Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another Reason to the Hate the DNC

I've been really down on the DNC for years now, in large part because they treat Black voters as being completely and totally beholden to them. Billary's shameful performance during the primaries this year have done nothing to change that opinion.

But the biggest reason I can't stand the DNC is that they are stunningly incompetent. One of my friends described the DNC as having, " . . . a tattoo of a target between their toes and ankle and no matter what, they just fucking refuse to have it lasered off." That explains the nomination of Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, the two worst Democratic Presidential candidates of my lifetime.

Now to compound the DNC's myriad sins, we have reports that members of the Afro-sphere are largely being shut out of the State Blogger Corps (they have floor access all four days, are seated next to their state delegations, and will have internet access) for the DNC Convention this Summer.

It's not that I think there is/was a concerted effort to shut out Black bloggers, but rather there was no attempt to make sure that this very important constituency of the DNC was included.

Typical shameful shit by the DNC.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sticky Rice - First Look

Swiss Family Rat made their first trip to Sticky Rice for the 5pm seating on Saturday. The place is beautiful, the staff was awesome, and the food was as good as I had hoped it would be.

Sticky Rice is only about four blocks from the Rat's Nest, so we threw BabyRat in the stroller and I enjoyed a PBR on the walk there. We arrived at about five minutes after Five o'clock and there was a crowd of people waiting on the sidewalk to get in the place. We had a brief wait chatting with other folks that were as excited to welcome Sticky Rice to the neighborhood as we were.

We finally made our way to the door and they asked for the size of our party, which surprised me a little bit because it was supposed a soft opening for folks that had reservations. After giving our name, they found us in their reservation system and we were ushered to a table upstairs.

One of my concerns as a parent who still likes to eat out is not being one of "those families" that has a screaming kid or small tornado of toys spilling everywhere. I nervously asked the table next to us if our stroller between the tables would be a problem, they were extremely gracious and greeted us with a smile so I knew everything would be cool. This brings me to my first kudos for Sticky Rice. Unlike many restaurants in DC (especially those located in rowhouses) they didn't have the tables practically on top of each other. There was plenty of room between tables so you couldn't hear anyone else's dinner conversation and if someone had to get up from their table you don't wind up with a face full of ass. They may decide later on that they can squeeze in another couple of tables, but for now the place is mad comfortable.

Within a minute or two of sitting down our server, Amy, came over, introduced herself, took our drink order (of course I had the double-duece of Sapporo) and got the meal started. Amy seemed to have a pretty good grip on the menu considering it was only their second night open and was able to make some recommendations and provide all the extra information we needed. We ended up getting edamame (natch), shitake happens, some sort of fried mushroom thing, potstickers, sticky balls, Szechuan shrimp, the fantabulous roll, and a side of rice for BabyRat.

The food was slow in coming out, but we expected that so it was no big deal. You can't go to a place where they just sat 40-50 people at one time, on their second night open, in a new kitchen and expect that the pace of the meal is going to be perfect. BabyRat and I wandered around the restaurant a bit while we were waiting, saw the back deck, ran into some folks we knew, checked out the bathrooms, and by the time we got back Amy had brought out BabyRat's rice.

I don't know if Amy worked at a family oriented joint or has kids or comes from a family of 10 or is just well-trained in the art of waiting tables; but after that she could do no wrong as far we were concerned. That kind of attention to a small detail told us that kids are welcome at Sticky Rice and not merely tolerated. If you somehow read this Amy, thanks again!! Your wonderful service really made our night!!

Over the next hour or so, the various dishes we had ordered came out in fits and starts; but rather than taking away from the meal it added to it, because we had the opportunity to concentrate on each dish as it came out. There was almost a fist fight at our table over the super flavorful mushrooms in the Shitake Happens, which were the first thing that came out after the rice. The potstickes were too spicy for the wife and kid, so I got to eat most of those myself.

