Friday, May 30, 2008

Where were those guys we saw Iron Man with when you need them? At the beach? Seriously? The beach?

The head military official in charge of the nuclear blast that consumes Dr. Bruce Banner and turns him into the Hulk?


The head military official in charge of the nuclear blast that Indiana Jones survives by hiding in a lead-lined refrigerator?

Yeah, that’s right. The fanboy-talk this summer that there’s going to be a crossover between the Hulk and Iron isn’t that impressive since the rights to both are owned by Marvel. But the fact that General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross appears in the Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull is kinda awesome.

My ever-suffering wife, however, was unimpressed with this piece of nerd knowledge. And she certainly wasn’t happy that I tried to tell her in the middle of the movie.

stand in, stand up

so we've all seen this, right? I got my info from Ducat King, which didn't list the overseas dates I don't think. I was hoping for a later fall date in DC and not a 10/3 or 10/5 date, for various reasons, but it looks like they'll be in the UK. Bollocks.


I’m sure I’m not the first to make this connection, but honestly, it’s all I think of when I watch this guy’s giant baby head.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Seriously, gross.

After the beach, I marveled at my ability to avoid sunburn everywhere except the back of my left hand. Somehow. I didn’t even think it was possible to get burned there. Can you sunburn your palms?

Anyblay, I’ve now managed to one-up that by getting poison ivy on the same place. I look like Michael Jackson except instead of sequins my hand is covered with red pustules.

monkeyvideo, amsterdam

I mean, the chimps are kind of pissed and scary, sure. But let's talk about that scientist! He looks like a fun guy to hang with.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"who likes brisket? those are the crackers that taste like chicken noodle soup, right?"

things learned this memorial day:

1. Most of my highly educated friendssociates can barely speak proper english. especially when overzealously playing board games that involve charades.

2. Repetition? funny to.... well, most of us anyway. I always thought i was the master of killing a joke, then digging it up to kill it all over again. Overuse is king. I am honored to be connected with a group of people who have similar tendencies. Mattos and I heartily laughed at a single statement every time it was said aloud. It was said aloud 975 times on Monday alone.

3. When I die, I'm going to Pigman's barbeque to haunt it. And eat.

4. My performance name: Two Cent Jefferson. (DJ Pancake Jones will spin.)

5. My dog is cute, if kind of a jerk.

6. 2 AM bacon? Best snack food idea ever.

7. Don't forget to use sunblock UP TO AND UNDER the seams of your bathing costume. This will prevent burnt underarms, etc.

Friday, May 23, 2008

at least you have twitter


the internet is going to the beach for the weekend. the land of sun, sand, and phone lines. i imagine tears from at least two probloggers before Monday morning.

carry on.

No mention of that kid who plays in a 80's cover and “invented” that 3 story bong

I thought it quaint that my high school has created a Hall of Fame to recognize the accomplishment of the 40+ years of graduates. But looking over the list of this year’s seven inductees, I have to admit that few of names on there are pretty impressive. There’s a CEO, TV personality, classical music artist, a writer and poet. Previous lists have included more TV personalities and a Senator or two.

And for whatever reason, NPR even mentioned it this morning during their 8:30 station break. Not during the local spots, mind you, because those are reserved for DC Tax office fraud stories and Alcopops. But the real deal Morning Edition. I guess the school has a better PR machine than I assumed.

The only reason I new this Hall of Fame existed is because I got an email form an alumni association that I didn’t know existed. I’m guessing that they go my address from the stay-at-home mother of 50 that ran our reunion. Fair enough. I all also guess that this massive list of former students is compiled of the email addresses of the 1000’s of other students that graduated from my average public high school.

This guess is based on the fact that the morning after I received the original email, I received 137 automated “out of office” replies. Goolge CEO Eric Schmidt (Class of 72) was not one of them.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I’m sure this proves something about some study.

Tuesday was a beautiful night for a ballgame. And while my initial impressions of the new stadium were mostly positive, I’ve developed a criticism after several visits: the scoreboard is too cluttered. Lose the batting order of the team on defense and open it up for more immediate stats about the player at bat and pitcher.


The G tried to persuade me that last night was this month’s full moon. I disagreed. But, amazingly, she was right.

