Tuesday, May 25, 2010

So if you've a date in Constantinople...

Every gal in Constantinople
Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
So if you've a date in Constantinople
She'll be waiting in Istanbul

I met a new friend recently, back around, say, oh, March. hannah's smart, witty, fun and, in general and particular, just a great person to spend time with.

Sadly, the federal government is deporting her tomorrow.

OK, OK, OK, she's not being deported. It only feels like that to me. But she is leaving the country for a while for points in the mysterious East as a representative of the Red, White and Blue.

Istanbul! It even sounds mysterious. And Turkey! ... OK, well, not so mysterious. But still it's the crossroads of East and West, the home of the Hellespont, Troy, two of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and Istanbul, a city that governed not one or two empires, but four.

I wish you the best of luck in your posting hannah, and offer you one of my favorite sentiments as you begin your journey: Fair winds and following seas, my friend.

We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when
But I'm sure we'll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through, just the way you used to do
Till the blue skies chase the dark clouds far away

Friday, May 21, 2010

The final count down (A Friday joke)

Who among us hasn't searched for that perfect parking spot?

The joke:

A cop was patrolling late one night just before midnight in a well-known parking spot. He sees a couple in a car, with the interior light brightly glowing. The cop carefully approaches the car to get a closer look.

As he gets closer, he sees a young man behind the wheel, reading a computer magazine. He immediately notices a pretty young woman in the rear seat, filing her fingernails. Puzzled by this surprising situation, the cop walks to the car and gently raps on the driver's window.
The young man lowers his window, "Uh, yes, Officer?"

The cop says: "What are you doing?"

The young man says: "Well, Officer, I'm reading a magazine.."

Pointing towards the young woman in the back seat the cop says, "And her, what is she doing?"

The young man shrugs: "Sir, I believe she's filing her fingernails."

Now, the cop is totally confused. A young couple, alone, in a car, at night on a lover's lane ... and nothing freaky is happening!

The cop asks, "How old are you, young man?"

The young man says, "I'm 22, sir."

The cop asks: "And her ... how old is she?"

The young man looks at his watch and replies: "She'll be 18 in 11 minutes."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Caution: Bikes ahead!

As I was casually clicking around the Web yesterday, I found a link to this:

The 2010 Bike D.C. ride. All in all it's a 19-mile tour of some of the best sights in D.C. and Arlington. According to the website:
"The 19-mile Bike DC ride starts on America's Main Street-Pennsylvania Avenue-with the U.S. Capitol as the backdrop. On the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, of course, is the White House, the first of the national treasures along the route. Others include the Marine Corps [War] Memorial, Arlington Cemetery and the Air Force Memorial.*"

The ride doesn't just go around D.C., it also goes over into Arlington and up the GW Parkway to Fort Marcy Park (just past Chain Bridge), turns around and ends up in Crystal City (click here for the route). Sounds like fun to me. And, since I just got this:**

I think I might sign up and tag along. Anyone else feel up for a ride?
The details:
Day: Sunday, May 23
Time: Start time is 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m
Location: Pennsylvania Ave. between 7th and 14th
Registration info: here
One other thing, if four or more adults sign up together, they all get a $10 discount. Anyone want to start a group?
*Otherwise known as the "Wolverine" or "Standing Rib Roast" memorial.
**No, I didn't just buy a bike, I just bought a new bike. Ever since I realized running was quickly turning my knees to dust biking has been my major form of exercise.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy 52nd!!

You ever have one of those "Did I leave the oven on?" thoughts?

Nagging at the back corner of my mind today was the thought "There's something I should be remembering." This, of course, did me little good because the same entity telling me I need to remember something was the same one forgetting what it is I was suppose to be remembering.

Thankfully, I've remembered.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

While it may not be a good reason for forgetting, I at least have one. My mom died coming up on nine years ago, and I've gone back and forth each year on the question of whether or not to call my dad. This year's easy, he's out of town and doesn't answer his cell. Ever. He only makes calls from it. So, I don't have to worry about that.

The question is this: What's the protocol on remembering/recognizing birthdays and anniversaries of people who've died? Especially anniversaries where one of the people is still alive and ticking?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Random threats of violence

Waiting for the bus the morn and a woman walks up and begins waiting near me.

Enter another woman walking what looked to be two shih tzus or some other similar small dog. They pause near us as one of the dogs investigates something in the nearby grass.

The first woman turns, looks at me, looks at the other woman, looks at the dogs and says, "You better get your dogs out of my face or I'm going to kick them."

A flat statement of intent. I'm thinking maybe she knows the dog walker and is joking around.

"What?" asked the shocked dog walker. I guess not.

"Get your dogs out of my face or I'm going to kick them."

"Why would you do something like that?"

Evil stare from first woman.

Dog walker moves along with laser-beam eyes boring into her back and the backs of her cute little dogs. While generally not a fan of cute little dogs that can't defend themselves or protect me in my time of need, one of my best friends once had shih tzu named Scottie. They get a bye.

I'm forced to wonder, what is it that could inspire someone to such thoughts and threats so, so early in the morning? Everyone's entitled to a bad day now and then, but seriously? Kick a dog? Kick a shih tzu? At least threaten to do it to a dog that has a sporting chance against you like a rottie or a boxer or...I don't know, a mastiff?

