Tuesday, August 31, 2010

and then i got the death threats...

I'm not sure how many of this blog's daily readers check back every once in a while to read the comments sections of my posts (I'm guessing that depends on several factors, including how bored you are at work and how deficient the other parts of the Internet are that day), but if you don't, you may want to start. Because just when you thought Sarah Palin was the dumbest member of the Tea Party (of course, this is assuming Glenn Beck is the smartest), you get Dick LeBeau (I'm assuming not the football talent), Andy Foote, and Paul, all of whom quite fascinatingly interpreted my comedic critique of a few "Restoring Honor" audience members' clothing choices as a racist tirade. Even more confounding was that when you put all these weirdos' comments together, I'm apparently racist against both the white man and the black man. I guess it just depends on which way you let your imagination stretch.

And while I got a good laugh out of Dick and Andy's demolition of the truth, my favorite krazy komment kame (racist alliteration alert!) from Paul, who wrote:

A truly uppity, judgmental post. Vast generalizations about entire groups (just from wandering around a crowd gawking at people's behinds and snapping photos to rah-rah your marginally superior fashion sense) is a close relative to the racism that inspired MLK to have a dream.

Now, I'm not sure about you, but this is by far the most ridiculous simile I've ever heard in my life. Snarking on a few people's choices to dress like they let their worst enemy do the shopping is like being a racist pissing all over Martin Luther King's dream? Let's just say, it didn't take me long to compose my rebuttal:

Yes, Paul. What a totally appropriate simile! King's fight to end little things like SEGREGATION is EXACTLY like Beck's and the Tea Party's fight to merge Church and State, whilst wearing way too much denim!

How did the speech go again? Oh that's right! King said, "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed
in Canadian tuxedos: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men -- except for fashion critics -- are created equal."

And King also must have had the dream that one day a demagogue would hijack his memory and exploit it for his own personal gain...

Honestly, this Paul fellow is so detached from common sense and facts that I'm utterly awestruck. It makes me want to go back to school and study abnormal psychology. It's fascinating! But just when you think you can't get any more baffled, someone finally goes full retard (and yes, that was some bait -- I fully expect all the Tea Partiers to fail to realize that's a comedic movie reference from Tropic Thunder and start accusing me of being "racist" against the mentally challenged now). That's right, someone with a poor grasp on grammar and punctuation rules decided to send me a series of death threats over email last night:

And in case you can't see that because your monocle's in the shop (mine is), I'll quickly just write out each cleverly composed subject line and email for your convenience.

Email 1: Ha ha -- Hope you die soon. Your a loser probably gay

Email 2: Get out -- Kill your self please

Email 3: Die -- Kill yourself !!!

Email 4: Ha -- Bet your gay

Email 5: Ha -- Die soon please do not get hit by a train or bus please lesbo

Ah, yes! Pure poetry! What a coincidence that until yesterday when I decided to poke a little fun at the Tea Party, I'd never received a death threat. What a coincidence that kingmill30@gmail.com doesn't seem to recognize the difference between "your" and "you're" or understand why punctuation is important. What a coincidence that this person, who seems to have gotten so riled up by my comedic words, completely loses grasp of common sense by the end of his (or her!) tirade. I mean, what does that last email even mean? You want me to die soon, just not via a fast-moving train or bus please lesbo? What?! But most interesting, however, is the coincidence that a group that supposedly condemns Islamic extremism would attract some members who don't see the irony of embarking on their own mini-Jihads. It's the perfect storm of stupid.

And on that not, I'm gonna stop myself here. Trying to make sense out of this nonsense is like trying to explain to a little kid why he has to eat his vegetables before he gets dessert. The only difference, though, is that the kid usually grows up to finally get it. The Tea Partiers? Well, we can hope. But if by chance one or more of them wants to stop acting like a petulant child, I hope they let me know. I'll be more than happy to set a place for them at the grown-ups table. I must insist, however, that they remember to wash their hands first. Anonymous email death threats are full of germs.

Monday, August 30, 2010

shambles p.i.: the glenn beck edition

Don't worry. This isn't a political blog. Although after going down to gawk at this weekend's Glenn Beck "Restoring Honor" Rally, in which I learned hundreds of thousands of Americans don't seem to understand the irony of their own religious extremism (Jesus belongs in the government just about as much as Mohammed, get it?), I'm hard-pressed not to make it one.

Because the 9/12 Kool-Aid is being consumed by a few more hundreds of thousands of people than I'm comfortable with.

"But why so serious, Marissa?" you ask.

Because this happened: After a-little-too-loudly asking my friend (you don't go into such events alone, after all) to remind me which part of the Constitution was penned by Jesus, I got an unsolicited talkin'-to from one of these forefatherf*ckers, who insisted "all of it" was. He said the Constitution had less to do with establishing the rule of the people and more to do with "establishing our country's ultimate belief in our Lord and Savior." He added, despite those silly little things called facts, it wasn't Jefferson or Madison who wanted the Church to be separated from the State but the "War Courts." Uh, what? I don't think even the clown who told me this knew what he was referring to. And our forefathers? Well, I'm pretty sure Jefferson not only just rolled in his grave, but he also probably punched the lid off his coffin pretending it was this guy's face. I, on the other hand, just wanted to give this guy an elementary American History book...and some fashion advice because, besides his warped version of history, this man's abomination of an outfit was also most definitely treading on me. Did anyone invest in pleated-front khaki Dockers this weekend? Because I'm pretty sure you just made a fortune...

Even worse than the khakis, though, were those NOT in khakis and mainly this woman, who dared to show her love of Amurrica by sporting the Canadian tuxedo. Gasp! And here I thought all these people loved Jesus. Don't they know he turned Canadian tuxedos into wine? Right? RIGHT?! THAT'S WHAT THE CONSTITUTION SAYS! (See? I can make sh*t up too.) Chanel, Chapter 1, Verse 1: "Thou shalt not wear jean-on-jean xoxo God."


Now, not everyone there committed such sartorial sins. In fact, one guy dressed overwhelmingly appropriate for the occasion, showing his support for shooting things (it's how the Lord intended it!) by wearing his camouflage gun vest layered over his Sunday button-down.

Lock and load!

Finally, while the Church of Glenn Beck Jamboree largely lacked what I went there to mock (wacky T-shirts and misspelled political posters), I did find one outfit that adequately summarized the day, both in terms of fashion and politics.


'Cause it died a little bit on 8/28...And, honestly, so did my unwavering optimism in humanity. I learned that it's impossible to even try reasoning with the clearly unreasonable -- with people who rely solely on words (that, apparently, they don't find in books) to define themselves instead of actions; with the certifiably insane who have no other explanation for what their self-proclaimed "restoring honor process" entails other than exalting some strange fondness for an era in which leeches were used for medicine and women couldn't vote; and mainly, with people who think access to fanny packs is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. But all hope is not lost: The enlightened among us fought and won the struggle to abolish slavery in the past, so I hope we can abolish this Glenn Beck f*ckery now. Good luck and fashion Godspeed...

Friday, August 27, 2010

all your flipflops are belong to us

I've decided to forego the originally scheduled video programming today because, well, it just didn't work. Yes, my big, grand plan to roast the Tea Party that I've been boasting about all week turned out to be a big, grand failure because 1) I don't have the equipment to churn out the around-the-town spoof I had originally planned; and 2) something else more amusing came up this morning: an article about StyleForHire.com, a new Web site that, according to the Washington Post, will "give style advice to the masses."

