A Shame

I am a vocal proponent of DC's retrocession into Maryland. It's the easiest and most Constitutional way to achieve representation in both chambers of Congress. Retrocession into Maryland will also mean an end to Congress's stranglehold on the city laws and budget. This post on AMERICAblog illustrates the drastic need for DC to seperate itself from a political party that has a deep-seeded hatred for gays trying to become and/or raise a family. The Dems taking back Congress was nice, but it obviously isn't enough. As long as our budget and laws are tied to fundamentalist voters in flyover states, DC will never be able to thrive. One vote in the House (with an extra vote in Utah to cancel it out, as if democracy were designed to achieve a 50-50 representation instead of the will of the people) is not enough.

Sometimes I wonder why we aren't rioting in the streets. Perhaps the only civil right I value more than representation is the right to start a family. That right is as old as humanity. Many Wasingtonians are having it taken away. This is a disgrace.


Little Known Fact: Soccer Cures AIDS


So the Health section of today’s Post features a huge photo of an under-16 girls soccer team. I did not need to read the byline to figure out who wrote the accompanying article.

Hot off the discovery that teenage girls like to shop more than teenage boys, LSS’s next project is to document this soccer team’s trip to South Africa. The girls plan to teach the locals the joys of the sport. Somehow this is supposed to prevent people from contracting the HIV. I don’t really get it.

I am all for charity. Even charity which is obviously designed to broaden the soccer team’s horizons instead of actually, you know, really helping anyone. I mean, it would be nice if they wanted to help the poorer parts of DC and Maryland. I’ve been tipped off that they have their own HIV and poverty problems. But, South Africa instead. Fine. Godspeed.

This trip will be good for the Americans and hopefully it will be good for the South Africans. The latter are getting at least a $10,000 donation out of it. My beef with this, and this is should be obvious to anyone who’s been reading this site for an extended period of time, is that Laura Sessions Stepp is a terrible writer.

What happens when they [the soccer team] sit around a fire and talk about self-image and sexuality with girls more open to those conversations than they are? Or when they have to forgo such everyday luxuries as Life cereal, artichokes and dark chocolate for yams, rice and beans?

First and foremost, wasn’t your whole entire thing with Unhooked? That American girls are now way more open about discussing their sexuality? Don’t you remember writing that? Tell me you at least remember your book tour? You made being a 16-year-old girl look like one big uninterrupted blowjob. You learned the terms "tebagging" and, ugh, "eating a roast beef sandwich" from 16-year-old girls. Now they're the shy ones!? Your inconsistencies are as frustrating as your prose, Ms. Stepp.

And how in God’s green Earth did you come up with “Life cereal, artichokes and dark chocolate”? What a weird and distracting sentence. (Editor's Note: Life cereal is really fucking good but why is it more expensive per ounce than other cereals? What fancy ingredient jacks up the price?)

The piece then devolves into a summary of all the wacky sitcom-style culture clashes that the author expects. No cell phones or iPods? Crazy! Baboons? Whoa! How will these girls ever manage!? Oh, that’s right. They’ll mange through the power of soccer.

"I hope we can leave behind the knowledge of how empowering soccer can be," said Joanna Meyer-Glitzenstein, 16, a tough center/midfielder, and one of several girls interviewed in their homes before leaving.

This is especially hilarious because, as the article notes, girls in South Africa don’t even play soccer. That’s a boy sport over there. It’s not like the South African girls don’t know what soccer is. And empowering? My experience with soccer was anything but empowering. It was a constant reminder of my athletic inferiority and general lack of grace.

So, a bunch of wealthy (certainly on a global scale, but probably on a national scale too) girls are going to South Africa to teach poorer girls how to play soccer. The irony of Americans teaching soccer to Africans is duly noted. Somewhere in all of this, everyone learns about HIV. I still don’t get that part, but, whatever. It’s win-win. The only losers are the readers of The Washington Post. We’re going to have deal with LSS waxing poetic on this for the next two weeks. Let's be honest, none of us could really give two shits. That hasn't stopped her before and it won't stop her now. Fantastic.

UPDATE: I didn't notice this at first, but this series is being called "World's United." Let's just say that I'm very wary of that apostrophe. There is no way LSS and/or whatever editor titled this meant "World is United." They mean two worlds. Plural. No apostrophe. It's the fucking title of this two week project and they can't even get that right.

