What has happened down here, is the winds have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
It rained real hard, and it rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline
The river rose all day, the river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood, some people got away alright
The river had busted through clear down to Plackermine
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're trying to wash us away, they're trying to wash us away

-“Louisiana, 1927,” lyrics by Randy Newman

Well, I have to tell you, my lil heart is just breaking wide open for the people affected by Katrina. My main thought yesterday was “whew, looks like it’s not going to be a bad as we thought” but the more I look online today (which I can’t seem to stop obsessively doing) the worse it seems to be.

Shit! What a terrible thing to happen to any people, anywhere, but—I’ll admit it—I get this weird lump in my throat when I think of this kind of devastation happening in New Orleans and southeast Louisiana.

For those of you who don’t know, these places—Louisiana, the Gulf Coast—hold a special place in my heart. My paternal relatives hail from Alabama, and as a child I would spend the summer fishing, playing endless games of Casino, sweating, and getting stung by jellyfish on the "air-conditioned" white sand of Gulf Shores, Alabama, at a little cottage built by my great granddad. And then (after cottage upkeep became too dear) at our condo in Perdido Key, Fla. The condo—and the Flora-Bama, a much beloved landmark bar/roadhouse a half mile from it—was trashed last year by Hurricane Ivan, and renovations are still ongoing.

Later in life—after I had gone off to college in the south—I became very close with several Louisianans, from various parts of the state. My first trip to New Orleans was at 18, for Mardi Gras. We heeded the black-magic siren call of the Crescent City as millions before us had, and trekked 12 hours from Charleston, SC to New Orleans in the open back of a pick-up truck, such was the sheer force of our desire to drink (and vomit) on Bourbon Street.

New Orleans.
What can I say?
It was love at first sight (and smell)

In the years since, not a year has passed that I have failed to visit Louisiana. I’ve been to New Orleans, to Shreveport, to Baton Rouge, to St. Francisville, Natchitoches, Houma, Cut Off, Grand Isle, Cocodrie, Lockport, and a hundred small places in between. There wasn’t one place I didn’t love.

We stopped at a no-name, bullet-proof po-boy shack in NO’s Faubourg Marigny and bought a roast beef po-boy that still counts as one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten, marked in my memory by gravy running down my forearms. I could hardly finish it, but snuck into the fridge to nibble at the remnants until all that was left was a greasy paper bag. I still salivate at the thought.

In Shreveport, we drove over the tacky shiny gold neon bridge, grazed on Natchitoches meat pies at the Red River Revel, and swigged a potent “Coon-Ass Curse” daiquiri from one of the ubiquitous drive-thru Daquiri Huts on our way down to Mardi Gras.

I fished for speckled trout in the early morning haze as fog lifted off the swamp in Grand Isle, and watched flocks of brown pelicans swoop in against a pink sunset to the small island they call home.

I ate tomato-y Cubiyon stew, and fat pink gulf shrimp, heads still on, boiled in spices that scorch your tongue. Sipped thin savory gumbo, and carved pieces off a loin of lightly smoked whitetail back strap, all produced by Cajuns, for Cajuns, and (thankfully) for me as well.

Near Houma, we laughed right out loud at the sign for the “Ruby Slippers” trailer park—wondering why in the world any reasonable trailer park proprietor would wish to conjure images of tornados, flying houses, and people (ok, witches) squished to death by debris.

In Point Clear I sat in a worn rocking chair on a wide front porch eating homemade pralines and inhaling the soft scent of a nearby sweet olive tree.

Years ago, my gentlemanly deep-voiced grandfather tried to sweet-talk the bouncers at the (in)famous Flora Bama into letting me in to “check the place out.” Once inside, my gentile and VERY proper grandmother threatening to contribute her brassier to the collection of undergarments hanging from the ceiling. I was all for it—at the Flora Bama, it just seemed like the right thing to do. (she didn’t, for the record)

So much of this country is interchangeable these days, and so many places are homogenized, but New Orleans, Acadiana, the Gulf Coast’s “Redneck Riviera”---are places that are so unique to this country. Places that have a character unlike anywhere else I can think of. I wish they had been spared this trial. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Katrina.



