Tuesday, October 31, 2006

civic pride

I KNEW my gut feeling about leaving the Beck line was spot-on. JD came true. Back in a millenia or two.

Monday, October 30, 2006


So, almost two hours in line, 1 entire pizza later, and just ten minutes til Beck tickets were available @ BC (ONE PER PERSON/CASH ONLY) - we left the line and came home. We were like, 45th or so. Totally would have gotten in. K. is a trooper to the nth degree, last I saw her she was sticking it out with her roommates. Field report tomorrow at 9:00.

Word was it would be held in the back room ("intimate!"). However - once you were in, you were in for the night. No re-entry. Lots of people in loosened ties and uncomfy work shoes that weren't getting home to change, and certainly weren't going to be able to use their Decemberists tix should they get a shot at Beck. Therefore, lots of bailers.

I considered spending another few $$ on Apples in Stereo tix, since we were there already. The line, although somewhat disorganized, wasn't unruly. Like I said, the N left and got a pizza and no one died of an emo attack.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, we left. I came home and carved our half-devoured pumpkin, the N. wrestled with the dog and we watched some Scrubs reruns and went to bed. No, I dont know what's happened to me either. Off to discover whether I have jury duty tomorrow. Yawn. At least the weather was nice tonight. Also, a bus full of teen girls in the craziest 2004 electroclash outfits pulled up at one point, and that was a pretty awesome parade to witness.

So, is he wearing the US Senate as a giant orange boot?

There are certain codes in our homeowners’ association “constitution” that prohibit any excessive Halloween decoration beyond single pumpkins of a tasteful size. And these rules are strictly enforced by an itinerant band of mean spirited squirrels who have kidnapped two of our 50 cent baby pumpkins* and are in the process of devouring our un-carved regulation sized one. It will take all of the Governess’s college level arts and crafts skills to yield anything closely resembling a Jack ‘O’ Lantern. Although the irregular, squirrel-chewed pockmarks would, perhaps, make a convincing Edward James Olmos.

Such restrictions did not apply to the houses we drove by yesterday when we were killing the extra hour before our brunch because of my inability to read the Evite. There were giant pumpkins, inflatable gargoyles, an Egypt’s worth of cotton fake spider webs and the damned coolest, to-scale-but-grey-Battle-Cat, attack puma ever carved from a Suburban-size piece of Styrofoam. However, in terms of general Halloween creativity I’ve seen little in the Commonwealth that compares to this getup on Broad Street in Falls Church:

Monkey’s a nice touch.

Update! In between writing this entry two hours ago and actually posting it I found myself Crystal City and passed Jim Webb on the street. I wasn’t sure if it was him until it was too late so I was unable to 1) ask him if he was still fighting and 2) get his reaction to this photo which I had with me on my camera. It is my most condemnable failing ever as a web logger.

*A third baby “pumpkin” was revealed to be a regular ol’ gourd after last weeks rain washed off all the orange paint. Don't buy Safeway baby pumpkins.

oh yeah

Totally neglected to mention: The Wrens opened with Charles solo on Okkervil River's "It Ends With a Fall." Makes sense since he toured w/ them last year but still. Rad. Favorite music worlds colliding.

Oh, and here you go.

BD in the news

50 phone calls later and several comments during brunch, and we can now report the answer is yes: we saw yesterday's paper. Specifically the Post magazine. Specifically, Gene Weingarten has gone out and got hisself a female Brown Dog.

The article was cute, etc, blah blah, whatever. Yes, this breed is particularly hillbilly. Yes, they are insanely loud. Yes, they are needy. Mr. Weingarten will also soon find out that this breed needs a hearty helping of wicker in their diet, so it's not a good idea to leave baskets around. Also plastic bags. Also trashcans. Really, if you are thinking of a Plott, just empty your house entirely of furnishings now and save the money. Think of yourself a proponent of the clean, modern aesthetic. Scandanavian and shit.

Anyways, it's always nice to hear of another of only a handful of people that own these ridiculous stinkbombs.

The accompanying illustration was funny, because that was exactly our plans for BD's Halloween costume. Til he ate the hat, leaving straw all over the guest room floor, which we did not bother to clean up for a few days. Weeks.

S-n-K, after trying on our soon-to-be-donned bridesmaids dresses: "It's like changing in a manger."

This, people, is why we don't have parties any more.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


So you all may have yr slutty pirates and slutty Home Depot workers and drunk people in french fry costumes (that happened to me once, assault via Happy Meal, let's not talk about it) n whatnot, but we had the Wrens and they brought it. BROUGHT it. So grand. One thing: when did a bunch of 50-year olds from Jersey start attracting the x-handed tweenies? One kind even had pom poms with him (unrelated to any particular costume.) Who cares, it was fun to watch them all onstage, tapping away with the complimentary drumsticks, wearing their +/- merch, drunk on beer and the stage.

Anyone over 21, I've decided, doesn't have the knees to make that climb upward. Drunk dudes asked me if I was ScarJo for Halloween, pretty much officially making my night, in case you haven't seen that Allure spread yet. Who cares how airbrushed that shit is. Which it is. By the way. Anyways, thanks, dudes. ALSO! There was a girl there in a space vixen outfit that I want, so next year keep an eye out, I'll be the one with a ray gun and a helmet. Some would say not terribly different from any other Friday but whatever. Oh, and go-go boots. Silver.

The Wrens people, they are stupendous.

What else. Friday night I saw the best Hall and Oates impersonators ever do "Private Eye" onstage @ DC9, the LDP was small thanks to the Dam Festival raucusing it up on H St but whatever, it was Hall and Oates and Oates had the moves down - I assume lots of practicing before the mirror was needed. Speechless. Yesterday we slept all day. Today we did Halloween brunch and the Halloween parade, which is awesome and I highly recommend should you live in Del Ray.

The Nabob couldnt remember any scene where a lion piloted an X-Wing but he's only seen Star Wars once.

The Nabob was able to wear his costume (older brother "Bran" from The Goonies, complete with shorts-over-sweats perfection. No details spared. It was spot-on) so that made him happy.

Right now, the N is making chili and I am sneaking tastes. I accidentally rubbed my eye after touching a jalapeno. Not good. The dog has drool strings that are elaborate as spider webs from all the precious meat smells. I ate four Butterfinger minis for breakfast. Oh, also yesterday, I made vegetarian lasagna. It's fall, officially, it's about food. And rock.

Friday, October 27, 2006


has anyone heard the new jeremy enigk album? i've heard/read/seen nada. almost as if it wasn't actually released.




I still am (only slightly) on the fence about "Abegail Anne" being the best song ever, btw. It has the power of only a v. v. select few songs to instantaneously transport me back to college.

the frankenstein drag queens


- Long tail and Hollywood.

- From ILB: "Stranger than Fiction" Soundtrack/Spoon.

- The worst political websites

- My childhood chum KAS has a personal journal that I dont link to, but is usually chock full of interesting stuff. I had never seen this before, probably because I am not a nursing student dedicated to helping Romanian orphans. Still v. v. cool.

