15 June, 2009
Downtown I was, pre-dentist, grabbing a quick sandwich at a quick-sandwich place, when something green caught my eye. A table over from me was a young woman with long blonde hair. A law student summer intern if I’ve ever seen one. Her skirt suit was new, a young fabric and retro cut yet conservative enough to work in even a stodgy law firm. Her 3-inch black patent leather shoes were also new, as were the blisters they had created on her heels. The green was a scrap of green paper she had put over one heel by (poor) way of cushion against the grippy pointiness that is the back of a new pair of patent leather shoes.
Now, about interns for my non-Beltway readers. We DC “residents” are supposed to despise and detest the interns that descend on us for the summer. Not without reason, mind you: the archetypal jerkoff is the guy who wears his Congressional ID badge on the Metro…on weekends. In such a situation I am supposed to mock her naivete re professional dress, and her gall for daring to come to Our Nation’s Capital to further her career and eat lunch near me.
But no. My heart went out to her. I have been there, and if you have not been there, then you are a man. A poorly dressed man. I’m pushing 33, and seeing this woman made me realize that I actually have learned a thing or two in the last decade. This particular lesson is a hard and often expensive one: as you walk slowly around the store in your hot shoes the Sunday before your job starts, you are so psyched about how good you look and so stressed about how little time you have that you ignore the glaring signs that the shoes will rip your feet to shreds in three blocks. The sub-lesson: keep band-aids on hand for emergencies, and they should be big enough such that the crappy shoes don’t scrape them off when you need them most.
Nu? I offered her two large band-aids from my mini-purse (a smaller bag of goodies that can fit in any of my main purses). I thought she would cry. Me, I got a warm glow, and, I hope, some karma. Maybe I should start “Be Kind To An Intern Day.”
Hey, audience participation! Ladies and smart men, what’s in your emergency kit? Mine:
- Aforementioned bandaids (~1.5x~2.5″)
- Normaler-sized bandaids
- Pencil, pen, laser-pointer USB pen
- Pseudo-sudafed (sometimes Advil too)
- Lady products (both kinds, and pantiliners)
- Nail file/s, nail clippers, cuticle oil
- Lip balm (slightly reddish so can double as lip color)
- Hair rubber band and little clips
- Business cards (in holder so they don’t get grody)
- Razor blade
- Reusable shopping bag
- Moleskine slim notebook
- The card from a bouquet of flowers my man sent me last Valentine’s Day when I was out of town
- Copy of the Constitution (for which I have already been mocked, thank you)
Note this is the non-mother edition. That is a whole other ballgame…
4 February, 2008
I am NOT suffering your asses today.
We find the fool of the hour — there have been a lot today — on the pages of the Washington Post. He is a developer, with a corner property on the busiest intersection in DC’s “Chinatown” neighborhood. (I put that in quotes because it’s more accurately called “Chinablock” or “Chinamall.”) A major Metro station entrance is underneath the property.
Genius has put three large video screens on this building. AT&T commercials play 24 hours a day. They are so loud you can hear them before you are even out of the Metro station. The speakers are bad. The same ads play over and over. Even residents 10 stories above are kept awake.*
Here’s the fool part:
Miller said he remains committed to his vision for the corner. “Have you been to Times Square?” he asked. “It’s a mixture of light and activity, and what was the dregs of New York has become a tourist attraction.”
I can’t even think of a snark snarky enough to snarkumarrize what’s wrong with this.
Forces of reason, have your say:
Tim Tompkins, executive director of the Times Square Alliance, a nonprofit group representing businesses, theaters and property owners, said he knows of no billboards in the heart of Manhattan that emit commercial audio.
“Even in Times Square, where there is no such thing as a bad advertisement, that might be a little much,” he said.
Hey! Fool! Even the Times Square dude thinks you are a fool. Out of my way!
* I feel them. I live in Adams Morgan. I’m used to cacophony–hell, I even LIKE it. But I’ll tell ya, there is a big difference between unceasing recorded sound and the intermittent noise of woo girls and sirens and screechy bus brakes (I call that stuff “the Crazy”). In my two-plus years in this apartment, I have only once been kept awake by noise from outside, and it was not a Crazy night. No, that night, for some reason, starting around 3, the McDonalds across the street turned its “go away, homeless people” sound system up to TOP VOLUME and played 1940s-crooners Christmas carols. It was not even Christmastime. Just when I thought I would gouge my eyes out with my earplugs (oh, I’d MAKE it work, you best believe), they switched…to easy listening. Love lift us up where we belong!
20 January, 2008
I reeeeeeeeally try not to rag on DC for its weather-related skittishness. It’s just too goddamned easy, and boring. But, come the fuck on. Did people always make this big a deal out of 20 degree weather? 20 DEGREES. We’re not traversing Antarctica here. Wear a fucking hat.
It’s times like these I feel most Midwestern. I have five trusty Weather Dashboard widgets set up, one for each place in the country where I have family. The “Stepfather” one tells me that it’s 10degF in Michigan. The “Grandmother, Aunt, Uncle, and 3 Cousins” one tells me that it’s 1degF in Wisconsin. Now THAT is some weather, people. One fricking degree. My cousins — ages 7, 5, and 1 — are being raised RIGHT. That’s not “you can’t go out and play, because I’m cold” weather. That’s “you can’t go out to play because you will get frostbite” weather.
I am sure my sister disagrees. She never felt the cold to be character-building, although that may have been because in the Midwest she bark-coughs like a seal from November to March. So she moved to Northern California. Where it’s now 20 degrees. Neener, seester. (And to round everyone out, it’s also 20 degrees where my mom is. She was raised in the Midwest but is now in Connecticut. How bout it, momb? Are they wimpy about 20 degrees there too?)
I was unfortunate this evening, when, failing to turn the football game off in a timely fashion, a local newscast bounced some photons off my retinae. No worries, first-degree burns only, I changed it quickly…but not before I got a nice strong dose of schadenfreude watching a newsperson interview a shivering frat boy, wearing on his head only a baseball cap, who admitted that it is too cold to wear on his head only a baseball cap. I hope his boyz don’t see him on the news, because based on the aggressively-worn T-shirts I saw the frat boys sporting on the streets last night, admitting to feeling cold practically makes him gay.
In very sad news, my text messaging appears to be broken. I’m not sure how many days now. I am lost without text messages. Seriously. My Google Calendar texts me reminders (and God knows I need a lot of reminders, what with this sieve I call a brain). I already missed at least one, and I suspect two, social engagements because people are used to not having to call me. So, I apologize to all of youse whose messages I have missed. It probably hurts me more than it hurts you!
13 January, 2008
Once, this blog broke ground with its characterization of the “Woo Girl.” The post made quite a splash, but as is common in science, following up is harder than it looks.
Let’s explore a new idea. I’ve been working more at coffeeshops the last few months and it is time to do a rigorous comparison. By which I mean, graphs. All we need is 3 variables, and we can graph coffeeshop quality. In 3-D And color. In 3-D color! Maybe even rotating 3-D color!! Doesn’t that thrill you? You can even pick the colors.
And all we need to make it happen is your data! In the comments, please classify DC-area coffeeshops that you know well on at least these three measures:
We can, of course, think of many other judging criteria: we could break any of those categories down into their own three subgroups, for example. But at a minimum please at least give a 1-10 rating on the above three factors for each establishment.
