Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How Not to See Reese Witherspoon and Owen Wilson Film a Movie in DC

Like any good worker in DC, I just had to try and catch a glimpse of Reese Witherspoon doing her thing in another chick flick/romantic comedy that I'll be dragged to; tentatively titled "How Do You Know" and directed by James L. Brooks of "Broadcast News" fame. This time Owen Wilson is a Nationals player who woos Reese (I think). Of course it takes a movie to make the Nationals look like winners and to fill the stadium with cheering Washington fans.

Unfortunately, I spent 15 minutes of my life standing across from the National Gallery to see either actor to no avail. So what follows are my celebrityless shots, mixed in with celebrity pictures taken by others with better lenses and more time to get better angles. Sorry, but I do have to get home to make dinner at a reasonable hour.

Somewhere, behind the tents, staff, and light sheets, Reese was there...I think.

Yep! There she is! (thanks to comingsoon)

Reese walks with DC workers trying to clock in for the day.

Warning, you might be in the movie if you stand here...

...that is unless this bottom of the barrel production assistant has his way. Those shades made him look so Hollywood...his college English professor style and super power trip makes him so much awesomer than everything. At least the other PAs I spoke with were cool.

These extras must have done their walks 15 times while I was there. It isn't so glamorous.

The only acting I saw. Just breathtaking work on my part, I know.

Would Reese dare to wear anything from this rack?

Yesterday, Reese ran on the Mall just like me!

Reese (or her character) shows me that it's okay, even for beautiful people, to (fake) vomit from a tough run on the Mall. Nevermind that the Mall is totally flat.

And action!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Crime Reporters Look Sooooo Tough

The latest media frivolity to irk me enough to waste Google's blogging space is how crime & punishment/crime & justice/law & order reporters pose like they're really tough. Making yourself seem like a bully dressed in business casual clothes isn't fooling anyone. How about you just, I don't know, report the story and let it stand on its own? This is found in the dying field that is newspaper reporting as well as news for lazy thinkers that is your local news broadcast.

Is it too much to ask these guys to just have their pictures taken without them trying be all tough? No study has shown a relation between taking an aggressive headshot and better writing. Looking strong doesn't mean you're taking a strong stance on crime. It doesn't validate your reporting or make you any more credible. It just makes you look like other crime & justice reporters who are scared.

Crime and justice reporters have nothing on NKOTB when it comes to being the toughest. Are you tough enough?

For your amusement, I present an assortment of these tough guys and gals on crime who "are working for you," "are on your side," and "are taking on the big guys" so "you're not scammed." I'm not judging what they write (because I haven't read any of their work), but how they're presented.

Peter Hermann (Baltimore Sun) - Just about the most pensive crossed arm stance you can take. This actually makes him look scared instead of tough. Would it have killed him to iron his khakis? How about buying a pair that's the right length for your inseam? I don't iron mine, but for the one day when I'd have my picture taken I would have found one, damnit. Also, the Sun's art department did him no favors shrinking his head.

Amanda Lamb (WRAL-TV (North Carolina)) - An innocent picture because it lacks arm crossing, but a closer look reveals an aggressive facial contortion asking if you wanna fight. "Come on punk, just try me." Resting her head on the bent arm and fist says she means business. Of course she just had to be shot in front of a brick wall as if she's always on the street looking for stories. Excellent makeup foundation work though.

Freeman Klopott and Scott McCabe (Washington Examiner) - I love the dual crossed arms! It's so intense. And the way Freeman (I think he's on the left) rolled up his sleeves shows you how hard he's working...that's right, so hard he had to roll them up! They sure look pissed off and serious about reporting crime. No smiles here. If the Examiner was as serious about reporter posing as these guys show, it could at least increase their picture's resolution.

Carrie Petersen (Albany (Oregon) Democrat Herald) - Proof that not every crime beat reporter has to intimidate readers for visual validity. Oh my gosh, she's actually smiling in her profile picture! And what's that? She's in the newsroom! How will the Democrat Herald ever get people to read her crime reports? Oh that's right, they'll read it because of its quality.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Metro’s Dumb Rider of the Year Award Nominee

On today’s red line trip toward Silver Spring, I saw the first nominee for Metro’s Dumb Rider of the Year Award. We stopped at Metro Center around 6:45 this morning. After the usual shuffling of people getting off, the wave of riders coming onboard made their way, being reminded to “use all available doors.” Despite that, they kept packing themselves through the middle door of my middle car. Nevermind they were also told repeatedly that a near empty train with available seats would follow a minute later.

I say let's replace doors with saws to teach people not to take their chances when doors are closing. And yes, that's my not-so-handy photoediting.

As I sat comfortably in my front row seat, I heard the warning “doo-doo doo-doo” chime that the doors were about to close. The conductor reminded those on the platform that the doors were closing. Finally, the automated announcement also warned folks that “the doors are about to close.” All of this means that the doors were about to close, got it?

Apparently not everyone did.

Coming to the car door was someone who I can only assume was not a tourist, as she lacked the fanny pack, camera, hat, shorts, and T-shirt that are only worn by tourists on the Metro during rush hour. Despite the closing door warnings, she lurched toward the opening only to have the doors close on her.

At 1:05 of this Metro advice video, you see what happens when your limbs are in the way of the closing doors.

As she leaned in like a sprinter at the finish line, the doors brushed her shoulders and began putting the squeeze on her. With the doors halfway closed (or opened depending on your outlook on life), the conductor reopened them to let her retain some limbs for the ride.

Remember, “Metro doors don’t work like elevator doors,” so says the lady from the speakers.

What makes her different from other stupid Metro riders?

She was pushing a baby in a stroller! The stroller made it on first with ease, meaning this mother was almost separated from her baby!

Come on people.

You know the doors don’t play around, yet you continue to push your luck. It’s stupid. I even sat there calling her stupid for trying. There’s nothing other riders can do to help a squeezed person until they want to risk losing a finger when the doors close quickly.

You deserve to lose that baby, ummm, I mean bag.

I know it’s wrong to criticize another parent, but in this case it’s fair to be wrong…don’t put yourself in a position that may sever you from your baby. After the umbilical cord’s cut, it’s up to you make sure you're together…don’t make it any harder than it needs to be.