Unfortunately for her, she lost all credibility when she cobbled this sentence together to defend her argument. Claiming that she had heard the full moon was around May 20th she said, in its exactness,

“It just was also or soon to be recently.”

English majors? Diagram that.

hello world.

Is there anything better than a morning you wake up and decide "fuck it, the world does not need me today?"

I called in lazy/sick yesterday. I did shower, which was miraculous, and then went and watched all my unemployed family members/friends (seriously, there are like 20 of you, get jobs already) try on new eyeglasses and eat pizza, and listened while they called me "extra fat" and talk about how we're all gonna be unapologetically crazy when we're 70 years old because by then we will have earned it.

I also bought a laundry basket at Target.

I got my hair trimmed. I took the dog on a squirrel-chasing adventure around the neighborhood. Then I ate a Nats dog and watched the world's most boring pitching contest (until the 9th inning, when crappy ol Elijah Dukes [seriously, how is he even still around?] managed to steal some bases before the home team blew it anyway. So: only action in the last 10 minutes of the game. Uggggggggggh.)

And now you know why I don't write here anymore. Oh!!!!! I did almost get hit by a woman in a Miata on the way to work this morning, so that was new.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Arsenic and Old Lace

Because I’m kinda a map nerd, I meshed the image that the USGS made of the arsenic contamination at Fort Reno with a more viewer-friendly Google Earth map.

Click on image for larger view.

Fort Reno is in the upper right hand corner. According to the USGS, this test did not directly measure the levels of arsenic in the dirt but rather how the grass growing in that dirt reacted to it. The red areas represents “arsenic-affected grass” and the brighter green is normal grass. The darker green regions are trees.

Bottom line - stop eating the dirt. And move your birthday party to the suburbs.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Casey struck out, btw.

- stream TPC.
- best: i have not read any of these.
- I think my favorite might be Sharpton. God, that makes me laugh.

- - -

The N: Crossword clue: "What there is in Mudville."
The G: Wait. I know this one. There is no...... there is noooooo...... fuck.
The N: Wrong.
The G: There is no..... WHY CAN'T I THINK OF THIS.
The N: We'll start simple - What's "Mudville" from?
The G: I can't remember. I couldn't remember the word "key" today. I said "little stick thingy that unlocks other things." Why must you torment me so? Just tell me. My brain is liquified.
The N: Make one guess.
The G: There are no.... trolls? In Mudville?
The N: Exactly. There are no trolls in Mudville.
The G: There was no..... Christmas in Mudville.
The N: God.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The way I see it $60 is a good deal for free album, a trip up the turnpike and lawn seats.

Since I dislike Radiohead AND Nissan Pavilion, didn’t go to the show on Sunday night, spent the weekend mostly dry and not in traffic and am $60 richer because of it, I feel I am entitled to weigh in on this whole incident.

A few years back, a friend bought me ticket to see [Band X] at Nissan. I had a late start that evening and drove like a madman in the hope I would catch them before they played that one hit off their first album that bands are required to open with when they play giant amphitheaters. I knew I was going to be late to the sold out show and made sure to wear good shoes since I’d have to hustle through Nissan’s 500 acres of evidently easily floodable parking lots.

But when I got there, I was able to drive right up and park near the front gate. And there were a lot less people there than I’d suspected. Also, they were old. I tried to play it cool but I knew something was wrong. I called my friend and when he picked up there was music in the background. There was no music at Nissan Pavilion.

It turns out I had driven to the wrong DC area impersonal outdoor concert venue. [Band X] was playing at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Barry Manilow was playing at Nissan.

You see what God did to me? He made me drive to the wrong arena and miss my show. But if I hadn’t been a dumbass, I could have outsmarted God.

In the same way, God made it RAIN 7 FUCKING INCHES IN 24 HOURS! God made the roads floods. The hardworking police officers from Prince William County then decided they didn’t want you to drown, so they stopped letting people in. Then they arrested some Hispanic people for the hell of it, because that’s what they do.

If you hadn’t been a dumbass, like me, you would have seen the show. You would have known that Nissan is a terrible venue, there are only two was in and out and, even when Barry Manilow is playing, it takes forever to get there. And because it was raining and this whole region shuts down when a single drop falls, you should have known driving was going to be a disaster. The folks who planned accordingly saw the show.

