Sunday, December 27, 2009

A well needed rest

I always disliked snow, but now I truly hate it. There are lots of people that love the snow, but those people are idiots. They enjoy snow because to them, it's a distraction...an opportunity for play. Those people probably live in an apartment and someone else shovels the snow for them. If you own a house, you are your own peon.

The blizzard that hit DC was the worst in recent memory. Almost 2 feet of snow. I have been in DC for almost a decade and whenever the weather man says 4-6 inches of snow, it usually means an inch of snow, so when they said 18-24 inches of snow were expected, I didn't believe it.
After shoveling snow for six hours, I was finally able to get my car back into the driveway. My back was killing me from being bent over for six hours ("that's what SHE said!!!"). So it's good to be in florida for a little bit to recharge my batteries.

I almost didn't get here since my original flight was cancelled and Delta (worst airline ever) re-booked me without consulting me (or using common sense). I don't know if you know about geography, but if you draw a line from DC to Miami, the shortest route does not involve going through New York City. And to top that off, they booked me a flight that would involve me flying into NY via JFK airport (in Queens) and flying out of Newark airport (about 1.5. hours away, if you don't hit traffic). I have no idea how I was supposed to get from one airport to other...maybe Delta has some kind of teleportation machine?

I spent the next 48 hours trying to call Delta and the line was always busy. Busy at 10 am, busy at 1opm, busy at 4 am. I got through 4 times and three of those times I was hung up on. I repeat DELTA IS THE WORST AIRLINE EVER!. When I finally spoke to a person (in Mumbai, of course), he assured me that there were no flights available to Florida before Christmas. Since this wasn't an acceptable option, I spoke to a supervisor who got me on a flight which magically appeared.

Florida has been relaxing so far, except for the family drama which changes every year, but never ends. It's like being in an episode of Lost except that the crazy people with hidden agendas are your family.

I did have a fun time yesterday though. I went to an alligator park in the everglades and learned the proper way to wrestle an alligator, and also how to survive in the swamp if you are stuck there without an airboat. If civilization collapses in 2012, these may be surprisingly useful skills to have.

I'll be back home on Tuesday, then I have to get my place ready for a new year's eve party. I am hoping all the snow is melted by then since I don't plan on doing any shovelling. Party because my back doesn't like shoveling snow and party because someone stole my snow shovel. Welcome to Columbia Heights!!!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Staph!

Blech! So the lab results came back and it turns out that I had a staph infection in my knee. Although it was really painful (and gross when they cut it open to get the nasty stuff out), I guess I should be happy because I've heard some horror stories about staph infections (including death).

Plus, in an odd way, I feel like this makes me a real jiu jitsu player. I don't think I would consider someone a real boxer if they've never had their nose broken, and in a strange way I don't think you've spent enough time on the mats to consider yourself serious about jits until you've caught some kind of nasty skin deasease (or torn an ACL). It's been about 3 weeks now, so I think I will try to go back next week and start to ease my way back into it.

In other news, I think next year I will test out my heating system BEFORE the first really cold day. As one of my summer projects, I changed the regular thermostat for a programmable one and never bothered to test it. When it wouldn't turn on yesterday I assumed the problem lay there ("that's what she said!"), but it turned out to be something completely unrelated. After a trip to home depot to find a voltage tester and a few hours of opening up walls, switchboxes and outlets, I found the problem. The switch for the emergency shut off was bad. So I was able to fix it pretty easily by installing a new switch. It was good that I found it in time, because I was freezing my butt off and I was about an hour away from rigging up a ghetto contraption straight to the furnace using an extension cord and some pliers if I couldn't get it going. There's 4 hours of my life that I won't get back. Grrrrr....which is better than Brrrrrrr...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Infection...

I won't post a picture of my knee because you might be eating, but I've been having a knee...issue. It was bothering me during jiu jitsu class, but it was no worse than any of the other bangs and bruises that I've suffered at the hands of that cruel samurai art. It got progressively worse though and by midnight I could no longer walk up the stairs. I thought I'd rest it a couple of days, but the pain got really bad and my knee started to swell. It looked like someone put a small shot glass under my knee. The GF was kinda grossed out by it so I started to suspect it might be worse than I thought. I tried to find out what it was on the internet, and it looked like "bursitis" so I made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor the following day (the same place that I went to when I broke my finger doing jits). The doctor took one look at it said it wasn't bursitis.

Dr: No...that's not bursitis. That's an infection...a really, really bad infection. Do you know how it started?

[I wanted to say that it hurt during class, so I did what I normally do when I am injured: ignore it and keep practicing, but I thought that would sound ridiculous]

Me: who knows how these things happen? I blame the republicans...

He wanted to cut my knee open right then and there, but since I'm squeemish about blood and needles, he put me on a strong antibiotic and said to come back in a couple of days. After a couple of days the thing didn't look any better (he thought it looked worse, and it still hurt like a mofo) so he cut it open and drained out the fluid.

Normally I would be happy to get some vicodin around the holidays, but I was in so much pain that I couldn't even enjoy it. After a day or two though, I feel a LOT better. My knee still looks like a weasel took a bite out it, but now I can walk almost normally. I hope it will be better by next week. There's a tournament I wanted to attend when I get back in town, but right now I'm in the wrong weight class (no, I'm not fat, I'm just either a little too short for my weight or I need to start doing a lot steroids).

