Monday, March 31, 2008



The DVD: Guyville Redux, a documentary about the making of the album, with a focus on the indie scene in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, out of which Phair sprung in the early 90s. In the documentary, Phair herself interviews a series of luminaries connected to the scene, including radio/TV personality Ira Glass, actor John Cusack (whose role in High Fidelity pretty much epitomized the kind of guy Phair disses on Exile in Guyville), Steve Albini, Matador's Gerard Cosloy and Chris Lombardi, Guyville producer Brad Wood, members of Urge Overkill, and John Henderson of Chicago label Feel Good All Over.

Though I don't know if this makes up for anything since then, really. I did like one song from White Chocolate Space Egg. I can't remember which one.

my eyes scabbed over as i slept

my sunday night Wrestlemania experience, courtesy Tom, described in 4 words :

Ric Flair in HD.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

You try teaching a 6 year old the lyrics to Sweet Caroline

Perhaps a more skillful and tenured word surgeon would be better suited at expanding on the transportational and structural aspects of the new ballpark. Please feel free to seek their learned opinion. Below are my less scientific impressions based merely on the half capacity exhibition game against the O's on Saturday night.

It’s my guess that by tomorrow morning it will be widely reported that getting to and from the stadium wass a complete mess. I know the President won’t show up every time but even with the abbreviated crowds I dealt with all the Metro cars were filled and there wasn’t even enough room on the recently enlarged Navy Yard platform. And the suggestions to walk a few more blocks to the Waterfront-Station only resulted in sore feet and the same near-capacity trains.

Like I said, though, the transportation issues weren’t unforeseen. Nor are they fatal. But that’s only on the outside of the stadium. I think a large issue that the stadium officials failed to predict was those that arise from the concession lines. The queues for food extend directly into paths of those trying to walk around the perimeter of the field. I don’t know if this is the result of too narrow walkways or cash registered spaced too close together but it was very difficult to work your way around the main level. In fact, the line for Ben’s Chili Bowl was so immense and stuck out so far from the counter that it left about only about ten feet of maneuverable space between it and the first row of seats. And Ben’s is one of the first concession stands you walk by upon entering the main gate and the bottleneck was considerable. And it wasn’t isolated at that location either. Hopefully, the lines will move faster with some cash register practice. But if it was tough to move around 10 minutes before the game started and only at half capacity, fans may be in for a long season. Maybe it’s why they’re allowing us to bring in our own chow.

Honestly, though, these were my only two concerns. The stadium itself is awesome. It looks great, the sound system is considerably better than RFK and the score board is unreal. Some other impressions:

I’m not sure what the rules are scalping but the police were making big examples of the sad-sacks who were unfortunate enough to get caught. They made a very public show of handcuffing these sorry-looking fellows and then marching them up and down in front of people getting off the Metro. It also seemed that the blatant sellers received the brunt of the police’s attentions because I saw some discrete deals going down right under the fuzz’s noses. Stick to Craig’s list, fellas.

Speaking of which, I may have an extra ticket to the Monday New Pornographers show.

The Nats listened to complaints about the Verizon Center and made the seats big enough so even the skinniest adults don’t need a wedge and a can of Crisco to squeeze their way in and out. There didn’t seem to be a bad angle in the place and we tried quit a few seats on for size. We started in the up on the 300 level…

and then sweet talked our way into the Diamond Club level seats.

The padded seats were more than our frozen kiesters deserved. A little more massaging of ushers got us into the Presidential area and that was real classy-like. Monogrammed stadium seats?

Don’t mind if I do.

Let me present to you a little something I like to call Build-a-Screech.

Actually, that’s what the stadium calls it too. Anytime you can fork over $35 bucks for a small dog doll wearing red cleats that’s so cute it almost makes your wife cry, I’d say it was a success.

I didn’t do any of that so I wouldn’t know, but I’d assume as much.

