I’ve Got Five on it Friday Volume VII

29 May 2009

Four lies plus one truth = Five

  1. I sucked my thumb until I was in high school
  2. I had to go to summer school after the 8th grade
  3. I rejected an offer to work for AOL in 1994 because I didn’t want the commute
  4. Despite all the trash I have talked/written about Starbucks , I wrote this from one of their locations
  5. My senior prom date stood me up

 

Five things I would do if I won the lottery

  1. Save Screen on the Green
  2. Endow a scholarship chair for students who finish #2 in their class at Princeton, because, according to many on the right, that is not an indicator of intelligence
  3. Fund the introduction of breathalyzer technology on cell phones in America – or at least mine
  4. Provide subsidized transport back to Gotham for all displaced and disgruntled New Yawkers
  5. open a restaurant/lounge with an explicit No Khakis & Polo shirt dress code

Bonus – host a Summer Solstice Party for the ages but I might do that anyway.

 

Speaking of the Solstice – Five Lovely Things About Summer

  1. Linen, linen everywhere and not a thread of wool
  2. Have you tasted the Anderson Valley Summer Solstice Ale?
  3. That perfect moment when the sun retreats  behind the landscape and the horizon is ablaze
  4. Sundresses, sarongs, and the beautifully silken summer legs that accompany them
  5. Maybe, just maybe, people take themselves just a touch less seriously

 

Five Overrated Fads I am Completely Over

  1. Low riding jeans
  2. Molecular Gastronomy – when it comes to food give me soulful over scientific everyday of the week and multiple times on Sundays
  3. Game, the people who espouse it, expect it, embrace it, and the horse they all rode in
  4. Empire waistlines – unless you’re pregnant
  5. Bar “Chefs”

 

Five objectives for the summer

  1. Play more tennis than I did last summer
  2. Avoid the intoxicating lure of the computer
  3. Find my missing pool game
  4. Make the perfect strawberry and basil soup
  5. Rediscover comfort in my own skin

 

Five best pieces of advice I have ever gotten,

  1. 99.5% of all free wedding advice is worth exactly what you pay to receive it
  2. Happiness is never overrated
  3. Candy bars only make you hungrier when you’re starving
  4. Cologne (perfume too) should only be noticeable by those close enough to hear you whisper
  5. It’s impossible to be over-dressed in a room full of the under-dressed

 

Finishing with Five Fill-in the Blanks aka the Mini Meme

  1. _______________ is the new black.
  2. Thunderstorms are ______________________.
  3. Everyman should know how to __________________ and have ____________________ in his closet.
  4. ____________________ is the perfect accessory to a great cup of coffee.
  5. Life is too short to ____________________.

 

Prior Editions:

Not Quite Five on It but I Include It Anyway

The Official Volume I

Also Not Quite a Five on It but I Include It Anyway

Apparently I Don’t Count So Well Because This is Volume III

Volume IV – Just Go with the Wacky Counting

Volume V – In for a Poorly Counted Penny, In for a Miscounted Pound

Volume VI – I suppose I could just correct it at this point, but this is more fun


Given or Earned, Much is Still Expected

24 May 2009

Many of this city’s and this country’s greatest buildings and institutions were created because of philanthropy from a segment of the über rich that acknowledged the responsibility that should accompany great wealth.  Museums, universities, the arts, and countless other strands of our cultural fabric were woven by matrons and patrons who decided that the country needs “X” and they had the means to provide it.

Charitable donations are even more dramatic during times of economic crises.  William Kellogg created the foundation that bears his name during the Depression.  Infamous gangster Al Capone founded a soup kitchen to feed the unemployed of Chicago in 1931 the same year that the Folger family founded their Shakespeare Theatre and Library.  Additional examples of philanthropy during economic turmoil can, and do, fill an entire website.

Given that history, I find it difficult to believe that there is no organization, no individual with the resources, desire, and foresight to rescue Screen on the Green which provided a National Movie Night in America’s Backyard aka the National Mall.  Where is the modern day robber baron who decides that they can survive with a little less cash this summer?  Where is that newly minted gazillionaire who made their fortunes during one of the largest expansions of wealth in this country’s history who will decide that surely they can do the city a solid and keep this institution going?

Adherence to the implied obligations of a social contract not a sufficiently convincing argument, then let me ask some business and pragmatic questions.

