Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Comparing and Contrasting

South Florida is like DC in many ways. And I don't mean that literally. Sure, the weather here is warm year round and if you were searching for an adjective to describe it, you would come up with something like "awesome" or "kick ass" or "warm". But there are some key differences.

People my age or younger: Most of Florida, especially Miami, is really, really good looking. Someone once described DC to me as "Hollywood for Ugly People", and the description fits. Just like Hollywood, DC is full of name-dropping people who think they are more important than their $24k a year job would suggest. The only difference is that in DC people think they are important because they get coffee for Senator Shinebox instead of Steven Spielberg. I don't think anyone here has an excuse for not having a hot girlfriend (unless you are a toothless redneck, in which case you can date your sister). Walking around the mall here feels like you are in an Ambercrombie catalog. A really slutty Ambercrombie catalog.

The malls in DC, by contrast, could easily pass for the waiting room at a battered women's shelter. Also, people in Florida work out...a lot. Although I don't have a six pack, you can see my abs if my shirt is off and you are looking for them. You don't have to use your imagination (much). But here, people are really in shape. They are not all soft and doughy like in Washington. At the South Beach clubs I would be the guy that the personal trainers handed their cards to and said things like "no, really, I want to help you....you NEED help."

People older than me:

DC is full of mostly younger (ugly) people. They usually work for a few years here and then go back to wherever they are from and tell people how important they were. If someone lives in DC and they are in their 50s or older, they are probably someone important. Here, most of the old people are really, really old. They look like they would feel at home having dinner with the Crypt Keeper or John McCain.






Drivers: Most of the people in Florida are terrible drivers. I think it's because there are so many old people who have lived full and rewarding lives and are not afraid of ending it all (either that or they don't want to miss the early bird special at the restaurant and are willing to kill you with their giant car to make sure that doesn't happen). DC has some truly horrible drivers...we call them Taxis. But there aren't a lot of taxis down here, so I guess it evens out.

Gotta go do some Xmass shopping. Happy Holidays, All!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thoughts from a warmer place.

Palm Beach Florida is like the rest of Florida, except older...a lot older. There's a reason that some people (i.e. me) refer to this place as death's waiting room. As I left this morning for the airport (at 7 am!!!) , I almost slipped and fell on the rainy, icy stairs, so it's nice to be running around now with a t-shirt on. Still, my family is enough to drive anyone nuts, and I have several more days of this ahead. I've already taken numerous aspirin because my family is hard to take one at a time, but in a group, they are positively migraine inducing.

I don't know why no one ever bothered to tell any of my thousands of neices and nephews the difference between your inside voice and your outside voice, but there you go. I managed to line up a couple of private lessons at a local jiu jitsu school, because it will be time away from my family, and getting choked and having my arm twisted by a complete stranger is more fun than listening to my nephews fight to the death over control of the XBox.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No Cake for Hitler

Firstable, I don't know who names their kid "Adolf Hitler". It's hard enough making it through gradeschool without the kids finding some reason to pick on you, so you shouldn't make it easy. If this kid was born with a name like Ralph, I would feel sorry for him, but Adolf Hitler? Really? That's practically child abuse. I hope you can take a punch, kid, because you're in for a rough ride. You will not have fond memories of the playground...nuff said.

Now they are in the news because (I guess) they are upset that a store wouldn't sell them a cake that said Adolph Hitler on it. The only thing that makes this story funny instead of sad, is that the white trash parents of this kid are trying to convince the reporter that just because they named their kid Adolph Hitler, they aren't racists. Oh really? Is that why you wear a nazi soldier's WWII boots and named your other kid "JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell "? While you're at it, why don't you tell me about how I can make money by buying foreclosed homes with no money down?

UPDATE:

Pics from the family home

Monday, December 15, 2008

Holidays

It seems like just last week that I got back from Florida (probably because it was last week). But I have to back again for Christmas with the family.

Things I am looking forward to:

1) food: The food is way better and there is way more if it than when I cook.
2) Neices and Nephews: I only get to florida about twice a year, while my brother and sister are there year round. That means that it's that much harder for me to remain the favorite uncle year after year, but I will succeed again this year. Whether that means intenrionally losing at Halo to my nephew (who's 4 years old and doesn't have fine motor skillz yet) or driving my neice to the mall so she can buy the latest "music" CD by Hannah Montana, I will do it. My need to win, knows no bounds!
3) warm weather: my people come from places with lots of sunshine. So being in Florida is soothing for me. It's like the sun re-charges my batteries. Also, I look better (i.e. sexier) when I am tanned.
4) No work: Being in florida means I am not at work...nuff said.


Things I am not Looking forward to:

1) Family Drama: It's good that I am kinda far away because I don't get involved in the family drama that goes on year round (but I do get to hear about it during the holidays). It's not the same drama every year (that would get boring) but it is new drama every year that's just as bad (like watching a soap opera where the people are not as good looking, related to you, and less rational).

2) airports: These suck no matter what, but during the holidays they REALLY suck. I hope the terrorists don't blow up my plane because (a) I don't want to die, and (b) I REALLY don't want to spend my last moments on earth in an airplane eating stale peanuts.

3) Weight gain: I've been going to the gym a lot lately and I'm probably 5 lbs away from having six-pack abs again. This will be a set back. Still, the food is good and stress eating is better than an ulcer.

4) old people: Florida is full of them, and they can't drive. They are in every store holding up the checkout lines while they look for their checkbook because it's too much trouble to carry a $10 bill to pay for that quart of milk. And for some reason, they LOOoooooove Costco.

I still have time to pack (or change my mind) but my tickets are purchased and I'm busy doing online shopping so my gifts will be there when I arrive (which will keep me from having to go to the malls unless absolutely necessary).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Free Plug Friday

Because it's Friday and I don't feel like being creative for your amusement, I will use the power of the internet and garner and focus the power of my tens of readers and support a friend with our latest edition of free plug friday (TM). (YEs, I am really trademarking that, so if you want to use it, that's fine, but pay me for it...you can pay me whatever you think is fair, unless you are cheap, in which case you should pay me more).

Anyway, my friend Matt Sesow, a well-known DC artist whose work you should look at, is having an open studio at his place in Adams Morgan on Saturday Dec 13 from noon to 6. You can get the details HERE. Have fun guys. See you there (unless I'm still hungover from the night before).

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Back from Key West

I just flew in from Key West and boy are my arms tired. HAHAHA!!! Okay, maybe that's not funny. And you know what else is not funny? Coming home to a house where the temperature is 44 degrees farenheit.

Before I left for my trip (future recap post coming) I replaced my old fashioned thermostat with a new fancy schmancy digital programable thermostat. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to program it and the operating instructions are more complicated than the user's manual for the Space Shuttle. Soooo...I was going to be gone for a while and it wasn't so cold when I left, I just turned the heat off. Needless to say, it was reallly cold when I got back. I'm lucky the pipes didn't freeze, but man, was it cold last night. I turned the heat on when I got inside, but it takes way to long for the house to warm up from 44 degrees to a temperature where I don't have to wear a coat, hat and gloves to watch TV.

Also, this is completely unrelated to anything in this post, but I checked Sitemeter and found out that someone came upon my little corner of the interweb by doing the coolest google search yet: "Shit Stuck in My Router Yo". I have no idea what that means, but apparently my site is number one on the entire internet for that search term. Suck it, yo!!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Where's My Bailout?

The "Big 3" US auto makers (who are the business equivalent of your neighbor's heroin junkie brother in law) got turned down when they flew to Washington in their private jets and asked for $25 Billion so they can keep making cars that nobody wants. So they did the logical thing, they went home and came back asking for $34 Billion. Wow. Just. Wow.

I think I'm going to walk into my bosses' office right now and ask for a 20% raise. If he doesn't give it to me, I'll come back in a few days and ask for a 35% raise, because that's how the world works, right?

Before anyone brings up the topic of the Wall Street Bailout, let me say this:

1). There's a chance we might get some of that Wall Street money back. Does anyone in their right mind think we will get one dime of this Detroit Auto money back?

2). Banks are necessary because EVERYONE, including auto companies, need banks to do business. No one NEEDS General Motors (especially when you can buy a US made Honda or Toyota).

3). GM's problems (expensive labor contracts, too many dealers, too many car brands) can't be fixed by giving them money, they can be fixed with bankruptcy reorganization though.

GM spends almost a billion dollars a year on it's "Job Bank". If you don't know what that is, it's where the laid off union employees go for eight hours a day and do crossword puzzles while collecting their full salary. Some of them have been there for over a decade. And we, the taxpayers, are supposed to pay for that to continue? Eff you!!!

*EDIT*

You Tell 'Em Ron Paul

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ahhh the Holidays

I'm looking forward to a little mini vacation in Key West with the girlfriend, but soon after I'll have to return to Florida and spend some time with the family for Christmas. Since I've discovered internet shopping, it's now a lot easier just to order stuff online, have it shipped directly there and not worrying about last minute Christmas presents or lugging lots of toys in my luggage. That takes care of the logistics of present shopping, but I still have to spend about 10 whole days with my family, which is pretty stressful. I'm sure, like many things, they are harmless in small doses, but can be really painful if you experience more than trace amounts of it.

