Friday, March 31, 2006

thursday remainders

In the interest of saving cash I found myself at home on a Thursday, watching The OC for the first time in at least a year. And of all the comedy, intentional or otherwise, that has ever been on this show, nothing can top Mischa Barton pretending to hesitate over a bump of coke. It's like Peter Gallagher hesitating over having bushy eyebrows.

New recipe: Slice off the top quarter of a head of garlic, drizzle olive oil on it and roast uncovered in a 450 degree oven. While it browns, roughly chop 1/2 white onion and cook over medium-high heat until soft and golden-brown. When just becoming transluscent, add 2 tablespoons balsamic vineager and a dash of red pepper flakes, then turn the heat up to high. Cook until balsamic vineager is reduced to syrupy consistency. Slice up a sweet French baguette, smear roasted garlic on pieces and top with balsamic onions. Consume with red wine (I had a 2003 Lake Anna Claret-- fantastic) and when done, brush teeth for at least 45 minutes.

RIP, Lulu's. I'll be sure to pour out a Rohyponol-laced Hurricane in your memory at some point during the weekend.

I never thought I would say this about tiling and grout, but my new bathroom is BITCHIN.

"Guilt and politics are both the enemies of sex." I would venture even further than the article mentioned and posit that a man's level of skill in bed is inversely proportional to his political leanings. Overwhelming anecdotal evidence and a quick perusal of Casual Encounters on Craigslist suggest that, for whatever reason, conservative men tend to be less conservative in bed. This debate has been around forever, but I think Tucker (for once in his career) uttered a succinct and spot-on summary of an issue. And, more importantly, I happen to completely agree with the point. Ugh, I can't believe I agree with Tucker Carlson on something.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

who knew celebrities swearing would be so cool?

This is fantastic. I mean, wouldn't you like to live in a nation where state-sponsored television advertises its programmes by having their actors recite their favorite cuss words (and where by spelling it "programmes" one is using proper grammar and not being a wanker)? That is a relationship to entertainment I can get behind, unlike that of a nation that spends its days downloading wmv. of Scott Stapp being blown by groupies yet two years after the fact still reflexively cringes at the thought of JANET JACKSON'S NIPPLE OH THE SWEET HUMANITY OF IT ALL.

Janel Maloney, I've never seen this side of you before. I like it! And Zach Braff... lovely. To think we had you cast as a one-trick pony after Garden State.

And this is very NSFW, as was discovered when I was hooking up my new speakers today. Hey, the woman who shares my wall spends all day BOOMING about expense reports. In my office, when we get loud we mix it up.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


For about two weeks now, I've been significantly freaking out about money. Transferring the deed of my car over to my name and the subsequent hike in insurance payments (because I am a twenty-four-year-old single female living in an urban center who had ONE speeding ticket in her ENTIRE LIFE and it was for 32 IN A 25 MILE ZONE AND IS TOTAL ASS BUT WILL COST ME AN EXTRA $34 A MONTH FOR THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE and I'm sorry I got all shouty there BUT REALLY) means that a significant chunk of my paycheck is now spoken for. Yes, I got a raise when I got my new job. But I still don't make a lot of money, and need to save for books and tuition. It'll work, but it'll be tighter than I'd like.

So I've been trying not to spend cash on things I don't need, and with the exception of a used hardcover edition of Lake Wobegon Days, it's been fairly successful. And even with that, Cranky Jim gave me a frequent shopper discount. Lord knows I've probably paid a mortgage payment for him over the last few years.

Lean Cuisine for lunch. Drinks from the free kegs at kickball. Netflix for entertainment.

But sometimes a gal's gotta say to hell with the budget. Sometimes when she's walking home from a really busy day that started a very busy week, she'll pass by a group of adorable children selling homemade jewelry and Easter cards from a pint-sized card table across the street from where she saw that guy peeing in the churchyard a few weeks ago. And... sometimes, even if she isn't exactly rolling in dough these days, she's gotta splurge:

Best twenty-five cents I ever spent.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

the sexual life of history majors

"Whatever, K wants to do it on the Guttenberg Bible."


