Saturday, May 31, 2008

p-a-r-t-y? 'cuz we got to!

Friday nights present perfect times to participate in several clichés, including letting one's hair down, kicking off one's heels, and of course, partying like a rock star. However, if you're in DC, Friday night allows you to do something slightly less debauched and a little more d-o-r-k-y. I'm typing about spelling!

Yay! Spelling! For those of you not as cool as me who didn't spend their Friday night watching two-plus hours of quality spelling on television, allow me to recap: A bunch of super-awkward junior-high kids traveled to DC to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. These spelling phenoms asked for definitions; they asked for word origins; they asked for alternate pronunciations; they asked for words to be used in sentences; they asked for definitions again; and, ultimately, they spelled and spelled and spelled some more.

Thirteen-year-old wunderkind Sameer Mishra outspelled everyone, finally winning in Round 16 to take home the pimp cup trophy.
Yowza! I'm a moron! I knew the definition and the correct spelling of just two of Mishra's words -- demitasse and basenji (and the only reason I knew that one is because, next to the Siberian Husky, it just so happens that the Basenji is my favorite breed of dog).

But alas, despite my lack of spelling-bee knowledge, I will demonstrate that I am still just as big of a nerd as Mishra and the other spelling bee kids by using every single one of Mishra's winning words in a short story. And so without further ado, allow me to present to you the following:
A diener, a basenji and a Taleggio villager walk into a bar. The diener ordered a demitasse and complained of the basenji’s heavy sudation, which began after he tried to smoke a macédoine of hyssop that he found on the quadrat they came from.

“That shit tasted like chorion that had been trapped under my numnah for six onths,” the basenji said, forgetting to pronounce the “m” in the last word.

“Whoa. Don’t you mean months? Hyphaeresis much?” joked the diener. “Seriously, can’t we go anywhere without you causing such an esclandre?”

“You better watch it, or your guerdon will be a nacarat ass!” the basenji snapped back.

Having had enough of the antics of his companions, the Taleggio visitor stood up and walked toward the exit. “Ah, f*ck all y’all," he said waving his arms. "I’m gonna go sinicize some sh*t. Peace.”
I know. I'm a regular Tolstoy. Yet while my sh*t is tight (clearly) and Mishra's sh*t is tight (no doubt), no one's sh*t is tighter than last year's winner, Evan "Bitch, say my name!" O'Dorney. Can you spell smack down? O'Dorney can!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

google time filler post heyyy!

I think it’s safe to say that after the wheel, fire, the written language, the bicycle, the airplane, the burrito, spandex-infused denim, face control, dice games, the Kir Royale, the La-Z-Boy chair, the sweatervest and the word “tight,” the single most important invention in the history of ever is the Google machine.

Google really is the nautical telescope of the 21st century. However, instead of allowing you to tell land from an off-shore casino or whatever else might be floating around in the great blue yonder (humpback whales?), Google allows you to find much more useful and enlightening items like Transformer shoes, bedside gun racks, "Ken Lee" and, of course, this little blog.

And while I’d love for you to believe it’s phrases like “best blog ever,” “Marissa f*cking rules” or “The Anti DC is a daily must-read and Marissa should totally get a writing job at The New Yorker” that are the most commonly Googled words lucky e-passersby use to reach this here Web log, unfortunately -- I’m sure to your great surprise -- they’re not.

Nope. The selection of Googled phrases that have led several fortunate souls to The Anti DC are much less flattering than that. But they’re also much more entertaining! For instance, in the past week alone, phrases containing the word “hooker” seemed to have increased tenfold. Yowza!

But hookers aside, there are several other bizarre, but lovely phrases that have led random Googlers to ma'blog including (and I've linked each search phrase to the post it led to): However, the most retardulous of Googled phrases that landed some perv on this blog is -- brace yourselves -- barbeque douching.

I don't even want to know.

But regardless of the reason anyone finds him- or herself here, I want to extend my e-arms out in a warm e-hug and say, "You're welcome." And I love you. And nice ass. Yeah.

UPDATE: OK, now someone is toying with my tiny mind: "looking for a pair of skants." I do not, nay, I cannot believe someone is actually looking for a pair of skants. Touché, sir or madam, touché.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

the long and shorts of it (*ba-dum-ching!*)

This weekend's heat and humidity have me thinking that it's time I shed my pants....again. I've already professed and documented my love for the summer dress, but I have yet to pontificate on my love of shorts, which I recently rediscovered and decided to incorporate into my everyday wardrobe.

Until I moved to Moscow in 2001, shorts were a staple in my warm-weather wardrobe. However, after living for a time in a city where the air literally turned your snot gray (um, sorry for the grotesque body fluid reference, but that statement is sickly true), I decided I'd rather keep my mid- and upper-thighs mostly covered. I mean, if the air is that dirty, I don't even want to know the strains of gnarly sh*t found on the public benches, the metro or the street, onto which I may have once tucked and rolled after jumping out of some random Russian's BMW as it slowed down to turn a corner at 4 a.m. in the dead of winter (um, but we'll save the more sordid details of that story for another time...).

Anyhoo, I got so used to not wearing shorts in Russia that even after returning stateside almost four years ago now (has it really been that long?!), I remained shorts-less. It just so happens also that 2004-2005 was the year during which I began my love affair with ultra-tight pants. And for those of you new to the nonsense that is this blog, my bond with tight pants is a tough one to break, even in the heat.

However, heat is one thing; energy-sucking humidity is quite another, meaning DC's hellish weather has really left me with no other choice. It's either short pants or no pants and since I decided long ago that if I ever get put in the clink I want it to be for something cool and sexy like an Ocean's 11-style casino heist and not something creepy and pervy like indecent exposure, short pants it shall be.

And so here we are -- my re-discovered style du jour, shorts. But since I'm born-again to the shorts game, I find that I need to ease my way back into it. Strangely, going from showing no leg to whole leg can be a hard transition to make, even for an attention hooker like myself. And so, I came up with this:

Unfortunately, you don't have to adjust your screen, my unsteady hand and lack of photog flashbulb skills really do yield that low quality of stuff lately.

Boots'n'shorts'n'sweatervests, oh my! It's got a bit of a "if Pocahontas was a stripper" style about it, n'est-ce pas? And while I love the idea of risque historical figures, that's not what I love most about this outfit. Nope, what I love most about this combo is the screwy proportions. Everything's just a little off-kilter -- the oatmeal-colored sweatervest (made by Jamison and bought at on sale) is a little too long; the brown shorts (made by some brand called "Department of Peace" and bought at Off 5th in Leesburg for $12, marked down from $96!) are a little too short; and, the gray suede just-over-the-knee boots (made by Penny Loves Kenny and bought at are a little too high. In other words, I think all of this ensemble's not right-ness makes it all just right.

So not-right right is this combo, in fact, that I decided to display it in several different lights, er, pixel formulatons. (OK, and I also just serendipitously discovered Photobucket's ridiculously awesome fun photo effects, including the Andy Warhol effect that I posted above.)

Outfit amour-propre now in neon, fresco and old-time film!

And sh*t just gets tighter in heatmap, sketch and nightvision!