Here is an example.
CRUMBS AND COFFEE: Adams Morgan, on Columbia above 18th
- Ambience: 3. Fluorescent lighting, soft-rock music station, small, not terribly comfy chairs, fluorescent lighting, and does not make you feel all “I’m cool, I’m in a coffeshop, I have tattoos and a think tank job which lets me telecommute and I am blogging RIGHT NOW,” which another area cafe, which shall remain nameless, aims for. No, it doesn’t go for anything ambience-wise (which of course makes today’s creative class hipster feel an “I’m too cool to care about tattoos and blogging, and also, actual workmen who do actual work come in here every now and then which makes me feel like I am communing with the working class” ambience). In the plus column, smallness is such that it never really feels crowded, non-chatty counter service, large windows mitigate the lighting, and you’d be surprised how often a soft-rock-station tune will make you sing along or at least send you down memory lane.
- Internets: 6. Great free wi-fi which is on 7 days a week, unlike another area cafe, which shall remain nameless. Outlet situation moderate to good although some serious tripwire situations can occur (yay, MacBook Pro with the magnetic power dingus). Tables and counter a bit too high and close for comfort.
- Fare: 7. Ice cream as well as the regular array of pastry/sandwiches. Unpretentious selection but lackluster presentation. I don’t think I’ve actually had the coffee, I’m transitioning to tea…but I can report that they don’t use cereal-bowl-sized cups like another area mugs, which shall remain nameless. This is much of the reason for the high score, in fact. I hate those mugs with the passion of, hmm, let’s say 19 suns.
Let’s hear it! Science needs YOU!
25 November, 2007
No point in regaling you with the story of my holiday travels. You don’t care, and nothing bad/funny/interesting happened to me, anyway. So I’ll just tell you about the wine bar at BWI that restored my soul:
Click through and you can also read about how much I love Southwest. I even love the unassigned seats!
As I deplaned* at BWI, a boy no more than three years old caught sight of me. His eyes went wide, he pointed and yelled at the top of his lungs “aaaaah!!” Disconcerting. Then again, each time more and more excited: “Aaaaaaah!! AAAAAH!!”
I was the first adult around to figure it out: I was wearing my red Incredibles logo shirt.
I saw it last year, but you know, you forget exactly how it goes, and these things make bigger impressions on kids anyway. Having happened to catch it on network tonight**, however, I had a new appreciation of just how impressed that kid was.
*What a dumb word.
**This is the first time I have watched a non-”Ten Commandments” movie on network this millennium. Or longer.
10 April, 2007
So yesterday leaving the Woodley Park Metro I see a trumpeter and a saxophonist playing jazz duets, and I’m all paranoid. Is this another experiment? Is that Wynton Marsalis? Am I on camera? Do I have time to stand and listen? Do I even like jazz??
Reader, I went to CVS. But! I walked slowly.
Someone at the best DC Blog voting likes that I have a thumbnail headshot. Well, because I like it so much, here’s the image in all its glory, where you can really appreciate the expression, earrings and dress combo. I really love the hell out of this dress, although nobody else does. Well, to hell with that! I’m going to Florida this weekend to meet Reaganite‘s parents….apparently it’s 80deg there. I shall pack it!
Hmm. Not the sexiest expression ever. Sorta weird to put up during a sexiness competition. Well, perhaps it counts as “vivacious.” We’ll see how quirky a sense of humor the nothing-to-do-at-work DC blogger community has. Anyway, I do have a secret weapon photo. And two cats.
I should really update my blogroll. Right after I do my taxes, find summer clothes that fit me and are nice enough to Meet The Parents in, get a present for The Parents, prepare my bod for the Florida beach, finish my Artomatic installation, pick up cat food, and correct the galleys of my article before I leave. Oh and somewhere in there I should be solving the mystery of the genetics of bipolar disorder (including the enigma of functional intronic SNPs), processing my pregnant friend’s wedding pictures, sewing up her baby’s booties, mailing it all off, calling her to catch up, and mailing two other packages back to the companies that fucked up the orders — but these can wait until after the trip.
Did I mention my taxes? I had it all scheduled for this weekend. One day of Artomatic, one of taxes. Except I sorta had an Artomatic meltdown on Saturday. 21 feet of wall space I had to fill. 21 FEET!!! Well, not only do I not have the money to nicely frame that much stuff, but I simply have not been shooting long enough to even have the catalog of images I’d be proud — or even simply “not embarrassed” — to display. I had one idea for filling it but in the end it didn’t look good at all. So I went back on Sunday and changed spaces. Thanks to epmd for his proxying and selection of a large space though–if I’d'a thought I’d'a had the option of such a big space, I might have asked him to pick a smaller one, but it didn’t even occur to me that they’d have room like that given what I’d heard about past shows! Actually, I owe a lot of people for AOM favors: miscelena and kneb, bsivad, birdcage and the AOM board, furcafe…the usual cadre suspects. Gee, hope I didn’t forget anyone.
I’ll have to lay in much cash for all those drinks I’ll be buying them at the AOM bars.
9 April, 2007
UPDATE: OK, I wasn’t eliminated. Time for my ego and I to check out, especially as now it becomes clear I AM filler (of the innocuous kind, which is fine by me). Indeed, it’s hard to escape the impression that the whole BDCB site is filler for the “DC blog wars.” I was vaguely aware of them when I was attending more meetups and happy hours, last winter and spring, and I thought they were a fluke of some kind, or something that people had outgrown…apparently not. Anyway, the less said about them, the better. My snark skills are NOT up to the task, esp not at midnight.
Apparently the nom procedure is not as rigorous as all that. Whatevs.
Scarily, the competition is now for “the BEST and the SEXIEST.” Now that’s a higher bar.
9 April, 2007
I only half-follow the Best DC Blog site. I should RSS it, it’s often amusing — I haven’t so far because it’s so often got that slam book snarky vibe that reminds me of the junior high whimpering on the bed that I used to do. Anyway, this morning I noticed a link from it in my logs. How odd, I’m not a commenter there or on their blogroll. Well, it seems I have been nominated for Sexiest Female Blogger. By Michelle Malkin no less! (OK, really a Michelle Malkin hater. That’s 2 points in your favor, Michelle Malkin Naked.) Another mystery wrapped in an enigma. Have we met, MMN?
Perhaps I am meant to be filler for the list, and would be crossed off at an early stage with a snarky comment. Crossed off eventually would be OK, as I’m unlikely to win where there are far more exhibitionist types in the DC female blogger community. But to be first to go….ouch. The junior high bed-whimpering instincts are strong, but I got the psychological and physical chops to play this game now: confidence in myself, 20/20 vision, boobs, relatively flattering clothes, all the stuff I didn’t have back in the day when “She’s Like The Wind,” “Together Forever,” and “I Wanna Have Some Fun” were on Z95* and vests and bubble skirts were in…the FIRST time.
That’s about all that’s PG rated (or is cleavage PG-13 now?) that I will share, image- or story-wise. After all, my mother reads this blog. Hi Mom! (Although she gets far less grossed out by these things than my sister does. Hi sister!)