"It's not like I'm turned on by bibles-"

"But printing presses make you hot?"

"It's like it's a prop, okay? All forbidden and stuff."

"OOH. I know where B wants to do it.


"Remember when we were driving back from Drunk-in-the-Woods? And we stopped at the Stonewall Jackson Shrine? And there was the rope bed that he died in?"

"YES! She totally does! She wants to have sex in Stonewall Jackson's deathbed!"

"Ew, you guys, that's so gross. I do not."

"You know how some fathers and sons drive around the country going to all the baseball stadiums? Well, B can drive around the country and get laid at the shrines to Civil War military figures."

"Ooh, I've got an even better one! Is the barn where Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over the lantern still standing?"

"I'm intrigued."

"B, your next trip home to Chicago is going to be a lot more interesting."

"Wait, there's a fire station built over it now. Oh damn... oh yeah..."

"This is both incredibly ironic and SO HOT."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I'm not that judgmental a per--


I'm sorry. I couldn't even finish typing that sentence without laughing. It's just so blatantly not true. Of all the not true things that ever were, are or will be, this is the most untrue of them all. It is the Triple Crown, the Olympic Gold Medal, the first moon landing of falsehoods.

I'm well aware that it's not my best feature, but damnit, it's fun. Every New Year I vow to try to be more open-minded of other people's choices of words, clothing, beverages, significant others, etc. etc. But then someone orders a Sex on the Beach, or uses the phrase "grow as a person" or cuts me off on 395 while sporting a license plate reading "VA QTEE" and *Ping!*-- a little barb, unintended but totally warranted pops in my head, and all thoughts of trying to be a better, more easygoing soul just are pushed out by the URGE TO JUDGE.

An expert in judgment, such as myself, can also take things to the next level and judge others FOR being judgmental and then contradicting themselves. To avoid being hypocritical yourself, it's generally best to have defined and constant categories for judging the judgers. For example, I judge anyone who is anti-choice but pro-death penalty. *Ping!* People who claim to be open-minded but use "gay" as a pejorative adjective ("Dude, she made you watch Ghost? That's so gay!") *Ping!"

I also judge people for judging others' taste in music. I have to work a little harder at this one, as I myself am often tempted to issue an edict on the taste of others. But generally I feel that music is such a fluid and ever-changing world that one has to be overly invested in so they can keep up with what's up and coming. Three years ago Death Cab for Cutie was a hot rising indie act, now a lot of people consider them to be overexposed and cliched. Yet the music hasn't changed a bit (except for "Someday You Will Be Loved" from Plans and do NOT get me started on how much I hate the lyrics of that song, God! they are so condescending and if a guy ever left me a note saying "someday you will be loved" after a one-night stand I would hunt him down and remove his testicles with a garlic press). I don't have a lot of patience with people who claim to like a style or a group, and then lose interest as soon as people who don't read Pitchfork twelve times a day discover it. It's snobbish and all about the image. The composition of the buying public doesn't change what's on the record, and that's all you should care about. Listen to what you like, and the hell with everyone else.

So I judge those who judge music. And I judge those who say one thing and then contradict themselves. All this is by way of telling you that when I burned all the songs from my sister's iPod over Christmas, I didn't know exactly what I was getting and that while I was walking to work this morning listening on shuffle, up popped an all-male, all-freshman a capella group's arrangement of John Mayer's opus "Love Song for No One" and the first thing that popped in my mind was "Dude, this is the GAYEST THING EVER."



Sunday, March 19, 2006


"I know you can be overwhelmed, and I know you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?"
"I think you can in Europe!"

So say the geniuses of 10 Things I Hate About You.

