Civic Duty

I'm back! Big thanks to Schuyler for keeping this blog going in my absence. Obviously, he was awesome. Many of you commented on his awesomeness. If you liked him, please remember to read A Ton of Bricks on a regular basis.

I returned home to Friendship Heights on Saturday evening. I was greeted by a copy of the most recent Northwest Current. I immediately noticed that Inspector Andy Solberg had been reinstated to his position as 2nd District Commander. Oh, joy. This, of course, after his insanely racist remarks. Since so many people stood up for Solberg and his crazy-ass statement that it's "not a racial thing to say that black people are unusual in Georgetown," I refuse to let this go. I will never let this go until everyone admits that what he said was wrong.

I'm not holding my breath.

Saturday night I ended up at Georgetown Billiards on Prospect Street. (I had a good time even though the jukebox stole a whopping nine credits from me.) I left at 1:30am. Before leaving, I took a head count. I found three black people in the bar. Since their presence was so unusual, I decided to call the police and report them as suspicious and potentially dangerous characters. It wasn't a racial thing at all. Just doing my civic duty. I'm sure Inspector Solberg would be proud.


Letting the Door Smack Me In the Ass On the Way Out

Several things before I go:

  1. Rusty, thanks for giving me the chance to write for you here. I have newfound respect for Rusty in that he constantly puts up with all the crap that comes along with writing a relatively popular blog. If you meet Rusty in a bar, buy him a beer because he probably needs at least one after every day of this.

  2. If you liked having me here, I'll invite you to come read what I write at my real blog: A Ton of Bricks. However, I am afraid you will be somewhat disappointed. When Rusty asked me to write for why.i.hate.dc in his absence, I resurrected a persona that had died a natural death almost 10 years ago: the angry, sarcastic, profane, disrespectful and cruel high school version of me. Like all zombies come back from the dead, this character, no, caricature wanders around looking for brains to devour and pollute. This is something I can't let happen, so now I've got to kill off this horrible bastardization of nature. I think I'll use an aluminum bat. All this to say, my normal blog is not full of invective and anger and hatred and humor and name-calling, so if that's what you liked about my stint here, you'll probably be disappointed.

  3. Thanks, readers, for sticking around while Rusty was out of town so that when he returns tomorrow his blog is more than just a burned-out, hollow shell of what it used to be. I think I managed to at least maintain your readership, Rusty.

And finally, I just want to say that there are lots of things to hate about this city. They come in all shapes and sizes, all creeds and colors, all philosophies and theologies. But the one thing that unites them all is a soul-crushing lack of respect for other human beings, the elevation of status above all else. Money and/or position truly do make the man (or woman! I’m not sexist! I have friends that are women! See, I’m really, really not sexist!)

This attitude is not funny. It is the opposite of humorous. It is anti-edification. It has no redeeming qualities. Everything else that we hate about this place, from the douchebags to the assholes to the criminal abuse of power is just a symptom of this disease.

A general lack of respect means you treat your fellow subway riders as obstacles to be overcome. It means you purposefully ignore the homeless because you are too good for them. It means you dehumanize anyone that doesn’t live up to your expectations of a “decent person.” It means you flaunt your six-figure salary and big-time political connections around in discussions just to make sure that the others in attendance know how much of a big shot you are and that they ought to treat you accordingly. It means you will insult anyone if it will give you a leg up in the never-ending struggle for power and status. It means that you should avoid “looking weak” at all costs. It means that you treat service workers as things to do your bidding, not as people. It means that your service workers will return the favor and treat you as an annoyance to be gotten rid of. It means that you can’t fathom taking 3 minutes out of your important life to talk to a Street Sense vendor. It means you can’t take three minutes out of your important life to make someone feel human. It means that you’d damn well better have more impressive shit than your neighbors because you are damn well more important than them. It means you progressively become a heartless sower of hate and misanthropy. It means “fuck you, everybody.” It means you will probably die screaming and sad and unable to figure out how or why it’s all ending this way and where are all your friends and family and why can’t your money and status and power get you out of this mess and God damn it what a waste.

It means that there is a Giant Food supermarket near my house and that in front of the Giant, there is a bus stop. It is the initial/terminal stop on the 90/92 route, which runs from McLean Gardens to Anacostia Station. Every day, the employees of the Giant are bused in from across the city because supermarket jobs are below us upper-classers. Our children will attend Sidwell Friends, or St. Alban’s or The National Cathedral School. They will never, not ever work at such a demeaning job. That is for the rabble, and that is why we have a bus system. Besides, they like coming up here to our nice neighborhood, don’t they?

If you think “well, that’s just what living in a big city is like,” does that make it okay? Does the fact that we live here and that to survive here you need to be cruel, jaded, cynical and sociopathically self-serving mean that it’s not a problem? That this is just the way it is? Maybe you should reconsider. Is it a source of pride that you can “survive” here if it means you are but a shell of a human being? Do you revel in the fact that you can easily ignore the panhandlers asking you for money? Do you truly enjoy a life of accumulation and consumption? Does it feel good to abuse and take advantage of others in order to accomplish your goals?