Since the recession took effect, I've noticed that the price of gas is cheap again. It's nice pay less than $2 a gallon again for gas, but I'm pretty sure I'd rather pay more for gas if I could have all the money I lost in the stock market and the housing collapse back again.

You know what else is cheap now? Everything! I saw a flatscreen 40" TV at Best Buy yesterday for $800. I remember a couple of years ago they were $4000. The last thing I need is an excuse to watch more TV, but that puppy would look sweet in my living room, with me on the couch drinking a beer and eating some kind of greasy fried food with barbeque sauce.

Thanksgiving was nice and uneventful. Despite my eating everything that wasn't nailed down, I managed to finish the weekend without passing the 170 pound mark. (although I did wait until after I pooped to weigh myself).

Friday, November 28, 2008

My foot job

I'm gonna admit something now, because I'm sure people will find out eventually, so by coming clean and mocking myself, it will have no power over me. Ready for it? You sure? Okay here goes: I got a pedicure the other day. Now, before you say anything, you should know that I am straight...as straight as they come. In fact, I made sweet, sweet love to my hot girlfriend before and after the pedicure, so banish that those thoughts from your head.

I guess an explanation is in order. I used to get my haircut at a barber shop. It was one of those old timey barber shops where the guy who cuts your hair is in his 70s and the magazines that you read while you wait are Playboy magazines from the 80s. But the girlfriend gets her hair done at a salon type place and kept trying to get me to go to her place.

Me: Why would I go there for? I get good haircuts and I get to look at magazines from an era where it was still socially acceptable for girls to have pubic hair that looks like buckwheat.

Girlfriend: Well, this place uses better product in your hair.

Me: Product? I don't know what that is, but I've gone decades without it, so I'm pretty sure I don't need it.

Girlfriend: Also, the stylist gives you hand massage while you wait.

Me: Are the stylists women?

Girlfriend: Yes, why?

Me: A girl giving me a haircut and a hand job? Sign me up!!!


So after every haircut I got there they would ask me to set up an appointment for next time and if I wanted anything else like a manicure, pedicure or wax. "Uhhhh, what?!? no thanks." Well, eventually the stylist and the girlfriend talking up the pedicure (and my need for new blogging stories) turned the tables in favor of this.

I have no idea why I haven't done this before. I'll be the first to admit, that I have some ugly feet. If my feet were dogs, they would be pugs or bulldogs. If my feet were people, they would be Rosie O'Donnell and Oprah (back when she was fat). And also, they smell like burning rubber (and turd). But this girl at the salon clipped my toenails, massaged my feet; put some mud on it (that looked suspiciously like the poop my puppy makes when he's got diarrhea. Then she wrapped it in warm towels and give you a Cosmo to read. For the dudes reading this who've never seen one, Cosmo is like clothes porn for chicks.

Then eventually, another chick came over and started massaging my hands while the first girl took the mud off my feet and started massaging me. Incidentally, two girls simultaneously massaging me is what I imagine Heaven is like (except in Heaven, we would be naked, the girls would be even hotter, and I would be drinking a beer at the same time).

Anyway, I left without letting them paint my toes with clear polish (I'm straight and I'd like to keep it that way), then went to brunch with the girlfriend. What a great Saturday.


Digg!

Friday, November 14, 2008

When it's time to back away from the computer

If you think Americans are weird, you're right. But people in other countries can be just as weird and pathetic as our homegrown dorks. Sometimes I like to read newspapers from other countries like the Great Britain (because FoxNews is like watching the Hitler propoganda channel), so I'll read stuff from BBC online, or...The Sun, which is like the National Enquirier, but with British spelling of words like "colour" and "behaviour".

Anyway, I saw an article in there today, where a couple is getting divorced because his virtual character in Second Life cheated on her with another virtual character. This is too weird for so many reasons. Here's my thoughts, in case either of them reads this site:

1) neither one of you is particularly attractive, so you should stay married because, realistically, you're each the best you can get;

2) you met him online, when he was unemployed, what did you expect?

3) THAT'S NOT REALLY CHEATING, YOU MORON!!!

4) Get off the internet and start doing real world things and then maybe you can cheat on each other for real...or not, but for goodness sake, get out off the computer!!!

I will admit, I've never played Second Life so I don't know how addicting it can be. The reason I haven't played is because it's idiotic and I have a life. Why do people spend so much time in an imaginary world if they could direct that time and energy to make their real lives better?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two Economists Walk into a Bar...

Q: What's the difference between a recsession and a depression?

A: A recession is when your neighbor loses his job, a depression is when you lose yours.

The NY Times ran an article recently about how even the big law firms had it rough these days and were laying off assoiciates. Now, THAT'S scary. The reason I went into the law was for job security (also for money and so that I would be able to afford a trophy wife and spoiled kids with names like "Kennedy", "Madison" and "Brett"). I remember when the telecom industry imploded (not fun when most of your clients are in that industry) and I decided to switch gears and go work for the government. I could be making twice what I'm making now if I worked at a law firm, but I'd also probably have no free time and an ulcer. So I'm glad I made the choice I did. Still, it's scary to read about stuff like this because, even though I'm not planning on leaving in the middle of a recession, it's nice to know you have options available even if you're not interested. Like the hot chick who's going to the prom with the captain of the football team, but knows that there are others who would line up to take his place if she ever got bored of him. Reading this article is like finding out that the rest of the football team is gay (which is not unusual in high school and college football, but still).

Anyway, I'm just rambling here. How are the rest of you holding up in these difficult economic times?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

My White Trash Halloween...with Photos

This year I thought for sure I would win best costume. My friend had her annual Halloween party at her huge (7 Bedroom) house out in Fairfax county. Seven Bedrooms? Wow, I'm in the wrong business.

I thought I had it locked down with my costume: White Trash. I couldn't find the gold teeth grill that I had bought for my costume, but I thought the other white trash elements (tattoos, long hair, 70s porn moustache) were enough to cinch it.


Here's a picture of me and the girlfriend, who went as a LOL Cat. The people who knew what a LOL Cat was thought it was great, but apparently not everyone reads LOL Cats. Most of the people had no idea what that website was.

I felt bad for the people that never saw that website. It was like finding out that you were the only one who grew up with a pony and that other people spent their childhoods working in the coal mines.




But alas, I did not win first place. The prize went to last year's defending champ. He came as Michael Phelps and his wife was Michael Phelps' Mom. Funniest line of the of the evening: After Michael Phelps won, his mom takes the microphone and says "I'm just so proud of my son". Anyway, here is the winning costume:


The big ears and iPod earbuds make the costume.














Afterwards, everyone kept getting drunk and playing Rockband. The end.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Don't Forget to Vote

I'll put a halloween post in the next couple of days (I'm busy now), but in the meantime, don't forget to vote tomorrow, even if you'll only be doing it for one of the lesser of two evils. Also, if you're in a state that's solidly blue or red, and you don't think your vote will matter, try voting for a third party candidate so that one day we might have real choice in this country. Also, Ron Paul is awesome, even though I liked him from writings on the Mises Institute website long before any of you ever heard of him.

And to the women in Michigan who only gave out Halloween candy to McCain supporters and turned away kids whose parents were Obama supporters, you suck. Yes, Shirley Nagel, I'm talking to you, you suck. It's people like you who turn the rest of us off from politics. You can't put aside your partisanship for even one day to give candy to a 4 year old? I hope you choke on your candy, you psycho!

Friday, October 31, 2008

I call B.S.

I call bvllshit. If you really are giving up on practicing law, burning your Harvard Law degree and leading a simple life (have fun living in a group house till your 50, hippie), then why would you blot out your name on the diploma? Newsflash, you can get another copy of your diploma for $25, so you don't lose anything by burning your diploma. Think about it: if you lost your diploma, does that mean that they'll make you do four more years of law school? A bigger, bolder statement would've been to quit before you graduated, or to set your genitals on fire. Jus' sayin'.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm Back

I can't believe it's been this long since I've posted. I didn't miss it, to be honest. I haven't felt like doing it. It's like trying to get George Bush motivated about reading.

Updates? I've lost over $100k in the stock market and haven't made any progress on the house. Also, someone was shot on my corner last night. I think he may be dead because the cop cars were still there this morning. I hope the guy who got shot was a criminal, and that they catch the shooter, so that we kill two birds with one stone (no pun intended). But since this is DC, I'm not getting my hopes up.

I got a second estimate on the foundation issue, and the second guy wanted $4,900. I'm starting to think that the first quote $3100 now sounds reasonable. I may call the guy today. Maybe I should make some progress on the place while I still have SOME money left.

Also, the abandoned building a few doors down from me has had people in there clearing out the debris from the inside and the stuff from the shared driveway that keeps me on a first name basis with the tire-repair shop. So that's good, I guess.

