Thursday, January 31, 2008

any plaza named after a dude named after children is not the plaza for me

There are only a few things on this planet that scare me: cats, ancient Egypt and children. So, when I had to go down and do some wonky work this morning at L'Enfant Plaza, which I'm assuming you already know means "the child" in French, I was understandably shaking in my awesome new patent leather shoes (which I bought at the same time as, um, these equally awesome new patent leather hooker ankle boots).

But The Anti DC giggles in the proverbial face of fear, so I soldiered hobbled on (one must sometimes sacrifice comfort for badass shoes). However, when I finally exited the sh*t-tastic metro (a story in and of itself, I might add), I found myself in a concrete hell. L'Enfant Plaza sucks.

Seriously, this has got to be the ugliest part of DC. If ever there was a gnarlier group of buildings, I have yet to find it. Honestly, save for all the American flags, the sh*t down there looks more Soviet than goddamn actual Soviet buildings. Ugh. See for yourself:

Those colors may not bleed, but they sure look sad.


Союз нерушимый республик свободных;
Сплотила навеки Великая Русь.
Да здравствует созданный волей народов

Единый, могучий Советский Союз!*


Do you see??? I'm not pulling this sh*t out of thin air here. L'Enfant Plaza is hideous.

But even worse than the squatty, chode-like architecture there is the near total lack of street signs and building numbers. Luckily, I've started packing heat my camera, so I took some evidentiary shots myself for proof.

Dude, where's my sign?


Where's your sign, dude?

Seriously, no street signs? Clearly, like Stalin, L'Enfant Plaza hates freedom. No longer could I forge my own path to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I had to ask three people (and we all know how I feel about people) to figure out what street I was on and an additional two to find out the building number, which begs another question: What are all these lost people doing in L'Enfant Plaza? It's like the effing Bermuda Triangle but without the ocean scenery and warm weather.

"Sweet Jebus, will I ever escape the clutches of this godforsaken plaza?" I asked myself. But I refused to let this tool-infested Bermuda Triangle engulf me in its sea of douche. Ironically, I realized the one thing that could save me from succumbing to my fate was my very own coup de douche -- my GPS-equipped BlackBerry.

Apparently, it takes a douchey item to save yourself from a douchey nightmare. Irony's the best, n'est-ce pas?

*This is the first verse of the Soviet national anthem. The lyrics translate to English as, "United forever in friendship and labour/ Our mighty republics will ever endure./ The great Soviet Union will live through the ages./ The dream of a people their fortress secure." Yeah, that didn't work out so well for them...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

i might operate on circuitry and wires, but i’m no fake!

I think it's evident that I would much prefer to mock DC than defend my status as a real-life human being, but it's a slow week here at The Anti DC headquarters, so what better time than now to address the topic at hand -- I'm a homo sapien. And while I admit The Anti DC headquarters is currently located in my mind, I -- the actual person -- am not simply the totally awesome figment of someone's equally awesome imagination, just to clear up any rumors.

You see, I recently discovered that one anonymous (former?) reader, might be on a mission trying to prove I'm a fake. His or her endeavor seems to have started here on one of my enlightening posts, when he or she under the clever moniker of "None" commented, "If your blog is written as a joke -- especially as a parody of some real person -- I wonder if I could appeal to you to stop." Of course I took that as a compliment. I love that I'm that ridiculous that I come across as a "parody of some real person." But, as much as it confuses me that some people don't like me, some people just don't. Eh...I'll see them in hell. Snap!

And it all would have ended there until this weekend -- a couple of particularly dull days -- when I began perusing through older posts of other people's blogs, which either had something directly to do with me or on which I posed a question and forgot to check back for the answer. Little did I realize though that this so-called "None" had taken his or her sleuthing skillz over there, as well.

In a Project Beltway post regarding my lil’ jihad earlier this month, a person I could only assume to be the same (very) amateur detective who had earlier commented on my blog explained via a larger treatise on PB my perceived mythical status. This time using the retardulous pen name "Alias B," "None" wrote to PB's Rachel:
I just recently found your blog, and I'm wondering if Marissa's blog isn't written by you as a joke? No insult intended. In fact, my initial impression is that your writing is more to the point. You try to navigate her meandering sentences. What really tipped me off to the joke was the mention of "eurotrash." [SIC]

Needless to say, "her" blog is off my radar. Her niche is too specific to appeal.

If it is written as a joke, I wonder if I could appeal to you to stop. I'm stumbling around for a high note, but quite simply: ah like your blog. [SIC]
Certainly, this "None/Alias B" has not read my blog closely enough. (It must be all those goddamn "meandering" complex sentences I use.) Had he or she really allowed my blog to grace his or her presence longer, certainly he or she would have realized that unlike those who may joke about Euro-trash, I take my Euro-trashiness very, very seriously -- it's my niche, and it's globally wide. To be clear, I joke about DC. I'm no-nonsense on Euro-trash.

And while it's not so surprising that this (former?) reader of mine would comment on a retort to one of my own posts, it did shock me slightly that this mystery genius would follow me all the way over to a post on Panda Head, where I asked Morgan, the blog's author, if she knew where the skirt featured in a photograph was from (scroll down to “m st: georgetown”). I guess having run out of such witty names as “None” and “Alias B,” this blog-stalking P.I. decided simply to remain “Anonymous” and wrote either as a request to Morgan or myself (or both?), "If you are writing the a-dc blog and under the pen [SIC] Marissa as a joke, I wonder if I could appeal to you to stop."

Well, I'll be damned! Turns out the skirt is actually a dress!

What? Oh sorry, back to the point. I honestly don't know why this "None/Alias B/Anonymous" man and/or lady is so against "The A-DC." I'm not a fake, "None/Alias B/Anonymous." I'm a living human being with a name (Marissa), a residence (in Washington, DC), thoughts and feelings circuitry and wires, and, yes, maybe a slight an overwhelming tendency to favor all things Euro-trash, including but definitely not limited to skin-tight pants, Euro-mullets and wearing sunglasses at night.

But listen, I'm just trying to help tools and douchebags like you, "None/Alias B/Anonymous." Don't shun me. Believe in me! I believe in you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

honestly, congress, is this necessary?

I realize I have a career in which I should keep my personal feelings about Congress to myself, but no one's perfect and sometimes I let a little of my bias peek through...like now.

Congress is retarded.

You know that issue about steroids and baseball? The one that affects sports? You know, the sports that should have nothing to do with the federal government? Well, apparently, some of my precious tax dollars are going to investigate this bullsh*t.

Eff our TANKING ECONOMY! Who cares about that little squabble in IRAQ! We have the rules of major league baseball to discuss and ultimately get nothing done over!

Next month there's a hearing -- "Steroid Use by Baseball Players" -- in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee:
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (Chairman Waxman, D-Calif.) will hold a hearing on a report on the use of performance-enhancing substances by Major League Baseball players, focusing on the "Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of an Independent Investigation into the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball" prepared by former Sen. George Mitchell.
Um...and this has to do with government reform and oversight how again? Nothing, you say Congress? You nerds just want a chance to meet with jocks like Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch and Roger Clemens (um, and they are...?), the witnesses you have scheduled to come to the Hill? Yes? Just checking.

But then certainly the use of 'roids in sports must have something to do with energy and commerce because, Congress, you also scheduled this :
The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee (Chairman Rush, D-Ill.) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the Mitchell Report and steroid use in professional sports.
Well sweet Abraham, Jesus and Mohammed (hey, I'm equal opportunity here)! That's damn near IDENTICAL to the hearing scheduled by your colleagues (literally) down the hall in Oversight and Government Reform!

Phew! I'm SO GLAD you're all working so hard on the Hill, you know, to solve our domestic and world problems, one of which is definitely figuring out who's injecting whom in the butt with what (what?). Kudos, boys!

the anti dc bizness proposal

All right, DC, I'm ready to do business with you.

