Photos: June 2006 Archives

Bureaucratic vigilantism


You may remember the Consumer Vigilantism. So whilst in D.C. and Baltimore we decided to enact the next installment in what is becoming a very weird photo series: Vigilantism. We convinced Dave and Bonnie to join us, as seen below, and we scared lots of people. Beware, the dorkiness may be catching.

THIS is what I think of your high gas prices.


Karate-chopping through the flimsy, striped wooden gate of pork barrel spending.

Dave and Bonnie deliver sharp hooks.


Clicky for the whole series.

"A little part of me can't help but wish that my father's name was on there."

"Yeah, but then you wouldn't be here."

"I guess I've finally found something about him to be thankful for."

Happy Father's Day to all of the men worth their weight in gold (Chris).

During the last day of our trip Dave and Bonnie took us to the Edgar Allan Poe house and his grave site. I've been a fan of Poe since my early days as an angst-laden teenager who listened to Joy Division on her headphones while stretching for a track meet and scowling at cheerleaders. I loved his use of meter and the hollow, aching loneliness he conveyed through his words because sometimes I felt it, too. I practically ate everything the man wrote and now all he's ever written sits on our bookshelves.
To visit his grave site, for me, is like visiting Graceland.

Except that Poe's house isn't a tacky, real-life metaphor of what exploitation and excess can do via celebrity; in fact, his legend survives much as Poe himself did in life. The Poe House, his museum, sits in the ghetto across the street from the half-burnt shell of a house. All of the buildings on the block have thick iron bars in the windows. The museum is a sad, weensy house with barely the room to stand upright inside; Poe lived there for several years. His chair, college lap desk, telescope, bits of his hair, old clippings, and a copy of his wife's death portrait - the odd, 19th century custom of dressing up your dead loved ones for a pre-Glamour Shots sitting - are all on exhibit. Poe's real story, not the obfuscation of him as a drunkard and doper, the story taught in high school by those who never read past his popular work, is told. The story of a man whose jealous rivals attempted to rip him to shreds in the papers, rivals who lied about him, blacklisted him, and tried to snuff out his legend. Their lack of literary skill, when compared to his, drove them to the desperate and pathetic measures exclusive to hacks.

The literature on visiting the grave was unsettling ("Beware of beggars, they may try to steal your money!") but the cemetery itself, serenely situated at Westminster Church, was beautiful. It could qualify as a Tim Burton set. Poe's current grave lies at the cemetery's entrance, marked by a large monumental tombstone; his original resting place is located down the twisting path through the catacombs.
I took some shots of the tombstones (rubbings were prohibited) because they were old, beautiful, and just plain cool-looking.

Click for all Poe shots.

I want to spread him on a cracker


This is Hudson:

He's the delicious pad of butter with whom we stayed in Baltimore. His favorite food is table and he always looks either pleasant or surprised.

Does he not have hair reminiscent of a pineapple stalk? I could EAT HIM, he's that adorable. His dad thinks so, too. Here he is devouring his child, toe by toe, in public:

Hudson's "Blue Steel" look, inspired by Derek Zoolander:

Our cousins, Dave and Bonnie:

We stayed at their gorgeously-restored historic home and decided that if we could be like any other people in the world besides ourselves, we'd choose to be like them because they are as genuinely good as you can get of people. That and Bonnie has perfect skin. PERFECT!

Back from D.C.


We made it back from D.C. unscathed and unpoliticized, which is hard to do in a town that wears its neurosis on its sleeve. The people there are insane. They drive crazy. They walk crazy - they power-walk. In heels! - they even eat crazy. Whereas crosswalks mean "slow down for pedestrians" in every other normal place on earth, they mean the exact opposite in D.C. I had to sprint across the crosswalk - much like a gazelle shoots across an open plain - just to make it safely to the sidewalk. Washington is a jungle of monuments, traffic cones, and tourists. I felt some sort of reverence while visiting all of the monuments.
That's a photo set for another time.
When we approached the Lincoln Memorial I fell silent as though I was sitting in a church pew.

We stayed in Baltimore with the ever-awesome and aforementioned Bonnie and Dave and their baby, Hudson. I affectionately referred to Hudson as "pineapple" and "cornstalk head" the entire time due to his sprig of fine blonde hair which stands straight up at the top of his head. He is one of the tastiest-looking babies I've ever seen. His little feet fit perfectly on hamburger buns.

I took the MARC into D.C. most mornings and cabs everywhere else within the city. St. Louis should perk up and take note: D.C. has an awesome public transportation system. The city (and outlying areas) is entirely accessible by Metro, MARC, bus, or cab.

On Thursday Dave told Chris to drive me to the city in his Mercedes Benz Ridiculously-Swanky-Class. MERCEDES. BENZ. BLACK. WITH GPS. They allowed us to take their car, which has a retail value higher than that of a child, to D.C. even after reading this.
Bonnie calls the GPS system the Navigation Wench. The Wench forbids you to get lost and prevents such an occurrence by nagging you to death:

"Prepare to turn left. Turn left 700 feet. Turn left 200 feet. Turn left now. TURN LEFT NOW."

I don't know if I imagined it, but sometimes I thought she became slightly irate.

St. Louis should also take note: D.C.'s parking situation SUCKS. The day that we took the Mercedes for a joyride we stopped to lunch at the Chop Shop something-or-other restaurant which features the best beer I've ever had - a rich vanilla stout. We parked across the street in one of the two-hour slots. We walked out of the restaurant and got to the car at approx. 4:10 p.m. and noticed that an over-zealous, satanic meter maid gifted us a $100 parking ticket for parking in a spot that, apparently, you can't park in between 4-6 p.m. The ticked said it was "clearly marked" which it SO WAS NOT. There was a tiny, nondescript sticker on the meter which read "4-6 p.m." and that was it.
(Addendum: We tried to contest it and they were all "Yeah...we don't care.")

Click here to view the D.C. set. You might notice that I started running out of ideas with the captions. Sorry.

Things you missed while I was SOL


1) Ewan now screams "MEATS!" full blast in a voice sounding not unlike someone would sound while wrestling with a particularly stubborn bowel movement.

2) Ewan also began saying "No" in an I'm-being-mugged-in-a-dark-alley kinda way.

3) My 17-year-old cousin is living with us while recording her album. Her name is Andi. Her milkshake will most DEFINITELY NOT be bringing any pimpletons to my yard.

3.5) A group of rogue ants ate the caulking from under our front door.

4) My boobs shrank a cup size. ?

5) I received a buttload of e-mails from people asking if I was hurt or pregnant and is that why the site isn't up, when is the site going to be up.

5.5) Marc Anthony's guitarist recorded a part for his upcoming album at Chris's studio.

6) I've learned that I suck royally at CSS.

7) I uploaded 323 photos from our D.C. trip. They'll be online starting Monday.

8) We attempted to finish finishing our basement and then were all "This is hard. Let's go get some tacos." We've yet to finish.

9) Liam discovered that his Darth Sidious action figure will not flush. This was realized on Sidious's pretend "underwater cave exploring mission" while I was in the shower.

9.5) I had a meeting at the Post, the first time I've ever walked in the building, and engaged in a lengthy discussion on the Civil War with the coolest security guard ever while waiting for the elevator.

10) Chris is warming up to the idea of a daughter. You all shut your mouths. Just shut your mouths!

Bonus! Chris sitting in Edgar Allan Poe's chair!

And a Baltimore church!

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Dana asks: "Thanksgiving Traditions: Yours or Your Mother's?"