due torre
30 September 2004
First Presidential Debate
posted by mike d
Ninety minutes of non-stop foreign policy, and not one word on Latin America. sigh. I'm toilin in the dark over here.

(More seriously, I'd like to see some talk about immigration policy in the domestic debate, which is pretty much: "Whadda ya think about the Mexicans?")
29 September 2004
Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...
posted by mike d

Yes, it's a blimp.

Photo from my back deck

Either Ozzie Smith or Cal Ripken, Jr. would still make a great SS
posted by mike d
When I was in elementary school, I got to go with my best friend Bayard and his family to watch an opening day game between the Baltimore Orioles and the St. Louis Cardinals. The cool thing about that game (in addition to the short-stop duel between two future Hall of Famers) was that instead of being played up in Baltimore at the storied Memorial Stadium, it was played in DC at RFK stadium.

I would love to be able to repeat an opening day at RFK, this time to watch the Senators.
27 September 2004
Weather's here, wish you were fine.
posted by mike d
I will be pontificating in a self-absorbed fashion offline for the next couple of weeks, as I make like the swallows and head for Capistrano, or some such thing.
22 September 2004
That explains the deja vú I get watching Spartacus
posted by mike d
"By the time Dick, in the last decade of his life, came to the conclusion that reality as we know it is an illusion used by the Roman Empire to numb the minds of Christians"

A shadow of the style of TMFTML, in honor of his retirement from the blogosphere.
20 September 2004
Jantando na Mesa do Imperador
posted by mike d
[27-9-04: I don't know exactly what Blogger just did, but it deleted the post I had here when I tried to make one orthographic change, and now I can't get it back. The bastards.]
'I (Heart) NY' vs 'Yo Amo Miami'
posted by mike d
No move is complete without a party:

After much scuffling, Trevan & Mike have come to the realization that this town isn't big enough for the two of them; in fact, the town isn't big enough for one of them. With the interests of Washington at heart, then, Trevan is moving to P. Diddy's New York, and Mike is moving to Don Johnson's Miami; Trevan to walk down Wall Street, Mike to wallow in the gutter press.

But before you all get worked up, get down with us one last time this Friday at Bossa, which is conveniently equidistant between NYC and MIA in Adams Morgan. We'll be sippin' the Crystal after 9pm and be rockin' until we get deported from the District.

If you're on the continent, stop on by.

And no, not Cristal, Crystal.
A Pound of Pierce's Pitt's Pork, Please
posted by mike d
Late breaking news: El taco grande himself, the D-ram, the artist formerly known as my brother, informs me that the BBQ joint earlier in question is none other than Pierce's.

Consider this a recommendation, for next time you're in the area.
Great Moments in Technological Dependency
posted by mike d
I'm here at Tryst, squandering my last couple of days of vacation, and like me, many other people around me here are using their laptops in a semi-productive fashion.

The best, however, is the guy sitting right next to me, with a big, wide, laptop keyboard spread out in front of him, hunting and pecking while he types out an email on his Blackberry.
17 September 2004
He's not heavy, he's my brother
posted by mike d
Blogger happy hour; self-referencial self-satisfaction; the usual nonsense. In keeping with my duties as Mayor of the Backwaters of the Internet, I've managed to keep out of all the pictures people have put up, but they give you an idea of the turn out DCist got: pretty impressive for a less-than-a-month old blog.

I, of course, showed up to hector and kibbitz. I came in for some heat on disparaging their eighteen-part miniseries on life in a nursing home, but enough misdirection and sleight-of-hand (coupled with generous drinking habits on the parts of all concerned) moved the conversation onward to safer topics.

(Although it looks like they loved me so much at DCist they're listing me twice in the post: both as a writer here, and as a "representative" from MemeFirst. I hope to one day graduate to being "Minister Plenipotentiary and Nuncio" for the site.)

The best part of the evening came out of a discussion about barbeque. One of the contributors to DCist was extolling the virtues of this BBQ house just past Williamsburg (whose name escapes me, but it's supposed to be excellent). I naturally represented for the family, with my brother reiging in "Illysburg." Not only did the natual question follow ("Does he go to William & Mary?") but she asked point blank: "Is he a Psi U?" I guess I've got the "has a brother in Psi U" look going for me- I'll try to leverage it with the ladies as much as possible.

