Friday, February 27, 2009


If a break-dancing giant in a featureless William Shatner mask can teach us anything, it’s that America still leads the world in the exportation of its only valuable resource – pregame player introductions. Ladies and gentlemen, Sport is War and in the 21st century we can’t have War without lasers, smoke, explosions and a hip-hop soundtrack. And blimps are back but they’re miniaturized and sponsored by Geico. And slam-dunking bears, also, if you live in Canada.

Of course, I have a problem with this. Pregame introductions are the opposite of what is needed at team sporting events. They inflate the individual and diminish the team. The players should run onto the field or court together (possibly through a giant, hand-painted paper sign, if the budget allows). The starters should head-butt a few times, the refs should blow the whistle, and then it’s game on.
But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the only non-hip-hop/Metallica song they play during the pregame introductions. It’s the one that goes…

(A choir singing a foreign language, perhaps Latin)


(Repeat, louder and a pitch higher)

Or just listen to this.

Up until this weekend, I didn’t think this was a real song. Well, I knew it was a real song, but I was under the impression that hadn’t existed until Michael Bay needed a Gothic sounding trailer soundtrack. So somebody wrote it for him about 15 years ago. And even if the “melody” was some classical arrangement that I was too un-cultured to know about, at least the lyrics have to be fake. It works a little too perfectly for unimaginative editing. Set to this song, slow-motion alien gun fights with lots of diving look just as good as rapid-fire cuts of a robot disemboweling a coed’s system of mighty human organs.

Turns out I’m wrong on all counts. First of all, it’s a real song called O Fortuna. Second, the music was composed in the 1930’s. Finally, the lyrics are not only genuine Latin but they were written 800 years ago. And they’re kinda bad-ass:

Fate - monstrous
and empty,
you whirling wheel,
stand malevolent,
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing,
and veiled
you plague me too;
now through the game
I bring my bare back
to your villainy.

OK. The lyrics are officially the best part of this song. Any player or director wanting to introduce themselves or their movie should have the song re-recorded with the English translation. It displays the proper level of despair you intend to deliver upon your on-court/box office rival. But not for team sports. Only golf and maybe tennis

Or you can go the route that the makers of Wolverine movie. Make up some crappy sounding song and have a choir chant the name of the most popular man in the country, over and over. It’s about 35 seconds in.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I even know what kerning means.

In college, I had one professor who was fanatic in his conviction that to understand any style of writing we had to accept that “THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE.” The result was two weeks of lectures on the importance of different typefaces. And it culminated with a final exam that required us to differentiate articles from the USA Today, LA Times, NT Times and Washington Post based on a single line of text. Not a single sentence, mind you, but one line from one column of text.

So, what was the message in the different typefaces? I have no frakking clue because that was over a decade ago. But to this day, I can identify newspapers based solely on their typefaces. If presented with a stack of 30 different papers, I can pull out the LA Times by looking at just the few lines that fall on an issue’s 1/8-inch fold. There is no productive use for this skill and I have only employed it for purpose of evil.

So it’s with great concern that I noticed an alteration in the Post today. The typeface for the columnists’ bylines has been changed.

A few years ago, the Post switched from the classic Century Old Style to something they call Postroman. I think it’s a font they invented themselves. The two are very similar except the latter looks like each letter was squeezed slightly from the sides. The result is a taller character with the serif either pushed closer toward the vertical or compressed into the empty space between the two letters. The old Op-Ed bylines were a larger, italicized and underlined version of the typeface they use for the normal articles.

The new typeface is Helvetica or some variation close to it. Boring old Helvetica. It’s squat and fat in the middle and there is a mile of white space between each letter. It’s also all in caps.

It’s not necessarily bad. But it looks like something cooked up at a Midwestern regional paper like the Des Moines Register in an effort to bring the look of the paper into the 1990’s. We live in a major metropolitan Capital city. The design of our newspaper should look forward into the future and not backwards. It should develop upwards toward the heavens and not forward into the future.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

You know what's a good shovel ready project? Your grave.

Have you been listening to WTOP this week? I know you have because NPR is doing their pledge drive, and you don’t seem to be the type of girl who listens to Elliott or the Junkies. You're a lady and you pinch your cheeks if you want color. Only trollops use make-up. Have you heard on WTOP about these 300 houses in Virginia that need to boil their water because an 8 inch water main broke?

It’s not 300 households. It’s one household. It’s us. We have to boil our water before we can drink it because we live in the 15th century, and our water main was already made from lead and asbestos before it ruptured and got filled with cholera. We can’t wash our dishes in it. We can’t open our mouths when we shower. The dog can’t even drink out of the toilet so the dog is drinking bottle water. I have to keep the dog from eating old, random poop when we go for walks, but he’s drinking water out of a bottle like he’s some sort of burnt-up koala.

We had no water on Sunday, so neighbors were borrowing each other’s IDs and showering at the gym where they weren’t members. And showers are a really big deal in our neighborhood. Last October, when another pipe burst and it only effected one street, one of our neighbors allowed another to shower at her house. But later in November, after the shower-provider found out the shower-taker had voted for McCain, she went over to her house with itemized water bills and asked for a few dollars to cover the difference between the last two months.

