Snake story- no actual snakes involved

I’ve been told that the last person you want to be is the third person to disturb a snake. The first person to disturb a snake wakes up and surprises the snake and annoys it. The second person to come along and disturbs the snake pisses it off even more. The snake realizes this is a trend and is ready for the third person.
I was thinking of this story the other day when working in my front yard. What am I doing in my front yard? I have no clue, I’m figuring it out as I go along. Devon, who is about 4 or 5, visiting his grandma wandered by and asked if I needed any help. Oh, no, I had nothing for him to do, and figuring out what a young person can do (and the supervision) is a job in itself. Besides, I had no money and the kids around here don’t always do things for free. Then a fellow visiting someone noticed from his car and jokingly asked if I needed any help. I jokingly brushed off his offer. Then a third guy, passing by stopped at the gate. He mentioned that he did some landscaping work. I knew where this was heading. And at this point I was annoyed, but more at the idea that people think I can’t do this work myself, than at a guy wanting a job/handout. He hung out at my gate a good while. Long silences do not bother me. I feel no need to fill them. So the guy finally did get around to asking for a handout.

100,000 protesters

Okay the green line from Greenbelt is mobbed with protesters for the immigration law thing and they are all going to Union Station. Also, many of them are wearing white shirts. If you use Union Station…. AVOID, it is more than likely a mad house, like it was last time. I know my station was mobbed with people in line for the metrocard machines.
Take the bus if possible. The 96 to Ellington Bridge will get you to the western edge of Truxton Circle on NJ Ave. The Circulator… I don’t know. The 80 to Ft. Totten and the Psomething P1, P6 I forget, going to Rhode Island goes up North Capitol.

oh oh Vegetate

Just got this:

Starting this week Vegetate will be closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during the Spring/Summer. We will be open Thursday from 6pm to 10pm, Friday and Saturday 6pm to 11pm and Sunday brunch from 11am to 3pm and Sunday dinner from 6pm to 10pm.
To make a reservation please email

I don’t know anything about the restaurant biz but I do see that they are maximizing on the prime going out to eat nights.

Secret Dealer Agents

When I get around to part 2 of some meeting notes at the super secret site there will be a slight mention of what the nice police man said at the meeting. I want to expand on it here.
There are things the police can’t tell the community because the dealers do send spies. Yes. Spies. And like any spy worth his or her weight they report back to their people. So with that, the police can’t tell law abiding citizens what stings or other on going things they are doing. For the law abiding citizen this is annoying because it is very hard to hold a government agency accountable if you don’t know what they are doing and how they are progressing.
Am I just taking the nice policeman’s word at it that there are spies who attend community meetings and tell the dealer’s what is going on? Some past experience at a meeting long time ago in 2003 makes me believe that such a thing is credible. Just follow the link and you’ll understand.

The Post might be a race baiting newspaper but I’m keeping my subscription

1. I’ve already set up automatic payments. I don’t look forward to trying undo that.
2. The Washington Times? Phooey. I spit on the Times.
3. Comics, sales papers & coupons.
4. Classified (Jobs, Houses for Sale, etc) section better than City Paper’s.
5. Paper handy for craft projects.
6. I really, really like the Style section.
7. Cheaper than a NYT or Wall Street Journal subscription.
8. Food section is good too.
9. I use it to clean windows.
10.Thursday District section has Animal Watch (aka Stupid Humans).

Okay, I sense a theme. [sarcasm]Middle class white people are evil. Well at least the ones who live outside their designated areas.[/sarcasm] Designated areas are neighborhoods west of the park, maybe west of 16th Street, small sections around Capitol Hill.
The Post gentrification stories pretty much harp on a certain theme as Truxtonian pointed out. Find two opposing sides, mix in race and stir. Over at Frozen Tropics there has been a flurry of comments about the Schwartzman article on H St. In it some residents were dismayed over comments in the article by Martini Lounge owner Clifford Humphrey, who (I guess- ID is so hard on these things) said he was misquoted. Personally, I’m willing to accept that was the case, not he’s the first person to be misquoted or have words taken out of context by the press. As I remember when there was an article about the corner of T & 14th that painted a picture of Mike Benson (owner of Bar Pillar & Saint X) in a certain light that didn’t really jive with the Benson I know. Heck, Jimbo pointed out to me in last week’s WP Express a quote taken from my blog, made me look like an anti-church anti-Christian. The words were mine, but cropped giving it another feel. And by the way my regulars know I’m a regular church going Episcopalian (except for Christmas and Easter). So I’m willing to cut Humphreys some slack.

