections that, according to polls, are statistically tied. I especially want to see Senator George Allen (R-VA) out of a job. He's a racist bully. He represents the Virginia that I hate. The Virginia featured in "Borat." The Virginia that wants the powerful warlord George Bush to drink the blood of every man, woman, and child in Iraq.

Virginia voters also need to get out and strike down the anti-civil union voting initiative on the ballots. Northern Virginia will be instrumental in protecting the rights of gay couples in the state. Don't let the tobacco chewing yahoos in Southwest Virginia tell you that gay relationships have no legal protections.

For the first time in my life, I actually want to live in Virginia. The voting there is so extremely important...please Northern Virginians, don't blow it by not showing up at the polls. Vote for Webb and vote against any legislation that would have gay couples pushed to the outer fringes of society.

On to other matters:

I'd love to hear what you guys think. I'm guessing that Dems take 16 or 17 House races. I'm a but more bullish on the Senate where I think the Dems will take Republican held seats in Montana, Pennsylvania, Ohio. I think we'll take Rhode Island and Virginia too, but I'm feeling a little bit of doubt. I'm also very, very nervous about the Cardin-Steele race in Maryland. I think Cardin will inch it out though.

Election Night Party:
I keep asking my friends and roommates if they would be interested in going to the Late Night Shots party at Smith Point. The reactions I've been getting range from tepid to aggressively negative. Come on, guys!? What are you so afraid of?

I'm really hoping that my feelings get hurt by a drunk blue-blood who doesn't like my "Mr. Fantastic" shirt. That's the best case scenario. Worst case scenario is that everyone is really nice and gets along. That would be so disappointing. Worse yet, it would make me one of "them." Disaster.

(I read somewhere that Smith Point has a policy of not letting the uncool kids into their establishment. This is total bullshit. If they pull that crap on me I am going straight to my friends' apartment. I am a very important blogger, lines shouldn't apply to me.)

Anyways, Smith Point, Wisconsin and O, 8pm. No cover. I do not plan on being fashionably late. Late Night Shots is promising that they'll be playing their usual weekend dance mix. I assume that means lots of Journey (yay!) and Bon Jovi (boo!). If you can't find me, I'll be the awkward guy avoiding eye contact with the cool kids. Just like high school! But with beer!

Totally Random:
If I start blogging less, it's because Guitar Hero II finally came out. I have been doing finger practices to get ready. This is going to eat up every second of my life for the next few weeks. You've been warned.


How Do You Boycott a Free Newspaper?

The Washington City Paper has always walked the fine line between relevant news and asinine observation. I'll miss that line. Yesterday's print edition took that line and absolutely destroyed it.

The City Paper's cover story, "Your Unfinished Basement or Mine?," by Franklin Schneider, is one healthy dose of stupid and one totally inappropriate dose of misogyny. It's more embarrassing than "Dear Penthouse" letters. The disrespect thrown towards women is mind-altering. I have no choice other than to copy-and-paste the Hell out of it to illustrate how beyond the pale this piece of crap article is.

Last summer, I found myself coming off a crippling breakup. Somehow, things had gone horribly wrong between me and the love of my life. There was a time we'd talked seriously about "together forever," but by the end of our two-year run I was scared to use the shampoo in the bathroom for fear she'd spiked it with Nair...

Oh man, that sucks. No, wait. It doesn't suck. You know why it doesn't suck, Franklin? Because almost every single person reading The Washington City Paper has been through a terrible break-up. Every. Single. Person. Franklin Schneider, you are not unique.

By the way, every paragraph of this "story" makes it clearer and clearer that Franklin's ex-girlfriend was 100% not at fault for this failed relationship.

We were both aggressive people, and at the end it was all-out emotional terrorism. She made a concerted effort during our protracted breakup to undermine me in the most vicious way. I wasn't a man, she informed me, which was why we hadn't had sex for months. I have to admit, it got to me. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought she might be right. After all, I'd spy a sweaty woman with a cleft palate on the Metro and go into a reverie of lust, while my hot, naked girlfriend at home left me cold and flaccid. Perhaps I really was less than a man.

