Archive for July, 2009

Elizabethany: The Real World DC’s Biggest Fan

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A month ago she was just a newly minted West Virginia University graduate. A month ago she was just a waitress, living with her parents in Woodbridge, VA.

Now she’s the face of the Real World DC frenzy that has hit Washington, DC.

And she’s not even on the cast.

Beth Ploger (aka Elizabethany) has become one of the most notable of the stalkers and gawkers who’s fascination with the filming of the MTV reality series borders on clinical levels. Her escapades in following and meeting the The Real World DC cast has made local television, radio, and magazines. Her stalking adventures has even landed her a gig with Metromix DC.

However she’s not at all shy with her recent exposure, and will be the first to admit she enjoys being the center of attention. She is a regular at McFadden’s or Public Bar and it would not be a total surprise to see her dancing on top of the bar when the right song comes on.

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Another place you can find her is on the race track where she races Volkswagens in Elimination-style Drag Racing. In regards to the surprising pastime, Elizabethany finds the hobby as a change of pace from her journalistic endeavors, “I love the feeling of being in control,” she tells me when describing what she loves most about the sport.

As a self-proclaimed Real World stalker, she says it’s her mission to simply, “get to know the cast better.” Elizabethany has become a sort of beat writer, taking her experiences with the cast and reporting them on her blog or on her new beat with Metromix. The journalistic side of her pursuits has been something long ingrained with  her childhood.

Her dreams of being in the media have been around since she was a child. At the age of 13 she proudly proclaimed to her mother, “I’m a really nosy person, I should just be a journalist!” She grew up producing fake radio shows, delivering DJ-like banter into a home karaoke machine onto cassette tapes. “I still kinda want to find those tapes,” she admits to me.

After graduating from Osbourn Park High in 2005, Elizabethany enrolled at WVU to study broadcast news. However her dreams were not to become the next Katie Couric, but to become the next Maria Menounos. For her, the entertainment beat was more interesting than hard news.

However she wanted to give it a try and took on simultaneous internships with Fox 5 and Hot 99.5. Her days would start at 3:30 AM where she would come into to do work for the Kane Morning Show. Unlike typical interns that were delegated to answering phones, Beth worked her way up, being put in charge of producing the show’s podcast material.

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After her shift at the radio station it was off to WTTG-TV where she assisted reporters with their stories- and gained some valuable insights on TV News, and how she’s come to realize it’s not for her. The kind of interviewing she wants to do is going to be more casual and less investigative,  “I don’t wanna put anyone in a bad light- I just want to get to know them.” One of Beth’s biggest idols is Ellen DeGeneres, and aspires to one day have a talk show just like hers, “I think we have the same sense of humor.”

Last September she started her blog, Love, Elizabethany, where she covers entertainment stories in the form of personalized messages to celebrities in the news. Between work and job hunting, she spends 5-6 hours writing blog posts for the blog.

It was when she decided to spice the blog up with video that she came up with her “Finding the Real World Cast” episodes. “I heard that the show was coming to DC and I was thought, ‘I want in that freaking house!’” So she decided to document her attempts to find the Real World cast when they go out on the town.

Her weekly routine involves going out on Thursday nights with fellow RWDC stalker/blogger Martin Mongillo and a “companion” that she chooses every week. “My companion needs to be willing to do anything,” says Elizabethany when listing criteria for the job. Anything for what? Why get into The Real World house of course! It is unacceptable for a stalking companion to refuse to dance with a cast member because of a jealous girlfriend/boyfriend back home. Makes sense considering the cast members are probably willing to do anything as well despite any mates they left behind. Elizabethany has created six episodes of “Finding The Real World Cast” and more will be produced throughout the filming this summer.

You truly get a sense of her new found celebrity when you visit the house with her. Elizabethany and I took a walk down to 2000 S street earlier this month. We stood on the corner across from the house  for only a few minutes before we are approached by two guys.

“Oh my god you are Elizabethany aren’t you?”

They walked over to look at the house and instantly recognized her from her videos. A car slows down in front of us as the driver takes a long look at the house, then recognizes Elizabethany in the crowd.

She is a truly a queen among gawkers, a person made a little more famous by following people a that will barely become famous.

“I like to refer to myself as their BFF… but call me whatever you want, I know inside what I am. ”

Check out the video below to see what it’s like to stalk the Real World House with Elizabethany.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-lCRbbvle8[/youtube]

Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

I know it’s hot outside, but don’t let that stop you.  Tonight’s entry in the Capitol Riverfront 80s Film Series is that classic story of star-crossed love and merengue, Dirty Dancing.

As a person who hails from the Catskill region, where the film is set (but was not actually filmed), I always get a kick out of this one.  Not to mention that it co-stars the inestimable Jerry Orbach, who was a pleasure to watch in anything he did, from Guys & Dolls to Law & Order.

The film will be shown at Tingey Plaza, near Nationals Park, starting when the sun goes down (about 8:45 PM).

Daily DC Item: KGB General Tells All At Spy Museum Today

Earlier I’ve written about how much I enjoyed the Spy Museum last month and learned about other free events that take place there (like this week’s Sexpionage lecture) if you have some time around lunch today you can catch yet another free event.

KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin (Ret.) was one of the youngest generals in the history of the KGB. During the Cold War he was a deputy resident at the Soviet embassy in Washington, DC where he supervised Moscow’s spy network in the US. He also served as head of KGB foreign counter-intelligence and directed several “covert actions” against the West. I don’t know what “covert action” stands for but you know it sounds juicy!

Well Kalugin spills the beans in his updated memoir: Spy Master: My 32 Years In Intelligence Against The West. He reveals how it all worked inside the KGB and how eventually fell out of favor with Russian president and fishing hunk Vladimir Putin. Putin accused him of being a traitor and he was actually convicted and sentenced to prison.

However like a good spook, Kalugin avoided jail and was granted asylum in the United States, where he is now a citizen. Wow that’s a really interesting story for a real-life spy.

He’ll be talking about that and his thoughts of more recent espionage related events in a lunchtime chat.

The talk and book signing will be from 12 PM – 1 PM at the International Spy Museum. Tickets are free and no prior registration is required. You can get complete details on the Spy Museum website.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcXgXqL_1m4[/youtube]

Does Beck Really Think Obama Is A Racist?

foxandfriends_glenn.flv.jpgIt’s tough enough being the President of the United States, but President Barack Obama has been facing recent battles that have ranged from his fashion choices at baseball games to his status as an American citizen. The latest firestorm deals with his reaction to the Henry Louis Gates arrest in my home state of Massachusetts. While some people are taking sides on whether it was right or wrong for him to say that the Cambridge officiers acted stupidly,” others are having fun that he offered both sides to talk it out over beer.

The latest twist in the Gates story (can we call it Gates-gate?) started with a recent comment from Glenn Beck on Fox and Friends:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ndc2LX2u98[/youtube]

Glenn Beck’s accusation of Barack Obama being a racist quickly made a splash and the Morning Joe crew had a lot to say on it this morning.

After hearing Glenn Beck and the reaction I asked myself the question, why would Glenn Beck say such a thing? Does he really think Obama is a racist?

The answer for me is probably not…as much.

You have to realize that Beck is a media pundit one who’s profile has risen in the punditry world. He has a daily Television show, a radio show, books, magazines, and a blog. His growing media outlets would certainly impress Martha Stewart (Glenn Beck should just rename his site to Beck Omnimedia.) All he needs is a towel line and a recipe for tuna casserole.

Beck’s commodity are his opinions and thoughts, which he is certainly entitled to have, and he’s never been to trade with it.

What is he trading for? A little attention? Does this mean he’s just spouting shock and awe to boost his ratings? To an extent yes but not entirely so.

Remember this is the same man who’s also hinted that Obama is a communist, so this isn’t the first time he’s slammed Obama. Beck is a man with many bullhorns and only has so much to feed into each of them. I think Beck does think what he says but he knows he has to go over the top with it because in the world of punditry: the bigger the opinion the better.

What do you think- is Glenn Beck really serious when he accuses Obama of being a racist?

DC Reality Show Recap

If this summer taught me something, it is that Washington DC is quickly becoming the place to film movies and television. While DC has always been a setting for films; there’s a lot more television, more specifically reality television, being film in The District. I’m not the only one to think so. Even nearby Baltimore is getting jealous.

So here are some links on the latest going on in the Reality TV scene:

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Your Idea

Real World DC

Those that read me know that I’ve already had a couple of run-ins with the cast and it’s really not that hard to follow them on your own.

  • Christopher Wiggins is the man on the beat when it comes to the latest on the cast’s whereabouts. He uses his connections with the DC bar and club scene as well as scouring The Internet and Twitter to provide the latest updates all on one Twitter feed. If you want to become a stalkerazzi this is the must have tool in your arsenal.
  • Talking about stalkerazzi, the blogger duo of Elizabethany and Martin are on a mission to become the Real World DC cast’s “BFF.” Follow them on Twitter and read their blogs as they experience the DC Nightlife in an attempt to find The Real World DC cast.
  • Elizabethany’s notoriety attracted the attention of Metromix who brought her on to write about her Real World DC experiences. Follow her Metromix material here. Elizabethany will also be the subject of a profile I’m writing up for later this week.
  • Washingtonian is also watching the Real World DC news and is making a neat little map of all the locales they visit.
  • The Washington City Paper is stalking the stalkers- and created a one-stop shop here.
  • Of course not everyone is a fan. The neighbors of the house on 2000 S street have created their own blog: The Anti-Real World DC.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user WorldIslandInfo

Blonde Charity Mafia

After my initial write-up on the show coming to the CW, it looks like the show has been pushed back to air in mid-September. That didn’t stop them from having a preview party on the West Coast. Til then you can learn more news from the fan blog dedicated to the show.

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The Real Housewives of D.C.

Nothing new since the announcement that the next installment of the franchise will take place in the Nation’s Capital. The show is still in development with Bravo still trying to pick those lucky rich women housewives. Politico offers their take on who are the female power players that should be chosen.