Things are going well with the girlfriend. In the famous psychologist Maslow's heirarchy of needs, sex is like number 3 or something, so maybe that's why the other stuff (like losing money and people getting shot a few feet from my doorstep) doesn't bother me so much. I've also been meditating lately, so maybe that has something to do with my better mood. There's a lot to be said for Zen, but if given a choice between having sex with a hottie and sitting in a chair and practicing mindful breathing, I think you'd rather get your rocks off too.


[UPDATE]

According to the DCist, it was a fatal shooting. Maybe the police will start patrolling more in my neighborhood. You know, instead of giving people parking tickets in Georgetown.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Scariest Movie in Years

Well, I went to another movie preview for a movie that's opening soon, Quarantine with my hottie. Now, I'm not scared by most "horror" movies. Most of them I could watch while doing my taxes. But whollyfreakinbejesusonastick this movie is scary!!! If you go watch this movie, maybe you should bring a change of underwear because you may just sh1t your pants...and not in a kinky way either.

Also...sadness because my foster dog got adopted (pics and a good by post soon...if I don't get lazy) and because the stock market is in the toilet. What's good is that there are many years to go until I retire and my 401(k) retirement money gets deducted from my paycheck and invested automatically so it's buying stocks when prices are cheap and I'll be really, really rich when I retire. Rich enough to buy a new robot body to transfer my brain in and take over the world. Fear my wrath!!!

Have a good weekend, everybody!!!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Friday Stuff

Well I missed the vice presidential debates last night where Senator Biden debated a former TV Weather girl (has politics really come to this?). Not surprisingly Dems thought he won and Republicans thought she won. Expectations were so low for her that as long as she showed and and stuck to her soundbytes, no matter what question she was asked, she wouldn't embarrass herself. The recaps were annoying because every clip they showed her had her mentioning "America" or "Americans" in her answer. If you wave that flag any harder, your arm is gonna fall off! If that weren't ridiculous enough, trying to portray McCain, who voted with Bush over 91% of the time as a "maverick" is beyond laughable.

Enough about that. Last week I went to see a friend of a friend's band at the Red and the Black in NE DC. Normally I don't go to NE DC because there are enough opportunities to get shot or get my car broken into in my own neighborhood, so why go outta my way for it? Still, a friend is a friend. Anyway, if you want to check them out, the band name is Object, and here is a video for one of their songs.













Before the gig, I stopped for a bite to eat with my date at Marvin on U Street. I was wearing a T-shirt with this on the front, when some old bald guy wearing a suit and bow-tie at 10:30 on a friday, with his two friends told me "nice shirt, asshole, next time why don't you wear a swastika".

We exchanged a few words and since I was in a hurry I said "well, the door's right there, fcukface, you wanna go outside and teach me a lesson? Bring your friends..."

Luckilly, his friend apologized and said he didn't mean to start anything. I think he figured out that if I'm smaller than each of them and I want to fight them, that I probably know something that they don't. Anyway, my date said she wasn't pleased with my display of testosterone, but it's hard not to lose your cool when some complete stranger calls you an asshole. Plus...someone with a bow-tie shouldn't be giving out advice on fashion. Maybe you should get your seersucker suits and stay in capitol hill, douchenozzle.


FREE PLUG:

Today a friend of mine is showing some pieces at a Gallery in Dupont Circle in DC. It's at Pass Gallery on 16st and S st, NW. From 8-10 pm. See you there.


MISCELLANY :

People keep asking me this in private, so I'll put it out there so I get no more questions about it. Yes, I am a derivatives lawyer. Yes, I understand what's going on, but I won't explain it to you because it's complicated. No, you shouldn't listen to stuff that's written about the bailout from unemployed guys living in their parent's basement. And you shouldn't listen to politicians either. If people like Sarah Palin are telling you what the right course of action is, ignore it and find out for yourself. Ask people like George Soros (supports it); Bill Gross (supports it) and Warren Buffett (supports it).

Yes, I support a bailout, but it has to be done correctly. Even Warren Buffett thinks it's a good idea because buying these assetts at current prices is a steal. He's put up more than $10 billion so far and said he would love to be able to participate in the $700 billion buyout if he could get 1% of it ($7 billion) because it's a money maker. The only thing to watch out for is that the government shouldn't OVERPAY for these assets. They should be the buyer of last resort and demand some equity from the banks in return so that they tap the fund only if they really, really need it.

The credit markets seizing up is very serious. This week General Electric, one of the only AAA rated companies on earth had to borrow from Buffett at a 10% interest rate and give him equity in the company. If one of the most financially solid companies in the world has to pay those terms to borrow, what do you think will happen next month when people like you and me try to borrow money to buy a house? 20%? 30%? Just a thought.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The evil fortune teller...and the evil smoothie woman

Last weekend, I went to the Adams Morgan Day festival with my dog who hates all other dogs (and isn't afraid of voicing her hatred) and the girl I'm dating. For those of you who don't live in DC, Adams Morgan is to DC as Greenwhich Village is NYC. Well, it's like Greenwhich Village, except smaller and lamer, but with less hipsters and more low lifes.


It was hot and tiring, but it was the only thing semi-exciting to do on a Sunday afternoon except for catching up on Netflix. Sort of like choosing between making love to your wife of 30 years or searching for random stuff on YouTube.


The day was uneventful, and the food was bland. It ended with a near confrontation between me and the moron selling fruit smoothies because she didn't want to give me a cup of ice water for the dog. It's 90 degrees out, I just bought two smoothies from you, and my dog is dying but you don't want to give me a cup of water? I hope there's a special place in hell for people like you--you bitter, petty, miserable woman.


As we were leaving the festival, I noticed a "psychic" offerring readings for $5. Normally, I don't trust gypsies, since I've been to europe and had my pocket almost picked twice by them, but I figured it would be good fun. One reason I don't trust "psychics" is that whenever I see one, like the one in Adams Morgan, I never see anyone going in, and the sign is offerring readings for $5. Since rent in downtown DC is expensive, and they don't have any customers, it's questionable how they can stay in business charging only $5. I figured there must be a way that they screw you, like telling you someone put a curse on you and them offerring to take it off for an extra fee. Or maybe they just pick your pocket...they are gypsies, after all.




So there were three gypsies there. The youngest, who was attractive, her mother, who was not, and the grandmother, who looked like the crypt keeper. She even had the ubiquitous gypsy mole on her face with the hair growing out of it (not making any of this up or exaggerating in any way). This is reason number 50 why you should never marry a gypsy--bad aging genes.


So scam started before we even sat down. Five dollars only entitles you to two yes/no questions; if you want a palm reading, it's $15 for one palm and $25 for two, and if you want a tarot card reading it's $40. So from $5 - $40 in less than 15 seconds...that's quicker than a porsche.


So she proceeded to do a "cold reading" on my hottie. "You will live to be 85 and have a wonderful life!...Watch for a happy surprise next week!" Blah, blah blah. I could hardly contain my laughter for two reasons.


1) I doubt anyone's palm is so detailed that you can pick out something as precise as what's going to happen next week;


2) I know how to read palms and tarot cards, so I knew she was full of sh1t.


I learned from my black-sheep uncle who ran away from home when he was 15 and lived with gypsies for while while, who taught him how to do it (and how to cheat at cards and pick pockets). He taught me to read palms and tarot cards, how to tell if cards were marked in a poker game and how to avoid pick pockets...and to not trust "psychics".


I usually don't tell people I know how to read palms and do tarot, because inevitably, they will shove their palm in my face and ask me to read it. If I met an auto mechanic at a party, I wouldn't pop the hood of my car and expect him to look at it and tell me if it's working right.
After we got home, we talked about the high-pressure upselling gypsies. I had read her palm before (because I like her) and she confirmed that I'm a better psychic than the old woman, I even dusted off my old tarot cards and did a quick reading, which I'm sure was also better than theirs...and free too.
I'm curious about whether anyone else has ever been to a "psychic" and what was your experience like.




Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mo' Money...

I got a quote to fix the "issue" with the bricks in the basement (i.e. that they have no mortar and a few are sticking out). The price was $3200, which includes filling in and parging (sp?) 3/8" thick cement over about 250 square feet of bricks to even it out, and pulling out loose bricks and putting them back in.

It would be nice to sleep nights without worrying if my house will fall down on top of me and kill me, but $3200? I'd rather get kicked in the nuts than pay that much money to someone who isn't a high-class call girl. Once the wall's done, I can start working on the basement...but $3200? Does that sound like a fair price for what's being done? Do you think I can negotiate it down? Maybe if I let him kick me in the nuts, he'll do it for $2000? Or a good shin kick for $2500?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Surfer Dude is a Super Dud

I saw the world's worst "comedy" movie last night, Surfer Dude. It was so bad, that I had to go home and look on IMDB just to make sure that it was a comedy. Prior to this, the two worst "comedies" I have ever seen were Lightning Jack and SpaceBalls. I laughed twice during Lightning Jack and once during SpaceBalls. I didn't laugh even once during Surfer Dude. Spaceballs was made after Mel Brooks stopped being funny, whereas Matthew McConaughey was never funny. Why do people keep putting this a55hat in movies? The only thing funny about him is the way you spell his last name.

