Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lent may be over, but I’m giving something new up…

Hmmm, been a while since I’ve been around here. Suffice it to say, I’ve been a bit busy the past month or so. You know, the normal things: planning a 500th anniversary, a murder, a frame-up … oh, wait, I’ve already used that one. A couple of times. So sue me for being unoriginal. (Whoop! Whoop! Foreshadowing alert! Foreshadowing alert! Whoop! Whoop!)

OK, so, new house eats up a good chunk of time – it’s been a little more than half an hour (two months) and things are still getting arranged and rearranged. I’ve been riding my bike more – I set a goal of 200 miles in April. Didn’t reach it, but I did pretty well (almost 150). And then there’s work. Lots and lots of work.

So there’re my reasons for not being around here as much as I’d like. That doesn’t mean I don’t have things to say. Not by a long shot. For instance, I’ve decided to give up pizza. OK, not all pizza, just one type in particular.

Seriously, do you think I could give this up?

Pictures courtesy of Titania

This was my lovely dinner (the one with the piece missing is mine. I couldn’t wait for the picture, I’d had a long ride that day and was starving) last Sunday at Red Rocks in Columbia Heights. Give this up? All this meaty, saucy, cheesy goodness? Not a chance of that in this reality or any other you could imagine in the deepest, darkest recesses of your minds.

Special bonus pic: These were the appetizers, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus (near) and bruschetta drizzled with olive oil with sliced prosciutto and salami. Ummm, sliced meat.

What I am giving up is Papa John’s pizza (please try not to judge me). It’s nothing close to Red Rocks, but it’s generally serviceable and good when you’re in a pinch and want to order some delivery. Most of the time when I order a pizza it all comes down to whichever one of the big three has the best special. In the future, that line up will not include Papa John’s.

Why is this you ask? Well today – and probably in the past to tell you the truth – I got one of PJ’s emails telling me about its special for Thursday and Friday. This special celebrates the start of the NFL draft. And, while I’m not too pleased with the NFL – both owners and players – that’s now what’s causing my ire.

It was the subject line of the ad: “From the Official Pizza of the Washington R******s – Papa John’s!”

Yep, because PJ’s reminded me it’s the “Official Pizza of the Washington R******s” I shall not patronize it’s products in the future.

Chief among the reasons for this decision, no pun intended – OK, maybe a little pun – is the name. I have friends who have native American blood in their veins who are offended by the team’s name, so who am I to argue? It is an offensive name and anyone who denies this – I’m looking at you Mr. S####r* – is lying to themselves and the world.

The second reason is because the team, plain and simple, sucks. Inept play has become a hallmark of D.C.’s beloved R******s. This is a direct result of the poor management of the above named Mr. S####r. Team owners, like children, should be seen and not heard.

Finally, and this the big reason for boycott of PJ’s is this lawsuit: Daniel M. Snyder v. Creative Loafing Inc., CL Washington, Inc. (d/b/a Washington City Paper), and Dave McKenna

As a former journalist, I take a dim view of anyone who tries to silence a reporter or newspaper through the threat of legal action. In case you haven’t heard, Mr. S####r is suing The City Paper and columnist Dave McKenna for the article "The Cranky R******s Fan’s Guide to Dan S####r: From A to Z (for Zorn), an encyclopedia of the owner's many failings."


I read the article and, while I can understand why Mr. S####r might be a little annoyed by the it, it looked to me like McKenna sourced all of his allegations pretty well. The problem with suing someone for libel is that, generally speaking, the truth is an absolute defense. As I was taught in J-school, it doesn’t matter how much someone doesn't like something, as long as it’s true, you can’t sue. (In honor of the late Johnny Cochran.) Actually, you can sue, but you’ll never win.

Also, does Mr. S####r think he’s actually going to find 12 jurors in the District (where he moved his action) who actually like him to find in his favor? If they’re R******s fans, they’re going to hate him for his inept management. If they don’t like his allegedly “professional” sports franchise, well, you’re gonna get the same result: a verdict in favor of the defendants.

This is going to be fun to watch. Even without pizza.

* I’m just being safe here, so the “n” “y” “d” and “e” have been replaced to protect the innocent – namely me – from vicious and groundless lawsuits.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Grab your torches and pitchforks

Anyone up for a walk down to the Hill tomorrow night? I'm wondering if looking out their windows and seeing something like this:

might inspire our elected representatives to put aside their petty differences and actually do the People's business. Seriously, do you think we'd get our point across if we surrounded Capitol Hill with people carrying torches and pitchforks? And just stared.

Really hard.

The people we need to get through to are the ones in the middle - no matter how small it is these days. There should be just enough of them to balance out the idiots on the fringes of the left and right to actually get together and actually Pass. The fucking. Budget!

This situation is ridiculous. We are the laughingstock of the world right now. A hard look does need to be taken at the entire budget, but not this one - this year is already shot, just pay the fucking bills and move on. And probably not the next one either - not enough time left to get that done. Now the 2013 budget that's a whole 'nother question. It needs to be looked at now. All of it: Defense, entitlements, social programs, pork. Especially the pork. Get out the knives and start cutting. When we - as a country - owe the world more than $14 trillion we can't even think about a tax cut. I don't care if you believe with all your heart that it will stimulate business. As my dad reminded me and my brothers growing up when we asked for something expensive "We can't afford it."

The 535 "representatives of the People" need to pull their heads out and remember that while they represent the 500k or so people in their individual districts, they work for all of us. And all of us are a bit pissed right now.

And they can be replaced. All of them. And they probably should be.

Here endeth the rant.