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I love my neighborhood.

3 Feb

Saturday night we received a dusting of snow. Not so much that I woke to a ground blanketed in white, but enough that the cars had a light coating when I headed out to yoga Sunday morning.

I like snow, so it made me smile. And then, realizing some drunk graffiti artists had used the cars as their canvasses, I REALLY smiled. Between my house and the yoga studio, I counted over two dozen cars that had been tagged with a cartoon phallus of some kind. Like this:

Artistic. Matt Groening would be proud.

Artistic. Matt Groening would be proud.

©2013 pithypants

Five in a row. Artistic AND persistent.

Art school reject.

Art school reject.

Even cars in driveways were not immune...

Even cars in driveways were not immune…

So this tells you all you need to know about my neighborhood. Apparently I’m not the only person with a 12-year-old sense of humor.

Also? Those rumors that DC is full of dicks? Apparently it’s true.

Artomatic: A Photo Essay

24 Jun

One of my favorite DC events is something called Artomatic. It’s a month-long art festival held every 1-3 years (depending on their ability to get organized and secure space) – usually in a building that’s under construction or slated for demolition. This year’s festival occupied ten floors of an old office building in Arlington and featured more than 1,000 artists.

Pretty awesome, right?

The event is not juried, so it’s a mishmash of stuff – some is Art with a capital-A, while other stuff looks like a classroom of kindergarteners could produce it.

Since the building is otherwise vacant, it’s easy to get lost. Fortunately they have bars on almost every floor, so you’re usually well fortified for your wandering. And there’s a stage area for entertainment on each floor – everything from poetry readings, to garage bands to fashion shows.

Last night was this year’s closing night, so my friend Betsy and I went over to check it out. Here are some of the more bizarre highlights:

There almost an entire floor dedicated to dioramas made from Peeps. This was my favorite because it was a fairly accurate portrayal of the Occupy movement in DC:

Peep Show

This was an entire room decorated bizarrely. Kind of what I assume a crack den looks like:

The End Is Near?

Not exactly sure what’s happening here, but it’s the only clown exhibit that didn’t completely terrify me:

Maybe because the hands are more creepy?

I took this mainly to taunt my sister, who offers to knit me things. If you REALLY loved me, you would make me a body-sized glove. Or a mitten. I’m not that picky…

Ain’t no needles large enough…

I’m pretty sure this is some kind of Cat’s Cradle reference, but I named him MC Knittin’ Kitten.

Let’s raise the roof.

I’m not sure what makes this art. Did the guy make Godzilla’s body from scratch? If so, I’ll put a tick in the “art” column. If he simply chopped holes and stuck frightening baby arms out of a dinosaur? Not so much.

How evolution really started…

Um… anyone want to attempt to interpret this one?

At least give her more nipples.

Forget about the goose who lays the golden egg. I want to birth a solid gold baby.

When gold-diggers get pregnant.

I didn’t take this photo for the message, though I do like the “Buy car, kick tires” idea. No. I liked this because the little drip of paint running down from his crown reminded me of the stick that holds up opera glasses. Very delicate for an Abe Lincoln skull.

Kick those tires!

Back on the Peep floor – someone had constructed a Peepmobile for kids to play with. What you may not be able to see – in this photo, it is a large fifty year old man in there driving.

When you can’t afford a corvette for your midlife crisis…

So Artomatic. Aren’t you sad you missed it? I swear – there is also REAL art there. It just didn’t photograph well.

Also? There was a fashion show with legitimate models walking a catwalk in ridiculous shoes. Knowing my obsession with models falling, any guesses what I spent my time doing? Standing with my iPhone filming, hoping I’d get footage for my own YouTube wipeout. Maybe next year.

A girl can hope.

The Legend of Baggy Pants.

30 May

I’ll admit: I’ve never been a Fashionista. I come by it honestly.

When Jordache jeans (with their distinctive script label) were popular in the 80s, my mom found a batch of fabric labels that used the same font to spell, “Who Gives A Shit” and stitched them on her own pants. (Or actually, maybe my dad did that – since he’s the one who taught me to sew.)

The highlight of my middle school fashion was a t-shirt featuring a jogger running past a gas station with the caption, “Passing Gas.”

And as a young professional sporting what I thought was a very chic, all-brown suit, I had my confidence shaken when one of the guys on my team (now a good friend) casually remarked that he knew it was going to be a bad day for everyone when I showed up wearing, “The Turd Suit.”

