Thursday, March 31, 2005

Proportion. Look it up.

An article in today's Post brings up what I have noticed and abhorred for years--the trend to construct homes that are WAY TOO BIG for the lots they sit on, and worse, out of all scale with the rest of their neighborhoods. I do not understand why someone would want to build or live in a place that takes up every square inch of land that it occupies, to the point where you're cheek-to-jowl with your neighbors. Perhaps its a combination of the price of acreage in this area and the needs of people with families, but it still seems impractical, unsightly, annoying, and short-sighted. Yet another reason why I probably won't spend all of my life in Northern Virginia.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom and Steve!!

Today is the shared birthday of my mom (68) and my eldest brother (46). I also learned today while listening to NPR that it's Steve McQueen's birthday, as well as Norah Jones, Warren Beatty, Tracy Chapman, Celine Dion, and Eric Clapton.

And all I get is Peter Frampton and Lenin. Clapton is way cooler....lucky!

For srrrss though, much love and wishes for a fabulous birthday to them both.

A belated Happy Easter to everyone. I kind of forgot that that was this weekend, in no small part because the weather was total CRAP and not very spring-like or reminiscent of Easters past. The day itself was fun, though, because we had $1/draught PBR at 1 in the afternoon followed shortly by Luigi's Pizza, a total throwback to the old days in Harrisonburg. Plus we watched Sunday basketball by a toasty fire and it doesn't get much cozier than that, on a grey and nasty day. I did however manage to pick up some sort of springtime bug and stayed home yesterday to sleep and fend it off, with mixed results. I don't feel terrible but I don't feel great either, which bites now that it's 65+ degrees and perfect conditions for frolicking outside. Oh well.

Speaking of the weather, I know it's a weird time of year when you don't know how heavily or lightly to dress, as Mama Nature is very fickle and changling and a day that starts windy and cold can end warm and sunny. BUT--ladies--that does not mean that it is OK, or the right time yet, to wear sleeveless summer tops or flip flops. I saw both these things on different women on the metro this morning and to this I say no, no, NO. That's just crazy. It is not *that* hard to check the weather and gear up accordingly, i.e. layers or shoes that cover more than 15% of your feet. I want sun dress weather to be here as much as the next girl, but use the sense god gave a goose and tart yourself up properly.

Saturday, March 26, 2005


The Amalfi Coast, March 2005

Moon over Trevi

How do you say "scatalogical" in Italian?

Blue Grotto, Capri

From the ridiculous to the sublime, this is just a small sampling of the 110 photos I took during my 8 days in Italy. The complete albums can be found here:





Amalfi Coast/Limoncello tour



Rather than posting huge monologues on what we did/saw/ate, I'll just go with some observations I made. I may add to this post as things occur to me, but for now Random Thoughts, by The Doss:

--everyone in Italy is orange. I was in a typically sun-drenched part of the country, but during winter, in the absence of being able to lay out they fake bake. Or worse, misapply bronzer.

--Italy is full of huge, old stuff. Lots of it. I saw quite a bit, but the finer details are lost in a haze of touring and information saturation. All of it was cool. Most of it was beautiful. Some of it was astonishing.

--gelato is amazing!! Like frozen pudding, but better. How do they do it, and why don't we have more of it here in the States?

--the Italian mullet (apparently making a comeback) consists of letting your hair at the collar get too long, but keeping the top shorter--but with just enough length to arc both sides up into a mini-mohawk. Yeah, don't ask. It looked stupid as hell.

--Charles de Gaulle is one fucked up airport. You take a shuttle from plane-side to the main terminal, then run to your connecting gate, then take another shuttle to the next plane. Whatever happened to boarding from the terminal, through the long snaky tubes? Most inefficient shit I have ever seen.

--I'm sure you've heard this before, but Italian drivers ARE INSANE. They will drive anywhere--road, median, curb, sidewalk. Most of the cars are mini-Cooper-sized OR SMALLER and stopping for pedestrians is an after-thought. If you want to cross the street you must hurl yourself out there and just give it to god (or Buddha or Allah or Brahma) to get you across unscathed. EVERY car has dings, dents, parts missing...and forget about insurance premiums. There is no such thing as "collision". Hard to believe this is the auto-loving land that gave us this, this and this.

--didn't need a trip to tell me this, but I love my country. For so many reasons. Vacations make you feel so lucky in a million ways.

For Adam

Really, for everyone, because who isn't drawn to a huge stone phallus or two? These are relics from Pompei now housed in the archeological Museum of Naples. Apparently those Pompeiians were all up in their freaky side, enough so that the museum has an entire gallery of artifacts from the "red-light district" including these sculptures, penis pipes, paintings and mosaics that would make the Kama Sutra blush, and specialty furniture for aiding in, know. Can I just say I loved visiting this place WITH MY MOM.