Remember when I called you all intentionally ugly yesterday? (Scroll down). Tee-hee!

Well, I'm going to attempt to do the least (really) that I can do to help DC's ladies stop being ugly. However, if anyone bites my offer, I ask you to do me a little favor in return. Trust me, this will be awesome.

OK, I'm going to change your world now: Check out http://www.hautelook.com/. My personal story: I got two pairs of $200 Habitual jeans last week for 75 percent off. For those of you not superior at math, that's $50 per pair. Hot damn! And yes, they're tight and beautiful.

Basically, the site hosts online sample sales. Last week it was Habitual, this week it's Tracy Reese (who makes some beautiful coats, which are currently 60+ percent off on Haute Look), next week is Kale handbags, the week after is alice + olivia, and so on and so forth. Their sh*t is tight, meaning most of the clothes and the prices will make you less ugly without (completely) emptying your wallet.

And speaking of wallets, this brings me to my business proposal. I -- as does anyone who registers for free -- have the power to "refer" people on this magical site, which means I would get a $10 credit to my account if you ever make a purchase.* So, if my calculating is correct, that would mean I could collect about $1 million dollars! $30 in store credit. Ka-ching!

Also, feel free to throw in the following in exchange for these last few paragraphs:
*And yes, I'm serious about you being serious about letting me refer you to this fine online shopping establishment. So, if you want to make my day, E-mail me [theantidc@gmail.com] and I will send you the link. And a sweet photo of Norm Coleman. It's a win-win. Trust.

Monday, January 28, 2008

dc, please stop being ugly

There are only a few scripted shows on television that I consider "must see TV" -- CSI: Miami, Lost and Ugly Betty. I like these three particular shows for three very different reasons: David Caruso's dramatic sunglasses-on-sunglasses-off one liners, Sawyer, and colorful cinematography, respectively. Yet while I admit Ugly Betty is one of my favorites (even if it's sometimes as corny as a douche-delivered pick-up line), I have one proverbial bone to pick with it: Why, for the love of patent leather, is Betty still ugly after a year of working at the fictionalized version of Vogue?!

Seriously. Think about it. I get the whole "fish-out-of-water" premise and all, but does anyone else find it ridiculous that after working in fashion for over a year, being besties with the in-house designer and having a live-in gay nephew, Betty still dresses like a senile 85-year-old cat lady whose hobbies include bingo, paying for everything in change and leaving the stove on for days?

Honestly. It was funny at first, but now -- in the middle of Season 2 -- it is truly grating on my nerves. I mean, for reals?


For reals.


And the above two examples aren't even the worst of the worst. Gawd! I just want to cut her hair, wax her eyebrows and give her an outfit that doesn't make her look mentally deranged. I mean, they don't have to make her as good-looking as the actress who plays her is in real life, but, Jebus, at least make her look like someone whose chosen mode of transportation isn't the goddamned short bus...

Which brings the point back to DC. While I was watching last Thursday's show, I realized that the feelings I have about Ugly Betty are identical to those I have about DC or really anyone who intentionally makes themselves less attractive than they otherwise would be had they simply gotten a better haircut and opted for flattering clothing.

But can someone ugly really control it? Yes.

A friend of mine once said, "Ugly people make me angry bother me." At first I was a bit shocked by the statement, as I always had thought "being ugly" was like "being blind." I figured it was something that just couldn't be helped. I responded, "Whoa. That is really mean, even for me. You can't mock someone for something they can't control. It's just not funny that way."

But my friend maintained that, unlike a true disability, people could control how how ugly they were; it could be helped. My friend explained that most people aren't in fact born ugly. Instead, they choose to make themselves that way either by "letting themselves go" or by dressing to flatter only their more unflattering features.

After a few seconds of thought, I realized that I fully agreed with her; BEING UGLY IS NOT NECESSARY. There is always a means to enhancing your best features while downplaying your worst.

However, aside from pleading with DC's men to stop dressing like assholes, I won't try to prescribe a means for DC's women to stop being ugly, mainly because there is at least one local blogger doing that much better than I ever could. But I will offer some evidence of my friend's and my theory.


A more flattering haircut, a little makeup, and eliminating the black pearl earrings and whatever-the-hell kind of scarf that is can go a long way.

So please, DC, please! STOP BEING UGLY. That is all.

inappropriate subject matter for this blog...

But, eff it. In lieu of going out and finding new things to bitch about in DC, I had a very introspective weekend, having finally decided to decorate the walls of my tiny studio with photos I've taken from trips beyond the Beltway. And well, since I don't really have any new DC-related material (although I definitely will tomorrow), I thought I might as well post some brightly colored memories. So, without further ado, here's the "art" guests of my little home would enjoy if: 1) I had enough space to fit people into my apartment; and, 2) People liked me enough to want to come over, um, I mean 2) I liked people enough to actually invite them over (Zing!).

Playa del Carmen, Mexico, 2007


Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 2005 ("Swimming in the fountain is strictly prohibted.")


Istanbul, Turkey, 2005


Las Pampas, Argentina, 2006


Punta del Este, Uruguay, 2006


Rome (in the Colleseum), Italy, 2007


Venice, Italy, 2007

So, why no Moscow photos, you may be asking? Well, for one, I didn't own a camera the entire time I lived there so the few photos I have generally aren't wall-appropriate in an "artsy" type of way. But even if I did, I'm not sure I'd have taken too many photos. See, I've never been the type to pack a camera on a regular basis. However, now that I'm (obsessively) committed to this DC-related blogging endeavor, perhaps I'll start snapping locally. Then I can photo-document every single wayward bandage on the street...sweet.

Friday, January 25, 2008

occupation: prophet

So as my profile indicates, I'm a reporter during the day, which has me perusing a hot mess of .gov sites on a regular basis. Most of these sites are mind-crushingly dull, but some can actually get quite interesting. One in particular that caught my attention this morning was http://www.fec.gov/, which is the Federal Election Commission's site. At first, this site looks even more boring than the standard .gov endeavor, but upon closer inspection, the FEC allows for some pretty tight information transmission.

For example, it publishes a list of every individual who's ever contributed to any campaign. So if you love intruding in on people's personal business (ahoy!), this can be quite entertaining. Sure it's fun to find out which celebrities gave what to whom, but what's even better is finding something like the following (a contributor to Barack Obama's presidential campaign):
Contributor: David Aaker
Address: Orinda, Calif., 94563
Date: 06/05/2007
Amount: $2300
Employer/Occupation: PROPHET
Seriously?! Prophet?! An effing prophet! Like Jesus! Holy hijinx!

*goes to Google*

Oh wait...wait just a minute. David Aaker is not like Jesus. He's not even like David Koresh. Nope. David "Prophet" Aaker is just the vice chairman of the management team of some sort of financial company called Prophet. Boo.

...And http://www.fec.gov/ is officially boring again. Dang.

PS -- Sorry to get all DC on you right then, but when in Rome hell...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

virginia laws are inhumane

One thing you may have guessed about me is that I heart booze. I mean, I'm not alcoholic or anything (shut up, I function), but I do enjoy libationary liquids every now and again. However, the liquors I prefer often change with the seasons. For instance, in the fall I like the cream liqueurs, like Baileys or Amarula. In the winter I prefer a nice mug of mulled wine, or glühwein as the Germans say (who doesn't love an umlaut?). In the spring I turn to mojitos and other herby cocktails. And in the summer I mack on sangria, a lovely concoction of wine, brandy and chilled fruits. Delish!

