free stats

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Victoria's Secret: Her Undies Aren't All They're Cracked Up to Be

Less than a year ago I determined that I'd reached an age at which my lingerie drawer should open to reveal neat rows of matching unmentionable sets. A jumbled collection of mismatched sale offerings from various department stores, Tarjay, and the like no longer seemed right. But where to purchase my new goods? La Perla's too pricey. Agent Provocateur conjures images of Carmen Electra/Paris Hilton trashy--not for me. So I headed to Victoria's Secret, for the first time to do more than elbow my way through the $20 sale bin with 100 of my closest fellow semi-annual sale attendees. A few hundred dollars later, I emerged with two small pink bags whose size seemed not at all commensurate with the cost of the items inside. Once home, my weary rainbow pile of ecclectic coverings gave way to the neat rows of new white, pink, and black satin and lace.

About eight months later, I must report that things have gone to hell in a laundry basket. Little bows are unraveling, trim is coming loose, threads are dangling, lace is tearing. Now, before you screech "Well, did you launder them on delicate in a lingerie bag?" the answer is yes. I cared for them properly. And before you ask anything untoward about their treatment at other times I will say, don't even think about it mister, this is a ladylike blog. Which leads me to one conclusion: Victoria's Secret is all about the name and not so much the product. I offer this merely as a cautionary tale to those tempted to usher in a new phase in life as I did, especially with the onslaught of publicity surrounding next week's televised "fashion show." In short, I've learned that purchasing your most delicate duds somewhere that's not in close proximity to a cookie cake stand and a video game store is a road less unraveled.

Yeesh, I'm Gone for One Week And

apparently the blogsitter goes and gets himself into hot water with the great state of Texas. Something to do with barbecue, or maybe it was footage of A&M cadets manhandling their uh, lil' Aggies. Not sure really because I'm having trouble focusing today thanks to the pumpkin pie withdrawal shakes. Anyway, in today's post Static Cling makes nice with his list of reasons he hearts the Lone Star State.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Um, Really?
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Well that's more than a little disturbing. Someone's parents have an awful lot of 'splaining to do. Thanks to Ashburnite via Static Cling for the link. And for the unsettling feeling that will likely last all day...

Talkin' Hookers Next to Granny

A quick vignette to demonstrate one of the many reasons I love dating the man I date. We're in the San Antonio airport yesterday waiting for a flight. A call from his paper comes in. Next to him sits a kindly looking woman of about 85 wearing a little furry hat, crocheted sweater and orthopedic shoes. He proceeds to have a discussion that involves criminal indictments, an affair, embezzlement, and Bangkok prostitutes. Awesome.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sweet Asked and I Deliver: Video of A&M Midnight Yell Practice

For those of you who have never made your way to Bryan-College Station.

My Thanksgiving Report Live from Texas: "You're going to need to put a sniper here and here."

My Thanksgiving bliss didn't end last night. You unlucky stiffs may be sitting around filing your TPS reports, but I'm still out in the Lone Star State preparing for a whole day of relaxing. Why don't you take a coffee break and review the highlights of the Texas trip thus far?

1. There was a minor skirmish in the comments on my Thanksgiving Day post, regarding where one might purchase the best barbecue in the country. Significant Other & Co. say Luling Barbecue, where we ventured last week. And while I'll leave the answer to the carnivores, I have to say that unless these other places display the sign at left they're probably not the coolest barbecue joint in the country. Also, in addition to the honest-to-God cowboys lining up for piles of meat served on paper, there was a friar in full brown robe and Frangelico bottle bowl haircut eating there.

2. After finishing up at Luling, S.O. and his brother and I meandered up the road to Lockhart--Pop. 3,707 and home of this grand court house. Recognize it? What if I said "Well, I just hate you and I hate your ass face," or "You're going to need a sniper here and here." That's right, the tiny town of Lockhart is Stool Capital of the World Blaine, Missouri, in Waiting for Guffman. I of course insisted the guys stop the car so I could get out and take a picture of the stairs outside of Corky St. Claire's apartment. It was like seeing the Shroud of Turin. Or getting a Remains of the Day lunchbox.