Would it help to make an appearance at a blogger happy hour, in a nice little v-neck and heels? (I Blame the Patriarchy readers: they will, of course, be comfortable heels. I don’t own any other type. Hey, I never claimed to be a radical** feminist. Unfortunately for me, Katie Roiphe was an influence at this tender age too…although I’m also not a lipstick feminist.)
*I owned all of these songs. If you wish to mock me, I’d like to hear YOUR Worst-Of of what you were listening to in 1988. Anyway, I mark this as a dark era of prehistory to my musical awakening which began in 1991 with REM’s Out Of Time and Primus’ Sailing the Seas of Cheese. Also, during the late 80s my mom played a lot of Leonard Cohen and WXRT, which was at its peak then. This made me much cooler later on.
**I typed “radial feminist” at first. Heh.
15 March, 2007
Some email subject lines today:
Subject: Urgent massage
If you ask me, all massages are urgent.
Subject: Temporary Stance Against Windows Vista Use
“DON’T GO IN THERE!“
I haven’t posted much about my latest (re-)obsession, which is hip-hop. I’m sad I missed these ladies, who were in town on Monday night (just resubmitted the paper, and worked basically straight through Sunday noon until last night midnight to get it out once and for all). I cannot get over the awesomeness of hardcore feminist MCs. One of them is named Hesta Prynne (Ph.D., have not yet figured out if that’s true and if so in what). Hip-hop* lyrics never sound as cool typed out (I just tried it), so you should check them out yourself.
I got a post in me someday about the paradoxes of working at Tryst. They support the laptop-worky lifestyle on the surface, but don’t give free refills. This is meant to keep people ordering, but one can nurse the dive-in cups most drinks come in for a long time. The service is absolutely awful, but since there are no free refills if they came around more they’d make more money. There are precious few power plugs, so if you get one you tend to camp out, making the place crowded, which would seem to make more money for them, but they don’t work that (see “awful service” above). I think they should get outside the box and charge for free refills by the hour. Say, base price for the first drink and a dollar or so for refills piecemeal or hourly, for all their major drinks? Yeah, but that means more work for their servers and if they wanted more work they would just come around more and make more on actual drinks. Hmm.
Your last note for this beautiful wintry-mix friday: a fascinating story of the consequences of mania.
Car salesman sells new car to woman with bipolar disorder who only came in to have the oil changed in the other, six-month-old, car she bought from them. But she was in a manic state, and easily persuaded to buy a whole new car she totally didn’t need.
Hilarity, and a lawsuit, ensue.
What do you think, hymes? Is she responsible for her actions? (Of course others may comment–I just know hymes will have an opinion )
*I find no phrase more difficult to type, for some reason. When I saw Brown Sugar a few years ago, I remember thinking how awful it’d be for me to write a book about hip-hop like Sanaa Lathan’s character was doing.
24 January, 2007
I’ve taken very few pictures in January. I’ve had a bad run of Januarys lately, and this one has involved a lot of hibernating and homebodying, which ain’t too condusive to creativity for me. (As you may have noticed from my blogging history.)
So, I’m looking forward to this weekend’s antiwar protest on the Mall, my first such march as a photographer. My task is clear. To retain my identity as a DC-area photographer, I must try to capture:
* the cutest kid holding the wordiest sign
* the hottest woman holding a sign with the best Bush/Dick pun
* the most stereotypical lesbian holding a sign with the best Bush/Dick pun
(Extra points for me if these are the same woman!)
* the hipster with the most self-consciously ironic sign
* the hippie-ist hippie couple
* the pepperpot with vest covered in the most pins
* protester with too little respect for the weather
* protester with too much respect for the weather
* least relevant sign
* most non-sequitur sign
(The difference is that the least relevant will at least attempt to tie the issue back to the protest’s subject.)
* the sign with the greatest ratio of issues to words
* best juxtaposition of signs/people
Am I missing any?
9 November, 2006
The first laugh of the day came at around 6:30, when my landline started to ring. I only have this line for DSL and pizza place’s caller ID, so this was extra weird. “Who the fuck is calling me at 6:30?” I mumbled. “Don’t forget to vote on Nov. 9th” Reaganite said, eyes still closed. Ah voter fraud, always teh hilarious!
Speaking of Reaganite, some may remember this post, wherein my refusal to refer to that airport in Arlington, VA by the name of a particular ex-President caused some transportation miscommunication between us (he got that name from that post’s comments, actually). Well, darlin’, and world, my moratorium has been broken: to book a flight through an airline’s phone automated system recently, I was forced to refer to the place as “Washington Reagan National.” Sigh. I didn’t even book it, so it was all for naught! (Guess which airline it was?)
Lastly, welcome, Wonkette readers. There have already been almost 1000 of you. Eek, maybe I shoulda put up some content yesterday. (I will be blogging more often now, in general, because I found the WordPress dashboard widget, so there’s hope for the future…) Enjoy my bizarroworld pics of Tryst and please check out my flickr photostream, linked to the right. Thanks and enjoy the afterglow!
2 October, 2006
So on the one hand I am as much a scandal-fan as anyone else in this town. Pass the Cheez-Its and warm up the laptop, I’ll be a’reloading Drudge and TPM all night! But schadenfreude, like erections, has a way of fading when the fun-naughty becomes the actual-naughty. I felt ill reading those IMs, it really killed my good-times-scandal buzz. All weekend I’ve just wanted to yell “Hello! Did anyone ever apply the motherfucking golden rule? Did anyone ever think ‘Do I want this schmuck around my kids?’ Did anyone ever think even, merely, ‘you know, if this is true, it’s possible that this guy is a total child molester. Perhaps we should conduct our investigation in such a way as to figure that out, because if he is, maybe we have a much bigger problem here than it seems.’”
Prevaricators never seem to realize that information wants to be free. Said best by a commenter on Political Animal: “If they had simply reported him to the FBI and asked his resignation when this all came to light 11 months ago, the scandal wouldn’t have been much. Just another pathetic middle aged pedophile got caught. Hastert and the rest would look like pillars of the community.” Too late now. What boggles me is this: it’s not like they thought middle-aged guys macking on teenage boys was okay or normal or to be approved of — they knew such behavior was inappropriate, at the very least. Why didn’t they act like it? Is it really that easy for people steeped in political considerations to…simply…FORGET normal standards of behavior?
This from a Kos poster:
The decent conservatives will line up behind calls for immediate comprehensive investigations to be concluded before the midterms. They’ll demand them. The amoral right-wing sociopaths will stall and dismiss the accusations and evidence out of hand. They’ll wring their hands over the political fallout, make excuses for why investigations can’t happen until after Nov 7 (If ever), implicate the innocent and pardon the guilty, straight down a partisan line as distinct as a laser beam.
I think these two kinds of people are the same people — I hope so, anyway. Nobody starts out that amoral; even sociopaths take some work to create. What does it take for an issue to cut through the bullshit and just be clearly WRONG?
29 August, 2006
Last Thursday, the prospect of a weekend trip to Miami came up. I packed and everything, but in the end it was another DC weekend for me. Bummer! I’ve never been to Miami. And I finally have a South Beach-worthy bod, too. (Well, as much as one can while still maintaining one’s health.)
When it failed to pan out, I took my newly awakened desire to go to the beach to H&M, where it bought bikinis, and on Saturday, beachy desire and I went to the pool at the Marriot Wardman in Woodley Park, which is sometimes open to the public.