Meanwhile, I know you can be off-kilter. I certainly am right now. I just left a bar (which we cabbed to and where we paid cover, thus a significant investment in the night) for no good reason. I was suddenly seized with this overwhelming feeling of... something. Not tired, exactly, and not sick. Like that weird out-of-body feeling when you take two Tylenol PM and then stay awake longer than you should. This strange "omph" that hit me out of nowhere. I tried to rally; grinding up on E and the girls to Nelly and throwing back my gimlet, but just couldn't get it up. I left after just over an hour. Not trying to be dramatic here, but it was unsettling. Like the urge you get when some sixth sense is trying to push you out of harm's way. It really freaked me out, so I left.

Has this ever happened to you? Some feeling just comes over you that you have to get out right now? And if so, how does one get ON kilter?

Friday, March 17, 2006

SOME people have st. patrick's day and their alma mater playing Duke this weekend

So, SOME people were going to guestblog for me today, but SOME people got way too busy with their brackets and alcohol consumption (right, like I'm actually going to believe you were working today). I apologize for SOME people, and hope that you weren't waiting with bated breath for SOME people to tell a really disturbing yet hysterical story involving a Chinese massage parlor.

Since I don't plan to be sober for the next 58 hours, I'll instead leave you with last year's account of St. Patrick's Day. It's a little more terse than accurately reflecting the fun I had, but I wrote it before I met this brutally hot Irish construction worker on O'Connell Street. Ladies, if you're ever talking with a guy and ask him "so how many tattoos do you have?" and he has to pause to tally... go home with him. Seriously. Don't say I never taught you anything.

promises, promises

I am such a bad blogger. It's not my fault! They actually make me work at the new job! I almost didn't finish my bracket in time, much less have time for the navel-gazing you all come here for every day (although I DID finish my bracket and I'm now tied with B for #1 in our pool which is so unexpected and awesome and never going to be repeated that I'm going to totally brag about it way past the point of obnoxiousness). And I tried to write last night, but the Most Insane Game of College Basketball Ever kept making me jump off my couch, both startling Sadie into hiding under my shoe rack and repeatedly knocking my laptop over.

Today will be more of the same, but you all can expect a fun surprise later on today. Trust me, we're going into this weekend with a bang.

And Kathryn and I-66, many (belated) thanks for another great happy hour. I had fun seeing faces old and new, but especially want to say hey RoarSavage and Kris. It was fantastic to finally meet both of you! One of my favorite things about this blogging shiz is seeing how other people write when they're (mostly) completely uncensored-- what their styles are, their subjects, their intended audience, the quirks and phrases that make each writer unique no matter how much we all "borrow" from one another. I really enjoy the writing of these two in particular, and it was great to see that they were just as fabulous off the page.

So seriously. Check back later today. It'll be good.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

apparently you can't say "douchebag" in the washington post

Thank you, Metro Express! You have no idea how it brightens my morning when I flip past actual news to the Blog Log and my own words are peeping up at me (especially on 40 degree mornings when I left my heels at the office and have to wear flipflops for the commute). I (and the Intern Hata) really appreciate the mention.

But what really blows my mind is when there are two pre-8 AM suprises relating to the Metro. Linda Cropp was doing a meet and greet outside the Eastern Market Metro this morning. Now, normally I care enough about DC politics as I do soap operas... mildly diverting if I have a severe fever and a lot of time on my hands, but otherwise way too messy to follow. And at least on soap operas, the people involved are fun to look at.

But I've done Metro meet and greets with candidates before and I know they suck. Most GOTV efforts suck, but anything involving the candidate herself is extra high pressure on the poor staffers. And GOTV especially sucks when it's unexpectedly cold and you're surrounded by crabby commuters occupied with envy of their New York compatriots who get to bring coffee on the subway. So I smiled and shook her hand, and even deigned to take a flier. It could have been a lot worse, after all. If Lyndon LaRouche ever tries to ask for my vote before I have Starbucks in my system (or for that matter, if he just ever tries to ask for my vote) I am not responsible for any damage that may occur.

