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The Fabric of Our Lives

When your birthday week is a stressful mess and your mood is swinging violently from abject misery to manic panic, it isn’t time for Fantasy Shopping. It’s time for actual Spend Money Like There’s No Tomorrow Shopping. So off I went for a long lunch and in the course of helping the economy out, discovered the new American Apparel store downtown, on F Street between 11th and 10th.

The store opened last month, and is so unlike the usual downtown shopping experience that I was caught like a newbie supermodel in paparazzi flashlights upon entering – cement floors, bright lighting, loud music – and perfectly ordered racks upon racks of lightweight cotton clothing in a rainbow of delicious colors. This is “LA style” (so they say, I’ll have to take their word for it) – causal yet sexy. I went mad for the scoop back tees. They even have tees for baby and poochy. Bikinis, capris, skirts, hoodies – all cotton and all in the $15-35 range.

I’m not sure about the quality or the longevity, but with that kind of selection I don’t think I care. There’s nothing like soft gentle sexy cotton to improve my mood tremendously.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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All Aboard Variable Pricing

Once upon a time amtrak was different. Unlike airlines, who discouraged last minute tickets and one way trips, amtrak charged the same if you bought one month or one day ahead. Well that is about to change: Amtrak is introducing “Revenue Management”

What does that mean you ask? Starting next week, if you plan ahead, or travel in off-peak times, you can get a discount up to 15%. But if you buy a walk-up ticket and/or travel during peak times, say Friday or Sunday afternoon, you may pay 15% more.

Thanks Amtrak! Now I have another reason to love me some of the ever popular and dirt cheap chinatown buses. Hey, they’re leaving from more than just Chinatown these days – Vamoose leaves from my office door!

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Your unnecessary P offends me

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The bar-restaurant Champps seems to be all over the metro area, what with one close to my girl’s home at Pentagon Row and one near my workplace over in Reston. In reality there are only five of them, but it seems like more since I can feel the eyecancer growing every time I look upon that sign. Why? What purpose does that serve? It just looks wrong in every way. It bugs me so much that I almost wrote a little poem about it. A haiku to annoyance. A free-verse rant about your spurious P and Mazda’s Millenia’s missing N and the tumor that grows behind my eyelid every time I gaze upon this wrong-ness.

Instead I will just grit my teeth and mock you here. Mock mock mock.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Monday Night MC Trivia Fight

You fancy yourself a MC? You think you can be a real-life VJ? How about one who can handle a crowd? A drunk, trivia-demanding crowd? A Commander Microphone if you will? Is that you?

If so, you need to find your calling. A calling that will get you free drinks, dinner, and $25. That would be the MC spot at Wonderland Ballroom‘s Monday Night Trivia Fight. If last night was any indication, you better really be able to fight too. Like fight for your right to be right. Fisticuffs almost broke out when the winning answer to “The islands named after dogs” was revealed to be the Canary Islands.

Apparently a tangential link to the Latin word for “dog” was decreed as proof of Canary Islands as a correct answer – against the much more logical Labrador or Aleutian Islands. Okay, so maybe I was so drunk as to confuse the Aleutians with the Afghan hound, but so what – I was still closer than the Canaries, which are named after the bird, not the dog!

Even the Wikipedia backs me up! Note is says: “The name derives probably from a north African tribe (the Canarii) or possibly the Latin term Insularia Canaria meaning Island of the Dogs,” There is at least a beer’s difference between “probably” and “possibly”.

No matter, you too can be the center of controversy; I mean attention, at the Wonderland Monday Night Trivia Fight. Just be brave (or insane) and sign up. I did, and now I am on tap for February 13. Are you?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Yahoo to your traffic rescue!

While its Bars & Clubs search needs refinement, Yahoo Maps Beta is a new & improved Yahoo Maps that now sports a handy “Live Traffic” function. Click that and you can see an assortment of traffic bottlenecks in real time. This would be good to check before that morning commute.

I just checked it now – 11pm, and there are only NoVA traffic problems, which I think means it only works in NoVA vs. only NoVA has traffic problems. Still, that’ll be valuable for my morning-afters with my NoVA supermodel harem.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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If you’re going to be rude to your customers…

you’d better not be drunk.

A cashier at the Gallery Gourmet Market in the basement of Ivory Tower was detained Sunday night after University Police was called due to inappropriate remarks he made to customers. GW spokeswoman Tracy Schario said the man was “clearly very drunk.”