3. There are certain things that can't be explained and you just have to see it for yourself. Pretty much everything to do with Texas A&M University could be filed in this particular drawer. Take Midnight Yell Practice. Before every football game, nearly 40,000 students and fans pack A&M's stadium at Kyle Field at midnight to practice their "yells." (For heaven's sake, don't call them cheers and don't call it a pep rally.) Well, even on the road the Aggies gather at some spot in whatever city they're in for Midnight Yell. When it's A&M-UT rivalry weekend and the game is at UT, yell practice takes place on the lawn of the statehouse in Austin. They get thousands of A&M fans out for this. It's unbelievable. And this year it worked, because the Aggies gigged the Teasips in a 12-7 win the next morning--whoop! (Put that previous sentence into and select "From Texas to English" and it should clear things up for you.)

4. S.O. and I spent what was easily one of my favorite days in recent memory Saturday driving from Austin to College Station for an Aggie basketball game. The weather was perfect, the drive through the Texas countryside was sublime, and taking in the game and having him drive me around campus to point out the pivotal landmarks of his collegiate career was a wonderful way to pass an afternoon. That his collegiate career involved membership in A&M's Corps of Cadets always makes the accompanying stories induce either side-splitting laughter or looks of sheer bemusement.

So food, football, and family. That's pretty much it in a nutshell. Here's one final photo for you. It's taken from the living room of the Rancho S.O. I'm not using the zoom feature; they come that close.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Hey Teasips--Bring It. More So Than You Did Today.

So we're in the car driving across east Texas and we're listening to the Longhorn radio wrap-up of today's 12-7 loss to the Aggies. And of course they're discussing bowl slots. And the fact that ESPN is projecting Texas could face off in the Gator Bowl with Clemson. Now that would be fine with me. I'm always happy to hear my team will be walking away with a nice 'W' after going bowling. Yet these two sportscaster chuckleheads are moaning and groaning about Clemson being a "second-tier ACC team" and "mediocre." Uh, fellas, your team just lost because they set their switches to "lackluster," in the face of what A&M was bringing. And you've spent most of the afternoon sniffling about your QB taking a hard hit. In a football game. See you in Jacksonville.

It's Why the Terrorists Hate Us Friday! Live!

Item: iGallop Core and Abs Exerciser
Catalogue: Brookstone
Price: $499
For the nation that believes taking a pill will help you melt away that stubborn belly fat, comes the iGallop. (Incidentally, "iPieceofjunk" is apparently becoming the new "ePieceofjunk.") It's the device America has been waiting for: tone your butt without ever getting off it. This item comes to you directly from BWI Airport where people stopped and gawked as the iGallop bucked and reared its mechanical toadstool, all while a video played in the background featuring various women astride the thing trying to pretend that this was their ticket to an episode of Law and Order, not porn. I mean, "strengthening their core abdominal muscles." You'll notice in the picture of the Significant Other pointing to the iGallop (he's such a handy travel companion) that Auntie Anne's Pretzels is visible in the background, suggesting that Little Miss Lardmuffet could purchase her jumbo cinnamon 'n sugar pretzeldog with Cheezee marinara dipping sauce, then roll over and munch it atop this particular tuffet and the fat and calories would just disappear. Perhaps there is no more fitting item for this, the day we celebrate having lounged around the day prior stuffing ourselves by going out at 5 a.m. and getting into fistfights over $40 DVD players.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Brunch Bird's 'Why I'm Thankful' List

While I'm loathe to step away from the tub of Significant Other's Aunt Grace's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies long enough to post, I will do so. Pardon the chocolate smudges obscuring any of my words. Without further ado, my arbitrarily numbered reasons I'm thankful today:

1. That since I started blogging this summer I've not been greeted with an awkward cough echoing in the back of an empty room or chirping crickets, but rather with a warm reception. That was nice enough, but to think today about all the very cool people I've befriended in person at the Happy Hours is the proverbial gravy on my Tofurkey. I'm grateful that people like Kathryn, V, Roosh, I-66, and VP of Dior engaged in the effort to herd cats throughout the summer and fall to make it happen.

