Escaping the Suburban Rhythm

let’s be real here…

September 12, 2009
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I know I don’t use this much anymore, but I think if I weren’t already out today for another event, I would not have come across these “tea party-ers” that have swarmed upon DC today to oppose President Obama’s health care reform plan, and I would not have been made so angry by all these people and thus would not be encouraged to blog.

Last month, during the insanity going on at all of the town hall meetings, my friend Rik had wanted me to post his opinions on here, basically saying that people who are uninformed about the health care reform should have no right to speak. Then again, he is also an elitist, so I take his words with a grain of salt sometimes haha.

But, in a sense, there is so much information that is out there about the current health care legislation, and some of the more “conservative media” (i.e. Fox News and Rush Limbaugh) are peddling the misinformation, while really no one in the media is stepping up to even explain the health care bill in common sense terms. I don’t have much expertise in health care, being that education is the main thing I (want to) do, but I read CRS reports since I knew that would break down the bills. But instead, it seems that people like Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck are making a mockery of everything for political gain.

So while I was walking back from the event I went to this morning, I could hear the speakers, so I sauntered over to take pictures. A few are below.

There was also a sign that said “Joe Wilson for President” and one that I saw while I was partaking in my earlier event that said “We earn our money! So should you!”

Which defeats the WHOLE purpose of the health care debate, which is that people who ARE working can’t afford health insurance because they receive low wages or are rejected from PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE companies because of the fact that have pre-existing conditions or are dropped from private insurance once they have to have a medical procedure done that would result in a net loss for that person for the health insurance company. And, this leads to market failure, which in turn means that there needs to be some government intervention. Medicare already exists for those with extraordinarily low-income, but for those who are above the Medicare threshold and who can’t buy in to a pool because they are in a small business or self-employed, then there’s an issue that needs to be fixed.

And granted, I have been reading a lot of political theory lately for my ethics class that I’m taking this semester, and I probably would side on John Rawls on his sense of justice…but people should be entitled to health care, if only for people who are sick or ill to maintain their dignity and not have to pay exorbitant amounts of money to receive treatment. Yet I see these people in these tea bag protests waving their “don’t tread on me” and “join or die” flags like this is some sort of constitutional crisis. This isn’t socialism. People can still buy insurance in the private sector if they want, just like people can send their students to private schools if they don’t want their children in a public school. Yet simply because there is a suggestion of a public option, everyone gets thrown into a tizzy. All this does is simply attempt to bring down the cost of insurance for everyone, which means that even those who receive health care throught their employers will possibly see a drop in how much goes out of their paychecks for insurance.

I’m done. Disagree with me if you want, but at the same time, the federal government is already spending a lot of money on health care. Something has to be done to keep the costs from continuing to spiral, even if it means allowing the government to compete for the provision of insurance.

why i’ve chosen siena as my team to follow…

March 21, 2009
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Mason lost a game they should have won in the NIT, a game that shouldn’t have gone into overtime. but noooooo Penn State’s hottest three-point shooter got the ball, Mason didn’t foul, and the ball went in and tie game. ugh. and I was in class, oddly enough, while the AU game was on, but it didn’t matter because I think after spending Tuesday and Wednesday nights working on a paper, and the whole weekend reading and writing another paper, I was ready to collapse on Thursday. a headache I had during my second class of the night was probably due to grad school fatigue.

so now what do I do? find a team that is goofy and should rock the hell out. that team my friends….is Siena.

yes, they will get killed by Louisville most likely, but I was watching the MAAC tourney with the PY since it was on. Although he keeps referring to them as “Burnt Siena” even though the school’s colors are green and white and nothing like the crayola crayon, there was a particular player that piqued his interest because he is on the chubby side. So I went to Siena’s web site to find out who he was…and um…Siena may have the best player profiles EVER. check out the one for the fat man, who loves Entourage. and their star player is nicknamed “Rooster” which the PY finds hilarious for his own reasons. I can really get behind a ridiculous team like that.

although I am kind of pulling for Maryland too, but the only reason is Grevais Vasquez.

ugh, and what’s sad is that I didn’t really watch any of the games the past two days, and I’m really hoping to today. I was originally planning to go to AU to do some research, but I think I might just do the research here instead. I have to print out CRS reports and stuff, but god…march madness is amazing. as long as Duke doesn’t win (although I’m sure they will be in typical form and lose tonight).

march madness what!?!?

