Friday, July 31, 2009

I like beer and I like Skittles but that doesn’t mean I’m going to like Skittlebraü

Somewhere in the skies over Des Moines there’s a mystical realm accessible only by an enchanted rainbow bridge made from stimulus dollars and trollwife tears. It’s like Valhalla, except you don’t reach there by dying in battle but by expiring from heart disease or hypertension. And if you lose a foot to type 2 diabetes, it’ll be waiting for you when you get there.

Accordingly, many of my ancestors were proudly looking down from this hallowed cloud city last night as 8 of my old roommate’s best friends honored the finish of his terrible, terrible independence with a diner at this city’s finest non-Renaissance themed German restaurant. You’ve probably passed by Old Europe dozens of times without entering and therefore you have made dozens of mistakes. You want to know how awesome it is? It is 8 different kinds of sausage on one plate awesome.

That isn’t some sort of meat sampler appetizer. That’s my entree. To be exact:

Pork loin
Sautéed chicken quarter

A few years back I went to a wedding, got completely plowed and woke up at a petting zoo.* I’ve since peddled back on the amount of alcohol I drink when celebrating. I only had two beers with dinner last night. However, it’s almost 6pm and I still feel Petting Zoo Hung-over. Apparently ingesting that much sodium in a 40 minute sprint dehydrates you to a level that even two gallons of Smart Water cannot alleviate.

*this is 1000% true

Monday, July 27, 2009

They also recycled the President's Race where Teddy cheats by riding a moped.

A little history:

For the first time in history, three grand slams were hit in a major league game -- a phenomenally bizarre 13-11 Texas Rangers victory over the Baltimore Orioles tonight in Memorial Stadium. They came off the bats of Toby Harrah of the Rangers (who went five for five for the first time in his career) and Larry Sheets and Jim Dwyer of the Orioles.

For the fifth time in major league annals, one team hit two grand slams in an inning. The team was the Orioles -- little good it did them in the end. The homers by Sheets and Dwyer torched a 6-0 Texas lead as Baltimore scored nine runs in the fourth inning.

If you think that was the key to this game, dream on. The Orioles built their lead to 11-6, thanks to Lee Lacy's two-run homer in the sixth. Those 11 runs were managed on just four hits as Texas issued 11 walks. Baltimore also was aided enormously by a two-out error by third baseman Steve Buechele immediately before Dwyer's grand slam.

Above is an account of the August 6, 1986 American baseball match between the Baltimore Orioles of Maryland and Texas Rangers of Texas as printed in the following day’s Washington Post. It was a remarkable game for two reasons. For one, it was the first time three grand slams had been hit in the same game (although the feat was duplicated the next year by Chicago and Houston). Second, it was the first baseball game the G had ever attended.

Her father was worried that his kids would become accustomed to the excitement and high scoring fireworks provided by that game. But since then she has literally been to dozens of other baseball games and they were all as boring as baseball should be. And then the Nationals moved to town! Going to baseball games has become the unpleasant chore that everyone expects from the former Montreal Expos.

Still, though, her first experience was extraordinary. She saw feats that usually awe the most dedicated of baseball fans and few can claim to have seen a more memorable game.

Sunday was Grendel’s first game. And like the G he can brag to his friends that he saw an amazing exploit. Perhaps even more stupendous that three grand slams in one game. He’s going to be able to tell his drunken college roommates that he went to a Nationals game and Austin Kearns didn’t completely shit the bed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Third Edition is actually a used book store

Way back in the very last moments when we were still a couple but before we were a family, I had access to an oxygen machine. Actually, the G had access to the machine but used sparingly where as I used it for nearly every breath I took during that blessed ordeal. “Look at me,” I’d say after sucking down some sweet, sweet air. “I’m John Riggins and I just won the Super Bowl!” Then I tackled the epidermal man and everyone yelled and I had to go sit in the waiting room. The end.


Unrelated, I am in the market for oxygen machine. Also, other light medical supplies. Accordingly, I punched my address into Google maps followed by the search term “medical supplies” and got a list of all the places in DC where I could buy those La-Z-boy chairs that lift up and dump you on the floor automatically. But look at the third returned result.

At first I thought perhaps there was a medical supply store in Georgetown coincidentally called Smith Point. Or maybe Smith Point was a small region of Georgetown I was unfamiliar with. Nope. It’s that Smith Point. They have somehow managed to qualify themselves as a medical supply retailer.

I assumed this was some coding error on Google’s part. However, it pops back up with other similar search parameters. And considering how many people have gotten violently ill by visiting the place (including this associated review) maybe the error isn’t that it’s wildly mischaracterized bar but actually a vaguely mischaracterized free clinic.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

girls guide to rocking

I am making K go explore her new town by seeing J. Hopper do her thing tonight at AS220. Then she can tell me what questions I should ask at Comet P-P in August (if I wanted to appear to be awesome and 10 yrs old and a Mac owner into Garageband and talented; instead of 31 with a baby dude on my hip and an ancient Dell desktop that is usually so swarmy with porn viruses I can't read gossip websites let alone construct sweet musics.) But whatevs, I'm a supporter!

