Saturday, January 31, 2009

...and on the 37th Day of Christmas...

Yes, as Suze Orman would say "To erase it you must face it."

The Christmas tree was taken down last weekend but my dining room still looks like the setting for a sadly maintained Elf 12 Step Program.

So I like Christmas.

And I procrastinate.

Deal with it people!

Okay Herb...take a deep breath...and face it!

Possum and my 401K Pumpkin supervise...

"In every job that must be done there is an element of fun...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Aretha Says "S-H-U-T-U-P"

In the raging controversy sweeping the interwebbies, does Aretha Franklin tell someone to "shut up" during her Inaugural performance? And by raging controversy sweeping the interwebbies I mean people who really have nothing better to do.

Like me.

So does she say it? Was she clearing her throat? Is it the hat talking? Is the tape fake?

I know. The Inauguration is over. I need to move on.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Officials to Inaugural Ticket Holders: "We Thought You Were Kidding About Showing Up!"

Unbelievable! In today's
Wapo article:

"Congressional organizers assumed there would be a significant number of no-shows in the ticketed areas, as at previous inaugurations, Gainer said. "For this inauguration, everyone showed up," he said."

Huh? With Congressional offices inundated with calls and emails for the tickets, pages of ads on Craigslist and even laws passed to prevent scalping of tickets yet the Inaugural officials didn't think everyone holding a coveted ticket would really show up?


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Aretha's Hat and You!

Forget about Michelle's dress or the kids decked out in J.Crew, what about Aretha's hat?

Her hat is the new viral rage of the interwebbies and you can
proudly wear her hat too!

Find more examples at
Aretha Franklin's Hat Fickr Page.

Here's some more pics of y'all flaggin' Aretha.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Countdown of the Peaceful Transition of The White House Website!

The countdown begins on the White House website:

11:59 AM Waiting for change

12:01 PM The site becomes unavailable

12:08 PM "Change Has Come to America" and the White House website!

Inauguration Day Morning--My View

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Yummo!" Or WWMTLS? (What Would Mary Todd Lincoln Serve?)

Suddenly Abraham Lincoln is everywhere in DC! His words, his Memorial even his favorite foods will be served to the Obamas at the post-Inauguration lunch.

So how authentic is this lunch? To research I went to my copy of the Congressional Club Cookbook and there was the truth on page 16: Mary Todd Lincoln's favorite recipe was corn on the cob!

This 5 minute recipe sounds familiar! What, is it possible? Yes, the sad truth is Mary Todd Lincoln was the Rachael Ray of the Civil War.

Mary Todd Lincoln's Corn on the Cob

Bring enough water to boil more than cover the corn when it is added to the kettle

Add one table of salt for each quart of water

Drop the corn into the boiling water and return to boil

Turn off the heat immediately and let the corn stand in the water for five minutes.

Serve with butter

Rachael Ray's Corn on the Cobb

Fill a large stockpot with unsalted water and bring to a rolling boil.

Add corn on the cob to the boiling water.

Let water return to a boil.

Cover pot and immediately turn off heat.

Let covered pot sit undisturbed on the burner for 10 minutes.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Let's Add Some Fun-guration to the Inauguration!

Dear Presidential Inaugural Committee, the Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, DC Government, MSNBC, CNN, HBO, Democratic National Party, President Elect Obama and Vice President Elect Biden:

Don't you just hate it when you spend months planning a party and then the guests complain about the seven layer dip only having six layers or having to dry their hands on the curtains because you put out the good guest towels in the bathroom? Yeah me too. Regardless, please have a seat, listen up and I will offer up a few suggestions for what I would have done if I had been asked to add some Fun-guration to the Inauguration of Barack Obama.


To have a Fun-guration we need you to relax the Butt-Clench of Death you have on the District this week. I understand your need to secure the area immediately around the Obamas but the greatest demonstration of the strength and vitality of our democracy is a free and fabulous Inaugural, not one where residents of DC are locked in and Virginia locked out.