Yeah...get ready for The Anti DC 2.0, the even more annoying version! Oh, you're lucky it's a short week...ciao!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

movies really are like real europe

As some of you are aware, Eurovision, the premiere song contest of all the universe...or at least of all of Europe...and Russia...and Eurasia...took place this weekend. This sh*t is foreign to the max. And of course by "foreign," I mean "extremely awesome." It's like the Lord of Sh*tty music opened up the heavens and let his sh*tty music-infused bile cover an entire continent plus some. Then, after the heavenly sh*tty music storm, the special brand of sh*tty music seeds that only flourish in Europe and its immediate surroundings sprouted and became ripe with bad synthesizers, broken English and non-ironic This Is Spinal Tap-esque showmanship. It is all very, very epic -- Stonehenge epic. And to give you an idea of just how non-sarcastically I just used the word "epic," please take a look-see at a few selections from this year's contest.

Among 2008's finest entrants, which hailed from sea to shining barren tundra, was a Latvian group called Pirate's of the Sea. Please enjoy their appropriately named ditty, "Wolves of the Sea," which not only made it to the final round, but placed 11th overall out of 25 finalists.

Even more ridiculous (and yes, it is possible) was Azerbaijan's entry, a duo called "Elner & Samir," who sang screeched and grunted respectively a little song called "Day After Day." They placed 8th. I'm not kidding.

But most epic of all the entrants, of course, was Mr. Dima Bilan, the contestant from southern Russia who took home this year's top prize for his English-language masterpiece, "Believe."

Did you tear up? Were you crying like a baby? I was. I love that Dima Bilan, regardless of how heavily and ridiculously accented his English is. Not only is he objectively one of the hottest men in Russia, but that bitch cajoled the "White Comet" himself, Olympic gold-medalist Evgeny Plushenko, into flailing around like a graceful little spaz on a slice of ice about the size of my apartment! One word: TIGHT. Wait, no, two words: ULTRA TIGHT.

The bad news, however, is that now we have to wait an entire year to see these types of non-ironic retardulous performances again. Here's to hoping someone gets stuck in a giant pod. Or uses miniature props.

Oh wait, nevermind. Spain took care of the miniature props front. And Lord of Sh*tty Music only knows what the hell happened here, ahem, France. Although on second thought (which I do indeed have from time to time), I actually think I kind of loved that last one: "He'll be coming on in a golf cart!" And I will be damned if that French man did not come on in a golf cart. C'est épique! C'est très, très épique!

Monday, May 26, 2008

we're letting the annoying tourists win

I visited DC for the third time in my life in August 2004 with a friend of mine from Dagestan, Russia, a rugged little oblast' next to war-torn Chechnya. My friend, who came to be known as Salty due to his ornery yet endearing personality (and not due to anything unmentionable, sickos), had come here to take the cushy position of "Russian Language Assistant" at my alma mater in Grinnell, Iowa, a town of 10,000 that rests on a methy little section of Interstate-80 equidistant from Iowa City and Des Moines. But before jetting off to Iowa, where Salty would eventually ruin my reputation (not angry, not angry, not angry...), we decided to travel up the East Coast on an epic little road trip adventure (you know, before gas was $100 per gallon).

Our first stop was Virginia Beach, where I was temporarily living with my mom (ahem, and before you judge, I'll let you know that I had just gotten back from three years in hell Moscow and was readying myself to move to Boston the next month). Salty loved it. Compared to Dagestan, which is, um, kinda ridiculously gnarly (no offense, D-friends!), and compared to Moscow, which is, um, kinda ridiculously gnarly (albeit in a much different way than Dagestan, where my paleface friends and I actually had to fear being kidnapped by Wahhabists and held for ransom), southern Virginia was the cleanest, sunniest, safest, most heavenly place on Earth. It also helped that we frolicked around in the Atlantic Ocean, rather than the Caspian Sea where all things go to die.

Our next stop was DC. We spent the day walking around downtown before grabbing a meal of food and a couple of libations at some place in Dupont, where my friend revealed his true feelings about the Capital of the Free World. "I don't like it here," I distinctly remember him, the guy from the Kidnap Capital of the Unfree World, telling me. "Everyone's labeled with their nametags and they all dress the same and they all seem really unfriendly." We were going to spend the night there, but after a full day of government, douches and tools (oh my!), we left. We ended up in Philadelphia and then New York for the rest of the week, where my friend got a much better impression of this quaint little nation of ours.

As I look back at the past year I've spent in DC, Salty's first impressions of this city as a total outsider (both figuratively and literally speaking) continue to haunt me. It's impossible to walk down the street on a weekday and not see at least a dozen people in the course of a few minutes with their names and titles on display. (Why people can't simply wait until they get to their offices to don their nametags, I will never understand.) There are a few more dozen wearing DC's fashion pièce de résistance, the unavoidable pleated khaki, and even a few dozen more who can't walk a block without checking their Blackberrys (I admit, I've even been guilty of that last one a couple of times, but unlike most DCers, I am ashamed...). To put it bluntly, the District is hard to crack as an individual visitor.

Perhaps because of that, as well as the overall closed nature of this city, tourists travel in such large, obnoxious packs with their matching T-shirts and umbrella-wielding guides. Perhaps it is our fault that these schools of oblivious out-of-towners stand on the left side of the escalators or take 15 minutes to buy a Metro card at the one machine that can be used to fill your SmartTrip card. Perhaps it is us and our rabid self-absorbtion that allows these gaggles of hapless assholes to walk five-across, arms-linked on the sidewalk when you're running 10 minutes late to an appointment. Perhaps it is because of us that these ginormous groups of tourists take over our city in the summer. Perhaps there's no other way to visit this city.

The good news is that, while there is no proverbial silver bullet quick fix available, the problem of annoying groups of tourists can be ameliorated if we, DC's less douchey residents, take a moment to stop being so mean to those few visitors who come here solo. To be clear, I'm not advocating not being rude to the large groups of tourists that objectively need to be admonished for their collective stupidity -- hell, punch them all in their faces if necessary. (And, yes, like no panties with jeans,* it's so necessary.) No, what I'm talking about is being nicer to those few individual visitors, even the hippies, who might have stumbled upon our fair city by whim or chance.

If you see a guy holding a map and staring up and down the street, go up to him and help. Tell him you've got his back like the Jansport he's undoubtedly carrying. Even whip out the Blackberry and Google-map something for him if you want to give him a true DC experience. But whatever you do, don't scoff, roll your eyes or otherwise grumble at him for being lost, even if he is wearing a hemp necklace. He was nice enough to travel without 100 of his closest friends, so the least we can do is thank him for that by treating him like a real person. Let's start giving these individual practioners of wanderlust some good memories, instead of bad, and for the love of Charles L'Enfant, can we please stop letting the annoying tourists win. Especially on Memorial Day.

*Get your minds out of the gutters, e-friends, it's just a link to Jay-Z!

**Also, the photo posted above is of a sculpture (!) by an artist named Duane Hanson. Apparently, he specializes in "
making startlingly lifelike sculptures of middle America accomplished through a complex process of casting from live models, recreated in bronze or fiberglass resin," according to a write-up by the Saatchi Gallery.

Friday, May 23, 2008

peanut butter jelly time

There is some bizarre sh*t going down on the streets of DC. Although if you think about it, that's not really anything new. I mean, last fall was the season of the wayward Band-Aids (gnarly, I know), which I thought for sure would be the strangest collection of street debris I'd see. However, today on my walk home from the office I noticed something else, something even more inexplicable -- a string of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I was literally following a bread-crumb trail home, as I walked over, around and, unfortunately in one case, on five PB&J on white bread sandwiches. I spotted the first one on Connecticut Ave. toward Van Ness, the second on Connecticut near Cleveland Park, two more on Klingle passing over Rock Creek Park and at last (at least that I saw) one on Park Road heading into Mt. Pleasant.

