Friday, January 29, 2010

Week in review: 1/25 - 1/29

Whew! I looked at the Dew this morn and realized it'd been a week since I last wrote something. Can't let that happen again, but it's been a busy week and I seriously just didn't have the time or inclination to write anything beyond what I had to write for work. Anyway, here are some odds and ends and various insights from the week past:
  • Happiness is a short commute. Preferably in my own car. For the past 10 or so years, both here and in Texas, my commute has been about 10 or so minutes and never more than 15 - yes, yes, thank y'all for the catcalls and nasty names. This week, however, I had to go to a conference down at National Harbor which is not that far away, right? Wrong. My commute to the other side of the Potomac went something like this: Leave apartment, wait in the cold for bus, ride bus to Pentagon, wait in the cold station at the Pentagon for train, ride train to Huntington, wait in the cold at Huntington for shuttle bus to NatHar, ride shuttle bus to NatHar. All told, about an hour to go 13 miles. Fuck that and the horse it rode in on. Twice, since I had to do it in reverse at the end of the day. I would much rather have been sitting in my car for that entire hour.
  • The previous realization also redefined my search for a house. How much? I'm not sure, but we'll see in the months ahead.
  • I liked the President's speech on Wednesday. There was a bit of smoke and mirrors, but he addressed some of my biggest concerns (deficit, debt and energy policy), rightfully scolded Congress for its lack of action on anything, took the blame where he should and, in general, set what I think is the right tone for his second year.
  • Speaking of NatHar, the service in their eating establishments hasn't improved any since I last went in May 2009. In fact, I think it's gotten worse. My burger came out wrong, it was undercooked (slightly), the service sucked and, best of all, when I put down a twenty for my $15.56 (or so) bill, the server only brought me four one-dollar bills as change. Now I know and you know that change was probably going to be part of the 10 percent tip he deserved for the shitty service he provided, but wasn't that my decision to make? Technically, he was stealing from me and it took an enormous act of will to even leave to leave another $1 bringing his tip to 9 percent. Am I wrong in this?
  • Seriously, 60 degrees on Wednesday and 10 on Saturday? I generally don't mind the cold but this is fucking ridiculous. Wake me up when spring gets here.

Hope everyone had a good week, can you believe January is almost over already? Seemed like just yesterday I was returning Christmas presents, drinking Champagne with friends on New Years and getting dumped by a text message.

And, since it wouldn't be Friday without a joke here's what's quite possibly the funniest joke I've heard in a very long while:

A minister is checking into a motel and asks the front desk clerk, "I presume the pornography channels in my room are disabled?"

The clerk replies, "No, our pornography is the regular kind you sick fuck."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Top 10 - 2010 edition

Inspired by last week's comments, I put a little thought into it and came up with a new list of the Top 10 Shows in Iraq. While I don't know if they're quite as funny as the ones from last week, I think they're pretty OK. So, without further ado, to the list!

Top 10 shows in Iraq – 2010

10. Dubai Shore
9. American Idolater
8. How I Met Your Mother Even Though She Was Wearing A
7. Project Martyr (Explosive Vest and Belt episode)
6. Two And A Half Men With Two And A Half Hands Among Them
5. Osama’s Modestly Covered Anatomy
4. Steven Segal: Lawman and Target
3. 30
Arbataash Tamuz Street
2. The Big Bang Over Washington, New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Cairo and Tel Aviv Theory

And the Number 1 TV show in Iraq in 2010 is:

1. Survivor – Guantanamo

As you can see, Iraqi television is also following the trend toward reality programing. Such a shame the influence Hollywood has on the world today. Please direct all comments disparaging my character and calling me names to the comments section below.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A year in, Jan. 20, 2010

President Andrew Shepherd: Good. My nervousness exists on... several levels. Number one, and this is in no particular order, I haven't done this in a pretty long time. Number two, uh, any expectations that you might have, given the fact that I'm... you know...
Sydney Ellen Wade: [approaching seductively] The most powerful man in the world?
President Andrew Shepherd: Exactly, thank you. I think it's important you remember that's a political distinction that comes with the office. I mean, if, uh, Eisenhower were here instead of me, he'd be dead by now... and number three...
The American President

A year ago today, as I write this, my butt was planted on my couch watching several hundred thousand people freeze their collective asses off on the Mall while the president was inaugurated. I’d thought about going down – I only live in Arlington and it’s not that far (as I tell all my District-bound friends) – but damn, it was cold that day. Seriously cold. So cold I think the Shoebox Dweller even may have felt a bit of a chill while she was here.

