Misadventures of the Village Idiot #76

Birthday weekend celebration!!!!  What an awesome weekend.

Friday
Okay, Friday wasn’t so awesome but it wasn’t that bad either.  I drilled Friday and Saturday instead of Saturday and Sunday because I had requested a long time ago to take the weekend off.  I had originally planned to be gone the entire weekend but I did not feel like making up both days.

Friday I went into the armoury and helped out with drill preparations.  It actually wasn’t the worst thing ever.  There were a few other soldiers there making up drill and it’s not like the work is mind-numbing or physically taxing.  I even got to go a little bit early.  That’s always a plus.

I planned to go to the movies that night but somehow things just did not go that way.  I ended up sleeping my life away.

Saturday
This was an actual drill day and kind of a day from hell, but a good kind of hell, if there is such a thing.  I don’t know.  The day did not start off well because I received some interesting news.  At the time I received the news I was highly upset but after I had time to sit down let things marinate I decided that it is not bad news at all.  I am just going to take advantage of the opportunity and move on with my life.  I choose not to detail it here because there are other people involved.

Because A was out of the office, I worked in her place.  What a rough job.  I am so glad I did not allow the recruiter to talk me into being a supply person.  He was trying to get me to be supply, an MP or a cook.  Hell no to all three.  Supply is a serious job.  There is so much to know, and everyone did not understand that I was just down there helping out.  I am not a supply expert.  I don’t know how to order things.  I don’t know how things go.  I don’t know any of that.  Everyone just kept coming down harassing me. Now I see why A tells everyone to GTFO.  It’s a headache.  But when I said it was kind of like a hell that is a good kind of hell, I mean because I was busy and it helped the day to go by very quickly.  One minute it was 815 and the next minute it was 345 and time to lock everything up.

There were several people promoted this weekend.  There were the obvious ones, of course.  Then there was one and I was like… hmm…. what was that about?  But what do I know?  Obviously, nothing.  It wasn’t my turn.  I am beginning to feel like it will never be my turn.  The person in front of me was promoted but then they stopped.  I just seem to have the worst luck.  I am always in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I am not one of those people that ends up doing something lucky because they happen to be in the right spot.  That’s just not me.  And now this.  I’m trying not to get frustrated.  I guess my ship will come in some day.

After drill I hung out with Pops for a little while and then I hit the hay early because I had a race in the morning.

Sunday
Birthday!!!  Yippeee!!!  In honour of my 32nd birthday I decided to run the Maryland Half Marathon for the University of Maryland Cancer Center.  It’s my first half and I don’t know what I was thinking.  They say if you can run this many miles than you can run a half and that’s what I was going off.  I woke up Sunday morning stretched and had a cookie, then I drove out to Maple Lawn some new community that I had never heard of.

The weather was perfect for a run.  Cloudy, breezy and cool.  There was a bit of mugginess but it wasn’t overwhelming.  I started to get nervous.  That is a lot of miles to be running:  13.1.  Why do they have to add that .1 like that?  So here’s my race synopsis.

Mile 1:
Kinda pumped because they got the music on blast.  There are 2000 runners out here.  Everyone is full of energy and excitement.  I got this!  But I have to pee.  That’s too bad because it’s gonna be at least two more hours before there’s another toilet.  Nice.

Mile 2:
Conquered the first hill and it was kind of a doozy.  Breathing is all wrong, feel like I’m flopping me feet too hard.  I don’t know if I can do this.  This is only mile 2 and I feel like this?  Maybe I should just quit.

Mile 3:
More hills.  Then I remember what the guy said:  “This is not a flat course because the battle for cancer is not a flat course.”  I am not trying to disrespect cancer victims and survivors, but screw you, guy.  Screw you.

Mile 4:
You run 4 miles all the time.  Why are you acting like you are doing something brand new?  There is a woman in a pink shirt that keeps walking/running past me.  I want to get away from her.

Mile 5:
Finally started to get comfortable.  Since I felt like I did not hydrate well enough in the day preceding, I stopped at every water station.  Pink Shirt Lady has racewalked/ran her way right on past me.

Mile 6:
I need new bras.

Mile 7:
Okay, 8 miles is the furthest I’ve ever run this year, so when I get to 8 I’ll stop running and walk the rest of the way. I also drank gatorade because I was worried about electrolytes.  I actually don’t know when I should really be concerned but I was concerned anyway so I accepted the gatorade.  It was orange flavoured.  Gross.  So now I have nasty orange flavour taste in my mouth for another mile.

Mile 8:
Broads from Fleet Feet in Baltimore are starting to get on my nerves.  First of all, they are talking.  Who can talk?  Obviously they can because they are doing that walk/run thing.  One woman has a watch that is similar to mine and every time it beeped I kept looking at my watch.

Mile 9:
The Fleet Feet bitches are still next to me and they are accompanied by a guy who is obviously in great shape.  He has sprinted up to the finish line and back again, and then all the way back down to mile 7 where another friend of theirs is.  He is also doing jumping jacks at the water stations.  Get the fuck away from me!