The highlight of the meal was the Sticky Balls. BabyRat was licking the flying fish roe of the outside before taking a bite of the crunchy, fried, seafood-filled goodness. WifeRat felt guilty for chowing down on one of "my" dishes, probably because she didn't want to share her Szechuan shrimp. Speaking of which, you may want to note that even thought the Szechuan shrimp is listed with the noodles dishes, it's served with rice unless you ask for something different. The fantabulous roll lived up to its name and was super tasty; fresh crab, cream cheese, and tuna, what's not to like?

We were still waiting for our fried mushrooms when Eric (one of the managers) came over and sat down to apologize for not letting the staff know they had been 86'd for the night. Two cool points for Eric because he didn't make his staff take the heat for a mistake he made by not taking the item out of the POS for the night. It was extra cool because he bought my second beer and I was pretty full anyway and BabyRat was getting a little restless too, so it worked out pretty well for everyone.

My only complaint is that I was subjected to Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" on the stereo. I don't give a fuck what kind of post-modern irony you're going for, you miss when you start playing Billy Joel. I'm convinced that when I go to Hell I will be forced to listen to an iPod loaded with Billy Joel, Meatloaf, and "Sweet Caroline" for all eternity. Just say no to Billy Joel, seriously folks.


Friday, May 23, 2008

The Zoo Was a Zoo

In our family I'm the designated field trip parent. For the most part I don't mind, the circus was a boatload of fun and I probably had a better time than BabyRat. Today's trip to the zoo was a bit more hectic than I had expected.

First of all, it looked like half the elementary schools in Metro DC were there today. BabyRat and I usually make it to the zoo 3-4 times a year and I've never seen it close to being as crowded as it was today. It was fucking bedlam!!

There was also no real plan on the part of the teachers, but BabyRat and I ended up hanging with a pretty cool Dad and his kid for most of the trip. Everyone made it back in one piece.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ludlow-Taylor PTA Meeting

So I've been trying to navigate the maze of DCPS to try and figure out where BabyRat is going to go to school when the time comes. So far I've been to Peabody and Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School (LTES) in an attempt to plot a course of action.

At this point we've more or less settled on Ludlow-Taylor, mostly because it's our in-boundary school and as a result we're trying to get involved with the school so I went to the PTA meeting last night.

There were a couple of other families there that I recognized from Stanton Park and the community meeting that we attended back in March at LTES as well as Mr. Weaver (the PTA President), Dr. Presswood (outgoing Principal), Dr. Govan (from DCPS Cluster 3), and several teachers for a total of about 15 people.

Here's where it starts to get interesting. I had received information that new members would be able to join at the beginning of the meeting, but when I arrived there was no one there to accept new members. Before too long someone showed up to collect money and so forth and we were able to join the PTA, but those of us without children were only able to join as members of the "Presidential Unit." Meaning that those of us without children in the school may, " . . . attend general PTA meetings, donate funds, help organize fundraising events, and volunteer your time; however, you may neither vote nor serve in official PTA positions such as committee chairpersons or Executive Board Members."

From what I was able to gather, this "Presidential Unit" thing was a change to the by-laws that was made at the last PTA meeting. A few new families signed up for the PTA and when I realized that all I had were Yuppie Food Coupons, one of the other Dads there just gave me $10 to join and said I could get him back later.

Finally the meeting started with the usual passing out of an agenda and officer's reports. The Treasurer made a point of saying that Presidential Unit membership dues are not a part of the general PTA fund, which led to some questions about exactly how that money would be used. There was a couple of minutes of back and forth and everyone seemed to be satisfied the result.

There was also some discussion about a Summer Program too. At the LTES Community there was a guy there who was pretty vocal in his distrust of Friends of Ludlow-Taylor. Let's call him "Vocal Parent" or VP for short. Having only seen VP once, I wasn't sure quite what his deal was but I found out last night. VP just seems to have a confrontational personality; he laid into someone who was merely reporting news that he didn't like. It definitely puts VP's performance at the community meeting into a different, less raced based, perspective. Although I have to say, every time I've been at a meeting at LTES VP has been there and that's not something I can say about a lot of the parents at that school. I think in the months and years to come VP will prove to be a powerful ally and/or opponent at various times.