Living several days without clean water would not be a big deal for us except 1) sacks of potatoes need water make their food and to be alive and 2) this same water main has BROKEN FOUR TIMES SINCE NEW YEARS! It’s surprising if we wake up and our car hasn’t collapsed into an eroding sinkhole.

So now our kitchen and fridge are filled with jugs of water which we will drink and gargle with until the pipes are clean again. We will bury whatever we have left in the back yard like good survivalists because this will surely happen again in the next few days. The supervisor of our giant street hole tries to keep our spirits up whenever anyone comes over to chat by joking that our pipes put the Ye Olde in Ye Olde Town Alexandria and that they were scheduled to be replaced this year but the city ran out of money. It seems they couldn’t get a proper loan that they could later default on like regular Americans.

our next kid's gonna be named "Waddy"

return of the World's Stupidest Morning Commute Conversations!

The N: (Points at the Department of Interior building*) That building is in the Art Deco style, you know.

Me: (Half asleep.) What? No. No it's not. Shut up. Let me sleep.

The N: IT IS. It is Art Deco.

Me: (Rubs eyes, squints.) No it's not.

The N: (Frantically attempting to search the web on his Blackberry while simultaneously driving, a practice that makes me murderous/enraged) It is. I can prove it. .... How do you spell "architecture?"

*(perhaps he really was thinking of "the Huff n'Puff's lobby" when he said Art Deco. Unrelated, some googling led me to learn the Interior building was one of the first to have a central vacuum cleaning system. Um, okay.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I am in such dire need for music, I can't even adequately explain the direness and neediness. Please, someone, for the love of humanity, give me some suggestions. If I listen to decades-old Mike Doughty in my car one more time I'm gonna chop my head off. Gah.

To illustrate: I'm wearing a blazer my mom gave me today, and it's probably a hand me down. Any ounce of with-it-ness that was once left in this decaying shell of a woman is rapidly vanishing. Go forth, music lovers! Make me cool!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

and for our next trick us assholes will hold a bake sale to raise money & awareness

No, really, how can you even stand it? How many times can I type "ZOMG" in a single mornings worth of IMs to Capps?

"Sam is probably aged between two to four going by her teeth and Bob is about four so they have a muchness with each other."

"They've really taken a shine to each other as they are both burnt and share the same burnt smell," he said.

No seriously you guys, I can't even take it at all. They have a "MUCHNESS" with each other? Usually I'm not into this much twee baby animal crap but oh hey look what motherhood can do to a fucking sucker. I'm probably dying? Let's go be Australian together.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

file under crotchety old people

Oh Michael Beirut, it makes me weepy, too, to realize 19 yr olds no longer know the joy of surreptitious Beast shotgunning using dull exacto blades during marathon late-night studio sessions. Kids these days.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ruh Roh

Listen. I know you’re gay. So does most everyone else. So you don’t need to act all weird around me just because we ran into each last Friday night on U street. You were clearly on a date. With a guy. I don’t see how it’s any of my business anyway. I’m more concerned with the $20 you still owe for the Super Bowl pool than I am gossiping about your personal life.

Besides, that attractive woman you saw me with? The one I was walking to my car with the intention of taking back to her place? That wasn’t my wife.


Besides IM'ing the husband to question the feasibility of digging our own basement in houses we can't afford to purchase, and eating chicken and playing online Scrabble, I'm still spending copious amounts of time thinking about learning (re-learning???) how to play the trumpet. If you have a trumpet i can borrow and/or you are/know someone willing to give cheap lessons, please to be contacting me.

In other news, I had a fifteen minute phone conversation with my mother this morning re: the definition of the word "chagrin."

Monday, February 02, 2009

Who wants to go to Mount Vernon this weekend and hit on the reenactors?


I have no doubt that Martha Custis was a stone cold fox. But this “portrait” based on some crazy formula that de-ages her 40 years has to be a little generous. Especially since there are several contemporary painting of her already available that demonstrate that she was a plenty attractive woman. She’s even got a little Selma Hayek thing going on at her wedding, which I’m totally on board with. There’s no need to truss her up with computers or algorithms or whatever they used.

Anyway, it’s commonly accepted that the hottest pre-Lucretia Garfield First Lady was Dolley Madison. Every school child knows that she was the first Presidential wife to serve ice cream in the White House. What’s less known is that all those calories went straight to her giant rack.

he was the perfect weapon, until he became the target

me: okay. so you have seen all the Bourne movies, right?

Amanda: of course

me: but i cant tell any of them apart ever really

Amanda: yeah

me: they are all good but all seem the same, so

Amanda: just pre- and post- the lady dying

me: im taking a poll. The N had never noticed this apparently.
there's one way to immediately tell its a Bourne movie without even seeing the characters or anything. do you know what that thing is? say yr flipping through TV channels...

Amanda: well they use that crazy type of photography, and the colors are very distinct

me: I can immediately say: THATS A BOURNE MOVIE...okay, sure that's true. but no

Amanda: although, now being employed in every action movie

me: right

Amanda: what is it?

me: miniblinds. or venetian blinds.
there are more window blinds per sq inch
in those movies
than in any other movie
i am currently collecting screenshots to prove this to the N
people peeking out of them
people peeking into them
people being thrown into them. etc

Amanda: you know... there really are

me: yes whoever directed those movies loves window treatments

Amanda: haaaahahahhahahahha