August 31, 2004

GOP Convention in one sentence, Day 1

For the party that thinks Abu Ghraib was a frat prank and rusty trailers are chemical weapons labs, we bring you a man who thinks justice comes at the end of a broomstick and a wallet is a gun.

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August 30, 2004

Broken Arrow

According to DCRTV, there are some strange stirrings on WARW 94.7 FM ("The Arrow"), the increasingly disused classic rock button on my car stereo.

This echoes the sad demise of Baltimore's WOCT, a classic-rock outlet in Baltimore that slowly drifted from ACDC to Rush to Elton John, then to that final pit of radio station purgatory, smooth jazz.

I have a feeling that classic rock is dying as a format, like the fizzling of the "jammin' oldies" format a few years ago, but more slowly. The future belongs to Usher and mallpunk, my friends.

At least I can listen to KEXP at work.

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More amusing protest photos from around the web

It reminds me of little thought bubbles above the heads of interns leaving the Front Page around last call on a Friday.

(Photo from these guys.)

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Mr. V. Supreme

Erstwhile Democratic presidential nominee located in NYC. This guy has perhaps the definitive photo.

UPDATE: On similar lines, meet the white Flava Flav.

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August 29, 2004

DCSOB won the 4-H award for best use of manure in a blog

I'm sure N.M. and M.G., who brought cameras, will tell you all about our little trip to the Maryland State Fair on Saturday. In short, the state fair is a lot like the state: Smallish, but packed full of stuff, from sheep shearers to Jesus freaks to the Social Security Administration. We saw pig judging, ate free samples of pork and generally scrambled everything previously consumed once we hit the rides.

Good times. And we saw a dude with way more toes than usual. And not at the fair, either.

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August 27, 2004

SOB of the Week

Kurt Williams allegedly killed a well-liked waiter as he walked through my neighborhood after work early Monday morning.


Does my elevation of a common criminal whom I've never met to SOB of the Week mean that I had a nice week? That nobody disgusted, annoyed or inconvenienced me? That I didn't once yell at the TV? My goodness, it's mid-morning on a Friday and I don't have any SOBOTW candidates from my personal experience.

Either things have been going well or I don't get out enough.

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August 26, 2004

Municipal playa hataz

There may be some people who hate D.C., but I'm pretty sure they don't hate it as much as this guy, who hates tiny, benign little Ithaca, N.Y.

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August 25, 2004

It's all fun and chains until the Nazis show up

OK, so this Sept. 29 march in Annapolis is sort of strange:

A "slavery reconciliation walk" on Sept. 29 will start at City Dock, where slave Kunta Kinte was brought into the United States and where a memorial stands in honor of him. Kunta Kinte's story was made famous by descendant Alex Haley's Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Roots" and a subsequent television miniseries.

The unusual demonstration will include white marchers wearing chains and yokes while being escorted by black people, and everyone will wear T-shirts with a message of apology.

And apparently, it's being protested by the neo-Nazi National Alliance, who have been flyering the town:

The fliers, titled "Say No to White Guilt!" urged residents to speak out against Lifeline's march, which "has been shaming and humiliating White people" since it began in Europe four years ago.

There are two bizarre things about this event and the article worth mentioning. First, there's the march itself. How do black people leading white people around in chains for an afternoon help racial reconciliation? Does that make it even? Second, we have the AP's treatment of the Nazis. Replace "National Alliance" with "Chamber of Commerce" and you would essentially have the same story. Does it matter, just an eensie weensie little bit that the people complaining are, you know, Nazis?

This is to some degree related to the ongoing Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Bush quasi-scandal*. In order to seem as fair as possible, the media feel obligated to report any crazy allegation from any group, include the boilerplate denial from the victims of the attack, and call it a day without examining the veracity of the charges or using the least bit of discretion when choosing what to run and what to ignore as crazy drivel. The end result is this: we're listening patiently to the Nazis as they make their points.

*No, I am not saying there is any connection between the Swiftees and Nazis, so close the comment window and take a time-out.

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August 24, 2004

(Service not available if your name is Lars Ulrich)

Some people think people will pay them for anything.

I'll load up your mp3 player

Hi. I have a very, very extensive music collection available for upload to your mp3 player. My taste range includes all styles, and I currently write for a couple well-respected music publications. I would be happy to upload music to your mp3 player, in exchange for tickets to events (baseball games, concerts, theater, etc.), DVDs or CDs, or other items of particular value. OR, I'll accept cash at a rate of 10 cents per song, minimum of 500 songs (this is the best value). Please e-mail me with questions -- I've done this for a few other people at the cash rate above and they've been very, very satisfied!