- Results on a Corker google

- Yay, Friday, I love you. My Halloween plans are sooo not scary. It's a shame, really, this being my favorite holiday and all. I commiserate with you. General lack of spookiness and unfinished costumes and no party plans and all that wackiness aside, I do have about 9 concerts I'd like to see on Saturday night (although the Wrens have won out, I believe), and I might go get a drink or 3 tonight, and maybe even finish up my costume, even though as of yet I have no real place to wear it. My most obnoxious college guy friend (think fatty frat boy with a dirty mouth and probably dirtier genitals, ugh, but he knows and accepts this about himself and maybe that is why I still love him? Dunno) is in town this weekend too, so if you see me out to breakfast or something with a dude who makes NO SENSE, say hi first. I'll probably be gawking too much to really speak. Seriously, how do I even know these people. Also, I might carve our pumpkin, which is already half-eaten by the damn squirrels anyways. I'm leaning towards a Fox logo. Anyways, enough about all this. Happy H'ween!

* * *

Years long past, I'd sit around with friends in dark corners at Finnegan's Cove (note: nearest body of water: 8 billion miles east) or in dorm rooms, drinking cheap beer and eating leftover stale pretzels someone's mom sent in a midterms-are-hell care package, playing round after round of "Celebrity." Eventually those games would turn to lazy drunk conversations, the types only held at 3 AM (crush confessions, "what would your superpower be?", deconstructing the "Mike C. Car-Sex Metaphor", "if your life were a Jeopardy Game, waht would your 7 categories be?", etc.)

Inevitably a group favorite would emerge: how would you like to die?

My go-to answer was always the same, something I had swiped from Shampoo Planet years ago because I initially found it funny. I kept it in play for years after that, because by then I found it kind of true- "Naked in a fiery car crash with German Industrial turned up to 11."

I think I've grown out of that response. It's just not funny anymore.

Spontaneous combustion, however? Still hilarious.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I cannot stand that guy. He is so annoying, he is so frightening, and he doesnt wear a shirt.

for the 900th time in my life, i am thoroughly annoyed and full of hatred towards paypal. paypal, you totally suck. by the way, i hate you.

if anyone, ANYONE, buys that "Misfits temporary tattoo" off of ebay before I can figure out how to set up a new account, yr ass is grass. I'm not even linking to it, I want it that badly. It is so, so funny.

the woodchucks running wild, the bushes overgrown

Last week we mentioned that CousinDrummer’s depiction appeared in the New Yorker, much to my jealousy. DMcD has since directed us to the explanation of how the entire artistic process went down. Tre cool.

P.S. I am seriously annoying.

It’s just a refresh, doo da do doo, do do dodo doooo! Sorry, this took more than the day I first quoted you on the estimate.

So a few months back I wrote an email to the city asking what becomes of all thousands of bugs that get stuck in the street lamps over Taft Bridge. Most of the time when I submit these lunatic correspondents to corporations through their websites they go unanswered. But I guess the District government has a bureaucratic system dealing with such whackjob requests because within hours I received a response from the Mayor hisself!

Thank you for writing to Mayor Anthony Williams. We appreciate your comments and care about your concerns. This acknowledgement is in reference to your recent email. Addressed in your email were various concerns that will be addressed by the following two different Points-of-Contacts and agencies:

* NA, the Mayor's point-of-contact at the D.C. Dept. of Health. Please feel free to contact that office at (202) 442-#### or NA@dc.gov regarding the status of your request.

* DDOT Clearinghouse, the Mayor's point-of-contact at the D.C. Dept. of Transportation. Please feel free to contact that office at (202) 671-#### or CS.ddot@dc.gov regarding the status of your request.

Your correspondence has been assigned the following EOM tracking number: ######. Please refer to this number when referencing this request.

If you receive no contact or reply from the agency within 5 business days, please call (202) 727-####. Give them the contact's name, office, and tracking number and ask for a point-of-contact follow-up.

For future correspondence with the Mayor or to submit your e-mail address for his database, please write to mayor@dc.gov.

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t Tony on the other end of the internets but it did say that if I needed anything else I could write him directly. (Goodbye jaywalking ticket?) And it looked as if somebody had actually read the letter and sent it to the appropriate department. To me, the Department of Transportation is the obvious inbox for harebrained questions about street lamps but the Department of Health is a nice way to cover your bases. Nobody wants piles of West Nile over their heads. That can’t be good for the city’s crows.

The next day’s inbox brought even more progress.

Thank you for contacting the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) regarding your request for information on the policy for cleaning the street lamps posts. Your request will be forwarded to the Traffic Services Administration (TSA). You will receive a response directly from TSA within the next 30 business days.

When inquiring about the status of your service request, you may contact Mr. C with the DDOT Customer Service Clearinghouse at (202) 671-####. Please refer to Service Number ######.

Again, thank you for contacting the District Department of Transportation.

d.Customer Service Clearinghouse

Wow. The wheels of bureaucracy spin quickly in the city. I got two responses in two days from what I assume are robots saying they’ve used their precious RAM to process my letter. The “you will receive a response directly from TSA within the next 30 business days” part dampened some of the exhilaration but so far so good.

Then came this:

The Department of Health is in receipt of your email. It has been forwarded to the Animal Control Division for response.

Thank you

This two sentence buck passing from the DOH to the Animal Control Division was a little troubling. It moved the responsibility further away from the people I assumed should be taking care of this. While their specific activities do include conducting “disease surveillance, such as for West Nile virus” they also “issue permits and enforce laws governing carriage horses, hobbies, wildlife, yellow fever clinics, pet shops, pigeon housing, animal exhibits, and others, as required” and “provide education via pamphlets, classroom visits.” I bet they don’t have the highest budget priority and cleaning street lamps would take away from their pamphlet time.

It didn’t matter though because the stream of responses then went silent. But what of my concerns as a non-resident? Were the lamps actually being cleaned? Should I fear being mugged crossing Taft Bridge because the lights are so dim*? There are many places bandits to hide.

Check back soon for the exciting conclusion and see if anything ever gets done. Or if I just get lied to.

*Turns out, no.


I'm as much of a fan of Gorillaz as the next person, usually having more of an "eh aren't they silly fun" type reaction as opposed to the rabid fans who proclaim them the coming of an animated Lord. It's a cartoon, dude.

I think I saw them in '02 at 930. It was an fun and short concert, but I honestly enjoyed the DJ set pre-show a bit more. I also recall spending a significant amount of time during the set playing with J's incredibly thin phone, which had this TWIRL AROUND THING on it and A CAMERA! and being amazed by cell phone technology. I'm sure nowadays it would look like a suitcase.

So color me confused on the Gorillaz Rise of the Ogre. Maybe kind of fun in a coffee-table way, but unlike my husband who spends significant time on comic books (they're graphic novels!!!!1 and i can get them free! from the library!!!1), I'm probably not going to shell out 23 bucks for a fake autobio on fake characters in a kind of a fake band.

- - -

On music, I've been blue lately because I haven't found anything new to love in many moons. And, it's cold outside. But here! I offer you the PORTASTATIC newest. I have listened to "Sour Shores" and "Song for a Clock" one million times this morning already.

via Hopper: the solos are twins to Green Mind-era Mascis; molten. It's the ninth P-static record and maybe you gave up on Mac somewhere round "Driveway to Driveway", but seriously, you can come back. It's mellow stakes, neutral palette orchestral-americana, but it's such a treat to listen hard to someone who knows how to do what they do best.

