27 January 2009

The Inaugural Orphans

Here a little photo project from the Inauguration trip.  

I give you, "The Inaugural Orphans"  

A study in what happens when 1 million+ people don't keep up with their outerwear.

24 January 2009


So, I made it back from the Inauguration in one piece and finally have some time to report on the festivities. It was AWESOME. I mean, really, everything was great, everyone was so nice, I couldn't have asked for more. I'll steal from EDP and go the random reflection route (you can click on the photos to enlarge):

  • The button at the top is my second favorite of the many buttons I acquired (he just looks so handsome and happy on that one). We got into a bit of a souvenir frenzy there for a moment, but we didn't get too out of hand. My favorite button was this one, made by Lady Byron and BSH. Everyone in our party got one.

  • I went to the concert on Sunday night. It was really fun, but some of the celebrity stuff was odd, like were kept wondering...did Jack Black, Ashley Judd, and Tiger Woods really have much to add to the proceedings? Also, they replayed the concert on the jumbotrons over and over throughout the weekend, so I became well acquainted with the program. Invariably, whenever we stepped out onto the Mall, we heard either that screechy "You'll Never Walk Alone" (I mean, I'm sure Renee Fleming is awesome and all, I just can't stand operatic sopranos), or freaking Garth Brooks doing "Shout". Of course, we also heard the U2 part a lot, which was extra amusing because BSH, the 5 year-old-child in our party, who resides in England, totally recognized them every time they came on. Also, when we heard Beyonce was performing, I couldn't help picturing her coming out and doing "Single Ladies" complete with the leotard, back-up dancers, and robot hand. And of course, I then had that song stuck in my head for quite some time. It didn't help that JRob kept periodically sneaking up behind me and singing it at me.

  • Man, was it ever cold. I've heard 8 degrees with the wind chill. The actual temperature never got out of the 20's. This Florida girl had to bundle her ass up!

  • Everyone was so nice. I mean, like to a ridiculous degree. Even when we were in crushing crowds, no one lost their cool, or even really complained. Like when we had to climb over something (which was actually surprisingly often) there was always a person waiting to take your hand and help you down. Not like an official person, just a random good Samaritan. When I heard that there had been no arrests it was like "of course not, everyone was so well behaved." Another example happened on the shuttle from the metro stop to the hotel (we were staying out in Bethesda). It was this little mini bus that had seating for like 17 or so, and there were way more of us than that waiting in the cold to get on. We all piled in, but the driver said it was against hotel regulations for people to stand in the aisle (even though the bus had hand rails for that purpose.) The people in the aisle were going to get off, but everyone was like, "nope, if everyone has to be seated, then we will all sit." People put their children on their laps, squished 2 and 3 people into seats for 1 or 2, and everyone made it on board. One woman even yelled out "yes we can" which awesome

  • I think my face has finally stopped peeling from the ridiculous windburn I got from the Arctic winds sweeping down the Mall.

  • With all the celebrities in town, who do I cross paths with? Pat Buchanan and Bush #1. Come on. I couldn't have seen Bono or Samuel L. Jackson, or really anyone even remotely cool? Here's Pat, if you are interested: (He's the tiny dude in sunglasses. You can click on the photo to enlarge, if you really need to see him. I didn't want to get too close, some of the hatred and vitriol might have gotten on me...)

  • On Monday, we went the the Museum of American History (which I had actually just been to last month) In the main rotunda (where the Foucault Pendulum used to be, alas...that was one of my very favorite things in DC) they have little informal programs throughout the day with people dressed in historical costumes giving little talks and demonstrations. We happened in right at the start of one featuring a young man dressed as MLK. He talked about events from King's life and read parts of his speeches (and this kid was good, obviously a trained actor, and he had his King down) which were interspersed with recordings from the actual speeches. Then, at the end, he had everyone join hands and sing "We Shall Overcome". While it probably was exactly as hokey as it sounds, I have to say that on MLK day, on the day before the inauguration of the first African-American President, and just a few yards away from the Star-Spangled Banner (the actual giant flag that was flying over Fort McHenry and that the National Anthem was written about) is was moving as hell.

  • After all the scaremongering about the port-a-potties, I never even had to use one (God bless my hearty constitution and carefully controlled liquid intake.) Even if I had, there were plenty (here you can see some artfully arranged with the White House in the background) and I saw no lines or people peeing in random places.

