Storytelling with SpeakeasyDC: Fifty Shades of Grey


Here’s the video from my most recent storytelling gig, in February.  It covers the tawdry events and psychic baggage that almost stopped me from getting to first base (for the first time, people!) when I was in 11th grade.  You can file it under “Triumph of the Human Spirit,” if you’re so inclined.  From SpeakeasyDC‘s Valentine’s Day show.  Cheers.

Thanks to Nick Newlin for posting the video!

My notebook habit…

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine gave me a pair of leather-bound notebooks.  “You’re a journal writer, right?”  I had to think about it for a second before offering a tentative “yes,” since I’m a journal writer more in concept than in practice.  I’m far more likely to watch a film or read a story about a journal writer than to actually sit down, crack open a new page, and put my pen to paper (or fingers to keypad, as it were) nowadays, such is the procrastination, lethargy, and outright dissipation that can dominate my existence.

But still, I accepted those notebooks, as if Continue reading “My notebook habit…”

Steel cage match: Excel Xlerator vs. Dyson Airblade

Among watering-holes and restaurants catering to perpetually unmarried folk who like their prices high, portions small, and wait times in excess of 90 minutes, I’ve found bathrooms appointed with one of two brands of automatic hand dryer (often in addition to linen-infused paper towels for the environmentally unconcerned)…  First up is the Dyson Airblade, that darling of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), whose air-handling innards are said to smite 99.9% of germs that cross its path.  Its womb-like chamber beckons your dripping fingers and promises to dry them in just seconds!  But crimony – it’s a stupid British import!

Well, fret not, Francophiles.  Its challenger is as all-American as school shootings and cure-all tax cuts Continue reading “Steel cage match: Excel Xlerator vs. Dyson Airblade”

Back our hacks!

I’m bummed that, sometime by the end of this decade, all DC cabs will be red.  I suppose the tarty sheen will make the city’s wheezing fleet of 7,000 90s-era Crown Vics easier to spot among tourists and other out-of-towners – and perhaps inspire an end-times showdown with their slick-dick competitors, Uber, over a giant checkerboard in Dupont Circle – but this is one reform that I could do without.

But don’t lump me among nostalgia-prone pensioners just because I’m wary of this change.  Continue reading “Back our hacks!”

Don’t you eyeball me, you ding-dong robin!

I don’t know if it’s out of stupidity or some strange, wild nobility, but I’ve got to hand it to the robin red breast: under no circumstances will you see those cross-eyed gingers eating people food.  And it isn’t as though they couldn’t get away with it.  They can run faster than the starling, which crosses pavement in a stooped, arthritic manner which suggests a perpetual fear of hip injury; they can overpower sparrows, which have the attention span of a stale hamburger bun; and they can certainly out-fly those blasted pigeons, which lumber through air with the grace of a damaged B-52 bomber.  So they should have no trouble at all consuming their fair share of the half-eaten pizza mashed into the gutter in Adams Morgan on a Sunday morning.

Yet what do they do?  Continue reading “Don’t you eyeball me, you ding-dong robin!”

Great, here’s another new hotel project… Coming soon to AdMo, U St., & the Olde Post Office

The Post yesterday threw up a video of a typically ebullient Donald Trump pimping his vision for the Old Post Office Pavilion, which someday, perhaps even soon, will transform into “one of the great hotels of the world, if not the best.” As always, Trump’s aiming high, and the Old Post Office building certainly looks the part of a dowager peeress in need of a facelift.  I haven’t been in there in a couple of years, but I recall that the payoff for enduring an out-of-place security check at the entrance was essentially two levels of a suburban strip mall wrapped around the site’s central atrium.  If you’re looking for MSG-infused foodstuffs, cut-rate souvenirs, and treats for tour groups wilting from the August sun, today’s iteration of the Old Post Office is just the spot for you.

So, yes, I applaud GSA’s effort to spruce up the place and Continue reading “Great, here’s another new hotel project… Coming soon to AdMo, U St., & the Olde Post Office”

Who do you trust? Uncle Sam or Wall Street? The Street’s got better leaders, methinks…

Don’t argue politics and public policy with your parents.  Just don’t do it.  I don’t care what Chris Keener thinks, his gut-busting film on surviving political chatter and bridging the child/parent, liberal/”conservative” divide notwithstanding.  (Click the link, it’s a must-see for those who fear the home-front for purely ideological reasons.)  I mean, I appreciate the spirit of the film: who, in a vacuum, doesn’t believe that he can have a reasonable discussion with his family, say, on the proper role of government?  Watch as Chris, with calm, unassailable argument, swats away the Fox-y assertions of his entire family (also played by Chris!) while simultaneously preserving amity – comity? – around his Thanksgiving table.  It’s a page right out of the Change We Can Believe In handbook, 2008 edition. Continue reading “Who do you trust? Uncle Sam or Wall Street? The Street’s got better leaders, methinks…”

Here’s hoping for a fully doped Tour de France…

One of the downers of being American is our rather inward-looking attitude toward sport, a fixation on all games deemed “indigenous” while dismissing, outside of elitist circles, international pastimes that enjoy an overwhelming worldwide following.  It’s taken a few decades, but after some false starts, it seems that my countrymen have finally accepted soccer (if only in the begrudging manner that most humans accept death).  While this development might be credited to the realization that soccer isn’t just for undersized girlie-men, my transformation was fueled by the discovery that very attractive and talented women also toil on the pitch… and win World Cup championships!  (You hear me, Sunil Gulati?)  Everyone loves that, right?  U-S-A!  U-S-A!  U-S-A!

But now that Major League Soccer is pretty-well established – so much that even David Beckham has signed up (again!) with the adolescent league – the elites, living strong on the lingering fumes of Lance Armstrong-mania and backed by a proliferation of sports networks, have of late been shoving cycling down our throats. Continue reading “Here’s hoping for a fully doped Tour de France…”

OK, this one might get me in trouble… Thoughts on Komen vs. Planned Parenthood

Ah, remember Inauguration Day, 2009?  Your dear correspondent spent the run-up trapped in the now infamous Purple Tunnel of Doom, only to be turned away from the Mall just minutes before noon, when our new president – so “articulate and bright and clean” – would take the oath of office and smite all partisanship, bitterness, and polarization with his first mellifluous utterance.  Goodbye, culture wars!  Goodbye, gay- and abortion-obsessed special interests.  We gonna be dealin’ with real problems now!  War!  Recession!  Energy!  Real transformative shit!

I totally wanted to believe. Continue reading “OK, this one might get me in trouble… Thoughts on Komen vs. Planned Parenthood”

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