so i found this really funny page of kids in offensively hilarious halloween costumes (written by Dan Savage of Savage Love and some other guy.) The kids' expressions are the best.


(I found the page at www.dcist.com, a cool news blog about DC.)
so this guy at my work lives in Pennsylvania. I work in D.C. This makes absolutely no sense to me, and I overheard him saying that he has a two to three hour commute each way. I mean, do you hate the DC area that much that you'd spend six hours a day, five days a week avoiding it? You're on the road almost as long as you're working! Why not just buy a place somewhere reasonable, like I dunno, an hour away? The absolute nearest place to DC I can find in Pennsylvania is 80 miles away, and I don't travel 80 miles all week. And any money you save living up there has to be eaten up by the money you spend on the train and the time you waste. Is it really that hard to get work in Pennsylvania that you have to work two states away? Is there a Dust Bowl or something? I think we need to contact the president and stop the depression in southern PA.


so i haven't watched Saturday Night Live in a long time, butapparently Ashee Simpson was lipsynching on the last episode. I am shocked! Apparently, she was holding the mic at her side and the speakers started to play her voice singing the song she sang earlier, then her band started playing, and then she walked off stage afterabout 30 seconds. Then after the show she blamed her band for playing the wrong song. Being in Ashlee Simpson's band has got to suck enoughas it is, I don't think she should be making them feel worse by blaming them when her prerecorded vocals mess up. I think a lot of people lipsynch on SNL, especially teeny-pop people (or fake teeny-rock in her case), and that really doesn't bother me. But if you get caught Milli Vanilli-style when a recording of you singing is being played and you are obviously not singing, I think you should admit it and not diss your already unfortunate band members. That and you should write and sing your ownsongs, but that's just me. The Post had a pretty scathing article about it that's worth checking out, apparently now she is blaming acid-reflux disease and somebody else said her drummer pushed the button for the wrong pre-recorded song. It's tough to be a fake rock star who only is famous because of her sister sometimes.



so I got a spam email the other day from "Pickles T. Tonsillectomy." I think that's the best made-up name ever, even better than Hercules Rockefeller and Rembrandt Q. Einstein from the Simpsons. If I were in a band, Pickles T. Tonsillectomy would be my pseudonym.


so I was looking for a card the other day for my parents' anniversary, which was pretty futile because all the cards are really corny or jokes about viagra. no thanks. but anyway, i noticed that all the places i went to had one little section for "Troubled Relationship," and they all had the same one card. it was pretty bizarre, like "I'm sorry for all I have done, I wish I could take it all back, you know I do, I still love you" etc etc. Which is odd, because those are some pretty specific details, and you'd think a card wouldn't really help a troubled relationship that much anyway. like "sorry for sleeping around, here's a card." i don't see it.


so I went to see the Libertines yesterday at the 9:30 Club, it was alright. The sound was pretty muddled at first, it was hard to distinguish the instruments and the lead singer's voice was hard to understand. However, the singer has been kicked out of the band for drugs and alcohol a couple times, so maybe he was just slurring. The band was loud however and the bass was good, and I did recognize some songs I knew and liked, but I was a little underwhelmed at first. The sound got better as the show went on though and I could start to distinguish words, even in songs I didn't know. It was weird for awhile though since I knew what he was supposed to be singing, but heard sort of "ahmm mmee gguurr" or whatever, parts of sounds. And I guess you could say they didn't connect with the audience either really until the very end when the drummer said "Washington is great!" and sounded genuine. But otherwise, they didn't say much at all or do anything. But in any case, it was pretty enjoyable, even if the sound wasn't that great. I still really like their first CD, Up The Bracket, and some day I plan on posting a review. It seemed like the songs from that CD are a lot catchier and hookier than the new songs they played.


so this Texas redistricting thing is pissing me off. Tom Delay, House Republican majority leader, who is from Texas, (and has been cited three times in the House for ethics violations already,) has been pushing this plan that changes Texas from having an equal number of Republican and Democrat congressional districts (16 each), to having at least 22 Republican districts and 10 or fewer Democratic districts. Gee, that seems a little odd.