March 15, 2009
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my grad school is in the tourney, and Mason could very possibly be in the NIT, which I would get behind.

but. after watching basketball as I’ve been trying to read about spatial mismatches, economic base models, and all that other junk for the past week, I NEED to see Bruce Pearl’s orange jacket of awesomeness go far in the tourney. it must be done. well, as long as it is not accompanied by “Rocky Top” every five minutes, which, unfortunately, you can’t have one without the other.

and um this dude. I only watched the overtimes of that game against UConn and the big east championship yesterday, and yeah. I’m so lame.

so…I know I said I would be better at updating this and I suck. so these are random things from the past couple of weeks that I think need to be mentioned:

1 my metro operator yesterday was apparently upset that people were not spreading out to get on the train, and started giving a “multiplication lesson” between L’Enfant Plaza and FCSW: “I didn’t think I would have to do this but it’s my last trip so here goes. there are six trains, with three doors on each car. 6 x 3 is 18. there are 18 doors on this train. 6 cars…three doors on each…18 total. there you go.”

I think he just wanted to go home hahahaha.

2 The Washington Examiner: I hate this paper so much but I read it in the train in the morning because it’s not Express, which has so many grammatical errors that I want to tear it to shreds when I read it. but!!!! first, the editorial board has the balls to say that DC residents should not have representation in Congress!!! then a few days later, it posts a story saying a third of people in a national poll want Maryland to grab some of DC’s land for residents to gain representation…um, I don’t think people in DC would agree with that.

The to top it off, because there is an Examiner stand a block away from FCSW, I always grab the paper there. but in the past couple of weeks, there has been a guy outside of the station basically trying to shove Examiners in everyone’s hands…which is funny considering that way more people get off at FCSW than get on, and thus have probably already read their free paper when they come out the station. but a couple of times the guy has tried to shove a paper in my hands, even though I already have one, and one day, when I rushed past him, he was all “oh no you di-n’t.” yeah.

ok back to reading about highways, cities, land use. blah.

salve regina and all that…

February 24, 2009
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watching Pitt/Providence right now where Providence is winning, and I just heard the sportscasters interviewing some Providence guy talking about saying “a few novenas” in hoping that the Friars get this upset.

I love Catholic schools!*

god, it is fat tuesday, imagine what the city of Providence will be like if they end up pulling this out.

*note: when I was on my “I want to go to college in a big city” kick in high school, one of the colleges I seriously considered was LaSalle in Philly. I don’t think I would have done so well at a Catholic school.

aww you turned 21, how cute…

February 22, 2009
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proof I am getting old is when someone’s having a 21st birthday party at a bar and I think that it’s cute and start remembering my 21st birthday.

then I realize I’m young when I tell the 21-year-old that I’m 25 and he says “uh, you really don’t look it…”



I went to Fairfax last night to meet up with friends to watch the Mason/Creighton game at a bar since I don’t pay for the “premium” sports package comcast offers, and I don’t even think Comcast offers ESPNU anyway. so this whole group of people come by, including this dude in the picture above, who is celebrating his 21st birthday and talking about his “date,” “Madeline.” I was wearing a Mason shirt so he started chatting with me about that, and of course, he’s a brother in the nerdiest frat at Mason (and I had no qualms about telling him that).

Anyway, once he finds out my age, he starts asking me about relationship advice. He was like “yeah, so uh, my girlfriend is 26 and she thought I was 25 and now she knows I’m 21 and she’s from Poland and stuff…” and I’m just sitting there thinking why is this guy even mentioning this to me?

regardless, I was just laughing for a bit while he started chatting up Jason and Todd about various things. interesting night.

and Mason lost, naturally, since they were playing on the road.

A couple of updates on my post from yesterday:

1 all of the anti-Obama graffiti was gone 4 hours after I took the pictures I posted on here yesterday. interesting. at least I have the proof that it was there.

2 perhaps Maryland should wear those ugly yellow uniforms when they play Duke this week if they have the same impact as they did against UNC.

someone in dc has it in for obama…

February 21, 2009
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I’m not sure what is going on, but a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a new addition to the “graffiti” on the inside of the pedestrian tunnel that runs under 395. I term this very loosely, since a year ago, someone decided to spray paint a few words on the tiles in the tunnel and then a few months ago, someone decided to add red and black spray paint of just like circles or something. Anyway, this was written in blue permanent marker: “BOZO-BAMA”. It has such been marked out, but whoever has been writing this has not given up. Below are two pictures of things that have shown up next to the four times scribbled through “BOZO-BAMA”s in the tunnel:



So yeah…a little weird. I’m not sure if someone who is like me and who lives on the south side of the 295/395 split is doing this, or if it’s someone who works on the north side of the interstate but parks underneath 295 is doing this. regardless, the lesson here is that you don’t fuck with Obama in DC.