Mile 10:
The bottom of my feet hurt like I’ve been shopping for hours, except when I get to the finish line there aren’t gads of new clothes waiting for me.

Mile 11:
These goddamn hills.  My God!  I am finally able to get rid of the Fleet Street women.  They’re way behind me now.  I want to stop running but I don’t know how.

Mile 12:
We’re in this brand new neighbourhood in Maple Lawn.  Nice houses.  That’s fucking great.  Is it over yet?  How come the last mile is the longest?  I think I have a blister.  I’m tired of my iPod.  I’m tired of everything.  I’m hungry.

Mile 13:
I’m glad they thoughtfully put a 13th mile sign, like I can’t see the finish line is around the corner.  They just want to let you know they didn’t forget about that .1.  Seriously, that was the longest tenth of a mile ever.  Really?  I started to burn it out. I ran like an axe murderer was chasing me.  I ran like I was late for dinner.  I ran like Jesus was about to start the Rapture.  I ran like… Forrest fuckin’ Gump, okay.  Like a fool.  I crossed the finish line like I was the champion, like I was the number one winner.

When I was finally able to stop running my feet were not physically moving but my body was still running.  It was an odd sensation.  I had muscles sore and throbbing in places I didn’t even know there were muscles.  It was insane.  Everything hurt.  Even my teeth.  My fingers.  The ends of my toenails.  Very bizarre.

Then a man comes up to me and says, “Did you get a medal?”

Why would I get a medal?  The clock said 2:34:25.  Yes, I had been running for two and a half hours.  They don’t usually give medals to people who place 743rd.  Then he said, “Everybody who finishes gets a medal.”

Oh!  D’uh!  He put the medal on me and I truly felt like a winner.  My body felt like it had gone 12 rounds with Pacquiao but that’s another story.

I am so stiff and sore that I can hardly make it back to the car.  I was parked about 3 minutes from the finish line.  It took me about 15 minutes to get there.  I was afraid to sit down in the car because I felt that I would stiffen up and be stuck in the sitting position for the rest of my life.

This was not the case however.  I got home, showered and immediately got on the foam roller.  This helped recovery but I’m still pretty beat up.

Pops and I went to Founding Farmers for brunch and then I took him back to the Maple Lawn neighbourhood because I thought he might like the houses.  By 5PM I was completely beat but all my friends and family were calling me to wish me happy birthday.  I thought it was awesome.  Even people from whom I did not expect a call managed to get in touch with me.  I just think it’s funny…. but you know what, I don’t feel like turning this into something negative.

Right as I was dozing, someone called me with a job offer.  They want to pay me ……………………………………….. Yeah.

It’s a lot of fucking money but I just don’t know.  You know me and money.  I’m a saver, but I’m not greedy and I don’t need a headache just for an extra dollar.  The job sounds intense and I have been saying to myself that I need to get out of this line of work.  I cannot allow myself to be tantalised away from what I truly want to do.  And that is be a vagabond.  It’s not for everyone but it works for me.

At any rate, I told them I’d think about it.  I’m going to Hawaii and I don’t plan on bringing any stress with me.  I’ll call them when I return.  If the job is still there, we’ll see.  If not, then oh well.  You know how I feel about things like that.

So today is Monday.  I woke up still feeling all wonked out but not as a bad as yesterday.  I’m going to take the next few days off running but soon I will get back on it.  The Big One is October and I plan on having a better physical race experience.  I also want to do another half before then.  I have discovered that I think my favourite distance will be the 10 miler.

Thank you everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes.  My birthday month spectacular has been awesome so far.  Next weekend I will be in Hawaii and the weekend after that I will go to King’s Dominion to put a cap on all this awesomeness.

Misadventures of the Village Idiot #75

Birthday weekend celebration #2!

Friday
I am continuing on in my month long celebration of my birthday.  It’s overkill, but you know I love it.  Friday, I had a birthday dinner at Oceanaire.  I almost ended up canceling the whole thing because I didn’t think anybody was going to come, but the four people I really wanted to be there were there, and everybody else, well, that would have just been icing.

I had been dying to eat at Oceanaire for quite some time.  Debonair promised to take me but since I kicked him to the curb there was no chance of that.  I could have gone there alone but that’s not really the sort of place for that.  At any rate, I had a lot of fun.  We ordered everything off the menu plus tons of drinks.  We pretty much shut the place down.  The guy came around and was like, “I hope you don’t have a car in valet because they’re ready to go.”  Uhm, you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here.

It was very good to see CC again, and Miss T.  I saw CC during restaurant week earlier this year, but Miss T, I hadn’t seen her since like New Orleans.  Actually, no, that’s not the true.  There was another time, only I cannot remember.