UPDATE #2: OK. Only one link says "World's." The rest say "Worlds." It's one error too many, but Lord knows I've made enough mistakes around these parts to let it slide.

A Miracle to End All Miracles

It was a clusterfuck at the Friendship Heights station this morning. The train heading towards the suburbs was put out of commission and had to be emptied. On the other side, trains were coming every five or six minutes leaving me and other city commuters no room to board. I was expecting to arrive to work a good 45 minutes late.

Then, after about five minutes, it happened. The Metro Faerie provided us with a brand new train. It wasn't listed on the board. It had no passengers. It just appeared out of nowhere. My fellow riders and I had a look on our faces that's usually reserved for winning the lottery. It was like we all just hopped on The Polar Express.

As an added bonus, the five minute wait and the ability to sit down and crack open the Post on the train left me time to check out Laura Sessions Stepp's next project. She's following a bunch of rich kids into South Africa so they can teach the impoverished locals soccer and, maybe, just maybe, hope.

LSS post to follow...


Pork Should Not Be This Expensive

The weather was gorgeous on Saturday so two of my roommates and I decided to walk from our spacious Friendship Heights estate to the Barbecue Battle downtown. We figured the combination of meats, sauces, and beers could not be beat. Only $10 to get in! Surely we could gorge ourselves. I can eat $10 of meat in, like, 20 minutes. We couldn't lose!

We lost.

What the website doesn't mention (anywhere) is that the food costs extra money. In other words, there's a $10 cover for the privilege to eat. Sure, "entertainment" was provided. But it's not like we were going to a barbecue to see a reggae band under a tent. Even if we were, the tent was right by the gates so we could listen from there. A homeless dude was having a good time spasmodically dancing on the steps of the Wilson Building. He didn't have to pay ten bucks for the experience.

(And no one can say that common sense dictates that we would have to pay extra for the delicious smelling food. The three of us are bright. At least two of us have some common sense. We were all, to the man, blindsided by the unadvertised costs of BBQ pork.)

Obviously I can't (and don't) blame DC for this. I mean, they weren't in charge of the barbecue. It's just a shame that something so potentially awesome for the city could be ruined so easily. The money was all going to charity so I blame them. Stupid Metropolitan Police Boys & Girls Clubs. Why can't you let me gorge in peace?


What the Hell!?

DCist was all over it. The first video of Metro performers. This is terrible. They won't even allow passive entertainment. It has to be the center of attention. What the Hell is "hand dancing" anyways? Don't most dances involve hands? The Macarena has hand motions. Is that hand dancing?

This is going to be former Interim Metro Director Dan Tangherlini's legacy. It's also why I hope someone punches him in the nuts.


I Knew It!

Fellow commuters, surely you have noticed that the Metro trains are again coming in five-minute intervals instead of the usual two or three. You've surely also noticed that, as a result, to fit on a rush hour train you have to abandon any hope for comfort and pack yourself in like a sardine. If you're really unlucky your train's AC will be on the fritz.

Yes, Metro is fucking up again. The crack WaPo reporter on the Metro beat, Lena H. Sun, is all over it. Nothing like a good train shortage to make the busy summer months all the more interesting.

Also, the power outages I posted about yesterday. The one where Metro sent four (four!) trains to the Fort Totten station before realizing that maybe something was wrong with the station and not the individual trains. Those were caused by - wait for it - heat. Heat! Man, that's a relief. I mean, an oppressively hot summer day in Washington? That's the exception, not the rule. I am sure the rest of the summer will go off without a hitch.


Distribution of Inconvenience

I was thinking to myself, "Man, it's been a long time since I've been horribly inconvenienced by Metro." The Red Line has been hunky dorey. Everything else is falling apart.

Three trains lost power this morning. Two on the Green Line (West Hyattsville) and one on the Blue/Orange Line between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom. I noticed that there's a big swath of blue between those two stations. Despite what some amateur cartographers might tell you, the blue is not land. That train is under the river. And that is scary. Man, we've all seen Daylight.* Underwater tunnels are nothing but disaster.

Three trains having the same problem can't be coincidence, can it? I can't wait to find out what problem is crippling the entire Metro system. I also can't wait for it to cripple the Red Line. Nothing like being stranded at work for an extra hour or two.