So Chris, while you're out there in the pine forests of Southern Virginia, know that not only does Rebecca Walters remember you, she thinks I actually have redeeming value as your brother.

A lot of people are complaining this morning about hangovers. I just slept in.
15 September 2004
No shit, Sherlock
posted by mike d
...so six months ago I was mugged. (No, no, I'm fine, it was nothing serious- the guy just wanted my wallet, I gave it to him, they eventually caught him, etc.. I just had to get that out there: my brother called me up today, and when I told him I was walking out of the DC Courthouse, I could hear his eyes rolling on the other end of the line, and the thoughts of "what's he done this time?" shoot through his brain...)

So, as I was saying, I was stopped for a little scratch, and they caught the guy, and today I was called in to give testimony in the armed robbery case the govt. (as this is the District, they literally make a Federal Case out of it) brought against the guy. Mostly this involved making small talk in the witness holding tank with the other schlub who got stopped by this guy that night. But some of it involved reading my grand jury testimony, and if you think hearing your voice on a tape player is wierd, it's nothing compared to reading a verbatim transcript of your own speech- I use a lot of "yeahs".

But the best part was getting to listen to my 311 call in the AUSA's office (I'm not sure if it's going to be admitted as evidence). I made the call after I got home, after I'd been mugged by a guy with a knife, and after I'd been out celebrating a friends birthday, and possibly having a few drinks. The call is fairly straighforward, with the operator getting down all the vital information I can provide her, until we get to this exchange:
OPERATOR: Can you describe what he was wearing?
ME: Umm... well, he wasn't wearing a tuxedo.

As the AUSA put it right before we got to that: "This is my favorite part."

Also, I'm hoping my grand jury testimony may be one of the first to specifically mention the 7-Eleven Spicy Bite, a beast I've never eaten, but know too much about.
14 September 2004
A New Hot Air Focal Point
posted by mike d
...to balance out Capitol Hill.

So the folks at DCist are having a launch party for the site up at Reef on Thursday. (For those who remember -and haven't been to the swamp in a while- Reef took over the old Star of Siam space in Adams Morgan. It's mediocre bar space and bizarre entrance policy is made up for by a very nice rooftop deck-bar)

You know they're scraping the bottom of the barrel (and not just because of their three-part exposé on eighty-year-old women in Washington), when they drop due torre a line asking us to stop by:
We'd love to get a good showing of local bloggers together at the launch party. We've read your sites before, and it'd be great to meet you all in person! So come on out if you can make it.

Who are they kidding? No one reads this site- two of the three "authors" here don't read this site!

...much more disturbing is that -as near as I can tell- the writers at DCist are all younger than I am. From young pup to elder statesman of the blogosphere, all in ten months. Truly, what an amazing future we live in!
Up here, I'm already gone.
posted by mike d
KRAMER: You're wasting your life.
GEORGE: I am not! What you call wasting, I call living! I'm living my life!
KRAMER: O.K., like what? No, tell me! Do you have a job?
KRAMER: You got money?
KRAMER: Do you have a woman?
KRAMER: Do you have any prospects?
KRAMER: You got anything on the horizon?
GEORGE: Uh...no.
KRAMER: Do you have any action at all?
KRAMER: Do you have any conceivable reason for even getting up in the morning?
GEORGE: I like to get the Daily News!
KRAMER: George, it's time for us to grow up - and be men. Not little boys.
KRAMER: I'm goin' to California. You know, I got the bug.
GEORGE: Yeah, I think I got a touch of something, too.
KRAMER: No, the acting bug. Ever since I was in that Woody Allen movie.
GEORGE: "These pretzels are making me thirsty"? That was one line! You got fired!
KRAMER: I know, I know, but man! I never felt so alive! Now, are you coming with me?
GEORGE: Uh, no, I'm not.
KRAMER: Alright, suit yourself. But let's keep this between us - we're key brothers now.
*Kramer gets up to leave.*
GEORGE: You're not really gonna go to California, are you?
KRAMER (points to his head): Up here, I'm already gone.

man, am I itching to get out of dodge and find Miami... it literally keeps me up at night.
10 September 2004
What happens on the orange line, stays on the orange line
posted by mike d
orange gremlins
Ladies, these were the men your parents warned you about.

