Thursday, February 28, 2008

goodbye forever...

Tee hee! Just kidding. I meant that in the same sense that Rod always means it in the hilarious e-series "We Need Girlfriends," which, by the way, if you haven't seen yet, you should definitely check out (if not just so you know what everyone's talking about next year when, God-, Buddha-, Allah- and Zeus et al.-willing, it hits the small screen.)

But anyway, this is a goodbye -- a goodbye for two days. Devastating, I'm sure. I'd offer you some Kleenex or, more my style, some liquor to drown what I'm sure is the saddest moment of your life, but until technology catches up with my mind, I'm afraid that's impossible. Sorry.

While you're huddling in the corner of a dark room sobbing and begging one or more of the aforementioned deities for The Anti DC to return, I'll be in Boston running errands. No, seriously, I'm basically going up there to take care of some overdue paperwork, get a haircut and -- my most favorite task -- stop by the original Filene's Basement, which is so much better than DC's chain Filene's Basements. *sigh*

For reals, I never leave the OG FB without something spectacular -- both for its aesthetic pleasantness and its economic value. To give you a comparison, it rivals New York City's Century 21 in selection, but without the garage-sale-gone-retardulously-wrong environment.

So, I'm out. Oh, there go the tears. I know. Life is hard. But here. I don't want to leave you with nothing but a broken spirit in an empty shell, so let me give you the first webisode, as they say, of your soon-to-be-favorite e-series, "We Need Girlfriends." (You can find the rest here.) Ciao!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

jeff tweedy is not a douche magnet!

I am relieved to report that my second concert in DC was much, much less craptastic than the first. (Of course, at the last concert I attended my friends and I broke cardinal rule No. 67. Our bad.).

But honestly, my second go at DC's live music scene -- from procuring the tickets to being at the show --was an all-around damn fine experience. But seeing Wilco should always induce good times...well, except if it's 1999 and your best friend gets a concussion during the show from some gorilla-suit-clad asshole, who kicked her in the head while crowd-surfing; we can forgive, but we will never forget (and also, who crowd-surfs at a Wilco concert? Oh, liberal arts kids...).

But obnoxious asshole aside, I want to tell you about what was almost more exciting for The Anti DC than seeing long-time rock-star crush Jeff Tweedy and crew live on stage taking care of business -- the crowd. Yes, I can't believe what I'm typing. Save for a few outliers, who I'll get to in a moment, the crowd at large did not suck. In fact, the four guys standing on my left even managed to successfully start a slow-clap during the short intermission between the last song of the set and the first encore (there were two).

I know I must not be the only one who finds this phenomenal. I mean, I've never seen the slow-clap succeed in real life. Every time I've tried it it failed miserably, so I always thought it was a myth. But no! Turns out my timing is just bad, unlike these four undergrads, who not only pulled off the slow-clap, but did it with incredible grace!

It started with just one, then the other three joined in. I looked at The Law (my old shooting buddy) to see if she was hearing and seeing what I was and, indeed, she was. We laughed a bit at their try but knew (or thought we knew) their fate. But then we heard similar rhythmic clapping on our right. Whoa. It was happening. Like puppies and butterflies dancing under a rainbow made of unicorns and fairy dust, we were witnessing something rare and beautiful. The floor suddenly burst forth with the magical sounds of hundreds of hands bouncing off each other at the same time, slower at first then gradually growing until the rhythm was lost in the roar of the entire club erupting into applause! I was awed. If I was 10 years younger I'd have fallen in love right then and there.

But I'm old. So I simply gave a congratulatory nod to the one standing closest to me and turned my attention back to the stage...or tried to. See, while most of the crowd at the Wilco show may have been acceptable or, in the case of the four aforementioned boys, ultra tight, there's always a "That Guy" that inevitably pisses you off. Whether he's giving your friend a concussion or, as in last night's case, falling into you drunk, spilling his beer and blocking most of your photo ops (the photo above is courtesy of the Interweb), That Guy is always there. And while That Guy usually tends to be younger than you, this one was definitely pushing 50. Seriously, you'd think by the time you hit middle-age someone would have had the courtesy to clue you in on your "That Guy" status so you could've checked yourself before you wrecked yourself turned into "That Old Guy." Friends don't let friends remain douches.

Anyway, despite That Old Guy's attempts to eff up every single one of my shots (camera, not gun), I managed to get a little snippet of passable video just to give you an idea of how awesome Wilco is. The song's called "Can't Stand It" off of their 1999 Summerteeth album. Unfortunately, my low quality recording doesn't do it justice. And some of That Old Guy's antics come into play around 1:10. Eh, I'll see him in hell.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

home on the range...

The shooting range, that is! Yes, World Wide Web, I am an official sharpshooting badass. Evidence!

Taking care of business.

So I may not have been wearing any blaze orange or camouflage (where does one get that stuff in DC, anyway?), but I had all the necessary elements, including:
  • Shooting-approved shades;
  • Sh*t-kicking boots;
  • Gun-approved bum gloves;
  • A not-to-be-f*cked-with serious expression; and, last but not least,
  • A 20-gauge semi-automatic shotgun. Yay!
Seriously, have I ever looked more street illegal in my life? No. No, I haven't. But, despite my awesomely delinquent appearance, the above-pictured shiny wood-and-metal accessory (a Beretta AL391 Urika, to be exact) is not only 100 percent street legal in Virginia, but I'm pretty sure it's practically requisite for residents to own. God bless Virginia and its love of freedom and using that freedom to shoot skeet.

And you know what? I love freedom too.

Sharp shooting. Nice ass!

And so does The Law!

Locked and loaded. Nice ass!

We may look like super tough (in The Outsiders sense) experts, but, um, what you're seeing here is The Law and I shooting live firearms for the first time...ever. As such newcomers to what is unquestionably the best activity of all time, you'd think we'd have sucked our first time around. And, well, you'd be right. However, by the time we got the chance to shoot a second round -- roughly three minutes later -- we had become bonafide sharpshooters. No joke. We were sniping out clay disks left, right, over, under, high, low, near and far. It was on.

Was this natural talent? Duh. Of course -- at least in part. But before you start to worship us for the sharpshooting deities we clearly are, I'm going to tell you something: Shooting is not hard, like, for anyone. If you're not blind and have arms, you're pretty much set. See, there's not a lot of skill involved, in the classical sense. You don't have to worry about aiming, using a scope or judging wind speeds really. The only thing I found to worry about was how my ass looked from behind.

Nice ass! David, our shooting instructor, is working those khakis out! (By the way, that sea of blaze orange you see in the field out there is a hot mess of broken clay targets. There is A LOT of shooting going on out in Centreville, Va., a.k.a. the tightest place on Earth.)

In fact, the only real skill you need to become a good shooter is the ability to chillax and just go with it, at least according to our shooting guru David: "It's like taking a swing -- sometimes you hit it, sometimes you don't." That's called wisdom, my friends.