Tease me with prospects of exotic travel, will you? OK. I shall send you cameraphone pics of my cleavage. Who’s sorry now?
On Sunday, the teaser returned from Miami, and we finally made it to the beach together. Teasing and counterteasing aside, it was all for the best. I would never have been inspired to plan it otherwise, and doing it as a day trip, and not a weekend half of which is spent in airports being annoyed at security, was a much more relaxing option.
Chalk another one up on “places I have of course been, but not as a photographer, so I had fun of the normal type associated with [place] but also had fun looking for shots.” (Also I went to Annapolis, but beyond “lots of seafood, lots of midshipmen” there is not much to say about that.)
19 August, 2006
First off, my apologies to my subscribers for the second image in my post yesterday. While all looked fine from my end, it doesn’t appear to have shown up for everybody. (It was a “Deep Blue Sea” poster.)
On to the review! After my experience waiting in Star Wars/LotR-y lines for Firefly last fall, I was worried about crowding at our showing of local netizen ground zero movie theater, Gallery Place. If there was one movie I didn’t want to watch from the second damn row with my neck craned it’s Snakes On A Plane. I knew the bloggers were going at 10 and figured a different showing would be less crowded, but still, 9 is prime time. So I was a bit taken aback when I walked into a wide-open theater 20 minutes before the showing. ?!! How can there not be lines out the door for such a cinematic experience??
Not being a TV watcher, I have no clue how SoaP is playing out in the real world. My mom’s heard of it, but then she is on friendster and comments on blogs, so she’s not your average mom, internets-wise. At lunch my coworkers had expressed fear of the movie based on the ads they’d seen. Maybe this WAS a cult thing that only a few people were into? Reaganite said as much when he arrived. Well actually he said, “lines, huh?” OK, so maybe I was being a little spazzy. I got the last laugh tho, because two blinks later the theater was full with people who were clearly all on the same page:
Spirits were high, and the contact buzz was plenty serviceable (didn’t have time to drink beforehand, cf. spaz, above). Proving once again that the internets make DC an even smaller place than it is, Reaganite (who is ex-blogger I-495 Blues) and I recognized a number of DC bloggers in the audience from meetups and such. Did we catch the blogger showing after all?
We had a little contest going on the previews. How did they see their audience? Reaganite took the 18-25 dumb-young-male demo, we figure this was the movie’s original aim. I took, well, me/the rest, 25-40 mixed-sex netizens, to represent where the movie ended up. You know, the sort of people who would make their own t-shirts for a movie that hasn’t come out yet, and take pictures of each other wearing them.
- Crappy takes-self-seriously action/horror movies. 2-0, DYM.
- Classy action/heist/crime stories. Someone wanted to remake Donnie Brasco with the current crop of Young Actors Who Are Of Course Very Talented And Serious About Their Craft But Are They Gonna Take Their Shirts Off Or What, and supported by the President, a Baldwin, and Jack Nicholson to chew the scenery. I claimed this one for my demographic (even my mom’s). 2-1.
- Mockumentary characters brought to you originally by HBO and benefitting from serious word-of-mouth because they are just that hilarious. A tough call, but 2-3, me. I flipped out more over these than for, say, the “SNAKES” title screen — after all, I’ve been fans of them far longer. As much as I lurve Tenacious D (the World’s Greatest Band), I think Borat (Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan) will be the superior film.
- Ass-rape-joke-based prison comedy. Yes, they went there. Again and again and again. Despite its starring Gob Bluth of Arrested Development, neither of us wanted to claim this. But it was pretty clearly targeted. 3-3.
- We were not sure just what to make of the “single black guy chains white slut to his couch for Jesus” genre. Even if it does star Samuel L.J. and a disturbingly flat Christina Ricci, which are definitely hints. But the name…did they really call it “Black Snake Moan”? Really? But…well, it turns out they are not only serious but it is a very good movie. I expect this movie’s trailers to be heavily, near-deceptively alternately edited for different audiences, as Fight Club’s were.
A good sign, I thought at the final tally. They know exactly who they are dealing with. (Although it was a bit of a bummer that the opportunity for a blue-screen trailer was not taken for ANY of these.)
more later because wordpress is being a bitch.
17 August, 2006
Have I missed discussion of the new Metro car voices of the last few weeks? IIRC it started with our “crime emergency,” when they put the “if you SEE something, on metrobus, or metrorail, that you…SAY something” announcement on 90-second repeat. It started coming out in other voices, and then the on-train ones did too. After all the hoopla last fall or whenever it was about new metro voices, I would have expected a little more fanfare. Maybe they used B-reel from that competition? The runner-up voices?
I do wonder why Metro uses mostly (only?) female voices for these announcements. There’s all kinds of research into listening to and taking advice/commands from voices of different genders; as you would expect gender is very important in determining perceptions and responses. (Well, maybe you wouldn’t expect that, but after a decade or two of working to get heard generally as a brainy female, half of which was spent being a woman in science, it seems obvious to me…) Are they unfamiliar with this phenomenon? Isn’t it relatively common knowledge? Or am I just too accustomed to being around feminists/sharp folk who observe the world around them through this sort of lens, for whom such observations are a half-step or so up from “men and women are different, yo”?
Yesterday I did hear the old voice…but it had been juiced up electronically, somehow, to sound Just A Bit More Insistent. I have to say it did get my attention (if for no other reason than I wanted to figure out just what they had changed). I wasn’t the only one: yesterday I saw a tourist child worriedly admonishing her younger sibling — “Get in! The DOORS are CLOSING!!” — mere seconds before the train said it. It was the kind of moment that, were it visual, I would have wanted to take a picture.
UPDATE: ‘Course, today WOULD be the day I’d hear a male-voiced announcement on the way in. (I think the guy was an employee and not a recording, however.) And the train’s voice was the same old female voice it usually is. I guess yesterday was a test, or some kind of Laurie Anderson-esque malfunction…
17 July, 2006
(wrote this last night. didn’t see that it didn’t go through until now.)
Coming home from Tryst just now, I hear this on my building’s front stairs:
very young woman: “I never knew about the bus until I came here….it’s awesome…I just like, get on it, and it takes me to my work!”
very young man: “wow, do you have to pay anything?”
v.y.w.: “yeah, like a dollar.”
Who ARE these people?
15 July, 2006
So I’m hit #5 for “woo girls” on Google, partly because of searches like that in the title. (Sorry I couldn’t be of service, dude.) Even when I posted about another Adams-Morgan nightlife classification it all went back to woo girls, both in my post and in the comments. Well, they are sparkly. And louder. So it makes sense.
Some great stuff got mentioned in those comments I thought I’d bring to your attention.
It seems that woo girls have been described at least twice before (hits #3 and #4), most notably by Derf. Many thanks to KCinDC of DC’s Drinking Liberally for the link. In science we call this being scooped, but a) I’m honored to have been scooped by such an esteemed figure and b) his description is generalized, and mine is more detailed. For one, I explain the yakking girl that he illustrates. Perhaps we should collaborate.
You must, must read this description of woo girl culture, written by an actual woo girl. It explains the why of the woo. It’s eye-opening. It’s hilarious. Reader Alex is hired for bringing it to our attention.
