Pandering Assholes

While I was on Cape I got an angry call and text message from my friend regarding the Red Sox. Well, not the Red Sox, but rather Rhino Bar.

I hate Rhino Bar. Hate, hate, hate. I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: I hate the Georgetown crowd, I hate Georgetown prices, and I hate Georgetown collars. The last time I went to Rhino was for the Patriots-Eagles Super Bowl. The place considers itself to be a big Eagles bar so my friend and I got there first to be contrarian assholes and celebrate after the Eagles inevitably lost.

The thing is, the place is a Red Sox bar too. That's right. Check out the bottom of their website. The place affiliates itself with the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Eagles, Syracuse Orange, Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Penn State Nittany Lions. The last two teams are especially egregious since they're conference rivals. That's like being a R***kins and Cowboys bar.

So, Rhino has a huge banner on their balcony. "Go Red Sox!" and other stuff like that. So my friend wants to go to Rhino and get good and toasted on Saturday night while watching the game with his fellow Sox fans.

Except Rhino refuses to show the game.

The bar with a gigantic Red Sox banner is only showing the Penn State-Ohio State football game on Saturday night. I guess two loyalties playing each other somehow trumpets the World Fucking Series.

I don't ask for sympathy. Boston sports fans certainly don't need it. A lot of Internet space has been devoted to talking about just how good it must feel to root for Boston teams in 2007. And, man, it does feel good.

Red Sox fans, especially the countless "pink hats" that sprouted up after 2004, are a dime-a-dozen. They're so dime-a-dozen that I understand why a bar would want to tap into that fan base. But inorganic sports allegiances disgust me. And Rhino, just like almost every other Georgetown bar, is strikingly inorganic.


The B30 Be Unreliable

I apologize for that post title. That's a joke only my father would laugh at.

I also apologize for my prolonged absence. I spent the last couple of days on Cape Cod and decided to avoid the Internet.

Whenever I have to make a trip of this magnitude, I fly into Logan Airport. Because I'm cheap, I swallow the inconvenience of getting to BWI instead of Dulles or National. There's a bus, the B30, that takes passengers from Greenbelt to the airport for only three dollars. Three dollars! What a steal! Eat that MARC, what with your pricey five dollar train rides just to catch a fucking shuttle!

And I can use my SmarTrip card too!? This is going to be fucking awesome!

My error was as clear as day. I have no idea why I assumed the Metro buses in PG County would be any more dependable than the Metro buses within the District. What a stupid decision.

I had to take the 9:20am B30 to get to my 11:00am flight. I get to the bus stop at around nine just in case. I waited for a fucking hour. An hour!! The bus was 40 minutes late with no sign of its arrival.

At this point I'm panicking and I have to take a cab to BWI. That set me back an extra $20. So, basically, I could have just taken a flight out of Dulles or National and have broken even with more piece of mind.

The best part of this was when my companion called Metro to see what was up. They reported extreme traffic difficulties.

There was no traffic in either direction.


There's "champagne" in my hair.


Read It and Weep

It's not just me. It's everyone.

I guess I should point out that high numbers are bad. The scale goes from one (the best) to 25.


Same Old Song and Dance

I know I'm way behind on this, but with all the crashing of mentoring fairs and hospitals refusing to administer rape kits, I've managed to neglect my favorite whipping boy: Metro.

So last January a train derailed by the Mount Vernon station on the Green and Yellow Lines. 20 people were hurt and there was $4 million worth of damage. Sure it's less than one percent of an overpriced baseball stadium, but it's not chump change either. It's not like Metro has money to spare.

What could have prevented the derailment? Well, a $150,000 guardrail. That would have saved some cash. Oh, and maybe a little less of the institutional neglect that has made our subways underground death traps.

Failure to keep up with basic maintenance and refusal to take safety steps recommended for years by internal and external reviews were the likely causes of a Metro derailment at the Mount Vernon Square station that injured 20 people in January, federal investigators said yesterday.

Geez, that's not good. But here's the truly scary part:

After the hearing, Metro officials pledged to make installation of the guardrail a top priority. Officials said they had not done so earlier because similarly configured locations had equipment that was more worn-out than Mount Vernon Square's and needed to be replaced sooner. The transit agency has 100 other spots that still need safeguards because of curved track. Metro officials have installed guardrails at 83 trouble spots.

