Archive for the ‘Daily DC Item’ Category

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.


Daily DC Item: Burritos & Books

Photo coutesy of Flickr user thomwatson

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.

Romance Writers Of America National Conference Opens With Lusty Autograph Session

Photo courtesy of Flickr user meratspain

Photo courtesy of Flickr user meratspain

I don’t read books with Fabio or other scantily clad men on the cover, however my friend Lusty Reader does.

She told me about the Romance Writers of America, the trade association for romance writers, and how excited she was that their national conference was going to be in town starting today:

I had this idea it was like Comic-Con but for romance novel lovers. Hubby has taken to calling it “Rom-Con” ever since I mentioned it.

Makes sense, if you can imagine tons of male geeks hoarding a convention center over comics, then the inverse must be a hall full of women lusting over… well lusty literature.

The idea of a convention for the genre most associated with Supermarkets and Italian fashion models really piqued my interest. So I talked with the RWA and got some details of their big public event, The “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing.

Most of the conference is really geared towards the industry, with workshops and sessions for writers, agents, and publishers; but there is one public event that is sure to draw a huge crowd of hopeless (or hopeful) romantics. More than 500 romance authors will be signing books at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Exhibit Hall tonight from 5:30 – 7:30.

Admission is free and proceeds from book purchases from the event go towards ProLiteracy Worldwide. Since the book purchases are going to a good cause, it’s encouraged that you show up and buy your books rather than bring a whole stack of novels to get signed. If you do bring a book or two to get signed, think about making a donation, which will also be accepted as well.

For complete information on the event and a complete list of participating authors check out the RWA’s website.

And if you do check it out, I won’t be there but do say hi to my friend Lusty Reader.

Daily DC Item: Hole In Plane Causes Flight Makes Emergency Landing, Passengers Recieves Free Pizza


Courtesy WBOY

Here’s an interesting story for your morning: it appears that a Southwest flight heading to Baltimore from Nashville had to make an emergency landing in Charleston, WV after it lost pressure due to a hole in the plane. All 126 passengers and 5 crew landed safely after a football sized hole was discovered, causing the plane to lose pressure and deploy oxygen masks in the cabin. According to the Washington Post article, “witnesses described the hole that apparently led to the depressurization as about the size of a football and located on the side of the airplane, near the top.”

The Boeing 737-300 is being inspected, as well as all other 737-300s in the Southwest fleet. The passengers were so glad to make it down safely that they hugged the pilot.

Upon hearing this story I had to make the following wisecrack to my friend Maxie (who lives in West Virginia):

Patrick: What’s worse: a hole in your airplane or having to land in West Virginia?
Maxie: hahahaha shut up

Eventually another airplane was dispatched to send the passengers to their final destination, and while they waited at least they got some pizza. According to the CNN report, “airport spokesman Brian Belcher said a local pizzeria provided food for the passengers as they waited.”
I suppose I could put up with a hole on my plane if I got some Pizza out of the deal.

Daily DC Item: Made in Hong Kong Film Festival Kicks Off

sparrow_poster_04You don’t need to check the tag in the back to find out where all these films were made.

All the films in the Made in Hong Kong Film Festival all hail from the Chinese city and the festival kicks off tonight with a screening of The Sparrow, a comedy about, “a gang of debonair pickpockets who come undone when a beautiful stranger enters their midst with a con of her own.” The festival will continue through August 23rd with a selection of films that have won me over based on titles alone. Such hits include My Mother is a Belly Dancer and Tokyo Gore Police.

While most of the films will be shown in Cantonese or Mandarin, they will be subtitled in English. Best of all, it’s all FREE (however tickets are required, get the tickets at the theatre an hour before showtime to avoid the Ticketmaster service fees.)

All shows are at the Freer & Sackler Galleries.

Daily DC Item: Not New News, DC Traffic Sucks

Photo courtesy of Flickr user megandafille

Photo courtesy of Flickr user megandafille

Lots of DCers don’t have cars. I do, and I’ll never go anywhere without one.

I’m probably one of the reasons the traffic is terrible around the Beltway region, and despite a push to go green and rising gas prices, D.C. has the second worst traffic in the nation.

