I have a bad cough.
It starts up pretty much the second I lie down or sit at anything other than a perfect 90° angle. At times like this, I remember when my sister1 taught me how to cough.
"Enough of this wimpy coughing," she said to me when I was sick at a young age. "I'm not letting you take any Robitussin until you show me you can cough correctly."
She sat me down and started the lesson.
"It's cough-a-cough. Every cough should sound like that. Now do it with me: cough-a-cough."
As the years went by, I thought I had mastered the art of coughing. Until the other night when Marnie told me, "Ugh, enough of this wimpy coughing."
1For those keeping track, this is the same sister who once, while babysitting me, broke a yardstick over my head. I may or may not have egged her on by daring her to do such a thing — I really don't remember. In fact, my memory of that evening is somewhat hazy for some reason...
April 30, 2007
I have a bad cough.
April 29, 2007
Woah — perennial presidential loser Dennis Kucinich's wife, Elizabeth Harper, is a hottie!1
I remember his bachelor days when he won a date with actress Jennifer Tilly while playing “The Dating Game” on NBC.2 I suppose I stopped paying attention to his dating life after that.
Incidentally, Dennis is 60 and Elizabeth is 29.
1She is actually his third wife.
2I wasn't kidding. Then again, I do follow politics rather closely. It was part of a "Tonight Show" gag.
April 28, 2007
The images that Cho Seung-Hui1 sent to NBC News appeared in newspapers and TV reports all over the world. I don't need to post any of them here since we've all seen them a million times — they show the murderer standing in front of a white backdrop pointing guns with both hands.
As is standard when networks share footage, NBC affixed its network logo on the images it sent to other news outlets.
The result, though, is that it looks like the gunman did his photo shoot at the NBC News studio. That's probably not the message NBC wants to convey.
1Sorry for the downer-of-a-topic, but I've been sick in bed for the last 48 hours and have seen more TV news than in the last five years combined.
April 27, 2007
MADISON, Wis. — I've been excited to check out Stephon Marbury's $14.98 shoe line for awhile, and last weekend I finally got my chance.
(They're sold only at Steve & Barry's, which doesn't have a D.C. location.)
(And yes I know that there is a Steve & Barry's store at Potomac Mills Mall, but Woodbridge, Va., does not count as a D.C. location.)
Anyway, I tried them on. I liked them, although they didn't have the one I wanted (one of the low-top models) in my size.
April 26, 2007
April 25, 2007
MADISON, Wis. — Realizing that customers like to wear baseball hats with curved brim, stores started selling them that way. This weekend, I noticed that the latest trend seems to be selling hats with scuffed-up brims.
People love ratty old hats, it seems. So it only makes sense that stores now sell brand new ratty old hats.
"Old hat smell" is not included.
April 24, 2007
MADISON, Wis. — Jason H. once said that Apple Computer's strategy is based "solely on personifying PCs as a flailing asexual dorkbag." Well, the company is establishing an on-the-ground presence to make that strategy work here in Madison.
Yes, West Towne Mall is getting an Apple store.
The sign on the door says simply, "Coming soon."
April 23, 2007
MADISON, Wis. — The front hallway of the Nakoma Country Club has a reminder that golfer Andy North is more than just the most visible fan in the stands of Wisconsin basketball games.1 I don't watch golf on TV, so it was nice to learn about North's golfing exploits. Evidently, he's a Nakoma member.
This painting documents Andy North's 1985 U.S. Open championship.
1North, a big Badgers fan who often travels with the team, is an ESPN commentator. For promotional reasons, ESPN shows him in the stands at seemingly every break in the action.
MADISON, Wis. — Shawn said he'd understand if I decided to attend the Wisconsin Badgers spring football game instead of his wedding. "That's what I'd do if I were you," he told me.
In the end, I chose the wedding. And it was a blast. Thank you to everyone involved.
April 22, 2007
MADISON, Wis. — This was a classy wedding all the way.
Well, maybe not quite all the way — there was a small detour to the duck pond that included drinking Bud Light by the can.
