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August 23, 2009

Summer (None of that 500 days crap)

Sweetie darlings,

That dapper darling, Ms. A, supplied you with a list of things she did this summer. Naturally, due to my close proximity to her, a lot of the things she did I did with her. What a big effing surprise. Anyways, to take a leaf from her book, here were my highlights of the summer (in no particular order).

1. Working 40+ hours a week at an organization that deals with very serious and very “critical” things. Thrilling, I know. Alas, one has to pay the rent somehow.
2. Seeing the glory of Rupaul in person.
3. Going white-water rafting in WV. It really was, in the words of John Denver, “almost heaven.”
4. Going out at 2:30 AM with Allie and D-darling for a photo session in the District.
5. Getting my butt back in shape. I’m going to attempt to run a half marathon.
6. Going to Sticky Rice one Wednesday night and getting featured on the Travel Channel for an upcoming special on DC bars.
7. Hanging out with folks from the Nylon tour one night.
8. Binging on Georgetown cupcakes far too often with B, my partner in crime.
9. Seeing Metric for the 2nd time with my bff and fellow editrix, Ms. A.
10. Having Emily Haines grab my hand.
11. Working at a venue as an intern. It really is THAT much fun.
12. Pulling my best Bianca Jagger impersonation at various dance parties.
13. Reconnecting with old friends and old mentors.
14. Entertaining my cousin and uncle by doing all that touristy mumbo jumbo.
15. Seeing Sonic Youth. Yesssssss.
16. Hauling myself to countless lectures at Brookings and crap.
17. Finally going to the Phillips.
18. Getting my picture taken by some random DC fashion blogger one day.
19. Doing it up at Busboys and Poets.
20. “Serious” conversation with friends from the past and present.

While this is a pretty comprehensive list, there are some things a girl just can’t reveal to the general public. Not that any of you are stalkers, but one can never be too careful.

Also, Allie needs to give me my copy of “Brideshead Revisited”. LE SIGH.

Ex oh ex oh,

A.

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August 21, 2009

What I Did This Summer

mojitoThis summer I went with a medical brigade to Hondorus and almost got trapped in a coup in Tegucigalpa, traveled around the country with my all-time favorite band's charity project, and attended a wild all-night party at a commune of devotees of The Big Lebowsky.


Oh, wait. Those were things my friends did. I sat on my ass in Funfax, VA.

But here's the thing: while my fourth-grade teacher may not have wanted a report on it, I did a lot of great things this summer. It's nice sometimes to not have any grand stories to tell, because then you have to zoom in to the smaller, less spectacular moments and recognize their worth. So here goes, a list of all the fabulous things I did this summer. (While many of these happen to include your favorite Editrix Deux, her own list will be coming up).


1. hosted a French exchange student

2. became a waitress, something I have always wanted to do. I can now carry large, plate-laden trays with confidence and ease. waitress

3. made my own $$$- never has my savings account felt this good about itself. Seriously, it's getting such a fucking ego.

4. danced, danced, danced

5. went on a midnight photoshoot in the streets of DC

6. Black Cat x Jumbo Slice x countless nights

7. saw an amazing Metric show!!!!

8. went to the beach- one of the most fun weeks of my life

9. lined up the classes and jobs I want for next year

10. started a blog!!

11. read good books (not as many as I wanted to–why is tht?)

12. bought some hella fierce pieces for my fall wardrobe (and  I am not a girl to use "hella" lightly)

13. saw Rupaul, put the bass in my walk rupaul

14. Open Mic Night at Busboys & Poets (attended, not performed)

15. reconnected with old friends, made some new ones.

16. saw one cousin get married, one have a baby, and one have a breakdown (kiddinnnnggg, actually had the best times ever with the last one, who may as well be my sister)

17. made mojitos! Here's to big girl cocktails.

18. relocated

19. explored the DC environs- Luray Caverns, Fells Point, MD, the Chesapeake shore.

20. was mahvalous, so mahvelous


Where is your list?


Yours in love, squalor, and this summer, some of both,

Allie


P.S. Apologies for the recent slacking/posting hiatus. You know how life is blah blah blah. Keep checking for posts at least a few times a week. Alex will continue to live the life in the District, while I will be corresponding from scenic Charlottesville. Already have two DC trips planned in September, though, for Ladyhawke and Ida Maria and the YEAH YEAH YEAHS. Excuse me while I freak out. KAREN OOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

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July 9, 2009

Bruno Picks Up a Terrorist

As we eagerly anticipate the release of "Bruno" tomorrow night- ridiculously over the top publicity and obvious vulgarity aside, it's going to be hilarious- enjoy this little tidbit from Letterman interviewing Sacha Baron Cohen as himself. He shares how he found and interviewed a real, live, bomb-toting terrorist as "Bruno". As he says in the interview, "it's not that easy to find an actual terrorist. In fact your government's been looking for one for about nine years."

