Friday, June 30, 2006

Hipster Dork Playlist Issue 1

Here's your playlist for the July Fourth weekend. I think it is the perfect mix for grillin', drinkin', and generally elevatin' endorphins.

(Artist - Song - Album)
  1. The Hold Steady - "Your Little Hoodrat Friend" - Separation Sunday
  2. Crowded House - "Locked Out" - Together Alone
  3. REM - "These Days" - Life's Rich Pageant
  4. New Pornographers - "Sing Me Spanish Techno" - Twin Cinema
  5. Sugar - "Man On The Moon" - Copper Blue
  6. Josh Rouse - "Carolina" - Nashville
  7. Pernice Brothers - "Monkey Suit" - Overcome By Happiness
  8. Radiohead - "Black Star" - The Bends
  9. Uncle Tupelo - "I Wanna Destroy You" - Still Feel Gone (2003 reissue bonus track)
  10. New Sense - "Songs On The Radio" - Flowers Before Hours
  11. The Wrens - "Hats Off To Marriage, Baby" - Secaucus
  12. Garrison Starr - "Beautiful In Los Angeles" - The Sound of You & Me
  13. Dismemberment Plan - "Ice of Boston" - The Dismemberment Plan is Terrified
  14. Paul Wetserberg - "World Class Fad" - 14 Songs
  15. Whiskeytown - "Yesterday's News" - Strangers Almanac
  16. Liz Phair - "Never Said" - Exile In Guyville
  17. George Harrison - "What Is Life?" - All Things Must Pass
Enjoy! (I personally think that Soft Boys cover from Uncle Tupelo is a real treat.)

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Several months back The Postal Service got into trouble because the United States Postal Service found the band's name to be an infringement on the USPS trademark. After some legal wrangling the affair was settled and part of the agreement was that the band would perform at a function/conference hosted by the Postmaster General. Bizarre indeed.

I had forgotten about this incident until today when I was standing behind someone wearing a Postal Service t-shirt with a little label on the back that read "The name Postal Service is used with permission of the United States Postal Service." Not very indie-rock is it?

Getting What You Want

As I don't "know a guy who knows a guy" I rarely find myslef getting hooked up with a lot of free shit. Some people are blessed with connections but I typically pay retail price for everything. Last night however I was in the fortunate position of knowing a guy "who knows a guy who knows a guy" and found myself at a bar eating and drinking on management's dime.

The bar we were at is a large "sports bar" in Ballston which I do not particularly care for. In fact it might be fair to say that I hate this bar for a number of reasons including its high prices, shitty clientele, and an interior scheme that makes it feel more like a department store than a drinking establishment. (And being located in a shopping mall doesn't help its cause either.) But as much as I hate this bar, the gentleman who set up this free Eat 'n Drink event really loathes the place. He hates it so much that he makes it a point to tell the managers, the bartenders, the waitstaff, and the busboys how much he hates their place of business everytime he goes in there. Like you I don't know why he continually returns to this place, probably because he has friends who enjoy it, but for whatever reason the staff knows him well.

And not only do they know him well but as he explained to me, they crave his business. They want what they cannot have. The more he bitches to them about how much their bar sucks, the more they want him. Mind you this is a huge bar that does a ton of business yet for some reason they feel compelled to win this one guy over. So each time he complains they offer to throw him a free happy hour. It's unbelieveable but even though I hate this place, I hop right on board and show up...a part of me enjoys cashing in on their sad desperation.

What's amusing is that this situation reminds me of this asshole that lived in my dorm my freshman year. He was a real dick but you could not help but take note of the quantity and quality of the women he always had around. One night at a party I asked him what his secret was (I was so pathetic in college that I needed all the help I could get when it came to women -- including advice from assholes) and he told me, "I treat them like shit." Excuse me? "I treat them like shit and then they spend the whole night trying to prove to me why I should be fawning over them like every other guy." And this works? "Everytime." Huh.

Now I have zero interest in any woman whose self-esteem is low enough to make her susceptible to such a misogynistic ploy but a bar on the other hand, that one I will take to the bank.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bitter Single Guy?

...I hope not.

Several of my friends from high school and I still hang out on a very regular basis. In fact we sort of have an email distribution that we ping each other on all day about random nonsense. Well, one of our good friends who lives in San Diego is coming back into town for the week so I thought it might be a good idea to go to the Nats/Padres game next weekend followed by copious amounts of drinking somewhere on Cap Hill afterwards. I threw out the line to our distribution (which everyone usually reply-all's to) and everybody got on board.