Finally, I won’t lie and say I didn’t feel a sense of pride and ownership when I emerged form the Metro escalators and saw the stadium down Half Street. You can see it from Virginia where 395 peaks near the Pentagon and for the last 18 months our commute has afforded us an opportunity to watch it grow. And now that I’ve gotten a chance to walk around I get the sense that stadium has only just beginning to reveal its secrets. Nationals Park is finally the baseball stadium Washington DC deserves.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Wosrt of all, I recently saw that "emo" was the answer in a crossword puzzle

At first reading, I admit that I chuckled a bit when I saw that the Emo kids were getting pounded on in Mexico. But as it starts to trickle out that these attacks are rooted in homophobia and not against your generic mopey 16-year-olds the idea of a Mexican Quadrophenia is considerable less appealing.

I argued with the Governess that wailing on American or even Canadian Emo kids would still be okay in my book as long as we all understood that it had nothing to do with anyone’s sexual orientation and more with those ridiculous jeans. She countered that this was unacceptable belief system and that the only group that should ever get harassed by the Rockabillies or Punks are the Nerds. In my opinion, this is 100% incorrect since a Nerd is born a Nerd and no amount of reading the bible or lifting weights or spending the money you were saving for a telescope on a pretty blond instead is going to change that. Most Nerds have a genetic predisposition toward the condition (see the G’s Trekkie friend and son) whereas Emo is a lifestyle choice that most folks grow out of.

But that’s not the reason for this post. My beautiful wife got so upset with my theories of Emo vs Nerd punching that she suggested I look into acquiring a new girlfriend via the Unfogged recommended Crazy Blind Date website. And since I always do as I’m told, I checked it out.

But I’ve got a big problem with this site. Check out the DC page. That’s a beautiful shot of the DC skyline, isn’t it? I spent 20 minutes trying to noodle out where that picture was taken based on the relationship between the Capitol, the Old Post Office Building and the Washington Monument. Google Earth helped. Help prove it was fake. Or at least fake-ish.

You can see, they took a perfectly good image of the city and mirrored it so the text would fit better. They are fabricators and liars. And if they are not going to tell the truth about this, there is no way I’m going to trust Crazy Blind Date to help me find a new mistress. I’m just going to have to rely on other more upscale and credible websites to tell me where the best massage parlors are.

the guaranteed winners program

Since i forgot to buy Thao Nguyen tickets, I instead slept 13 hours yesterday.

* * *

- Courtesy Drew: Les Savy Fav covering "Debaser."

- I was born too late and missed the following awesome things, like: Abandoned amusement parks! Sad. Although I did make it to Astroworld, which I kind of goofily liked when I was 13. Other things I am learning: Africa USA in Florida had a bicycle riding chimpanzee in a party dress named Princess Margaret.

And Dogpatch USA sounds kind of ridiculously great. Free admission? The "trout pond," where you catch your own fish and employees clean them for you? Best amusement park ever.

Also, a site dedicated to Chippewa Lake.


- This is a job that was custom designed for my friend Al who is instead wasting time teaching bored 17 year olds AP Spanish.

* * *

So I was considering going to kick some kids around at the Kite Festival tomorrow, but I think only if walking into the city is an option. The National Marathon, the fucking cherry blossoms, Midwestern states still on spring break, and the Os vs the Nats. If the city doesn't spontaneously combust by noon, it will be a Easterish miracle, just like Jesus.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bring it back/that old-school rap

After leaving Jacksonville (the world’s dustiest non-Chinese city) last week, I was fortunate enough to be able to watch 2 straight hours of VH1 Classic on Jet Blue. Even better, they pretty much were only showing East Coast Family videos – Bell Biv Devoe, Boys II Men and ABC.*

You know what? The high top fade was a pretty awesome haircut. If I could, I would have totally sported one. I tried in college but instead it just flopped down in luxurious Shirley Temple ringlets. I’ll have to stick to ironical facial hair.

Fortunately, others are excelling where I continually fail. Check out what future NBA All-Star Brandon Jennings was rocking last night at the McDonald’s All-American game. If it wasn’t for the shoes, I would have sworn that this picture was taken in 1992. Brandon’s signed on to play with Arizona next year so you can start filling out your 2009 NCAA brackets now, if you want. He’ll be the one kickin’ it Jodeci style.