Saturday
I had so many plans for Saturday but they just went wherever they went.  I was supposed to do some overtime at work.  Yeah, I only did an hour.  I said I was going to run.  No, I didn’t.  Instead me and SF went to Tyson’s and spent all of our disposable income.  I wanted to find a nice outfit for the party.  I bought something but then I ended up not liking it.  I’m going to return it.  I got some shoes for my sister and some other junk.  I really don’t need to be shopping.  It is amazing how much money I have spent in the past few weeks.  My bank account is so sad because of it, but I am enjoying myself.  I’ll tighten up later on, perhaps in July because June is going to be another month where I’m spending a shit load of money.

After shopping I got some pad Thai from Asian One and then went home to relax a little.  We were supposed to go to two parties, but we skipped the first one and headed to the second one later on that night.  We went up to Baltimore for a friend’s party and to watch the fight.  I am passably interested in boxing.  Don’t count on me to know stats or anything like that, but I have seen most of the major fights in the past year or so.  Of course, I was rooting for Pacquiao and he won.

The fight lasted longer than I hoped it would.  The thing is, it was a blessing in disguise.  Even though the fight lasted long and nobody wanted to dance while the fight was on, it helped to bring out the guys.  Last time, my friend’s party had too many women.  Yes, we’re all beautiful but when I go to parties I want to dance with boys, not with girls.  Because of the fight there were a lot more guys.  And another thing I noticed is that there were a lot less TSA people than usual.  I remarked that this was a good thing.  These are no longer TSA-sponsored events.  There were some but not a whole checkpoint as in previous years.

I was very glad to see some old friends.  I’m so happy to see that they are looking well and enjoying life.  I did not see any of the Mean Girls and that’s a good thing.  That’s all dead in the water anyway.  Can we say, “five years ago?”  Yeah.  Five years ago.

I received a compliment later on the evening that really made my day.  Sometimes you have no idea how the smallest thing can make or break you.  I’m going to keep it to myself though.  It’s not really something to be read into, just something to be pleased by and move on.

After the party we went to Double T, or as we like to call it The Butter Factory.  Seven pancakes, four eggs and slices of bacon later it was after 4AM.  Time for these ladies to be in bed.  The thing I hate about staying up late is that I wake up early no matter what.  I was up at 730.  I made myself go into work to get in that overtime.  Then I claimed I was going to run and that didn’t happen.  Instead I came home and slept my life away until Maq called me.

We went out to dinner for mother’s day.  I was so tired I was about to fall asleep in my glass of wine.  I haven’t partied like a rock star in quite some time.

It was a pretty good weekend.

Next weekend is birthday celebration #3.  I have drill.  Ugh.  But then on Sunday I am taking off to run the Maryland Half and then I’m going to brunch with my ladies’ circle.  After that, it’s Hawaii.

Misadventures of the Village Idiot #74

New York, New York!

As part of my month long birthday celebration SF and I decided to hit up the city for a couple of shows and some shopping.  We drove up early Saturday morning and stayed in a hotel in Queens, Best Western Plaza Long Island City. I liked the hotel because it was clean and convenient.  I’ve been doing quite well with Priceline, thankfully landing decent hotels that don’t resemble the Bates Motel.

We got there too early to check in, but we parked the car in their lot and headed two blocks to the F Train. Our first stop was China Town.  I had promised my mother to get her these perfumes she wanted.  Ever since Ronnie’s space was boarded over due to construction I’ve been having trouble finding a reliable guy that I can go to every time.  I did get what I wanted but all this haggling and trying to make sure I don’t get scammed.  Ugh.

It was kinda crowded, but that’s because the weather was absolutely freakin’ perfect.  We didn’t stay too long in China Town.  I got my perfumes and a street meat, and then we headed to the TKTS booth in Times Square.  Normally, the TKTS booth can have a really long line but we seemed to arrive at a decent time that we didn’t have to wait too long.  And thank God because dirty pissy bum was fouling up the air.  We seemed to be standing right in the wind path so we could get a full nostril-full.  Yum.

Before we even got to NY, I was confused and on the fence about which show I wanted to see.  I spent half an afternoon reading reviews and story synopses.  There were many stories I was familiar with:  Chicago, Sister Act, Phantom of the Opera, among others.  But there were quite a few shows I had never heard of:  Catch Me If You Can, Book of Mormon, and so many others.  After scratching off the ones I definitely didn’t want to see I had to ask for opinions because even though I’m familiar with a story that doesn’t mean that Broadway production of it would be any good.  It was like I was researching for a Ph.D. or something.  Seriously.  And the crazy thing is that what I was aiming for we didn’t even see.  Oh, I’m not disappointed because we ended up with something good.

I think I was swayed by the guy voguing in front of the booth.  Or maybe it was the cute little sailor outfits.  Whatever.  I decided that we should see La Cage aux Folles.  I’m happy with my decision because we got half price tickets for the carbaret tables right up front of the stage.  I’ll tell you about the show in a minute.

After purchasing our tickets we headed up to 60th and Lexington for a street fair that I’d heard about. I know these street fairs can be the same everywhere: street meat and other street food, cheap trinkets and other useless junk, but I like stuff like that.  We weren’t trying to spend a whole bunch of money.  We bought some crepes from a guy from Gabon.  He seemed surprised that we know where he his country was located.  He must have had us confused with stupid Americans.  I also bought some cheap ass earrings that will probably turn my ears green.  Hey you know, it’s all in good fun.

