Friday, September 25, 2009

Getting Along.

The Marine corporal standing outside my office door was about 5'2” and built like a fire hydrant. He seemed about as friendly as a fire hydrant too. Without any introduction he stepped inside my office and asked in a heavy southern drawl, “Do you like country music, or that rap stuff? Because I like country music and my brother, he likes the rap. I can't stand it. I'll take Taylor Swift any day over Kanye or whatever his name is. So, are you like me or my brother?”

It seemed pretty clear that this was a chance for one of the Marines to mess with the new guy, and I really didn't want to get involved in this conversation at that moment. So I replied that I was really more of the quiet evening at home reading a book type of guy.

He sneered at me and said, “So, jazz huh?”

I caved in and told him that I guess I was more like his brother and liked rap and hip hop.

His hand absentmindedly dropped to the pistol strapped to his leg. “Yeah, I figured as much. You look kinda like my brother too. He and I don't really get along.”

I thanked the corporal for this fascinating insight to his family life and then excused myself while turning back to my computer.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Single Minded.

Um, yeah, I know this is kind of a weird question and you probably don't have any but I lost my remote and was wondering if maybe you sold any replacements?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's come to this.

So, I get that you might be a kinda freaked out if someone was sitting on top of your head,

but why is this guy always winking at me? What is he getting at exactly?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I guess the first sign of trouble should have been that the bag of chips was called chachos rather than nachos. Of course, by the time I realized that the flavor was Spicy Curry I already knew it was too late. They were a bad choice.


Yesterday's high temperature was 105, down from 109. And the really weird thing is that I could actually tell that it felt cooler out.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Corporate Outreach.

9pm on a Sunday and I'm trying to buy a half dozen chocolate donuts from the guy at the Dunkin' Donut shop a mile from my house. I really only want one donut, but by the time I get there I see the sole employee sitting by himself at a table staring out the window. I feel bad for him, he seems lonely and bored. Or maybe I'm just projecting.

I don't know why I thought ordering extra donuts would cheer him up, I doubt there's any kind of volume donut sales profit sharing agreement with Dunkin' employees worldwide, but I wasn't really sure what else to do. I asked the guy if he had any chocolate milk too.

"You like chocolate, huh?" he asked with a smile.

I agreed with him while fumbling with my cash.

He boxed up my purchase and handed it across the counter to me. "I see you again soon chocolate man," he waved as I was leaving.

And while most people would probably not describe me as chocolate, I think maybe I have a new friend.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Keeping Busy.

Everyone is out of town on vacation for the next week and the daily high temperature is 109. Therefore, I have been spending a lot of time in my house. Too much time. It got to the point today where I really wanted to go for a run, but it was too hot so I decided to do the next best thing.

I get a few channels from the Armed Forces Network, the military's European satellite network. They have a daily show called, Fit for Duty. It's an aerobics show.

As I danced along to the television in my over air-conditioned home in the desert I said out loud to myself, "Adam, this is really one of the stupider things you've done."

And because when I'm by myself for long stretches of time I tend to talk to myself out loud I replied, "No, actually you've done lots of stupider things."

Then it was back to squat thrusts.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Starting Over.

Right, so I know that it's a pharmacy but really other than that I have no idea.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dry Land?

Kevin Costner's giant head is plastered all over billboards for Turkish Airlines with the tag line, "Feel like a Star." I don't know who advised Turkish Air about having Mr. Costner as their celebrity spokesperson, but I would really rather not feel like 'The Mariner' or worry about trying to breathe through my gills while aboard any type of aircraft.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


There was no way that I was really going to spend $10 on a box of six Rice Krispy Treats, but I definitely thought about it for a long time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

En Route.

I'm sick and staying at an airport hotel for a day outside of London. One has nothing to do with the other, but together makes for less fun travel than I would have hoped.

Earlier today:

I passed out in the hotel room for a few hours in a jet lag and Nyquil induced coma. When I awoke I was hungry and a bit dazed. Not wanting to deal with the Tube or getting into town, I stumbled out onto the street in front of the hotel and seeing a sign that said, Slough, I figured I'd head in that direction for a bit. (This is how watching too much of The Office will subliminally effect decision making.)

After a few blocks I found a Chinese restaurant attached to some sort of warehouse facility. The planes taking off from Heathrow flew directly over the parking lot. By the time I was seated at a table by the window (the view; the side of another warehouse) I realized that not only did no one in the entire restaurant speak any English, the menu they handed me was entirely in Cantonese.

I scanned through a few pictures of meals that all seemed to include a large chicken claw placed in the middle of the plate, and finally pointed to a few I recognized. My nose was so stuffed up that I couldn't really taste much, but other than that my chicken clawless meal was pretty good.

Later in the day, feeling even more ill and less adventurous, I settled on a small restaurant across the street from the hotel. It was only with dinner did I remember the two best parts of Imperial Britain's handful of centuries spent in India; curry and IPA.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Comparative Zoobiology.

I've lived in DC for a few years now but only just last weekend made it to the National Zoo. It's a good zoo, as far as zoos are concerned, but I wasn't incredibly impressed. I suppose that without being able to charge for admission they're somewhat restricted by how much new investment can be done.

Anyway, I had a nice time and really liked seeing the big cats. It was the middle of the day and warm out so the lions were doing exactly what all cats do during a warm afternoon, napping. Just as we got to the lion exhibit, one of the trainers took a giant piece of cow leg out of a bag and hurled it across the moat. The cow hock landed with a loud thump, and just like when I shake my cat's food bag, the lion immediately sat up and bounded across his enclosure over to the food.

And just like my cat at home, it didn't take the lion very long to finish off his meal and wander back to sleep.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

On the Other Hill.

We wandered over to Georgetown University last weekend to look around at the campus. It just so happens that we were visiting during the freshmen orientation. This meant that there were several dozen groups of fresh-faced youngsters being led around by wizened elder classmates.

All this commotion made for a very distracting environment which allowed us to wander out onto a series of metal walkways on that back of some dorms that overlook the Potomac River. The walkways were suspended almost three stories high and met occasionally on large cement platforms that were just begging for a party to be thrown on them. I think the only campus with a nicer view from the dorms that I've seen were the beach front motels converted into student housing at UC Santa Barbara.

Afterward we walked back through the residential part of Georgetown and marveled at all of the beautiful houses and gardens. We even came across this fox hiding out as a door knocker.

It was a nice walk.