<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d31965662\x26blogName\x3dArJewTino\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://arjewtino.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://arjewtino.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-4956532091046274503', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

ArJewTino

“Latins are tenderly enthusiastic. In Brazil, they throw flowers at you. In Argentina, they throw themselves." -- Marlene Dietrich

Because there's always time for a baby photo poll

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Recently, two of The Princess’ friends gave birth to a boy and girl, one day apart. They are beautiful, healthy babies who we’re pretty sure are going to one day date each other and get married (both mothers are friends, too).

Looking at the pictures of Ray-Ban (I gave him this nickname even before he was born) and Mirabella led to The Princess and I looking through some of our own baby pictures and, of course, disagreeing over who was cuter when we were babies. She made fun of my landing strip for a forehead and I teased her about looking like Mr. Clean. So we decided to leave it up to you.

I can’t use the blogpoll I had planned on posting because the Web site that creates them is messed up. So, let’s do this the old-fashioned way: look at the photos below and answer in the comments section who you think is cuter, Baby 1 or Baby 2. I think we all know who’s going to win this one.
Baby 1

Baby 2

|

Ok, Heroes, you can be part of my TV-watching schedule

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Allowing a new television show into your life isn't easy. It's much like adding new friends: at this point in your life, you're just not taking any applications and you'd rather stick with the ones you know and trust. Unless, that is, one comes along that's pretty damn cool.

For me, between Prison Break, 24, and, yes, Grey's Anatomy, it's hard for a drama to get entrenched as "appointment TV" into my viewing habits. That said, Heroes may turn out to be my new favorite show of the season.

The show, which premiered last night, follows the lives of several photogenic characters who, on the day of a solar eclipse, are realizing they have some awesome powers. Though they all have different backgrounds and seemingly separate lives, they are somehow connected in obvious as well as undetermined ways. The "feel" of Heroes is, unsurprisingly, like that of a comic book: serialized, interwoven stories with conflicted characters who will share, it was hinted at, a common goal.

I also really liked the actors and their characters. There's that girl from Remember the Titans playing an adopted Texas high school cheerleader who can shove her hand into a running garbage disposal and jump off small town water towers and STILL heal faster than Wolverine.

There's a Japanese kid named Hiro (come on, writers, be a little more obvious with the naming) who, along with having the early lead as my favorite character, can bend the space-time continuum and take unannounced vacations to NYC. There's also the chick who played the defendant in Legally Blonde playing a hot yet tragically indebted-to-the-Mob Web-cam stripper who, aside from not having aged in real life, has an (evil?) alter ego playing hide and seek in the mirror.

There's the Precog Tortured Artist stereotype who paints images of scenes before they happen and ODs, yet survives, on vague drugs; the kid who thinks he can fly and (SPOILER ALERT) might need to take a few lessons from his brother running for Congress before jumping off a 20-story building; and a scientist/mathematician from India who comes to NYC to find out more about his scientist/cabdriver dad's death (I missed most of the setup for this one).

The show also features some minor characters who may not be so minor, like Web Stripper's probably genius son and Unbreakable Cheerleader's evil dad, who made a nice Matrix allusion when he confronted the cabbie/scientist ("It must be a common name. Like Smith. Or Anderson.")

As you can see, there are a lot of characters to track and, based on the preview for next week, more to come. I think it's going to be the "next big show", complete with viewing parties and cult status before it degenerates into a sinking-ratings, Desperate Housewives-like crapfest. For now, I'm going to keep watching the show and pretend I'm not a geek.
|

The Princess responds to The REAL Rules

Monday, September 25, 2006
We’ve been living together for about a month now, and the rough patches seem to be over. But let me give you MY version of The Rules.

1. Cleaning is never finished.

Ok, does this mean there is always something to clean? Well, yes. But it doesn’t mean that I always do the cleaning, or that I think Piggicito (AKA Arjewtino) should do the cleaning, either.

The two of us have a real knack for making a disaster area out of a perfectly clean space, and our apartment had recently been a disgusting mess for a few weeks. I didn’t unpack from California for a week, and I regularly undress in the living room and leave my clothes there for several days. And don’t even get me started on what the Mini Office looks like when I’m doing homework. But here’s the thing: When you start cleaning, there is always something more to clean! I’m sorry, babe, but cleaning up part of the living room and leaving the dishes, the trash, the clothes, etc, in other parts of the apartment is NOT cleaning up! Mop the damn floors! Vacuum the freaking living room! Take my dishes to the kitchen when you take your own! Take out the trash without me asking you to!