Next up was Dr. Govan from DCPS Cluster 3. Dr. Govan was explaining the process for hiring the new principal of DCPS. There seems to be a lot of layers of bureaucracy in the search and hiring process, but that hardly comes as a surprise. There's a Local School Restructuring Team (LSRT) that places its chairperson on the search committee and then there are various groups of stakeholders who are represented as well. When Dr. Govan was giving more details on how questions are submitted and asked to the candidates, VP jumped into the mix. VP started grilling about whether or not the candidates knew the questions beforehand and generally was all over Dr. Govan about the whole process.

The process for selecting a new principal seems very HR driven; like the whole deal is set up solely to make sure the school system doesn't get sued and not to select the best candidates. One other interesting little tidbit is that the Chancellor is not obligated to select one of the candidates the search committee recommends. When asked about this Dr. Govan said, "When it gets to the Chancellor, anything can happen."

Keep the comments coming!!!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sticky Rice Finally Opening!!!

Woo-hoo!! How long ago did they paint the facade of Sticky Rice; had to have been at least a year ago, right? Regardless, I have been slobbering over the idea of sushi restaurant just a short walk away from the Rat's Nest since I first heard about the place. My anticipation was heightened when The Skip, who used to live in Richmond (home of the original Sticky Rice), told me about how insanely good the food was at the original.

Last night I was checking on the insanity over at DCist and they linked to the Frozen Tropics post announcing Sticky Rice's soft opening this weekend. Judging by the number and content of the comments, I'm not the only person who has been awaiting this opening with bated breath.

I know that things can get a little rough during a soft opening, but I wasn't able to resist the urge to make a reservation for the 5pm seating on Saturday. I'll tell y'all more when I know more.

OK, I know more now. According to Daily Candy if you order food from Sticky Rice 30 days in a row, they will name a roll after you. I'm taking this as a challenge! Look for the "Rat Roll" in about 35 days.

Also, there is a Sticky Rice fan site.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

R & R Hotel

Show was supposed to start @ 8:30, so Dr Mayhem and I rushed out of the house (after downing a glass of absinthe) so we wouldn't be too late. Got here and everything is running late; I'm more surprised than annoyed because the last half dozen or so shows(@ RnR and other venues) that I've been to have gone off on time.

Stinking Lizaveta

A Day Without a Murder, Zeitgeist the Movie, Truth Movement, Vicious Circle, (missed one), and LBJ.

They didn't start calling out the songs until a few songs in, I would love to know what the song was right before 'Murder'; please leave a message.

Also, shocked and grossed to pay $9.50 for a PBR and a shot Jim Beam; that shit is $3 @ Bob & Barbara's.


Someone has jokes because Dokken was being played between bands.

Torche was louder than the Big Bang. I think they started with 'Little Champion', that was all I could make out. Seriously, their shit was turned up to 11; I'm sitting here with my ears ringing an hour and change after their set ended.

The Sword

By the time they took the stage I was pretty tired, we stayed for what I'm guessing was about half their set. They were a'ight, but nothing too special IMHO.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Capitol Hill Harris Teeter Opening Today?

On the Metro to work today I could have sworn that I caught a glimpse of an article that said the "Jenkins Row" (what-the-fuck-ever) Harris Teeter was opening today.  A quick search of the Washington Post showed that the store was due to open last night at 5:30pm and the Harris Teeter website says that the store is having its Grand Opening today.

Anyone know if this is the case?

[updated 11pm]
It's open and very nice


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Rumor Has It . . .

. . . that a former staff member of Murky Coffee has been selected as the new tenant for the space and will be opening a new coffee shop there.

No details or confirmation yet.

Rumor has been confirmed, the new spot will be called Peregrine Espresso. They have a blog up here.


