Sunday, October 30, 2005


It's been a busy week for me and for the country. I'll spare you the long stories and just give you some of the lessons I've learned...

  • I will never be able to completely give up coffee. My loyal readers know that I have been trying to kick this habit for a while, I thought that I had the willpower to do this, and actually was able to remain on the wagon for a few months. However, right around this time every year, Starbucks begins serving their Pumpkin Spice Latte. Every year I wait for the PSL like a giddie school boy. They make an addictive substance even more addictive, like adding crystal meth to crack. If I can hold myself to one every other day, I'll consider it a triumph.
  • You should never hire anyone named "Scooter".
  • Michael Jackson's Thriller is timeless.
  • When you walk into a retail store in which one of your friends works, your are in danger of spending crazy amounts of money. I know, it sounds obvious, but I think it needs to be restated.
  • Once and a while "advise and consent" actually means something.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Look Away

I don’t want to be an ogre. I really want to be one of those people that loves kids. I actually do enjoy hanging out with the children of friends and playing an occasional game of peek-a-boo on the plane with the toddler that thinks the tall guy is funny. However, I’ve started to realize that kids just don’t belong in certain places. I don’t blame the kids for being there…I blame the adults that are responsible for them. We all know that it’s not OK for your child to crawl all over me at the coffee shop as I’m reading my paper and caffinating myself after staying out late the night before and recovering from a slight hangover. I think the appropriate response is to reel in the child by his belt-loops, sit him in his chair, and tell him that it’s not nice to annoy people. Calling his name in that weak whiny voice and looking at me with that “well, what can you do?” look isn’t going to really help the situation. And don’t expect me to smile and think it’s cute. You’re an ineffective parent…that’s just sad.

From the previous paragraph, you can probably tell that I was in a pretty foul mood today, which I blame entirely on the weather. Tonight’s one of those Saturday night’s where I just feel like staying home and being what my people like to call a “home body.” This usually happens every five weeks or so, and typically follows several weeks of heavy drinking, heavy spending, and probably some sort of mischief. While I probably should spend this time reflecting on the state of my life or being productive in some way, it typically involves lots of TV and abusing the internet in some way. Why are we (or maybe it’s just me) programmed to need to leave the house on this particular night (and sometimes Thursdays) in search of booze, beat, and booty?
Nights like this used to actually be fun when Saturday Night Live was actually good and I didn’t live in a neighborhood that thrives on people being out at bars and clubs on weekend nights (Adams Morgan). Now I end up watching whatever pops on, which happens to be a Rome rerun, and chatting with others who decided to stay home on IM. Tomorrow I get to look forward to brunch, getting up early to read the paper, and light shopping. I feel my mood improving already.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Cluck You, Asia

It's official...I have bird flu. At least that's my diagnosis, being totally unqualified to do so. I suppose it could just be a normal boring flu, but I prefer to think of myself as a trendsetter, so I'm declaring myself the first case of American Bird Flu. However, I'm not worried. I'm sure the pharmaceutical industry is working, as we speak, on a purple pill to help me. In the absence of a remedy, I guess I'll just take a day or two off work and lay off the gym for a few more days. I'm having a hell of a time finding DVDs I can stomach or daytime television that doesn't make me want to cancel my cable.

Can anyone recommend a good over-the-counter cold medicine? I'm coughing like a 90-year old smoker and my nose is, well, not as dry as I prefer. I've tried everything out there over the years, with little or no positive effects. I prefer to stick with tea and sleep, but I'll take whatever gets me out of my apartment and out into the real world again. Oh yeah...any good movie suggestions would be appreciated too.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Nothing Changes

My mom recently gave me a ton of old pictures from my younger days. This one shows me in 1976, right after I got home from a crazy night of clubbing. I was SO hungover the next day...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

My Obsession has a New Name

My latest post comes to you as I sit in my new favorite coffee shop/restaurant/lounging place, Busboys and Poets, here in the District. It’s located at 14th and V St (if I have to actually say “NW”, you won’t really care about this whole post anyway). It’s well known that I’m a HUGE fan of sitting around at coffee shops and soaking in the atmosphere, as well as a latte or two when I fall off the wagon. So when I first caught a glimpse of this place last week, I was ecstatic. My old standards, namely Tryst and Caribou, while consistent in their menus and service, have started to loose favor in my eyes because the growing popularity of the neighborhoods in this area has caused the available space in these venues to shrink like a pair of jeans that fit perfectly in the fitting room yet lose volume with every washing.