So why did I go see it? Well...the awesome girl I'm dating keeps winning free tickets to movie openings. That's because I date winners, and if I'm not dating you, I'm not saying you are a loser, just that I've been busy and haven't gotten around to you yet. Last night night she won tickets to see a preview screening of the new Nicholas Sparks movie, Nights in Rodanthe. Afterwards there was to be a Q&A session with Sparks. I don't usually watch movies like The Notebook or Nights in Rodanthe because I don't have ovaries, but this was free and it was a date movie. Well, the line was huge, the lonely desperate women were lined up 3 deep to see this movie. I was the only guy in line, none of the other girls who are into Nicholas Sparks was attractive enough to get a date. It looked like a party for that sorority that focusses on academics rather than looks.

So, it turns out that because the producers wanted a full house for the screening, they gave away more tickets than there were seats. Rather than leave sulking like those sad, lonely women who gave up a night with their cats to see Nicholas Sparks, we snuck into another movie...Surfer Dude.

I took the liberty (because it's my blog) of looking on Rotten Tomatoes to see if I was the only person who hated this movie. This is the only movie I've ever seen on Rotten Tomatoes that got ZERO good reviews. One person said "Yes, this is a movie made by stoners for stoners." Well it's worse than that, because that insults good stoner movies like Harold and Kumar go to White Castle and Half-baked. Another called it "a hapless, laughless movie" and someone else nailed it with " a shapeless slog with virtually no tale to chase. "

It turns out that the female lead in this movie is the girl from Love, Actually. The one with the brother in the mental hospital who doesn't get laid in the entire movie. Well, she plays an uptight NY executive working on a surfing reality TV show and...get this...by the end of the movie, she undergoes a wardrobe and attitude change and has sex with Matthew McConaghey (sp?) and adopts the laid back LA lifestyle and forgets about the NY corporate world. Cliche much?

The only reason, well, women and gay men, will go see this movie is because McConahey (sp?) doesn't have his shirt on in the entire movie. There are some gratuitous boob shots in the pool party scenes, but nearly enough to make this movie worthwhile.

Matthew McConahgjeyaly: Grade: F! You suck, your name sucks, and you suck at surfing.

Nicholas Sparks: Grade: D! You suck, but I'm sure after the premier you didn't sleep alone. With a room full of lonely, desperate women you must've gotten lucky, but instead of trolling the bars you made them come to you. So you get a break because I wish I was smart enough to come up with that idea.

AMC Lowe's Georgetown: Grade C- You are not metro accessible, but you can get discount parking if you validate your ticket. Also, your popcorn, while overpriced, was good and very buttery/salty.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Update

Thanks for concern about me beeing shot. I don't know if I'm paranoid, but I think the pellet is still in my arm. I'm reluctant to take a day off work and go to the doctor just for that, but what happens if I leave it in there? Lead poisoning? Mental retardation? Voting republican?

In other news, I had a foundation guy come in and look at the bulging wall in my basement. He said the bricks didn't need to be pulled out and re-stacked, and is supposed to send me an estimate on how much it will be to repoint all the bricks that are missing mortar, take out and put back in the ones that are sticking out a bit and cover the whole thing up with parging (sp?), which is basically cement that I can just leave as is, or cover with drywall eventually.

The stairs that got warped will probably have to be replaced too, but I think I'll hire someone for that too. I am through taking on big projects. I'm still waiting for an estimate, but hopefully it won't be too bad.

I've been busy lately. Besides crying over Fannie and Freddie being nationalized by the Communists (I own stock in both companies), I have been really busy with non-work stuff. As for work...there may be some changes soon, but I won't say anything about it because I don't want to jinx it.

Friday, September 05, 2008

that time I got shot with a BB gun...

I haven't posted the follow up because I've been too lazy, to upload the picture. I like to think of it as being busy, but I'm sure catching up on Flight of the Conchords on DVD doesn't qualify me as a mover and a shaker in the corporate world. Donald Trump is not looking over his shoulder and worrying about me, which is fine by me. When my lotto tickets hit, he won't even see it coming.

So...the story. I was out with my lady friend salsa dancing and we came back around 3am. I changed out of my free beer shirt* and we went to walk the dog around the block. Have I mentioned that I live in what people in Bethesda would consider "the hood"? I know they say my neighborhood is "up and coming" but I really wish it would hurry up and get there already; wherever that is.

So around the corner from the ninja fortress, I hear a pop and feel what feels like a bee sting and notice I am bleeding. I didn't see where the shot was coming from, but I was pissed off. I heard more pops so I knew they were still shooting and I didn't want the girl or the dog to get injured so I walked them home. My first thought was to get my samurai sword (yes, I have one...don't ask), and look for who did this and teach them a lesson, but I figured I should call the DC cops (who suck) because I'm sure if I go there and cut someone's head off, then everyone will think *I'M* the asshole. So we call the cops and the patrol car gets there pretty quickly and the cops proceed to ask me idiotic questions:


Cop: Why were you walking your dog at 3:30 in the morning?

Ninja: Because she had to go to the bathroom.

Cop: aren't you afraid of walking around at this time of night?

Ninja: Not really...I know a little jiu jitsu.

Cop: How do you know you were shot by a bb gun? How do you know
they didn't just throw a rock at you?

Ninja: Because i'm bleeding...from this hole in my arm that's the size of a bb...it's right behind the hole in my shirt that's the size of a bb...I don't remember the last time someone threw a rock at me, but I'm sure it doesn't look like this.


Long story short, we had to wait 2 hours for a detective to arrive. we went around the corner and I showed her where the incident happened. She also asked how I knew it was a bb gun and I described the popping sound.


Detective: Like that popping sound?

Ninja: Yes.

Detective: it
sounds like it's coming from that streetlamp. Maybe it wasn't a bb gun?

Ninja: or...maybe they are still shooting at us...right now.

Yes, these morons were shooting...at two police cars. Then the cops spied a bunch of drunk kids on a nearby porch and went over and found the BB gun and cuffed the one who was trying to hide it. Since they didn't see who shot at us, what do you think they did?

a) arrested everybody and let them spend the night in jail until they turn on the shooter
b) beat the kid to within an inch of his life
c) let everyone go and confiscated their bb gun.

The correct answer is c). Yes, because that will solve the problem since I'm sure you can't buy another gun on eBay for $20. I may have the last laugh though. I got a good look at a couple of those guys and if I see one of them walking by himself I'm gonna tackle him to the ground and break his arms.

The next morning I find out that my date's car was broken into. They messed with one of the locks and broke a window trying to get in before the alarm scared them off.

I'm not sure if the BB fell out and I wasn't about to sit in an emergency room for 6 hours, so I just went home. And people wonder why I think DC cops suck. A couple of days ago I was walking towards the metro to get a bite to eat and I notice that a street was closed off. Apparently someone was shot a couple of blocks from my house. I wonder if they arrested that guy or just took away his gun?



Me with the free beer shirt and a hottie.













Me with the bullet hole.













*there is a story behind the free beer shirt, but the short version of it is that a gay guy bought me a beer once because he liked my shirt...well, that and because he was cruising for deviant sex.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The world's worst driver


I spotted this car on Florida Avenue and 17th street. There were no other cars involved in the "incident".
Sometimes people back home in NYC think I'm kidding when I tell them how bad the drivers are in DC. When I tell them that it snows half an inch and the entire city shuts down (no, really!), and people here don't even know how to drive in the rain. (maybe you should stay in Arizona or New Mexico or wherever the hell was cursed by the universe with no rain, and leave DC to people who know how to use windshield wipers).
But I'm not exaggerating. The only thing worse than the drivers in DC is the police force...and the school system...and the taxes. Maybe I should move to Arlington...or Bethesda? Anyone want to buy a 1/2 completed ninja fortress? I'll throw in a cute dog for free!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Busy Weekend

This weekend I was shot by BB gun while walking my dog and my date had her car broken into; I went to two clubs, 4 bars, an art show, a bar be que, a dog adoption event, and an improv comedy show. I'll post some pics of my "gun shot wound" with the recap tomorrow, but I'm tired right now and I have a headache. I don't have mixed feelings about gentrification because when my neighborhood looks like Bethesda, I'm sure I won't have to worry about car break ins and getting shot. Attention chain stores and yuppies: I welcome you to the neighborhood!!! So the next person that tells me they have mixed feelings about gentrification destroying the character of a neighborhood will get c0ck-punched by me. (I'm not kidding about this).

Friday, August 15, 2008

There's no Place Like Fridays...and a free plug

I got back into town a few days ago. Attending a vegetarian wedding, it turns out, is as strange as it sounds. I liked the wedding, except for the no-meat thing. I like hummus as much as the next guy, but if I go 24 hours without eating meat, I'll probably bite someone. The ninja clan hails from South America where people sometimes eat meat at all 3 meals. And sometimes during snack time.

