Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sikh and ye shall find?

"Bet you $5 that guy's going into the pressurized air booth."

That's what me, the traveler, and the selfless individual with me (who not only took me to the airport at 4 a.m. but waited with me right up to the security gate) wanted to wager as we spotted a man in Sikh headgear right ahead of me. But we didn't want to end up with our own all-expenses-paid trip to the lovely beaches of Guantanamo.

And sure enough, they did.

And minutes later I saw the gentleman with his suitcase and its contents condoned off in the special-attention area.

He did make it to the plane, however, because I sat near him. As I dozed, I heard him talk about his life to a fellow passenger.
- Owned his own business
- Employed dozens of people
- Owned his own house (despite being a ridiculously young age)
- First vacation in years
- Talked about morals (not jihad-related, by the way) and social responsibliity

Portrait of an evildoer indeed.

Meanwhile, I arrived at my destination and realized the true threat to safety on that flight had been me. Although I'd publicly disclosed the one Ziplock baggie of toileties I knew about and had packed specifically for this trip, stashed in various pockets and crevasses of my bag were at least five others from previous trips I'd forgotten to unpack. Hotel shampoos and lotions. Trial-sized goodies from Target. Enough to pour together into a potent and deadly...body spray.

The moral of the story for summer air travel: Non-Western religious/cultural headgear: bad. Cucumber melon spritz: good.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What CNN front-page news story today caused stocks to plummet?

Man assaults woman with chicken
Heather Locklear enters mental hospital
Woodford joins Debbie Nelson & Associates as summer intern

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How the other half lives...(it's not all leisure)

Today's Washington Post talks about how money doesn't always buy life on the chaise lounge popping bon bons under Pool Boy's watchful fan.

"The richest people spent nearly twice as much time as the poorest people in leisure activities that were active, structured and often stressful -- shopping, child care and exercise."

I'm confused on the child care bit...don't nannies come into the equation at a certain point? But shopping IS stressful, as these poor souls below will attest. (They've lost their heads after an afternoon at the Chevy Chase Collection!)

Note: Mannequins from the Brooks Brothers window displays. No wealthy families were harmed in the creation of these photos or blog post.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Liveblogging the CW (so you don't have to)

So, what exactly compels grown adults to peer into the lives of teenagers?


Is it panini with the crew team at the Chevy Chase Panera...or is it Gossip Girl?

8:20 p.m. What's up with that young man's hair? It's all feathery, but swooping around his face like a Dairy Queen twist cone.

8:22 p.m. Blair Waldorf - is that a real name...or a Facts of Life salad?

8:26 p.m. Every show needs a random sushi/anime montage!

8:28 p.m. Enter the girl from can tell by the big hoop earrings. And the unfortunate smock.

8:30 p.m. A teen boy with a pocket square...hmmm...

8:35 p.m. Brooklyn girl is snubbed. The horror!

8:36 p.m. Boring hippie parent love (yawn)

8:43 p.m. What is Gwyneth Paltrow doing on the CW? Did the new Coldplay album not do so well?

8:46 p.m. Tremendously ironic Freedom Rock guitar hero sequence

8:48 p.m. Meaningful talk. Blah blah. "It will only stop when you stop it."

8:50 p.m. Why are these partygoers wearing sailor outfits?

8:55 p.m. The voiceover foretells "just desserts" as a lead character blows out her birthday candles. Thump. That's the sound of Henry James, rolling in grave.

8:56 p.m. The shiny hair of the cheating couple is blinding me!

8:58 p.m. Tears. Confrontation. Indie rock. The Upper East Side and Park Slope find common ground...

8:59 p.m. an expensive necklace finds a new owner. One Tree Hill is a bit of a comedown after this indeed.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The face of terror wears Sephora

After work, having witnessed the unfortunate union between my cell phone and a cup of coffee (yes, I know, liquid is bad for these devices), I headed over to the Chevy Chase/Friendship Heights/Mazza shopping center to the phone store...only to find a phalanx of cops and my entrance banned by yellow tape.

A "suspicious package" was the reason for my barred entry.

At that point, I half expected the staff of Cheesecake Factory to pop out from around the corner and burst into song about their "suspiciously yummy" chocolate volcano.

But no, the Cheesecake staff was cordoned off across the street cooling their heels amid smoothies and fresh copies of Capitol File and DC Style. I went to the second floor to peek out from the antique store's big window.

Growing up, I always had been awed by people in cities like Jerusalem and Beirut for how they never let the threat of bombings keep them from shopping centers and the errands of daily life. Today, however, I realized that part of that courage may just possibly have stemmed from impatience and annoyance. Because a suspicious package sure can put a damper on one's "to do" list.

After an hour, the phone store was closed; however, the good news - whatever threat that had existed had been contained.

But what did that package contain that would have aroused suspicion?

- A pair of tasteful men's embroidered shorts from J Crew?
- A shirt at Chico's devoid of gauze, pleats, sequins or appliqued flowers?
- A dinner portion at Rock Creek that actually fills one up?


Monday, June 16, 2008

God bless American news

News flash...there's BACTERIA on the bottoms of your shoes!

And when you walk inside after strolling around in the muck outdoors, you track in dirt. And germs.

These can get trapped in the carpet.