A commenter recently asked “[d]oes D.C. make you mean? Numb? Both?” And if you're not careful, the answer is “both.” Absolutely “both.” And that is why I fucking hate this city.


R------s Fan Appreciation Day!*

Truth be told, I don't much care about the R#&$^%@s, or the NFL in general, for that matter. I'm more of a baseball guy and by the way, did you know that the Nats have now won 5 in a row? Now they are only 15 games back of the Mets! However, this blog has a long and illustrious history of hating the Redskins.

Of course, the way the team is run by owner Dan "DB" Snyder makes it easy to mock and criticize them. And I'm all about easy comedy, so let's take a look at what's in store for the fans on FAN APPRECIATION DAY! By the way, thanks to Deadspin for pointing me towards this horrible mockery of fan appreciation.

So, FAD is scheduled for August 5th, the date of the first preseason scrimmage for the Racists, I mean Redskins. Preseason just screams "We appreciate our fans," doesn't it? And get this; Admission is free! (Parking is $25 for cars and $75 for RVs and no you can't park anywhere but the FedEx field lot, why do you ask?)

Now that you're in the stadium (for free!) what is in store for you? Here is the schedule that is subject to change without notice.

  • 10:45 a.m.: Welcome announcement from Larry Michael - Uh, who? Oh, the radio guy. Okay.

  • 10:50 a.m.: Performance by Redskins Marching Band - Sweet! Because if there's one thing about high school football that totally translates to the NFL, it's band geeks. Do all teams have marching bands, or is it just the ones with racist names? And will the band be dressed as "Redskins" for the performance?

  • 11:05 a.m.: Performance by Redskins Cheerleaders - If they really appreciated the fans, the cheerleaders would perform lapdances.

  • 11:20 a.m.: Vinny Cerrato addresses the fans - WhoTF?

  • 11:35 a.m.: Performance by Redskins Marching Band - Because 45 minutes is just enough time to forget how trite a marching band is.

  • 12 noon: Scrimmage begins - Finally.

  • 2:00 p.m.: Scrimmage ends - Do they keep score during scrimmages? If so, my money is on the Dodgers.

  • 2:10 p.m.: Joe Gibbs addresses the fans - Um, I think this is supposed to read GOD addresses the fans, right fans?

  • 2:15 p.m.: Gregg Williams addresses the fans - WHoTF?

  • 2:20 p.m.: Al Saunders addresses the fans- WHoTF?

  • 2:25 p.m.: Performance by Redskins Cheerleaders - Encore!

  • 2:40 p.m.: "Best Dressed" contests begin - This creeps me out. Here are the details: There will be five finalists for each of three categories:

    • Best Dressed football player, under 12: Everybody loves kids dressed for combat!

    • Best Dressed cheerleader, under 12: Because Dan Snyder enjoys the sexification of pre-teens! This is a great place to meet all your local Redskins fans/child pornographers!

    • Best Dressed fan, 12 and older: Whatever.

  • 3:10 p.m. Event ends - Let's see....the event lasts 4.5 hours. Parking costs $25. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just pay an illegal immigrant $2.50 an hour to drive your car around for 5 hours? Plus, you wouldn't need to worry about your car being stolen because you could just have him deported if he tried any shit. See? Works out best for everyone!

But wait! There's more! You can also get your picture taken with the Redskins' Super Bowl Trophies! Hundreds of T-shirts will be fired into the air with cannons! There will be kiosks! Win a free autographed mini-helmet!

Oh, by the way "Due to the structure of the scrimmage, there will not be any organized autograph sessions with players or coaches." But hey, thanks fans, we really do appreciate you! No, really!

*Fans are not actually appreciated. This is just a gimmick to distract our moronic fans from realizing how we constantly bend them over and fuck them in the ass on our way to losing to the Seahawks in the playoffs --- Redskins Management

The Return of Some Kind of Murder Tracker

Do any of you remember James F.'s old murder tracker thing? I think he quit doing it long before he left, and I think it's high time we bring it back. It is important for us to remember that every murder victim is a real person that had emotions and dreams and family. We should commemorate their loss.

So, I've put together a little graphic to help us track how long it has been since the last murder. Let's see, some kid was shot in the head on Monday and died on Tuesday and that's the last murder I've heard of in the District. So, should we count that as Monday or Tuesday? I say Monday because that's when the violence occurred, so Monday it is.
UPDATE: A woman was killed in SE this morning, so the counter has changed to reflect the latest murder

Ah, who are we kidding. We know that this doesn't matter. We know that not every murder victim has equal value. We don't care about most victims' emotions or families or dreams. Thus, we obviously need another murder counter that takes this into consideration. We need to track the murders that get things done, that get CRIME EMERGENCIES declared. We need to know how long it's been since someone that matters was murdered. So, to that end, we present the "Effective" murder tracker.


