Archive for March, 2009

Nationals: Take My Tickets, Please!

ticket

At least that’s what my season ticket email said this afternoon anyway-Plenty of seats available at for the Old Ball Game this year. 

Kind of a shame when (1) Opening Day (2) Against a division rival and (3) appearance by Rock-Star Super-Pop President of these here United States Barack Obama can’t entice a sell out at your ball park-but such is the Washington Nationals fate. 

Last year my friends and I were on the Internet all morning trying to get Opening Day tickets-to a blustery cold evening game  (okay-yes, that’s my other blog…I just like the picture!) that took place precisely one year ago yesterday.   President Bush threw out that ball-so maybe he’s a bigger draw still?

Likely not.  A 3pm start time coupled with a bad team and “what with them having a recession on” makes for an unappealing pig that not even (as our friends at DCist point out)  the lipstick of a free opening day hat can fix

Even still-seriously DC?  It’s opening Day.  Take a half day and march on down to the stadium.  Buy a dog, drink a beer (or a coke) and enjoy the American Pastime for a few hours.  It’ll do ya good.

Obama Comes Home Under Calm Of Night

"Marine One" courtesy of Flickr user Leon

Sunday night I was safe in my home in Arlington, preparing for my fantasy baseball draft when I get a text message from my friend Michele. She is magically in town from Boston and wants to meet up and say hi. She was having dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill and we make plans to meet at The White House after her meal.

I drive into town and find a place to park (two very easy things to do on a Sunday night) and meet up at the rear on the South lawn side of The White House. As we walk around the perimeter and catch up on things we notice a flurry of fire trucks driving onto the grounds. I wonder if a housekeeper set something on fire while cleaning- but the sirens and lights weren’t on so I figure it wasn’t a big deal. We were then asked by the uniformed Secret Service to move along a bit faster- he was sealing off the perimeter. It was close to 11 PM and I figured it was typical routine to get people away from that end of the house.

As we complete a lap around the house we end up by The Treasury and Old Ebbitt Grill on 15th street. Just as we part ways for the night we begin to hear a loud noise coming from the White House. At first it sounded like heavy machinery but we realized it was a helicopter. I then realize it could be Marine One. After explaining to my friend how Obama spent the weekend at Camp David, snubbing the Gridiron Dinner, that it’s totally possible he maybe coming back from his weekend trip.

We then part ways, Michele hails a taxi to and I start walking towards my car on C street. I walk briskly in hopes of seeing the helicopter, or even better, President Obama. As I get onto the Ellipse I arrive just in time to see Marine One fly over my head and into the night sky. The firetrucks then proceed to leave and everything returns to normal.

If I had a quicker wit I would of saw a pretty cool night arrival. Oh well, if I was really interested in catching a glimpse at Obama I’d be checking Trail Obama.

Daily DC Item: Police & Secret Service Finally Say Sorry

"The Purple Tunnel of Doom" courtesy of Flickr user chinycjo

This week the Secret Service and Capitol Police finally issued apologies for the Purple Tunnel of Doom incident.

The apology comes over two months since Inauguration Day.

I saw the headline on WP and I was expecting to read about some kind of reparations but it was a simple apology statement.

Now I wasn’t one of the unfortunately ones that got stuck down there that day- but do you guys think it’s a little too little too late?

Daily DC Item: Even The Homeless Need Cell Phones

What was an interesting Washington Post story on how even those without homes still are connected with cell phones, yielded a really interesting photo:

ph2009032202260

It’s a real sign of the times of how much technology has seeped into our society- according to the article 30%-45% of DC’s homeless have cell phones.

Now before you start wondering how those that cannot afford a place to live can afford a phone- you have to think of the state of technology in terms of price point. Remember when a Motorola Razr cost hundreds of dollars? Now it’s next to nothing- it’s the free phone you get when you sign up for a cell phone plan.

Boy how our world has changed!