Then I start receiving the single-reply follow-up emails from a couple of guys sheepishly asking me to get two tickets; one for him and one for his lady. Now I am certainly not anti-couple, in fact I have a lot of fun when I go out with my buddies and their significant others whose company I enjoy a great deal. But doesn't this type of activity implcitly suggest Guys Night Out? If the Mrs.'s are game to come out and have a good time I'm all for it but on these kinds of outtings (concerts and sporting events) the norm is that coupled people will come out for a little bit and then bail early. Which I find counterpoductive as the whole point of going out at night is to be out ALL night.

But maybe that's just me and either way, in an attempt to keep my dickishness to a minimum, I of course told these guys that I thought it would be great if they brought along their girlfriends.

My Day As An Airport Refugee

Never tempt fate. Never challenge Murphy. Never say something like, "I can't believe you're going to fly through O'Hare. I'm flying out of Lambert and it will be smoothe sailing." I know that I am hardly the first person to have a travel nightmare and all things considered, it wasn't that bad but the East Coast downpours definitely fucked me on Sunday. All of that crap about tempting fate, I thought I had it all set to fly home on Sunday evening. The plan was to drive from Illinois to St. Louis, grab some White Castle, fly to National, and be home in time for Deadwood and Entourage. And everything was working out according to the plan until we actually got into the air.

Somewhere in mid-flight we got thrust into a holding pattern because of "storms on the East Coast." Now I had been trapped in Bloomington, Illinois all weekend and the news was not something I really had access to. Dealing with a family get-together and constantly running around for two days I was just happy to have beer and baseball when I needed it (word of the outside world was a luxury) so I was wildly unaware that it had been pissing rain for three straight days in the District. Had I known this I never would have gotten on the goddamned plane.

After our holding pattern we were eventually told to land in Lousiville and sit out the storm. Great. Well at least I could kill time by getting banged up at the airport bar, right? Negative. We just sat on the tarmac for two hours while the captain told us every thiry minutes that it was "going to be another thirty minutes." I was beginning to have flashbacks to my father explaining "how much longer" on one of our long family car trips. Anyway we finally get cleared to take off, one more holding pattern in the air, and eventually land at National at 1am (4.5 hours later than expected). And silly me I couldn't help but think to myself "Sweet relief!"

What I didn't realize was what a mess National would be at 1am during an ersatz natural disaster. As I later discovered, the GW, 110, and 395 had been closed off and on throughout the night due to flooding. Ulitmately this meant that cabs were trickling in at a painfully slow rate while HUNDREDS of forlorn travellers clogged the cabstand. At one point the rumor was that people were waiting three and four hours for a cab. Fuck that, I decided to go back into the terminal and sleep with all of the other stranded travellers lingin the walls, windows, stairways, and dark recesses. And I must give credit to the National airport staff because that was the cleanest floor I have ever slept on.

After some fitful sleeping and an hour or so of people-watching from skywalk window, the cab stand line had whittle down to a small handful so I decided to forgoe the metro (my recently formulated escape plan) and wait my turn for a cab. This was at 5am. Twenty minutes of watching tourists trying to figure out why a DC cab couldn't take them anywhere in VA and my turn finally came up. I definitely was not going to work that morning.

All in all I must commend myself on taking things in stride. My usual rage and frustration were nowhere to be found as I resigned myself to the fact that this situation was entirely out of anyone's control. (Kudos as well to my fellow travellers who seemed to accept this fate as well. There was no bitching or moaning anywhere in that airport.) There are really only two things that chapped my ass about this little affair:
  1. I was starnded at an airport that is only a handful of miles from my home. Being so close to my nice cozy bed yet forced to sleep on linoleum is a bit agitating.
  2. Door to door, my entire trip took 14 hour longer than it would have taken me to drive home from Illinois. C'est le vie.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Game Time

Reading this fluff piece in today's WaPo brought back a flood of memories. If you have any appreciation for the Arcade Era then it will probably have the same effect on you. Right now I would kill to have just a few hours in this guy's basement to play Tron, Discs of Tron, Dig Dug, Q*bert, and of course Star Wars (in the cockpit console!).