So, imagine my shock and horror when I learned this today from the Washington Post:

It's illegal to serve sangria in Virginia.
Say what?!
The fruity cocktail of wine and brandy that is a must-have at Spanish restaurants violates a law that forbids mixing wine or beer with spirits. If convicted, a bartender could go to jail for a year.
Not tight. Seriously. That sh*t is exceptionally messed up, or as the Post describes it:
"It's absolutely preposterous," said Robert Hall, the general manager of Jaleo restaurant in Crystal City, which altered its sangria recipe last year after hearing the news about La Tasca [Ed.: the restaurant was fined last year for serving sangria]. "What harm is this causing?"
None, I say! And luckily for those of you living in hell Virginia, you may be able to drink sangria in your neighborhoods sometime soon as apparently Del. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), a.k.a. the Crunkest Virginia State Delegate Ever, has introduced a bill to change the law. He told the Post:

"It just seems to make common sense that government should worry about big issues like transportation and not get too concerned about what people drink."


King of Crunk Del. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria)

And while I usually refrain from taking public political positions, I feel compelled to support this measure. Not only would it make sangria available in DC's Virginia suburbs, but it would decriminalize any drink that violates the "law" by mixing wine, beer and/or spirits. Honestly, can a place even be considered civilized if you can't enjoy a Kir Royal before (during and after) dinner? It's barbaric!

the anti dc's super tight google list

Technology never ceases to amaze me. Although, if we're being honest, I'm the kind of person who finds most anything I don't scientifically understand -- black holes, nuclear fission, iPods, adding, toilets, string cheese -- amazing (is that called autism or mental retardation?). But back to technology, and more specifically, the stat counter I recently attached to this little blog of mine.

This stat counter thingamajig is quite astonishing. Besides telling me how many people are clicking on (and hopefully reading) my posts, it also tells me how they navigated there way to my blog in the first place. It's kind of like my very own Patriot Act, except I can't use any of the information to actually track people down and put them in Cuban military prisons (zoinks!).

What my stat counter does provide me with, however, are the keywords people have Googled that have either intentionally or (more often) unintentionally led them to my musings. And, let's just say I'm surprised and amused at the sick and twisted keywords that Google has linked to The Anti DC. So without further ado, let's review some of the latest Googlings -- the metaphorical yellow brick road, if you will -- that led these Dorothys to the Oz that is this blog:
  • Date lab;
  • Annoying people on the bus;
  • Adams morgan;
  • Low drunk;
  • Ricardo russia;
  • Hipsters blogging in dc;
  • Hipster jobs dc;
  • Hipster things in dc;
  • DC hipster;
  • Go-go boots;
  • Band aid addict;
  • Rusty cox gay;
  • Stalin putin paint walls blue*; and (of course I saved the best for last...)
  • Euphemisms for poo.
Beautiful list, no? Although, strange as it seems, I instantly was able to guess to which post each set of search words led, including "rusty cox gay," "low drunk," "band aid addict" and, yes, "euphemisms for poo." I cannot guess, however, how these Googlers reacted when they clicked on my link and instead of porno, an online liquor store, a Band-Aid fanpage or a skeet site, found oodles of senseless words. But some things are better left a mystery...like the mechanisms behind this magical stat counter and string cheese.


Ah-may-zing.

*By the way, I know with almost 100 percent certainty that the Googler who searched for what may seem like the most random of searches ("stalin putin paint walls blue") was actually trying to find a Russian joke, popularized recently by Time magazine when its editors named Russian Supreme Ruler of the World Vladimir Putin their "Person of the Year." The joke, which I actually included in a 2005 grad school paper comparing political humor in Russia and the United States (yay, I'm a nerd!), goes as follows:
Putin is sitting in his office with his head in his hands, when Stalin's ghost appears. Putin tells the ghost his problems, bemoaning the incompetence of his Kremlin underlings.

"That's easy to fix," Stalin says. "Shoot all the democrats and paint the Kremlin walls blue."

"Why blue?" Putin asks.

"Hah! I knew you'd only ask about the second part!"

LOL, Russian humor, LOL!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

:)

And to flip my virtual frown upside down sideways, I decided to buy not one, but two pairs of shoes online. And, um, they're both patent leather.

Now, I know what you must be thinking: "Ew." Or as one of my well-dressed friends G-chatted to me after I revealed my purchase, "On purpose?"

Yes. On purpose. But as with all my madness, there's always a method. Specifically, I have two glorious outfits in my mind, both of which call for patent leather footwear. And before "hipster" dominatrix images begin dancing whipping you in your heads, I want to make clear that no part of either of the two looks involves latex, grommets, fishnet unitards, corsets, chains, collars or any other iteration of said dominatrix theme.

Anyway, feast your eyes on one of my new great patent leather loves (the other shall remain my private dancer until the time is right):

:(

I wasn't going to post anything today as I am weirdly torn up about the latest Heath Ledger news (he reminded me of someone I used to know...), but since I have gotten into the habit of posting at least once per day (I love hobbies!), I thought I'd let you know that my hilarious (parentheses-loving) wisdom won't be dazzling (get it? bedazzle? yeah...) you again 'til tomorrow.

Is that sentence even readable? Eh...

It's an emoticon day.

:(

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

f u cvs, et al.

Dang. I was going to try to write this post entirely in one-letter words and abbreviations, but alas, that sh*t proved too hard. But, as losers tend to say, can't win 'em all! And so allow this loser (ahem, of patience and money as you shall come to understand after reading this) to reintroduce today's latest debacle: "F*ck you, CVS and Others."

It was one of those routine mornings when you wake up and want codeine sprinkled on your high-fiber cereal. So, I called down to what I thought was my CVS to ask whether I had any refills left on a certain prescription or whether I was going to have to order it from Canada online (JK, DEA!). Anyway, the clock hit 8 a.m. and I made the call (PS -- I relish in how shady this sounds), very much unprepared for the salty little man-bitch on the other end.

Me: Hi, is this the pharmacy?

Man-Bitch: Uhhhh....yes. What is it?

Me: Oh, well sir, I was wondering if I still had a refill left on my prescription...

Man-Bitch: Uhhhh...you know we just opened. I’m busy.

Me: [as politely as possible] Well, I know you just opened. My plan was to call when I knew someone would be there, i.e. when you opened...

Man-Bitch: Listen. I have work to do. You’re going to have to call back. [Hangs up.]

"Work to do?" I thought, as I tried to reconcile how helping out a paying customer did not qualify as "work to do" for a CVS pharmacist. "I will see this guy in hell before he hangs up on me again." And so I called back.

On the second go this stupid man-bitch was finally able to spare a literal minute of his precious time to help me, even though his help ended with him telling me that, in fact, I was the stupid bitch because I called the wrong CVS (zoinks!). While I admit "my bad" in this situation for not double checking the number before calling, I still think such ridiculously rude customer service on his part was uncalled for. And so, instead of hanging up and finding the correct number myself, I made this now smarter-than-I man-bitch provide me with the correct number, which he did after much huffing, puffing and unnecessary attitude.

But lest you think the rest of my morning was spent in prescription drug-induced splendor (it’s all legal, I swear!), there was yet another issue with which I had to deal -- my sheisty insurance. Even more disheartening than a certain Cleveland Park CVS employee, the Aetna insurance company proved that incompetence is much more common than it should be when dealing not only in the business of drugs but in the business of PEOPLE'S LIVES. Apparently, some asshat at Aetna or, more likely, a series of asshat blunders at Aetna, led to someone FORGETTING TO FILE MY PAPERS, thus LEAVING ME UNINSURED. How awesome is that??? Basically, had I not found this out now and, say, an asteroid sniped off my arm tomorrow (because that’s very likely to happen), I’d have to remain armless or face bankruptcy. NOT TIGHT.

But even more retarded was that when I did go to pick up my prescription at the correct CVS in Van Ness (I have two refills!), the (actually very friendly) pharmacist said, "That’ll be $207.99."

Goddammit...I'm suing someone.

Monday, January 21, 2008

in addendum to the preceding post

You know who else knew the power of a good suit?

Martin Luther King, Jr.



