25 June 2007

Oh, I blogged about it, senorita.

I was so exhausted by the end of the week that I was really not planning on going out Friday evening. But it’s pretty rare that I get a call from “Hippie Will” (that’s one of Will’s personalities, also known as “Fun Will”) at 6:30 pm on a Friday, so even though I was taking a post-work nap, I decided wake up and accompany him to the Georgetown waterfront area. Will had never been before, so he was unaware that it was “Seersucker Jacket Required.” Neither of us wore our deck shoes or polo shirts either. But luckily, we ran into some friends pretty early in the evening who were wearing all three of the aforementioned attire requisites between the two of them. So we weren’t completely shunned.

The near-perfect weather made for standing room only at all the waterfront bars but after Rachel, Mike and Tristan arrived later that evening, we headed to dinner at Five Guys and elsewhere in the G-town area.

Saturday I spent the day on a Photo Safari. Rachel and Jessica seem to think this requires khaki attire and bug netting, but this is not actually the case. It’s more like a destination photography class. I had purchased a gift certificate for my Dad to take a Photo Safari for Christmas and told him whichever safari location and date he signed up for, I would go with him. It took us a while to get coordinated (about 6 months, obviously), but our Safari was to the Washington National Cathedral. We got a behind-the scenes tour, but my favorite part was all the different gargoyles. They were extraordinarily unique and unlike any I had ever seen at cathedrals elsewhere. And if you think I am being sensational in my assessment consider that one of the gargoyles displayed on the cathedral is Darth Vader.

Yep. Apparently, as the church was being designed, some dude was like “Hey. Old churches have these mythological images of evil that we don’t quite understand today, why not leave our own postmodern symbol of evil on the church for people centuries form now to interpret?” So there you have it. Darth Vader. Symbol of evil on the National Cathedral. There was also a weeping sea turtle gargoyle, a girl-with-braces gargoyle, an elephant gargoyle, and something that looked like Bowser Koopa from Super Mario World. I was by far the most amateur photographer on the trip, but that aspect was more for my Dad, a hobby-photographer, anyway. I was way more interested by all the cool architecture lessons and the other nifty facts our docent shared with us.

Saturday night I hung out with Rachel, Peter and Will. Rachel cooked us dinner at her place (a pasta salad that I gave 5 stars out of 5 POSSIBLE stars) and we went out in Arlington to Dr. Dremos for pitchers of Miller Lite, Fooseball and Darts. Around 2am we were all starving and Taco Bell was next door. But only the drive through was open and we were on foot. They refused to serve us. So in my rage over being denied my “Fourthmeal” I yelled “I am going to blog about this!”

So. If you take anything away from this post. It should be that you should go to the Arlington Taco Bell by the Courthouse Metro Stop, pretend like you’re about to order many, many burritos, and then be like “No, bitch. You wouldn’t serve Leslie on foot and she blogged about it. I’m boycotting this franchise location. Suckaaaas.”

22 June 2007

Full-blown discussion on political correctness

(I don't even know if the following post makes sense. I wrote it at 2 a.m. because I couldn't sleep and needed something to occupy me).

Well, I told you that I was going to tackle more provocative topics on my blog. Now that we've got "male prostitution Facebook ads" out of the way, I'm going to talk about AIDS. No, Seriously.

I just happened to think of several things I saw/heard yesterday on the topic while I was lying in bed last night. (I've had insomnia for a little over a week, but Rachel said she doesn't want to have to tell people she's going to visit her friend in rehab for an addiction to Lunesta. So until I remember to stock up on Tylenol PM, I'm drug free and sleepless for a while). All of the items that sparked this should all tie together by the end, so bear with me.

OK. So I watched a re-run of The Office last night. And this is the quote (which coincidentally I laughed out loud at) that sparked my whole thought cycle:

Michael Scott (Steve Carrell): "Okay, you know what? No. No. AIDS is not funny. Believe me, I have tried."

So, right. Everyone laughs at this line. But Michael Scott is actually right for once. AIDS is not funny. Being totally politically incorrect to the point of making an ass of yourself, however, is.

That is the genius behind the movie (I know I've discussed it on this blog at least once before): Sarah Silverman's "Jesus Is Magic." This is a movie I will never watch with any of my parents or anyone I haven't known for longer than 6 months so that I can make an assessment as to whether I can laugh at politically incorrect jokes around them (which is a basic criteria for being one of my good friends, BTW). Anyway, Silverman's entire comedy set is based on 'cutesy' innocent delivery of the most wrong, dirty, disgusting jokes on the most politically incorrect topics imaginable. So of course she is chock full of AIDS jokes. But the AIDS part could really be interchanged with any other touchy topic. Race, Religion, Prostitutes, Rape…You don't laugh because she's making fun of AIDS (that's my overall point that I want to keep stressing, as not to offend anyone: AIDS is not funny), you laugh because you can't believe that someone actually said what she just said out loud.