She knows of what she says.

neeways, Portastatic. You heard it here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

now i want to jump out a window

honestly having an argument with myself about this: It isn't really that creepy to iron your jeans, right? Especially if they've been lying in a pile of dog hair crumpled for the last two weeks?




Oh my god, I just realized all I do is talk about jeans.

I am now officially that girl who talks about jeans.




ha hahahahaha.


things that are a happenin:

- the Wrens

- Finish H'ween costume. Which might be so stylistically innovative that I continue to don it well into the months of November and December. Either that, or it will be constructed of sale items from Wet Seal. MABES BOTH.

- Halloween brunch, only the finest tradition.

- feed houseful of dogs

- I love this concept. FOR AMERICA! But no one else! Also, there are so many trademark and registered and quotes and parantheses on this page, my eyes kind of bleed.

- - -

Cometbus: Ever look out and see, like, your 4th grade math teacher? Just these horrible people from your past?

Zak Sally (drummer for Low): Yeah, that happened all the time. Sometimes it was okay, but sometimes it was like "Why do I do this job where everybody knows where to find me?"

I've come around to the proposal that everyone in the universe should be assigned their own PR rep at birth. It's really the only way we can get through this world unscathed, people- someone around at all times to spin spin spin yr foibles.

""I moved to [redacted] 3 years ago after my husband left us. I have three boys- [redacted]- age 8, [redacted]- age 6, and [redacted]- age 2. I am working on my second divorce. I am currently staying home to be with my boys, but I’m looking forward to getting back into today’s workforce."

There are so many other ways to approach a reunion bio. This is a person in need of a PR rep.

Oh man. Who thought reunions were a good idea? They almost never, never are. I'm reaching the conclusion, too late, that I might not want to be found.

* (taken from another blog. borowed. stolen. blogborrowed. blogorrowed?)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

14th Street Sledge - Revisted

A few months ago found me busting the District’s chops over the delays and overrun costs of the construction at Thomas Circle. Man, was I complain-y. But that was in the distant past and recent trips up 14th show that things seem to have progressed as re-scheduled. Today, Mike Grass was kind enough to let me know that the re-dedicating of the place was scheduled for lunchtime.

Hey, I eat lunch! Let’s go check it out.

Now, when I worked in London I attended traffic circle openings all the time so I can safely report this one was pretty standard. And though I arrived late to the steps of the National City Christian Church I was still in time for the praying.

God bless this mess.

Carol Schwartz was in attendance with other Thomas Circle area bigwigs and Park Service muckitymucks. There was sunshine and kind words and handshakes and smiles and two if the biggest St Bernard’s I have ever seen.

However, there was nothing to set it apart from your normal church picnic-style traffic circle opening. Not a single balloon or ribbon cuttings or General Thomas impersonator that I hear are all the rage. So after about 30 seconds of St. Bernard belly scratching I wandered away to go look at the city’s handiwork.

Verdict? It looks fine. The sod is freshly planted so it’s still green. That one weird looking tree managed to survive the construction and the much-ballyhooed new curbs and gutters are as wondrous as L’Enfant intended. The redesigned sidewalks also mean you can walk right up to the statue of Thomas and discover for yourself that the General rode a manic and soulless horse.


Now, as for the traffic aspects of this traffic circle I do have some complaints. The few times I have tried to travel up 14th I’ve still had a difficult time getting north. The G insists that if I stay in one lane I’ll be fine but I don’t trust the layout. There always seems to be someone trying to merge into you. There’s also the fact that a real traffic circle probably doesn’t need traffic lights and they just lead to more confusion. Also, while walking around I noticed the crosswalk counter said one of the red lights directing traffic from east to west was set for an infuriating 71 seconds. That’s a lot of time idling and staring at the back-end of a demon horse.

Overall, this example of District traffic construction seems to be late but successful and the issues I have will probably shake themselves out. But don’t get me started about what they’ve done over at the Lincoln Memorial because that’s complete stoplight disaster.


Catherine's bro loves Oxford Collapse, so I did some listening.

Sean Ford references 1,875 bands in this review (I counted), but he could have just said "Oxford Collapse sounds like Built to Spill."

Am I wrong?

* * *

In other news, the homestead is in total shambles. I had planned on attending tonight's FW Thomas performance, but this week is just kind of crap for a multitude of reasons. Number one on that list- spouse participates in a soccer league that believes none of it's players have lives to live beyond the field. Three games in one week is simply retarded.

So, I'll go, but only if someone is willing to give up their seat and come do my laundry. I hate clothes.


Two things to read this morning:

- Cantu's Paper Food. Old article, but apparently he was at PopTech talking paper food.

- The Weight. Fascinating and sad and awesome and expensive.

It might not be the most appropriate time to mention I'm on a small diet.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Maine is horrific and ugly, full of dull people and bad times.

It is not a place you want to go, ever.

You should really stay away at all costs.*

* (see how brilliant I am? Now you will all stay far away from Maine, and leave it all for me {insert diabolical laughter}. Hells, while I'm at it: also, all of my friends are plain-looking** and distasteful, and their nuptials are usually terrible.)

** it's really hard being in photos with that many lookers.***

*** granted, lookers who, when intoxicated, can be kind of a handful. To the owners of the Union Bluff Hotel: I'm sorry. You should be very happy, however, that I was able to convince some members of the party that taking home landscaping boulders as a souvenier of your New England vacation probably wasn't practical, and maybe, just maybe, the Union Bluff Hotel LIKED those boulders right where they were. And even if you did have a self-proclaimed Famous Baseball Player**** in your bar that night, there was really no need for him to prove his manliness by moving landscaping boulders around/heaving them into a rental Cobalt.

**** yeah, that certainly wasn't true. He's also not a lumberjack, NOR a chimney sweep. It distresses me that all my good friends are such great liars.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Online Dating Is Planned for Orangutans

Greetings from Maine. It’s raining like a multi-hottie pep pyramid up here and the wind is blowing the deck furniture around in a way that reminds me of scary wolves. And there isn’t even any time to go to the Moultonborough Loon Museum.

I wish I had time to write about this earlier but I was either toiling or driving or quietly wishing Jeff Tweedy would punch someone in the face or getting harassed by the DCist staff on the internet and then later in person on the street.

My car radio really only needs 2 preset stations: WTOP and WAMU. The rest of the stations around here blow like scary wolf wind. XM is okay most of the time and I’m not really sure what this HD Radio is all about. That’s why I stick to the more talk less cock formats.

But I don’t like it when my babies fight. Last night, the evening news anchor on TOP welcomed the “public radio refugees” to 103.5, especially if they were tied of all the “begging” that was going on down the dial.

Kids! There is no need for that kind of language. I have love in my heart both of you. WAMU, you have deliberative, international long-form segments. WTOP, you have Monkey News. Thanks be to both.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

total domestic nonsensical rambling, nothing to see here

- It's a good thing we're leaving town, frankly, because i'm pretty convinced someone has it in for our wee pyggy family. My mini-pumpkins keep disappearing from the front porch, and although they are tiny and adorable and their orange paint is washing away (totally), I don't think the marauding ants (that have already eaten one of them) can carry even a mini-pumpkin off a full block down the street in less than an hour. Now, usually I'd blame the chipmunks here, but I see no toofmarks. Mockingbirds? Can they do that?