A group of six of us ladies went to Galileo for dinner last Tuesday. Having heard not-so-many nice things about the service at Roberto Donna's long-standing Mecca for regional Italian, I had never worked up the nerve to blow more than $100 per person on a meal there. So when the restaurant offered a very tempting offer through its web site (half off all food and wine sun-tues evenings in August) I jumped at the chance. Now or never, right?

The verdict?

While I'm glad I went and had the experience, I am VERY glad I did not pay full freight for what was a fairly mediocre meal with annoying service. As for the food, it was all reasonably fresh and well executed--an appetizer of bacon-wrapped scallops, while not terribly original, was meaty, seared crusty on the outside, and darn tasty. The tuna carpaccio was fresh-tasting, but it lacked spunk—just limp slices of tuna on some sort of innocuous vegetable purée.

As for main courses, the server recommended the bronzino, which turned out to be a nice filet of meaty fish which was unfortunately overwhelmed by an aggressive orangey glazing and a tasteless “pea sauce.” A veal chop was, again, well-executed and nicely cut, but just ho-hum, though its accompanying morel sauce was pleasingly heavy on the fungi. The veggie-friendly asparagus and mascarpone agnolotti (similar to ravioli) with parmesan cheese and basil olive oil, while stunningly rich, was generally agreed to be among the very best dishes, even by the table's dedicated carnivores. For the finale, the trio of gelatos—pistachio, mascarpone, and banana—were lovely and served as a refreshing jolt to our somewhat underwhlemed palates.

The service was, frankly, a bit strange. The bartender was a phantom—he kept disappearing and often seemed to be doing so to go flirt with the hostess. When we finally caught his eye we had waited at the bar an extra 5 or 10 minutes after our table was ready. I would have chalked it up to an accident, but he pulled the same disappearing act after we returned to the bar for a post-meal capucchino. Our waiter was prompt, but a bit pushy—when we tried to order two of a particular appetizer, he said, “No. You will order two [of another appetizer].” Though he clearly deemed one item to be better than the other, his vaguely hostile manner was off-putting. In another pushy move, when I reached to pour my own wine (I did not see him standing behind me), he ran over and scolded me, actually shaking his finger and saying “No, no!!” Um, hello? How about, “may I do that for you ma’am?”

All in all, it WAS worth the money—at half price, that is.


Who wants to be the Columbian Cartel when you can be the Kitty Cartel? Purrrr....

Prescription Drugs. We all have several bright, orange plastic bottles shoved in our medicine cabinets, purses, work desks or cars. Some of our bathrooms are even transformed into mini pharmacies depending on the number of bottles hidden away. We do plan to chuck these plastic vials during the chore we all know and love as the bathroom purge (don't forget the toilet bowl cleaning!).

Ever so nonchalantly, we ask our friends for an Asprin here or a Midol there; do you have any Ibuprofen, Tums™, Tylenol™, Valium, Penicillin™ - oh wait, some of these sugar dadies weren't originally intended for other's consumption. We can't turn down a friend in need, right?

Recently, I was the friend in need; however, as much as I wanted a Valium, I opted for something a little "softer" and as much as I like to say "it's for a friend..." and really mean yours truly, the trite saying rang true. I was asking on a behalf of a friend. A friend who walks on all fours and is sometimes referred to as "Fat Fred".

My coworker dished out her furry companion's (Mr. Buggles) prescription without hesitation. The next thing I knew, I was dishing out teeny, tiny pink pills to my loveable lap cat, Winifred. You might scoff and think incredibly illegal thoughts about this transaction, but, man, Winifred needed these pills, badly. Winifred has a little condition that I like to call territorial urination. It's not so much a problem for her as it is for the rest of my household: my roomate, her cat and our furniture. These magic beans are supposed to put the kibosh on that behavior.