From the Pajiba review: "Silverman relies on our sense that this cute girl couldn't really mean the awful things she says…The variety and expressiveness of her vocal inflections are amazing; there's no way to explain it in print, but she can simply mutter the words "Full-blown AIDS" and, in context, it's uproariously funny."

Which brings me to the next item from yesterday that inspired this post. I was watching the news on our local CBS affiliate, WUSA/Channel 9. I recently switched to watching their 7pm news broadcast (one) because it's the only local news in that timeslot and (two) the anchor really amuses me. He doesn't seem like your typical "I take myself way too seriously" news anchor. In fact, I feel like he could just be a middle-aged intern that they gave a script to and now he's like "cool. here's the news." When I Googled the station earlier this week, I found out why. This is WUSA.com's Google description:

"What's groovin' in the Federal City ? Keep it real at WUSA9.com!" Huh??

Is it just me or is that a totally unforeseen choice as a tagline for a CBS network affiliate? I mean, I could understand that for the less reputable WB. It could also be used as a tagline for "Tyra." But hey, maybe that is in fact why I like Channel 9. They "Keep it real."

So to tie "Keepin' it real" into my overall topic for today, one of their news stories really took me aback last night. They were doing a story on HIV prevention and treatment and said something along the lines of "HIV gone untreated could develop into full-blown AIDS." They literally said "full blown AIDS" on the evening newscast.

I'm not trying to be funny. I ask that you please call me out on this if I'm being completely ignorant with regard to what I'm about to ask (I may very well be), but is "Full blown AIDS" a generally accepted and politically correct term? My completely serious question is this: do you actually have to use the adjective "full blown?" Doesn't just "AIDS" cover it? To re-iterate: I am not trying to be an a-hole. I'm just really curious. Because I was offended by that description being used on the evening news. And I couldn't laugh because it didn't seem like an OK thing to do in that context.

Why is it funny when Sarah Silverman says it, but not when the evening news says it? It both instances it is shocking (to me, at least)--but in one instance I laugh because it is wrong and in the other instance I ask myself, "WOW. Is he ALLOWED to say that?"

I guess being politically correct/incorrect both have their times and places. Sometimes I think if we could call a "time out" on being offended by topics/words/terms/ideas we could have some decent discussions and really get some things resolved- or at least on the table. If you always have to be careful of what you say, sometimes things never get addressed and are left to stew. And another thing-It really does make me think of when people just let things slip out of their mouths, be it a public figure or just someone in the wrong social situation. Just generally--I'm not trying to defend anyone or any instance of late. I Anyway, I have a whole list of other ideas on this topic. None of which I am super opinionated on, just thoughts that I've been, well, thinking would spur a good discussion.

I hope if any of you have thoughts on the issue, you'll address it in the comment area.

20 June 2007

Facebook say WHAT?

Expect more explosions and forbidden love involved in my future blog posts. That was a reader suggestion submitted by Charlotte and I think it will really help out my e-traffic to the site. In the meantime, you’ll have to settle for me posting little discoveries that make me say “WHAT?” to myself.

For example- are you familiar with the social networking utility “Facebook?” I have a Facebook page. For me personally, my preference of Facebook to MySpace changes weekly depending on my mood. But whenever you log into Facebook, there a page with a “News Feed” that updates you on what all your Facebook friends are up to. Like what they had for dinner the night before, what they wore last Tuesday and whatever their self-proclaimed and arbitrary “status” is.

I just noticed, like two weeks ago, they implemented a “Facebook Marketplace.” It’s basically Facebook classified ads based on your “Network” (mine is Washington, DC…but it can also be your school or office I guess). Everytime I log in, there is a new featured "Facebook Marketplace" item listed on my newsfeed page. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen featured an apartment, a Nintendo Wii, baseball tickets…very similar to things you would find on eBay, or Craigslist in the non-seedy sections.

Until yesterday.

The Facebook marketplace feature can be found in the righthand column, about halfway down the page. Click on the picture below to enlarge it and check out the item. You might be interested:

18 June 2007

Lazy Sunday.

This weekend I went with 7 friends to go strawberry picking in the Maryland “countryside”…about an hour and a half outside of DC. The patch we Google mapped, however, ended up being out of strawberries to pick until the following week. So in lieu we went to lunch at a $12 all you can eat buffet called "The Cozy Inn Restaurant." Fried Chicken, Man n’ Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Fried Shrimp, Corn, “Chef’s Surprise”…you know, like a health-food-bar-type thing. None of us were very social after hitting the pie smorgasbord, though. I think our systems shut down to digest the food.

