Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Monday, February 18, 2008

Week-Old Stuff: A Primary, a Military Funeral, and a Valentine's Day Burrito

The Potomac Primary: Kucinich. Sure, he was technically out of the race, but never underestimate the power of the "shorter, older, dorkier guy/taller, younger, hotter gal (who's also a redhead with an English accent)" dynamic.

The Military Funeral: On Friday, Scott's dad, Lt. Col. Vincent Mazza, USAF (ret.), was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

It was quite an elaborate ceremony -- Full Honors, if I'm not mistaken -- with an honor guard, a color guard, a band, a horse-drawn caisson, and a 3-volley salute (7 rifles, though that's not the same thing as a 21-gun salute, which uses cannon).

I took a discreet cameraphone photo after the ceremony ended:

A guardsman salutes the ashes, as the two busloads of honor guard marches away.

[Obligatory "I am dumb" content: Luckily, traffic was kind, or else I would have been late to the ceremony. I had to try on three suits before I found one that fit. (Marginally -- the fly flap was stretched out in very immodest fashion, and not for any male enhancement pill reasons. I kept my jacket buttoned. This pants thing is killing me.) I'd last worn it to a wedding in 2002, according to the card in the pocket.]

The Valentine's Day Burrito: Yay, free burrito on Valentine's Day. That was about the extent of it.

Other than that, there was another AOL Reston office furniture auction, but I didn't feel the need to gawk this time, since I'm all done with that topic.

Also, we found that half of all clicks on online ads are worthless -- but we don't know which half. I just wanted to make the quote reference.

Lastly, I know this entry's items were out of chronological order -- the headline just scanned better that way.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Because All You of Earth Are Idiots!

Plan 9 From Outer Space is pretty rich with quotes. Here are some others:

"You see? You see? Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid!"

"In my land, women are for advancing the race, not for fighting man's battles."

And that's just from the second half of the movie, since I got to Dr. Dremo's way late for the last screening there of the Washington Psychotronic Film Society.

Incidentally, it was jam-packed, with people sitting on the floor.

Also, Jenny won yet another door prize: A numbered print of former porn star/actress Traci Lords. You can clearly see how thrilled she is:

Jenny poses with her prize. Score.

WPFS was a good fit for Dr. Dremo's, so it'll be interesting to see where movie nights will end up moving to.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

See the color of my skin? That means I'M the boss!

I went to Dr. Dremo's last night to catch one of the Washington Psychotronic Film Society's last three screenings there.

This week's feature was The Further Adventures of Tennessee Buck, an Indiana Jones knockoff directed by, and starring, David Keith (who should not be confused with Keith David).

David Keith has had notable roles in films like The Lords of Discipline, An Officer and a Gentleman, and U-571.

This was not one of those roles.

Perhaps directing himself was a mistake.

Starring in the female lead was Kathy Shower, who at the time held the distinction of being the oldest Playboy Playmate at the ripe old age of... 32.

Which is significantly younger than I am right now.

Man, I'm getting old.

Anyway, she doesn't get naked until an hour into the movie.

Other than that, there's a notable moment when the doofus white safari tourist, on the run from headhunters, says to his native guide (paraphrasing):

"See the color of my skin? That means I'm the boss!"

He is, of course, caught and decapitated shortly thereafter.

That's about it.

On an attendance note, the movie crowd was about the same, but the bar crowd was heavier than I'd seen on a Tuesday. Maybe people getting their last licks in -- I don't think the two-dollar pint special, which was some sort of ginger beer, was that big of a draw by itself.

The last two movies that'll be shown are Beer and Plan 9 From Outer Space, so don't miss 'em.

As for tonight, The Positions are playing at the Rock and Roll Hotel. I may try to go see them, but I'll probably also try to meet up with some folks at Clyde's in Ashburn beforehand, which would make it kind of a haul. So we'll see.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Weekend Wrap-Up: Crafty Clarendon Bastards

As predicted, I bagged the Book Festival on Saturday and headed straight (and late) to Clarendon Day. It was a beautiful day, so we immediately ducked into Hard Times. (I had two chili dogs.)

The rest of the day outside was nice, even though they only had Miller Lite left. We met up with a few more folks and headed to the roof deck at Clarendon Ballroom (walking past the band on the main floor that, at the time, was playing to a completely empty house -- though things picked up later in the evening).