Small dude can't actually come with me cause it'll be past his bedtime, but I am going to see her (alone?) anyway on the 23rd (24th?) here in districtville. In case anyone wants to join. Also, pizza and beer. Also, I need to buy this book before then.

In Providence tonight? You should go too.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

bitches come, bitches go

Jeff Simmermon, (who it frankly is kind of weird I don't know/have never met, since I think we went to the same college and have mutual friends and even majored in the same thing, [and actually now that I think about it have probably been at parties together] but the world is weird like that) has a pretty great story on This American Life. Suggested listening if you haven't done so already.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Just stop blogging me around

There used to be a time when someone could walk to his local Borders, crawl down to the basement, grab a graphic novel and quietly read it in the Spanish-language self-help section in peace. Sadly, those days are gone. It’s not because they’ve removed the chairs from the Spanish-language self-help section. (They’ve actually removed all the seats from the basement because while I would use them for reading comics, the teenagers and weirdoes would abuse them for reading manga) The reason no one does this anymore is because you cannot approach the Borders at 18th and L without being accosted by a 20 year old with a clipboard. The want support for their cockamamie causes and schemes. And worse, they want your time.

The most common ways to avoid engagement with these children all involve being angry* so I won’t bore you. But if you do get stuck talking to one I’ve found the best response is to indicate that whatever they are peddling is a conflict of interest to whatever it is that you do. Usually that’s an adult enough reply to put them off their game. But if you get pressed you can borrow some business cards I’ve made up.

Most of these groups lean toward port so someone who’s sold enough of their soul to perpetuate Japanese whale harvesting usually doesn’t have any more room in their black heart for whatever they’re advocating.

But that doesn’t get to the main issue. Why the hell are there so many of these people lingering around that part of the Golden Triangle? Is there a sale at the Tiny Jewel Box? Do they need the perfect off-color gag gift from the Chocolate Moose? Was the line at the Greek Deli too long?

The answer is actually pretty simple: Laziness.

I have in my possession a big book that lists all the special interest/lobbyist/advocacy groups in the Washington DC region. From that book, I have randomly plucked the names of six organizations that sound like they would send interns into the streets to collect pledges or signatures in support of their world-saving, likely arboreal embracing causes.
  1. International Humane Society
  2. Peace Corps
  3. Ocean Conservancy
  4. Friends of the Earth
  5. Legacy Foundation
  6. Wilderness Society
(The Legacy Foundation is probably the only one on this brief list whose cause isn’t immediately clear. They’re the group that, with enough funding, would position someone outside the exit nearest every high school art room in America in order to smack cigarettes out of kid’s mouths. They are anti-American and need to be reminded that without Pocahontas and John Rolfe and tobacco this proud nation wouldn’t even have the fine system of roads and trails that they use to ride their high horses.)

Obviously, interest groups have offices all over this fair city. And I have no proof that any of the above are the ones canvassing. But isn’t it a big coincidence that the corner 18 and M looks like its right in the center of these 6 randomly chosen organizations? And if I was a lazy intern and had to gather signatures on a hot July mid-day, doesn’t it look like a good place to station myself? It’s close enough to the office that I can get there without breaking a sweat but far enough away that the bossman can’t see me out the window. Especially when I start forging names or throwing all the forms down the storm drain. Why did I even take this job? I love smoking.

There you have it. Faultless reasoning to why there are so many clipboarders preventing me from reading the Walking Dead series in its entirety during lunch. It’s junk science at its most quotable.

*Fortunately, as has been pointed out by my family, if not actively expressing an emotion my face naturally reverts to “mildly pissed.”


- After a few months/years of not seeing movies, because of life-things and also because movies lately? total shit - I am looking forward to 500 Days of Summer, An Education, and Big Fan, even the AtHackerMan-approved In The Loop. Please, cinema gods, don't let these movies suck and send me back into my dark hole in the ground for another year.

- I'm reading Infinite Jest, me and the rest of the world. It's fun hard, not homework hard. Like many things, it gets easier the more you do it. I'm up to pg 430. After this I may read something like the Host just to give my mind a break, and also because my friend Cindy recommends it unironically, something I find hilarious and strangely soothing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

it's Internet Asshole Tuesday!

Hey, kids! So who wants to hear me rant maniacally about small businesses who need to get their shit together and not cross me, especially when I'm in a bad mood? Show of hands.

red n green

h/t tom and unfogged. Idaho, you have some serious self-esteem issues.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The worst thing I have ever done

Repeat – This is the worst thing I have ever and am not proud of the following:

I go to Tyson’s Corner Mall once a year. I get a note from my parents to miss school on a December weekday and do all my Xmas shopping in one majestic sweep. So a few years back I was riding the escalator and began to feel an uncomfortable rumbling in my stomach. It all happened so fast. A silent, relieving wind was broken. But good lord was it was deadly. Embarrassed, I glanced around hoping no one was nearby.

