Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Friendly Metro Staff

On my way home from work today while entering the metro I remembered an amusing story from heading home after the kickball party last night. I rode my bike to work yesterday and so after the few beers and no food last night I decided to ride the metro home with my friend. So we headed to Union Station where we walked down the one entrance to that station that I personally know of and when we got to the toll area the metro employee working there told me I had to go back and come down the elevator since I had my bike. My friend on the other (a bit tipsy to say the least) began to argue (not in a rude way or anything) by saying it was all her fault and that she was really sorry and please could I just go. Mean while I'm trying to ask him where I needed to go to find the elevator since I honestly didn't know. I think he wasn't paying attention to me because at this point he just kept telling me that I had to go to elevator. Eventually while my friend continues to plead and argue her case he finally says to me "can you please make her stop talking?". I told him I didn't know her well enough and I'd probably get in trouble if I tried that so finallyhe allows me to just go ahead through with my bike just so he doesn't have to keep listening to her. I never would have thought I would be that appreciative of a girl who talks too much.

New Found Respect

Not a lot to say the last couple of days and so I've been lazy about my posting. Monday evening I went bicycle shopping with a friend as moral support since she is scared of bike shops and choices. That was fun, especially when I got us lost, apparently unable to get directions correctly from Yahoo maps. We got there just in time to talk to the sales guys for about a half hour and then head home. I do love bike shopping though so I'm ready to go back.

Last night after frisbee I met up with a friend who was playing kickball a little down the mall and although I was entirely planning on heading home and going bed early I was convinced to go to Irish Times to witness the post kickball debauchery that takes place at the basement bar. Wow! I thought the softball team we played and drink with afterwards at Madhatters was crazy, these guys were a whole other league of crazy.

I've always kind of shunned the kickball leagues here since everyone knows that everyone just plays for the drinking afterwards (maybe I should have been less suprised by the events at the bar). Tonight though they seemed like fun people and really twisted my arm (mostly with the flip cup that would be going on). I always preferred to actually play a sport that involves true physical exertion and maybe even a hint of athleticism as well; hence my love for frisbee. My opinion has officially changed as of last night.

When I got down to the basement there was already a game of flip cup going on which I watched with amazement as the bushwackers wrecked their opponents without a hint of effort and then spent more time celebrating by cheering, dancing, screaming and hoisting fellow teammates after each round then they probably did running the bases in the game. The flip cup continued on through with night with about 4 or 6 different teams maning the tables. At one point there was what was at least a 20 on 20 game going on that was impressively competitive. As the night wore on and the beer continued to flow there was a migration of people to the dance floor while the 80's music blared overhead. Just imagine a bunch of 20 to 30 somethings wearing gym shorts and sweaty t-shirts shouting out the lyrics to songs like baby got back and don't stop believing. Yeah, now THAT's a party!

Monday, August 28, 2006

The Apathetic Wingman

This weekend I had my first true "wingman" experience; one in which I was centrally involved. My future brother-in-law's best friend from college was in town from New York City and seemed pretty much fully intent on hooking while he was here. So, since my sister and my brother-in-law are you know, exclusive or whatever (apparently when you get engaged that is what is expected of you...) I was the logical choice for wingman. So, we spot a couple of cuties that appear to be showing some interest in the two of us and end up making our way over to the pool table near where they are standing.

I start playing some pool and the next thing I know New York (we'll call him that to protect identities) was telling me I owed someone a drink if they couldn't guess how I was last dumped. Apparently they guessed it right and while I did gain a drink from NY for the pain and suffering. I also however gained a bright red aura to compliment my already sun-glazed appearance after my day in the sun. Four shots and a few beers later we leave to find a more dance friendly bar and grab a few more shots and beers and hit the dance floor.

At this point NY is getting pretty drunk and even worse starting to appear quite desperate. He was trying way too hard in all the wrong ways while all I could do was look on in angst. I was contemplating addressing the situation with him, but I had only just met him that morning and didn't feel like it was my place to step in. She continued to be probably overly kind to him even though it was obvious to the rest of us that there was no chance what-so-ever for NY and so we danced for a bit longer then at last call headed out to figure out rides home.

All the while NY has been almost begging me to convince them to come back to my place since I'm just up the road and though I offered I couldn't push it. They ended up catching a cab for VA while we did the expected number request; on more desperate then the other. Somehow my more laid back approach and demeanor seemed to work better then the desperate out of towners and I came out of it with a number where it appeared to me that NY left with a misleading set of digits. All in all it was not a terrible first experience as a wingman. It did become a little painful when it began to appear that the person I was wingmanning for became the target of another's wing. At some point it became apparent that the girl he was chasing probably only stayed around as a wingwoman to her friend...