If only there were some medium of communication that could express Franklin's feelings without inconveniencing the many City Paper readers who just don't give a shit. Oh, I know! Get a blog, Franklin. That way, you will only bother people who volunteer to give a shit about your pathetic love life.

This crisis simmered for a few months after our split until I lost my job. With a decent financial cushion, a steady flow of unemployment checks, and no obligations whatsoever, my life essentially became a stage on which I had unlimited license to work out all of my ego crises and psychodramas. I immediately plunged into what all my friends assured me was just the Darwinian social cauldron I needed - the D.C. bar scene. This turned out to be less therapeutic than it sounds.

You motherfucker. Woe is me! The government is paying my way and all I have to do is to go to bars and hit on women every single night. Of course it isn't therapeutic. You're a pile of shit for a human being. Work on that first. Ladies come second. Or in your case, not at all. *Rimshot*

She asked me for a light - this was at the Black Cat. She was beautiful and scathingly intelligent, the very reason I'd started sitting in bars every night. It was her birthday, she explained, and she was looking to have fun. At the end of the night, we drove to her apartment in Glover Park. Her roommate was home, so we went to my place instead.

At the time, I was staying in a friend's unheated, unfinished basement. My ex-girlfriend had recently kicked me out of our apartment. My new, temporary room had a 6-foot ceiling, no electricity, and such a bad infestation of silverfish that I had to sleep under head-to-toe mosquito netting. My bed was foam padding on a sheet of plywood laid out on concrete blocks, and the only light came from a naked, yellowed bulb hanging overhead. Lucky for me, she found the whole setup transgressive and, thus, arousing. Or at least exotic...

I would love to hear from ladies on the romanticism of silverfish and mosquito netting. Please tell me this Glover Park lady is some kind of horrible exception to the rule that women find bugs gross.

When we were about to get down to it, she stopped and said she had a confession to make. "It's that time of month," she told me. Did I mind? No, I did not mind.

As I showered in the morning, careful to breathe through my mouth as the red water swirled around the drain, I realized with equal parts relief and trepidation that there was nothing I wouldn't do in service to my libido...

The Washington City Paper, ladies and gentlemen. Telling the best "crime scene sex" stories that DC has to offer.

I admit to not having very much experience in this matter, but I don't think having the intercourse with a menustrating woman would cover you in enough (or any) blood to warrant red shower water. Maybe a little, teeny bit. But Franklin is making it sound like he was swimming in the stuff. I sense some dishonesty here.

The "do anything to service my libido" philosophy is also horrible. That's right, women. You are nothing but a warm place to come for some jackass with ex-girlfriend issues. And people wonder why the DC bar scene isn't therapeutic.

Franklin goes on to talk about his partner-in-crime; his, dare I say it, "wingman." His name is John. John, according to the author, is a good guy. Here's a typical exchange between John and Frank:

John had his blind spots, though. Every once in a while, when it was a slow night at the bar, I'd turn to John and ask, "Why are you out here all the time, prowling around? I mean, I know why I'm out here, but what's your purpose?"

I knew exactly what he was going to say. His answer was always the same and always delivered with the same straight-faced gravity. "I guess I'm looking for that special someone. I'm looking for a wife."

This never failed to make me laugh...

Yeah, John, you sucker. Trying to create a long term relationship? What are you, stupid? Man, girls at bars are for one thing only: penis-in-vagina. Oh yeah.

Wander U Street and Adams Morgan long enough, and you'll realize that what your mother told you is true: You can't judge a book by its cover. People who appear to be cool turn out to be lame, and people who appear to be merely lame turn out to be downright despicable...

Ok, I appear merely lame. Does that make me "downright despicable"? What about people who appear lame but are actually smart, funny, attractive people. I'm not even saying I belong in that category. But that category exists, right? Franklin, it seems, refuses to be pleasantly surprised by people. I'm amazed he hasn't killed himself yet. I mean, what's the point of interacting with people if they're only going to let you down? To John, the point appears to be ejaculating in them or on them.