- Two, there have been tiny scattered piles of dog treats near our front door, which is nowhere near the sidewalk, so someone has been putting them there purposefully. Either that, or the dogwalker has a hole in his pants? They are not types we buy, and after BD injested one he was sick. Obviously, someone's trying to poison all of us.

-Three and unrelated, if anyone has opinions on wear to buy jeans, please let me know. "Four-sizes-too-big-but-a-total-steal from Loehmann's", "much-too-short-from-Target", "mens-from-thrift-store?-maybe", and "6-years-old-with-broken-zipper" are no longer working for me. I am in the market for something that makes my ass look fabulous and frankly, makes everyone in the room wonder why they did not try to make out with me when I was sixteen. THAT kind of jean. No, I am not willing to pay $300, because, just. No.

- Fourth and finally and completely unrelated to mini-pumpkins/poison/the fashion search above: I am also curious to see if anyone has anything appropriate for a superhero costume. Larges swatches of lycra? Danskin legwarmers? Sweatbands/wristands? More on this later.

My friend, my associate, he’s a regal man

CousinCousin reported on Monday that his picture was in the New Yorker last week. I’ll be damned…

I’m officially the last person in my family who hasn’t been featured in a graphic/modern painting (with a totally Harlem Renaissance vibe, none the less) in a national magazine. Sure, I’ve been caricatured in Northern Virginia but that’s hardly even considered a regional publication.

oh friday my friday

- If you haven't listened to Tuesday's Slate podcast, consider doing so. I had a big long post I was going to put up all about it, but then I remembered I wasn't an economist.

- the Defenders of Stan Episode #2

- Peter Saville @ Creativity Now! '03

- Al Roker: Man Candy.

* * *

I have just tonight to handle a volleyball game, a Wilco concert, a marathon packing spree, remembering to set my alarm for a god-awful early wakeup, and... um... probably take a shower somewhere in there. Keep your fingers crossed, I am assuming one of these things will have to give.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I am so, so sorry for what I'm about to type

Dear Catherine:

If your new band is open to, you know, Broadway, you might want to consider Meme-ories. Fits both blogging and relationships.




Okay, I'm leaving now.

Sorry about that.

Bugging me, bugging yoooooou!

The G and I have decided to slowly end the charade and ease into our real identities. Her real name is Holidae and mine is Tripp. We are both really famous DC socialites and all around big deals. We attend many high class functions and our pictures appear every quarter in glossy magazines that rhyme like Capital File and DC Style. Sometimes several different photos appear in the same issue. Naturally, we spend many hours in our Escalade crossing Rock Creek on Connecticut traveling between various galas at the Hinckley Hilton and the Marriott Wardman Park. I’ve also boned 73 members of the Madison.

Okay, so none of that is true. But I do spend a lot of time on Connecticut crossing Taft Bridge. And especially at night it’s hard not to notice this.

Know what that is?* For some reason I knew as soon as I saw it. It may be from my time installing ceiling air conditioners in high school and spending several summers face to face with gross things in light fixtures.

Indeed, that is a street lamp all sorts of filled with dead bugs. Insects spellbound by the luminous orbs and dazzling views of one of country’s oldest national parks find themselves trapped in a glass prison. Death can not come quickly enough as they flitter around over the exoskeletons of their West Nile-d brethren, waiting to lay their eggs in the giant, overturned trashcan lid full of water in the sky.

Now let’s say you’re an aspiring crazy old man, like me, who wants to know what becomes of the carcasses. I did what crazy old men do best, I wrote a letter to the city. I was hoping to walk the thin green phosphorescent line between complete nutjob and serious non-DC resident.
Dear Sir or Madame,

On a recent evening trip on Connecticut Avenue and across the William Taft Bridge I was admiring the ornamental light posts as the tall green columns topped with noble eagles are quite striking. While not as well recognized as other monuments in the city like the Boy Scout Memorial or Aquarium in the basement of the Commerce building, it is still a wonderful DC landmark.

However, I could not help to notice the incredible number of dead insects in the base of each lamp. While some only had what I guessed were a few hundred, others had a couple of inches piled in the bottom. They take away from the grandeur of the bridge. And for safety reasons, I imagine the bugs also limit the amount of light from each bulb.**

I’m curious about the city’s policy in removing the dead insects. Is it done whenever a bulb goes out? Or maybe after the first frost when there is little worry of them filling back up until the spring? And are the bugs disposed of in the trash or are they just poured off the bridge onto Rock Creek Parkway?

Thank you for your time and hope to hear from you soon.

Kind Regards,

The Nabob
So did my crazy rambling lead anywhere? Check back tomorrow to see the amount of rigmarole involved in getting a response from the city. Or you could just drive across the bridge and see for yourself. Either way, it’s an ordeal.

*not boobs
**Crime Emergency, anyone?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

and getting paid for it

The Ottobar is a decent place to hang... I think. It's Baltimore, so beers are $3 max and people wear sweats to shows, lifestyle choices I can really appreciate. The sound system seemed decent, and pretty good stage views. Once everyone stopped smoking though, you really could smell the undiluted bleach. Rotten swimming pool stee.

Awkwardville River ("nobody calls us that anymore") was excellent as per usj, although my sole complaint is those boys never do play "Dead Dog Song" live, which I can only imagine as being RAUCOUS and excellent and wonderful live. Someday, perhaps.

Highlights included an onstage OR shoutout to Pygs; gleaning a few insider nuggets about OR's future- nuggets which were strictly awesome and kind of insane; a great catchup with someone who could practically be considered a friend now instead of just a somewhat-distant-kindof-spousal-relative, ANNNND I think we invited ourselves down to Austin for SxSW next year. Partying with rockstars! 17-year olds seeking autographed drumsticks after an evening of copious onstage flirt sessions! Watching x-handed girls be pwned by club management! Sign me up!

Did I mention $3 beers? I miss those heady days of early/mid-twenties, back when all my cronies lived in Charm City and I spent every night/wee early weekend morning sweating it out on the hardwood floors of rowhouses built for dwarves.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Welcome to Baltimore: A registered trademark of the Under Armor corperation

Things are a little sore here in the Pyggy household on this fine Monday morning. All of us chugged our way through the streets of B-more on Saturday. Some of us played in football and soccer games throughout the weekend too. The ibuprofen, it does nothing.

Thoughts on sporty sporting:

Baltimore hosted 4 races: Marathon, half-marathon, 5k and 100 meter dash. Ideally, I would have signed up for the sprint but turned out you had to below the Scrappy-Doo height of 3 feet. Missing it by 2 inches and had to settle for the second least debilitating distance of 3.2 miles. Even more ideally, the race administrators would have unleashed the dashing 500 children toward the finish line at the same time as the real marathoners were coming into the same final stretch. It would have made for better chaos watching if the 8 marathon contenders were scrapping their palms open as they tripped over a mess of confused 5 year olds. Seeing the top heavy babies do that to themselves wasn’t much fun.