*I feel it’s my duty to remind you of the largely forgotten band Sudden Impact. They were the quintet who had a brief cameo (at 2:38) in the Boys II Men’s Motown Philly video. Michael Bivins signed them to the East Coast Family label but if they ever recorded a song it was never released. It’s almost like if Biv was embarrassed by this group of skinny, mullet-ed white boys with little discernible talent other than pointing in unison.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Good things don't end with -eum. They end with -Con

There exists a love-hate relationship for science fiction in our household. To be specific, I love the idea of sci-fi but hate when people found out. It’s why we wear a mask in TDOS. Actually, I guess everyone wears a mask in that. But it’s also why issues of X-Men #162-179 are in hidden my desk under stacks of “official” papers. I’m taking them back to the library tonight but don’t want them in my bag in case the Secret Service searches it, for some reason.

It’s also why I was excited/not excited when I saw that someone had created a site that tracks all of the nerd conventions within 120 miles of your house. The closest to us? Something called Gaylaxicon 2008 - "the annual international Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror convention for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people." And their friends. I was going to order my t-shirt but the only thing worse than wearing a band’s shirt to their concert is wearing this year’s convention shirt to this year’s convention. Also, seahorses.

So I’m going to go as Northstar. The G’s dressing up as Karma. And I guess Cloverfield will go as gay Cloverfield.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Then we will all hug and kiss some poisonous snakes.

Yes yes.

By now everyone knows a snake found its way into the crew coach’s duffel bag in my hometown and bit him most ferociously. I’m not sure what the big deal is since we used to do frolicsome stuff like this all the time back when I rowed there. One assumes that a decade and half after I left the crew team, the evolution of pranks we started would have escalated to the point of hiding poisonous snakes in luggage. It probably went something like this…

1993: Shaving reverse Mohawks in the freshmen’s heads
1994: Pulling hotel fire alarm
1994: Throwing Gator-Ade bottles full of urine a the other team’s boats
1995: Driving a sedan through the school’s front door during spring break

15 years of uninterrupted and intensifying high school pranks and Youtube

2008: Attempted murder through crotaline means

Again, this seems like standard operating procedure for the crew team. It pretty much operated as a cult anyways, snake-handling isn’t that much of a stretch.

Monday, March 24, 2008

favors from the computers

Internet: how can I stop getting my father to say "NOT?" For example; "I really liked that movie.... NOT!"

It's almost worse than 2002's "that's the bomb!" phase.

Think on this for me please.

Friday, March 21, 2008

crisis mode


Sound the alarms. I have one of these giant 1980's office "systems" at work - L shaped desk that also has a bulletin-board type thing and undermounted lights and cabinets and large drawers and, to my right, a set of smaller typical desk drawers. It is an ugly beige behemoth, but it has served me relatively well for the past few years, hiding paperclips and old bills and scribbled notepads and Veronica Mars dvds and the skulls of baby kittens.

Until this morning.

The top drawer won't close. I thought something was just jamming the track, but no. The track is busted. And since this drawer won't close, the other two will not open. And since it's one giant system, even though I broke out the screwdrivers and what not, I cannot take the damn thing apart NOR get the top drawer out even when unscrewing it from the track. Because the desk side panel was screwed on to the desktop last, thereby SEALING IN THE DRAWERS OF DOOM and therefore my tragic fate.

Send help. I am seconds away from hot streaming tears. I can't even concentrate on how shitty my NCAA picks are, or scrabulous. Sitch is dire, youngs.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Squicky Cheese get the Eating

More on the Oregon trip…

Driving westward from Portland, I woke the Governess up from he long late winter’s nap so she could scan the guidebook for what was in the upcoming town of Tillamook. Obviously, I almost crashed the car into the majestic spruce forest when she read off something to the effect of WORLD'S LARGEST CHEESE FACTORY featuring FREE SELF GUIDED TOURS and CHEESE! Needless to say, we went.