When I got home from the country, I took a nap until my brother arrived around 5pm. We watched, probably the best “B” movie ever: The Phantom, starring Billy Zane. I think it runs about an hour and a half straight through, but we always seem to turn it into a 2-hour affair with all the stopping and rewinding we do to re-watch certain parts. And every time we watch it, we pick up on something new. Like this time, we noticed that the little Indonesian kid that can’t speak English’s name is “Zack.”

Sunday I spent in bed watching 7 hours worth of DVDs. The buffet combined with all the drinking I did while watching The Phantom and afterwards Saturday night at the 9:30 club, pretty much made me comatose until Monday morning.

The 7 hour DVD-a-thon consisted of:
Taxi Driver (on Charlotte’s recommendation from Friday. She told me that I needed to #1 queue it and she seemed pretty serious about it.). ***** (That’s 5 stars. Wow. I can’t believe I HADN’T seen this movie until now. Although, I have some problems with the ending.).
Motorcycle Diaries (On my own recommendation. Saw it when it first came out and re-queued it cause I loved it. The landscape and cinematography alone is worth it) ***** (That’s 5 stars)
Magnolia (on Ted’s recommendation from a while back) **** (That’s 4 stars. John C. Reilly gets five though. He was dope. I always love Philip Seymour Hoffman. Even Tom Cruise gets a pat on the back from me for this role. The movie would have gotten 5, but they lost me at the end with the frogs.)

So basically, I ate a weeks worth a food, watched a weeks worth of movies and slept for 2 days. I am totally what’s wrong with America.

I’m going to the gym.

15 June 2007

The "Top 5" Challenge.

From the title of my last post, you may have picked up on my recent nostalgic appreciation for the early-90’s television show GUTS! The passion really fired up again when my friend Sarah was considering buying an authentic piece of the Agro-Crag on Ebay for $125 as a wedding present for her then soon-to-be husband. So when Rachel sent me a link to D.C. United player Bobby Boswell’s blog post from Tuesday, including a video with commentary on his competition on GUTS!, I knew this guy was going to be my new favorite soccer player. This was confirmed yesterday when I read on the Washington Post’s Sports Blog about Bobby also being known as “The Cereal Whisperer.” People submit their “top five” cereals list and he judges them solely based on the list.

Rachel said she wanted to submit her top five cereals and was able spit her list right out. I however, can’t just spit out a top 5 list like that. I need to think about it. Because I will hold myself to that list. So I did think about it, and here it is:

Top Five Cereals
1. Crispix
2. Special K (especially with sliced bananas in it)
3. Honey Nut Cheerios
4. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
5. Honey Bunches of Oats

After thinking long and hard about that list, I decided I wanted to make more lists and Rachel suggested my next list be “Top Five Planets.” (She would). Then I had a marvelous idea. I thought that I would poll some of my friends for “list suggestions.” The rules were that they could choose any one topic and I would post my top five on that topic in my blog today. So, here we go. My tops fives based on your suggested topics:

Topic Contributor: Rachel S.
Top 5 Planets

Favorite: Mine's the sun. Always has been. I like it because it's like the king of planets.

Wait—Well, I’m told it’s actually not a planet, it's a star.

Well! Planet or star, when that thing burns out were all gonna be dead. (http://snltranscripts.jt.org/96/96tspace.phtml)

OK, Real list:
1. Earth
2. Venus
3. Neptune
4. Jupiter
5. Mars

Topic Contributor: Sarah R-D’A
Sarah decided to submit a “Top 5” list of topics for me to select from. Here is her list of suggestions:
1. Top 5 reasons why hot dogs are delicious
2. Top 5 porn movie names
3. Top 5 drinks you cannot live without (non alcoholic or alcoholic, specific brand, size, how you take it (like coffee))
4. Top 5 years in the history of the world and why
5. Top 5 people you would like to see Evan marry and why

I was going to go Topic 3 because I have strong opinions on it. But I am going to really going to extend myself and go Topic 5.

Top 5 people I would like to see Evan marry and why:
1. Tina Fey- He thinks she’s hot and I want to be bound to her by law. Also, maybe she can introduce me to Alec (wink wink)
2. Old Gregg- Lifetime supply of Bailey’s, Old Gregg already has a wedding dress, and Evan said to me on the phone Wednesday night “Old Gregg has officially changed my life.” (Who is Old Gregg?)
3. Oprah-This would be the first step towards Gwinn world domination.
4. Jennifer Connelly- She is the hottest woman alive. Go Evan!
5. Paris Hilton- There is an extortion plan involved in my reasoning, but I can’t really talk about it on here. Don’t worry Evan, with all that Hilton money, you can afford the lifetime supply of Valtrex that you will surely need after consummating the marriage.

Apparently my friends don’t fall far from the tree (I guess the tree being me??), as Charlotte ALSO sent a top five list of topics for me to choose from. Here are her suggestions:

1. Top 5 Albums (Where you listen to the entire thing and like every song)
2. Top 5 Desserts
3. Top 5 Movies starring Alec Baldwin
4. Top 5 Reasons to Vote
5.(My personal choice!) Top 5 Reasons Todd Stark should join G-Chat

Honestly, the Alec Baldwin list is tempting, but I can only think of three MOVIES I really loved him in (The Departed, Beetle Juice and Running With Scissors). All of my fondest memories involve Saturday Night Live. So I’m going to do:

Top Five SNL Sketches Starring Alec Baldwin:
1. Schweddy Balls
2. Canteen Boy
3. Robert Goulet’s Red Ships of Spain
4. HOLY EFF! I AM INTERRUPTING MY TOP 5 LIST TO BRING YOU A VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT. Did you know that THIS exists?! I want it. I need it. I have to have it. (From Amazon.com’s review: “He never gets flustered or seems at all concerned about making a complete ass of himself.”)
5. Morning Drive (with Kristin Wiig): “Bobby McFerrin raped my grandmother.”

…And then a real list suggested by Charlotte: Desserts. Because I’m just not ready to commit to my top five albums quite yet.

Top Five Desserts
1. Magnolia Cupcake (chocolate cake with pastel icing)
2. Funnel cake with powdered sugar (must be purchased from a fair/carnival/boardwalk-type establishment)
3. The chocolate cake from Macaroni Grill
4. Jell-O Chocolate Pudding with Extra…Like seriously a LOT of …Cool Whip Topping
5. Orange Sherbert with a fortune cookie on top. I like fortunes.

Topic Contributor: Evan
Top Five Reasons to hate Ohio State
1. Their sports fans are douchebags
2. Their mascot is a nut. A literal nut. And that is totally gay.
3. How they fuck are they so good at EVERY sport?
4. If you know anyone who has been murdered or mysteriously “disappeared” in the greater Columbus area in the past couple of years, Greg Oden might have done it. I don’t have any hard evidence, but he kind of has that look about him, doesn’t he?
5. Jim Tressel wears a sweatervest. And that is totally gay.

Topic Contributor: Kristin
Top 5 Quotes (There was some initial confusion over how we were going to narrow down the topic- at first she said “Top 5 quotes,” but after some back and forth, I finally decided on the final criteria for the topic. Top five quotes overheard at or by friends at school. I didn’t realize until I made this list how many AWESOME one-liners our friend Jeff has had over the years. He dominates the list. Also note that some quotes require pretext, so in those cases, the actual quote is in bold)

1. Lady buts in front of us as we’re ordering food at the State College McDonald’s, throws a hamburger on the counter, and says to the 15-year old cashier: “Excuse me, (looks at name tag) Austin? I asked for extra ketchup, but this is ridiculous. Whoever made this sandwich is and ASSHOLE.”

2. Guys versus girls Trivial pursuit game. Mike reads question to Leslie: “Scott Adams created this frozen vegetarian item due to popularity of his office-themed comic strip.”

Leslie: No idea. I challenge.

Bob: Wait. Wait, I think I know.

Mike: You’re never going to get this. If you get this, I will shoot myself in the head.

Jeff (looks at answer on card): I will strip down and start dancing naked on this table.

Leslie: I will slam this triple shot of Goldschlager.

Bob: The Dilburrito.

3. Police officer: OK, we’re going to need you to come down and make a statement. What we’re going to need you to do is be very descriptive in your account and use words like “allegedly” and “approximately.”

Jeff: Yeah. I know. I watch Law and Order.

4. Alumni section of Beaver stadium, Jeff throws up a “Dixie cup” amount of vomit on the man seated in front of him. Man turns around: “You’re killin’ me, man.”
Jeff: I know.

5. Kristin and I are riding around Paris in a mini-car with only a GPS system guiding our driver (her Dad). We’ve been lost for a good 45 minutes and the driving and turns are getting so out of hand we think we’re about to die: “It’s like a video game. Except real life. WITH REAL LIVES!