ANYWAY. Flying out tomorrow, so Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Getting there

The Brazilian consulate in DC is like a metaphor for third world. It's hot, crowded, incompetent and unfair. There is a bulletproof glass partition separating the great unwashed from the bureaucrats and surly people giving you confusing and sometimes contradictory information. When I went, it was the middle of summer and there was no air conditioning. Well...no air conditioning for the tourists. The people behind the glass were apparently nice and cool, but the rest of us were not so lucky. I don't know if you've ever been in DC in the summer, but this town was built on a swamp and it gets hot and humid in here. Many people don't know this, but ball sweat was invented in DC right before the civil war. Although back then it was known as "testicular perspiration" or "Lincoln's laundry".

Brazil require a lot of things to get your visa, not the least of which is a cashier's check for the exact amount you owe them. I had to make an extra trip there because my visa was $130, but the GF's visa was extra $10 because I was dropping it off for her. Would they take cash or a credit card for the difference? HAHAHAHAHA!!! No, just take another half day off work and wait in line again and you'll be fine.

After eventually getting the Brazilian visas, I high-tailed it over to the Paraguayan embassy for one of theirs. Paraguay's embassy is the size of a decent rowhouse in Dupont. The security guard was somebody's grandfather and the people behind the glass were somebody's cousins from that side of the family that you don't talk about in public.

We dropped the passports off and swung by on the morning of our flight because they apparently couldn't stamp two passports without at least a week of lead time. When we got there, they lost the passport...panic ensued. Even if we couldn't the paraguayan visa's, we couldn't go anywhere without our passports and our tickets were already paid for and non-refundable. I contemplated each of us losing $1000 on plane tickets and wondered if the grandpa guard would be able to stop me from strangling the strange woman who didn't seem to be too concerned about my lost passport....TO BE CONTINUED.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Some cultural differences between Brazilians and Gringos.

I have a backlog of Brazil posts to do, but I'll start off with a small one ("that's what SHE said!"). One of the most glaring differences between Brazilians and Americans (besides the language and weight) is the cultural attitudes, especially about sex. In the US, it's very common for people in a bar or club to drunkenly make out, then never see each other again. In Brazil, drunken anonymous hook ups are just as common, but they usually result in a different kind of exchange of bodily fluids. In the US, "slut" is an insult, whereas the Brazilian equivalent "Devassa" has no negative connotations. Sweeet!

What's most shocking/funny is the attitude towards sex in advertising. If you think ads in the US can be racy, you've seen NOTHING. One of the funniest things I ran accross in Brazil is the warning labels on cigarette packs. Here, we have the Surgeon General's cancer warning, which no one reads, but in Brazil, the entire back of the pack is a vivid warning about some possible side effects: "Cancer", "Emphysema", "heart attack", "suffering" etc. But by far the most interest side effect warned about on cigarrettes is:



IMPOTENCE!!!

That's right, you can't get it up, smokers. Think about that next time you think you can't quit. It's a very common site in Brazil for some young man to ask for a pack of cigarrettes, turn the pack over, and say to the vendor "No, I don't want impotence...give me cancer or emphysema or suffering, but I don't want you to give me impotence!". Superstition? Or just good sense?

Another interesting thing in Brazil is the lack of political correctness. I don't think you could open a chain of resaurants in the US if you used a racist cartoon as your mascot.

Despite the cartoon, I did eat here...and everywhere else in Brazil. I ate everything that wasn't nailed down (and some things that were). But more on that in future posts...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Art Show For Charity

Hey All...a few of my artist friends are doing an art show for charity at Busyboys and Poets on November 11th. Object will also be playing there for free. Please check it out, buy some art and support a worthwhile charity.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Free money?

I saw this at the place I do meditation sometimes in Bethesda. Apparently, someone dropped some money and the person who found it (rather than keeping it) put it on the bulletin board announcing where they found it so the owner could presumably reclaim it.

Since money naturally draws people's attention, I saw dozens of people look at the board and read the sign as they walked by. Anyone could have claimed the money and no one would have known it wasn't theirs, but no one did.

I am sure that buddhists have jobs and mortgages, just like everyone else, but none of them took the money for the simple reason that it belonged to someone else (or possibly they were born catholic and would feel guilty about it till the day they died and would burn in hell forever for doing it...Hi Father Caputo!). I remember once I was at a bar and a bartender gave me change for a twenty, even though I paid with a ten. When I returned it to her, another patron (in a douchebag shirt) said to me "if that was me, I would've kept it". I took one look at that ridiculous affliction t shirt and I knew that he would've. But even if noone else would know, I would. And I guess that makes a difference. It starts little by little and if you act like a low life in small things, then you'll do it with bigger things, and eventually you have a wardrobe full of skull tees, a faux hawk with a head full of blonde highlights, a drawer full of steroids and you're on Tool Academy and you wonder how you got there...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

blad blogger

I've been posting so infrequently that I actually forgot my password. Oh well. I'm having a blast down in Rio and I should have some pics and stories for when I get back. I haven't been in a bloggy mood lately, but I'm not willing to let this thing die of neglect. When it's time to go, I will strangle it with my bare hands or turn it over to someone from the Bush white house so they can kill it the same way they killed our freedom.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Reality TV

On my day off when I was doing some last minute embassy/visa stuff for my upcoming trip to Rio (don't hate the playa, hate the game , bitchez), I was in a local coffee shop and I saw a TV crew filiming an HGTV show (Real Estate Intervention).