What makes me angry is that the Republicans aren't denying it's purely for their own gain, one Republican official said something like "Texas is a Republican state anyway, and this is just reflecting that" (unfortunately, I can't locate the quote). Another one said "who gives a flip [or possibly fuck, I've seen it both ways] about the People's Republic of Travis County," the county where Austin is located. Well, maybe that guy should, since that's the capital of Texas.

These new districts are shaped completely non-sensically, so it's obvious they are just drawn to dilute Democratic votes and not to make an actual region. For example, Austin, a strongly Democratic area, is divided into thirds. One of these districts snakes from Austin to the Mexican border (see http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/research/redist/pdf/map_plan01374c.pdf, district 25).

Now why should parts of Austin and some border towns three hundred miles away be in the same district? There's a simple answer: They shouldn't. The same thing is done all over the map, in district 10 (which snakes from Austin to Houston), in Dallas and Fort Worth, in San Antonio, and in Houston. Redistricting can and should be simple, with districts being a normal, non-snake-like shape: a few counties that make an solid area, or in the case of districts that are in an urban area, they should be large solid sections, perhaps organized by groups of neighborhoods or suburban towns. Congressman should have an actual constituency, a real region, not a random smattering of voters from wholly unrelated places, put together solely to change the totals in the House of Representatives.

And what makes me especially mad is that you can regulate the size and shape of districts easily and fairly, using geography to compare the perimeter of the district to the size (in square miles) of the district: if the ratio is too large, then it should be redrawn. Another way is by figuring the area of the largest circle that can fit inside the district and the area of largest circle that can fit around it, and comparing the two areas. If there is too much discrepancy, redraw it. I think redistricting should be done solely on population, based on actual regions, maybe even by computer, and there should be no consideration of race, party affiliation, or anything else.

For example, check out my drawing below and see the difference between the circles in example 1 and example 2. I did this in five minutes with the Paint program, imagine what professors with computers could do.

But the whole thing makes me mad, it seems like so often now people do things without caring at all whether what they are doing is right or fair, only if it accomplishes some goal. Any moron can see these districts aren't drawn to better represent the voters in the state and Delay and his cronies don't care, they just wanted more seats as quickly as possible. That's not how government, or anything else, should be run.


so there's news hand soap in the bathroom at work and it smells like just coconut rum. this is sort of bad, since i come back to my desk smelling like i chugged a bottle and poured it all over myself. "hey boss, not drinking on the job, just washed my hands." i mean i guess it's coconut soap or cocoa butter or whatever, but maybe they should get some non-alcohol smelling soap. how about good old medicinal-chemically smelling?


so there's this guy at work who walks by my cubicle a lot and always shuffles his feet. it's pretty annoying, since most of us learned how to walk properly when we were about 2 years old. you can hear him scooting along, scoot scoot scoot, which is actually good because i can tell when i should hide ESPN.com or whatever non-work stuff I'm doing, and he walks pretty slowly so it takes him awhile. he's not old and doesn't look disabled or anything, he just shuffles. one of my coworkers at my old job did the same thing. it was very weird, like she was afraid to take big steps, but she walked normally outside of work. maybe some people are overly sensitive to air conditioning or the water cooler causes some kind of leg-lock. or maybe they just wear pants that are too long.


so I read that Michael Jackson is trying to get the networks that show music videos to pull Eminem's new video, "Just Lose It," because it makes fun of him. I think everybody already knew that MTV sucks, but it's ridiculous if they do pull it, basically they are saying that musicians can't say anything bad about other musicians, unless it's on MTV News. And I mean, how is a rapper dissing other musicians new? That happens all the time. I've seen the Eminem video and it's pretty funny and really not that offensive, Emimen is wearing a Santa Claus costume and raps "Come here little kiddie, on my lap. Guess who's back with a brand new rap," then says something like "that's not a rip on Michael, just a metaphor," and then dances on a sidewalk that lights up (like the Billie Jean video) and sets his hair on fire (like that Pepsi commercial). BET has pulled the video, which is stupid of them to do. First off, I think Michael Jackson needs some thicker skin (literally! ha!). If you think and then tell everybody that it's totally normal for grown men to sleep in the same bed as little kids they aren't related to, I think you ought to know you're going to get made fun of. And anyway, why does Michael Jackson have any influence? He hasn't had a decent song in at least 10 years. Christina Aguilera and Fred Durst are pretty lame, but at least they didn't whine and try to get the networks to pull Eminem's other videos that make fun of them. Well, maybe they did. But see for yourself, here's the video, which is pretty hilariously stupid, in my opinion:


