November 30, 2004

A seat opens up at the R Street Starbucks

Joshua Micah Marshall is now officially a New York-based blogger.

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November 29, 2004

All that buzz for naught

Remember all the excitement about how Dork City would hold some sort of contest to crown the prince/princess of D.C. wonktasticity? It's been over a month since we've last heard from him/her with no notice of where he/she went.

Ditto for Swamp City, the site that for a long time served as Wonkette's only connection to the local blog (virtual) scene.

People: If you're going to blog, make sure you can stick to it!

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Smorgasblog smorgasbord

Welcome back from the long weekend, everybody. We have an announcement to make:

Please welcome to the blogosphere the newest member of the smorgasblog.com family, DCFÜD. More than just restaurant reviews, DCFÜD is your guide to the culinary lifestyle in Washington, from where to get obscure Croatian seasonings to how to bake a kickass quiche that doesn't threaten your manliness.

We also have some new contributors to the smorgasblog borg: sitemistress Zoe, her sister Laura, master cook Liz, Michael of Articulatory Loop and N.M. of Seeking Irony in addition to me and A.G. of DCSOB and Live From the Third Rail.

So chow down everybody, and don't miss DCFÜD!

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November 27, 2004

Big big big news

Saturday, January 8, 2005
Mark the date.
Put a reminder in Outlook.
Note it in your PalmPilot.
Write it on your office whiteboard.
Scrawl it on your forearm with a Sharpie.

Why?
bluestate is coming to your town.

Your four favorite D.C. bloggers will be spinning your favorite indie-ish tracks, new and old, backstage at the Black Cat. Be there or be slightly behind the times.

Keep an eye on this blog for more information, flyers and maybe even some sample mp3s.

To reiterate: bluestate ... Black Cat backstage ... Jan. 8 ... your favorite bloggers ... your favorite music ... no cover.

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November 25, 2004

Diplobrats

Duponters: Are you tired of diplomats blocking driveways and fire hydrants without the threat of the massive fines us 'Murcans would pay for the same infraction? Maybe we can get their tickets deducted from our foreign aid under a new provision in the omnibus budget bill.

Vengeance is nice, but I'd hate to see some rural electrification project run out of juice because a diplomat can't follow parking rules.

Posted by rj3 at 2:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 24, 2004

Vacation, all I ever wanted

Thanks, Michael Moore, for reminding me of President Bush every time I hear or think of that Go-Go's song. Dammit.

Anyway, the point of this post is to say that I'm going home for Thanksgiving and thus am not expecting to do much in the way of posting until Monday. So enjoy the holiday and get your blog-jollies elsewhere.

Posted by rj3 at 11:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

ING Direct Opens Doors...

A posting over on Live from the Third Rail discusses the upcoming ING Direct promotion, where everyone will get to ride MetroRail free on the morning of December 16.

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November 23, 2004

Linkerdoodles

For your reading pleasure:


  • Fake LaRouchies in Washington state. We need them here to have a LaRouche-off;
  • DFA Records has some LCD Soundsystem videos. Via Casa de Punk;
  • I've been reading Veiled Conceit's mocking of New York Times wedding announcements for a few weeks now and I haven't shared with y'all. I'm so sorry.

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SOB of the Week

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Reuters photo


ADAM EIDINGER, you overgrown emo loser with an insatiable need for the spotlight and too much time on your hands, you didn't do your side a favor yesterday. Instead of making a case against a government-sponsored stadium, you played right into the hands of the team owners by acting like a raving lunatic (although calling it "acting" would be a stretch) and losing a fight to a 76-year-old baseball announcer who hasn't had any baseball to announce since the Nixon administration.

Newsflash: Us stadium opponents are not all nutjobs who need to bum-rush a stage. We would prefer to work through the Council and the courts, where reasonable people engage in the political process. What we don't need is a failed candidate from a failed party with a failed haircut jumping around in front of the cameras to take the focus away from every study ever done on the shoddy economics of government-financed stadiums.