While squished sandwiches are definitely a step up from used bandages (yeah, it never stops being gnarly), it strikes me as slightly more strange. I mean, who would discard so many simple yet tasty sandwiches? Certainly, this couldn't have been an accident. No one is that careless to drop not one, but five scrumptious sandwiches. So, what is it? What kind of beast would just throw five sandwiches out on the street, well, Band-Aids?!

Terrorists. They hate freedom and delicious sandwiches. Really, it's the only logical conclusion.

Yeah, I got nothin'! Have a lovely weekend, e-friends. I'm going to make a sandwich.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

omfg. i'm old.

I've never really been scared to check my mail before. The Unabomber? Psshah. Anthrax? I could take it. But this?

AARP -- American Association of Retired Persons!

DC seriously hates me. (I'm only 28! I'm not retired!) Sure, it's true that I am getting my first permanent wrinkles around the eyes, but it's nothing a few quick injections of Botox can't fix! (I'm not ready for this! I don't like getting up when it's still dark! I don't even really like breakfast!) OK, I get it. I'm a bit of a curmudgeon already. And yes, I'll concede that I do sometimes have the fashion aesthetics of a Golden Girl. (But Blanche's sh*t was tight! They were young at heart!) And arguably, while I may be old (as hell) at heart, unlike that saucy bitch Sofia, I'm for all intents and purposes still physically young! (I swear!)

Ahh...but maybe aging isn't so bad. I mean, there's the early bird specials and discounted movie tickets. Also, it's pretty awesome that when you pass a certain age suddenly all of your offensive, off-color remarks become endearing or "full of wisdom." You can start mooching off your kids in retaliation. You can also start stealing silverware from restaurants (hi grandma!). Hmmm...maybe getting old isn't so bad after all, despite what all of American pop culture tells me. In fact, you know what? After several seconds of deep thought, I've decided that I'll take it. If I can start wearing a diaper and pee whenever I want, wherever I am, then all I have to say is, let's f*cking do this! Let's get old together DC!

But wait. What the hell is that? Who's Ms. LH Claude? Goddamnsonofabitch! Just when I began to get used to the idea of acting 85 at the age of 28, just when I decided to accept my fate, I learn that this sweet, informative AARP newsletter isn't even addressed to me. It's for Ms. Claude. Sweet, little, sassy Ms. Claude. Maybe we can hit up the Denny's sometime soon? God, I hope she's in the demographic that reads this blog.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

i put the "ill" in "hill" ... my nametag adds the "h"

I've made it no secret that I disdain what passes for "fashion" on Capitol Hill: the dowdy suits, the Dockers, the square-toed loafers, the flip-flops, the wrinkled button-downs, the pleated khakis...damn, I really could go on. But alas, you've suffered through my DC fashion rants plenty of times before, so there's no need right now to reopen those proverbial old wounds (although, it's true that every ill-fitting suit I see does, indeed, send me ever-so-slightly closer to the actual edge of mental breakdown -- It. Is. That. Bad. Here.)

Likewise, I've made it no secret that I have a job that sentences me to the Hill roughly three to four times per week. And I'll be damned if I let this rip in the space-suck continuum embrangle me in its gnarly, Crocs-commuting clutches!

Which brings me to the third non-secret of this blog: I am a bit of a narcissistic jackass, who is obsessed with fashion, in general, and tight pants and sweatervests, in particular.

So, with this trifecta of ridiculousness, there's only one possible direction this essay can go from here: outfit amour-propre!

I've been asked (um, by one person) what exactly I wear when I go to the Hill. Well, the answer to that is complicated as it depends on the event, whom I might possibly get face-time with and how hellish the weather is that specific day. Sometimes, if I'm going to be seeing a certain sharp-bone-structured someone, I am forced to wear a suit. I hate those days. Luckily, that's not usually the case, so I get to be a little more liberal with my "business attire" on the whole. In fact, since I'm a reporter, I wouldn't even say that I wear "business attire," save for the occasional brush with Secretary Cheekbones. Overall, however, it's often not necessary for me to be as formal in my clothing choices as lobbyists, staffers, lawyers or those other white-collar, sometimes more high-profile Washington jobs. (Rest assured, however, when I do wear a suit, trust that it is well-fitted and all-around fly. That's right. Fly.)

So, back to the question: What do I wear to do my duty of counteracting the ass-backwardness of the Hill's general fashion sense? Well, I predictably do what I do best -- tight pants and sweatervests.

Full disclosure: I snapped this picture a couple of weeks ago (actually, exactly two weeks ago). I know this because, if you notice, I shot it using my newly procured phone, which is now dead thanks to the shambles of roughly one week ago. You also may notice I now own a full-length mirror. Well, I actually own three (I wasn't kidding about that whole narcissist thing), however, not one is hung up yet as I'm retarded when it comes to doing anything requiring a modicum of handyman skill. So, not only am I unable to position the mirror to see my head and feet at the same time, but I also have a gigantic hole in my wall, which since I'm an admitted DIY idiot, I have no idea how to fix. *sigh*

But lack of home improvement skills aside, let me tell you what the hell I'm wearing in the above-posted photo. The pants are Ben Sherman, bought at Filene's Basement (I love this brand of slacks and wear them quite often). The sleeveless cardigan is kimchi & blue, bought at Urban Outfitters online (I wear this a lot, too). The blouse is, um, Forever 21, bought online (don't scoff, they make some quality stylish cheap sh*t there). And the shoes are Boutique 9, bought at the Nine West outlet in Leesburg (surprisingly, they're pretty comfortable, as well).

So, there you have it. This is how I roll to the Hill. Sharp, n'est-ce pas? (I know...a little boring, I suppose, but I'm forced to turn the dial from 11 to around, say, seven, in the presence of middle-aged government types from whom I'm trying to extract state secrets.) Of course, no matter how tight my pants and how sweet the sweatervest, it all takes on an air of je ne sais tool when I'm forced to don my criminal mug-shot-looking press-pass nametag to signify that I do, indeed, belong there. *shudder*

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

elitist washingtonians celebrate 100 years of their own elitism

There are very few things Congress can't do. They can fall asleep on the job; they can set up creepy Second Life accounts, they can solicit prostitutes; they can proposition men in airport bathrooms; and, perhaps most glorious of all, Congress can pass laws and resolutions that help and honor...the people soldiers children itself.

However, while the usual modus operandi of the men and women of Congress is to bestow great sums of wealth on themselves to reward all of their abovementioned hard work in which they engage each and every day 103 days per year, today Congress chose a simpler route by simply giving a nod to 100 years of Congressional lameness and elitism in the form of the only club ever to be officially created by Congress, the Congressional Club! What's that, you ask? Well, let's take a look at House Resolution 1026 and find out! Retardulous history lesson, ahoy!

Whereas the Congressional Club was organized in 1908 by 25 women who were influential in Washington's official life and who wanted to establish a nonsectarian and nonpolitical group that would promote friendship and cordiality in public life, and founded the Club to bring the wives of Members of Congress together in a hospitable and compatible environment in the Nation's Capital;

Whereas the Congressional Club's founding was secured by womanly wiles and feminine determination [Ed: I swear I did not doctor this language.] in the passage of the enacting resolution unanimously on May 28, 1908, in order to overcome the opposition of Representative John Sharp Williams of Mississippi, who opposed all women's organizations;

Whereas when Representative Williams was called out of the chamber by Mrs. Williams, the good-mannered representative obliged and withdrew his opposition and request for a recorded vote, saying, 'upon this particular bill there will not be a roll call, because it would cause a great deal of domestic unhappiness in Washington if there were' [Ed: Again, I'm not making this up.];

But what would any club of "womanly wiles" be without that thing that women do best. Tee-hee! Not birthing, sillies, but cooking!