The Ocean is Pretty

Hola, readers. I'm writing from the basement in my lakeside estate. Yes, I'm still in my pajamas. It should go without saying that I am having a wonderful time away from the grind of Washington. It's been four days since I've seen a laniard attached to a Congressional ID. For that, I am thankful. In fact, I'm in such a good mood that I can't bring myself to complain about Washington. Instead, I'll list a few things about DC that are in fact superior to Yarmouth, MA.

1. Public transportation. My home in Friendship Heights is less than a mile from two Metro stops. My office is less than a mile from three Metro stops. There's no reason for me to own a car. On Cape, things are a bit more difficult. Waiting for your little brother to get back from work so you can take his station wagon is a bit inconvenient. And when you can finally get a ride and go out, you end up stuck as the designated driver. Man, I miss the Metro. (Although the taxis here don't use a retarded zone system. That's a plus.)

2. Newspapers. Let's be honest here, The Washington Post is a great newspaper. The Cape Cod Times is not. Worst paper ever. It seems like they put a picture of a duck on every front page. Today's front-page story involved the destruction of a tugboat. Wicked boring. I would almost rather read The Washington Times. Almost.

3. Airport Tunnel Deaths. This happened in Boston, not Cape Cod, but major props to Washington for not killing anyone recently. It is God-damned impossible to drive to or from Logan Airport since the little Big Dig whoopsie. Driving to National was no problem. On that note, here's a handy resource for the different levels of tragedy:

Tragedy: A woman is killed when concrete falls from the ceiling of a tunnel and crushes her car.

TRAGEDY: The aforementioned death inconveniences me and forces me to take the T (Boston subway) to Braintree instead of getting a lift from a family member.

4. Coffee. I can't believe I'm writing this, but I miss Starbucks. I have spent my life bitching and moaning to anyone who would listen that Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla coffee is the greatest thing in the world. But D+D went corporate and stopped brewing flavored beans. Instead, they take the regular blend and add syrups. It's absolutely disgusting. The regular blend is bad enough, but adding marshmallow flavor shots really pushed D+D into the next tier of grossness. So, it's come to the point where I actually miss Starbucks. Ach. Admitting this publicly makes me hate myself a little.

So, I came up with four areas in which Washington is better than Yarmouth. Of course, all four are immediately cancelled out by the fact that I live a mile from this:

Guess where I'll be next sunset.

Hackneyed Bitching About DC

Okay, since everyone seems to expect more and since only a few people seem to mind trite and hackneyed complaints about DC, let's go with the obvious, the old CL R&R special: People in DC are bad drivers.

We all know it's true, and I'll leave it up to everyone else to lay out the differences betweeen the drivers from the different jurisdictions. However, it warms the cockles of my heart when science proves that my often irrational and specious opinions are maybe not too far off the map.

Apparently, someone somewhere decided to test drivers from all around the country on their driving knowledge. I'm sure there were some methods and stuff, but I didn't feel like doing much research or thinking of any non-cliched things to complain about. Instead, I felt like wasting my time making a color coded map of the USA based on the results of the survey. Here it is. The highest possible score was 100. Less than 80 would mean failing, I think.

The map is obviously on a scale at which DC can't be seen. You'll be happy to know, however, that DC did not have the lowest score in the nation. It had the second lowest. Maryland was third lowest, and Northern Virginia didn't have it's own rating, but I bet it would have been fourth lowest. Basically, the whole area would be bright red and anyone that trys to tell you that such-and-such drivers are the worst is wrong. Everyone here is bad.

What a relief that it's not just me being a self-centered idiot thinking everyone is a bad driver here. Not that I'm not self-centered, just that when it comes to driving skill, I was right.

Just so you know, Rhode Island was the worst, and Massachusetts failed, too. That's why Rusty never complains about the drivers (does he?); he's never lived anywhere that people actually know how to drive.

Now, to change gears slightly, this wouldn't be why.i.hate.dc without some blatant "somewhere else is better than here" propaganda and since, for some reason, a lot of readers loved James F. and James F. loved Seattle, I will copy James F. The following chart shows that, based on the geographic center of the states, the farther one gets away from the Pacific Northwest, the less one know about driving correctly. The R-squared of the correlation is only about .41, but for a real world phenomenon that's not too bad. Also, the goodness-of-fit is affected quite a bit by the outliers. Guess what one of them is? Yep. DC.

Okay. Apparently lots of people, against all reason, read my other blog. In so doing, they found that my "post" from Sunday was a slightly modified rehash of one that I wrote earlier this year. Rusty had no problem with me doing this, but I should have had more consideration for his readers and let you know that it was not original to WIHDC. Sorry. It won't happen again.


Are You This Guy?

I hate seeing dudes on the metro that give all us other twenty-something white guys a bad rep. Everybody thinks we're all d'bags, and it's because of people like the guy I saw the other day.