If you want to be a martyr and do some jail time, go right ahead -- we won't miss you. But please choose an issue that nobody cares about, like Green Party ballot access or something, and leave the important stuff to saner voices.

Posted by rj3 at 8:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 22, 2004

It's official

I dropped by Union Station this afternoon to check out the press conference announcing the name of our fine imported Canadian baseball team.

nats.jpg

I may have been a bit too early.

But we already know how this game will be played. Today's announcement is the archetypal Washington event: A well-planned announcement of information that has already been leaked to a public that has the vague feeling that they just got swindled so some special interest can get what they want without having to pay for it.

Except this announcement had hats. For $21. And $50 hoodies. In general, judicial nominations and procurement contracts don't have a merch table.

Of course, it wouldn't be 2004 Washington without the whitewash. Outside the station, Park Service officials carried anti-stadium signs freshly ripped from signposts and street lamps, taking breaks to hit on passing women. They didn't want to pose for my cameraphone.

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Go Gnats!

Oh wait, it's the "Nats," a.k.a."Washington Nationals", a.k.a. the "Beltway Boondoggles," a.k.a. "Big Baby Jesus" (no, that's last week's big story).

Yes, I'm offended that none of my suggestions were chosen, but it's more than that. What the hell is a National? Will there ever be a "Natty Nation?"

Also, do you think they'll serve Natty Boh (for $6 a cup) at the stadium just to piss off Baltimore?

Update: Actually, I like the hats. I'm glad they kept the old-school Senators design instead of the blocky design used for the logo.

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November 19, 2004

The list

There has been a surprising amount of buzz surrounding the Leafblower's top 40 bands in America today. For the record, here are my picks, in no particular order.

1. Talking Heads - They count in my book because they finally released
"The Name of This Band" on CD in 2004.
2. Modest Mouse
3. Ted Leo/Rx
4. Handsome Boy Modeling School
5. The Postal Service
6. !!!
7. OutKast
8. Fiery Furnaces
9. The Black Keys
10. Q and not U.

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Radio Ga Ga

Did you know that WGMS -- the classical station -- has the third-highest ratings in the DC market, far above rockers DC 101 and WHFS?

Maybe playing Evenescence and Linkin Park twice an hour doesn't make for good listening after all...

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November 18, 2004

Welcome to Atlanta

It's now looking more likely that we will eventually have an Intercounty Connector linking I-95 to I-270. Add that to 7100 linking I-66 to I-95 in Virginia, and you already have half of an outer beltway, adding the Washington area to cities like Atlanta and Houston as cesspolls of sprawl and traffic where new highways simply add to congestion by increasing the number miles driven.

Traffic will not be solved by building concentric rings to help people move from satellite community to satellite community - it will only be solved by integrating outlying areas where the tech/defense/biotech boom has taken root (Dulles/270/Tysons) through the central city, not around it.

Does this mean that Washington should ease or eliminate the building height restriction for some parts of town to lower commercial rents? Perhaps. But what's for sure is that the way to make the area more liveable is not to encourage people to spend more time in their cars navigating a never-ending tangle of interstates and parking garages.

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November 17, 2004

Plug

Speaking of cool kids, K.G. has the top 40 bands in America today, a survey in which I participated.

It's amazing how many geezers made the list: Brian Wilson, Springsteen, David Byrne? It's almost as if American music has been taken over by commercial monoliths catering to 12-year-olds and the U.K. has a lot of the interesting new stuff. Hmmm...

Interesting absences: !!!, LCD Soundsystem and Radio 4 -- has DFA been flogged to death?

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TV on the Radio on your Butt on the Street

There's really nothing better than hipster beef. I can't wait to see the b*tchslaps fly outside Velvet Lounge one night in the near future, the brawl continuing until someone gets their $200 "vintage" courderoy blazer ripped -- it's hard to throw a roundhouse when your clothes are too tight.

Don't read this as my accusing the DCeiver of being a lanky hipster - I believe you can be into indie rock without buying into the trust-fund bohemian lifestyle. Speaking as someone who's been called a hipster, metrosexual, Zionist and baby-killer in the same negative tone, I know it's not a neutral term.

