A Boy And His Degas

Meanwhile, in the “Kids Say the Darndest Things” file: A conversation between my father and his six-year-old son, my little brother, about a recent trip to an art museum.

Little Brother: Dad, the girls laughed at the sculptures.

Dad: They did, Willie? Why did they do that?

Little Brother: They just have no respect for art!

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Top three things I’d like to ask Bobby Knight when he appears at Olsson’s Books & Records in Arlington March 28:

3. What were you, born in a barn?

2. If you and Godzilla were in a fight, would you show him your own shit, or just throw a chair at him?

1. If you could throw a chair at any historical figure, who would it be?

Big Brother 3

Big Brother…3?

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who divide people up into two groups, and those who do not.

Having said that, there are two kinds of people in the world, people who watch Big Brother, and people who absolutely do not understand the perceived madness of those who do.

I can see how those in that other crowd might believe it to be madness. I myself will admit to only a few of my Big Brother-related behaviors. I join show-related listserv groups. I search the Internet for updates. And yes, I have actually spent money to vote in the polls. But no, I have never jumped up around screaming to cheer on so-and-so during a head of household competition.

My point in bringing up Big Brother at this juncture: Big Brother is looking for houseguests for BB3.

While I am utterly elated that we will have another season, I do have a note of concern for the producers of this fine television program.

As we all know, MTV started the “reality television” boom with The Real World. When the show first aired, producers managed to populate its real world with real people, folks like you and me…well, with the exception of Puck. The new crews, however, have simply been pretty people, people who really aren’t very interesting.

I’m hoping CBS won’t make the same mistake. They improved production values dramatically in the second season, reducing Julie Chen’s role to focus more on the houseguests, making competitions less grueling and more fun (save except for the final HOH competition, which encouraged the three remaining houseguests to wet the bed), and placing voting powers within the house, not across the nation. I would hate to see the show turn into a place where the Kents and the Chicken Georges of the world wouldn’t stand a chance.

Thank you.


How to make a perfect chili dinner for yourself and two friends who have come over to watch the Kansas game but spend most of the evening watching the goddamn Maryland game because the morons at network would rather broadcast the rather lackluster Maryland game in your area:

First, spend four hours shopping for a Crock Pot, unless you have an appropriate one on hand. Go to Hecht’s first, and ask the saleslady to go in the back and look of a 3.5-quart Crock Pot. She will return after ten minutes and tell you that they don’t have any in stock. Get in your car, pay $1 for parking, and drive to Target on Jefferson Davis Highway. Find the location where they have every model of Crock-Pot except for the one you want, then find a salesperson who will go to the back, and explain to you that they don’t have any left in the back, either. Go to Linens and Things and Best Buy next to CostCo and have a similar experience. Finally, drive to Macy’s and find a three-quart Farberware crock. Thank goodness.

Now, here’re the groceries you need: Two cans each of pinto beans, mixed vegetables, chopped tomatoes. One twelve pack of Sam Adams Spring Ale. One six-pack each of Coke and Diet Coke, which nobody will consume. One package of chili seasoning, maybe two if you’re feeling dangerous. Grated cheese. One bag of Fritos. Three boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix. Eggs. Milk. A red pepper. Sliced banana peppers. A pound o’ meat (optional). Scallions. Mushrooms. Spring squash. Salt. Pepper. Chili powder.

Drinks some beer. Brown the meat. Slice the veggies. Drink some more beer. Throw the whole mess together and stir it really really well. Make cornbread. Crock it. Eat. And don’t be neat about it. Top it with cheese. Throw the cornbread into the mess. Drink some more beer. Throw the Fritos in, too.


And oh, yeah. Go Kent. They play Indiana tonight at 7.

Homeless Cats

I know that readers’ eyes glaze over when I talk tech. So, I apologize for the past few days’ immersion in the subject. I did lose comments for awhile because Blogger is, unfortunately, not the most reliable service in the world, though it is wonderful. I believe I have reached a solution: I no longer publish directly to my index page. This leaves my blog page unaffected should Blogger decide to screw something up. Then, I can copy and paste and edit entries to my heart’s content, and republish via FTP. It adds a step, but it ensures that I can keep the page’s quality up.

Incidentally, I know I lost a post. I will see if I can retrieve it at home.

Anyway, I might as well take a moment to note that as of today, the Whitewater issue is finally closed. And yep, that DNA stain is all that ever came of it. I swear, this city is such a shitpile.

The homeless cats lady was back at Ballston yesterday. She sets up a table there from time to time with a big sign that says “HOMELESS CATS.” I still want to ask her how much she wants for them.

Ring the Dingy

When my cousin Christopher was 6, he and his family were traveling on a bus in some metropolitan area, Chicago, I think it was. Christopher, in his childlike persistence and enthusiasm for pushing buttons and making noise and such, was insistent that he should get to “ring the dingy.”

“I get to ring the dingy, right?” he asked my Uncle Jim.
“Yes, Christopher, you can ring the dingy,” Jim would reply. Then, of course, after a few moments…”But Jim, I get to ring the dingy, right?”

The time drew near for Christopher and fam to exit the bus, and, as the story goes, Uncle Jim got a little excited.

“Come on Christopher! Ring the dingy! Ring the dingy!”

It’s an odd little etiquette we have on buses, isn’t it? I watched this morning as a young woman sitting in the front seat of my bus rang the dingy, though she could have just as easily leaned over and said, excuse me, ma’am, but I will need to get off at this stop. I thought of this odd transport of communication, that instead of going from person to person, this idea is transferred via telegraph regardless of one’s situation on the bus. I mean, immediately afterward, the woman said “thank you and have a nice day” to our driver, it wasn’t as if direct communication between these two human beings was irreperably impaired by some universal happenstace.

We are a society that is used to prosthetic media. We have telephones and Internet and television and yes, we have the dingy. Social circumstance and national mindset mean that, given a choice between interacting directly or poking someone with a stick, well, we’ll pick up the stick every time. That’s just the way it’s done, I guess. When you’re on the bus, you ring the dingy.

I Hope That Guy Gets a Raise

I was in Safeway today, the one in Arlington across the street from the new Harris Teeter that will put it out of business in 4.5 months (trust me), and this guy came over the loudspeaker and said: “Will the owner of the Toyota please move it? Put it in a PARKING SPACE WHERE IT BELONGS!”


Show me the way to the next sushi bar. Oh, don’t ask why. Oh, don’t ask why.

I tried sushimi while in Vegas. I didn’t order it directly, I tried somebody else’s. Not to be unsophisticated or anything, but blech!

I also tried sake. Also, blech.

I’m home now, and ever so happy to be here. I got in at 1:30 a.m. Stayed up ’til like 3. Woke up and had breakfast with Uncle Johnny. Glad to be home. I missed the feta cheese and spinach and tomato omlette at Metro 29. I missed Alice the Cat (I’ve renamed her “Alice.” Don’t ask.) I missed having my own computer. I missed not having to wear a tie every day.

Now that I’m home, I can start telling everyone to read Michael Moore’s Stupid White Men. Every American should read this fabulous book. Yes, that means you.

And now, to go recover from Vegas.