Another night at the same bar, three giggling girls burst into the crowded men's restroom. "There's a long line for the girls' room - y'all mind if we use yours?" As they noisily piled into a stall and closed the door, most of the guys were grinning in dumb delight - "look, real live gurls!" - but I saw one guy staring after them with unalloyed hate on his face. I imagine he'd just been rejected by one of the girls in the stall, or one like them, or a series of them. To a sexually frustrated man in a bar, female behavior like this - can you imagine three guys piling into a women's stall? - might seem constructed specifically to rub your face in your own inadequacies. I was trying to think of some comment that might defuse the guy's anger when he noticed me looking at him...

It's bad enough that our faithful narrator has all but admitted that he uses women as sex toys. Now he takes it a step further by accusing women of rubbing his face in his own inadequacies. His point regarding women jumping into a men's room bathroom giggling isn't necessarily wrong. But I certainly wouldn't let it bother me. Franklin, on the other hand, seems to genuinely despise women. That's why this article is so offensive to me.

Going out was like a job; John and I would punch in and punch out, whether we felt like it or not. Eventually, we gained momentum. It became clear that if you had decent hygiene, passable banter, and the endurance and nerve to make the rounds on a consistent basis, you'd be fine. You'd be better than fine. John developed some near-foolproof techniques; one, a nonverbal trick that I'd rather not disclose, was so effective that it induced women to pick him up.

Yeah, women are easy. They'll sleep with any dude that brushes their teeth! You can trick them into bed without even talking to them. Jesus Christ, Franklin Schneider is an asshole.

We were soon mingling with all kinds of women. We met older single mothers. (When they get a sitter, they're determined to take full advantage.) We met government contractors. (Their nighttime personae were the polar opposite of their buttoned-up daytime ones.) And we met 18-year-olds. (Each had told her parents that she was spending the night at the other's house.)

Sluts, all of them. Right, Frank?

But as we met more and more women, we realized that we couldn't fucking stand at least 95 percent of them. Maybe 99 percent. This was fine with me. In fact, when I did meet one of the elusive 1 percenters that I actually liked and respected and had something in common with, I did everything I could to piss all over our chemistry. I'd been down the relationship path, and it had ended in a blood bath. Now, all I wanted were disposable encounters. After my 35th consecutive conversation about American Idol, though, I realized this probably worked better in theory than in practice.


The author is at least honest enough to admit that he hates 99% of women. Even better, he can do without the other 1%. Relationships just end in misery, man. That leaves him hating 100% of women and being proud enough to flaunt it to all of Washington, DC. I'm torn between truly hating this man with every fiber of my being or just feeling sorry for him. He's clearly miserable and needs help.

So many nights I'dd be standing there on autopilot, drink in hand, inwardly aghast. What in God's name is she talking about? I haven't the slightest idea, but worst of all - what is this fucking nonsense coming out of my mouth? Yes, I, too, love the Stars: They're Just Like Us! feature in Us Weekly!" What is wrong with me? I'm sitting here nodding and smiling like a fucking bobblehead doll. Have I no integrity? Must I demean myself for even the tiniest measure of relief?

Hating on women is one thing, but how dare you defame "Stars: They're Just Like Us!" Reese Witherspoon pumps her own gas! Kate Winslett double-fists her coffee!

I'm not being funny, I genuinely enjoy "Stars: They're Just Like Us!"

As John put it once, during the course of an especially discouraging night, "It's depressing when every girl you talk to is dumb or obsessed with money or has no sense of humor or won't shut up about herself or prattles on about some stupid TV show. It's depressing when you find out that everyone is dull and stupid, but it's even worse when you realize - so are you."

Bingo, John.

Franklin spends the next few paragraphs talking about some bizarre sexual experience in Seattle that featured handguns. Since the main point of the article seems to be that flirting in DC bars sucks, I have no idea why the author wasted valuable space on hooking up with a girl 2,769 miles away.

Last fall, a girl I had briefly worked with in the past suddenly took an inexplicable interest in me. She had a luscious, pert ass, and she knew that I liked it. We met up for drinks at the Black Cat, and afterwards, we went to her house in Georgetown.

During the walk there, she casually mentioned that she had a chronic back problem and that she needed frequent massages. In fact, her back was acting up at that very moment. Taking my cue, I offered to give her a massage as soon as we got to her house. She hesitated; actually, she had a very specific and somewhat unusual back condition. The only thing that gave her relief was direct stimulation of the sciatic nerve. Did Ididn'tw where the sciatic nerve was? Of course I did, I said. I didn't have the slightest idea.

So far, so good. Still a dumb hook-up story that belongs in a blog or in Laura Sessions Stepp's nightmares, but you haven't abused or embarassed her yet, so, job well done, Franklin!

When I went to her room, I found her lying on the bed. She was face down, wearing lacy underwear, with pillows stacked underneath her stomach. Her ass protruded into the air. When she heard me enter the room, she reached around behind her to grasp her ass with both hands. "So the nerve runs down through here; you'll have to really press down hard."

I sat behind her on the bed and started to knead her ass. Lust descended on me like a sickness; I almost felt like vomiting. As the massage went on, though, I began to appreciate it on its own merits. I'd never been able to admire a girl's ass without the simultaneous distraction of being hilt-deep in it. On a purely aesthetic level, it was spectacular. Before long, my erection had gotten so painfully intense that it felt like it was going to explode.

But as I was about to ease her underwear down, she turned and said, "Lie down here and let"s just talk for a while"

I was shocked. Talk? We'd been talking all night. The only thing I wanted to do even less than talk was to pretend that I wanted to talk. Her request was almost certainly one of token resistance - perhaps something to make her feel like she hadn't given it all up at once - but it was one hoop too many.

Well, it didn't take long for the other shoe to drop in this weirdly pornographic tale. How dare some girl not have sex with you, Franklin? I don't get it either.

Granted, there is some cockteasiness here. The girl set herself up to be in a situation where there is an expectation for sex. That's not necessarily fair and can be dangerous if some guy decides he doesn't want to take "no" for an answer. Still, any guy worth his weight would understand that this girl still likes him and that maybe they can go out again in the future. In other words, handle the situation maturely.

So, what does Franklin do?

I refused. There was a moment of silence, and then she asked, "What?"

"I don't want to talk. I have no interest in talking right now."

She seemed to consider this. "Then you can't stay in bed with me," she said.

I rolled off the bed and lay on the floor. It was childish and petty, but I didn't see any alternative. What was I supposed to do, lie there and talk about the weather until she deigned to open the gates? I suppose the hard-boiled thing to do would have been to put my shoes on and walk out. But it was late, I was tired and drunk, and I'm ashamed to admit that I still clung to some shred of hope that she'd drop her bluff.

No such luck. I lay on the floor as she lay on the bed. She gave me a couple more chances to repent, but I refused.

Finally, she got up in a huff, brushed her teeth, gargled, and took her contacts out, signaling an end to the night. As I watched her pad barefoot around the room in her underwear, her ass jiggling with each step, I genuinely felt like weeping...

Can you imagine this actually happening? My jaw dropped when I read this. Franklin is clearly a 13-year-old.

At some point, I realized: It always costs a little more than it's worth. I was always feigning interest, fake-laughing, or pretending I didn't hate some shitty band. And after a short while, I hated myself for it. I - the essential I, the I whose interests extended beyond sodomy - had relinquished control.

It's cute how Franklin thinks the "essential I" hasn't merged with the "sodomy I." There is no "essential I." Franklin doesn't have a job, lives off the government, and spends all of his time lying to women in exchange for 10 minutes of physcial pleasure. His soul is dead.

I figured I was marked for karmic payback. I became convinced I was going to die of AIDS. When the test came back negative, I settled on cancer. I stopped leaving the house altogether, cut off human contact, and spent most of my hours on the sofa reading Dostoevski, waiting for the other shoe to drop.


That paragraph made me sick to my stomach. This man is a monster.

As it turned out, it dropped on John. A girl he'd been intermittently sleeping with for a while started calling him. He didn't take her calls or call her back, even though she left messages saying she needed to talk to him. Finally, after a week of stonewalling, she e-mailed him - she was pregnant. He called me and asked what to do.

"Abort it," I said.

She was rabidly Catholic, he said. She'd never go for that. Besides, it was already too far along.

I thought about it. "I guess you could always pull a Scott Peterson..."

This is incredibly sad because John was presented as the nice guy. He got corrupted and ended up in a no-win situation. Some friend Franklin is.

And killing your one-night-stand and her fetus? HILARIOUS! Humor gold mine, that Scott Peterson is.

A few months later, she had the baby, and they gave it up for adoption. In person, John is now distant and slightly punch-drunk, perpetually preoccupied. I don't ask with what.

I keep telling him he needs to get back out there with a vengeance - hair of the dog that bit you, that type of thing - but he refuses.

That's the end of the article. Doesn't matter that your lives are ruined, keep plugging away, John. I'm glad John sees through Franklin's bullshit.

So, honestly, have you ever seen anything so aggrsssively anti-woman? I certainly hadn't.

So, this is the last time I am going to write about the City Paper. They don't deserve the attention until they publicly apologize to every woman who was subjected to this garbage. I have one copy in my attache. I'm going to write down a bunch of their sponsors and contact them asking for their thoughts on this article. I am a silly powerless blogger, but I will do everything I can to make sure the Paper takes a hit in the pocketbook for this trash.

Just commenting on this trash makes me want to take a hot shower.


I Need to Download a Drudge Siren







Waiting for my Cash to Trickle

The cover of the most recent Washingtonian features a blonde middle-aged woman and a middle-aged dude in a blazer (or a blue suit jacket) in an immaculately designed room. Here's the text:

How Washington Got Really Rich...And How It's Changed Us

What an inappropriate cover. Guess what Washingtonian editors, your two middle-aged blue-blood models do not represent the Washington that I'm living in. I'm willing to bet that most of Washington is not raking it in. Last I checked, large swaths of DC still had some discouraging problems with poverty, unemployment, and homelessness.

Wikipedia features the following graph documenting unemployment rates by ward:

Well, God damn. Once you get rid of everything east of the Capitol, Washington is doing great!

Seriously. 16.3%!? Holy shit.

Washingtonian sure has a lot of nerve. I guess they didn't get the memo that most real Washingtonians aren't wealthy Georgetowners. Half of Washington is startlingly poor. But it's easier to ignore the other half, isn't it?


Late Night Shots Party Crash

If I were a halfway decent blogger, I would have taken my discovery of DC Late Night Shots and ran with it. It could have been my thing. A long running flame war where I would make fun of Smith Point and they would make fun of my paltry audience.

Instead, Wonkette decided to do that for me. My excuse is that they're paid to come up with this crap, but I admit I really dropped the ball there.

Thankfully, I'm still a member of LNS despite never having been to Smith Point. It turns out it's on my busline. Who knew?

As a member, I get weekly newsletters. The most recent one had an invitation. I present to you this invitation in full thanks to the almighty power of copy-and-paste:

LateNightShots and Smith Point will be hosting a party at Wisconsin & O [Smith Point] next Tuesday at 8PM until closing. Attendees can either celebrate their victory, drown their sorrows, or just head straight to the dance floor and worry about their employment situation in the morning. No entry fee. DJ will be playing. We hope to see you there.

The salient details appear to be that this is cover-free and open to everyone. So, I ask my fellow readers to attend this event so we can ruin it for these rich motherfuckers. You can tell which one of the douchebags I am by my boat shoes. That should narrow it down.

Seriously, what's an Election Day without some party-crashing hijinx. This will be fun.

Also, as an added bonus, the invitation features a picture of three potential hook-ups for all you single ladies out there:

Disclaimer: These gentlemen have no idea how to pleasure a woman.


We're Number 353!

Recently, some outfit called Morgan Quitno Press used FBI figures to determine the safest cities in America. Out of 371 cities, Washington finished 353rd. About 95% of American cities are safer than Washington. I'm actually surprised we broke the top 360.

To be fair we beat our rivals in Richmond (357th) and Baltimore (360th). What a poor showing from the cities in our area. Invest in mace.

Virginia is Special

My roommate, who happens to be black, went to a house party in Reston, Virginia last Saturday night. While there, he witnessed a guy in blackface as part of a costume. Also, he was called a "nigger" by one of the other (white) guests. Hilariously, the white dude thought that "nigger" was an appropriate friendly term to use with black people you've just met.