Where is the organization which understands the incredible public relations opportunity this presents?  Where is the executive who wants to play hero and reap the kind of publicity that would be worth ten times the amount paid for sponsorship?  Where is the organization that has a troubled relationship with the city and would be really smart to use this as down payment on the debt owed to its residents (given the nearly billion dollars worth of stadium and concessions paid?)  Where is the deep pocketed person who wishes to use this opportunity to tacitly promote their cause or product?

I know that our national and local leaders have larger and more important issues with which to grapple, but where is the Stateswo/man who wishes to use this moment to whisper in the ear of a constituent, or shout from a podium that this is service?  Where is the prominent figure who wishes to say that in the midst of a city that grows increasingly expensive (seemingly by the day,) that a free date night for the nation is a good and useful thing and providing it would be a balm for the collective and economically battered psyche?

Now is the time; this is the moment.  Where are you, wealthy Washingtonians?

 

Edited to Add: the Facebook Page for Save Screen on the Green


Happy, Happy, Happies to Me

21 May 2009

A year ago to the day I cut out this slice of the internet and claimed it as my own.  I wasn’t sure then what I wanted it to be and I am still not sure where exactly I want it to go, however I am grateful for the ride.

Borne of heartbreak, this ride has been more fun than I could have imagined.  Along the way, there have been friends made both real and virtual (and I value you both in equal if different measures,) a contest about the worst date, a literary fantasy or two explored, and a smattering of regrettable moments as well.

I never thought that so many people would clickety-clack their way here on regular, sporadic, or the occasional basis.  I don’t want to appear to be a victim of vainglory, but I thank all of you readers too for making this ride so pleasant. However, I will ask you for an anniversary present nonetheless – I am asking all of you to comment.  Lurkers and regulars alike, I beseech you to leave a comment.


Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame…

19 May 2009

For the record, I am high as a kite as I write this.  I am hopped up on pain killers and under the influence of chemicals for only the second time in my life (besides CH3CH2OH which is also known as booze to you non-science geeks – apparently I feel extra clever when I am high.)  This is the conversation I had with my doctor to get the Percocet:

 

Doctor: So what seems to be the problem?

Refugee: I have been having severe lower back pain, most acute in the morning, since I woke on Sunday.  It eased a bit through the day but returned yesterday and this morning.

Doctor: How severe is it?  Tell me the most painful thing you’ve ever felt and use that pain as a ten and then rate it on a 1-10 scale with a needle stick being 1.

Refugee: In college, I tore my ACL, PCL, and Meniscus playing football.  I’d say that was ten and this is about a seven or eight.

Doctor: Where exactly is the pain?

Refugee: It’s concentrated on the right side but it’s there on the left side too.

Doctor: You said it eased as you went through the day, did you do anything specific to try to make it go away?

Refugee: This is going to sound silly but I went to WebMD.com and they said that most lower back pain can be eased with warm compresses, some stretching and a little movement.  So I tried that and it worked enough for me to continue with my day.

Doctor: Same thing yesterday morning?

Refugee: Yes… well mostly the same thing – stretching, warm compresses and some walking.

Doctor: OK, lay on your stomach and I am going to poke around a bit.  (Starts kneading my back like pizza dough)  Does this hurt?

Refugee: like hell.

Doctor: Did you have any physical activity the night before the pain started?  Lift anything heavy? Play any sports?

Refugee: sort of… I mean not really.

Doctor: I see, so what exactly do you mean by “sort of, not really?”

Refugee: Ummm, there was some physical activity, punctuated by some sleep, and then more activity.

Doctor: OK, so this is a sexual injury?

Refugee: Look, Doc, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a cold fish, but it wasn’t exactly acrobatic either.  I only mention it because… well because I know what can happen when you don’t…

Doctor: …You don’t play tennis for a couple of months and suddenly you do and your muscles get really sore?

Refugee: Exactly

Doctor: and it had been a while?

Refugee: do you have this conversation often, or something?

Doctor: More often than you might think.  So, uhhh, how many sets did you have that night?

Refugee: three, I think and a few the night before too.  But, this doesn’t feel like that kind of injury; and like I said there was nothing overtly acrobatic about it.

Doctor:  You can sit up now.  Here’s the thing, from what you describe, it appears that you tweaked something in your back.  Your injury isn’t skeletal, it’s muscular.  You probably just pulled a muscle.

Refugee: Tweaked it?  Really eight years of med school and you tell me I tweaked it?

Doctor: That’s the term they taught me at the med school in Grenada.