First, I noticed him because he poked me in the face with his jumbo-sized magazine. You know the ones. They look like a regular magazine except they are glossier and about 50% wider for no apparent reason. I thought to myself "what a jerk. I bet he's reading GQ or some other idiotic man-mag." I get a peek at the cover and, even worse, it's Details. I know that you're thinking “nothing could be a stupider magazine than GQ.” Well, you're wrong.

With my initial suspicions about this guy confirmed, I decided to check him out. Not in a gay way. So I see that he's wearing a nice crisp white shirt with no tie. He probably took his tie off before getting on the train so he could look "laid back." Actually, I do the same thing, so I can't fault him for that. The problems started below the waist. He was wearing:

  • Black, pleated suit pants

  • A brown belt.

  • Light brown leather and canvas flip flops.

  • Talk about a major fashion faux pas. Black and brown? Duuuuude. Plus, pleats? Don't they tell you not to wear pleated pants in Details? I guess not. But the piece de resistance of the whole outfit was his footwear. I don't even have a comment about those.

    So, with every bad stereotype of late 20-something Washington white guy rolled up in one package, I just looked at him and wanted to punch him the throat. But I didn't. Then the train got to Cleveland Park. I got off and headed up the escalators.

    As I exited the station, I thought about that guy and how he was really just another person trying to make his way in the world. I decided that I hoped he was at least a better Christian than I am. That he was more charitable than I am.

    Because then he would've turned his other cheek and I could've punched him again.

    It's Easier Than It Looks

    You know, when Rusty first asked me to do a little guest writing in his absence, I was worried. “What if I can’t find anything to write about next week,” I thought. “What if all I can manage are lame, ineffectual stories of personal foibles and/or annoyances? What if I lack the talent to find stories that speak to the systemic ineptitude, vicious regionalism and soul-killing pretension that make this city as horrid as it is?”

    You’ll be pleased to know that I now doubt this will be the case; it takes no talent. Once I stated actually reading the WaPo looking for these kinds of stories, it was easier than taking candy from a CVS. Let’s just take a look at the stories that didn’t make the front page of WIHDC from Tuesday to Thursday:

    • Woman Injured in NW Stabbing – Some woman got mugged and stabbed in the chest and maybe the neck near the Takoma Park metro station. At 3:50 PM, and no that is not a typo, 3:50 in the afternoon. So, to those of you who said about the G’town stabbing, “well, don’t forget that you live in a city. Be careful when you are out at 2 AM,” this needs to be changed to “any fucking time of the day” in all future arguments. And finally, what was the reaction of Adrian Fenty, the city council member for Ward 4? He said that the area is "definitely safe, especially at 3 p.m. in the afternoon." Right.

    • Suspect in Fires Runs Away on Ride to Cellblock – A criminal, sorry, an accused criminal was being transported from the MPD’s 5th district station to headquarters for incarceration when he apparently opened the back door of the police wagon and ran away. Wow. The District’s finest at work. Did they forget to press the little “child lock” button on the back door?

    • House Backs $1.5 Billion For Metro-- With a Hitch – Unbelievably, the Republican-lead House actually approved $1.5 billion over 10 years for the WMATA. All that needs to happen is for DC, VA and MD to match that amount giving a total of $6 billion for those of you that are bad at adding, which is most of you I assume. So in other words, the Metro will never, ever, ever see any of that $6 billion. Thanks Virginia, thanks Maryland. Oh, they haven’t voted yet? Don’t get your hopes up. I think we all know how it’ll turn out.


    • Suspect in Car Burnings Captured in NE – Well, it turns out that the amazing MPD managed to catch the escaped criminal again. What the article fails to point out is that when the police confronted him, the carsonist pointed at the sky and said “Look! The Goodyear Blimp!” He escaped again as the police officers looked over their shoulders.

    • Theft of Aluminum Wrecks Ballfield Bleachers - I’m sorry. I don’t mean to laugh at Ballou HS, but someone stole your bleachers? Seriously? That must have taken hours to undo all the bolts and load up the bleachers and nobody saw them do it? I find that hard to believe. When you next see the Ballou security guard (now under the direction of Andy Solberg) you can bet he will be wearing aluminum bleachers because what the hell else are you going to do with a bunch of aluminum?


    • Region’s Homeland Security Funding is Allocated – Well ain’t that the shit. The region gets 40% less money for security than last year. It's probably because most of last year's money was spent protecting the Madhatter and Nation and now we no longer need to protect those bastions of civilization. I guess the terrorists have won.

    • General Dynamics Finds Profit on the Battlefields - Hey, why should Halliburton get all the cash? Death and destruction are big business here in Washington.


    I Thought We Were Through With This

    Seriously, people, I thought we were done with this shit. I thought that even Georgetown douchebags had realized that "popping" your collar was lame. We covered this a year ago, for Christ's sake! I can't believe we have to do it again! But apparently some of you missed the memo.

    When my wife and I took my parents to see Georgetown and Alexandria last weekend, I couldn't throw a rock without hitting some idiot with his collar up, which was kind of a good thing, because I like throwing rocks. I don't know if this is a Washington-exclusive form of douchebaggery but I certainly don't wish it on any other city.

