Today I helped a friend move into a luxurious apartment building on Connecticut Avenue. Instead of taking my usual Red Line trip to Tenleytown, I walked past Dupont Circle to catch the L line.
I waited outside in the sun for 27 minutes. It was a grim reminder of my Massachusetts Avenue days when I was dependent upon N line buses that would often fail to show up on time. I almost forgot what it was like to wake up 30 minutes earlier than necessary due to the probability of a bus not showing up. That sucked then. I imagine it still sucks now.
1. The homeless lady known as Brenda was found by Agatha. Agatha and I are both Friendship Heights residents, so, you may be asking yourself, "How did Rusty miss her?" Well, Brenda has moved to Maryland. She has crossed Western Avenue and currently resides in "the bushes by Hecht's." This leads to the intriguing possibility that DC Police moved her across District lines. If that's the case, it serves as a small reminder that we live in an area where a state, commonwealth, and colony all live in close proximity and share many mutual interests. Despite this, one is always looking for a way to screw over the other two. Instead of getting Brenda the help she needs, she has become "their problem."
Anyways, my little contest went bust. Agatha kind of wins so I guess I'll have to buy her a drink.
2. A ways back Washington Monthly published an article concerning the lack of "real" Washington sports fans. (I caught this on DCist and DCeiver, so I owe them a "hat tip.") The article is all sorts of obnoxious, although I don't really agree with a lot of the criticisms that some other bloggers had towards the article. What with the Federal Government and the many good universities in the area, DC attracts a huge population of out-of-towners such as myself. And these people do not root for the Wizards, Nationals, R****ins, or Capitals.
My problems with the Washington sports community are already well-documented. My favorite experience with DC sports is going to a Wizards game that didn't sell out (despite the Wizzes being a playoff team). Even more egregious, thousands of people left the Verizon Center early even though the game was going into overtime. Shameful.
But, to DC's credit, they are crazy about their racist football team. I love that (the loyalty, not the racism). And the Nationals are really catching on in this town. I love that too. What I don't love is the Nationals stealing one of Boston's newer baseball traditions. After the 8th inning of a game at RFK, the speakers blast "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond. And Washington fans don't even sing the "So good! So good!" part.
This is totally unacceptable. This was stolen from Boston. Washington, if you ever want to be considered a real sports town, you can not plagiarize other cities' traditions. I've never been to a game that the Nationals actually won (those are few and far between), but I now have to wonder:
After every victory, does RFK blast "Dirty Water" or "New York, New York"?
3. Don't go the fireworks on the Mall. It's an overrated tourist trap. I only went once, and it was 'cause a girl wanted to go. It's boring and packed with fat tourists. Do yourself a favor and spend the day drinking.
4. As always, stay safe. Don't drink and drive unless you're sure you won't get pulled over. Have a good holiday. If something wacky (like a DUI) happens, I'll post it, but I don't expect people to see it until Wednesday.
It breaks my heart.
The homeless lady, affectionately referred to as "Brenda" by my fellow homeless gawkers Toby and Agatha, has been a part of my life for months now. I can't imagine a Washington without her.
So, I ask my dear readers to find her. The first person who can send me photographic evidence of Brenda's new whereabouts wins a prize. This offer is null and void if Brenda ends up back in Friendship Heights. That would be too easy. Irina says that she used to live in Rockville, so your best bet may be the Red Line.
Your prize? Well, I am poor, so it's going to suck. You can choose from the following crappy options:
1. If you're the first person to send in a picture of Brenda, I will buy you one alcoholic drink valued at six dollars or less, or
2. If you're the first person to send in a picture of Brenda, I will let the winner get a free rant on this blog. The rant can be anti-DC, pro-DC, pro-Boy Meets World; whatever you want. The only exceptions are anything overtly racist, sexist, homophobic, or patently offensive is not allowed. Also, the rant can't be about how much I suck or how James F. is better than me. You'll be limited to 1,000 words, which is actually an awful lot.
Some of you may be wondering, "How will I ever be able to tell Brenda apart from the countless other homeless women in this city?" Oh, believe me, you'll be able to tell. If the unsolicited obscenity and racism don't clue you in, look for forest green eyeshadow, writing on the sidewalk, and/or three shopping carts covered in garbage bags. Also, she will not panhandle. The obscenity and racism really ought to do it though. If you're not sure, just take a picture and send it to me at email@example.com. I will be able to confirm if it's Brenda or just some random homeless person.