He proved that one need not choose between message and visage. And while clearly, King's wise words would remain just as relevant had he not exhibited a sophisticated penchant for slim-fitting suits and cuff links (the best kind of jewellery a man can wear, in my opinion), his attire certainly underlined his eloquence.

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

this is what i want

I want more men in DC...um, to have attitudes about clothing like the friend who earlier sent me this:
I just bought a suit and I'm so excited about it, I want to tell everyone:

http://www.oliverspencer.co.uk/oliverspencer.html

It's the one the guy on the left is wearing.

It was like 50% off. I am so happy. This is the best of day of 2008!
YES! Not only is it refreshing to know a guy so excited about fashion, but the fact that he's this excited over a suit is even better. Now (full disclosure), this snazzy suit-wearing friend of mine lives in NYC (of course...), but I believe many male DCers should take a cue from him. Suits don't have to be 5 sizes too big, pleated, poly-blended and ugly. No, they can be quite hot (as exhibited to your right) even if you're not a male model (ahem, who I met in the Bahamas, but I digress). And, let me now speak DC's language: Nice looking suits can be fairly priced, as my friend's 50 percent off testament shows.

So please, if any dishabille DC dude somehow happens to be reading this, despite that I spend most of my blogging time insulting you and your female compatriots, please, please click on the Oliver Spencer link, view the suit on the left and try to aim for that next time you're deciding whether it's a good idea to buy your wardrobe at Sears.

(Seriously, this Sears model on the left looks like he's wearing a diaper, no?)

Not.

Tight.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

when in doubt, venn it

So it seems there is some demand to continue fleshing out "The Anti DC Theory that Tools and Douchebags Are Not Synonymous" a.k.a. TADCTtTaDANS (now that's a goddamn acronym!). For instance, when, in fact, do tools and douchebags mesh? Or, when does someone in either group become an asshole? And, if a tool and/or douche is an asshole, how big of an asshole is he or she?

I could go on and on with these types of incredibly thought-provoking questions, but in the interest of time and Venn diagrams, I present to you a pretty picture.

The Anti DC Theory that Tools and Douchebags Are Not Synonymous


My computing skills blow so let me add that the two straight lines that form a pinnacle over the center of the Venn are supposed to indicate where on the Asshole Continuum tools and douches fall. While TADCTtTaDANS maintains all tools and douches are inherently assholes, those who fall closer to or in the "Dools/Touches" category are bigger assholes than those who subscribe to the strictly douche or tool schools of being.

Damn, this is epic.

walk this way

I must admit as I sat in my hotel last week awaiting my "Grand Tour of LA" (um, on a bus), a little piece of me missed DC. Uh, but lest we all go nuts here, let me clarify that when I say "little" I mean like .00000000001-.0000000001 percent (give or take .000000000001 percent or so). I mean, clearly I didn't miss all the tools and douches, the way said tools and douches generally clothe themselves, the schizophrenic bus schedule, Georgetown, certain places in Adams Morgan and various other goings-on. But I did miss the fact that I can pretty much walk anywhere I want to go in DC.

It's true. DC, in my opinion (UPDATE: and apparently expert opinion), is one of America's most walk-friendly cities. The sidewalks are generally wide, even and ubiquitous and the distances are either short, kind of short or, at most, a little long. But if you're like me, who hasn't had a car since college (May my '87 Buick LeSabre rest in peace.) and isn’t fat (Oh, girrrrl, no she di-uhnt! Oh snap, yes I did!), 30-45 minute walks don't freak you out and 60+ minute walks, while "a little long," still seem not only doable but kind of awesome if the weather's right and traffic doesn't commandere the sidewalk (Damn you, Moscow, damn you!).

But ridiculously constructed Tolstoyian sentences aside, let me simply declare: DC is righteously walkable. (Sidebar: And before you get out your hideous footwear, DC, let me add here that this city is so damn walkable that you can trod around in fine footwear and, thus, avoid looking like an asshole. End sidebar.)

LA, on the other hand, is not walk-friendly, which is why I toured the city on a bus, a type of tour I generally avoid like a pair of L.L. Bean fleece-lined, relaxed fit jeans. But what can you do when you only have 5 hours? Well, son, I’ll tell you what you do! You get on that bus and you ride dirty!

They see me rollin'!


They hatin'!



Patrolling they tryin to catch me ridin' dirty!



Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty!



Tryin' to catch me ridin' dirty!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

through the error of my ways, i have learned

OK, I'm going to do something I never thought I'd ever have to do on this blog: Apologize.

Being away from DC, I've finally been able to realize the error of my ways and, well, this has presented quite a conundrum to me. Basically, the proverbial rug has been pulled out from underneath my blog's well-shod metaphorical feet.

I messed up here. I really messed up. But, like they say, the first step in righting your wrongs is admitting your mistakes, right?

*sigh*

So, here goes nothing.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry! I admit it! I have been using the terms "tool" and "douche" interchangeably on this blog and I was wrong! So wrong...

Tools and douches, while not always exclusive, are certainly not synonymous. And while my theory on this is nowhere near perfect, recent evidence revealed to me that douchebags and tools may have less in common than previously thought.

The unique nuances that allow one to differentiate between a tool and a douchebag dawned on me so clearly only after leaving "Hollywood for ugly people" and arriving in actual "Hollywood." While I was awed at first being in a land of decently dressed people whose vocabularies didn't abuse me with political mumbo-jumbo and acronyms, some of LA's beautiful people soon lost their luster.

But the brands of douches and tools in LA are different. For one, like I mentioned above, the standard dress code was definitely a step up (But could you really get worse? Come on...). Overall, people seemed to be fitter, healthier and more productive wealthy. Hmm...wealth. And herein lies the problem.

While I welcome wealth (I mean, who hasn't dreamed of commissioning just one multi-million dollar gilded gold, diamond-encrusted, sapphire-eyed, black-onyx-bedazzled-pant-wearing statue of themselves?), excessive displays of it (we’re talking, like, 10 gilded gold, diamond-encrusted, sapphire-eyed, black-onyx-bedazzled-pant-wearing statues of themselves) can really turn people into douchey assholes. And while that isn't the steadfast rule, nine times out of 10 if you use wealth to either 1) make up for your lack a personality, 2) make up for your lack of brains or 3) simply to rub it in people's faces (I'd keep my sole sparkly statue only where I could see it), then you probably are a douchebag.

However, you may not be a tool. And here's where things get complicated. The crux of "The Anti DC Theory that Tools and Douchebags Are Not Synonymous" maintains that douches run the show and tools follow. That is, to keep with the wealth example, tools, unlike they’re douchey brethren, can't buy and sell people me with promises of giant golden statues of themselves.

The TADCTtTaDANS* maintains that the classic tool has very little power on its own. In other words, a tool without a douchebag is just socially awkward. Poor. And socially awkward.

So, bringing this theory back to Washington, I think it becomes even more illustrative. Unlike LA, which seems more douche-laden than tool-infested, DC is definitely the opposite. For every one douche, there is a whole bureaucracy of tools just waiting to fulfill whatever toolish tasks are asked of them. Are you that tool? Or are you that douche? JK! I love everyone!

*Pronounced “tad-steez-a-dans.” You can take the girl out of DC, but you can’t take the DC out of the girl. F*ck. I hate myself.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

you'll have to pry the internet from my cold, dead hands

Wow. I feel like it's been forever. I mean, 24 hours is a long time to be separated from my most favorite of useless hobbies. No, not putting my pants through the extra hot drying cycle twice in an effort to make them tighter (that's clearly useful). I'm talking about blogging. Blogging about how much I hate DC. But I have some bad (and/or good) news (depending on how much you wish I would duck out of DC hobo-style on a freight train and never look back).

I'm in LA!

Yes, there's some hullabaloo to cover for my salaried job, so I had to leave the city I love to (hilariously) hate so much to spend a week in the land of fairytales, broken dreams and Justin Bobby.