Let our people go. And Virginia in.
Let's have fun!

The Inaugural Parade

Oh where do I start with this one? Everybody loves a parade and this should be the one event that all the residents and visitors to DC can come together to knock back a few beers and view. Unfortunately the traditional route along Pennsylvania Avenue from 4th St past dreary government office buildings to the White House doesn't leave a lot of room or opportunities for our guests to share body shots. Even my beloved Southern Indiana West Side Nut Club Fall Festival parade has a longer and wetter route.

Here's a suggestion: turn right on 6th St and march up to I Street and return to Pennsylvania Avenue by traversing down 7th St. The parade route is now tripled in size and weaves by the bars and restaurants of Penn Quarter and the Verizon center! PAR-TAY! Won't that also be good for the local economy and great national publicity for the Verizon Center? Maybe Verizon will kick in a big contribution to the Presidential Inaugural Committee and comp me a hot new Blackberry Storm Smart phone 'cause this was my idea?

View Larger Map

Okay so maybe there might be an awkward photo opportunity when the Obamas drive by "Hooters" on 7th St but isn't that something for the incoming Press Secretary to deal with?

The list of parade participants is a bit bland and predictable with its marching bands, military drill teams and mounted horse guard units. At least there aren't any clowns. No one really likes clowns. But change we believe in would add some fabulous drag queens to the Fun-guration parade.

By the way the already scheduled parade participants, Alabama's "Azalea Trail Maids" are not technically drag queens but I understand your confusion.


Here's how to fix the parking problem: instead of being all Inaugural Debbie Downers by closing bridges and roads and telling everyone within 25 miles to walk or swim, just simply announce that DC will have the normal weekday parking restrictions and if you park illegally YOU WILL BE TICKETED AND/OR TOWED by DC's astonishingly efficient army of Meter Maids Parking Control Officers.

Think of all the extra money the District will collect!
Fun-guration? Maybe not but at least I will be able to park on my street.

The Inaugural Balls

Don't get me started on the tickets to the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball that for whatever reason, didn't necessarily go to your neighbors. Or me. But at least I'm not bitter about it. Much.

So instead of talking about my tux that won't be seen, let's address the music. The word is out that the first dance the Obamas will waltz to is Beyonce singing the Etta James hit "At Last."


"At Last?"

Is this a Fun-guration Ball or my cousin Norman's wedding reception?

You have Beyonce there and she currently has a monster hit
"Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It." Let Beyonce be Beyonce and sing the song everyone came to hear her sing.

It's a Fun-guration!

And Mr.Big Shot President-Elect, maybe after twirling Michelle across the stage you could put some new bling on her finger. The girls are going to get a dog for putting up with a long campaign, Michelle deserves something nice also.

The "We Are One" Opening Ceremonies Televised on HBO

We want to see BHO but
HBO is a Bridge to Nowhere in my house.

A Fun-guration would have this shown on any network that desires it.

Not fun!

Boo! Hiss!

In Closing

I don't want to be a totally ungrateful guest at your Inauguration. I think you have succeeded in making this an inauguration that reflects the new Administration's commitment to leadership that sets aside partisanship and unites the nation around our shared values and ideals. However, with just a few tweaks to your plans like having Barack take the new 2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine and race Joe Biden helming President Bush’s old 2006 model down Constitution Avenue will make this a real Fun-guration.


Herb of DC

P.S. Let me know where I can drop the Hostess present off. It's a cheese ball!

P.P.S Wouldn't it be fun to invite Sarah Palin?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Fellow Citizens, We Cannot Escape History."

To kick off the inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama is following the train route today Saturday that his political hero and mine Abraham Lincoln took to assume his presidency.

I'm feeling very emotional this morning and struggling with what to say so I'll let Aaron Copland's music and Lincoln's words do my work.