Emphasis is mine. 100 other spots! 100 other Dead Man's Curves! 100! There are more dangerous curves than stops! 100!!!!!

So, yeah, the last 10 years have been nothing but people telling Metro how to keep the subways safe and Metro ignoring them. That's awesome.


Ladies, Be Afraid

I'm loathe to link to student papers, especially the student paper that started this "gray rape" nonsense, but this article in the GW Hatchet is absolutely terrifying. (h/t Feministing)

This is basically a sequel to the unspeakably horrible case of David Rosenbaum. Remember him? He was co-murdered by two muggers and by DC's Emergency Services. The guy who, while dying, was forced to wait for medical care because medical personnel incorrectly assumed he was drunk? Now imagine going to a series if hospitals alleging you've been roofied and asking for a rape kit. And being refused. Why? Because you appear intoxicated.

Never mind that the typical date rape drugs can wreak absolute havoc with your body and mind. That much is, or should be, obvious. Even if this woman was drunk out of her goddamned mind, how dare medical personnel and police officers take her rape allegation less seriously?

Now, this woman could have been hammered. I don't care. Her rape is nothing more than an alleged crime. I don't care. It's the dismissal of such a serious allegation that is so undeniably shocking. It doesn't matter if you're drunk, high, or roofied. The city and the hospitals within the city should be urging sexual assault victims to come forward. This case makes that less likely. Which is shameful.

The complaint stated that during an off-campus house party in December 2006 the plaintiff was given a date-rape drug that rendered her semiconscious. One of the hosts then took her to a room where he allegedly anally penetrated her at around 3 a.m.

Immediately after the alleged assault, she sought medical assistance at Howard University Hospital, accompanied by two witnesses, according to the complaint.

Court documents also add that she appeared intoxicated and was therefore denied a rape kit and sent home. It also states she was drifting in and out of consciousness and vomiting.

The plaintiff returned to Howard University Hospital the next morning and was again denied a rape kit - at which point the Metropolitan Police Department was notified, according to the complaint. They also said they felt a rape kit was unnecessary, according to court documents.

"A sexual assault kit is for police to recover evidence," said Sergeant Ronald Reid of the MPD Sex Assault Unit. "So if we don't have reason to believe a crime happened we wouldn't administer a rape kit."

Doesn't it make more sense to administer the rape kit and then check to see if a crime happened? You know, just in case her allegations were truthful?

Again, this isn't about whether this woman was raped or not. It's that hospitals and the Metro Police Department decided it wasn't important enough to find out. It's that such a serious allegation, an allegation that is so hard for so many women to make, can be treated so lightly. How depressing.

Taxi Day!


Today's the day, ladies and gentlemen. Mayor Fenty must decide on whether he wants DC to push forward into the 20th Century by having meters in the city's cabs. Zones, as yesterday's Post points out, are totally unacceptable and archaic.

Rumor has it that Fenty will choose the installation of GPS meters. This will maintain the city's old timey zone system while using a GPS to make sure the passenger is not being overcharged. This seems like a compromise designed to please everyone while pleasing no one. Cabbies, who I really could give two shits about, will bristle at the idea of having a meter which will log how much cash they're taking in. At the same time, the zone system, which very few people have a firm grasp on, lives on.

Zone meters are a start. Although they still leave passengers open to overcharging, it will at least hold cab drivers accountable for where they take their riders. Cab drivers can bugger off if they don't like it. I don't care if every cab is like an individual small business. They, like with the Subway Apple Fiasco, have to charge the advertised price. They are not doing that. They don't deserve anyone's sympathy when it comes to meters.


GLORIOUS! It looks like common sense has won the day.


Rambling Laura Sessions Stepp Wrap-Up

So, the LSS I-95 Corridor Bonanza was last night. The NYC wrap-up comes courtesy of my new favorite (non-sports related) blog, Jezebel. Seriously, Jezebel is fantastic and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Last night my lady friend, Terri, and I took the Orange Line to Arlington Central Library. The gist of this event was a bunch of 20 and 30-somethings would stop by the library, check out all these charities that had set up little displays, and then listen to LSS talk about the importance of mentoring.