  • While the Byrons, JRob, and I all made it down to the Mall together and staked out our spot to watch the festivities, we managed to get separated. JRob and I wanted to walk down the Mall to check out stuff up closer the the Capitol. We did, (we got up about to the Air and Space Museum before we couldn't move any more) but then we separated. She wanted to wait in line to get into The Castle, so I said I would meet her back at Byron base camp. But, I soon discovered that I couldn't get back to base camp. 14th street, which I had crossed earlier, was now closed off and monitored by Army dudes. I wandered and wandered and got swept up in crowds and jumped a barricade and finally got back to the general area (we were down by the Washington Monument) before I had to give up. The festivities were about to begin so I found a spot near a jumbotron and settled in. Strangely enough, all 5 of us magically ended up at the Farragut North Metro Station as exactly the same time for the trip back to the hotel.

  • My book for the trip was American Wife, which was a bit surreal considering the occasion. The main character is a Laura Bush like figure and some of the things that happen are based on the real events in her life. (By the way, the book is awesome...highly recommended.) I only happened to be reading it on the trip because I had requested from the library ages ago and I finally made it to the top of the list. A fortuitous turn of events, because it was the perfect book for the trip...sort of topical and totally engrossing (which is what I look for in an airplane book, it keeps me from having to chat with my seatmates)

  • I discovered that it's almost impossible to take a photo of a crown when you are in the crowd. Here is my best attempt:
    But, I think it might be a task better left to the professionals:

17 January 2009


I really like how here in the airport, all bets are off when it comes to food. It's currently 9 am, and while some establishments are serving breakfast, most seem to have adopted an attitude that is more along the lines of "you people don't know what time zone you're in anyway, you'll eat what we have and be happy for it." So, while there is a slightly longer line at au bon pain, there is also a lot of action at Dominos, the Chinese restaurant, and the hot dog place. I say, good for you. I've never understood how eggs and pancakes got classified as for breakfast but not dinner. And who says waffles and bacon is a better breakfast than say, a turkey sandwich? Down with phoney food classifications!

Sent from my iPhone

15 January 2009

Island Life

Ok, the news about Ricardo Montelban's passing made me think about Fantasy Island, which made me remember this thing that has since been making me think I’m crazy, so I thought I would see if anyone can assuage my fears.

I totally remember an episode of Fantasy Island with the following plot: This woman comes to the island, and I don’t quite recall what her fantasy was, but I think it was something to the effect of wanting to find some man who had swept off her feet or something. So she goes out with this guy, and they have a lovely dinner and hit it off and such and sleep together, I think (on the first date...shocking, Fantasy Island!) The next day, she wakes up and she’s not in the dude's bedroom, but in what turns out to be some sort of nicely appointed house/prison with all these other women. Turns out, after the dude sleeps with a lady, he then locks her away in his basement and forces her to be a hooker. I know! There is like this stern Madame-type woman running the place (who I think was his original conquest/captive/hooker) who like, beats the Fantasy Island woman with a metal rod when she tries to escape. Eventually, I think the
Fantasy Island woman rallies all the hookers together to escape captivity. (note: after some poking around on the interwebs, I think this episode does exist. Hooray, not crazy!)

So, how fucked up is that? Also, bear in mind that I was watching this as a child. Like, a young child. I loved the Love Boat/Fantasy Island Saturday night combo, although in retrospect, I’m not sure how age appropriate it was. Love Boat was fine, that show was mostly hijinx and goofiness mixed with vague sexual innuendo and dinners at the Captain’s table. And Isaac, your bartender. Fantasy Island, on the other hand, was often quite dark. Mr. Roarke was kind of sinister. He
had weird magical powers, and he granted people their wishes, but was always telling them to be careful what they wish for and warning them that they have to accept the consequences of their actions. Plus, all kinds of crazy shit was always going down on that island, like time travel and people turning into other people and people living alternate versions of their lives or randomly hanging out with historical figures.

Seriously, what was up with that show? I also remember an episode where the devil comes and tries to steal Mr. Roarke’s soul, and another one where he has to save this possessed girl from the devil. That's a lot of devil for prime time TV. And half the time the people almost died during their fantasies (and some actually did die). I guess it’s like that old ghost story or cautionary tale or whatever The Monkey’s Paw, where people wish for something they want but they get like the worse most fucked up version of it (If you're not familiar, Read it here)

Actually. Now that I think about it, maybe Fantasy Island and the island from Lost are the same place. That would explain a lot. Either that, or islands are just a common setting for weird stuff.