Hope to see you all tonight at Happy Hour!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

and you think your interns are dumb

Ever have an intern who had to be taught how to open a spreadsheet? Or maybe he told the chief of staff "watch out, I plan to have your job in a year?" Or maybe a whole herd of them were hogging the bartender's attention ordering Smirnoff Ice and loudly complaining about having to work 20 hour weeks? Ever been waiting for the Metro with a 19-year-old sporting a security badge and smothered the urge to inform him that, as you are standing at the platform at BALLSTON and are therefore nowhere near the United States Capitol, he should remove said badge IMMEDIATELY lest he look like a total douchebag?

Have I got the site for you. No, I do not run it. Yes, I know who does. Vent away, friends. Vent away:

Monday, March 13, 2006

my name is ej and i'm a target-holic

So how gorgeous was it this weekend? What'd you all do to enjoy the sunshine? Me, I spent money I don't have on stuff I don't need!

The advent of spring means tank top season, and so I ran to Target yesterday to pick up a package of wifebeaters. I left eighty minutes later and $127 poorer. Target is lethal like that. I should not be allowed in there unsupervised and in possession of a working credit card. Among the unplanned items I purchased:

* DVD of Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle
* 26 plastic hangers
* Purple gaucho pants
* 1-inch barrel curling iron (please note I already own both a 3/4 inch and a 1.5 inch model)
* Men's XL flannel "Vote for Pedro" pajama pants
* Stuf by Hillary Duff washcloths

I think you get the point.

Seriously, is there a support group for people who have no self-control at Target? If there isn't, I'd gladly start it. We'd only go there at preassigned times, as to resist the bored whimsy that often strikes when there's nothing good on TV and we think to ourselves "I really need a Wet-Dry Vac and some new mascara." We'd go in groups and unplanned purchases would have to be defended by the shopper and voted on by the assembled party:

"I need this Bocce ball set because it's marked down from $89 to $73."
"But you live on the eleventh floor of a city building. There's no grass within five blocks of your home."
"... Did I mention it was on sale?"

There would be no visit to the DVD section. No good could come of it. We would decide what we wanted to own and order it on Amazon. And upon checkout, we would be required to give a final inspection of the contents of one another's carts, harshly determining the necessity of proposed purchases.

I really feel that there's a market for this.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

memoirs of a functioning junkie

I have a little game I've played with myself for the last month. It's called "Where Were You In Europe One Year Ago Today?" It's a fetching little way to escape the mundane details of day-to-day existence. If faced with some unpleasantry, such as paying bills or mounting work deadlines or absolutely no one worth eyefucking, much less actual fucking, I escape to the dock at Nyhavn or the Viktualienmarkt or even the world's most insane train ride through central Italy, just because it was novel and scary and exhilarating.

What's been surprising me is that I don't play this game more often. As recently as September I was in serious backpacking withdrawl, practically having the shakes from being stuck in the same job, with the same people under the same roof every single day for the foreseeable future.

Travel addicts, especially solo travel addicts, are like all other addicts. We're thrillseekers who crave the fix of the exotic. We're impulsive and selfish. We remove ourselves from old support systems until we hit rock bottom. We travel because we want to forget our lives, sometimes permanently. We leech off others by absorbing their unfamiliar conversations, cuisines and cultures.

The kind of travel I love isn't always pretty. It's often messy and terrifying, and always scrappy. Scrappy. Perfect word for what I love. Improvisational and free, being responsible for no one and nothing but your own survival and comfort.

The kind of travel I love tests the people I love. When you cut ties and set off own your own, others don't always want to do the extra work to maintain that love. Looking back, I can't say I blame them. Who wants to rely on a blog and the occasional email for friendship? Who wants to put forth the extra effort to be a companion to someone thousands of miles away? From a purely practical standpoint, I completely understand the impulse to put me on a shelf until I got back.

For the most part they took me back when I returned. So now I'm here, firmly entrenched in a pattern of daily life. There are people I owe things to, be it money or time or an open mind. There is a cat that will be more than happy to remind me if I forget to feed her. For the first time in almost a decade, there are no big shifts on my horizon. No move, no new job, no relationship upheaval, no shows, no big change. I'm the picture of steadiness (or will be when I use my tax refund to pay off the good people at AmEx).