Whereas the Congressional Clubhouse was built by George Totten in the Beaux Arts style and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its mortgage was paid for by the sales of the Club's cookbook and burned by Mrs. Bess Truman in a silver bowl on the 40th Anniversary of the Club's founding;

Whereas the Congressional Club is solely supported by membership dues and the sale of cookbooks, and has never received any Federal funding;

Whereas the 14 editions of the Congressional Club cookbook, first published in 1928, reflect the life and times of the United States with recipes and signatures of Members of Congress, First Ladies, Ambassadors, and members of the Club;

Is it just me, or does that sound like a goddamn magical cookbook? Maybe the whole dang government should start selling cookbooks! Saudi Arabia needs to eat too! I mean, stockpiling billions of dollars worth of weapons can really work up an appetite. Trust me. But before we get bogged down in grand schemes to get to the Saudis hearts through their stomachs, let's take a look at the real piece de resistance of this century-old Congressional Club -- The International Doll Room! Yay! is's the phrase I'm looking for???


For reals? Congress creates one club ever and a room full of dolls is the best it could do? That's just plain embarrassing. And to think some of us are still confused as to why everyone hates us. And here it all seems so clear to me...

Monday, May 19, 2008

make your feet prettier...please

The world truly works in mysterious ways. Well, at least the e-world does, that is. See, earlier today my eyes were accosted by the image of ... dun, dun, duuuuuuun! ... these:

Not only did I come across these, um, foot covers quite unexpectantly, but someone I e-know and e-trust as an e-friend actually recommended these as a viable summer shoe option. (I'm sorry, DCGF, I heart you and your blog, but I must draw the line in the ether with Crocs.)

Aside from the gnarliness that is the Ugg, there is no other shoe on Earth that I despise more than these rubberized, garrish, even dangerous monstrosities. To put it another way, I'd rather see a sea of flip-flops than a single Croc. That's right, A SEA OF FLIP-FLOPS! I SAID IT!

So, I feel compelled now, if nothing else, at least to provide a counterpoint to the DCGF's point. And so I thought long and hard this afternoon, "What to recommend?" As my mind tends to do often, it went blank until I checked my Inbox and there it was, courtesy of my friend and fellow Radiohead devotee Tom:

hey ladies,

see below. something about a sale at my friend's shoe line. happy shopping

Well, I'll be damned if I didn't see below, and what I found was not only a brand of shoe that is exquisitely pleasing to the eye, but this foot attire looks ridiculously comfortable, as well. It's from a designer called Devotte, which is beginning to gain more press, as alluded to in the forwarded attachment:

Hello Friends,

Devotte has made the top shoe to get for Memorial Day weekend on Refinery 29!

For the friends and family of Devotte, we will be offering a special discount..this week for Memorial Day, so make sure to put yourself on the mailing list! Do not forget!

So, I clicked on the link, checked out the goods and found that not only do I covet the featured shoe in Refinery 29, but I am drooling over just about every single shoe on Devotte's site.

Helena in graphite, $330

Leeloo in green; $320

Lara in purple, $320

Shirley in tuxedo, $338

Jazzler in brown; $320

Ahhh, now if only they weren't several hundreds of dollars per pair... UPDATE! HOWEVER, those who buy a pair this week and enter the code "devotted" at checkout will get 25 percent off! That is a serious discount for these. And yes, I will concede that these lovelies aren't as well-priced as the uglies I posted at the top of this post, but my-oh-my are they much more worthy of your dollars and sense (LOL!).

you say zone, you say meter, i say i'll see you in hell, cabbie

I can think of no better way to start this week's blogging activity than by quoting a friend of mine, whose comically heavy Russian accent can still be heard in a voicemail message shouting, "Khell yeah! Focking khell yeah!" That's right, e-friends, it's a new week and a renewed Anti DC. My pants are tight, my sweatervest is sweet and I just slept for 24 of the last 48 hours, so welcome back, um, me!

I realized this morning after awaking from my splendid slumber that I was clearly off my game last week. I could blame myself, but I won't. Instead, I'll blame it on what will be billed in my memoirs as one of the most tumultuous weeks of my life -- the "Time of Shambles," which not unlike the similarly named "Time of Troubles" was also largely caused by sh*teous weather, extreme disorder, massive unrest and the Polish (zing!).

But it's true, during this Time of Shambles, I exchanged my trademark bitching for what can only be described as delusional, yet sensible and enlightening philosophical e-etchings. And perhaps, if I cared more about strictly keeping with whatever sort of "theme" I've created here in my personal online toilet, I'd apologize for my being rather "neither here, nor there" last week. But like the old maxim goes, "Apologizing is for suckers" (I can't remember if that was Confucius or Gandhi who said that...), and so I will stand by my words uttered during the Time of Shambles and move the hell on.

Which brings me to this: I will see DC cabbies in hell.

In what perhaps was the least shambley of the events tallied during the Time of Shambles, I had the exciting opportunity to hail a metered cab on Friday going from work to home. (Unfortunately I could not participate in Bike to Work Day because Baguette is currently residing with my buddy The Law, which again can also be chalked up to the Time of Shambles.)
"Splendid!" I thought to myself aloud. "You have a meter! Do you love it?"
"Um. Eet eez OK, miss. I tink eet eez the same, really."
"Oh yeah? You don't find that you're making more or less money this way?"
"No, miss. Eet eez too soon to tell, I tink."
"Fair enough. Well, I guess we'll see now! To XXXX XXth Street, please!"
And so, the Time of Shambles awkward cab ride began. And of course, since I love the sound of my own voice, I kept the conversation flowing. We talked all about Iran's nuclear ambitions, how much the President has effed everything up, why America is on a path toward self-immolation and, of course, the weather. All the while, I was keeping a close eye on the meter.

A short time later when we pulled into my driveway, I was elated that the meter read just $7 -- a whopping $4 less than the total I usual pay under the retardulous zone system. Unfortunately, though, my elation was to be short-lived (of course it was -- this was the Time of Shambles, after all).

As I held out my crisp Hamilton, just about to ask for $2 in change, the cabbie said:

"That weeell be $10, I tink, miss."
"Uh...what? The meter clearly says $7."
"Oh. Yes. Eet does. But there are charges, you know."
"No, actually. I don't know. What is the extra $3 for? To sit in the cab?"
"Um, no. See, that eez $2.50 included."
"All right. So, this extra $3? That's for...?"
"Well, eet eez rush hour. [It was 3:30 p.m.] And there are other tings, you know, gas fees, miss."
"No, sir," I muttered, using the same intonation I'd have used had I called him what I really wanted to (i.e., "Dick."). "I don't know. That's pretty ridiculous," I added, again using the same intonation I'd have used had I said what I wanted to (i.e., "Go f*ck yourself.").
I'm ashamed to admit I didn't stay to fight this ludicrousness. As you may suspect, The Anti DC ain't nothin' to f*ck with, unless of course its HBIC (um, Head Bitch Blogger In Charge *ba-dum-ching!*), felt like she was not only going to pass out but also throw up out of exhaustion. Because of that, I just shook my head, handed the cabbie my bill, bailed out and decided I'd blog about it later. And so here we are...