Of course instead of a golf club or baseball bat, you're "swinging" a semi-automatic or 12-gauge double barrel. But, then again, in Virginia golf clubs and firearms are pretty much the same.

The Law took to David's wisdom like it was her job and was sniping out clay like a pro. I -- although still an excellent shooter, mind you -- was a little more hit-and-miss (literally) with the targets. I either need a bit more practice or I need to start toting in a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle and just start spraying those damn clay disks out. Of course, for some reason I don't think Virginia's fine police force -- freedom loving they may be -- would appreciate my efforts to truly master this sport. But, I guess with the complimentary gun rental tickets The Law and I received upon successfully completing our Learn to Shoot course, I'll just take whatever Weapon of Clay Destruction I can get when I go back. And trust that I will go back because the Bull Run Shooting Center just might be the best thing to ever happen to the DC area.

But enough reading and typing! My burgeoning love for the glory of skeet shooting deserves a whole new medium -- video montage!* (And you're going to want to crank the volume up to 11 because the soundtrack is tight.)

*By the way, I am so ridiculously attached to this blog that I spent about five hours mastering this two-minute video montage...and by "mastering," of course, I mean barely piecing it together. Included in this many hours of unpaid work were several technical inability issues, mainly stemming from my need to rotate the video. See, The Law and I shot the low quality footage with my Nikon S1 digital camera and instead of holding the camera upright, we held it sideways like a couple of assholes. At the time, it seemed to produce a better shot (of course that pun was intended!)...or so we thought. Turns out, when I went to rotate the video 90 degrees, my computer wouldn't allow me (or more like, I couldn't figure out how) to reconfigure the dimensions. So, everything looks a little short and squat in the live video shots. I should probably just go ahead and shoot my my computer in the face, er, motherboard. Whatever.

Oh, and also, I realize my hair looks super gnarly. That's partly because I got up just 20 minutes before I had to meet The Law at the metro to head out to National Airport to pick up our cobalt blue rental Dodge Avenger, and partly because DC salons butchered it for me (thanks). But don't worry (um, because I'm sure my hair situation has caused many to fret...), I'm getting it cut this Friday. In Boston. Problem solved. Ciao, e-friends!

Monday, February 25, 2008

steak and strippers!

Virginia is a chasm in the space-time continuum. Seriously, it's like a parallel universe over there. True, the people still appear to have two eyes, a nose, a mouth, five senses and supposedly need oxygen to survive; and its true that they still drive cars, go to school, go shopping, walk their dogs and eat meals of food for dinner. But, it's almost like they know how to do all that sh*t better, more efficiently and, of course, classier than we do in the Capitol of the Free World.

Take, for instance, the act of eating dinner. Whereas in DC, we just go for the food, which is often overpriced, in Virginia, a night out at a restaurant goes way beyond the food, which is cheap as hell, by the way. Over there, it's an entire night of entertainment. Naked entertainment, that is.

That's right, my friends, Virginia's "Crystal City Restaurant" has a two-fer strip deal, it seems. In one convenient stop, patrons can first feast on a New York Strip Steak and then feast their eyes on a humanoid lady stripper! And all at very, very reasonable prices!

Tonight we dine in hell with strippers!

The Crystal City Restaurant is not kidding! Those prices are indeed unbelievable! At just $4.99 for a six-ounce strip (for the kids, I assume!) and $9.99 for a whopping 16-ounce strip (for the older and wiser) it's perfect for the whole family! Not to mention, the free unlimited refills of syphilis! Seriously, how is it that life is so awesome across the Potomac?

Alas, the Crystal City Restaurant, which is located just off Jefferson Davis Highway near National Airport (because I trust you're going to go), was closed when The Law and I happened upon it yesterday morning on our way to the shooting range (um, for reals -- look for an upcoming photo and video essay on that). But as two single tears rolled down our respective faces upon learning the Crystal City Restaurant's late-night hours, we vowed to come back. And I may have to sooner than I think because I left a little piece of my life behind in that fair establishment's parking lot -- my ATM card (no comment on how it may have gotten there).

Now, I can only hope dinner (and a round of lapdances) for locals Billy Bob, Mary Sue and their two sons Bubba and Ham-Bone was on me last night. After all, Virginia is for lovers, um, and families that go to strip clubs-cum-restaurants (I'm not going to touch the humor in that phrase) together, right? Right.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

to pierce my heart (LOL!) or to whig out (LOL again!)

Dead President Franklin Pierce is my "Presidential Hottie Soulmate," according to a retardulous online quiz I found through another DC-area blogger. Amazingly (and sadly) this quiz knows my type, judging from its apt description of Dreamboat Pierce:
Well, his presidency was largely forgettable, if not disastrous, but man...those cheekbones. That intensity. Also great hair. Unbelievable hair. I hate to break it to you but your life together would not be harmonious -- there would be that not-so-small issue of his fatal alcoholism threatening your relationship (it probably destroyed his marriage). But he would love you so so much, in his own tortured and inadequate way -- always loyal to you even as he pissed you off, always trying his hardest to do right by you and wanting to make you happy... and pretty much always failing. And yet every time he came crawling back and stared deep into your eyes, pleading, begging... kissing you... with those Franklin Pierce lips... oy. Such delicious drama.
Delicious drama, indeed! But could those magical "Franklin Pierce lips" really override his remedial efforts to run this great nation of ours?

It's a tough call considering those thin Franklin Pierce lips are framed by such a magical pile of greasy hair and that Georgetown-esque popped collar around his jowls. However, superficial though I am, I still don't think his "hotness" could ever make up for his less-than-stellar (read: exceptionally messed up) record. Then again, is that an ascot? No! No accessory could ever make up for his status as one of the worst presidents ever. But then again, this Shambles McShambleson was drunk all the time. He probably didn't know what he was signing! O, the turmoil my Presidential Hottie Soulmate is putting me through!

And to think if my dear Franklin had lost, my virtual heart could have belonged to Whig contender General Winfield Scott. This looker can't even keep his own hands off himself.

Presidential Hottie Soulmate overload! Anyway, if you'd like to know who your main presidential squeeze is (and I know you do, DC), click here. Godspeed.

Friday, February 22, 2008

slapping babies in the face since november

As I near my 100-post milestone on this little cess pool of a blog, I've begun to contemplate its purpose on the ether. In other words, what is my niche? I don't think I'm a strict DC hater, as my ever-growing Reasons to Live category can attest to, however, I am by no means blind to the Exceptionally Messed Up Sh*t that goes down here. In my mind, I'd like to think that when I point out DC's more abhorrent aberrations, I'm actually providing a bit of hope to the community. In other words, if this city was Britney Spears, this blog is the intervention.