Below is all you really need to know about it.

From what we could tell, the most boring job at a cheese factory is the quality control employee who has to pull the unorthodox shaped cheese loaves off the line. The least boring job is the person who then has to re-cut them into acceptable shapes and weight. That octopus thing in the back is actually a real, highly-specialized and trained octopus.

And for the record – the song that's playing is called Powerhouse. It took me about 6 hours of searching before I found the name. Googling things like “song that sounds like people getting things done” and “dun da dun da dun da dun dun” doesn’t work.

sorry, mason and american. it's been cute.

MJ, on why he won't join my $2 Entry Broke Person Basketball Pool even though NCAA basketball is FUN and people who don't like it are probably LOSERS: "Thanks for the invite, but I don't do brackets. As we all know, they're just the devil's parentheses."

Early: Arizona over WVU, Siena over Vandy. Later: UNC to take the whole thing over UCLA. Or Texas. I think.

Oh yeah, from S: "The state of Washington gave me "Singles" and Pearl Jam, so that's worth a Sweet 16 vote."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

OSHA demanded as much after the tragedy with Eric Nies's eyesight

Also, it's too windy where I am and I’m covered in dust.


Oh hey. Remember when I used to write on a blog? Me too.

The only alumni-esque pimping I ever do/a friendly reminder: MacRock 08. Usually I don't go and then regret it later, but I'm too wizened and crabby to have heard of more than 10 or so of the listed performers for this year. But I am kind of excited about Pygmy Lush. I used to babysit them I think. And "Naysayer at the VFW Hall" is just funny/great.

Also, I have not heard of 60% of these venues. Can anyone tell me wtf "Blue Nile" is? Clementine? Garibaldis? ? ? ? Where is this again??????

No Ani DiFranco ripoffs at the Biltmore anymore, illustrating I am indeed 74 years old.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Also, Amy Adams, you have about one more cutesy role left in you before America get tired of your schtick.

In an effort to take the piss out on me, last week the G mentioned that I watched Enchanted on the plane ride back from Portland. Fine. I admit it, I did. And I laughed. But since I was the only person on the flight who had a TV that was functional AND since I hadn’t paid for it, I figured it was my duty. Also, the woman next to me was so disagreeable that it was either watch Patrick Dempsey be all squinty or go to the bathroom to get tampons to put in my ears. My review: it was a darling movie and if we are ever to have a daughter or prissy son, she/he will be permitted to watch. Most of it.

Most of it, except for one scene which I will fast-forward through like my parents did during Crocodile Dundee. The one where Mick meets the tranny.

It is generally agreed to by most of America’s educated public that the grossest thing you could ever possibly see in life is a deformed city pigeon. I assumed that the folks at Disney understood this fact, yet those ghouls taunted us by CGI-inserting this disagreeable creature. In fact, it had significant screen time and it flutter around for five minutes doing the dishes and generally being nasty. Fearing my free movie would not come back, I covered my eyes instead of changing the channel.

I can not stress this enough: malformed pigeons are the most vulgar things on the planet. Malformed fish are the second most. They should not be subject of lightheartedness or humor. Only common decency prevented me from throwing up on my neighbors.

The G wasn’t that thoughtful, however.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I have this vague recollection that at one point Thor was turned into a hammer-yeilding frog.

I do my best thinking either asleep or in those terrifyingly confusing moments right after I wake and realize where I am and why I’m not married to Mandy Moore. This morning, it was a deep religious question that was furrowing my brow.

Why doesn’t my religion have a trickster god?

The Norse have Loki. The Native Americans have the Coyote. The French have that terrorist Jokey Smurf and his gift bombs. I mean, we’ve got Satan and all but he’s less of a trickster and more just a regular asshole. All he ever tried to do was make Jesus turn rocks into bread or something.

