I Got Five on It Friday – Volume IV

31 October 2008

Five Favorite Words the Blogosphere Has Taught Me

  1. e-Panties
  2. Sextroverted – if you need me to define this, it doesn’t apply to you
  3. Metrmorons – indicative of the particular brand of stupid that afflicts certain people riding the Metro
  4. Procrastantives – blogs we read when we really should be working
  5. MutliSlacking – the art of performing multiple slacker activities at the same time


Five Favorite Search Engine Terms That Have Led People to My Little Slice of the Internet

  1. Right behind me with my pants around my ankles
  2. How to communicate with the uneducated
  3. Why dumb women are better than crazy women
  4. How to talk yourself out of getting laid
  5. My boyfriend is an emotional cripple


Five Things I Wish I could Do

  1. The Sunday NY Times Crossword
  2. Sing – I can’t carry a note with the help of forklift
  3. Draw better than the average kindergartener
  4. Beat Tony, my favorite homeless person, at chess
  5. Throw a Frisbee with any degree of accuracy


Five Things That Make My Life Better on a Daily Basis

  1. NPR
  2. French Press coffee
  3. Morning meditation
  4. A good cigar
  5. Leaving the stereo playing a song that I want in my head as I walk out the door


Five Favorite Song Lyrics

  1. I could sit and hear you talk about nothing just to watch your lips moveNikki & Ira Gonzales, from their first Album
  2. And when you stand before the candles on a cake, oh let me be the one to hear the silent wish you make – Alan & Marilyn Bergman lyrics; performed by numerous jazz vocalists but the Chris Botti / Sting duet is my favorite
  3. Ain’t nothing worse than rejection, I’d feel a little better if you slapped my face – 777-9311, written and produced by Prince, vocals by Morris Day of the Time
  4. The girls I knew had sad and sullen gray faces / With distant gay traces / That used to be there you could see where they’d been washed away / By too many through the day… / Twelve o’clock tales. – written by Billy Strahorn, performed by many but the only version you ever need to hear is the Coltrane & Johnny Hartman duet
  5. The new girl at the counter was cute, not as fine as me / Was this some kind of women’s intuition, some kind of insecurity / Nah, cause my man is happy at home lovin’ me exclusively / So I shook my head, “What’s up?”  / “Hello,” she smiled as she rung me up / Orange juice $3.29, Croissants $4.85 / She sniffed, Butter 89 cents / She sniffed, Strawberries $1.50 a pint / She sniffed, and sniffed, and sniffed, and sniffed again 
    And then replied, “Raheem, right?” / Right!?! 
    - Jill Scott, Exclusively, from the album Who Is Jill Scott?: Words and Sounds, Vol. 1 


Five Types of People I Think Belong on an Island unto Themselves

  1. People who sit on their horn in a traffic jam – yes, that noise is surely going to make all cars clear a path for you
  2. People who wait until they are at the counter of a coffee shop before deciding what they want – seriously?  Like you couldn’t have used the five minutes in the queue to decide to get the same fucking drink you always get?
  3. People who use the word “literally” inappropriately
  4. People who are under the delusion that snapping of fingers is an appropriate way to get a bartender’s attention
  5. People who want to have a beer with their president



Five Things I hope to Do This Weekend

  1. Go to sleep before 3am
  2. Avoid referencing Halloween as the holiday “that encourages/allows women to embrace their inner whore” more than twice
  3. Write a letter – actually drag a pen across paper to communicate
  4. Write a letter to the editor regarding how impossibly stupid it is that we trust the internet with the entirety of our nation’s financial system, yet online voting is somehow beyond our grasp
  5. Help Barack Obama win the state of Virginia



Inspired by my Favorite Blonde, Final Words I would use as my safe word

  1. Xenobiotic
  2. Longhorn
  3. Cioppinio
  4. Orangutan
  5. Cashmere
  6. Kaleidoscope

The Refugee Plays Bookie

29 October 2008

Inspired by the last line of this post from my new virtual friend from the Back Bay wherein she wonders if her date from an on-line dating site will be “wayyyy uglier than in his pics,” I am opening the world’s first gambling window for online dating. All bets must be placed at least 12 hours before the date.