In 1942, shortly after the U.S. entered World War Two, conductor Andre Kostelanetz commissioned Aaron Copland to compose a work to fortify and comfort people during that time of national distress.

Copland felt overwhelmed by the assignment, but eventually came up with a work that has since become a touchstone in times of crisis, and one of the most enduring works in American music, "A Lincoln Portrait."

Copland used excerpts from different Lincoln speeches, combined with musical quotations from American songs, such as "Camptown Races."


"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history."

That is what he said. That is what Abraham Lincoln said.

"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We, even we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility." [Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862]

He was born in Kentucky, raised in Indiana, and lived in Illinois. And this is what he said. This is what Abe Lincoln said.

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we will save our country." [Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862]

When standing erect he was six feet four inches tall, and this is what he said.

He said: "It is the eternal struggle between two principles, right and wrong, throughout the world. It is the same spirit that says 'you toil and work and earn bread, and I'll eat it.' No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation, and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle." [Lincoln-Douglas debates, 15 October 1858]

Lincoln was a quiet man. Abe Lincoln was a quiet and a melancholy man. But when he spoke of democracy, this is what he said.

He said: "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy."

Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of these United States, is everlasting in the memory of his countrymen. For on the battleground at Gettysburg, this is what he said:

He said: "That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. That this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth."

The Obama Song (America Just Wants to Believe in Barack Obama)

Anyone else feeling Lincolnesque today?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Best Hallmark Shoebox Birthday Card Ever!

No Photoshopping necessary!

The Audacity of Herb!

Make your own Obamicon!

Having a slow day at work? Use your glamor head shot to make your own Shepard Fairey-like Obama poster here.

H/T Joe.My.God.

Jezus with a Z and Other Things I Learned Yesterday

1. Someone in my Inauguration Volunteer group is using an email address of
I'm not making fun of his/her religion--just professionalism. And possibly taste.

"Son Of God, your back-up dancers are here!"

2. Decorator Karate Chopped pillows are a bad thing.

3. I like being called "Sir."

4. Everyone has a labradoodle these days.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Metro Doors Snack on Screaming Tourists!

...And in other Metro news, Joe Biden stands left when riding the escalators. From The Washington Metro's surprisingly droll "Yes We Can: Inauguration Tips " video.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Do I Smell Red Velvet Cupcakes?

I do! What, for me? Oh, you shouldn't have! Well that wasn't the hint but I will take them for my birthday!

Now if only there would be a big party for me next week everything would be perfect!

Since this is another significant birthday, a parade would be nice! Maybe with the Azalea Trail Maids ...

Update 1/14/2009

Uh oh, not everyone thinks the Azalea Trail Maids should be invited to the party.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Your Inaugural Ball Questions Answered (Part 1)

Q: What should I keep in mind when selecting an Inaugural dress?

A: Of uppermost concern is your comfort and safety. Your outfit must be able to survive a 3-5 mile walk through freezing DC streets, shield you from a possible terrorist attack, yet allow you to stand for hours in an overly heated ballroom with only a plastic cup of white wine to sustain you. During the evening you may be pushed, stepped on and possibly freak danced by Chris Matthews. Experts recommend for first timers a fashionable yet durable dress made of duct tape with a coordinating duct tux for your date. Enjoy!

Q: The theme of the Inauguration "A New Birth of Freedom" commemorates the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. Would using this theme for our ball outfits be a good idea?

A. If by "A New Birth of Freedom" theme you mean this couple, yes by all means. Especially if you are going to the Lincoln 2.0 Inaugural Ball.

If you mean this couple, no.

Q: May ladies wear hats?

A. Hats are always appropriate as long as they are dignified and restrained and reflect the solemn nature of this historic occasion.

Q. The 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee promises an inclusive and accessible inauguration that reflects the new Administration's commitment to leadership that sets aside partisanship and unites the nation around our shared values and ideals. Having said that (whew!) is it okay to wear outfits celebrating our regional cultural heritages?