13 January 2009


Here's another goofy arts & crafts project. Homemade thank you notes. Enjoy!

12 January 2009

Unearthed treasure Part 2

So, here is another absolute gem excavated from the remains of m childhood. This would of course be promoting the short lived Dukes of Hazzard spin-off Enos. I acquired this at some sort of Burt Reynolds celebrity football game at FSU (didn't know Enos played ball at FSU did you? He's also from and currently lives in Valdosta, FYI)

I especially like that it is signed "Love, Enos". Like the character is signing autographs, not the actor. I also like how happy he looks...

It's funny becase it's true...

Apparenly Sacha Baron Cohen is got booed for this comment at the Golden Globes (made when joking about the current global economic crisis):

"Madonna has had to get rid of one of her personal assistants. Our heart goes out to you, Guy Ritchie."

Come on, people.  That is FUNNY!

10 January 2009

7 unrelated things

  1. It's unfortunate for Leon Panetta that the people making the argument that he is not a good choice to head the CIA have chosen to repeatedly use the phrase "he has no background in intelligence" That just makes it sound like they are calling him a moron.

  2. I really don't care for that Tim Tebow. Ironically, this article, about what a super awesome guy he is,makes me like him even less.

  3. I admit that I don't really have any rational basis for my hatred of Anne Hathaway. Although, I could make an argument for this as reason enough. It really does look like a horrible, horrible movie. Women everywhere should cringe over this bridezilla stereotype bullshit.

  4. This NPR story really did make me wonder where all the money went?

  5. Man, Kiefer Sutherland has a good voice. Did you know he has a twin sister? And that his grandfather was the Premier of Saskatchewan?

  6. Jeffery Dean Morgan, who I love but whose dead-yet-somehow-still-having-sex-with-his-alive-girlfriend character on Grey's Anatomy is currently making me crazy, also played a dead guy on Weeds and Supernatural. And not like a normal character who was killed on the show and then went away. No, these were characters that were either already dead when the show began or who were killed on the show and yet still hung around as ghosts or souls escaped from hell or something equally weird. What's that all about?

  7. Didn't we used to have winter around here?

08 January 2009

How did I not know this about carrots?

That that used to be purple? Who knew?

To quote:
In Roman times carrots were purple or white. By the 10th century purple carrots were grown in Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern Iran. Purple, white and yellow carrots were imported to southern Europe in the 14th century. Black, red and white carrots were also grown.

Orange roots, containing the pigment carotene, were not noted until the 16th century in Holland. This only came about thanks to patriotic Dutch growers who bred the vegetable to grow in the colours of the House of Orange. Experts believe Dutch breeders used a yellow mutant seed from North Africa to develop the orange variety and then stuck to it through breeding.
Having been in Amsterdam during both the World and European Cups, I can tell you that the Dutch love them some orange, I just didn't know it extended to the selective breeding of vegetables.

You know, I'm not a huge fan of carrots, but these look awesome:

06 January 2009

Unearthed treasure Part 1

So over my holiday break, I spent some time tidying and organizing and going through some boxes that my parents had purged from their house and sent over to mine (yes, I haven't lived there for the better part of 2 decades, yet somehow all my stuff is still not out of their house. That's what comes from having parents living in the same house for almost 40 years. If they don't have to pack up and move, they don't often come across your boxes of old, unneeded stuff lurking in the attic or wherever).

There is not really any way to dispute the fact that I am a pack rat. I hold onto a lot of useless junk longer than I should. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm one of those scary hoarders whose houses are filled to the brim with old newspapers and magazines and half-full shampoo bottles and stuff. And then they drop dead one day, and people come over to clean up the house and it's all so shocking that the local news crews and like, 20/20 and Dateline and Oprah get called in to do a story on it. I just tend to look and stuff and think "I might need that someday" or "Hey, I have no use for that, but it's kind of cool" So, I put it in a box, and there it remains until some point in the future, when I get around to cleaning up again and re-discover the box, where the process is repeated or said item actually gets chucked.

Anyway, during my rummaging this time, I came across some absolute gems that needed to be shared. I was torn on which to post first, but I decided on this one:

(Click on image to enlarge)

So, what we have here appears to be Venn diagram from my high school Algebra course, in which we explore and chart common themes and topics in country songs. The relevant formulas seem to contemplate if the subject of the song is a either A). a trucker, B). in love, or C). in prison, along with the various permutations and combinations of those 3 states of being.

That is some good math, right there. It's weird I didn't do better in the class.