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November 16, 2004

Why we lost

"Heartland values?" Heck, this scares even the most urbane big-city liberal.

I guess that's why there are so many congressmen who have an "Aaarrrrgh" next to their name.

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November 15, 2004

Where yuppies fear to tread

They finally broke ground on the "$55 million" Anacostia light rail project the other day, opening a whole new area of town to denser development, or so proponents claim.

Yesterday, driving from the Home Depot back to Dupont on Rhode Island Avenue, I noted that the inevitable course of gentrification led down Rhode Island and Florida Avenues right to LeDroit Park, now a tangle of beat-up houses and gas stations. One of my compatriots asked me if it was possible for the entire city to be eaten up, going east and south block by block, entirely by yuppies. I said that I didn't think so, given that there are only so many young people who don't care about the quality of the public schools.

Right now, the trend is for recent college graduates to get their jollies in town for a few years before settling somewhere farther out they can live cheaply and begin working on that all-important 401(k) before the little brats eat up all their disposable income. I like the fact that I can walk to the 9:30 Club, Black Cat and Brickskeller from my apartment, but that means a bit less when keg deposits give way to wedding registries.

So there is a natural limit to the gains that can be made from making a city "cool" without suburban-quality public education and housing projects. If the Anacostia light rail is designed to alleviate traffic and move people more efficiently between Bolling, Metro and points in between, then go ahead. But if this is a shiny new trolley designed to lure the Eastern Market boom clear across the river, then they've got another thing coming.

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Weather, you like it or not

Meet a new sidebar buddy: Capital Weather, a site that promises "the most useful and entertaining weather coverage for the DC area available anywhere."

More entertaining than Channel 5's Tom Sater coaching a shy 12-year-old through the travel forecast at 7:30 on a Friday morning? More useful than being one of 12 people in the metropolitan area to know how to drive in an inch of snow? Tough call.

But given that a third of our regular readership (hi Will, Liz and Michael!) live in windowless English basements and thus don't know what's going on outside until it falls on their heads, perhaps some more weather links are in order.

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Deadpool deal

odb_bw205.jpg

How about this: You get to put Reagan on the $10 bill in exchange for replacing "E Pluribus Unum" With "Baby I Got Your Money."

Fair?

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November 12, 2004

Lame-O weekend guide

Yeah, tonight will probably involve a Full Minute of Mercury, since the little corner of the blog world to which I belong has decided to go nuts about them en masse. That, and the lead singer looks cute.

Then again, I may go to the opening of Artomatic, described as "the second-worst display of art I've ever seen. The only one to beat it out, by the thinnest of split hairs, was the 2002 Artomatic."

Saturday: I'm not a moving man, but I'll play one on U Street. Follow it up with planned trips to Ikea and Home Depot, and you have a recipe for fatigue. Hopefully, something vaguely social will come up that doesn't involve Matthew Sweet at the 9:30 Club or more of this embarassing "dancing" they do backstage at the Black Cat.

Sunday: Lefty's BBQ. Look for a review in the following days.

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Boneheadedness is

...Remembering to put on your old sneakers to prevent your new New Balances from getting all soggy and disgusting, but forgetting that you're so cheap that you didn't get the new shoes until your old ones had holes in the soles, leaving you with some very wet feet.

UNRELATED: This blog (dug up from someone else's Sitemeter) gives me a headache.

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November 11, 2004

SOB of the Week

THE COMMUTER WHO CUT ONE yesterday on the Red Line. Listen, we're all grownups here (except for the Gonzaga kids who I see when I get on during the 4 o'clock hour) and we're all old enough to know when a silent but deadly is on its way and can excuse ourselves accordingly. And while you, whoever you are, may be alighting at Metro Center after your little indiscretion, it's a long way to Shady Grove for some other people, assuming the train actually makes it there without a collision, derailment or door malfunction.