2. Yes, you do have to tell me when you’re going out.

I don’t need to know details. I trust that you’re not going out and doing something totally stupid or illegal (because I would kill you if you were!), but I do want to know when you’re doing something. I’d like to know so I can make my own plans, and so I don’t worry that you’re dead in a ditch somewhere (Do they have ditches in the city? Hmmm...). I’m not your roommate, I’m your girlfriend, and we are in a relationship. We are so much in a relationship that we actually live together and have bought furniture together. Let me know what’s happening—I’d do the same for you.

3. I’m not your personal chef.

I like cooking, I really do, but please: cook something for me once in a while without me forcing you to. I don’t mean help me out in the kitchen. I mean all by yourself, surprise me and make me dinner. Look through a cookbook and pick out a nice, yummy vegetarian meal. Buying Chinese or pizza doesn’t count.

4. Quality time can be anything, but TV doesn’t always count.

I like when we do crossword puzzles together. I enjoy walking together to the farmer’s market on Sunday. I love when we travel together. I even think UNO is fun when we play it together (and I beat your ass!). And sitting in front of the TV can be fun sometimes, but not always. If we’re just staring mindlessly at the screen because we’re bored out of our minds? Not quality time. If we’re watching Grey’s Anatomy—which you love, admit it—and discussing if Izzy could have been certified insane when she CUT DENNY’S HEART THINGIE AND DOOMED HIM TO DEATH? That, my friend, is quality time.

P.S. Poor, dead Denny!

5. Sports are boring.

I hesitate to write this because it is so Stereotypical Woman, but really and truly, sports bore me to tears. My feelings about sports are as follows: No. I know there are women out there who would strongly disagree and bash me over the head with a lacrosse stick, or deliver a treatise on the merits of the pigskin. Don’t care! I don’t want to hear about the Dodgers and I really don’t want to hear about the Redskins. For your sake, I want to be interested in sports stats, but I can’t. I’m sorry. I will accept soccer, even on TV, as long as there aren’t too many dives. Dives ruin it for me and annoy me. I will sometimes go to a Nationals game, but that is where I draw the line. Love will only take me to so many stadiums.
|

Vajay-jay fest and Challah

Friday, September 22, 2006
The biggest TV event in The Princess’ life was last night, as she invited a few friends, ordered pupusas, and made the tissues handy for the most highly anticipated McSeason McPremiere in Grey’s Anatomy history.

For those who care, here is my recap: everyone took a hit of acid and suffered some really well-lit and heavily airbrushed flashbacks, Izzie went all Miss Havisham on her roommates after Denny died, the hospital was locked down because of the plague (so lame; I feel like a douchebag even writing that last part), McDreamy realized he loves McDrunkySlut and not his wife, McVet proved himself a pussy but had great chemistry with Callie, and Cristina sat shiva for poor, dead Denny.

Next week, Cristina gives Burke a lap dance on his hospital bed while wearing hot red lingerie. I think there was some other stuff but I was distracted.

Though the episode itself was just OK (Yeah, it’s a flashback, I get it, I don’t need a ticking clock to pound me over the head every five minutes to remind me of that fact), it was fun hanging out with Josh, Kristin, DC “I’m sorry I keep crying” Katastrophe, and “I prefer ER” Tyler. We drank a lot of champagne and wine, debated the flaws and merits of the GA characters like they were real people, and realized how stupid the show sounds when you explain it out loud.

It was as close to “girls’ night” as I think I ever want to get.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Shiftless Badger didn’t make it to the GA premiere party because he was busy cooking a goose and making challah for tonight’s Rosh Hashana dinner. Rosh Hashana, as you all probably know, commemorates both the creation of the world and the birth and binding of Isaac as well as the beginning of the ten “Days of Awe” before Yom Kippur. Duh.