Finally, Todd also submitted five topics for me to choose from. Seeing as how I’m leaving DC in a couple months, I thought this would be a fitting leave-behind:

Topic Contributor: Todd
Top five places to go in DC

1.Black Cat- Best place for live shows or just hanging out and having a beer.
2. Ben's Chili Bowl- Order a chili dog with everything and chili cheese fries. And if you're in the mood for cardiac arrest, a cherry milkshake.
3. Dupont Circle- on a nice day, just to sit, read and people-watch
4. The Hirshhorn- Modern Art Gallery. Free. On the mall. My favorite museum.
5. Fado- Irish pub in Chinatown. Monday nights is trivia night.

Voila! I hope my lists gave you some insight into me, or were at the very least, entertaining. I challenge you to select any topic I’ve listed and make your own top five list in the comment area. Enjoy the weekend!

13 June 2007

I feel like this might have been one of the events on Nickelodeon's GUTS! I need Mo to verify...


Rachel: I just got the thunderstorm warning. The potential exists for damaging winds and half-dollar sized hail.
Me: I hope I don’t get hit on my walk home!
Rachel: You might want to stop and get a hail helmet.
Me: maybe I can swing by Will and Ted's and get the Brewers helmet. It’s only a block from here.
Rachel: I think that would work nicely. Although Will might be wearing it. Just in his living room.
Me: Maybe Ted would also loan me his "Baseball Golf Surprise" vest.
Rachel: WHAT?
Me: it will shield my chest and torso from hail impalements.
Rachel: NO
Me: please tell me you know about this
Rachel: is it like a kevlar vest but incase someone hits a golfball at you?
Me: I think I will have to blog about it.

Editor’s note: It’s so much better than she thinks.

Mike missed my big birthday celebration on June 2nd at the Irish Times, but offered to cook a dinner of my choosing the following weekend, for the guests of my choosing, as a consolation. I didn’t really see it as a consolation offer at all. I saw it as an excuse to have 2 kick-ass parties. So the dinner guests were Tristan (well, I couldn’t really get around that since she lives there), Mike (who until that night had been “imaginary Mike” to Jessica and Robbie because he was always mysteriously “out of town”), the MannFarmers (Jessica and Robbie), Rachel (who had left the dinner party early that night and missed the Baseball Golf Surprise portion of the evening, obviously), and Ted (vest owner/co-founder of Baseball Golf Surprise).

The meal Mike cooked was amazing. We had gazpacho (one of my favorite summer treats), chicken and steak Kebobs with veggies, grilled asparagus, the best. mashed. potatoes. ever. and bananas foster. And although it was about 96 degrees outside, which Ted let us know by saying “Man it’s so HOT!” during every conversational transition possible, we finished eating out on the patio just in time to pick up all the plates and dishes and haul it inside just as the crazy looming summer thunderstorm let loose.

Not only was this dinner Robbie and Jessica’s first time meeting “imaginary Mike,” but it was really their first non-crowd experience with Ted. I think everyone has an “I remember the first time I hung out with Ted” story. He’s a pretty original dude.

So Sunday evening, when I went Bowie to visit with Robbie, Jessica, Levi and the tots, Robbie had this to say: “That guy Ted is entertaining ALWAYS. I mean, he must have said ‘Man, it’s so HOT’ 82 times. And you know, anyone who plays a game called ‘Baseball Golf Surprise is OK by me.”

Levi: What is Baseball Golf Surprise?

Baseball Golf Surprise is when one person wears a Brewers batting helmet and a red quilted down vest for “protection”(Ted). This person has several golfballs and several baseballs in both of their hands. The other person (Will) has a pitching wedge (golf club). Ted rolls either baseballs or golfballs (that’s the surprise) as fast as he can towards Will, who has to make a snap judgment as to whether lightly tap the golfball or fucking give it to the baseball. If you mess up and hit a golfball with baseball force, there can and will be destruction. The game ends when someone busts a kneecap or a dent is made in the wall.

In the end, I did not go get the batting helmet to protect me from the hail. I figure there was a higher chance that Ted would need it to protect his dome-piece from flying golfballs in his apartment. Also, I don’t think Will would ever part with it. Not even if it meant me taking a baseball-sized chunk of ice falling from outer space to the brain.

11 June 2007

Good ol' reliable Grandma.

For some reason, it always happens that I go to visit my Grandma around mid-June. Must have something to do with the dwindling of birthday party season (string of birthdays from Mid-March to early June that encompasses many of my DC-friends’ birthdays), an over-worked liver, a depleted checking account, and escalating summer heat & humidity that just makes me want to lie on the couch at Grandma’s house and read a book, play Monopoly or watch a made-for TV movie. Also doesn’t hurt that all your meals are paid for, you’re force-fed donuts and pastries, you’re doted upon all weekend and she insists on stocking you up on any household needs or toiletries before returning home. In addition to a K-Mart run for a new iron, hair conditioner, trash bags and whatever the heck else was on my weekly shopping list, she also insisted I take her cooler and electric knife home with me because I made a positive comment about them. She also offered me her dining room table (seats 6), but I had to draw the line somewhere.

