People need to stop posting Charlie Sheen references

I know, I know. This post has absolutely NOTHING to do with Washington, DC. But after the 14th straight day of having to sift through “funny” Facebook and Twitter status messages that reference one of Sheen’s drug and prostitute -fueled quotes, I am ready to quit reading.

As a blogger (even a conscripted one, such as myself), a common strategy is to see what is trending on Twitter. It’s a pretty consistent way of gauging which topics will have the most traction. That being said, admitting anything I have ever written was at all influenced by twitter is grounds for my own euthanasia. Anyway, much to my dismay, “#winning” and “#tigerblood” were at the very top of the list. Want an example of what one such person thought was pressing enough to share with the rest of the world?

Despite all logic and decency saying otherwise, thanks to Charlie Sheen, Twitter has actually become more stupid.

Look, I get that us white folks love quoting things more than we even love camping or Michel Gondry, but how have you people not learned the lessons of Dave Chappelle, those awful Budweiser “Wassup?” guys, or the countless other catchphrases that we killed before it? I hate to be the one to tell you this, but reposting “funny quotes” does not have some sort of transitive property – you won’t suddenly become funny because of it. If anything, it will have the opposite effect:

Yesterday an acquaintance posted a legitimately funny picture, with the caption “Winning”. I informed him that Charlie Sheen quotes have jumped the shark and his caption detracted from the post. He responded by saying “the phrase ‘jumping the shark’ had jumped the shark and should be retired.” I rebutted with this:

God, it’s absurd how much I owned him there.

At the end of the day, the same cretins that make these posts are to blame for them even existing in the first place. At best, Charlie Sheen is a sad drug addict that clearly has some very serious mental health problems and should be treated. At worst, he is a woman-beating sociopath that should be in jail. But, for some reason, the majority of Americans are so serially unfunny they’ve made the abnormally retarded “Two and Half Men” the most popular show of the past decade, causing Charlie Sheen to make $2,000,000.00 an episode to fund his own private whore island.

The best thing to do is to stop reposting his rants, stop watching his stupid shows and move on to something a bit more challenging. It will force him to get the help he needs, save me from wanting to annihilate everything and just maybe it will make you a little funnier.  Who knows, maybe pretty soon we’ll go back to intelligent commentary like this:

-IronCityspy

Happy International Women’s Day

We’re equals, aren’t we 007?

In one of the best videos honoring International Women’s Day, Dame Judi Dench and Daniel Craig deliver a poignant assessment of challenges facing women’s equality. You should watch:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkp4t5NYzVM&feature=player_embedded#at=103]

There are few things I care more about in this world than women’s rights. We have come far in the fight for women’s equality. However, despite our exceptional progress, challenges persist. Women continue to be vulnerable to domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment both in the United States and abroad. Honor killings are real. Women seek asylum. Caregivers are not given the support and recognition they deserve. In the workforce, women are  paid less and hold fewer executive positions. Single mothers fear losing their job in order to take time for their child, while new mothers fear the same for having theirs.

In recognition of International Women’s Day, take the time to honor of the women who inspire you. It is the least we can do.

-DCspy

Yikes: A month of DC metro headlines

Convenience - brought to you by WMATA

So in my mind, I felt that DC metro has become a hotter topic of late. It seems like everyday the news reports that Metro escalators are slingshotting people, ipods are getting stolen, or politicians are trying to ignore the malfunctioning elephant in the room, which is easy to do since they don’t actually ride the metro. But then I wanted to proof. I wanted to see whether Metro was really that newsworthy, or I was just surrounded by people that constantly complain. After taking 30 minutes to search February headlines, the results are in. And, well, Jesus WMATA:

Feb 8 – DC Metro escalators just cleverly disguised “surprise stairs”

Feb 10 – Metro Board Floats Idea of Ending Weekend Late-Night Service

Feb 11 – House Republicans propose deep cuts to Metro budgets

Feb 14 – Metro equipment found at worker’s home

Feb 18 – Metro Grade: How dirty is Metro, and does it matter?