2. That I'm out in Texas right now with a family that makes me feel like I fit right in even when I'm eating only potato salad and baked beans at the best barbecue joint in the United States.

3. That I won't be around my family (and I must stress that this will be the only reason I'm thankful in this regard) to hear my big brother's 3:30 pronouncement after dinner, typically made with both fists resting atop his hips like Yule Brenner in The Ten Commandmants, that he has "the meat sweats."

4. That I have neices and a nephew who giggle when they see me, parents and siblings who hug me when they see me, friends who smile when they see me, and a Significant Other who kisses or waggles his eyebrows suggestively at me when he sees me.

I'm now about to head toward the spread laid out by Significant Other's Mother and loved ones to prove that the adage, "Everything's bigger in Texas," can easily apply to my waistline and rear while I'm here.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

The Blogsitter Provides a Bit of History to Start This Auspicious Day

Editor's Note: While I'm out in Texas mulling the purchase of several oil wells, I've asked brand new Southern blogger Static Cling to check in on the blog from time to time. I'll be checking in a bit later with what will no doubt be the 942nd "Why I'm Thankful" blog posting on DCBlogs.

The History Channel last weekend aired a program about the Pilgrims and their settlement in America. I lived outside of Boston as a child, and I remember visiting Plymouth Plantation, where the 102 religious separatists made their home and where only 47 lived through their first winter. They struggled to grow food and feared the native population. They hoped that, by some act of Providence, they would survive. When they did, they gave thanks to God and celebrated with the Wampanoag in a grand day of feasting. They were grateful for enduring the hardships of their new land and for the basic means that allowed them to do so.

I will not be with family today, as I plan to finish up some work and head to the Virginia Tech-Virginia game on Saturday. And I will not be eating anything so gastronomically damaging at the turducken either. Instead, I will be thinking of the courage and bravery of those who made the dangerous trip across the stormy Atlantic and who survived against the odds. Like them, I will express my gratitude for all that have in a simple, basic way that seems, to me, uniquely American.
--Static Cling
Blogsitter, General Raconteur

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

While Brunch Bird's Away...The Blogsitter Checks In

Editor's Note: I'm blissfully up to my ears in barbecue sauce and out in Austin for the next week so I have asked brand new blogger and longtime smarty pants Static Cling to blogsit for me. I'll still be posting most days, but he'll be stopping by from time to time to make sure you reprobates aren't drinking everything in my liquor cabinet and getting Cheetoh gunk on my furniture.

The Bird is fond of her regular Friday feature highlighting items that can only be the product a shamelessly consuming society, and that would likely provoke the wrath of your run-of-the-mill, roll-back-the-clock murderous Islamic zealot. They are, of course, quite amusing.

As Thanksgiving approaches (it's tomorrow, FYI, for those of you who demand specificity) newspapers and television news programs will be going through the motions on holiday stories for the next couple days ("When pumas attack--what you need to know before you head to the airport. Tonight at 11," etc.) One of these will invariably involve the most gluttonous concoction these eyes have ever seen and its rise in popular culture: the turducken. If you are that guy who doesn't know what it is, a turducken is a chicken stuffed inside a duck which is then stuffed inside a turkey. All are deboned before cooking, so as to render the fowl more flexible and edible.

The Wikipedia page describing the outlandish dish describes it as "uniquely American," and it would be hard to argue such an assertion by concept alone. Only a nation this great would say, "Hey, a chicken's pretty good. So is a turkey. And I sure like duck. What if I stuffed them all inside one another and then consumed the whole heart-stopping mess?!" The Wiki entry goes on to describe variations on the theme, including the turduckencorpheail, which inserts a quail into a pheasant, which are inserted into a cornish game hen and then stuffed into the aforementioned turducken. And finally, there is apparently one involving an ostrich. The details of that you can find for yourself.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

No Nunchakus? Then I Really Don't See the Point in Even Going

Being the former Girl Scout that I am, I headed to the TSA's carry-on do and don't website to prepare for our trip today to Texas. It provides 18 or so handy pages that clearly explain what liquids and gels you can bring on to a plane (pretty much anything provided you cram it into a 3 oz. container and then a one-quart plastic bag) and what you cannot.

