The DC: July 2008 Archives
So we took the boys to Cobalt for Bear night on Friday, although my heart was broken when I learned my favorite bartender and future boyfriend was not there. But we had a nice time anyway. Later me and Homer went to Gurl's house to watch the first half of the season finale of Dr. Who. Let me say that the writing for the new Dr. Who has been off the hook, and Friday's epsode was epic in scale and so intense that Gurl was siezuring most of the time out of sheer suspense.
On Saturday I was pleased to learn that Homer just wanted to chill out, which was fine with me as I got to go to the gym for some stress relief. Later we had a nice barbeque at TJ and Rob's, then off to Nellie's for a few. All of my "masc," athletic, down-to-earth buds from Manhunt were there, with their hands up in the air.
Homer still had enough party points left and joined me and Brett at Town, which was a lot of fun and OMG I met DJ David Knapp! I also said hi to fellow Renegade Patrick, who decided to bring his gun show to the club. Nice guns, my little winger... After that the paparazzi would not stop following me, so I had to duck out rather early.
DJ Paddy "Gun Show" B recommends Whitney Houston's Love That Man (Peter Rauhofer Club Mix) by the way.
I am currently under house arrest until the final paper for this summer's class is finished. It's an extenstive crisis communications portfolio for an organization in times of crisis. I'm really not in the mood to write one right now, but it's gotta get done.
"I didn’t see him there," says syndicated columnist and all-around asshole Robert Novak, after a pedestrian he hit in DC was splayed across his windshield.
In 2001, Novak screamed at a pedestrian in DC. After the incident he was quoted as saying:
"He was crossing on the red light. I really hate jaywalkers. I despise them. Since I don't run the country, all I can do is yell at 'em. The other option is to run 'em over, but as a compassionate conservative, I would never do that."
I had a car once. A really nice Mazda Tribute with lots of room, a moon roof and primo air conditioning. But I had to get rid of it, fortunately before the gas prices started rising. I really liked it a lot, but my friends were all very thankful because apparently I'm a bit of an aggressive driver, much like Novak. So I have some insight into Novak's angry mindset towards the lower-caste carless. Pedestrians in DC can be an infuriating bunch - from self-absorbed cell phone conversationalists wandering their way across the street, herds of Jennifers walking 4 abreast in a classic Roman phalanx (OMG just like Sex and the City!!!), or people just taking their time jaywalking where they will go.
DC bicyclists have a bad reputation too, mostly due to the road habits of those cool bike messengers you can find any weekday afternoon at the Big Hunt happy hour. They are as arrogant and condescending as Novak, as they are the hippest of the hip and usually in a great amount of agony from being so painfully subversive all the time. It hurts to be so cool, and that's why they're grumpy all the time. This anger from being so hip clouds their judgement and causes them to be reckless bicyclists on both road and sidewalk.
Another reason bicyclists can be so grumpy is that by the time you see their grumpy selves on the street, they've probably almost died several times that day. I come close to death every time I ride my bike to the gym. As bad as the shots have been around my 'hood, I'm still more likely to die from an auto collision than a gunshot wound. A lot of DC motorists are talking on their cell phone (illegal), smoking pot (more common than you'd think), are generally aggressive, or just don't see bicyclists at all when driving. It's that or they don't think bicyclists are valid or worthy of any respect on the road. And red lights seem to be just as optional to motorists as they are for bicyclists.
When you're on a bike and you nearly die, it makes you kind of grumpy. It makes you want to avoid drivers any way you can, and if that means running a red light if it's clear on your left and right, especially if it gets you that much further away from the pot smoking driver that you are afraid of.
And don't get me started on pedestrian and motorist use of designated bike lanes. Those are the narrow aisles on the right side of some streets that have the bicycle symbol. In case you didn't know, they're for bicyclists, not for double parking, hailing a cab, or for you to use when you need to pass someone on the right. That's my lane, not yours. You get 95% of the rest of the paved world, so let me use what little is allowed for me.
So the debate between motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists continues. Bicyclist and writer Andrew Sullivan has covered the conflict for some time.
Thanks to M.V. Jantzen for the photo of the bike lane.
All is (relatively) quiet in the house. I sent my brother off on his further adventures this morning. Being from Portland, Oregon, I don't think he liked the climate here much, but he had a good time. Although it's been a nice week in the 90s, relatively speaking, as the humidity hasn't been too high. Or maybe I've gotten used to summers here in DC. I just keep thinking that sweat is a moisturizer, and the summers here keep me looking young.
We went to see Hellboy II, which was a lot of fun and visually incredible. The director has a great imagination, and I can't wait to see how he presents The Hobbit. We also went to the Jim Henson exhibit at the Smithsonian, and I highly recommend it if you are even remotely a Muppet fan. Under exhibit glass were Bert and Ernie, Manah-Manah and his backup singers, Gobo the Fraggle, Kira the Gelfling, and of course Kermit the Frog. There were also a lot of design and concept notes by Henson, which gave fascinating insight on the final creations and productions.
I start my new job on Monday, but it's not firefighting - the link that has to do with the photo at left comes later in this entry. Summer vacation is over, but I'm excited about the new job. I'll be shopping for new clothes tomorrow with the gurls as most of my work clothes were fairly casual, and the new workplace is a little more formal. All my shirts and pants are kinda grungy, so it's time for new threads.
In accordance with providing a potpourri of pedestrian pastimes, here is a list of lascivious links:
Shirtless Spanish firefighter calendar (image at left is from the 2007 calendar.