And while I probably will spend quite a few hours trying to get on The Hills, perhaps by punching all of its cast in the face (save for JB, of course) for being so annoying, I hope to post at least a couple of new items between now and Friday.

But for now, to keep with my retardulous Hills theme, I invite you to spend a few moments taking in the glory that is this apt reenactment (starring James Franco as JB and Mila Kunis as Audrina) of a seminal scene from what I consider MTV's greatest and fakest reality program.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

my first concert...in hell...was craptastic

I must confess, I'm having a bit of trouble deciding how to word what I'm about to tell you. The thing is, something happened Friday night -- something so shocking and wrong -- that I don't know if any words in any language can portray the confused and disgusted emotion with which said event left me and a few friends.

My biggest fear is ending this blog with that vague notion of "you had to be there." And while I hate to take anyone "there," as it were, I am going to try my best to provide with the following few paragraphs and a rather repulsive metaphor at least a glimpse into the hell through which we persevered the other night. So, with fair warning, I shall continue.

Washington, DC, is a bit like a swimming pool -- a swimming pool with floating pieces of poo in it. And when someone drops a deuce in a pool, it ruins it for everyone. You can't just scoop the dookie out and be done with it. If only it was that easy! Nope. First everyone has to vacate the fertilized waters. Then the thankless pool keeper must fish out the feces, drain the water and disinfect the entirety of the basin. All the while, those who had been happily swimming now sit cold, wet and angry because someone decided to leave a fudge dragon* in the deep end.

And thus was my last Friday night. My friends and I went to see a Japanese Beatles cover band called the Silver Beats at the 9:30 Club. According to one of my friends, A, who had seen them in Japan a few years back, the show promised to be a good time -- a few libations, some dancing and a sing-along or two. After all, that's what the band kept imploring the audience to do.

And that's precisely how we played it in this metaphorical pool. But no one around us seemed to have gotten the message. People were standing so solemnly you'd think they were reliving the day John Lennon was gunned down. But I'll cut them a little slack here. We began the night near the back of the room, where people who might not be into the band, dancing or the general goings-on are free to lay back, sit down, grab a beer, etc.. We, however, wanted to dance, so we pushed forth to the front as politely as possible.

And that's when we confronted the proverbial turd. Without exaggeration, the first three rows of people were in standing comas. Some were checking their messages, others stood quiet, unmoving, with their arms crossed. Way to turn the pool into a poopscapade, kids.

But then one of the droppings spoke.
Doo-doo #1: [taps my friend L on the shoulder and says with a bitchier tone than necessary] Um, is this your first concert?

L: [ceases sweet dance moves] Come again?

Doo-doo #2 (pun intended!): [increasingly bitchy tone] She asked if you've ever been to a concert before because it doesn't seem like it.

L: Um. Are you serious right now?

Me: [having overheard the retarded ruckus] Wait, you're pissed because we're dancing and trying to have a good time at an effing Japanese Beatles cover band show?

Doo-doos #1 and #2: [blank stares, arms still crossed]

L: Well, you're right. I guess this is my first concert. My first concert in hell. Thanks.
And that was that. The butt nuggets unsurprisingly had no retort for L's well-put turn of phrase. Or maybe they did, but it was at that point when we just closed our eyes and tried to ignore the gnarl that nudged up against us. But how can you ignore something so sick as a steaming hot pile of chud? You can't. Unsurprisingly, the allegorical chocolate hotdog in the metaphorical pool makes it hard to symbolically swim.

Well, friends, I'm fresh out euphemisms for "poop" and synonyms for "figurative," so I suppose there's nowhere else to go with this entry. But before I proverbially flush it (YES! LOL!), I invite you to view the source of my inspiration for my apt metaphor a.k.a. the most hilarious show on television: Rob & Big, Season 3, Episode 1. It's doo-doo-riffic!

*Additionally, I'd like to thank South Park's "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce" for introducing me to so many new euphemisms for poo. It kind of changed my life.

Friday, January 11, 2008

that will be $9 and sexual harassment cents

I had a roaring good time on my way home from work last night. And while I wasn't lucky enough to land in a DC version of Cash Cab (damn, I wish there was one here), I was lucky enough to meet a cabbie whose sense of humor rivaled the sickness of my own.

Cabbie: So, what do you do?

Me: I'm a reporter.

Cabbie: Do you report on sexual harassment?

Me: Uh...what was that?

Cabbie: Sexual harassment. Do you report on that?

Me: [slightly confused LOLing] Um, no.

Cabbie: Great! Then I still have a chance!

And as if that charming bit wasn't enough, when we finally pulled up to my place following a few short moments of silence he told me about his bad-ass alter ego:

Cabbie: [turns around] I do private taxes too.

Me: I'm sorry? What was that?

Cabbie: [takes out a stack of business cards] Private taxes.

Me: [takes the 16 business cards (yes, Rainman over here counted them)] Taxes? You do people's taxes?

Cabbie: Yes, taxes. I can give you a discount and do your private taxes.

If it wasn't for the excessive amount of business cards (so I can "hand them out to my friends") imprinted with "Individual & Small Business Bookkeeping," I definitely would've thought "private taxes" was some sort of metaphor for more sexual harassment -- sexual harassment that I apparently would've had to pay for, albeit at a discounted price.

But possible bizarre (and quite hilarious) transactions aside, this guy clearly needs his own show: SEXUAL HARASSMENT ACCOUNTANT CABBIE. It'd be like Taxi Cab Confessions but, you know, with more number-crunching. 2+2=tight!

for dc lovers and tough lovers alike

And especially for those of you like myself who are still at work. (Damn you, deadline! Damn you!)

While I gather much of my humor is (un)questionable(-ely awesome!), MC Hammer (or simply Hammer, if you will) in a tiny zebra print speedo is not.

So, may we all join together as one, my friends, regardless of our feelings about the Capital of the Free World, and rejoice over, be awed by, and wonder who told MC Hammer he looked good in the timeless classic, "Pumps and a Bump."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

dc needs linguistic lessons

There has yet to be a day during which DC logic makes sense to me. And by "logic," I mean retardedness. Apparently, your dear author here, is a hipster. I have only one three-word response to people in DC who've not only referred to me as a hipster online, but also in real life WHERE THEY CAN SEE AND SPEAK TO ME:

1. Only
2. In
3. DC.

But don't get me wrong. I'm not insulted by this comment at all. I mean, I did crown hipsters the least annoying people in DC. I do have friends who are real hipsters. And hipsters generally amuse and entertain me. But I'm troubled, dear DC, with your linguistic ability because nowhere else in the world, possibly the entire cosmos, would I be considered a hipster. A bit Euro-trash maybe, but hipster? Not really.

Sure, I may attend parties dressed like this or this every now and again (and, ahem, those two looks are so much more Euro-trash than hipster), but I don't waltz around DC's streets wearing typical hipster attire. I'm still not a fan of acid-wash denim. I will never wear a leotard unless I'm in a dance class. And I don't wear Cosby sweaters or overalls ironically. In fact, I don't own anything that I wear ironically.

So, what the hell is it? Why has the word "hipster" morphed from describing those who are annoyingly yet enviably cutting edge (the general meaning of the term in the REST OF THE WORLD) to meaning simply those who don't own anything from L.L. Bean or J.Crew?

But wait...there's more.

DC, are you aware that "hipster" also has a less superficial context? It's not just about the way they look, but about what they're interested in. If anything, I might be classifiable as a fringe hipster based solely on my taste in music, my penchant for clubs with live DJs and the fact that I tune into Coast to Coast AM every night (Damn, I miss Art Bell). But even then, it'd be a rare moment that I'd have heard of whatever band any given group of hipsters is talking about right this very moment, although I'm sure there's a chance I'll like it next year.

