Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mangialardo's FTW!!!

I'm 2 for 2 on good lunches this week. Suggestions for tomorrow?


MF Doom's New Album

From a Tweet from the Humanity Critic.

Reclusive Rapper Doom Talks New LP “Born Like This.” and Responds to Fan Rage


USDA Cafeteria = Abomination

You would think that the HQ of the motherfucking USDA would be participating in CSA (community supported agriculture) wouldn't you? You'd definitely be wrong, because we have the same disgusting Sodexho crap that they serve at every cafeteria in town. It wouldn't be so bad if it were cheap, but it's hard to get a filling meal (that's not 70% bleached white flour) in that place for less $8-10. Barf.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday Feminist Links

Here's some feminist stuff that I've been looking at online lately

Pet Peeve: Dads Who “Babysit” Their Kids

- The title says it all, but as a dude who doesn't think much of leaving the wife at home and taking his kid with him to a rugby game all day or having his wife go out of town for a conference for a couple of days (although that hasn't happened for a couple of years now) I definitely feel the sentiment of this post. I'm not fucking "babysitting" I'm parenting my child, having a dick doesn't render me incompetent in the child care department.

This one comes from the womyn at The Pursuit of Harpyness, a feminist website. For the most part the authors and denizens of the site are a little too hardcore for me but they link to, as well as write, some cool and interesting shit so I continue to check them out.

What do I mean by "too hardcore?" Well, I got ripped into for having the temerity to say that I'm a reluctant feminist. They seem to not realize that that kind of shit is a big part of why feminism has such an image problem. I appreciate and respect their blood & thunder, take no prisoners approach; they're Malcolm to Ms. magazine's Martin; but at the same time it doesn't do much to bring people into the fold that aren't aligned with them and their world view.

Is It "Perilous" To Be A Female Blogger?

- Rather than a rant about how tough it is for women bloggers, it's a jumping off point for discussion. The author talks about some of the ridiculous comments they get on Jezebel and cites an article from the Washington Post (that I read when first published) about women bloggers who have been threatened with violence, but doesn't extrapolate that out to the entire internet. The comments that I saw were pretty reasonable and some bordered on thought provoking.

The nonsense about the threats was disappointing but not surprising to me, especially when you think about who's blogging and commenting on blogs. I usually imagine a pasty, overweight, thirty-something loser, who's still living in the basement of his parent's house, or maybe a socially inept but professionally successful tech guy, or 19 year olds showing off for each other in the dorms. None of these guys are doing very well with the ladies and they're all clueless as to why. They're not getting laid, so it has to be 'cause those stuck up bitches are dykes or they just don't want to be with a "real man" like them, right? No surprise that group of Casanovas is using the anonymity of the internet to work out their anger towards women.

That's Not My Name: Beating Down Online Misogyny

- I guess I found this via a Tweet from the Reverse Cowgirl earlier today. The title link just takes you to a panel description at SXSW, this link right here was posted by one of the panelists and has a ton of links to hot shit.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March Family Programs

NBM Family Activities

March Family Programs at
the National Building Museum

Flying in the Great Hall  

A Day of Flying
Sunday, March 15, 2009

Model Airplane Workshop
9:00 - 11:00 am

Construct your own rubber-band-propelled model airplane with the DC Maxecuters, then try a test flight in the Great Hall. Ages 8 and up. 

Prepaid registration required by March 12, 2009. 
Learn More.

Flying in the Great Hall
11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Watch as the DC Maxecuters fly their model airplanes in and across the Great Hall!
FREE. Drop-in demonstration program. All ages.

Summer Camp at NBM  

Summer Camp at the NBM

Two-week sessions for campers entering grades 3-5 in fall 2009

Sign up today!

Building Artists
July 13-24, 2009
Discover the Museum's great architecture through different artistic mediums. Learn about the building arts through creative movement, visual art, pop up architecture, and even puppetry!

Worldly Builders
July 27-August 7, 2009
Take a trip without ever leaving D.C. to three regions from around the world to explore their structures and cultures. Discover through hands-on activities what makes Russia, Greece, and Alaska "green", aesthetically pleasing, and exciting.

Young Designers
August 10-21, 2009
What makes D.C. a great U.S. capital? Using visual art, photography, storytelling, and building arts activities, redesign a new capital that celebrates the ideas and diversity of young people today!


National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day  

National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day & Opening Ceremony
March 28, 2009
10:00 am - 5:30 pm

Join the National Building Museum and the National Cherry Blossom Festival in celebrating the annual opening of Washington, D.C.'s cherry blossom season. This annual family day invites visitors of all ages to enjoy hands-on activities, captivating martial arts demonstrations, and exciting indoor and outdoor performances that explore Japanese arts and design.