In other words, it would have been grossly inappropriate to ask questions about gray rape ("grape") and it was grossly inappropriate to go after her stupid book unless she mentioned it in her speech.

Well, of course she mentioned it in her speech. Of. Course. She. Did. Her speech about mentoring was like a 30-minute infomercial for Unhooked.

One of the things she said stood out though. She argued that true feminism was about choice. That the feminists of "her time" were interested in choosing to abort and/or choosing to have kids. Choosing to work outside the home or choosing to be a homemaker. Equal doesn't mean the same. And, man, I 100% agreed. Choosing to be a homemaker is just as feminist a thing to do as choosing to work 40+ hours a week while getting the equal pay women deserve. As long as the choice is there.

But that's not the book LSS wrote. She wasn't writing about how women should not be choosing to get laid. (And let's be honest, a lot of people like getting laid.) She was writing about women being the sexual gatekeepers instead of choosing to pursue. She was writing about women baking cookies to impress men. She was writing nonsense like "women should avoid bars, that's a man's place." LSS had left an opening and we were there to expose it.

After some friendly questions, Terri went up to the plate. She brought up the baked goods line and then added something LSS told the New York Times:

The quaint joy of being wooed is not among the most griped-about elements of “Unhooked.” That distinction belongs to this paragraph: “Tying one on can be fun occasionally. Just don’t let it take over your social life. Organize weekend getaways and other events to bring people together. Bake cookies, brownies, muffins. Ask your girlfriends for assistance. Guys will do anything for homemade baked goods.”

Ms. Sessions Stepp said she anticipated fallout from those lines, but was simply pointing out there are other things to do for fun.

“I said to my editor, ‘Should I use that line?’ ” Ms. Sessions Stepp said. “He said, ‘Well, it’s going to get some people mad, but you know what? That’s good. We like controversy.’ So I said, ‘Well, O.K., just so they don’t ignore my book.’ ”

So, that retarded line was kept in to generate controversy and sell some books. LSS is like some cross of Ann Coulter and Dana Carvey's Church Lady.

So Terri asked her how someone could mentor a young girl into conforming into typical gender roles and still call herself a feminist. LSS responded with something that directly contradicts the New York Times article by saying that she could have used any other example of an activity as long as the point was made that women don't belong in bars.

It was at this point that she lost the room.

I quickly raised my hand and asked how she could say "feminism is about choice" out of one side of her mouth while saying "ladies don't belong in stereotypically male environments" out the other. Her response that people, gentlemen and ladies, are only at bars to get blitzed and hook-up with some dude or lady was not well-received.

The next question was from someone asking what the problem with bars is. Isn't the dude you meet at a bar the same dude you meet at Gold's Gym or the library? Why does going to a bar make someone undateable?

And then the master of ceremonies cut the Q+A short. Victory!

But not before telling the crowd that some of the charity representatives were going to Carpool, a fucking bar!, after the event was over. After he made that comment everyone laughed and the MC blushed. He realized his error.

Terri and I left the event with people thanking us for our hostility.

My first confrontation with LSS was, alas, only a draw. (Warning: post made before declaring all-out war on LSS.) This second confrontation could only be interpreted as pure, unadulterated victory. We fucking got her. It's a nice feeling.

(This morning I realized a far better question, considering the venue, would have been if she mentored a 15-year-old girl in her book who was getting statutory raped left and right [including by an in-uniform Metro bus driver, ugh] to report these rapes to the police. That's what any mentor would do, right? I'm genuinely curious to see if she did the same.)


LSS Stalk

So, we all know LSS will be in Arlington tonight. Well, good news for my New York readers! (Site Meter says I have at least three.) LSS will be spinning her gray rape crazy in about an hour. Here's a Google map. (h/t Feministing)

LSS is quite the busy bee, no? It's like she's some anti-hero spreading as much wrongness and crazy as possible throughout the I-95 Corridor. I hope a date rape victim gives her Hell.