I have zero sympathy for anyone complaining about free lawn seats in New Jersey. You can’t expect Nissan to give you your money back for a show that wasn’t canceled and several thousand people managed to get to. You can’t expect Radiohead to come back and play a special show just for you. You can’t ask the people in Jersey who’ve already paid for their seats to give them up. And you can’t blame the police for closing the parking lot when the surrounding rivers were flooding the area.

The entire situation sucked and I understand that a lot of people are upset. But there is no obligation by any of the actors to do anything for you except to acknowledge it was an unfortunate state of affairs and next time they get one of those record breaking, once-a-century rainfalls they will try to do better.

And it was fucking Radionhead, anyway. You didn’t even pay for In Rainbows.

before anyone steals this terribly lame joke:

I demand Bel Biv Devoe headline this summer's Fort Reno, if it can be salvaged.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


somehow the past few weeks i've realized i have a job; and it has eaten all of my time. luckily things are slowing down. having a job is the pits. way to keep yr head in the game, Avent! everyone, let's quit our jobs!

other life news: the dog is about to be chopped into a million pieces by me, during saturday's crazy downpour i stepped into a flooding stream while wearing suede loafers (awesome) and this? tastes like warmed over ass, which has not stopped me from eating several bowls of it. Made with real seal.


Friday, May 09, 2008

An Epilogue to the Jenna Bush wedding post

In the first paragraph of yesterday’s post, you’ll notice I made an allusion to “some sort of grasshopper genocide.” I was referencing a real life event in Central Texas a few years back where I was required to drive through a large field filled with tall weeds. The trip resulted in the tragic death of about 3000 grasshoppers.

In the original draft I had hoped to use whatever adjective means “of or pertaining to grasshoppers” similar to the way that, say, catarrhine means “of or pertaining to Old World Monkeys.” But seriously, can you picture me driving through a field full of Crab-eating Macaques in a rented Hyundai Sonata! Imagine the slaughter!

Anyway, I couldn’t find the grasshopper word anywhere on the internet or in this huge dictionary I bought at an estate sale. I’m sure the word existed; it’s just that some government agency or big-brained scientist hadn’t written it down anywhere. But then I thought to myself “Why not cut to the chase and ask a big-brained scientist who also works for the government?”

Good morning [USDA scientist who, according to several websites, is one of our nation’s three première experts on grasshoppers],

This may seem like an odd question but is there a term that means "of or relating to grasshoppers?" Similar to the way canine or equine or porcine are the respective adjectives for dogs, horses and pigs?

Unfortunately, I was recently involved in the inadvertent deaths of many grasshoppers. I wish to use the correct term when filling out the resulting paperwork.

I hope this is not too absurd a question.

Thanks for your time,


I will no longer criticize the bureaucracy of the US Government. I received this response in less than two hours.


It is not an absurd question. Grasshoppers are in the order of insects called Orthoptera (which also includes katydids and crickets). But the group of grasshoppers we think of as a “typical” grasshopper are called acridids (or short-horned grasshoppers) because they are in the family Acrididae. So acridids would be somewhat similar in usage to canine which refers to the family Canidae. There is no identical type term that I know of. (ex Acridology is the science of studying grasshoppers, Acridologist is a scientist studying grasshoppers)


[Awesome government scientist]

There you have it. The reason I couldn’t find the term is because it doesn’t exist. And it’s why yesterday’s post appeared the way it did.

Isn’t science the best?

*Letter slightly altered to protect identities and, to be quite honest, funnier.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


It’s been a while since I’ve ventured to central Texas in May, but if memory serves, the weather is warm but not hot, the blue bonnets are in full bloom and the grasshoppers are active but not to the point that driving a quarter mile in your rental car will result in some sort of grasshopper genocide. The prefect time and place for a wedding.

Smith Point’s sweetheart Jenna is getting married on Saturday to some dude and, in all seriousness, I wish them luck. I also wish my friend in Baltimore luck because as far as he knows (I told him as much) the new couple is moving into a house on his street. I know for a fact it’s the same neighborhood so why couldn’t it be the same street? I sent him a heavily doctored Baltimore Sun article to back up my lies. It’s that neighborhood that has that bar/magic shop.

Anyway, I’m sure the wedding itself will go off without a hitch. But I am also equally sure that tomorrow night rehearsal dinner will be a complete disaster.