Congratulations to Abby & Shawn. Many more pictures to follow.
April 20, 2007
SOMEWHERE OVER LAKE MICHIGAN — Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer plays by all the rules, I learned yesterday while reading the cover story in Northwest Airlines World Traveler magazine.
All the rules.
Every single one.
Even the one that says it is illegal to put squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling.
April 19, 2007
SAL reported last week that students at American University like to say "whatevs." (Today's busy college students, it seems, don't have time for the full version of the antiquated term "whatever.")
Then I noticed that Summer, on The O.C., said "whatevs" in an episode that ran in 2003.
Ha! My decision to watch the show has been vindicated. Clearly, I'm already four years behind the times — I can't afford to fall further behind.
April 18, 2007
Phew. The Great BlackBerry Scare of 2007 is over.
Now that our e-mail is once again pumping through the system cleanly, let's go back and re-examine a quote given yesterday by Paul Massey, one of the founding partners of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.
The problem at this point is an annoyance, Massey told the Wall Street Journal, "but nothing too dramatic."
How did Massey know how dramatic it was? Millions of people around the world went without e-mail!
I can only imagine: "Trust me folks, I was reading through everyone's e-mail last night. Nothing too dramatic happened. Although Jim Smith might be getting a divorce. I wonder how that will play out."
A few days ago, Tommy Thompson said: "I'm in the private sector and for the first time in my life I'm earning money. You know that's sort of part of the Jewish tradition and I do not find anything wrong with that."
As reported by Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, Thompson's first apology was as follows: "I just want to clarify something because I didn't [by] any means want to infer or imply anything about Jews and finances and things. What I was referring to, ladies and gentlemen, is the accomplishments of the Jewish religion. You've been outstanding business people and I compliment you for that."
The Politico tracked down Thompson for a second apology, in which he blamed fatigue and a persistent cold for his comments. (Evidently, he rattles off prejudicial comments when he gets tired -- is this common?)
The reaction to Don Imus's insensitive comments toward black women set the bar pretty high for outrage on prejudicial statements.
Still, I'm surprised at the lack of attention to Thompson's remarks -- especially since Jews control the media, Hollywood and the world's money supply.
April 17, 2007
RJF once asked me if my dishtowels just wiped water around or if they were actually absorbent and useful at wiping down counters and dishes.
I recommended the ones Marnie & I use. Marnie had picked them out herself, you see, and she seemed to like them just fine.
Marnie, who was in the other room during RJF's initial questioning, came over to inform the two of us that in fact our dishtowels don't absorb anything.
The other day, while drying clean dishes, I decided that Marnie was right — our dishtowels totally suck!
Why does Marnie like them?
And what the hell is the point of dishtowels that can't towel off dishes?
1Question for University of Rochester journalism students who studied under Jim Memmott: Does "but wait" count?
April 16, 2007
I've always been curious what TiVo stands for.
I can sleep just fine without knowing (unless Marnie has a major cough and is pulling an all-nighter, as was the case last night), but I've still wanted to know.
And now I do.
In an online interview, Michael Cronan, the name who came up with the name TiVo, explained himself:
I thought it should be as close as possible to what people would find familiar so it must contain T and V. I started looking at letter combinations and pretty quickly settled on TiVo. I also liked that "i" and "o" were a part of the name from the "in and out" engineering acronym. Additionally I thought "vo" had a nice connection to "vox" and "voce" from the latin for vocal sound and Italian for voice, vote and vow are part of the same root words.
Thank you to Christine for sending me the link.
I loved Die Hard With A Vengeance, especially the "Simon Says" riddles from villain Simon Gruber, which made for a nice tour of Manhattan pay phones.
Thus, I was excited to learn from SAL about a murder-mystery run by a theater company called 31 Down. The theater has set up a hotline to call from inside New York's Canal Street Subway Station (877-or-what-31) to begin the whodunit, which organizers say takes about 45 minutes to solve.
The game will be active through October — I hope I make it up to New York in time to play.