I chatted briefly with the host (GF should stop reading this now) who is even hotter in person than she is on TV. She was very nice and gave me the contact info for someone at casting for the show, so I think I will call her when I come back from vacation.

Here is a secret shot I took of the filming. You can see the GF in the foreground eyeing a vegan muffin sandwhich.

Besides the 3 people in the shot, there were an additional 4 people out of my camera range with various pieces of equipment.

So the next time I hear someone from the Hills or the Real World MTV claim that it's "real" because eventually you forget that the cameras are even there, I call bullsh1t. If this many people are needed for a one-camera show, how many do you need for the 3-4 camera setups on MTV's The "Real" World DC?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Stop with the Michael Jackson Stories already

Alright, alright already. The guy is dead and he hasn't had a hit record in 20 years, why do we need to keep talking about him when we are fighting two wars and a recession? His music sucked back then, and it hasn't gotten any better, so why is it impossible to turn on the radio and hear anything besides that crappy pop from the 80s? My iPod is working overtime since I'm avoiding the radio for the next few days.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

sometimes the mountain comes to mohammed

Well, I finally got rid of that huge pile of debris in my driveway. After dealing with the junk removal guy who flaked on me, and the one who left a flier, but wouldn't return my phonecall (which sorta defeats the purpose of putting a flier on my door, but I digress), I was sitting home on monday, which I happened to have off. I heard a knock on the door, and an old, wiry, black man was there when I answered it. He offerred to take the junk out of my driveway with his pickup truck. I didn't think it would all fit in his pickup, which had been modified to have higher sides, but he said it would, and offerred to do it for $180.

I said yes, if for no other reason than to see someone try to fit all that stuff into one pickup. Turns out, I was right, it was 3 full pickups. He, and his helper (who I think was his son, because he was calling him dad), got rid of it pretty quickly even though I was worried that the bulging back tire would explode from the weight, or that the loose wood fall off the back and kill someone--hopefully it would be someone else because as long as my parachute opens, I'm fine.

Even though we agreed on a price, I gave the guy an extra $50 because 1) that's what I thought he should've charged me in the first place; and 2) I'd like him to come back next time I have stuff I need to get rid of (and by that I mean construction debris, not dead hookers).

So all in all...things are improving little by little.

In other news...my finger is still broken, but I did manage to take a couple of muay thai kickboxing classes. I did the kicks and punched with my left hand. I'd like to get back to "the jistu" (as my girlfriend calls it), but it was a good workout and I think it will help me from getting fat while I recuperate, plus it's probably better than sitting around trying to watch Lost re-runs to get caught up.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I am fine...and so am I

Why do people keep asking me if I'm okay? I was not on the metro train that crashed yesterday. 1) I wasn't even at work yesterday; 2) even if was on the train, what would I be doing in Takoma Park(what would anyone be doing in Takoma, besides buying patchoulli or recycling?); and 3) there's millions of people in the DC area...calling to see if I was one of the two people who died is like calling in to see if I won the Lottery because you heard it was someone in DC.

I am kind of flattered by the concern, but I also get off the phone quickly because I secretly wonder if people are using the train crash as an excuse to call me and when I say that I am fine, using that as an excuse to borrow money.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Doctor Shmoctor!

Well, after another doctor visit and X-ray, it turns out that my finger is still broken. This guy was an orthopedic doctor with signed thank you jerseys from Mia Hamm and some other athletes, so he supposedly knows what he's doing. Well, he'll be getting no signed gi from me. Partly because those things are expensive, but also because I don't like what he told me. Four more weeks of no training? I'm already starting to get fat from lack of jiu jitsu. Not fat-kid-who-cries-during-kickball fat, but definitely not my normal self. I got the 5-months pregnant-mellon-belly thing going on. I've been getting antsy and actually went to a muay thai class yesterday and did the kicks and (left) punches, but apparently Dr McFraidypants doesn't even want me doing that.

Me: Well...what am I supposed to do for exercise then?

Dr: you could run...

Me: no, I hate running...I'd rather be fat

Dr: how about yoga? or pilates? it's great for core strength.

Me: Yeah, I heard with practice it can really strengthen your uterus.




What's more, is that after 4 more weeks I will have "functional strength" in my finger, but it won't be as strong as before for several months, so I have to take it easy or it might break again...but worse. So basically, I took half a day off work, paid for more x-rays and co-pays just for him to tell me bad news? That sucks. If I'm paying you, you should tell me good things! Tell me that it's healing faster than usual; that you validate parking; will give me more vicodin; and that a magic unicorn will take me back to my car. You suck!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I don't get it..

I'm not a huge fan of unions. It doesn't look like they did GM, Ford or Chrylser a whole lot of good. However, I can understand how it's human nature to want to be paid more for doing the same thing you would normally be doing.

I also get the concept of picket lines. The goal is to annoy people and whine and stomp your feet like a child until someone gets frustrated enough to just give in to your immature demands and give you what you want so that you will shut the hell up. But...I don't get the giant rat...WTF???

Okay, it's annoying when you're banging those drums loudly and I can't concentrate. And it's even more annoying when I read in the newspaper about how you hire homeless people to walk the picket line because the unions are too lazy to even stand in their own line. But a giant rat? Seriously? I was going to stop and ask what it's about, but, like conceptual art, I think it means whatever you want it to mean, and it's not supposed to make sense.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Weekend 'Fun'

They say bad things come in threes. Anyone who doubts this should count the number of terms a Bush has been in the White House, or the number of exes I have name Catherine.