This guy is scared of nothing. And awful cute and endearing.

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July 4, 2009

Could the Recession be a Blessing?

Having seized on to the fact that anything with the word "recession" in it will receive many a click and Google hit, the big trend in blogging and journalism is to write about any bit of American life that the "Big R" is affecting.

Here's a list of my favorites, to cheer you up about these silly unemployment numbers and Debbie Downer economists.


Healthier Eating Habits! [Jezebel]

As for considering how a random sect of the population has been affected by the Recession, we are now zeroing in on Women Who Snack: 41% snack less, or more healthfully, now that the economy's in the pits. You know you're broke when you can't even afford Dollar Menu fries.


Less Babies! More Rubbers! [The Daily Beast]

The bad news is, people aren't as lovey dovey now that they're all depressed and unemployed and can't treat their baby to a night on the town. The upside, however, is that more couples are practing safe and baby-proof sex, meaning less children, meaning less overpopulation! On the same note, condom sales are on the up, unlike practically everything else. So the next time someone asks to take you home, remind yourself that they are simply being economically savvy.


Feminine Takeover! [Salon]

Watch out, menfolk. The "he-cession" is leading to the Death of Macho. Reihan Salam, a writer for Foreign Policy magazine, wrote an article with the thesis that as unemployment pushes men out of the workforce worldwide, women will rush in to fill the vacuum, leading more woment to be elected to office and "female-dominated" fields such as education and healthcare to take precedence over "male-dominated" fields such as construction and manufacturing. The theory is based on the statistic that 80% of Americans who have lost jobs are men, but more than that, on Salam's tie between the institutions whose failure led to Recession- the financial sector and the government- and machismo. Hmmm. I smell false cause. I'm dubious, but Salon does an interesting analysis of his article that anyone with an interest in gender would find interesting.

Harvard Kids Get To Feel Good About Themselves! [Business Insider]

This could be my favorite. Apparently Harvard kids are breathing a sigh of relief that they are no longer can lead the life of  greedy, capitalist asshole like their degrees used to condemn them to. Since Wall Street is no longer paying, these Ivy Leaguers get to join the Peace Corps and Teach for America, opportunities that were never available to them before the massive economic meltdown. How heartwarming!

More to come as I find them! Let me throw out this question: how has the Recesh affected you in a positive way, or has it not affected you at all?


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July 1, 2009

D.C. Scene This Week: Real World cast members shack up, neighborhood braces itself


I feel I should remind everyone that things exist outside pop culture–Iraq pullout? what?– but I find myself unwittingly pulled in by it all. Resistance is futile.

While this "celebrity death" will certainly not get the attention of Farrah Fawcett, MJ, or Billy Mays (??), on Tuesday world-renowned German choreographer Pina Bausch died, after being diagnosed with cancer only five days earlier. Bausch's strange and expressionistic work had a huge impact on dance and art at large.

Get ready for a campout, at 2000 South Street NW, which has been identified as the possible house for the Real World D.C. More updates at Washington City Paper.

Her hips continue to be completely honest. Shakira will release a new album on September 25. Until then, we have the first single from the album, called "Loba". The English version "She Wolf") will be released in a week, but I'm not waiting for it. Shakira is always better in her native tongue–stupid title translation case in point.






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June 26, 2009

The orchestration of Lady Gaga's Poker Face

This is amazing. I maintain that Lady Gaga is a genius of our time.

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June 25, 2009

Want to be stoppin' something: Michael Jackson dies!!

Yes, that's correct. Michael Jackson died of a cardiac arrest this afternoon.

And the last I heard, he was planning a tour in which he would wear an outfit made entirely of Swarvoski crystals. Guess that's not happening.

No matter how many headlines and jokes this artist has been the subject of, it really is a tragic end to a tragic life. I stand by my love for Michael Jackson, as an incredibly talented performer who has made some of the best pop music, and frankly just music, ever. It's actually almost a relief that he's dead, because now he doesn't have to be a walking scandal and laughingstock anymore.