After the race we were treated to a dynamite combination of Gator-aid, funnel cake and Middle Distance Runner. Outside of their name I can’t find any connection between their varied rock n roll musical stylings and the gathered racing community. Perhaps that’s why they were asked to play at 9am on a cold Saturday morning after the 5k’s completion. A full marathon wouldn’t qualify them as Middle Distance anything.

Our fandom and the other racers disinterest meant that we were the only 3 people anywhere near the stage listening to them. You might think that is an attempt at a humorous over-statement but if the band ever releases the crowd shots from the video they appeared to be shooting you’ll see I’m playing it straight. There’ll be a stage, us, 30 yards of empty parking lot, the sound mixer, 30 more yards of empty parking lot and the race finishing/bloody nipple-band-aid disposal area. But they rocked like there were at least twice as many people bobbing their heads in an approving “don’t stop the rock” manner.

It was also probably the band’s only show where they’ve been interrupted mid-set so a missing child announcement could be read over the PA. I am happy to report that Daniela was reunited with her father at the police security tent. Grandmother Nanny was there too.


I jammed my finger playing football on Sunday morning. While it didn’t bother me during the rest of the day it swelled up something fierce overnight. It now looks like my regular sized hand except my middle finger resembles something like what I’d imagine George Wendt’s fingers look like.


All fear the George Wendt’s finger! I'd snap but it hurts.


Blonde Girl Fight will happen.


Just like tiny peppercorn trebuchet happened. That dude’s retina never knew what hit it.

Alright G. The rest of the weekend’s yours.

blah blah blizzah

3 months + 2 weeks after being hit by a giant dude in a van, I am finally getting my obnoxiously damaged car fixed. All it took was one bitchy letter to the state of Maryland that had a lawsuit-ish aftertaste.

I suppose this means I have to start locking my doors again and hope no one feels like stealing it, instead of willing it to actually happen.


Totally once went on a date with a guy named Tim who I met in this parking lot. Dude, 16 year olds can be TRASHY. What was I doing picking up rival high school guys in a parking lot? Yikes.

Related - a welcome flashback crtsy. this same article? Sal Roberts! Oh man, Sal was kind of great. I can't believe she's still livin large in the SP. She wouldn't let you ride in her car after track practice unless you wore a seatbelt. Why I remember that specifically, I have no idea.


PS, if I went to high school with you, please buy a reunion ticket. It will be uncomfortable for us all. yay.

PPS, i am going to Okkervil tonight @ Ottobar. Are you? You should have considered it.

PPPS: Doppelgangers!

Friday, October 13, 2006

and you will be paid $30 a day

So I've apologized to Chris Carrabba, thinking that would work, but higher powers were all "WRONG, SUCKER!" and lo-n-behold: I have jury duty.

Karma, you are kicking my ass lately.

So, in an effort to appease the gods, I extend my sincerest apologies also to Late Night Shots people, because I have been making fun of them and their gallon-o-milk guzzling fearless leader a lot lately (techno and 80's people, it's just been so easy). Apparently Mr. Landry must have some sort of cosmic connection with That Which Controls My Universe.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

itsy bitsy wow

I kind of thought the whole thing was a bit, but apparently the WJFK commercial I heard on the way home was all too real.

I am totally late on this story, I see.

* * *

BTW, I have not laughed as hard as I did last night in a long time. If you didn't see Jane Fonda and Gloria S. baking pie on Colbert Report last night, find it. I'm sure it's on YouTube somewhere.

and then marissa died and then I yawned.

Questions of the day:

1. Am I going to buy an OC soundtrack album because Pinback is on it? Covering Black Flag?

2. Will Mates of State cure me of my awful poopy feelings re: all thing Phantom Planet?

3. "The OC" - still on television?

y/n answers, please.


Sorry for that initial bad mood.

1. Tickets to Okkervil on Monday at the Ottobar? I have.

2. Tickets to Hold Steady in Nov @ Black Cat, thanks to Catherine, who urgently IM'd me IN ALL CAPS to remind me to get off my ass for the presale? I have.

3. Racing in Running Shuffling Walking a 5k Saturday morning? Um, sure. It might take me 2 hours, but whatever. I am the most out of shape I have ever been in my life, with the exception of the most completely badass game of volleyball I have ever played EVER last Thursday, which I was so proud of I decided not to blog about it until now because I am superstitious, although now we all know since I've mentioned it I am sure to suck balls in tonight's game.

4. D's Mets vs. teh Cardinals, rained out & resced for tonight. Admitted: I have not been following the Cards really this season. I was a little baseballed out, you see. But this matchup pleases me greatly, as it allows me to send mean emails to D. until the Cards begin to suck. I think the game starts at 8:15 or so, so not to be a total pessimist, but maybe I'll eat my words by 8:24? Any team I tend to cheer for is automatically stinkola. I'm a lucky charm like that. *

5. Parties, this weekend! Yay!

6. New England, next weekend! Yay!

7. Hulk and Rick James, always! Yay!

8. FUTURAMA, dvd movies. Yay!

* UPDATE: She comes out with an early trashtalk lead, ladies and gentlemen. That's my girl.

lord almighty

Could someone please let me in on what the fuck is up with humanity this morning? The universe has sand in its panties. I’ve gotten like, 2 super-bizarre emails from the Internet (Hi, crazies. Put away that semi-automatic rifle at my head, please, thanks. Scooter my daisy head and stuff) , blogger software is being an asshole, and about an hour ago, I witnessed a serious meltdown at the coffee place on the corner. Is it really necessary to vent out your frustrations to the cashier because he can’t make change fast enough for your liking?

If I apologize to Chris Carrabba, will that make things better? What about if I show you what Drew sent me? Hug it out, world.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

daisy fuentes flipflops, revisited

Dear Chris CarrabbaWohever is responsible for Dashboard Confessional,

We're sorry, but this isn't working out. We might kind of hate you. And that's such a strong word.*

The Entire (Big) Country

P.S. Kohls grows evermore confusing.

* Furthermore, we never really liked you, so this letter shouldn't come as a surprise. Remember when kids were all "sellout"-screamy about you? No? Oh, okay. Well, I'm okay with sellouts! But I'm not okay with Dashboard Confessional. I don't know why. I can't explain it to you.

No, no. It's not your hair.

how to charm me

S: he's out of control. he replied all to a company wide email saying that he couldn't leave early for our retreat because he needed maximum time to spend with the orphans at church.


- - -

PS. I am on the lookout for a sweater-set of some kind, and, more specifically, a plaid skirt similar to this. If you know me, then you know I own neither of these things. Halloween is involved. * Get back to me if you can assist. Thanks.

* After being grumpy because I thought I didn't have any Halloween plans, I have been reminded of at least one awesome thing I am doing: Halloween brunch. What a fucking fabulous idea. It combines a few of my favorite things: costumes and brunch food and probably alcohol; plus a bunch of older lesbian lawyers who, last I remember, can seriously cook. Love it.

- - -

COMPLETLELY UNRELATED/kind of funny: guess what I'm listening to right this very second? I bet you were going to say Okkervil River or the Hold Steady.