Are you surprised?

The Texas Transportation Institute concludes that despite a small reduction in traffic nationwide, D.C. traffic actually increased compared to last year. L.A. still reigns king in terms of worst traffic, but that still gives us the crown for worst traffic on the East Coast.

The Washington Post article on the topic acknowledges that steps have been taken to address the issue but questions if they are really making a difference. The study concludes that sitting in traffic cost the Washington area almost $2.8 billion in 2007. Ninety million gallons of gas and 133 million hours were spend slowly crawling around The District. Think of how many podcasts I could of listened to in that time.

This is why commute is a big reason why I enjoying living in Clarendon, where I also work. I’d be really nervous if I ever ended up working somewhere where I’d have to touch a highway to get there. Maybe I’ll stick with the Fail Rail Metro if I needed to get somewhere for my daily commute.

Daily DC Item: Develop Your DC Fireworks Plan

Photo courtesy of Flickr user CP

Photo courtesy of Flickr user CP

Last year I fulfilled my goal to see the DC fireworks on the 4th. I knew trying to go to The Mall to see them would be a storm of epic proportions, so I made a plan to see them from the Georgetown Waterfront instead.

This year the DC fireworks aren’t getting less popular so I’m starting to make my plan on where I want to see them here are some links I found to help you get your DC Fireworks Plan put together before this weekend:

Good luck getting your plan together!

Daily DC Item: Spy Museum To Show A Little Skin With Sexpionage

2009_07_29_sexpionage1I’m not too surprised that they were watching me.

The Spy Museum saw  my post when I visited them last week, and they offered me to come back to see another event later this month.

They are calling it “Sexpionage: Spies, Lies, and Naked Thighs“, which sounds more like a tactic used by Sean Connery than real life spooks. The event tonight will feature espionage expert H. Keith Melton who will show how the art of seduction can be used to gain things besides a free meal or drink. The event will also include authentic KGB sexual entrapment videos and details on their infamous “honey traps.” That being said the event is 18+. Sounds saucy!

Sexpionage: Spies, Lies, and Naked Thighs
July 29, 2009 at 6:30 PM
International Spy Museum
800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC
Tickets $20

UPDATE: I mistakenly posted that this event was tonight when the event is actually later this month. I learned this the hard way when I showed up to the musuem after work. My apologies to those that got the wrong info.

Daily DC Item: Z-Burger Holding Burger Eating Contest

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Michael McDonough

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Michael McDonough

I know I just wrote about Z-Burger on Friday, but I found out that the place I just reviewed is holding a burger eating contest this Thursday on July 2nd at high noon. They are calling the competition eating event the, “Independence Burger Eating Championship.

I love it. It’s about time some burger place tried to compete with it’s sister food: The Hot Dog.

For the winner that can eat the most burgers, Z-Burger is rewarding the first place $1,500 in cash and $1,000 of Z-Burger food. Wow I don’t know what I’d do with a G’s worth of burgers…

A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the Hope House Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps children of incarcerated parents. So at least we are eating burgers for a good cause!

The showdown will take place at Z-Burger’s Tenleytown location at 4321 Wisconsin Ave.

So if you want to see people stuff their faces be sure to come on down on Thursday, however if you want the chance to EAT LOTS OF BURGERS you can e-mail them at at and register as a contestant!

Daily DC Item: Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown Comes To Washington DC


Slam Dunk Showdown in LA

While you may not be seeing anymore slam dunks from Etan Thomas,  this weekend you could have a chance to become a slam dunk champion. The NBA’s Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown comes rolling into town this Saturday and will be setting up a b-ball court on Pennsylvania Ave between 9th and 10th street.

The showdown is also part of the National Capital Barbecue Battle that will be going on in the area as well, so you can see some slam dunks or try out some BBQ ribs.

The showdown starts at 4 PM and admission will be $10, the champion will be voted by you, the fans via SMS text messages. NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins will also be on hand as well.

You know after watching More Than A Game last week, I maybe inclined to see what a 5’11” Asian man could do- however I don’t think I have that big of a vertical leap.

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