Raw limoncello

Four seasons pizza--Amalfi Coast staple

Of course, what's most important about Italy is what you eat and what you drink while you're there. Even their cheap, bad wine is damn good. I took lots of pictures of my food, as I am wont to do, and you'll find them in among the others in the albums. Basically there was a lot of pizza, a lot of limoncello (it tends to come gratis at the end of each meal), gelato thick as pudding, the most delicious espresso, and multiple-course meals that you take your time with, and savor literally and figuratively. I hope to home-brew some limoncello one of these days...does anyone know where I can get my hands on some pure alcohol??

Friday, March 25, 2005

I got this awhile back and resurrected it (no Easter pun intended) just now. So very, very funny:

WINNEBAGO MAN. (watch your volume on this one--may not be work appropriate "And behold, there were many F bombs...")

And, why a Ford F-350, Fossil Fuel Demon that it is, is sometimes necessary:


(The first courtesy of Ryan, the second from Billy. Thanks, guys!)

I love seeing older people (say, 50+) wearing hip gadgets. For instance, on the metro this morning I noticed an older guy listening to an MP3 player using anti-hair mussing headphones--the kind that wrap around the nape of your neck rather than over the crown of your head. Probably a gift from his kid or other young family member, but he was wearing them with style and I thought, "You go on with your bad self!" Might as well live it up now since he's hard on the heels of a future with no Social Security to fund his trendy habits.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


Opening up the cabinet above your desk to discover the box of Samoas your officemate gave you last night on the way out, that you stashed and then promptly forgot about. DESSERT!!

The US version of The Office premieres tonight at 9:30 on NBC. Not really super hopeful about this one, but it may be worth checking out briefly, for comparison's sake.

Empty nest

My apartment feels empty and lonely!! I've had house guests since I got back from my trip, but Christie finished her conference and left this morning so now I'm all by my lonesome. Plus we had a fabulous but all-too-brief dinner with Kristin last night, so I've gotten a dose of my favorite ladies this week and I miss them!

In other news my laundry situation is getting desperate. Every time I've tried to get the key since getting home last Friday it's been checked out by another tenant. I now have 2+ weeks' worth of laundry (not to mention vacation and guest laundry of extra sheets and towels) piled expectantly at the foot of my bed. I can't believe I haven't been able to get that fecking key for a WHOLE WEEK. Gawd.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


The 2005 Ford Mustang GT....AND I WANT ONE. Or four, in different colors.

My niece is named after this car (her father bought and restored a couple back in the day), but if she gets one before I do, I will be very cranky.


Larry Sparks' 40, courtesy of the CMT Listening Party. Traditional bluegrass....fingers flyin'!

I mean, how can you go wrong with titles like I Need Jesus, John Deere Tractor and 1-800-Do-U-Care?


Someone just got to BlogSport by putting "Montgomery Gentry deer on the hood" into Google. That? ROCKS.

The post that brought them here.

A must see

A new exhibition, paintings of those servicemen and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, opened yesterday in Arlington. Available through November 2005.

There is something so perfect about sleeping the night through, only waking occasionally to the sound of steady rain. Heavenly. The only bad thing was not being able to stay in bed and doze cozily all morning, but it looks like this weekend will give us all another chance.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

For Kristin

I know this has made the rounds, and I may even have posted it here at some point in the past, but it never gets old. Plus, considering that it's only Tuesday of a 6-day week, I figure I could use the chuckles. For your listening pleasure:

The Napoleon Dynamite soundboard

Monday, March 21, 2005

"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least there's Krispy Kreme...."

I take this moment to thank god almighty for his grace and blessings, namely KK donuts and their proximity to my office. A fresh, warm glazed donut now rests in my belly and from it is spreading a glow of well-being and happiness--the kind that only American sugar can provide.

Do you hear that white noise? It's the sound of my brain not working because of jet lag.

I've been home since Friday afternoon and still I'm walking around in something of a haze. I don't remember it being this bad after other international trips, but then again, I'm not as young as I used to be. I've been so out of it that I haven't felt compelled to blog or upload photos or email or do much of anything beyond watching basketball and movies, making a shepherd's pie (to make up for missing St. Pat's), and concentrating on NOT saying "gratzie" instead of "thanks". In fact, I should quit there while I'm ahead. Stay tuned, though....

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Italian crap. As you'd expect.

Oh my's your ADD being all global and shit, writing from an internet cafe in Sorrento. It's modeled after an English pub (because this place is a tourist Mecca--there's even a big Guinness tin in the corner) but it is *blasting* world techno so the cacophony and discordant elements abound. I'm primed with my 1,000th shot of limoncello liquer and about to head home for the night, and on to Rome tomorrow. Just thought I'd say hi, because I can. Pictures and stories upon my return.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Where I'm going...