April 15, 2007
Amy E., Jason & I tried to go to the D.C. Comedy Festival last night. But at the door, we were told that while we could buy the $20 tickets if we wanted, they couldn't guarantee that we'd get in. How nice.
Instead, we went for drinks at the Old Dominion Brew Pub.
The waiter, a black man who decided to have some fun with us, walked by our table at one point and saw a napkin on the floor.
Waiter: Oh sure. Just put the napkins wherever you want. Make the negro pick them up.
Jason: I'm really sorry. And I don't even like Don Imus.
April 14, 2007
As you probably know by now, I am a Beverly Hills 90210 fan. (Everybody has a weakness.)
Having seen every episode 12 billion times, I decided this week to graduate to The O.C., which began running on cable.
I've only seen the first four episodes so far, but I can tell that I'll be hooked.
It took awhile to figure out how I knew Kelly Rowan, who plays Kirsten Cohen on The O.C. Then IMDB helped me out: She was the single mother Mike Seaver dated in that episode of Growing Pains I mentioned last month.
Oh, and if you think Growing Pains was a TV weakness every bit as strong as 90210, you're wrong — I could have stopped any time. (And I did!)
SHANGHAI, China — Plans to boost dl004d's readership worldwide took a hit today, with reports out of Shanghai saying that China has blocked the site from its 1.3 billion people.
Stationed in Shanghai for the next few days, correspondent LAL said the move limits dl004d's ability to expand its circulation penetration into emerging markets.
Stocks in dl004d fell 8 percent, closing at $42.50.
April 13, 2007
When Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) made his now-infamous remarks that appeared to praise the old Dixiecrat Party's segregationist platform, it took awhile for his critics to call for him to step down as Senate majority leader.
He gave the speech on a Friday afternoon. News stories the next day on the event (Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party) did not mention Lott's remarks. It wasn't until days letter, egged on by political bloggers, that any news outlets reported on what Lott said.
In some ways, that's what happened this month with the Don Imus scandal:
April 4: Don Imus refers to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed ho's."
April 5: Imus hosts his show as usual. He does not mention the incident. There are no media stories. No one is up in arms, not even Jessie Jackson or Al Shapton.
April 6: On his show, Imus apologizes for his comments.
April 7: All hell breaks loose.
(This Wall Street Journal story fleshes out that time-line pretty well.)
- If you've seen the boxes, but no copies inside, that's because everyone loves The Onion and took all the copies. Set your alarm for 3:30 a.m. Thursday and beat the rush, at least, until we get more copies out - which should happen soon.
- The Onion is also available in print form in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Milwaukee, Austin and Madison.
Thanks to Christine R., I attended my first event yesterday at the National Academy of Sciences.
Or is the National Academies?
Really — would it kill them to just settle on a name?
Actually, I think the National Academy of Sciences is part of the National Academies. As I understand it, there are three other academies: the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council. (And now that I think about it, the Institute of Medicine ought to be called the Academy of Medicine. Or else the National Academies should stop referring to it as one of its academies.)
Anyway, they have a nice atrium.
Remember when I told you about SAL's birthday meal at Matchbox?
Well, DCist liked the picture so much that it used it yesterday for its review of Matchbox. Happy to help out, DCist!
April 12, 2007
BALTIMORE, Md. — This was my first trip to Baltimore's Penn Station since the addition of the imposing "Male/Female" sculpture, which stands in front of the station pissing off locals.1
You can't tell from my nighttime picture, but the art work is a man on one side and a woman on the other side. My Balmer pal Jeremy hates it and wants to ride sculptor Jonathan Borofsky out of town on a rail. (Luckily, there's one near by.)
Anyway, I liked it.
1This is better, of course, than pissing on locals, which the sculpture is well positioned to do.
April 11, 2007
Newspaper boxes for The Onion have sprung up in the last month all over town.
How nice, right?
Except that it's really just a tease.
These boxes are always empty whenever I come across them.
However, I've found one that has been chock full of the satirical weekly both times I've looked. It's at the Forest Glen Metro stop, among the other newspaper boxes there.