It's time to stop letting the tools, douches and their various iterations run this place. And while my arsenal (until Sunday) is more metaphorical than actual, I hope my retardulous musings, overextended metaphors and sophomoric wit have at least provided you with a respite from your inevitable daily doses of DC doucheiness.

Let's face it. DC is not the easiest town to live in for those of us who don't fit this city's khaki standard. It reminds me a bit of an old Czech cartoon, in which Krtek, the infinitely cute cartoon mole created by Zdenek Miler, accidentally finds himself in a rather unwelcoming zoo. To survive and eventually get along in the zoo, little Krtek (who looks like he's about to shank a bitch above) has to try to tiptoe past a ginormous elephant who's after his ass; escape from the jowls of a retarded pelican; convince a turtle not to throw his butt in the water; bitch-slap a baby ostrich, laugh in its face then get chased down by its crazy siblings; clutch onto an asshole monkey's tale for dear life; and, finally deal with a sick and weeping angry lion. (I trust you inserted your own similes and metaphors where you saw fit.)

Now Krtek could've just crawled back into the ground from where he came, but he's either too stubborn or too stupid to simply give up. He was going to rule this zoo. And so he took action. Through his quick thinking and fearlessness, Krtek performed some DIY surgery on the lion, garnering him the respect of the rest of the zoo. What he did shocked the zoo's inhabitants, but as soon as the lion realized Krtek had saved him from his world of pain, the rest of the zoo came around and worshiped him like a golden god.

And here is where I normally would boast that The Anti DC is doing for DC what Krtek did for that lion, but I won't. DC may be a hot mess à la Ms. Spears or a lion with a toothache (really, what's the difference?), and this blog may strive to be the intervention or oral surgeon to put an end to the madness, but a blog is a blog is a blog. There's only so much that typing on an iBook G4 circa early 2005 can do. And so, I propose that my niche be that of amusing distraction -- a sassy song-and-dance routine, if you will -- from the normal DC drudge. And while hopefully some of the theories, reviews and observations I offer can perform a service for some of you, ultimately The Anti DC (as long as I persevere as the only writer) will remain a narcissistic and self-serving endeavor. But then again, what blog isn't?

And now that I've hit my existential quota for the week month, I invite you to watch "Krtek at the Zoo." And for the narcissistic and self-serving record, my favorite part occurs at 2:10. (Will slapping babies in the face ever get old?! Not in my lifetime, I say!)

PS -- And for reals, to those of you both in and out of the Beltway who can stand or, dare I say, enjoy The Anti DC, I want to express my sincere (no, really!) gratitude. I really do love the feedback (good or bad) and hope my sick and twisted thoughts can continue to make you laugh, cringe, cry, shout, add, subtract, work it out, pet a dog, tie your shoes, dance, blink, write or otherwise take care of business. Capital "X", capital "O."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

oh skeet skeet goddamn

Something about this week just has me referencing Lil' Jon every chance I get. It must be this new decaffeinated green tea I've been imbibing every morning. Or maybe it's the two jiggers of vodka I consume on the hour, every hour. (Am I kidding?! Who knows!) But real or made-up drinking habits aside, I conjured up the sweet sounds of Lil' Jon's 2003 hit "Get Low" for a goddamn (goddamn!) reason: Skeet.

But before your minds wander to places they shouldn't (or should they?!), let me quickly interject that my allusion to this five-letter monosyllabic word doesn't involve anything dirtier than guns and ammo. Yes, I'm talking about my future favorite pastime, skeet shooting.

I don't often preview what I'll write about in future posts (mainly because I, myself, generally never know), but for skeet shooting, I am making an exception. This weekend I am taking a "Learn to Shoot" class. For $25, the Bull Run Shooting Center will provide me with all the ammunition, targets, ear and eye protection and rental guns I need. God bless the USA.

And lest you think I'm taking this class ironically because, apparently, I'm a hipster, I assure you that, while that may be partially true, it is not totally the case. Let me break it down like this: Until I can learn to shoot bullets from my eyes, I will have to learn to use guns.

So with my inauguratory gun class quickly approaching, I'm left to ponder what to wear. Not one to go into anything aesthetically unprepared, I perused a few skeet-shooting sites online and came up with a few choices. Behold the tightness!

There's always the standby flourescent orange blaze orange vest -- a must-have for any sharpshooter.

For a more feminine look, I could go for a hot pink pair of pants skirt um, skants?

Or, since I'll be shooting in the DC area, perhaps a fly pair of pleated khakis could suffice?

But I demand flair! And what better way to bring it than through high-waisted pants, Hawaiian-print shirts and 400 extra pounds? And don't forget the shades!

Seriously, get ready for my best essay ever, and I mean both written and photographic. Trust me: It. Will. Be. Epic.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"across from the big chair!"

Remember when I posted about THE BEST COMMERCIAL EVER? Of course you do. Remember at the end of said commercial when the guy tells us where America's Furniture is and he says, "Across from the Big Chair!"? No? Well, I do, but that's probably because I spent nearly all of my few precious moments of free time yesterday re-watching this epic snippet of Americana. (Why do you think I didn't blog? Heavens no, it couldn't be that I actually have a life offline! Never.)

Well, this "Big Chair" piqued my curiosity. Was it another furniture store? Was it a euphemism for something? It was time to stop wondering and just Google, and I'll be damned if "The Big Chair" isn't, well, a big ass chair!

Holy Mother of Chair! This is fantastic! Am I the only retard who had no idea of this mammoth chair's existence? I might be, according to The Anacostia Community Museum: "Everyone in Anacostia knows that the big chair is located on Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue and V Street, SE."

Um...I didn't. But then again, I'm an idiot. Also, I don't live in Anacostia. It'd be like expecting everyone outside of Columbia Heights to know that (my now second favorite landmark) Burritos Fast is located on Mt. Pleasant Street; it's something we all should know, but don't.

Anyway, this "Big Chair" is definitely worth hopping on the metro to go see. Why? Well, according to the Anacostia Community Museum, "The Chair is made from African mahogany and weighs 4,600 pounds. It is 19 ½ feet high and stands on a concrete, 4-foot-high pedestal. Its seat is as large as two double-sized beds."

Yowsa! I would make it my mission in life to spend a night on that there chair, but someone beat me to it: "In August 1960, Lynn Arnold lived on top of the Big Chair, inside of a glass house, for 47 days. She did this to promote Curtis Brothers. The Curtis Brothers Furniture Company closed in 1973."

Shucks. I'd say her efforts were for naught, but how could they be? She lived on the goddamn Big Chair! In an effing glass house! This woman is my idol.

But enough about me, let's go back to this ridiculously large chair. Who is the genius behind it? Tell me museum, perferably in choppy awkward sentences!

The big chair was built for Curtis Brothers Furniture Company, which was established in 1926. Bassett Furniture Industries of Virginia constructed it. Based on a Duncan Fife design, this special chair was built from original plans by Leo A. Jiranek. At the time, it was said to be the largest chair in the world. ... The big chair has been in Anacostia since 1959. It was built in Bassett, Va., and transported by truck to the community. Due to the chair’s height, a special route was chosen for the two-week trip.