Metro stations are large, airy and generally well-ventilated. The trains are not. So, for the sake of everyone else you right with, TCWCO, briefly step off the train, much like you would if a large family of obese Oklahomans needed to get off to leave a wreath at the Hinkley Hilton for Jesus H. Ronald W. Reagan. Then get right beck on. Better yet, don't. And lay off the beans.

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You can now go back to fearing the usual minorities

Terror level for D.C. and New York reduced from screwdriver to Black-eyed Susan.

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You snooze, you loose

From the ever-entertaining Baltimore Sun police blotter:


Southeastern District

Theft: A 44-year-old woman from Germantown told police that someone removed $3,800 that she had won gambling in Atlantic City from her purse while she slept on a Greyhound bus bound for Baltimore. The woman discovered the missing money when the bus arrived at the Baltimore Travel Plaza in the 5600 block of O'Donnell St.

Nice try, lady. Now tell the nice police officer what you need the $3,800 for before we start chasing down every fool on that bus just to have you confess that you lost all that money at blackjack and have a leaky roof.

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November 10, 2004

N.M and MG saw Juliette and the Licks last night and apparently liked it.

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November 9, 2004

Butt in any time

Third-rate famous-for-DC pundit Andrew Sullivan got caught on live TV doing some pretty egregious ass-handling last week, James Wolcott reports. That kind of lack of control is why he's never getting a regular gig on a respectable show.

UNRELATED: Welcome to Jesusland!

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November 8, 2004

Monday haikou madness!

We had a lot of fun the last time around with Dupont Circle haikous, so I thought it might to help break up the workday with a little new poetry. New poems are welcome in the comments, of course.

Woodley Park Metro
Railcars go doggie-style
"Hump day" that much worse

It gets longer still
U Street corridor extends
Yuppies to the sea?

What do WASA flaks
And your tap have in common?
They're both full of sh*t

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Weekend food wrap

Who can seriously chastise someone for trying to fight boredom with food when there's just so much good stuff to eat?

Amsterdam Falafelshop: Yes, the jumbo slice is very good. Yes, people get insane cravings for it that lead them to go miles out of the way for it at odd hours. However, it's greasy, occasionally nausea-inducing and makes you feel like a glutton for about a day and a half. Luckilly, this oft-praised new joint on the 18th Street strip deserves all the props it gets. The falafel itself is made fresh on the spot by a guy who looks like Moamar Qadhaffi and the toppings are self-serve, so you can douse your chickpea balls with as much sauce as you'd like.

Five Guys: You know exactly how you'll feel one bite into a Five Guys bacon cheesebueger. All will be right with the world for about two minutes. Your hunger will be sated, your problems will melt into a greasy abyss of rich, meaty goodness. Of course, your productive capacity will be null for about two hours after the meal, but is that such a high price to pay for a cheap, quick high that doesn't endanger your security clearance? Now that they're in the District proper, we'll all be junkies soon.

The rest of my weekend? Eeh. At least A.G. is back. But the food, well, it almost makes wasting two beautiful days and getting a flat tire on my bike worthwhile.

ALSO: How Friday night at DC9 went horribly awry.

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November 7, 2004

What I learned by missing Meet The Press

If it's Sunday, it ain't Meet The Press anymore.

I've been trying to cut back on my political news intake since the election, partly to try to keep my spirits up and partly because there are other things that are important to me that I should be spending more time on. So this morning, instead of plunking down with Tim and his merry band of sycophants and idiots, I went out to Dupont Circle for a walk. Some people (I'm guessing LaRouchies, since they've moved their neighborhood base of operations from the Q Street Metro entrance to the circle itself) had chalked up the sidewalk. I saw it last night and remembered to bring my camera:
image034.jpg
There was also all sorts of talk of secession, hippie anti-war screeds and the like. Some group of people took time out of their day to write lefty (if a little nutty) messages in an area frequented nearly entirely by yuppie liberals.

Wednesday night at around 10, another group of nutjobs walked down Q Street chanting the same mindless anti-war slogans that have probably done more harm than good in terms of keeping our troops out of harm's way. What did they accomplish? They distracted me from South Park. That's all.