I’ve been to NYC many times so I’ve seen my fair share of the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. Now I’m into exploring other neighbourhoods. I had never been to this part of Manhattan. We just wandered around to see what could be seen and enjoyed ourselves on a very sunny and beautiful afternoon.  There was no rush to do anything.  Sometimes you just need to stop and smell the flowers.  Except for SF.  That poor thing.  Her and her allergies.  I think she set a record for number of sneezes in a weekend.  It was at least a million.  Perhaps more.

So about the show.  I had known that the show was in its closing weekend.  That’s too bad because the show was freakin’ awesome.  But we were told that since Priscilla, Queen of the Desert was also a drag show, they probably didn’t want too many drag shows going on at once.  Whatever.  La Cage is definitely something I’d see again.  Basically it was about a gay nightclub owner in France during the 70s.  He and his lover had raised a straight son who was getting married to a girl from an ultra-conservative family.  The son asked his parents if they could pretend to be straight for just one night.  Actually, the son asked his natural father to be straight and invite his drunk, absentee mother back to the house so they could pretend to be one big happy family.  The other father, the super gay father, was asked to leave altogether.  Then they get this cockamamie idea that the super gay father would go masculine.  When the drunk, absentee mother didn’t show up, super gay father decided to dress up like a mother, a la Mrs. Doubtfire.

In between the crazy antics of the family were scenes from the transvestite night club, complete with ultra masculine men dressed up in bikinis and corsets, with high kicks and acrobatics.  Include a dominatrix, some drama queens and men who can do the splits, well, you’re in for a good time.  If you’re easily offended and astonished by gay men loving life, then you should probably sit this one out.  It’s too bad because you’re missing a great show.  I’m glad we saw it before it closed.

Sunday
The next morning, we decided to skip out on the free hotel breakfast. Fake, sliced egg and cold cereal is not my idea of a hearty start, so we asked the front desk guy if there was a diner or something nearby. He pointed us to a bodega. Enter your friendly neighbourhood drug dealer. Look, I don’t want to be stereotypical, but a black guy hanging out on the corner with a bank roll the size of my head is probably up to no good.

I was confused by the bodega.  All of them are so different, and this one didn’t take credit cards.  Strangely, they did allow you to smoke.  You might have missed the sarcasm on that one but there were two people smoking inside the store and a third guy came in to buy a single and he also lit up.  Calvin, the drug dealer, immediately introduced himself to us and offered to buy us anything we wanted.  It was really quite bizarre.  He was like, “Anything you ladies want.” We weren’t at Ruth’s Chris but I still felt odd asking some strange man to buy me a egg biscuit so I declined, but SF was in desperate need of a hot chocolate.  Something that costs a dollar is probably harmless.  That’s when he flashed his bank wad.  100s, 50s, 20s.  I was like… uhm.  Well, thank you for your time.  He was harmless and a little bit funny.  He asked us if we wanted him to show us around the city.  Then when we found out we were from DC, he wanted us to invite him down there for the weekend.  Yeah, we’ll get right on that.  I ended up giving him my phone (thank you, Google Voice) because I always manage to get sucked into such things.  Since he was not creepy or stalkerish I didn’t see any problem in being nice to him for a few minutes.  Sometimes it’s more of a hassle to be a bitch to someone because then they really don’t leave you alone.

Since we still had not eaten, we just decided to go back into Manhattan and find something there. We got sucked into an expensive mediocre breakfast at TQS (or something like that) somewhere in the vicinity of Broadway and 50th. We were trying to stay close to the TKTS booth to get tickets to a matinee show.

The line for matinee tickets wasn’t long at all. It took us about 20 minutes to get through it and get tickets for Avenue Q. Again they were half off and we got seats in the fourth row from the stage. While waiting for the show, we walked down to Herald Square for some shopping. Good thing we decided to walk because we discovered Melissa Cupcakes. They sell these teeny tiny little cupcakes. Mmmm. So delicious. We shopped and loitered on the street for awhile, then walked over to the theatre.

Avenue Q was HILARIOUS!!! I wasn’t sure what to expect because it’s a puppet show, but forget about all that. It was just so funny. I don’t know which I liked better: La Cage or Avenue Q. I think I like them equally just in different ways. I warn you though: Avenue Q is not recommended for kids under 14. Full puppet nudity and such hits as “Everybody’s a Little Bit Racist,” “The Internet Is For Porn,” and “It’s Okay To Be Loud When You’re Making Love.”  The story is about a kid who just graduates college and moves to a slum in Queens.  He meets a girl down the block and falls in love with her, but fucks it up because she wants to get married and he’s looking for purpose.  Enter a one night stand, a puppet who loves porn, a gay couple, and a Jewish-Japanese couple.  It was basically about trying to figure out what you want to do with your life and what happens to you while you’re busy making plans.