Lastly, it was discovered last night that a little woo girl resides in all of us. Got a group together to visit H st NE and the Palace of Wonders. Fun was had by all, and the relative uncrowdedness of the place was nice, but it is not quite worth the cab ride yet I don’t think. On our way back to the A-M area, three of us stopped for a fish “sandwich” at the Horace & Dickie’s, which IS worth the trek. Dr. “Cranky Sunshine” Birdcage had been struck, when in the neighborhood last month, at the reputation of the place among the local children she was running educational programs for. If you have not heard of it (I hadn’t), you will. The setting makes makes Ben’s Chili Bowl look like Les Halles…and the fish makes BCB look like Cosi. It will explode on the hipster scene now that H street is the new destination as it is perfect drunk food and the grittiness of the place really gives you that “look at me, I’m slumming it” feeling that is so key to the H st NE corridor at the moment. I ran into Sommer, the new DCist editor, at PoW, so it may be only a matter of time until we see a review…
Hey, I was talking about my inner woo girl. Stop distracting me. Yes, a woo escaped my lips last night. A passing car — driving at speed — saw us eating our “sandwich” on the sidewalk in front of the bar. Passenger shouted out the window at us, “FISHEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ!” Ha! Yes! Fishez! This fish is so good! I was compelled to respond, to reach out to this anonymous urbanite and acknowledge the fried flesh that unites us. But how? I had no time to think of words, the car was at the corner already. And what words are there, really? “Yes I agree, this fish ‘sandwich’ is excellent!”? So. WOOO!
It was brief, but unmistakable. My companions, thankfully, understood. “I’m a woo girl for this fish sandwich,” I said. They nodded. Maybe they also would have been. Maybe I was simply the only person who didn’t have delicious fish in my mouth at the moment. (Re the car: I suppose they could have been saying “BITCHEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ!” but that doesn’t make nearly as much sense. I mean, Dr. B and I are luscious babes and all, and have been known to attract passenger-side attention of this sort. But “bitchez” is not the usual thing yelled, comments tend to be more complimentary, or at least anatomy-specific. No, it was the fish, people. It could induce anyone to yell out a car window.)
I was going to show you why I keep putting “sandwich” in quotes but I just realized that this sandwich went unphotographed. !!! How could that be! Much like when Dr. C.S. Birdcage’s fish sauce bottle broke outside Toledo Lounge in front of a half-dozen photographers, and not a one of us documented the tragedy.
The bar itself was documented. It was one of those fun flickrite nights where shutters were very much a-snap. I look forward to the shots. About mine, let me just say that animated people are hard to photograph, and my ol’ “stick the camera over your head and shoot blind and work it all out in postprocessing” trick is a lot more complicated with a fisheye.
11 July, 2006
You’ll remember that my apartment overlooks the intersection of Drunk and Crazy, and so it makes sense that the first classification to make itself known to me, the “woo girl,” was one of the noisiest. It also makes sense that this group would have been so easily and aptly named by Adams-Morgan employees and residents, since they are colored brightly to attract attention. Not so our latest type, my friends, not so. Unlike their woo-happy sisters, they are quiet. They are nondescript. And there is no consensus on what to call them. Are they frat boys? Are they Republicans? Are they interns? Staffers? It’s a mystery.
Two things, however, are clear.
1) They wear striped shirts.
2) They are very, very drunk.
I shot this specimen before I had thought up this project. It was the very earliest hours of 2006 and revelry was high on Drunk St., but he was sitting as motionless as humanly possible. His pose seemed to indicate incredible sadness, like he had just received awful news of some sort of medical or financial nature, but on second glance he was actually holding himself together with every fiber of his being concentrating on not falling over or throwing up.
I was reminded of this fellow, and made aware that perhaps we had a type on our hands, while arriving home from work later than usual one recent Friday night. It was 10 or thereabouts. As I walked up the shady residential stretch of Calvert towards Adams-Morgan, I was vaguely aware of two guys moving slowly towards me, but they were too far away to take note of yet. But then! One of them, suddenly and dramatically,
in the middle of the sidewalk. With great economy and purpose of movement he slooooooowly stretched his arm out towards his companion, and gently, ever so gently, pulled Companion away from the center of the sidewalk. Ever so gently, and with small, focused steps, Companion let himself be moved to the side. Heads down, they remained in their near-penitent sidewalk-clearing position until I had passed, avoiding eye contact, as if looking at another human being might somehow have caused them to lose their balance. Or their judgment. Or their cookies.
I am not sure which bars these males frequent. I’ve probably been in bars with them and just not noticed. Hell, I’m not sure I’d notice these guys even if they bought me a drink. Maybe one already has…hmm. Also, I am not sure if their primary goal is finding mates or getting drunk. To be that drunk at 10 on a Friday indicates the latter, which is no way to propagate a species. But maybe they use the weekend drinking nights for different purposes. Perhaps Friday is for loosening up enough from their workweek to be able to find mates on Saturday. That’d be a pretty sophisticated reproductive strategy, and easily testable by closely observing differences between Friday and Saturday night behavioral patterns.
They have to have a vocal phase — I do hear men woo!-ing at times, might be them — but I seem to see them a few too many beers on the other side of that. Are these the men who get in fights with men of other ethnic groups? (nah, those are probably these guys,
who are more of the t-shirt wearing type. We’ll cover them another time.)
Yes, the striped drunkards leave this researcher with more questions than answers. Is there a better name? Do they travel in packs, or pairs, or are they loners? Do I need special glasses to see them, or to learn special techniques, all Gorillas In The Mist-like? How many beers get them to this point, are they lightweights, average, or high-tolerance? Which locations do they choose to throw up, and do they do so alone or in pairs or groups? Do they express the X-linked street-urination gene that so many sports fans do — are they perhaps sports fans themselves? Where do they reside? Are they from….VIRGINIA? (Oooo, this makes sense. If so, where do they park?)
Is A-M their native drinking land? Or is it the Hill or downtown post-work bars that serve K streeters, and the ones who make it up here are the adventurous ones? Hmm, if so, and if they ARE wooing the woo girls, this could result in population drift: the more adventurous striped drunkards (who leave wherever to come here) mate with the more adventurous woo girls (those who leave Georgetown/the Herpes triangle). Nine months post-birth control failure later, they have adventurous, alcoholic children. This might even lead to a speciation event. In this uncertain world (brought to you by G.W. Bush and narrated by Al Gore) these adaptable children may prove better survivors. They could even be the future of the human race.
Or…their adventurousness may be alcohol-fueled, and after the apocalypse, when liquor is likely to be in short supply, they may die out faster than the rest of us. Who’s to say? Not even Al Gore, I don’t think.
10 July, 2006
Damn, this article is depressing. Am I too old? Don’t these people have jobs? Who has this much time for their persona? This week I sent a bunch of links to some new older-than-me friends. They felt web-timidated by it, which is about how I feel about this person’s life.
I’ve been sorta trying to get to the Palace of Wonders bar on the H St NE corridor that all the kids are on about, but I note that Maureen Dowd mentioned it today, right after its grand opening(s) on Friday and Saturday. Did it jump the shark already? Is there any way for a place in DC to ramp up slowly or are we just too echo-chamber-y up in here?
Instead of that last night, Reaganite and I went to dinner at Zengo (which is not a fast-food place like I thought when walking by not paying attention). I had fun being That Girl, and encouraging the kitchen staff to start fires for me:
And then we took in some naked ladies over at Warehouse:
(This counts as “sunday on the internets” cause for the first time in a while, I processed a day’s photos the very next day.)