If my cousin and her husband thought that animals were spared by not having meat at the wedding, they don't know me very well because the next day at brunch I had more bacon in one sitting than I ever had in my life. I can feel my veins clogging as I type this....mmmmmmm....bacon!!! Although I'm dating a vegetarian, she did not come to the wedding. I wasn't born yesterday and I know that the quickest way to end a relationship is to present all the dysfuntional members of your family to someone at the same time. It's like if someone asks you for a quarter for the soda machine and you hit them in the face with a giant sack of pennies. I know the analogy doesn't make sense to you, but then again you don't know my family.

It was good to see all the family in one place again. It seems like I only get see all of them at once during weddings and funerals, and usually they are better behaved at funerals. I learned some interesting things about vegetarians at the wedding (besides the fact that vegans are just too fcuking smug about how much they love animals), but that would probably make a good follow up post since I don't like too much in one sitting...it starts to feel like work.

BUT...on an unrelated note, I've been having a good week. Yesterday I did something that made me feel like a lawyer again (no, I didn't kick a homeless person or steal from someone's trust fund). I don't think the person I helped realized that my law firm used to bill me out to clients ant $300+ per hour to answer the same kind of questions, but I enjoyed doing it so it doesn't matter if it was free (well, technically it was for two bud lights). And if you're wondering, I don't think my advice was worth $300 per hour since a few of my clients are in federal prison right now (and I wasn't a criminal lawyer). But I look very convincing and authorative in a suit!

Since it's Friday, this weeks free plug goes to Matt Sesow and Dana Ellyn, two artists that I know. They went to china with nothing but their paintbrushes and bought all the paint and canvases in China and shipped their paintings back for their "Made in China" show at the Longview Gallery on 9th street in DC's Chinatown. The opening reception is Saturday from 6-9 pm. I hope that some of my tens of readers can make it.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Yes Man

What happens when you say yes? A friend was telling me about a book called YES MAN (See the link in the sidebar), where the author decides to say yes to everyone for a year. He says yes to people offering him pamphlets on the street, and inviting him to attend a cult meeting where people believe aliens built the pyramids in Egypt. Along the way he wins the lottery (and loses the money) and gets married. But changing his thinking changed his world. Well, I guess that's my point, but I don't really need a point, because this is my site and I can ramble if I want.

Lately, I've been saying yes to more things and being open to new possibilities. I went to a wedding that I was invited to (even though I hate weddings) and started dating a hottie I met there. I replied to an email looking for volunteers willing to participate for several hours a day in a project that would be turned into a book. As a result, I'm being featured in the book, almost got on a National TV show (they picked one of the others in the group) and got a free Carribean cruise for 2.

Now, I'm not saying you should say yes to everything. For instance, if some british guy in a bar buys you a beer and you thought he was being polite, but it turns out that he thought you were gay because you had a fashionable shirt on, you don't have to say yes to the offer of sex. This is a totally hypothetical story, by the way, and purple shirts are NOT gay. Jus' sayin'.

I'll say more about the book and the cruise when the book is closer to completion (I don't want to jinx it). But you can order the book through my NEW Amazon link on the sidebar and let me know what happens when you try it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Extreme Foreclosure: Home Edition

I hate watching Extreme Makeover, because it bugs me to see a crew of people do more to a house in a week than I have done to mine in 3 years. Plus the background stories are really, really sad and if I wanted to watch something that made me cry, I would just do a google search for nekkid pictures of Rosie O'Donnell. Jus' Sayin'.

Maybe it's a symptom of the real estate bubble, or a metaphor for it...But...this STORY is amazing. It was the biggest and best house that Extreme Makeover ever built for a family. I don't know whether to pity them or be angry with them. A crew of 1800 volunteers, demolishes your crappy house and builds you a new one worth half a million dollars, and rather than thank your lucky stars, you take out a home equity loan for $450,000 and lose it on your construction business, then go into foreclosure!

I hate to kick anyone when they are down, but here are my thoughts:
  1. If you were any good at construction, they wouldn't have had to tear down your old place for being crappy; you could've fixed it yourself.
  2. I don't blame you for trying to get part of the American dream, but that house was friggin' sweet and all you had to do to hold onto it was not do anything stupid (they raised $250k for home maintanence costs and college funds for the kids), but you went ahead and mortgaged it to the hilt anyway?
  3. Unfortunately, people will be less likely to volunteer and help their neighbors out when they hear about something like this.

There's probably a lesson in here somewhere, but I'm still trying to decipher that omen about the cat killing the mouse while I was walking my dog. Anyway, it's hard to feel bad for people when they suffer from self-inflicted wounds, but I hate to see anyone lose their homes no matter how foolish they were. What do you think?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Omen or Karma?

Sometimes it's hard to interpret random signs. Is it an omen? A test? A couple of days ago when I was walking my dog (not a euphemism for masturbation) I saw a cat pounce on a mouse and bite it to death as it was screaming. Is that a sign? If so, what does it mean?

A month ago I was at a bar and I ordered a drink, payed for it with a $10 bill, but the bartender gave me change for $20. Since I used to be a bartender and I know that it would've come out of her money at the end of the night, I waited in line at the bar again and gave her back the extra $10. The woman thanked me and one of the patrons felt it necessary to stick his two cents in.

Douchebag: why did you give it back? No one would've known if you kept it.
Ninja: Well...I would've known.
Douchebag: pshhh....if that was me, I would've kept it.
Ninja: Yeah...I know.


See, the thing is this: I'm not an asshole. If you do something objectively assholish, even if no one sees it, you're still an asshole. And your secret is pretty hard to keep because it will eventually bubble up to the surface. When you go out for dinner with friends, maybe people will see you not chipping in enough when the check comes around; maybe they will see you on the metro not giving your seat to a pregnant lady; or maybe they will just spot your Affliction T-shirt and dog tag necklace?

So yesterday I was meeting up with some friends here and while I was walking over from the ninja fortress, I spotted $15 on the ground. Since it had no one's name on it, I decided to pick it up and do what Karma intended for it: I bought beers for my friends with it. This was obviously a sign. I was going to a bar, and I spotted free money, so the universe was obviously endorsing that activity. Plus, I've got good Karma from prior acts, so this is the universe's way of saying "I like what you're doing, man, keep up the good work." Who am I to question the universe's master plan.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What I don't need to read.

When I read about a string of robberies in my neighborhood in broad daylight, I am not happy. Especially when one of them was on my block. From growing up in NYC, I think I can tell when someone is up to no good. Rather than wait for them to commit enough crimes that they eventually get caught (the DC Police Department sucks more ass than deviant anal p0rn) and maybe go to jail, I think the powers that be should give me a gun and a special license to shoot sketchy people (and Hockey Fan Douchebags).

I predict the crime rate will drop dramatically overnight (unless you count my shootings in the statistics, because I will take to my new job with unbridled enthusiasm). Now, I do hope that the people who were mugged are alright, but more importantly, I hope that this doesn't negatively affect my property values. With the way the stock market is tanking recently, I'm relying on the fortress as a backup for my not-so-secret become-rich-then-raise-an-army-of-zombies-and-take-over-the-world plan. And if all it takes for me to keep property values up is to run over a few low lifes here and there with my SUV, then I'm all for it.

EDITED TO ADD:

And...if you think the DC Police are trying to catch these muggers, think again. They are busy giving out tickets to bicyclists. Good job, dougnut boys!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Odds and Ends

I haven't done anything major around the house because I'm lazy and I'm saving the money I should be spending to make sure my house doesn't fall down in order to plan for my Thailand trip. One (of many) thing(s) that bugs me though, is the amount of debris I have in the basement (pieces of wood, scraps of drywall, dead hookers etc.). It's not nearly enough to rent a dumpster, but too much to have laying around, so every morning when I walk the dog (not a eumphemism for self-loving, I swear) I take a piece or two and throw it out in a public trashcan. I keep worrying that the garbage police are setting up a sting operation to catch me so I walk the dog up different streets and "diversify" my crimes across each gentrified street.

In the meantime, I'm not worried about getting a ticket for not taking care of the front area of my house since I read that the city fired 18 home inspectors for being too stupid or lazy to pass a test that's required for them to keep their job. I think the germans have a word for that feeling you get when you take joy from someone else's misfortune: schadenfreude. These are people who make their living giving fines out to people who are too lazy to mow their lawns and they get fired for being too lazy to meet their employment qualifications. Irony much?

Also, in a few weeks I'm going up to Boston for a vegetarian wedding (not making this up). I don't think I can go a whole day without meat, so I'm bringing some beef jerky to snack on during the ceremony and reception, just in case(still not making this up).

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Odds and Ends...and a Batmobile

Well, the winner of my "where am I going with this" post is Dara from Blah Blah Blog, who correctly guessed "Thailand" (and incorrectly guessed a few other places). Since she's local, she's entitled to my microwave, which isn't the greatest microwave in the world, but it's free and I have no use for it since I installed the new microwave above the stove. If she doesn't want that, she can have some of the many books in my library. If she doesn't want them, then the runner ups, You Can Call Me Sir, or Moxie are entitled (and welcome) to them. I would've also given part credit to The Czech republic, Poland or Denmark (which are 3 countries in Europe that I haven't been to and plan to visit on my next trip there). I give no credit for guessing "Cleveland Park" because, quite frankly Cleveland Park sux. So although I did go there recently to say goodbye to a friend who is moving to San Franscisco, I only went there because it was close to her house, and there was plenty of parking and cheap beer (which is almost as good as cheap women, but without the need for penicillin shots the next week).