*I have not seen Daylight


End of an Era

A month ago I posted about the monthly Guitar Hero competitions at Wonderland. If you need to be reminded, I am the four-time champion. My fingers are fucking magical. Someone left a comment that hit the nail on the head:

Actually, I’m just busting your chops. I’m glad that you make an effort to find things you enjoy about living here. I mean that.

So, yeah. I found a pleasant way to kill my time in a city I don't particularly enjoy. Good for me. Of course, it was only a matter of time before that was taken away from me.

The Wonderland competitions are no more. The hostess who organized them was fired. This is a travesty and apparently they’re signing petitions at Wonderland to bring her back, but, ugh. My monthly respite from DC drudgery is destroyed.

Asylum featured a Guitar Hero competition yesterday. I apologize to all (2) of the people who e-mailed me asking for details on the next competition. I didn’t find out about it until the end of the workday. Naturally, I won. That’s five championships for those who are counting. But it wasn’t the same. The competition ending at 1am instead of 9pm certainly had a lot to do with that. Don’t these people have jobs?

God damn it. Now what am I going to do with my Thursday nights?



Surely my readers will agree that there are few pleasures as gratifying as sitting down and reading a good book. However, one should probably limit themselves to reading only when safe. In other words, not when you're driving a fucking bus.

Here's the dilly from a tipster:

It was taken by the intersection of Grovesner Ln and 355 (Right where you can get on 270). I was turning onto Tuckerman Lane, about 200 ft passed the other intersection and I kept looking back for the number of the bus but I couldn't catch it. It was taken around 7:15ish.

That makes this bus either a Maryland Ride-On or a J-line Metrobus. Either way, let's give proper credit to a truly stupid human being behind the wheel.



This is perfect. Seven people are sent to the hospital because a police cruiser drove into a Metrobus. It doesn't matter whose fault this was - it looks like it was the police officer's - because I win. Someone being paid a hefty overtime check by the DC government sent seven people to the hospital. Good work, public servants!

h/t to DCist.


Mixed Signals

These signs have been like this for two weeks and no one has bothered to fix it. That sign of government inefficiency is bad enough. The problem is exacerbated by my failure to notice which blinking sign is telling me to walk before jauntily walking into oncoming traffic. Brandywine and Wisconsin will be the death of me yet. I would hate to become another statistic.


The Royal Inevitable Screwing Begins

Deadspin linked to this first, but I wouldn't be upholding my duties as a hater/blogger if I didn't mention the increase in price for Nationals tickets.

Fuck you, Lerner family. I'm paying for this new-fangled stadium and you want all the profits. The least you could do is give us a .500 team instead of the roster of 24 minor leaguers and Ryan Zimmerman.

To all the critics who want to point out to me that a new stadium means increased prices: no fucking duh. I still won't hear that noise. This is a sharp increase and basically confirms my worst fears that the Lerners suckered us into buying them the most expensive baseball stadium in world history just so they could screw us twice over once it was ready. Fuck Washington baseball.

If This Cat is Alive, I Will Give You Money to Kill It

This story is on the cover of today's Washington Post. Seriously. A woman's search for her cat. You have never read more batshit craziness than a woman who is still putting up posters for a cat that went missing three and a half years ago.

The article is really good if you just pretend that the author, Steve Hendrix, is using this crazy woman for laughs. Unfortunately, the tone of the piece is rather serious. Perhaps really thick sarcasm? Let's hope so.

"My assumption is that somehow he's making it," [Maxine] Hillary said. "I just can't believe he's dead. It just doesn't make sense to me."

It makes sense to me. It ran away and then your town was hit by a snowstorm. I am going to conclude that your cat died there. Who knows. Maybe it was hit by a car or eaten by a coyote. I'm still going to bet snowstorm.

"I may be a crazy cat lady one day, but I'm not one yet," she said.

Let's juxtapose that with the following quotes and facts:

~She claims to have spent $4,000 on this certainly dead animal.

~She claims to have lost eight pounds immediately after the stupid pet went missing.

~Check out this craziness:

"As much as we talk about spaying, neutering and vaccinating our pets, we need to talk about what to do when they go missing," said Hillary, who has become an advocate for pet identification programs. "My vet would push toothpaste for cats, but they didn't have a microchip machine."