To commemorate the King of Pop, here is the video for Billie Jean, one of my favorite songs, ever. I swear that one day I'll learn the moonwalk.

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Salinger rip-off prompts bitching about emo Holden

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60-years-later

If you haven't heard this one: a Swedish writer calling himself J.D. California wrote an unauthorized sequel to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, called 60 Years Later: Coming Through The Rye, prompting Salinger to sue his ass for pirating his master creation.

This prompted a recent New York Times article about how the current generation of young people no longer find Catcher relevant and think that Holden is too "whiny," titling the article "Get a Life, Holden Caulfield". Teens today are impatient and unsympathetic to Holden's passivity and cynicism.

The article proposes a few reasons for this:

1. Teens today are more competitive with each other to be accepted into society's institutions (elite universities, jobs, etc.), rather than trying to rebel against them.

2. Salinger wrote in the generation of the disaffected, when teen culture was counter-culture. Now we are all about fitting in to convention.

3. Catcher was written at a time when there was no real teen culture, leaving a vacuum between childhood and adult life that we no longer have to flounder in. Because we are blessed with Gossip Girl and Facebook, the search for self is no longer a concern!

4. We are done with asking the question "what does it all mean?", not because we've answered it, but because we don't really care anymore.

I have a problem with these explanations, especially the first two. The journalist writes that "These days, teenagers seem more interested in getting into Harvard than in flunking out of Pencey Prep." I definitely agree that as a generation, we are more conformist than our parents. But even so, the dichotomy that Catcher sets up, between the middle-class suck-ups with inflated egos who want to go to Harvard and the rebellious, disillusioned counter-culture Holden represents still exists. Holden's whole MO was not fitting in to a role that was expected of him. He describes the prattish prep school kids that were and still are the Norm, which he alone grows disgusted with and rejects. Not really different than adolescent society today.

Explanation #3 is an interesting one. Perhaps the evolution of teen culture has given us a space for us to move, lessening the appeal of roaming the streets of New York City in search of some unnameable truth. It does seem that these days, there is a community or a group for just about every type of young person that in some way fits into larger society. Every large university has its preps, its hipsters, its wierdos. We've splintered off into so many neat subgroups that me vs. the world doesn't really exist anymore. Hmmm. Perhaps.

As for Explanation #4, one student is quoted as saying, “Oh, we all hated Holden in my class. We just wanted to tell him, ‘Shut up and take your Prozac.’ ” 800px-prozac_pills1

The typical response of our generation. If someone is not quietly conforming to everyone else's rules, they should be medicated. After shutting up.

As for the sentiment that the book is outdated and irrelevant, I have a little something to say to those students.

Let me introduce you whiny motherfuckers to an age-old practice called picking up a book.

You complain that the vocabulary and expressions- "phony" and "lousy" and "grand" -are outdated. Does that mean you can't read Pride and Prejudice because NO ONE TALKS LIKE THAT ANYMORE?? That's the WHOLE FUCKING POINT of reading a book. To put it in terms you can understand, it's like suspending your disbelief when you watch a movie. You're supposed to agree to the characters, the plot, the setting, on its own terms, be taken in by it, and get something out of it that applies to you and your life.

Leading me to the crucial possibility that the article doesn't acknowledge: that Kids These Days have forgotten how to read. That they- the royal "they"- are (figuratively) illiterate.

Of course we are all allowed our opinions on books. I accept that not everyone has an affinity for Holden Caulfield and thinks The Catcher in the Rye is a work of genius. Fine. But the idea that whole classrooms full of teenagers can so easily dismiss a character who is not Harry Potter is what makes me want to drop out of school in a disenchanted search for meaning.



Get a Life, Holden Caulfield [New York Times]

60 Years Later Coming Through the Rye [Huff Po]

The Copycat-cher In The Rye [Jezebel]

Has The Catcher In The Rye Lost Its Importance? [Fifth State]


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June 23, 2009

DC Scene This Week: Metros crash and Obama digs the ghazal

A horrific scene on the Metro tracks–we never did trust the Red Line–and more Iran-related discomfort hit the District this week. But you knew about that already.