In my senior year of college I had to take a microprocessors course which was a death blow for me because I loathe programming. The course was set up as a series of projects so on the first day I scanned the room for the most pathetic looking guy in class (which was a tough choice given this was an engineering course at VT) and walked right up to him, "hey man, do you want to be my partner?" Best decision I ever made. This class was so beneath this guy he could have never shown up and still made an A. He was so anal about his programming skills that he didn't want me to do anything, so we came to an unspoken arrangement. He wrote all the code and I wrote all of the lab reports and presented them (we were both working to our only skills).

One afternoon we had to get together to work on our final project so I went over to his apartment where much to my delight I discovered an original Spy Hunter arcade console sitting in his living room. One of his roommates had won it in a raffle at the student center and the damn thing still worked. While he was grinding away at his PC mumbling gibberish to himself I spent two hours playing Spy Hunter and bitching about the ineffectiveness of the Interceptor's oil slick mechanism. Good times.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mistake or Wry Marketing Maneuver?

Since I work out in the sticks, one of my regular lunchtime activites is going to the nearby Borders. I have dropped an assload of coin at this store over the years because they have a surprisingly decent music selection for being located in an Ashburn strip mall. Maybe it's their buyer or store manager but for whatever reason I'm usually able to find one out of three or four albums I happen to be hunting for on that particular day. Today however offered an interesting bit of amusement as I walked down my usual path to the CD stacks.

Now I don't know if this is official, but according to Borders this is Black Music Month. In honor of this Borders has erected a discount bin of "black" albums that they are moving for 20% off. (What better way to honor something than with a sale.) As I strolled past said bin, something out of the ordinary caught my eye. The display was a predictably boring collection of Mary J. Blige albums, something from Brian McKnight, a subpar Stax/Volt retrospective, and non-threatening hip-hop except for the two copies of Black Sabbath. I suppose that there are a host of explanations for the inclusion of a proto-metal album from four English white guys, but my dry apprecitiation of the absurd hopes that it is perhaps because of one of the following two reasons:
  1. These albums are selected by a piece of database software which Borders Corporate uses to sort media for variously themed promotions. In this instance the artificially intelligent computer made an associative error based on its overly-literal design parameters; hilarity ensued.
  2. Some Ashburn Borders employee had a moment of dissentious inspiration and decided to fuck with The Man.

Who knows what truly happened but irrespective it made my day.


It's many months away and I'm still just getting settled into summer, but this fall is starting to shape up nicely on the music front. The Built To Spill tour which was cancelled this spring has been rescheduled and the boys will be playing two nights at the 9:30 Club on 10/9 and 10/10. As an added bonus, Camper Van Beethoven will be opening on the tour which should make for a very cool double-bill. Since reuniting it seems that the ertswhile pseudo-alternative forefathers (well, more like fore-older brothers) have found a new gig as the opener for "established" indie rock acts. The last time CVB was in town they were opening for Modest Mouse at DAR (a surprisingly good show) and this time around they are supporting Doug Martsch and company. Not a bad gig. I always look forward to a good BTS show but I'm extra excited that CVB is going to be there because the last time they played the 9:30 Club not only did they cover a good chunk of their old material but they also performed a fantastic honky-tonk version of "White Riot" in honor of Joe Strummer's passing. That's one of those live music experiences that you never forget.

(As an interesting/coincidental aside, the last time I saw BTS was a two-night stand at the 9:30 and at both shows they played "White Man in Hammersmith Palais." This was many months after the CVB show but I like to think that was also in honor of Joe. Ahh, the circle of indie rock...)

Anyway, the other big news in October is that the Wrens are going back out on the road and will be returning to the Black Cat on 10/28. Now I have pimped this band many times before but I truly believe that they are one of the finest bands making music today. These guys have seriously paid their dues, released an album that, for me, will be an all-time classic (The Meadowlands), and they put on an incredibly powerful live show. I think they are the epitome of what a bunch of guys with guitars are wildly capable of. For a taste of what I'm talking about, check out their great tune, "Everyone Chooses Sides."

I sort of reviewed a couple of their previous shows which you can read here and here. Do you yourself a favor, if you really dig good rock music go check these guys out. It's so worth it.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Where did I go wrong?

