Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Friday, September 30, 2005

A fun fact I learned today

What we would call a "pie chart," the French call a "Camembert."

Oh, I also (finally!) found out the meaning of hubris. Thanks loyal readers! Now I can bandy the word about menacingly during flame wars on the web with the best of them.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


It gives me great pain to admit this, but I figured that the only way I can clear my conscience is simply to own up to it and start the healing process.

I don't know what "hubris" means.

I know, I KNOW, how can anyone who claims to be interweb-literate not know that? It's used constantly, largely to discredit anyone you disagree with. So I'm pretty sure it's something negative, but other than that, I have to nod knowingly when someone mentions it, then quickly change the subject.

I could look it up, but that would involve, you know, effort. Instead, I think I'll just wallow in my ignorance.

(Sigh. God am I square, since this is what I consider "true confessions." Other people would publish intimate accounts of downward drug spirals, wild sexual encounters, deep dark family secrets, and so forth. I talk about my inadequate vocabulary. Clearly I need to get out more.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The transformation is complete

On Sunday, September 25, 2005, at 6:16 PM, I finally succumbed to that which I've fought for lo these many years: I officially became a Krazy Kat Lady.

See, my cat Shrapnel's purple collar with "princess" embroidered on it in gold was getting a bit frayed around the edges, so I figured that this would be an appropriate time to butch him up a bit. Maybe something with Harley-Davidson on it or perhaps the good ol' stars and stripes.

However, when I saw the hot pink, leopard print collar with rhinestones AND a bow on it, well, there was simply no choice. I had to have it. And he had to suffer because of it. Sometimes it's a good thing that cats can't talk, because otherwise I'm sure I'd have heard an earful about enough with the damn dress-up already.

As of Sunday, he is now working my apartment in his new rakish collar and bow. And you know what runs through my head when I see him in it? "Why did I wait seven years to put a bow on this cat? He looks so pretty!"

Confidential to The Texan: Um, this post wasn't a deal-breaker, was it? I promise I won't doll up your dog. At least, as far as you'll know.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Raging against the machine

Saturday I fought against inertia and made myself get up off my couch and head down to the Mall for the big protest/concert. I almost didn't get there as I tried to be cute and avoid the crowds by getting off the metro a few stops early with the intention of walking down, only to be faced with streets blocked off around the White House and the World Bank (they were having their quarterly meeting this weekend)(and someone had thoughtfully spray-painted the anarchy symbol on the DC government utility trucks parked outside the Bank as part of crowd control. Just a gentle reminder of who you don't like and why). A walk that should have taken maybe fifteen minutes, tops, turned into an hour-long death march. Was I grouchy by the time I finally got down to the Mall.

I had good timing, though, as I arrived during the middle of Cindy Sheehan's speech. I made my way through the assorted boths, who were equal-opportunity protestors and pretty much ran the gamut of left-wing causes, and found a spot in the grass where other slackers were taking a load off.

I also got to hear Steve Earle sing, a surprisingly articulate Washington Wizard talk, and - finally! - The Coup perform. They were as good as I'd hoped - I'll have to check out their CD when it comes out in February. After that, I wandered around to check out all the signs/t-shirts (my current favorite: Make Levees, Not Wars). Then I started to get a little chilly and, like the good liberal that I am, decided to pack it in and head back home.

I'm not sure of how many people were there. The organizers claimed 300,000; maybe. The Mall is a really big space and the protest/concert took up a sizable chunk of it. Everyone was very unified in their signs: they all had to do with the war in Iraq, which I appreciated. My pet peeve about these events is that usually they bring out everyone who has the slightest grievance against the government and the multitude of messages ends up diluting the overall protest. I'm not sure if Saturday changed anyone's mind but it certainly seemed to consolidate the anti-war sentiment into a coalition that may be able to make a difference. Or at least one hopes it will.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Fight the power!