The Current Lines/Odds:

Woman Dating a Man:
He is uglier than Pictures – 3 to 4
He is shorter than he claims – 2 to 1
Over/Under on the height difference – 1.5 inches
He is only capable of being funny in print – 3 to 1
He is actually married or otherwise coupled 4 to 1
He asks you to split the check – 6 to 5 and pick em’
If he is wearing a hat in at least one of his pictures, he has a severely receding hairline not reflected in other pictures – 3 to 1
If anywhere in his profile he indicates that he “looks younger than his age”, he is at least five years older than he told you – 3 to 1
Virtual chemistry doesn’t translate to actual chemistry even if physical is there – 4 to 1
That he will be late – 2 to 1
That he swallowed the person in his pictures (the camera lost a 100+ pounds) – 8 to 1
If any of his messages contained text message speak, that he will verbalize “LOL” at least once – 6 to 1
That he will be wearing khakis – 4 to 5 (applies only to city dates, please email for the line on suburban dates)
Will try to get into your pants on the first night – the betting is closed.

Man Dating a Woman:
She is uglier than her pictures – 2 to 1
She had at least one shot of booze before you got there to go through with it 4 to 1
That she has a friend/safety valve calling after 30 minutes – 3 to 4
That she has already named at least one of your future children – 3 to 1
You asked for drinks and she changed it to coffee, the chances of actual chemistry – 7 to 1
All of her pictures are facial close-ups or shot with her standing to the side, the chances that she is substantially larger than you think – 3 to 4
She will be late – 4 to 1
That she would prefer to have gone some place besides the place you suggested – 2 to 1
That she is a closeted vegan teetotaler (oh, wait that’s only happens to me) – 100 to 1
That she actually remembered her sick aunt in the hospital after minute 15 – the betting is closed

Post Requiem on Thoughts of Woman Past

28 October 2008

The thought invaded my head with a surge of force.  It was divorced from logic – we ended thrice and with better reasoning each time.  Yet there was this picture kaleidoscoping through my mind on a five minute loop.  I was grateful for each reprieve when I would regain control of my brain and function for 300 seconds before the same picture of her would return.

I tried to spin it into prose; to will the picture from my head by drawing it with words – they wouldn’t come; but the image would.  Returning with the beat of the slowest metronome I’ve ever known.


“Light me a cigarette and pour me a drink” AB said by way of salutation.  She was dressed like a great 1960s cliché – slightly shimmering grey ¾ trench, black seam symmetry running up the back of her legs, and strappy black pumps. 

She followed me into the kitchen closing the door behind her.  I pulled a bottle of wine from the rack and AB walked closer to me than needed to get glasses.  I poured wine and she gave me the classic glance-up-look-down-glance-up move.  If I had super powers of resistance, this was kryptonite in a gaze.

“May I take your coat” I offered by way of attempting to change the subject we weren’t discussing. 

“I’ll keep it – not sure how long I’ll be staying.”

AB moved deliberately into the living room, striking heel toe against hardwood with precision.  I didn’t need the sound effects; the shoes had already garnered attention.  I watched her, just as she wanted me to do, cross the room, pivot, settle into my chair – the big man chair – in the corner, and cross her legs.  I followed AB to open the window and light her cigarette before sitting on the opposite couch –  wasted movement as I would need to rise to pour her more wine as she had finished the drams I had poured already.

This was everything I had learned in the brief history with AB distilled into a glass with all of the complexity of the wine we now sipped.  At once possessed with unassailable confidence and betrayed by doubt, a glint of guardedness in her eye but permissive in tone, she was easily read but as understood as a Cornell West dissertation.

Bluntness was a dangerous proposition here – it was equally likely to progress or end a conversation – but I risked it anyway.  “Why are you here, AB?”

“What do you mean?” she replied despite fully knowing the answer.

“I mean – we’ve danced this dance before.  Each time the music ends we swear it’s the last time; but here you are knocking on my door on a rainy Monday night.  What do you want?”

AB and I have had a couple of arguments and they both ended with her issuing a sensual olive branch.  She skipped the argument, the defensive posture and did the heal-toe walk to stand before me.  She bent slightly to uncross my legs and position herself between them.  She stood there for a minute – allowing the inches separating us to shrink by gravitational pull – before extending her arms down my shoulder blades.  I drew a breath deeper than most in preparation to say something – exactly what words I am unsure or have since placed them in an unreachable part of my memory – when she preempted me with a whispered command to “stop over-thinking.”

Searching for perspective and a slightly more safe space, I leaned back into the couch.  The third track on the Thomas Crowne Affair soundtrack, Sinnerman, had just started to play as AB loosened the belt knot on her grey ¾ trench.  Her coat opened enough to show me a vertical stripe of lacy black bra, matching panties, garter belt, and smooth skin. 

