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Dana Ellyn at Long View Gallery Tonight

I just got another notice fo a show from Dana Ellyn‘s fan list. She is a rather incredible artist whose vision and work is political, social and always meaningful. Her style is interesting in that the details are all meaningful. Nothing is there as decoration or as a purely aesthetic element. The subjects of Ellyn’s paintings are cutting and painful at times, often with a humorous touch, and are always moving. She doesn’t make “pretty” paintings but they are all beautiful in how they convey theirs messages.

Go check her out this evening.

From the email:

THIS Friday, November 30th
Opening reception at
Long View Gallery
5-8pm

Holiday cocktails and a lot of unique art. Sounds like a perfect night to me. Long View Gallery has included several of my smaller affordable paintings in their winter show. I’ll be there in the early part of the evening and I’m looking forward to sharing a toast or two with friends both old and new.

“Didn’t Mean to Stalk You”
Acrylic on canvas

Long View Gallery is at 1302 9th street, NW (at 9th & N) in Washington. their phone number is (202) 232-4788.

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The same and not the same



give yourself a no-prize if you get the reference

WAMU’s excellent Metro Connection show is bidding goodbye to one contributor and hello to a new one, all without a staff change. Peter Fay has done his last broadcast, at least as Peter, and will be on tomorrow’s show at 1pm to talk about his new identity as Colleen Fay. She’ll talk about her new life and the impending changes, which I think is pretty amazingly gutsy and open.

I suppose you have little choice when your job requires you be a public presence, but it’s still pretty impressive.

What’s also amazing is how goddamned hard it is to come up with the correct pronouns to discuss events on either side of a change like this. “He’ll continue to be a part of the show he was a part of creating fifteen years ago” doesn’t work since it won’t be he who continues. She wasn’t a part of creating the show, he was. I can’t say “she’ll continue” either. English is clearly not a language cut out for discussing time travel or gender-switching radio hosts.

To give credit where credit is due, I found this story on FishbowlDC

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This is Still America, Right?

When I first heard reports of this, I swore I was having a bad nightmare and mishearing the radio news. But, it turns out that it’s quite real. Virginia holds open primaries. You can self-select as Republican or Democrat and vote in the proper primary that you identify with. In fact, courtesy of Wikipedia: the Virginia Open Primary Law states that “[a]ll persons qualified to vote…may vote at the primary. No person shall vote for the candidates of more than one party.

Except that this time, if you choose to vote in Republican Primary, you will forced into signing an oath of fealty to the Republican Party.

I’m going to repeat that because it bears repeating.

If you choose to vote in the Republican Primary, you will be forced into signing an oath that you will vote for the Republican candidate in the Presidential election.

It’s not enforceable by law, but it certainly is odious, and I suppose, something I’ve come to expect from the Republicans in power.

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The tallest midget in "The Wizard of Oz"

That’s the phrase that came to my mind when I was trolling through Upcoming and found this entry.

THE CURE vs THE SMITHS DANCE PARTY
(The largest Cure/Smiths dance party in the US!)
Friday, November 30, 2007
@The Black Cat 9:30 pm

Look, I love the Smiths and I possibly love the Cure even more. I like the Black Cat, too. I’ve been there on many an occasion, and while I think it’s a perfectly fine sized place… if it’s the location of the largest anything in the US, well, I’d suggest you find some other trait of that event to brag about.

On second though, why brag about it being the largest event no matter where is it? If the Cat could accommodate 2,000 people rather than about 500 would that really make anyone want to go more? Maybe it’s a locale thing – by the time I moved up here I wasn’t out at dance clubs on a weekly basis anymore, but I really like the more intimate venues here vs the places in my hometown. Are those of you who still go out shaking your ass really pining for the megaclub crowds?

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Stay away from Route 1 this evening

From an Arlington Alert email:

Gas leak reported near Monroe Avenue Bridge. Northbound and Southbound Route 1 near bridge is closed to traffic. Significant traffic delays expected for the next 3-4 hours. Seek alternate routes.

If you have to go through the area, prepare for some backed up traffic and rerouting.

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Flickring around DC


I know that most of us here are avid Flickr users, but I don’t know if I’m the only DC metblogger here who uses their geotagging feature or not. I hope not, since I’ve just discovered – through a post on reader Justin Thorpe’s blog – that Flickr has enhanced the way you can see those tagged images by offering Flickr Places.

The DC Flickr Places page has a neat selection of shots, though they are kinda heavy on the touristy and flashy stuff, like this shot of the 4th of July fireworks behind the Washington Monument. It’s fun, though, to click through on those shots and see the “Taken in Washington, District of Columbia” under the Additional Information header on the right, where the link will show you that user’s local shots.


The screen full of DC entries has one minor flaw, in my opinion, in that it’s not immediately obvious how you move to another block of photos. See the screengrab here with the block of shots? Those left and right arrows are only visible once you mouse over them, making it not immediately obvious there’s more than one bunch of shots when you first load the page. Personally I’d have made them always visible, but they got bought for a bazillion dollars by Yahoo whereas I’m sitting in a cube, so what the hell do I know? So just realize – there’s more than those 12 shots to page through.