And here's my point (finally, I know...): It's not the zone, nor is it the meter that is the problem. It's the goddamn cabbie! I'm sure not all of them are cheaters, schemers and all-around shady assholes, but some of them are. This sh*t needs to stop. I was in Boston last week and rode in several cabs (thank you, expense account!) and if there was an added-on charge, it was clearly demarcated and explained to me (i.e., "Eet's $3 more because of zee toll, miss." Every cabbie has the same accent, not because I'm culturally retarded, but because that's really the only accent I can accurately type. Sorry.). Here, on the other hand, it's $3 more because the zone system made it so easy for cabbies to cheat their customers that they're trying hard to figure out how to do the same with the meter. And so far, (Damn you, Time of Shambles! Damn you!), they are succeeding.

But next time a cabbie messes with all of this (I typed that with one hand and used the other to point rabidly at myself in a zig-zag formation), that bitch is getting his face planted in the meter (Tee-hee! Cartoonish physical violence is funny!) or at least a stern talking-to. And definitely no tip.

Friday, May 16, 2008

how the eff?!

Fellow shambler and all-around delightful jackass Peter recently inadvertantly introduced me to what I consider one of the most fascinating and visually stunning projects of all time: MUTO.

Watching this video and project unfold over the course of its seven minutes and 26 seconds, I can't help but just stare, mouth agape. I mean, how the mother-eff did this artist do all this?! How long did it take him?! Why am I not nearly that awesome!?

To get all deep on you (as I have several reasons to still be in a shambles state of mind right now), this video helped bring to light several slices of dark matter floating around my brain. Mainly, it made me think about what the hell I'm doing with my life right now. I mean, let's face it, Blu, the artist responsible for what might be the most amazing thing I've ever witnessed, clearly feels some sort of passion for his job (I'm guessing hundreds, if not thousands of hours went into creating that seven minutes of animation). Do I? Do most people?

One friend of mine living in New York City just informed me that he walked off the job on Friday. Literally just walked out. That's a bold move. He wasn't happy there, so he left. That's gutsy. That's also highly respectable. I mean, what's the point of staying in a profession or office or job or city or even relationship (if we really want to go there) that doesn't inspire you? It's cowardly.

Washington, DC, while not the only city to be afflicted with this type of cowardice, seems to enjoy a higher per capita of this unfortunate side effect of suckdom than anywhere else I've ever lived, both in the United States and abroad. There just seems to be a large mass of people here who have convinced themselves that they're content with just "going with the flow," whether it be at their jobs, in their relationships or simply in life overall. In other words, DC doesn't seem to strive to be spectacular (ahem, spectacularly douchey doesn't count).

After watching MUTO again, I began to realize that I, too, have gotten sucked into that. I'm becoming content or at least indifferent with the mediocre and that freaks me out -- like, really, really freaks me out. (But don't worry, not in that violent, shoot-up-the-office way, it's more like a "should I really be working and living in DC?" way, which come to think of it, I've always kind of pondered...)

But, for serious (and you know this is rare form of thought for The Anti DC), becoming just another DC hack is something I worry about...a lot. While I don't subscribe fully to John Locke's (the philosopher, not the guy from Lost, the last two episodes of which I plan to watch this weekend when I shun humanity and go off the grid Art Bell style to do some serious soul-searching) "blank slate" theory, I do believe whatever environment a person is in can greatly affect his or her behavior. And despite my natural born asshole wiring, I, too, am incapable of totally overcoming my environment. (Lest part of me tries to say otherwise, all I have to do is remember one shameful moment in time and I am instantly put in my increasingly douchetastic place.)

Alas, for once I don't have much left to say except, I guess it's just a matter of time before I turn into some gnarly-attired, unkempt, political-haired tool. Wow. I need a vacation. Help me.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

tsa does you

As you may or may not have noticed, The Anti DC was left conspicuously un-updated yesterday. There are several reasons for that. For one, I managed to defy logic and have simultaneously one of the most awesome and frustratingly horrible weekends of my life, from which my mind and body are still recovering. For one more, I'm currently on an extremely tight (and I mean that solely in the literal sense) deadline. And lastly, I managed to nearly continue the shambles that was last weekend by taking two red-eye flights (to Boston and back), zoning out during covering an intense conference for two days, meeting up (and drinking) with old friends for two more nights and, of course, continuing my 6-day streak of sleeping just 1.5-4 hours per night. And although I'm verifiably 75 percent circuitry and wires, the 25 percent of me that cannot crush you is only half-conscious, and unfortunately (or fortunately, I suppose if you hate me...and freedom), that 12.5 percent of me that officially shut down yesterday apparently happens to be the part of me responsible for typing my daily doses of e-retardedness online.

Well, my e-friends, I'm happy to report to you that at least half of that 12.5 percent is back to taking care of business, meaning here I am again! Of course, since I'm still not at full capacity (damn you work, age and insomnia!), don't expect this day's entry to be anything more than mind-blowingly awesome!*

So here it is. This weekend I discovered two things about myself -- airport security is mostly a massive joke and I am [un]surprisingly a natural at styling amateur gay porn photoshoots in Atlantic City high-roller hotel suites. Now, at first glance, those two self-discoveries don't seem to have much in common. However, if you're a regular reader of the Transportation Security Administration's blog (and you know I am!), then you may have guessed how I'm about to make this wacky connection between homeland security and porno -- millimeter wave technology!

What?! Yes. First off, let's just get this out into the open -- I am that much of a dork that I know about this stuff and have known about it for quite some time now. But moving on. If you're not as nerdy as I am, let me provide a quick analogy here: Millimeter wave technology is pretty much equivalent to my second favorite super power (the first is the ability to shoot lasers out of my eyes, natch), X-ray vision! If you've flown out of Phoenix, Baltimore, LAX or JFK, you might have even seen these new machines, which promise to virtually strip you of your clothes in an effort to stop the international crime of smuggling weed in your underwear.

Of course, being the prudish, "I-don't-want-my-sweet-ass-shown-just-anywhere" kind of society that is the United States of America, some Americans have gotten pretty upset over this. I, on the other hand, am contemplating how long it takes to train to become a TSA screener to put my newly discovered lewd photog skills to work. I swear to Larry Flynt that I would style the hell out of photos like these, the actual images produced by the machines, as posted on TSA's blog under the inadvertently kinky (no one at TSA is that clever, right?) title of You asked for it... You got it:

Clearly, whoever was in charge of this shoot is not familiar with the nuances of lurid camera shots. Neither one of them is smiling with their eyes ass.

So, long story short (I'm already down to just a fourth of the 25 percent of me that writes this blog), people are pissed, TSA doesn't care and chances are, despite TSA assurances that the dirrty pics will not be saved on a database, they are likely going to be saved on some 18-year-old employee's cell phone after which you'll find your sweet robotic ass pics on Facebook. Congratulations! Dreams really do come true!

*And by "awesome," I really meant mediocre....ahhh...I tried.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

not to beat a soggy horse but...

This is just too perfect (you'll see why in a second). By now I'm assuming you've all heard about the debacle that was the Radiohead concert at the Nissan Pavilion on Sunday. If you haven't, well, read this and if you were personally affected, check out this group on Facebook. Luckily, everyone I went with was able to 1) park and 2) catch the show. And let me tell you, those first six songs -- All I Need, Jigsaw Falling Into Place, Lucky, 15 Step, Nude, and Pyramid Song -- were awesome. Even the fact that it was raining at first seemed kind of awesome. However...(you knew it was coming)...after I got over the initial elation of being at my third Radiohead concert, I began to think the epic elements were less awesome and more annoying hazardous to my health. The sounds of the storm and and my retardulous idea to try to make a one-woman tent out of a flimsy vinyl tablecloth led me to miss most of the latter half of the show, not because I physically wasn't there, but because I was too busy cowering under my soggy shelter using my breath to keep warm.