Refugee: I’m going to assume that you’re joking about that Grenada part.

Doctor: Yes I am.  Listen, you’re at the age when the back just starts to get cranky every now and then.  You played football in college, right?

Refugee: Yeah

Doctor: well two things: one, you know that kinda pounding takes a toll on your body; and two, after a long time away from exercise, you know enough to stretch first, right?

Refugee: you want me to stretch before being intimate with a woman?

Doctor: I know it sounds funny, but would you rather do that or have to tell a woman that she Broke You?

Refugee: Funny, that’s what she said.


Things I Would Tweet This Tuesday Were I to Twitter

12 May 2009

What is the appropriate etiquette when crossing paths with someone you have only met online through a dating site?

What’s the best way to respond when seeing a former lover in the lobby of her apartment building in the morning?

Why do some restaurants insist upon serving me cold bricks of butter that are more useful for building tableside forts than buttering bread?

In my closet, there are suits, great suits, and suits to wear when you’re going to run into an ex.  I wore the latter on Friday.

Screen on the Green has been cancelled and this DC summer will not be the same.

Go to Granville Moore’s now – like right now, before Chef Teddy Folkman appears on the Next Food Network Star.

Accidental Irony is 2.6 times funnier than Intentional Irony

Sunday – Funday, nuff said, wish you were there; and to the four siblings from Peoria, it was lovely drinking with you.

Any decent bartender can keep your glass filled; a great bartender keeps your secrets too.  I’ll miss you K.

Three days and counting…

Really what was so outrageous? Smart, literate, interesting, likes art, food, and drink, curious, mature, and gets me: that’s not too much to ask.

I suck at responding to comments and promise to be better.


My Type

8 May 2009

“I don’t think she’s your type, Refugee” were the words that slipped from the lips of one of my favorite women and in reference to MISTY.  OMFW and I were at the tail end of an evening that would have been among the best dates I’ve had in a very long time had it been a date.

“Why is she here; is she stalking you” was her next query.

“It’s kinda my fault she’s here.  I introduced her to this place and I never should have.  I never should have brought her down here because this is my bat-cave and she ain’t Vikki Vale…  But back to your prior question, why do you think she’s not my type?  I mean what do you think my type is?”

“I can say more about what I think it isn’t than what it is.”

OMFW and I continued our conversation for a bit.  She excluded a few women in the room, never acknowledged that the best example of my type looks her in the mirror, but never quite described it.  Thus, I feel the need to provide more clarity to the question of my type.  For the record, my type is:

Blisteringly bright

A brilliant conversationalist

A toe curling kisser

Appreciative of the movies Thomas Crown Affair, Gross Point Blank, Imagine Me & You, and the Lion King

Eats for pure joy rather than sustenance

Bends her elbow, if not on the regular, at least she doesn’t oppose its bending

A lover of some genre of art

Appreciative of all genres as a generalization

An explorer of the world even if the stamps in her passport don’t testify to this fact

Likes holding my hand

Thinks that slow is better than fast, and words hotter than pictures

Takes care with words

Knows how to fight fairly, because the fights will surely come

Tells me why she’s angry or at least admits her anger and tells me that she isn’t ready to discuss it at the moment

Kisses me goodnight even when she’s mad

Takes great care with the people she chooses to be in her life

Has empathy for all people who cross her path

Reads more than the Style section of the newspaper

Is engaged with our world

Dances like no one is watching and loves like she’s never been hurt

At the very least, tolerates my cigar smoking without sanctimony

Makes metaphors and men turn their heads in equal measure

Likes Sundays in bed with Neruda, Coltrane and the Sunday papers

May not understand my particular brand of troubles (which are not particular to me) but understands when they make me tilt at windmills

Did not think that Sarah Palin was remotely qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency

Cleans up well

Is not my ex-wife

A library card is a nice bonus

So is an appreciation for the genius of John Coltrane

Breathes a throaty “Oh my” when she reads this or the things in which I believe just like Annie Savoy

And if all or most of the aforementioned comes wrapped in a package that is easy on the eyes then that is the sundae’s cherry and the needlestack needle.


It Does Happen Often…

7 May 2009

My Favorite Vegan: Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know that sucks for you but can we get back to me now

Refugee (laughing): It’s all about you I suppose

MFV: Well you know I’m a narcissist

Refugee: You think you’re a narcissist?

MFV: Why are you surprised; how long have you known me?

