Archive for April, 2005

An Epic Evening

Baseball returned to DC last night at just before 7pm when President Bush sauntered out to the mound and threw out the first pitch (ball, up and away) to catcher Brian Schneider. The Nats played exceedingly well in front of a packed house at RFK last night (some 45,549 of your closest friends!) and won 5-3. Livan Hernandez pitched 8 1/3 innings, he had a one hit shut out going through 8 innings, then gave a three run homer in the ninth, picking up his first win. Chad Cordero bagged his second save. Vinny Castilla nearly hit for the cycle, picking up a triple, a double and a two-run homer, but then he was plunked by Lance Cormier in the 8th on the first pitch of his fourth at bat. It’s a pity, really, since he just needed the single. Overall, a good time at the ballpark.

Good things:

  • Baseball returns to DC
  • Nats win home opener to take sole possession of first place in the NL East
  • The crowd cheered everybody from the assistant groundskeepers all the way up to Frank Robinson and the starting nine.
  • RFK stayed nice and warm for most of the game
  • Taking Metro to the game worked like a charm
  • Despite heavy volume, the Secret Service did a great job keeping the security lines moving. Perhaps they ought to give a seminar to the TSA.

Bad things:

  • Lines for hotdogs ran upwards of an hour at times.
  • Frequently, they ran out of hotdogs. At a baseball game.
  • Scoreboard crew had a rough night
  • They. ran. out. of. hotdogs.
  • The Metro line at the conclusion of the game could only be considered voluminous. I am told that people are still in line for inbound Orange and Blue line trains.
  • Some fans preternatural devotion to The Wave. Yes, section 440, row 3, seat 8, I am speaking directly toward you.
  • Promising people collectible medallions upon their departure and then failing to have enough to go around. C’mon guys, it’s not like you didn’t know that 45,569 tickets had been sold.

We gave up on the Metro last night, choosing to walk the 2 miles from RFK to Union Station along East Capitol Street and then up Massachussetts Avenue. Cabs were nowhere to be found (hint to cabbies, you will make boatloads of money if you hang out by RFK on home game nights…) and the metro line stretched from the station around the corner and at no point was thinner than 15 people. Buses had to get police escorts through the teeming throngs of people.

But it’s Baseball. Live, in DC.

A special shoutout goes to the person who hung the sign that read:

Dear Angelos,
U Stink.
Signed, Everyone

Room for more

The Washington Post posted a story this afternoon about the influx of people into the greated DC area. 75,000 people moved to the area last year, and a quarter of those folks moved to formerly rural Louden County.

So if you’ve noticed rush hour getting worse over the past year or so, you can take to heart that it’s not just you imagining things. There are indeed increasing numbers of people living, and thus commuting, in DC. I wonder how long the local traffic infrastructure will hold up. Driving downtown is already crazy, and driving in some of the close-in suburbs is quite unpleasant. Metro is reaching ever-higher levels of ridership. Also consider the lack of affordable housing in the area. It’s hard for a single college grad to find an affordable place to live, not to mention an immigrant family. Area governments are going to have a lot to deal with in the near future, and they need to begin planning for growth now.

Washington o-hanami

Inspired by Jim O’Connell’s discussion of wine and cherry blossoms, we picnic’d amongst the cherry trees in Fairlington last night, drinking Frog’s Leap Zinfandel among the pink petal rain, and eating pita with hummus and tzatziki. Sitting in the spring evening, I’m reminded why I love DC: the soft breeze, the dying light of a late sunset behind us, and the soft petal-filled sky above us.

I laid back, hands behind my head, wine glass at my side, and just soaked in the colors of sunset.

Life is always better with good wine, and good company.

Fuzzy Blossom.jpg

Opening Day Roundup

That’s right, it’s my favorite religious holiday today, it’s Opening Day for Baseball here in the District. The last time Washington DC observed such a holiday (because we’re not really baseball fans, right Mr. Angelos?) was during the Johnson administration. Whoa, people, it’s been a while. In fact, it’s been so long, the Washington Post has decided to remind us what’s changed in the city since the last game was played here. Pitching tonight will be Liván Hernandez for the Nationals, and don’t think the team’s not excited to come home! They beat up on the Braves last night for an 11-4 victory that left them Tied for First in the NL East!

Parking lots at RFK open at 3pm today, gates open at 4pm today. While food and bottled water will be allowed into RFK tonight, the following things are not: metal, glass or plastic containers, Backpacks or large bags, large flags or banners, poles and staffs, weapons and illegal substances, fireworks, whistles, video cameras and professional cameras with detachable zoom lenses and tripods.

No word if these restrictions will last beyond tonight.

baseballbaseballbaseball

Even though tomorrow’s home opener for the Nats is sold out, there are still tickets available for the games on Saturday and Sunday. The Nats have some details about the opening weekend festivities, including the Kids’ Opening Day on Sunday in which your lucky offspring will get to run the bases and hug a guy dressed up in a big plush suit.

more horizon broadening

I went to lunch today with the very same coworker with whom I shared my thousand year old egg adventure took me to lunch today at Rosa Mexicano after a client visit.

