Thursday, October 29, 2009

grumpy old woman also hates kids on her lawn

I am not alone in the dislike of the encore.

Also, my casual internet polling led me to discover others who dislike the neti pot.

Rejoice, comrades!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fin Fang Foom

Our furnace, which has been apparently operating at about 11% efficiency, crapped out for good last week. It means our house is actually cold instead of just emotionally cold. Fortunately, tradition afforded us a way to get out into the sunshine on a beautiful October Sunday: Del Ray’s annual costume parade!

Two clarifying things about that paragraph:

1. The parade starts at 2pm, about the time when two free-wheeling adults used to wake up on a Sunday in autumn. Those people are dead and their souls stripped like Black Lanterns. They now try to spend the eight hours before the parade wondering how they are supposed to entertain a tiny dragon who refuses to take naps and breathes fire.

2. The term “parade” should be used loosely. Tradition mandates at least one fire truck, a few motorcycle cops and a grand marshal. And these elements pass dutifully in a relatively straight line. Afterwards, however, it becomes impossible to distinguish the participants from the spectators as all panic breaks loose and people run willy-nilly into the street, often in the direction opposite of the official route.

The Del Ray Costume Parade 2009 was very much similar to past parades in that it was extremely awesome to the extreme. It serves several ends but is especially effective at gauging what movie studios and franchises have the best costume marketing teams. This year we’re looking at vampires and werewolves, natch, but extra glittery for some reason. Harry Potter lingers too. And it seems that no one will ever put a proton torpedo into the thermal exhaust port that is the Star Wars cultural empire.

But the biggest gainer this year (besides Max from Where the Wild Things Be Hidin’ At) has to be the costumed super-hero get-up. There’d been plenty of Spider and Super Men in the past, for sure, but this year every other kid was bedecked as an Avenger or Justice Leaguer. I think there was even a Brother Voodoo.

But Winner #1 was this kid who went as your basic Kal-El.

He was bending foam pipe insulation so enthusiastically that he received standing ovations at every block. It was pretty fantastic.

Winner #2 was a costume that I didn’t even notice at the time of the parade. It wasn’t until later that evening when I was looking through the pictures trying to find a Batgirl that I realized what I had.

Some dude actually dressed up as a White House spokesperson. Auburn pride and all.

I know, terrifying.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


oh hey look a blog.

So someone help me out here. Why do some websites/blogs/online diaries/journals/tumblahrs/twatters/whathaveyous use the word "next" to go FORWARD in time (newer posts) and some use it to go BACK in time (older posts). Can't this be standardized?


These is an attempt to push the poison ivy one further down the page.

Mark these words. In the next 10 years, Shaggy will have another top ten hit. Not in the next 5 years, though, because that’s obviously too soon. But around 2014 we will collectively realize that we have been without his honeyed voice for too long and somebody will make the effort remedy it.

He has earned that from us.

The end.*

*not the end. Need proof? In Mr Boombastic, he rhymed please, breeze, keys, at ease, please (again) ha-chum sneeze, cheese and peas, all in one verse.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Listen, its cause we dont have anything else to write about

When faced with budget shortfalls, it’s the common practice for our backwater governing council to postpone some of the normal county-wide maintenance. They don’t fire 400 teachers like they do in DC or poison all the animals at the nature center like in Arlington. Basically, it means the mayor needs to change his own goddamn desk lamp light bulb for a few weeks.

Most commonly this issue manifests itself when Fairfax County stops recreational field maintenance. When a spring seasons starts, the fields are usually a muddy slough. As the year passes, games are played on a pitch that has literally gone to seed. A kicked ball will roll about 4 feet before getting Velcroed in the long grass. Recently, having absorbed a years’ worth of complaints, the county’s park service decided it would easier to turf most of the fields so they’d never have to pay for another gallon of high-priced Herndon lawn mower gas. Sure, it cost me and your parents who still live in Vienna a few dozen bucks upfront in taxes upfront but that weed whacker string can run substantial coin of the course of a summer. And the games don’t get rained out since Astroturf holds up to hurricane force deluges.

Good right?


While the fields are now uniform in speed, dimension and soullessness and require no upkeep, the same cannot be said about the vegetation that grows where the fun ends and the savage land begins. To borrow a phrase, the condition of the over growth is Flintstonian. For the modern tick collector, it’s a pure Eden. Chigger aficionados congregate to add specimens to their collections. And for poison ivy enthusiasts like me it’s a rashy, swollen and histamine-filled trip through the itching glass.

The only bonus is that the soccer kit regulated the effects to the area directly below my shorts and above my socks. But the two inch band circling both knees is incredibly irritated.


Speaking of which, I need new pants. But are we really about to do this, The Gap?

I need better access to my knees and if this is for real, then I’m on board.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Triple C

There’s a house in our neighborhood that thinks every day is that special trash day when you’re allowed to throw out huge pieces of garbage like armoires and rickety old Tony Little Gazelle Freestyle Elite workout apparatuses. Its always too much stuff for the garbagemen to take into their truck. So while they might take entire bar with matching stool set they will leave the 30 year old, 400 lbs projection TV set with matching red, green and blue bulbs. The TV will sit there for a few days until it magically disappears on non-trash days, hopefully into the sewer.

Currently there are at least 3 cords of wood and what looks to be an entire deck that’s been ripped of the back of a cheap, Reston townhouse. So, you know, if you want to host a giant bonfire that will crush some drunken Texan college students, I know a good place to start.

Last week, however, someone upped the ante.

It appears that someone is now using the corner as a drug drop point. And not even good drugs but regular drugs that can be used to make your basement explode and secure arrest warrants in 7 mid-Western states. Do people still do meth or try to get meth-like high from decongestants? Isn’t there some new rec drug now that kids can abuse?

I’m not really sure what to do about this. If this is some sort of drug drop, it’s comically inept. At the same time, though, this telephone pole is about 20 yards from a middle school. And now that I’m grown up, the idea of low-level drug dealers in my neighborhood isn’t a fun novelty anymore.

But I’m not narc, man, and I ain’t going to call no cops. So I’ll just assume that the Alexandria police will read this. And if they happen to be near Episcopal and have nothing to do, they might want to look out for this drop area. It’s near the bus stop, across the street from the house with a broken dishwasher, 500 copies of National Geographic wrapped in twine and snowblower with no wheels right there on the curb.

Monday, October 05, 2009

lives of the saints

Not to give away my Hween costume ideas, but: awesome.

Go green and gold!

I have this long-winded diatribe written out concerning a guy who approached me at Home Depot yesterday with the ol' "I need gas money to see my dying dad" spiel. It was the details of his story that made me so angry, not the thinly-thinly-thinly veiled panhandling itself. Like, be a better liar. You had a lot of time and people to practice on, so this story should be way better! Don't waste two minutes I that could be better spent contemplating what color stain I'm buying for the front door. (I went with "Jacobean." That's a color????? Apparently.)

So, Dear John, "George Mason student who is trying to get to Raleigh to see his dad who had a heart attack 20 minutes ago and is probably dying and I've asked 30 people here for a favor and none of them speak English but you do and if you could just spot me whatever you can part with I will TOTALLY find you and pay you back I swear, also could you pray for me?": Let's try this story again, shall we? Start from the top before I hand you a fiver.

Anyway. How do you respond in situations like this? I have a list of all the things I could have/should have said. I won't ruin the surprise/your opinion of me by telling you exactly how it ended up.