Wait. Two weeks? According to Google Maps (it's the best) Basset, Va., is roughly 292 miles away from DC. Now, doing several complex calculations on my Casio MS-80TE, I have discovered that on average the truck toted the Big Chair roughly 21 miles each day. Going further then, if someone hauled the Chair eight hours per day, my Casio tells me the chair was moving at approximately 2.6 miles per hour. I guess you can never be too careful when Big Chair is involved. Lesson: Do not f*ck with Big Chair.

i will craft your next iced-out jesus piece

As I alluded to in one of yesterday's (oops) Monday's posts, I was forced to learn a new trade last weekend -- jewelry-making. And when I mean forced, I mean the woman in the store nearly shanked me when I asked if she could just craft for me. But before I get to my near-death experience in a certain Dupont Circle jewelry/bead store with a most unfortunate name, Beadazzled, let me just quickly recount the retardulous events that led me to discover this newfound skill.

The story actually dates back many generations to my mother's silver-smithing dad (it must run in the family) and my dad's classically stylish mom (it must run in the family -- I had to say it). Anyway, I somehow inherited a pendant from each. Now, I thought it would be kind of awesome to string the two pendants on a single chain. Not only is it nauseatingly sentimental (savor this, it will never happen again), but it also would just plain make for a unique necklace. However, there was one small glitch. While my grandmother's "B"-inscribed silver Tiffany's pendant (classy, no?) would fit on any chain, my grandfather's homemade Slavic cross (I can't deny my third-world roots) would have to be custom fit on a chain due to a small issue with the design.

But too-hard-to-explain design details and my sordid personal family history aside, I decided to take it to the streets and find a jeweler to do work for me. Not being a frequent wearer of jewels, I went to the only jewelry store I knew of -- Tiny Jewel Box, which is located just south of Dupont. I figured any jewelry store would be willing to string up my family jewels, er, family heirlooms.

Well, let me be concise here and just say Tiny Jewel Box is as useless as its name is dumb (although not as dumb as Beadazzled). After enduring a few up-and-down looks from some of the Brooks Brothers-clad customers, a sales associate finally stopped doing nothing to help me out. And by "help," I mean she snobbily told me as I showed her my pendants, "Um, mmmkay, we don't really do stuff like that here. You should try maybe one of those booths at a the suburbs." Apparently, family heirlooms are too pedestrian for Tiny Ass Box.

So, deciding I'd see Tiny Crap Box in hell (of course), I called on The Law, who had the Interweb at her fingertips. After a few short seconds of Googling, she pointed me to Beadazzled up the street.

I had no idea what I was getting into until I opened the door and walked into a middle-aged woman's paradise. Talbots-style chunky beaded necklaces adorned the walls, while piles of freewheeling beads filled countless bins in the center of the room. I must admit I was a bit freaked out. I didn't want to make any zebra-patterned beaded sh*t, I just wanted a goddamn silver chain.

Luckily for me, the workers at Beadazzled were less snobby than those at Tiny Suck Box and they helped me sort through the hot mess of beads to the chains, where a woman with horn-rimmed glasses helped me pick out the correct chain and clasp. There was just one problem -- I had to make it myself.

What?! Now don't get me wrong. I'm pretty good at the arts and crafts and I can hem the hell out of a pair of pants, but something about metal work frightened me -- especially considering that what I wanted done would've taken one of these professionals all of five minutes to complete. But no. When I asked her to just get this done in-store she basically threatened to cut me. It was DIY or die, if you will. I could sense her next words would be, "Fool what you want, your life or your jewels? Ante up!" I was scared.

And so, I gathered my two feet of raw chain (they wouldn't sell me less) and my three tiny metal clasp pieces and checked out for $7.41. Not bad, although having refused to buy the "tools" necessary to properly complete this project, I had no idea what I'd be able to do. But to my surprise, I was able to do some major work. Making jewelry, or at least attaching a clasp to a chain, is basically as easy as putting keys on a keychain. Take a look:

Crafty, n'est-ce pas?

In the end though, basking in the glory of my final product, I actually want to thank Beadazzled for laughing in my face when I asked them for help because I am now a master jeweler. I will design Kanye West's next Jesus piece, this I vow.

Holy tight.

Monday, February 18, 2008

i e-met a magical man

It might be true that money can't buy you love, but engaging in some good old fashioned barter-system economics over the Interweb certainly can. I met a man tonight via Craigslist who has just changed my world and made this DC-hater into a DC-strong disliker. That is, he managed to install a tiny dose of faith into my "I hate most humans" motherboard. Now, before we get lost in my ridiculous metaphors (hell, I barely even know what I'm talking about at this point), let me just say that I just made the deal of my life -- perhaps the deal of all of our lives.

And now is the part where I reveal how melodramatic I am.

This mega-deal I'm speaking of came in the form of a simple ticket trade between me and this aformentioned magical man I e-met through a CL ad. I traded two extra Radiohead tickets (that's what happens when you have multiple people trying to buy tickets online) for two of his extra Wilco tickets, which I've been looking to procure for well over a month now.

YES! The heavens hath shown down upon us! And while that may sound a tad over-the-top, if you know anything about dealing with sold-out concerts, you know that it's not often that you don't get f*cked by scalpers who will not hesitate to charge upwards of $200 for a $43 ticket like it's their job. (Well, I guess it might be their job, come to think of it...) But anyway, it's a rare occasion (like walking-through-Georgetown-and-not-encountering-a-douche kind of rare occasion) that people don't get ripped off when trying to find an extra ticket for a sold-out show.

Is anyone still reading this? I realize this might be the dumbest blog entry I've written to date (and I've written some dumb ones!), but for the 10 percent of you who might actually care, I want to spread some good news (like Jesus) for once. That is, there's a little Lord (and not of the Lil' Lord variety, although I think that's true too) in all of us, and my current prophet is this unknown gentlemen who is willing to take care of business without raping my wallet (I told you my metaphors would get increasingly ridiculous.)

I guess what I'm trying to say, which I'm having a terrible time mustering up the will to do, is that DC doesn't suck today. In fact, I kind of (brace yourselves) heart it right now. However, when I show up with my Radiohead tickets and my new e-buddy tries to give me gum wrappers with Wilco scrawled on them in blue Bic in return I'm sure my little stint of DC-happiness will die quickly. Yeah, I will still see this place in hell. Ciao!

you've got a big fine couch...back that thing up?

I spend most of my time mocking, scoffing at or trying not to projectile vomit when it comes to most people, activities and other uniquely DC events (life is good!), but every once in a while, something occurs that makes me genuinely glad to have moved here. I've been impressed with some brunch options, on rare occasions some shopping experiences and on even rarer occasions certain encounters with people. And now, I'm happy to report that I have added another item to my list of "Reasons to Live" -- a DC television commercial.