I've got the 7-year itch and recently realized that I NEED to leave my job. I'm far too complacent and underchallenged which has led me to dodging work, leaving early, and spending too much time surfing the web. I want out by the end of the summer so I've started putting "feelers" out to my "professional contacts" but I first had to update my resume which I hadn't touched in a long while. Reading the Objective line I had once written was a bit of jolt especially because it is still applicable:

Objective: Obtain a position with a firm focusing on systems engineering and systems integration for space-based communication systems.

How the fuck did I end up here? I used to think that I was going to be a musician. When the realities of that career choice became apparent I threw up my hands and went to college majoring in what everyone else suggested I study; "hey, you're good at math and science. You should study engineering." Sure. Why the hell not? It's only college so I'll do this for four years and then figure out what to do with my life. Seven years out of college and I'm still doing the same thing. Whatever, it's not as if I hate my career choice. It's quite interesting at times and it ceratinly affords me the childishly material-driven lifestyle I enjoy. But it is a letdown recalling that my Humanities and Poli Sci courses were always my favorites yet I still wound up with a job that doesn't require the right-half of my brain. That's probably why I blog.

Anyway kids, today's lesson is never listen to your parents.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

silence is golden

One of the nice things about riding the Metro is that it is generally a quiet experience. Non-Verizon cellphones do not have serivce in any of the underground stations, conversations are typically conducted with "inside voices" (excluding weekend nights when the Orange and Red become the Virginia and Maryland Drunk Lines), and most travellers are solitary commuters listening to their mp3 players or reading. Unfortunately this may soon change as Metro is considering lifting it's 30 year ban on "performers" in the stations. Apparently this initiative is being driven by Metro's desire to improve the riding experience.

One of the more amusing quotes in the article is from the Metro general manager stating, "It's a nice, uplifting way to start the day." Really? Has this guy ever been on the Orange platform at Metro Center during rush hour? Imagine hundreds of people crushed into a holding pen trying to board an already overloaded train. Metro management believes that this experience could be improved by some guy with an out-of-tune acoustic guitar butchering "Boogie On Reggae Woman." Surreal? Defintely. Amusing? Maybe. Uplifting? I don't think so.

The article tends to agree with this theory by intimating that Metro could end up being more like the New York Subway which is "known for its troubadors." My response to that is, Fuck New York. DC's inferiority complex when it comes to the Big Apple really annoys me. Why would we want to emulate a city that prides itself on being singular and shits on any other metropolis that would dare compete with that? So our Metro is quiet and riders sit in "sci fi silence." That's our trip. We ride, ignore, and eschew human interaction during our commutes. Is that so bad? Maybe we don't have future Met and Philharmonic stars entertaining us during the morning rush, but you know what? I can still buy a beer here for $2.50; try doing that in Manhattan.

I'll take the quiet sterility of the DC Metro over the NYC Subway carnival any day of the week.

I'm such a cynic

On behalf of my people, let me be the first to commend President Bush for declaring the Northwest Hawaiian Islands a protected marine reserve. If you're saying to yourself, "Northwest Hawaiian Islands?" allow me to hip you to the fact that there are thousands of remote, tiny, and uninhabitable islands that comprise the Hawaiian archipelago. Roughly 1,400 of them are now a protected reserve for the preservation of exotic marine life unique to them. Hmm...

What triggers my bullshit detector about this is that what appears to be a grand sweeping gesture from the anti-environment president, is just too easy. He was essentially able to do something without doing anything at all. There's no oil there so there are no industrial interests in the area. The region is too remote an inaccesible to serve as a tourist destination, so there are no commercial interests in the area. The only objection to this is coming from a small indigenous faction of my brothers and sisters whose fishing rights will be impacted and even they will probably be quietlly, easily, and affordably bought out.

I apologize for my cynicism but this just strikes me as a down payment on an ANWR drilling permit.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

laid up

Sweet release!! I never thought I would be so happy to be at work however this morning marked the first time I have left my apartment in the last three days. I don't care that I'm in the office, I'm just glad to not be at home. On Friday I was pressed into manual labor in order to move a gang of lab equipment (and trash) for a forthcoming office relocation. Trying to hurry through it so I could bug out early I ended up recklessly lifting a lot of large heavy objects by myself. Sunday morning I paid for this by having my lower back lock up and put my ass down for the count. I'm still on the mend but thank the gods I am mobile and out of the house.