The media

Well, the Post has covered the story of St Martin’s and Eckington’s opposition to the project. The story is worth a read. I think the opposition to the plans is a more complex issue than the amount of ink they received, but at least it is being covered. I continue to be shocked by things said by Father Kelley as well as some of Sharon Robinson and Neal Drobenare’s “messaging” tactics. But that’s for another post to the blog…

While the St Martin’s project is an interesting issue to be played out (I’ve posted before I, personally, am not supportive of the plans as they stand), it reminded me of the story in the Post this week about changes coming to H Street. On Frozen Tropics the story set off a comment storm. Many people seem to take issue with some of the quotes attributed to people in the article. However, there seemed to be a consensus that the writer went out of his way to push an angle for the story that isn’t actually there. Richard Layman’s post on the issues raised in the article is well worth a read when you have a moment and really covers the true issues.

My point of bringing this up is that this is unfortunate that the media appears to be picking up and playing race issues a lot recently, and it’s not just the Post in these two stories. I don’t agree with the way such a complex issue for Washington, DC is being covered in such a shallow name-calling sort of way.

However, I realized last night that Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 and the DC riots were from April 4-8th. I can’t help but wonder if these stories are being printed now in some great, ironic, coincidence or whether there is some editorial knowledge of the significance of this week in DC history. I wasn’t around for the riots in DC but all who are living in these parts of DC live in the legacy of those riots. If you want to read more about the riots, there are many resources on the web to turn to, including Wikipedia. There’s also this excerpt from “Ten Blocks From The White House: Anatomy of the Washington Riots of 1968″, which was written by WaPo staff in 1968. Note: I haven’t deciphered the politics of the site that hosts that excerpt, nor have I checked the accuracy of the reproduction of text from the book.

Swing dance weekend

I don’t talk about my dance hobby here much as most of it happens outside of the District. However this weekend, there will be dancing in the city. With a lot of swing dancers visiting our fair city from other areas. Sunday April 9th is Swing Dance Day, as a part of Jazz Appreciation month. But from the 7th to the 9th is the DC Lindy Exchange. For DCLX I’m just going to the free events like the scheduled dancing on Freedom Plaza and the dance at the American History Musuem. Besides registration closed up and I’m still healing. Last year we danced in Dupont Circle and I see that there is no Dupont dancing this year.

The garden: idea for 2006

Well lesson learned. Stretch before engaging in strenuous garden activity. My legs still hurt because I was digging and hacking away at the dirt this weekend.

I have plans for my front yard. And I have a theme. When I tell people of my theme, they smile and say, “Mari you’re so funny.” But I’m serious. I want an edible front yard. This means getting rid of the flower that starts with a “C” and comes back again and again. It may mean getting rid of the mums too. It definitely means getting rid of the grass. What little grass is left as weeds have taken over.
I will have tomatoes. They take up a lot of space but they aren’t pretty. Yummy, but not pretty. They vined all along the fence last year, even along the fence facing the sidewalk. No one bothered my tomatoes, and they were so nice and leafy. Maybe too leafy. This year, less leaf more fruit.
I’m trying to get peas going. I had a few last year. They produce a small pretty flower and a very tasty pea. This year seems rough going as the peas I planted in the front don’t seem all that willing to grow. Could be because I used old seed, or it hasn’t been all that rainy, or because I haven’t fertilized the front yard yet.
To replace the grass I’m going to go with creeping thyme (any thyme really) and mint. I’ve had thyme growing between some of the spaces in my walkway and I believe peppermint can survive some light traffic. Other possible ground covers are oregano, pennyroyal, catnip (maybe), and sweet woodruff. I haven’t had much luck with sweet woodruff (used in May wine). I have plenty of thyme from last year, that I can transfer to the yard. We’ll see. Hopefully when I go to cut these things down there’ll be a sweet smell!
Something new I’m trying is Swiss Chard. It is a very colorful vegetable. I’ve never eaten it before. So this is a veggie I’m growing for looks.
And not to make this post too long, I’m planning on growing other things as well. Squash, beans, maybe spinach, blueberries, basil, and possibly strawberries. I don’t know how it will all turn out. The only thing I can do is hope for the best.