This is my fave so far.

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More on Sean Taylor’s Murder

As Don quickly pointed out earlier today, Sean Taylor died early this morning ostensibly from the gunshot wound he sustained in the pre-dawn hours of Monday morning. His femoral artery was severed by the bullet, causing severe blood loss, and resulting eventually, despite 7 hours of surgery designed to repair the artery, in his death.

More troubling, though, is the report that his phone line was cut, preventing his wife from calling out for help: “Taylor’s fiancee tried to call police from the house line, only to discover that the line had been cut. She had to use her cellphone to call 911, which delayed the response time.”

My thoughts are with the Redskins family today, as well as with Taylor’s widow and daughter. This is a horrific occurrence.

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DC Homicide Total

170 murdered in DC. In less than 11 months.

While not a record total for DC, it is more than we had all of last year. So far, All-Hands weekends haven’t worked, and apparently gunshot tracking isn’t all that useful either. What solution is there for DC’s police group? How do you better prevent murder? Is it an outreach problem, or is it a police-presence problem? Socio-economic?

We’re still nowhere near the 2005/2004 totals which are just short of 200, so it’s possible last year was just a statistical aberration. Of course, no one really wants to think about that, do they?

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Phil Shapiro Gives Thanks

Local musician, blogger, techie and all-around great guy Phil Shapiro has a post today giving thanks to Tim Berners-Lee. In addition, he posted a simple little ditty that I found to be quite heartwarming. Check it out.

Phil is one of the more interesting people out there, a real community builder, and has a great heart. Be sure to check out his bio page and learn more about the good work he does.

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Redskins Safety Shot in Florida Home

Redskins star safety Sean Taylor was shot in his Florida home early this morning. The Post article goes deep into Taylor’s discipline history and seems to imply that the shooting was either of a domestic nature, or relating to his personal discipline problems, while ProFootballTalk is reporting that the shooting was related to a burglary:

Redskins safety Sean Taylor has been shot in Florida, a source with knowledge of the situation tells us. He is in critical condition at a Miami-area hospital and, per the source, is “fighting for his life”.

Taylor spent Sunday night in his Florida home with his girlfriend and infant daughter. A robbery occurred, and Taylor was shot in the leg by one of the invaders.

The bullet severed his femoral artery. He currently is in surgery.

It strikes me as odd that the two reports are of drastically different nature. Of course, ProFootballTalk being an internet site may not have as detailed a fact-checking department as the Washington Post, I just find it odd that the Post needed to put his discipline problems at the bottom of the article, either as explanatory or expository to the story. However, the Miami Herald is reporting that Taylor was shot by an intruder: “Sean Taylor of the Washington Redskins was shot and wounded early Monday by an intruder in his home on Old Cutler Road in Palmetto Bay.” I suspect their fact-checkers are as good as the Post’s. Unfortunately, the Herald also felt it necessary to harp on Taylor’s background.

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Tragedy at 9:30 Club

Over the weekend, Hawthorne Heights (Warning, plays music) was supposed to play at the 9:30 club, a nearly sold-out show on Saturday night. However, their guitarist Casey Calvert was found dead on the tour bus, the cause of his death is unclear at this time. Hawthorne Heights released this statement via their website on Sunday:

Today is probably the worst day ever. Its with our deepest regrets that we have to write this. Casey Calvert passed away in his sleep last night. We found out this afternoon before sound-check. We’ve spent the entire day trying to come to grips with this and figure out as much as possible. At this time we’re not sure what exactly happened. Just last night he was joking around with everyone before he went to bed. We can say with absolute certainty that he was not doing anything illegal. Please, out of respect to Casey and his family, don’t contribute or succumb to any gossip you may hear.

Having enjoyed Hawthorne Heights on XM on many a drive around town, my heart goes out to the band, and to Casey’s family and friends.

DC Police are investigating Casey’s death, but no timetable is given for any conclusions.

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Turkey Hangover?

I’m not sure what it was this morning that finally got me out of bed, but I noticed it wasn’t the sunshine, nor was it a drive to get to work, it might’ve had something to do with the cat poking my eye with his paw, or maybe it was the NPR report about Sarkozy and China on WAMU, I’m not entirely sure. What I found particularly odd was that I wasn’t alone in my turkey hangover this morning.

All along my route into Murky, I was surprised by the lack of traffic. Am I the only one getting a late start this morning? Was it just me with the light traffic? I suspect that if Route 50 was as light as it was, the rest of town was pretty manageable as well. As displeased as I am to be off vacation and back to the grind, knowing that I have an easy ride home may do wonders.

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Happy Thanksgiving, Washington!