My last three days have been a massive bore with me killing a lot of time Rear Window-style; watching my neighborhood through an open window. The other main activities were of course surfing the net, fiddling with my guitars, and watching lots and lots of television. One of the things I will thank Comcast for (although I still think they are bastards for not carrying MASN) is On Demand which allows subscribers to cue up a large selection of movies and cable television series (Entourage and Band of Brothers being my current top rerun choices). Yesterday I decided to watch the compelling documentary Dig! since it had been a couple of years since I last saw it.

It covers the "rise and fall" of two blips on the indie radar, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, over a seven year period and in some respects serves as a handy guide on How And How Not To Succeed In The Corporate Music Industry. However what the film really is about is what a fucking lunatic Anton Newcombe (of BJM) is, and the perception/definition of brilliance when it comes to art and the artists who create it. As the film unfolds it follows the bands in parallel as the Dandy's land a major label contract and make $400k music videos and BJM wallow in squalor as Newcombe churns out song after song, album after album, all the while sabotaging every chance the band has at some measure of success.

In terms of a storyline, the two main protagonists are Newcombe and Dandy's frontman Courtney Taylor. Both are egomaniacal singer-songwriters with near-total control over their bands. In the beginning they both believe that they are part of some indie rock revolution against the corporate music establishment but as time marches on the Dandy's find success within the establishment (at the cost of selling out?) while BJM never evolve beyond being cult figures (but maintaining their cred?). Both of these outcomes are a direct effect of the respective bandleaders' efforts. Despite his rebel posturing, Taylor very much wants to be a pop star. He's concerned about his image, writes far hookier tunes than Newcombe, and has a driven work ethic when it comes to distributing and promoting his songs. Newcombe on the other hand is much more concerned with all of the misplaced glamour associated with being a junkie artist. As a songwriter he is certainly prolific but when it comes to being sober, getting through a performance, maintaining focus, or anything else required of "making it in the business," he is completely hapless.

What I think is most interesting about the film is that Newcombe and Taylor are somewhat paired as the indie rock Lennon and McCartney, respectively. Interviews at the beginning of the film portray the two as friends, almost collaborators, and sharing a similar vision for the kind of music they were separately creating. As things progressed the relationship began to fracture with Newcombe getting farther and farther out there in what he was doing in the studio and Taylor becomng more consistent (if not a little predictable). In the end the Dandy's are finding their biggest commerical success to date with the release of Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia and BJM have disbanded after losing their record deal following a series of Newcombe's freakouts. Looking back Newcombe is still perceived as a genius by hipster obscurantists even though BJM's catalog is wildly erratic and at times unaccessible. Taylor, on the other hand, is despised by many (not Evan Dando-levels of hate but not well liked) and considered a sellout for signing to Capitol Records yet wrote some pretty catchy pop tunes that are more likely to resonate than Newcombe's sonic schmeer.

People used to say that you could tell anything you needed to know about someone by their answer to one of the following questions:
  1. Beatles or Stones?
  2. Lennon or McCartney?

Maybe Dig! gives us the new indie rock equivalent. Dandy's or BJM? Taylor or Newcombe? The pop star (relatively speaking) or the fucked up "genius?"

As for me? I'll always take a good hook over something someone has to explain as to why it is brilliant. That it is why I hate Bright Eyes...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

...and your little dog too.

I don't think I will ever understand the cultural phenomenon of the toy dog. Why anyone would want a dog that is more like a rodent or a mantlepiece than a pet is beyond me. I always assumed that a dog should be something you run with or play with. Not something to complement a Luis Vuitton bag.

There is a woman living in the building across from mine whom I have noticed on several occasions. Currently I know two things about her; she looks FANTASTIC in a sundress and she has a small Yorkie with which she is always walking about. I haven't yet decided which quality outweighs the other but as you might have guessed, I'm leaning heavily in one direction.

Friday, June 09, 2006

More Pop Psychology

I think that when describing someone to another person who has never met the describee, the activity is much like a Rorschach inkblot test. What really matters is the first attribute expressed by the describer (especially so if the describing party is put on the spot and has no prep time). Whatever quality or characteristic is chosen as the first to be detailed must be significant because it was the first piece of information accessed. Similar to a filename on a PC, it serves as a tiny abstract to be used before going into greater detail but in it's own way sums up everything about that person (if not unfairly). Example:

"What's Jason like?"
"He's kind of an asshole."