When I was growing up, you could bet your life on the fact that when you arrived, she would have just finished cooking a chicken casserole and orange Jell-O salad. However in the years since college, we’ve rarely gone to stay the weekend with Grandma and the times we have were after my Gramps passed away, so there wasn’t much cooking going on.

I called Grandma earlier this week to let her know what time to expect me on Saturday (around lunchtime). She asked what I wanted to do and if it would be OK if we just went out for supper that night because she doesn’t cook much anymore. Of course I told her that was fine with me (although I have had a 7-year long craving for chicken casserole and orange Jell-O salad. So much so that I made her send me the recipe in the mail. TOTALLY not the same when I make it).

My drunk walk home from the metro Friday night, all I could think about was chicken casserole and how I wasn’t going to get any this visit. The next morning, while driving to Martinsburg, I had planned on stopping for lunch, but hit traffic and ended up just wanting to power through and get to Grandma’s on time. I knew she’d at least have some rolls and lunchmeat for a sandwich. But I still had a grumbling belly and visions of Chicken Casserole in my head.

I arrived around 1pm, famished…and lo and behold, Grandma had just taken a Chicken Casserole out of the oven. Piping fresh. Not only that, but she had orange Jell-O salad AND she bought a box of “World Famous Stickies” from the Diner in State College (the one I worked at my Freshman year at Penn State). Apparently her local grocer stocks them.

A trifecta of comfort food. This was basically the Grandma visit home run.

Oh, and if you don’t think the reason she gave me her cooler was so that I could pack up all the leftover Chicken Casserole and Orange Jell-O salad for dinner this week, you are sorely mistaken, my friend.

Read it and weep, Evan.

(Side note, speaking of Evan—my kid brother—and because I thought it was hilarious: I took my Grandma to church Sunday morning and one of our old Sunday school teachers from when we were little happened to be there. So it reminded my Grandmother to tell the story of one of Evan’s visit to Sunday School when he was about five years old. Apparently, the teacher was telling the story of Jesus. “…And then they nailed Jesus to the cross so that we would be forgiven of our sins.”

Five-year-old Evan: “Um. I have a pwobwem wif dat.”)

07 June 2007

Food Group Heaven and Totally Crossing the Line. (Herbivores beware).

Background info: After getting back from the bars last Friday, Sarah and I had a snack of spicy hummus and pita chips. Two weeks ago during our New York Trip, our vegan friend Shamra ate a pretzel from a Times Square vendor around 2:30 a.m. We've been trying to catch her in a web of meat or dairy ever since.

Actual e-conversation from yesterday afternoon:

me: All I have been eating this week is spicy hummus. I think I am addicted now.

Sarah: i think that hummus had something in it. because all i have been wanting is hummus as well. and i had to get it today at the cheese place.

Sarah: it's like i want to turn myself into a human pita and jump into a pool of hummus

me: you went to a place with cheese and hummus?

me: is it called "heaven"?

Sarah: close, Kashkaval. wine cheese and hummus. it's amazing. i will take you next time you are up

me: please and thank you.

Sarah: and it's so inexpensive too. for what you are getting. plus they are GENEROUS with the wine.

me: at lunch hour? love it. i think a hefty glass of wine during lunch would solve a lot of my work problems.

Sarah: but i don't have to work Friday so my agenda tomorrow night is to get wine drunk

me: luckyyyyy

Sarah: yeah. my boss gives us 3 "free" fridays during the summer

me: wow. that is completely and totally awesome.

Sarah: plus, we get the most delicious bagels on Friday. they come from heaven i think. not the same cheese heaven though

me: well there are different heavens for different food groups. obviously.

Sarah: but i will have the "heaven EZ pass" to get into them all

me: Shamra will be S.O.L. I don't think there is a Vegan heaven.

Me: But if there is it's only filled with wheat grass and pizza crusts. And rivers flowing with dandelion wine

Sarah: yes!!! i am going to look right now to see if there are eggs in pretzels.

me: http://strothotte.com/pretzels.php. no egg. but there is butter (dairy). and Yeast....which is ALIVE! hello! so not Vegan.

Sarah: oh man. i love it.

me: She might as well eat raw baby bunny rabbits.