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The Biggest Loser

Even though the show is set on the West Coast, the show recently film a special episode that will take place in DC. The episode will feature the contestants as they complete challenges, explore DC’s landmarks, and dine at some local eateries. Why do I think Ben’s Chili Bowl would not be a wise chose for the diet?

UPDATE: In other reality show news, it looks like Kate Gosselin is moving into Rockville. She’ll be living in a condo in Montgomery County to stay in when it’s not her turn with the kids. Jon has a condo in New York that he’ll be staying in. The kids will remain in PA.

Nevermind.

Update: Bayou Bakery Not To Open In Clarendon, Liberty Tavern To Open New Coffee Shop

Photo courtesy of Flickr user geekstinkbreth

In an earlier post I wrote about the future of the empty space where Murky Coffee once stood. It looks like David Gaus will have to find another place for his idea- a southern haunt called Bayou Bakery.

According to The Going Out Gurus, Liberty Tavern (now the owners of the ex-Murky Coffee space) and Gaus have parted ways on the joint venture, with Gaus retaining his concept and idea. Gaus is currently working to find another space which to make his Bayou dream come true.

Meanwhile there will be something in place of Murky come this September. The owners are working with Liberty Tavern chef Liam LaCivita to instead open up a coffee shop (how original) where Murky once stood. Liberty Tavern co-owner Stephen Fedorchak hopes that the shop will also include sandwiches, salads, ice cream, and “a few surprises” on the menu for the yet un-named shop.

DC Summer Restaurant Week 2009 Date Leaked

While it’s the complete information on this summer’s Restuarant Week will be released on Monday, it looks like some of the information- including the dates are already online. Even though the Going Out Gurus are reporting that the entire list is up, the Washington tourism site they linked too isn’t completely updated- but the Open Table link does have the updated graphic with the dates: August 24 – 30. If you are itching to get a spot at that place you’ve never been able to try- you could start speculating using the Winter 2009 list or you could wait til Monday for all the information to get out.

I’m pretty excited about Restaurant Week, every year it comes by and I never get a chance to go out- this time around maybe the year I actually check it out. Leave you recommendations in the comments on where I should go!

In The Loop Takes Politics For A Spin

In The Loop

Tomorrow night IFC Films will premiere In The Loop over at E-Street Cinema. The political farce originally premiered at Sundance in 2008 and I got a chance to check it out last Wednesday.

Much like many political blunders in DC, the film starts with a, “miscommunication” on England’s position on a “war in the middle east.” Secretary of State for International Development Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) makes a grave miscue during a radio interview that quickly spills out into the international political scene. The follies that follow paint the power struggles, political gaming, and diplomacy that could easily be ripped from the headlines. While the premise makes for a thrilling drama, the film takes on a much lighter tone, using the premise as a chance to poke some fun at how government works, not from the White House, but from the cubicles and offices where the rank and file get their work done.

Anybody that has ever worked for a government agency or knows someone that works in a government agency will easily relate and find In The Loop a witty and smart take on politics as usual.

The film is a spin-off of the BBC Comedy series, The Thick of It, a satire of the inner workings of a fictitious British government department, and features Peter Capaldi reprising his TV role of Malcolm Tucker. Tucker is an aggressive  Communications director who plays the role of enforcer to those that stray from the party line. His lack of tact and dirty language easily compares him to a certain Chief of Staff. That being said you probably don’t want to bring the children to this film.

In The Loop is the perfect film for Washingtonians (insider or not) to enjoy, it delivers laughs and makes you wonder if they wrote the script based on the DC Intern two cubes down from you.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ieUfAF_OXQ[/youtube]

In The Loop
E-Street Cinema
555 11th Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 452-7672

Daily DC Item: Burritos & Books

Photo coutesy of Flickr user thomwatson

I am always a fan when California Tortilla puts on a great promo, and it looks like they have another great one going on today.

For today only, Wednesday July 22nd, if you stop by any one of their many locations you and buy a burrito- you get a free burrito coupon that you can use on the spot or later (you never know when the craving will return!)

All you have to do is hand the cashier a piece of paper with the password: “Crock Pot.”

The BOGO free deal is in recognition of California Tortilla earning top ranks in Washingtonian Magazine. To me a free Burrito with purchase beats a free pastry with coffee any day!

Also tomorrow next Thursday trendy fashion boutique Ginger is holding a “Books, Jewels, & Cocktails” event at their Bethesda location from 6 -8. You can preview their latest collection and check out Cathy Alter and her new book, “Up For Renewal” which launches in paperback.

DC Video: "Auto Tune The News" Makes Politics Easier To Hear

I took a look at Anne Schroeder Mullins’ post on Auto Tune In The News, a series of remixed news videos set to a hip-hop beat and run through a vocoder Auto-Tune . The result is Joe Biden sounding less like Vice-President, and more like Kanye West. It’s really amazing. Throw in some crazy costumes and you have an entertaining way to enjoy the recent news stories.

The videos are done by The Gregory Brothers, an all-family musical group based in Brooklyn.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Psfn6iOfS8[/youtube]

I didn’t know that Katie Couric had skillz.

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