That said NY was a great time and although a bit forward and maybe a bit reckless in his bar time behavior would be a welcome addition as a third brother as put by my soon-to-be brother-in-law. Now my question is, do I have to call this girl? She cute and sweet, but I'm just not looking; not to mention my fear of dating a girl that lives across the border some call the Potomac river...

Friday, August 25, 2006


Well, I stayed in last night and had absolutely nothing interesting to say today so instead I am completing my first official meme just in case you wanted to know a couple of things about me. I got this from this great blog I just found on DCblogs today since they don't update for me to read on Friday (not cool if you ask me) I was poking around some of the blogs linked on the side and found this one I really liked.

Four jobs I wish I had the capabilities of:

Opera Singer
International Economic Development Worker
US Rower
International Man of Mystery

Four names I wish I had other than my own:
Johnny (I always loved the "greasers" and wanted to ride a motorcycle and all like in the song...)

Four songs I could listen to over and over again (not including almost anything that Ella Fitzgerald sings):
Ants Marching - Dave Matthews Band
Million Peices - Newsboys
Home - Marc Broussard
Mud Football - Jack Johnson

Four TV shows I love to watch. I answered this before, but I would add one:
Pimp My Ride
Daily Show
Eh... that's all I got

Four places I would like to go to on vacation:

Four of my favorite cuisines:
Mexican (Authentic or tex mex)
American Yuengling

Four places I wish I was right now:
Vail, Colorado
With friends

Ah... my first drunk Meme... Enjoy!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Slow days and fast blogs

Slow week here at the Department for me. Like I said before the majority of people are on vacation so it is pretty quiet and to make it worse I just don't have that much going on myself right now. I am working on this model which I am trying to fully automate using Excel Visual Basic where the only interaction a user would have would be a User Form I created and the forecast outputs. Was going really well for a while but now I have been stuck for the last three days on the exact same problem. So I return to my latest time killer, blog writing.

Fun times here by a fellow text message dumpy, though his blog about it was way better then mine and first got picked up by the express for all the morning metro commuters to read. Then his follow up post discussing how horrible it is that it was in the express was picked up by DCBlogs for any other DC bloggers who missed the original mention in the express. I find this amusing and am glad my postings aren't good enough for this type of attention. Though I did pass by my text dumper friend this morning on the way to the metro, I was on the opposite side of the street and didn't have the opportunity to strike up any conversation. I could only imagine and would quite frankly feel pretty bad if this were to happen here and she were to find out about my posting; I mean that would be pretty awkward, specially the next time I go into to work late and try to say hello as we pass on the sidewalk...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Venting real quick; sorry...

I need a vacation. I can't take one, I don't have the time or the money but man I sure could use one. I think it's just especially rough right now since this is the first full year out of school for me and the first time ever I didn't get some sort of summer vacation, not to mention things like spring break and Christmas break. I'm sure it gets easier as you get more used to it and I will get used to it but right now I just feel a bit drained. It probably also doesn't help that work is so relatively slow right now and everyone else is on vacation.

I hate that my roommate's negative view about his job and working effects me too. He loves to complain about how awful it is to work and how tired he is, he had at least 3 to 4 weeks with no work this summer plus the job he had while was extremely boring at first was usually very flexible and not at all demanding. Now 2 days into the new school year (not even with students yet) and it's the worst thing ever. Kind of a downer, but I couldn't say anything like this to him or I wouldn't stop hearing about it for days. I'll pass, the small shorter complaints bring me down enough. Life is to short and simple to worry that much about little shit that you cannot change.
Well other then the melancholy feelings of wishing I could take a vacation, my ankle is about the size of a baseball and I enjoyed a nice roast beef sandwich for lunch. Cheers!

Monday, August 21, 2006


The best way for me to describe my weekend is strange, and a bit uncomfortable I guess. My best friend from high school, Mike came into town on Friday afternoon and drove down and picked me up at the College Park metro station after work. His little sister (the cute little one right in the center-left with the white cowboy hat) was in a show at the new Toby's Dinner Theater in Baltimore and we headed up to see her perform. The show was a lot of fun and we somehow got the best seats in the house so that was nice. His sister had a pretty minor role but the other actors were very good and I enjoyed the show quite a bit.

After that we drove downtown to our friend Ryan's new place for a couple of drinks before we headed out to Federal Hill to meet a few other people. The Night was fun although the night life atmosphere seems completely different in Baltimore then here in DC, it felt like there was more pushing and that every time you turned around someone wanted to get into something. Whatever, it was mostly an uneventful evening and afterwards Mike and I headed went back to his folks place in Columbia.