    So, all you people out there in your pink polo shirts with the little green men-on-horses or your white polo shirts with your gigantic multi-colored men-on-horses on the left breast, listen up. But first a quick aside: Why the gigantic multi-colored horse? Were you worried that someone might see you and not notice a regular sized man-on-horse? Did it scare you that they might think you're not a douchebag? Anyway, if you are considering "popping" your collar (or even worse, half-popping it like a half-in-the-bag JJ Redick) please first refer to the following flow chart. It should help you make the right decision before you go out this weekend.

    Special Thanks to Drew.

    When in Rome

    So, Rusty has asked me to do a little writing here while he is on vacation. In Cape Cod. Yes, Rusty, we get it. You like Massachusetts.

    Anyway, I suppose you are all wondering why he asked me to do this and not someone else, especially considering that I don’t even know Rusty. I’m not sure why he asked me either, but the following is a rundown of the two of us that shows why I am at least as qualified as he is to write here.

    • Location
      • Rusty - Friendship Fucking Heights
      • Me - McLean Gardens

    • Age
      • Rusty - 23
      • Me - 26

    • Work Location
      • Rusty - Dupont Circle?
      • Me - Metro Center

    • Hometown
      • Rusty - Boston-ish
      • Me - Seattle-ish

    • Occupation
      • Rusty - Wannabe lawyer?
      • Me - Engineer

    • Race
      • Rusty - Very White
      • Me - White

    • Marital Status
      • Rusty - Single
      • Me - Married with Kid

    It’s quite apparent that it would be hard to find two more different people that will bring such differnt perspectives to the table. Let’s go through it point by point.

    1. Location: He lives in Friendship Heights, the Cheesecake Factory capital of the Capital. Me? I live like, two miles south on Wisconsin Ave. That is two miles closer to the dangerous Georgetown ‘hood where murders are up INFINITY PERCENT this year. I am obviously much more “street.”

    2. Age: Rusty is 23 (I think. I can’t find his Myspace profile) which means he’s probably a new college graduate. What is it, one year now since you finished school, Rusty? I hate new college graduates. They epitomize everything that sucks about this city. They come here to change the world because they are “interested in politics and stuff.” Then, within one to two years, they’ve been beaten down into misanthropes like the rest of us here. But man, for those two years they are goddamn annoying.

    3. Work Location: Again, I am about two miles closer to SE DC. This cements my superior street cred vis-à-vis Rusty.

    4. Hometown: Hey, did you know that Rusty grew up near Boston? You did? Oh yeah, that’s right; he mentions it in about every fucking post. I, on the other hand, am from the opposite end of the longest interstate in the country. A place of unparalleled beauty, opportunity, and non-DCishness. I am from that resplendent land to which the illustrious founder of this illustrious blog, the illustrious James F., so wisely fled: Seattle. Yes, I realize we are both transplants here complaining about DC, but please, feel free to comment on it and bring out the ol’ “you can’t complain about DC because you’re not from here” schtick. Seriously, that is the platonic form of a valid argument.

    5. Occupation: Do you think Rusty likes lawyer jokes? Well, it’s probably because he doesn’t get them.

    6. Race: Due to my preponderance of street cred and the fact that one time I worked at a factory job with some Mexicans in Washington State, I think I get to remove the “very” from “very white.” Plus, I'm pretty sure my good buddy Charles the Metro Center Street Sense guy called me "niggah" yesterday. Top that, Rusty.

    7. Marital Status: Rusty is a single white guy in DC who blogs. How original. He should try living here with kids. It makes everyone you would already hate even if you didn’t have kids act even douchier. Yes, I realize I just ran over your foot with my stroller. It’s because I don’t like you and I love passive-aggressively attacking people. No, I am not fazed by your disapproving look. You’re still a dick.

    There. I spent a couple hundred words giving a virtual handjob to James F. and explaining why Rusty sucks. That should make all you commenters happy, since that’s all you ever seem to do. Unless you’re pissed off that I stole your thunder.


    Feelin' Massachusetts

    OK, here's the deal. I will be spending the next week on Cape Cod. It's my first real vacation since graduating and joining "The Real World," so I am super-excited.

    I have recruited a guest-blogger to handle things here during my absence. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Schuyler from A Ton of Bricks. He's funnier than me, so the trolls who insist on leaving negative comments here should be appeased.

    In fact, here's some troll bait. I discovered this review of my work when checking out the archives of Schuyler's blog:

    This one used to be great. James F. had perfected the art of going off on long, angry rants about seemingly minor annoyances. And then he moved away. Of course, before he moved away, he found a replacement: someone named Rusty. Rusty just doesn't have it yet. But that's okay. He's new at this and he gets at least a 6 month period during which he needn't be great every day. Ah, who am I kidding. No blogger is ever great every day, otherwise they wouldn't be just a blogger. Also, I'm a sucker for DC hate, so I'll keep reading no matter what. Heck, I'll recommend it.