You're wrong, because I'm listening to Dangerdoom "Space Ho's - Madlib Remix."

Internet, oh my god, you are too much sometimes.

At least it's better than Danecookton

Until recently I was part of the, let’s say, 95% of the nation’s population that was contently living their lives, happily unaware of the existence of a man named Dax Shepard. That innocence was tainted last week during the run-up to Jessica Simpson’s Palme d’Or winning performance in Debbie Does Costco.

I consulted a member of the generation below mine for an explanation about this Mr. Shepard. It seems that this two year age disparity was an adequate enough age difference between us for he knew precisely who I was referring to.

Apparently, Dax is a comedic actor whose most well known role before this most recent movie was playing an asshole on Punk’d. He’s also in the new Mike Judge movie that the studio is refusing major release. According to his IMDB resume is in exactly zero productions I have ever seen.

However, he is in the first post-Arrested Development film with Will Arnett. It’s currently a toss up whether I will see this movie, with my allegiance to G.O.B. battling the ill-will I have toward Shepard. (Also in play: on one side my best man looks more like Arnett with every centimeter of hairline he loses and that’s awesome vs. how terrible the trailer looks.)

But why so much enmity toward a man I did not know existed until two weeks ago? Well, I have reason to believe that he may hold a corrupting and unhealthy influence over my cousin.

Last August we welcomed to new members to the Pyggy family. A new cousin, Lilly Colleen Pyggy, was named after my great aunts. We were all very excited and my grandfather was especially touched that his sisters’ names were being continued down the family line. But when I talked to my grandmother the day after the other Pyggy was born, a similar enthusiasm was not there. In fact, she wasn’t even certain about the name’s origin.

It seems that my cousin’s wife has handed all naming responsibility to him. In the version I heard shortly after the birth the story goes that he saw a name in some movie’s credits and thought it was neat. But it was too short so he added -TON to the end.

And so we have Daxton.

The name is not unheard of or completely made up. It is a legitimate variation of the name Dax, which itself is a reference to the French town.

But still Dax Sheppard?

The only way this could worse (be) is if he’s named after the Star Trek: DS9 character.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

cranberry gone hardcore

I don't know who's been sneaking into our house under the cover of night and stealing our beer, but I pretty much demand you to cease. This very minute.

not even kidding when I said I drank half of one of these along with my dinner, as a science experiment. It tasted like Smarties, summer 1994, and a deep, deep shame.

Related: A kind of secret that may even be a blow to close friends, but screw it, as long as we're all playing honest: Is it wrong that I don't initially trust women who say "Oh, I don't drink beer?"

Sorry I'm turning against the sisterhood and all. But christ.

ensure & "cotton eyed joe" remixes

He's ... back.

Please read the "splurge" quote. I'm trying my dammitnest not to be toooo mean, but holy crap. That gallon of milk. The thought of techno and 80s, all day long.

I am skerred.

monkey pee monkey doo

Yes, okay. I see the humor in Ray Suzuki's Jet review in Pitchfork, but let me tell you something: you have not experienced a gut buster album review until you pick up the Summer 05 HIOQI. The reviews in that pub are stupendous; I can read and re-read them until my eyes go blurry because it is like only the finest in hipster lit/biographical novel (a genre that if not invented by now, certainly should be, btw.)

* * *

SICK BEES - "before the dawn"

So, the other day, my friend Chris called me up and told me that when he was six his grandma spanked the bejesus out of him because she caught him in the backyard taking poops with his dog. True story.
-- John Parson Plank.

Monday, October 09, 2006

They have chewy feet too, for the whole delicious hoof and mouth experience

Brown Dog is of a not so common breed. So a few a weeks ago when the crazy dog lady* in our neighboring neighborhood approached me with her always damp looking fuzzy white sweater and correctly called labeled him a Plott Hound, I was quite surprised.

I wasn’t surprised, though, to find out she read all about it in Dog Fancy. And I am ashamed to admit that I spent a considerable amount of a Saturday driving around to bookstores looking for a copy only to find a two-page article on our noble and extremely stinky breed of dog. It was a tremendously wasted day.

I was equally unimpressed with their other cover stories - Italian Greyhounds, this summer’s tick forecast and the new adventures of canoeing with your dog – but it wasn’t until Friday that I felt ripped off. No where in the article about the year’s new animal treats did it mention cow snouts.

Cow Snout – the new and disgusting chew craze for refined dogs everywhere.

*There are actually two crazy dog ladies in our neighborhood and they duel it out each week at the dog park for the title of most deranged. Here I'm referring to the one who first smeared her pet's feces on the other woman’s shirt.

Friday, October 06, 2006

pay close attention, tipper

Really violent album covers

(excellent. thanks, cindy.)

Vitamin S

I’ve been wrestling with this because it cuts awful close to the quick. The G wants to be all over it, threatening to post something unless I do.

Just about every kid who read comics tried their hand at drawing, tracing or coloring them. I did. It’s the only reason I can even remotely draw anything today. But around the time girls come into focus the whole comic book thing should have been dropped.

I found this site by accident and I won’t link to it. From what I can tell it’s run by a guy who paints his own versions of comic book characters and then tries to sell them. He features most of the famous heroes – Spiderman, Batman, Wolverine – battling their way through thick paint and low-grade canvas.

Being a curious guy I wanted to know what a $300 dollar painting of Thor fighting the Silver Surfer looked like. Turns out it looks like crap. All of them look like crap. And while I guessed most of the content before I clicked on the link I was unsure of “Romo.”

Could he have meant ROM the below average, early 80s Marvel Space Night? No. He meant Romo.

Behold former professional football player Bill Romanowski*, in full pads, preparing to battle a giant stallion with fire for a mane.

Yours for the low, low price of $425. So awesome.

*Romanowski was a notoriously dirt player. In looking up elements that never made it into this post, I found a wiki-article on groin attacks. It is incredibly unentertaining considering the subject matter.

it takes a needle point and smile/IT'S FOR A GOOD CAUSE

"it's like this Reed guy just accidentally emailed me unflattering photos of his genitals."

It's really almost adorable, actually. I look forward to seeing all these fluffy lil chicklets soon, a little tanner/Disulfiram acne-d, gracing the pages of Capitol File. (Although I must warn you, LNS members who apparently "get their feelings hurt easily, [WTF]" - w/r/t that particular publication I hold so near and dear to my heart? Your names are sure to be spelled incorrectly. That might not be an issue for you anyways. Carry on, Ms. Jns; Ms. Brso! *)

There's still time, right? For the youth of this great land to save themselves? No? I am so quitting the internet and moving to Canada the moon.

* PS: google-protecting yourself, I assume. Well thunked! Say, here's an idea. You may want to re-examine the photos of yourself. In beer wench costumes. For a "drinking club" website. Not to mother-hen you pretties all to do death or anything. Just think on it. Esp. as "veteran Hill staffers, having worked for three different Senators and currently working on the New Jersey gubernatorial campaign." You can't be too careful nowadays, you know. Even a seasoned, wrinkly, Rose Nylund-esque 25-year old such as yourself isn't immune, no matter how long you've been a part of this crazy political sphere.