Do people in that neighborhood not find The Onion funny and are thus not picking it up? Or is the newspaper just giving that particular box extra copies?
Those of you who read only this site's RSS feed may have missed Josh's second comment in this thread, which came in response to Amy's story about being attacked for her comments about the Women's National Democratic Club.
Well done, Josh.
April 10, 2007
While attending a wedding reception in the Adlai Stevenson Room of the Women's National Democratic Club,1 I was focused on this painting by Jerry Scott.2
The scene depicts then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton sizing up the Oval Office.
1 The art collection of the WNDC includes several Herblock drawings and fascinating political memorabilia. However, tours are by appointment only. That's the thing about those D.C. Democrats: they'll give you what you want, but they demand that you establish firm timetables that include a deadline for leaving.
2 Others were focused instead on why the WNDC passed over the nation's many deserving women Democratic leaders in order to name the room after a man.
April 09, 2007
Congratulations to Michelle & Eric, who came together in holy matrimony just steps from Dupont Circle. It would have been more convenient for me if they had held the ceremony in my building's courtyard — but not by much.
The marital vows were just the second I've attended in the District of Columbia.
April 08, 2007
April 07, 2007
April 05, 2007
CBS announcer Billy Packer angered a lot of people when he told Charlie Rose last week, "you always fag out." Jimmy Kimmel, of all people, brought this to America's attention when he played the clip on his comedy show.
Packer defended his statement by saying he was using the term "fag out" by its dictionary meaning: "to tire out." I looked it up — he's right!
Be honest. Did you know the primary definition of "fag"?
It's sort of like learning that "stupid asshole motherfucker" actually means "please hand me a plate of cheese."
I once accidentally dropped my only set of car keys down an elevator shaft.
I was leaving my college dorm building to go home for the summer. SKBK had driven across the country to pick me up, and I was on my way downstairs with the last box of stuff to load into my car. Which, by the way, was parked illegally just outside.
That was not a fun day.
Since that incident, I have been careful while stepping out of elevators. And I often look down to examine the gap — to this day, it still amazes me that my giant key chain was able to fit down that shaft.
This week, Marnie made an even more unlikely gaffe:
After boarding a Metro train, she attempted to put her Smartrip card in her jacket pocket. Instead, she dropped it in such a way that it wedged itself between the wall paneling and the window. Attempts to retrieve it only pushed it further out of reach.
April 04, 2007
I love my Social Security number.
It's too bad that due to security reasons I can't post it here,1 because it truly is a great number. It is especially great when visually displayed on Scantron forms.2
Unfortunately, the only time I use my Social Security number these days is to occasionally confirm my identity by reciting the last four digits. But those are the least interesting digits. I wish protocol called instead for giving out the first six digits.
Hey, I'm not the only one who likes the number. When I was in high school, one of my evil classmates stole my Social Security number and gave it to his employer so that I would have to pay the income tax.
My dad reported the incident to the IRS but told me later: "It would be an exaggeration to say that they were very interested."
2True, I don't fill out many Scantron forms these days. But in high school, I took the ACT, PSAT, SAT (twice) and three SAT Achievement Tests, so there was a stretch of time when I found myself looking at my cool Social Security number on Scantron forms almost weekly.
April 03, 2007
April 02, 2007
On the left is my Washington Nationals hat from two seasons ago. On the right is the free hat given out at today at RFK Stadium.
If you look closely, you'll see that the "W" is much lower on this year's hat. Is this part of the team's lowered expectations for wins this year? Does it represent the president's sinking poll numbers? Will the "W" be on the brim of the hat next year?
Theodore Roosevelt watched a bit of the game from the roof. And then he "flew" onto the field. Unfortunately, he still lost his daily race against George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Here is the video, courtesy of some guy on YouTube. (Here's the video from another angle, courtesy of some other guy on YouTube.)
April 01, 2007
In Beijing, I learned today, street vendors sell roaches.
How come the creatures we want to be over-hunted never are?
Like, why can't the good people of D.C.'s Chinablock create a roach demand so strong that they kill off the entire city's population?