However, liking something hipsters recommend still doesn't make one a hipster (at least outside of DC). You see, hipsters hear of bands I end up liking first. I hear of them second. And DC never hears of them. So again, is it because I don't listen to Dave Matthews Band that makes me a hipster? Or Rusted Root? Um, that's a band right? Whatever.

Anyway, this concept of "hipster knows first" is a very important -- perhaps the most important -- hipster fact to grasp. If you're not on the frontlines of up-and-coming, you're not a hipster. I'm 28. I watch The Bachelor. I'm clearly no longer up-and-coming, ergo, I am not a hipster.

But returning to fashion, since it is the most tangible example at hand, let me try to ingrain the point into DC's thick metaphorical skull. The skinny jeans fad did not start in 2007. (Oh! Sorry DC! I should add some background here: Imagine your flaired carpenter jeans about 10 sizes smaller, 5 inches longer and without the added strap for your hammer, er, Blackberry) The earliest I can remember seeing skinny jeans was in late summer 2005. I saw them on a hipster. Less than a week later I began wearing them and I never looked back. But even though I've invented several looks around the skinny jean and converted at least three of my friends to the practice, I certainly did not spearhead the movement. Nope. It was some good-looking hipster.

So, my little retarded DC, I hope all this information didn't just make your head explode because you have so much more left to learn. But don't worry, this 28-year-old "hipster" (um, another point, can hipsters be 28 years old?) is here to call you a dumbass and show you the light. But mostly just call you a dumbass.

Photo: V Magazine's picks for best Misshapes looks. Um, and is that Madonna in the top left there?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

can you smell that? it's good sh*t.

I'll be damned if the government's not pumping nitrous oxide into the air today because good sh*t is happening to DC. Well, it's not exactly happening now, per se, but good sh*t will happen to DC, at least according to Pitchfork, which informed me today that one of my favorite bands will soon be here.

Radiohead is coming. Here! To DC! (This is big news because, apparently, according to a co-worker, they skipped the District on their last U.S. jaunt in 2006. Ouch!)

Anyway, I was able to catch a Radiohead show in 2006 as well as in 2001 (In your face DC!), so I guess this isn't as big of news for me (who's only worked here since May) as it is for the poor souls who've been soldiering on much longer than that.

Regardless, I know I'll be there. But when? Um, that's more unclear. According to Pitchfork, Radiohead will travel to the United States twice -- once this spring and once this summer -- to buttress a June-July European tour.

So, although we don't know when, where, or who will open, we do know that Radiohead will not forget about us. Not this year, at least.

And as a PS if you haven't already seen/listened to this: Radiohead released a bizarre little movie of their live New Year's Eve webcast. And by "little," I mean 52+ minutes. But if you like Radiohead at all, you'll love this (if not just for the live performance of the entirety of In Rainbows). OK, I'm done being giddy now. Enjoy!

yes, hell-to-the yes, and f*ck yes!

I honestly don't know what in hell has gotten into me this week, but I found something else I can stand about this place. And that wonderful thing is...or things I should say are scooters!


YES!


HELL-TO-THE-YES!


F*CK YES!

My "F*CK YES" scooter is the Yamaha Vino (You bet that's Italian for wine!) with a 125cc engine, which means it goes much faster than that pansy "YES" model, the 50cc Honda Metropolitan. Plus, since effing DC is one of the few places that requires one go get a full-on motorcycle license to drive any size motorized bicycle (What! You think I'd let a post go by without bitching just once? Never!), I might as well get the faster one. Most places -- reasonable places -- don't require licenses for 50cc bikes and under. They also allow you to have guns.

But anyway, back to the "F*CK YES." I'll admit, in my dream scooter world, I'd get the 150cc "HELL-TO-THE-YES" model Vespa, but alas, I'm a writer (Psssst! That means I'm poor!), so, I don't think I can manage the $4,000+ price tag. In fact, I'll probably have a hard enough time scrounging the $2,600 needed to get the Yamaha. I mean, I don't want to tell you what to do or anything, but, you know, maybe you should just go ahead and buy me my scooter. But don't do it for me, do it for you. DC will look cooler with more model "YES," "HELL-TO-THE-YES" and "F*CK YES" vehicles on its streets. And you want to be cool right? Right. Cash only. Thanx.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

as i imagined, our reputation precedes us

I won't compose an incredibly verbose introduction to this post because, well, it's truly unnecessary. But I will set the proverbial stage: A lunchtime G-chat with an old high school friend, who currently lives in Chicago and is looking to move to New York City.

T: Do you know anyone that can get me a job in NYC? Or anyone who needs a roommate?

me: MOVE TO DC.

T: F*CK THAT

me: Oh.

T: I've always had this weird dislike for that city. I feel like everyone has an agenda that just isn't real.

me: You mean the agenda to be a tool? Wait, nevermind. That's real.

me: Wait, how do you know DC sucks? Have you been here? I'm doing some research now. I'm wondering if people need to come here to know it sucks or is it something you can tell from the outside.

T: You can tell from the outside, but I went once and decided from then that I just didn't want to ever go there again.

Snap!

Does this concern anyone else that people feel the same way about the goddamn Capital of the Free World as they do about the gulag?!

Only one thing can help us now...

Orange Mocha Frappuccino!

russia house isn't horrible

That's right. You just read that. Yes, I have just uncharacteristically broken my tough love rule and typed something (slightly) uplifting about this godforsaken city of ours. But in keeping with my theme, allow me to add that Russia House, a lounge type venture near Dupont, is not exactly galactically tight or anything. Instead, it's better to think of it as simply "not subpar."

Actually, think of it like this: If Russia House was a group project in high school, it'd probably earn about a B- or so. However, I'm not the type to let a few asshat underachieving students bring down the grades of those who happen to be more intellectually gifted (yes, it's called a grudge), so allow me to recognize the A students.


Russia House has quite a few things going for it, not least of which is the some 90+ vodkas it offers up in a moody, candle-lit setting (romantical!). The cocktails there are also pretty tight (albeit slightly pricey for DC at around $10+, which I suppose makes it more like Moscow, the most expensive city in the world, where cocktails can be found for over $25). And if the vodka drinks aren't invitation enough for you non-alcoholics out there (are you out there?), maybe this will entice you: Russian techno blares from the speakers!


Huh-WHAT?! You aren't into Russian techno??? OK, neither am I -- well, at least not the specific kind favored by Russia House. And come to think of it, if Russia House were indeed located in Moscow, you can bet that I'd sure as hell never go there, but, look, we're in DC and beggars can't be choosers. (Yes, that's right. I've discovered that the key to living happily in DC is simply to lower your standards.)


So, taking "DC standards" into account, I'd give Russia House an A for beverage selection, an A- for atmosphere (it'd have received an A had the music been less, well, this) and an A for service.


However, what brought the whole grade down was the crowd (a solid D). Unlike real Russian clubs whose patrons often range from, um, this to, uh, this, Russia House's customers fell into a much drabber category, lacking the edge that makes Moscow clubs -- from the retardulous to the gnarly -- so fascinating. In other words, the crowd, which at least featured some authentic Eastern Bloc expats, was pretty middle-of-the-road (read: boring -- save, of course, for the people with whom I went. Duh.).


But, hey, since I'm apparently looking on the bright less dim side of things today, I'll end with telling you that indeed I will return to Russia House even if I know there's no chance of running into this.* (That guy's shit is tight.)


*Thanks, by the way, to Moscow Doesn't Believe In Tears for keeping us all updated on what we're missing in Moscow after dark.

Russia House
1800 Connecticut Ave., NW
Metro: Dupont Circle

happy birthday *takes sunglasses off* mr. caruso

With just four hours left of this momentous occasion, I am forever indebted to Entertainment Tonight (which, yes, I tune into from time-to-time -- I don't have cable; leave me alone!) for informing me that David Caruso, the clear stand0ut star of CBS's CSI franchise and all around coolest. dude. ever., turned 52 today.