After the show we did some more wandering around and ended up walking a huge circle looking for something decent to eat. I am not into chain restaurants like TGIFridays and Red Lobster. We had eaten more than our fair share of street meat. I was desperate for some pad thai, and thanks to my Trip Advisor app, we did find a place: Bangkok House on 8th (or was it 9th?) between … oh, I don’t know anymore, maybe 47th and 48th. It was some street where there were plenty of restaurants: Spanish tapas, Turkish, an Irish pub and a whole gamut of others.

At any rate, the food was excellent, the perfect way to end our trip. We got back on the train after being chased by a guy desperate to give us comedy show tickets. He said, “Do you like to laugh? I’ve got comedy show tickets. Eddie Murphy’s brother.” I replied, “No, I don’t have a sense of humour.” Then he said, “It’s like Schindler’s List.” Uh. Okay. Not sure how that is supposed to be funny.  And how come all the comedy shows in NYC feature a relative of some major comedian? Eddie Murphy’s brother. Tina Fey’s second cousin.

SF and I are headed back later in June to see the Cirque du Soleil show Zarkana.  Then I’m going to bring the kid to see Lion King.

We didn’t get home until almost midnight and then I found out Osama bin Laden was dead.  But that is for another post.

Misadventures of the Village Idiot #73

It turned out to be a rather decent weekend after getting off to a slow start.

Friday
I stayed up all night watching disaster movies.  For whatever reason, I was in the mood for death and destruction.  Even though most of those movies are never that great.  I just like them for their special effects and sheer stupidity.  I stayed up so late on Friday that I had to force myself to get out of bed for my scheduled overtime.

Saturday
It was a messy day.  Raining most of the day, tornado warnings and whatnot.  My dad wanted to go out to eat but after he heard there was a potential for severe storms, he changed his mind.  I did a few hours at the office and then laid in bed most of the day, for some much needed rest.  It’s been a long time since I was able to just lay up in bed and do absolutely nothing.

That evening I was invited to a birthday get together for one of the Lunkheads.  Me and SF went down to DC to this place called Muse Lounge.  It was actually quite fun.  They had merengue and salsa music, so we got our Latin dance on for a little while.  Big Baby Jesus really went all out for his closest friend’s birthday.  We had VIP, champagne, ciroc, drinks out the wazzoo, cupcakes, the whole works.  It was serious.  I think Lunkhead could really care less but he is always really chill about everything.

I liked the place, mainly because it was not overly crowded.  They did not play salsa music all night long, they had a very good mix of reggaeton, euro dance beats and pop music.  Everybody was having a good time.  This is a place where people come to dance.  They are not looking for drama.  They are not standing around staring in each other’s face.  It was funny.  Me and SF went upstairs to the area that had more of a hip-hop theme.  They were all just standing there diddy-boppin’ with their drinks in their hand.  These are people that just want to look at each other.  They don’t want to dance.  They don’t want to party.  We went back downstairs and hung out there.

Sunday
Sunday we went out with the Lunkheads again to brunch at the Front Page in Arlington.  I’ve been to Front Page before, but the one in DC.  It’s pretty much the same, and it’s hard to mess up breakfast food.  They had an omelet station, a waffle station and some other stuff in those tureen things.  We sat in there for three hours, stuffing ourselves, talking about weirdos we met in basic training and our hopes for this deployment.  Everybody is ready to make some changes in their lives.

I got home so late in the afternoon that I really didn’t have time to do much else.  I got a six mile run in and then I crashed out.  I was so drained from those activities that I ended up doing only a half day at work on Monday.  I had other things I needed to accomplish so I guess it all worked itself out.

I also spent the weekend putting some plans together.  I know that I’ve been talking and talking, but the time for talking is over.  It is time for action.  I will not speak on it again until I actually do it and then I can tell you about what I’ve done.

Misadventures of the Village Idiot #72

The weekend got off to a rocky start.  I was desperately ill starting Thursday night.  I left work early to get some rest but I refused to believe I was sick.  I even tried to go out and run six miles.  I drove out to the lake and then I was like, you’re nuts, and turned back around and went home.  I was in bed by 6PM.

Friday
I got up to go to work on Friday and I knew that I wasn’t going to make it.  I called out and stayed in bed for most of the day.  I watched a few of the Netflix movies I had piling up, but for the most part, I was asleep.

Saturday
Saturday morning I meant to get up and make up some hours at the job, but I couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed just yet.  The Lunkheads invited me out with them and at first I was going to cancel because I was still feeling poorly but I hate just laying in bed doing nothing.  I felt better after showering and washing all that sickness away.

We went to the Newseum.  It was lame, but then it wasn’t.  I guess I was not in the mood for something educational.  What is news?  Reading newspapers, watching news reports and listening to news radio programs.  Not in the mood for all that.  It was a giant four floor place with newspapers and TVs with old news reports.  The 9/11 exhibit, the Katrina exhibit and the Berlin Wall exhibit were the only things that really captured my attention.  Everything else was kind of dry.  Especially the room that had drawers full of newspapers going back to the 1500s.  Yeah, I could have done without that.