Correct. Apparently all of my fashion influences come from Uranus.

So it should come as no surprise that I still rarely nail my wardrobe. This is fresh on my mind because every time I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror today, I would shake my head and think, “The Legend of Bagger Vance.” Or jump and think someone had let a man from the 1920’s into the bathroom.

If you’re not familiar with Bagger Vance, I’m talking about a golf movie set way back in the early 20th century. The people in it dressed like this:

Knickers and Cardigans. What’s not to love?

Yes. Something about my outfit – knickers and an Izod shirt – looked like I should be talking tee times with a bag slung over my shoulder. So I posted something to that effect on Facebook.

And almost immediately, people wanted photos. Partly because they’re bored with their jobs, but also because everyone loves witnessing a fashion disaster. And also because my friends are kind of assholes. In a good way.

I asked one of my co-workers to snap my photo. Since Los Angeles is super-fashionable, I thought I’d start by seeking out the harshest criticism first, so I sent the photo to my friend Sharon, who works in our LA office. But she politely pointed out that golfers do not wear high heels, that my pants were capris not knickers, and that I didn’t have a golf cap on, so I needed to stop beating myself up.

I felt good for a few minutes, glowing from her endorsement of my fashion, until I trekked to the bathroom. And almost screamed to find a man in there. Then realized it was me. And then I realized that the photo I sent Sharon was deceptive: it was dimly lit and framed by an office, so it might be hard to make the Bagger Vance connection.

About this time I remembered that my sister (who loves Photoshop) was stationed Up North (which means north of Ann Arbor, Michigan) for the week, probably relaxing since she left her kids at home bored out of her mind. So I sent her the photo and asked her if she could feel the Bagger Vance vibe I was rockin’.

This is what she sent back:

I am pretty sure I might have just started a fashion revolution. FORE! 

How I took my mind off dying…

22 Feb

If you read my most recent post, you know that I feel I tempted fate on my last flight. Not only did I pass up a lucky penny from the bathroom floor, but I also heard the pilot wreak sweet havoc on the airplane’s bathroom before departing. Those two factors had me doubly convinced I would meet a fiery death somewhere between Boston and DC.

So what did I do? Did I start singing hymns and ask for an “amen?” No.

I consulted the emergency card in the seatback pocket in front of me. And no, not to familiarize myself with the evacuation procedures of that particular aircraft. What do you think I am? Optimistic?

No. I’m Sarcastic. So I looked at it for the humor.

And here’s what took my mind off dying…

OK. So first… Sorry, but if we’re crashing, who is going to have this much time to fasten a life vest on their child. This looks more complicated than making an origami swan with tinfoil and step-by-step directions.

Also? Completely unrealistic illustration. That baby would not be sitting still. Should’ve added some motion lines around the legs and arms, because I’m pretty sure: babies in crash mode are throwing a tantrum. And to that point – its face should be red.

Meanwhile, my friend Dorkahontus has a great observation: “The baby in panel three is about to host a dance party… Can anyone say, ‘Raise the roof?'”

Finally? In panel 6, that lightbulb makes it look like the baby is having an idea. Bet I know what it is: “Mom! WTF! I can’t believe you put me on that deathtrap.” Or maybe it’s, “Ah. When I pee in this diaper the water is warm for a minute.”

So a few thoughts on this one. First – You had me at “Do not use.” The additional, “No Use” seems unnecessarily insulting. If you’re going to write it twice, why not add, “Stupid!” at the end of it? Second, while I’m glad people can’t use lighters and female transformers are forbidden, I am a bit bummed. Why can’t I use my remote control dune buggy? When I packed, that was my plan for in-flight entertainment. Assholes.

Dear Illustrator: I hope you didn’t model this one on your own child. If so? I think you might want to have him tested for some odd aging disease because he simply looks like a little adult. And oddly flat. Perhaps you used Flat Stanley as a model? Or maybe the airline wanted you to show that oxygen masks are available to inflate passengers? I bet that’s it! Sorry to insult you.

What a relief! This plane used its landing gear in an emergency. And there are no signs of burning rubble in the wake of its crash landing. Even the woman disembarking looks very calm and put together – coiffed in a way that does Mad Men proud. In fact, the only sign that anything is amiss is the fact that there’s a frat boy sprinting away from the plane.

Which, now that I think of it, is probably about how it would all play out.

Deep Thoughts Visualized: DC Traffic

9 Feb