Good luck and Godspeed.
Here's a part of the story that caught my eye:
Firefighters in Chevy Chase, Maryland, rescued 30 people by boat from a recreation center late Sunday, said Capt. Oscar Garcia, a spokesman for the Montgomery County fire and rescue service.
In Hyattsville, Maryland, crews took 69 people trapped in flooded homes to safety, said Mark Brady, of Prince George's County fire and rescue.
I'm glad that nine months after Katrina, we as a nation are finally figuring out how to properly rescue people from floods. Three cheers for forward progress.
She always seems to be one weird look away from charging at you and trying to gouge out your eyeballs with her long and dirty fingernails. So, I have to commend the courage of the fellow who kept riding past her on a unicycle.
There he went. Back and forth. Tempting fate by doing figure-eights around the Homeless Time Bomb. What I would have given to see her charge him like an angry rhinoceros.
Seriously, of all the people I would not ride a unicycle around, she would be #1.
Lady, what in God's name are your feet doing in the...is that The Reflecting Pool? Are you really putting your bare feet in The Reflecting Pool?? Ewwwwwwww. Please tell me you're wearing shower shoes.
I know it's been a bit muggy out, but dipping your feet in duck shit should not be the solution to this rather harmless problem.
UPDATE: Probably not The Reflecting Pool. I mentioned in my comments that it looked a little too close to The Dome to be the Pool. (Hey, I'm no tourist. It's not like I know the Mall by heart.) Grossness of sticking your feet into a stagnant pool of water with duck shit still applies.
UPDATE 2: You know I really should figure these things out before I push the "publish" button, but, yeah, it's The Reflecting Pool. World War II Memorial columns in the background. That is so effing gross.
I admit that as a straight, white, Christian male, I don't have to deal with personally offensive jokes on an everyday basis.
I do however have ADD. This never comes as a surprise to people who know me well. I don't really see it as anything to be ashamed of. It's not a big deal. If people wanted to make jokes, that was fine by me. I was always horrified when my mother would go on letter writing campaigns whenever a sitcom made a crack about ADD kids trying to eat their fists.
Of course, for something to be funny and not offensive, you have to be, well, funny and not offensive. Richard Cohen, the self-proclaimed "funny" columnist for The Washington Post, fails miserably.
His most recent editorial is called "Culpability Defecit Disorder." It's a doozy. It may be the worst thing I have ever read in the Post, and, yes, I am counting the Style section.
Before the random offensiveness gets going, I would like to direct your attention towards the first paragraph in this perfect storm of douchebaggery.
Ever since Thomas Riley Marshall, Woodrow Wilson's vice president, uttered the immortal phrase "What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar," people have felt challenged to better it. So if you Google the phrase "what this country needs," you will find that it needs many things, including a national architect, better infrastructure or this peach of an idea from Will Rogers: "dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds." Allow me, though, a suggestion that applies to the war in Iraq: Ritalin.
1. What!? That is the worst lead paragraph ever. Congratulations on figuring out Google, Cohen. The only purpose of this paragraph is to boost his word count. Hey, Richard, most of your readers are college graduates. We know this trick.
2. Ritalin is probably the most over-prescribed drug in America. So, what this is country needs is less Ritalin, ass-hat.
The editorial goes on hypothesizing that the Bush Administration must have ADHD since they don't know what they're doing in Iraq or Afghanistan. Hilarious! Well, Richard, you supported the Iraqi invasion and now you think we need to withdraw American troops. In other words, you had your mind set on one thing before becoming distracted by something else. The ADHD metaphor works a lot better with you than with an administration that is obsessed with "staying the course."
And, there's this classic: As any ADHDer can tell you, it is the moment that counts. What comes next or before is over the horizon.
Richard Cohen, what "ADHDer" said that to you? I would guess zero ADHDers. You are making people with ADD and ADHD sound like feeble-minded children who are unable to handle life on their own. What comes next is over the horizon? Fuck you. I have a savings account for a reason, bitch. You just described "ADHDers" the same way DARE officers describe drug addicts and I kind of hate you for it.
Here's my modest proposal. I am going to take back that word Richard Cohen just invented: "ADHDer." From now on, ADHDer is going to be a unit of suckiness that is only applicable to shitty Washington Post columns. "Culpability Defecit Disorder" is nine ADHDers of suck. It's the worst thing I've ever seen in the Post, but I want to leave room in case Cohen starts whipping out the extended racial metaphors again.