There we were, The Law and I, spending a pretty nice little Saturday lazing around on her fab new couch, catching up on some back episodes of Project Runway, macking on some snacks, hanging up art, making jewelry (sidebar: I'll have a short rant on how I came to fashion my own goddamn jewelry tomorrow) and drinking (duh), when something flashed on her teevee screen that made us rewind the DVR a good four or five times. I'd explain further, but I think it might just be more effective for you to view it yourself (apologies for the poor quality of the recording, however):

Feel free to watch that again...and again...and again because that sh*t is retardulous. And by "retardulous," I mean the best television ad EVER. And possibly the most effective. Remember The Law's "fab new couch" I mentioned? Well, we mulled over returning it, rolling on down to Anacostia "Across from the Big Chair!" and hitting up America's Furniture to find a "big fine couch." We wanted to back our asses up. Unfortunately, it was already 9 p.m. when these two flabby drunk gentlemen graced her television set, so we couldn't just drop everything (but our booze) and go right then. But one day -- one big fine day, if you will -- I will trek down to America's Furniture, possibly definitely draped solely in an American flag, and meet the creative geniuses behind what is unquestionably "The Greatest Commercial of All Time."

I do have one question, however, when the fat white dude is explaining how to purchase furniture around 00:12-00:15, he says "Get your change back in cash!" I'm no economist, but don't you usually get your change back in cash? Like, isn't that the definition of "change"? Whatevs, I'll get my "cash check" and, apparently, "it'll be my birthday." Solid.

Friday, February 15, 2008

to dpp or ppp? wtf is the question.

I've talked before about my attempts to decorate the barren white walls of my tiny apartment. And being the narcissist that I am, I ultimately decided on adorning my place with photographs I've taken, but that's just because I'm ridiculously talented. Just sayin'.

However, despite my forays into interior decorating, I still find I have quite a bit of wall space to cover. (The square footage of my place might be small, but the wall space is mighty.) I've thought about the obvious choice, commissioning my own life-size self-portrait, but unfortunately, I don't have the means to pay for that at the moment -- at least not in the Western Hemisphere. (As my friend "The Law's" living room wall can attest to, captivating self-portraits can be procured on the cheap in the Eastern Bloc. And as my mom's guest room closet can attest to, captivating self-portraits of you looking like a Russian peasant working on a kolkhoz can also be procured. TOO BAD the peasant woman drawn looks NOTHING LIKE ME. I will always hate you, sir, for wasting my time and my 500 rubles.)

But anyways, back to my present-day conundrum: What else can I put on my walls? The question has haunted me for weeks. But today -- O! This fateful day! -- I may have found the answer.

It was like any other day. I was strutting to work (yes, strutting) when I noticed something different about the frame shop window I pass each day. They had changed the display. I'm not sure what exactly the newly displayed merchandise had replaced, but I didn't care. My eye was caught. I stepped closer to the window and just stared. Probably for five minutes or so. What I was seeing was unbelievably ridiculous. I laughed because I thought it was a joke, but then as I noticed other people walking by and not laughing (some even seemed shocked that I was laughing) I began to realize that I might be the only person who found this display humorous. I understand people here take their politics seriously, but I mean who doesn't find this even the slightest bit amusing:

I mean it's a painting of Carter, Kennedy, Clinton, et al., playing cards! But what's even better about this apparently very serious DC art is the painting hanging directly above it (and I do apologize for the glare).

In my reflection, you can clearly make out Reagan, W. Bush and Eisenhower, again, playing cards. How is this not funny?! Is this not a brilliant play on C.M. Coolidge's perennial dogs-playing-poker paintings, which grace frat houses all across this great nation of ours???

I mean, do people in DC really take these DPP (acronym alert: dogs-playing-poker) presidential parody paintings seriously? Maybe if the presidents were playing street dice or something (you don't f*ck around with street dice), I'd understand people's earnestness, but, COME ON! Presidents playing poker (PPP!) is at least as amusing as dogs playing poker, no?

Anyway, if this "art" wasn't upwards of $300 (!), I'd think about buying one or both just to remind myself each and every day that if we don't have laughter, we have nothing. Well, that's not exactly true. We'd have bad paintings. Wow. That's deep.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

lil' lord doucheington loves me

Valentine's Day is not my favorite holiday (although not for the single-woman-in-the-city-cliché reasons you might expect, mind you). However, my coworkers are slowly showing me the proverbial light. And what better way to pierce my cold metal heart than through gifts and cubicle decorations? They doubled my joy during Christmastime. First, they printed out Flock of Seaguls hair with which to decorate my Putin masquerade mask (who wouldn't get jolly over that?!). Then they gave me the gift of Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) a.k.a. the hottest man in the legislative branch (seriously, does it get better?!). And now they've done it again.

Except this time, in place of Russian presidents and sexy congressmen, they've presented me with English nobility. So, without further ado, please meet Lil' Lord Doucheington,* my Valentine.

"His stool is not loose."

In reality, however, his pants are not tighter than mine.

Not even close.

But he loves me so I'll forgive his trouser miscalculation.

May you all find your very own Lil' Lord Doucheington! Happy Valentine's Day!


The Anti DC

*Thank you, The Superficial, for introducing my coworkers and I to the venerable Lil' Lord. You've changed my life.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

dc salons or butcher shops?

Of the gazillions of style-, fashion- and attractiveness-related criticisms I have offered up here on this glorious little blog, there is one issue I have let stew in my sick and twisted mind for quite some time -- the haircut. Well, my friends, the time has come for me to declare: Salons in DC suck a lot of ass. (It's called eloquence. Take notes.)

And, as with 85-90 percent of all the witty observations made here on The Anti DC, this post will also be based on my incredibly narrow experiences and on no way, shape or form on any sort of "scientific research." I mean, having only lived here since May, I've had the occasion to have my hair butchered by just two local salons. Anyway, let's just cut (get it?) to the chase.

I should've effing known with this one. I mean, any salon with "Lab" in the title cannot be a good thing (as those of you in Moscow familiar with the mullet-tastic Persona Lab could testify), but I read a few online reviews and decided to give it a go. M-I-S-T-A-K-E. Those are the only seven letters that I think could even begin to describe the overall USL experience in one brief word.

The mistakes were twofold: It was my mistake not to trust my instincts about the whole "Lab" thing and it was several of my stylist's mistakes for not knowing how the hell not to make my hair look like a retarded squirrel taking a four-month nap on my scalp. Put simply, my hair was a serious gnarly mess after I left that place.

But let me break it down even more because I'm sure those of you who just LOVE my mentions of SHOES on this blog will equally love to hear about my hair type and texture and the corresponding instructions that make for a good cut. (You know who you are, ahem, TDF.)