On March 8, 2006 I had a staff meeting. Then I drafted a whole bunch of reports and color-coded my filing system.

On March 8, 2005 I decided I was bored with Roman statuary and bratwurst and went to Amsterdam for a week of the sort of debauchery I will not mention on the Internet. Except that I will and he had a HOT accent and there was much Heinekin and THC involved. And Arcade Fire was there, too.

But today I'm also going to the DC Independent Film Festival with some friends and then trying a new restaurant. Exhilarating? Not really. Safe? Well, it's not exactly rappelling down a sheer cliff face. But it's new to me. And it's certain to be lovely, because my friends are lovely people.

I met a lot of travel junkies while I was backpacking. People my age who wander the world with a knapsack and a passport, tending bar or picking fruit to keep them in hostel payments and clove cigarettes. They all had battle scars and glorious stories, and all but one of two of them would someday go home, wherever that might be, and pick up where they left off. Because that kind of life, no matter how brutally pure and intoxicating it is, can't be maintained. People aren't meant to live without strings. I don't meander through Irish bowers in my head all day because doing so keeps me from living. Like it or not, I'm acknowledging all the tedium (but a lot of really pleasant stuff, too) that fills the days. Dare I say... maturing? Accepting being an adult?

Junkies usually either crash and burn or sober up and acquire that glassy-eyed, be-rehabed look. I'm hoping I can be like the mythical alcoholic who functionally has a glass of wine. Maybe even one who sometimes gets plastered and does regrettable but entertaining things she fuzzily remembers, but still thrives.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

planning my mother's easter weekend visit to DC

Mom: So what would Jesus do at Drag Brunch?

EJ: Well, I'm guessing he'd knock back the sacramental wine and stick a twenty in the tranny's panties.

Mom: *speechless and horrified*

EJ: And maybe after we do the Spy Museum you can shotgun while I drive the short bus to Hell.

Monday, March 06, 2006

it's hard out here for a girl who wanted brokeback mountain to sweep the oscars

Dear Members of the Academy,

Seriously? CRASH? I know it's set in LA and you guys love watching your town onscreen, but didn't you find it just a touch... oh, I don't know, condescending, overbearing, pedantic, unrealistic and simplistic and not to mention TOTALLY INSULTING to have a film about comtemporary racism be made entirely by white people?

Although, well-played on Best Song. You guys always award actresses for playing hookers, but then they disappoint us by showing up in clothes that (well, sometimes) cover their goodies. Just put the hoes onstage! Way to cut out the middleman!

I enjoyed the tasteful tributes to film noir and what I think was musical films... I happened to miss that intro because us girls were hollering really loudly upon finding out that one of our ranks doesn't get the appeal of George Clooney. Side note: do you guys also think that if George Clooney and Oprah ever teamed up, they could conquer and run the entire planet? Can we appoint an Academy committee to explore the logistics of such a campaign?

And thanks for choosing Jon Stewart. He can come back next year and that'd be just fine with me.

Your friend,


PS: Giuliana DePandi, what the hell was up with your nipples? Were you icing them every time the camera panned to Isaac Mizrahi, knowing that he wouldn't be allowed to fondle anyone during this awards show and therefore E! would have to find some other way to have really tasteless breast action in their red carpet coverage? Or was it really just a chilly spring afternoon in Los Angeles?

Friday, March 03, 2006

it's the people that you meet when you're walking down the street, it's the people that you meet each day!

Mention gentrification in DC and you're likely to be greeted with either angry tirades or guilty feet-shuffling. I'm somewhere in between. Do I like that long-time residents are being pushed out to PG County by skyrocketing rent in my neighborhood, or the blatant current of racial conflict that runs through what we politely call "transitioning neighborhoods?" No. But nor do I care for the dulcet ring of gunshots echoing down the street. If I did, I would still be living in Detroit, thankyouverymuch. No, I go for the neighborhoods that are a good five years past gentrification; the ideal combination of urban reality and being able to walk down the street without having a knife plunged into my ribcage.