Parents Want to Roll Easter Egg Site Off A Cliff

Easter Eggs*

Washingtonian magazine tweets:

Wow, people are super angry about this online White House easter egg roll distribution

And they aren’t kidding.  The newfangled intertubes version of signing up for Easter Egg Roll tickets seems to be universally reviled by Washingtonian readers commenting on the ticketing system.  They complain about system crashes and site errors, with the general sentiment being “at least when I stood in line, it kind of sucked but I knew what my chances were.”  Commenters on washingtonpost.com are expressing their frustration, along with a dollop of suspicion and a dash of “politics-as-usual”.  I think it’s safe to say we could hard-boil a dozen eggs for coloring with all the steam coming out of their ears!

How about it, DC?  Have you tried it?  Were you feeling trepidation because of the Purple Tunnel of Doom, or Ticketmaster≠Ticketsnow issues?   Is it E-Bay or nothing for you?  Or are you psyched because you didn’t have to stand outside in the rain on this yucky March morning?

* Photo by flickr user mistaric used under a Creative Commons license

DC is Downright Charitable: Three Ways to Help This Week

A lot of folks might laugh at the idea that DC is full of anything but selfish, self promoting, self aggrandizing people all looking out for #1-and on some level, let’s face, it they would be right to do so.

That’s just not the full story though.  As a matter of fact, because DC is a place where people come to get things done, we actually have a lot of charitable organizations and causes out to help the greater good.  So here are three ways you can help DC be “Downright Charitable” (get it??) this week.

Think of it as an easy way to buy yourself into Heaven when you die…or something:

1.  OTG helps Martha’s table: From March 23-April 9th 3rd 2009, Organic to Go, the nation’s first fast-casual retailer to be certified organic by QAI and the USDA, presents savory small soups for 99 cents with  100% of the purchase price donated to Martha’s Table, a 501 (c)3 program that provides food, clothing and education to at risk, children, youth and families in the Washington, DC area.  Enjoy a $3 savings on your next cup of delicious and organic Basil Chicken Chili, Fire Roasted Tomato or vegan Thai Vegetable Soup, while making a responsible contribution to the Washington community.

2. Don’t break a nail-Fix them (and DCPS) up! Drinks too!: Join Hands on DC (an all volunteer, non-profit organization that brings 2000 volunteers to about 30 schools a year on their work-a-thon event day and does beautification projects) and BeBar (1318 9th St. NW, Mt. Vernon Sq Metro) as we team up to host Martinis and Manicures on Friday, March 27th, 2009. Come to BeBar between 5:00 – 9:00 where $15 will get you a martini & manicure or entry into our pong tournament.  We will also be raffling off some great prizes and can’t wait to see you there.  BeBar is donating a percentage of the bar proceeds so come on out for our Friday Happy Hour and bring your friends!

3. But Teh Puppez and Kittez are so Kute!! Fashion for Paws!: Saturday, March 23 28 (sorry-clearly I was tired yesterday!) at 8pm at the Embassy of Italy, F4P benefits the Washington Humane Society and infuses the Nationals Capitol with cutting-edge high fashion, drawing an extraordinary crowd of VIPs and animal lovers alike!

Plus Val Kilmer and Luke “My Dad was Tim and we both like the Bills” Russert are going to be there.

Wiz: "It’s Only True If I Play Saturday"

Agent Zero

Perpetual headache/best player on the team Gilbert Arenas is kinda, sorta possibly set to make his return to the Wizards this Saturday, just in time to watch them die at the table.  Like a starlet who married an old fogey for his billions, Arenas is here just in time to show up for the reading of the Wizards will to see if there is anything that was left for him. 

After taking the Wizards $111 million  deal (which the Wizards, in my opinion, were nuts to sign him to) Agent Zero promptly got knee surgery and was going to be back in a monthI mean late December…oh wait, maybe this Saturday.  He’s been running full speed with the team for a month (except on road trips) during practice and the rumor is he’ll make his return against the Pistons this week-but when asked, Arenas answered in only the way he can:

“It’s only true if I play Saturday.”

Hibachi!

More embarrassing Wizards facts after the jump.