Unfortunately, there was. A five year old boy was on the step directly behind me. His head was right there. Directly in his face.

I’m no prude. But the City Paper putting that headline in newspaper boxes around town is worse than an adult farting in the eyes and mouth of a five year old boy.

hello world.

things K and I have IM'd about today:

- skunk calling/skunk population control
- tent cities
- rigging mailboxes to humorously snap on postman's fingers/potential of being sued for such a prank
- tiny dogs
- Family Guy stereotypes
- Marion Barry
- how to spell "ecstatic" correctly
- lawless hobo wars
- Danish pop stars from the 90s AND Dee-lite
- Jewish weddings
- Mail fraud

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

really tempted to use some sort of fleetwood mac lyrics for a title here

Coming back from the beach, we had a brief conversation re: Infinite Jest:

The G: You should really read this, it's pretty funny.

The N (glancing at my book): I've already gotten to that part.

The G: Oh. Huh. Well, let's talk about it. Tell me about the characters.

The N: Well, there's a son. And he has problems with his parents.

The G: How many sons?

The N: Well, two maybe. Two sons. Right! And, uh, a daughter!

The G: Two sons and a daughter, okay. What are their names?

The N: Junior. And they have a dead dad.

The G: Right. Where do they live? What country do they live in?

The N: All over the place! They live internationally! And one of them lives with their mom on a tennis..... ranch. They ranch. And play tennis!

The G: Right. Ranching. And what else happens? What's the major underlying, recurring plot point?

The N: Um, that parents and children don't get along.

The G: Right, right. Let's pick a random character, shall we. Who's Poor Tony Krause?

The N: He's a dog.

. . .

Next week, we ask the N to elaborate on Sophie's Choice.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

no disrespect to your wife, buts its amazing you ever got that oven jockey to uncross her honeysticks for you

Once upon a time, our house was a regular deathtrap. You had yourself two sets of stairs of regulation height, knives of various lengths, ceiling fans spinning at unpredictable speeds, boiling pots of tomato sauce, 20 pound mirrors insecurely positioned in showers so they easily fall and impale feet with their sharpened corner, etc. You know, the standard bunch of ways your average homeowners could kill or maim themselves.

When we got BD a few years ago, we automatically added the very real possibility of severe animal poisoning. Especially since our dog exhibits the shark-like curiosity of exploring the world with his mouth. Unfortunately, he also exhibits the dog-like tendency to swallow everything that he puts in his mouth. Mostly, its garbage. That’s not a weak metaphor. Our dog eats a ton of garbage and most of it is made of stuff that the canine digestive system isn’t designed to dig handle. Like plastic or fireworks or two entire boxes of frosted Mini-wheats. But we adjusted and got safer. These days, our trips to the vet are by appointment and not the type that required stomach pumpings.

Now, though, every goddamned thing in the house is a giant fucking red flag hazard* and will cause instant death or hugely debilitating injuries. Electrical outlets? Let’s lick our fingers and put them in there. Bookshelves? Paperback are boring so let’s pull these hardback copies of Gravity’s Rainbow and Infinite Jest on our heads. Scissors? We should put them in our mouths and open and close them quickly. And who made irons extremely hot, heavy and pointed with a convenient chord to pull?

And then there are peanuts. Obviously, humans have known that peanuts are the deadliest substance on earth ever since the first caveman stuck a sharpened stick into the Georgian soil and it detonated like Petersburg. We measure radioactivity in units of Carvers in honor of George Washington Carver and his tireless attempt to discover a way to make x-rays out of peanuts. Every schoolchild knows he died after absorbing a fatal dose of Carvers when inventing the peanut butter bomb that latter flattened Tuskegee, Alabama. It’s the reason that we, as a nation, worship Ronald Reagan since he was the only man capable of driving that terrible peanutmonger Jimmy Carter out of our nation’s capital.

We roll the dice everyday by even having that single jar of peanut butter in the house. But I have a wife who is forever falling asleep while chewing gum and we need the peanut butter for Bubble Yum hair extraction. It’s a risk we take to live in the modern world. (we also store our bleach in brightly colored sippy cups.)

But now it’s “news” that if you feed someone small bits of peanuts over the course of a few years they will develop immunity to the poison. Isn’t this the standard operating procedure for minimizing the effects of harmful allergens? I’ve been ingesting little bits of iocane since 1987 and have successfully warded off every poisoning attempt by my enemies. Or so I assume. I don’t see why peanuts would be any different.

*I’m aware there should be a comma in there somewhere. But I’m content with the thought of a giant being fucked by a hazardous red flag.