Following are items listed by the TSA as being no-no's in your carry-on luggage:
meat cleavers
ice picks
flare guns
axes and hatchets
cattle prods
billy clubs
brass knuckles
black jacks (WTF?)
kubatons (again, WTF?)
throwing stars
hand grenades
tear gas

I've got to imagine that this list is presenting Chuck Norris with some considerable packing challenges as he prepares to head to Granny Norris' house for Thanksgiving.

Incidentally, it's 8 a.m. and we're currently at BWI airport where we've just spotted a fannnntastic entry for WtTHU Friday. Stay tuned for that and dispatches from Aggieland, Texas.

Metro Ad Sales Staff to Tourists: You're All Gonna Die.

Now, far be it from me to tie the hands of the good men and women responsible for selling the advertising space on Metro station walls. Their work provides much-needed revenue. But I'm thinking that perhaps taking the money from film studio Fox Atomic to start plastering the poster at left all over station walls last week wasn't such a hot idea. First of all, I'd hazard a guess that it's terrifying for our city's little ones to see. I mean, I piddle a bit every time I walk by it. And here's the other thing: maybe putting it in the stations like Woodley Park/Zoo, and Gallery Place/Chinatown, where you've got some of the heavier concentrations of, um, TOURISTS coming through, isn't such a hot idea.

Unless they're also thinking of converting it into a helpful new tourism campaign. Examples:

Monday, November 20, 2006

Show Me Where the Bad People Touched You

Went to the National Archives late yesterday afternoon for a little post-election reunion.

Me to Constitution: "Good to have you back big guy."
Constitution: "Good to be back. I mean, we're not out of the woods yet, but, you know, it's a start."
Guard: "Miss, we're going to be closing shortly."
Me: "Thanks. Oh, hey sir, by the way: Communism is a great idea. Tonight, I'm going to talk on the phone to friends overseas about how much I can't stand the president. Tomorrow, I'm checking a naughty book out of the library--maybe Henry Miller, don't know, haven't really decided yet. And I'm thinking about worshipping pagan gods for a while."
Guard, smiling: "Feels good doesn't it?"
Me and Constitution: "Yes, it does."

Friday, November 17, 2006

It's Why the Terrorists Hate Us Friday!

Item: Upside-Down Pre-Lit Christmas Tree
Catalogue: Hammacher Schlemmer
Price: $599.95

I was going to save this one for closer to Christmas and then I realized that to honor the spirit from wence it came, I should have put it up before Halloween. This comes from Hammacher Schlemmer, a catalogue rivaled only by the Sky Mall you get on planes for WtTHUF material. The ad copy writers start off smoothly enough: "Evoking a 12th century Central European tradition of hanging a tree from the ceiling at Christmas..." Oh, OK, I'll go for that. I like central Europe. And traditions. And I've got nothing against the 12th century. But then, waaaait for it..."it is inverted to ensure a smaller footprint for less-spacious areas, and allowing more room for the accumulation of presents underneath"! Bam! More presents baby! Welcome to Why the Terrorists Hate Us Friday!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

OK, I've Gotta Post My South Park Character Now

So Ar-Jew-Tino and The Princess look adorable. As does everyone else taking Sweet up on a very cool time waster. Do yours and send them her way. It's pretty amazing how uncanny the resemblance can be. In fact I'm even wearing my "Beers" T-Shirt at work today and I've got the funbuns on top of the ole' noggin.

Media Matters and Other Matters

Last night I found myself in the living room of an elderly Georgetown couple's home for reasons too complicated to explain. Also in attendance at this salon of sorts were a few acquaintances of theirs, one erudite young Media Matters watchdog there to give a small presentation about the group's noble work, and one lovely Brunch Bird reader who shall remain nameless unless she 'fesses up. Most striking about the evening was the conversation that prefaced the official presentation, between the more senior attendees. It involved serving in World War II, working in Nairobi for the U.N., and playing poker with LBJ aboard the presidential yacht, the U.S.S. Sequoia. It was at that moment that I realized our generation has a lot of living left to do.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

OMG! Just Got My Copy of the DC Media's Facebook!