T-minus 6 hours 'til take-off, then I'm off the grid for a week!

What I'm missing:

Kathy's 45th birthday on Saturday.

St. Patrick's Day.

What I'm not missing:




If you need a Doss fix, go take a gander at the *year's worth* (hee!) of archives over there. June and August were particularly good months. ;)

Have a great week, y'all. Ciao!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


A belated happy b to this blog, which turned 1 year old yesterday. Despite my less-than-optimistic predictions for this little project in the inaugural post, I have posted faithfully over the last year, and the internets is a better place for it. More than anything I love having a chronicle of the last 365 days because, folks, I ain't gettin' any younger and I be forgettin' shit. THAT is the great legacy of blogs, people--not a political force that will eventually overtake mainstream media. Oh no. It is, first and foremost, a Doss memory aid and for that, I am grateful (as should you be!).

Here's to another good year.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

They smell delicious

The fleurs after my half-assed vase placement. They are still blooming like gangbusters. Dontcha love how pictures of *my* flowers are all that I managed to get out of *Steve's* big day? Yeah, I rock like that. But truly, it's because there was an official USAF photographer there who did the main picture taking of the ceremony, so once I get those, maybe we'll get a shot or two.

Beauty queen-style

As part of the pinning ceremony Steve gave roses to each of us (from the family). The sisters got these gorgeous red rose bouquets but I totally felt like a pageant chick with mine. I was waving and errrything.

YAY!!! I love the unexpected visits from favorite people!! Just got a call from my sister to say that she's in DC this week for a conference, so now we have plans to do dinner and a movie tomorrow night. WAX. I love the girls' night out with my big sister; there aren't instruments to measure how much she rocks.

Good thing though that I decided to skip the Flock of Seagulls concert in Winchester tomorrow. No, seriously. Ryan and I, and Naila and Glen, were all geared up to go because the irony? She would flow thick and fast my friends. But I decided the night before the trip was cutting it too tight (among other factors).

And now I'm free to be with my sistawh. I love a happy ending.

I tried to post several times on Saturday with pictures and details about Steve's pinning ceremony, but the jpegs I was working with were, um, faulty, and proved repeatedly unsuccessful. I still don't have pictures I can put up here, so I'll just have to tell you without visual evidence to substantiate that the ceremony was great. All the women in Steve's life (wife, mom, sisters) were there (our brothers couldn't make it) and got to witness him assuming the XO position to a General who commands upwards of 150,000 people. That's FIVE TIMES the size of the town I grew up in. And most of the people have weaponry, so...nothing to shrug at. My family was great and I got to see some peeps who I don't often get the chance to visit, so while brief, that was special. I also met Steve's CO and many of the men and women under his command and they were all lovely. It is in no small way a heartening experience to meet your nation's military personnel face-to-face and find them to be smart, capable, warm individuals. If the 18th Air Force is any indication, we're in very good hands, people. As for New Jersey, it was...Jersey, but the trip up and back went off without a hitch and for that I am very grateful.

Other than that, a relaxing weekend of grilling out a couple nights (60 degrees yesterday, and windchills into the 20s today. March is not fucking around, y'all)--steaks one night, brats the next. Blockbuster hooked us up with both Friday Night Lights and Open Water, both of which were very good. FNL was more sophisticated than I expected it to be (relatively speaking; it's still a movie about football, so don't let me oversell it) and Tim McGraw does a fine job of being a drunk, hateful bastard. Open Water was excellent--scary and suspenseful without being gruesome--and while it doesn't necessarily make me want to go diving anytime soon, it did make the Caribbean look EFFING SWEET. Oh man. Which leads to the general topic of:

VACATION. Wheels-up for Italy in 54 hours. Yes, I will be counting down quite a bit between then and now. You know you love it. And me.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

She's lump

Driving in this morning I saw *many* joggers out on Memorial Bridge and the Mall, and it made me feel like a FAT ASS. I've only been averaging 1-2 jogs/week for the past 2 months or so. Simultaneous to the infrequent exercise has been an increase in eating rich foods and drinking, in the immortal words of Campbell Scott, many beers. A bad combination? Mmmm hmm. I feel sluggish and lazy, and that shit has to STOP. I can't do much between now and my trip (and the amount of pasta and wine I will consume there is sure to be legendary) but once I get back, lookout! The Doss is bringing it Old School style (and rowing starts April 4th).

Thusly will I be able to continue the many beers regimen unabated.