A. Hmm. Well that depends. For instance the creative Hawaiian black tie look is definitely in this year:

The formal Delaware Amtrak look is in

The sexy Maverick Eskimo look is out. Try again in 2012.

The Chicago Politician look is in

And this one is just sad and very out

Stay tuned for Part 2 "Finding a Cheap Inaugural Outfit and Date on Craigslist" and "Tricky Inaugural Etiquette: What to Do When the Losing Presidential Candidate Shows Up at the Bloggerational Ball."

Hint #1

Singer, actress and baritone Cher sings and performs 7 different parts in "West Side Story."

This is either:

1. The greatest performance ever
2. The biggest ego driven train wreck ever
3. Required viewing for Gay 101
4. All of the above

At 5:26 in Cher hits a high C (B flat?) that peels wallpaper and neuters male dogs within 2 miles

Friday, January 9, 2009

Grid 2 and The Land O' Lincoln Luncheon

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies today announced the details for the 2009 Inaugural Luncheon, which will follow the swearing-in of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden. Coincidentally or not today I was informed that my volunteer job with the Presidential Inaugural Committee will have me stationed in Grid 2 on the Mall on January 20.

Grid 2! I think that means I will be the Obama food taster or perhaps the Sasha and Malia wrangler!

Hopefully Grid 2 is nothing like
Area 51.

The details of the luncheon have been designed to reflect the theme of the 2009 Inaugural ceremonies, "A New Birth of Freedom," which celebrates the bicentennial of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln.

The menu, draws on historic ties to the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Growing up like me in the frontier regions of Kentucky and Indiana, the sixteenth President favored simple foods including root vegetables and wild game. As his tastes matured, he became fond of stewed and scalloped oysters. For dessert or a snack, nothing pleased him more than a fresh apple or an apple cake.

At my house we favored grilled PBJ sandwiches, butter burgers and wholesome Twinkie cupcakes.

The 2009 Inaugural Land O' Lincoln Luncheon Menu

First Course

Seafood Stew
Duckhorn Vineyards, 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley

Second Course

A Brace of American Birds (pheasant and duck), served with Sour Cherry Chutney and Molasses Sweet Potatoes
Goldeneye, 2005 Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley

Third Course

Apple Cinnamon Sponge Cake and Sweet Cream Glacé
Korbel Natural “Special Inaugural Cuvée,” California Champagne

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Want to Be a Good DC Host for the Inauguration But...

Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009

"And if you are thinking of driving a single-passenger vehicle into the District, finding a parking space will be like winning the lottery."

Hey I always try to be a good host! Company coming? I clean the house, change the guest bed linens, leave a good bottle of bourbon on the bureau chocolates on the pillow and disinfect the remote control.

But hosting parking for thousands and thousands of cars on January 20?

Not all of us in DC are lucky enough to have off street parking. Unfortunately all those DC residents living in a 50 block area from 11th St NW to 21 St NW between K and P will not be able to park on their own streets starting at 3:00 pm Monday January 19.

So will all those folks move their cars into neighborhoods to the North? If not where would they go? I don't see any guidance from DC, the Secret Service or for that matter Oprah on this.

Along with DC residents migrating to other neighborhoods we will also have the throngs of drivers from Maryland and other states ignoring the warnings who will drive their cars into DC looking for close-in parking.

So where will DC residents park on Inauguration Day?

Compounding matters, don't forget that January 20 is a DC Holiday. I doubt that Traffic Control Officers will be patrolling neighborhoods. Will this became the Super Bowl of All Time of Double and Illegal Parking throughout DC neighborhoods?

I'm parking my car Saturday, and don't plan to move it again until January 21.

And you can disinfect your own damn remote.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Road to the Doghouse--The Puppedential Debate

CNN anchor Anderson "eCrush" Cooper moderates the first (and last) debate of First Dog hopefuls for Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

Don't Forget to Register Your Inaugural Ball Outfit!