I love my neighborhood to the point of obnoxiousness, but gritty it ain't. Where visitors used to troll for crack, they now troll for organic vegetables. I like that my block is sunshiney and full of young families with impossibly cute cubby-cheeked children bouncing in expensive slings on their daddies' chests. I like that I have enough friends in a five block radius that I can, at any time of the day, pad over to someone's house in my sweatpants for some guilty pleasure television. And, because I am a total geek, I really love that we have conversations like:

"Do you wanna stop by the liquor store after work?"
"Which one?"
"The one by Mary Landreiu's house."
"Do they sell the hard stuff?"

But frequently I feel a pang for the Eastern Market of yore. The Eastern Market of my freshman year of college, when we were warned by overearnest orientation leaders that it was Not A Good Idea to go there alone or after dark. The Eastern Market that held the now-defunct shady Las Placitas franchise, makers of the world's strongest margaritas and willing to give them to anyone old enough to order them. The Eastern Market, where, stumbling back from yet another night doing our part to keep up morale in the armed forces at the Dirty Pigeon, we'd pass people smoking blunts out on their front stoops in the same manner my Grammy used to sip a cup of coffee on her patio.

I was on the phone with my mother yesterday walking home from work, telling her about my new job when, lo and behold, I noticed a gentleman relieving himself on a tree across the street. A tree in a churchyard. At 5:30 in the afternoon. Mid-stream, he caught me looking at him and shifted slightly as to better conceal his junk. But, unlike every other guy I've ever accidentally locked eyes with while he was urinating in public, this one didn't start ranting and raving. And hey, if you're going to live in a city then people are gonna pee on the street, and if people are gonna pee on the street then quiet and unobtrusive peeing on the street is the best way to go.

And this morning, I was stopped from crossing Penn because of a motorcade. I was prepared to be all internally huffy, because in college we'd forever get stuck behind a stream of nineteen towncars because Clinton wanted a burger or a Bush daughter had to pick up her forgotten credit card from Smith Point, and we'd whine and be all "Ugh! Motorcades are so annoying!" but secretly feel incredibly cool because hey, college sophomores everywhere are late to class but WE were late to class because the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WAS DRIVING BY US. WE WERE SO MUCH COOLER THAN YOU.

So I'm waiting for the familiar whine of sirens to pass, thinking how weird that a motorcade would be driving into the city from Southeast at 7:45 in the morning, when I suddenly realized: not even a diplomat would travel in a white caged-in school bus.

Organic vegetables, public urination AND early morning prison transports. I really do love my neighborhood.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

the roosevelt wants to be YOUR band

What are you doing on Friday night? Why, you're going to come hear my friend R's band, The Roosevelt.

WHEN: Friday, March 3 at 8:45.
WHERE: Grog and Tankard
COST: $7 at the door (yeah, I know, but a chunk of it goes to supporting local bands and is therefore money well spent)

In encouraging me to spread the word, R suggested I use some GOTV strategies from campaigns past. Even though I'm pretty sure Ron Wood would never utter that particular combination of words, their music is damn good and R is a damn good friend who sat through three hours of show tunes to see me make out with a gay man. For this reason alone, I wouldn't miss his set. Check them out!

The Roosevelt: "American Drunk"
The Roosevelt: "When I'm Good"

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

let's be honest

What I say I'm going to give up for Lent:

- Drinking two pitchers of Miller Lite the night before I start my new job.

- Self-indulgent, navel-gazing blog posts.

- Making lists of things I know I'll never check off.

- Buying albums on iTunes just because I read about them on Stereogum.

- Watching reruns of Law and Order: SVU (because I live alone and always wake up in the middle of the night petrified that I forgot to deadbolt my front door but too scared to go and check).

- Softbatch chocolate chip cookies.

What I'm actually going to give up for Lent:

- ...