I look forward to this level of policing extending past the university grounds. Like, say, arresting people who are being jerks during the anthem.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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One More on the Mall

The Board of Regents of the Smithsonian have announced the new site for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. It will be located at the corner of 14th and Constitution, on a five acre plot located about 1000 feet from the Washington Monument. Though the Mall is already crowded, and I’m sure this will have a detrimental effect on traffic on that major corridor, it’s nice to see the Smithsonian expanding their museum options for our tourist friends.

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Lunching Walk

The weather today is nothing short of outstanding, a taste of spring in the midst of winter here, and so several of my cohorts and I took a walk at lunch. DC is such a walkable city, with broad sidewalks and gorgeous façades (okay, okay, not all of them, but more here, I’d say, than in many other American or European cities), there’s good reason to take a nice constitutional. Days like today, that remind us that all of winter’s gloom is nearly behind us for the year, are truly special in this city of ours, for in addition to walking past a store owned by a man who loves to shtupp his employees, you can also get stun guns, marital aids and martial arts equipment.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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100% of the yum at 50% of the price

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My dinner on Thursday was at a DC restaurant I have taken a real shine to, Galileo. This was my second experience there and they showed consistency with my last visit. Part of this is good: everything we had was at the worst very good, and more often excellent. The other half of that consistency was unfortunate: service is very uneven. I’ll elaborate below the fold.

If you have any interest in Galileo, however, you should sign up for the email list by sending a message to subscribe@galileodc.com. You’ll get a message every week or so about what’s going on with the lunchtime grill as well as special events and promotions. I encourage you to sign up – its how we got Thursday’s meal at 50% off, including wine.

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Behind the Red Door

Yesterday afternoon I joined a glowing friend of mine for a spa afternoon – the perfect Sunday indulgence. She chose Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door in Friendship Heights, to which I’d never been.

Spas are strange places. It seems to me there’s a lot of effort that goes into relaxing, and sometimes, a lot of attitude.

My best spa experiences in DC have been at places that are dedicated to a truly tranquil environment, where they wrap you in cosy robes with slippers and gently usher you from treatment to treatment as if you were both engaged in some sort of quiet temple ritual. That was my experience once at Christiane in Georgetown, where I was wafted from a massage to a vichy shower to manicure/pedicure so seamlessly and with such hushed reverence I began to have delusions that I was being reborn as Aphrodite.

I certainly didn’t feel like a goddess’s avatar as I was chided twice at Red Door, first by the receptionist and then the nail technician, for committing the ghastly sin of being fifteen minutes early for my appointment.

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Resiliency of Community

Yesterday morning there was a serious fire at the Falls Church Presbyterian Church on Broad St. in Falls Church. Flames leapt from the trashcans between the buildings into the building itself and the church was nearly lost. The FCFD were amazing in their response and saved the church from what would be a fiery destruction. The choir room was a total loss, including the piano, and the back stair will need to be entirely refurbished.

Church met this morning in the Falls Church Community Center, on a gym floor with the baskets raised, and never have I seen a tighter community. They had received offers from Dulin Methodist, Presbyterian and several other faith communities nearby to help host a service, and that warmed a lot of peoples’ hearts this morning as we all sat in the gym, working with an electric piano and an altar that folded up and went back beneath the bleachers when we left.

We collapsed the piano, we folded up the chairs and stacked them, and got the facility ready for the 11:30 basketball game.

I saw wet eyes today, but I saw more hope and adaptability and perspective than I’d seen recently. Pitched during the sermon today, and in the bulletin, is a mission trip to New Orleans to help them rebuild, and Pastor Tom Schmid reminded us how lucky we were to have only lost a choir room.

We are, however, looking for a choir room in Falls Church or Arlington, with a piano, for rehearsal this week, and maybe next. If you know of any, please let me know.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Choo-choo-choose this

“This is Lisa Simpson and when I grow up I’m going to marry her!!” What better way to kick off the weekend before Valentine’s Day than proving to the one you love just how big of a geek you really are?

Fantom Comics is celebrating their grand opening with a Simpsons Trivia Contest over the weekend of February 11th and 12th. To enter, visit their site and fill out the entrance form. The Grand Prize Winner stands to take home over $500 worth of merchandise – just don’t try to split it with anyone named Martin or Millhouse. They’re located at the Tenleytown metro stop above the Best Buy and The Container Store.

So here’s a bit of easy trivia for you – what occupied that building before the days of comics, containers, and computers?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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More Hellers Treats


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Originally uploaded by DCMetbloger.