I tried to keep dancing, but when you have four layers of wet clothing on, a failed tablecloth, a broken umbrella (Thanks Hypothermia Guy #1) and the completely wrong footwear (turns out leather ballet flats do nothing to keep your feet dry), no amount of sweet, sweet dancing will stave off impending death (you think I'm being melodramatic...ha!). And so as much as I hated to do it since I absolutely adore Radiohead, we decided to cut out early before the encores, not just to keep warm, but to avoid the gnarly vehicle rush that would certainly cause havoc later.

Clearly, at that point, little did we know that the traffic jam in Nissan Pavilion's parking lot/drainage dish/white water rafting river/raw sewage field was one big clusterf*ck since before the show even began. It took us about two hours to get out, which again is better than if we had just ran our tank to empty circling around that hell hole for seven hours.

You know, it is tempting to be angry at Radiohead, as some bloggers are, for choosing to go with the Nissan Pavilion, in light of all the group's boasting of a "green" tour and what not, but I just can't be. (Although, as far as I'm concerned the Nissan Pavilion can still suck it). Radiohead to me is like the puppy (I have in my mind) that poops on the rug, samples it, then jumps on your lap and licks your face. Despite all the doo-doo and shenanigans, it's still a super-cute puppy and Radiohead is still, well, let's just say the best band to have ever graced this exceptionally messed up Earth of ours (I think I can listen to All I Need on loop until the end of time...). I'm not mad at them.

In fact, I actually like them a little more today, especially considering a statement they put out yesterday regarding all the retardulousness of Sunday:

To everyone who made it, and put up with the torrents on the lawn, and came early to catch the Liars and our show, thank you so much for braving the deluge. I hope you heard what you came for, the music and lights diverting you from the wet. We got out of there around three am, and the pic [Ed. note: See the hotness above.] shows Jonny waiting in the loading bay whilst the water streams across the tarmac. We've had floods at Bull Creek, lightning at the RFK stadium, so there must be some kind of Biblical fix between us and DC. Frogs next time?
Ha! That's right! It's not them, it's not the venue, it's not even the weather -- it's DC! I mean, "Biblical fix" between them and this city? "Frogs next time?" Brilliant! It's almost as if Radiohead just wrote a guest blog for me. Tight! Now if only they'd be so kind to come back -- maybe to Baltimore to avoid the DC curse? -- and do a free show to make up for the fact that so many people either had to bail out early to avoid hospital time or physically could not enter the event. Just throwin' an idea out there...

Or Nissan could just give us all our money back since they pretty much stole it. To reiterate, SUCK IT NISSAN PAVILION.

Monday, May 12, 2008

sleepless in shambles

First off, excuse my writing today. I'm barely able to understand basic grammar, let alone form some sort of clever, pun-filled essay on the shambles that was this weekend. And, in all honesty, some shambles are not meant to be broadcast over the Interweb. So, while I think I'll keep most of the more sordid details to myself in an attempt to maintain at least some sort of semblance of respectability on my e-stomping grounds, I will reveal to you in the laziest format I could think of a quick, numerical outline of what a few friends and I have been doing since 5 p.m. last Friday:
  • 3 hours in the Greyhound bus station waiting for bus to Atlantic City;
  • 5 hours on sh*tty bus;
  • 1 man with non-ironic mustache who smelled of Brut and stale coffee;
  • 1 hour waiting in check-in line at AC hotel;
  • 1 sh*tty hotel room;
  • 1 adept negotiator demanding said hotel do something about the "pubes" in our bathroom;
  • 1 high-roller suite;
  • Several hundred (er, thousand) dollars lost;
  • 1 in-room jacuzzi;
  • 1 bottle of bubble bath;
  • Several semi-disturbing yet hilarious photographs taken (Hi Facebook!);
  • 3 hours of sleep;
  • 1 hour figuring out how to park at the Borgata;
  • 1 casino buffet;
  • $60 dollars worth of food paid for;
  • $160 worth consumed;
  • 1 gigantic ceramic boot bought;
  • 2 pairs of truck stop sunglasses bought;
  • 1 grill;
  • Several pounds of meat consumed;
  • Several bottles of Corona imbibed;
  • Several hours of dancing;
  • 1 lost coat;
  • 4 hours of sleep;
  • 1 broken cell phone;
  • 1 Sunday brunch;
  • 5 episodes of Arrested Development;
  • 4 flowery vinyl table cloths-cum-raincoats;
  • 1 coat found;
  • 2 hours on I-66;
  • 1 Radiohead concert;
  • 1 case of Corona;
  • 4 Silver Bullets;
  • 1 endless rainstorm;
  • 4 cases of borderline hypothermia;
  • 2 hours escaping Nissan Pavilion parking lot (but at least I got in...);
  • $19.21 worth of late-night Wendys;
  • 1 more broken cell phone;
  • 1.5 hours of sleep;
  • 1 4:30 a.m. wake-up call;
  • 1 7:00 a.m. flight; and
  • 1 barely alive reporter.

Yet all these shambles were not for naught (See? That's the kind of half-ass, lazy sentence construction I warned you about). No, several lessons can be learned, so, yeah, here's another goddamn list:

  • Greyhound sucks;
  • Dropping the phrase "wayward pubes" will get you a tight hotel upgrade;
  • Jacuzzis make creepy photo backdrops;
  • The Borgota parking lot is a mirage;
  • Giant ceramic things are funny;
  • Truck stop accessories rule;
  • I still like to dance at St. Ex;
  • I heart a good barbeque as I do a good brunch;
  • Arrested Development does live up to the hype;
  • Table-cloth ingenuity will only keep you so dry in torrential downpours;
  • I hate traffic;
  • I love Radiohead;
  • Wet tight pants are not as awesome as they sound;
  • Wet cell phones don't work;
  • The Nissan Pavilion can suck it;
  • Wendys is the best nightcap ever;
  • Having a job is hard.

Friday, May 9, 2008

turns out white people can dance!

And by "can," I mean they are physically able to dance and not necessarily good at it. I made this discovery last night at a hip-hap (as my paleface boss would say) show. The headliner, Dizzee Rascal, did a superb job, choosing a nice set from all three of this albums (although the first will always be my favorite, if only for the below video). Some of the highlights included: Sirens, I Luv U, Jus a Rascal, Stand Up Tall, Flex, Old Skool and, what might be my favorite rap ditty (yeah, I'm really, really white) ever, Fix Up Look Sharp. So tight:

I must admit, this was one of the more fun shows I've been to in DC because unlike some of the others, the crowd last night actually danced and seemed to -- wait for it -- enjoy themselves! Even the white kids danced and we all know white people like standing still at concerts, so this was pretty monumental, epic even, especially for DC. Of course, most of these white kids didn't dance so well, but hey, beggars can't be choosers in hell, so I'll take what I can get here.

And I'd be remiss not to mention Busdriver and El-P, who both took the stage before Dizzee. I only caught the last few minutes of Busdriver's set, but that man has some serious skills. Like, he raps like an auctioneer -- in a good way. El-P's set was also pretty incredible. He brought a lot of friends on stage, including DJ Mr. Dibbs, who somehow made a plastic doll head into some sort of magical musical instrument. Dibbs' ridiculous interlude actually may have been the final push I needed to finally become my imaginary alter ego, DJ Robot Stairmaster -- it will happen. Or maybe I'll go with DJ Sweatervest, since that's how I've been rolling these days. In fact, I donned some sleeveless sweater couture last night, and what would a week be at The Anti DC be without some Friday outfit amour-propre?