Most days, a group of two or three ragged looking people set up in front of the liqour store on Connecticut Ave., selling bumper stickers that say "Stop Bitching, Start a Revolution." What could be more antithetical to the stated goal on the stickers than selling bumper stickers?

To widen the scope a bit, take these people. Every year, they get arrested protesting a government-run school in Georgia that trains South American death squads. Now, I'm as anti-death squad as the next urban liberal, but I don't really see what good they're doing by going down there every year. The only people who hear about these protests are the idiots who read Indymedia for their daily fix of feel good protesting and anti-Israel blather. The people who fund the things they protest aren't paying attention, nor do they have to. All those nights in jail spent for the sake of complaining that they arrested you for speaking your mind could have been spent assembling yard signs, phone banking or even running for a small local office to work up the ladder.

The left in America is having its lifeblood sapped from it by wasting its energy on actions designed to make the participants feel good about doing something, not to gain power. Power enables change - they have it, we don't. Chanting in the streets of a 90/10 blue neighborhood won't help.

I doubt Meet The Press would have enlightened me on that.

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November 5, 2004

A rock tragedy that doesn't involve heroin

I really liked McLusky's show earlier this year at the Black Cat and I had been looking forward to their triumphant return to Washington when I saw that they had played the Ottobar two nights before I got there to see Ted Leo. Bummer. In any case, they made my pre-election freakout list as well.

Somebody just stole all their stuff.

WTF?

Go buy their new album and help get them rocking again.

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Weekend thoughts

I think DC9 hit the trifecta this week. Three nights, three solid reasons to go. Friday is the now-ironic Liberation Dance Party, which I know nothing about but has a moderate buzz going (as will I, probably). Saturday brings Electrotease, which is a good excuse to party like it's 2003. Sunday is Taint, the gay britpop night that is supposedly taking all orientations by storm.

Cheaper booze than Black Cat, and a better looking bartender as well - can you go wrong?

Oh, If I had a Schlitz can, yidel deedle didel deedle didel dum...

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November 4, 2004

Milestone

Today, DCSOB had its 20,000th visit and its 30,000th pageview. And all it took was a little over a year.

Keep it comin', baby.

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Awwwwwwwww

Who here could use a little cheering up? Yeah, I thought so. Here's about the most adorable picture you'll see today.

Jeebus, I'm an f'n sap. I need to go kick something to get my masculinity back.

Posted by rj3 at 1:31 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 3, 2004

Something better go right one of these days

Woodley Park crash.

So. Angry. Right. Now.

Update: You'll be pleased to learn that el WaPo's editorial board has come out against train crashes.

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Soft and fuzzy things

For some reason, D.C. has an unhealthy obsession with Franz Ferdinand. Why not show off how much you like a band all the cool kids like as well with this Franz Ferdinand scarf?

You can add it to your Interpol tea cozy and Death Cab for Cutie mittens to make quite a nice little indie knits collection.

Posted by rj3 at 11:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Happy thoughts

Put down the Molotov cocktail, sonny.

For at least the next week, DCSOB is going to drop the politics, focusing instead on all the awesome stuff there is to do around our fair city. That's an honest pledge.

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Taking the pulse of the AIM nation

Every single away message on my buddy list, as of right now:

my fellow americans, congratulatrions on selling your soul for a $2000 tax refund

grad school sucks

“Ohio, Ohio, Ohio.”-Tim Russert

Dan Rather is talking circles and saying nothing

A recent revelation: My shitass car is the root of all of my problems...

Anyway, to all you Dems right now that are crying about the election. Realize this, Kerry ran a shitty shitty campaign. If he won, it would be inspite of his numerous mistakes. For a candidate that couldn't find a message until the final month, with a running mate that gave nothing to the ticket and tried relentlessly and then failed to turn out voters that never vote, he did pretty well. Granted, if the Democratic party could've fielded a better, more centrist candidate they could've won handily, but alas, the party just forgot how to win a national election. I think the Dems need this loss just like the Republicans needed a Clinton to reinvigorate themselves. Yes I voted for Kerry.

moving to sweden

COME ON KERRY!!!!