What a strange service!

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Dead in the District

Washington, D.C. is the worst place to die in America.

It sets of the metal detectors.

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Oh no you didn't!

Best line from a major daily newspaper this morning, from the NYT:

"Somehow, on all-cable news stations - CNN as well as Fox News - a story that rises or falls on basic and mostly verifiable facts blurs into just another developing news sensation alongside the latest Utah kidnapping or the Scott Peterson murder trial. (It is particularly confusing on Fox News, where so many of its blond female anchors look like Amber Frey.)"

Major snaps to writer Alessandra Stanley. Next article: Fox News' mama so fat, when she channel surfs around the dial, she surfs around the dial. Uh-huh.

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August 23, 2004

Dupont parking nightmare

Has anyone else noticed how many temporary parking restrictions are up north of Dupont Circle today? Looking for parking, I found parts of Q, R, 19th, 21st and Corcoran Streets restricted during daytime hours.

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Dupont shooting

I heard this morning that someone was shot and killed on R St. between 18th and 19th Streets, NW, in the wee hours of this morning. There's no confirmation of this anywhere on the web. Anybody know what's up?

UPDATE: NBC chimes in -- I'm not crazy.

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-ist is the new -ism

We'd like to welcome another professional blog to the D.C. scene, DCist, sister of Gothamist, LAist and Chicagoist. They link here, so they're already better in my eyes than Wonkette.

Good luck, DCists!

UPDATE: My awesome powers of blog-checking have led me to discover that DCist is being coedited by Michael, formerly of the Oculus. Kickass!

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August 20, 2004

Depressing weekend guide

I'm looking ahead to two days of too much work for days that start with "S." There's nothing at the Black Cat (well, except Mousetrap), nothing at the 9:30 and nothing at the Ottobar worth seeing this weekend. Of course, you can always catch Outfoxed at Visions if the Avalon's distance from the Metro kept you away before.

But let's forget documentaries this weekend, even if it is an election year. Everybody should go see Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. I'm sooo not kidding -- I saw it yesterday and laughed my ass off. You really should see it before it leaves theaters for good and you forget about it by the time it comes out on DVD.

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August 19, 2004

Shut up!

Bush supporters being patriotic and optimistic in Portland:

They come from a long tradition:

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Steakhouse sans steak

I walk past the Charlie Palmer steakhouse on Constitution Avenue at least once a day, often during lunch. Although it isn't as popular as, say, my neighborhood Chipotle, there are always at least a few occupied tables within view of the floor-to-ceiling windows. The strange thing is that I can't recall seeing anyone with actual food, except for bread. Do they serve you there, or do you just sit, talk about important things with important people, pay your check and leave?

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The Name of This Blog is DCSOB

I was talking with Erica of Designs on You at Tuesday's little blogger shindig about how abrasive and angry I must sound to someone who reads this blog but has never met me.

I'm a generally happy person, really I am!

But day after day, something sticks in my craw to the point at which it ends up on the web. Today, it's the record companies. See, the highlight of my vinyl collection (small as it is) is The Name of This Band is Talking Heads, a two-disc live album that never made it to CD. Which is to say, if you wanted to hear it, you needed to have the record or know someone who did. Like me.

But now it's coming out on CD. I'll probably end up buying it, too.

That's one less thing I've got going for me.

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August 18, 2004

SOB of the week

FOX 5 News for blatant whoring of the American Idol tryouts. If you want to treat it like a real news story and pretend like there's any seperation between local news and entertainment, don't use the Idol font for the "Live" graphic on the upper-left corner of the screen.

Any high-school newspaper writer can tell that this is a manufactured news story, of no news value or consequence to anyone but Rupert Murdoch. Somehow, Fox can cover the tryouts but doesn't have the newsroom capacity to evaluate the claims of campaign surrogates, so they just show tit-for-tat attacks sans context. Can the cheery correspondent interviewing the no-talent fools in sleeping bags at the MCI Center use Lexis-Nexis? I thought so. Get her doing some real news work instead of shilling product like the housewife on Ron Popiel infomercials who is just so surprised how handy this amazing new rotisserie is.

UPDATE: Bad journalism breeds more bad journalism. WaPo gets into the action, parroting Fox's crowd numbers verbatim in a way they never would for a political rally. Oh no, Fox would never twist numbers to hype a show if they knew they could get away with it because Libby Copeland has the investigative curiosity of a pet rock.