My mailman delivered quite a treat yesterday: the 2006-07 membership directory for the National Press Club. Come along, let's look inside!

*This thing is a treasure trove of oddly specific information. Not content to go the typical professional directory route and list business contact information, the Press Club opts to print the home address, phone numbers, and personal emails of the reporting illuminatti who apparently didn't realize there was some box they were supposed to check on their membership form if they didn't want everyone to know that their personal email is Want to know where to go next Halloween to score some of Helen Thomas' famous caramel popcorn balls? Check the directory! Want to stalk the lovely entrants of Gavin's Hottest Media Types and The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful People? Check the directory, because there's at least two in there! Want to stalk Jeff Gannon? Of course you don't, but his info is in there anyway.

* There's a picture of summertime guests George Clooney and Sen. Barak Obama talking, I think it was Darfur, but mon dieu that's a distracting photo I uh, .... yeah, they were definitely saying something about Darfur...or sexy tickle fights...

*Picture of Wonkette, back when Wonkette had strawberry blond hair and a great set of gams. Although, I have to say the NPC has slighted her a bit by putting her a good 30 pages deeper into the book than Scott Bakula. I also have to say that I have no idea why Scott Bakula was allowed into the Press Club building long enough to have his picture taken. He might even be asking these two guys for a sandwich in this picture for all I know.

So much helpful information, so many hours of enjoyment! It's hard to believe I have to wait another 364 days for the next one. And if you come near the Bird's house (someone, namely me, forgot to check the box), I'll sic the dogs on you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

To The Men Who Saved Me From Myself Yesterday

Crossing L Street at a grey, drizzly afternoon hour yesterday I had my head buried in the Treo screen and was only peripherally keeping an eye on the street. Seeing out of the blurred corner of my eye that the two men who'd been waiting on the opposite side were heading across now, I stepped off the curb and started toward them. Idiotically, I never really lifted my eyes from the screen, and in a nanosecond realized that I was stepping into the path of a dump truck; that the two guys had been paying attention and had time to get across before it lurched through the still-green light and that I had no such time. Without yelling or even saying a word, one of the men heading toward me realized what was happening and put his arm across my body to restrain me from stepping further into the truck's path. I was speechless and couldn't think fast enough to thank him. He headed into the National Association of Home Builders, where I can only assume he works behind an office door marked "Superman."

Then last night I crossed that same street to meet up with my significant other, fearing I was about to step into the path of another dump truck as it were. There was something I needed to talk to him about, something that had been causing me to lose sleep and a bit of sanity and my health, because I'd been fretting about it and afraid to say anything. Ironically, although I get paid to communicate for a living, I am not an apt communicator where matters of the heart are concerned. Anxiety doesn't get aired. It goes into a compact ball in my stomach and my stomach and I have a deal worked out in which we never speak of it again. As such, I assume typically that worries unaddressed are worries that don't cause problems. Now, I've used this space to poke a bit of fun with the S.O. from time to time, and he has suffered it all with good humor. So it is only fair that I say that as we walked home in the gloomy chill last night, he reminded me, without even trying to, why I fell in love with him in the first place. He listened patiently as I said what I had to say. He did not interrupt or launch into a Hamlet-esque soliloquy at the corner of Connecticut and K about most pernicious women. He did what he does best. He gathered me into a hug that smelled like Ivory soap and wool, and he kissed me on the top of my head, and told me he understood what I was saying and everything would work out.

Here's to the ones who put their arms across us, and around us.

Alice in Jesusland Part II

Eager to shake loose the looming specter of my own eternal damnation (i.e., another verse of "Holy, Holy, Holy") I fled to the safety of Chinatown with my girls as soon as the gospel choir concluded. Although, even the exodus was a debacle because despite the choir leader announcing that the program had concluded and everyone should help themselves to the tasty snacks in the rear of the room, they had forgotten one thing. So as K and I led the charge to the door, there was suddenly shouting into the microphone: "Wait! Wait! We haven't blessed the food!" Everyone in the room froze and turned around to see the two of us—who were honestly more interested in getting out of the room than anything else—frozen like heathen catburglars, stillettos mid-air like a couple of well-shod Road Runners, right next to a platter of wings and cheese cubes.