What will I wake up to?

Did the e-voting machines steal the election? Whatever. Computers are frying my brain.

FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK.

Plan B) Barak and I shall secret away to an EU country with my british passport and my AMEX frequent flyer miles, where we shall start a brave new world.

what in the hell is wrong with this country?

Democrats and Yankees fans are losers.

c'mon Ohio

argh...

and with Bush's embarassing defeat, I resume my faith in the average Americans (even southerners) and extend my life span about 15 years

Oh boy. Four more years. Great.

Even better, all 11 states that had referenda on same-sex marriage decided to write bigotry into their laws or even (as here in Ohio) their constitutions.

Surprising intellectual diversity.

Posted by rj3 at 8:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 2, 2004

So much jibber jabber

I feel like we've all become beings of pure spin - the factual basis on which the cable talking heads have babbled on and on for two years now is gone, replaced entirely by speculation. There's some sort of zen element in it all of it, with the heads completely stripped of any weight.

You have to stay up for this one, grasshoppa.

Posted by rj3 at 9:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

You down?

Josh Marshall and others seem to be down and Wonkette looks a little messed up. I think I'm gonna head to the bloggers' Starbucks to see if I can find any of them to see what's going on.

UPDATE: Blogbux is empty. There is no line at 16th and P to vote. VA is damn close. AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH this is killing me!

Posted by rj3 at 5:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Vote update

I just got an email from a friend who also votes at 16th and P. She said it's thinned out and that it didn't take long at all. However, there are no more "I voted" stickers.

Therefore, if you're particularly interested in incentivising voting, savagely beating people who don't have the sticker may not be the best way of going about doing that.

Posted by rj3 at 1:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

These people don't want to die

Sorry for flogging the line to death, but here we are and here it is:
picture(9).jpg

Dupont Circle, in the middle of a non-swing non-state, at 7:25 a.m. Keep in mind that the actual polling place is around the corner and a block away, at Foundry Methodist Church.

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November 1, 2004

Eine Kleine Freakoutmusik

I get the feeling that it's going to be a late night here in the Fever Swamp, and many people will consequently be checking DCSOB in the middle of the night for a little entertainment (probably not) or looking for something to get them to bed so three hours in line to vote and a full day of angst masquerating as work doesn't seem so fearsome when the alarm goes off bright and early Tuesday morning. For those of us who can't work out the stress between the sheets with a willing partner, I propose jumping up on the bed (so as not to piss off the downstairs neighbors) and dancing yourself silly until fatigue sets in.

This post started because I wanted to upload some mp3s, but my Moveable Type isn't playing along, so I'll instead leave you with this playlist designed to wear out even the most jittery news junkie. Get on your favorite piracy service and make it happen:

OutKast - Bombs Over Baghdad
Mclusky - Random Celebrity Insult Generator
!!! - Hello? Is this thing on?
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Heart Problems
Buzzcocks - Oh Sh*t
Clash - Career Opportunities
Weezer - Getchoo
Sonic Youth - Nic Fit
LCD Soundsystem - Movement
Q and not U - Wonderful People
Ramones - Judy is a Punk
Michael Jackson - Wanna be starting something
The Streets - Don't mug yourself
The Hong Kong - Mazerati
Talking Heads - Pulled Up

A little more punk that normal for me, but who else can leave you gasping for air after a 45-minute set?

If bopping to that doesn't do it, hit the NyQuil.

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Juiced

On most days, I run head;ong into a pack of high school students transferring from the bus to the train at my home station. They're usually loud and boisterous, talking amongst themselves and generally being teenagers.

Today, it was different - they were shouting Kerry slogans at whoever would look their way. I gave them a thumbs up (most of my communication with strangers near the Metro entrance involve hand gestures -- see LaRouche and Jews for Jesus). They most likely didn't come from a rally, leading me to believe that there's something afoot here we haven't seen in modern elections.

But then again, this isn't the "heartland" or the "real America," so what do I know?

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