I’d never felt a stronger physical attraction to her than this moment.  Her attire was sexy, but her method even sexier.  Following the not-thinking admonition, I let my hands reach for her at the spot where thighs met stockings.  She let me stay there for long enough to enjoy knowledge of the thigh-highs.  AB leaned me back into the couch and braced herself against my thighs as she kneeled down.

Never breaking eye contact, she unzipped my trousers and searched for a firm grip before releasing me.  We were locked in a staring contest though I am not sure why.  AB traced my cock between her left thumb and fore finger until she had its full attention while she used her right hand to keep me firmly pressed to the couch.  She placed her mouth close enough for me to feel the heat of her exhaling onto me, and with one final look took me into her mouth.  She used her whole body in the effort – heaving her bosom against my legs, left hand preceding her mouth in motion and right moving from my chest to my torso and back again.

Nina Simone is still singing – disapprovingly in my mind – in the background as I opened my eyes to find AB looking at me.  I didn’t know if she was enjoying her mouth or her power over me more.  I am not sure I cared.

I tensed inside of her and AB allowed the only words since “what do you mean” to escape her lips.  “Yes” she said lustily and repeated twice more for effect before she willed me to explode.  She drank thirstily until I was spent.

She pushed herself prone and away from me.

“Thanks for the wine” she said as she heel-toed towards the door, tying her coat as she went.

DMV – an Unwitting Coconspirator in Delayed Torture

27 October 2008

I was three weeks overdue for renewal of my driver’s license – not a huge deal as I haven’t owned a car since 2002 – and Thursday was my day to submit to the vagaries of DMV.  My strategy for dealing with this perennially pilloried municipal agency has always been: arrive late in the day and hope that you have missed all of the post lunch crowds.

The DMV office in Georgetown was staffed with a full cadre of the expected – less than friendly, less than helpful – including the woman who saw me looking about the room uncertain where the queue began.  There was no one at her counter when she instructed me to “wait behind that line,” a barely visible stripe of green painted on the floor.  After I positioned myself behind the line, this woman pauses for a beat and then chirps out a “next” without a sliver of humor or hint of irony.

Don’t you ever get tired of being a cliché was the question that was caught by my brain-mouth filter. 

Twenty minutes later an animatronic voice announced “Now serving Restaurant Refugee at window number Eight.” 

The woman behind the desk at Window Number Eight was slightly friendlier than the woman at the information counter.  She confirmed my details and then flatly stated “you have $2,067 in unpaid fees – how would you like to pay for that?”

Confident a mistake or computer glitch was at hand, I smiled slightly as I said “that doesn’t seem possible, ma’am; I haven’t owned a car in over six years. I renewed my driver’s license in 2004 and there were no unpaid fines then.”

“We’ve integrated a new computer system in the last couple of years so the tickets might not have popped the last time you renewed.  I’ll print them out for you.”

Two pages of evidence weighed heavily in my hands.  I recognized the plate number immediately; it was for my car – my dream car, the car that I bought just before I got engaged, the car my now ex-wife hated throughout the marriage, the car that she – just for spite – insisted on being in her pile of settlement property.  In the four months between our separation and the divorce, before the title on the vehicle was transferred to her name, she amassed almost 50 parking tickets.  Expired meters, no parking zones, multiple fines on the same day, yeah, there was intent.  This was a Fuck You bomb with an eight year fuse. 

“Are you alright, sir” the suddenly concerned woman from Window Number Eight asked me.

I just laughed the laugh of a man who knows he’s out of luck, options, and soon to be two grand.

“You take Amex?”

I Got Five on It Friday – Volume III

24 October 2008

Five Albums I would use to explain Hip-Hop to an extraterrestrial:

  1. Raising Hell, 1986, Run DMC
  2. Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, 1992, Pharcyde
  3. Da Chronic, 1992, Dr. Dre and a cast of guest rappers
  4. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, 1988, Public Enemy
  5. Paid in Full, 1987, Eric B & Rakim

Five Restaurants in this country which are on seemingly everyone’s Best of List but I think are overrated*:

  1. The French Laundry
  2. Alinea
  3. Charlie Trotters
  4. Nobu
  5. Any joint owned by Wolfgang Puck – and, yes, The Source, I am especially talking about you.