Anti-war march tomorrow, 1pm. And to reward you for doing good, free concert on the Mall starting at 2pm. www.unitedforepeace.org and www.opceasefire.org for more information. (I guiltily admit that the concert holds more interest to me. I mean, check out this line-up: THIEVERY CORPORATION - BOUNCING SOULS - JOAN BAEZLE TIGRE - THE COUP - STEVE EARLE - TED LEO + THE PHARMACISTSWAYNE KRAMER WITH THE BELLRAYS - LIVING THINGSSWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK - THE EVENS - MACHETRESHEAD-ROC - HOSTED BY JELLO BIAFRA)

And along those lines, from today's defectiveyeti.org:

Email from my aunt:
To: Matthew Baldwin

From: Val
Subject: I invented a new word

Rovenge (rO-'venj), n: Politically motivated retribution. The White House sought rovenge against Joseph Wilson.

Can you get this into the lexicon?

Start using it, people. And as long as nominations are open, I'd like to propose a term that popped into my head this morning while coloring with The Squirrelly:

White crayon ('hwIt 'krA-"än), n: A useless person or thing you are nonetheless required to have for the sake of completeness or tradition. With his approval ratings in the 30s and members of his own party turning against him, the Bush presidency is rapidly becoming a white crayon.

I can see that one coming in useful in the office environment.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Exposed and vulnerable

I left my cell phone, aka social crutch, at home today, and boy howdy am I regretting that. I feel so naked and defenseless without it. What if someone needs to get hold of me? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO THEN? I've got plans to meet up with friends prior to the fundraiser mentioned below and in order to make sure that my whereabouts are known, because heaven forefend someone might have to do without me for one microsecond, I sent out a timeline of my estimated locations, times of arrival and departure, and ultimate destination. Be honest: is there any help for me?

With gratitude

To the guy with the moppish brown hair, glasses, dress shirt and tie who was front and center of the balcony of the 9:30 club at the M.I.A. show last night: you, sir, rock AND roll. Your spastic, unselfconscious flailings of joy to the music made my evening. Seriously, I think my friends and I spent as much time watching you as we did keeping an eye on the stage.

Oh, and the show was good too. Loved the danceable music. Great mix of people, to the point where there were a couple of women in headscarves head-banging in the front row. We were hoping that they'd get pulled on-stage at some point, but no such luck.

And if I didn't get enough of the South Asian flava, tonight there's a Bollywood fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims. For those of you in the DC area, come the the rooftop of the Embassy Row Hilton (2015 Massachusetts Avenue) from 6:30-10:30. The $5 donation will get you in to get dance instruction by DC's Creative Center for South Asian Dance, plus there will be bhangra, Bollywood, and international music. What more could you ask for?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Pomp and circumstance

When I first came to DC, I did all the touristy things - the monuments on the Mall, the Smithsonian, the National Zoo - and, once they were out of my system, never thought about doing them again until I had out-of-town guests. The White House tour was part of that group of things you do once and never again, particularly after 9/11, when they stopped allowing just anyone to line up and get in but instead forced you to get tickets through your Congressperson.

But when my friend PQ started working at the White House and offered to give us a behind-the-scenes tour, that was an offer I couldn't refuse.

So Sunday G&T and I met up with PQ after her shift was over and started our tour of the West Wing. Now, most times I can keep this under wraps, but under certain circumstances, my inner Camera Nerd is unleashed, and this was one of them. I think I snapped a picture every three feet of the grounds (no pictures are allowed inside).

Outside the front of the White House, which oddly is what most people would recognize as the back of the building, we got to sneak up on the permanent enclave of camera equipment set up for TV news channels. While we were there, a woman from NBC news was working on her line signing off from a story. Took her a few tries, so we killed time while we were waiting (didn't want to ruin the shot) by watching the public on the *other* side of the metal bars in Lafayette Park. It's a weird perspective.

Next, we visited the White House Press corps room, which looks nice on TV but is rather dingy up close. I mean, my god, when was the last time they cleaned that carpet? The press corps sit in verrry close auditorium-style seats (seriously, they're like ass to cheeks in there) with the names of their organizations on brass tags on the chairs, I'm assuming to avoid scuffles over seating arrangements. Conspiracy theorists please note that the Fox tag looks different from the others. G&T and I took turns having our picture taken while we pretended to address the press corps from the podium. There were actual cameramen in the room rolling their eyes at our dorky behavior, but you know what? Not going to see them again.