Post fashion writer Robin Givhan explains the site, which is partly owned by Stacy London from TLC's What Not to Wear, as "a new online agency aiming to give the masses access to master mythmakers." It won't launch until mid-September, but when it does, it plans to use DC as its test market.


While I desperately see DC as a place in major need of style advice -- nine out of 10 people in and around this city dress the way a Soviet Russian was forced to -- I just don't see DC as a good market. Why? Because those same nine out of 10 people don't give a sh*t about personal style, and they do so actively. That is, they CHOOSE not to care, they CHOOSE to dress like they live in Khrushchev-era Russia, which is a much more helpless cause than when people simply don't care out of force or ignorance.

For proof of this theory, let's turn to the comments people left in response to Givhan's article, and in particular, one commentator, "IGotLotsToSay" who seemingly explains it all:

I love What Not to Wear. You would think after watching it, I would myself change my clothing. Part of it is, I dont feel comfortable in a lot of clothes. I bloat a lot so what starts out as comfy, eventually feels yucky and looks yucky. PS...and they would just die..I wear flip flops at work.shhhhhhh!

As you can see, IGotLotsToSay eschews style as much as she does grammar. (Her grammar is seriuosly yucky...) However, what she chooses not to avoid seems to be a diet heavy in gas-producing foods. And while I'd never tell anyone to cut back on their bean intake (they're the perfect source of fiber and protein!), I will tell someone that they're full of sh*t (as well as recommend some Gas-X). And in this case, I'm afraid I mean that both literally and figuratively because if what IGotLotsToSay writes is true, she says she understands style from watching What Not to Wear. Now, I don't watch that program regularly (I have more important fashion disasters to keep my eye on, like the cast of Jersey Shore -- a good example of not caring out of ignorance), but I have seen a couple of episodes and I know they're in the market of dishing out solid, albeit pretty conventional advice -- advice for women of all sizes, regardless of bean bloat. Which means, like a Transformer, there's more than meets the eye here in IGotLotsToSay's comment. Indeed, apart from all the typos, there is a more important clue to deciphering DC's dishabille human decor. It's the part of the equation that went undeclared, but touches on the psyches of the majority of those nine out of 10 bad dressers.

To learn more, let's take another look at IGotLotsToSay's comment, and in particular, the last sic-filled, post-scripted sentence: "PS...and they would just die..I wear flip flips at work.shhhhhhh!" This demonstrates an active decision not to care. The presence of the shush proves that she knows wearing flip-flops when no sand exists within a 50-yard radius looks stupid. SHE KNOWS!

Clearly, those are the words of someone f*cking with us. She, and I'm sure all the others who choose to forego civilized shoes in a city for thin slabs of petroleum-based plastic know exactly what they're doing. But the joke's on them because not only are they the ones who look like lazy slobs to the rest of the world, but they're also the ones who are probably contracting deadly staph infections. Dirty corporate hippies.

It's really a sad circle of don'ts around here. But trust me, if I thought more people would be attracted to an idea like Style For Hire, I'd be more optimistic. While the 20-year-old intern at the office still looks like a kid playing dress-up in whatever cheap polyester pants-suit she could find in the bargain bin at DEB, she deserves a break. She is more or less really still a kid playing dress-up. She's also probably poor. And while in a more perfect world (i.e., anywhere outside of the Washington, DC metropolitan area), she'd grow up to know better and change (pun intended), in DC she'll probably look the same in 15 years. The difference this time, though, is that she'll look sh*tty by choice. How else do you explain the plethora of 35-year-old corporate lawyers here who watch shows like What Not to Wear regularly yet still look like 50-year-old cat ladies? Obviously, they make enough to afford a stylist and clothes that don't look like they were purchased at the bargain bin at DEB, but they just don't care.

They don't give a well-tailored f*ck on purpose because, frankly, it's just not cool to dress cool in DC. And the fact that one of Style for Hires local hires, an employee at the Department of Homeland Security, refused to give Givhans his name out of fear is testament to that fact. She writes, "[he] declined to give his name, for fear of getting an earful of mocking commentary from colleagues who wear their dowdiness like a badge of brilliance."

And so I'm sure DC will exist -- Style for Hire or not -- continuing to dress like the way a pile of rancid garbage smells on a hot summer day. Alas, long live Shambles P.I...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

gene weingarten confuses me

Humor will save the world...unless it's just not funny. Speaking of, did anyone read Gene Weingarten's latest "Below the Beltway" column last week about men and women talking on the telephone? Probably not. I'm guessing the majority of the people who read this blog are probably both young and clever -- a market the Washington Post seems to be actively alienating as it continues to market its content to octogenarians and above.

For proof, let's look at the first paragraph of Weingarten's latest "humor" column, The feminine mistake: This time Gene has Gina's number:

"Do you recognize this scenario? You are on the phone, giving your phone number to someone. You recite the first three digits, pause a second for transcription, then continue with the rest. But just as you do, the other person inanely repeats the first three digits out loud, and everything gets lost in the cross talk, and you have to start over. And the same thing happens again. Mutual indecision ensues, with fitful stops and starts and stammers."

No. No I don't recognize that scenario because like a growing number of other Americans, I no longer rely on a landline to make or receive, well, any of my phone calls. This means that, unless someone takes special measures, his or her number will automatically come up on my phone when it rings, or more likely, vibrates -- something else landlines don't do. That, Mr. Weingarten, is how people under 40 exchange numbers these days. Either it's done automatically after someone asks for it over email, or you're in a bar and you get this all done in person. Mutual indecision does not ensue. Nor are there fitful stops and starts and stammers, unless of course you're dealing with someone who's either mentally impaired, hard of hearing, or apparently, Gene Weingarten and his aging lady friend Gina Barreca, who joins Gene in the above-mentioned article by offering this eye-rolling drivel on the matter:

"The phone number overlap happens because women are more apt to seek consensus, to make sure -- before proceeding with something -- that everyone is on the same page. It's nurturing, validating behavior, and it is entirely consistent with positive female values. It's the same reason why a woman won't adjust the thermostat, even if she is sweating copiously, until an inventory has been taken of all other people in the room, to make sure that everyone is equally uncomfortable, and that it's not 'just me.' A man walks into the same room, declares himself hot, and sets the thermostat to 30 degrees."

Maybe that'd be funny in the '50s, when men could also waltz into their houses and punch their wives in the face freely... But look, I don't mean to use the words "old" and "aging" as complete insults here. Hell, at 31, I'm no young whippersnapper myself anymore either. (And I think the fact that I just used the phrase "young whippersnapper" proves just how close to old and aging I am.) What I mean simply is that much like their own pulses, it seems people like Weingarten, Barreca and, hell, let's throw in Dave Barry, too, are losing touch with the pulse of what makes Americans "LOL." And in the slight chance that Mr. Weingarten, Ms. Barreca or Mr. Barry happen to be reading this essay (you know, in my dreams and such), "LOL" stands for Laugh Out Loud. Hey, I'm here to help.

But here's the thing -- buried deep beneath my frustration, I actually respect all of these people because at one point they were on the forefront of what was funny. (Or at least they weren't totally in the back.) And even though Weingarten and his ilk were never as daring in their essays as, say, David Sedaris or, hell, even Jack Handey's 1980s SNL one-liners seem more relevant today than most mainstream media humor columns in 2010, Gene actually seems like a funny person WNW (While Not Writing).

