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.


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!