Other than partying like it’s 5767, SB’s boyfriend Josh plans on blowing his shofar and regaling all of us with his amazing grasp of Yiddish. To me, these Jewish holidays are only meaningful in that they remind me of being with family and friends. If I wasn’t going to dinner tonight, I wouldn’t care. The only high holiday I DO care about is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I stay home, I fast, I think about the previous year, I forgive myself for my mistakes and move on. It’s a very healing day and I recommend it for the goyim as well.

So happy new year, everyone, have a great weekend, and Go Redskins!
|

Blogger groupies and the bloggers who love them

Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I have my first blopie.

Arjewtino Note: Though many bloggers write about their own blog in a solipsistic, self-referential way, I try to avoid writing about my own because it makes for such self-indulgent postings. But today I’ll make an exception.

During last night’s kickball revelry at the bar, during our flip cup slaughter of the Red Team (I don’t remember team names, I remember colors, sorry), this girl Tron came up to me while I stood on a chair for a better view of the flip cup action and asked me, “Are you Arjewtino?” I had a fraction of a second to process whether I was being set up for blog ridicule and answered, “Um, yeah…”, demurely.

“Oh my god!” she said. “I love your blog!”
“Really?” I replied.
“Yeah, I love The Princess! And I read Shiftless Badger all the time.”
“Do you want to meet him?”
“Yeah!”

I yelled for SB, who was engrossed in either watching flip cup or scanning the room for hot guys, and pointed him out to Tron. She screamed and ran over to talk to him.

Later on that night, Tron came up to SB and me and talked about our blogs some more, even recalling a previous post I wrote about the new rules I learned from moving in with The Princess. She agreed with my newfound wisdom that, no, watching TV with your girlfriend does NOT count as “quality time”, as I had learned, and reminds her boyfriend of that fact constantly. At least that’s what I think she said since I was pretty inebriated after my team got five free pitchers of beer for reffing yesterday’s games.

On the walk to the Union Station Metro later that night, I told SB, “Dude. We have a blopie; a blog groupie.” “I know,” he said, “how funny is that?”

I’m pretty sure this places us into C-list blog celebrity status. Of course, this kind of attention IS self-indulgent and ridiculously ego-boosting in a nerdy kind of way. It reminds me of the satirical Craigslist posting in which someone was applying to be someone’s blopie. The “ad” is hysterical and mocks bloggers’ collective need for attention and acceptance:

Seeking Mediocre Blogger with 200+* Readership

Reply to:
anon-61218431@craigslist.org
Date: 2005-02-24, 10:39PM EST
avid blog reader looking for blogger to worship.
at first i will read your blog daily, refreshing every hour or so. i will be sure to read all your friends' blogs and any links you may refer to. yes, even those in the margin.
i will then look you up on friendster and request that you become my friend. i will also be sure to click on all your friends' profiles to be sure all of them are either gay or involved and won't be an impediment to our budding relationship. i will then attend any and all rock shows/readings/comedy shows/cook-offs/scrabble-offs that you recommend and/or will be participating in.
i will ignore your incessant need to be admired and your neurotic self-obsession because in the world wide web you're a C grade celebrity and i hope to ride on your coattails happily ever after.
call me. or better yet, blog me. your flickr profile gets mine!

* = that's unique hits, not page views ;-)
|

Paranoia has its limits

After receiving feedback from friends who I trust, I decided to take down yesterday’s post about my employer for the following reasons:

(1) I want to keep my job.

(2) See reason (1).

I recently read someone’s blog about how she got fired for writing about her work. What she wrote about her employer wasn’t negative, she didn’t reveal anything about where she worked, and she didn’t have a large readership, but they fired her anyway. A casual Google search of “fired because of blog” gave me a bevy of cases where people were canned for some reason or another because of their blog. Also, Blogger gives advice on how to avoid the sack when blogging and warns you to be careful.

I wish I could have kept yesterday’s post up because I liked it and The Princess thought it was funny. I may have a broken link now, but at least I still have my job.
|

Can’t Buy Me Blog Love

Monday, September 18, 2006
Remember that scene in Can’t Buy Me Love when the future Dr. McDreamy* watches the popular kids of his high school eating lunch together and longs to be a part of their group? That was my Friday night.