Then we had to put our cameras away as we walked through the West Wing (or at least parts of it). We got to see the Oval Office, which was surprisingly airy and cheerful-looking. The Cabinet Room looks pretty much as it looks in movies. The Rose Garden was just lovely. It was so green and peaceful, you felt like you were in the middle of some country estate, not right in the heart of Washington.

In one of the hallways was an interesting three-paneled drawing that Norman Rockwell did for the Saturday Evening Post about the President's waiting room. He camped out there for a week or so and did this illustration of the kinds of people lining up outside the President's office. They apparently never ran it as he had labeled several Secret Service types "S.S. Man," which, given the time (1943), had a different and negative connotation.

Also adorning the hallways were gigantic pictures of Bush doing various presidential things. While there were the typical shots of him clearing brush and playing with his dog, there also were a handful or so of Katrina-related pictures. Didn't take them long.

We completed our tour with the Old Executive Office, which used to house the Departments of War, State, and the Navy, and still houses the Vice President's office. It's in the process of being renovated, so you walk in and are greeted by a tile-less, uneven floor. But the rest of the building is gorgeous. Particularly note-worthy is the Indian Treaty Room, which has stunning tiles and a cool view looking over the rooftop of the White House. The building is crowned with a beautiful royal blue stained glass window that I think domes up and out.

My only regret was that because it was a Sunday night, the gift shops were closed. But PQ has promised to snag us some Presidential M&Ms, so I'm all good.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Free at last

After much rending of garments and whining to friends, colleagues, and slow-footed strangers on the street, I was finally, finally! able to get my driver's license on Friday. It was touch-and-go all the way though.

HotPantsEsquire kindly agreed to escape her job Friday afternoon and drive me down to the DMV test facility in Brentwood, NE (their slogan? now with more anthrax!) (lame insider-DC joke about the anthrax spores that contaminated the USPS facility there three years ago) (god am I brain-dead, as if that weren't glaringly apparent) . So off we went, her driving and me chattering hysterically about the test and her car's characteristics. At one point I was so anxious to get the car test-ready - which basically boiled down to removing the Union Jack flag from the rear-view mirror, as the car was already spotless - HotPantsEsquire had to tell me to cool it and to get my mitts off of her bottle of Coke, which I was *thisclose* to throwing out before she could drink it.

Her car needed gas, so we stopped at the station on Rhode Island and NY Avenue to fill 'er up. There, she let me pull donuts in the parking lot so I could get used to the way her car's pedals worked. I even got fancy and backed up a bit, in case they needed me to show them I could drive backwards in a straight line. I know, I was only getting a non-commercial driver's license, not learning how to drive defensively for the CIA. I told you I got a little carried away.

We get to the Brentwood DMV facility which is conveniently located smack dab in the middle of a mini-mall, because it's not like people will be driving there and needing a parking lot or anything. Oh wait.

Both of us had to go inside and she had to hand over her license, registration, and proof of insurance. (Embarrassing sidenote: I kind of lost it when I was there for the first time on Monday, so when I walked up the pathway on Friday, the same security guard who was on deck earlier recognized me. He immediately started cheering me on, saying, "No need to worry - you know you can do this!" He was very good in bolstering my confidence.) They took down the information and told me to go sit in the car where I would wait for the examiner. It was in the 90s and humid as all get out, which makes simmering in the car a pleasant experience.

I only had to wait maybe two minutes for the tester to come over and enter the car. I tried to butter her up with a cheerful "hi!" and some chatter, but she was having none of it. Which was just as well, since I was starting to panic about finding the lap belt (shut up. it was tucked away in the back. you would've had a hard time finding it too) and I needed to focus all my attention on retrieving it. Which I did. Eventually.

The test itself was very short: maybe less than five minutes of driving, just zip down a hill, make two rights, and zip back up the hill and back into the overcrowded parking lot. And even though the tester snapped at me at one point to "pay attention!" (I didn't make a left turn fast enough, and some jackhole behind me honked his horn), I still passed. Yay!