The next day I woke up early (11am or so) and went upstairs to say hello to his folks. His mother made some coffee and gave me a cup and sat and talked to his Dad for a while. Now you have to understand that half of my high school career was spent at Mike's house and many hours with his parents and they basically became my second set of parents. Mike's father bought us beer when we were juniors and then sat and smoked cigars and BS'd with us on the patio while we drank them type parents. Anyway, after talking to him for about twenty minutes I broach the topic of his health; Mike's father always seemed to have some new sinus infection or hip replacement problem that he was dealing with and Mike had mentioned that he had some disease called the Churg-Strauss Disease. In Mike's description of it I found no worry or issues, just another "infection" type deal for him to pull through. As I talked to his father though a whole different scenario emerged.

This disease causes serious issues with many of the bodies organs and causes blood cells to attack other blood cells causing all kinds of issues, the most prominent being asthma like symptoms and even heart failure. His father then proceeded to tell me that the majority of people with the disease don't live more then 5 years after they fist contract it.

Holy shit! That was a Hiroshima sized bomb in my eyes... I mean WTF? 5 year life expectancy for my friends (and my substitute) father?

I am lost for words at this point but Mr. A being the tough guy he is shrugs it off and says something to the effect of, he's tough and he'll just have to fight on through it. He is, and he will fight... hard. I know this and I take it for what he says, but mostly I'm just too afraid to say much else, I mean how do you face that? And even more, how do you talk about something like that with that much strength and that little worry showing through. Plus when Mike talked about it it was just another thing his father had. I just don't think I could take it like that.

Mike and I later head down to DC for dinner and to do some bar hopping and meet up with our buddy Jimmy and his girlfriend and grabbed some drinks. The night is going well up until around 2am when somehow the whole thing comes up and while Mike stands there unfazed I lose it a bit and begin to tear up. How can he do it, I can't even handle it and it's not even my own father. I respect him for his strength and I just hope by losing it a little bit I didn't cause him any more grief then he already has been feeling.

Hopefully I didn't cause any damage. We decided to call it a night shortly after that and I packed the three of them into a cab for College park then went home... and lost it. I couldn't hold up for the life of me, Pat tried to comfort me, Kemi lent a hand and I cried, and cried and then cried some more.

I went to my room, closed my door, threw everything off my bed and had a good old heart to heart (aka cuss out session) with God then finally gave up and succumbed to a much needed pass out. I didn't move from the couch all day Sunday and I took a sick day Monday. I need my father no matter how little I may see him; he is the pillar of my existence and and the most influential person in my life. I love you guys as my family. I will always try to be strong for you Mike and your family, I know you won't read this but if you ever need anything from me, always know I am here for you all.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Biker's Terminology and Croaked Hellos

Well yesterday I discovered that the bottom bracket for my new single speed/fixie was on the verge of falling out, almost entire unscrewed. This was as I was flipping the rear wheel to the fixed gear for a nice ride down to Hanes Point with my coworker Scott. So, instead of a nice ride on a beautiful day I had to go run over to City Bikes to get my bottom bracket screwed back in. Now this isn’t something that takes an exceptionally long time or anything but going to one of the most popular bike shops on a beautiful Thursday evening around 6pm is like going to a grocery store on the way home from work; everyone does it.

So I stood around and waited for a half an hour or so (which actually considering the number of customers that came through was pretty good) and waited until the mechanic could fix it. I have to admit, I always feel a bit uncomfortable when I go into the store there; the people there all seem to know so much about bikes and sometimes it can be a bit intimidating to ask them things because you just feel like an idiot. It also doesn’t help that almost every time I go there I am fresh out of breath from the ride with a dry throat and their hellos are usually greeted by my own croaked attempt at hey.

So, I always enter the front, croak my awkward hello and then head back to the mechanics desk. The mechanics there are for the most part pretty pleasant although one guy who seems to be always there has never cracked a smile (at least that I have seen) and just keeps on working. I don’t think he’s an unhappy person and I couldn’t imagine he dislikes his job although maybe he just doesn’t really like customers or something. Anyway, the guy who helped me yesterday was a bearded (big bearded, talking like down to navel big) pony-tailed (down to mid back) teva wearing dude. Nice guy, seemed to know what he was doing and enjoyed talking to people; quite the opposite of the other guy there. Luckily I knew exactly what was wrong and what I needed with my bike so I didn’t have to feel too stupid (other then the fact that my bracket was about to fall out and I obviously hadn’t noticed for a while).