Overboard & Down EP - Okkervil River - Australian/New Zealand tour

"Man, I do not want to get all the way over there and find out I am just sleeping on some 15 year olds floor."
Looks like things worked out.


Hero Hill

Tall Buildings Shake

Yeti Don't Dance

Rockus Online

.... and like a billion more places. 30Music, Suspect Drawings blog, etc. etc. I have faith yr thirsty fingers can askjeeves, or whatever.

Additionally, I was kind of a cow for not making the drive to BMore for THS. So, I AM going up for Okkervil on the 16th. Who's in?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

clarification from BWE

No no no no. Wait, Internet. It's MICK Foley.

And Dude Love is soooooo not what you think.

man, I love a good WWE joke.

* * *

The N: You know this whole Foley thing might be a fake.
The G: Who gives a shit. I laughed. I mean, Mankind! Aweome.

Hamburglared II

My plan was to enjoy burgers on three consecutive days from a 5 Guys, In n Out and Whattaburger was aborted when this beautiful machine rolled up on me like a wheeled meat cloud* factory.

I also feared I may not have given California’s premiere cholesterol shack fair shakes by ranking them behind 5 Guys after a single, lunchtime rush double-double. I’ve had Whattaburger anyways and unless they’ve changed their recipe in the last few months I would have placed them third. They can sit this one out until I visit Te-has next. Let’s give the I’n’O another go around.

My original beef with the single double-double was that while it was a delicious mélange of meat, vegetables and salad dressing, it didn’t really seem like much more than a fresh Wendy’s minus the square patty and freezer burn. Apparently, though, I got a bum steer with the first one because my truck burger was superfineoutstanding. All the parts tasted like nature intended – beefy, tomato-y, thousand island-y – unlike the normal fast food travesty. You forget that lettuce, tomatoes, onions are meant to do more than just making a burger taller.

But still.

It’s wasn’t 5 Guys good. On Sunday last (before I even knew I would even be anywhere near an In ‘n’ Out and could attempt this experiment) I blasphemed to my lovely G that 5 Guys would have been the restaurant the Jesus and his A-Posses would have sought after a Saturday of watching college football and turning wine into beer and before the Sigma Kappa mixer.

Could all the pilgrims who have returned from the left coast bragging on the double-double been wrong? Was stopping by after bashing in the windshield of little Larry Sellers’ neighbor’s car just another blunder for Walter and Donny that night? Was I just ordering the wrong thing?

I approached the man in the In ‘n’ Out polo shirt who was in charge of bringing meat to the masses and told him of my concern. He listened with his hand on his chin and then quietly placed an order form me. This was the result.

Extra lettuce is for pussies.

I’d heard there is a fake secret menu and research has shown that I received my burger “Animal Style.” Everything was doubled and fried up extra onion-like. Finally, here was something that could compete with 5 Guys.

But not. I’m still going with 5 Guys. 2 patties, cheese, fried onions, lettuce, tomato, sautéed mushrooms, mustard and A1 sauce. Perfect.


Not perfect.

KitKat has released a Halloween version that is terrible. It’s melty orange on the outside and groady chocolate wafer on the inside. The evil tricksters at Hershey have duped me for the last time. I had to go get a third double-double to wash the poison taste out of my mouth.

* more on meat clouds later.

hello internet, you amazing load of crap.

I was just going to let everyone know that Statehood is playing on the 14th at GHut, if you are looking for something to do/rock out to; and that I've been sitting in a meeting all morning with a translator and wearing UN-style-earpieces, which is pretty awesome. And that the N. is back in town, and I have a volleyball game tonight, and "Lost" last night and how gross the whole Kate storyline kind of was and blah blah blah.

But then I discovered that I was "responsible" for homosexuality because I talk too much.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

tough nights with johnny lawdog

1. I get laws. I know they exist to protect our stupid asses from ourselves. I am also mostly law-abiding as an adult, not particularly into heroin and with the exception of speeding and dumb stuff like that, fairly responsible. I have only been in a fight once, and if you remember from past blog entries: I kicked the shit out of that dude. *

2. My dog is not particularly well behaved, and he is a protective turf asshole when someone comes in his house (ask Sommer.) But he's actually a reasonable dog in nature, comes when called, enjoys being petted and torturing squirrels, etc. (Just like we all do!) And I also am wary of him around new people, and keep a watchful eye. It is a source of great worry to me, because he is not always the friendliest dog, and because we do know of people severely injured by dog attacks. Hell, my mom once was bitten by a collie who decided her calf looked so much like a Renn Faire turkey leg, that the dog crossed over an invisible electrical fence, bit my girl, and then crossed back.. BALLS!

3. Oh yeah, and my dog tears my shit to shreds. (This has nothing to do with anything, I just thought I'd share that. Again.)

Animal control must be a terrible job, and the guy was nice enough about it. And, only a warning. Which is good, considering the holy hell one neighbor raised about the entire sitch, and the holy hell I'm sure a disgruntled dog-hater raised when she/he called the AC in the 1st place.

But anyhoos, gimme a small fucking tiny break. I hate myself right now a little bit, because I sound like a horrid yuppie wit my lil my precious puppers. AC: Go hunt panthers or something. Better yet: solve the burgeoning mosquito-off-leash problems in the park behind my house. (It's OCTOBER. WHY AM I SO BITTEN.) Or, mockingbirds? Crazy Parakeet Lady across the street who keeps cages full of squawking birds in front of her open windows? Hellbeasts roaming the streets, dripping blood from pus-filled fangs?


Oh, wait. Hee. Also I got yelled out for trying to sneak away from the group to avoid a ticket. It was like high school all over again, except without the shitty keg beer, and instead of hot dudes in soccer shorts and hemp necklaces, it was a bunch of soccer moms and myself watching golden retrievers wrestle and doling out half-time BakonCheezyWoof snacks. And no one called my mom.

So. Someone has ratted our asses out, which means me and my ferocious beast will have to sneak around town from now on, total pariahs from the Monthly Board Meetings and shit. PWNED BY AN CONTROL!

Also, on the side of The Law: why is there always that guy - the one guy who always has to be all "THIS IS MY PROPERTY! CAN YOU SHOW ME A COPY OF THIS LAW OF WHICH YOU SPEAK? ARE YOU WRITING ME A TICKET JUST BECAUSE I ASKED TO SEE A COPY OF THE LAW!!! SEEING THAT LAWBLAH is my right as a citizen blah blah blah blizzzaahahhhhhhh" Dude, enough. We get it, you went to law school. Take your warning and shut up.

Even better, animal control officer # 4 (not kidding, it took FOUR of these people to subdue and ticket this crazed bunch of backyard cutie marauders!) just came back to the house to give me a SECOND warning, because apparently the first one wasn't written correctly and his boss yelled at him.

Maybe we should leave. I'm ashamed of ourselves.

The N. leaves town for half a second, and suddenly his family's on the lam.

* (before the reading teacher came in and told us to sit down. that counts, right?)

because you're mine, i cross the line

Confession time: I did, indeed, just now try to cross the picket line on K St. And unlike the N., who carries a camera with him everywhere, I had only my wallet and a chicken salad sandwich. So, no documentation. Sorry!