Moving on...





Last night I saw the Batmobile on Wisconsin avenue in front of the Quiznos Subs place. It was the new kick-ass Batmobile from the new batman movie, so I'm guessing it's here as part of some publicity stunt and not because Batman likes to buy his sandwhiches from overpriced chain shops. I didn't take a picture of it with my awesome phone because I didn't want to turn off the GPS system to take it. I figured I could describe it with a thousand words, which will be worth as much as a picture, but I decided to give up at the end of this sentence, so maybe a picture would've been in order.





Fourth of July...





I was supposed to go to a cookout but it got cancelled because my friend who was throwing it got his car window broken (yeah DC!) so he had to take it to VA to get fixed. I ended up spending the fourth at my place and cooking out with my date on my old school charcoal grill.



I took the opportunity to break in my 25 piece Sharper Image Grilling set. I had given the set to Ninja Dad for Xmas, but he already had a set given to him by my older brother (grrrrrr) and Sharper Image went bankrupt and stopped accepting returns, so it's been sitting in my living room for a year and half. But now that I've used it, I must say it's Swweeeeeeeeet!

In retrospect, I guess it looks a little suspicious to invite a girl to a party, then tell her that we're staying at my place instead, but she didn't seem to mind.

The next day the power went out in several blocks in my neighborhood. It was out from 9 am till almost 10pm. Not having power in July in a city that was built on a swamp sux because no power means no air conditioning (or TV, or internet). Still, hot sweaty sex with a 24 year old who works out several times a week is much better than watching re-runs of The Simpsons.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Where am I going with this?

My new passport came in the mail yesterday. The paperwork I filled out said it would take 4-6 weeks, but arrived about a week and a half after I dropped it off at the passport headquarters (which is very near my gym in Downtown DC). This is the first time I have EVER seen a government beaurocracy operate efficiently. Contrast this with the FIVE times I had to go to DC's DMV to get my license and car tags switched over from Virginia.

The picture looks terrible, but I don't blame the photographer as much as I blame genetics. I think the picture in my old passport looked better, but then again I was ten years younger at the time. Most people don't get better looking as they get older, and those that think they do are usually delusional so don't turn your back on them.

Anyway, I am planning a big trip. This is no secret to my real friends, but it may be to you imaginary people. In what may seem like a non-sequitor, I'm cleaning up my place and get rid of a lot of clutter. It turns out that I have waaaaay too many books (I read a lot because when I was growing up there was no internet...or unconditional love). So I've been going through them and packing them up in order to donate them to a used book place. In order to get rid of some books I have (and to get good ideas for my next trip), and to test your mind reading skillz, I want you to guess where I'm going. The first one to guess where I'm going will get a couple of books mailed to them on a topic that interests them (I have enough books that no matter what interests you I've got something on it). Or, if you're local, you can get a small microwave (not kidding about this).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Some people should never have kids

This is either the funniest or the cruelest practical joke ever. And if you think it's funny, maybe you shouldn't be having kids...or baby sitting...or playing with sharp objects...psycho! It reminds me, sadly, of the infamous Mazinga toy incident, when I was a child. I still haven't forgiven Santa for that one, and one day I'll come accross Santa in a bar after he gets off work at the mall and kick his ass for that one. Watch your back, Santa! You won't know when it's coming, but it's coming!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Wedding Crasher

I inadvertently crashed a wedding last weekend. I was going to a friend's wedding at a swanky place in Georgetown on 28th and Q st. I didn't know there were two swanky places there (one on Q st and the other around the corner on 28th street). So, of course, the cab driver drops me off at the wrong one.

The people at the first wedding seemed a little too douchebaggy to be friends with my friend, but I just assumed that they were friends of friends. I was on my second drink and getting hit on by a cute bridesmaid who was on her sixth (and wanted to get married, like, YESTERDAY, because all her friends are married and, she's been in 5 weddings this year, and why can't she find a cute guy who wants to settle down...) when she asks this:

Girl: so are you a friend of the bride or groom?

Me: I'm a friend of the bride. I've known her almost 10 years. You?

Girl: I'm friends with John.

Me: Who?

Girl: John...the groom.


Now, I knew something was up. Either my friend had met someone last week and fell madly in love and decided that since the wedding was paid for, let's get married, OR...I might be in the wrong place. I said I had to go to the bathroom and asked one of the staff what the name of this place was.

Me: So it's not the Evermay?

Waitress: No, that's around the corner.

Me: I feel like an idiot.

Waitress: Don't worry about it, it happens all the time.

Me: Really?

Waitress: No...not really, I was just trying to make you feel better.


So I sneak out of the first wedding and into the second wedding. But I am spotted and I have to tell the story. BUSTED! Anyway, I won't go into too many details about the wedding, but, here are some highlights.

  1. at one point during dinner someone giving a toast for the bride says something about her home state's (Kentucky) sports. Then people from the grooms side start singing the Clemson University fight song. Loudly. during dinner. Not making this up.
  2. There were apparently weeks of "discussions" about the wedding cake, so they had two cakes. One traditional, and one was, I sh1t you not, a fondant cake that was a perfect replica of the Clemson mascot (a tiger) straddling a giant boulder.
  3. I was stuck at a table with two vegetarians, one of whom (who was not gay) offered me his meat in exchange for my vegetables. I said "I don't want your meat, but thanks anyway".
  4. Someone's date gave me her phone number when her date went to the bathroom. The bride saw this and said something to me about it.

My friend, being very southern, tried to make the most of the mascot cake and thought of something romantic to say about a cake with a tiger and a rock. Although there is not much, romantically speaking, that you can say about a tiger and a rock, she pulled it off, She said:

"This boulder was donated by one of the Clemson alums and the players all rub the rock for luck right before a big game. His only stipulation on the gift was that 'if they aren't willing to give 110%, then tell em to keep their hands off my rock', which is how you should go into a marriage...willing to give it 110% or not at all." Awwwww...If I had ovaries, I would've probably cried at that.

On the way home, I got a stuck with a nigerian cabby who told me that weddings are a good place to pick up women, then proceeded to bombard me with pick up advice and suggest further materials for me to order. (not making this up) He told me he was a pickup artist, and recited a list of his idols and told me I had to order this stuff and that he had a lot of trouble getting dates before he found this material (which may have something to do with the fact he drives a cab and gives random strangers advice on getting laid, but i digress).

He said that, believe it or not, driving a cab is a great way to meet women because in a club they can walk away, but in a cab they have to talk to you. By that logic, I guess other great places to meet women are elevators, toilet stalls and women's prisons.

So I made it home, walked my new foster dog (who HATES other dogs) and debated whether to write about this. Wedding Crashers? Tiger Cakes? Nigerian Cab Romeos? Vegetarians offerring me their meat? Who's gonna belive this?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wow, Gasoline Really IS Expensive

On Friday I realized how expensive gas has really become. After the gym, my friend Uncle Rico and I were having beers at my place before we went out. When we went to our vehicles afterwards, Uncle Rico's truck smelled like a gas station. He has a pickup truck that's pretty high off the ground. When we looked underneath it, we saw that someone had cut his fuel line and stolen his gas!

Now this sucks on many levels. If they had siphoned the gas from his tank by unscrewing his gas cap, then he would be out $50 for the gas, but it wouldn't be a big deal. Since they cut his fuel line, he was out of gas and the truck wasn't going anywhere until he got a mechanic to come out to my neighborhood to fix it. And mechanics don't like going to work on a Saturday (join the club!), especially if they have to go to a neighborhood where people steal gas.

I like my neighborhood (kinda), but no one steals gas in Bethesda. So you can make fun of the burbs all you want, but at least you don't have to worry about your gas being stolen, and you don't have to buy your chinese takeout from behind bulletproof glass.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

hurtin'

I'm not 22 anymore. It used to be that I could go out drinking till 4 in the morning and be walking around like nothing happened by 9 am. But your 30s are different from your 20s, and not necessarilly in a good way.

My friend Dirty Dave, who I've discussed here and here, is in town for a couple of days. We went out drinking (bad idea number one), and did more drinking (still a bad idea) and even more drinking (now a really bad idea) ended up in a strip club where I learned that someone I know in real life works as a waitress. Don't worry, sweetie, your secret is safe with me (and the imaginary people on the internet). At some point during the night, Dave tries to convince us to go the massage parlor/whore house up the street.

Me: Dude, you haven't lived here for four years, what makes you think it's still in business.

Dave: [so drunk he's slurring his words] because that place was FCUKIN AWESOME, man and when a whorehouse is that fcuking awesome, it stays around forever! My grandkids will be fcuking hookers there one day.

Me: Well, I hope they get new ones, because those whores will be pretty old by the time your grandkids visit that place.