It ended with the nice security guard congratulating me on my driver's license. I couldn't have done it without him. Oh, and HotPantsEsquire, of course, who I owe my first-born to. Thanks chica!

One final thing on this issue: as god is my witness, I will never, EVER let my driver's license lapse again. When I think of all the angst my crappy organizational skills have caused me... Let this be a lesson to you kids.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Didn't take long for karma to bite me on the ass for my last post. I went out for lunch with Festivo today. Guess what was passed off as being "salad"? That's right, iceberg lettuce. And it's just as plainwrap as I remembered. Apparently I have pissed off the Salad Gods. I hope that I'll get back in their good graces sooner rather than later; I can't take much more of this swill.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Very true

On the metro today, I saw a girl wearing a t-shirt that read, "Iceberg lettuce sucks." Unusual thing to blazon on a shirt, but yes. I agree. Absotoot-ly it does.

Growing up, I hated salads - could not stand them, with their watery, flavor-less iceberg lettuce and squeegy non-fat Italian dressing. It wasn't until I moved out of my parents' house and found out that other forms of greens exist, as well as the perfection that is balsamic vinaigrette, that I became the salad addict you see before you.

Well, when I have the ingredients, I am one. When I don't, like this week, with my cupboard growing increasingly bare as I put off going to the grocery store for just one more day, my meals consist of frozen taquitos. Um, I'm sure there's some nutrition tucked away in there somewhere.

Another great shirt I saw this week had simply "You suck" on it. Granted, it's a bit hostile, but you gotta respect its succinctness and clarity in message.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Since I am quite possibly the only 31-year-old in the Western hemisphere who does not have a driver's license, I have decided to get my ass in gear and get the @!$% license already. I've been putting it off as I had no interest whatsoever in any interaction with the DMV. But this is one of those things, like death, jury duty, and adult-onset acne, that you can't duck. (Oh wait, is that last one just me? Goddammit.)

After making my appointment for the behind-the-wheel test, I had six weeks to cool my heels: that was the first available opening for a spot. I should've spent the interim practicing, but few of my friends have cars and I figured that I used to be such a gifted driver that getting behind the wheel should be a piece of cake. Until Saturday, when I offered to parallel park GI Jane's car in front of my house. I ended up being about four feet from the curb. This does not bode well for the remnants of my driving capabilities.

Anyways, yesterday was the day. I wore my big-girl business suit, figuring I would be roughly twice the age of everyone else taking the test, so I might as well try to look authoritative and responsible to avoid questions of why I didn't already have a license. A fat lot of good that did me.

See, I don't have a car. But I knew that DC's DMV used to rent out cars for their tests. I couldn't find anything on their website to indicate they still did that, but it didn't say that they *didn't*. Plus I couldn't get through to their general information number...either the line was busy or I would get a five minute-long message that would abruptly hang up on me. So I decided just to go down there and hope for the best.

As it turns out, they don't rent out cars any more. The bored woman chomping gum behind the desk told me languidly that they stopped doing that three or four years ago. It was then that I remembered reading a newspaper story about how DMV employees were caught renting out cars at an inflated rate and pocketing the difference. I'm not saying that's why they stopped their rental program, but it does provide a feasible explanation.

So I had to reschedule for this Friday, with the hopes of convincing one of my friends with cars to take time off of work and allow an uninsured driver to get behind the wheel. The DMV won't allow you to use rental cars, either. I guess they assume that everyone has the means for wheels and the disposable income to miss work. Sigh. I may have to just let this dream go, at least until circumstances improve. Cross your fingers for me.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Best backhanded compliment I have received recently

Saturday my condo association had its annual yard sale. After 5+ years of living there, I finally decided to join in on the fun. Holy shit, why haven't I done this before? You get kinda crazy once you make your first sale: you start to mentally rummage through everything in your house and figure out what else you really don't need. A level-headed friend was needed to keep me from hauling out all of my earthly possessions. I did, however, unload my vacuum cleaner that doesn't work (except for the nozzle portion) and a microwave that must date back to the Stone Age and probably has rendered me sterile.