Five things about a woman I find incredibly sexy but most do not:

  1. A well used library card is hot – really hot.
  2. A well shaped collar bone – I know, I never pretended to be normal
  3. The wearing of a good watch – any good watch besides a Rolex; a Rolex screams new money and pretense.  Extra sexy points awarded in my mind if said watch is a gentleman’s watch and worn well.
  4. A collection of vinyl – records not wardrobe though the latter can be sexy too.
  5. A facility for useless trivia – not that I have any shortage of useless knowledge crammed into my head, but back-up is always welcome

Five truly unconnected thoughts that have crossed my mind lately

  1. The Dodgers should never have left Brooklyn
  2. Drinking a RedBull and anything is a very strong indication that I would not want your company at the bar.
  3. Harry Connick Jr. was at his best when he was trying to be Frank Sinatra; sadly, he sucked at singing as HCJ.
  4. Message in a Bottle is one of my “break glass in case of emergent need to end bad mood” songs.
  5. The brunette who keeps looking over my should (as I am writing this in a bar) is a bit annoying though I admit that I would be less annoyed and more interested if I found her attractive.

Five things I plan to accomplish this weekend

  1. Get laid – totally not within my control, but if I didn’t place it on the list I would be lying.
  2. Pack clothes for the next 10 days – I am suspending my life to go work on the Obama campaign until Election Day.
  3. Write something for the screenplay I am convinced lives inside my head.
  4. Run a five minute mile – I haven’t done it in several years, nor have I tried; but this is the weekend to give it a go.
  5. Use the block of preserved Foie Gras that has been in my refrigerator for three months.
  6. Land a new client – also not within my control, but I am hopeful about a scheduled meeting.

Five things that may seem like luxuries but I will not be cutting from my life and will encourage others not to cut*.

  1. The bi-annual pedicure – while there are plenty of women who have their feet massaged, scrubbed, and generally beautified more often than twice a year, I consider it imperative for gentleman to indulge in this procedure every six months.  I lack the vocabulary to properly articulate the mental benefits of blowing $30 on this.  Gentleman, please just trust me on this.
  2. Not ordering rail drinks – the extra dollar is always worth it – you’ll thank me in the morning.
  3. The Sunday NY Times – 5 bones for a newspaper might seem a bit extravagant, but the NY Times does one thing better than any other newspaper in the world – it’s the NY Times.
  4. Tipping – if you cannot afford to tip well, you cannot afford to dine out, or go for drinks.
  5. Good clothing – it might seem like a good idea to buy inexpensive clothing, but it really does not save money in the log run.

Five political parting thoughts

  1. If you don’t vote, besides sucking an immeasurable amount of ass, you also have no right to complain about any-thing
  2. I have never questioned the patriotism of John McCain, but selecting Sarah Palin to be within a heartbeat from the presidency is a singular act of anti-patriotism.
  3. I have served drinks to many of the candidates for our nation’s highest office.  Despite my ideological differences with him, Ron Paul was by far the coolest among them.
  4. The hypocrisy of Gov. Sarah Palin’s wardrobe is not insignificant and I am quite comfortable issuing that declaration without the passion or prejudice of my political beliefs. 
  5. I miss Adlai Stevenson, the leadership of Lloyd Bentsen, the brilliance of Ted Sorenson’s words, and the John McCain of 2000.



* I have dined at each of these restaurants and found them all lacking in some substantial regard, and at their respective price points, dinner ought to leave me feeling like I had a culinary happy ending and none of them did.

The Govenor Has Too Many Clothes

23 October 2008

It is not often that I allow my little slice of the internet to devolve into political discussions.  I make another exception today for Governor Sarah Palin’s wardrobe.  According to the Associated Press and other sources the McCain-Palin campaign has spent upwards of $150K on the vice-presidential candidate’s wardrobe since her nomination. The blogosphere and most media have busily called the campaign on the obvious hypocrisy of the self-professed Hockey Mom sporting a wardrobe that samck of the left leaning, latte sipping, elite.

The fact of the matter is that I don’t have a problem with a campaign that spends money to make their candidate dress the part of the office s/he seeks.  However, if (god forbid) she wins, is she no longer going to need attire herself in vice-presidential duds?  Clearly that is the campaign’s position as she will be donating the clothes to charity.  Ignore the fact that a woman can look professional for far less money – please ask my single mother sister or any of the millions of working women in this country about this.  Ignore the fact that her clothing budget for three months laps the median US household income more than thrice.  Ignore the fact that Joe-six-pack, Joe-the-Plumber, Hockey Mom’s everywhere, and a host of others don’t shop at Needless Markup.  Ask this question – will she not continue to attire herself in a manner befitting the office? The charity donation can only be perceived as a straw man argument.