Feb 19 - Escalator falls apart at Foggy Bottom Station

Feb 22 – McDonnell treads carefully on Metro funding

Feb 23 – Metro Explores Corporate Sponsorships

Feb 23 – Electronic Device Theft Problem On Metro

Feb 24 - Serious crime on Metro hits 5-year high

Mar 3 – D.C. ACLU Preparing to Sue Over Metro Bag Searches

Mar 4 – Congress could cut Millions from Metro and MARC budgets

Yeah. So in one month Metro has succeeded to be broken, broke, dirty, dangerous and discriminatory (allegedly). It’s customers and employees both steal things. Republicans and Democrats, both local and national, are united in not wanting to give it more money. It’s broken escalators terrify old people, it’s new proposed service cuts terrify the young. I doubt corporate america will touch it. And, lest we forget, last November this happened:

Video: L’Enfant Plaza Escalator Malfunction: MyFoxDC.com

The Los Angeles times reported on this accident last week. Yes beloved reader(s), WMATA dysfunction has gone Hollywood. I am not sure what will happen in the coming months, but from one SPY, in one google search, conducted in one hour, it doesn’t look good.

Oh, and the metro will be awful this weekend. From 10 p.m. Friday through midnight Sunday, the Orange Line between Stadium-Armory and New Carrollton will be closed. There will also be no Blue Line service between Stadium-Armory and Benning Road. The Washington Post reports that there are no good bus or train alternative to the free shuttles. Details here.

Happy Weekend!

The Mormons are killing college basketball

I love this time of year. The days are starting to get longer, the weather grows increasingly warm and the beautiful people are finally running outside again. Moreover, we are entering the conference tournament season for college basketball — which means March Madness is just around the corner. Locally, both the Hoyas and Mason are locks to join the big dance and (hopefully) make some noise. But while DC is euphoric, the disciples of Joseph Smith are considerably less so. Let me explain:

"Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb"

Continue reading

Stupid sun rain and other Friday links

Oh, hi weather. This isn’t a tease or anything. It’s sunny, but pouring. Oh wait, it’s sunny again — I guess I can venture outside. Nope! Windstorm and downpour — despite there being almost no cloud cover. I am sure there is some kind of atmospheric explanation for this phenomenon (err, climate change?), but frankly I don’t have time for learning. All I know is it’s stupid and shouldn’t be tolerated. Speaking of intolerable, you are stuck with another IronCityspy post as Spy is in the midst of interviews and various networking engagements. Let’s see if I can scrounge up any interesting links for you all:

Oh good -- sun rain

Spy will be back next week — happy Friday!

-IronCtyspy

Who are DC’s best residents?

So we have decided to do something incredibly dangerous and unreasonably irresponsible. We are going to rely on you, the theoretical readers, to help complete an upcoming blog post. Yes the same readers that have sent no fewer than three death threats, accused spy of being something that rhymes with “bunt” and apparently think Christians are an oppressed minority.

It's amazing what Google Images spits out

So what is the glorious task your motherblog requires of you? We are attempting to write about the top 5 DC residents, and want to make sure we have as deep a pool as possible. DC is home to world-famous authors, journalists, personalities, chefs and more — and we want to be sure we celebrate them.  However there is a bit of a catch; we really want to stay away from mentioning politicos. Why?

  1. It’s cheating as most of these people are only here on the short-term, and almost all of them bitch publicly about how they’d rather be in their podunk district.
  2. It just confirms how nerdy we are — a stereotype some of us would like to revise, if not abolish completely.

So we need you, our readers, to start submitting your favorite citizens. We make no promise to use your suggestions — and may even mock them — but we want to make sure no stone is left unturned. In addition to the above criteria, here are a few other helpful hints:

  • Anyone with the last name “Obama” is disqualified
  • The Salahi’s absolutely don’t count. If your submissions are such big fame whores that they’d be willing to be interviewed by this blog, they certainly don’t belong.
  • For the love of God no pundits.
  • If a single “Real Housewife” is mentioned, I’ll throw myself out a window.

With all that out of the way, please feel free to send your submission to ispythingsdc@gmail.com, or just leave them as a comment. We’ll be posting later this week — or next — or whenever we get around to it.

-IronCityspy

This post is late thanks to the Metro

Dear Reader(s),

The post you were going to get today was set to be grand. It was supposed to have it all; intrigue, drama, excitement, adventure, romance, et al.  Your beloved IronCityspy woke up early this morning to ensure the dozen or so of you would have a brand new entry to greet your day. Then this happened:

Typical day on the Red Line

Thankfully I was able to save a transcript of this morning:

8:25 a.m [IronCityspy]: “What a glorious Winter morning! [checks watch] Aces, I’ll be 10 minutes early for work today! [Begins to whistle].