Thus followed a tour of the grape- and grain-based delights that our planet has to offer. First stop, Chinatown's La Tasca, the Spanish tapas restaurant. For those of you reading from out of town, that's kind of how our Chinatown rolls, I can't really explain it. Two delicious pitchers of sangria shared among the table washed down delightful treats like smoked salmon on queso de fresca. (Astute friend A's observation: "You're the only one I know who comes to a tapas restaurant and ends up ordering Jewish food.") Next up, Fado. I ordered a G&T that tasted like turpentine and promptly abandoned it for Guinness. This should immediately set off warning bells: I do not drink Guinness because I do not like Guinness. I'm a Harp girl. But for some reason I decided this was a good idea. Then we inherited a round of hard ciders from the guy whom I'd pointed and laughed at near the back bar when seeing he had six of them lined up in front of him. Sheepishly, he said that some other dude had walked up and ordered the drinks, paid for them, and walked out of the bar, indicating that they were for him. So that meant they were for us. Next we went to RFD, which I insisted on referring to as FDR. It was dead, so we lingered only long enough for a lemondrop, which I hear was a popular poison that night. This takes us to the Dupont Circle portion of the evening. (Incidentally, can you hear that? It's the sound of my mother just positively bursting with pride at what a little lady she raised.) So we go to The Front Page to meet up with some other people, but only for a second. The remaining three of us scampered over to Gazuza for mojitos and an eye-watering dose of hookah smoke. The evening concluded with an emergency 2:45 visit to the Big Hunt. And who should be standing at the end of the bar but Good at Drinking, Bad at Life and his boys. There is nothing sweeter than bounding up to a blogger like a puppy and having them not only remember meeting me, but insisting on a round of shots. At least I think that's what happened. In all fairness he might have said "Please step away from me miss, I know karate." And it might not have been GaD. It might have been one of the Bush twins.

Oh, and yet again, the Almighty had the last laugh. I made it to bed at 4 a.m. In my dayplanner for later that morning? A 10 a.m. birthday party with a dozen 2-year-olds.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Alice in Jesusland

There are times living in a large city where you fall down the rabbit hole. A friend once woke to find himself on the bathroom floor of a mansion in Georgetown after spending the night trading vodka shots with a bunch of old Russian men who didn't speak much English and he didn't remember meeting in the first place. The Moscow Incident came to mind as I stood Friday night with a raucous college gospel choir exhorting me to give my life to Jesus. For the record, Jesus and I are on fine terms, potentially afterlife-altering doubts aside. But at the urging of a friend who had seen the student choir perform once before in a more staid setting, a group of us made our way to their performance. Skimming the program as we entered the small room where they were performing I saw "Interlude of Worship" listed between two musical selections. "Huh," I thought, "well, I suppose as it is a gospel show they might say a word or two about religion to introduce a song." Oh naivete, thy name is Catholic White Girl. What followed was two-and-a-half hours of awkward clapping, ass shaking, hand holding with my neighbor, and "Amen"ing when prompted by the sweating, shouting members of the choir and their cameo guests dispatched to save souls. To be sure, the singing was inspired, if not more than a little overshadowed by the accompanying piano player. Named Leviticus, he was the quietest man in the room, but the one speaking the loudest with his talent.

Part II of the evening to come later...

Friday, November 10, 2006

It's Why the Terrorists Hate Us Friday! Reader Submitted!