Learn More

The National Cherry Blossom Festival(R) Family Day and Opening Ceremony is sponsored by Target(R). The event is also supported by The Home Depot, The Washington Examiner, and Westwood College.

NBM Logo 401 F Street NW Washington DC 20001 | 202.272.2448 | Red Line Metro, Judiciary Square
Free Admission | Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11 am-5pm



Sunday, March 08, 2009

Separated at Birth? - Updated

The latest installment in an occasional series.

I was first alerted to the presence of Chris Dane Owens by the folks over at Coilhouse and immediately started "Chris Rolling" my friends with his video. Then the other day Ann Coulter's ghastly mug appeared on my screen for a few moments spouting nonsense. Sometime later it dawned on me that Chris Dane Owens and Ann Coulter were twins who were separated at birth.

I won't speculate on whether or not one or the other of them may have had gender reassignment surgery, I'll leave that the commentariat. I report, you decide.

UPDATED!! At WifeRat's suggestion, I added the Nelson twins to the mix. If I had more free time and some programming skill I'm sure I could make a funny game out of this, but this will have to do for now.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Answer is NO!

Earlier this week I found myself seriously contemplating retiring from being an active Young Boy rugger. You don't want to be a guy who hangs on too long and loses the respect and admiration of his mates and opponents that has been earned over the course of many years by thinking too much of yourself and your abilities.

As I sit here on the couch; with a golf ball sized lump on my head, a bag of ice on my ankle, and just about every muscle in my body begging for relief that will not come any time soon; I know that I do still have something left in the tank. Perhaps even more than I suspected. I know that the time for me to retire has not come yet and probably will not come any time soon.

I don't think I played particularly well today in large part because I'm so out of shape. I wasn't bad, I didn't embarrass myself but I could feel the years and the lack of training over the last nine months. My quads were still aching from Thursday nights practice when I left the house this morning and I cramped up about five minutes into the second half of the game against the Hooligans.

My body wasn't there, but my mind, my rugby mind is sharper than ever. It seems with every passing year as I lose another step or half a step, I see the field better. The game slows down around me as I see holes open up that I wouldn't have seen five years ago or I see where my opponent is going with the ball before he even has it in his hands. This knowledge, this vision will help me continue to be a player who can dominate a game and be a force on the field, but only if it's in conjunction with a more intense training program.

My body is screaming at me and I know that I have no choice now but to start working out outside of the one night a week I make it to practice. There's no other way that a guy who is closing in on 40 can be an effective utility forward (the only thing I can't do in the scrum is hook) unless he keeps his fitness up. Even though I've never been much for weight lifting and conditioning outside of practice, I will start now because this game is like an infection, a virus, a sickness with me and I hope that I never recover.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

jimmy valentine's lonely hearts club - Weekend of March 6-8

this friday, 3/6, Sinister Intelligence Agency sorts through their tastemaker's grab bag ranging from indie to industrial, AND AND AND they're bringing Digit216 down from NYC to blast out a gravity-bending d&b set, word is your face might melt

this saturray, 3/7, doors open at 9 for the THE BOOSHIE BALL (flier below). we're white-knuckled in anticipation for what purports to be quite the sensory overload as local designer Ginger Bray shows off her latest line in fabulous women's fashion while DJ's Sammy K & Hanik, Ray Casil, John Michael, & Dan Soda throw down slamming house and techno (some of you may (or may not!) remember john & dan's block-shaking 6 hour set at our last Johnson & Johnson party (the monday before inauguration)). we've been told to expect champagne & models, professional video stimulus, a raffle for one of Ginger's custom designs... apparently all we're missing is scooby & the mystery machine, though perhaps mr. guiness will make one of his pet-me-i'm-needy appearances. great dance music guaranteed, this will definitely be a blast

and of course every sunday y'all can battle D Thrett on the old skool nintendo (she got a refurbished one w/ the original controls), 2 player games like Mario Bros., Dick Tracy, Milon's Secret Castle, Hudsons Adventure Island, Friday the 13th... it's, like... culture

you been warned

jvlhc krewe

(Click for full-sized image)


Monday, March 02, 2009

Time to Hang 'Em Up?

This Thursday will start my tenth year of playing rugby. I've had a good run; I was Captain of my team for a few years and held several different positions on the team's executive board but managed to avoid being President. In retrospect that was probably a mistake because I was Match Secretary for three years running.

The Match Secretary sets the team's schedule, is generally responsible for the majority of the day-to-day logistics (getting directions to the team for away games or getting your opponent directions to your home field, making sure you have a lit field to practice on, a field where you can play games, getting the fields lined, etc.) of running a rugby team. Because our union is run by miserable shitheels, each team has to fend for itself with regard to fields, so it's a never ending struggle to say the least.