~She contacted bounty hunters, psychics, and something called the American Society of Dowsers to find her cat.

~She bought an infrared camera and motion detectors to record anything moving in her yard at night.

This article would have been rejected by the Yarmouth Register. What it's doing in the Post, I don't know. Shouldn't these guys be focused on crime and the DC Council? Surely there are more interesting human interest stories out there.

Then again, I'm posting about it. Shows what I know.


MPD Lets Us Down. Again.

Isaac Brock notes in his most popular song that sometimes you can get off scot free when you get into a car accident with a police cruiser. Hey, sometimes life's OK. The DC version of this occurrence is very un-OK. In Washington you can run over 35 people after getting into a fender bender with a cop.

Everyone who's been paying attention knows about that horrible, um, I don't know what to call it. "Accident" certainly isn't the right word since it looks like the driver, Tonya Bell, was enjoying herself. Let's call it a vehicular spree.

If you decided to enjoy the weekend instead of following the news, here's the scoop: Bell rear-ended a police cruiser and sped off. Officers decided against pursuit because apparently a hit-and-run accident is not a serious enough offense to warrant an immediate arrest in the name of public safety. Once again, just like the tragic death of Alan Sennit, the inaction of those who are supposed to protect Washington's citizenry bites us in the ass. After hitting the police cruiser, Bell drove into a church festival and ran over a crowd of people. Thirty-five were hospitalized. Quite a few of them were children. Bell never slowed down. She was laughing. It looks like she was smoking crack too. And the MPD had their shot to take her down before anyone was hurt. Bravo.

Bell had a 7-year-old child in the car with her. He's now in DC's protective services. I say we get him out of there right quick. Tonya Bell is a monster, but, unlike DC's child services, she never actually killed anyone.


I Heard the News Today, Oh Boy

The news being that today is the 40th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I don't know how many baby boomers read this (Hi Dad!), but, man, you guys are old. Maybe this Beatles-centric editorial in today's Post will cheer you up! It's quite excellent once you move past the cutsey games the author is playing with Beatles lyrics.

Seriously, is there anything more annoying than someone who says they're not into The Beatles? I pride myself on being a contrarian for the sake of being a contrarian, but not thinking The Beatles are the greatest thing to happen to music in the 20th Century is going too far. They are the only band that can't be overrated or underrated because they are, correctly, rated number one. I bristle whenever some British music magazine blasphemously declares some unknown band to be the next Beatles. It's very optimistic to think that we'll get another Beatles in the next fifty. If we're lucky enough to hear it happen, we'll fucking know it immediately. Their genius is that apparent.

Anyways, on to DC stuff. Last Tuesday I posted a link to the most recent LSS journalism abortion to appear in the Post's Health section. I only posted a link and not my usual cut-and-paste criticisms because I was lazy coming off of a three day weekend and I thought I had used up any and every LSS criticism under the sun. Well, DCeiver has proven me wrong. I strongly urge you to read his take on that stupid little article. It's brilliant. Please make sure to check the comments out as well.

And more good news! It appears Washington's favorite common whore has declared bankruptcy. Oh, Jessica Cutler, we hardly knew ye!

The Jessica Cutler saga was Exhibit A in why I found DC to be so despicable. Here we have a woman whose only bankable skills were here vagina and her asshole which she allowed anyone to penetrate if it meant paying her bills or advancing her up the peon ladder on Capitol Hill. She was nothing more than a prostitute. And when she was found out she became a DC celebrity. The Washington news cycle devoured itself and created its own little sordid shitstorm. If this happened anywhere else, no one would have given two shits. In DC, where we're starved for scandal, this is front page news.

Worse yet, in some kind of post-feminist (or post-post feminism? I'm losing track) nightmare, some people praised her for using her sexuality and wits to get ahead. Really? Hell, I could sleep with people for money. It's not that hard. I am cuter than her too.* I could probably make a pretty penny if I weren't weighed down by, you know, self-respect. Cutler was able to turn her amoral lifestyle into a book deal and a Playboy spread. It looked like she had come out on top. I am ecstatic that she was able to make all the dirty money she earned disappear. She didn't deserve a penny of what she earned. Maybe we'll get lucky and this'll be the last we hear of her. Unfortunately, I doubt it.

*Subjective, but probably true. It probably helps if you prefer penises to vaginas.