Yummy, magic beans!


Men will not understand what it means. Hell, women don't understand why we do it.

I refer to the all too frequent (and bewildering) "Crotch Glance". It plays out the same way, millions of times, every single day, much like this example which I perpetrated, involuntarily I submit, yesterday:

Me: 20-something, not unattractive woman walking down the sidewalk to the bank, happy to be outside on a nice day. Not a care in the world...

Him: 35-40 year old man walking down the sidewalk towards me, casually, but not too slowly: khaki pants, blue Oxford shirt tucked neatly into the aforementioned trousers (loafers, I'm sure), a few protruding chest hairs from the tie-less unbuttoned collar (but thankfully, no gold chain in sight).

I look up at his face for a moment, as we pass on the sidewalk, out of pure human curiosity. Nothing abnormal here. We pretend we didn't just look each other in the eye or take a quick head-to-toe visual tour... and then... my eyes, as if compelled by some perverse and powerful force, are riveted for an instant to his crotch. The moment I realize that a voodoo spell has caused me to "crotch glance" a man who A: I do not find in the slightest bit attractive B: is wearing loose-fitting khaki pants which will clearly reveal no useful information C: like a plumed bird acourtin' has obviously displayed his "manly" chest hair in an attempt to lure unwitting crotch glancers, I do the only thing my few remaining functioning synapses will allow me to do... I look back up at his face. Oh for God's sake: He has caught me crotch glancing and is now fervently asking himself what it all means. "Did I pass?" "What does she think?" "She wants to bang me, doesn't she?" I can see the wheels turning in his head.

My Scottish blood seizes the moment to make an appearance in my face. (Amazing how quickly those chemical signals move, isn't it? Unfortunate they cannot be employed on keeping my eyes on the damn sidewalk instead.) I walk away pondering the how and why of this crotch-glancing.

Here are some theories:

1. I have frequently had the experience of telling myself so intensely not to do something, that I either come close to doing it, or succumb altogether. Example: Look at that dead mouse under the fridge. Don't touch the dead mouse under the fridge. (more firmly now): Don't touch the dead mouse under the fridge. DON'T touch it! Aw geez don't DO IT... fuck. You just HAD to touch the dead mouse, didn't you??

2. Maybe, deeply rooted somewhere in the nether-reaches of my brain, I have acknowledged that during a head-on encounter (ie, no chance for a glimpse of the fanny region) with the opposite sex, once checking out the face, there's nothing good left to look at except perhaps by stealing a little looksie at the crotch. If this is the case, it is very deeply rooted.

My conclusion is that there is no good solution to this mortifying occurence. My advice to men is not to read much into it, neither negative NOR positive. My advice to me is to concentrate on not concentrating. Otherwise, I will continue to touch the dead mouse under the fridge and glance at the crotches of unsuspecting passersby.


“I'm sorry (Brad/Jude/Jake), I can't go out with you. It's my poker night!"

Sad but True: I’ve been just dying to say that. Yes, I'm the very last person in the world to jump on the Poker Bandwagon, but here I am, all set to take the world of high-stakes Texas Hold 'Em by storm with my mad poker skillz (note: when someone spells skills with a "z," it is usually a dead giveaway that said person has none)

Anyway, I’m pretty darn excited about Girl’s Poker Night, now that us girls have taught ourselves the ways of the game (aided by a book called “The Badass Girls Guide To Poker,” I am somewhat embarrassed to report)

Seems I’m not the only DC lady with visions of straights, flushes and full houses dancing through her head.

According to this Post article, you can go learn for yourself, at Pub Poker Night:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/18/AR2005081800546.html. Of course, you’ll have to brave the Clarendon Grill to do it. But for the true high-roller, no sacrifice is too high, right?

Burn em and turn em,


Weekly Vitals - One can never get their fill (or, based on this week's Vitals, maybe one shouldn't be getting their fill)

Just how worried are Americans about their weight today? HELLO! Everyone, right? Not so Madames/Mademoiselles...

