Monday, January 24, 2005


Title of update refers to collective noise made by Philadelphia metropolitan area and its subsidiaries going absolutely batshit last night at around 6pm.

The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl. The core Shepherd clan shall be united on Redwood Drive on February 6, and I shan't go to work the day after. There were tears last night. And fabulous silver and green makeup. And an extremely bemused gay man at a loss as to why a stupid game could inspire such hysterics in the tiny girl in the horrible green wig leaping and screeching around his group house. I left it to token straight roommate Jeffrey to explain, as I was far too busy violating acceptable DC-neighborhood noise levels.

Alas, I had to keep my victory celebrations to a minimum at the office, as my good pal and fellow tiny red-headed football fan Beth is a traumatized Steelers fan. There will be time enough for slapping the front page of the Inquirer on the office door. As one who understands playoff-induced pain, a certain amount of restraint must be exercised. For now.

Fly eagles fly...

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Very Important Events

Not a moment of peace to be had here in snowy Washington for both the best and worst of reasons as of late. Really, I feel like one Very Important Event has transpired after another since Christmas. InterAction was sent into a tizzy of activity for about two solid weeks dealing with the tsunami crisis. Since IA mainly serves other charity organizations, rather than operate as a public funding institution, we usually get about 2 or 3 calls from the public a week. But we distrbuted a list of our members involved with the tsunami to the Associated Press, who gave it to just about every other media outlet, so we had 200-300 calls a week all of a sudden.
Complicating matters was the fact that a colleague was honeymooning in Thailand at the time, and barely escaped the disaster while causing us a lot of worry in the meantime. It was an extraordinary, awful situation which really taxed the abilities of a large sector of people well-versed in calamity on a global scale. I think we're back on track now, but everyone is still caught up in the momentum.

Amid all of this, I managed to leave the burden of saving the world behind and celebrate my 24th birthday. I was taken out to eat no less than three separate times, which was quite nice. I was also whisked off to NYC by Jeffrey for a lovely weekend of perusing old haunts (Met, West Village) and new. Among the new was the relatively new Museum of Sex in the Flatiron District, which was surprisingly educational. Admittedly, there were moments I got the impression that they were stretching a bit for educational context (let's just say I learned more about foot binding than I'll ever want to know in the ancient China exhibit), but not at all a seedy experience. It's no substitute for la Met, but it's quite interesting.

Back in DC, the snow and the inaugeration have put the city in a state of suspended animation. Most businesses (including IA) were closed for the inaugeration -- not so much so people could attend, but because about 100 sqaure blocks were shut down making commutes impossible.
Actually, I know of no one from DC who went. I myself stayed inside and watched the proceedings on TV. It's not that I begrudge the inauguration taking place. It's just that my going to W's second inaugeration would be a bit like me attending the Carolina Panthers NFC Championship victory party last year. Someone's gotta win, and they won fair and square, but some parties just ain't my scene. Besides, it's not like it's a royal funeral or anything. That, as we've learned, is a thing not to be missed.

And the hits keep on coming. Tomorrow the Eagles play their fourth consecutive NFC Championship, which could determine whether Monday morning will be greeted with abject delight or despair. Regardless of the outcome, Monday will be guaranteed to either compound post-victory elation or assuage my horrible melancholy with the announcement of the U2 Vertigo tour, to be followed on Tuesday for a ticket pre-sale for dedicated fan club members. I believe that that's a fine slice of the drama of the human experience for one month.


Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Big 2-5

Some hardcore partying went down for the big 2-5 on Friday, friends. Nothing says hardcore like a "dining lounge" called Cloud, where you can be served blue cocktails with marshmallows while sitting on a big fluffy bed. Y'heard? We didn't actually sit on the fluffy bed, 'cuz my crew was too large. So we sat at a table. Drinkin' marshmallow cocktails. That's just how we roll. Then my girls bought me a donut. Word.

But this party didn't stop there. We went to the Big Hunt on Connecticut Avenue, which is fun to go to, because after a few Jack and Cokes, really funny things happen when you try to say that bar's name. I think they did that on purpose when they named that place. Fo' real. Incidentally, it's good to order Jack and Cokes after marshmallow-tinis, because you get to indulge your boozy sweet tooth, and feel like a bad-ass in the same night. Good times.

Got home after midnight, fell asleep on the couch, and woke up with "Flavor of Love" on VH1 and the cat passed out on my tummy. A very successful birthday indeed. Holla.

Monday, January 3, 2005

Not Just Laci

The Washington Post ran a really fascinating article on the prevalence of new or expectant mothers dying violently. Written by Donna St. George, thearticle is a result of a year-long investigation by the Post. At first, the study only focused on Maryland, where they found that homicide was the leading cause of death for pregnant or recently pregnant women (20%). The findings prompted the team to do a more extensive study of 1367 killings since 1990.

Among the more alarming things:
In the DC area alone, three pregnant women were killed in the final seven weeks of 2004.

Three weeks after Laci Peterson disappeared, an 18-year-old woman 80 miles away was shot in the head by her boyfriend as she walked home from the grocery store. Fatherhood, he believed, would get in the way of his music career.

For more than 70% of abused women, pregnancy does nothing to stem the abuse. For 27% of abused women, the abuse actually starts during pregnancy.

51% of the victims in the study were black, 46% white. 12% of the victims were identified as Hispanic, but could be of any race.

42% of the victims had less than a high school education. 36% were high school graduates. 22% had at least some college education.

Most women were killed by the men by whom they were pregnant.

It just gives you something to think about. As horrible as what happened to Laci Peterson was, hers was by no means an isolated case.

The article can be found here