Sure I was happy to see this new place, but I had to restrain myself before I dove headfirst into customer loyalty. My heart has been crushed in the past by shops that look fun and cute, but really their food/coffee sucks, their clientele is obnoxious, or they end up going out of business before they get a loyal customer base. I’ve started to really crave quality and reliability in every aspect of my life – so much so that I now require all new friends to sign a three-year continued service agreement. So, if a new coffee shop feels like it’s going to be gone in a month, I have no interest in wasting my ever-so-valuable Saturday mornings there.

Right away, I knew that Busboys and Poets would be amongst my favorite lounging places. First, it’s spacious with great furniture. Maybe this will change with time, but I can actually move around this place with ease, and I don’t have to fight a woman with a stroller and an angry college student for a place to sit. Second, the WiFi here is free and consistent (take that, Tryst). Third, its part of a neighborhood that is plunging full force into gentrification, whether or not the local residents like it. Fourth, they have a cute little theater area for poetry readings and small concerts. And last…it has a sense of permanency. I can’t really describe it, but it just feels like this place is going to be here a while. It’s an intangible quality that I have yet to measure, and likely I’m just buying into the few antique pieces of furniture that sit among the modern expensive chairs and tables. Yet, I’m comfortable here.

My only concern is that I’ll spend too much time here, and burn out on it too quickly. I’m planning on coming back tomorrow night for their first official poetry reading, which is not something I’ve really experienced before, but it sounds like a nice way to spend a Sunday night. God, my obsession has started already!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Give Me Your Well-Rested, Your Middle Class, Your Single-Child Families, Yearning to Breathe Free...

While I was shaking my booty on the treadmill today, I saw a rather peculiar TV ad on the television (everyone knows that running is so much better when you can let your mind turn to mush). It was paid for by a group known as, and with a name like that, you know there's some sort of conservative agenda being pushed. Anyway, the commercial was actually advocating for the construction of a fence on the southern US border with Mexico to, "stop people from walking across our borders into the United States".

(Warning...rant is about to follow)

This is the most hypocritical thing I've heard out of the mouth of a conservative since our President last called himself a "uniter...not a divider". The people forwarding this agenda are not concerned about our nation's security. We've had an open border with Mexico for...oh...the last 229 years, and not one terrorist act against Americans on US soil was perpetrated by anyone crossing the border from Mexico. The only conclusive evidence anyone had gained of a terrorist attempting to gain entry into the US across a land border was from Canada, and you don't hear these guys calling for a big cement wall keeping those militant French Canadians out, do you?

Let's suppose for a moment that Osama Bin Ladin did want to get more operatives into our country...and he probably does. Did the last thirteen crawl their way through the Arizona desert to get here? No...we let them in through JFK International Airport. These guys do want to hurt us and are probably plotting how to do it right now, but they have money and an ineffective immigration system waiting for them at every major US airport. If you were a terrorist, how would you prefer to get into our country?

This is racism, pure and simple. Maybe the folks at don't realize it, but they are scared of Mexicans, or more generally, Latinos. Wrapping it up in a blanket of national security doesn't change what it really is. Why is it exactly that we are limiting the immigration of Mexicans into the US? Honestly, if someone is willing to risk death in the desert to get here, I would think they would be pretty motivated to work hard and be a part of their new country. I support a guest worker program and eventual citizenship for every Mexican, and every human, for that matter, who wants to come here to make an honest living and a life for themselves. We have plenty of room - have you seen Kansas?

This country has been sustained for over two hundred years by the back-breaking work of immigrants. It sickens me when some in our society still try to blame our problems and fears on them.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

This is Actually How I Left the House This Morning...

It's finally happened...I'm now a Label Queen. I'm so embarassed.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Quest Begins

It’s time to move. I’m completely unhappy in my current apartment. This place was always intended to be a temporary residence after the fire, but the sooner I get out of here, the better. Here’s a list of why…
  • All the appliances are at least 25 years old.
  • It’s an “English basement”, which means the temperature is weird, and it’s always damp.
  • The kitchen is the size of a closet…a small closet.
  • The windows don’t open
  • I can hear everyone in the building flushing their toilets
  • It’s impossible to get sleep in Adams Morgan on a Saturday night when your window is two feet from the street
  • Parking, after 6pm, is a bi-otch
  • I’m paying WAY too much for what I get

Here’s my craigslist ad. If you hear of anything, let me know…