Anyway, I keep my hair long. More importantly, I have a sh*t-ton (two eloquence points!) of it (ON MY FACE! LOL! J/K!), which means if there's one style my hair should never endure, it is a blunt cut (i.e. when all of your hair is one length -- think Supercuts). That is, if my hair isn't layered or chipped or razored or some other slightly advanced cutting technique, it will be huge, unwieldy and downright wig-like, especially with bangs, which I also have. To give you a visual, I left "Urban Style Lab" looking a bit like this, but blonder:

So, I pulled back my bangs for four months while I saved up enough money to get another haircut at a different place. (Oh, my bad, did I forget to mention I paid someone roughly $100 to f*ck up my hair? Yeah.) Having settled into Washington a bit more, I did some word-of-mouth research and found numerous recommendations for Andre Chreky's eponymous salon. What clinched my decision to give AC a go was my BFF Rose L, who gets her hair cut by Chreky himself. However, being the impatient (yet charming) bitch that I am, I couldn't wait the two-plus weeks to get an appointment with him so I settled for whatever bottom-of-the-barrel stylist was available. And that's exactly who I got. Worst. Haircut. Of. My. Life. What Urban Style Lab is to Supercuts, Andre Chreky is to hobo with a hacksaw.

Not only did I get a blunt cut, but I also got the other big no-no for long, naturally big-ass (three eloquence points!) hair -- a blow-out followed up by volumizing mousse. I had some serious helmet hair. We're talking Peggy Bundy (see above) times two. That sh*t was not tight. But what really gets me is that the woman (whose name for the life of me I can't remember) was so proud of herself. I (politely as possible) disagreed with this seemingly blind stylist, pleading with her to put in "at least a couple" of long layers. She failed.

After the trauma was over, I debated whether to actually pay the $90 (!) or just make like the victim I was and run. Alas, crime apparently does pay, as I settled the bill. And making the whole experience even more mortifying, nearly everyone in the salon told me my hair looked "amazing" or, worse yet, "divine" as I made my way to the door. I begrudgingly acknowledged their compliments, but refused to accept them as the women doling them out were all middle-aged lobbyist types with shorter versions of my new politically correct 'do. Ugh.

But Jebus! I get the aesthetic here, DC. I understand everyone actually wants to look like a tool and strives to become that middle-aged douche, but honestly, is it too much to ask to have just one go-to salon for those of us who don't enjoy looking like assholes? Seriously, are their any?? Anyone???

My hair situation has gotten so desperate that I decided to jet-set up to Boston to get my hair cut by a man who not only attended, but actually graduated from beauty school. (It seems some stylists in DC have yet to enroll.) Of course, I'm not so psychotic about getting a good haircut that that's the only reason I'm flying up there at the end of this month, but, hey, why not kill two birds with one stone? Or, more appropriately, why not pick up your Master's dilploma that's been sitting in the registrar's office for nearly a year (zoinks!) and get a haircut in one big ol' bitch of a trip? (Four eloquence points!)

*While the cut was ghastly, I also had my hair colored here. The colorist, Johannie (sp?), did a fabulous job (I say this with no sarcasm -- her sh*t seriously is tight), which made getting the horrible cut even worse. The cut did nothing to highlight the, well, highlights. Anyway, for serious, if you want an excellent colorist, call Johannie. For a cut, I'd steer clear unless you can go directly to Chreky himself, apparently.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

don't make me slap you

The day has finally arrived! Radiohead announced the first leg of their U.S. tour today and they are indeed coming to DC! Well...sort of. They're actually coming to Virginia -- Bristow (WhereTF, right?) to be exact. So much for their eco-friendly tour as you need a car to get out to that kind of boondocks.

Ahem...but anyway, eff carbon emissions! It. Is. On.

They'll be at the Nissan Pavilion on Sunday May 11. Tickets go on sale Thursday and you can bet I will not eff around and miss out on this purchase like I did with Wilco (who will be at the 9:30 Club Feb. 26 & 27 -- by the way, anyone want to give and/or sell me a ticket? is this thing on??), while "entrepreneurs" purchase tickets in bundles and sell them off for five-plus times their face value. I want to slap those assholes in the face, yet I also kind of want to be one. I like money.

Anyway, you heard it here first...OK, second...fine, third. Wait! Nope. I was second, just after the likes of Billboard and Pitchfork. I scooped DCist! In their faces. (J/K, -isties!)

In other news, did everyone see Kanye West and Daft Punk perform "Stronger" at the Grammy's? It is Tron-er-iffic tight. In case you missed it:

Monday, February 11, 2008

dude, where are my books? where are your books, dude?

Has The Anti DC ever wanted to punch someone in the face? Yes. Has The Anti DC ever wanted to punch a homeless man or a librarian in the face? Not until yesterday!

You see, yesterday I went on a not-so-excellent adventure to the downtown MLK Memorial Library. In short, that place is a hot mess for so many reasons. For one, it's probably the ugliest central library I've ever seen in a major city. But I have a feeling that's just indicative of the disparity between Washington, DC, "the city" and Washington, DC, "the nation's capital." (I have yet to go to the Library of Congress, but I'm assuming that it's less of a makeshift homeless shelter with two broken copiers and a illiterate librarian and more of a, say, place where people can actually come to conduct research.)

But, truth be told, I don't mind that the down-and-out congregate in public libraries. I mean, it makes sense. They're free, they're warm, they have bathrooms, they're quiet and there's unlimited entertainment. However, when a certain wild-eyed gentleman steals the eight books you just spent three hours poring over and book-marking while you run to multiple establishments in Chinatown trying desperately to buy a roll of quarters on a Sunday afternoon just so you can make copies using the the jankiest of two janky Xerox machines, which also happens to be surrounded by used Kleenex, a person can get a little angry. Just sayin'. Anyway, apparently, the millions of other books just weren't good enough for this guy. And it was also totally awesome to discover that he'd removed my bookmarks. Touché, sir, touché.

But before I say something about the homeless that will surely validate my ticket straight to hell, I must recognize the role of that illiterate librarian in all of this. Because, really, it's his fault.

Turns out the "shelf" this very special librarian told me to set my books on while I ran all over town looking for change like, um, a homeless person (irony!), actually turned out to be the reshelving cart. So, when the homeless man "stole" my books, there's a good chance he didn't know I was coming back for them, despite my vociferous complaints about the copiers' lack of working paper-money-accepting technology and the library's inability to make change, as well as my obnoxious declaration that I would be returning for my books after my "pilgrimage for quarters" that I'm sure the whole floor was able to hear.

Anyhow, the whole incident probably took place over the course of 20 minutes. And because I'm magical, I knew as soon as I set the books down that they probably wouldn't be there when I returned (and it wasn't because there was a "Reshelving Cart" sign around either because there wasn't -- that'd have made too much sense). So when I got back with my rolls of quarters, I wasn't surprised at all. I marched over to this moron librarian and told him fairly nonchalantly that my books had disappeared:
Me: So, looks like my books are gone from the shelf you told me to put them on 20 minutes ago.

