Wonk'd: The Jowls of Life
You came through again, everyone. This week's sightings are all over both the map and the stratified Washington hierarchy. Helen Thomas apparently likes to eat with the kewl kids, even if she's just gumming it. Kevin Nealon, Newt Gingrich, and Marion Barry pull some nice trim. Ted Koppelhas a death wish. Morgan Spurlock keeps trying to supersize his career and Tom Friedman's mustache of wisdom has nothing to do with Napoleon.
A whole rack more, as standard, after the jump.
Please don't forget that Wonk'd is entirely tipster driven. So when you spot someone famous out there, make a note in your PDA, 'cause you'll have other hazy memories to sort through in the morning. Once you feel that reminder buzzing you, email us here, with "Wonk'd" or "Sighting" in the subject line (along with the name of the celeb that you saw). Thanks!
And speaking of sights to see: YES, we are aware of the frightening photos of Katherine Harris "getting her cougar on" with a cute young college journalist. We will be blogging about them shortly.
* Helen Thomas was on the patio of St. Ex last Friday evening [4/14]. Everyone in her party was significantly younger than good old Helen. But I don't think they were of any relation to her because they were all sort of normal looking (as in, they didn't look like villains from a bad Disney cartoon). How awesome would it be if Helen Thomas was pulling tail with a 20-something guy!
* I saw Helen Thomas leaving the White House yesterday [4/19] while I was walking by. I know, I know - who would have thunk it? My only reason for mentioning it is that I was taken aback at how really short and ugly she is in person. Also she does that weird thing old, jowly people do where they smack the dry roof of their mouth and move their jaw around slowly like they're chewing denture cud on quaaludes.
* The mainstream media is in more trouble that I realized. I saw Ted Koppel on the Saturday before Easter, and he was doing a very poor job of crossing the street near the corner of Bradley and Arlington in Bethesda. The guy jumped right out in front on my big gas guzzling SUV. He is lucky I had just gotten my brake pads replaced.
* I was just [4/19] in Farragut Square for lunch and saw Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me fame with a camera crew interviewing some woman at 17th & K near the Orioles Store. Any idea what muck he's raking today? Really -- it's not like anything nefarious happens on K Street.
* I saw that supersize me guy interviewing people on Wednesday. He was on 16th st, between K and I. He's taller, shinier, and shadier looking than I expected. He actually looked like he's been hanging out with John Basedow since his "all-McDonald's all the time" publicity scheme, down to the cheesy hair and shiny shirt.
* Saw former SNL-er Kevin Nealon last night [4/19] at Daily Grill on 18th about 9:30. He looks better in person than he did on SNL - younger and thinner or something. He was with a super-blonde trophy-style chick.
* Saw Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Air baggage claim area today [4/17] at DCA. He was seated in a corner next to the U.S. Air office, which was right next to a belt with luggage coming from a Boston flight. He was waiting for his two (adorable) dogs to come off the flight. He seemed very happy to see his dogs and petted them, etc., but didn't speak or make eye contact with anyone else. He was very recognizable, splotchy red face and all, but not many people seemed to notice that he was there. His wife was also with him -- she seemed sweet and was chatting with airport employees. They made a beeline for the door after getting the dogs and left a staffer behind to get the rest of their luggage.
* Saw Newt Gingrich at the Greenberry's in McLean last Saturday [4/15] afternoon having coffee with a young attractive woman. He is portly and has a really big head. He shouldn't have been wearing shorts. Another young attractive woman approached him, introduced herself, shook his hand and told him how much she enjoyed listening to his radio show. I didn't even know he had a radio show.
* A couple of Fridays ago [3/31?] I saw Marion Barry dining and imbibing white zinfandel with a woman 2/3 his age at Tony and Joe's on the Georgetown Waterfront. He walked in tall and proud, and wearing a giant fedora. He was gracious and kind when he saw me trying to snap his picture with my cameraphone. I introduced myself and told him that I hoped he was "taking care of himself" which is code for "laying off the crackpipe." He said he was "doing much better" which is code for "I'm smoking up later on tonight."
I see why he keeps getting elected though. He asked me all kinds of questions about how long I've lived in the area and what I do for a living.
* During Easter weekend in New York City, who did I spot in Barney's, the gay mecca of the world? None other than DC Council Member at Large David Catania! He was seen on the ground floor on Saturday morning [4/15], accompanied by two younger "gentlemen" who didn't resemble his life partner and an older woman (who may or may not have been a fabulous drag queen.) Catania looked truly confused, as if he had never been inside Barney's before. I think he was wondering where all the glittered gowns were.