UPDATE II: More WaPo bashing. If they were any more subservient, I'd ask them to clean my bathroom.

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A previous post that got no attention at the time is ripped off by a more popular blogger who gets the credit.

Life isn't fair.

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D.C. Blogger get-together

Present and accounted for at Pharmacy Bar last night were: N.M of Seeking Irony, M.G. of WeirdCurves, Megadork, Erica of Designs on You, Michael of Articulatory Loop, Brett of The Upstate Life, Avram of Whatevers and Whatnots and me, your friendly neighborhood SOB, who also came representing group blog Live from the Third Rail.

We talked about indie rock. We complained about Prince George's County. Most of all, we drank a lot of greyhounds.

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August 17, 2004

Don't help me, Jeebus

Religious freaks come out...

The Washington outreach, at an estimated cost of $200,000, is scheduled to begin tomorrow with three days of planning. On Saturday, teams clad in "Jews for Jesus" shirts will begin blanketing Metro stops with religious leaflets, Washington director Stephen Katz said. middle finger goes up.

During my short daily commute, I have to put up with, at least occasionally:

  • Moonie Times hawker
  • Shoe shine a**hole, who tries to push me into a corner
  • Beggar with a bucket and a loud mouth
  • Beggar who tries to pretend he's asking for directions before hitting me up for cash
  • Really bad Christian musician with an electric keyboard right in front of the escalator, so you have to walk around him
  • LaRouche freaks

Yes, I like the concept of the public square and the First Amendment, but I don't need any more wierdos in my face. At the very least, we need a better class of busker/political wierdo/cultist.

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Only in DC

From a short but tantalizing overheard elevator conversation:

Guy 1: Well, if I did that, I'd get subpoenaed.

Guy 2: That's right, you have to keep yourself clean.

Guy 1: I'll tell you this, but you have to remember, this is strictly off the record...

Then the door opened and we went our seperate ways.

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Reading Rainbow

I have to say, I was transfixed by this WaPo feature on the Washingtonienne, Jessica Cutler. I wonder how many other people are living like that.

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August 16, 2004

Meanwhile, back in Baltimore...

From the Sun police blotter:

"Burglary: Three oak fireplace mantels were stolen from a house in the 1800 block of N. Mount St. between Aug. 8 and Wednesday. The theft was reported Friday."

Three fireplace mantels! When I tell people that they steal mantels in Baltimore, they laugh, but it's true.

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We gonna party like it's yer berfday (yesterday)

Happy belated birthday to former DCSOBlogger A.G., who is somewhere in Eastern Europe, marvelling at how much better the public services are than in the seat of government of the richest nation in the world.

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August 15, 2004

I like eggs. That is my truth.

For brunch today, Kramerbooks is offering this special:

I'm a Gay American Omelet $16.25
Jersey tomatoes, sweet corn & American cheese, w/ fresh jumbo lump crab, all stuffed in a three-egg omelet finished w/ a classic hollandaise.
Cafe potatoes & fresh fruit.

What Kramer's neglects to mention is that their six-figure omelet chef doesn't have a security clearance to handle dairy products.

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August 13, 2004

My brush with fame

Well, it may more realistically be called my brush with trucks that provide support services to those who can be described as having the charachteristic of fame.

They're setting up to shoot the new Clooney/Damon pic Syriana outside my building. And no, I'm not in L'Enfant Plaza.

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Everybody Loves Ramyun

My project for the upcoming storm-battered weekend: I want some really good authentic ramen, the kind you can only get at an Asian supermarket that has a whole aisle of the stuff. The only problem is that my car is salted away in an underground parking garage in Bethesda so as not to end up with a tree limb through the sunroof.

So, does anyone know where I can get my hands on the preemo stuff via Metro?

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August 12, 2004

SOB of the Week

Au Bon Pain Cell Phone Lady: I think this is a DCSOB feature that won't ever be forgotten for very long, if only because this city is so choc' full of deserving SOBs. I met this week's female canine progeny at the Union Station ABP. Sandwich in hand (sadly not prepared by the best-named deli worker in town, ABP's "Asshou"), I went to a register where a woman blabbered into a cell phone as the cashier rung up her four or five sandwiches. Apparently (well, definately, since she was loud and I heard every word), she wanted to make sure she had everyone's order right, and was confirming with her office-mates what they had ordered.

After the sandwiches had been prepared and wrapped.