Someday they’ll learn to love my croak and insecurity about my bicycle terminology knowledge and I will enter and they will smile at my croak and chuckle along with me about my lack of bike terminology etiquette. Until that day I will remain self-conscious every time I enter my beloved City Bikes.

Oh and I liked how the bearded guy sent out some random guy that was there grab him a six pack down the street; I want that power!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Finnish Lunch

Did lunch this afternoon at this restaurant called Finn & Porter up at 9th and New York, NW and had a really good meal. No bursting flavors or anything but very good food. Apparantly they have their seafood shipped in from Finland fresh everyday (ie... Fin like a fish and finnish like from the country... get it??? get it???). It was excellent food; had a lobster and crab meat sushi roll as an appetizer and then a crab cake entree both of which were extremely tasty, and fresh I might add. The desert was another chocolate filled chocolate cake just like last night and was nothing to be too excited about but the real treat came with the check. Apparently when the restaurant first opened they served cotton candy with the check (free of course) and it just stuck. Was fun sugar filled finish to a nice meal. Would certainly recommend Finn and Porter for a nice seafood meal.

Guacamole Explosion!

A couple friends of mine, both very pretty girls, had reservations at Café Atlantico last night for dinner and when the third person from their party canceled on them I along with a few other friends received a first come first serve invite to join them. I of course jumped at the opportunity (a day later) and was the winner. (apparently these two are truly loved by their friends… ; )

I’d never been to Café Atlantico and didn’t know where it was, but am always excited to try new restaurants and food. They serve Latin American dishes and I assumed this would be similar to my Mexican dish favorites so I was extra excited about this one. I got there early to meet Krista for a drink before hand and ended up sitting at the bar by myself while I drank a Dos Equis and watched the many good looking people around me enjoy their mojitos and fruity drinks (which still scare me). I did get to see a mojito made for the first time which I was quite impressed by; smashing the peppermint(?) leaves with sugar and stuff, all pretty interesting.

When both Andrea and Krista arrived we took our seats by the window and began to look over the menu. The first thing we notice is how much is actually included in the restaurant week menu. Now this is how it’s done; include the good stuff that will bring people back to the restaurant and oh did they ever. The appetizer section included a good 6 or 7 items, probably their typical appetizer offerings, as did the main entrée section. We decided to get three different appetizers and share since we all wanted to try so many of them. We also got the guacamole which is the first thing mentioned in every review I have read of the restaurant. The appetizers we ordered were the gazpacho soup of the day, the ceveche with tuna and the fritters with liquid filling. Umm... WOW! Let me just say, that was probably the greatest opening to a meal I have ever tasted in my life.

First, the guac is made table side from whole avacodoes and pre-diced veggies. I have always enjoyed guacamole but never have I had some that was as good as this was! A little bit of red pepper mixed in with it, I seriously could have eaten just that for my meal and been great. The rest of the appetizers were amazing as well with the hightlight being the gazpacho soup which tased more like a desert then a soup. We decided it basically tasted like a creamy vanilla pudding mixed in with mango along with a bit of yogurt and some cherry tomatoes. Each of our reactions to it were the same astonished/bewildered look of "Holy S%^T is this for real?"

The main courses were slightly less astonishingly flavorful (maybe because at this point we extected it) but were certainly incredible as well. The flank steak served on top of an almost liquid bed of pureyed mashed potatoes was exceptionally good as well as the Salmon dish and duck which Andrea and Krista had. The desert was nothing special, although since I rarely eat desert it didn't really bother me at all.

We shared a really nice bottle of Argentinian wine recommended by the waitress and finished off the evening with a short, happy and very satisfyingly full walk back to the metro station. I am officially obsessed with restaurant week...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dumped by text

Well this says a lot about the current state of our culture; I got dumped with a text message last night... I know we've all heard about things like this happening to people before but I personally had never witnessed it up close, much less been a victim of it myself! It's kind of a strange feeling I have to say; there is a bit of anger there, along with a bit of astonishment (the wow factor we'll call it) and then just the feeling of humor that follows it up (an extension of the wow factor if you will; kind of a wow, you actually sent that over a text message type feeling; you were that person).

It was I have to admit, a bit of a different situation here; we had not been dating for all that long though we had held the "exclusivity talk" recently as well as spent a night together. At this point I should say, I did once try to do a similar cop-out break up but was informed that in no way what-so-ever is it reasonable after a night has been spent together, to break up even over the phone much less a text message. So, I went with the traditional coffee/talk break up and avoided becoming "that guy".

