Wednesday, September 27, 2006

mi horoscopo

my puerto rican horoscope told me i would be aware of people less fortunate today. and hombre, julio the astrologer, you certainly were right. and you must know that gringas read your column. i was driving around the south coast today with swaying palm trees and clear blue water to my left, and dozens of dead kittens and puppies littering the road to my right. i got it. and yes, i'm well aware that the beautiful tropics are always coupled with dead kittens and puppies, proxies for poverty, unabated animal reproduction, poor fence construction and the torrents of sociological problems that increase the closer you are to the equator. but i'm trying...improving mangroves and coral reefs and the people who depend on them, so, is it ok if i try and be happy now? it's my last day here. thanks.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

syphoning the symphony

so the chorister seats at the KenCen rock. last night, i saw slatkin's beady eyes, wispy hair (why does every conductor always have lots of hair to shake around?) and delicate commands, and the facial expressions of the harpist, bass players...everyone. fortunately, we were too late to the second half and were seated in wonderful orchestra seats for the brahams so we got a different visual, aural perspective. being behind the orchestra tho, i also got to see everyone in the audience and noticed not only the most hideous outfits ever seen in public, but, a public that was significantly older than the players themselves.
why is it that mostly our elders appreciate classical music? and it's not the price of the tickets, mind you...i paid less than you would at 9:30, and the kennedy center is a mere bike ride away. the acoustics are great, you can see everything, you don't have to stand, but ok, drinks are a little pricey...but hey, your beer doesn't come in a plastic cup.
back in the day, going to the symphony was like going to a kiss concert. it was primo, hip entertainment, the place to be. girls were sneaking out of their houses after curfew and mobbing the star after the show. you had the big greats and the wannabes, and then, you had crazy characters like
Paganini. think: first ever badass, in a mick jagger sorta way.

badasss!

the first ever real rockstar. i mean, this guy would make ladies faint with the sound of his violin. he was weird, eccentric, mysterious, originated the whole goth thing. so why isn't classical music cool anymore? is it because contemporary stuff, well...sucks? we need a new Mozart, man.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

i have tickets to the symphony

i bought tickets to the see the NSO today, mostly so i can hear my current love interest say in his super snooty english accent "we have tickets to the symphonnnny," which really classes it up even more. i think his speech is great but he usually complains: "when i hear myself speak, i just want to vomit" which is even funnier in the vomit-inducing british twang.
anyway, i bought super cheap seats, (so classy), which are actually on stage, behind the orchestra. i suspect we shall be seated in cardboard boxes or benches that really hurt your ass, but as a reward you actually get to see the angry contorted face of the conductor and perhaps feel like you're one of those extra yahoos in the brass section. if there even is a brass section...of course, this is all a major gamble because the whole audience (which includes one of my bosses in the front row orchestra) will be able to see us, and not sure what sort of rules they have in place to make us behave. i mean, what's stopping us from making fart noises with our armpits or tickling and charlie horsing, which is what usually happens when we attend something under the influence of whiskey. i don't think the queen's english will save us then, i'm afraid.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

that's why he called himself a "hunter"

substituting confidence for skill, steve irwin was no scientist. conservationist? hardly. the new york times called him a "wildlife stalker" in his obituary which is pretty much the most accurate description there is. or wildlife harassing. and encouraging such atrocious behaviour to kids is just distressing. wrestling reptiles and taunting them doesn't really seem consistent with a desire to let them live peacefully.
read germaine greer's editorial.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

how to get an awesome lunch for under 2 bucks

1) go to the nearest Giant Supermarket salad bar, which i just found out about!
2) load that shit up with the works: 3 kinds of lettuce, red onions, cherry tomatoes, hard boiled egg, fake crabmeat, croutons, roasted turkey, some chicken wings, beans, and creamy
ranch!
3) proceed to the U-scan aisle
4) select spanish as the language so no one knows what you're about to be up to
5) put in your giant customer card number for extra deep discountz
6) scan that shit as russet potatoes, $1.39 per pound! the regular ones- not organic, you fool!
7) look busy: whistle, check out your nails, pretend you're talking on the phone when the scanner lady says "PONGA SUS PAPAS PELIRROJAS EN LA CORREA!"
8) pat yourself on the back because you just got a nutritious, filling lunch for $1.83! you are so clever, and satisfied!