A few more politics-heavy happenings in DC and beyond:

As the Uighers are settling in to their new happy island home, the latest to be released from Gitmo's jaws is Abd al Rahim Abdul Rassak, who before spending 7 years being tortured in Guantanamo after spending 18 months as a captive of…al-Queda. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said that the case of U.S. officials "defies common sense." Welcome to NO SHIT UNIVERSITY, we would like to offer you a FULL FUCKING RIDE. [Wonkette reports]

Oh, the power of poetry to open doors:  Obama scores points in Pakistan with his self-professed love of Pakistani cuisine and Urdu poetry. I guess I can forgive him that awful Elizabeth Alexander reading at Inauguration.  [Politico reports]

Legalize it! Massachustts rep Barney Frank introduced two pieces of legislation to the House, one for medicinal and one for recreational marijuana. Basically all it's asking is to get the Feds out of it, whether for states to experiment with medical marijuana or to reduce federal penalties. Still, it's a start. [Huff Po reports]

The Senate would like to apologize for that whole slavery thing in a unanimous measure it will now be sending to the House. That one never fails to get me. In 100 years will the German government be passing legislation to say "gee we're sorry" one more time to the Jews for the Holocaust? And when do the Native Americans get their apology written in to the books? And what exactly are these politicans apologizing for, and for whom? And finally, what difference will it make?!?! [The DC Feed reports]

(Meanwhile, the Univeristy of Virginia still barely acknowledges that is was virtually built by slaves. But that's another story.)

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June 20, 2009

Metric (Not the System)

The place: 9:30 Club

The Band: Metric

The Date: 06/18/09

One word: Infuckingcredible.

There are very few things your editrixes love more in life than a live concert. Since we were wee little lasses, we've hauled our asses over to Washington DC to partake in nights filled with deafening music and overpriced tickets. In the olden days when your editrixes were "rebellious" teenagers, we'd come into school the next day from a show with our eyeliner smudged and our band shirts we purchased from the night before on. Sleeping four-hours and looking like crap was a source of pride.

Anyways, I'm rambling like my Goldwater-conservative grandfather, so on to Metric! As hardcore fans, we've been fortunate enough to have seen Metric before in September of 2007. Crystal Castles opened on that tour, and we somehow managed to exit the show uninjured, despite being situated next to a rowdy pair of coked-out hipsters. The last show was stellar, but it was clear that Metric upped the ante for this round.

Naturally, darling Allie and myself were in the front row, towering over the mass of 5’0 tall girls. After jetting from work, I was stuck in 3-inch heels for the whole night. Standing for 5 hours in spike heels is a pain, but god, did I look good. Allie rocked some Frye motorcycle boots, which were extremely useful when maneuvering through the sea of drunk blonde girls, one of whom kept on grabbing my ass. I'm still wondering if that was intentional or not…

While the doors opened at 7:00, the first band, Smile Smile, didn't come on until 8:00. Comprised of a guitar-yielding lead singer who resembles Buddy Holly and a Zooey Deschanel-esque piano player, Smile Smile were basically the cutest thing ever. Their music wasn't super high energy, but definitely was pleasant. Near the end of their set, some asshole whooped and screamed nasty comments when they said they were leaving soon. The lead singer scowled and lambasted him. You'd think said asshole would of realized that you don't mess with anyone from Texas…

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After Smile Smile wrapped it up, Sebastian Grainger came on. Although I was familiar with SG's work from Death from Above 1979 and his former band-mate's stuff with MSTRKRFT, I wasn't well acquainted with his solo material. I had difficulty hearing SG's vocals throughout the set, but that man is damn fine and holds his guitar like an axe. I'm pretty sure I fell in love for a few moments.

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SG finished. The audience got restless, and 20 minutes later, METRIC came out. It was blissful.

If you were one of the FOOLISH and incredible NAIVE persons who neglected to purchase a ticket to the show, fear not. NPR has posted a live recording of the show on Itunes and on their website. You can download it for free, but it’s only an audio recording. Check out their photos as well– Our well-manicured heads are quite visible.

Go here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105478436

If you’re desperate, make your way over to youtube and type in “Metric 9:30” and you can catch the whole show. T

Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaQ69uPnVHA

In the meantime, czech out these fantastic photos I snapped.

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On one last note, during a sing-a-long to "Live It Out", which is Metric's ultimate campfire song, Ms. Haines grabbed my hand. Joshua and Joules ran up front too, and grabbed our hands. Jimmy was near the right, so no luck there, but he made constant eye contact through the set.

Now go buy "Fantasies".

-Auntie A
P.S. Here's the set list for you super fans

Twilight

Help I'm Alive

Satellite Mind

Handshakes

Gold Gun Girls

Gimme Sympathy

Sick Muse

Empty

Front Row

Dead Disco

Stadium Love

ENCORE

Monster Hospital

Live It Out

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