5 July, 2006
Hey, I only now saw I’m mentioned in Express again. (Link is to PDF, beware long load time.) For the record, I only object to the term in that one announcement. Of course we’re customers; we spend money, we want services, etc. etc. While riding, though, we are passengers or riders…right? As the first Express commenter illustrated, it particularly grates on commuters, who hear it every damn day and so have opportunities galore to ponder its weirdness. (Also, many of us regulars are less “customer”y than average because of TranShare benefits.)
I love Metro. It’s a great system. Period. People who seriously bitch about it should try commuting in some other cities for a while and see how good they have it here, what with the air conditioning, and the working escalators, and the 100% of stations being accessible, and the going to almost everywhere you need, and the bike-allowing, and the spic-and-span cars and stations, and the reliable posted arrival times. (And for many of you, the TranShare.) Change the announcement (word it more succinctly while you’re at it), put up “walk left stand right” and “don’t block the box” signs, and stop taking bigoted ads, and my love for Metro will be complete. (With more visual art in the stations, train arrival times outside, and bus arrival times inside, it’ll be unconditional. And if you put complete Red Line direction information between the downstairs platform’s up escalators in Gallery Place and Metro Center….well, I might not be able to control myself.)
5 July, 2006
I’ve been looking forward to the DC fireworks for about 10 years, since I saw a spectacular Philly 4th of July. “The only ones that have any right to be better than that are DC’s”, said I at the time. Also, for months I’ve been eager to test my photographic skills on this rare and tricky subject. I had had my first crack at it the previous night, after watching the Sussex Seahawks’ relief pitcher hand a victory to the New Haven County Cutters in 16 pitches in the bottom of the 9th. (Which is a whole other story). After the game there was a Fireworks ExTRAVAGANza! at Yale Field, during which I got the basics down enough to feel prepared.
“What time do they start?” I asked Reaganite, who had picked me up from Union Station. We were driving down Constitution and had no plan. “I don’t know,” he said, and in front of us behind the Washington monument, *boom*! Grr! Damnit. Luckily I had grabbed my gear from the trunk and had been getting myself together, setting useful exposures, mirror lock-up times, attaching the tripod mount…. All I needed was a place to (*boom*! grr!) park the car and watch, but we were on the Mall. No way in hell could (*boom*! grr!) we stop anywhere near there.
Thinking fast, we (*boom*! grr!) took the 9th street tunnel and aimed at some spots we knew of in SW…which were barred off by the cops, forcing us onto Maine Avenue. Argh! *boom*! Virginia or the mall? Virginia (*boom*! grr!) or the mall? He took a left, against my recommendations, onto (*boom*! grr!) the Southwest freeway westbound to Virginia. *boom*. Grr. I groaned when I saw the traffic on the early rise of the bridge, which had come to a complete standstill…
Because everyone had stopped their cars and gotten out to watch. We were no more than a half-mile southeast of the Washington monument and had an absolutely clear view of the show — even the smoke was blowing behind the fireworks (towards NW). I pointed out a spot with an unobstructed view a few lengths up, “until the cops move us along, anyway,” and then realized — nope. Even if they had wanted to, you couldn’t move that many en-vehicled people with a few bullhorn announcements. It was a very similar feeling to an underguarded protest or the crowd after a major league sporting event, when the crowd decides when to cross the street signals and cops be damned, and the authorities know all they have is their uniforms, a few bullets, and an understanding of herd behavior.
*boom*! Yay! I hastily set up my tripod and was getting all my photographic ducks in a row when Reaganite tapped me on the shoulder to show me the eastbound freeway bridge south of us — another solid line of people, leaning on the barrier. (Being an evil Republican who hates freedom, he would not let me stand on his car with the tripod to shoot this amazing sight, so I must leave it to your imagination.) Camera settings in order, we stood on the bridge’s north face, me hitting the shutter every few seconds and making adjustments every now and then, but mostly just enjoying the show. (It kills me that I have not had time to process my photos of this yet. Stay tuned.)
A weekend in Connecticut had reminded me how much America lives in its cars. So the slice of America you get when you stop a freeway and line everybody up is…beautiful. So many different kinds of people had been on that bridge, right then, for so many different reasons, but all with the same goal. We stood flanked by a black and a gay couple (funny, eh?). A car or two down, children screamed in excitement with each explosion. I wasn’t even paying attention and I heard English and Spanish, there might have been others. People were friendly as could be, all of us in the best mood possible at our luck in being in a great place at the right time. When it was all over (*boom*! awww.), we smiled and chatted with each other on our way back to our cars. Someone started honking, then another, then another, that honk of joy that I’ve only ever heard when an area’s team wins in the playoffs. But it was just another July 4. I couldn’t have felt any more American had I been watching from the Capitol steps themselves.
Yeah, now I really regret going for the shiny-shiny and not shooting the crowd. Talk about missing the story. Oh well….there’s always next year, right? Y’all know where you’ll find me.
3 July, 2006
In baseball, a player “hits the cycle” if he gets a single, double, triple, and a home run all in one game (in any order). All it formally means for the game is that someone got 4 hits, 6 extra bases and at least one RBI, but it’s rare and noteworthy if it happens, as a sort of interesting sideline. Even if it almost happens, as it almost did for Cubs 3rd baseman Aramis Ramirez on Saturday. (He missed the single, which is odd because it’s the easiest to get…usually the triple is the hardest one.)
I think in metaphors, so that’s the one that leaped to mind when I found out tonight that my Friday Metro musings ALSO got linked by Michael Grass over at the Express local blog log. And I thought, if there were a “cycle” for the DC blog-munity, what would it be? Might I propose:
Opinions? Maybe the Express is like hitting a home run (online only) vs. hitting a grand slam (The Blog Log graphic in the dead-tree version). Likewise, I nominate DCist as the equivalent of a triple since it doesn’t have an explicit “other blogs” roundup (although photographers have more chances to get on DCist than other bloggers. Maybe this is the equivalent of batting left-handed). (See what I mean about metaphor girl?)
I’m hanging with the parents in CT this weekend, where I haven’t visited since Thanksgiving. There are a lot of pictures to take, I tell you whut, and I haven’t even started on their house yet. For now, though, straight from the carnival to you via Rita with only the briefest of stops in a photo editor for format conversion, I humbly offer for your enjoyment: duckies.
2 July, 2006
So Wonkette linked my metro observations post. And this a day after my first professional photos were published. Not a bad week.
The snark in the Wonkette link got me thinking. It sorta misses the point (for sarcasm’s sake I suppose, the site DOES have a brand to maintain…although it was a lunch break post and I could have been clearer I guess). The attempted point: this behavior occurs OUTSIDE the necessary forced interactions like transfers and inquiries. What’s unique to DC is that riders will, unnecessarily, thank drivers as they disembark, and they do it almost every time, however minimally. (And drivers acknowledge people back in the same spirit. Hmm, I wonder if this gets annoying for them?)