First of all, his Twitter icon is a twisted up pile of dog doo-doo. That's funny! As anyone with a good sense of humor knows, poop is a timeless source hilarity. Secondly, I heard an interview on Monday with Mr. Weingarten on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show and I only rolled my eyes once, and that was only when Gene started talking about that gimmicky piece of feature-writing garbage that somehow earned him the 2008 Pulitzer. Now, that was a joke...

But seriously (kinda), Weingarten was (kinda) funny on the radio. He made Kojo shift in his seat (or so I imagine) at his references to all things scatological; he had some amusing, self-deprecating one-liners; and, he demonstrated he's actually capable of being a witty observationist when talking about general goings-on (he did not, thank God, talk too much about telephone etiquette).

And so here we are, left to wonder why mainstream humor writing falls nearly completely flat in the wake of such truly funny sh*t (and that's the academic term), like Eastbound and Down, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Onion, Louie C.K., all of my friends, my Brooklyn-born grandmother, and basically 3/4ths of the rest of the world. Is it Weingarten or his editors at the Post? Are they really catering to an audience that hasn't heard of such new-fangled things like iPhones, email or, let's be honest, anything more technologically advanced than a phonograph? If so, who thought that was a good idea? And the questions go on and on...

But "meh," I say with a shoulder shrug. Since all major newspapers seem like they're going to close within the next few years anyway, I suppose all these questions don't really matter. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go laugh at some poop.


By the way, I swear to all that is Glenn Beck-y, I'll have my video roast of the Tea Party Guide to DC (and the Tea Party, in general) up tomorrow. All the suspense is actually going to be worth it this time. Um, stop laughing -- that's not a joke...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

in lieu of...

Surprise! My videotaped roasting of the Tea Partier's Guide to DC isn't even close to being ready yet. In fact, it's not even taped. Don't hate -- mama's gotta pay the bills over here. So, in lieu of that, please accept this apology (because I know this news just made you all start weeping over your keyboards), as well as some other Internet junks to help you forget about the dream-crushing blow I just doled out to you.






And last but not least, THE BEST MARMOT EATING A BISCUIT:

You're welcome for that last one.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the circle of tea party

Although I'd love to blog all over the Tea Partier's Guide to DC today, I've decided my mocking of it shall come in video form. And if all goes as planned, I'll be posting it tomorrow. However, while I won't leak any of my jokes on its content just yet, I do want to poke some fun at the Guide's layout.

Note to author Bruce Majors: The HTML code for line break is < "br" > -- I suggest you learn it. I mean, right now, it's a little hard to tell which establishment is in the "gay area." Is it Pasha Diner or CVS? Let me know: Will I have to dine with a homosexual around or buy my convenience items near one??? I AM FRIGHTENED AND CONFUSED!

Yet not as confused as the DEA is about common American dialects. It seems they're now on the hunt for 13 "Ebonics linguists," according to The Smoking Gun. And because I watched Airplane! on Sunday, the first thing that popped into my mind was, "Get that jive translator June Cleaver on the phone!" But then I learned this morning that the Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart beat me to the punch pizzunch.

And speaking of interpreters, I need one to read all the animal abuse displayed within this Craigslist ad for this adoptable cat. Don't people realize that a dressed up pussy is a sad pussy? Anyway, someone please adopt this poor kitty and set it free from its bizarre French prison because French prison is no fun. Trust me.

Just kidding. I've never been in a French prison. But I have had to sit through events that make me think, perhaps, French prison wouldn't be so bad (baguettes for days 20-to-life!). One such event is probably the film version of Eat, Pray, Love, which sounds like a journey more akin to a self-indulgent clusterf*ck than some sort of deep and spiritual vision quest. And while I generally avoid articles that feature more than pictures on Brightest Young Things, the site's take on the aforementioned nonsense is a pretty good read. It proves some things are so mockable, they transcend spelling, grammar and editing. ZING!

Oh, calm down, dipsters. Don't get your American Apparel in a bunch (or invest in it). I'm just joking. BYT is actually one of the better sites around when it comes to finding out about sh*t happening around DC that might actually be interesting. Washingtonian, however, is not. But I guess when your core audience is composed of the Real Houswives of DC instead of those who make fun of them, expecting anything more than, "Wow. That's really lame/pointless/Botox-y," is probably unrealistic. For example, even given the chance to rate root beers (which are delicious and exist in all sorts of microbrewed varieties), they listed IBC and A&W as two out of the Top 3. I guess a trip to Whole Foods to pick up a few less common grocery store brands was too exotic. Maybe. After all, both DC locations are outside of the Tea Party safe zone. See that? Full circle!

Monday, August 23, 2010

picking up ladies -- WHAT NOT TO DO. EVER.

When it comes to bad ideas, I'm used to taking the cake, which sounds like a good plan because cake is delicious, but in the case of bad ideas it's not. Instead of resulting in a fridge full of red velvet, when you take cakes as a result of bad ideas all you get is a Ziploc bag full of the urinal variety. Ick.

And while that sounds like the most disgusting cake there is, there's one that's even grosser. Which means, if you have an idea that's worse than bad and you put it into action, you can expect to get a cake equally worse than bad -- you get CakeFarts. (Warning: NSFW unless you work at a company called OH NO WHY IS THAT HAPPENING OH MY GOD EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW).

And nothing will earn you more links to pastry-inspired flatulence than trying to pick someone up at the Holocaust Museum (or, apparently, reading about it...). But seriously, if you hit on someone amongst Goebbels's most atrocious propaganda posters, be prepared to get the CakeFarts web address handed back to you on a Safeway receipt in return, at least if that someone is me. Which is what I would've done in retrospect had I been more prepared. Unfortunately, however, whilst surrounded by information and artifacts about one of the most atrocious events in human history, my flight instinct kicked in and I simply ran.

The Holocaust Museum isn't one of those places you come to to hang out. The Holocaust Museum is not MoMa -- we don't refer to it as the HoCo. It doesn't have an IMAX or any flight simulators. Really, there's nothing fun about it. So, why this guy, a 20-something with a southern drawl, decided it would be a good idea to try to get to know me better during a screening of a short film about Hitler's rise to power, I'll never quite understand. What's even more confusing is the line he used.

"Hey, how tall are you?" he asked me while Hitler talked about the Final Solution. He was seated and I was standing against a wall.

"I'm sorry, what was that?" I responded. I was a little confused as to what he'd actually said because certainly no one would ever actually strike up a conversation about someone's inherited Slavic traits while Hitler squawked on about eugenics.

"How tall are you?"

"Uh... 5'9" or so." I turned back to the film. Children with malnourished faces stared back at me.

"I'm 6'6"," he hissed.

"Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fürher!" Hitler bellowed.

I said nothing.

"I can always tell when someone else is tall," the man whispered. "I noticed you like I'd notice a tree."

And that's when I ran away. First off, people are DYING three feet in front of us. Secondly, what the f*ck kind of line is that? You noticed me like you'd notice a tree? Are you saying I'm huge and shady? Because, sure, every girl wants to hear that...

Congratulations sir, you've managed to take creeping to a new level, and at the Holocaust Museum, no less. Really, you are a walking CakeFart.

Looking back now, though, I'm actually relieved I wasn't quick enough to think of my Safeway receipt Web site trick on the spot because this guy clearly would've taken my directing him to such a site as the ultimate come-on. He would've found me online, stalked me down and broken into my house. I would've been forced to grab my bag of bad idea urinal cakes as a handy weapon. And while I'd be under the initial impression that using such a disgusting prop to fend off this asshole would be a good idea, the resulting mess would prove me wrong. There's not enough Febreeze in the world...