Instead of actually paying attention to the Civil Rights exhibit, I was tweeting to SF and Maq.  That’s how interesting it was.  Lunkhead got bored before I did, but Big Baby Jesus insisted that we go to each floor and look at every single exhibit.  Yeah…. not really feeling that.  We eventually did talk him out of it, and decided to go on to The Source, this restaurant by Wolfgang Puck.

The place was pretty good.  It’s one of those restaurants where you pay $100 for something that looks like an hors d’oeuvre, that leaves you starving 15 minutes later.  Luckily, it was tapas style so you could keep ordering a bunch of the small plates.  I liked the food and I’d eat there again, but I will make a reservation.  They only seat you at the table by reservation.  Everyone else has to sit at this community high table or at the bar.  We went at a time that it was not crowded but I bet in the dinner hour that place would be packed (it’s small in there) and all those people smashed around a community table with eight mini tapas plates all over the place.  That would get old fast, but you know, that is fine dine for you.  Posh if you can afford it, and a nightmare for the peasantry.

We parted ways after the restaurant, only to meet back up again later that night at the Arlington Cinema’N’Drafthouse.  I had always wanted to go to that place and I’m glad I got the chance. It’s like a place that serves full meals in the movie theatre, not just popcorn and nachos.  We didn’t see a movie, but a comedy show:  Tim Meadows.

Sorry, Tim, you are not funny.  Not funny at all.  I mean, he wasn’t boring.  I did not fall asleep on him and I did get a few laughs, but he wasn’t hysterical.  I did not die laughing.  I would not suggest to my friends to go see him.  We had a good time though.  Sometimes you just need to be out among friends.  It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing.

Sunday
I spent Sunday trying to get my mind right.  I did go into work to make up those hours, and then I was supposed to go hiking afterward.  That was an epic fail.  I drove all the way out to what was supposed to be a sneaker hike only to find a nasty wet bog.  I took one step in the mess and my foot got all wet.  Nah, no thanks.  I went back home.  Then I tried to go running and that was also an epic fail.  I was starving.  So I went home to eat instead.

I ate the leftover oxtails and noodles I had from The Source.  Then I ate some lemon cake I got from the Amish market.  I did go for a walk but that was about it for the rest of the day.  I laid in bed and watched Wall Street 2:  Money Never Sleeps.  It was okay, but I think I wasn’t smart enough to really understand it.  Too bad I don’t have the brains to be an investment banker.  They start out at like $300,000.  Must be fucking nice.

The weekend did not really go as planned, but I guess there is a reason for everything.  I think I am tired of dealing with flaky people and their lame, tried excuses.  I keep saying that it is time to expand my horizons.  I need to stop saying that and actually just do it.

But it’s Monday now and it’s supposed to be 85 degrees today.  I am definitely sneaking out of here a few minutes early so I can get warm.

Misadventures of the Village Idiot #71

Running, hiking, bad fish and a four hour breakfast:  what a weekend!

Friday
The sudden return of unseasonal cold temperatures prompted me to be less active.  I was really looking forward to spring but it seems like winter just won’t quit.  After work, I took my usual nap.  I was supposed to go hang out but I should have known that was going to be bypassed if a better offer came along.  I ended up at the sushi bar, chatting it up with the locals.  I also attempted to go to the movies again but since I had to be up at 430 the next day, I changed my mind.

Saturday
Saturday was a very long day but it was quite fun.  It started at430 in the morning so I could drop Pops off at the airport.  Then I went into work to do make up these hours and log some overtime for my Hawaii trip.

After that, I met up with Lunkhead and SF at Centennial Park for the American Red Cross Out For Blood 5K.  What a race, and I kinda don’t mean that in a good way.  Maybe they did not expect such a large crowd.  There was really no parking for all those people that showed up.  I illegally parked in a handicapped ramp.  Normally I would not consider doing something like that but there was literally no place to put the damn car.  Lunkhead parked in the grass.

First, it was difficult to tell where the start line was.  People were told to go to the top of the hill but then I saw a whole bunch of people at the bottom of the hill.  Then suddenly, everybody started running.  I didn’t hear “Go!” or a “gun” or anything.  We were just running.  I wasn’t even ready, hadn’t set my watch, or fixed my iPod, so I’m running and do all these things at the same time.  Then it was seriously crowded.  I hate when the path is not big enough to accommodate everyone.  You can’t have all these people running down a sidewalk.  Whatever.

The worst of it all was that it was damn cold.  I just don’t have proper winter running gear.  Now that it’s supposed to be getting warmer I guess I won’t bother, but still.  It’s hard to breathe when it’s cold.  My fingers were numb.  Still, despite all of this, I had a very good time of 29:45 (29:17 unofficial).  I hate that they didn’t have chip timing though because it’s not really accurate.  Whatever.  I’ll stop complaining.