After the cashier had rung everything up and could not let others skip in line as she talked on the phone.

After anything could possibly be done to fix any incorrect orders.

I patiently waited for a minute, turned to her, and from two feet away, in a normal indoor voice, told her to hang up the goddamn phone and get on with it because the world isn't your personal conference room and you should have asked whether Frank wanted Roma or sun-dried tomatoes before you left the goddamn office, you inconsiderate braindead woman.

No response.

You, my dear, are the SOB of the week. I hope your ear falls off.

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August 11, 2004

Metro party, Part 2

Some more ideas:

Take the Orange Line in from Vienna or New Carrolton.: It should be empty at least until Ballston, and everyone getting on there will be drunk. Coming inbound will save a nasty cab fare, as Chris points out in the comments. The Blue Line is out, as it passes through National and the Pentagon, but the Green Line from Greenbelt could work, as it takes a while to get down to U Street.

Nobody is getting arrested: Station managers don't patrol platforms, and Metro cops aren't going to be hanging out at East Falls Church counting stars. If nobody acts dumb, we'll be cool.

Avoid the last train of the night: Too crowded, and with too many Metro employees. If we see anyone who looks to be affilliated with WMATA, MPD, or any other instrument of repression, everyone has to get off and take the next train. If we can't, the party is over.

This will be more involved than brown-bagging on the train: We need party props that can be quickly stowed, so silly string and string-lights are out. Do they make battery-powered strobe lights?

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August 10, 2004

Metrorail rager

I've had just about enough of the crackdowns, the candy bar arrests, the paratroopers with huge guns menacing people on the Red Line. It's time to take Metro back for the riders.

I think we need a train party, like the ones they have in London.

Of course, it won't be easy. The whole no food or drink thing could be hard to pull off. I suggest flasks and backpacks that can be hiddden in stations. You'd need a battery-powered boombox, and who has those anymore?

More on this later, when I don't have so much work to do.

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August 6, 2004

Only in D.C.

The limo carrying birthday girl M.G. and the rest of her cohorts (including me) was stopped three times driving around the Capital last night, each time by cops carrying progressively larger guns.

OK, so one of those times was pre-arranged by one of the passangers who happened to be dating a cop, but I think the driver didn't find it all that funny.

Oh, and f*ck the Franconia roller rink.

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August 5, 2004

In which we once again express derision for flyover country

NYT quotes:

"Washington, D.C., is America's backyard,'' said Paul Slavin, a senior vice president of ABC News.

America hears:

"Washington, D.C., is America's backyard, so please feel free to disgard all the useless stuff you can't fit in your garage, like Tom Delay, right here."

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D.C.: It's not Detroit!

Has anyone else noticed that murder is way down in D.C. this year?

Maybe all the would-be criminals have been stuck waiting for Red Line trains that never arrive...

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August 4, 2004

Foxiest Movie of 2004

I've been hearing a steady drumbeat of demand (OK, one or two offhanded comments) for Outfoxed, the new anti-FNC documentary burning up the screens in living rooms of members nationwide.

Well, it's coming to the Uptown tomorrow with a special guest appearance by John Podesta of the Center for American Progress.


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How much is enough?

From the LAT

"We concede this certainly makes it easier for security," Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia's congressional representative, said as she stood on 1st Avenue N.E., now closed between the Capitol and Union Station. "You want to really make it easier? Close down all the streets! Close down the city! You can make it real safe."

Be careful what you ask for, Elanor.

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August 2, 2004


As promised, photos of my weekend in Boston. This is what happens when thousands of D.C. people descend on a city.

(Click on the thumbnails for a larger version.)

Even at a happy hour event, there are camera crews looking for people to interview

The "Run Against Bush" people, at least two of which I recognized from Dupont Circle, head off for their loop around the Fleet Center.

The day after the convention, the feds take their bomb robot for walkies before the long trip back to Quantico.

Young Dems shut out of the convention head for the bar.

This is the closest I got to the action.

If you have a neighborhood nicknamed the Combat Zone, don't mark it off as such on your tourist maps.

Did I mention that they have an awesome new bridge?

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Terror level alert

As you have noticed on the left side of the page, and perhaps in some local newspapers, the terror alert level has been raised from Black-Eyed Susan to Screwdriver, following the interception of threats to the IMF and World Bank buildings in Foggy Bottom.

We at DCSOB do not expect DHS to lower threat levels to a more girlie level of Blue Lagoon or Appletini until after the election, so drink up.

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