And a random note: I’m watching Maryland/UNC right now and Maryland’s yellow uniforms are so ugly. Granted, I can’t really hate because Mason has the yellow-green combo going on…but maybe it’s the yellow against the tarheel blue of UNC on the TV screen that is really making the yellow/red of Maryland atrocious.

back from an hiatus (again)…

February 16, 2009
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not sure why, but I’ve decided to blog again. I tried twitter for a while, but fuck that. I know a couple of my friends are really big into it, but it’s just not me. I can’t contain my thoughts into 140 characters.


I overheard a conversation while I was at Caribou over the weekend trying to write a  “review” of a Jane Jacobs book (which, trust me, deserves its own entry, but I want to get this paper out of the way first because my thoughts for that paper as they relate to urban policy is quite different from my thoughts on it as it relates to the economic recession, especially, since she says specifically, if we have a global downturn, there will be reasons for it, and sure enough, the ones she said would be…are!). basically, these two girls were talking about how they can make a case for the government bailing out the journalism industry! “oh,if they just said that freedom of the press is a constitutional right then journalism can get money!”

problem: what journalism should be focusing on, with the exceptions of the New York Times and the Post, is LOCAL news. that’s why all of these papers are folding. one – because they don’t tailor their internet sites properly because they buy AP stories or hook up with certain national web sites (as the case of the virginia pilot with politico), which leads to…two – they don’t focus on local issues. one of the most interesting lectures I ever attended in college was a speaker who edited the Lawrence Journal World and how he helped build traffic at the web site for the newspaper by putting all sorts of public records online and by having an extremely local coverage area. he went on to say that that practice would be the future of journalism. alas, newspapers and magazines across the country are cutting their staff, which is pretty sad.

with twitter and blogs, it seems like everyday citizens will be the first people to report the news. maybe on-the-spot journalism is dead, by investigative journalism shouldn’t be…

I don’t know, the more that I think “if I knew then what I know now,” I would have majored in government during my time at Mason and minoring in journalism, rather than the other way around.

so yay I’m back! I will mostly be blogging about college basketball the next few weeks as distractions from my grad school junk since I’m doing a lot of reading this semester and I’ve already begun research on my term papers (both about 15 pages) on special education, with an emphasis of underperforming students being placed into those classes for purposes of propping up stats for reaching NCLB “cut rates” and the implications of that practice generally, for the social policy class and the implementation and implications of placement of stops in Norfolk’s light rail project for the urban policy class.

with that said, I’ve been to I think 5 Mason games this year, including a road trip game to JMU which was worth it, despite the fact that we lost (although in the process, I also realized that Harrisonburg blows as a city town, and no wonder all people normally do at JMU is drink…that place is depressing!). 3rd in the CAA right now…but I do hope that Mason finishes off strong…they haven’t been too great on the road so I’m a little worried about their chances in the tourney, but I might convince a certain someone to drive me to Richmond to watch the games because I’m an absolute dork.

so expect more from me. I want to keep this up and running for real this time.

tidbits from the past week…

July 17, 2008
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I overheard a conversation on the metro while I was going to meet my dad in Crystal City Tuesday involving how a “socially retarded” guy could not give staff tours on the Hill. I was only on the train for one stop mind you.

People at “ghetto SW Safeway” yesterday were gushing over the strawberries I was buying while I was waiting to pay. sometimes this place is so bizarre.

but what was most bizarre was the random fireworks show at 10 last night on the river. I could see much of the show from my apartment, even though some of them I couldn’t see because there were trees in the way (I do live on an “elevated” first floor after all). but what kid of significance does july 16 have that I don’t know about???

also on Tuesday I discovered these little airplane statues that are all around Crystal City. I saw one on my way to the hotel where my dad was staying, and then saw 7 more on my way back to the metro. they are ridiculous…-ly awesome!

Posted in observations

missing while you’re away…

July 13, 2008
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this may be the most ridiculous thing I’ve written in a while.

so email is awesome. Ismail is going back to his mother country in a few hours, and he’ll be in Bosnia for a week. due to the time difference and the fact that I won’t have much of an option to reach him anyway, we’ll be communicating through email even though I will miss him like whoa.

but I’m lucky that this is when I live…and not like my mother. I remember during his last 6-month Med cruise, we didn’t have access to email yet, so my mom lived for the one telephone call she’d occasionally get from him and letters he would send in the mail. and my dad was in much more danger…being on a Navy boat and such. and it especially got bad because he couldn’t contact us when his battle group almost got dragged into the Somalia war, and so there was no idea what was going on.

but if she had access to email back in 1994…maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad.

but I guess I’m thankful for having it now so I can keep in touch with Ismail while he’s gone. he’s going to have so much fun there though.

one of the good things about having a ton of friends in virginia…

July 4, 2008
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…is on weekends like this when I just want to get the fuck out of DC because it’s a tourist mess…yeah.