A recent Gallup Poll asked that very question and found that nearly half of Americans say they worry about their weight at least some of the time. The other half say they rarely or never worry about their weight.
Excuse Me? There is a population of people who never worry about their weight? Can I meet them, can I become one? Sign me up!

  • 57% of women say they worry about their weight
  • Fewer than 4 in 10 men (39%) worry abour their weight

    This pattern has been consistent since Gallup first asked this question in 1990.
    At that time:
  • 46% of women and only 21% of men said they worried about their weight
  • In 1999, 52% of women said they worried, compared with 31% of men

Interestingly, younger women (those aged 18 to 49) are much more likely to worry about their weight than are older women (those aged 50 and older) or men of any age. The latest poll finds:

  • 62% of younger women worry about their weight all or some of the time
  • 51% of older women worry about their weight all or some of the time
  • Among men, 40% of younger men and 38% of older men say they worry this often.
Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,006 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted July 7-10, 2005.
Source: Gallup

And we care about Martha because?
  • Her stock soars when she's goes to prison
  • hell, we love celebrity gossip (If she counts as a celebrity); maybe we just love gossip
A recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows her positive rating among the American public is holding stable at 52% favorable, 31% unfavorable. See kids, you too can be a popular ex-con!
Source: Gallup

“Number Five—Alive!!” Or, Why You Can’t Keep A Good Shredder Down

My mother recently tried to pawn her old paper shredder off on me. This is because she bought herself a new, super-powered shredder that can shred tennis shoes and whole phone books. She is terribly concerned about keeping her private stuff private, preferably by shredded it into thousands of little paper confetti strands. I, on the other hand, don’t give a flying crap about that stuff, as 75% of my “private” documents fall into the “not classified” category. The other 25% fall into the “who gives a rat’s ass?” category.

Now, on the other hand, shredding shit is fun. I’ll give her that. And I suppose I ought to protect my dubiously important info more diligently. My friend Joe apparently shares my mom’s affinity for shredding. That man likes to shred. Upon opening a brand new, fresh pack of playing cards with which to play Asshole, he shreds the jokers. Just because he can. This certainly qualifies as 'unnecessary use of a shredding device,' but who am I to deny a man his jollies?

Point in case: after a half dozen beers last night we found ourselves pondering what to shred. We considered a slice of American cheese, but worried it might gum up the works. Then, in a flash of inspiration, Joe decided to see how the shredder could handle his “Asshole Accoutrement”—a caramel-colored mullet wig traditionally bequeathed on the Big Loser of our Asshole game.

Turns out, there IS something a shredder can’t handle—it gobbled that sucker up in no time flat, chewed it all the way down to the strange mullet-wig netting that holds the mullet wig together, emitted the low rumble of a dying shredder, and went kaput.

It reminded me strangely of the sad almost-conclusion to that perennial 1980s favorite “Short Circuit,” starring Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenberg, when Johnny Five, the robot with a heart of gold, finally succumbs to his oppressors , and “blink”--just like that--goes to the great robot castle in the sky.

And, much like the happy conclusion of “Short Circuit,” you’ll be relieved to know that after we picked mangled wads of synthetic mullet-hair out, we were able to miraculously resurrect the Lil Shredder that Could, just slightly worse for the wear. Proving, of course, that you can’t keep a good shredder down.

And while we're talking robots, here's a FREE trivia question for you faithful readers: what's the name of the girl robot from TVs' "Small Wonder"?

wickie, wickie,


Serious reasons to keep the contents of your "city" purse with you, even in the wild: BEARS!

When I informed my co-workers I was off to Alaska for my annual Fairbanks to Yukon getaway the response was so predictable: "Don't get eaten by a bear!", "Are you going to stay in an Igloo?", and "Better like salmon, it's going to be your staple.".