I'll see fluorescent lights in hell for washing out this color combo. Actually, wait, I'll take that back as they also seem to wash out the dark circles under my insomniac eyes. Fresh!

Anyway, just to give you the full scoop (because, um, you care, right?) -- what is pictured above are a pair of skinny black Ben Sherman pants and a wonderfully sunny orange tank layered under a Theory sleeveless cashmere-blend sweater (bought at a steep discount at the Theory outlet in Leesburg). Not pictured is the footwear, a pair of brown Steven Intyce boots, which I wore as part of a lovely ensemble of weeks past. I then proceeded to ruin them on my walk home yesterday in 20 minutes of torrential downpours and thunderstorms. However, it was worth it as I haven't played in that many puddles since I was around seven years old. And now I probably have pneumonia. Again, worth it -- I love the elements.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

hill-arity + snobbery = internetastic!

I hate life today, e-friends. I truly abhor it. You’ll understand and perhaps be able to relate when I tell you where I’ve been all morning and most of the afternoon – the Hill.

Ew. I feel disgusting and dirty just typing it. The Hill. Gross. It truly is a gnarly and sick place, where all fashion rights and wrongs are turned on their proverbial heads and the metaphorical stick stuck collectively up the ass of this city further burrows itself in. Republicans run around in their pleated khakis and Brooks Brothers button-downs making the poor poorer, punching homosexuals in the face and getting into unsavory sex scandals. Meanwhile, the Democrats shuffle around in their pleated khakis and Birkenstocks theorizing about saving the Earth while sipping Evian out of disposable plastic bottles, ensuring the future of socialism and getting into unsavory sex scandals. The Libertarians, well the Libertarians aren’t there. They’re too busy fighting for true liberty by not paying their taxes and shooting trespassers on their compounds. (One day I, too, hope to live that dream.)


So, while I daydream do my job on the Hell, er, Hill, I unfortunately remain under too many time constraints to type up a proper blog post. And so, in place of my rantings, I invite you to peep what has become in the last five days my most favorite of favorite blogs – Bike Snob NYC.

Now, before you scoff and eventually question how someone can be so into cycling when she’s owned a bike for less than a week, let me simply state that I don’t read BSNYC for its insight into the world of bicycles (although, I actually am becoming more interested in such things as fixed gears, pie plates and general bicycle culture). I read it because it’s f*cking hilarious.

My brother, who apparently is just as much of a sarcastic asshole as I am, introduced me to it not long ago, and like a mom who says to her child "You're beautiful to me," my bro was nice enough to say The Anti DC is to life in DC what BSNYC is to the world of bicycles. In reality, however, the Bike Snob is a professional; I’m just an amateur. Anyway, check BSNYC out as I have absolutely nothing else to offer you today. Nothing. Except my secret creepy dream to move to a compound in Wyoming. Or Montana. Or New Hampshire. Live Free or Die!

Best Picture Ever courtesy of Bike Snob NYC! I told you that sh*t was funny!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

stand under my umbrella-ella-ella for the overused allusion to that awesome-turned-overplayed Rihanna song of last summer, but it works much better than my original thought of, "under my parasol-ol-ol...yay! yay! yay!" Yeah, I've lost it...

Anyway, what I meant to say was that I love a good umbrella and/or parasol. Unfortunately though, my ability to sail through life just beyond the brink of functional retardation has led me to lose nearly every pretty umbrella I've ever owned. My favorite kind of umbrellas are the kind that can be swung around or used as a cane (which you might need in case a car tries to mow you down on your way to work). However, I've never used an umbrella on a sunny day. That is, I've never carried a parasol à la this guy, whom I just spotted going into the Giant located near my office:

He'll see the sun in hell.

Yes, e-friends, DC is ahead of the fashion curve! If you'll recall, the parasol hit it big last fall when designers were showing their Spring '08 collections. Check out Anna Sui and Tracy Reese, respectively:

Yes! Pasty white is in!

Wait, no. No it's not.

So there! Who says this city has no fashion sense?! And so what if the man I saw shuffling to the grocery store was possibly either a) homeless, b) crazy, or c) some combination of the two. That man clearly knows the parasol is hot this season and he is making that sh*t work! In fact, he's practically a goddamn Monet painting:

But with the grace of an ancient Japanese noble woman:

And the pinache of Mr. Fonzworth Bentley:

And, of course, the overall zest of, um, this guy:

Congratulations, DC, you have arrived!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

shambles p.i. -- college edition

A time comes in every boy's life when he becomes a man. It's a time during which he must choose a path to follow in life. In DC, the question is: Will he become a tool or a douche? The choice is hard, but it must be made. Or does it? Let's take a look back at one of The Anti DC's patented Venn diagrams.

Well, look at that! Perhaps the choice does not need to be made. As you can plainly see, a small slice of the population is composed of the elusive douche/tool hybrid or the dools and touches, as it were. But because these are such a rare breed, like Sasquatch, they have largely learned to evade cameras. Likewise, in the slight chance that they are caught on film, they have learned to quickly disguise themselves as either a run-of-the-mill tool or douche. Luckily for us, however, a faithful reader did a little Shambles P.I. work the other night over at Catholic University and caught this:

That's right, e-friends. What you're seeing above is the much-talked-about tool/douche mash-up. Observe him in his natural habitat -- a frat party. This would lead one to assume he was just another douche, but upon closer inspection, one can see signs that he is also a tool. Mainly, he's wearing a pope shirt unironically. Now, before you bemoan that I'm starting some sort of religious e-war here, I want to state that I'm not inferring anything about Catholocism. Nor am I even saying that every Catholic is a tool. No, what I'm saying here and what this prime example of dool/touche is clearly illustrating is that any Catholic who wears a pope shirt as an exhibit of his degree of devotion is a tool. Look, the pope is not AC/DC, the pope is not Kiss, the pope is not Vladimir Putin; ergo, the pope's visage should not be cheaply screenprinted on some tacky T-shirt and worn to a frat party. Only a true dool/touche would do that.

Lastly, God bless beer pong.

If you have had a Shambles P.I. moment, let the world know. E-mail your shambley photos to

i will see your motor vehicle in hell

Well, it's about damn time that I actually followed through with something I said I was going to do. That's right, contrary to how it might seem, I'm not all e-talk over here, so after the invigorating comment discussion regarding a previous post, I Zipcar'd out to Virginia to pick up my new summer obsession. And no, it's not a rifle; it's a bike! Check it:

Oo la la!

Yep, she's French! To be exact, she's a vintage 21-inch Peugeot mixte 10-speed featuring Carbolite 103 tubing, Weinnmann 730 brakes, Shimano shifters and Deraileurs with an alloy crank and 27 inch alloy wheels with horizontal dropouts. I honestly don't know what much of that means, but I know it all boils down to TIGHT!

As I do more research, which perhaps I probably should've done before dropping $185* on this bébé, I'm finding out that the cycling community has largely lost faith in mixte-style bikes. For those of you who haven't been Googling bike terms since Saturday, "mixte," which means "unisex" en francais, refers to a type of frame that was popular in the 1970s and 1980s. It was marketed as a hybrid between the male bike, which features a horizontal top bar, and a female bike, which has a sloping top bar. The mixte, on the other hand, features a double dropped top bar. From what I understand, this adds a bit of weight compared to the standard women's bike, but I'll take it if it means I can still ride dirty sweaty in a dress or skirt in DC's hellishly humid summer months. Seriously, I'd ride nude if I thought the seat wouldn't chafe. (Ouch!)