So, I'm walking out of my luxurious American University Park group house this morning when a shiny Beamer with Maryland plates parallel parks in front of my house. I cross the street and watch a woman step out with a cup of yogurt. She drops it on the street right in front of my home.

I give this woman the stink eye. We make stink eye contact. She responds by kicking the yogurt under her stupid fucking BMW so I couldn't have picked up the litter even if I wanted to.

What a bitch. What a selfish whore.

And, yeah, there was a trash can 15 yards away.

What would have been the right move? I just walked away. Should I have gone back and grabbed the yogurt cup? Maybe I should have yelled at her? What would you do?

I hope someone keys her car.


Party Crash!

I love when my readers forward me this stuff:

Dear xxxxxxxxx,

The Arlington County Volunteer Office is sending this email to all volunteers registered in our Online Volunteer Connection. We are excited to announce an exciting event next week…

CRM Mentoring Fair Featuring Laura Sessions Stepp
Learn more & get involved with groups that mentor young adults in Arlington… Hear from a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who specializes in teenager and young adult issues…

Community Role Models (CRM) is partnering with Arlington Public Libraries to host an exciting community event where you can learn about Arlington area mentoring organizations and hear from Laura Sessions Stepp, the nationally acclaimed author of Our Last Best Shot and Unhooked. Come to the CRM Mentoring Fair featuring Laura Sessions Stepp on Monday, October 15 at 7:00 PM in the Arlington Central Library Auditorium. Light refreshments will be provided and all are welcome! RSVP Here

We hope to see you next week – and please feel free to forward this email along to others who might be interested.

Best Wishes,


Arlington County Volunteer Office

It just so happens that I am very interested. Remember when I courageously called LSS a "cunt" using the magick of the Internet? Maybe now I can do it to her face! And it's Metro accessible too!

And if any of my lady readers attend, I recommend wearing something slutty. Her head would explode.


Ok, this post is pretty limited in scope. I just want to know if anyone here in InternetLand agrees with me or if you think I'm totally nuts.

I was at the Subway on 14th and I. Not the McPhereson Square stop. The sandwich place. It's my favorite since, insanely, a bunch of restaurants in this neighborhood don't take credit cards. Seriously. In 2007.

In a Sisyphean attempt to eat healthier, I got a turkey breast sub, no cheese, on wheat. I also ordered that healthy meal option where for $1.80 they throw in a 21oz soda (Diet Coke) and a healthy side. I had the choice of baked potato chips, raisins, or apples. (If you're hesitant to try Subway's apples, I understand. But know this: they're delicious. I have no idea how they keep them so "fresh." I probably don't want to know.) So I choose apples.

The apples are stored behind me in the bottled soda fridge. I pay my $8.13 and grab a bag of apples. The cashier/manager stops me.

Manager: "Apples are another 11 cents."

Rusty: "You're kidding, right?"

Manager: "No, I need another 11 cents. Apples are extra."

Rusty: "Um, the sign says they aren't extra. And I already paid."

Manager: "The sign is wrong, I need another 11 cents."

Rusty: "Well, I already paid."

Manager: "Well, then you can't have the apples. Have the raisins instead."

Rusty (lying): "I don't have the eleven cents."

Manager: "Then pay me next time."

Rusty: "There are at least three Subways within a few blocks from here. There won't be a next time."

And then I storm out with my apples.

Yeah, I got him good.

So, am I crazy to never go into that Subway ever again? That's crazy right? I mean, on one hand, there really are a ton of Subways in the area. I just did a quick search and found five in the 20005 zip code. On the other hand, it's 11 fucking cents.

No, I did the right thing. Principle! To demand my money after the transaction has been completed is nutty. And if you're willing to give him the extra 11 cents, where does it stop? A quarter? A dollar? No. That is madness.

I stand by my decision. Also, it's probably best not to be seen in public with me.


Well, That Was Boring

Went to the beginning of the taxi rally on Freedom Plaza. Turnout appeared to be about 150, which, to be honest, was more than I was expecting.

The dude with the microphone was asking people to call "four or five friends" on their cell phones to try and get a larger turnout. No one seemed to be obliging him. There were also a bunch of picket signs that said things like "Give us a certificate" and "Leave our business alone." The latter I get. I'm a bit confused by the former.