The DC “blogger community” held a happy hour at Lucky Bar and invited anyone who has a blog, has thought of starting a blog, or who has ever heard of the word “blog”, to attend. Though my two blogger friends, Shiftless Badger and DC Katastrophe, couldn’t tag along, I decided to go anyway in the spirit of meeting new people and having fun. The Princess, when invited, gave me a look like I had just asked her to attend a Dodgers day-night doubleheader followed by a three-day camping trip. So I invited Baby Bien, who doesn’t have a blog but is naturally curious and viewed the happy hour as a sociological experiment. And he wanted to meet some hot chicks.

We got to Lucky Bar a little after 7pm and hung out near the pool table, having a couple of drinks and eating some REALLY bad bar food. Soon enough, I recognized the happy hour hostess from her blog photos and saw her sitting with a bunch of people at a table in the back.

“What do you think they’re talking about?” I asked Baby Bien as we looked at the table.
“Blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.”
“Like the parents in Peanuts.”

But despite my eagerness, I could NOT bring myself to walk up to the table and introduce myself. Suddenly, I felt like I was back in high school, watching others have fun and paralyzed by my fear of making a fool of myself. I am typically an outgoing and gregarious person; but on this night, I just watched the proverbial table of “cool kids” laughing and talking, and felt like the biggest nerd in high school. I mean, even if I HAD approached them, what could I have said? “Hi, I’m Arjewtino! Let’s be friends!”

“I don’t want to make small talk,” I told Baby Bien, “and I’m not single, so I’m not going to hit on anyone.”
“So why’d you come?”
“I don’t know.”

After an hour or so, we left to meet our friends at our regular watering hole in Adams Morgan, where everybody knows my name. I was back in my element. I know, I know, it was pathetic. I felt like a failure as I left Lucky Bar and boarded the 42. I told myself that at the next blogger happy hour, I would definitely NOT be a wuss, that I would NOT be such chickenshit, that I would have the balls to talk to anyone. After all, as I told Baby Bien, “They’re not celebrities.”

Not even Ronald Miller would think so.


*The Princess, who spent yesterday watching a season 2 marathon of Grey’s Anatomy with her gal pal, would like everyone to know that the season premiere is this Thursday at 9pm on ABC.
|

All the cool kids are doing it

Friday, September 15, 2006
When I die, I hope it happens under an avalanche of books. Not really, that would probably hurt, especially the hard covers. But I DO love books, so here is the book survey that seems to be making its way around the blogosphere. If you want to write one up, too, send it to me.

I can’t believe I wrote blogosphere. I’m a nerd.

1. A book that has changed your life: An American Tragedy

I read this coming-of-age tome when I was 16, spending most of one weekend holed up in my room to do so. Not so much because I wanted to read it but because I had no friends. The story about the rise and fall of an ordinary man resonated with me and made me look deep into myself and others to see what evil and kindness we are all capable of.

2. A book you have read more than once: Catcher in the Rye

Probably on most people’s top-10 list, I read it at 17 and again at 30; it’s interesting how I interpreted it at different stages of my life. As a teen, I felt like Holden was my hero who explained only what I kept inside myself; as an adult, I can’t help but think what a pompous little bitch he is.

3. A book you would want on a desert island: Don Quixote

Reading this book isn’t exactly like tilting at windmills (sorry, I had to), but it IS very readable, probably the only 17th Century novel that reads like a modern novel. Crazy guy reads too many stories about knights, believes he IS one, sets out to fight injustice in the name of his love: who CAN’T relate to that?

4. A book that made you laugh: Catch-22

Seriously, read the chapter on Doc Daneeka and his wife who presumes he is dead and try not to wet your pants.

5. A book that made you cry: Flowers for Algernon

If this story doesn't get to you, doesn't reach into your heart, doesn't pull hard at your soul, then you are dead inside. Poor retarded Charley. So retarded.

6. A book you wish you had written: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Eggers single-handedly perfected the solipsistic genre of having his characters break down the fourth wall and have them recognize themselves within this memoir. The only superfluous chapter: when he tried to become a cast member on The Real World.

7. A book you wish had never been written: The Shipping News

Torture. Pure, unadulterated, unmitigating torture. Don’t ever read this. That’s two weeks of my life I’ll NEVER get back.