How tasty does this look? A whole gingerbread house just waiting for you to destroy one bite at a time.

And how cool was the way I made this post – direct from cell phone to DC Metblog, without a laptop involved. How sweet is that? As sweet as the icing on the gingerbread house, which can be yours for just $50.

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That’s a lot of Craic…

Out and about in Clarendon this morning, looking for a spot of lunch before engaging in rampant consumerism, I walked past the hollowed out corpse of Virginia Hardware, which sat between Fillmore and Highland on Wilson Blvd in the heart of Clarendon. There was a new liquor license application, and a hiring sign…hmm, what’s this? Ri Ra? In Clarendon?

Holy crap, that brings the Irish Bar total up to four along a short span of Wilson Blvd. There’s the venerable Four Courts, the new Kitty O’Shea’s (formerly Joseph’s), and Molly Malone’s (formerly Taste of Casablanca) and now that adds Ri Ra (formerly Virginia Hardware) to the mix.

That’s a lot of craic, kids.

No, Mr. Barry, it’s craic, not crack. As in, “good times”, not “drug you smoked a lot of.”

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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V-Day Treats from Hellers


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Originally uploaded by DCMetbloger.

Hellers Bakery – the new and improved one that is – is cranking out Valentines Day cookies and cakes already. Check out this tasty treat staring Disney’s mice and get your own soon.

It’s just too bad I’ll be outta town on Feb 14.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

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Has the Mayor been Cheating?

Many Thanks to DCist for pointing out that the Mayor’s got his blog on again, and that he’s desperate for comments. I’ve read some of the Mayor’s entries, and I came to one that has me awfully befuddled:

I’ve never made New Year’s resolutions before but here goes. Two thousand six will see me: recognize that I’m married and have a beautiful wife; two, stay healthy — mentally and physically — by good eating and exercise; three, maintain this blog on a regular basis; and four, put accountability and children first on the city’s agenda.

Sadly, the Mayor’s blog lacks permalinks, but doesn’t that excerpt from his 24 January entry read like Mayor Williams is having to make some major concessions here? Did he NOT recognize that he was married before? Did he in fact recognize that he was married, but not to a beautiful woman? Either of those may get you some time sleeping on the Couch, Mr. Mayor…

But if you really want comments on your blog, I recommend the following:

1. Get Permanent Links to each entry.
2. Get an RSS feed
3. Post unmoderated comments, then police for spam, etc.

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More on the Shooting in Germantown

Hello, MoCo is all over the bail hearing for John L. Hall, whose 8 year old son shot a 7 year old girl at daycare earlier this week. Apparently the 8 year old has a bit of a mouth on him:

Assistant State’s Attorney Karyn McAuliffe alleges that the eight-year-old boy said:
“Give me your money,” to the seven-year-old girl.

“[Expletive] the police. What the [expletive] can they do to a kid, anyway? I’ll shoot ‘em.”

“Phase 1: Get weapons. Phase 2: Kill the hillbilly.” It’s unclear who the hillbilly is.

Yikes. Dude. Seriously. That’s fucked up. An Eight Year Old?! Of course, it seems that we’re going to have some quality time with Jack Thompson, as the child apparently used to play violent videogames with his father as well. This whole thing gets sadder by the day.

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Jimmy Bo and the Nats

I paid up my season seats today with the Nats this morning, shelling out an extra $20 for my 21 game plan to keep my yellow seat over in Section 511. What’s that going to buy me this season? 21 games of watching Jimmy Bo and his crazy Nats try to finish out of the cellar in the NL East. We managed a so-so first season in DC, but this offseason has been crazier than a bunch of drunken santas, leaving the Nats in poor position to compete on the free agent market. Of course, it doesn’t help that we’re not exactly an appealing place to play right now:

Bowden and the Nationals are NOT considered attractive by any MLB’er. The male equivalent of the Nats still lives with his parents, sweats profusely when the thermometer rises above 50 degrees and dresses himself entirely in credit-card promotion giveaways.

Yeesh, that’s a bit harsh, don’t you think?

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Waterworks

Everyone knows about the geyser in Yosemite Park. But did you know that DC has it’s very own Old Faithful? It’s right downtown, and I discovered it last night in an explosive geological event that’s sure to get my name into the National Geographic Society.

The adventure began innocently enough, while enjoying a few pints with my fellow worker bees at a certain pseudo-Brit gastropub downtown…

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