And an article on Michael Jackson being offended:



so i'm always confused by those bathrooms at bars where there's a urinal and a toilet but no stalls or partitions. is it supposed to be a one person bathroom, or can two guys piss at the same time? it seems like half the time people lock the doors and half the time they don't, and sometimes i see guys in line tell the person in front of them that it's a two person bathroom, but sometimes the guy in front of them says "no it's not" and doesn't budge. maybe the bar owners make the bathrooms like that on purpose so the bartenders can have something to laugh at.


so I like this song "Slow Jamz" by Twista and/or Kanye West (it's on both their albums, I guess Kanye produced it). The song's pretty funny, one of the lines is "she's got a light-skinned friend looks like Michael Jackson, got a dark-skinned friend, looks like Michael Jackson" which I think is a pretty good joke. But anyway, the song is about a girl who wants a guy to put on some "Slow Jamz" so they can get it on. Jamie Foxx, for some reason, sings the chorus, which is "she said she wants some Ready for the World, some New Edition, some Minnie Ripperton, so we can set this party off right." I think this is a little strange, because if a girl asked me to put on some New Edition, I'd say ok and step into my time machine to 1992. It's not exactly the first thing I'd think of. And if she asked for some Ready for the World, I'd tell her I don't know what that is, and I guess I'd put in Air or Tenacious D or something. But I suppose I'm not really the target audience of this song, since I rarely listen to slow jamz anyway.


so I take surveys online from time to time to win stuff, and one of them is about my health. It asked me if I had Non-erosive reflux disease (NERD), which I thought was pretty funny. "Help, doctor! I am afflicted with NERD!" Good thing I don't have Toxic erosive reflux disease (TERD).


so here's my updated list of concerts I want to go to and who I'm going with, so I don't forget.

>SUN OCT 10- RILO KILEY, NOW IT’S OVERHEAD, TILLY AND THE WALL $12 Black Cat mainstage 8:30 - Rae and Erin

>MON OCT 11- MOUNTAIN GOATS, JOHN VANDERSLICE, JOAN OF ARC $10 Black Cat mainstage 8:30 - Sarah (and friends?)

>TUE OCT 12 Camper van Beethoven $20.00 930 Club - hopefully Chris

WED OCT 13, Josh Joplin and Cordero, Jammin Java, Vienna, 8 pm - Laura?

>WED OCT 13 Head of Femur, Baltimore, MD - Talking Head Club - Adam and Kate?

THURS OCT 14 Black Hand, Velvet Lounge - Aaron and or Sarah?

>SUN OCT 17 The Faint w/ TV on the Radio & Beep Beep $15.00 9:30 Club - Laura

>TUE OCT 19 The Libertines w/ Radio 4 $15.00 9:30 Club - Amy

WED OCT 20 Elf Power, Justin Jones, Laura Tsaggaris, Phosphoescent, Velvet Lounge

MON OCT 25- PINBACK, MATES OF STATE, ASPECTS OF PHYSICS $14 Black Cat mainstage 8:30 - Chris?

TUE OCT 26 Bad Religion w/ Rise Against & From First to Last $20.00 9:30 Club

FRI NOV 5- WASHINGTON SOCIAL CLUB, TWO IF BY SEA $7 Black Cat mainstage 9:30

MON NOV 8 Muse $15.00 9:30 Club - SOLD OUT

TUE NOV 9 The Advantage, WAREHOUSE NEXTDOOR w/ tba

WED NOV 10- EL GUAPO, HORSES (ex-Black Eyes), ASOBI SEKSU $8 Black Cat mainstage 8:30

WED NOV 17 Badly Drawn Boy 9:30 Club, $20.00

WED NOV 24- SUFJAN STEVENS $10 Black Cat mainstage 8:30
WED NOV 24-The Donnas and the Von Bondies, $15 9:30 Club



THU, FRI DEC 2, 3 Magnetic Fields, $22.50, Birchmere 10:00 PM