Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC


ah, almost. again.


For those of you playing along at home, that picture above is a still from surveillance footage of then-Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry smoking crack. This little mishap is also responsible for the single most memorable quote of his political career: “Bitch set me up.”

So, you could imagine my joy when I learned that I could be that bitch, but it would have been, “bitch posted up.”

A couple of weeks ago, one of my co-workers asked me if I wanted to play in a charity basketball game that would be D.C. media types against the city council. I jumped at this chance. Why? Because despite his shady previous dealings, Marion Barry’s still a D.C. city councilman for the Eighth Ward. This … was my chance. This was MY chance to stuff a living legend as he went to the hoop. Nevermind I’m probably a few inches taller than he is. Never mind that he’s got, oh, almost 40 years on me. This was my time in the spotlight. A story to tell my kids.

“Yeah, back in 2009, Marion Barry cut left toward the basket and your Mom here threw up an arm and blocked his shot.”

Oh, but no. No, Jacque. Your chance to stuff Marion Barry is gone, relegating you to another event in your life that’s marked with the word, “almost.”

Feds want Marion Barry jailed

GAH!! Not paying taxes? Really? You forgot. That’s cool. I did once, too. Oh, wait. You forgot eight times? Woof. Yeah, that’s not going to be easy to get out of quickly. You’re probably hosed. This time, the 1040 set you up. Bad.

I’ll keep you posted in case someone springs him from the pokey and the dream comes back to life. But for now, I just have to stare up at the ceiling and think about the almost.


hangin’ around this town

Here’s a video that has nothing to do with anything other than this song came up on my iPod the other day while I was on the Metro headed into work and it occurred to me I probably hadn’t seen the video since, well, the last time they showed videos consistently on MTV.

My friend Dan told me the other day that he still checks my blog out every day and every day lately, he’s been disappointed. And then my sister mentioned that I never update it anymore. I couldn’t tell you how many people still even bother checking in regularly. That’s the thing I’ve noticed about blogs … they ebb and flow. They’re like a comfortable sweater that you can leave in a drawer and pull it out when you need one. It doesn’t care if it’s been an hour, or six weeks, since the last time you put it on. I just wants to be taken around the block every so often.

I haven’t been to West Virginia since Christmas. I haven’t done a radio show since the week before Christmas. I don’t know the next time either will happen. I miss both.

My problem with the show is I just haven’t felt it in a while. I start thinking about wanting to do it, I get myself ready and then I think, “Well, I could do some laundry, or reading, or catch up with some people on the phone, etc.”

It’s 8 to 10 p.m. on a Sunday night because that’s the time I got myself into in its earlier incarnations. Then once we owned the stream, though we could have made it any time we wanted to, it stayed from 8 to 10. And then the NFL came.

It needs tweaking, to borrow one of my favorite phrases from a friend of mine. It needs some definite tweaking. I would rather work on my writing and develop ideas than put on a show that’s half-baked and forced, and I’m afraid I’d be doing that now. At least I’m honest enough with myself to say it out loud.

I’m thankful that I’ve had some time to actually spend here in DC without anything hanging over my head lately. For the Super Bowl, I spent it with a friend of mine and his wife and son. Yesterday, I had a GREAT time at the Auto Show with the gang from Richmond (area). I’ve been to a Georgetown-WVU game. I’m having lunch with two different people in two weeks and meeting an old friend for a Happy Hour hopefully next Friday.

It isn’t that I don’t want to go home. I miss my family terribly. But I felt the entire summer that I didn’t live in Washington. I stayed here five days a week and then got in the car to visit my sick father. I’m not complaining. Every single week I saw him and he got better was the highlight of my week. But that came at the expense of not knowing anything about where I live.

There’s a super Target three miles from my house. I didn’t know that until I went to the doctor last week and had an occasion to actually go down that road. I’ve never been to a Five Guys, but there’s one about 10 minutes away. I actually went to IKEA.

Maybe I’m introspective because I’m about 33 hours and 51 minutes away from turning 30, but who’s counting. My mother told me this morning it was a great milestone, and I told her it didn’t feel like one. Not so much because I’m dreading getting older — I’m already an octogenarian in a much younger body — but because I really feel like I’ve accomplished, at least professionally, what I’d hoped by the time I hit this age.