8. A book you are currently reading: The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl.

A really interesting story on the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, one of the most destructive weather phenomena to ever hit the U.S. The biggest tragedy, though, was knowing that it could have been prevented but was caused only by man’s hubris.

9. A book you have been meaning to read:. How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Explanation of Globalization

I miss the World Cup. I STILL think Argentina would have won it all if they had beaten Germany. Damn Germans. I blame Jenny and Nathan.

Sorry, still bitter.
|

Random Act of Pizza

Thursday, September 14, 2006
It wasn’t exactly like Amelie’s crazy behavior or Haley Joel Osment teaching Kevin Spacey how to pay it forward, but Wednesday, a random woman came up to me and gave me half her chicken pizza.

I left work at 6:30pm and went to pick up my dry cleaning, only to find the shop closed. As I mentally cursed them for having the craziest hours (what cleaners close at 6pm on a weeknight?), I muttered “fuck” under my breath as a young woman walked by holding a paper bag from Vie de France. I started to turn around to walk to the L'Enfant Metro when the following conversation took place:

“Do you want half my pizza?”
“What?”
“Do you want half my pizza? I told the guy at Vie de France that if he charged me half the price I would share half my pizza with someone.”
“Um, sure. Thanks a lot.”
“No problem.”
“Yeah, I thought the dry cleaners would close later.”
“Do you need something for tomorrow?”
“Yeah, kind of. I’ll figure something out.”
“Well, good luck.”
“Thanks again for the pizza.”
“Sure.”

I know it wasn’t a kidney or anything. And I know I wasn’t exactly put out by my cleaners’ draconian hours. But this random act made me feel better and brought a smile to my face on an otherwise gray, dreary day. So, wherever you are, Random Pizza Giver, thank you for cheering me up. The pizza was pretty good, too.

And, yes, I got my dry cleaning yesterday.
|

Going back to Cali(fornia)

Monday, September 11, 2006
Having grown up in Southern California, I have often been asked what LA is like. After visiting this past weekend, The Princess came up with a perfect synopsis: "California would be great to live in if you didn't have to work.”

True, SoCal has the beaches and weather; it is more laid back than DC. But, putting aside the famous Woody Allen quote about LA– “I don’t want to live in a place where the only cultural advantage is that you can make a right turn on a red light” – the only reason for me to visit anymore is to see the Arjewtine family.

I love flying westbound because of all the time you have when you land. It’s like going into the future. Or the past, I don’t know. Doc Brown should explain it to me. Sure enough, after waking at 6:30am Thursday, we took a direct flight out of BWI and landed in LA shortly before noon. As we walked to baggage claim, we had our first celebrity sighting: Flavor Flav! He was really short and a fan was hugging him as he waited for an elevator.

Hermano picked us up and took us to my mom’s condo in Northridge. I grew up in the Valley so my tolerance for 90- to 100-degree dry heat is pretty high; The Princess, however, actually got allergic to the desert weather and started what would be a four-day weekend of sniffling and sneezing.

We ate some empanadas for lunch and then went to the pool. The Princess was awed by the fact that the trees there grew fresh limes and I regaled her with stories of my siblings and me feasting on the fruit of an apricot tree that used to grow in our backyard. I swam a few laps while she sunbathed. When we went home, we played Guitar Hero on my brother’s PS2, a game which is kind of like Dance Dance Revolution but with a guitar. It is HIGHLY addicting, as I learned. We then went to dinner with Mami, Hermano, and Hermano’s novia at my favorite place, Buenos Aires Grill, where my brother and I gorged ourselves on sangria and a parillada of meat, meat, and more meat.

(Note: The Princess stopped eating meat three years ago after Hermano and I shared a parillada at Gaucho Grill and she watched me eat a morcilla. If you don’t know what it is, look it up. Caveat: you may stop eating meat.)

My mom took Friday off and we went to The Grove, a shopping complex downtown I had never visited and which looked like a glorified strip mall with expensive restaurants and corporate shops. We walked around for a while, window-shopped, then drove home by taking Sunset through Beverly Hills and Westwood to the 405. (I stopped calling the Capital Beltway THE 495 a few months after I moved to DC; I still say “stoked”, though.)