There was a series of pipes that looked straight out of Blue Man Group:

Rock Concert Movement #1: One, two, ready, go.

We then went to Eleventh Street Lounge to carouse for the rest of the evening. There was a private party at the new downstairs, so we just lounged upstairs:

Me, lounging in borrowed sunglasses.

Colored ceiling.

More pics of unindicted co-conspirators here.

Sunday, also got a late start (sensing a trend here) and rolled out to Crafty Bastards. As last year, in the face of sensory and hipster overload, I didn't take very many pictures.

Well, there was evidence of one fine specimen of human being who evidently felt it necessary to take a VW Thing and lower it:


I bought a few t-shirts, which I'll try to model this week (they're keen). I also went to Amsterdam Falafel. It was good, even though I failed to achieve optimum condiment distribution.

That was about it.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

The Onion's Take on Northern Virginia

The Onion main page today (the "National News Highlights" rollover) features a reference to Arlington:

"ARLINGTON, VA -- Nate Martin was so happy to drive home from Washington, D.C. without hitting a traffic jam that he briefly forgot how much he hated his house, job, and life in northern Virginia."
Hey, it's not that bad. As a northern Virginian, that would be my expected viewpoint, though my biases point in different directions, since:
  1. I live in Reston, and thus look enviously upon Arlington.

  2. I moved down here from New York City, and thus I consider everything outside New York "the suburbs," anyway.*
*Granted, I was only there a couple of years -- growing up in NJ doesn't count -- and that was a long time ago. I also don't actually feel this way -- I just trot out that line whenever I hear DC-dwellers looking down on the northern Virginia suburbs.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Used CD Store Shuffle

It'd been a while, but I went to the CD Cellar on Sunday (actually, both locations -- Clarendon and Falls Church -- more on that in a sec).

While I was there, I experienced yet another occurrence of the Used CD Store Shuffle (note: also occurs in bookstores), where you're working your way down the table, and someone is coming at you from the other direction, and eventually, you'll get a section or two apart.

Obviously, if you're right next to each other, you'll get in each others' way, so then you skip over a section or two, then when it's "safe," you come back from the other direction.

Anyway, I was in Clarendon and did some damage (though I didn't find any Pulp CDs, which were high on my list), then went to the Falls Church location -- here's what I ended up with:


* Banco de Gaia, Farewell Ferengistan
* Belle and Sebastian, If You're Feeling Sinister
* Dressy Bessy, Electrified (from the 1 buck bin)
* Kaiser Chiefs, Employment
* Kaiser Chiefs, Yours Truly, Angry Mob
* Mazzy Star, Among My Swan
* Stereolab, Emperor Tomato Ketchup
* Throwing Muses, House Tornado
* Pete Yorn, Day I forgot

Additionally, not only did I nearly get my car trapped in the back parking lot of the Falls Church location (guided out only by the kindness of a stranger -- though I'm fairly sure that what I did was a topological impossibility), but the Mazzy Star album? Already own it.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

All I Want to Do Is Buy Some Goddamn Popsicles and Go to Sleep

It's been a rough couple of weeks on the personal blogging front. Almost makes me want to try swigging from a random bottle of 1800 tequila sitting on the curb of Clarendon Boulevard late Saturday night/early Sunday morning:

Fortunately, it was empty.

This was after heading up to Dupont Circle, which I will maybe talk about later, since as mentioned, I just want to buy a bag of store-brand Popsicles, cook a steak, (eat it) and go to sleep.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Fighter Jets Over I-66, and a Housewarming Bar Crawl

Saturday, I went to a housewarming party/bar crawl in Arlington.

On the way in, I was on I-66 (actually, the part of the Dulles Toll Road just before it runs into 66), when I started wondering why I was hearing jets, since the news story I was listening to didn't have anything to do with planes or the war.

I turned down the volume and realized that it was actually a jet. Low-flying, too, since it was pretty loud.

I opened the sunroof to look up, though that wasn't necessary, since I saw out the front windshield that it wasn't one plane, but a flight of four fighter jets (I think F-16s) flying out ahead.

