Monday, March 30, 2009

Pink Table, Brown Drink.

The restaurant had pink plastic tables and a cocktail menu where all the drinks were $3.95, how could I resist?

My eyes immediately fell upon the Navy Grog. Normally, this name alone would have been enough to entice me to order it, but there was a description below the drink that made me desire it even more. Whereas most drinks have a brief description below them that explain what sort of contents one might expect to find within the drink, this was not the case with the Navy Grog. No, this particular libation had a much more mysterious and lyrical description.

Navy Grog: a 21 gun salute.

How could a reasonable person see such a thing on a menu and be expected not to order it? I for one could not resist the siren song of the Navy Grog. A stomach ache and some head spins later and I'm just happy to be alive to tell the tale.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

They Made Me Do It.

I am of course very happy that President Obama has officially announced that waterboaring is torture. But Mr. President, when will you have the courage to come out publicly against the use of tying people to chair/sleds and pushing them down stairs? We cannot truly call ourselves a just nation of free people until we unconditionally ban the use of tying people to chair/sleds and pushing them down stairs.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When in Town.

My parents are in town visiting me for the first time since I moved here a little over a year ago. I'm busy during the day with work so they've been having fun as tourists all over DC. They went on a Capitol tour, saw the Supreme Court and got a tour of the Library of Congress.

They didn't bother going inside my old office building, but did comment on the fact that it takes up more than two full city blocks. My mom tried to say that the building was gargantuan, but instead she somehow managed to say that, "It looks gorangutan." I can only assume that she meant that my old building looked like a cross between a gorilla and an orangutan.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Southern Culture.

I went to a Jewish wedding in Atlanta this weekend and had a very nice visit. At the wedding party an 8 piece band played all night long.

Because this was a wedding, the band sang Aretha Franklin and KC & the Sunshine Band and Kool & the Gang. Because it was a Jewish wedding the band also sang Hava Nagila while the bride and groom were carried around on chairs. And finally, because this was a Jewish wedding in Atlanta the band sang Flo-Rida/T-Pain while all of the bridesmaids got on the stage and 'got low.'

It was fun.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The City of Charles Town

It seemed like everyone was working or out of town this weekend, so Jess and I decided to head on out to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia and check out Charles Town; Races and Slots. This was going to be something of a drive, so we made sure to stock up on a variety of wholesome snacks from the nearby Sheetz.

Before we got down to business with the slot machines, we made a short stop at a flea market held in a giant metal shed off the side of the freeway. Jess was very good about resisting purchasing any glass owls or punchbowl sets, but my self-restraint was really tested when we walked by the booth selling ninja throwing stars. Appropriately named "The Viper Pit" this booth sold crossbows and swords and pellet guns. An overweight 14 year old kid wandered through begging his father to buy him a ninja sword but was rebuffed when his dad reminded him that "you already have so many swords at home." I empathized with the kid as I too left the Viper Pit empty handed.

A short while later and we were in the great City of Charles Town and parking at the racetrack. While I've been to the horse races before and I know my way around a casino, I must say that I learned quite a few things in my afternoon at Charles Town Races and Slots. In short:

Betting on a horse named "Geriatric" is really not the best idea.

Just lit a cigarette but suddenly have to go to the bathroom? No problem, there are ashtrays built into the side of the urinals so you can multi-task!

You have a much better chance of winning $63 on the nickel slots if you play the slot machine called Dam Building Beavers.

Steer clear of the Unicorns and the Norse Warrior machines. They only want to take your hard earned nickels away.

Unlimited free refills of Cherry Coke are awesome.

Jockeys are adorable. (But I'm pretty sure I already new the last two.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Steven Vanilla

Steven Vanilla is just one of those guys. The first time I met him he got stupendously drunk and proceeded to read to me from his original screenplay, "Montana Goldberg: Action Paleontologist." Later in the same night he ate a couple of pounds of lasagna while falling asleep on his laptop.

A few months later and Steven Vanilla was back in town; this time he arrived with a full beard and wearing a plaid shirt with suspenders. The lumberjack look was completed with a knit beanie and a mason jar of beer that was refilled many times throughout the night. Later in the evening he ended up dancing with friends at Remmington's, the local gay country/western bar. I wasn't there but I hear he was a big hit with the cowboys.

So when Steven Vanilla told us he was coming back up for a night but that he had important things to take care and couldn't really stay up late, I was a bit skeptical. And to his credit, there was very little drinking and only a moderate consumption of lasagna. However, I can't say I was too surprised when I found myself in the back of Steven Vanilla's car at midnight while we drove out to a Bethesda apartment complex to meet with some sort of questionable 24 hour Notary of the Public.

These are just the kind of things that happen when Steven Vanilla comes to town. He'll be back in a few weeks for a big party coming up and he said he might even bring along his friend, Leather Jacobs. I can't wait.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Worst Sleepover Party Ever.

I was down on 8th street the other night picking up my hunan chicken combo from China Wall when I passed by a dentist's office. The office was closed but there was a group of about a dozen people huddled out front. The people in the group were all in their mid-forties and dressed in expensive looking fleece jackets and cargo pants. Also, they were all carrying sleeping bags and pillows in their arms.

I passed by the group and went into China Wall to pick up my order. On the way out the group had unlocked the front door to the dentist's office and were all filing inside.

I have no idea what that was about.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


A few weeks ago while down in Southwest we were wandering around looking for a giant metal foot. It turns out that the foot has been relocated to Maryland, but we found the fish market instead.

I love eating octopus, but something about the way they move in the water really creeps me out. If it ain't fried or grilled, I don't want it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

In the Dark.

Ever wonder what the inside of a Metro car looks like when the power goes out and it gets stuck on the tracks for 20 minutes? Wonder no longer.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Feeling Obliged.

Did I mention that it snowed yesterday? Oh right, I did. The view from my house in the morning was a bit gray. But after seeing how stoic George looked in the cold I figured there wasn't much to complain about. Besides, I love the snow. I couldn't wait to get home and shovel the walk.
I really do like shoveling snow; it's something I miss from living in the mountains. I actually enjoy shoveling dirt too. In fact, if this new career of mine doesn't work out I think I'm going to look into job openings for ditch-diggers in the greater DC area.

Pinstripes and Hiking Boots.

I had my first day at my new job today. Normally this wouldn't be much of a big deal, but it also happened to coincide with the first real snow of the winter. We got about 5 inches last night and when I got up this morning the street hadn't been cleaned at all. (For my friends in Madison and Tahoe and other snowy areas, please allow me to explain: DC is not in any way equipped to deal with snow. There was much speculation that the government would shut down due to this storm. I know that 5 inches doesn't really constitute more than a dusting, but here in DC it means that people can't drive or leave their homes.)

The previous administration might have shut down for something like this, but our new President is from Chicago and isn't scared by a little bit of snow. So I put on my new suit and an old pair of hiking boots and headed down the street just like L. Paul Bremer. Well, maybe not anything like him at all.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Never Studied Marketing.

I'm still consistently baffled by yogurt at the store. Let's try and walk through this one slowly.

Okay, it's yogurt that comes in a tube, so it's tubular, which is like the shape a wave makes when you surf, and yogurt comes from milk which comes from a cow; therefore we have a picture of a cow wearing sunglasses and a bell riding a surfboard on a wave of milk and fruit pieces while holding Tuberz brand yogurt.

Did I get that right?