In other news and more appropriate pairings (than, say, talking about the Holocaust and CakeFarts in the same essay) -- Double Rainbow all the Way met 2001.

Friday, August 20, 2010

i discovered soundboards

And I use them a lot in this episode of The Anti DC Show.

Yup, still workin' on it...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

kaz: a restaurant week review

Oh, hot damn. It's Restaurant Week here in DC, which means fancy restaurants are suddenly much dumpier as they lower their prices in order to allow riff-raff like me to dine there. Really, it's a glorious week if you make less than a billion dollars a year because dinners (an appetizer, entree and dessert) that would normally cost $50 and above, are now available for the relatively low price of $35 (drinks not included). Sure it's no Applebee's Three-Course Classic®, but look on the bright side: Chances are after eating at one of the establishments eligible to participate in Restaurant Week, your arteries won't be hankering to smack you in your face like they do at Applebee's the second you choke down the last few bites of your $20 ticket to Diabetesville. What I'm saying is, after a proper RW meal, you hopefully won't feel like dying. Instead, you'll feel like you're lucky you have a tongue full of taste buds and a healthy appetite for reasonable portions.

And so to celebrate this week of culinary wonder, my helper tortoise's helper monkey Butternuts and I ventured down to Kaz Sushi Bistro last night, an upscale Japanese place at 19th and I. Approaching the establishment from the rainy environs of the desolate downtown sidewalk at 7:30 last night, I thought what a weird location for an upscale sushi place. Butternuts scratched his head and ate a gnat.

See, downtown DC is dead for the majority of the week. Save for Monday-Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6, absolutely nothing goes on there. Not only do stores and newsstands close up shop when the white-collar workday is over, but so do the Starbucks, Subways and corner delis. In other words, when you think about going out for a nice dinner in DC, you don't turn to your helper tortoise's helper monkey and say, "Let's go to that concrete ghost town on I Street and depress ourselves." Unless, of course, it's Restaurant Week and you get a deal...

So yes, walking into Kaz, which is located in a storefront of a standard office building, is a bit depressing. The ceilings are low, the layout is cramped and ramshackle and the decor is about as creative and inspiring as the closed-up Cosi down the street. Kaz seems more like a lunch place than a dinner establishment, which may explain its lobbyist-friendly location (and lobbyist-friendly regular prices).

But getting over our initial disappointing impression, we made our way toward the host...who would immediately then give us our second disappointing impression. Oh joy. The man in charge of seating was a middle-aged gentleman who was either hard-of-hearing or blatantly not listening. It took more than a comfortable amount of time for him to find our reservation, even after telling him the name it was under multiple times and spelling it for him twice. ("That's 'Butter,' b-u-t-t-e-r as in 'stick of' and 'nuts,' n-u-t-s as in 'you're gonna love mine,' got it?") If we were paying full price, we honestly would've thought about calling it off. Dull confines buttressed by what seemed like very unnecessary hullabaloo is not a good way to welcome new patrons.

Luckily, things would turn around. While we didn't get a very good table, even after waiting several more minutes (we ended up at a two-top in a row of other closely aligned tables adjacent to the main aisle), we did get a prompt and friendly waitress, who got us water when we needed it and made sure our wine glasses were always full. She provided us with both the regular menu and the RW option, which was printed on a piece of highlighter yellow paper and resembled a multiple choice exam instructing us to pick anywhere from one to three options depending on the category.

The first category was the appetizer, under which we were presented five choices. I went with the scallop ceviché; Butternuts got endangered with it and went for the Chilean sea bass. Mine was meh, but his was worth the environmental consequences. The sea bass was cooked perfectly, causing me to remark, "I wish this was an entree option," and Butternuts to exclaim, "OOO-OOO-OOO-AH-AH-AH!" He liked it a lot.

The second and third categories composed the entree. We got to choose three kinds of sushi (to total six pieces) and two different rolls. While some options could wind up adding extra dollars to the bill (e.g., it was an extra $2 or something to order the sea urchin), most didn't, including everything we ordered. I ended up with the tuna with roasted almond, eel, and salmon with mango puree. Butternuts got the yellowtail, mackerel and something else I can't remember and which I cannot ask him now because he's too busy throwing some feces at a wall. But no matter, because I'm pretty sure my order was better. All the fish (on both mine and Butternuts's plate) was of high-quality, fresh and perfectly cut. However, the addition of the roasted almonds and mango puree, I thought, put my order in the "GOTDAMN!" category. This made up for the ho-hum ceviché. The rolls, while not shout-worthy delicious, were still pretty tasty. I chose salmon with cucumber and crunchy shrimp. Butternuts chose crunchy eel and salmon with avocado. They were all fairly standard in flavor profiles, but above average in quality, which, I think is the most important factor in determining whether sushi is worth paying a lot of money for. This was.

And although I was quite full by this point, I still made room for dessert. I wouldn't have ordered it extra, but since it was included in the $35 pricetag, I would've been a veritable fool to turn it down. I got lychee panna cotta with mango sorbet. I inhaled it. It was light and fruity and really quite a perfect ending to a meal of food that could be summed up in three syllables -- nomnomnom. Butternuts ordered the liquor-laced dessert (of course) -- espresso-infused tapioca balls covered in bourbon ice cream. It was decent but far richer than I think most people (and helper monkeys) would prefer after a sushi dinner.

It's nice when you get up from a three-course meal and actually feel like you did something good for your body. I felt healthier walking out of Kaz, which may be the best way to enjoy this establishment any other week of the year; that is, I wouldn't go back for dinner, but I'd definitely go back send a helper animal to pick-up some takeout.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

the salahis are a giant conspiracy theory!

There are few things in life that get my goat other than the obvious (goat-nappers) and people like Tareq and Michaele Salahi. The mere fact that I know who these people are makes my goat want to get got and me want to give myself a lobotomy. Sadly, though, there's nary a way to avoid these assholes anymore, regardless of whether you're in Bravo's Real Housewives demographic or not. Yes now, simply by default of being near a television, you're forced to encounter these clear f*ck-ups in evolution whether you want to or not. For example, here they are farting all over HBO's Real Sports w/ Bryant Gumbel yesterday.

My goat just ate a revolver and shot itself inside out. What a f*cking sh*tshow...

And while I grab my Shamwow to clean this mess up, riddle me this: Do the Salahis prove that the whole world is against us or does their dopey omnipresence demonstrate an inside job? That is, who's trying to keep us from being anything more than that old stereotype of Hollywood for ugly people? Because really, this time-machine version of Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt is doing more to make sure we remain just that but dumber than any Martha Washington-looking politician ever did, including even George Washington and his purported 30 dicks.

I mean, seriously, what is going on here? If it's all the Salahis' doing, I ask what happened to the days when being rich meant you built a compound named Xanadu and went crazy in opulent privacy? Why are people today so intent on putting their private shambles on a public stage, especially in DC where being famous for fame's sake has no obvious pay-off. In fact, save for the President and a few pre-selected others, more often than not, when people in DC become household names to America-at-large, it's usually a sign that you'll soon be cast off into obscurity. Larry Craig, Eric Massa, Mark Foley, Scooter Libby: Where are they now? (Answer: Consulting, Tickling, Florida, Unemployed.)

The only sure way to stave off that unfortunate fate is to have a talent. In other words, the Salahis are f*cked.