First off, no one in Alaska resides in an Igloo; people do live "off the grid" but their houses include all of the normal components like foundation, insulation, glass windows, fireplaces/stoves, wood, etc.
Second, I would love for salmon to be my daily staple - salmon scrambler for breakfast, lox for lunch, red salmon on the grill for dinner, and maybe even salmon sushi for dessert. So maybe consuming all of this salmon in one day is not ideal, but Alaskan salmon is truly divine. It is some
of the richest, most flavorful fish I have ever tasted; no seasoning required.

Reflecting on my response to the bear comments, well, the whole foot in mouth thing definitely applies.

There she is, in all of 200+ lb. glory - we named her Ruina as she broke up our beer and reindeer sausage dining fest.

We were about seven hours away from our final destination: Whitehorse, Yukon. It was about 9pm and someone suggested it was time for beer; we became all Homer Simpson-like and made our fearless driver pull over into the first camp-able roadside pull-off. This was probably our first mistake. It's not that we didn't want to support Canadian campgrounds, it's more like we wanted to get out the car at that very moment and nothing was going to stop us.

Like the good and experienced campers that we are, we began to set up our tents and the hospitality/bug tent, so we could cook without the constant nibbling by the Canadian skeeters. We threw together a feast of spaghetti, broccoli and reindeer sausage. The smell of the meat cooking was quite sharp - but we weren't focused on what others (creatures, that is) may have thought, our goal was to quell our growling tummies.

We dug into our dinner like the grubby little campers that we were and we ate heartily. All of the sudden we heard some guy screaming, up on the road. "GET, get - GO, go - NOW! NOW!". We were on the Alaskan Highway, literally, in the middle of nowhere. This was not normal. We soon discovered the very reason the driver was yelping, hooting and scaring us shitless. Her picture is posted above. I could have been the polar fleece, long-john wearing queen of the day if only I had smuggled the contents of my "going out" bag across the border.

To be on the safe side, we let Ruina have the campsite and we vacated our drunk and full little asses out of there so quickly, we had to rely on my photos to prove this incident actually occurred.


Movie Mini Review: More like the "Pukes of Hazzard" (HAHAHahaha!!)

And if you liked that joke, maybe this is the movie for you.

Yours truly went and saw 'Dukes of Hazzard' last night. I will not even bother to explain how i got roped into this (guilt, guilt guilt from Youngster). But I will say that it was truly, honestly, the shittiest piece of work I've paid $9 for in quite some time.

Let me say that yes, I am a fan of the 70s TV series. And no, I do not think the original is sacred, or even "good" in terms of plot, characters, or any of the measures by which we typically rate television shows. By those measures, the original Dukes was bad TV. But it was GOOD bad TV, you know? It was campy, it made use of redneck stereotypes, it over-sexualized women, they all had poufy curl-tastic 70s hair, and the muscle cars were more charismatic than the actors.

But at least it wasn't trying to be what it was not. And on occasion, it was actually FUNNY.

The new Dukes movie is so bad it makes my ass want to suck a lemon (to paraphrase Mama K). Allow me to specify:

At one point Bo suggests to Luke--apropos of nothing--that it is OK if Uncle Jesse gets killed, because then they can have the farm [pause for riotous laughter]. Then Bo says: "just kidding, man!!" HAHAHAHAHAhahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!! What's funnier than that??

Oh yeah, and Burt Reynolds is just like Boss Hogg, if Boss Hogg lost 100 pounds and got every line on his face tanned, botoxed and lifted until it was as orange-y and airbrushed as Jessica Simpson's ass.

And--here is a "Dukes" joke, as delivered by Willie Nelson (Unc. Jesse) who seemed as if he had received THC therapy and a colonoscopy on the same day (read: wobbly-kneed and glazey-eyed).
Q: "Why do divorces cost so much?
A: Because they are worth it!!!!

Do not, under any circumstances, go to see this movie. I understand that there are plenty of guys out there who are in it for the Daisy Duke Asscheek factor. Do not kid yourself. If you want to see some tits and ass, go buy a Hustler. It has more dignity that this film.