What's the strangest thing you've heard lately during your morning commute?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fingernails + chalkboard = today

Came into work this morning all ready to play my part in the safeguarding of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Not to go into too many details, but I work for an organization that has its headquarters in a uniquely shaped non-square building near a river.

Yeah, my morning bliss - enhanced by a nice bike ride last evening followed by a good night's sleep last night - came to a screeching halt a little before 8:30 when a co-worker stopped in the door to my office and asked, "You going this morning?"

"Going to what?"

"The orientation..."

"...Oh, damn."

I got the email about the "new employee" orientation a couple of weeks ago and promptly put it out of my mind. Why do that? Well, the answer's simple: I may be new with my current employer, but I've worked in my office for the past four years as a contractor. In this organization, that makes me an old-timer.

Basically, I have to sit through six hours of briefings on shit I already know during the next two days (10 to 1 today and 1 to 4 tomorrow).

Could be worse. The guy who reminded me of the orientation? Well, he's been working here for 11 years but, like me, due to a recent change in employers, he too has to go. I'm pretty sure he's the one who made the orientation briefing slides.

Hope I don't snore.

Excuse me while I go drive a couple of spikes through my skull.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Divinely inspired humor

It's been said everyone needs to have a goal. My nephew's in town this weekend and the boy, who's 12, has a goal and it's a good one. His goal, you ask, well, he wants to see a baseball game in every major league park. So far I think he's seen the Yankees - both old and new Yankee Stadium - the Mets - Shea and Citi Field - (care to guess where he lives?) and, I think, the Red Sox and the Cubs. Tomorrow, he gets to add Nationals Park to his list. Considering how much it cost, I think we got a pretty good ballpark out of the deal.

I talked to my sister last night and she said he's really looking forward to the game, as am I. It's the first game of the year for me, and that's always something special. Especially since the Nats are approaching mediocrity.

Changing the subject, it's been a while since we've had a Friday joke, so here's one I recently came across. All periods of time stated in this joke are approximations.

God was missing for six days.

On the seventh day, Michael, the archangel, found him - resting. He inquired, “Where have you been?”

God smiled deeply and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, “Look, Michael. Look what I have made.”

Archangel Michael looked puzzled, and said, “What is it?”

“It’s a planet,” replied God, “and I've put life on it. I’m going to call it Earth and it’s going to be a place to test Balance.”

“Balance?” inquired Michael, “I’m confused.”

God explained, pointing to different parts of Earth, “For example,” he said, “northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, while southern Europe is going to be poor. Over here I’ve placed a continent of white people, and over there is a continent of black people. Balance in all things.”

God continued pointing to different countries. “This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be very cold and covered in ice.”

The Archangel, impressed by God’s work (and kissing up to the boss a bit) then pointed to a land area and asked, “What's that one?”

“That's Virginia, the most glorious place on earth,” God said. “There are beautiful mountains, ocean, rivers and streams, lakes, forests, hills and plains. The people from Virginia are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent, and humorous and they are going to travel the world. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking, high achieving, carriers of peace and producers of good things.”

Michael gasped in wonder and admiration, but then asked, “But what about balance, God? You said there would be balance.”

God smiled, “Right next to Virginia is Washington, D.C. Wait’ll you see the idiots I put there.”

Oh, c'mon, like you didn't see that one coming. Joke 'em if they can't take a fuck, I say. Have a great weekend.

Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Disclosure: I really have no idea who the hell Lady Gaga is. Don't listen to her music and couldn't pick her out of a line-up. Yep, that's how little I care about her and her art.

Apparently, though, this remake of her "Telephone" video has been going a bit, what's that term? Oh yes: Viral. It was done by a couple of soldiers in Afghanistan and, according to this article, the Army's pretty OK with it.

The funniest part, of both the video and the article? The N&O's description of Sgt. Aaron Melcher, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division:

"Lady Gaga's version of the video features scenes in a women's prison and behavior that would clearly violate the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The biggest offense in the tamer paratrooper remake, though, is a skimpy, vaguely bikini-like outfit crafted of straps that Melcher flaunts while imitating a Lady Gaga outfit made of nothing but crime-scene tape.

"Gaga is slender. Sgt. Melcher is many things, including enthusiastic and energetic. He is not, however, slender."

I'm guessing he won't be wearing that come the next uniform inspection. At least I hope not.

While I'm not ready to compare soldiers to Marines, this video does recall a comment Eleanor Roosevelt made after touring the Marines' South Pacific bases during World War II. Mrs. Roosevelt, never a fan of the Marines, is said to have responded when asked her opinion of the Marines: "The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps."

I can live with that.

Soldier, sailor, airman, Coastie or Marine, these guys and others like them are halfway around the world doing a job most of us can't imagine and don't even want to. When they got a break they took a few minutes to relax and made something funny and creative that will, amazingly enough, last pretty much forever. Think about what it takes to keep your sense of humor in a place like that. Now try complaining about traffic, the weather, your boss ...

Well, phone's ringing, gotta go.