(for Salim & co.- if you don't get it, don't sweat it)
Stefan's Assignment Desk
posted by mike d
From Stockholm, a story that I now pass on, third hand. I've spent five minutes googling for mention of this in print, but can't find it. However, the source of this story would be in a position to know, and does not have a history of fabricating tales (you've guessed it, he's a twelve-year-old student):

Recently, Göran Persson, Prime Minister of Sweden, was heard muttering discouraging words after checking his voicemail (possibly to the effect of "Fucking kids"). When pressed to explain such a condemnatory description of children (who, as we know, are "our future"), the following came to light: recently, a senior member of the government (possibly Thomas Östros, Minister for Education) was speaking at a middle school somewhere in Sweden. After the uneventful speech, the respected connected one accidentally left his cellphone at the school (possibly on the counter in the little boys' room). As would happen, some curious student found the cellphone, and, scrolling through the addressbook, found the Prime Minister's personal number. Now he did what anyone of us would do if we were twelve years old and armed with such sensitive information: he passed it out to all his friends.

So in addition to messages of political import, the Prime Minister has been receiving voicemails from middle-school children, who have been leaving such bon mots as: "the penis is long." One can only hope that these first-form fortunes brighten his day.

Anyone out there who is plugged into the Swedish political system better than I am is more than welcome to follow up on this.
Tú te amas; yo - Miami
posted by mike d
Crockett & Tubbs So through the connections of a fellow co-conspirator, I have been offered a real job (look ma- healthcare!), and I have been spending the past two weeks doing the due diligence to prepare for a move to the crown jewel of the Caribbean, Miami.

A great place to visit; I didn't think I could stand to live there- that's how I have always thought about Miami. The airport (how I know Miami best), aptly coded MIA by the FAA, is a gray purgatory one is exiled to before or after trips to South America. The city itself has always been fun to visit, on the few occasions I've gotten the chance. It's one dimentional, but it does that one dimension very, very well.

In preparation for being sent into gilded exile, I have been looking into the necessary accoutrements for surviving in the land of ex-Long Island grandparents, Columbian coke-smugglers, and disgraced politicians of all stripes: the white linen suits (see the example in the obligatory photo), the balcony-bedecked apartment from which to lounge in a hammock at all hours, and the white 1989 Crown Victoria, to be used in getting to the golf course and the early-bird, all-you-can-eat buffet special.

It's funny that everyone asks me if I'm ecstatic to be moving down: I'm not. First, I haven't signed on the dotted line for anything (the apartment people have proved elusive- but I'm hoping to nail that down over the next couple of days). Second, the start date isn't until October, and mentally I still see a lot of September between here and there. And third, while it's exciting to be moving on to a new and very interesting job, while half of me is excited, the other half is scared shitless: it's journalism, and I've never done journalism before. As you've no-doubt noticed, I can barely string together a non-cornball sentence, much less a whole damn article.

Of course everyone I know is ecstatic to know I'm moving there- they now have a place to crash. Let's just hope this isn't a place for me to crash and burn.

Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com

Due Torre Is:


RSS Feed

always in beta testing just to see what we can do.

looking at the US & the World- at one hundred words a day.

american results with european methods.

lazy italian spelling from day one.

mike d also brings down the collective intelligence over at MemeFirst.

Daily Reading File
Living in Latin America
Southern Exposure
WP | World
NYT | International
JB Online
O Estado de São Paulo
La Nación (Argentina)
Reforma.com (México)
WSJ | Americas
FT | Americas
Arts & Letters Daily

Other Links
Economist | World | Latin America
Marcela Sanchez
Andres Oppenheimer
João Ubaldo Ribeiro
Al Kamen's In the Loop
Daniella Thompson on Brazilian Music
Brasilian Music Treasure Hunt
Boston Globe | Ideas

Jim's Posts
Jim's been cranky because what he writes gets drowned out by Mike's logorrheic flood. So if you're looking for the pearls amongst the swine, read:
Drop in the dollar
"A Manual for a LONG TIME"
EU Commission gets jiggy with it
Have the terrorists won?


Powered by Blogger