Retarded Librarian: Are you sure?

Me: Yes.

RL: Hmm. That was the reshelving shelf. Are they on another shelf?

Me: Uh... do you mean one of the other gazillion shelves in the library? Um, probably, I guess?

RL: Hmm.

Me: Hmm?

RL: Hmm.

Me: OK, do you know where they could be?

[At this point the librarian looked around and walked over to the above-mentioned homeless man.]

RL: Excuse me. Those books belong to someone else.

Homeless Man: What? This is a public library. These books belong to everyone. [Ed.: Zing!]

RL: Well, someone else is using them now.

HM: But they were on the reshelving cart. [Ed.: This is when I realized the librarian was an idiot (duh, the reshelving cart!), so stepped in.]

Me: Hi. I didn't know that shelf was for reshelving since the librarian told me to set them there while I went to round up change for the copier, and there was no sign...

HM: Why'd he tell you to put them there? [Ed.: The librarian bailed at this point, hopefully feeling like a dumbass.]

Me: Excellent question. I have no idea. Anyway, if I could just borrow those for 10 minutes to make copies I'll bring them back to you.


Me: OK. Thanks.
Alas, I made my copies and actually did something nice (gasp!). Like I promised, I brought the books back to this dude, who I can only hope enjoyed looking at Khrushchev loving Castro as much as I did.

What, what? Khrushchev's butt.

Is that a cigar in your pocket or are you just happy to see Khrushchev?

Khrushchev only wants you for your pimp juice.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

the perfect hooker dress

It's no secret that much like pimpin', shopping in DC ain't easy. If in the event you actually find something that isn't khaki, it's generally pretty expensive (see Cusp, Barney's CO-OP, Nana, etc.), thus making shopping in the District -- again much like pimpin' -- pretty hard. I mean, you have your cheap hookers no one wants and you have your expensive, high-class hookers that no one can afford. What's a pimp to do?!

Hmm...something seems a bit off about my simile. I mean, shopping isn't really like pimpin' at all. Nope, clearly shopping is more like picking up hookers than pimping them out. I mean, like a john looking for a good-looking hooker for a reasonable price, all I really want is a good-looking piece of clothing that won't put me into debt, y'know?

Ahh yes. I'm much more satisfied with that. And so, in the spirit of my revised theme, I am pleased to tell you that today I got a really good deal on one helluva high-class hooker. And she is a beauty! Retail price: $415. Sale price: $100. My pimp: Muléh, located at 1841 14th St. NW just off of U Street. Seriously, feast your eyes on this bitch (as modeled by Russian President Vladimir Putin's visage on a tapestry I got for $10 in Moscow):


This is a new brand of hooker for me made by a label called Zero by Maria Cornejo. It's hard to tell from the photo, but this hooker is navy blue and white grosgrain -- a fabric I don't usually go for because it tends to look a little apron-esque -- and cut to perfection. The wide straps come together in a V-formation in the front. Here's a close up of the straps on Vova:

Super tight.

Lastly, this hooker has a bubble hem, which, like the grosgrain, I don't often go for. But there's just something about this one. She's special -- and for once, I don't mean that in the remedial way. Pootie likes her too:

Ultra tight!

Yes! Not only do I own this grosgrain, V-strapped, bubble-hemmed lovely, but I also own a gold Putin bust to go with my Putin tapestry and, um, Putin t-shirt:

Putin-on-Putin-on-Putin tight!

Now, all I need is a pair of these and I can die happy. But dammit, where there's a will there's a way! I declare, Putin panties will be mine!

Friday, February 8, 2008

i'll see your work commuting shoes in hell

I was so happy to see the skies were grey this morning. Not only that, but when I stepped outside and felt a renewed chill in the air I almost broke out my jazz hands. Why, you ask? Because I hate seeing these:

Ahh yes. The ubiquitous flip-flop -- DC's premiere commuting shoe for 60-degree-plus days, which we got to had to experience earlier this week. And while I concede this ever-present digitoplantar disaster is at least a step up from its rubberized brethren, the flip-flop paired with DC business attire is as dangerous as it is dishabille. (Seriously, flip-flops are unsafe.)

But unlike Crocs, which I am wholeheartedly against being worn in all public situations, I actually do think there is a time and a place for flip-flops in public. It's called the beach. OK, and (only if I'm feeling extra nice) I'll let flip-flops slide in the case that you're doing laundry or running to the corner store to buy Schlitz, because chances are your other attire would gel well with this glorified slipper. But let's not go crazy! I firmly draw the line there.

What I'm saying is, if you're heading to work, effing just invest in footwear that both looks nice and is comfortable enough for you to at least hobble on and off the metro in.

As you might've been able to glean, I am not one that often puts "comfort" ahead of "not looking like an asshole," so I'm not necessarily the right person to advise on what is and isn't suitably comfortable for the weak-footed. But, I'm not so out there that I welcome foot pain on a daily basis, which means I know for a fact that being comfortable and not looking like a total tool are not mutually exclusive. Alas, you can have the best of both worlds!

*And now, cue the drum roll for my paltry attempt to give advice to the mentally challenged...*

Ladies, if you can't handle heels, go with flats -- and I DO NOT mean a Reebok cross-trainer. And boys, I'm guessing this "advice" doesn't apply to you, but if it does then, well, you also should, um, switch from heels to flats...

Yet underneath all of this lies the crux of my frustration -- the very idea of a commuting shoe. Maybe it's just me, having not spent very much of my adult working life in the United States, but is the "commuting shoe" particularly rampant in DC? I feel like the concentration of suits'n'flip-flops, suits'n'Reeboks and suits'n'(gasp!)Crocs is astronomically higher here than it is in other U.S. American cities I've lived in, mainly Chicago, Boston and New York. And what makes it even worse is that people walk just as much if not more in all three of those cities than I think most people do here. So for serious, what the hell is wrong with people's feet here that they can't handle even the comfiest of non-tool, office-suitable footwear?

Sadly, as with most of my questions pertaining to this enigma of a city, that last one was very much rhetorical. I already know the answer and it has nothing to do with people's feet. Instead, it has to do with DC's overall aestheic. In other words, people here actively TRY to look ugly. And by god they are succeeding. Way to go!

And on that note, have a fabulous, retardulous, commuter-shoe-free weekend!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

you had me at bow tie

Since I've already proclaimed my undying devotion to whom I believe to be the hottest man in the legislative branch, allow me now to introduce to you the hottest most stylish man in DC's local government -- Councilmember Jim Graham (D). Behold!

"Make it work!"

The orange cat-eye spectacles! The multi-colored, polka-dot bow tie! The dramatic side part in his sandy-blond hair! For reals, Mr. Graham has got it going on.