But I digress. In fact, I feel like I've digressed for more than a year now.

I started writing The Foggy Dew back in July 2008, right in the thick of the campaign season. It was one of the first campaigns since the ’98 mid-terms elections in North Carolina where I wasn’t working for a newspaper and I guess I felt…well, a little unfulfilled. Especially after spending the six years in one of the last blue counties in Texas where the politics is meaner than a skillet full of rattlesnakes.

As the man said this day last year, it’s time for a change. Change I can believe in. Now I’m not gonna turn this space into some kind of political blog, I enjoy writing about some of the silly/stupid stuff I come across, posting my pictures and telling the occasional rude or lewd joke. But these are important times for America and there are issues swirling about us we need to talk about so we can find answers we can agree on.

Some questions, like abortion, I’m not going to touch. The sides are so polarized and so hateful toward each other I don’t feel there can ever be a single answer that will satisfy either side even a little.

Others, though, deserve a discussion – health care, for a start, but also government spending and the friggin’ national debt those assholes downtown have run up, gay rights, international relations and trade, energy policy…the list while not endless, is long enough for our purposes (that’s what she said).

What I’d really like is to hear from people about what they’d like to talk about. You know, a little give-and-take, a bit of back-and-forth if you know what I mean. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more eh? It’d be kind of like giving me an assignment, like my editors used to. I enjoyed that because, with almost every story I wrote, I learned something.

Whadda ya say? Anyone feel like a chat?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Old, but still funny

I’ve had a certain e-mail address for what seems like forever. Or at least since I was in college. This means that tucked away in some of the folders are some really old e-mails, some from people whose faces I can barely recollect.

As I was looking around for something in those dusty archives this morning, I came across one my brother sent me way the heck back in the 90s. Back when it was topical. Nov. 20, 1998 to be exact. But you know what? It’s still funny, in a dated, decade-plus old, nostalgic kind of way.

Anyway, for a quick dose of humor to send you on your way for a well-deserved three-day weekend, here are your Friday funnies courtesy of a really old e-mail from my brother.


10. Suddenly Sanctions
9. Buffy the Slayer of American Imperialist Dogs
8. The Brian Benben Bin Laden Show
7. Children Are Forbidden From Saying Anything Darndest
6. The Price is Right if Saddam Says it’s Right
5. Achmed’s Creek
4. Wheel of Fortune and Terror
3. Allah McBeal
2. Mad About Everything

And the number one show in Iraq in the late 1990s was:

1. Husseinfeld

Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Location, location, location

I woke up this past Sunday morning with nothing to do. Not a damn thing. After more than a month of running this way and that for various Christmas parties, Christmas shopping, Christmas this and New Year’s that, it was a bit strange to tell you the truth.

What to do? What to do?

Then I thought, “Today would be a great day to go to some open houses.”

For the past couple of months or so I’ve been on again, off again house hunting, mainly due to changes at work. And, while I’m kinda-sorta in the middle of another work change, I’m settled enough to seriously start looking.

So hither and yon I went with a friend who’s much further into the process than I and we saw some nice places. One in particular in Columbia Heights is sooooo cool it would probably require some type of cool test to live there. A test I would fail miserably, I’m sure.

Another place looked really nice and was a just-completed total renovation and was pretty damn big, but was in an area that is a little eh, sketch. Not sketchy enough to keep me, personally, from living there, but enough to be of a bit of concern. While talking about this place with a friend who’s actually small enough the sketchiness of the area would be a major concern, another issue was brought to the forefront: Money.

Specifically what I’ve come to learn is the gigantic chunk of change the District of Columbia would take out of my pocket in the form of income taxes without actually really giving me anything in return if I were to relocate there. My friend is a current resident of the District, but a former NoVa neighbor who described the difference in services received from her previous and current government thusly: “Arlington really does rock”. This echoes my pretty darn smart youngest brother who last year moved from the Hill to Arlington or, as he called it, “the country.”

After a lot of thought I’m wondering is if the intangibles of living in the city really offset the real, tangible amount of money that ends up in my pocket every month?

In the comments tell me why you think it is or isn't worth it to cross the Rubicon?

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Rob Fleming-Gordon inspired list

John Dillinger was killed behind that theater in a hale of FBI gunfire. And do you know who tipped them off? His fucking girlfriend. All he wanted to do was go to the movies. - Rob Gordon, High Fidelity

There is, apparently, a rash of inconsiderate break-ups going on across our fair land. OK, maybe not a rash, but at least two via text message, and that’s two too many. The other aggrieved party in a text break up was mndmazes who writes “It is what it is”.