Sarah: oh totally. i will make her some bunny and kitten soup.

me: Yum. I love bunny and kitten soup. Do you make yours in a broth of panda bear blood?

Sarah: I used to use panda bear blood, but then people were getting so up in arms about african elephants so I changed to the blood of African elephant calves. With a sprinkle of polar bear claw.

me: freash or dried? it's so hard to come by, frsh. At least that's what I;ve found.

Me: hello, typing skills.

Sarah: well when you are filling your belly with seahorse cavier, your fingers get a little stucky.

me: tell me about it. My leather keyboard cover is getting wrecked.

Sarah: you should totally switch to the new ivory tusk Apple, it's really cool, doesn't have the stickiness factor of leather. plus they send you a new one every month so you can just throw it out and start over each month

me: I'm so used to PC's though. I'm waiting for the blue whale-bone Dell to come out. Drops in 2008.

Sarah: oh, I think I heard about that... is that the one with the live squid printer?

me: Yes- that one. You must have seen their big ad campaign that's been running during the "Bluetooth or Crazy?" marathon on the Gameshow Channel. Personally, I think they went with the wrong ad buy. They should have gone with "Poachers and Exotic Animal Stews" on the Food Network.

Sarah: YES!

Sarah: I think this might be the best conversation I have ever had online!

me: I'm never afraid to cross the line when I talk to you. I think that's the mark of a good friendship.

05 June 2007

It's a maze!

WW07 was extended to this weekend as the newlyweds, Mike and Sarah came to visit me over the weekend. When they got here Friday, we grabbed some food and went to Bar Pilar and the Black Cat for drinks. Saturday we all got up to run Race for the Cure, had brunch with my mom, and went to the Hirshhorn museum—site of highlight #1 from this weekend.

There are a couple of movies and /or lighting-dependent exhibits at the Hirshhorn, which require going into a dark room in order to view the piece. One such exhibit had a warning display before entering: “Please enter slowly to allow your eyes to adjust. Do not step on the white portion of the floor as this area constitutes exhibit space.”

So Mike, Sarah and I entered with caution, walked through the hallway, and walked into a square room. On the side of the room with the white floor area, there was a dim light exhibit. On the side of the room with the dark floor (where viewers are supposed to stay), there was a bench. We were the only people in the room besides a security guard (who we woke up from sleeping on the bench), so we sat down and watched the exhibit for a good minute before hearing another group making it’s way into the room.

All of the sudden this old man (60+) comes barreling into the square room with his arms out in front of him exclaiming “It’s a maze! It’s a maze!” He shuffled his way right across the room, and into the white portion of the exhibit. I am pretty sure he so blatantly broke the rules that the security guard really had no idea what to do about the situation.

At this point, Sarah and I are laughing so hard that it was actually inaudible hyperventilation. And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, he continued to yell “It’s a maze!” and ran smack into the exhibit wall on the opposite side of the entrance.

His wife/ladyfriend was several feet behind him and was successful in keeping out of the white floor exhibit area, as the sign instructed. But she clearly didn’t heed the warning of "enter slowly to allow your eyes to adjust," because she turned to the bench area with her arms out in front of her and groped Mike up and down: “Is someone there?”


At that, Sarah and I just could not take it anymore. We ran out of the “maze” and burst into laughter. About three minutes later, still in stitches and laughing out loud, we saw the couple leave the dark room exhibit and run past us.

Highlight #2 from the weekend was seeing “Knocked Up.” I laughed for a solid 2 hours. But I would warn you to only go see it with someone that you are totally comfortable with. Seriously raunchy. Do not go on a first date. Do not go on a 3rd date. Rachel and I went on our 108th date and I'm still not sure I can look her in the eyes after the birthing scene.

Kristen Wiig (SNL) and Jason Segal (Slackers) were actually my two favorite characters (both in supporting roles). And Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan were able to replicate the same hilarious chemistry that was so great in 40-Year Old Virgin (You wanna know how I know you’re gay? I saw you make a spinach dip in a loaf of sour dough bread once./You wanna know how I know you’re gay? You have a rainbow bumpersticker on your car that says "I love it when *balls* are in my face.”/That's *gay*?/ I'm ripping your head off right now. It's off, and now I'm throwing it at your body./FUCK YOU! ) My absolute favorite scene in “Knocked Up” involves Rogan & Rudd, Cirque Du Soleil, Magic Mushrooms, and Hotel Furniture. I could watch it over and over again. Go see it!