T. Dana Kauffman, who represents Fairfax County on the Metro Board, is "lukewarm" to the idea. He listens "mostly to news but occasionally turns to light jazz and oldies."
Alright, Lena H. Sun. I see what you're doing here. You're making it seem like the "cool" guys want street musicians while the old fogeys who listen to *gasp* the news are trying to spoil everyone else's good time.
Of course, the musical tastes of the people who have opinions on this are totally irrelevant to the story. I listen to Iron Maiden, Fiona Apple, and Led Zeppelin. Do my tastes have anything to do with my opinion on the subject? Of course not. It wouldn't make a difference if I listened to polka, Journey, and/or go-go. The only reason to mention these asinine details is to make one side of the debate look undesirable.
Nice try, Lena H. Sun. I know it's an obnoxious Washington stereotype to throw around accusations of media bias, but you have been caught red-handed.
*"Reggae, Johnny Cash, and everything in between"? Does anyone know what frat Dan Tangherlini belongs to?
First, big hat tip to DCist for directing me to this. I think that's my first ever "h/t." I feel like such a blogger.
Naturally, as the DCist gang is wont to do, they seem pretty excited about this potential change. Here's what DCist Martin (my fave of the gang) had to say:
"If this plan proceeds forward, gone will be the days when Metro stations both looked and felt like cathedrals. In its place will be a transit system that has become just a little bit more lively, a little more inspiring for those of us making the daily slog to and from work."
Everyone knows I am incredibly quick to criticize Metro for their general ineptitude and fuck-uppery. But I don't think that throwing a street musician into the tunnels of West Falls Church is a positive development.
Alright, children, let's really consider the consequences of having musical acts in our subway stations. If you're stumbling home from a happy hour or begrudgingly taking the train at 8am to get to work, are you really going to be in the mood for some unemployed nitwits performing an amateur version of Stomp? If someone is banging a trashcan in my general vicinity at 8am I am going to murder their family.
Do we really want our stations filled with 20-year-old singer-songwriters that sound like John Mayer-lite fishing for their big break?
And theatre? What kind of theatre can you perform for an audience that won't be sticking around for any longer than five minutes?
I present to you the Metro version of the hit play Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead:
Rosencrantz: What the Hell is wrong with this coin?
*Please stand clear of the doors. Thank you.*
This is stupid. Is there really a demand for senseless noise pollution in our Metro stations? Really? Is there anyone out there who honestly believes that Metro would be super-awesome if they had circus performers?
For the love of God, can't I just have my precious silence?
Here is a comprehensive set of her rules. She introduced me to the game, so she gets the final say.
Her blog, which she shares with a friend and appears to be written in a little-known dialect made up of spelling errors and run-on sentences, is dedicated to brunching in Washington. It's not bad and will soon be up in my little Friends and Neighbors section on the blogroll.
Also, there are often subtle jabs at me. So if you hate me, there's always that.
What does this have to do with DC? Um, nothing.
I couldn't help it. It's hard to keep up such a negative blog when the weekend was so positive. I attended my first entire Nationals game* and I had a blast. Saturday was also the first time I had noticed Pride Week, and the block party atmosphere was something I've felt that DC has always been missing. And in addition to Pride Week, I was able to enjoy this delightfully novel drinking game called Beer Die. I hope to spread Beer Die to the outer fringes of the esteemed DC Late Night Shots Club.
So, good weekend = crappy blog.
Then, after a two minute wait, my train comes.
And it never leaves.
Like the clouds parting above me, the Metro fucked up so badly that it ruined the mornings of thousands of commuters. The train was emptied out and towed backwards towards oblivion.
And I shouldn't complain. I was at Ground Zero of this Red Line debacle, but, if anything, that worked to my benefit. The poor souls at Van Ness and Cleveland Park were the true victims. The next two trains were filled with Friendship Heights passengers. The third was filled with Tenleytown passengers. If you were unlucky enough to be waiting for the train past that, you had to wait for four or five trains.
It's good to know we're getting the most out of our $1.65.
(Related topic of hatred: Verizon. Why is it that Verizon users can use their cell phones on the Metro and I, a Cingular user, can not. It's very hard to call into work when my phone has the dreaded zero bars. Are Verizon signals that much stronger, or did Metro royally fuck up and take some kind of payoff from Verizon? I did some basic research (Google) and I couldn't come up with anything. If it's because DC cut some sweetheart deal, I am going to go apeshit since that is the most retarded thing the city could have done.)