I also put out a bunch of my old paperbacks and CDs. I figured that DC being such a literate town that the books would go like hotcakes and the CDs would be hard to move. As it turned out, it was the opposite. My CDs went almost immediately and I had to drop the price on my books to get rid of them.

By early afternoon, I just wanted the damn things out of my sight. Once I've pulled out books and other personal items to be sold, I find I've emotionally distanced myself from them and I no longer want them.

So I was happy when two 20-something guys walked up and started rooting around the books. Eventually each of them was clutching a small pile of books to take with him. One of them, while his friend was digging out some spare change for his purchases, told me in all seriousness, "You have really good books. For a yard sale, that is."

Er, thanks? My friend GI Jane told them, "That's because all her Jackie Collins books went first thing this morning," and I added, "Yeah, you'd be surprised by how popular Sydney Sheldon still is." Their response? Didn't even crack a smile. I guess they were worried that their new books had been rubbing elbows with - gasp! - airport reads.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Golden oldies

Last night, I met up with AnimalStyle for a trip down Memory Lane. We went to the English Beat/ABC show at the 9:30 Club. I must admit I was a bit curious as how they would've held up over time.

Actually, the real question is how would their admirers themselves hold up? It's been well over two decades since the bands' heydays.

The answer is that, as a great philosopher once said*, "Time marches on; and pretty soon you realize that it's marching all over your face." There were a lot of 40-somethings clearly tickled pink to be out and about on a school night, including a couple of really skeevy guys in business suits who were trolling for female companionship.

We found it great people-watching, especially since for once we weren't the oldest ones at the club, but my smirk got wiped pretty quickly off my face when a guy who had to have been at least my age bumped into me. He apologized with either a) "Hey, sorry man" or b) "Hey, sorry ma'am". I couldn't really tell because of the plugs in my ears; then again, the mere fact that I was wearing them probably gives me my answer.

At any rate. I was surprised by how many English Beat songs I knew, and how much their music sounded like ska. Their lead singer, who was obviously very happy to be there, kept a constant patter up between songs that we could not understand. At all. I'm not sure where in the UK he's from, but his accent was, to my provincial ears, indecipherable. We would hear, "blah blah blurble TEARS OF THE CLOWN" and then they'd segue into a song. So I guess we understood the important parts, but still.

ABC was fun, but I knew only one of their songs - "The Look of Love" - which of course they sang as their send-off before the encore. Oddly, for the encore itself, they did a new song (as if anyone in the audience was interested in something new) and a song they'd played earlier in the night ("Poison Arrows" - had they run out of songs or something?). The band had six members on-stage. Three of them were recent additions but three of them were from the original set. Imagine 40-something English rockers who are making a comeback. Now that was exactly what they looked like: rumpled suits, shaggy hair, and amused smiles on their faces the whole time.

There were only two palls on the evening. The first was my overburdened intestinal tract. Prior to heading over to the show, we grabbed dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl, a DC institution (guess what it serves?). I had the chili dog AND cheese fries, which proved to be my downfall. Flew too close to the sun on that one - you can have one but not the other in one sitting. I was so stuffed that I couldn't bear to have anything except for tiny sips of water at the club. I truly thought I was going to ooze cheese out of my orifices if I wasn't careful.

The second problem I ran into was that I realized while walking home that I'd left my keys in my office. So at midnight, I had to take $20 worth of the cab rides so I could get to Cleveland Park and wake up G&T for my spare keys. She was gracious about the intrusion, but god was I pissed, especially since AnimalStyle lives like three seconds from G&T and if I'd figured it out in time, we could've shared a cab. Alas, I was slow-witted as usual. I'd say it's an expensive lesson for me except that there was no learning involved.

* From one of the biggest chick-flicks of all time: "Steel Magnolias" (Dolly Parton's character was the speaker). I defy you to watch it and not tear up.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Spring fever

Except it's kind of the fall. Today it's in the low 80s, with crystal clear, blue skies and little humidity. You know, exactly like the weather that is ubiquitous in California. And I'm in DC, why exactly?