Saturday, September 2, 2006

an open letter to shaw gentrifiers

dear gentrifiers of Shaw,

while some local residents might welcome your low-pigmented skin to their streets, accompanied by increasing property values, ornate flower pots on window sills, foofy bars dotting the former Black Broadway, overpriced organic supermarkets, handsomely groomed gentlemen and well attired ladies enjoying their evening walks, i'm fairly certain they DON'T appreciate you using their public parks as your public dog toilet.

what's most irritating however is how brazenly you let your canine lay a big stinking pile of shit in the middle of center field while my most awesome
softball team is warming up. how dare you watch your dear pet pinch out a steaming hot one in pure delight and then saunter happily away as if Bundy Field, at 5th and O streets NW is your widdle baby's very own play/shitting ground. i saw you stroll back to your townhouse with satisfaction and a plastic bag in hand - perhaps you thought leaving aromatic organic fertilizer to infiltrate in between ones cleats or within the seams of a well-aimed softball were some sort of complementary offering to your new neighborhood? perhaps you thought the kids who run after soccer balls and fireflies after our game might be blessed with some super-human night vision in order to avoid your precisely laid traps. do the latinos slave 12 hours a day washing the dishes and cleaning the floors of your new uber hip "dive bar" like to plot their futbol field around a well-formed poop? maybe you think the rather polite crackheads who call foul territory their home after sunset who thankfully, ethusiastically accept our offerings of leftover budweiser - actually aim to set up their beds in your dogs feces, no doubtedly composed of organically raised kobe beef and napa valley summer vegetable filler.

well, as a DC resident, i honestly believe that stepping in your beloved animals' detritus isn't really something that solicits hapiness, enjoyment and appreciation of one's urban landscape. i'm fairly certain that during your leisurely strolls through public spaces your neighbors, gentrified and not, might expect you to salvage one shred of human decency and respect and clean up after yourself and that four-legged creature that is part of your family.

because guess what, i saw you go home, i know where you live and somenday, i might just decide to pick up your warm poo and fling it at your triple locked front door, or your ornate iron fenced in yard, and return it to it's rightful owner. i sincerely doubt you'll enjoy stepping in it, smelling it, feeling it any more than i do.

thank you.

Friday, September 1, 2006

DC has an aquarium?

yes. DC has an aquarium. i only found out about it 5 years ago, when i first started working at NOAA and lied my answer to the "what did you get up to this weekend?" question. i still do, obviously. so when my boss asked me what wonderful sight i had seen so far in DC i quickly glanced at my tourist map, and instead of saying "the basement of the Townhouse Tavern" i picked out the first thing i saw, which i thought would be relative to my new oceanography career and relate my enthusiasm to my new job...the aquarium! yes! i went to the aquarium! it was beautiful! amazing! huge! of course, the memories i was confusing and replacing were from the Baltimore aquarium i had visited 15 years prior...he looked at me with a raised eyebrow and i'm certain he questioned choosing me as his employee.
it wasn't until 6 months afterwards that i attended the annual NOAA fish fry at the Department of Commerce. After security, the line to free fish and booze snaked through the quite disappointing DC aquarium. it was the most pathetic collection of dirty fish tanks i had ever seen. the descriptions were half peeling off the walls. the carpet was lumpy and smelled familiarly as those of the Townhouse. there was a miserable looking crocodile in a glorified bathtub who looked defeated by his inevitable fate of wasting away in a Roosevelt era government basement and probably dreamed of an afterlife as a purse - he could have easily swiped his tail at the low glass enclosure and escaped but seemed resigned with a, "eh, why bother" must-lose attitude. these creatures looked at you with the eyes of a recovering heroin addict, dulled by morphene derivates and devoid of any neural stimulation whatsoever. uncomfortable jitters flowed through the line as marine biologists, and fisheries scientists were uneasily eager to eat the copious buffets of seafood served in the courtyard...was it an opportunity to put these bored lifeless fish out of their misery? or something like that. anyway, the aquarium has been getting some good press lately, and this article lifted my spirits
octopii are way cool. if you didn't have to pay to get in, i'm sure there would be more people, but then again, i couldn't bare to imagine what a decrease in funding would result in. do me a favor, and go see the national aquarium. at least, you'll get to see a jelly fish, a crocodile and a groovy octopus. and hey, go out for calamari afterwards!