    I don't know what to make of that. It's a compliment, maybe?

    Anyhoo, I know there are a few people who don't read Why.I.Hate.DC for the DC-hating, but rather for my hilarious exploits.

    These people, all ten of them, are surely made up of my friends and acquaintences.

    They shouldn't worry. I'll post a few entries next week from my parents' basement computer to let you know how I'm doing. I'm sure a lot of you are looking forward to a "Massachusetts is better than DC" post. I would hate to let you down.

    But for now, check out Schuyler's blog. It's very funny. I'm fairly confident he'll be just as funny over the next week.

    Until next time, Godspeed.


    Also, We Walked Uphill Both Ways

    Hey, gang. Enjoying the weather? Apparently, yesterday was the first CODE RED day in Washington since 2004. Code Red is the term used when the heat index is between 105 and 130 degrees. Here's a handy table.

    I admit the weather has been rough. It's especially rough for me since I don't own any shorts and I insist on wearing long sleeve shirts. It should be noted that I did take the drastic measure of retiring my sweater vests until September.

    I am not going to complain about the weather though. Complaining about the weather is super-lame. In fact, with the heat on everyone's mind, I just wanted to take a little time to tell everyone that it could be a whole lot worse.

    Let me take you back to 1997. I spent 10 days at Fort A.P. Hill in Bowling Green, VA for the National Boy Scout Jamboree. (For those who don't feel like clicking on the links, Bowling Green is between Richmond and Washington in Caroline County.) The Cape Cod Boy Scouts all hopped on a bus and drove to Virginia. The weather was unbearable when we arrived. You think Code Red is bad? Try a CODE BLACK.

    Code Black is when the heat index is over 130 degrees. According to the little heat index table, that's 105 degrees Fahrenheit with 80% humidity. And that's the low end of Code Black.

    It was the first day of the Jamboree, so we had to hike a mile to our camp. And since we were such go-getting Scouts, we also had to erect a 20-foot-tall model of the Cape Cod Railroad Bridge to serve as our camp entrance. Again, this was in 105 degree heat. Since it was a military base, there wasn't any shade. Just an awesome time. I drank over four gallons of water and still managed to lose over five pounds in two hours. Fun!

    So, when we get a Code Black here in Washington, I'll be much more receptive to complaints about the weather. This Code Red business is nothing.



    Part I

    I can't fucking believe this. Remember when Alan Senitt died and his murderers were apprehended the next day? The MPD did a pretty good job patting itself on the back. Even I was surprised at how effective our police officers were.

    Naturally, the Metro Police Department fucked up super-royally and it cost Alan Senitt his life. They had the killers' address before Senitt's murder.

    Here's my favorite excerpt:

    Police responded by telling her [a previous victim] they could not get an arrest warrant without first doing surveillance at the apartment building and then conducting a lineup to determine whether she could identify suspects. She said she was sure she could identify her attackers and was waiting for a call from the police.

    OK. I assume someone reading this knows a little something about Constitutional law. I've only taken a few Civil Liberties classes, so my expertise on the subject is a bit rusty (so to speak). But I'm pretty sure that the MPD is wrong. I would say that buying "male enhancement products" with a stolen credit card represents probable cause. By the way, any prosecutor can tell you that witness identification is incredibly unreliable, so I don't know what the officers were thinking there either.

    At the very least, if you go in with a warrant and they have a stolen credit card and a handgun...that's two arrestable offenses right there. Alan Senitt lives.

    Part II

    The Andy Solberg foot-in-mouth incident is still getting a lot of press too. For anyone who forgot, he told 2nd District citizens that "This is not a racial thing to say that black people are unusual in Georgetown." He was immediately reassigned to Alaska*.

    I responded to his comments by saying "If I had the opportunity to take back every stupid and/or offensive thing I ever said and replace it with something that made sense, I would be a happier man. Unfortunately, I can't do that. Neither can you, Mr. Solberg. I hope you get fired."

    I laid the righteous indignation on so thick you can almost smell it coming off the screen. I should learn to take it down a few notches.

    Still, the more I think about it, the more I hope he is severely disciplined. If not fired, then suspended without pay. There was an excellent DCist comment thread on this yesterday. Some defended Solberg. The gist of their argument was that Solberg was being attacked by the political correctness brigade. He was just saying what everyone else was thinking and what was known to be true.

    That, of course, is absolutely ridiculous.

    Because it's not true. I see black people in Georgetown all the time. Are they a minority? Of course. But Solberg's comment implied that seeing one black person in this affluent area is reason to be alarmed. That's indefensible and encourages whites to be fearful of blacks. Solberg is stoking racial tension. That's the last thing this city needs right now.

    I was most disappointed by the thoughts of Marc Fisher. I was disappointed because, well, I kind of have a man-crush on him. He doesn't take Washington too seriously and he loves pointing out how silly the city can be. He is an awesome "must read" guy.

    But his defense of Solberg was stupid**.