*I went to a Nationals game that was delayed for three hours by rain. That was not so much fun. Because...wait for it....the train broke down and had to be evacuated. It's an experience that never gets old!
Let me just say, right now, how I feel about this piece of legislation. (I know most of you hate political rants, so I'll try to keep this short.) I consider myself pretty nuanced. More importantly, I accept the nuanced beliefs of others. I like a good political debate. I don't care if someone is anti-choice, pro-capital punishment, pro-invading other countries, etc. Almost every single opinion I disagree with has valid points that should be taken into consideration.
Except for writing hatred into the Constitution.
If you think heterosexual marriages are weakened by homosexual marriage, you are an idiot. If you think homosexuality threatens the very fabric of our society, you are an idiot. If you are a homophobe, you are an idiot. Basically, anyone who is pro-FMA should just go away immediately. I don't want to meet you, I don't want you reading my blog, and I don't want your poisonous idiocy anywhere near me.
Well, that brings me to Sandra Rodrigues. Sandra brought her family down to Washington, DC to convince Senators to vote for the hate amendment. She knew the odds of this amendment passing were slim, but, "If we didn't believe in miracles, we wouldn't have spent our vacation money to come here."
Man, how much would it suck to be her child? Sorry, Junior, no Disneyland this year, the queers are gettin' hitched!
And, this insanity wouldn't be complete without the family values argument going full circle. The Rodrigues clan signs said the following:
Stop Same Sex Marriage: It Endorses Masturbation.
Here's her wacky reasoning: "If same-sex marriage is endorsed, then you're going to have children think it's just another option to have pleasure."
That makes so little sense that I can't even poke fun at it. It's always fun when family values conservatives argue that gay marriage will somehow weaken their relationship with their wives. Now people think that gay marriage will somehow increase masturbation rates in minors? What? How? Huh?
Incidentally, "another option to have pleasure" would include, for me, dropkicking Rodrigues in the back of her stupid head.
So, here's my plan. Since dropkicking her in the head would make me as bad as her, let's just dropkick her warped world view. First, I'd like to warn you that my plan is gross, so, sorry. If the FMA passes in the next ten years (and I know it's a long shot, but just in case), let's organize the biggest circle jerk in the history of the United States. We can directly refute Sandra Rodrigues's wacky beliefs by really turning the masturbation up a notch. Then won't she feel stupid for spending all the Rodrigues vacation money to go to Washington.
Phase 2 of the disgusting plan is to mail all of the, um byproducts of this increased activity right to Sandra Rodrigues of Utah. Something tells me that this God-fearing Christian warrior wasn't smart enough to use a pseudonym. We have her name and home state (Utah), surely I can find her address. (God bless the Internet.) Men, mail her your semen*! Evangelicals hate any semen that is not directly deposited into a subordinate woman's vagina. Women, throw your old, used vibrators into a UPS package and send them on 2nd Day delivery**! Let's make her realize the follies of her ways by systematically harassing her with the things she finds so very disgusting
If we have to fight a culture war, let's fight dirty.
So if I feel guilty, I can only imagine how the city's Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Administration feels.
Jesus Christ. "Severe scaldings"? "Fatal starvation"?
Helpful tip: Do not let Washington get a hold of your disabled family members.
Toby picked up a free copy of Lotto People magazine at a local convenience store. Sensing that I would hate this magazine, he handed it off to me. Lotto People is a real piece of work. It's important to note that you will find the following disclaimer if you look hard enough:
Lotto People magazine is independently published by Jackpot Productions, LLC and is not affiliated with any state lottery.
So, as much as I would like to, I can't fault DC for publishing this magazine. However, Lotto People certainly highlights exactly who is being targeted by state lotteries.
The May 2006 issue of Lotto People has eleven pictures of people in it. A whopping ten of those pictures are of blacks. The lone non-black is an Arab man who owns a "lucky" convenience store on South Capitol Street, a predominantly black neighborhood.
The magazine offers helpful tips such as "play your numbers twice and win double." Another tip tells lottery players that if your numbers don't come up, then keep playing them. After all, they're more likely to come up in the future. By "helpful tips," I actually mean "worst case scenario of Gambler's Fallacy." These people are being taken for suckers.
