Sunday, October 31, 2010

One-Hit Wonders: October 2010 terms inexplicably pulling up this blog...
  • gay nipple tug of war
  • counter strike millatime
  • letting go of obsessive thoughts chakra
  • i can't shuffle dance like i used to
  • "satan's fridge"
  • superstition itchy nipples
  • tube galore taco
  • "landmark forum" "glass of wine"
  • how to clear base chakras massage
  • our dog raped my wife stories
  • videos of russians throwing vodka glass containers on the wall

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Stuff and Things

i don’t know why the passage of time still manages to surprise me with the way it just marches ahead and disregards everything else around it. but here i am again, bemoaning the changing of the seasons, lamenting over the lost summer and marveling at the fact that november is around the corner, dragging a gaggle of holidays behind it.

and then comes the new year, which will certainly pass in a flash, leaving me all agog again at how fleeting its appearance was. it’s become a ritual at this time of year when i look around and take inventory and feel largely displeased. without fail, i’m always disappointed in myself that i haven’t done MORE — what MORE means i’m never really sure. maybe i could have done more “to get ahead,” even though i don’t really know what getting ahead means either.

i certainly know i could have updated this blog more, especially in october, which was a whirlwind of activity for me. both september and october, in fact, were a little nutty with their boundless productivity, freelance work, travel and socializing. i guess they make up for my lackluster summer, which never really seemed to get off the ground.

it was unseasonably cold all summer, so cold that i never once fired up the grill, and instead spent my time ambling through the mundane in solitary confinement. i saw little incentive in breaking out of that routine, where life was calm and predictable. there were storms, yes, but they raged only inside. it was not the summer i expected when i sashayed through my birthday party in a red dress, but i see it now as the summer i needed to ground and center me.

these past two months changed all that by turning life into an endless stream of comings and goings. beyond the east coast train trip in september (which i intend to finish chronicling), i made a trip to the pacific northwest in october, first flying into Portland to visit with family and then driving up to Seattle with friends to witness the nuptials of one of my favorite couples, Nick + Zee.

it was a lovely long weekend, a four-day vacation spent socializing, eating and laughing. i played with my cousin’s kids, squeezed in afternoon bubble bath and enjoyed an incredible dinner at one of Portland’s swankiest restaurants, where i sampled bison tartar. then came one raucous night in Seattle, which started with the wedding and ended in a downtown pub crawl and search for an elusive after-party that was never found, so a hot dog cart had to make due. there i learned a very important lesson: hot dogs with cream cheese and sauteed onions are delicious.

the most amazing thing about the weekend? not a drop of rain fell on the usually rainy pacific northwest during my visit. the day i returned to LA, however, a week-long rain storm kicked into gear on my drive home from the burbank airport. a week later, i would have strep throat and have to go on a 10-day cycle of antibiotics, which i’m still finishing up.

no complaints, though. i had an awesome time, a time i am trying to remind myself of as i sit and stare into the eyes of november with thoughts about how i haven’t done enough this year “to get ahead.” truth is i have done plenty this year — from Landmark to leaving a relationship that was no longer working for me to writing articles for publication to reawakening my spiritual self with the help of chakra clearings and meditation to visiting old friends on the east coast and in the northwest to getting a roommate and making new friends to landing new freelance clients.

a lot has happened, some of it bad but most of it very good. it should be enough to make me feel like i’m “getting ahead”; it should be enough to quell the restlessness that has plagued me my entire life.

but it never is.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Vacation 2010: The Newseum in Washington, D.C.

The Capitol

the daytrippers: when we weren’t eating, drinking and laughing with my family in Baltimore, my parents and i managed to squeeze in a daytrip to Washington, D.C., which is roughly a 90-minute car ride away. we split up when we got there, with my folks heading to the Smithsonian Museum to drool over the Hope Diamond and me heading to The Newseum to drool over the museum for journalism.

Congress Shall Make No Law...

congress shall make no law: i cannot recommend this place enough. as someone with a degree in journalism, visiting a place that celebrates the news so enthusiastically was thrilling. here, i was the proverbial kid in the candy store, ambling excitedly through the exhibitions and turning occasionally to strangers to exclaim, “isn’t this awesome?”