01 June 2007

WW07 Part Three of Three: Pool Party (and Noise Violation #2)

So, as I mentioned in my last post, Bob is one of my favorite SCAD grads (behind Mike Dell, the groom…I forgot to mention that). He was one of Mike’s groomsmen and we all had great times partying together at Penn State. So needless to say, he was one of the people I was most stoked to see this week for Mike and Sarah’s wedding. Normally, Bob is pretty laid back and walks with a normal swagger. But if he’s in a hurry, he doesn’t run. He shuffles like Fred Flinstone powering a prehistoric car. It’s more of a “scurry.” Jeff is Bob’s BFF and was also a groomsman (also in our party crew at PSU).

With that in mind I am going to preface the following story with Sarah’s remarks during breakfast the morning after the wedding:

“Around 2 am I heard a loud crash, so I went to the window and all I saw was Bob speed shuffling down the sidewalk topless. And then Jeff ran into our room wearing only his underwear.”

Luckily, there was one bridesmaid still standing at 2am to witness (and take part in) the events firsthand: me.

Let me start from the beginning.

The ride from the reception back to the hotel was an effing quest. Everyone was calling everyone to get beer/to get directions/to ask where their pants were (just kidding. Although it wouldn’t surprise me). About an hour and a half after we closed down the reception, everyone finally showed up to the hotel for the afterparty. Probably one of the most amusing things was that Mike totally just passed out in the honeymoon suite and Sarah was like, “LET’S PARTY!” Just about everyone who attended the wedding came into their room and saw Mike laying on the bed and he has no recollection of anyone coming into the room whatsoever.

Another obstacle we faced was that upon check-in at the hotel, we were required to sign “No Party Agreements.” I’m sure hotel management realized they did the responsible thing when Shamra yelled across the lobby “YO! Leslie! No Parties! Shit!”

I’m not really in the habit of closely reading things like that before signing them, but this one I carefully examined. Especially after our first noise violation in NYC Thursday night/Friday morning. The agreement said that we get one warning call before being “evicted.” But we had a simple solution to the “No Party Agreement.” Move the party to the hotel lawn. It's rooted in the philosophy that if they can’t blame the ruckus on a room, they can’t evict us.

We got away with this for about 30 minutes before "noise violation 2" for the weekend was issued. We were asked to leave the lawn. At this point, most of us had lost the ability to participate in two-way communication, but we did have enough sense to at least move to another part of the lawn.

Meanwhile, there was another party going on in Groomsman Greg’s suite. Apparently at that party, Greg and Kristin played Rihanna & Jay-Z’s “Umbrella” (ella ella eh eh eh) 32 times. It was not played 33 times, thanks to Groomsman Bruce who finally pulled the plug on the laptop and forced the "room party" to merge with the newly relocated (about 100 yards from previous spot) "lawn party."

I noticed that “Room Party” had fused with “Lawn Party (location 2)” when Greg walked by me sitting on the lawn and I heard music coming from his pants. This could be a perplexing situation if you're 17 drinks into the night, but I finally figured out that Greg was DJ’ing the afterparty from his cell phone. Then all of the sudden I heard a “yelp” and a miniature person yell “LESLIE!” When I turned around I saw Kristin pointing to a bloody elbow. I just shrugged and went back to my conversation. This seemed to pretty much be par for the course. I did find out later, though, that Jeff had been carrying Kristin--just for fun--and ended up dropping her on the sidewalk. Then he called her a “prissy bitch.” Although Kristin agreed with his assessment, and maybe in a way respected the fact that he just came right out with it, she went inside to patch up her scrape and go to bed.

Meanwhile, I will note that this entire time, Shamra is nowhere to be found.

So I am left at the lawn party with most of the groomsman and a shitload of SCAD! Grads. Then Bob turned to me and said, “Wanna go in the pool?”

At 2am, taking off your clothes and scaling a fence to go drunk swimming with a bunch of loud a-holes sounds like an EXCELLENT IDEA.

In order to not get caught, there was a lot of whispering and “shhhhhush-ing,” but all that pretty much went to hell when somehow Bob knocked over a table onto the cement, loud enough to wake up Sarah, in “building two,” who promptly went to the window to check out the scattering of SCAD! Grads trying to not get evicted from the Saddle River Residence Inn. That included Bob's topless speed shuffle and Jeff barging into the honeymoon suite in his underwear.

The next morning, before everyone headed home, we all met for brunch and to say our goodbyes. And to ask Shamra where the hell she was all night.

Her boyfriend of just over a month explained:

“Well, we didn’t get back ‘til about 12:30. At which point she vomited on me. Then punched me in the balls. Then wrote all over my stomach with a Sharpie.”

Sham’s Residence Inn roommate, Kris (the maid of honor), told him that he “hit the Irish Girl Home Run.”

Indeed he had. Welcome to the "Shamra vomited on me" club.