This was a public relations disaster and one that GSP’s staff seems to think can be brushed aside because we have more important things to discuss.  They are correct on some level – there are more import things concerning this country, but they need to be handled by people who aren’t hypocrites or those who consistently deflect reasoned criticism by saying “look at the shiny light in the corner.”


p.s. this is what happens when blogging after a few beers while sitting at the bar – grammar corrections, and other stuff to be done in the morning… maybe.

Sunday Interrupted

23 October 2008

I am addicted to the newspaper – especially the Sunday papers.  In a perfect world, I sagaciously read the Washington Post and the NY Times cover to cover and without interruption (unless there is a rather interesting woman with whom I am sharing a bed and the papers and interruption takes the form of sporadic bits of great conversation or kisses) every Sunday.  Most often, however, I read the papers in spurts, finishing towards the end of the evening while watching a game from the stool of a bar.

This past Sunday evening I was breezing through the last pages of the Style & Arts section of the post when I was gobsmacked by a picture. In the middle of the page that is porn for the Cotillion and Sorority set a.k.a. Wedding Announcements, there was an ex-girlfriend’s smile.  The smile that could warm even Dick Cheney’s heart was shown next to her fiancé’s whose details I would not remember. 

At one point in our relationship, I knew with the certainty of my own name that she and I would marry.  We ended for good reasons – reasons that do not reflect well on either of us but especially me – and our fundamental incompatibility was an easy conclusion for us both.  Yet, I sat there taking shallow breaths and stared at her picture for a longer than I should have feeling like I had just received a sucker punch to the soul.

Time plays parlor tricks with memories of all but the most horrific relationships, and time was pulling half dollars from my ear for what was surely too long.

Resistance Wasn’t Quite Futile, but I Have Succumbed To the Tag

21 October 2008

I have resisted every tag to date – mostly because I generally get a bit ornery when asked to conform.  However, my most recent tag came at an opportune moment.  I choose to ignore the structure of the Meme and craft my own questions – some decidedly silly, some intriguing to me, some explanatory.


Name a song you are embarrassed to like:

At the risk of losing all of my musical street cred, I will admit that when I hear Toxic, I cannot resist the urge to bop my head (double entendre intended.)


If you could be interviewed by any journalist (any media,) who would you choose?

Print journalist is an easy call for me.  Maureen Dowd because she writes so beautifully and because of the wicked crush I have.  Television would have been Ed Bradley (R.I.P) because he always seemed to be the coolest and smartest person in the room but carried those characteristics without lording them over you.  I also might have selected Tim Russert just to see if I had the gravitas to handle the toughest interview in the land – I am fairly sure I don’t.  As I am restricting myself to living humans, Bryant Gumball is my choice.  Despite how annoying he can be, there can be little argument that he is a journalist of the highest order.


Shamelessly borrowing from James Lipton, what is your favorite word?



If there is a hell and it were to take the form of you being trapped in a room with four people and one musician’s music playing, name the people and the band/musician.

Rachel Ray

Rush Limbaugh

Paris Hilton

Anyone from the cast of The Hills

This will shock no one: in my private version of hell, Kenny G is on the stereo


Opposite ends of the Bell Curve: name something you do so poorly that you are an outlier to the left and something you do so well that you are an outlier to the right – assume a normal distribution; therefore the outliers represent the worst 2.5% and the best 2.5%

I suck at Advanced Math – don’t let that slightly technical jargon in the question fool you.

I think that I am pretty good at throwing a party


Gimmie a couple truly Pet Peeves – nothing grand like intolerance or people who kick puppies; list something rather trivial that irks you way more than it should.

Sentences that end in prepositions make me want to throw things.

Often times I am not content to ignore calls from people who have blocked their Caller ID and have been known to occasionally remove the offender from my phone book too.


Share a secret: tell everyone in the blogosphere something that might surprise even careful readers of your blog.

I have dealt with Clinical Depression for more than 20 years.  The specific diagnosis is Conditionally Acute Clinical Depression; it is a relapsing-remitting disease.  It is an illness like any other and occasionally requires medical attention from professionals who are trained to treat it.


To those I will be tagging momentarily, feel free to ignore this, and should you choose to respond please do not think that I expect any disclosures as personal as my last one.  It was written – as is this entire teeny slice of the internet – for my benefit.