Poverty is a problem in Washington; especially poverty within the black community. That's not news to anyone. The DC Lottery isn't helping. This lottery targets a black community that should be putting their cash into savings accounts instead of scratch tickets. We have a city legislature that's mostly black and a black executive...You'd think that someone would take the initiative to protest DC's dependence on these lotteries.
I understand that DC is cash-strapped. Just today The Washington Post had a front-page, above the fold story on DC's out-of-control spending on special education. (Fucking 'tards. Give 'em an inch and they take a mile!) Lottery revenue is helpful, but it's hard to argue that the benefits outweigh the negative consequences of a system that targets DC's gigantic population of poor blacks.
I admit that I have no solution for this problem. But the status quo makes me incredibly uneasy. Would slot machines be a better solution? Maybe. I can't say for sure. The city has found itself in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation where it depends upon lottery money at the cost of its core constituentcy. Every time there's a lottery drawing, DC loses a little bit of its soul.
*Blackjack actually pays out around 99% if played correctly. Unfortunately, and I learned the hard way, that's very hard to do when you're drunk.
Anytime I get a referral I'm not familiar with, I usually take the time to check it out. That's how I came across Irina is Always Right, which is now a daily read. Over the last few days I've been getting quite a few hits from something called DC Late Night Shots. So, I click.
I am taken to a website that says the following:
LateNightShots is a closed social network which allows you to explore Washington DC's social landscape and bar scene.
Membership is open through invitation only.
Invitation only? EFF THAT.
Since I have yet to be invited to this august organization, I have no way of seeing what was written about me. My very fragile ego can't handle that suspense. I am just going to assume disrespect.
Anyways, the welcome page is filled with some hilarious pictures. You can find them yourself if you click on that link and press the refresh button. Now, let's have some fun at other people's expense!
So far, so good. I mean, what young District gentlemen doesn't like spending time with his favorite drink and his four favorite girls? Hmm, maybe this group isn't as bad as I assumed.
Again, not bad. I love cheap champagne. Love it. The sweet delicious sugary drunk and the woeful sugary hangover the next morning. What's not to love about champagne? And, thank the Lord, no popped collars. And is that a celebrity? I think that's Fred Munster on the way left. Any group that allows Munsters (I'm looking at you, Lily) is fine by me!
I have no idea why that guy on the right has such a shit-eating grin. Maybe he's really happy he got into the DC Late Night Shots Club? It appears he is the only one in the picture not touching a girl, so why the 90-watt smile?
Uh-oh. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love the ladies. I mean they rev my engines. But this...this looks like trouble. I can't figure out if this is really "DC Late Night Shots" or if I just stumbled upon the annual meeting of the DC Chapter of the Sex and the City Fan Club. And those seven ladies are all smiling, but there's no way you can tell me that the majority of them aren't dead on the inside.
I KNEW IT! I FUCKING KNEW IT!! You can not have a social organization in this city without "those guys" showing up. You just can't. Ugh. THIS PICTURE HAS FOUR WINGMEN!
That Potomac jersey is also the lamest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. Die in a fire, Mr. Potomac.
Although, I must admit, I am really intrigued by that lady. She has the Avril smile. I love the Avril smile! She's in quite a few of these pictures, so she might have a leadership position in this
circle-jerk club. If she is "leadership," she probably wants me dead. If she doesn't want me dead, contact me, cute girl! I swear, I am sort of attractive!
Wow. This is some club. To their credit, it's kind of honorable that they take time out of their social calendars to party with people with Down's Syndrome. That dude flashing the devil horns has the Down's, right?
This is the best picture in the history of life. First, a quick shout-out to the cute girl:
Anyways, greatest picture ever. It certainly says quite a bit about the herd mentality that's so prevalent in DC. Three of those guys are wearing the exact same thing! Granted, there's probably a reason for this. A reason is not the same as an excuse.
I can't get enough of their drinks of choice. That's five, count 'em five, bottles of Miller Lite all in a pretty little row. That, my friends, is herd mentality.
Well, that's it. Judging by the pictures, it looks like the DC Late Night Shots Club might have something to do with Georgetown. If so, they're probably smarter than me and I should lay off. But I can't allow such ridiculousness to go unpunished. I just can't. Especially when they're potentially complimenting me behind my back. Unacceptable!
I demand to know what was said behind the iron curtain of DC Late Night Shots membership! Please! My sanity depends on it!
And if it turns out to have been a compliment, I owe you guys (and cute girl) a HUGE apology.