Had this been a demonstration about Pringles not being on sale two-for-one at the corner CVS any longer, instead of carpentry fair wages (I think?), I might have joined up. But I just slid (slunk?) by the booo-urnsing and came back to work.

* * *

Additionally, "Lost" tonight. The dog and I will be watching, since the spouse refuses to come home. I don't think he (dog) cares about the three toed statue at all, so it might be a long night.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

i love you, brian piccolo

Ready? Set? Whimper!

--1. One book that has changed your life.--

The G: I don't have one. Nothing that I consider life-changing, that's what television is for! Dah dum dum.

I love to read, and I don't read nearly as much as I should or as I used to. But here's a story: I have read just about everything Douglas Coupland has ever written, and I happened to have a copy of MicroSerfs with me one summer at a camp where I was working the yr after I graduated from HS. And one of the campers saw it, and we started talking. It turned out he loved Douglas Coupland (& the Charlatans UK), and was only a year or two younger than myself. We kept in touch via email, and then he came back to work at the camp himself the next year, and we both went to college to pursue graphic design, etc.

So MJ and I have been friends many moons, all because of Douglas Coupland. (dramatic, eh?)

Douglas Coupland was also the first time I read an author who I found completely and totally contemporary. It blew my mind that someone out there had the ability to write and publish a book so quickly, that it was perfectly pop-culture relevant/current, even as you were reading it.

The N: I’ve never heard of Douglas Copeland unless he’s the guy who wrote Hitchhiker’s Guide the Galaxy and I don’t really see how that’s contemporary. In the second chapter when Ford goes to the Horse and Groom pub he buys six pints of bitter, pays 5 pounds and then tells the barkeep to keep the change. Whenever I’ve been to England a single beer costs 5 quid and that not even including curry-flavored crisps. That book must have been written 40 years ago.

But if two crazy sci-fi nerds can bond over the meaning of 42 at math camp 10 years ago, then who am I to knock the book?

The G: This insult from a grown man who checks out comic books from the library.

The N: : Graphic novels.

--2. One book you have read more than once.--

The G: Every book. I never read a book once. Ask my mother. In 1985, she sat through a car trip to Myrtle Beach that involved me re-reading Ann M. Martin's Bummer Summer no less than 27 times, some of it aloud, one of my most annoying habits. That is not what you are here for, I know. My most over-reads include Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth, Douglas Coupland's Gen X, A.S. Byatts' Tower of Babel, and Dave Eggers AHBWOSG, but only because it was the only book in my beach bag for 4 summers in a row, and therefore the only thing I ever had on-hand to read during vacation.

The N: What are you guys talking about? Why would people read books more than once? I once checked out a Patricia Cornwell book-on-tape from the library and it turned out I had already listened to on another road trip. Boy, was I pissed. I already knew that the French albino werewolf was the killer and that Cornwell’s man-hating inclination meant the all the male side character would be killed in a brutal manner. Actually, that’s the outcome of all her books so I couldn’t be too angry. Jack the Ripper? French Albino werewolf.

--3. One book you would want on a desert island.--

The G: Something big, or unruly. Or both. Infitite Jest? Gravity's Rainbow? They certainly aren't favorites, or anything, but I'd need to pass some time. Not Mason-&-Dixon pass the time, but still. Occupation.

The N: Wouldn’t being stuck on haunted island be frustrating enough without self-inflicted Thomas Pynchon damage to haul around from cave to inlet to abandoned missionary chapel? Why not something to distract from the yellow sulfur monkeys like a Garfield Treasury? One of the early ones where the vet still blocked all of Jon advances, unlike the hokum that Jim Davis is currently trying to force down our craws in today’s papers.

--4. One book that made you cry.--

The G: Bridge to Terabithia, Didion's Year of Magical Thinking which I read sniffling in the corner of a Border's.

This is the time in our program when the N. makes fun of me. Ready? Go.

The N: You wish you were that special. I'll make fun of anyone who cries because of a book. Unless Brian's Song is based on a book. Then it's okay.

--5. One book that made you laugh.--

The G: Neal Pollack's Never Mind the Pollacks, John Water's Crackpot, Sedaris (duh) and the part in Take the Cannoli where Sarah Vowell goes to a goth club.

The N: You know how in Vowell’s Assassination Vacation she talks about seeing a plaster replica of Lincoln’s hands? It is way harder to make those than you’d think. First, the kits you can buy at Michael’s are only designed to be used on babies, so there isn’t enough plaster to make an entire fist. Also, they don’t refer to is as “plaster” but as “Precious Gel” which is creeptastic. And don’t attempt to use joint compound to fill the rest of the mold because it will fail terribly. Even after 2 weeks that nasty goo hadn’t set and it crumbled apart seconds after being exposed to air.

Sarah Vowell’s books offer no humor or laughter. Only sticky messes and frustration.

--6. One book you wish had been written.--

The G: Err. Um. I'm not that creative. I usually just find books I wish I had written, and in turn become jealous & sulky. Speaking of, eat a fat one, Zadie Smith.

The N: Oksana Baiul’s autobiography.

--7. One book you wish had never been written.--

The G: I'm going out on a limb here: Heart of Darkness. I know. Please direct all emails, subject line: "YOU=IGNORAMUS", to: idontgiveashitihatethatbook@gmail.com.

There's a few things by Joyce Carol Oates that make me want to stab my eyes out, too. Another time, kittens, another time.

The N: The G only picked Heart of Darkness because it is Joseph Conrad’s most famous work and folks have heard of it. The truth is she has an unwholesome dislike for all things Conrad. Case in point: our Monday nights were once built around watching Medium until you found out that Patricia Arquette starred in a movie version of The Secret Agent.

--8. One book you are reading currently.--

The G: Petals on the Wind by VC Andrews. I should be done around 3:50, in case anyone wants to borrow it.

The N: Cooking With Miracle Whip Salad Dressing by The Consumer Affairs Department of Kraft Kitchens. Miracle Whip is the Marmite of the North America and the finest foodstuffs invented last century. Outside of the strawberry flavored Charleston Chew, of course. But how could I enjoy its deliciousness unless I was eating it as dressing on an iceberg lettuce salad or spread on a Wonderbread and bologna sandwich? Cheesy Miracle Asparagus is how. Yum.

--9. One book I have been meaning to read.--

The G: Cloud Atlas has been on my Amazon wish list forever now. So has The Enchanters vs. Sprawlburg Springs. My Amazon list is atrocious. What this means: you people need to buy me more gifts.

The N: 1776, 1812, 1491, 1968, 1421, 1945, 2001 and April 1865

--10. Pass it on.--

Seriously, we don't have friends. Up for grabs, troglodytes and prom queens and T15.


INTERNET. What do we think of The Bowerbirds?


So, when does it become okay to admit you've replaced a morning reading of Daily Kos, with a pretty regular skimming of Babs?


Monday, October 02, 2006


New challenge: determine the nation’s best semi-fastfood hamburger. 5 Guys for lunch on Sunday. Today I had In ‘n’ Out. Tomorrow, Whattaburger.

Currently 5 Guys has a strong lead.

I recently discovered the television version of myself

"Each TV CARNAGE volume is hundreds of hours of exceptionally bad TV lovingly fused together into hour plus, glorious cesspools of retardation."