And to my delight, Jim "The Hotness" Graham represents my very own neighborhood, the venerable Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant! And, apparently, he's not half bad! He's trying to keep my rent low!

But slim pocketbook aside, what's clearly more important here is this man's eye for detail.

A "bee"-jeweled broach! (Get it? LOL!)

And let's not overlook his love of luxury!

Chinchilla, fox, mink? Oh my!

But lest you get the wrong idea, let me take a page from the respectable US Weekly and tell you that the stars council members are just like us, as exhibited by Graham, this man among boys.

He loves animals!

He lifts boxes!

He rides the metro (with the mayor)!

And he does it all while keeping his sh*t tight. No Crocs shall sully his fine linen metro attire. Nary a fleece shall besmirch his shoulders! And may he sooner see a polyester novelty tie in hell before one defaces his finely tailored collar! Eff Clinton, Obama, McCain, et al.! Graham Graham's Bow Tie 2008!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

breaking point vs. point break

Dear Reader(s?):

I'm writing to inform you that my blog is going to suck (yes, more so than it usually does) for probably the rest of the week. The reasons for this suckage saturation are threefold: 1) I'm on deadline this week for my salaried job; 2) I have a pretty tight freelance gig (which I will reveal in the near future) in the works; and, 3) It's (dear God, forgive me for the wonking I'm about to do) reveal week of the Fiscal Year 2009 budget in the federal government. (Hail Mary.)

The latter reason for my increased blog suckage this week is by far the most infuriating because as all of you who either work directly for or somehow with the U.S. government know, in only three of the last 26 years has this whole "yearly budget process" meant anything. That is, in only three of the last 26 years was Congress and the Administration able to get their sh*t together to actually make it through the entire appropriations process. So, not only is this whole process a "colossal waste of time" as one former Hill staffer G-chatted to me on Monday, but it's also a ginormous waste of financial resources, which this government and this country can hardly afford right now. Way to be, U.S. government.

But common sense ranting aside, I'll de-suck this shoddy entry ever-so-slightly by posting an epic little clip I found last night that I used as a reply to a comment in yesterday's post. It doesn't have too-terribly much to do with DC, but Ronald Reagan's visage is featured front-and-center. A dog is also drop-kicked (but not harmed, so it's OK). Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

new circle of hell found in neighborhood grocery store

Sunday was a trying day for me here in the District. Not only was I wholly not into the U.S. American Super Cup football match that was to take place that day, but I had a bit of a hangover (damn my 28-year-old metabolism!) and was terribly hungry as my food intake during the preceding 24 hours included roughly three vodka-soaked olives.

And I don't know why I even opened my pint-size fridge -- I knew what was coming. As I peered into the chilly white cube I felt tears well up in my glassy eyes. When I needed the chips'n'salsa gods the most, they had abandoned me, leaving in their place half-a-carton of week-old blueberries, half a bottle of syrup and a jar of reduced-fat mayo (I clearly don't cook.).

I probably stared at those three items for three minutes willing them to become a bag of Tostitos restaurant-style white corn tortilla chips, a jar of Newman’s Own medium chunky salsa and a Cherry Coke Zero (if only I was getting paid for this product placement), but deep down I knew all the willing in the world wouldn't save me from my fate. I couldn't put it off any longer; I had to go to my neighborhood Giant supermarket.

NOOOOOOOOOOO! The humanity!

Of all the hells I've seen (and I've seen many here in DC), the Columbia Heights Giant on a Sunday is one of the worst. And with the U.S. American Super Cup football match about to begin, I could only imagine that this Giant on this Sunday would by far surpass Dante's ninth circle. Honestly, the devil himself is not even stupid enough to step foot in this hell that the creator of hells one through nine never dared to imagine. But my fate was already sealed. It was either moldy blueberries au syrup and mayo or I would absolutely have to travel to the darkest of darksides. And so began Canto XXXV.

I waited until 7:30 pm, trying to avoid the football match rush, to begin my epic journey. I sensed something strange on the streets as I made my way toward 14th Street. It was surreally empty, quiet and even less smelly than normal. I smiled to myself thinking I had pulled a proverbial fast one on the Prince of Darkness.

But I should've known the Monarch of Hell would have the last LOL. As soon as I entered the second set of sliding glass doors, I looked to my right and saw what no shopper should ever have to see -- an endless sea of like-minded individuals who probably went through the same exact thought process that I had in trying to avoid the earlier big-football-match-going crowd.

But I'm no quitter, so I stuck to my plan. I was not going to let Beelzebub win -- at least not without a fight. I made my way to the ransacked chips'n'salsa'n'soda aisle. It was on. I grabbed my Tostitos, my Newman's Own and the very last Cherry Coke Zero and headed for one of only two open express checkout lanes. The lines extended nearly halfway down the length of an aisle; there must have been 20 people in front of me. I trembled slightly. Was it from lack of food or sleep? Or was it the devil's icy clutches nearing my neck?!? Eh...probably the first reason.

I jumped out of the express line and into a shorter non-express line toward the exit. Despite the four overflowing carts in front of me, I figured there was no way this line would be slower than the, um, hellishly long express lines. And so I waited...and waited...and waited...

Ten minutes must have passed yet no one moved forward. I looked toward the front of the line. It was an elderly couple sorting through their coupons. The checkout lady looked confused as she took roughly 30 seconds of her my time to stare at each one as if it were a half-naked photo of Johnny Depp (ladies and gays, you’re going to want to click on those). But if only the hold-ups ended there...

After nearly drawing blood from digging my own nails into the palms of my hands trying hard not to punch the two elderly people in their faces (was this my very own Giant stigmata?!), I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I finally saw the two penny-pinching old people grab their items and go. Hallelujah! The line pressed forward. But almost as soon as I moved those three precious feet, the next 10-minute hold-up began only to be followed up three times with other issues.

If it wasn't a coupon issue, it was a debit card issue. (Sidebar: How do you not know your own damn PIN?!) If it wasn't a debit card issue, it was a bagging issue. (Sidebar: Plastic in paper in plastic, really?) And if it wasn't a bagging issue, it was an all-around incompetence issue. (Sidebar: Must you stop doing your goddamn job of scanning and packing my three effing items to have a five minute conversation about nothing with another checker?!)

Honestly, the Columbia Heights Giant blows my mind in its backwardness. I don't have a business degree or anything but I think that when effing Kyrgyz grocery stores are cleaner, better stocked and more efficiently run than one of the largest chain grocery stores in the Capital of the Free World, it might be time to reconfigure your operation or at least make my shopping experience less burdensome and scary than a place where Judas, Brutus and Cassius are getting eternally chewed by a triple-faced Lucifer. Just sayin’...

By the way, when I finally made it home (nearly an hour-and-a-half later!) from this epic odyssey, I was too tired to eat. The devil may have won this time, but I will get the last three words: "Suck it, Giant."