8:31 a.m. [IronCityspy enters Dupont Metro, all escalators are broken]: “Well this is highly irregular… I am sure this is just some sort of preventative maintenance for all of our safety!”

8:33 a.m. Metro leaves Dupont Station en route to Shady Grove

835 a.m. Metro arrives at Woodley Park

836 a.m. Metro abruptly stops in-between Woodley Park and Cleveland Park. [Train conductor]: “We’ll be moving shortly — there is a small issue on the track ahead”.

8:45 a.m. [Train conductor, shouting]: “THERE IS A SITUATION AHEAD. WE NEED TO TURN AROUND AND HEAD BACK TO DUPONT. REMAIN SEATED!!!”. Fellow passengers appear to either be praying or making some sort of final preparations.

8:48 a.m. Train safely arrives at Dupont Station. [Train conductor]: “This train will continue on to Shady Grove. Do not leave train”. [New passengers heading in the direction of Shady Grove pile on].

8:53 a.m. [Train Conductor] “Attention passengers, this train is headed towards Glenmont. All headed to Shady Grove please disembark”

8:54 a.m. [IronCityspy has aneurysm]

So if you are keeping count at home, DC’s public transportation took 30 minutes to get me to the exact spot I started from. And what was the issue that caused the the train conductors to prepare for the rapture? Why a small insulator fire on the track. I don’t even know what a  metro insulator is, but I am willing to bet my life wasn’t exactly hanging on the precipice.

Metro, as a rule I try not to complain about you too much. I knew when I signed up to live here that I’d be dealing with the clown college of the urban transportation systems. But you caused my beloved readers to miss out on a masterpiece — something I can not forgive.

-IronCityspy

30 days of DC: #2 You can watch a play and plan Lincoln’s assassination simultaneously

Yes, I am talking about Ford’s Theater. You know, your local neighborhood theater that President Lincoln happened to be assassinated in. Personally, I think date night to Ford’s Theater is one of the most awesome DC date nights you can do, which is why it makes the list. Even though it was closed for renovation in January, it reopened TODAY. Here’s are 5 reasons its a must:

  1. They show awesome plays. I went to Ford’s Theater one Valentine’s Day and saw Jitney by August Wilson. Although I am partial to Wilson given his Pittsburgh roots, it was a damn fine play. The award-winning Carpetbagger’s Children is currently playing.
  2. It is a beautiful theater. The massive presidential box where Lincoln sat, the deep red floors, the old (but still comfy) seats. You can feel how the assassination must have felt. You aren’t all that far from Lincoln. If the moribund intrigues you, you can even plan an assassination in your MIND
  3. If you are the cheapest date on the planet you can take a tour for free. While the tour offerings vary daily, you can often see the museum, the theater, or hear a ranger talk about the history. $2.5o if you want to splurge for an advance ticket. You can also see the house Lincoln died in (the Peterson house) for free across the street, although that is currently closed for maintenance until Spring 2011.
  4. Once you finish the play you are in effing Penn Quarter at 10th and E (i.e. DC restaurant CENTRAL). The Chinatown/Penn Quarter restaurants are some of the best ,so walk over to one of Jose Andres’s many establishments OR Proof OR District Chophouse, OR anything really!
  5. They offer activities for kids. Now, I hesitated to include this because, let’s be honest, historically-themed kid’s activities are terrible. Nobody wants to play with a hoop and a stick. HOWEVER, in honor of Lincoln’s birthday, the theater is doing special family events during the day starting January 29th. You can find all the details here. Let’s just say, for kid-friendly things, they are not that bad. No petting zoos.

The end of a typical date night to Ford's Theater

Look, Lincoln was effing assassinated in your neighborhood theater. Literally nowhere else in the world can say that. Parlay this piece of history into a Penn Quarter date night and you will look like the most hip and cultured boyfriend/partner/psuedo-dating companion ever. Just saying.

Why are people so disappointed when DC reality TV fails?