Now one could add on a lot of additional info such as "but he's kind to animals, small children, and old people" and while all that may indeed be true, we know what's really up. Jason is an asshole. Like first impressions, first descriptions are everything. Given that, I know exactly what a buddy was getting at when we were talking yesterday about a girl (sorry ladies; woman) that used to work in his building.

Apparently she was the object of unspoken desire for just about every guy in the office park and for good reason. My buddy, dubbed her "Ms. Ridiculous" because it seemed illogical that anyone could be that attractive in real life. Having never seen her I would have my doubts were it not for the Rorschach phenomenon. When asking our friend about Ms. Ridiculous one will undoubtedly elicit the same immediate first response; "she's ridiculously beautiful" or "she is the most perfect creature I have ever seen" or "she is so fucking gorgeous that it makes my stomach sink." If that's the first thing that comes to my mind, then it's gotta be for real.

The perfect woman?

I shamelessly read the "Going Out Gurus" online discussion on the WaPo's page each week. Here's a snippet from yesterday's discussion that caught my attention:

Arlington, Va..: My bf loves entourage...and can't wait for Sunday. I want to make a nice dinner/drinks to go along with the show, any signature food items or drinks that go along with the show that would be appropriate?

I love "Entourage" and I love to eat and drink. This guy has got it made.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Things That I Will Keep

Coordinating plans for Saturday and my mind spun off on one of its tangents. I was having a conversation with a buddy about going to the Nats game (Chad Cordero Bobblehead Day) with he and his soon-to-be-wife. The game is at 1pm so we (he and I) thought it would be a brilliant idea to meet at a bar at 8am to watch some World Cup action for 3 hours and then head over to RFK to watch baseball for 3 hours. Not surprisingly, we (he and I) were the only ones who thought it was such a good idea. So why is it that we (guys, in general) enjoy making elaborate plans to do stupid shit while they (women, in general) just think it's stupid? My guess is that it is some primordial alpha-male thing. It's about having/doing things. It's about notches.

Almost everything in a guy's life (be it tangible or otherwise) is part of a Collection. A collection of things, experiences, lovers, whatever that we can track, arrange, and display:
  • Starting at dawn to watch World Cup Soccer and then hours of baseball - yet another male-dominant activity to file away in the "Remember that time we..." department.
  • Repurchasing all four Uncle Tupelo albums - these are the remasters that can be filed side-by-syde with the original pressings you own.
  • Routing your flight to Seattle through Phoenix instead of Denver - you've never been to Phoenix, even if it is just the airport.
  • Eating a hamburger topped with chili and a fried egg - that's what they do there.
  • Watching the entire Star Wars trilogy in 8 hours while mixing cocktails - just to say you did it.

These are the things that we have and can look back upon. We compare all of this stupid shit to to other guys' stupid shit and somehow feeling better about ourselves because of it. Our lives are an ever continuing game of oneupsmanship. We are collectors. We are conquerors.

From what very little information I have about the female psyche, this just is not an issue for them. OK, there are some women with enormous shoe collections but at least it's a practical item. Women buy shoes to wear them out. Women buy shoes just in case such-and-such occasion requires such-and-such ensemble in such-and-such weather. At least they are for a stated purpose even if this imagined scenario never comes to light. Having two copies of a certain album becasue one copy's tracks are sequenced differently than the other's, that' s just a pathology. At this point Function and Practicality exited the room hours ago.

This leaves us where? Hopefully with a common understanding that women's emotional irrationality is equalled or even exceed by man's irrationality when it comes to self-amusement. We're all fucked up.


There are times when I appreciate my "reverse commute." It certainly sucks when I'm trapped at the end of the toll road trying to inch my way down 66 to good ol' exit 72 but at least I'm in my car. My own personal bubble. My mobile sound system. As frustrating as it can be, I do have my own space which makes burning out my clutch a bit easier to tolerate. This is not the case if you are one of the poor souls who rides the Orange Line in and out of the city each and every day.

Last night I went into Woodley Park to meet some friends for dinner so I found myself at the Courthouse station waiting for a train into the city. I seem to have the worst luck when it comes to train times so I of course get to the gate right as the train is pulling away. Next train to New Carrolton; 11 minutes. It never fails. Being rush hour I decide to amuse myself by watching the orange trains to Vienna which pull into the station every 3 minutes. It's kind of funnny and kind of sad. These trains are packed like cattle cars with flesh pressed up against the windows, short people mercilessly trapped under the sweaty armpits of tall people, old people forced to stand because even if someone wanted to give up their seat there is no way they could, and every one of them with beat down expressions on their face knowing that this is going to last for at least another 30 minutes. As I said, I find watching all of this very amusing. Chalk it up to a bad case of schadenfreude but I enjoy observing people struggle through the mundane.