In fact, they're so f*cked that I think no mortal being would ever want to intentionally create such a hell-on-Earth for themselves. Which means the Salahis seem like an outsider's attempt to keep DC down. These outsiders wonder, "If DC were to ever get legitimately cool, then what would happen to the the status of cities like New York and L.A.?" Indeed, it's brilliant! What better way to make sure DC stays an uncool Hollywood for ugly people than by treating uncool ugly people like they're Hollywood?

Aha! I ask you, why did Bryant Gumbel invite the Salahis on his show? Clearly, it wasn't just to talk about polo! Yes, after exhausting myself trying to find out where Tareq stood in the world polo rankings and failing (I'm talking, like, five Google searches, people!), the Internet gave me the impression that Tareq is as influential in the game as a baby sloth is at not being cute. FAIL!

O! You sneaky bastards, other towns! You almost got us! But get this -- most of us here don't want it. We don't want to be New York or Hollywood. If we did, we'd move there. Proudly and defiantly, we are and shall always remain a place where the less attractive get the most TV time. (The Anti DC Show ain't gonna be a success 'cause it's easy on the eyes!) However, we beg you to let DC remain a place where we can forever be smarter than you. Slopping up the airwaves with the Salahis representing Washington is not only like throwing salt in our unattractive wounds, but it's like crashing the whole salt truck into our hideously deformed eye sockets. Now, we can't even see. And if we can't see, not only is DC f*cked, but the whole damn world is. It's like Hollywood's slipped us a mickey and now we're the company CEO at the office party with his shirt off and the lampshade on his head. As much as I hate our usual buttoned-up demeanor, it still beats being the formerly respected boss who wakes up the next day in a pile of his own vomit; he staggers over to the bathroom mirror only to find out he joined the PEN15 club via a magic-marker tattoo on his forehead. The whole thing's a disgrace.

So please, let's sober up and forget this notion that we, ourselves, or any outsiders can ever rid us of our image of being the NPR nerds. My friends, just like you cannot polish a turd, you also cannot tarnish it. A turd is a turd is a turd! Now, if you'll excuse me, I must see what that Real Housewife Diane Rehm is up to.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

a winner, a loser and a clown named buster

When I woke up this morning for the fourth time, mainly because the slumber crusts that had developed during my 12-hour, Nyquil-induced coma had grown large enough to start forcing my eyes open (WELCOME!), I realized two things: 1) Eye biology is disgusting; and 2) It was all just a dream. Alas, I'm not a 17-year-old baseball phenom from Nevada who just signed a multimillion dollar contract with the Washington Nationals. That dream-turned-reality belongs to a boy named Bryce Harper. This accomplishment was only topped by him finally being able to see an R-rated movie without a parent or guardian present.

And speaking of R-rated, that perv Andre Chreky of DC's downtown eponymous salon is going to have to pay $7 million to a former employee for allegedly sexually harassing her at work. Jennifer Thong, whose ancestors I'm sure assure us no pun was intended, claims among other things that Chreky once Hansel'd her by ripping off her underpants through sheer force of will alone. That kind of sick perversion is only seconded by that haircut I once got at his salon that made me look like Peg Bundy, presidential hopeful, which in 2010, I suppose, would just be called "the Sarah Palin." I'll see Chreky in hell.

Lastly, in more uplifting news, the only thing that could make this movie better is more Buster the Clown.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Hey, I'm back! Where did I go? Well, besides taking a day off to go to King's Dominion to ride Volcano the Blast Coaster -- THE GREATEST ROLLERCOASTER OF ALL TIME! -- I also took a day off to recover from *Cough*Blargh-o* the Phlegm Sneezer -- THE GROSSEST COLD/FLU OF ALL SUMMER. Ironically, both resulted in the loss of my voice, which also explains why I failed to follow through with the lowly anticipated second episode of The Anti DC Show on Friday. And depending on your view of that project, allow me to either say, "I'm sorry," or, "You're welcome." However, if you're glad episode two didn't pan out last week, then clearly your tastes are far too high-brow not only to be reading this blog but to be living in a society where there exists a television series entitled, "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant." Good luck, everybody...

I'd also like to wish good luck upon the newly launched "hyperlocal" news site TBD.com, with which, as I'm sure you've noticed if you stop by here with any regularity, I've become affiliated. While I'm sure the vast majority of you don't give two sh*ts (or even a smidgen of just one sh*t, I suspect) who I team up with, I know at least a couple of you have noticed enough to ask whether this is a sign of me finally selling out.

First of all -- I wish. But the sad reality is that I'm still not getting paid to write. Now, if you're as appalled as I am about that and wish to remedy this situation by either advertising on this blog (which has enough readers to be worthwhile, I might add), giving me a book deal, developing a sitcom with me, or offering me my own humor/cultural criticism column in your magazine/newspaper because, ACK!, someone needs to fill the space Cathy left behind, then email me now. Please. (Theantidc at gmail dot com.)

Because as of now, the best I can monetarily hope for in the near future is that a lot of you are interested in calling federal prisons, buying a Speedo or clicking through to some such other randomly generated service offered up in my weird Google ad in the upper-righthand corner. If 1 million or more of you do, I might just be able to buy myself a beer in six months...

So, if cold hard cash isn't the appeal of joining TBD.com's community network then what is? I mean, there's gotta be some benefit, right? Certainly, I'm not just letting them link to my brilliant material out of the shear goodness of your heart...

Duh. Of course not. If there's anything we should learn from living in the United States of America, it's that knowing you're pregnant volunteering is for suckers. Yet, while I realize TBD.com is probably making more money off of me (if not directly, then certainly indirectly by using more unpaid bloggers instead of more paid reporters to create content), they're providing me more exposure than I'd be able to buy had they paid for the content they've used from me thus far, which has included two blog entries and an interview. In short, we're both ripping each other off. It's a wonderfully American thing.

Yet exposure is not the ultimate goal for me. Instead, like the flasher in the park, it's simply a means to an end. Except while that creeper wants to molest the world, I want to caress it...with ideas! Words! Near limitless unsettling similes and metaphors! O, dear world! You are the sun to my moon! (See?)

So, yes, while TBD.com isn't reaching out to slap my moon's big, white bottom, it's certainly turning a spotlight on it so that others, such as advertisers, literary agents, television developers and editors, may. Hey, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz gave it a tap (UNSETTLING!), so this partnership must be doing something right! Now if only someone would grab it properly and hold on. And pay me. Like a prostitute. Like a hooker. Like a strumpet. Like a working gal. Like a whore. Like an escort. Like a streetwalker. Like a lady of the night. Like someone who performs sexual acts for reasonable amounts of money. (Hey, I said NEAR limitless...)

But seriously, TBD.com is a pretty cool new site. And I say this not just because they've been generous in linking to my page. I say this because they've tapped into something other local news media outlets often miss these days -- relevance. That, and it's nice knowing The Anti DC Show isn't the lone program on the meta-channel in all our minds known as Shamblesvision. FUEGO!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

not quite an obit...

Disgraced-then-undisgraced coot-off runner-up Ted Stevens, the former Republican Alaskan senator who was indicted then unindicted on corruption charges, has died. And while it's always sad when someone dies, I'm sometimes a little skeptical of the public mourning surrounding the deaths of politicians. Why do we suddenly forget all the unscrupulous career moves deceased politicians (most of whom are probably psychopaths devoid of normal markers of humanity anyway) ever made and only remember the good? I mean really, when Hitler died, should the world have looked back and noted how "passionate" he was about Germany? Bitch please.