Okay, back to bed.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Fetch" is the distance a wind blows over the ocean

Although I participate in blogs I prefer to deal in facts instead opinions. Unless the opinions are about things that don’t matter like gum or finger puppets or how I think Geraldine Ferraro is still pretty hot for a lady of her age. Accordingly, when I spend more time wandering on the mall than I should/the park service is comfortable with, I’m often wanting to turn to tourists and say” In fact, the monument was completed in two stages because they had to wait for more meteorites to be mined from the Artic. And while its 555 feet tall, it has a basement that extends another 200!” Or “It’s the old Lock House from way back when the C&O canal cut across the Mall so rich Virginians could sail through the city and see baseball games at Griffith Stadium. It was one of the city’s first public transportation failures and part of a tradition that carries on today.” Then I give them incorrect directions to the closest metro station. As a DC native, I feel it’s my job to educate the outside public.

When we were in Oregon, however, I was out of my element. While we were stopped at a scenic ocean overlook, a young girl looking through those coin operated binoculars asked her dad what caused waves. He said he didn’t know. Then she asked her mom. She didn’t know, either.

I, on the other hand, played football in college.

And that fact afforded me the opportunity to sign up for all the easiest classes including so many geology courses that it was almost my major. I took two levels of oceanography. I know exactly what causes waves and can explain it correctly and succinctly in less than 15 seconds.

And I did. The little girl nodded along understandingly. Her mother thanked me. But her father gave me a look that was so filled with anger that I nearly caught on fire. He straight up murdered me with his eyes for showing his daughter what a dumdum father she had. Also, not as handsome.

Fine. Most folks don’t believe most of the things I say anyway, even though they are mostly non-fiction. I’m just going to go back to making things up or at least telling true stories that are too outrageous to believe.

For instance – I actively allowed someone to cheat off my final exam for that oceanography class. Now, he’s a magician.

allergies, hooray

Oh hello Spring, you total asshole.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Goon Docks

Our tip to Oregon was supposed to be about waterfalls and old roommates and automated salmon spawning tutorials. And while it was about all those things, for the most part, somewhere along the line our side trip from Portland to the coast became exclusively and irrationally about The Goonies. For me, at least.

It wasn’t supposed to. The plan was to visit the once-thriving port city of Astoria, maybe see some eagles, have some lunch and then cruise on down the coast to experience the natural and geological wonders. But every filthy guide book I checked out from the library mentioned that Astoria was the town where several movies had been filmed. And prime among those was The Goonies.

How could you not become obsessed? Using the interents I found the address where the Walsh’s lived and used it as our destination when I programmed the GPS from Portland. I’m not sure if my other travel companions knew this since we didn’t go directly there. Instead we drove to a tower that was very tall and offered a majestic view but claimed that humans came from eggs. But while we walked around, the GPS sat blinking in the car, waiting for us to go to our ultimate destination.

Of course, the GPS was wrong and had us drive down several dead ends or roads that did not connect. But after a few minutes, things started to look familiar. “1985, I want my bike I want my bike I want my bike” familiar. The final clue was the sign that said “Private Driveway. No Cars.”

Convinced I had the right place, I pulled over and got out. The other 4 people in the car, however, were not as brave. “What if we get hungry and our trail mix is in the car?” they asked. “What if it starts to rain again and we get wet?” “What if the earth passes through the tail of a comet and the dead become re-animated?” All these were semi-valid questions. But none were worth sitting in the car and missing The Goonies house.

So I hiked up the driveway and…

Sure enough. The fence is gone, so no Truffle Shuffle. And the trim is now purple instead of red. But it was the real deal.

The entire encounter took 20 seconds. I got back in the car and we drove off. The G regained some of her normal pluckiness and made me back up so she could take a picture of the place. Of course, we were about a half mile away.

The rest of the trip down the coast featured many of sites familiar to the movie – the museum where Brand and Mikey’s dad worked, the beach where the police found them, a giant and mutated former Raider offensive lineman – but the house itself really was the Crown Jewel.

Too bad the rest of my group was sitting in the car wearing the Pampers their mom got them at the store.

Added bonus!

The school where Kindergarten Cop was filmed! It’s just down the street from the Goonies House!

Not added bonus!