Getting past the fact that I was dumped by a text is the message of the text in itself, "this isn't going to work." I mean really, wow factor x2! I don’t really know how to respond to that either. Not really sure what happened to change the feelings here but ok. I decided though to be just as ummm… not really sure what word to use here so I’ll just stick with clear cut and simple and replied with my "heartfelt" answer of "wow... alright." In my response I have to admit I was trying a little bit to make the girl feel bad, though more because she sent it as a text and there was no apparent reason for it then for ending our "relationship." But the thing is (and I am a bit of a terrible person for this) I was actually pretty relieved when I got the text since I wasn't really all that interested in the whole exclusive thing with her; not to mention was already figuring out ways to get out of that little agreement.

What I really wanted to say though was something like "oh if you only knew!" or somehow let her realize just what I was thinking, but of course I couldn't do that, I mean you can't have a girl hating you and just waiting for the moment to somehow get that "hey, F U" out there that screws you later down the road right? So instead I left her thinking that I'm probably devastated and crying and maybe, just maybe she’s feeling a twinge of guilt, though maybe not cause she probably read my text the wrong way anyway. But... oh, if she only knew…

So mixed in with my original "text dumped" feeling I had a few other more joyous feelings as well, and a bit of a load lifted off my shoulders, however the fact remains... I was dumped by text last night.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Real vs. Made up? I think not...



Striking similarities here... Who would have ever thought we could honestly compare a Washington Post article to an article in the Onion...


Yeah, not really but whatever, at least it was nice outside yesterday and today. We have had fire alarms two days in a row now; yesterday's was an announced drill and it sounds likethis morning was burnt toast in the nursery kitchen. Whatever, it helped me get a little energy this morning since I was just about passing out at my desk before the alarm went off.

This morning there was some sort of suspicious package threat at on of the Redline stops so we had all kinds of delays in getting in; I live five stops from my work and it still took about 45 minutes to get there. The package took over 3 hours to clear as well. Whatever, at least no one was killed by some plastic bag filled with dirty clothes or whatever it was that was probably the reason for the scare.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Youngling! It's not just for kids anymore!

This is what I am talking about... Such a great business strategy, I mean you get them hooked while they're young so that they truely grow up with your product. Plus we've all known that the target market for beer advertisement is just getting younger all the time anyway.

Friday, August 04, 2006

A Mini-Van Video Date at McD's?

I, like the responding Guru don't know whether to laugh or cry after reading this post in the latest "Got Plans"

Manassas, thanks for NOTHIN': I wrote you guys last week -- I was hoping you'd offer some advice for a date night outing my wife and I were finally able to do after finding a babysitter. You guys snubbed me! So we ended up taking a video from our library, went to McDonald's and watched it in the minivan's DVD player in the parking lot. Thanks for NOTHING!

I hope that I never manage to reach that level of... well, lame I guess.
Oh so tired; all I want to do right now is go home and go to bed bed. I don't even want to go out to this party a friend is having tonight. I am the worst Friday partier of all time. I actually usually prefer to stay home watch a movie and eat a pizza on Fridays after a tough day of work still hung-over from the night before.

Speaking of the night before, last night was "Coach" Bill's bday which we celebrated a bit at McFaddens along with every college girl in town. I felt a little out of place and while Thoreau and Joe were having a great time hitting on girls was just either not in the mood or maybe they just seemed too young or something but oh well. This continued at Lucky Bar so I decided that it was a good time for me to take off and try to get some sleep.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Heat... it is all you can think about these days; other then maybe sweat. I rode my bicycle last night about 8 blocks, downhill to a local bar for a friends birthday party and by the time I got there I was soaked with sweat. I mean I sweat pretty easily normally but come on, coasting 8 blocks downhill should not make a person feel like they just fell in a swamp with their clothes on!!!

I guess I can't really complain much other then that though, I ride my bike to and from work avoiding smelly, sweaty, crowded metro rides and take a shower at work when I get in. So, unlike the rest of the city when I get home drenched with sweat after work I'm at least already in my athletic gear and not in my work clothes. And I'm done with that.

Last night was a pretty good time; had some drinks with two recent birthday girls at Local 16 then played Dominoes with a couple of friends. I was good to relax, smoke a hookah and play although it's usually just Craig and I so all sorts of conversations can take place however this time Anna came along and we played a three person game. I wasn't so keen on the whole idea (mainly due to the fact that I got whipped in the game) but it was really good to see Anna and spend some time with her; something I haven't been able to do for over a month, before she went to Europe. I kind of felt a little strange in way though, kind of like a third wheel on a date which is especially strange considering Anna and I just broke up a bit over a month ago. But, I've always known she is a flirty person and all and I'll just have to get used to all of that. I still kind of get the impression though that eventually Anna will be dating one of my best friends here, whether it be Craig or Thoreau or whoever.