Now, clearly, besides being a politician, Stevens has absolutely nothing to do with Hitler (please, let's not get that twisted), but the comparison helps me underline a larger point -- it's unfair to the public for the news media to suddenly fawn over someone simply due to the fact that he died.

Luckily, we here in DC don't fall for such sentimentalities, especially when dealing with a man who, according to Mike DeBonis of the Washington Post, hated this city so much that he thought it was unfit for representation in the federal government. The reason? Apparently, because of the federal government.

"This is a company town," Stevens once said. "This is a federal government town."

Uh-huh. And because of that view, this blog exists. As long as people like Stevens spew that kind of drivel upon our city, DC will continue to be what Stevens, himself, once described as "gone to hell." Yes, it's people like Stevens (i.e., the federal government, which views DC as nothing more than a giant office building) who make DC suck, who make sure we're still being nationally taxed without having a national voice.

So, are people who think like Stevens just stupid or are they willfully ignorant? That is, do they understand that they are the reason why they hate DC so much? And if they do, then what the f*ck is their motivation? I mean, really, it blows my mind when someone working within the system they claim has made DC so horrible has the gall to say something like, "God forbid that someone should tell me that the city of Washington is my home. I can't think of a worse city to have as capital and I don't care who knows it." Stevens said that in 1982, after about a decade-and-a-half in Washington serving as a senator. Dead or alive, that's a f*cking douchey thing to say, especially when you were/are part of the motherf*cking problem.

And trust me, I understand the irony of criticizing Stevens's hatred of the city when I maintain a blog call The Anti DC, but there are several key differences between our views that make one of us completely out of his element and the other spot on in her witty, thought-provoking prose. And considering my purposeful use of distinctive possessive adjectives in that last sentence, I trust you can figure out to whom I'm saying what. (Hint: I'm not insulting myself.)

Not to mention, it doesn't hurt that with all my vitriol, there's also a heavy dose of affection for this little cess pool of a city. (I mean that lovingly, of course.) Indeed, I am the Hugh Honey to my own Vic Vinegar. In fact, I think it's my recognition that DC is under such a cloud of douche that makes me able to truly appreciate what little this city actually gets right. Those few things are like the couple of turtles who made it through the BP oil spill. They should be loved even more because of it.

And so, here we stand, hopefully with a better understanding of why everyone (that is, the natives, the feds and people like me who, "God forbid," have come to adopt the District as their home) hates DC. Recognizing the problem is always the first step.

But getting back to the reason I wrote this in the first place, I hope wherever Stevens is now suits him better than the place he chose to spend nearly half his life. R.I.P.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

shambles p.i.: the use your imagination speedo edition

While I consider myself quite fashion-conscious, one sartorial sh*tshow I haven't kept up on is men's swimwear. I bring this up now -- balls deep into swimming season (pun intended) -- because of a recent Sunday jaunt to DC's public Francis swimming pool. Located in what the Internet apparently refers to as the "West End" of DC, the Francis pool is situated just up the street from Trader Joe's at 25th and N NW.

And while the pool seems to attract a nice cross-section of upwardly mobile DC residents (present company excluded -- I'm very much downwardly mobile), including gays, straights, blacks, whites, Latinos, Europeans, young, middle-aged and old, there was a surprisingly high concentration of extremely small men's swimming trunks. We're talking Speedo central, my friends.

Sure, it's just as logical as it is stereotypical to assume that perhaps it was just the foreigners and gays donning these water-ready panties, but my gaydar was holding steady at seven out of 10 as it would anywhere in and around the Dupont area and I overheard most of the wearers speaking English with an American accent. Indeed, I was perplexed.

More befuddling, though, is that this strange instance was preceded a few weeks ago at the beach by yet another when a straight, married friend of mine boasted about his love of the Speedo, surely to the chagrin of his wife. In fact, as a favor to her, he kept the Speedo in his suitcase, opting instead for, well, let's just say shorter-than-normal, yet acceptable trunks.

But seriously, what is going on? Are the days of longer, surfer-style men's swimming trunks gone? And if so, why? Is it for the fear of farmer's tan? A need for extended leg movement? Or simply because today's man has extreme pride in his manscape?

My time at the pool last Sunday answered no questions for me, but instead compounded the riddle. Not only does the small swimsuit seem to be the new rage among the general male population, but so does the small swimsuit featuring vanity padding. I think you get what I'm saying here and if you don't, I dare you to click here (NSFW).

And while that's so borderline obscene that it's probably not safe for work, it's apparently safe for the public pool, where not only children are present (although, luckily, not that many), but so are a wide variety of other people with the gift of sight. You don't see us women trying on bikini bottoms that purposely enhance our camel toes...ick. Although, now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that without padding, the Speedo has the potential to become much, much more interesting obscene...

But really, I don't care how good of a body you have, unless you're engaged in competitive swimming, you probably don't look good in that casual Speedo, at least to women. For example, that's Justin Timberlake pictured above. He has instantly gone from bringing sexy back to bringing creepy back.

On the other hand, if all the guys at the Francis pool stopped wearing Speedos, people watching would become much less amusing. And then what would I blog about? I would just be forced to give you useful information, like the Francis pool has three sections -- shallow (for kids), standard (for swimming laps), and deep (for whatever). It's open everyday but Tuesday from 1 p.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and noon-6 p.m. on weekends. It's free for DC residents or $4 for guests. They don't sell water so bring your own. Snacks and other beverages, however, are not permitted and, yes, they seem pretty vigilant about it. Wow -- what a boring blog that would be...

Monday, August 9, 2010

arcade fire just slapped some sense into me

It'll probably come as a surprise to you that I was once cool. And once you stop laughing, I'll explain why.

Ready? Good.

I used to spin indie-rock tunes at my college radio station; I wrote for all its indie-rock publications and even edited one; and I was friends with a bunch of kids in bands. I, myself, even ended up joining a band after I graduated and moved to Russia. Of course, that band wasn't so much "cool" as it was "a total joke." (Although, once they kicked me out for what I can only assume was me being too professional, they improved exponentially and even released an album. Hmph.)

Anyway, what I'm getting at here is that when it came to music, I was that asshole snob in 2001. And if I wasn't a liberal arts kid who wore her pajamas to morning classes or, later in Moscow, a dabbler in Euro-trash who wore "outfit inventions" to parties that started at 2 a.m., I probably would've been one of those new-school dipster types who wore ironic T-shirts on their torsos and "Don't you just want to punch me?" expressions on their faces.

But that was then. Upon returning from Moscow in 2004, I had become more of a bona fide nerd. I went from hanging out with MTV VJs (albeit the Russian versions) and meeting bands like Blur to hanging out with graduate advisers and meeting things like research deadlines. The change of pace was shocking and traumatic and I went into a deep depression.

Just kidding. I didn't really go into a deep depression, but I did exhibit some disturbing signs, such as losing touch with everything that I used to care about to concentrate solely on school and work. I stopped listening to music that wasn't on the radio; I ceased reading books that weren't on a required list; and I put a moratorium on watching things that didn't involve VH1's Celebreality. My 2001 self would've hated my 2004 self.

So, when indie-rock darlings Arcade Fire released Funeral around that time, I didn't even notice despite that it would wind up being ranked by many as one of the top albums of the decade.

