Friday, March 27, 2009

Talking Head

Just as promised, I was on your teevee, talking about my shirts. Or my face was. And my voice. My name? Not so much. I don't even know where they got Joseph Keller. Pretty sloppy journalism. Also, they missed my money quote about going back to work and not looking like a schnook.

Anyway, this is about the damnedest thing I've ever seen (embed doesn't seem to be working, hit the link):

Just call me Joe.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Mr. Hawa caved before my demands, and opened up the Cornerstone Cleaners today, and I got my nice shirts back. No bricks necessary. (Thanks to DCist for their top-notch local reporting)

Be sure to tune in to the local ABC affiliate tonight, where you'll hear me speaking about the emotional roller coaster ride I've been riding since my shirts first went missing.

Last, and unrelated: Why do people on the street keep falling on their faces right in front of me?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why I Look Like a Schnook

Avid followers of my twitter feed will know that last week I wrote:
dry cleaners mysteriously closed all day. certain i'll never see my shirts again.
I'd made several more unsuccessful trips to the Cornerstone Cleaners, but had hesitated to call in a complaint because somebody had probably died or something.

I may have been inadvertently flirting with the truth there. Now it's news. Here's DCist:
Cornerstone Cleaner, a.k.a. CS Cleaners, the dry cleaners located at 1947 14th Street NW, at the corner of 14th and U Streets, has abruptly closed, with hundreds of garments still locked inside.

A sign posted on the door of the business states: "Store will be close 30 days. Pick-up only. (703) 625-0333." Dialing that number today got you a full voice mailbox for "Uptown Management," meaning you could not leave a message. The same number is listed on a "For Lease" sign posted in the window, with the name "HAWA" printed above the number.

Well, Mr. Hawa, you have hijacked my three nicest shirts, and now I'm going to work every day looking like a regular schnook. You have four days until a put a brick through your window and reclaim my (hopefully clean, nicely pressed) shirts. And I'll be taking a fistful of hangers as interest.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Concerning the Bicycle

You'll be undoubtedly relieved to know that I've replaced the bicycle that got busted on a Benz last month. I don't have a name for the new one yet, so for now, we'll call her Katherine Parr. And she's a beaut:
And since we're on the subject, I'll draw your attention to an article that showed up in the New York section of today's Times. The author, Robert Sullivan, himself a biker, takes up the question of cyclist civility; generally, he's saying that since bikers have become a relatively ordinary part of city traffic flow, they should stop acting like the persecuted minority they once were. (The title, "The Wild Bunch," I found both gratifying and a little insulting)

The problem he’s trying to rectify is the hatred pedestrians and drivers feel toward bikers. If only bikers displayed a little more civility—giving pedestrians their space, and acting with a sense of self-preservation—we might all like each other a bit more.

He lays out four proposals for the biking community:

* NO. 1: How about we stop at major intersections?
* NO. 2: How about we ride with traffic as opposed to the wrong way on a one-way street?
* NO. 3: How about we stay off the sidewalks?
* NO. 4: How about we signal?

All that is fine. Certainly, a cyclist should ease on the brakes so as not to freak out a pedestrian. But, as he points out in the article, the idea that bikes hurt or kill a lot of pedestrians is a total myth—cars are still far more dangerous both to bicyclists and pedestrians.

It would be nice if bikers were nicer (I do my best to be nice, most mornings) and everybody liked bikers more, but it's not really the problem.

He skirts the hairier questions of bicycle behavior. What about minor intersections? Do we stop there? At stop signs? Suppose there's no traffic at the intersection? What about the Idaho stop? Is it all right for cyclists to pull in front of crosswalks, so they don't fall prey to a right hook? All of the crashes I've suffered in recent years have been the result of drivers forgetting about bikes—opening doors without looking, turning across bike lanes without looking, etc. This conversation still needs to be about protecting bikers and pedestrians from cars-- that's the problem.

I enjoyed Sullivan’s article, and I would recommend it to you as Sunday afternoon reading, but it’s a little fluffy. Wake me up when we start talking about what matters.

Monday, March 02, 2009

dP in Yo Heezy for Sheezy

In a bizarre out-of-body moment yesterday, I observed myself saying these things into the telephone while on the bus (this is my half of the conversation):

- Sup homie?
- Naw, I been in New York. I'm comin back to DC now.
- Oh word.
- Yeah, bbc fo real. Straight up.
- Oh hell yeah. Shit yeah dawg, I'm down.
- Aight, I'll holler atcha tomorrow.
- Peace, bro.

NB: These lines were delivered without a whisper of irony or self-mocking. I never really knew why nobody liked me. Now I think I know.