The funny thing about drivers wanting DC to leave their business alone is that cabs are already one of the most regulated businesses in the city. The price is already set. So how would a meter be any different? Because it would be fairer to the consumer. And that's what this is about, ladies and gentlemen. The ability to rip people off.

Wanna Bet?

"There are mixed positions, but I can assure you the great majority of drivers are unhappy at the thought of meters," [Cab Driver Degarge Lakew] said. "Not because we're going to lose money, but because the whole business is going to be affected."

There's going to be an anti-meter rally at Freedom Plaza at 2:00pm today. I may check it out on my lunch break.

As for the article, cry me a fucking river. I don't need the Post guilt-tripping me because cabbies will lose their ability to rip me off every Friday night.


Spending Other People's Money

Chancellor Michelle Rhee is asking for an extra $81,000,000.00 to fix the city's special education program. Mayor Fenty had previously said that he wouldn't ask for more cash for schools. The problem was mismanagement, not lack of funds. Apparently, at least for the special education program, it was both.

And then there's this: "District Council Chair Vincent C. Gray has said privately that he'll call hearings if Fenty reneged on his promise to stay within the budget."

Now, $81,000,000.00 isn't peanuts. If the city's special ed programs can be fixed without spending all that extra money, then obviously that avenue should be pursued. Gray is right to explore every possibility before committing to such a large budget increase.

Of course, when things like this happen, it's nice to have some extra cash lying around. You never know when the city will need another $81M to fix the schools or another $79M to keep the only hospital east of the Anacostia open. That extra money can be a godsend for the people who need it most.

You see where this is going, right?

Let me point out that Gray was one of the legislators who flip-flopped on the $611,000,000.00 stadium deal. He voted against the stadium lease. Four hours later, he changed his mind. I consider Gray extra-responsible for the ludicrous payoff that the Lerners and Major League Baseball received.

So, Chairman Gray, please conduct hearings on the $81M increase in education funding. But remember that your reckless vote to spend $611,000,000.00 on a playground looms large over everything you say and everything you do. In other words, Mr. Gray, I expect you to support Rhee and Fenty on this. If you say the city can't afford it, may God have mercy on your soul.


If We All Stop Paying, Will They Take Away Our Water?

Over the weekend, one of my new roommates was going through the utility bills. When he asked me to cut a check to WASA, I asked him if he would be interested in not paying out of protest. The only thing WASA has really accomplished is putting my life in danger. In the short term by not fixing, or alerting the Fire Department to, all of the broken hydrants. In the long term by first filling me with lead and then over chlorinating me. WASA should change its name to the Department of Fire and Cancer. They'd probably end up with a way cooler logo.

He told me that I could boycott WASA as long as I promised not to use the kitchen or the bathroom. I'm not quite that outraged yet.

Yesterday, I got an e-mail from this aforementioned roommate. First he alerted me that I was the second thing that popped up if you Google "fuck dc." (I love living in a city where it only takes two months before someone is Googling "fuck dc.")

The second alert was, wow, look at that, WASA fucked up again.

As you most certainly know by now, an apartment building was torched yesterday in a four-alarm blaze. The Fire Department showed up and couldn't find a hydrant that would give them enough water pressure to fight the conflagration. Apparently the water pipes are woefully out of date. Although it's WASA's job to modernize these pipes, I understand why it didn't get done. A lot of the city's pipes are out of date. These things take time.

But for all that is good and holy, HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU NOT INFORM THE FIRE DEPARTMENT OF THIS!?!?!? They had no fucking idea. They had to go to Calvert and Connecticut and 16th and Columbia to get water. That isn't a short trip. Lives were/are put at risk because of WASA's incompetence. Again.

(Also of note, Adams Morgan is apparently a fucking death trap. What if one of those shitty bars goes up in flames because someone throws a lit cigarette in a trashcan? What then? The population and buildings are so dense, we could have a 21st Century Cocoanut Grove on our hands.)

I can't tell you how much I look forward to cutting those motherfuckers another $20 check next month. Seriously, what the fuck will it take to get WASA GM Jerry N. Johnson fired? When does enough become enough?