I decide to take a pass on the whorehouse because I don't even like using public toilets so using a public va-jay-jay doesn't really appeal to me. I stay at the strip club with the girl I know, Papa Doc and Old Skool while Dirty Dave and the Weasel go to the whorehouse. After about half an hour Dave comes back and he's not all that happy.

Dave: Man, that place is going down hill. Those hookers were in the mid 40s and a little on the heavy side.

Me: So what did you do?

Dave: Is that a trick question? I fcuked her...


There is more to this story, and while it's really funny, I'll keep it to myself since this is a PG-13 rated site. He's still in town for another day and he challenged me to another eating contest at Fogo de Chau, but I don't really think I'm up for it. I'm so hungover I can barely hold down coffee, I don't think I'm ready for unlimited grilled meats.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

updates and such

Well, I'm planning on taking it easy this weekend. Maybe some tidying up around the fortress, but no actual work. I'm trying to get a couple of foundation guys to come in and take a look at my basement brick "issue" next weekend, so thinking about my house falling down and burying me alive while I curse the heavens, or me spending lots of money to keep it from doing so hasn't inspired me to do much of anything else.

In other news, now that gas has been over $4 a gallon for a while, I have been noticing a few things around this city. People are, understandably, driving less so I'm getting much better parking spots than I was before. I've been getting good spots in places like Dupont and Adams Morgan where, if I had told you I got a good spot there when gas was $2 a gallon, you would call me a liar. Also, when I go out, I see far less "bridge and tunnel" douchebags at the bars I'm frequenting in DC. (I'm sure if you go out to a bar in Arlington now, it looks like you died and went to douchebag heaven, but that's a different post for another day). On the bad side, gas is expensive so I shell out $40 and it doesn't even fill up my tank. Sacrilige!!!

Also, on my commute to work, the trains have been way more crowded than usual. They usually get a little more crowded by tourists this time of year, but I doubt these people that are annoying me are tourists. They look like people who used to drive to work and are upset that they have to ride in tin cans underground with the rest of us peasants. Well, you know what, Lord McPrissypants, you suck. You don't know where to stand on the escalator, you're not smart enough to figure out that standing in the doorway when people are trying to get in (or out) of the train is something that only idiots and inconsiderate people do.

And lastly, I got down as far as 164.4 pounds today. I don't know if I'll go to the tournament tomorrow because although I can lose 5 lbs right before weigh ins if I really wanted to, I don't think I can recover and be strong enough to compete a couple of hours later. Also, I reinjured my elbow a leeetle bit today at the gym so even at full strength it might not be a good idea to push it. I'll see how I feel about it tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

miscellany

I had a couple of contractors in to take a look at my basement. I've gotten such aggravation out of the top two floors, that I really don't want to mess with the basement so I was toying with the idea of hiring someone to do the whole basement. I have someone in mind for that, but the guy doesn't do foundations and he pointed out something that he thought I should get checked out before he started. And no, he didn't point out a pre-cancerous mole or anything, although what he did point out was almost as frightening.

By the stairs there are several bricks with no mortar. Apparently, sometime in the past 100 years, water got in and washed out the mortar. In ye olde days, mortar didn't have portland cement like it does nowadays. I ye olde days, they made the stuff between the bricks with one part lime and 3 parts sand, the same way that they've been making it since Roman times.

So the first guy looks at it, takes some measurments and gives me a quote of $650 to repoint the brick. Sounds good. I can handle that. The only reason I didn't say yes was that I wasn't sure that he knew what he was doing. He was going to repoint it with cement, but with old bricks you need to do it with the old timey mortar otherwise the new cement is harder than the brick and it will crack the bricks when the bricks expand and contract when the seasons change. Even I know that, and I suck.

The second guy comes and won't give me an estimate because he says that I need a structural engineer to look at it first and do a study. I know estimates are free, and I like free, but I had the feeling that studies aren't free. Studies sound expensive. He said he'd have his office call me to set up an appointment with an engineer, but that doing the study and running tests (tests? that sounds even more expensive) would be $500. And that's before they even do any work. Ouch. Anyway, the guy never called. How can you scare me like that and then not call me? If anybody knows a good structural engineer or whatever (and by whatever, I mean a foundation guy) leave me a comment in the comment box.

I'll try to take some pictures of it, but it's too depressing to look at now.

In other news, my quest to lose 15 lbs in 15 days hit a road block when I plateaued like I did last time. I was stuck at 168-169 lbs, but today I worked out in the morning and ran 3 miles at noon and managed to get down to 166.7 pounds (but then I had lunch). For the next few days I'm going to keep working out twice a day and eating nothing but things that are green (green beans, raw broccoli, celery) and taste disgusting or fruits (cherries, blueberries and strawberries that I use to reward myself after I work out) and water...and coffee. If I can get down to 159 by sunday morning, I'll go compete, if not I don't want to go. It would suck to be at the bottom of the 160-180 lb weight class and humiliate myself. If I wanted to publicly humiliate myself, I don't have to go all the way to Richmond to do it. I can just walk around DC in a "McCain for President" t-shirt and save myself $100.

In other news...on Saturday, the National Geographic in Downtown DC is having some kind of film festival and is showing some of my favorite Kung Fu Films from my childhood. I don't know if I can make it, but it's not big deal since I already own two of the films, 36th Chamber of Shaolin and Executioners from Shaolin on DVD. (not kidding). I'm hoping that before I die I can find The Five Deadly Venoms on DVD so that I can have all 3 movies buried with me. (still not kidding). Anyway, those of you in the area might want to check it out.

Also, not kidding about the basement. Leave comments in the box if you know somebody.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Time I weighed my Poop

I'm beginning to have sympathy for what you women go through. I always hear women complain about trying to lose weight and I never gave it a second thought because after being forced to watch a few Sex and the City episodes I realized that women can complain about anything. ("these shoes are ugly; these shoes look nice, but they are uncomfortable; I don't have enough dates; I have too many dates; the sex is bad; the sex is good...but it's too good; my apartment is too small; I have too many shoes; all my friends are getting married; Samantha has syphillis...wah wah wah).

But I'm thinking about going to another jiu jitsu tournament next saturday near Richmond, so I wanted to get down to 159 lbs and I realized why women complain about losing weight. It's HARD. You're hungry all the time and the only food you can eat is stuff that tastes like crap. I was at 175 pounds last week, but a lot of it wasn't muscle. That would put me in the 160-179 lb class, but I am sure that there will again be a lot of bigger guys there (200 lbs) that cut weight to get down to 179 and I don't feel like getting my arm almost broken again. I need to get down to a weight where I'm less than 10% body fat, and for me that's 160 lbs. It took me almost two months for my elbow to heal since last time so I want to fight at the right weight this time: 159 lbs. I cut out sodas (bye bye cherry cokes) and started eating salads (how gay is that?) and I am now 168 and miserable. I've been obsessing about calories and weight and working out like a fiend to get rid of the excess baggage. I was talking with my friend Uncle Rico (former Division I wrestler) about cutting weight:


Uncle Rico: Train yourself to take dumps in the morning.* You might be able
to drop a pound or a pound and a half before weigh ins if you dookie in the
mornings instead of the afternoon.

Me: Is it that much? How do I find out how much my dumps weigh?


Uncle Rico: Take a dump in a shoe box and bring it in. My buddy works in a lab and he can weigh it for you.

Me: [stunned silence]

Uncle Rico: Yeah, I've done it before. Just make sure you cover it with talcum
powder, otherwise it's disgusting.

Me: I don't care if you cover it with pixie dust, a turd in a box is still nasty, I'll try something else.

Pooping in the morning sounds like a good idea though, I must say. So was curious to know how much my dumps weigh because I want to weigh 159 exactly at the tournament (not 157 or 155) so I wanted to find out how much I could reliably cut by going to the bathroom, but pooping in a box is kinda sick and gross. So did the next best thing. I used the bathroom scale and I weighed myself before and after I pooped. I did this several times to ensure consistency. And I deduced my poops weigh between 1.1 and 1.4 lbs. Now I just have to train myself to go in the morning.

*Other weight cutting tips: drink lots of fluids and eat nothing but rice cakes for the week before the match. The last day don't eat anything and pee as much as possible.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Miscellany

Okay, the results of last post's poll are in. Usually I don't give any weight to polls posted on my site because the results don't come out the way I wanted them too (for the record, my sweater was NOT gay, and neither is any dog, no matter the size). But surpisingly, by a narrow margin, the voters on my site (unlike the voters in the last two presidential elections) showed some sense and decided that the weird guy with the rainbow hair is, in fact, George Clinton.

But speaking of gay...if you are fan of "Fight Club" and other Chuck Palahniuk's books, then you can go to his book signing on June 3. I haven't been able to make it through a sitting of Fight Club without falling asleep (I tried twice). The only reason I can find that some guys think this movie is great is that they are closet homosexuals who hide their insecurities by fawning over this homo-erotic ritualized violence and faux philosophy about why it's okay to be a underachiever with no direction. Keep lifting weights, taking steroids and walking around in a t-shirt that's a couple of sizes too small, but don't think you're fooling anyone.