I’m in a major city. I’m working for a major newspaper. I’m actually an editor.

I’m still employed. I don’t feel like I’m at risk of not being employed. That’s more than a lot of people can say in these times.

So as I see the sun pour in here through the open windows, I’m starting to feel a little bit settled down. Months and months have passed without me feeling like I could actually breathe, and I’m finally there. Like it (most of the time) or not (only in heavy traffic), I live here. I still smile when I get off the train in the morning and look around at the buildings. I’m not disenchanted. Or hardened. I still find something new to appreciate every day.

Uh oh. Pollyanna’s arrived. I must be closing in on 30.

And speaking of that, if someone wants to get me a Snuggie, it won’t replace the electric blanket that Paige got me, but I’d love to wear it around my office.


and then … it’s nice and quiet

Wow, I really can’t seem to break free from 1995 Bjork!

In trying to download a picture from my e-mail, I enjoyed this delicious nugget of technology from Google:


“Detailed Technical Info.”

Numeric  Code: 67.

I don’t know about you, but I’m overwhelmed with the detailed technical info relating to GoogleFail.

But, I digress.

As I got on a Red Line to Glenmont after 7 tonight, it was next to empty. Seriously, on average, there are more people on that train on a normal weekday than were on it tonight. When I transferred at Fort Totten, I ended up waiting only two minutes before an even more empty train to Greenbelt showed up. Quite, quite different than this morning.

I stared straight ahead, my head heavy, my eyes tired and my brain going over a million different things I’ve got swimming around in my head right now. I didn’t even realize I’d reached Greenbelt until the lights flickered and it registered that the driver said the train was out of service.

When I walked toward the door, I looked at the station map they post on the inside of the car. Someone added a stop.


I’ve been to Tripset. It’s nothing to write home about. Today, though, it was.


eye of the hurricane


In honor of our one true hero, Jack Bauer, I introduce this only with these words:

“The following takes place between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Events occur in real time.”

5:17 p.m. McPherson Square: Orange car crushing under its own weight. Fortunately, a blue comes along two minutes later, much less full. I board the third of eight cars and am relatively sure I’m the only local. I am one of two or three not wearing an Obama hat. Weird looking guy across from me asks, “Do you liiiiiiive here?” I said yes, which will be my downfall the next 24 hours. He asks me where he should eat dinner. I recommend Gordon Biersch across from the Spy Museum because I liked it. Gut feeling says I should have suggested Fuddruckers.

5:20 p.m. Metro Center: About 10 people get on the train wearing the same shirts. Someone is stuck in my door. We offload, I get arrested. Very helpful girl beside me directs weird guy to monuments. She’s a much better person than I am.

5:22 p.m. Federal Triangle: The first time on the trip the Metro driver says, “Attention customers, Metro doors are not like elevator doors …” This does not bode well.0_funny_oh_no_you_didnt

5:23 p.m. Smithsonian: Platform waiting is five deep. I found the tourists!! The lady in the fur coat across from me asks me where I’m from. I said I’m local. She says I don’t look local. Ouch. Not sure if this is a compliment or an “Oh, snap.”

5:25 p.m. L’enfant Plaza: My transfer to the green. Place as packed as on Nationals game days. I sprint for a waiting Greenbelt train nearly taking out a National Guardsman in the process. I think he asked me for my number.

5:27 p.m. underground between L’enfant and Archives: “We will be moving momentarily.” For once, it was honest.

5:28 p.m. Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter: Good sports bar off this stop. Contemplate going in to wash today’s anxiety away in wings, but opt to just go home and go to Ikea for hot dogs. Also, should I worry that there are five people in fatigues from the U.S. Public Health Service? Woof.

5:30 p.m. Gallery Place-Chinatown: Solo seat opens up! Score! Ah, that bit of joy lasted all of 11 seconds. I’ve noticed the farther away from the Mall, the more sparse the crowd.