The upshot to all of this is that there are plenty of attractive young women all over the metro lines. At rush hour they are pouring out of the cars every few minutes. So, is this an ideal situation in which to meet women? On the one hand you have the big advantage of Volume Shopping. There is no shortage of supply so mathematically, an enterprising individual's chances have to be pretty decent. Of course it is rush hour and all people really want to do is get wherever they are going. I would guess that most women don't enjoy being hit upon when trying to safely and quickly exit the station so they can get home. I'll have to experiment with this.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I don't know if this is brilliant or bullshit but it is impressive nonetheless. I'm hesitant to actually analyze this bizarre construct for fear that it might be some elaborate post-modern prank. And who want's to fall victim to something like that?

-I Am Jack's Image-Conscious Skepticism


On Sunday night a guy whom I have dubbed the Neighborhood Asshole was standing in the street drunkenly yelling "spic" and "welfare" at the cooperative townhouses across from my building. (He was actually singing rather than yelling and I have to admit it sounded pretty decent...lyrical content aside.) I believe that Neighborhood Asshole lives in a house adjacent to my parking lot and standing out there last night it occured to me that anyone white trash enough to have an enormous bug lamp hanging from his back porch is probably not in a position to offer racial or socio-economic commentary.

Monday, June 05, 2006

What a waste of time

Apparently homosexuals choosing to get married is the most pressing concern for the federal government right now. To quote Lewis Black:
On the list of things we have to worry about, gay marriage is on page 6,
right after 'Are we eating too much garlic as a people?'.

Kill Your Television

(Ned's Atomic Dustbin may be the worst band name ever.)

Having moved into my new place I had planned on making incremental lifestyle changes, one of which being to watch less television. I figured a good way to accomplish this was by not installing cable in my bedroom (or even putting a TV in there at all). End result? Cable gets setup on Friday and I wake up on my couch in my underwear on Saturday morning with the TV blaring. Not an auspicious start but I do think that particular incident had more to do with me starting to drink at happy hour and finishing sometime around last call. In that state I must have regressed to my previous instincts where I had to to watch at least a couple of minutes of TV when I got home. This was usually in bed since I used to keep a TV in my room but I guess I made do this weekend and instead stripped down to my boxers and slept on my new couch. Dumbass.

The Comcast contractor who installed my cable on Friday made an interesting comment when he was there. He was running late (surprise) and had four more installs to do that afternoon. When I told him I only needed the cable setup in the living room and that he wouldn't have to run cable all the way down the hall into the bedroom, this look of relief came over his face and he said "The bedroom ain't for watching TV, anyway." He then proceeded to tell me how he does installs in both DC and VA and that usually in the city, people don't get cable installed in their rooms. It's only in VA that cable gets run all over the house. He didn't elaborate any further but I wonder if he was implying that there is more fucking on one side of the Potomac vice the other.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Word of the Day

Courtesy of the National Spelling Bee on ESPN, I just learned a new word during my lunh break. I will be working it into the vernacular:

n 1: a tyrannical power to be propitiated by human subservience or sacrifice; "the great Moloch of war"; "duty has become the Moloch of modern life"- Norman Douglas [syn: Moloch] 2: god of the Ammonites and Phoenicians to whom parents sacrificed their children [syn: Moloch, Molech] 3: any lizard of the genus Moloch

Note the word propitiated in the definition. I had look that one up as well.

Friend Zone

I will never cease to be amazed how it is that two people can go from seeing one another naked to being friends. And I don't mean "just friends" which is really code for "I no longer wish to associate with you," but actual friends who make idle chatter and are concerned with the little things like new jobs, pending vacations, furniture buying mishaps, pets and so on. It has to be a function of being over 25 (ok, closer to 30).

Now there may be instances where this friendship is the combined result of a concerted effort by one party to platonize the relationship and pragmatic resignation on the part of the other, and on paper that makes sense. But in the tangible world, off of the written page, it still strikes me as somewhat bizarre. Why do we do it? I guess it's one of the cooler of life's minor mysteries (like LA hair metal).