By the time I did emerge from my post-Russian dark years (read: when I finally finished my MA), I directed my browser to Pitchfork just in time to see a glowing review of Arcade Fire's second LP, Neon Bible. I promptly gave it a listen before just-as-promptly shutting it off. I thought it sounded less like a rock band and more like a bunch of hippies who found an organ in the woods, confused about what to do with it.

I didn't like it.

And after that, I never gave it much thought until one day not long ago, my apartment buddy got ahold of Arcade Fire's new album, The Suburbs, and decided to blast it nightly from the stereo's speakers. I was less than impressed. I thought, "Great, these hippies found a drum machine..."

However, despite my skepticism (and mostly because of a free ticket), I decided to venture out to the Merriweather Post Pavilion on Friday to catch Arcade Fire's live set. I arrived with low expectations. I expected to just sway back and forth, probably checking my Twitter updates most of the time. But then the show started...

I forgot everything bad I had ever thought about Arcade Fire. I forgot about my Twitter account. I was awestruck. Arcade Fire was a rock band. And not just any run-of-the-mill rock band, but one with heart, sweat, and TWO DRUMMERS! The above video, which I found on YouTube, doesn't do the explosions of sight and sound Arcade Fire provided for its audience any justice at all. It was so much more fantastic than what can be captured on someone's shaky digital camera.

Really, it's not often you find a band whose live shows put their records to shame, but in the case of Arcade Fire, that's exactly what happened. Their live set made me feel like I was discovering them for the first time on Friday and I was impressed.

Now, as I sit here typing this review, I find myself poring over their discography with a new appreciation. I finally get what all the fuss was about and I take back every bad quip I ever said about them. Arcade Fire is a band worthy of praise, not only for their musical ability (seven out of Friday's eight members traded instruments throughout the show and, save for one f*ck-up -- ironically, because of a drum machine -- they did so flawlessly), but also for their authenticity. In a world filled with so many other staged theatrics, Arcade Fire's love of their craft seemed so real, so untouched by their growing popularity (they sold out Merriweather's 19,000-plus venue, a venue that I might add, is near-perfect in its layout, especially compared to the Nissan Jiffy Lube Pavilion, which may forever burn in hell).

From my view, which was pretty sweet as you can see from the picture that follows this paragraph, they seemed to realize that anything less than truly spectacular would not only be a failure to the audience, but also to themselves.

It's like the cute boy in school finally talked to me and he went from being a douche to dreamy. I'm f*cking cool again. But not as cool as Arcade Fire. If you weren't there on Friday, check out what you missed here:

Video via YouTube user "Paciorka."

Friday, August 6, 2010


Remember that project I referred to in the past? I'd Google my past references to it for you, but I trust you'll just take my word for it. I'm lazy.

Anyway, it's arrived. And it's much sh*ttier than I had envisioned it. So, sorry about that.

But then again, with such a low bar, we can all look forward to upcoming iterations of The Anti DC Show to be very much improved. For now, though, enjoy this metaphorical flaming bag of dog doo-doo that I just left on your e-front door. You're welcome!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

ready your pants, more dc schmreality is here...

In my non-anticipation for tonight's premiere of The Real Housewives of DC McLean and Bethesda, which I confess I will not be watching because, quite frankly, I have better things to do, I came across this article this morning from the Washington City Paper. It very aptly, albeit a little too über-loquaciously (for the record, I think the word "schadenfreude" should only be allowed once per article; on another note -- this time to myself -- I think the word "über-loquaciously" probably shouldn't be used at all...), explains why I'm not excited:

"In an ordinary season, the exposed social climbing would make for some nice reality world schadenfreude, the stuff Real Housewives always trades in. But the problem for the D.C. version is that the reality humiliations wind up trashing the show’s basic promise. In that single, drunken hair-care exchange, [Mary Schmidt] Amons—neither a D.C. resident nor a friend of the Obamas nor a particularly powerful person—utterly undercuts the show's D.C.-centric opening monologue, in which a fellow housewife purrs, 'The currency here is proximity to power.'

By the time she's done, it's clear that the buskers in Farragut Square are closer to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. than is Amons.

Welcome to reality TV's Washington: Wealthy women with Newsweek-grade opinions waxing soporific on the existential significance of a black president on Real Housewives; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dicing things up on Top Chef; twentysomethings pining progressive on the Real World. And absolutely everyone—except maybe Tareq and Michaele Salahi [the White House crashers set to be on Real Housewives]—boring the pants off their viewers."

And while my pants might already be off for reasons other than boredom (exposed butt is natural air-conditioning!), I agree that if they weren't, the Real Housewives would certainly drive them to come off...

Wait. That doesn't sound right. In what backwards world did that overused saying "to bore the pants off someone" start? Because in my experience pants usually get removed when something really f*cking exciting is happening, not the other way around. When I'm bored, I actually put pants on, which is what I did at the beginning of last night's episode of Top Chef. However, when José Andrés came out I quickly removed them.

Bare ass = I likes it.

What I don't like, though, is exactly what Mike Riggs, the author of the above-quoted article, points out, and that is that for some reason television producers actually think government bureaucracy is the most interesting part of this city. He writes:

"Sometime in those heady days of fall, 2008, TV producers decided that the buzz surrounding the cool young president-elect meant our pokey old nation's capital was getting hipper and more cosmopolitan. There's some truth to that generalization, though the connection to Obama is tenuous at best. But now, two years and two high-profile reality flops later, it's clear that there's another local truth that the burgeoning population of D.C.-oriented reality producers have yet to figure out: Washington, D.C., is actually Washington and D.C. The latter features a lifestyle similar to that of other reality-worthy cities. But the former—with its white marble and its mysterious corridors of powers—is what these shows try to present.

It's a classic bait-and-switch. In reality D.C., everyone who steps into a Cadillac Escalade might wind up sharing canapés with Al Franken at a reception for the Finnish finance minister. In real D.C., even Kal Penn-caliber celebs find themselves balanced out by slack-jawed number crunchers, dumpy lobbyists, and disillusioned activists hustling opaque, fine-print agendas.

In other words, despite the establishing shots of the Capitol and the increasingly pathetic cameos from attention-seeking federal-city figures, what reality TV producers have chosen as their locale is not a nexus of power and celebrity, but a nest of normalcy. And as one reality TV producer recently told Esquire when asked about the increase in scripted reality TV shows, 'Normal people don’t make good television.'"

And neither do annoying people, as I accidently saw on TLC's dry-heave of the year, DC Cupcakes. Do you know how many pairs of pants I ended up having on at the end of that half-hour of "signature swirl" hell? Two-hundred and fifteen. It took 215 minutes of watching José Andrés talk about his sausage just to get all those boring pants off again...

And so I don't have much hope for The Real Housewives of DC McLean and Bethesda. Not only is the show completely ridiculous considering that only one of the five "real housewives" lives in DC, but it's also completely retarded in that only one of them is black. In case Bravo didn't realize, about 55 percent of DC's residents are black and, of course, 100 percent of DC's residents don't live in Maryland or Virginia...

But actually, I'm kind of relieved that the sh*tshows on this sh*tshow don't live in DC or correctly represent it. If they did, we might really have something to be embarrassed about. As it stands now, the only people who should be hanging their heads in shame are the cast.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some proud streaking to do.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

a sticky situation

Let's get this straight, DC: When I said you need to get more creative yesterday, I didn't mean with your pointless crimes.

According to the Washington Post:

"On July 15 at a Giant Food store in Gaithersburg, police said, a man discharged fluid from a small bottle similar to those used to hold hand sanitizer and then snapped a photo of the act with his cellphone... Michael Wayne Edwards Jr., 28, has been charged in that incident and in another at a Michaels craft store, also in Gaithersburg. Police said that after questioning Edwards, they are looking for at least two more victims."