Super uncomfortable thoughts aside, however, suffice it to say, I'm pretty excited about this purchase. But you know what I'm even more excited about? I'm excited about taking this bike with me and moving to Amsterdam where motorists not only are expected to share the road with motorless rides, but they actually respect two-wheelers. What? Oh drat! I'm not able to work (legally) in the European Union, which means until I marry one of these guys,** I'll have to learn to deal with goddamn DC drivers, whom I now collectively detest more than ever before. In fact, I think I will officially hate myself whenever I take the Zipcar back out again.

The problem is that DC drivers don't seem to understand basic drivers ed do's, so allow me to refresh the minds of everyone who drives. You know those mirrors provided to you on your vehicle? The ones on the sides of the car? F*CKING USE THEM. (Pardon my...French! LOL!) Also, not that you should need a reminder about this, but you have a blind spot! CHECK THAT SH*T BEFORE PULLING OUT OF YOUR PARKING SPACE. Oh, and speaking of parking spaces -- USE THEM! I mean, I'm sure it's really convenient for you to double park in one of only about three bike lanes this sick bitch of a city has been so kind to bestow on those of us who don't drive, but GET THE F*CK OUT OF THEM. If that means you have to circle around the block 11 times looking for a proper spot, THEN JUST LIVE WITH THOSE SELF-IMPOSED CONSEQUENCES AND DO IT. Seriously. You do know that when you take up the bike lane (and I'm also referring to you too, DC cops!), you're pushing me and other cyclists OUT INTO TRAFFIC. Not cool, Five-O, not f*cking cool.

Wow! Look at all those complaints, and to think I've only ridden my bike, whose name is Baguette ('cause she's tasty -- and a lil' crusty -- like French bread), a few times since I got her on Saturday. I'm back in rare form, e-friends, and more awesome (and fit) than ever. I can't wait for tomorrow's commute...

*Purchased through Bulldog Bike Restoration. (By the way, if you spot a bike you want on their Web site, I suggest you haul yourself over there ASAP, as they sell out fast. In fact, the only reason I have lil' Baguette at all is because the owner agreed to sell me his future inventory early after seeing the très mal look on my visage.)

**Super fun photos brought to you by a "Dam" awesome (LOL!) street style blog all about Amsterdam -- Dam Style.

Monday, May 5, 2008

one hundred fifty two

It's amazing the revelations that a simple chat at a hair salon can induce. There I was, trying my luck again at yet another DC salon when it dawned on me -- there are (at least) two distinctly different DCs, a set of parallel worlds, if you will.

As many of this blog's postings can attest, there is clearly a clichéd, toolish/douchey side of DC, in which the majority of the population thinks one must sacrifice style for the workplace and defines themselves solely on political beliefs. But as I juxtapose those observations with experiences like the one I was having at Trim (which hereby shall be known as THE BEST HAIR SALON IN DC) and stuff like this and this, I've realized there is a subsection of this city that is not classic "DC" at all. Dare I say, a part of DC is even cool. *gasp!*

Truthiness time: I've suspected this for a while now, although I've tried to keep in on the DL. After all, my e-reputation requires me to do so. Also, I mean, how else besides extreme bipolar disorder (um, which, contrary to how it may seem, I don't suffer from...) could explain why I could absolutely detest this city one day and love it the next, all the while having never been indifferent about it. That is, at any given moment in time if someone were to ask me how I like living here, I'd either answer with a resolute (and eloquent), "It sucks major ass," or with the short but affirmative, "I adore it!" Not once would I simply shrug and say, "Eh." In DC, it really is the best of times and the worst of times.

Looking back, I've been able to be rather indifferent about every other city I've lived in: Chicago, "It's OK;" Boston, "It's fine;" New York, "It's pretty good;" Moscow, "It's, um, well, it is what it is." Washington, DC, however, elicits an almost visceral reaction -- good or bad -- after nearly every event -- mundane and monumental -- that takes place in my presence. Moreover, this is the only city about which I've felt compelled to write about each and every day in blog format. So what the hell is it about this place that I find so simultaneously cringe-worthy, yet so goddamn enjoyable?

For the former, the answer is easy. I cringe because some truly exceptionally messed up sh*t goes down here 24 hours per day, seven days per week. I largely chalk that up to the influence of the government. And Georgetown. And pleated khaki pants. But what about the alternate world I have come to know and be a part of in DC? The world in which people aren't stiflingly politically correct all the time; the world in which people aren't socially inept; the world in which wearing Crocs with socks is not a respected practice; the world in which tight pants and sweatervests are welcomed; the world in which the proverbial stick stuck up this city's metaphorical collective ass has been removed. Objectively, every other city I've lived in has had a larger population that subscribed to the tenets of this latter world, this more laid-back, cooler world, so wouldn't it make sense that I would be less ambivalent, say, about New York City than DC?

You'd think. But upon closer inspection, it all begins to make sense. After my conversation with THE BEST STYLIST EVER (whose name I will provide only to those who wish to know), I realized that this is because finding that alternate world in DC takes work. Lots of work. This means, once you find your friends, your haunts, your niche, your scene, you feel like your constant efforts have been justly rewarded. In other cities, for instance, in Manhattan, any given social preference already has a built-in scene. There were few times when I would roll to the Lower East Side and not have an excellent night; the setting and crowd were already there. Living in New York City is like moving into a brand new condo, where everything works properly and is shiny and beautiful.

DC, on the other hand, is a single-family fixer-upper. It's desolate, broken, gnarly, but the structure is there; you have a vision. This beautiful vision, however, takes time to complete. As you make your repairs, the project becomes personal, leading you to appreciate it more than you would that pre-built luxury condo, as wonderfully gleaming as it may be.

Well, I've put in my time and fixed some sh*t. My new stylist at THE BEST SALON IN DC postulated that it takes around 13 months to fully realize all of what alternate DC has to offer, and as I near that point (I've been here exactly a year now today), I'm apt to agree with her. I've made my investment over the last 12 months and after persevering through the drudgery that is the majority of DC, I have found a place for myself in this Armpit Capital of the Free World. I can even say that a part of The Anti DC is actually Pro DC now. Although, to put it more accurately, I'm pro a very, very small subset of this place. And a chunk of that subset involves me shooting semi-automatic weapons, which is, um, totally healthy, I'm sure...

So on this 152nd post, I want to let it be known that, while I still abhor an overwhelming slice of this city for its countless douchetastic tendencies, there's a part of me that loves this place. Like, truly loves it. I've put in the time and work to rear a lovely life here, and for that I'm grateful. Plus, it also doesn't hurt that DC provided me with one of the best haircuts of my life on Friday. It's too bad my grainy, low resolution technology cannot capture it in all of its lovely honey-colored, skillfully layered glory.

I ♥ big hair, even if the humidity does not allow it to meet its full potential.

And lest you think I totally lost my edge while gallivanting around DC with my new bangs being "happy" or whatever, allow me to assure you that I still really do hate the hell out of this bitch of city at times. As does my friend Conor, who skillfully outlined yet another reason why DC hates freedom...and ping-pong. Click here to read all about the exceptionally messed sh*t that is helping ensure that DC still remains tough to love and that I still have something to blog about.