Well, this weekend I lost my GF among the 50,000+ people at the Race for the Cure, at the national mall. Then, I got a flat tire, and as I was leaving the tire repair place...I got into a car accident. I took the rest of the weekend off...just in case.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Finishing touches.

Well, after two years of awkwardly opening and closing the doors on my kitchen cabinets, I decided on the right handle and put them on. It didn't really take me two years to decide on the handles, I just had more important things going on in my life and kitchen door handles were pretty low on the queue. These were installed when my Dad visited recently. They look great because we used a "jig", not because either of us is obsessive compulsive.



Here is a "jig" that you use to make sure all the holes for the handles are drilled in the same place. You can make one pretty easilly, putting the holes where you need them. We made this out of scrap wood.













This is how you use it...perfect every time.














And here is the finished product.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Ouch!

I broke my middle finger. The Xray says it's not a small break either. I have a splint on it, so I can give the middle finger to everyone with impunity, which is good, but it hurts like hell, which is bad. They gave me vicodin, which is VERY good (especially with beer), but I only take it at home because it makes me very loopy and that's not so good at work or when I'm driving.

I broke it in jiu jitsu. I actually heard the snap, and instead of doing the smart thing (stopping) I taped it to my other finger and kept going. There were some people visiting our school who were training for the mundials so I was eager to test my skillz against that level, but I guess my ego got in the way...lesson learned. Oh well, at least now I have a cool anecdote and my girlfriend thinks I'm a badass (or a dumbass, take your pick).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Free Plug

A friend of mine recently temporarilly gave up the rat race to live for a while in Brazil. You can read about his exploits (including getting items stolen from him on the beach, and accidentally crashing a party of strippers and hookers) on his blog HERE.

Monday, May 18, 2009

No Good Deed...

I donated a bunch of stuff to Community Forklift, a non-profit that takes home building stuff and sells it, using the money for charity. Sort of like the Home Depot meets the Salvation Army. I figured, (1)I could probably use the tax deduction next year, (2) I could definitely use the space, and (3) it's a lot less stressful than trying to sell it on Craigslist and dealing with the flakes there.

Among the stuff I donated were a huge antique buffet thing, a refrigerator, and the vanity that I replaced with a smaller one.

I guess the move didn't go so well, apparently when they came to pick up the stuff (I wasn't there, but my Dad told me what happened), they broke the bottom of the vanity and left what's left of the cabinet in front of my house. They broke the drawer on the buffet/bar thing and were going to leave the drawer there also until my Dad convinced them to take it because no one would buy it without it (they left the skeleton key, so that's not great either), broke the door on the fridge trying to get it out, and took the utility sink, but forgot the legs.

I'm putting pics below in case I lose my camera and need the pics for the IRS, so that I'll be able to find it. Anyway, It really bugs me when someone is so haphazard and incompetent at their jobs. If you suck at moving furniture, maybe you should take some night classes and learn how to make coffee and become a barista. Or run for congress, you don't need to do heavy lifting or thinking for that.



































































































Friday, May 15, 2009

More Pics

I wish I had a pic of the old sliding door with iron security bars that was in the kitchen before, but I forgot to take a picture of the craptasticness before it was taken out. This door was REALLY difficult to install because when the door was taken out, we found out that the wood on the bottom was rotted and the previous door (like the window in the kitchen) had no header installed. After the rotted wood was replaced, and a header was installed, this went it, but it ended up being an all (long) day project instead of a 2-3 hour project.







But it was worth it.









If you thought the stairs upstairs looked silence of the lambsy, you should see what the basement stairs looked like. (more pics to follow).











Any ideas what to do with my front "yard"?


















Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I thought we were in a recession?

So the guy who was supposed to come on monday to clean out the debris/trash in my driveway flaked on me. I called and left a message, but no reply. I feel like the ugly chick with mono who gets stood up for the prom and has to stay home and watch American Idol with her mom and annoying little brother. Okay, maybe not like that, but you get the picture.

They came about a year or two ago and removed a lot more stuff than I have now in my driveway, so I thought it was lucky of me that I still had the business card. I figured with the recession and lack of homebuiliding now that it someone would want to paid actual US Dollars to do actual work. Oh well. I guess I'll have to go on Craigslist and try to find someone else to do it.

I hate looking at that pile of debris in my driveway, but at least the feral cats will keep the mice away, and the pieces of lumber will be like a ghetto scratch post for them.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Stairs!

So the hardwood floors upstairs and downstairs looked nice, but the stairs that connected them looked like crap. I thought about refinishing the stairs, but decided on having them done over, which cost a lot more money, but ended up looking nicer, I think.






Before Pic Number 1: this is the transition from upstairs to the stairs.







Here's what the stairs looked liked from downstairs. There's a fine line between "shabby chic" and "silence of the lambs" and these stairs were on the wrong side of the line.









Here's a pic of the stairs in progress. It's missing the part you step on, which makes it not yet a staircase.











Here's what it looked like when the stairs were in, but before it was stained and painted.











I went to a paintstore so they could get the stain to make the pine stairs look like the oak floors downstairs. Preety good match, I think.







Stained, painted and drying













FINISHED!