We didn’t do breakfast because everyone had to dash out.  Instead I met up with my hiking club for a nice hike through Savage Park, a place that is quite literally around the corner from my house and heretofore I had never known existed.  I did 9.5 miles, and I am starting to think that I need to take these hikes just as seriously as I do running.  I don’t prepare for the hikes.  I don’t stretch.  I don’t do anything.  I just start walking, but when you are walking 9, 10, 12 miles, you need to do that stuff.  My knee was hurting after the hike and that is affecting my runs.

I laid up with some Chinese food for the rest of the afternoon so I could refresh for that evening’s activities.  Maq wanted to find a lounge, and since I do not really know places to hang out I had to text/email everyone I knew for a reputable place.  Big Baby Jesus ended up helping us out by recommending this placed called Indulj.

SF came along with her friend Shakara (I hope I spelt her name right).  At any rate, despite everything I had a good time and I’d go back again whenever I am in the mood for lounge activities.  The bad part is that it’s in U Street, which means no parking but I was smart by going down there very early before places started to get packed.  Because of Blockhead’s connections we were able to get in and get a table without hassle.  The other bad part was that the food was terrible and the drinks were worse.  The wine tasted as if it had been sitting out for weeks.  It was at the point where it was almost vinegar.  What does vinegar make you do when you ingest too much of it?  Yeah, after some cold fish that didn’t seem cooked all the way.

Why did I eat it?  Because I was slightly tipsy and not in my right mind.  Directly after eating the fish I started to feel ill, which isn’t great when you are already slightly inebriated.  I felt so terrible.  Yes, I know I am a lightweight when it comes to drink but two glasses of wine does not make me throw up.  I hated that most of all.

But at any rate, the lounge had a live band that did some jazz/go-go.  Quite normally, I abhor go-go but since this band was gracious enough to only bang away at one set of pots and pans, it wasn’t godawful.  That’s what I hate about go-go music:  the clanging in the background.  Some bands have too much going on that you can’t even hear.  But this band was smart.  One pan and only one person banging on it.  Hahahah.

After the band stopped, we went upstairs.  I would have been content to stay upstairs but I had to hold my heavy ass coat and then it was super crowded and someone spilled their drink on SF.  Time to go.

Sunday
After taking care of business with the porcelain god all night long, I felt so refreshed the next morning.  I was up by 7 and in my office do finish up some more comp time.  Then I woke up Maq and SF and demanded that they go to breakfast with me.  I found it funny that they were both sleepy.  Maq was like, “I can’t take all this partying.”  Partying?  We didn’t even dance and she only had two weak ass drinks.  So dramatic.

We went to Founding Farmers and sat in there for FOUR freakin’ hours, having a smorgasbord.  Pancakes, eggs, english muffins, fresh preserves, for real grits, beignets, caramel sauce, cinnamon infused maple syrup and cups of cocoa and cappuccino.  It was a mess.

I also was finally able to get my money from Wack Ass.  Let’s see if this check is good.  Bitch.

We then drove around for a little while having girl talk before I dropped them off.  I forced myself to get outside for my long run but my knee started hurting again.  I’ve been doing some research and it’s possible I either have runner’s knee or ITBS.  Cant’ figure out which one because I appear to have symptoms of both.  Leave it to me to have some weird new condition that doctors have never heard of.

Not looking forward to next weekend.  Drill.  Ugh.

Misadventures of the Village Idiot #70

As much as I love being social and hanging out with my friends, sometimes you just need some time to yourself to recharge, renew and revitalise.

Friday
I have to say that it was a pretty relaxing weekend spent doing what I want to do.  Since I had done all of my errands on Thursday, I was able to get right into bed for my after work nap on Friday.  The weather promised to be extra nice and it was.  Nearly 75 degrees by the time I got out to Centennial Park.  It was an absolutely perfect day for a run around the lake, and since it was still quite early it wasn’t overly populated, just a few soccer moms and some retirees.

I did about 3 miles in a good paced run, then slowed it down to a walk for my second time around the lake.  I would have been glad to spend the rest of the day out there but too much of anything can be a bad thing.  I headed back home for a quick shower and change, and then decided to get some sushi from Sakura.

I was emailing Deb back and forth all day.  He said he would be very busy this weekend and we probably wouldn’t meet up.  Quite frankly, I was glad.  Three weeks ago I said that I was interested in getting into a relationship, today I’m feeling like I don’t want the bother.  I hate trying to plan things with other people, especially people who are flaky and unreliable.  Not saying that he is flaky, because he isn’t.  I think I feel a certain way about him.  We have a lot in common, which is important to any relationship but I think he brings a lot of baggage that I am not in the mood for.  Plus, he really doesn’t have a stimulating personality.  He’s technically smart but doesn’t lend much to a conversation.  I’m not sure how else I could describe it.  Really, this could be my same syndrome that I do with anything.  When I first get something I like it and then after awhile I get bored with it and find reasons not to like it anymore:  just like I do with apartments.