Virginia is awesome like that.

Virginians, please remember these rules:

1. Saying "nigger" is never acceptable unless you are quoting a knucklehead (like in this post) or if you're singing along to a song on the radio.

2. Blackface is never OK. It makes people angry. If you really want to dress up as Lil' John, bite the bullet and go as a Caucasian Lil' John.

Thank you for your attention.


What Not to Do With Your Saturday Night

Halloween is almost upon us! Hurray! Like every other red-blooded American, I loves me some Halloween. I love candy, pumpkins, and, most importantly, I LOVE the combination of alcohol and super-slutty costumes. Every girl should dress as a slutty _____ this year! Anyone dressing as a "slutty Gallaudet protester"?

Tonight is my first Halloween party and I'm super-excited. I decided against dressing as my first costume choice, Corey Lidle. Instead, I will be SLASH. Any costume where a bottle of Jack Daniels is a legitimate prop is a damned good costume. No keg lines for me!

So, tonight I'm all set. Tomorrow, not so much. My Saturday day-planner is totally blank. I asked some friends what they were up to on Saturday night. I shuddered when I heard their response.

"Bar Crawl."

So now I have to dedicate precious Internet space to explain why Washington bar crawls are about as fun as dental work. Just so you know what we're dealing with, here's a link to the bar crawl poster. It includes prices and all the participating Golden Triangle bars.

Where to start? First, let's attack the pricing. It's Halloween so we'll assume that everyone will be wearing a costume. That means a bracelet is going to set you back $15. What do you get for $15? The privilege of drinking $2 Bud Lights. Of course, $2 Bud Lights isn't a firesale. Any decent happy hour wouldn't charge much more than two bucks for a 12 ounce bottle of watered down beer.

The pricing issue is exacerbated by the attitude of the people going to this event. Once you pay your $15, you're going to want to drink as much as possible to make the cover worth it. Also, it's Halloween. So, the more Bud Lights you drink the more likely you are to believe that hooking up with that GW frat guy in a fireman costume is a good idea. So, let's say, on average, everyone will have 10 Bud Lights. That's another $20. Don't forget another $10 for tips!

Bar crawl, something many people attend for its supposed cheapness, will set people back a good $45. I don't know about you, but I can get drunk at a reputable bar drinking reputable beer for under $45. Advantage: Rusty.

What if you're not going to save money? What if you're going for the atmosphere? I say to you, Hypothetical Person Going To Bar Crawl For The Atmosphere, you are drunk on optimism juice.

Let's look at the bars participating in bar crawl. Why, it's the usual suspects! Madhatter's is the worst bar in the history of the universe. People packed to the gills with an unfriendly staff and illiterate bouncers who can't figure out that 2005-1983=22>21.

Oh, Ozio is on the list too! That's the pretentious place I went to with no beers on tap, a Motown cover duet rocking by the door, and the TV playing lumberjack games on ESPN 2. That was a fun night.

Most of the bars, specifically Madhatter's, Rumors, The Front Page, and McFadden's, offer the wonderful ambiance of pounding hip-hop and "Slippery When Wet" era Bon Jovi while being shoulder to shoulder with an angry looking frat guy and a drunk bimbo screaming the lyrics to Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous." In fact, the only decent bar I can find on this list is the Black Rooster Pub. And if you're only getting deals on Bug Light and not on Guinness, what's the point of going there? Premiership highlights?

I love Halloween, but it would be dishonest if I were to deny that many of my fellow Halloween lovers are lame. These lame people are exactly the type who would enjoy a bar crawl. A large group getting as drunk as possible in skimpy outfits looking to have their holiday validated by some penis-in-vagina action. There are those going to bar crawl for the innocent purpose of getting drunk (like my friends), but it would be silly to argue that most people at this event aren't trying to fuck their brains out by the end of the night. Binge drinking is a means to this end. If you're really only interested in getting hammered, why not go to a real bar with real alcohol. You'd end up saving money. And you wouldn't be in the company of as many idiots.

Saturday you can probably catch me drinking in any decent bar with my wig and top hat. It may not be as exciting as requesting more Journey at The Front Page, but I'm sure I'll get by.