Sunday, May 10, 2009

What Progress Looks Like

There's been a lot of progress going on at my place over the last few weeks. I'll post some pics of the finished projects soon, but in the meantime, I'll show you the debris that was created in the process.

This is what the driveway in the back of the ninja fortress looks like (for now). Someone will be coming on Monday to get rid of it all, but in the meantime the feral cats in my alley will keep the mice from taking hold there and the protuding nails will hopefully keep the burglars away.

Friday, April 24, 2009

NERD ALERT!

I love Sci-Fi as much as Britney Spears loves dysfunctional relationships. This is no secret. The Girlfriend scored some free tickets to the premier of the new Star Trek Movie. Free tickets to a movie that I would wait in a looooong line for and pay lots of money to see. My inner-geek has an erection right now.

The best part is that she got the tix for me, because she's not a huge sci-fi fan herself. When asked, she said it was about Han Solo, and I'm not entirely sure she was kidding.

I suggested changing my Netflix queue so that we can have a Star Wars marathon this weekend and next to prepare for it, but after some rigorous debate on the issue we compromised and are instead going to Yoga and baking and talking about feelings and sh1t. As you can see, I am not a great negotiator...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How misunderstandings happen

So, somehow I ended up in Massachusetts and was running some errands, when I had a little misunderstanding with the dry cleaners and convenience store. What? Like you would run your errands without your katana in a state with such a high concentration of pirates? We all know about the pirate/ninja rivalry. 'Nuff said.

Friday, April 17, 2009

La Plus Ca Change, La plus la meme chose.

I was wondering why I had more money in my checking account than usual, and I realized it's because I haven't been to Home Depot in a couple of months. I stopped by a couple of days ago, and after buying nothing more than a few feet of crown moulding and baseboard, I was $400 poorer.

I would've been a lot poorer if their staff had been less incompetent. I wanted to buy a couple of windows and a french door, maybe, but I couldn't find anyone in that department. The only person there was someone from another department who was hiding behind the doors so that he could use his cell phone (not making this up).

I found the door I wanted (which didn't have a pricetag, so I tore off the UPC tag and brought it up to someone who gave me a dirty look and said that he was going to have to put that back on after I left. Well...maybe if you had marked it in the first place, or been around to help customers in the second place, that wouldn't happen. Boo hoo, jerkface. Also, they didn't have the windows I wanted unless I wanted to order it and wait two weeks. I assumed that with the recession and all, they would now be able to keep stuff in stock at this, THE WORLD'S WORST HOME DEPOT. But, even though the ecomony has changed, the people who work at the Rhode Island Avenue Home Depot remain the same.

In other news...I'm glad easter is over. Easter candy is 50% off at CVS. Woo hoo!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Are things looking up?

I watch TV and listen to the news just like everybody else, and like everybody else I know about how bad things are supposed to be right now in the economy. Derivatives are now a dirty word so I've even heard, anecdotally, about how some law firms (huge international ones) are hurting and they are laying off associates.

And yet, this week I got calls from TWO headhunters about positions for someone as awesome as me. When I told my girlfriend about this, she said "but won't you need your head" and went back to reading Cosmo or whatever she was doing. Are things not as bad as they seem, or am I just lucky? or Awesome!!!

I like where I am now. The hours are great, lots of days off, and job security. I won't lie, the idea of going back to a law firm is intriguing for the money. I make decent money here, but I would, literally, make twice as much at a law firm. I'd have secretaries, paralegals, and even young associate attorneys that I could have do all the sucky work while I work on big-picture stuff. It would solve a lot of my problems. But I don't know if I'm ready to give up all my hobbies and free time for some extra cash. And also...if things didn't work out, all that extra money wouldn't do me much good if I was looking for a job in this economy, in an industry that's hurting right now. It's nice to be wanted, but I wonder if its better to be happy with what you have. Just thinking out loud here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Zombie Walking

Since I've been sick for the past month with something that I can't seem to shake, I finally broke down Monday, suspended my fear of doctors and went to one to find out what's wrong. It's gotten so bad that lately I've been winded when I climb 3 flights of stairs. The verdict? I have "Walking Pneumonia". (or maybe it was regular pneumonia, but my super powerful immune system converted it something more manageable) Wow, that sucks. So now I am on antibiotics, and I have an inhaler like those kids who get picked on in Dodge Ball on the playground. Yes, I have an inhaler and I watch Battlestar Galactica...line up, ladies!!!

At least now I know what I have and that I will soon be rid of this with my antibiotics. So, if you've run into me in the past month and I've breathed or coughed around you, I apologize. On the plus side, I competed recently in a jiu jitsu tournament (I'll post a vid soon) and got two medals before I decided to skip the last event because I was feeling so weak. So my jits are getting better since I can compete in a tournament with walking pneumonia and still represent old skool!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Tale of Two (Key Lime) Pies.

One of the few things that I can't do (besides my taxes or sitting through and episode of Grey's Anatomy without vomitting) is bake. I cook really well on the burners, but the oven is like a mysterious dragon vagina that frightens and confuses me. Still, I love a challenge (and key lime pie) so I set out to bake one with the girlfriend so that we could relive the wonderful experience we had in Key West, but without the airports and tourists.

Since I'm lazy, I toyed with the idea of just making an instant pie, but I knew it would be better if I made a real one. How much better? Let's find out:



Okay, here is what you start with for the real key lime pie. Notice how small the key limes are? I thought "key lime" was the name of the pie, but it's actually the name of the sucky small limes that grow in key west. So here's the ingredients for the real key lime pie....or the mise en place, if you are a pretentious food snob.