Friday, May 09, 2008

Jimmy Valentine's Lonely Hearts Club

From: Mark

April showers, May deluges...

tonight, 5/9, Big Nick slammanzee deckenzen
tomorrow night, 5/10, professional pharmacist & life advisor Dr. Seth Boyar rokkenzee hausenzen

next friday, 5/16, US Royalty spinningzee trakkenzen
next saturday, 5/17, DJ Mellie Mel & DJ Dribble makenzee messenzen (w/ possible appearance by DJ Blanco)

* tomorrow afternoon our very dear friends Alanna Foster and Dean Dessouky will be married, much love to you both!

and you are reminded that sunday, 5/25, is our one-year anniversary debaucher w/ Live and Die Wrecked, meltdown guaranteed so grab a helmet kiddies... got to pay to ride


ps. recent quotes:
"i'm not a mathemagician" - pbr tom
"can you pump my chair"? - layla
"a ram is my totem" - anon (possibly melina)
"IT'S THE SAUCE"! - haley


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My Problem (Pt. 1)

I have a problem, I don't like it when people try to control or manipulate me.  I hated it when my parents did it when I was a kid and I really hate it now that I'm an adult and my wife tries to flex.  I also have an immense dislike for my wife's immature bullshit that she pulls in moments of anger. 

I am a nice, reasonable guy who treats his wife well and listens to her.  I feel that if we have a problem then she should sit down and discuss it with me and we can come to some sort of agreement.  The agreement may be that WifeRat has to take her complaint and shove it up her ass, but I would have given her beef a fair hearing.  Likewise, sometimes the agreement will be that I will eat one of those monstrous shit sandwiches that my wife is so fond of serving up; I won't like it, but that's part of life. 

My wife says that it's unacceptable that I get angry and start yelling, I have pumped my brakes and almost never yell any more.  So I feel like I don't care how mad she is, if I'm not allowed to punch walls, throw shit around, and say crazy shit; I think it's only fair that she has to control herself the same way I do.  Naturally, my wife doesn't see it that way; she still gets pissed and starts swearing a blue streak in front of BabyRat at the drop of a hat and refuses to stop.  I would like to include her annoying penchant for indulging in hysterical sobbing during arguments too, but that's never going to happen so I had to let that one go.

(to be continued)


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

New Harris Teeter

WifeRat was bitter following late night escapades after rugby this week so I decided to check out the new Harris Teeter on Kalorama. I didn't get there until almost 2200hrs so the parking garage was pretty much deserted, but I was still greeted by cheerful employee when I walked into the elevator lobby.

As expected, the store was clean and well-stocked even considering the late hour. I basically walked around the outside edge of the store getting produce, milk, and all the rest of the stuff that keeps Swiss Family Rat well fed. Only one register was open and when I attempted to use the self-checkout a cheerful and (attempting to be) helpful employee directed me to an Express checkout station that was temporarily abandoned. About 90 seconds and a cart full of apologies later, the staff member showed up and whipped me through the checkout process while directing me to a newspaper coupon for $5 off.

Seeing the quantity of stuff I purchased and the short amount of time it took me to get done, one of the guys down in the garage commented that I hit the store, ". . . bank robbery style, quick!"

On the way home I stopped in for a short one with SOS at Ulah. I was curious to check it out again after getting an anonymous comment that the food sucked. I neglected to mention this to SOS 'cause he's just bubbling over talking about the place that he and Girlfriend of Hateration (GOH) are buying. Some random guy also bought me a shot of Patron in the course of trying to make a point to the bartender next door.


Friday, May 02, 2008


Date: Apr 29, 2008 2:52 PM

MAY 3rd is the next FCDC party,starts at 8pm. The bands are Us, Big bobby and the Night Caps, and The Alpha Jerks. Outside, play with me and the males will be breaking the ice. Free food and Beeeeeeers.

15$ Donation

May 7th NY NY Mercury Lounge w/ The Night Marchers SOLDOUT
May 8th Baltimore MD The Talking Head w/ The Oranges Band
May 9th Washington VD The Velvet Lounge w/ Mas Y Mas