Headlines Gone Wrong

among the awesomeness: the restrooms in the Newseum were tiled with headlines gone wrong that were hilarious enough to make me consider sneaking into the men’s bathroom to read more doozies.

Three Kinds of People

equally awesome: the walls of the place were peppered with quotes about journalism that made me smile wide with dumb pride. another one i particularly liked: “If the First Amendment means anything, it means that a state has no business telling a man, sitting alone in his own house, what books he may read or what films he may watch.” — Justice Thurgood Marshall, U.S. Supreme Court

Berlin Wall Sections

the exhibitions: none of them were the least bit partisan beyond advocating for complete freedom of the press. most of the major exhibitions centered on the biggest news events of our time, such as the fall of communism and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. sections of the wall were on display as was the pen Mikhail Gorbachev used to sign a treatise that effectively ended the Soviet era.

9/11 Front Pages

another headliner: given that my visit occurred in early september, about a week before the ninth anniversary of 9/11, seeing this collection of front pages from 9/12 made it feel as though it just happened. the exhibition also featured a mangled piece of metal from one of the collapsed Twin Towers.

9/11 Exhibition

Katrina Relics

another disaster: Katrina was the subject of another exhibition and featured several relics, many of which were visibly water damaged. a wall of front pages after the disaster was also included.

X Marks Your House

Elvis Stands Guard at Newseum

all shook up: i didn’t really understand why Elvis Presley had his own exhibition here (and why it was so heavily trafficked). i get that he was a newsmaker, but doesn’t he have his own museum already — a place called Graceland? take note, Newseum curators. let’s keep out the fluff, ‘k?

Newsboy Caps

speaking of fluff: the gift store at the Newseum was full of awesome, featuring famous framed front pages (“Dewey Beats Truman”) and newsy knickknacks, such as a mug that read, “Not tonight, dear. I’m on deadline.” i thought the newsboy caps were a particularly brilliant addition.


Dope Floors at Katrina Exhibition

also brilliant: the design of the building, WOW. it was stunning from every angle, inside and out. the Newseum is on Pennsylvania Avenue, close to the Capitol and directly across the street from the National Gallery of Art. its seven floors appear to be constructed mainly of titanium and glass and are designed to mimic portions of a newspaper. the place is also huge. i spent four hours there and probably saw only 70% of the collection.

The Food Section

Ethics Game

reporter’s notebook: in addition to several screening rooms and computer kiosks where visitors can leave comments, the Newseum is full of interactive exhibitions, including this game where two teams can play against each other to build a newspaper by answering ethics questions. i played handicap with the girls in the photo, me against the three of them, because i knew i could take these bitches.

Ethics Game

pwned! i won the game, building my newspaper in what i’m sure was a record time — all thanks to Bryce Nelson, the awesome ethics professor whose class i took when i was getting my masters. naturally, the girls were impressed with my genius and asked how i became so knowledgeable about journalistic ethics. high off my victory, i blurted out, “because i’m a journalist!” which was received with the requisite chorus of oooohs and ahhhs. then one of the bitches had to ruin it by asking me where i worked, to which i stammered, “oh, you know, the internet mostly. i write a blog, but, you know, i write for other publications, too. i’m not only a blogger. actually, it’s really hard to explain. i gotta go. bye!”

Awesome Shot

hall of fame: the Newseum has a collection of all the Pulitzer Prize-winning photos taken since 1942, when the prize was established. needless to report, i spent a lot of time here looking at the photos, all of which were remarkable. (and no, i did not tell strangers i was a photographer.)

Stepping on Lenin

Cornerstone of Democracy

i hope you can read this (click here if you can’t): thank you, Newseum, for a terrific day that reminded me of every reason i ever wanted to become a journalist. hopefully, i will be one again, one who records more than just the mundane aspects of her life on a blog. until then, i take my hat off to those who are doing the hard work, serving as the watchdogs of democracy and writing the first draft of history.

a bunch more Newseum photos are in the slideshow below — and include more prize-winning photographs, political comics, erroneous headlines, gift shop items and exhibitions i haven’t covered here — though if you’re really curious, i suggest visiting my Flickr page for this set to see bigger versions of the images. better yet, just go to D.C. to see this place for yourself.