And here's the ingredients for the fakey instant key lime pie.









And here is the mixer that you use. This is the GF's mixer. I don't have a mixer because I don't bake. A few months ago when the GF wanted to make a pizza was the first time since I've owned the fortress that I used the oven feature. The oven had never been cleaned either, so the first time I used it...things did not go so well.






Here is how you get the juice out of the key limes....well this way and a LOT of work.









As you can see, you need a lot of key limes for this.













All that work for this leeeetle bit of lime juice?










Here is the girlfriend mixing up the ingredients with her mixer..









After mixing, my sexy assistant pours the mixture into a pie tin and we throw it into the oven.










Meanwhile... for the "instant" pie...

The weird instant green goop has to be heated on a stovetop, which sort of defeats the purpose of a instant mix. If there is that much work involved, why not take an extra five minutes and make it the fresh way?









And here's a side by side of the finished products.










The real one tasted delicious. The fake one tasted like green slime from that Ghostbusters movie. After tasting the fake one, I literally through the rest of it away. And I followed the directions precisely, so it sucked for reals yo!








Here's a food porn shot of the pies and stuff.










Here I am washing the dishes with my powerful male arms.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Free Plug: Eatonville and Art

There's a new restaurant going up on 14Th and V Street. A few artists are going to each put up a mural there to commemorate Zora Neale Hurston (a Harlem writer). A friend of mine is doing one of the murals. You can get more info on the event at Prince of Petworth's blog.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The New First Lady

As we were watching the news, I saw Michelle Obama on the TV talking to a bunch of kids in the White House. I turned to the GF and said this verbatim:

"You know....unlike Lara Bush, whenever I see the new first lady on TV I don't want to punch her in the face."

I know it's just a photo op, but whenever I would see Lara Bush talking to a bunch of kids (and reminding us for the thousandth time about how she used to be a librarian), it looks really phoney and manipulative. Like Hitler sending out Eva Braun to drum up popular support.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

5 questions Meme: Disaffected Scanner Jockey Edition

1. What inspired you to start blogging?


I think I started reading some house blogs and relating to the headaches the people were going through and I thought "I could do that" and decided to start writing stuff down and taking pictures of it. After I started slacking with the home improvements, I filled in the slack with random crap about ninjas, libertarian rants and my dysfunctional family (which is surprisingly popular).





2. If you could be any blogger for just one day, who would it be?



Probably John McCain's daughter. That way I could find me, do myself, and when I switched back to myself, I could tell everyone that I banged McCain's daughter in the ole turd cutter. I wish I could say I would switch with someone else, but most bloggers have pretty sucky lives. Except for Dan, who now lives in Miami, which is the opposite of suck.





3. What do you think is the most attractive quality in a woman? The least?





Well, technically, that's two questions, but who's counting...except for me? Well, the most attractive physical quality in a woman is her face. Specifically, her eyes. I think, except for the va-jay-jay, breasts, buttocks, legs, flat stomach and lower back, it's the most attractive part of a woman. The least attractive would be the feet obvioulsy. The most attractive non-physical quality (besides her bank account? Hi Paris Hilton!) would be someone who is nurturing and kind (especially to animals or little kids). If you date a girl who is not kind to puppies and babies, how do you know she won't eat your young? I think the least attractive quality is dishonesty. I wouldn't buy something from someone who I thought was dishonest, why would I want to date one?











4. You once mentioned that your wang is bigger than Jack Nicholson's. Can you think of any celebrities who might, in fact, have a
larger wang than yours?



Yes. Believe it or not I have thought about this before.  As you recall, I peed next to Jack Nicholson once, so that's how I know I have bigger junk than him. (you would peek too if you peed next to a celebrity, no matter how socially inappropriate/gay that sounds).  Anyway, here are some celebs who probably have bigger wangs than me: 

Tommy Lee . And this isn't conjecture, it's a fact. I've seen the Pamela Anderson video and that guy is hung like two cans of coke stacked on top of each other. I would never want to be with someone he was with because what's the point? It would be like having sex with a warm glass of water. And also, you would get hepatitis....allegedly.















I think the guy who does the voices of Brian and Mr. Pewtershmitt on Family Guy (Seth McFarlane) probably has a bigger wang than me because his voice is so deep. I know that having a deep voice usually means you have big balls, not necessarily a big wang, but his voice is so deep that I find it hard to believe that his nuts could be that huge without the rest of his junk being correspondingly big.  Also, Jack Nicholson has a deep voice and my voice is deeper than his, so I don't know why I think Seth would have a bigger wang than me, but I just do. 



Michael Clarke Duncan

Also, I think Michael Clark Duncan has a big one. Not because he's black, but because he's also got a really deep voice...and he's like 12 feet tall...and because he's black.

5. What is your biggest personality flaw?






I think I procrastinate too much. In some ways, this blog wouldn't exist if I did what I supposed to be doing instead of dickking around on the internet. But in other ways, this blog keeps me honest because (sometimes) if I say it on here, I feel like I have to follow through with it and blog about it. But truthfully, even if this blog didn't exist, I would probably fill up the void with other internet sites promising get-rich quick schemes, LOL Cats, and p0rn.