Item: Fried Coke Balls
Cost: Your Arteries, Dignity

I don't usually do food items on WtTHU Fridays as there is plenty of inane garbage in the catalogues that fill my mailbox, but this came from alert reader Irish Red and it was too good to pass up. Although I think it might actually exceed the limitations of this feature's title. I think for a day I might have to change the name to Why the Entire Developing World Hates Us. These were created by a computer software engineer out of Dallas. They consist of a batter mix made with straight Coke syrup and strawberry syrup, then deep fried. They're served up in a cup topped with more Coke syrup, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar, and a cherry. I think the cherry practically qualifies it as a serving of fruit in this country.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My Significant Other Aggie is Gonna' Love This One

Donald Rumsfeld replacement Robert Gates has been at the helm of my significant other's alma mater, Texas A&M, since 2002. His stewardship of the university has made the S.O. exceedingly happy, as does his impending ascendancy to the secretary of defense post. In fact last night when I dared to say "Iran-Contra" he all but jammed his fingers in his ears and ran around the house going "nah nah nah I can't hear you!" His excitement has little to do with politics and everything to do with getting to hear about A&M in the news. Except now folks like Wonkette are turning their eyes toward College Station and the results are hi-larious. I foresee an awful lot of grumbling in my future tonight.

Incidentally, the issue of Texas Monthly that just came to the house (slogan, I kid you not: "The National Magazine of Texas") features Gates on the cover under the blaring headline, "Can This Guy Save the Aggies?" You can imagine the consternation the proposition that the Aggies needed saving incited. It's a great profile to read in light of the last 24 hours' turn of events. But I can't help snickering that the answer to the headline is now apparently, "Um, nope."

Texas A&M: "From the outside, you can't understand it; from the inside, you can't explain it."

I Am Speechless

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Republican Boss Had Won Re-Election. I Was Elated. I Was 19.

Ten years ago, I stood in a ballroom in South Carolina, cheering the re-election of my then-boss, a Contract With America, Wave of '94 Republican. I was living in D.C. for the semester and interning with his office, which was staffed by a group of folks who'd decided the day before the election to rent a van and drive the nine hours down to the district for what they had sensed would be a landslide victory party. It was. Happily fuzzy from too much champagne and proximity to political success, my "Vote Republican" pin firmly on my suit jacket and my little gold elephant charm hanging off of my bracelet, I became convinced that this was as good as it got.

Last night when I heard the words, "The Democrats will regain control of the House of Representatives," I had the same feeling. It's been an interesting 10 years.

In 10 years, I've watched with frustration as the party I believed in so passionately that night in South Carolina was hijacked by evangelicals who hated an awful lot of their fellow men, by war profiteers, and by corporate felons. Good women and men (and I include my then-boss who is still serving in Congress in that group to this day) who brought a sincere and intelligent approach to the floor were elbowed aside by people like Tom DeLay and Rick Santorum. The party that was all for personal liberty when it came to guns and taxes seemed more and more interested in hopping into my lap at the doctor's office. Around the same time, someone came along who questioned my assertions and assumptions about the Republican party's platform and politics. They wouldn't let me off the hook when I fiddled with my pearls and repeated hollow talking points about fiscal responsibility and Bill Clinton's debauchery disrespecting the presidency.

But it would be the relentless deceptions of George Bush and his executives that brought on the death rattle of my relationship with this Republican party. I was lied to again and again by the party's leaders and its loudest foot soldiers. I was assumed to be stupid. And xenophobic. And willing to see the Constitution turned into a quaint historical footnote. I was assumed to be like them. I am not like them. Many in the country agreed with me yesterday and I went to bed believing this is as good as it gets.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Can Die Now, I've Made It On McSweeney's

Some girls pine for diamonds. Others for a corner office. I merely sought the validation of McSweeney's. While choking down a certain food product one day in August, I knew that although it was revolting, it was my potential ticket to the big leagues. So I penned a review and sent it on its way. Not two days later came a reply: "You've sent this to the wrong email address. Please send all Reviews of New Food submissions to" An inauspicious start to be sure. I resubmitted the review, this time sprinkling it with that little extra fairy dust of a correct email address. Months passed and nothing happened. I grew sullen. As I laid in bed last night, kept awake by the gentle snoring of a reporter with the unfortunate task of having to rise before dawn to cover Panic! At the Montgomery County Polls! I thought, 'I will check and see if Dave Eggers has chosen to break my heart yet again.'

It would not be that night my friends.