Always thinking, kids...always thinking.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


My brother's promotion ceremony is tomorrow, waaay out of town (180+ miles, one way), so this morning I went and picked up a rental car for the trip. BD has been making some odd noises lately and I didn't want to chance car trouble or, worse, missing Steve's event, so I forked over the ducats to Enterprise for a KICKIN' Chevy Cavalier (stock photo here; mine is more of a fetching champagne color). Actually, I love renting cars. I just love driving, period, and other people's cars in particular. I wish it were a snazzier veee-hicle, but it's fine for the task at hand and I was *thrilled* to discover that it has a CD player!! I was all set to be surfing radio stations between here and there, but no need for that. Woot! Plus it's an automatic, which will be nice to have if I run into traffic. I am a complete car snob generally and a manual transmission snob specifically, but shifting sucks major D in stop-and-go nonsense like we have 'round these parts.

Hence, no blogging tomorrow, but some piccies and stories when I get back, for sure. Cross your fingers I get there and back sans incident.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Stumbled on a great documentary last night, Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives on HBO. Excellent, sparse readings done by prominent black actors (aww, Ossie Davis, miss you!) and actresses interspersed with pictures and footage of the slaves themselves. Not too melodramatic or histrionic, just letting the accounts speak for themselves relatively unembellished. Check it out.

Phew. I made it. Every year I float in a basketball-ignoring haze between the time just after the Super Bowl is played and when Spring Training (and its exhibition games) start. I don't know why exactly, but I've never cottoned on to basketball the way I have to other sports. Seeing a game in person is fun, for sure (I've lost count of the JMU games I went to with my parents, where I ran around and rooted for the team as much as the next person) but in general, me no likey. So from football season to baseball season I glide, this year without even the distraction of hockey, but those dark days are over. The Nationals have their first game (vs. the Mets) today. Baseball is back in DC (SUCK IT, Angelos) and I'm happy to see it. It's not as cool as Kristin living w/in spitting distance of Wrigley, but the idea that I can hop on the metro for a game after work from time to time? Thrills me no end. But not as much as the hotdogs and beer at the park thrill me.!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


So, Christie, I hope to be hearing from you sometime between 9 and 11. Go on, try me. Hos before shows!!!

Iwannago I wannago Iwannago!!!

I couldn't figure out how to Hello the picture so you'll have to follow the link, but trust me, it's worth it. This was taken with a camera phone, can you believe it? Sky so blue! Snow so white. I take back what I said about spring just long enough to go play in Utah. Please?! Please, can we? Huh, huh?? Pretty pleeeeeeeeeeez????

Matters of entertainment

Saw Adaptation last night. I put it off for ages because I cannot abide Nicolas Cage but 1. I didn't have much else that I wanted to watch 2. I wanted to get it off the DVR and 3. it's been recommended to me high and low, not least because Chris Cooper (heart!) is in it, so I figured for him I could give it a shot. Saving grace: Nicolas was in it much less than I expected, and Cooper was in it more. I didn't know Meryl Streep was in it, and she rocks for sheezy so that was a boon. Very, very interesting storyline--and I have to liken it to Bad Education in some ways with the slight of hand used in the "story within a story" thing--and while I found the ending somewhat jarring and not in keeping with the first 4/5 of the film, still, vrrr vrrr good.

I added my Powells wish list to the "Link That" section. I'm keeping Amazon up because it also has music and movies, whereas Powells is just books, but for the literary from here on out it's a Powells kinda blog. You can find fare there such as Notable American Women by Ben Marcus, which had me laughing out loud on the train this morning. A sample:

"Should a helmet be worn when I make love?"

Until the notion of Helmet-Assisted Life catches on with more people, you may be seen as a threat if you wear a helmet during moments of intimacy. Yet it might also be true that relaxed intimacy cannot occur unless the head is fully protected.... Perhaps the best solution is to encourage your partner to wear a helmet first, gently implying that it increases your arousal or fulfills a fantasy you've always had--that is, to make love to a beautiful person who is wearing protective headgear. Then when you introduce your own helmet into the bedroom, discreetly, of course, through a lights-out equipment-debut strategy, the helmet will seem natural and lovely, like a headdress once may have looked to warriors--honorable and sacred and sexual--and you can make lovely safely, without unwanted risk to your head. Helmets should slowly become a regular feature of life. Until that time, users should respect those people not yet accustomed to them, who still prefer a naked, vulnerable head."


It's officially official: I am ready for spring. Sometimes I don't even reach this point. I am a cold-weather girl. I love me some snow, some pink cheeks, some jeans, some sweaters, some Irish coffee, some crunchy down comforters, some soup that simmers all day and warming myself up with some Guinness. But occasionally circumstances come along that make winter so tiresome that I, your ADD, long for warmer days. Today marks that day for 2005. I'm tired of slush and grey, short days; I'm sick of my winter clothes; and I'm ready to get back outside to run and row and hike and actually feel like there's something to my day besides being in my office. I know it's still a ways off, but my point is: now is when I start to get cranky about it and say COME ON ALREADY WITH THE SPRING.