When I was growing up, my mom would often pause and shake her head about how beautiful the weather was. She was raised in upstate NY and actually had to walk to school in yards of snow when it was minus 40 degrees out, so she took little for granted. Whereas us spoiled southern Californians would shrug and say, "What? It's sunny out, just like it was yesterday and like it'll be tomorrow. What's the big deal?" They're right; youth IS wasted on the young.

So far I've been averaging a two-hour lunch every day this week - I just can't stand to be indoors. I try and justify it as legitimate, since I've been eating with colleagues, but that doesn't make it right. Am I going to stop doing it? Hell naw.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Time to clean the old homestead

My apartment did get a bit dusty while I was gone, I must admit - fur and other airborne particles just swirl and eddy all over my hardwood floors - but it wasn't that bad. Not call-in-the ASPCA-bad; maybe just keep-your-inhaler-handy bothersome.

But yesterday I discovered that it's time to either clean the place up or burn it down, I'm not sure which. I was sitting on my (oh so beautiful) toilet, just zoning out before going to bed, when I felt my cat nuzzling my ankle. I looked down to pet him, only to realize that Shrapnel was across the room.

What was tickling my foot was one of those many-legged bugs that thrive on dust and tend to live in older homes. It was HUGE and fluttering and o the legs. So many legs. I immediately started screaming like a little girl and flailing about, or as much as one can flail when indisposed on top of the crapper.

Except the bug would. not. move. It clamped onto my ankle and rode along like a rodeo champ. There apparently is a super-race of bugs living in Adams-Morgan; bet the suckers paying in the mid-500's for the renovated lofts down the street weren't informed of that.

I finally managed to knock it off with a bag of kitty litter clumps, causing them to spill out over my (formerly oh so beautiful) toilet. Tonight I am going to bleach-bomb the bathroom. See how much the uber-bug likes that.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

My eyes, my delicate eyes

Saturday's bachelorette party was interesting...from a sociological standpoint. We went to a strip club that explicitly said on its website that it catered to women, largely because we felt that it wouldn't be fair to inflict our bridal party on a place that was populated mostly by men. So we get there and half the people are wearing bridal veils and/or feather boas; the bass is pumping; and the drinks are STRONG. Knock-me-on-my-ass strong, and I have quite a tolerance.

But then the guys came out on stage and, well, not to sound like a dirty old man, but they only went down to their G strings. What up with that? I've been to strip clubs with my gay male friends, and their entertainers go all the way. Do they think that women are too delicate to handle full frontal nudity?

ZFF suggested that perhaps it was done out of a sense of safety (keeping dangly bits from smacking into members of the audience); HotPants Esquire posited that maybe it was more to protect the dancers from the members of the audience. Now that last one I can actually agree with. Some of those ladies got a tiny bit out of control. I of course was the model of propriety, as always.

At any rate, it was a lot of fun hanging out with the bridal party, some of whom I've known since I was 5 and none of whom I get to see as often as I'd like.


I flew in and out of Long Beach airport this weekend. I really would rather use LAX, as it's almost always a cheaper option, but my dad loves LGB like a 4th child, so I suck it up and try to fly through there whenever possible. It's roughly the same travel time to my parents' house as LAX, but the kicker is that it can be accessed largely via side streets. For my dad, a man who spent much of his working life commuting on LA's horribly overcrowded freeways, it's the holy grail of driving options.

And I must admit it is a very cute airport. I don't know if you've seen any of JetBlue's commercials on TV, but if you have, they were filmed at LGB. It's wee - there are I think two luggage carousels. And it's very pretty. As soon as you exit the plane onto the tarmac, you are struck by the scent of the nearby ocean and are welcomed by numerous palm trees. Just in case you forgot that you landed in California.


Anyways, I came back to a yowling cat and kitchen garbage that had clearly turned while I was gone. Good to be home!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Dangerous liaisons

In an effort to pull ourselves away from the depressing hurricane news, G&T and I decided to take in a play last night. We went to go see an all-male cast put on "Dangerous liaisons." It was put on by DC's gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender theater company (the Actors' Theatre of Washington) at the Source Theater. It was fantastic.