Another two aspects add together interestingly. One, there is a peer pressure component. If the bus is crowded and someone says “thank you” or “have a good day” on their way out, later exiters (at that stop and at subsequent ones) are more likely to do so. Two, this behavior seems more common when rider and driver are of the same nonwhite group (of the same “people”, as it were, right birdcage?). The NW branches of the routes I ride most often — the 90 and the 42 — shuttle commuters to points between Red line and Green line metro stops. That is to say, they run between affluent/white and working class/immigrant/nonwhite neighborhoods. So it’s a rainbow coalition every day on them, and the high average diversity per bus can match any “people” of driver. This will increase the odds of the peer pressure snowball effect. So your average rider of, say, the Georgetown to Dupont type lines may not see as much of this. Any D2 riders want to weigh in?
I don’t think race is an underlying cause of this, though. I grew up in Chicago and took buses there for 15 years. Chicago being a strongly segregated city laid out on a grid, knowledgeof a route’s heading and range told you a lot about the age and maintenance levels of the vehicles and what the ridership and schedule adherence would be. I never saw this kind of interaction in the segregated or diverse routes. No, I think what’s driving this (since you asked) is DC’s scope. It doesn’t feel as large as NYC, Chicago, San Fran, even Boston. Heck, I recognize all my bus drivers already, which I never did in Chicago. I stick to my Pollyanna-ish approach to this phenomenon. (And knowing me, this all will probably lead me to start taking field notes about it during my commute. Hey, I was getting bored with sudoku anyway.)
30 June, 2006
1) Who decides the direction of the middle escalator? Is there a schedule? Is it by station manager’s discretion? How is it changed?
2) The trains…they talk to you. On the days when we have remembered our medication, they merely say stuff like “please stand back to allow customers to exit.” Just this week, I started wondering: how come we are “customers”? Not “riders”? Or “travelers”? It seems somewhat…mercenary of them. Like paying parking tickets to a city’s “Department of Revenue.” I mean, there’s something to be said for calling a spade a spade, but one would think appearances would count for something, and that WMATA would pretend to see us as a bit more than walking dollar bills.
3) The “walk left, stand right” DC Metrorail escalator culture is well known, but there is another such formality that many here observe: greeting and bidding farewell to Metrobus drivers. I love that we do this. Love it. In the utilitarian sense it makes the universe a kinder place by being a small amount of goodover a very large number of people. The alternative, which I know well from other cities, is to pretend the bus drives itself, and only acknowledge the driver when necessary.
What I love about these DC transit memes is that since so many people visit here, and even live here for a time, they really could spread across the nation as these people go back home and implement this new behavior. She said, with hope.
I send you off with a photo of another Metro mystery I came across one night.
21 June, 2006
Originally uploaded by techne.
Now that it’s summer, I have learned what f/22 is for. I had only used the high f-stops before for things like long exposures in dark bars. Well, now I’m shooting stuff outdoors at noon in the brightest light of the year — Honfest a few weekends ago, and last weekend I shot the DC Boxcar Derby for a local newspaper. Thank goodness I had that Honfest experience, because I really learned an AWFUL lot that day that was vital for the Derby. Like what f/22 is for.
I’m told that low-light work, which I pretty much get cause I’ve been doing it almost exclusively for the better part of a year, is much harder. Still, I have felt slightly ridiculous lately as I mess up so damn many shots trying to learn how to handle summer light. It’s made me realize why I never got this deep into photography before, despite having the desire. I would have wasted so much time and film by this point it would have discouraged me right out of it. Stuff like dropping off/picking up film in a timely fashion is precisely the sort of life task that I am terrible at. In contrast (ha!) I thrive on digital’s instant feedback.
It’s sort of like languages. Studying for an hour every day, day in and day out…I learn nothing because I get so little reinforcement because the progress is so slow. So I was awful at languages at school. Immersion, though, that would work for me, and when my language courses were more immersion-style, I did much better. Gee, I know it’s shocking, from a blogger whose theme is obsession, that learning languages obsessively is better than measuredly.
OK, back to work. My PI’s big defense-like thing was yesterday. He won’t hear formally for some weeks, but he got excellent feedback, pretty much instantaneously. It’s a frighteningly exciting time to be in this field, and to be where we are. I’ll blog more about it someday. There’s so many good science blogs though, I hesitate to make this into one. I’d really appreciate it if my readership could comment about how much science they do or don’t want to hear. Remember, I can explain anythign to anybody, so if you really do want to understand what I do, we can do that. Or I can just post the fun stuff.
15 June, 2006
I took the top shot last week but only ul'd it to flickr Tuesday night. DCist published it on Wednesday, in exactly the context I'd hoped for when I added the DCist tag (thanks for reading my mind Martin!) The resultant thread gave me ideas, and old RL friend and Photoshop genius leepus and I collaborated to produce the bottom image.
If these ads are still up where you are, please let me know where. This one was gone from Woodley Park today, a week after it appeared — cheapskate Focusers-On-Family, only springing for one week!
I have a longer, impassioned point to make about this issue — mostly a response to a few of the prima facie-reasonable arguments made in the DCist thread. But I may send them to DCist to publish instead of posting here or on flickr. Seems worthwhile, and may publicize the issue and get more calls in to WMATA.
14 June, 2006
I like Baltimore.
I have this vague sense I'm not supposed to. It's supposed to be a faintly ridiculous place, or declasse, or dirty…I don't quite grasp why I'm supposed to be a little embarrassed about it, but I definitely get the sense that I should be, from somewhere or other.
Well, fuck you, collective consciousness. I've only been there three times, but each time I felt like I'd visited home. Don't get me wrong, I like DC, I feel at home here, but it is, for me, a new way of being a city. Baltimore isn't new like that. It's much more like my hometown.
What prompted this? This weekend I attended Honfest, which was a street fair that could have been copied wholesale from any such fair in any summer weekend in Chicago. (You'd just need to add a lot more pink and hairspray than Chitown is used to:
For more of what Honfest is about I direct you towards the Honfest 2006 Flickr photo pool.) I had a great time. I just enjoyed myself, non-analytically, out with friends making pictures in the beautiful weather, and comparing it to DC, or Chicago, or anything didn't enter into the day.
Then I turned a corner and saw the below. Faithful readers may recall that not two weeks ago I was bemoaning DC's lack of vintage clothing stores. What's pictured here is just the sort of thing I had been looking for. If it'd been a musical I'd have burst into song. I might have anyway, in fact; I don't remember.
(It's too big on purpose; it's just no good small. Sorry.)
I've tried many times to describe what it is about Baltimore that I'm attracted to, and it never seems to come out right. For example, a few months ago I mentioned on Flickr that I wanted to take pictures of stuff like abandoned factories. I had used the phrase "urban blight" in musing about whether Baltimore would have such things, since DC didn't seem to. A minor contretemps ensued (there was a lot of "Senator, I've worked in Anacostia. I've lived in Anacostia. And Senator, you don't know from Anacostia!"). In short order I stopped trying to explain myself and just fricking went to Baltimore.
What I was trying to get at was evidence of an industrial base that time had passed by, and seeing those racks of clothes, something clicked into place about why that particular feature of a city seemed so important a trait to me. Because of industry and its echo and the social patterns it imposes, Baltimore is a city where people die after living their whole lives. DC is where you go to work, and when you're tired or done, you leave and settle down elsewhere. It's been that way for over 200 years. So when Grandma dies and you have to empty her closets and you just dump everything in her house to someone who resells it to the vintage store buyers, you are emptying them in places like Chicago and Baltimore, not places like DC.