First off -- ew. Secondly -- still ew. Thirdly, though, why the f*ck would someone do this? Mr. Edwards, this is not the way to pick up the ladies. Especially the ladies who shop at Michaels. Try a line about scrapbooking next time. At the very least, don't make a lady pull out her Tide-to-Go stick the very first time you meet.

In other batsh*t crazy news, incumbent councilman Jim Graham's still hoping to squirt his proverbial jizz bottles all over Ward 1. First off -- ew. Secondly -- still ew. Thirdly, how does this asshole still have supporters? The man can't even sit through a telephone interview these days because he's too shifty. According to a Post profile on this dick:

"...Graham zealously guards his image. He declined to be interviewed for this article, but kept close tabs on the reporting -- telephoning and sending e-mails to Washington Post editors to complain that a reporter's questions to others suggested a negative bias. He eventually agreed to answer written questions."

It doesn't take a genius to conclude that when someone's that scared and paranoid, they're usually hiding something unbecoming. But why? If there's anything a DC politician should know by now it's that being corrupt doesn't hurt your image -- it helps! Just ask Marion Berry! At least he has the gonads to admit he's a total jackass. Graham, on the other bow-tie, still seems to be living in some tortoise-shell rimmed fantasyland where local politicians are still expected to be pretending to serve their constituents. Well, wake up, Graham, and smell the spunk in the squirt bottle! The jig is up!

Vote Weaver on 9/14. While I think he'll probably go the same route as his predecessors once he learns the secret to reelection (bribes!), for now at least you can trust him enough to make a cool campaign ad. That's big.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

just imagine this was written with a quill pen

OK, so I guess that was actually four parts. But whatever, the point is Twitter has eliminated my need to blog...at least about particular instances. What Twitter hasn't done, however (and will never do), is eliminate my need to write extensively about concepts and ideas. One-hundred and forty characters be damned!

So, here's the idea: There are people who aren't complete assholes living in DC. I know it's shocking; I know it's wild, but hear me out because I think I know why...

Here's a fact: I'm a jerk. (I mean, really, this blog is built around me being an asshole, come on.) Here's another fact: But I'm not a miserable bitch every second of every day. Why? Because of this blog -- it's my creative outlet through which I vent to the world why I loathe it so much. It keeps me from being hooked on drugs. (Huffing doesn't count.) And more importantly, it keeps me from acting like a total dick to everyone I know, total strangers, and probably small children and puppies. (I'm still quite a dick to large children and kittens, however.)

What I'm saying, I guess, is that I think that woman who gave me her reusable green bag either has a blog or is engaged in some other form of creative expression that allows her to air her grievances elsewhere other than at individuals she happens to encounter. The guy who then tried to run down two pedestrians because he really didn't want to wait at the red light to turn right, probably does not. Ass.

I mean, think about it. DC is such a stuffy town. A lot of people come here solely to pad their resumes. Like a reality show, they're not here to make friends. They treat DC like a giant office, keeping personal thoughts and feelings to themselves and staying stapled securely to the straight and narrow. Really, it's like being surrounded by a half-a-million Dexters, except the only people they're murdering is themselves. Slowly.

Seriously, how many politicians do you think aren't psychopaths? Most seem to care little about the people they claim to serve, which they show so often by engaging in risky scandals and unethical behavior.

Then again, not everyone here wants to be a politician. Some people here want to be lobbyists [insert exact same psychopath analogy here, I guess], others want to be lawyers, humanitarians, consultants, restaurant owners, reporters, writers, hairdressers, bartenders, engineers, and the list goes on. What this list shows is that not everyone in DC is a born psychopath (just the people in power are). So why does it seem this city's residents (and the surrounding area's residents, as well) are so often completely devoid of emotion or empathy? Why do so many people here seem to be on the dick spectrum?

I really do believe it has something to do with a lack of creativity. Like fashion, it seems having anything to do with the world of arts and letters is frowned upon here as frivolous. That really is a shame. Not only does it prevent DC from ever becoming a true community, but it so often makes it generally unpleasant to live here.

Creativity is an aggression valve. It keeps people who are capable of feeling feelings from imploding and/or exploding. It makes people more pleasant and places more beautiful. Spic and span concrete certainly has it's place, but so do street murals. And I mean that both literally and metaphorically. I mean, just think of what DC could be if it one day decided to loosen its tie and undo the top button -- just for a few hours a day. I think it would have the potential to be one of the most unique, hospitable, greatest city's of the world.

I urge everybody to paint something, sing something, write something, photograph something, rhyme something, play something, act something, or maybe just give someone your extra grocery bag and think of it as performance art. In other words, make friends, you assholes. :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

in a tube, down in the river!

I've been hearing all these great stories about tubing over in Harper's Ferry, W.Va., lately so I figured it might be the perfect way to finally scratch "Float Down a Lazy River in an Inflatable Torus with a Raft Full of Bud Light Lime Mini-Beers" off my bucket list. Unfortunately, none of that actually got accomplished.

Yet, I did go tubing. The problem was that the river wasn't lazy -- it was dead. And honestly, because of that, I've never been so tired in my life.

The trip, which was supposed to take about three hours, turned into six because instead of floating, we were forced to swim. Note to anyone planning to make the trip: The river level last Saturday was 2.5 feet. If I ever want to gamble with an otherwise perfectly relaxing Saturday again, I'd make sure the river was at least three feet higher before I'd consider tubing again.

And as far as the mini-beers go, well, outside of St. Mary's, Md., where I spent last weekend hanging out on a dock surrounded by 7 oz. Bud Light Limes and mobile Internet, it's hard to find a baby brew, let alone a delicious and refreshing mini bottle of Bud Light Lime.

But I digress. Not having artificial citrus flavoring in a little libation was really the least of my worries. I was more concerned about the fact that I paid $32 to work this hard. I woke up on Sunday with my shoulders throbbing. (I mean, you see my upper body strength, right? It's sad.) The tops of my legs were blazing red. (You also see how pasty I am. That's as equally sad as my upper body strength.) And my hair was basically one big rat's nest. (Really, who decided to post this picture on the Web, anyway?)

And some of the low-lights that didn't involve my scrawny, pale physical structure included: Getting stuck in a buggy marsh; getting stuck on several rocks and/or logs; hitting my feet on several rocks and/or logs; swimming for miles while dragging my tube; and dodging several hundred other assholes on the river.

Really, I felt like I was in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, floating around in a bowel (that's a typo, but I'm going to leave it) of Froot Loops tainted with 2-methylnaphthalene. In short, it was not the best of times.

Luckily, however, I was able to later reclaim my day by heading to Charles Town Races and Slots and Table Games, where I learned that, while it still largely sucks because of its ridiculously high table minimums for craps (seriously, $50?), they have at least installed some $25 blackjack tables.

And, get this, I won! I put down $100 and left with twice that. Of course, even that was a hassle considering the dealer COULDN'T COUNT. I saw him give a pay-out to a man who showed a 15 to his 17 then later the dealer tried not to pay someone with 21 to his 19. Shortly after that, he then paused for several seconds to calculate the sum of seven, eight and nine. Yes, you f*cking moron, that is a bust.

Needless to say, the only tip he got from me was the sentence, "You should really go back to school." Unfortunately, I bet you $100 he will not take my advice.