There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
When my editor was like, “Do you want to write about writer-designer Periel Aschenbrand’s book, The Only Bush I Trust Is My Own?” I went, “Duh!” I figured that the accidental founder of Body as Billboard—a clothing line born when Aschenbrand put the provocative statement that would become her debut’s title on a T-shirt—would be, like, good for a few fed-up-liberal laughs. Instead, the 197-page paperback is full of related conversations that, cheerleaderlike, never include the word “says” (“She goes, we’re sold out”) and rants that, also cheerleaderlike, solely offer either revelations that aren’t (“The rent in Manhattan is fucking insane”) or yawn-inducing glimpses into the 28-year-old New Yorker’s personality (“By nature, I’m a very nosy person. Or not that I’m nosy, but I’m interested. I’m always very interested. I’m always very interested, and it is for this reason that I am constantly snouting around trying to listen to what people are saying. I suppose one could say I’m a lingerer, because I’m always lingering around trying to overhear things”). Is anyone out there thinking, Fantastic, tell me more? Then go out and grab a copy of what amounts to Aschenbrand’s angry, sloppy, ungrammatical diary. And if you can get past such self-righteous admonishments as “I’m not crazy and I’m not exaggerating. And if you think I am, it just shows how ignorant you are,” then by all means go to her reading. Maybe she’ll have some of those sweet T-shirts—or at least an answer to how someone you’re on the phone with can, like, look at you (whoops!). Aschenbrand reads at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, at Barnes & Noble, 3040 M St. NW. Free. (202) 965-9880. (Tricia Olszewski)