(more…)

Daily DC Item: Explosions On Wendesday? I’m In!

"Glow In The Dark After Your Visit Kids!" courtesy of Flickr user krossbow

Two television happenings for your perusal today.

First a number of my friends have forwarded an e-mail from the city about a fake explosion that is going to happen Wednesday morning, here’s the text of what I was sent:

Dear System Administrators:


For the filming of a TV pilot, there will be a simulated explosion on Wednesday, March 25 between 9:30 a.m. and noon near Key Bridge in the District. The explosion will produce a 20 to 30′ fireball that will last for approximately 2 minutes.
Please pass along this information to others as appropriate. The Department of Homeland Security and D.C. Police and Fire departments have been notified, along with the Washington Airports Authority. The Virginia State Patrol and Arlington Police Department will be contacted. If you have additional questions, contact Kathy Hollinger or Burt Warner with the DC Film Office at 202-727-6608.


The explosion will take place on the Potomac River just north of the Key Bridge and Jack’s Boathouse (K / Water Street, NW under the Whitehurst Freeway). In the scene to be filmed, there will be six (6) sculling boats on the Potomac River and one of them blows up.


CBS Paramount television is filming a pilot titled “Washington Field.” This is a new television series about the elite Washington field office of the FBI and a team of agents with exceptional and diverse skills who are called together for only the most critical cases.


Jeanne Saddler
Director, Office of Public Affairs
Metropolitan Washington

Sounds kinda rad- I might have to check it out if I have time…

but if explosions aren’t your thing then I ‘d like to turn your attention to the Craigslist posting that Frank shared with me. It’s for what sounds like another terrible dating show- but you can be in it!

DC Video: Bartender Make Me A Drink

Surfing around the tube I ran across this clip from the 28th Annual Fastest Bartender Competition that was held last week at Rhino Bar. Here Steve Schneider shows us that not all baristas are slow on the uptake:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s38ku1liZBQ[/youtube]

Is It Ok For Obama To Be Funny?

Saxon/AP

When I get excited about something, a YouTube video I love, a song that is stuck in my head, a hot new anchor on CNBC, I like to tell everyone about it. It’s how I deal with being excited about something.

So when I wrote about President Barack Obama doing a cool segment on ESPN where he picked a bracket, I also posted it on a  message board and sent the link to a bunch of people. While my friends thought it was fun I noticed that I got a lot of flak here and on the message boards. The most common shot was that in the face of the recession, the President shouldn’t be in the media doing anything but working on our problems.

I thought it was interesting that this same week, two articles in the Poltico came out that lends views on this subject. Carlos Lee writes a piece on the humor of President Obama, and includes a reel of some of the jokes he’s cracked during speeches and press conferences. The other piece was an Andie Coller article on the recent media appearnces of The President, which includes the earlier mentioned ESPN segment as well as his interview on The Tonight Show.

Now I understand people’s morale with the current economic climate, they want to see a leader that’s working hard, not hardly working. But what I liked about the Coller piece is that it really deeply explores all angles of the story and notes on the risks of an approach such as Obama’s. We are already seeing some fallout about his crack on The Special Olympics. I like Coller’s idea that Obama needs to do these things to, “him build trust and personal capital with an audience he’s less likely to connect with through his weekly radio address.”

Not everybody is concerned or knowledgeable about current events like us Washingtonians. Obama was able to win the election by being able to reach across many groups of people- and he’s trying to do the same thing to reach out and get the support for the initiatives he’s pushing through.

You have to realize that President Obama has a busy schedule and that these appearances in reality are only a drop in the bucket. While you see him on ESPN for 15 minutes. That was a 15 minute break in between two meetings. The segment was shot on St. Patrick’s day- and if you look at his schedule, he did a whole lot more than a quick hit on ESPN. He met with committees, his cabinet, and was delivering remarks at receptions up until late night. I believe you and I were at home by the time he was done his day.

So what do you think? Because we’re all sad about the times means that he shouldn’t be friendly, optimistic, and open until things are better?

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