The seven people I would most like to answer the previous questions are:

Skrinkering Hearts

Who Invented Roses

Me, My Thoughts, and I

Fearless in Toronto


The Foggy Dew

B from It’s Toasted – yeah I know you’re on vacation but consider this a welcome home present; and J, feel free to answer too or for B in his absence.

Again, feel free to ignore – my feelings won’t be hurt – but for now, you’re it.

Fisticuffs on Columbia Road

21 October 2008

Casual man of the people that I am I like riding the bus. Fortunately I usually only ride during the non-rush hour periods – one of the great benefits of not having a regular job  – and have plenty of room when making my way around the city.  One random afternoon last week I didn’t have that luxury and found myself on a crowded  bus during the traditional post-work hour.  My displeasure about being confined so closely to my fellow common man was heightened by sitting next to a member of the Homopolitical Assholesapian species.

HA was blathering to another of his kind using an iPhone – of course he was too cool to have a Blackberry. Over the course of eleven excruciatingly long minutes, I gleaned the name of his lobbying shop, the names of three United States Senators he thinks are assholes, a smattering of House Members who are “dumber than CVS workers*,” their next two duplicitous lobbying efforts, the Political Action Committee that will give then cover. 

As I stood to alight, HA ended his conversation and followed me through the rear exit.  In retrospect, this was clearly a moment to keep my pie hole shuttered, however I saw the words hanging in the air before the brain-mouth filter could catch them.

“Pardon me.  Not for nothing, but in a city where you never know who might be sitting next to you, you might want to be a little more discreet.”  I was really trying to be helpful and I thought my tone reflected it.

His extremely eloquent response: “Fuck you, dude.”

The universe was offering me another opportunity to display my ability to be silent – I rejected it.  “I’m sorry, I was just trying to be helpful and I must have mistaken you for an adult capable of accepting friendly advice.”

I know – I shouldn’t have escalated the situation with an insult – I blame it on the filter.

HA continued to display his mastery of the King’s Language by replying “Yeah, well fuck you and your advice, asshole.”

Another opportunity, another rejection – “You have both the manners and vocabulary of a spoiled toddler who lost his rattle.  When someone offers you advice, they’re probably just trying to help.  Accept it, reject, whatever, but don’t be a dick about it.  You’re the reason people hate DC.”

I knew that I had crossed a line of civility, but the look in his eyes demonstrated how small that line was getting in my rear view mirror.  He threw a right hook towards my jaw.  I leaned away from it but his punch still made some contact.  I threw a left fist squarely at his windpipe. 

The rules of a street fight are simple:

  • Avoid them – that ship was no longer in the harbor
  • A man that can’t stand can’t hurt you – sweep the leg like Cobra Kai
  • A man that can’t breathe can’t fight – especially if your foe has a height advantage, hit him in the neck

HA was on his knees searching for air when the Police Cruiser chirped its siren.

“Gentleman, do we have a problem here?” the MPD officer calmly asked in a tone one can only use if you have gun and the power to strip freedom.

As HA was still not quite able to speak, I answered the officer’s query with my brief synopsis of events.

“I offered this gentleman some friendly advice; he profanely rejected it.  I thought that he needed a manners lesson, and now you’re here.”

“Was that punch the manners lesson?”

“No, the manners lesson came first followed by his punch to my jaw.  My punch was the logical response to his” I replied.

Having reclaimed his voice HA protested “Officer, that man assaulted me; I’m a lawyer and I want him arrested.”

Of course you’re a lawyer I thought but my filter caught it before the words escaped.

Fortunately there was no need for comment as the Officer dead panned “I am sure you are an attorney, sir, but I saw you throw the first punch.  If anyone’s getting steel bracelets today, it’ll be you.”  Turning to me he continued “Would you like to press charges, sir?”

“What, I’d really like is to go get a beer” I replied.

“Well it looks like this silliness is settled then.  You’re going to walk this way, and you’re going to walk that way and both of you are going to think about how stupid it is for grown men to be trading punches in the middle of the sidewalk.”

A piece of friendly advice that I hope we will both accept.


* As obnoxious as I found this publicly shared tirade, the CVS line was damn funny.

Oliver Stone, You Owe Me $10.75 and Two Hours of my Life Back

20 October 2008

In “W”, Mr. Stone succeeded in making a movie that was as intellectually stimulating as a conversation with the title subject.  To be sure there was more nuance in this movie than my opening statement might indicate, but not by much.

The life story of our 43rd president is a fascinating one – former party boy, ultimate frat boy cliché, largely failed businessman turned governor of one of the largest states in the union and ultimately the worst president in history.  It is ripe for serious exploration from an even hand and skilled filmmaker.  Mr. Stone, while some may fairly question the evenness of your hand, you have certainly been a skilled auteur of your craft in the past.  This effort was sloppy from the opening credits through the lazy completion with the screen simply stating “The End.”  It was a good thing that you gave the audience that hint that the misery was over and we could finally leave the theatre because there were no cinematic indications that your movie had reached a conclusion.

I understand the difficulty with crafting a narrative without the aid of the principals to recreate dialogue; however you took excessive and unnecessary dramatic liberties. While many people have made suppositions about the challenged relationship between “Jr.” and his “Poppy,” you allowed this contrivance to consume your movie.  I can ignore the invention of these nicknames, but the notion that a Deputy Chief of Staff would have a seat in the Situation Room is laughable.  I am also unable to suspend disbelief with your timeline which suggests that Jr. and Karl Rove met almost a decade before their actual meeting.

The thing that mostly twisted my knickers was the cruelly dismissive manner in which Condelleza Rice was portrayed.  To be sure, I am not a fan of her politics, but to display this exceedingly accomplished woman as an empty headed sexual object is beyond the pale.  This is a woman who graduated college Phi Beta Kappa at age 19, earned her PhD at 26, was a professor at Stanford before becoming the Provost of the university.  An intellectual bantam weight she is not.  However, in your “factually based” account, she is a giggling pair of legs and little else.

Liberties with the truth aside, this was just a bad movie.  I heard the dialogue in my head before it was spoken on screen, the metaphors were thin, and the complex made simple.

You are a long way from Platoon, Mr. Stone.

The Best Fortune I Have Ever Received From a Cookie

19 October 2008

“You have an unusual equipment for success, use it properly.”

Received on Saturday Night while watching football at the bar with The Professor and The Gamecock – too many punch lines, craft your own joke.

An Open Letter to My Older Self

16 October 2008

Dear Refugee at 50 Years Old,

This is your late 30something self writing to apologize for a few things, explain a few things by way of reminder, and hopefully, to show you just how optimistic I am for you and your life.  R50YO, while I address this letter to you, I openly acknowledge that I write this letter at least in equal measure for myself and all versions of us between you and me.

I apologize for the years we wasted trying to fit amongst the privileged class.  The energies expended trying to disavow the trappings of our lower class upbringing could have been better utilized in so many ways.  It was grade school but even then we should have known better than to lie to ourselves and others.  This led to years of seeking comfort in our own skin and squandered opportunity.  I also apologize for deceptions I created and failed to repudiate before they reach you. 

R50YO, after our horrifically awful attempt at marriage, we have lost the taste for promises and absolutes; so I know you will appreciate the significance of this statement: I promise to not take you for granted again.  You will be a larger factor in my decisions and your welfare and fundamental existence shall be of paramount importance in my major life choices.  R50YO, rest assured I will continue to live, embrace and cherish the moments.  I will continue to collect experiences to store in our memory bank (surely there will come a time when past shall eclipse future and withdrawals will need to be made.)  However, collections will not come without consideration to you.

For the sake of our karma and reputations, I will live more righteously.  For the sake of our physical health, I will exercise more.  For the sake of our relationships, I will be more vulnerable to the subset of my friends who I hope/think will be yours too.  For the sake of your economic health, I will be more careful with my finances.  For the sake of preventing you from being mocked as the 50 year old, twice divorced guy at the bar, I will be more careful in my relationships with women.  For the sake of your intellectual health, I will procrastinate less and read more.  For the sake of your mental health, although I am not sure exactly how, I will take greater responsibility for your happiness.

R50YO, I know that I have some time to get this right and I am slightly impatient.  However I hope to take deliberate and measured steps towards change, and I hope that you will be more patient with me than I have been with myself.


Restaurant Refugee

For Anyone Who Happens to Check-In…

14 October 2008

… during the overnight hours, I am alive and well.  Blogging shall commence on Wednesday.  Thank you to everyone who sent me emails of concern, and to answer a few asked and unasked questions:

  • No, I was not trapped under a mountain of metaphors unable to get up.
  • Yes, I went completely MIA without notice to anyone
  • No, I did not hit the Powerball and disappear to the Caribbean.
  • No, I was not trapped in a well.
  • No, I was not milk carton material.
  • No, unfortunately, I was not kidnapped by a tribe of erudite hotties and made to be their conversation/sex slave.
  • Yes, I was scared of the debauchery that I predicted and LiLu’s Birthday Party to be.  However, I was fully prepared to man-up and drink with the big kids, but life interfered.
  • No, I was not attending a 168 hour Shakespeare Festival but how cool would that be?  (No? Well, it was only a hypothetical reference)
  • No, I did not have drinktual relations with that bottle… Mr. Daniels.
  • Yes, I am flattered and humbled by the emails; and yes, I apologize to friends (real and virtual*) for whom I caused concern.
* counselor you are most certainly in the aforementioned group despite the fact that we have not yet had opportunity for you to share the scotch to which you are always welcome.

Sometimes I belong at the School for Kids Who Don’t Think Good

6 October 2008

In the interest of reciprocity (I have written about the foibles of random guests at restaurants I have run,) I shall now share the dumbest thing I have ever said to a guest.

One evening a party of three arrives for a 7pm reservation. I greet them at the door and notice that one of the gentlemen in the party is visually impaired. I change their table assignment to place them at a table that has the fewest obstacles leading to and from the table. I am very careful to lead him to the table and discreetly let him know that his chair is right in front of him. After everyone is seated, I distribute the menus. I very quietly tell this gent that his water glass is positioned at two o’clock, his wine glass at one o’clock.  

I am congratulating myself for being so Politically Correct and sensitive.  In my final act of helpfulness, I alert this gentleman to the fact that his menu is right in front of him at twelve o’clock. He very wryly replies “I am sure that it is, but I still don’t think it will help me much.”

If You Can’t Write…

2 October 2008

… at least give some advice, a reader wrote to me in an email that expressed sympathy for my recent bout of writers block.  The following are random bits if advice I have collected and dispensed in the last year.

On relationships (uppercase R and lowercase r): Everyone has taken a pill in their lives.  Every medicine has potential side-effects; in conjunction with Doctors, parents, and other parties of authority, the patient has to weigh the severity and likelihood of the side-effects versus the potential medicinal value.  One cannot cut off the end of the pill that is associated with the negative impact; we either choose to swallow the pill whole or not.  People are the same way.  Learn the side-effects of a potential friend, partner, lover, etc. and make a choice – take them whole or not at all.  By the by, learning your own side-effects is a good thing too.

On dating: Dating is akin to a negotiation – getting to the No.  The objective is not to find a life partner, a better objective is to eliminate someone from contention.  Get to the No, get there as quickly as possible.

On Shopping: When in doubt, buy it; almost everything can be returned.

For Gentleman on Understanding Women: Go to the bar, order a pint of beer.  Take a sip.  The sooner we learn that what we know about women wouldn’t fill the rest of that pint glass, the better off we will be.

On Dining Late Night in DC: There is no better food available in DC or the surrounding area than the late-night menu at Cashion’s Eat Place – available Friday and Saturday midnight to 2am.  Should you find yourself hungry after 2am, get yourself to Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse.  Don’t order the steaks.  Do order the clams casino. Do say hello to The Blonde.

On Kissingread me.

On Sports Bars: A good place to watch a game has nothing to do with the jerseys on the walls, autographed whatevers strewn about, or the specials on beer (assuming you want to call Miller Lite beer.)  A good “sports” bar is more about the absence of jackassery amongst patrons, a good TV and a better bartender.

On Reading the Newspaper: Learn the subway fold whether you ride the subway or not.

On Arguments: Usually the first person to yell in an argument is tacitly conceding that their argument lacks merit.

On Poker: If you can’t identify the sheep at the table after two hands, it’s probably you.

On Dancing: If high school boys knew that irrespective of looks knowing how to dance will get them laid at every wedding they attend, lessons would be by wait list only.

On Jokes: It is good to know several good jokes at a party, but it is great to only tell one.

For Gentleman on Buying a Lady a Drink: Repeat after me: buying a woman a drink entitles me to nothing more than the privilege of paying for her drink.

On Gambling at Pool: Never gamble with someone who has a multi-word name (i.e. Uptown Tony, Six Finger Mike, Jersey John)

On Dating: Treating service staff rudely is the reddest of red flags.

For Political Advisors on Prepping an Unprepared Candidate: You can pour a gallon of water into a thimble but when you’re done it will still only hold a thimbleful of water.


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