5:31 p.m. underground between Gallery Place-Chinatown and Mt. Vernon Square-7th Street-Convention Center: “We will be moving momentarily.”

5: 33 p.m. Mt. Vernon Square-7th Street-Convention Center: Woman observes that “everybody in this town has one of those little BlackBerry things.” Yes. Yes we do. And I’m using it against you.

dwaynewayne5:35 p.m. Shaw-Howard University: I am not kidding: “Is Howard where they filmed ‘A Different World’ back in the 90s? Didn’t one of the Cosby kids go there?” Thank you, White America.

5:36 p.m. U Street-African American Civil War Memorial-Cardozo: For a minute, I thought Spencer Pratt got on the train. Then I realized I didn’t smell vinegar and water and he wasn’t accompanied by his witless partner Heidi. They wouldn’t roll public transportation anyway. Douchemobile away!!

5:39 p.m. Columbia Heights: I feel bad for the woman trying to wrangle six kids off the train. I will feel worse for her tomorrow at the first signs of “Mooooooooom!! I have to peeeeeeeeeeee!!!!”

5:41 p.m. Georgia Avenue-Petworth: The people across from me are looking for IHOP. College Park baby!! Welcome to MY town!

5:45 Fort Totten: It would figure that when I need a signal at Fort Totten, I’m hosed. I also just noticed a poster for Crystal Couture at Crystal City in Arlington. It reads that Feb 17 is “Tat-Tuesday.” COUNT ME IN!! Let’s celebrate six days past your 30th right!!

5:48 p.m. West Hyattsville: No signal again, which means with certainty I will stand and wait at Greenbelt freezing my ass off. Thank you AT&T for raising that bar. I salute you.

5:49 p.m. Prince George’s Plaza: My two second call home is probably not going to get me picked up on time. Boo. I’m also envious of the body this hippie’s hair has. Dudes should not have better hair than I do. It’s not fair.

5:54 College Park-University of Maryland: Locks of Envy has disembarked. I have nothing to admire on the train anymore. I am perplexed, however, at the guy with the Phillies hat OVER his red dew rag. An interesting, yet risky, choice. Not sure what’s to be gained by a layer of thin cotton. Sitting to my front is a woman wearing — I counted — 11 Obama buttons. I’m impressed at the range of Obama button options. Clearly, another wasted opportunity of my graphic design/Photoshop skills.

5:58 Greenbelt, your last and final station on the Green Line: Doesn’t the fact that it’s last, by default, make it the final and, … HOLY HELL!!


After it took me 10 minutes to actually EXIT the station, I am faced with the sinking, sinking feeling that I have no choice but to be here when these doors open at 3:30 a.m.


The line for Farecards is snaking down the bus area. There are 6 cops inside and as many outside but I figure they’re as about as effective as the Detroit Lions defensive line.

A bacon sandwich and some diet Mountain Dew later, I’m going to stick with the original plan, like my co-workers on the desk, of getting to my train between 5:30 and 6 a.m. I’ll definitely have my camera ready and I’ll document my adventure into town.

Good night. And could someone wish me some good luck?


it’s oh so quiet


That’s a shot out the window of my fifth-floor office in downtown D.C. For the middle of the day, albeit a holiday, it’s pretty tame.

This morning, I got to the train about 30 minutes early and was one of three people on my car. That didn’t change until four stops in, when I got crowded into my seat by the largest person with the puffiest coat in Prince George’s County. (Note to any random Metro riders who read this: I’m not a small person. You’re dealing with nearly six feet of height and birthing hips. I’m far from your best option when it comes to seating companions.) I didn’t even deal with much of a crowd when I switched at L’Enfant, which is on the “avoid at all costs” list for tomorrow.

When I came out at McPherson Square, it was silent. I walked across I Street without waiting for the crossing signal (sorry, Mom!). There were only two¬† other people in CVS when I bought my diet Mountain Dew. I did notice, however, from a sign on the door that for $5, you can get your picture taken with a Barack Obama cutout. Why my brain lacks the ability to come up with simple, capitalistic ways to make cash, I’ll never understand. I again crossed K Street without a signal and didn’t see a car. Nobody was in the store where I go to buy ice.