The more you know. Indeed.


Can a captain of industry truly rock out?

Or is that just completely lame, like a tongue ring emblazoned with an insurance company's logo? (put out there at the college career fair to attract "kids these days")

NPR took on that debate today, profiling a corporate executive who hired the former members of Boston (yes, Freedom Rock Boston, turn it up, man) to join his jam band.

Meanwhile Amy Winehouse passed out somewhere, perhaps giving a shout-out and crack-pipe toast to her incarcerated hubby before hitting the pavement.

One's got the best equipment and studio technicians money can buy. The other's got a ratty beehive full of rock-star 'tude.

Which ingredient is the essential one for great music? (if you had to choose just one)

This photo is of "Peep Floyd" from 2008 Artomatic, artist name unfortunately not scribbled down during my tour.

An evening at Fogo de Chao...

Hey, how'd my zoo photos get in here?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Snap snap!

Poetry readings aren't just for artsy cities like San Francisco, goth cities like Seattle or crunchy cities (villages?) like Taos, New Mexico. Yes, such stuff exists in our nation's capital and (shockingly) it can be found at Artomatic. (indeed, where else but Artomatic?)

11:30 p.m. Saturday, June 14, 8th floor in the poetry lounge. Maria Padhila and Jacques Chimon will be reading original work.

Be there.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Blogging from my couch (aka Crossed Over to the Dark Side)

I am blogging from the couch in my apartment simultaneously watching Euro 2008 and gearing up for a "work from home" project. Bliss, pure bliss...

Why is this a big deal? you may ask. Well, I have finally let the Dark Side - aka Sith Lord Comcast * - into my apartment.

Up until now, the only action my TV screen has seen has come from DVDs. And the only time I've logged onto the Internet has been through wi-fi hotspots.

This has been quite purposeful. When it comes to the plethora of channels of cable TV, I'm like a kid in a candy store. A morbidly obese kid. I told myself that as long as I lived in a vibrant major metropolitan area, I would not spend my spare time watching reruns of E True Hollywood Story.

As for the wi-fi, when I first moved here, I figured it would be best for me to do my Internet stuff out in public where I might actually converse with people rather than turn into a LED-tanned shut-in.

That strategy worked swimmingly for a few years. Then a few things changed - including security issues that had me changing passwords so frequently that I forgot half of them myself. So now my willpower will be tested.

Gotta run - soccer's over and Britney's on...

* Ironically, during the installation, WAMU ran a program on competition and telecommunications. A guest - the type with a New Orleans-style altar dedicated to Steve Jobs and a sign on the front door marked "Creative Class Only" - argued that people in rural areas DO NOT NEED broadband. Hello? Out on the prairie/tundra/desert, high-speed Internet access is truly essential, and truly used and appreciated. But I digress...

What's up with the sweeping gowns?

Call me an olde cougar, but the fashion of the young folks often puzzles me. Like last year's puffy mini-dresses.

This year it's the floor-length sundress. When your legs are tan and waxed and you've worked out all winter to show off, why would you want to shroud yourself in Scarlett O'Hara's curtains?

When one is creeping into clubs with a fake ID and has a midsection the width of a sapling, why take a fashion cue from Phyllis Diller? (Hell, I had visited Fogo de Chao this weekend and proudly flaunted the fact I had consumed a small Argentine impala by wearing a short, figure-appropriate garment.)

When it's a 105-degree heat index, why make things worse?

If one lives in a godless Western empire, why voluntarily don the bottom half of a burka?

To paraphrase the younger generation, WTF?

But most importantly...

when walking through Adams Morgan at 2 a.m., the LAST thing you want is for the hem of your dress to be dragging on the sidewalk. Just sayin'

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Not only did Obama historically get the nomination this week...

Perhaps for the first time ever, a black man was spotted in South Dakota (in front of the Corn Palace no less!)

Squawking Points Memo: A Primaries Retrospective

Today there is much to like about how the primaries have turned out. An African-American man and a woman battling it out for the ultimate rich white guy office - who'd have thought?

However, this is a blog, not a love fest. In fine American tradition, I will now exercise my civic voice to complain. Here are the top 5 things I did NOT like about Decision 2008: the Primaries.

5. Way too long. With a drinking party for each primary and debate, how's a liver to survive?

4. Criticizing Hillary's cankles without giving equal time to the less-than-Beckham-esque legs of the male candidates.

3. Endless "Breaking News" banners. A superdelegate farts. Stop the presses.

2. Rampant stereotyping of the populace. Rich tofu lovers think one way. Poor rednecks think another - if they can think at all - har, har. Makes you yearn for the simple days of "soccer moms" and "NASCAR Dads".

1. Bickering about rules rather than following them (see Michigan, Florida). This, along with hanging chads, recounts and, well, Katherine Harris in general, is the embarrassing crap that has other nations yearining to send election observers our way. Let's leave election rule-bending the provenance of banana-republic dictators with wheelbarrows of cash and airplane hangers full of AK-47s.

That being said, I watch primary season close with a twinge of nostalgia. Joe Biden's sarcasm. Ron Paul's blimp. Mike Gravel's nuttiness and Dennis and Elizabeth's tender smooches.

No looking back. On to the next town hall meeting, Johnny and Barry.