Tonight I’m watching various fireworks displays from Rik and Angel’s apartment building roof in Arlington. super exciting and all that!

then tomorrow I’m going to a party of insanity in Fairfax. I’m going to meet all of Ismail’s friends…at least outside of the crew I already hang out with…it’s going to be intense!

still, I don’t have to deal with all this tourist shit. that is, I will say, why DC sucks sometimes. and this coming from a girl who grew up in a tourist town!

leave my favorite bands alone!

July 2, 2008
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I’m actually annoyed with a Samsung commercial involving The Apples in Stereo. gah.

I freaking love them, but ugh why do corporations have to use some of my favorite bands in their commercials???

At least this isn’t as bad as the Outback Steakhouse/Of Montreal fiasco.

but just because: one of my favorite Apples in Stereo songs. even though it’s not the whole song.

Posted in Music

i really need to explore my own neighborhood more often…

July 1, 2008
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I went to the fax last night…ran over 4 miles with Ismail, swam and just crashed there. he still had a bag of my stuff that I brought over last night…and so we met up at FCSW so I could get it back. We ended up going to the SW waterfront, sat in front of the Capital Yacht Club while eating fries covered in old bay that we bought from the fish market, and looked at sailboats. I really do not explore the waterfront that often, and to be honest, it seems like a perfectly ok place. I wanted to find a new running spot to avoid tourists on the mall…and just to have a new experience anyway, and I think the path along the Potomac/Anacostia would work quite well for me. I’ll explore this further tomorrow.

I just love hanging out with him though. I’ve always wanted to be around someone who wasn’t scared to explore DC with me, and I have that with Ismail.

it seriously does not feel like it should be tuesday. thank god for a 3 day weekend…

why running in 95-degree weather should not be done…

June 29, 2008
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up until last night, I hadn’t run for two weeks. I’ve been more consumed with grad school and work stuff that it’s really just ridiculous.

but I ran a race with Nathan yesterday. and by “run with Nathan” I really mean he finished 10 minutes before I did.

but I was not used to running in the heat. A side splint took over at about the 2.5 mile mark. I was alternating between walking and running for the last two miles…still I managed to run a little over a 10-minute mile pace in the Twilight Festival Four Miler…my time was 40:50 (see 170). normally I run 4 miles in under 35 minutes, but it was just so hot. a lot of other people I saw were also taking breaks to walk…you had to, otherwise heat exhaustion would have set in. but for what it was…eh.

at least I’ll be running more consistently now. I’m running a 5k next month in Arlington. and I’m hoping to run a few more races this year.

the best part of last night was when Nathan was driving me back to the metro, and while we were on 7, fireworks started shooting in the area from some Dulles fair or whatever. We pulled into a parking lot and watched the fireworks on a hill for 20 minutes. they were so beautiful.

in other news, I’m watching the Spain-Germany Euro Cup finals, and I’m loving it. I’m cheering for Spain just because I don’t like Germany’s soccer team. haha. this goes back to watching the World Cup a couple of years ago. the things I do to distract myself from more important things in my life…

fly like paper…

June 26, 2008
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for a couple of hours after work today, I sat with my awesome buddy, watched planes fly over our heads before they landed at Reagan, and god did I ever need it.

le sigh.

honestly, I need a vacay. I’ll be done with my summer class after tonight (maybe tomorrow night, but hopefully tonight), I’ll be done with the book I’ve been editing at work either tomorrow or this weekend, and really, all I want to do is just chill in Fairfax (or at least for that Fairfax buddy of mine to chill here), as silly as that sounds.

I wanted to tonight, but the circumstances just weren’t right. which is why we watched planes at a park near Reagan instead.

whatevs. in almost a month I’ll have 9 days down in Virginia Beach. all I’ll do is knit, read, and be a beach bum.

do we really need another article about capitol hill fashion?

June 26, 2008
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I swear, this girl only writes articles on whether wearing flip-flops and jeans in Rayburn are ok.

That is my rant for the day.

Posted in rants
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