Do you want to see who is wearing what at your upcoming Inaugural Ball? Or would you like to make sure you and Grandma Biden are not fashion twins? The answer to both questions is to go to the
Dress Registry and register your outfit.

I don't yet see a listing for the Bloggerational Ball. How can I be sure I'm the only one wearing my tux???

Monday, January 5, 2009

An Inaugural Ball for the Rest of Us!

Along with the Bloggerational Ball, you now have an option to attend the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee today announced the first-ever Neighborhood Inaugural Ball on January 20 at the Washington Convention Center with free or affordable tickets available!

In Obama's words:

"This is an inauguration for all Americans. I wanted to make sure that we had an event that would be open to our new neighborhood here in Washington, D.C., and also the neighborhoods across the country. Michelle and I look forward to joining our fellow Americans across the country during this very special event."

Okay, so how do we get these tickets? I have the tux, and I suspect finding a date will not be too hard once I announce my "Escort Herb to the Inaugural Ball" contest (open to anyone and for that matter, anything).

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Four Days of Barking!

Not quite this but close...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I Pick Your DC Resolutions for 2009!

1. I promise to accept the fact that the check-out lane at Giant is not one big Super Market Sweepstakes game. I will no longer be surprised when the cashier suggests I have lost again and must actually pay for my groceries. I will start digging through my purse for my payment long before I hear this sad news.

2. Unless I professionally scan groceries for a living at another store, I will not use the Self Service Check-Out lane at Harris Teeter when I have 20 or more items in my cart. I also promise to use a cashier if I have produce such as Jerusalem artichokes or white asparagus that can only be scanned after paging through pages of electronic pictures of similar looking vegetables.

3. I will post more to my blog while drunk.

4. Unless it is for TMI Thursday.

5. On Sundays I shalt not double park.

6. Growing up in a snow belt state taught me how to safely drive in 3 feet of driving snow. However, driving the family station wagon with chains on its tires down an empty country lane to the Tractor Supply Company store is not the same as navigating the snowy DC Beltway with thousands of other drivers, most who did not have the privilege of graduating from Snow U. I will no longer endlessly complain when the DC area closes down due to the treat of two inches of snow.

7. As Chairmen of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, I will happily give Herb of DC two Inaugural Ball tickets for his embarrassing and desperate "Escort Herb to the Ball" blog contest.

8. As Manager of Marshalls at DC USA, I will provide a better explanation for why the Peppermint Bark is not 75% off other than saying that it is not holiday merchandise because it "don't have a picture of Santa Claus or a Christmas tree" on it.

9. I am proud and happy over the election of Barack Obama and look forward to attending his historic inauguration. No matter how well I know DC I will take public transportation and will not park in the close-in neighborhoods.

10. I worked very hard creating my blog that now gets thousands of well deserved hits a week. It would not hurt my blog to occasionally link to other more modest blogs who might have something interesting to say that day or perhaps have creative uses of spelling or grammar. Especially if Herb that blogger regularly posts comments and links to yours mine.

11. I now know that using foul language while waiting on customers at CVS only dooms me to forever work at CVS.

12. Creating blog posts with as many DC hipster references as possible for the express purpose of being linked through DCBLOGS or DCist is pathetic and sad. I resolve to no longer feature any of the following in posts in 2009: Ben's Chili Bowl, Whole Foods, Sasha and Malia, Comet Pizza, Morning Joe, PBR, the Orange Line, Falafel, Aunt Zeituni, drunken Metro bus flashing, Mika, Petworth, Michelle Rhee fantasies, Sasha Fierce, World of Warcraft, sex in a Filene's Basement dressing room, tweets, bears, the Bloomingdale Farmers Market, tourists, independent coffee shops/book stores/clothing stores, madras, H Street, Ambien, Pat Buchanan look alike strippers, cankles, Nellies, Cabinet Nominees I Would Like to F***, Jefferson Memorial priapism and Audacity of {insert word here}.