    Solberg apologized for his "insensitive" and "inartful" comments, but that's not enough for those who are eager to see bias and to play gotcha.

    I am not eager to see bias nor am I eager to play "gotcha." What Solberg said, even if he immediately regretted it, had the effect of making black people feel awkward and unwanted in white areas. That isn't good policing. That isn't commendable human behavior.

    Then Fisher uses anecdotal evidence from Solberg's friends and neighbors. Solberg's black friends and neighbors. They say Solberg isn't racist. That may very well be true, but it doesn't really matter if he's racist or not. He said something racist at a time when everyone was hanging on his every word. I don't care if he's a good man. When the pressure was on, he fucked up. He may have been a "good cop" before, but his "inartful" comment has stripped that away.

    *I stole that joke from Stripes. He was really reassigned to school security.
    **The rest of Fisher's column is typically excellent. Only the Solberg part sucks.


    I May Need to Exercise More

    Since Wednesday, the escalators at the Tenleytown Metro stop have been out of service. Metro is blaming a broken water line. With WMATA's sterling track record, I'm sure the escalators will be back up in no time.

    Yesterday, I thought it would be cute to count how many stairs I would have to walk up. I couldn't do it. I lost count around 90. The pain on my thighs was making me delirious. I made it up without resting, but, Jesus, that's a tough walk. And I'm a relatively strong 23-year-old. Let's hope WMATA takes care of this before a septuagenarian collapses from exhaustion and tumbles down a hundred stairs to his doom.


    Not Much, But It's a Start

    What a joyless week it's been here in Washington. We're in the middle of a "crime emergency" that's sprinkled with a heavy dose of racial tension.

    In times like these, one needs to look for something that can put a little joy in one's heart. I have found that one thing.

    Sign of the Whale is closing its doors.


    Sure, it's going to be replaced by an Irish Pub which will surely be disappointing. But this closing will inconvenience many of the people I don't like. Namely meatheads and sluts. I am all about inconveniencing sluts.

    And where will all of these orphaned drinkers go? They'll most likely walk the half block to Madhatter's. That's fine by me. My problems with Madhatter are well documented. The combination of the Sign of the Whale crowd and the regular Madhatter crowd will make Madhatter's the Chernobyl of bars. The place will just radiate with morons.

    That's a good thing. If everyone I despise goes to the same place, I won't run into them at the more enjoyable saloons in town.

    It's nice to see some change for the better around here.




    So, we all know about the horrible murder of Alan Senitt and the attempted rape of his friend. Let me just say that, first and foremost, I hate, hate, HATE that this happened. It's truly horrible and I really don't have any words beyond that. I don't know what kind of defect in humanity and/or society allows this sort of thing to happen.

    But I also hate the reaction to the murder. Yes, the crime was horrible. It was totally senseless and frightening. But this sort of thing happens across the Anacostia all the time. Whenever someone is murdered in Ward 2 or 3, people flip out, as if what happens in Ward 7 or Ward 8 isn't our problem. Well, it is. We're all part of the same town. The town is so ridiculously segregated that people often forget that it's one city. It doesn't matter if you're from AU Heights or Congress Heights, you live in Washington, DC. We're all Washingtonians.

    And the race issue just can't be ignored. I implore you to check out the DCist comment thread. I know from experience that the people who leave comments on blogs are not indicative of its audience, but, Jesus Christ, this is eye opening. Who are these people?

    I can't really do justice to a crime like this. It's too much and I feel stupid for bringing it up. I'm just sick and tired of people thinking I'm being naive when I get angry at every murder in the Metro section. "It's a city, you have to deal with crime." But once that reality comes within a few blocks of a Whole Foods, everyone flips out.

    Every murder is just as unacceptable as this one.

    UPDATE: Anyone who doesn't think that the reaction to this story is racist is out of their tree. And it goes further than the DCist comment thread. As reported in The Washington Post,

    ...[Police Chief] Ramsey temporarily reassigned Inspector Andy Solberg, who urged residents to report suspicious activity and said, "This is not a racial thing to say that black people are unusual in Georgetown."

    Actually, Mr. Solberg, that is the pretty much the definition of a racial thing. Calling an entire race of people suspicious seems pretty "racial" to me.

    In a later interview he backed off his remarks and said, "What should be suspicious is three guys standing out on a street corner at 2 o'clock in the morning."

    Yes, I agree. But you didn't say that the first time around. Hindsight is a bitch sometimes. If I had the opportunity to take back every stupid and/or offensive thing I ever said and replace it with something that made sense, I would be a happier man. Unfortunately, I can't do that. Neither can you, Mr. Solberg. I hope you get fired.


    More Homeless Women

    I spent the early part of my Saturday night watching television in my luxurious home in Friendship Heights. My roommate was entertaining a guest on our porch. I heard screaming. The roommate and friend rushed into the house to tell me that a homeless woman was in front of our house and yelling at passers-by.