According to WifeRat, every year for the last 3 or 4 years I start talking about hanging up my boots. Not Timberland boots, rugby boots. Almost all of the rugby slang and terminology used in the States is British in origin because there is no distinctive American rugby culture. So your cleats are "boots", your rugby gear is your "kit", and you talk about your 'mates; not because we're trying to sound snobby and British but simply because there are no American words for those things and rough American translations always sound kind of goofy.

Anyway, I guess before I made some sort of half-hearted offer to retire from being a full-time, active player just to make sure it's still cool with the wife that I kept playing rugby. At this point I think we all know that I'll never stop playing all together until I am physically unable to roll my old bones onto the field. But there's a big difference between turning up for a couple of B-sides each season and the Old Boy/Young Boy game and actually being a fully committed player.

The difference this year is that I'm really not sure I want to keep playing. A lot has changed in the time since the Spring 2008 season ended; I coached my first team, my Dad died, and my wife is pregnant with our second child. All of these things bring a new perspective and new challenges.

Coaching for the first time really opened my eyes to the fact that after my playing days are over I still have something to give this game that I have come to love so much. I always knew that I would be a good coach, for many years I worked as a technical trainer; breaking down subjects and making them understandable, creating documentation, and commanding rooms full of people who all thought they were the smartest person in the room. Still, just like I was shocked at how eagerly my teammates made me their leader and followed me without question as Captain. I was just as surprised to find that my young charges at MSUM Rugby wanted me to ride their asses, to correct them, and to push them harder than they could push themselves as their coach.

It was exhilarating to say the least. I heard myself starting to sound like my high school football coaches reflexively telling my players, "Hurry back, hurry back!" at the end of each repetition of a drill. I loved standing on the sled, lining up my players, and seeing them explode like a fist each time I yelled, "ENGAGE!" I finally came to understand the weird, sadistic glee that my coaches always seemed to take in running us until we barfed. I dunno, maybe it was just all the yelling I really enjoyed.

Without a rugby team to keep me anchored I don't know what I would have done out in Fargo in the wake of my Father's death, so I owe those boys out there a debt that I can never repay. Being back in DC has brought the old man's passing into sharp focus for me, just like I knew it would. I have all kinds of shit related to Dad's passing to deal with, not the least of which is a now empty 3 family house in Newark that needs to be sold. Can someone explain to me how a man who kept every single bit of documentation, for every toy he ever bought his Granddaughter in a neatly labeled folder dies WITHOUT HAVING A FUCKING WILL?!?!?!?!?

In the immediate aftermath of my Father's death, when my Mom felt like I wasn't doing enough she told my sister that I don't take care of her I take care of my wife. To which my response is, "No shit Sherlock." Apparently my Mom has forgotten that she and my Grandmother had similar pissing matches over whether or not my family came to visit her often enough and a whole host of other issues including who should sit in the front seat when my Mom, Dad, and Grandmother were in the car together.

Women in the audience who have sons, please do not engage in this kind of "Woe is me," horse shit when your son gets married it will cause him great pain. Married women, please be patient with your husband when your Mother-in-law goes for the psychological Cobra Clutch Backbreaker and reduces him to whimpering pile of neurosis.

Another soul will be joining our family this Summer. Naturally this means that the few moments I get for myself each week, will be reduced to approximately no moments for about six months after the new kid gets here. I knew this ahead of time, but I have to wonder if the last few months before my home is invaded by a screaming shit machine should be spent playing grab ass with my friends or doing home improvement projects that won't get done for several years if they don't happen now. There's also the fact that BabyRat is starting to show some interest in playing sports herself and if she has a game at the same time I have a game, I know I'm shit outta luck.

The last few years as I've adjusted to being a family man, I've felt like if I didn't keep playing rugby the little part of myself and my life that I keep just for me would wither and die. Now I know that piece of me will never go away; it might become infinitesimally small, it may never see the light of day, but it will always still be there. This is the life I chose for myself, I have no regrets and the joy that my family brings me makes up for the sacrifices I know I must make to do right by them a million times over.

If I choose to keep playing I know WifeRat will support me, but the question I continue to ask myself is: do I have anything left? I finished the Spring '08 season strong; I led the team to a tournament win playing tighthead prop for four games and scored four tries that day. Of course, the next week I got folded, spindled, and mutilated by a PAC team that was out for blood.

I'm not sure which of those guys was the real me. Was it the guy who limped off the field after getting destroyed by a Super League front row or was it the guy who showed the next generation of young bucks how you win a tournament? I guess I'll find out on Thursday night when I go to practice.