The rules:
1. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. Be sure to link back to the original post.
2. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
3. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
l

Friday, February 06, 2009

House Updates

In hindsight, opening the door of the van blocking my driveway so that the light would go on and kill his battery was not the greatest idea since the van was now disabled and sat in my driveway for an additional couple of days. If you're wondering why I just don't have it towed--that would make sense in any city besides DC. In DC, you can't just tow someone who is blocking your driveway (because that would make sense). Here's how you have to do it:

1) call the lazy DC police department NUMEROUS TIMES and get them to come give the guy a ticket.
2) tell the lazy DC police department SPECIFICALLY that you don't just want a ticket, but a "tow request" also.
3) then you can call a tow truck and have it towed from your driveway.

Anyway, I felt kind of bad that I killed the guys battery, so instead of leaving dog poop in his driver's seat, I just called the cops (several times) and had them give him a ticket for being in my driveway with a dead battery (I'm too nice, I know this).


In other news, mice have once again invaded the ninja fortress. I set up traps for them and killed six (apparently it was a small crack squad of mice). I haven't seen any in about a week and the last couple of mice were really small (babies actually) so I think I killed them all. I have a 100 pair box of rubber proctologist gloves that I use to get rid of the dead mice because I have a "thing" about germs. When my girlfriend first spied the box, she eyed me suspisciously and eventually mocked me mercilessly, but who's laughing now?


Anyway, throwing away mousetraps is gross enough when there is a dead mouse on it, but it's really, really revolting when the snap thing comes down on it's face instead of the neck and there is gross micey blood everywhere. (excuse me while I vomit in my mouth a little bit).

At any rate, unless these mice have gotten smarter, they are dead. I will give it another weak and then put away the traps until I spot the next mouse that's dumb enough to invade my ninja outpost.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dear Van In My Driveway

Dear Van Parked in My Driveway:

I know you have Virginia plates, but things work differently here in DC. See, here, you can't park in someone's driveway like an a-hole just because you don't want to leave your car on the street even though I counted two empty spaces in front of my house. You see, it's a shared alleyway, which means that everyone can drive up and down it, but no one can park there, because that would make driving on it a lot harder, understand?

Imagine my surprise when I was trying to exit my icy driveway and my car was slip-sliding all over the ice and it took me a full 20 minutes to get around your nice van without damaging it (believe me, I couldn't give 2 sh1ts about your van, it's my car I'm worried about). Well...when I finally got done, you can understand why I a little upset with you, and surprised to find that you hadn't locked your doors.

Now part of me thought I should do something vile, like take a dump in your seat or tell a homeless person they could sleep there for the night. Part of me thought I should just forgive and forget. Well, since I was short on time, out of toilet paper and not in a forgiving mood, I compromised. I left your door open just enough so that the dome light would stay on all night and your battery would be dead in the morning. Clever, huh? I hope you had a nice time trying to get someone random passerby to come to the alley to give you're car battery a jump (in the hood, no one's going to let you lure them into an alley) or paying a tow truck to come and give your car a jump start. Fair warning Virginia van: Park in my driveway again, and next time I will take the biggest dump of my life in your car and wipe my butt with your insurance and registration in the glove compartment. Have a great weekend!!!!

-HIN

********************************


[EDIT]

I found out the Helio Gracie, founder/creator of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu died this morning. RIP.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ice capades.

When I was a kid, snow was fun. I miss that. Now snow means having to wake up at 6 am to shovel my steps and the front of my house. I have a rowhouse, so it's not a HUGE deal, but it's annoying nonetheless. I guess what's so annoying is how pointless it all is. I don't have a lot of free time, but I have to get up early and spend time I would've spent doing something else, just to get my house to be how it was the day before (i.e. without snow in front of it). And every time it snows, I will have to do it again, with no payoff. It's like running in place, all that time and energy for nothing. (I was going to write that it's like dating a virgin, but this is a not PG-13 blog, so I want to keep the talk of handjobs to a minimum).

I know what you're going say, that if that's the way you feel, then why don't you stop wiping your turd cutter when you go to the bathroom? After all, it's only going to get dirty again, right? Well, that's different because everyone has to wipe their chocolate factory, but only people who were dumb enough to buy a house have to do things like shovel their driveway and fix leaky pipes. If I lived someplace warm (or in a condo) I wouldn't have to worry about shovelling my driveway (only wiping my chocolate starfish).

Since I'm the only sucker who got up early to shovel the ice/snow off his sidewalk, I had to slip and slide on the ice on the way to public transportation this morning. There was no way I was going to make it to the metro with all that ice and my broken toe, so I decided to ride the bus to work. Let me just say that society has a lowest common denominator, and you see what that is on the bus. Aside from the fact that most of the people on the bus were human (albeit barely), I don't think I had a lot in common with them and I think I'll learn to appreciate the mouth-breathers on the metro from now on. Another thing that sux: Although waiting for a train sux, at least your doing it inside.

Although the bus stop is only a block and half away, I barely made it and almost fell more than once (ice and snow turns to rain if you don't shovel it overnight). I hope I don't fall and hurt myself, but if I do, I reaaaaaallly hope it's in front of someone's house who has a lot of money and a home owner's insurance company that pays out really quickly and generously.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Actual Recent Conversations with the Girlfriend

[after I drove over a huge pothole and almost killed my car]

Her: Yeah...by the way, watch out for that pothole....it's
huge.