* [From the same tipster as prior item] Spotted this evening [4/20] at Busboys & Poets was DC Council Member and Proud Gay Man Jim Graham. He was dining alone at the bar, alas (No admirers?) although he was chatting it up with some locals. This is my second sighting in less than a week of a gay DC Council Member! (But no I have not seen any members of said DC Council Members.)
* Last night [4/20] I inadvertently walked a good stretch of L Street between 20th and 18th next to Malcolm Jamal Warner at around 7:30 pm. I had to consult a friend about his post-Theo appearance (visible weight gain, dreadlocks) before I could be certain. He was having a conversation with a lady friend and seemed nice and well-spoken. [Another tipster informs us he was performing spoken word at Cafe Nema last night.]
* I just [4/14] saw Jonah Goldberg hard at work on his laptop outside of the Mudd House on M street.
* I saw Tom Friedman this morning [4/20] on H Street. I'm not 100% sure it was him, because he was/is really short, only about 5''7'. He did have his trademark moustache though, so that's what convinced me.
* I saw Bill Kristol in an elevator... but I guess that doesn't count because you said "celebrity" and not "douche bag."
* I saw Patrick Gavin doing a karaoke version of Wind Beneath My Wings in Adams Morgan. It was both frightening and hilarious.
* Scott Stapp, formerly of Creed now solo rocker was seen hanging out on The Avenue at White Marsh yesterday [4/19]. Allegedly, he has in-laws that live up there.
* It's getting warm in Chicago, so they're leaving the door to the Soprafinna restaurant on Madison and Dearborn open to the sidewalk. At peak hours, the line to wait to get your salad tossed (simmer down) extends out the open doorway. Right next to the open door is a glass revolving door. I was in the tail end of aforementioned salad tossing line today [4/20], standing in aforementioned doorway, when I saw none other than Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney Extraordinaire, exiting through the revolving glass door right next to me. We locked eyes through the glass and time froze. I gave the one-up nod, as in "hey, I recognize you... what's up?." He gave the one-down nod, as in "I appreciate that you recognize me and I am a serious man." It was effing awesome. I guess he's spending some time in Chitown to suck up the credit for the conviction of our ex-governor, even though he didn't do anything in the trial.
* Sunday night [4/16] at the Social Safeway in Georgetown , I kept running into Matt Cooper of Time Magazine and Plame fame. He's just like he looks on TV: short, bald and fat. He drives a nice VW "sport wagon" and apparently does the shopping in the Cooper household.
* Wednesday morning [4/19] as I was leaving McPherson Square metro, I saw James Carville walking across K and up 15th toward the station. He looked remarkably serene and I almost didn't recognize him.
* Walking home through an almost-empty Lafayette Park recently I spotted a lone, oh-so-obvious Secret Service agent walking about ten feet in front of a couple that turned out to be Treasury Sec. John Snow and, perhaps, an aide. I walked within two feet of the embattled cabinet secretary, which clearly made the agent a little nervous. (Maybe it was my backpack.) Anyhoo, like a good Washingtonian, I pretended not to notice the group.
* Saw Bill Clinton tonight [4/20] on NYC's Upper West Side at Monaco, without the Mrs. C, and with a lovely blonde. We were having a 20-30's Jewish singles event at the bar across the street. We thought he'd be terribly interested in attending (Lewinsky anyone?), but he declined our invitation.
Finally, here's the Hamas sighting that we blogged about earlier:
About a week ago I was in Oman to work a conference (the World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship--or some such acronym soup). On my way back to Qatar, a group of four bearded Arab gentleman in dark suits with security pins on the lapels walked past my seat with a fifth bearded, suit wearer of a slightly lighter hue (the suit, not the guy) between them.
After a Google images comparison, I'm convinced that it was the Foreign Minister of the new Palestinian Authority (a.k.a. a big shot in Hamas) Mahmoud Zahar . I can only assume that Zahar was begging alms from the stupidly rich Gulf countries in the wake of being cut off from American, Japanese and European tax dollars. The trip ended up going rather well for him-- Qatar has pledged $50 million. Unfortunately for Zahar, the country needs something like $117 million a month to pay government salaries, so I suppose that I shouldn't have been as shocked as I was that the guy was flying coach.
And those are all the sightings that are fit to print!