Fifty-two years old you say? *puts sunglasses on* More like 52 years young!

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!




I'll be back to more DC-related topics tomorrow, I swear. But come on! I had to give a birthday shout out to the only red-head that could pull off playing a character named Horatio.

Monday, January 7, 2008

this doesn't have to do with dc at all but...

This is hilarious. Probably one of the top video exposés of all time. Especially if you think American Apparel is kind of gnarly -- and I say that, apparently, as a "DC hipster" (who knew?!). And I don't even own any metallic spandex at all. I kind of want to now, however, just to f*ck with this city.

:)

That's right, emoticon. Enjoy:

http://jezebel.com/341625/american-apparel-will-make-you-look-like-a-fat-hooker

and hollywood isn't helping either...

DC is filled with tools. We all know this. We see it on the streets, we see it on-the-job and worst of all some of us may even see a glimmer of it within ourselves. In short, we our inundated with our general toolishness nearly 24 hours per day, seven days per week. This is hard on people, making us look for slices of tool-free fantasy, like a good movie, for example, to keep us sane. I mean, what's better than forgetting about your own problems by sympathizing with laughing at someone else's? That's what movies do...at least if they don't take place in DC.

DC on film is kind of like DC in person. Think about it -- nearly every film that takes place in DC since Mr. Smith Goes to Washington almost universally falls into three categories, all of which have a common tool-magnet theme:
  • Political thriller (Absolute Power, Enemy of the State, In the Line of Fire, Independence Day, Murder at 1600, No Way Out, The Pelican Brief, etc.);
  • Political drama (All the President's Men, The American President, JFK, etc.); or
  • The often mono-syllabic political comedy (Dave, Dick, The Distinguished Gentlemen, etc.).
Effing. Politics.

There are a few exceptions, of course, to the rule. One of the most famous movies to take place in DC that didn't have anything directly to do with either a) killing the president, b) saving the president, or c) uncovering the misdeeds of the president, is St. Elmo's Fire, which, perhaps even worse for this city's reputation, simply chronicled the douchey lives of Georgetown graduates with coke habits. Likewise, another classic that took place in the District, The Exorcist, didn't have anything to do with politics either -- that would've been much too horrifying. Instead, we get to watch a scary child (although aren't they all scary?) spew puce-hued vomit while the good-looking priest takes a nasty fall. That demon was such a douche.

Anyway, I'm not trying to say any of the films I listed aren't entertaining (I mean who doesn't find aliens zapping the White House fun to watch? JK, U.S. government! I really meant to say, "How dare those aliens! USA! USA! USA!"), but with nearly every plot hinged on the same redundant theme, Hollywood has helped perpetuate the idea that everything that goes down in DC either revolves around the federal government and/or crazy (yet handsome) douchebags.

And sadly, Hollywood isn't making a lot of this sh*t up (well, except for the handsome part -- senators tend to look more like this opposed to this). I can't tell you how many times I've been out and had to suffer through conversations (often with tools) about the government. I got it. We live in Washington. A lot of our jobs either have us directly or indirectly working for or with the government. We know a lot about politics, policy and the goddamn FY 08 budget.

But we also have a lot of other thoughts (or at least some of us do) that might be fun to have a conversation about. We have hobbies and interests. For instance, am I the only one who'd like to discuss whether New York and Tailor Made will make it? Or can I not discuss the pros and cons of metrosexual men?? And surely I can't be the only one who has a repertoire of Snoop Dogg jokes just waiting to be told, am I?! (What does Snoop Dogg use to do laundry? Blee-atch! Classic. And trust me when I say there's more where that came from.)

While I enjoy having "intelligent" conversations (I'm the first one to admit I know far too much about very traditionally Washingtonian matters), I sometimes feel the urge to hold an ether-soaked rag over the collective face of this city, drag it to a 150" flat-screen and make it watch 12 straight hours of Best Week Ever, with its eyes held open Clockwork Orange style.

In short, DC needs to chillax.

I know there are decent people in this city. My friends (yes, in fact, I somehow do have some) attest to that. So why has Hollywood solely concentrated on highlighting only the douchiest of DC scenes? Well, for one, the douches are much more visible. Those of us not in that category are scattered about with little organization. We're the non-union underground that Hollywood producers don't see.

But instead of just complaining here, I'm going to *gasp* propose some sort of action. What we need is for someone to write a screenplay about cool people in DC doing cool, non-government things in non-douchey neighborhoods. If seen by a wide enough audience, perhaps a greater variety of people would be enticed to move to DC, thus breaking this vicious circle of tool. No presidents, no Congress and no politics allowed.

So who's in it to win it? I'll be in LA next week (serendipitous, n'est-ce pas?) so we have a week to throw this magic together. Think about it. Romantic comedy? Film noir? Western? Let's do work.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

i've got some 'splainin to do!

Pardon my Ricky Ricardo reference, but my oh my, it seems I may have some clarifying or "'splainin" to do regarding the true intention behind my one-woman DC Fashion Blog Jihad. *sigh* Jihads are so complicated...

First off, I never meant to offend anyone personally (well, maybe the editor of DC Style -- that effing snakeskin wedge certainly says something about a person's soul). But luckily for me, everyone who needs to know that I really do mean no harm -- Panda Head's Morgan and A Serious Job's Johanna -- already knows. But for those of you who may not have gotten it the first time for whatever reason, let me assure you that, really, as much as it seems out of character that I didn't mean to offend anyone personally, I tell you now sincerely that I did not. If I did, surely Morgan and Johanna wouldn't have bothered to craft well-written, rational and thought-provoking responses, or composed entire retorts on some of their own blogs, which I'm sure the author realized would at least decuple my little blog's hits (btw -- thanks Johanna!).

As for Rachel over at Project Beltway, hard as it may be to believe coming from a robot like me that I truly did not mean to personally offend her, despite my now well-known disappointment with the direction of her blog, I really didn't. Like I said, she seems like a perfectly kind person (yes, probably much kinder than my circuitry and wires would ever allow), but sorry, I have problems with the content and presentation of her blog. Boom. I said it...again. So one last time before I reboot, let me repeat -- I don't have problems with her, just her blog.

Anyway, save for PB, I'm 99.9 percent sure that most people understood (although may not have agreed with) my true complaint, which wasn't centered around any sort of argument having to do with me disliking anyone personally or even necessarily disliking their blogs. In fact, I read both ASJiNE and Panda Head regularly (Johanna's for the magazine-style writing and Morgan's for the "random links" to her other projects, many of which help me become a better seamstress). No, no, my main argument regarding Panda Head and ASJiNE, was not about the blogs, per se, but about what subliminal gems they seemed to reveal about DC's fashion sense.

My argument was quite simple and, maybe, quite ridiculous, and, worst of all, perhaps unclear: No new photos on PB and Panda Head = No decent outfits in DC to photograph = Craptastic DC fashion sense. Likewise, the "common sense" (to me, anyway) advice often dished out on ASJiNE and the tsunumi of responses that makes me think some -- not all, but some -- of her more devoted disciples just climbed out from beneath a shelf in the Kathy Lee Gifford section of WalMart = Holy sh*t. Fashion in DC (and other American cities?) is indeed remedial.

Again, not once (at least regarding Panda Head and ASJiNE) did I poo-poo the person behind the blog. In fact, in both cases, I believe I commended the authors either on their grammatical skills and/or their valiant undertakings, again, both reasons why I read ASJiNE and Panda Head regularly. Hell, I even added links to them in the righthand column because I feel it is due diligence on my part to help promote some of DC's better blogs. But, I refrained from adding PB and DCStyle to my list for obvious reasons (not because I hate them necessarily, but simply because I don't read them).