Me: You could've mentioned that before I ran over it. You could
break an axle on that thing.

Her: Or you could just drive around it?


[discussion about proper names of body parts]

Her: Stop saying "Chocolate Starfish" and "Turd cutter." Those
are stupid names for someone's butt.

Me: What am I supposed to call it then?

Her: The Chocolate Factory.


[in the car and we spot a sign for Leesburg]

Her: What the hell is a Leesburg?

Me: It's a town with a bunch of antique shops. Why? Do you want to buy an antique?

Her: No....you're my antique.



[talking about guys night out]

Her: I know exactly what you guys do when you hang out at a
bar.

Me: Oh really, what's that?

Her: You drink a few Brewskis with your Bros, eat some buffalo wings, watch the game, and high five each other when you talk about chicks.

Me: That's completely ridiculous...no one calls it a brewski.



[pointing out a new chainstore in my neighbrohood]

Me: Hey look! They just opened up a [national chain store] in my neighborhood.

Her: Yeah, we have one of those in Bethesda, except without the muggers and junkies in front.

Friday, January 23, 2009

inauguration over...go home, tourists

I never doubted that we would one day have a black president, but I always assumed the first black president would be a republican. See, I figured that since the current crop of republicans will do anything to win *cough* sarah palin *cough**cough*, I just figured that they would pick someone who was black but who stood for all the things that black folks find repugnant, like this guy, and then they would get a lot of the black vote and white religious nuts would have to decide if they preferred a president who is black or one who supports abortion and gay marriage, an their homophobia and religious extremism would overpower their racism. If you think that's far fetched, think about all the Hillary Clinton voters who voted for Sarah Palin even though, ideologically, she's as close to Eva Braun as you can get without a swasticka.

Back to the point. Yeah! New president. Wow, it's really interesting to see all those out of state license plates from places like Maine, Arizona and California. I don't know who told you it would be a good idea to drive into DC over the inauguration weekend. Maybe you thought it would be a good idea to have a car with you and you somehow thought that no one would have the same bright idea as you. But they did. And although this town might need your tourist dollars, I don't need you taking up my parking spots, and I definitely don't need you almost hitting my car with your stupid minivan because you are too busy pointing things out to those inbred mongrels you call children in the back seat. That's right, minivan lady with the North Dakota plate. Don't honk and get offended that I gave you the middle finger in front of your children. They don't look smart enough to understand language, and you cut me off, so I'm in the right here. So watch where you're going, buy some nice souvenirs of the Washington Monument, get back in your minivan and go home.

By the way...I have off-street parking behind the ninja fortress, but most of the week I was parking on the street and taking up valuable parking spaces that could be utilized by tourists. why? because you cut me off, that's why!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Your Butt Called me again

When I switched from a flip phone to one with the buttons on the face, a curious thing happened. I started calling my girlfriend a lot more...by accident. You see, theoretically the phone locks up and you have you to hit a button to unlock it, which is supposed to prevent you from calling people with your butt when you sit down. Unfortunately, on my phone, the button you hit to unlock it is the biggest button...right in the middle of the phone.

My phone doesn't call random people though, it's usually the girlfriend who at first thought it was funny, but quickly tired of it.

SCENE 1: SITTING IN THE CAR

GF: My phone's ringing, who would be calling me this early?

Me: Probably some douchebag telemarketer.

GF: No...it's you, your butt is calling me...AGAIN!!!


A couple of weeks ago, my GF devised a brilliant idea to keep that from happening again. "Watch this!" She said as she took my phone from my back pocket and put it in front pocket. Of course, I can't walk around with a phone in my front pocket because it makes it look like I have a constant erection and, I mean, who wants that, right?

This morning it happened again (the phone call, not the constant erection) and I receive a text message from the GF at 8 am.

GF: Your Butt called me again this morning.

Me: It was freezing...maybe it was calling for help?


Yeah, it was bitterly cold today. So cold that I didn't make it from the metro to my office without stopping into a Staples store (and a bagel store) just to warm up. That's why history or no, I am not attending the inauguration on Tuesday, but will watch it from the warm toasty seat I have in my bedroom. And by seat, I mean bed. I will also not be attending the free concert on the mall. I know it's not everyday that you get to see U2 and Beyonce playing a free concert, but when you turn to the news and they are giving concert goers tips on how to avoid hypothermia, that's when I know it's not for me.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Did I Break My toe?

I've been limping since monday. The toe next to my pinky toe hurts...a lot. I tried to do a takedown on someone in class, but instead of throwing him onto the mat, I threw him onto my foot. Luckilly, it only really hurts when I'm walking...or standing...or wearing shoes. I've been trying not to put weight on it, but I can't drive to work everyday, so going to the metro and back is killing me.

I know I should probably go to the doctor, but I won't unless it's not better by next week because 1) I realllllly hate doctors. I have a phobia about needles and hospitals and walking into a hospital and smelling that antiseptic hospital smell makes me sick to my stomach (so does watching Oprah or The View). 2) I don't want to waste a day just so that they will tell me "yes. it's broken, but there's nothing you can do about a broken toe except be a man and stop b1tching about it". 3) I'm sure that going to the emergency room is expensive, even with insurance, and I would rather spend that money on beer, p0rn, and get rich quick schemes.

Been busy, but will try to post the florida vacation pics soon. I type with my fingers, not my toes, so I don't really have an excuse for not doing it.