Alas, I am a lightweight and therefore couldn’t enjoy a pomegranate margarita before heading back to work, but I am also a guacamole snob. Therefore, imagine my delight upon tasting guacamole that had been prepared right in front of me in a big stone bowl with a big wooden spoon. I could have had just the guacamole and chips for lunch and been happy.

Instead I had beef enchiladas with molé poblano sauce. I realize I do not seem like someone with more than a Chi-Chi’s level of familiarity with Mexican cuisine, but is it really necessary to ask me if I know what molé sauce is before agreeing to serve it to me? I realize it has chocolate in it, but I also realize that my lunch will not taste like beef with Hershey’s all over it.

In any case, the guacamole will someday achieve world peace, my chocolate-beef-tortilla entree was excellent, the rice was disappointing, and the black beans were too salty. Considering the rice and beans are served as sort of an afterthought to the entree, not too shabby. Now I have to find out if there are happy hour specials so I can drag my metroblogging peeps out there for margaritas and sangria.

Magic Number: One

That’s right, folks, our Washington Wizards are on the doorstep to the playoffs. Sure, for a long time it was a given, but with the way the last couple of weeks have unfolded, you’d have thought we were watching the Clippers instead of a playoff caliber team! But now, with five games left, the Wiz have captured a winning record for the first time since 1998, and are knocking on the door of the playoffs. Their Magic Number is 1, meaning any Wizards win, or NJ Nets loss will put them squarely into the post-season.

It sure is nice to have a playoff caliber team in town, what with Hockey being defunct, the Nationals being brand new, and the Redskins being managed by Dan Snyder…

Of course, there’s always our other, less well known, far more well decorated soccer team: The DC United. They’ve got 4 MLS championships and are currently defending MLS champions. Playing at RFK, they’ll be sharing the field with the Nationals in an expense arrangement to re-configure the field for their home games, at a cost of $40,000 a pop. Of course, I’d move the field for the reigning league champs, too…

Fear and Loathing in DC

That’s right, New York has it’s 50 Most Loathsome, but somehow in DC, we can only come up with 28 Loathsome people. Dude. 28. I can find 28 Loathsome people, and that’s just in one quarter mile of one lane of Beltway traffic during rush hour!

It’s no surprise that snark is the order of the day in this town, given all the political canoodling, protesting, and amazing bitterness that resides here as part of the “ambience” of the city. Here are some folks that ought to have been on that list:

James Carville – Have you ever seen this guy? Have you ever heard him speak? Brilliant, but oh so very loathsome.

Mary Matalin – Hey, they are the most loathsome couple in politics? Who’s the dom and who’s the sub? It’s not even fun to guess.

Abe Pollin – Dude, the guy chased Michael Jordan out of town. That’s pretty loathsome.

The Family Research Council – I feel dirty just writing that.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas – Just ask to see his Long Dong Silver Collection…

Senator Ted Stevens – The guy wants to regulate HBO. Fuck him AND his high horse.

oh, and last but not least…

DCist Art Critic JT Kirkland who seems to think DCist gets about 10 times as much traffic as it actually does.

Damn that snark!

Update: Just a quick update for JT’s benefit, I don’t think you’re the most loathsome person in DC, that honor clearly befits the driver of the Tour Bus who parked his ass on 14th street during rush hour the other day. HE is clearly the most loathsome mofo in DC. You, however, are just loathsome. Oh, and JT, the least you could do is spell my name right. Of course, you are loathsome, I don’t expect much more from you.

Update 2: JT and I are cool now (spelling my name right would be a plus, btw). I no longer find him as loathsome as Stevens, Thomas and Carville. I’m also cool with all of DCist. Jake, however, I am not cool with. So let’s add Jake as an honorary DCasshat instead. Claiming the moral high ground when in fact you possess no ground at all is craptacular, Jake. Don’t treat us as a pity case. We’re your peers, like it or not.

Panda Pregnancy?

The NYTimes today has an atricle which speculates about our very own female panda and whether or not she got pregnant during her three day ovulation last month. The article also explains why there’s any confusion at all.

Also, check out this Nat’l Zoo website which is monitering the situation.

Natural Selection… narrowly avoided.

So there I was, car idling two cars back at a stoplight at Wilson Boulevard and Garfield Street in Arlington. My right turn signal was on, because I was headed to the parking lot next to Hunan One. The light changed, and I moved forward and started my right turn.

Whoosh! As the car started to ease right, a guy on a bicycle zipped past on my right side, narrowly missing an unpleasant meeting with my right front fender. I braked out of reflex and then moved my foot back to the gas to continue the turn, cursing under my breath. I moved further into the turn, and what happened but ANOTHER asshat on a bicycle passed me on the right, this time swerving a little bit to miss my front bumper. It happened so fast I didn’t even have time to honk.

What the hell? If I’d been going just a little bit faster, I’d have squished him and I would have been the bad guy with my big, mean, automobile (an oh-so-intimidating VW Beetle) who ran over that poor, defenseless bicyclist who has the same right to be on the road that I do. Right.

That’s called natural selection, and these asshats barely missed it.

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