I’ve told a couple of friends today that I feel like that guy who walks down the street before a hurricane and says, “Oh, come on. This is nothing. This is just a little thunderstorm.” That sense that this isn’t as bad as everybody said it was going to be and that I’m really going to regret getting on the train hours before I needed. Then there’s the “glass is half-full, but I’ll probably knock it over” sensibilities in me that reassure me it’s better to get to the train at 4 a.m. and get here in plenty of time than wait until 7 a.m. and get to work sometime around noon.

I’ve promised pictures of fun things as I find them and updates through the day, so I hope to not be a giant disappointment (like the Baltimore Ravens to the Charm City. OH! ZING!!). But for now, from the front lines, it’s business as usual. Nothing seems out of place. Nothing seems vastly different. Maybe I’m actually too far from the action to notice. I remain on Fanny Pack Watch.


a d.c. rat


I think I’ve seen this rat in West Virginia. Today, the carpenter’s union paid a bunch of homeless people to parade around across the street in front of a building that presumably uses non-union labor. I’ve heard their drumming for six hours now. I always show up in the middle of the drum solo.


an(other) open letter

Dear Douchebag Scooter Owner Who Lives at My Apartment Complex,

First, I’d like to commend you for doing your part in both helping reduce fuel costs for those of us with actual vehicles and helping decrease the amount of alleged gases that contribute to “global warming.” Your dedication to saving money, and the planet, are admirable.

However, I’d like to be frank with you if I may. If you don’t stop parking your f-ing mechanical bicycle in one of the four spaces directly in front of my apartment, I am just … going … to lose it.

Yes, I realize that there is no assigned parking in the complex. I also realize you have the right to park your moped wherever you choose. I have the right to think you’re a dick for it.

With the size of your Big Wheel, you really don’t NEED a parking space, period. You could easily wheel it under the stairs that lead up to your apartment. Chances are, the apartment management won’t even mind. I mean, let’s be honest. It’s half the size of your partner-in-douche, the Vespa owner, who also takes up parking spots right up front.

Let’s put this into proper perspective a minute, shall we? On your girlymobile, you can’t possibly haul cargo. The other night when I came home from a sizable grocery trip, I had to walk completely across the parking lot because, again, you took one of the four spaces directly up front. I carried — by myself — 13 plastic grocery bags about the length of a football field and then up four flights of stairs.

I don’t necessarily mind, though. It’s good exercise. Keeps me strong.

But you know what I do mind? Coming home in the pouring rain with a broken umbrella to find you, again, parked RIGHT up front. Certainly you were already prepared for inclement weather when you took your trike out to the organic coffeehouse to read your book about the Summer of Love and drink your ethically-grown-and-brewed $7 coffee. I, however, wasn’t as prepared after my day spent downtown under florescent lights trying to squeeze four days worth of work into 10 hours.

However, I digress.

Sometimes, when I’m staring out the window of the Metro, I fantasize about covering your prized weeniemobile in lighter fluid and throwing the match. I smile to myself as the heat from your burning, blue-flower-covered scooter warms me from the inside. I see you running from your apartment with your hands flailing yelling, “Whyyyyy?”

I giggle to myself as I tell you why. Because owning something that takes up a quarter of a parking space, while efficient, doesn’t give you the right to be a douchebag about it. Yes, I get it. You’re with it. You’re “green.” I’m black, like my heart.

So, in closing, please stop parking right up front. It’s not cool. You’re harshing my mellow. I promise to donate to any cause of your choosing if you give me the consideration of NOT taking one of the better parking spaces. I think we can agree to these conditions and continue to co-exist peacefully. That’s my goal, of course.

Failure to comply may result in an action for which I may not be held liable. This includes, but is not limited to, toilet papering your scooter, accidentally dropping an egg from my balcony onto the scooter, covering your seat in peanut butter, letting the air out of your tires (not flattening them … I’ll preserve your tires, just empty them) and leaving you passive-aggressive notes with Post-Its on your windshield.

Thanks for your consideration in this manner. We’re all in this community together. Let’s be friends.


Jacque Jo

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July 2018
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