Anyway, this 'splainin exercise has turned out far less cheeky and snarky than I'd like any post to be on The Anti DC. Seriously, sincerity hurts my brain. So, allow me to pop some metaphorical aspirin now and add just a few sentences directed at those readers (possibly those women who have yet to figure out how mirrors work and/or rampant PB supporters) who either 1) didn't understand my original post; 2) don't have a sense of humor; and/or 3) hate me because I'm beautiful (I kid! Come on now! I'm hideous!):

I don't know where you asshats (I mean that endearingly) come from, but the hardcore streets (um, of south central Minnesota) in which I spent my formative years not only gave me apparently a keen eye for flat-front pants and fine leather shoes, but also a rational response mechanism on how to deal with statements I don't necessarily agree with.

Sure, you can tell me to take "100 midols" (anonymous) or "go on Prozac" (Auntie DC -- sidebar: love the pun!). You can even tell me I'm "ignorant" (miranda priestly) or "ghastly boring" because I blogged about other people's blogs (laura). And yes, you can call my delightfully witty rants "tiring" (rdhd) and tell me to move to "Blacksburg, Va. or Durham, NC or any other tiny town" (rdhd -- for the record, besides growing up in rural Minnesota, I spent four years in Grinnell, Iowa, pop. 9,369, so in fact, I already have lived in "any other tiny town," a category I wouldn't necessarily put either of your two suggestions in). And hell, you can even call me a "feisty hipster" (from a guy's perspective).

In the end, I doubt anything anyone could ever type could top the best and possibly most creative public haranguing I ever received. And that was in a competitor print publication (albeit in Moscow, Russia) with a circulation of 25,000+, so Bring. It. On. I love attention, in case you couldn't have guessed.

So, until an actual fatwah is put on my head,

Ciao!

PS -- I'll be back to my "normal" bitchy self again soon. Ta!

Friday, January 4, 2008

dc fashion blog jihad anyone?

I effing hate DC. I know my general dislike of this town is neither particularly interesting nor revelatory at this point since I pretty much type that every time I post, but dammit, I feel the need to do this city a service and at least attempt to point out some wrongs so that one day someone less lazy than I can right them.

And so, I shall continue to be nauseatingly repetitive and zero in on yet another reason why DC sucks: It's "fashion" blogs.

Now, I understand I write about DC style from time to time, but my purpose, unlike DC's fashion bloggers, is simply to underline my larger theme that, well, I effing hate this place. Let’s be honest here -- DC has no fashion sense. And, trying to change that is akin to trying to teach a special needs kid to stop acting retarded. Not easy.

But against those odds, others still try. And while I (sort of) respect their collective undertaking, I find the general outcome to be nearly as depressing as seeing DC's residents trade in their summer Crocs for their winter Uggs.

Exhibit A: Project Beltway

I first stumbled upon this Web site back in June, just after I moved here from the glorious fashion-loving streets of Lower Manhattan. "Hmm, this is interesting," I thought, as I perused through the man-on-the-street style photographic essays of DC's more "stylish" (and, yes, the word stylish must be in quotation marks here) residents. Back then, Project Beltway was DC's answer to The Sartorialist and Stil in Berlin. Rachel, Project Beltway's author (who I might add, despite what you're about to read, seems like a genuinely nice person), showcased photos of interesting people in interesting outfits against interesting backdrops. Interesting! At least it was...

But lately, the site has devolved into an ad campaign for various "Georgetown boutiques" with its photos replaced by poorly edited, doting interviews of DC "socialites," who have penchants for Juicy Couture sweats (ew), Uggs (double ew) and Mystic tanning (the immeasurable triple ew). This leaves the present state of Project Beltway drab at best and painful to read at worst.

Yet, for some unknown reason, Project Beltway is oft tagged as one of DC's best fashion blogs and it has led Rachel to become the go-to girl for a quote on DC style in major press outlets. Moreover, Project Beltway has also landed Rachel a gig as a style contributor to Washingtonian magazine. Congrats, I suppose, coming from the small part of me that is a nice human being, but the larger part of me -- the circuitry and wires -- says: WTF? Really?? Did Washingtonian’s editors peruse through Project Beltway thoroughly before making the decision to associate the publication with this rapidly deteriorating blog or do they simply not care about quality?

Moving on to Exhibit B: Panda Head

Like Project Beltway, Panda Head (I think) also aims to become a DC version of The Sartorialist. But unlike Project Beltway, Panda Head seems slightly more adept since it concentrates less on Georgetown and more on H Street. In my personal opinion, I'd rather ogle a photo of a hipster in front of The Rock'n'Roll Hotel than a Georgetown douchebag any day.

However, it seems the proportion of hipsters to douchebags is immensely unequal in DC, thus leaving Morgan, Panda Head's author, few options to give due diligence to the purpose of her blog. This means Panda Head features on-the-street style photos maybe three to four times per month. The rest of the blog is filled with random links and photos of stuff the author is interested in. Fair enough, I suppose. I mean, Morgan has taken on quite a feat. Her blog description claims Panda Head is a "Washington, DC, fashion/style blog ... intent on dispelling the myth that the District can't dress." A valiant effort indeed, but, as the old proverb goes, you can't shine a turd.

All right, if you're still with me, let's move on to Exhibit C: A Serious Job Is No Excuse

I came across this blog when its author, Johanna, commented on Project Beltway. I can't exactly remember the comment, but it was in line with hating on DC style so naturally I clicked her name which linked me to what has become the Mecca of DC fashion blogs. Unlike the aforementioned two, this blog attempts not to showcase but to give advice to DC's more dishabille dressers. It's a kind of Fashion 101 for the pleated khakis set all DC women.

Also unlike DC's other fashion blogs, A Serious Job is well written and often amusing, if not slightly overly Sex In the City-esque, which automatically makes it worth the read. However, the advice purported is absolutely mundane, offering such gems as "How to Clean Out Your Closet" and "If It’s Cold Outside, Wear Layers." (I'm still holding out for the mind-blowing "If Your Blouse is Sheer, Wear a Camisole Underneath It" post though.)

But I can't necessarily fault the author here for her subject matter choice. After all, I suppose she's writing for her audience, which apparently is huge...and retarded. Yes, perhaps unsurprisingly, there are a lot of idiots who don't seem to have a child's knowledge of basic things like HOW TO KEEP WARM. Take, for instance, "Jessica" who commented, "Tights under jeans? Never even thought about that...wunderbar!" Or "Intern in the City" who responded, "That’s something I wouldn't have thought to ask myself, actually, so thank you!" to Johanna's closet cleaning advice that states one should throw items out if she no longer looks forward to wearing them. Ugh.

But wait! Could it be this so-called Jessica and Intern are just super sarcastic? Sadly, probably not. My only hope is that A Serious Job's author is actually the sarcastic one. I'd like to assume she knows her "wunderbar" advice is simply just common sense, which makes her laugh if not aloud then at least secretly at the numerous readers who seem to find it innovative. What? I should dress to flatter my figure?! Who'd-a thunk?! And whoa! Fat people shouldn't wear ass-tight tapered jeans?! Well, I'll be damned! By Jove, it’s like a treasure trove of SH*T ANYONE WHO OWNS A MIRROR SHOULD KNOW.

And finally, since even I'm getting bored of my bitching by now, I'll end with Exhibit D: DC Style

I'll keep this one short since the oxymoronic (emphasis on the moronic) name pretty much sums it up. A Serious Job’s Johanna actually writes for DC Style, which at least says something about this blog's attention to grammar, I suppose. However, instead of cultivating any sort of remotely creative writing, DC Style edits and truncates all its articles as not to surpass a fifth-grade reading level. Total check-minus.

Plus, this blog advocates shoes that look like this. Snakeskin wedge sandals? Really?! I will see that shoe in hell. Nay, I will see all of DC in hell. Wait, I think I am in hell.

Have a pleasant day!