I’m sitting in my dining room, eating breakfast, enjoying a moment of peace before friends descend and our Orphan Thanksgiving Dinner preparations begin. Running over the list in my head of what goes in the oven, on the cooktop, how long, temperature, how much chopping, dicing – I know it fills a lot of people with dread but for some reason this is my absolute favorite holiday.

It’s even more my favorite now that I’m in my second year of putting my foot down and saying “no way in hell” to traveling anywhere.

The curtains are floating in and out, the windows all open thanks to a magnificent morning (thundershowers later, maybe? that’s ok, we have plenty of candles). The sunlight has begun to stream in the yellow room. I’m so very happy today. Happy for my friends, my family, my house, my husband asleep upstairs. Happy I have the unbelievable luxury of food to prepare and people to make happy by sharing it with them. Happy to live in this beautiful city, maligned by some yet still adored by many.

Happy Thanksgiving, Washington!

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Washington, DC on $85 a Day


Washington, DC on $85 a Day

Originally uploaded by Musely.

Trompe L’oeil is what the French would call this excellent photo collage featuring the various famous American buildings that are featured on our currency. All those times we pull the bills out of our wallets and purses, their varicolored backgrounds set against the traditional green, we forget that we drive or walk by them and see them every day.

Great shot, Musely!

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Thanksgiving Eve Miracle

Thanksgiving Miracle

Garden edging free for the taking. No joke. These things look really nice. If I hadn’t been dog tired from excessive travel and walking home because of the crappy ART Bus schedule, I would have taken them myself.

Corner of Kensington and 36th Street North in Arlington. Get them before some other person with more energy than I have saunters by.

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Cultural Traditions


photo:whitehouse.gov

Everybody knows that Thanksgiving “weekend” is probably among the best five days in the Washington, DC calendar. People come home for the holiday from wherever they have dispersed to and everybody heads out to clubs and bars – sometimes even those that might be off-puttingly packed with khakied-and-ballcapped transients during the rest of the year.

As for what to do during the day time to amuse yourself and family as people get progressively snippier with each other around the house, how about something that is pleasant and edifying (probably more than can be said of most of the movies you were thinking about)?

My top suggestion is that you remember that all Smithsonian museums are open every day except Christmas. That means they are all open on Thursday for your pre-meal perusal. Try visiting one you have put off before, or go back to a favorite knowing you will have the peace and quiet to really pay attention to the pieces you love. Check out the new Kogod Courtyard at the Reynolds Center. Go to the zoo!

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Statehood Tonight

Let it be known that I am not advocating for some kind of coup, staged under cloak of night, to the end of changing the legal status of the District of Columbia. That would be crazy.

Instead, I am advocating that you head out to the Black Cat Backstage tonight to see the band Statehood perform in support of their just-released record Lies & Rhetoric.

This will be the third or fourth time I have seen the band, which formed in 2006 and has been playing shows in the area fairly regularly. Each time, they have acted exactly like you want your new favorite local band to: enthusiastic and intense, but also modest and friendly at the same time. Bassist Eric Axelson, in particular, always seems so charming when he talks to the audience – presumably a blend of his years of rock-star on-stage nights* and a day job teaching children in a DC public school.

For those who have not yet had the pleasure of seeing them live or hearing the record, the sound is sort of angular and dance-punky, in a way that seems to show the maturity of the musicians behind it. Do you like bands such as Mission of Burma? Appreciate the inevitable (and fair) Dismemberment Plan comparisons? Ok, you will like Statehood. A lot.

What else were you going to do? Hang out with your family at home?**

Black Cat Backstage. November 21, 2007, 9pm. Satehood, with The Aquarium and Gary B & The Notions. $8

*Eric Axelson and drummer Joe Easley were famously members of perhaps my all-time favorite band, The Dismemberment Plan. That fact, and the inevitable comparisons has perhaps gotten more ink than Statehood’s own work, so I will leave that to others to discuss at length. Suffice it to say, yes, there are similarities, but they work for the band, and never come off as samey.

**Possible answers to this question: Let us say for a moment your tastes run more to the dance side than dance-punk. If so, you might want to check out Pho Real 2007 at FIVE. DJ Eleven will be there (among quite a slate of DJs), and is, for some reason, the only one of the three members of The Rub I have never seen live. If you go, let me know how that was.

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Smith’s Turkey

SmthTrky.jpg Lonely this holiday? Dejected without a place or family with whom to have Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow? Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown, notable for its Tuesday half-price burgers, is offering $14.95 home-style roast turkey meals on Thanksgiving Day. Doesn’t that clipart look scrumptious? Be sure to tip generously — that’s a night of wait staff missing Thanksgiving so you Georgetowners can stuff yourselves with pilgrim fare.

Of course, the whole idea of a restaurant serving Thanksgiving turkey dinners is a novelty to me, and I’m only posting this particular one because their sign caught my eye, but if there are other places doing the same tomorrow, do let our readers know in the comments so they know where to go. Me, I’ll be with the in-laws up north.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs