Archive for the ‘Favorites’ Category

“Let’s Go Crazy!”

Of course 7 hours later on Friday night I found myself alone, a tad drunk, and walking into another DC institution in search of a cool cola.

Ben’s Chili Bowl rocks for lunch and dinner, but the place really shines in the after-hours. Ben’s packed to the gills, I grabbed a seat with a grinning, near-toothless, old, black man after spotting his arm, adorned with ten or so hospital bracelets, waving me over. I slapped palms with my fellow lost soul and we got to talking. I ordered a soda for each of us and by the time they arrived, the old guy and I were laughing it up.

Ben’s on a late Friday night is my kind of place, music blasting out of the juke-box getting everyone (regardless of walk of life) moving. The smell of grilling half-smokes mixing with cheap perfumes and colognes, the glitz of the Black theater and nite-klub crowds dazzling the inevitable wide-eyed tourists, the homeless toe-tapping and hand-clapping for a hand-out, the rocker kids with chins up showing no fear, and the staff smiling and laughing and making everyone feel at ease. By the end of our talk my toothless friend and I were singing and dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy”, cracking up the four Shaw honeys dancing one booth over, and entertaining just about every one else in our vicinity. At song’s end I finished my cola, gave the ladies a bow, shook hands with Hospital Bracelets, and staggered out the door.

Yeah, late night Ben’s is my kind of place.

Obscurus Epistula

On Friday I spent my day doing research in the Manuscript Room at the Library of Congress. I have done research on various projects at the LOC over the years, using almost every one of the library’s different resources, but this was my first opportunity to access their collection of original manuscripts and letters, and I was very impressed.

Every time I go to the Library of Congress, I leave with renewed awe at the fact that such a wonderful research resource is right here in our backyards. But it wasn’t until Friday that I gained a deeper appreciation of just how awesome this resource is.

The Manuscript Room is where researchers (with a stated reason for being there) get to handle original documents from America’s past. The collections contained within are wide-ranging including “rock stars” of the past to minor league nobodies but all have the air of history about them. The Manuscript Room feels like a protected inner-sanctum where respect for the source material is like religion. Getting the privilege to handle 150 year old letters is every historian’s dream and in the Manuscript Room you get that chance. Of course a lot of the collections are preserved on micro-fiche as well, but the originals are always available for comparison if needed.

I am thrilled to have finally had an excuse to use the Manuscript Room at the Library of Congress and hope to have more reasons to research there in the future. If you are a student of history (professional or amateur) I highly recommend taking a trip down there, it makes for a great afternoon.

National Invite a Vegan to Dinner Month

cok.png not really, just wishful thinking. but the Post’s Sunday Source did have a nice little feature testing out some recipes to see whether they could pass muster with both vegans and omnivores.

my personal favorite dish to please both vegans and omnivores is vegan lasagne. it carries a seal of approval from many omnivores. in honor of National Invite a Vegan to Dinner Month, i shall generously share the recipe with you all after the jump…

Pittsburg and Richmond in San Francisco?

I am trying to get from San Francisco to Berkeley to meet friends for dinner and its getting all pear shaped. I have to take a Pittsburgh train then a Richmond train to get there.

Anyone else find it odd that I need PA and VA on BA to travel in CA?

Horny? Need Porn? To Libraries, Yo!

Bye Bye Porn Police

Say you’re a horny, yet pornography-deprived citizen in the DC Metro area, one who doesn’t have access to an Internet-connected computer at your place of residence or employment, and not lucky enough to work for the FBI Porn Squad.

While you could watch porn on the telly or hunt for your naked picture needs in the two racks of racks downtown, why actually pay for porn? You can porn-surf all you want at local area libraries.

Yes, my fellow sex-starved men, we are free to browse babes for boobs all day long in the District as well as Montgomery and Fairfax counties. DC has recessed computer screens that ensure donkey porn privacy and in Montgomery County, they’ll even give you a “privacy screen” if your boob-watching is too much for other patrons.

Best yet, while Fairfax County forbids the viewing of child pornography and obscene materials, “Libraries are not legally empowered to determine obscenity,” according to Fairfax library spokesperson Lois Kirkpatrick.

Oh, and no worries if two uniformed (yet unarmed) men with baseball caps emblazoned with “Homeland Security” start telling you that the viewing of Internet pornography is forbidden. Those two fools, part of Montgomery County’s Homeland Security Department, cannot enforce obscenity laws. When they tried to last week, they were rebuffed by librarians and real police, leading to this classic passage from the WashPost about the incident:

Later that afternoon, Montgomery County’s chief administrative officer, Bruce Romer, issued a statement calling the incident “unfortunate” and “regrettable” — two words that bureaucrats often deploy when things have gone awry. He said the officers had been reassigned to other duties.

“Reassigned to other duties”, eh? How about something actually to do with “Homeland Security”, like reading our mail.

Texas Hold-Up – Twice!

Ah the humor in it all… After having their previous Texas Hold’em Tournament robbed at gun point, this past week, the same and ever popular NoVA Texas Hold’em Tournament was robbed again.

How could the same game get robbed again, you ask? Oh maybe because of its advertising. Seems they invited the wrong people, or at least too many. To quote the WashPost:

Before the [first] Fairfax robbery, those on the e-mail list, from across Northern Virginia, numbered about 500, the host said. After the robbery, he and others slimmed down the list to the 170 people they most trusted [for this game].

Slimmed down to 170 people. Do you know 170 you would trust to come to your home? Do you even know 170 people?! And if you were robbed the last time you had a poker party, wouldn’t you think twice about having one again?

Or having one at all, as gambling is illegal in NoVA, right? You wouldn’t know it by this great quote:

“We used to have a place where we could play comfortably seven days a week, and that’s been narrowed to two to three times,” said the host

Playing Texas Hold’em seven nights a week? What are you – The Great Zucchini of poker parties?

Dear D-Libs: The photos don’t entice

So I get these emails from Drink Liberally, a remnant of the 2004 election that I went to all of once as the meeting I attended bored me and (sorry Tom) they were at RFD, the most boring pub in town.

Filled with very earnest guys and a few wonky women (none as hot as the ex-Wonkette), talk quickly became way too political and policy for my tastes. As I tried to find a fun group to chat with, I noticed that RFD is essentially a large empty box with walls covered with sports TV. Great if you are a Redskins fan, crap if you hate the mind-suck of TV.

To try and tease more folks down to their Wednesday night drinks, now at Mark & Orlando’s, they linked to their Flickr account in this week’s email to show off how fun DCDL is. Word to the marketing department, if you’re gonna post photos, make them eye-worthy.

The photo I have here – that’s the best one of the bunch. The rest are even too boring for CSPAN.

Driving in DC today? Take heart….

…for no matter how bad the pre-Xmas trafic is, its way better than in Beirut.

As a legacy of their civil war, where kidnappings from your were common, and car bombs now claim ministers, Beiruties don’t stop for nuttin. Not stop signs, not traffic lights, not even for one-way streets. You read that right, they don’t stop for stop lights. As in when I stopped for a red light the cars behind me honked and those beside me didn

films filmed in dc

to combine my love for movies and dc. thought i’d share some my favorite films filmed here. makes for a good theme for movie night esp if you have some downtime during the holidays.

the post has quick list through 2001 of over 185 films w/ major dc scenes.

a deeper breakdown of dc movies is dc goes to movies where you can find out if your favorite restaurant or street corner’s been in a movie…search by area (e.g., georgetown) then by venue (e.g., the tombs) and list what movies it appeared in (e.g., the exorcist, st. elmo’s fire).

in skimming the list, my favs include (in chronological order):
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde
Bowling for Columbine
Minority Report
The People vs. Larry Flynt
Forrest Gump
True Lies
Quiz Show
The Firm
War of the Roses
The Silence of the Lambs
The Hunt for Red October
Broadcast News
Peggy Sue Got Married
The Godfather Part II
St. Elmo’s Fire
The Exorcist
Dr. Strangelove

RCN Rocks!

So now its been a week since I dumped Comcast for RCN and y’all were right, Comcast Sucks and RCN Rocks. Not only did our cable bill drop by half with RCN’s $60 web & cable special, our OnDemand and cable music actually works.

This is so cool. Now I can watch cable shows & movies when I want, fast forwarding past the crappy bits. Like an easy TiVo. Also, the cable music almost rivals XM Satellite Radio and is great on the surround-sound.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a season of Entourage to catch up on.

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