    Indeed, there was an elderly woman with two shopping carts and a skirt that looked like it had been found in the dumpster behind a Wet Seal in front of my house. If anyone went near her carts she would screech "Gettttt Awayyyyyy!" at a volume usually reserved for rape whistles. The situation was exacerbated by her sluggish pace. It's one thing for an elderly crazy type to be slow, but this one was actually doubling back. She would take one cart 20 yards, stop, go back to retrieve cart #2, double back, and then go back again to retrieve whatever fell out of her carts on the long journey. This woman took over 15 minutes to make it down our very small block.

    Naturally, a few of my roommates and the aforementioned guest went out to the porch to gawk. I mean, wouldn't you do the same?

    The crazy homeless lady did not hesitate to tell me I was full of "dirty, filthy rot" and that I had to "get out; you don't own the place anyways." Although she was right, I'm only a renter, I didn't feel the need to abandon my suburban fortress. From there, she warned me of the many demons hiding in the weeds of our treebox.

    By the time she was in front of our local cafe, she had screamed "Get Away!" a dozen more times and threatened to hit an older neighbor with a folded-up chair. Suffice to say, her addition to the neighborhood was very unwelcome. We just got rid of the last obscene homeless lady. Why replace her with one that actually threatens violence?

    I know every city in the world has problems with the homeless. I also understand that ignoring the problem doesn't do anyone any good. As much as I hate making eye contact with someone asking me for spare change, I understand that the problem is there and it's not going away.

    For me to admit that much, I think it would do the pro-DC crowd a lot of good to admit that the homelessness problem in Washington is drastic. According to Wikipedia, for every 100 DC residents, there's one homeless person. That's double the rate of New York City.

    I'm sick of it. I shouldn't have to be yelled at on my porch by some gray-haired crazy lady in a miniskirt and I shouldn't have to apologize to people asking me for change when I'm fresh out of quarters.

    Where am I going with all this? Well, I finally admitted to myself that I may be in DC for a while. So I registered to vote down here. As much as I will miss voting for murderers, it's time to move on. So, goodbye Congressional representation and hello 2006 mayoral/Ward 3 elections!

    My primary concern as a voter isn't education, transportation, or how to properly apologize for assfucking taxpayers to the tune of $611,000,000. No, my primary concern is homelessness. I know there's no easy fix, but something must be done. If I'm having such a problem with it, I can only imagine how the people on the street feel.

    So, um, who should I vote for? All advice appreciated.



    Yeah, so Sleater-Kinney tickets went on sale today. Surprisingly cheap too. After all that service charge crap, I was set back a mere $21.75. Considering this is their final tour before their "indefinite hiatus," they could have charged a whole lot more. At the listed price of $15, the show managed to sell out in about 20 minutes.

    I've had my problems with how the 9:30 Club handles ticket sales in the past, but this was a whole lot easier. Announcing when the tickets go on sale makes a whole lot more sense than surprising everyone by putting tickets up late on Sunday night. Kudos to the 9:30 Club!

    So, I got my tickets. My roommate got her tickets. My friends got their tickets. Everything went swell for me. But if you didn't get your tickets, oh man. I feel bad for you.

    Here's Asshole Scalper #1. He (or she) is charging $175 for a pair of tickets. What a twat-face. The nerve of someone to take a farewell concert and turn into an opportunity to make that much money is unthinkable to me.

    Asshole Scalper #2 takes it to a whole new level. He (or she) is charging $300 for a pair of tickets. Remember, a pair of tickets only cost me $43.50. Anyone who charges that much for a ticket is a fucking schmuck. This kind of scalping is a total violation of rock law*.

    My friend and I each bought two tickets. We were afraid the show would sell out in 30 seconds or something wacky like that, so we decided to maximize our chances. We both succeeded in buying tickets, so we have two extra. Unfortunately, we both have integrity and refuse to fuck some poor unsuspecting Sleater-Kinney fan up the ass with such horrifying price gouging. Instead, we plan on finding a friend to take the tickets at face value. If that fails, I'll probably sell 'em on Craigslist for $50. Total potential profit: $3.25.

    Now, what to do with these assholes on Craigslist? Well, I'm going to guess that price gouging/scalping is illegal in Washington**. So, I have no choice but to flag the everloving shit out of those outrageous posts. I urge all my readers to flag away. If these scalpers bought those tickets strictly to make money, they don't deserve a fucking cent. At the very least, we can make it as hard for them as possible.

    *Oh, and take a gander at the Philly Craigslist page. Notice a difference between the DC prices and the Philly prices?
    **I could be wrong. I'm going to flag them anyways.


    Welcome Back!

    Nothing like returning from a day off/long weekend and getting back to the usual routine. Part of my routine is reading The Washington Post. So, what's the first thing I read today on the Friendship Heights Metro platform?

    He bit the blade out of its plastic casing and stuffed an apple in his mouth to muffle his screams. Then he castrated himself and flushed his testicles down the jail cell toilet.

    Yup, it's good to be back in the swing of things.