She was cool enough to comment on my post and point out it wasn’t just the ladies doing text break-ups, since it’d recently happened to her. My condolences mnd. She’s right, guys are equally inconsiderate and stupid. I won’t even try to make any excuses for myself or the fellow members of my gender. Really, how could I?

From her comment I jumped over to her blog (which is pretty good so take a look) and I left a comment inspiring me to write what you're now reading. What I said there was “Actually caught myself ([Thursday] morning) considering “Hi-Fidelity” as this evening’s entertainment. Either that or a Rob-inspired blog post: “Top 5 songs to send the person who just ditched you via electronic medium”…or something like that.”

Well, that sounded like such good advice I actually did sit down to watch this fine film adaptation of a great book (hence the hierarchy of names in the title of this post). Even though both are actually called “High Fidelity” we won’t let that get in the way. And now I've written the post. So at least I know how to keep promises to myself.

We’re going to shorten the topic to “Top 5 break-up songs” for simplicity, since I don’t know of anyone singing about getting dumped via Facebook, twitter or, as in my case, by text. If you do, please pass them along. So, here we go...

Foggy’s top 5 break up songs
5. You Oughta Know by Alanis Morisette. I’ve always wanted to meet the man, be it Dave Coulier or whoever, who inspired this song and ask him “Dude (it was the 90s, we could still say “dude”), what the fuck did you do to this chick to have her write this song? Really, I wanna know so I can avoid the same mistake. That and take her to the movies. “Would she go down on you in a theater?

4. Du hast by Rammstein. Once listened to this song in a black, Mustang Cobra while going 110 mph in the local lanes of I-270. That little nugget of a memory has nothing to do with a break-up, but it's still a good break-up song. And it's in German.

3. Why Don’t You Get a Job? by The Offspring. This song was on a continuous loop through my head most of Thursday.

2. Song for the Dumped by Ben Folds Five. “Gimme back my black T-shirt…” If I were to add up all the clothes I’ve lost in break-ups, I could probably start my own charity. The one that really hurt was a rugby jersey with the School House skull and crossbones logo.

1. The Heisman by Johnny Quest. A great song from the college years. OK, maybe pre-college years, but not by much.

Any deletions and additions? Tell me in the comments what your favorite break-up/getting dumped song is.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Well, that's a new one...

While I don't normally delve too deeply into my personal life here, what just happened deserves a word or two. Or more.

This, this here is me:

Yep, dumped.

It's not that it hasn't happened before, cause it has, but I've never quite been dumped like I was tonight. But more on that in a minute.

When I got stood up on our first date, albeit on the night before Thanksgiving (but that was her idea), I should have said that's that. But I didn't. I'm a forgiving type who recognized that night was a stretch and, hey, no harm no foul.

We met up the next week (she paid since she'd stood me up) and I decided, hey, she's pretty nice, let's see where this goes. It next went to a Caps game, which she was late for. Anyone seeing a pattern? While I was waiting at RFD she texted to say "sorry, got stuck at the office xmas party, be there as soon as I can." But the idea is to spend time together and get to know each other and we only missed the first period or so.

Fast-forward to Christmas week, right after the big snow. We had plans to meet for dinner, you know, the third-week or so dinner at a place nicer than any you've been to before that you're really looking forward to because, hey, this might be going some place. I was on my way out the door and I got a text saying "just hit an ambulance. Don't think I'm going to make it." We ended up getting together later that night at her place and were just kinda, together. She'd had a rough day and I figured the best thing I could do was be there for her.

Skip ahead to today.

I hadn't seen nor hear hide nor hair of her since New Years Day.

Then I got a text tonight saying, basically, "i don't think it's working." It didn't say that exactly, but that's the gist. While I'm not going to read it again (did that enough already), I've decided not to delete this text manually, but let it quietly, and naturally, expire out of my inbox. Soooo, if I happen to get a bunch of texts over the next couple of days the process will be hastened.

Aside from the staggeringly abrupt end of what I thought was something that might be going interesting places, I have to say seriously? A break-up by fucking text message? What the fuck is that?

What the hell ever happened to common, fucking courtesy? The best you can hope for is for someone to have the guts to face you and tell you how they feel. After that, doing it by phone they have the comfort of not facing you, but they at least have to personally explain to you what's happening.

But a text message? That's just cowardly.