The house where Short Circuit was filmed is also in Astoria! But, screw that. It was only Short Circuit, no one cares about Short Circuit.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

a week late

So. When were any of you going to tell me that "Lost" has actually turned into The Time Traveler's Wife? That's it, we're so through.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

i make it seem like all we did was eat.

oh, hi.

1. We're back from Portland. We saw 10000 waterfalls. They were all very pretty and the photos are probably extremely yawn worthy because they are ... water... but what you gonna do. They were really pretty in person and made me have to pee every five minutes. I wish this were an exaggeration.

2. Spent three short hours in Powells. I finished Gilead and am mostly through Sean Wilsey's Oh the Glory of it All, two books that have been on my totally pointless Amazon list since they were published.

3. K. won 2008 Best Friendz Foreverz award by getting the N and I a fancy hotel room one night. Later she kept texting me about how she was having conversations with Cirque De Soleil people who were dressed like angels and were on stilts. Also, homeless people in Portland love me. Way more than DC. No one told me to smile, though.

4. Ate an entire plate of Himalayan food at the Saturday market. I bought a neat screenprint. Topped that off with an elephant ear. In other food news, also ate meatloaf and really really really incredible things called "Dragon Chips" from the Camellia Lounge that were so disgustingly good I'm not even gonna begin to tell you about the hot wing sauce and kettle chips and blue cheese. Bonkers.

5. We did more than eat. We went all over the coast and hung out in Astoria for an afternoon, being the kind of assholes that yell out the window things like "SCHOOL FROM KINDERGARTEN COP!!!!!" and "GOONIES HOUSE!!!!!!!" Additionally in Astoria, there was a group of about 14 Japanese schoolgirls just hanging out. This is funny because there is nothing going on in Astoria. Nothing. They didn't seem to have a car or any other kind of transportation, either, they'd just materialize in our faces, like in front of the semi-abandoned JC Penney's storefront. It was great. Also we played on a lot of beaches and saw the sun set and then ate pizza.

6. We saw our friend R. a few times, and his fledgling art gallery. The art gallery, it might also be noted, also screenprints and embroiders. So the next time you want to bulk order a bunch of sweatpants with your nickname/blogname on the ass, please to be calling, I know a guy. Also, we are now totally bedecked in misprinted Portland local high school sporting apparel. The N got a wicked semi-professional women's lacrosse sweatshirt. Anyway... oh yeah, we saw R. The first time the call went out to meetup someplace, this was the call:

R: Ya! Let's go get beers! But first I have to go to Bernie's, because Katherine left something there.

The N: I have no fucking clue who Katherine or Bernie are.

7. on a ridiculously long layover in Denver on our way to Portland, we realized DIA has free wifi. That led to this. Which led to my head exploding because I could not even handle that at ALL.

8. The N had an extra day or so to waste. We did so by touring the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Also we went to the Air Museum five minutes before it closed to see the Spruce Goose, and a really nice retiree let us in for free for the last five minutes. He used to be stationed at Pax and would go into DC to "dance with all the pretty girls." Aww. Also, Spruce Goose? Flying Lumberyard? Pretty big, dude.

9. We saw a black bunny on the beach. It made absolutely no sense, like much of Oregon. It was munching on seagrass and looked like someone's pet. OH and also in other animal news, we saw elk teasing crows. Elk! Real elk!

10. The flight home was awesome. The woman sitting next to us threw a fucking conniption over both the fact that the A) her direct TV wasn't working and B) the stewardess EXPLAINED THE FACT THAT THE TV WASN'T WORKING WRONG, IN HER OPINION. I called that from our layover in Denver, though, where I heard same woman exclaim on her Bluetooh "But I'm EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR." omigodkill. She sucked to 1000000 levels of suckiness. But karma, proving itself completely rad, made Witchy Ass Lady sit next to my husband (sinus infection, couldn't hear and thus couldn't regulate his own voice, and laughed outloud at "Enchanted" the whole plane trip, having the only backseat television that worked on the entire plane) and myself (vomited while landing!) the entire time. Welcome to DC, bitch.