I wonder if that makes any more sense than my other attempts to describe me and Baltimore. (The hour would indicate no.)
6 June, 2006
– DC LIFE I don't know what I did to deserve this amazing, fabulous, lovely perfect weather which would be nice even for a temperate city much less a Southern one. The summer misery is my only real problem with living in DC. (Well, that and disenfranchisement.) Even when it was hot last week I was not too upset, figuring I had had my lovely perfect spring and it was OK for summer to start now. So getting ANOTHER nice week….hell, I was CHILLY when I got home tonight. Chilly! In June in DC! Hallelujah!
– BASEBALL I've been neglecting one of my obsessions. Why? Because the Cubs had an incredible May…an incredibly BAD May. Their worst May ever and close to their worst month ever…they went 7 and 22, and they pretty much deserved it, too. It was painful even from here. Add that to the fact that I was out of town a lot in May and so couldn't get to any Nats games until Memorial Day — and that their month wasn't so hot either — and baseball's been on the back burner. I expect to be going more now that I'm in town for a few solid weeks. I have not even scored a game all year. I kinda miss it, I'm done with taking bad ballpark shots from my seats.
I do have a sorta-baseball story though, from my friend's wedding in MN. One night at a bar I found myself being wingmanned while a groomsman put the moves on a bridesmaid. Now, the wingmen were married, but had not told us this yet, instead preferring to go to their buddy's wedding alone and ringless and flirt with cute girls. When we found out, we were tres amused and almost started a side bet on how long they could go without mentioning their wives.
Anyway, the bar: I was bored but baseball was on the TV, which made up for it. Wingman and I watched the day's late games finish, and then the recap of the MLB day, all the while talking that nice relaxing baseball chatter. After a bit I found myself double-teamed (heh) as the baseball talk had lured Other Wingman away from his bridesmaid to join our convo. Blah blah, Dusty, Nomar, Barry Bonds (they were from LA)…after about 3 innings of this, the lured one exclaimed, "I don't get it! How is it that a cute baseball fan like you isn't married??"
I should have pointed out how a wife who talked baseball all the time might not be the boon he imagined, but I was laughing too hard. If I had a nickel for every married guy who's swooned over me cause of baseball….well that's about how cheap talk is, cause I'd still be single! Sheesh. I do not have this availability problem with fans of other sports. Maybe I just don't know other sports as well? (A few hours later, the wives got a shout-out, but the kids remained unmentioned.)
– PHOTOGRAPHY I would love to show you pictures of me at the high-class function I was getting ready for last Saturday when I posted. I took pictures of myself right before leaving with my SLR, and brought my p&s camera to the event itself. But the card from the small camera is showing up blank and the card from the big camera is flaking out because I was playing with shooting in RAW again for a few days, which for some reason is causing all kinds of odd behavior I've never before seen. I'll try photorescue tomorrow, but grr. Grr!!
– SCIENCE Remember my stressful presentation, which had to happen even though I was underprepared, and for which many bigwigs including my boss' boss (BB) showed up? Today was odd, because I got to see my PI go through the EXACT SAME THING.
PI has a massive presentation to give in two weeks. In 20 minutes he has to justify his last 5 years of funding and make a case for his next 5 years of funding. Today was the only day one colleague could attend a run-through, so he presented an early draft, and I think it's when he referred to its roughness that I started to see the similarities, because I had said almost the exact same thing. He availed himself far better than I did of course (he had all weekend to prep!) but still, it was disorienting to see him stand in the same spot I had stood in and have the same experience I had had — even in front of the same people. Yes, BB was there, as was Hilarious Iconoclastic Brit, Deceptively Quiet Guy, and a few other less colorful people.
It got even weirder when I realized that the process he was about to go through was JUST like a thesis defense. "Stand up in front of a critical panel of people senior to you, present the story of the last 5 years of your work in support of the document you submitted to them a bit ago, and defend your own value as a researcher; if we like what we hear and how you respond to our grilling, we will give you a cookie." He's an MD, the closest he's been to a defense was probably mine, a year ago, when he sat on my committee.
And I am right in the middle of this, my friends. Oh yes. We fellows will also appear before the board, to speak to his mentoring abilities. More directly though, we've been analyzing some data that just came in, along with some data which has been sitting around for a while, and damned if they don't point in the same direction. This is, er, not the norm for the field. So a lot of this very recent stuff is going in the presentation.
This has been a good science week, because I've finally figured out how to use the specialized, legacy, poorly documented and quirky software programs we use for analysis. Oh, and? The direction it's all pointing in? I called it months ago. "There is a smoking gun!" I said. "It's right there!" I said, pointing. "I'd bet the farm it's the XYZ gene!" I said, "although I am glad I don't have a farm to actually bet!" So the TOLD YA SO! song is going on in my head a lot lately. (Not that anyone argued with me, but they were scientifically, that is to say appropriately, skeptical.)
3 June, 2006
And it hasn't even started yet. I have a hoity-toity function tonight to prep for. I had this routine DOWN in Chicago:
– Plan outfit on Friday for Saturday afternoon or night.
– Go shopping Saturday morning for that last accessory or two.
– Find much better outfit/accessory schema. Make it work at the very last minute.
– Look smashing.
My biggest finds:
– Senior prom: maroon chinese dress at a flea market (admittedly this was a few days before, but for prom this counts as last-minute).
– J&J's wedding, the first of our crowd to get hitched: asymmetrical sweater shell that is still sexy as hell, AND a hand-embroidered blue Chinese jacket in perfect shape.
– T&B's wedding: I already had a blue linen boatneck bias-cut Ralph Lauren dress, which I unenthusiastically planned to accessorize with silver. The night before, P and I went to dinner with R&M, and at that time M was obsessed with the color orange. Lightbulb. She spent the next day going around with me as I picked up orange hair and nail things, and in my greatest coup, I found matching orange shoes and purse mere hours before the wedding.
Problem today is, my secret weapons were DSW Shoe Warehouse and a panel of trusty yet ever-changing vintage stores. A car was not strictly necessary but did speed up the process greatly. Here in DC, the only DSW I know of is in the Bethesda boonies and Metro inaccessible, I don't know of any vintage stores except Mustardseed, also in Bethesda, which does not carry the type of stuff I'll need today, and my car is not working properly, in a this-could-stop-working-anytime sort of way. So it's an adventure. (Oh wait–there's a DSW in Virginia! But then I'm in Virginia.)
I should get started….I leave you with this tidbit from Overheard in New York which you really should be reading. C'mon it has a feed and everything, makes it real easy.
Hot chick: So, I just wanted to let you know I'm just coming out of a relationship.
Buff dude: Oh. Well, then I should tell you that I used to be a stripper in Chicago.
Hot chick: Hmm…I have herpes.
Buff dude: That's ok, I have two cats.
–Scruffy Duffy's, 8th Ave between 46th & 47th
1 June, 2006
For the first time this week, I didn't come in from my (long hot miserable humid asthmatic) commute to an email reminding me publicly of some or other ball I'd dropped out of carelessness.
We're gonna call this an improvement on my week so far. Yeah, the last 12 or so hours have definitely helped to turn this week around in time for the weekend…
In other news, if you want to waste a little time subverting the dominant paradigm, check out this site.