Wanting the 2 hours of her life back, even if they are spent shouting for jello at the old folks home,


Visor Boy, reprised...

Those in the know are aware of my minor infatuation with a visor wearing prepster from the 'burbs of Va. Two months (practically to the day!) of the original offense, and who should be at our Saturday night kareoke soiree than VB himself, in the flesh. Well, never being the kind of girl to learn from her mistakes, you can imagine what happened from there. That's right--we sang a duet of The Gambler! (didn't see that coming, did you?) But then somehow, ended up snogging on his couch at 3 a.m. Eesh.

New info: says he is broken up "for real" with the on-again, off-again gf (snort! I should HOPE so! what kind of random hookup chick does he TAKE me for!?!) and he played baskteball in college (google, have you failed me??--my research revealed the VB sport of choice to be wrestling, not b ball...).

Pros: he's pretty darn cute aand has a very nice apartment which literally shrieks "my girlfriend and i went to Home Depot together and now i have a red dining room." But nonetheless, far better than the wretched foot-fungus-infested sty some males actually call home (can you hear me, Youngster??). Somehow, I've come to believe home ownership is hot. This must mean i am getting old.
Also, (did I mention he's pretty cute?) he has a birthmark on his shoulder shaped liked Australia. G'day, mate!!

Cons: says he doesn't like to read (cue eye roll), but loves to travel. Not sure if I could give up one for the other--why pick? But the good news is, he CAN read. 100% literate and all. He just reads lots of travel books. He's not an uber-Republican book burner or anything, I hope. Hmmm.

There were a few other, more x-rated items listed here, but for the sake of all of our decency I've decide to spare you the details. But I will leave you with this question: Why is it possible to have REALLY good sex with someone you find intensely annoying in real life, and turn right around to have lackluster sex with someone you are reasonably attracted to? This seems counterintuitive, but there it is. I do not get it, but feel free to weigh in on this, folks.

Skankily yours,
Skankana VonSkankstein, baroness of Skankistan


Hot White Cum, Riding around with Rawk Stars, and the Triumph of Self-Respect...

Had tickets to an acoustic Liz Phair show at the Birchmere last night. Thoroughly enjoyable. Liz was so... Liz--raunchy, kind of off-key, and wearing the worlds shortest denim miniskirt while propped on a stool with her guitar, giving the whole audience a 2-hour long peek at her bright green undies. No one seemed to particularly mind, o'course--in fact, several dudes on the right of the stage kept screeching for her to turn and face them.

Now of course, I was more into the older stuff in her repertoire--I can do without her newer poppy sound. But us oldies fans weren't disappointed--she sang old faves Never Said, Mesmerizing, Supernova, and delightfully, Fuck and Run, along with a new soon-to-be-fave called Hot White Cum (to quote Dave Barry--I am not making this up). She opened with Polyester Bride from whitechocolatespaceegg, the newest "new" Liz album I really dig. Also sang a nice version of Uncle Alvarez from WCSE. People were yelling out requests for favorites--I'd have loved to hear Cinco de Mayo, but hey, can't have everything, right? Liz was accompanied by some guy on guitar who she never really took the time to introduce, but he didn't seem to mind being overlooked, as the chances that her tits might fly out of her top right next to him were pretty good.

Also of note--the opening act was Cary Brothers--that's one guy--first name, Cary, last name, Brothers. Not "The Brothers Cary," as I automatically assumed. Best know for the song "Blue Eyes" on the Garden State soundtrack--he absolutely blew me away with his opening set, just wailed and whispered along with his guitar. He's a serious talent. Oh yeah, and oh-my-god-so-fucking-CUTE. See for yourself: http://www.carybrothers.com/

Anyway, that's where the story gets good--after the show SVM and I saw Mr. Brothers sitting at a bar table alone and beelined to him, where SVM promptly flopped down and announced herself. Naturally, I hung back, cuz I do not have Big Brass Balls like she does and was feeling sorta shy. Anyway, we got to chatting (I asked where his brother was, like the 'tardo I am, and received the aforementioned clarification on his name). Commiserated with him on the shittiness of riding Amtrak, etc... Very cool guy.