My mom took The Princess and I clothes-shopping that evening (I have no sartorial talent when alone) and then we treated her to dinner at, where else, Buenos Aires Grill. The next day, Papi picked us up and took us to his place in Santa Monica. We borrowed his cool green retro bikes and cycled to the Santa Monica Pier and then to Venice Beach, where we lunched on the BEST FISH TACOS ever and gawked at the freaks. We went swimming and the waves made for some awesome body surfing. No crappy six-inchers in LA, unlike in the OC, bitch.
That evening, we drove down to Laguna to visit my grandparents. I had asked my dad to invite my extended family, many of who I hadn’t seen in three years, and on the way we insisted on buying champagne. In retrospect, I can see why they were disappointed that we didn’t have a special announcement. Champagne+Family Gatherings, I guess, should = Marriage Announcement. “Donde esta el anillo?” my tia pleaded. Still, we feasted on Argentine food, looked at family vacation photos, and I wrestled with my nephews and niece.

Sunday morning, we shirked Coffee Bean and biked down to this independent coffee shop, which looked like the bastard child of Tryst and Asylum Bar. The organic coffee from El Salvador was decent but I was mostly amused by their instructions that you had to average $2 in expenditures per hour while patronizing, otherwise you were loitering. How do they monitor everyone? Is it on the honor system? I can’t imagine someone going up to the heavily pierced and tattooed barista and saying, “I’m sorry, I’ve only spent $6 in the last four hours while working on my screenplay. Get me a scone.”

My dad took us to an omelet parlor for brunch and then we walked around the farmer’s market. When I say “farmer’s market,” I don’t mean like what you find in Dupont, Mt. Pleasant, or Takoma every Sunday. This was unreal, a Hollywoodization of outdoor markets, where parents pushed their babies in $1,000 strollers and there was actually a limo parked in front. We didn’t see any celebrities but I must admit my first thought was that we would see Brittany Spears stuffing her face with organic corn.

Flavor Flav wouldn’t have done that.
|

All politics is local: why Marie Johns leaves Fenty and Cropp in the dust

Fed up with the negative campaigning of Adrian Fenty and Linda Cropp, I asked my friend DJ Roo to guest blog his thoughts on why Marie Johns should be DC's next mayor:

Tip O'Neill coined the phrase, "All politics is local."

As DC Election Day approaches Tuesday, the quote attributed to Mr. O'Neill couldn't be truer when it comes to the Mayoral primary. Ever since Congress approved the Home Rule Charter in 1973, the District of Columbia has had its ups and downs (to say the least). There have been a grand total of four different mayors in that time frame (Walter Washington, Marion Barry, Sharon Pratt Dixon/Kelly, and Anthony Williams) and soon we'll have our fifth mayor. As is my habit, I start following these kinds of political processes way earlier than most people, which I attribute to my awful middle name of Barry (this progressive Democrat has carried the challenge of being named after ultra-conservative Barry Goldwater since the waning days of 1964...not an easy task, I tell you. Thanks, dad...I still love you). When all was said and done, I decided to give my support for DC Mayor to Marie Johns.

Mrs. Johns is a true American success story - first in her family to attend college, yet somebody who once lived in subsidized housing and worked as an administrative assistant. She eventually rose to become CEO of Verizon Washington, and I believe she's the epitome of what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke about when he talked about character.

A few weeks ago at the Ward One Mayoral Endorsement event, I had the pleasure to briefly meet Marie Johns, and everything I read about her is true. In just a few minutes, this warm woman made my night (and she let me know I helped to make her night as well). She isn't what one would call a "typical politician", and as she listened to me I understood what a fantastic Mayor she would be. Yes, she listens...and she thinks. She thinks this city can be better, as we all do.

After meeting Marie Johns, I wrote to her campaign (the above two paragraphs come directly from my e-mail and can be found on her Web site). The next day when I came home from work, there was a message from Marie on my voicemail, telling me how touched she was with what I wrote. Talk about all politics being local! She knew she had my vote, yet took the time to call me. This is somebody who not only can help fix our schools and provide more opportunity to those who live across the Anacostia River, but somebody who can also help fix that disaster known as the Department of Motor Vehicles.

I told Arjewtino this story, and he said, "Write something for my blog, and I'll give you a guest writer post." Once again, all politics is local.