They didn't dress in drag, but merely by the way they carried themselves, you could tell if they were supposed to be an old woman/young man/etc. Valmont had a cold and clearly wasn't batting 100%, but the Marquise KICKED ASS. Seriously, he was awesome - so languid and in control of everything. And then after the show was over, he came on stage to tell the audience about upcoming events. He started off by giggling and saying, "now, don't worry, I won't talk long - I have to pee like a racehorse." Kudos for honesty, but the real marquise NEVER would have said that.

Added bonus: lots of nekkid men in the play! Well, four, to be exact. I got to the theater a little early and cooled my heels eavesdropping on people in the lobby. Most of the audience was certainly there for full frontal nudity. Which they got in spades. But even that was staged so that the two men simulating having sex were doing so as a male and female couple would. It was quite interesting.

What was really nice was that they were donating all proceeds from the bar at the theater to hurricane relief organizations. Since it was for the people, G&T and I partook of libations fairly liberally. I found out that I don't like watermelon vodka (yes, I know that's something most people know without having to order one. I function on the "live and learn" principle).

Anyways, it's playing until September 4, so if you're kicking around DC this weekend, I strongly recommend you check it out. Tickets are available at http://www.atwdc.org/. We were both really glad we went. I think I can count on one hand how many times I've attended the theater since I've been in DC, which is a pity since I always enjoy it when I go. And this play was better than most I've seen. It made me want to read the book. Or, barring that, at least rent the movie (the Glenn Close AND Sarah Michelle Gellar versions).

I leave in a few hours for a long weekend in LA. I'm in a wedding next month so I'm going home for the bridal shower and bachelorette party. The latter is going to hit a male strip club. Hey, I just realized that this week is going to be chock-full of male genitalia for me (HA! Google searchers are going to be so disappointed when their web searches turn up this page). Awesome. Anyways, hope everyone has a fun and safe Labor Day weekend. Hasta Tuesday.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Fuck all this

I'm withdrawing into my happy place. Come join me:


If the pith helmet on the kitten in the last website can't cheer you up, nothing can.

There but for the grace of god

Not to inject myself in the tragedy of Katrina, but I look at that and think wow, that could've been me. No, I've never been to New Orleans, and I don't live in a flood zone, but it doesn't take much to see yourself in their places.

While all of New Orleans and its environs took a beating, it looks like it was the poor who got hit the worst. The 9th District of New Orleans has a very high poverty rate at the best of times; as it was (past tense deliberate here - I don't see how they can rebuild) in a low-lying zone, it just got inundated by flood waters. Its residents were the least likely to have the reserves needed to handle a quick escape.

Homeland Defense Secretary Michael Chertoff has tried to duck some of the criticism of the way the government has handled the situation by blaming the locals. On the Today show, he said, "The critical thing was to get people out of there before the disaster...Some people chose not to obey that order. That was a mistake on their part."

Okay buddy, let's see YOU live month to month and try to find enough money to pay for a last-minute flight out of town. Sure, there probably were some people who were just being ornery, but I sincerely doubt that they made up a significant number. If you could see a big lake about to spill over and flood your neighborhood, I don't think you'd be playing fast and loose with your family's life.

While I do have a salary, there have been times in the not-too-distant past where I literally had $10 to live on for two weeks. Not $10 with recourse to a credit card - just plain 10 dollar bills. What would I have done if I were in those dire straits and then put in a situation where I needed to cough up a couple of hundred bucks, pronto? I very likely would've been one of those people awaiting evacuation, that's what.

Plus, what if you - again, like me - don't have a car, much less a driver's license? How are you going to get out of town? Are the buses running? Because if New Orleans' transportation system is anything like DC's, let me tell you that they are wildly sporadic and completely unreliable when they're functioning under normal circumstances. If DC was flooded out, or if we had to leave town quickly (KNOCK WOOD, I realize that I live in a city that's a giant bulls-eye), I would probably have no recourse except to put my cat Shrapnel in a backpack and start walking.

I almost don't want to read the latest dispatches, because the news stories keep getting worse and worse. Shootings at a children's hospital? Dead bodies being covered with blankets and shoved in a corner? The only food being distributed are the occasional bags of salty chips? The situation's horrid enough - there's no need for the government to start blaming the victims.