Oddly enough, I can't call your attention to my particular piece because it has my name on it. Suffice it to say that it's there, near the top, and it is the reason my stilettos will be hovering a bit off the ground and the twinkle in my eye will be making that "ching, ching" noise as I traverse our fair city's streets today.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday, Monday

1. @#%&

2. Me to Significant Other doing crossword puzzle in bed: "Please be careful. You're going to get pen on the duvet cover. I paid a lot of money for it."
Drycleaner to Me, 24 hours later: "I can't get fountain pen out of fabric."

Things were looking down.
Great success!

Friday, November 03, 2006

It's Why the Terrorists Hate Us Friday!

Item: Stress Eraser
Catalogue: Gaiam Living
Price: $299
The pitch: Monitors your body's pulse and breath to gain a clear picture of stress levels. But this remarkable device doesn't stop there: It shows you how to reduce stress by employing patented biofeedback methods. Simply place your index finger on the sensor and follow the simple graphics to quiet your mind and relax your body.

Driving through rural, eastern North Carolina one afternoon in 1999, I got lost and pulled up to a small building plunked at the edge of the tobacco and soybean fields that edge Route 118. It was a rec hall where a group of elderly folks inside were doing simple calisthenics. As a woman of about 85 with a little potbelly padded over to me I smiled when I saw her T-shirt: "I'm Too Blessed to Be Stressed." Similarly, my own grandmother used to express bafflement at people claiming they were "so stressed out" like some sort of national mantra. "What do people have to be 'stressed out' about these days?" she'd ask. Having lived through the Depression and several wars, she didn't accept mid-term exams or having to shuttle the kids directly from piano to ballet as suitable answers. On behalf of the kindly lady that afternoon in North Carolina and my late grandmother, I now ask: What in heaven's name does anybody have to be so stressed out about that they think purchasing a $299 mood ring is a good idea?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Be Jackson Pollock, Without the Alcoholic Rages

Remember back in September when I posted the bubble wrap link that lets you pop the bubbles with your mouse? Well this might actually trump it.

I call the work above "Amsterdam 1915 Facing West Ser. 1," or, "Rock Creek Rambler Teaches Me How to Use My Mac."

When you're done with your painting, send me a .jpg at and I'll post it tomorrow. Don't forget to title your masterpiece. Instructions for how to save your work, for both Mac and PC users, are in the comments.

Our gallery thus far:

"Who Spilled Paint on My Brand New Canvas? Jerk! No. 8" Artist: Rock Creek Rambler

"My Chicken Has Two Mommies" Artist: Claire

"Makahiki: Flooding and landlsides on O'ahu" Artist: Valerie F.

"Angry Garbage" Artist: Kate W.

"The Brain of Bush, 2006 November Election." Artist: Troy

For some reason I can't get Blogger to deal with these last two properly. So here are some mini-Pollocks.
"I think I just puked, but I don't remember eating anything pink" Artist: I-66.

"My Bleeding Mouse" Artist: Etcetera.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Candy-Seeking Children of Adams Morgan Fail to Appall

Our block closes for Halloween so children can shake residents down for candy without fearing for their lives in the 6-8 p.m. dash for the last available parking space. The residents of our co-op do something of a tailgate for the evening, lounging on the front walk with candy for the kids, thus avoiding the horror of peanut-butter-and-chocolate-smeared ruffians running roughshod through our building. So color me surprised that of the hundreds of kids who made their way to our walk, a full 85 percent of them were polite--at the very least mumbling a thank you or "Happy Halloween." Not being one for the kiddies normally (I just don't have that much to talk to them about) I was pleasantly surprised. This would not extend to the little cheerleader making her second pass at our generosity who instructed me as if she was in the midst of a bank heist to "Hurry up, before that dog comes over." Nor the two full-grown adults walking around with backpacks to get candy, gesturing vaguely to a child in the melee who may or not have been theirs. All in all though, a delightful evening.

*Special props to the boy who couldn't have been more than 10 or 11 walking around in a horror mask and carrying a bag that had "Bush's Foreign Policy" scrawled on it. Even better? His mother insisted it was his idea, not hers.