Of course, local is a relative term too. When I told this story to my mom, who teaches Social Studies to 7th and 8th grade gifted students in Melbourne, Florida, she asked whether she could use it as part of an upcoming current events lesson. This weekend my mom wrote me:

We had an interesting current events day - I took in information from three out of five of the mayoral candidates for my students to read. I gave each of them one position statement, newspaper endorsement, or testimonial etc. from either Fenty, Cropp, or Johns. Of course, Johns has the best site so she had the most information including your testimonial and letter. You may be interested to know that she won in all five classes because the students felt she focused on the issues with more depth.

Local. Politics. True. Hopefully none of the kids has the middle name Barry, though.

Full disclosure time...Marie Johns is third in most polls, and that makes some people shy away from her. Tony Williams was third in the polls for most of his first campaign, yet on Election Day people voted for the candidate they wanted to win, even if some didn't think he'd actually win. In 1948, Harry Truman held up an early edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune with the blaring headline "Dewey Defeats Truman", and a few weeks prior to that Life magazine featured a picture of Thomas Dewey on the cover with the caption, "The Next President of the United States". Hmm...Harry Truman won. Few expected it to happen. Interesting, isn't it?

Take a moment and check out http://www.johnsformayor.com/ and see what you think of Mrs. Johns. This is a woman who could have easily enjoyed her retirement and her volunteer work, yet has decided to embark on a journey to make our Nation's Capital better...because, as her slogan states, she's real. In a world of divided politics and lack of representation, I believe Marie Johns is the type of intelligent and caring leader the District of Columbia needs.

Different. Real. Better. And Local, too.
|

When it's Prince vs Madonna, everybody wins

Wednesday, September 06, 2006
There have been some classic faceoffs throughout history. Caesar vs. Pompey. Dodgers vs. Yankees. Law and Order vs. Law and Order: SVU. But never did I think the Prince vs. Madonna Dance Party at the Black Cat Sunday night would prove to be such a contested rivalry.

Though my first reaction to being invited to the P v. M party was to wince and flash back to 1987 when my sister would repeatedly play her "Like a Virgin" cassette single until my ears bled, I ended up going because I was in the mood for something unpredictable that night. And I hadn't been part of a cheesy musical rivalry since The Princess and I rented out a karaoke room in Japan last spring.

We met up with our friends Josh, Baby Bien, Shiftless Badger, British Guy, and DC Katastrophe at the Common Share, where we downed $2 beers and made fun of our parents' outgoing messages. Katastrophe's Spidey sense began to tingle after she gulped three straight girly drinks so we quickly chugged our pints and made our way to the Black Cat where, despite Katastrophe’s premonitions, there was no line and plenty of tickets. We hung out in the Red Room for a while, taking shots, playing Donkey Kong and Burgertime on the two-player arcade, and watching DC’s hipster doofuses interact among humans. Sufficiently lubricated, we hopped on upstairs and got the party started.

The main floor was empty when we got there but Josh and Katastrophe took care of that problem by skipping out to the dance floor and motivating the wallflowers to do the same. They shared space with a guy dressed all in white who not only danced like Prince, but must have thought he WAS Prince.He kicked his legs and gyrated to “1999”, and spun random people around. Everyone was in a good mood and having fun and we started to wonder what other dance parties would make for good rivalries. Pearl Jam vs. Nirvana? Debbie Gibson vs. Tiffany? Yanni vs. John Tesh?* Actually, I would pay good money to see that one.

We eventually nestled by the front stage as a large crowd filled in and pressed against us. British Guy, visiting from, well, England, and I stood on the stage and led the crowd in waving their hands to "Like a Prayer" before some burly security guy ran at us and knocked us to the floor. We danced, we smoked, we took photos. The night was long and the music thumped in our heads. Josh danced with a transvestite and Baby Bien flirted with a meth girl who HAD to have had a really good fake ID to get into the club. Some guy stroked The Princess' arm but disappeared into the mob before I could kick his ass.

At 2am we headed to Ben's Chili Bowl only to find it was closed. So we descended on a pizza place across the street for some really raunchy big floppies. The night ended and I went to sleep with "Little Red Corvette" in my head.

*Copyright, Baby Bien 2006
|