Day #223: The Amplifites – “It’s My Life”
We got a new intern today. I think she’s going to be a good one. She comes to us for the semester by way of Atlanta. Since it’s her first day, we took her to lunch at Vapiano’s, the chain Italian restaurant, and it surprised me by how totally blown away she was by how trendy DC is, and kept saying so. (We are indeed real northeastern yuppie). “That place is like an adult cafeteria! That’s soooo trendy!” she said as we left the restaurant.
I know Atlanta is far less pretentious by comparison, but I never thought someone from another big city would have such culture shock.
Day #222: The Action – “Follow Me”
I recently read that Bill Clinton wrote only two emails in the course of his entire Presidency, the first of which was just a test email. Today, President Obama signed on to that beloved time wasters portal known as Reddit for an hour-long “Ask Me Anything” chat, responding to something like 10 of 10,000 questions submitted in advance. There was one was about Afghanistan. Another about campaign finance. There was a suspect buzz word question about his platform for small businesses. But it wasn’t all business. He took a question about his favorite basketball player (Jordan) and said a few words about balancing the job and family life. Though, he kept his lips sealed about the recipe for the White House’s own Honey Ale, he assured it will be out soon.
Obama probably went over well with the Reddit crowd — at least those who didn’t get bumped from the site because of the massive spike in traffic — because he answered questions with far less boilerplate pandering that usually happens when the public is invited to ask major candidates questions, punctuating that by closing with a reference to his own “Not Bad” meme.
You can read the chat transcript on Reddit. Scroll down a little to where Biinaryy posted all questions and answers together.
Day #221: Earl Hooker – “You Got to Lose”
…except this picture of a walrus.
Day #220: Future Islands – “Balance”
My Sunday felt a lot like my high school days: loose plans with Ali and Philippe that started with dinner at the Diner and followed with a jaunt around the Asian Supermarket for strange foods that I didn’t know the names of and would try with hesitation, Usually at Ali’s suggestion (her latest craving is for a Japanese sweet called Mochi). And, the commute to and fro had a soundtrack: Ali’s new favorite band, the Baltimore-based Future Islands. It was a kind of blissful slip back in time.
Part of the motivation for spending the day in Charm City was to fulfill our moral imperative to get Philippe to Paper Moon Diner at last before we bid him farewell on a 4-month fellowship far away. By night’s end, we sat around at Ali’s watching Future Island videos with her dogs and making a mental inventory of all the places we need to explore in Baltimore. Too much to remember, so instead we made a list. Our Age of (Baltimore) Exploration will begin upon our fellow adventurer’s return.
Day #219: Howard Jones – “Things Can Only Get Better”
Well, I found an 80’s Dance Party I like! The Black Cat’s Eighties Mayhem does it up. Being out there Saturday night with Kim and Nicole, it felt a lot like being in that club from Pretty in Pink. It’s a sort of dive-y club where the freaks go. And, it wasn’t even the usual hipster contingent that otherwise out there for shows. Naturally, it takes a person willing to unselfconsciously act a fool to enjoy an 80s Dance Party. A few DJs played a pretty good array of stuff nonstop. Everything from Michael Jackson to the Jesus and Mary Chain, although no one was really sure what to do when they played the latter. And, with the exception of a bride-to-be annoyingly blowing her party favor whistle all night (no, that’s not a euphemism), no one got piss drunk and made a complete ass of themselves. Legwarmers fans could learn a few things from this crowd.
Some people take this 80’s thing very seriously: DeLorean spotting in DC.
My favorites was the vanity plate: DMC.
Day #218: The Rapture – “Sail Away” (Cut Copy Remix)
We had another Open House today. Our third, I think. We made a better effort this time to put the word out. Signs. Flyers. Ads.
A lady from Philadelphia who’s husband recently transferred here for work said that she loved this part of Greenbelt; that it’s a kind of place that “exists in a bubble.” Another couple looking to move out of their DC efficiency said they never even knew about Historic Greenbelt until a friend bought a place here.
I never thought about that before. That most everyone who has stopped by to see the house only knew about the neighborhood because they were either previous residents looking to return to the area, or they know someone else living here now. I guess Historic Greenbelt is a bubble (although recently, it’s garnered attention in newspapers and on the radio as a family-friendly neighborhood). I like it here because it has that rare sense of “neighborhood” and “community” in a city that is otherwise almost entirely transient and has no real identity of its own. I also like that it’s a place to escape typical urban pretentiousness. Old Greenbelt is exactly that. It’s been allowed to age rather than be gutted and converted into another luxury something-or-other with an inflated price tag. The people, too, don’t fall into that unbearably narrow range of 20 to 30-somethings.
In the past, a lot of single, older women came to look at the house. Retirees and near-retirees who want to find something closer to their children or a sibling. This time around, we had more people our age, some with a young kid, who came to take a look. They were surprisingly thorough in look around, talking about how they could arrange things that they have in the space that we have. Really trying to imagine themselves here.
Day #217: Psy – “Gangnam Style”
Yesterday, my Number 2 sent me this video. At first, I thought it was some bizarre find from the personal video vault of pretty much any North Korean statesman. You know, something they’d do in secret on their days off. But actually, it’s from South Korea, by a guy named Psy. And it’s called — say it with me — “Gangnam Style.” Basically, it’s a social satire, but saying it like that is liable to create buzz kill when you’re listening to something fun and danc-y like this. But when you tell your friends about it, be sure to say Gangnam Style with big, exaggerated air quotes like you’re trying to explain “World Wide Web” to a 90-year person who has never used a computer, because it got mention twice on BuzzFeed today, which in the Internet world, already makes it old news.
Oh, if only Mad TV were still around for a Bobby Lee parody.