Anyway, SVM (again, she of the Big Brass Ones) asked him if he needed a ride back to DC and he accepted! So funny--we loaded up his guitars and various crap in my trunk and Cary got the pleasure of listening to us squabble over driving directions the whole way home, but seemed to find it amusing. Dropped him off at his friend's place on Mass Ave. Wanted to lick him but restrained myself.

Insider tip: he said he just recorded a version of True by Spandau Ballet for some new Disney flick--we listened to my Pretty in Pink soundtrack in the car and sang along to Suzanne Vega. Cary also said he also got to be on an episode of Scrubs as an extra or something...not sure of the episode, exactly... but EEK! I met a real FOZ (Friend of Zack)!

Also noteworthy--through a heroic effort, i managed to restrain myself from asking Cary probing, dorkish questions about Zack Braff--who is, you should know, the Dweebish, Self-Effacing, Funny Funny Funny Man of My Dreams. Is Zack, like totally funny in real life? What's his favorite cocktail? Is he really into that stupid Mandy Moore or is he just using her as a social stepladder? Does he like 'natural' redheads? These are just a few of the excruciatingly loser-ish type questions I wanted to ask, but did not. So you see--another instance of the Triumph of Self Respect over mawkish sycophancy. YeeHAW!

Even when i was 12....


Bring Back the Bong!
Oh, yes-- it occurs to me that while I'm farting around at work I should also share an insight uncovered over the past weekend, which I spent in the Outer Banks with friends.

I warn you, it is not a trenchant insight, but I think it qualifies as "news you can use." Here 'tis: The best (and for me, from now on--the ONLY) way to drink cheap domestic beer is via Beer Bong.

Yeah, that's right, I'm sending out a rallying cry to bring back the Bong. Or beer funnel. Or whatever the heck you and your buddies called it in college. I mean, no one drinks Miller Light because it tastes so dee-lightfully frosty-liscious they just can't help themselves. Noooo. We drink Miller Light, Coors Light, Bud, Pabst, Natty and The Beast because they are cheap, cold, relativley tasteless, and better than water for getting you fucked up at the beach. Right?

Anyway, Ye Olde Bong is a highly effective frosty barley pop delivery mechansim. It just requires that you--say it together now, kids--RELAX YOUR THROAT AND SWALLOW FAST.

Yeah, yeah I know there are lots of theories floating around out there about the natural famale aptitude for beer bonging--due to practice, ya know, at opening the throat during certain sexual acts. To this I say, whatever. I'm no friggin doctor.

All I know is, after years of leading a Bong-free existance, I am just as profficient at the skill as I once was, oh those many years ago in college. Turns out it is like riding a bike. Plus, I get to drink beer without tasting, well, beer. So for me, a win-win. And lastly, I will add--post-Bong belches (while often a bit watery) can be highly satisfying.

So there. My case is made. Go here to get your own Bong: http://megaflowco.com. Because you can't use mine.

Thanks to Miz Antigone for the invitation to join up. I'm planning to start posting in earnest ASAP, and many apologies for taking this long to get on the vital.dc train.

For your initial reading pleasure, here is the first installment of a new ongoing series I like to call "Sad, but True":

I just spent 20 minutes in my office's ladies room reading the latest Harry Potter while sitting on the pooper. My coworkers can only assume I'm having severe intestinal discomfort. I have no plans to disabuse them of this notion. Stupid, gullible muggles. (I know, it is pathetic, but I'm on the last chapter!!!)

Stay tuned for the next installment of "Sad, but True"

Viola Violante


Venturing to the Great Northern Frontier to stop the drilling in ANWAR -

OK, so the later part of the statement is not quite true, but I am off to Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon for a little vacation action. I'll be posting again when I arrive back, toward the middle of the month. In the meantime, here are some lovely scenic shots from my great northern expedition last year.