Prostate cancer drug can prevent bone loss. The article's interesting, but what's up with the somewhat related image without a caption?
Life suddenly sped up around here in the middle of an otherwise sleepy summer. In addition to the unexpected trip to NYC this weekend and the job starting up soon, my brother decided to pop in for a visit. Here's us last year at our hometown Korn Fest celebration:
We'll probably go see the Muppet exhibit, and whatever museum or attraction he'd like to see.
You can't really say that a funeral was fun to attend. I was pretty exhausted after all of it, but I needed to go, even though it was a shock to see him not moving around like he always was. But I think that was why I had to go, as some part of me still couldn't believe it. It's different when someone is sick in the hospital, you're prepared in some fashion if they pass. I did get a chance to briefly meet his family and good friends, which was nice. The lesson learned as always is you never know when some will go, so enjoy your time with good people when you can.
The funeral was also a convenient reminder that I need to buy a blazer and more white shirts before I start this new job. I had not been shopping for new work clothes the past couple of years, and most of my surviving clothes are either too casual, a bit ragged or just old-looking.
Odd news from the DC area:
The opening reception for Currier and Tony Savoie's work is on Friday, July 11 from 6pm to 9pm at the above address. The work will be shown until August 9th.
I'm looking forward to seeing Jim Henson's Fantastic World exhibit at The International Gallery (inside the S. Dillon Ripley Center) on the National Mall some time this summer. It ends October 5.
The Henson exhibit will be shown in conjunction with the Muppets™, Music & Magic film series at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland July 12 - August 24. Featured films will include all of my favorites, including The Muppet Movie, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and The Muppets Take Manhattan.
Here's my favorite Muppet Fizgig, from The Dark Crystal:
Some say I act a lot like Fizgig when I see something scruffy. I don't see any resemblance...anyway, a long-awaited sequel to this masterpiece film is expected in 2009.
"You've heard about it?" I asked.
"That's where all the gays go! I saw it on TV once."
I think she watches too much Bravo. I'll have to get her a CD of The Pines' greatest hits of 2008 for Christmas. I won't tell her about the Meat Rack...
In other news back home, a semi carrying cheese burst into flames. Luckily, the refrigerated trailer was unharmed, and the precious cargo was intact.
Sean takes a ride on the Island Girl on the Mississippi near LaCrosse, Wisconsin. As a wee lad I used to jump off the bridge shown in the 4th photo down on that entry.
Tonight I went to a neighborhood 'SMD' (don't know what that means) meeting at Kennedy Rec Center featuring Kevin Chapple with a word from MPD 3rd District Commander George Kucik . Let me warn you that you should eat a big meal before one of these meetings and make sure you pick a comfy chair if you can find one. Anyway, it was good to hear about increased police efforts in Shaw and plans for more farmer's markets. I hadn't heard that the Giant was closing though. DC Chief of Police Cathy Lanier showed up too, which was promising.
Marc Fisher writes about the dumb idea to make all the bargain buses to NYC drop off and pick up passengers at L'Enfant Plaza. I'm glad that idea was scrapped. I love the prices and convenient locations of the various competing (and super-cheap!) buses that can whisk you off to the Big Apple.
Yesterday I trimmed some overhanging branches from the front garden area and sidewalk. Several of the boys from down the block gave me sincere and honest thank you's as they walked by, having never said a peep to me in the year I've been here. I guess that's how you get on their good side.
On Saturday I went to see Mongol at the lovely E Street Cinemas. It was a great movie showing the early days of Genghis Kahn (Temujin) and his constant efforts to get back his chosen bride. Genghis was apparently a bit of a slut, but you don't see any evidence of his whoring around in this film. But Eric tells me there are more films to come, possibly a trilogy. Perhaps when his horde starts building up he starts whordeing around more in future films.
I didn't make it to see any of the fireworks on the 4th, although we had enough on the block as it was. I'm guessing somebody blew their entire economic stimulus check on fireworks this year, as I swear they went on for at least four hours. Remarkably, whoever set them off cleaned up any trace of ordnance off the streets.
Kylie Minogue and Kermit the Frog - Especially for You:
On Sunday, Renshi, Milo, Zamboni and Rilec battled a zombie owlbear while Aren the warlock flanks from behind (even though undead can't be flanked, fyi).
From the Dungeon Crawl Classics #17 module: Legacy of the Savage Kings, by Harley Stroh. An adventure for character levels 4-6.
Bear rescues bear from drowning. Scroll down and click on the video for woofy footage of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Adam Warwick after the word from the sponsors. Note to urban Bears: do not try this at home just because you think you look like that biologist. And you are not one with another species by virtue of title nor are you a strong black woman. Or Suzanne Sugarbaker.
(Photo provided to FWC courtesy of Becky Bickerstaff)
Bio-inspired sensor based on mayfly nymph gill plates to one day replace the proverbial canary in a coal mine. University of Maryland research, fyi.
The avian evolutionary tree has just been shook up: mitochondrial DNA research discovers much of how we classify birds is wrong. Parrots share a more common ancestor with songbirds; as do falcons, no longer putting them together with hawks. And hummingbirds are more closely related to nighthawks than previously thought.
All the Joss Whedon cultists are in a tizzy, as there is a new show coming out on FOX in January entitled "Dollhouse" featuring Eliza Dushku and Battlestar Galactica's Tahmoh Penikett.