So, in the wake of Top Chef DC, DC Cupcakes and Real Housewives DC pulling in mediocre ratings, the blogosphere was ablaze with posts about how DC sucks at reality TV. The posts were written in the familiar self-deprecating tone, taken time and again by bloggers seemingly hell bent on portraying DC as the poor man’s NYC.

Sigh. Why don't we have crazy housewives?

Our hip eateries are hip, but not hip enough, our reality shows are good, but not good enough, our trends are timely but not timely enough. And now, our wealthy and stupid housewives are wealthy and stupid, but unfortunately, not wealthy and stupid enough. Sigh. We can only dream of reaching the collagen-filled levels of “dramz” of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Don't you wonder what makes her tick?

So, instead of people in DC rejoicing in the fact that DC may be a bit too cerebral for “Real Housewives” (we were voted America’s most literate city), the blogosphere issued their proverbial sigh over DC’s seemingly perpetual runner-up status. And why not? I know I have lost sleep over why our cupcake show wasn’t the most popular iteration of cake-based programming on television. OH GOD WHYYYYY?!

courtesy of Zombie Cupcakes

Jesus. ENOUGH DC. Real housewives of DC failed because no self-respecting political wife would commit reputational suicide by going on that show.  We should be PROUD of this. DC’s reality TV is the effing presidency. It’s the Supreme Court, the Pentagon, and Congress. So why do we give a sh*t about a stupid reality TV franchise?

DC, Always the sidekick

It’s this self-deprecation that frames DC as a NYC bizarre stepsister. In reality, the cities are not comparable. We are not the hometown of the Haiti Relief Concert singers, but we are the city sending people to HAITI. Do I want great DC fashion? Yes. Do I want delicious restaurants? Of course. But do I want us copying whatever’s trendy with the gusto of a high school teen attempting to climb the social ladder? No. We shortchange ourselves by doing that.

So no more cupcakes, no more yogurt, no more Housewives, instead I have decided to do a series every Friday, called 30 days of DC, which highlights awesome things you can do ONLY in DC. They will not be long, because I dislike many words, but they will be things you can only do here.

STARTS 1/14/2011!

DC Christmas tree pickup is shockingly depressing

Most of us DC transplants grew up in a suburb in some form or fashion. Well, except for those really, really irritating Manhattan bastards that can’t understand how we survived not being in a city. “Didn’t you find it stifling?!?!” Of course we found it stifling! Every second of our adolescence was nothing more than a prolonged, awkward, stifled existence. That trial by fire is part of the reason we are so well adjusted — unlike our Manhattanite counterparts that are clearly excellent candidates for stabbing.

Charlie Brown has nothing on this

Anyway, it was always a sad day when the Christmas trees came down and we had to reenter school. Thankfully, I never really had to witness that mental carnage. The tree was usually taken down while I was at school, and the local garbageman had disposed of it before my return. If he did not, the tree would wait outside my house, wrapped in it’s own skirt that weeks earlier held presents. There was a sort of nice poetry in that — leaving the world wrapped in something that was a part of that tree’s very existence. I am not trying to be sentimental, as I know the tree doesn’t exactly care what becomes of it, but visually I always thought that was nice.

Well apparently DC missed this memo. As TBD reported, starting last week, DC is now picking up discarded Christmas trees. It was supposed to have happened all of last week, but considering not a single one was removed from an 8 block radius of my apartment, it doesn’t surprise me that they will now continue pickup until the 15th.

Yea, this doesn't destroy your soul on the way to work

So what is the proper way to dispose of trees in our nation’s capital? Why, throw them in the nearest tree box of course! Should we wrap them in that nice skirt? Nope! Just your naked, depressing tree. Don’t worry about the 1,000 needles that are going to fall off in the process, all part of the Christmas miracle!

This wouldn’t be so bad if DC were at all quick in their collection of the trees. However, seeing as they seem to think collecting them is a seasonal endeavor, I have to literally pass my old tree on the way to work EVERY DAY. As if walking to work in the cold, gray DC winter wasn’t depressing enough. Now I get to do so being surrounded by a sort of Christmas tree holocaust.

So DC, how about doing us a favor? Going back to real life is sad enough. But being surrounded by the corpses of holiday cheer really doesn’t help matters — so can you please try to pick those trees up in the next week or so? Much obliged.

-IronCityspy