The boy-o that she’s marrying is named Henry Hager and he’s probably a fine young former Karl Rove aide. But Henry’s also the son of John H. Hager, the current Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and the former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services. And before all that he was the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

It was in this notable capacity the he delivered possibly the Worst Graduation Speech in the History of Cheap Cardboard Hats and Thin, Black Robes.

The year was 1999 and the early May weather was perfect for an outdoor graduation ceremony. (Or a wedding, mayhaps?) The beaming but mostly hung-over students and their proud families filled the stadium of this typical state university. It was a special day of firsts and lasts.

Except for Lt. Gov. Hager. For 15 minutes, he delivered the most wearisome and uninspired speech ever to be forced on people who had just paid $20,000 for a state education. The address was clearly recycled, evident by repeated references to the crowd being gathered indoors and it being nighttime. It was humorless and unenlightening. My father recalled it as being “nothing but mush.” He quickly lost the attention of the students seated on the field and the distracted murmurs spread into the stands. In the end you couldn’t here him over the din even if you cared to listen. It was a tremendous failure. The only reason he escaped public ridicule was that the class valedictorian had minutes earlier given what was a clearly plagiarized speech. Someone later said it was from a church sermon.

Scroll forward nine years. John Hager has an opportunity to redeem himself tomorrow night when he delivers the traditional father-of-the-groom speech at the rehearsal dinner. I doubt this will happen. Bush 41 is going to fall asleep either way. But I’m guessing the rest of guests are going to dutifully sip their near-beers when it’s over and clap out of respect. But young Henry’s just going to roll his eyes because it’ll be the same speech that his dad delivered at his older brother’s wedding. And he’ll probably get the names wrong too.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

But i can get some good chicken schwarma across the street

I’ve seen much acclaim for Iron Man but so far there hasn’t been any praise for Robert Downey Jr’s mustache. I don’t mean the style of his facial hair in its entirety (which was rather absurd when you really stopped to look at it) but the mustache itself. It’s damn near perfect.

It’s trim enough to be practically one dimensional. And it lacks the pronounced under-nose seem that dooms most non-walrus ‘staches. And it’s not like Downey has a weak philtrum that would lend itself to smoothness.

It may have been the most impressive thing about the movie.


On the negative side, and this may lead to permanent ban from the District, but the charm of seeing a movie at the Uptown no longer holds me. The seats are small, its always too hot or cold and the argument for seeing a blockbuster action movie on a giant theatre seems old-fashioned in this iTouch world. And when the compromise for the luxury of an oversized and curved screen is a Terrance Howard’s handsome yet distortedly squat head, it’s not worth it.

And in terms of bad Uptown experiences, the cherry on top…

jw: the worst is when we went to see the re-release of Alien
right after the chestburster scene
all of a sudden there were mice or rats scurrying around in the row behind us
me: the studio paid extra for that effect
jw: it was like we were right there on the spaceship

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

all things incredibly stupid in my life

one, i need to find a place willing to do overnight engraving services. or etching. on some kind of award or plaque. It doesn't even matter what kind of award or plaque. at this point, I'll take "World's #1 Aunt!" I do not care.

two, where can i find a place that sells a rubber chicken in this town? chocolate moose?

my life makes very little sense.

Nevermind. In other news, Momofoku is streaming and I've been listening to a lot of Neon Neon remixes, when I've been at my desk. Which isn't that often.

Don't let me down

When your old man says you should wear gloves when you help him mix cement, you might want to listen. I’ll admit that the backyard looks great. But there’s enough brick mortar under my fingernails to cover any road and bridge maintenance funding losses expected by a roll back in the federal gas tax. Scarlett Johansson.


The previous post was designed to specifically appeal to the editors at the Post Express blog section. It is irrelevant and dull-witted, self-effacing and vaguely humorous and features a political reference of fleeting importance. Scarlett's mentioned to hedge my bets.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Beware Nerds

In the little section after each review that describes why a movie has received its MPAA rating the New York Times warns us:

Also, Iron Man has sex, and not with the suit on. But not completely naked either.

Clearly, Stark can’t be wearing the Iron Man bottoms. So is it just the mask? He’s kinda an old guy so it’s probably the boots. You know, for thrust.