Anyway, after that bit of excitement, the party was pretty good. The housewarming theme was "Stock the Bar", so guests were asked to bring a bottle of liquor.

Depending on the drinking habits of your particular group, this could be a net gain, wash, or net loss for your liquor cabinet.

To be honest, there was more housewarming than bar crawl, though we did make it Dr. Dremo's, where there was a dog:


Then we walked over to Gua-Rapo. On the way, we passed a girl in the Wendy's drive-thru:


It was fun. There are a few more pictures.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Fat Penguins and Scenes from the Snow

This no-camera thing is sort of liberating, actually.

I met up with the folks at the Boulevard Woodgrill (the original plan had been to hit up RiRa, but there was a line).

The bar area there is really narrow and crowded (which is a little odd, considering that by the end of the night, the rest of the restaurant is empty.) It makes for lots of incidental contact and some okay people watching -- I had my eye on a large chocolate cake, as well as a trio of young bucks trying to pick up on 2 girls (leading in with the ever-popular, "we got a round of shots for you.")

There was also a comparison of different pickup lines/jokes -- Jenny led with "Fat Penguin," and Scott countered with the Reese Witherspoon stabbing (which is a joke, believe it or not)

We got kicked out at midnight and went to Galaxy Hut (where we met and hung out with a visiting Aussie named Dan); after that closed, we went to Ryan's house (after a brief encounter with an Arlington County fire truck that was blocking my car in).

I didn't get home until around 4am. I also rediscovered that the left travel lane at the intersection of Reston Parkway and Baron Cameron Ave does not trip the roadbed sensors that trigger the traffic light.

Snow Day

I woke up this afternoon to the snow. I had some vitally important errands to run, so I blatantly disregarded any suggestion to stay off the road. My ABS kicked in one or twice, but it was generally okay, though I did see:
  • A seven-car accident on the toll road (two cars were facing the wrong direction; only a few of them looked smashed up, though)
  • A Trans Am driving backwards on Sunrise Valley Drive -- the bit by the golf course is hilly, curvy and surprisingly treacherous; I guess he couldn't make it.
  • A couple of cars high-centered on medians or slide off the side of the road, as well as a few just abandoned in turn lanes.
Anyway, I survived. I would prefer to have the unseasonably warm January we had before, though.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

You Don't Have to Listen to Me (But You Shouldn't Break the Law)

I was on the way home from the DC Blogs Summit -- I'd parked my car in Clarendon, but ended up Metroing to Rosslyn since I didn't feel like waiting for the Orange Line. I also thought I would try for some photos. In retrospect, this was probably a mistake, since it was cold and my feet hurt.

And I only got one marginally usable photo:

Shiny Sculpture in Rosslyn

I was at the intersection of Clarendon and Barton, when an SUV full of guys rolled up next to me at the red light, asking... something. I couldn't quite make it out.

Since they were apparently Middle Eastern by way of Eurotrash, I finally figured out they were looking for Guarapo, so I told them they'd passed it, and to take a left on Barton and go back around on Wilson.

I'm not sure if they understood me or not (I even pointed and used hand signals).

However, one thing I am quite sure I did not say was "Keep going straight on Clarendon, through the red light," which they did... directly in front of an Arlington County Police cruiser (marked, even).

They immediately got pulled over.

I felt vaguely bad (even though it wasn't my fault), but it was cold, so I didn't stick around to see what happened.

Lastly, I did manage to catch a snowflake in my hand -- I wasn't sure if it was snow or ash from a fireplace or something, but it was a snow flurry.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Cheap New Year's Eve Fun

Unless something changes dramatically, I'll be ringing in the New Year at a house party. No word whether Kid n'/or Play will be there.

I'm not a super-h00g New Year's Eve, all-you-can-drink-type (it usually takes forever to get a drink from the bar and besides, trying to get my money's worth from the cover would put me in the hospital). But I've found a couple of nice (not to mention free to get into) local celebrations:
  • Galaxy Hut
    -- Like I need another excuse to go to Galaxy Hut.

    This was also mentioned in the Post's New Year's for Less feature.

  • Guajillo -- I guess I have the credit the Post on this one; I think it was a Going Out Gurus chat from a few years back -- I've still never eaten dinner there, but it was a good party.

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