I think my concerns are warranted though.  You should read these lame ass emails he sends me.  I asked him, “How was your weekend?”  He responds, “It was great.  Thank you for asking.”  He asks, “What are you doing today?”  I tell him what I’m up to.  He says, “I hope your day goes according to plan.”  End of conversation.  Even when we speak face to face our conversations are dry like this.  I thought it was a case of he’s just not that into me but he still keeps calling me, so I don’t know.

Anyway, I sat in the sushi restaurant for awhile and then decided not to go to the movies like I originally planned.  I guess all that fresh air really got to me.  I was so damn tired, plus I planned on going into work early Saturday morning to make up some hours.

Saturday
Well, I never made it into work, which is a testament to how tired I was.  I woke up at 5 and was like, no, I need more sleep.  Six AM.  No, need more sleep.  I had to force myself to get up at 7 because I planned to go on a day hike with my hiking club.  The crazy thing was after I got all ready, I got an email that said the hike was cancelled, right when I was getting back into bed, they sent an email that said the hike was back on.  Make up your fucking mind!

I signed up to hike part of the Appalachian Trail, Crampton’s Gap, Fox Gap, Turner’s Gap and the original Washington Monument.  I was so dumb, when I read the description I thought we were hiking from the country to the city.  I was confused by the Washington Monument part, but then I soon realised there is another Washington Monument, a different one.

Anyway, the hike turned out to be way more than I expected.  The hiking group is pretty good about describing what the hike is about:  how long, the elevation, the terrain, how difficult or easy it might be, and how fast the group plans on going.  Okay, first of all, the hike was described as flat.  For some reason, I thought flat ground, not flat elevation.  The ground was super rocky.  It was so jagged and crooked that my knees and ankles started to hurt after awhile.  Then the bottom of my feet started to hurt from the hardness of the rocks.  I kept accidentally kicking the rocks, and it was so bone jarring I could feel it in my teeth.

The distance was supposed to be 12.3 miles, and that was not a problem for me.  It was the rocks.  The next time I go hiking I have to make sure the terrain is smooth.  I can do dirt, mud, grass, whatever.  The rocks?  No way.  I can even do hills, but not rocks.  Luckily, this group does a wide variety of hikes.  I should have no problem finding a hike that isn’t over a jagged mess of rocks.

But it was actually quite awesome.  I would not describe myself as a nature lover.  I like hiking because of the exercise.  It took us 7 hours to do 12.3 miles, including the breaks we took.

I was assed out tired by the time I got home.  I barely had the strength to boil an egg for dinner.  I had signed up to do a night hike around the monuments to see them under the full moonlight of the supermoon but there was no way in the universe I would have the energy to do that.  Instead I went to bed.

Sunday
I made it into the office to do those extra hours and then I came home to sleep my life away.  I also finished all the Netflix movies I had.  By 3PM I was tired of laying around so I decided to do some exploring.  I went to Lake Elkhorn in Columbia, only I was trying to get to Sewells Pond.  I thought I followed the map correctly but apparently I went left when I should have gone right.  I ended up at Lake Elkhorn, which I did not know existed.  I’m glad I found it because I’ve seen it several times from the highway and I didn’t know what it was.  I like little paths like this.  They are also great places to run, especially in the evening hours.  There are always plenty of people around and it’s easy to mark your miles.

I stayed out there for a few hours and then came home to clean up the house that was become too cluttered for my likes.  I also decided to try out this kebab place that’s in the neighbourhood.  Ugh.  Never again.  It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever eaten.  It was actually okay, but the problem is that the woman was so extraordinarily rude.  There was a customer in front of me who didn’t speak English well.  She was screaming at him that he had to sign his receipt or she wouldn’t get paid.  “You sign.  Sign this, or we don’t get money!”  The guy was clearly confused.  When it was my turn, she took my order with a stony face like I was ordering surgery or something.  Then after I paid, I changed my mind but it was going to be the same price, and I noticed that she was just getting the food from some pre-made pans anyway.

I said, “Can I have the bread instead of the rice?”  She said, “I already made your plate.”  Okay, but you didn’t hand me the food yet.  Can’t you just put the rice back in the pot and give me the bread that’s sitting right there?  Why is that hard?  Then she said, “Why you didn’t say this before?”  Okay, I didn’t know that I wanted bread until I saw how good it looked.  She made such a big deal that I said, “Okay, I’ll just buy some extra bread.”  “Yeah, you pay for it.”  I started to be like, “Bitch, keep your bread,” but you don’t fight rudeness with more rudeness, and besides she still had my food.

When I got home, the food did not look as good as it did in the restaurant.  The lamb was not spicy.  Not even pretend spicy.  I don’t think she gave me spicy lamb.  It was overcooked.   The spinach looked like laundry.  It was not good.  For food that only passable and her shitty ass attitude, I won’t be going back.

I thought about making this a three day weekend, but I think I’ll save that for later on.  It’s going to be dreary and cooler this week, but I’m still going to get something out of it.  I have a lunch date later this week (not with Debonair), so we’ll see how this goes and it’s also time for cherry blossoms.