Moving on...if anyone reading this lives in Virginia, there's a good art show in Staunton that you might want to check out at Kronos Gallery. It's by avant garde, anti war artist Joroko. I have a couple of his pieces displayed in the ninja fortress. And...next week is the last week for Artomatic, so be sure to check that out before it closes. Be sure to catch the exhibits by Matt Sesow and Patrick Wilson there.

And lastly, I don't want to pat myself on the back too much, but I was particularly proud of not losing my temper on Friday. There's a hipster bar a few blocks from the ninja fortress that I've only been to about 5 times in the 3 years I've lived there. The reason I avoid it is that I hate hipsters way more than I love cheap microbrewed beers and emo music. Anyway, I was on a date and at the end of it I stopped in to get a drink at the place at one of the outdoor tables. (I hate going inside because it's crowded and hipsters hate soap like Bush hates the constitution) There was a table outside but only one chair and the girl offerred to grab another one from one of the other tables, but I said I would do it (because I'm a gentleman).

There is a long table (several tables pushed together by hipsters to form a douchebag black hole) and a couple of empty seats. I asked if they were taken and they said that, no one was sitting in them, but that they were saving them for their friends who were coming later. Now, I think I mentioned before that I'm pretty good at keeping my cool, except when someone bigger than me (which is, statistically, over 50% of the population) tries to physically intimidate me. Then, as the douchebags say, it's on like donkey kong and it usually get's ugly quicker than a game of strip poker with Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O'donnell. So it's 4 hipsters and their girlfriends and me discussing the chair:

Me: well, you can't just save a seat like that at a bar, if---

hipster one: who say's we can't? Is there a bar rulebook or something?

hipster two: we took those chairs, so we can reserve them for whoever we want.

Me: [starting to get upset] really?

hipster one: yeah, really!

[take a deeeeeep breath]

Me: yeah? Well guess what? this argument is over, I'm taking the chair

[takes chair]

hipsters 1,2,3 and 4 [unintelligible yelling and threats about ass-kicking].



I think that was the right thing to do. Keeping your cool is always the best choice. He was trying to push my buttons and intimidate me into backing down so that he could look like a real man in front of his girl, but I didn't play his game and I also didn't let it get physical. I didn't want a fight, I wanted a chair...and I got what I wanted.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You Be the Judge

A few months ago I spotted what may or may not be George Clinton in my hood. I walked in front of him to make sure, then I snapped this pic with my old camera phone. I didn't speak to him because, well, because he's George Effing Clinton and you just don't go up to him unless you've got something to say (or some free pot). And I was coming home from work (wearing a tie!) and I didn't want him to think I was a narc. Although my friend's band opened for him and P-Funk several times, I don't know him personally and I didn't have any free pot for him, so I settled for taking this secretive picture from behind rather than approach him from the front and start talking to him like kind of yuppie with a freaky man crush.

I was telling a friend the George Clinton story last week and showed the picture to prove it, but (maybe because of the small screen on my phone), my friend doubted it was the man from the mothership and instead insisted that I had snapped a picture of a really weird homeless guy. So I'll leave it to you imaginary people to decide:



Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Return of the Mouse Commandos

The Fortress has been mice free for a year and half. I hoped that by killing all of them with the precision that only someone like me that is 1/4 German and all ninja could do, that it would forever deter others from ever trying to come back. Unfortunately, mice have a short memory. I don't think I cook enough in the fortress for a mouse to survive on my leftovers, but I do live in a townhouse (unless you are trying to kill me, in which case I live on a farm in Kansas) which makes it difficult to avoid invaders because they could come from either house next to me.

I saw one the other day. I dug through my stuff for the mouse traps that I hoped I'd never need and I caught one a few days ago and another last night. But I noticed a strange thing...on a couple of the unsprung traps, the traps were still in place but someone had eaten the peanut butter out of them, but not sprung the trap. Mad skillz, yo!!! I loaded them up with peanut butter again in the hopes that the mouse will get cocky and then I'll get him.

Also...some a-hole put a car with no plates in my driveway. We know how I feel about that. I kicked it a few times (not kidding) , and left a nasty note on it and promptly called the cops to have it ticketed and towed. I don't think the cops will do anything about it (when have they ever done their job?) but we'll see.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Free Plug Fridays...on a Tuesday

I usually wait until thursday to plug stuff for which I don't get paid, but one of the things I'm plugging is on thursday, so the effort will be useless if I do it on friday, unless you have a time machine...but if you had one of those, I am sure that you have better things to do with your machine, like travelling backin time to kill the scientist who came up with the idea for the super particle accelerator in switzerland that may destroy the earth.

Date Number One: This is a little independent film that I saw a couple of years ago. I like to support independent film makers and this film in particular because it's got 3 short stories in the movie and one of them is about a guy who dresses as a ninja, going on a blind date. The director told me that it was VERY low budget (like less than $20,000, including the camera equipment) and sometimes it shows. But if you're interested in storylines and good dialogue instead of fancy lighting, sound and special effects, then go see this movie. If you want special effects with no storyline and crappy dialogue, then have fun renting the last three Star Wars movies on Netflix. Anyway, there is a FREE SCREENING in Silver Spring on Thursday. That's right, I said free. I know a lot of you are thinking "if it's free, it's for me!!!", but you should check this out because it's a good movie, not because it's free. Just because something is free, doesn't mean that you'd want it. If I was offerring free kicks in the nuts, would you want that? huh? Huh? that's what I thought...anywho...Click THIS LINK to get the details.

Redbelt: this a new film by Pulitzer Prize winning author David Mamet. Those of you who know Mamet's work know that he's a great writer and his plots usually have as many interesting and exciting twists as a yoga class at an all Girls Catholic School. MMA buffs will like the cameos and bit parts by a who's who in the martial arts communtity. (Randy"Captain America" Couture, Jean Jaques "I was born with one hand, but I'll still kick your ass" Machado, Dan Inosanto, "Judo Gene" Lebell (a/k/a the guy who choked Steven Seagal unconcious, at which time he uhhhh lost control of his bodily functions and soiled himself), Ed "Al Bundy" O'Neil, Enson Inoue etc.). Whenever someone tells me that people are not as dumb as I think they are, I look at how many people will go see a movie like this or this when they could be seeing Redbelt or some other movie with a non-formulaic storyline and I think I'm right again.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Grrrrrrr....

Someday someone will invent a device that allows you to punch someone in the face over the telephone. When that day comes 1) he or she will be very, very rich; and 2) I will buy the first device (even if it's still in Beta testing).

Yes...it's one of those days, and no, I can't give specifics. But now I judge Russell Crowe less harshly for throwing a phone at someone in NY. I'm not saying what he did was okay, just that now I get where he was coming from.

Also, is it just me or is everyone sick of the whole Obama vs. Hillary thing. Every 3 days there is another primary that is "crucial" for each of them to win the nomination. It's like watching Indiana Jones escape from one death-defying predicament after another, each more dangerous than the last, except that instead of being filled with adrenaline-packed action sequences it's boring, montonous and filled with ill-fitting suits and overweight bald, male political comentators in their late 50s and early 60s. And what's with all the American flag lapel pins? Was there a sale at the americana isle of the DC Walmart?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The night is made for infomercials

If each of us has some kind of internal clock that tells us when to wake up and go to sleep, then the warranty on mine must've expired. Either that, or it was manufactured in Turkey by illiterate toothless hillpeople who were hired to make it when the factory relocated from Vietnam because the hillpeople were willing to work for ten cents an hour less than the barefoot former vietcong in southeast asia. Damn you outsourcing!!!

Yesterday, I was supposed to call someone at 10pm. I put my head down for a nap at 6 and woke up at 2:30 am. Sadly, this has been happening a lot lately. I wish I could blame the drugs, but I haven't been taking any. If I had, I would have an excuse that would eventually become an interesting anecdote that I could tell my future grandchildren. "Stay away from drugs, kids. Lots of people die from using drugs, and some of them, like me, sleep for inordinately long periods of time and wake up feeling no aftereffects, except for a feeling of restedness followed by feelings of Catholic guilt, which are completely undestandable since I've been haunted with them since my traumatic parochial school years."

I think I should stop with the Catholic jokes since I haven't been to church in a good long while. I did attend Catholic schools when I was younger. The tuition covered unlimited helpings of guilt and an exceptional education in math, english and science. Before anyone makes an inappropriate joke, I should mention that alhtough I attended Catholic school, I was never molested by a priest...they charged extra for that. Moving on...

I have a list of things to do around the house and I keep meaning to get around to them, but lately I've been falling asleep and waking up at really odd hours and I don't think my neighbors will apreciate me running my table saw at 4am. So I've been doing what everyone does at 4 am. Watching infomercials. I've decided that I'm thinking about doing the p90X exercise program. Because the first step to actually doing something is to think about it; so for a while I've been thinking about thinking about it, and yesterday I decided to think about it. There are only a couple of metaphysical steps in between that and actually doing the exercises. Some of those before/after pics are pretty impressive. But it probably requires a lot of effort. We'll see how I feel after today's nap.