Refugee: I’m not surprised that you’re a narcissist; I’m surprised that you’re that self-aware


As Helpless as a Kitten Up a Tree

4 May 2009

Because there is always room for another acronym in our world, I give you all MISTY or Mistake I Slept with This Year.  It is gender and sexual orientation neutral and can be used in a broad set of instances. 

Married or otherwise entangled – MISTY

Smoking hot but spectacularly dumb – MISTY

Manipulative Kryptonite but you still take the call – MISTY

Left you broke and battered but you thought it was a good idea in the desperate hour of a last call morning – MISTY

Beer goggled error that still drinks at your bar and propositions you for another round of drunken sloppiness – MISTY

I saw my MISTY a few nights ago.  She heaved her massive boobs into my back by way of salutation – I knew she was drunk.  More than most people she does the close talking thing when she has imbibed more than is prudent.  It’s not that she has the typical impaired sense of spatial relations; MISTY just likes it that way.

We had barely dispensed with the pleasantries before she asked the bartender for another drink and declared “Refugee’s buying me that Manhattan.”

I gave the bartender a look that surely conveyed the “Like hell I am” that hung in the air like cartoon dialogue; but just in case it wasn’t clear, I followed it with “Not tonight.”

I am a man of innumerable faults, but a lack of generosity has never been among them.  However, I am not a fan being told when to extend that generosity.

After sucking down that glorious elixir, MISTY grabbed her car keys with her left hand and my ass with her right.  “You coming?”

The same cartoon clouds hung in the air and I repeated the same words in case my look was unclear – “Not tonight; and you really shouldn’t be driving.”

“I’m fine” she protested too much.

“No, you’re really not.  You shouldn’t drive, let me drive you home.”

“Hell no, I’m fine.”

If you ever need an indication that you’ve had too much, responding “hell, no” when someone offers to drive you home is a pretty good clue.  After a few more rounds of largely combative banter, MISTY agreed to let me drive her home, only to change her mind once we reached her car.  I kept trying – really not for MISTY’s sake but for the sake of everyone else on the road – but eventually decided that I had done my good turn and went back to the bar to finish my cigar.

I had barely settled back into my seat and explained to the people next to me that MISTY had changed her mind and wouldn’t let me drive, when she reentered the bar.

“You’re really not coming home with me if I won’t let you drive?”

I wanted to say “I’m not coming home with you unless hell freezes over at exactly this moment” but I opted for the path of least resistance and concurred with her assessment.

She capitulated and I left the bar for the second time that night.  And for the second time that night MISTY changed her mind once we arrived at her car door.  I gave her a version of the Roadside Sobriety Test as I recalled it from the one time I had to take it and what I remember from television.  MISTY failed spectacularly.  Yet she was unmoved in the conviction of her ability to safely navigate the streets.  I surrendered one more time with the knowledge that I had fought the good fight, had a beer and cigar waiting for me at the bar, and added one more reason to the list of why she was a Mistake I Slept with This Year.

 

 

Feel free to tell me about your MISTYs in the comments, and by the by, I will happily buy a beer for anyone who gets the reference from the title of this post.


Lessons from the METRO and Sprint

2 May 2009

Saturday was a whirlwind of activity for me.  It started with a meeting to review a writing project on which I am assisting a friend, moved to a boozefest disguised as a barbeque, smoking more cigars with a friend in town from NYC.  Despite all of the implied and explicitly stated drinking throughout the day, I was very much in command of my faculties when I hoped the subway for the 25 minute ride home about 1am.

Metro had a different plan for me and the amount of time required getting home.  The first train experienced some unannounced malfunction and was off loaded after just two stops.  The replacement train arrived 15 minutes later and an apparently impatient conductor closed the doors before even half the people on the platform could board.  My final chariot home arrived almost twenty minutes later.  Upon boarding, I discovered that I had lost my cell phone somewhere during that odyssey.  I blame METRO for the loss.

My shiny new phone arrived in the mail on Thursday. 

I’ve changed my phone number before as a mechanism for pruning my list of contacts, but I still had the same names, numbers, and potential for trouble stored in my phone.  This time I had to compose an email and consider the people who’s number I wanted to have.  My list was shorter than I thought it would be.

I am sure that I missed a person or three; and I hope that over the course of time those unintentionally slighted people will call me.  The thing that struck me, however, was the degree to which I prefer to be disconnected from this increasingly connected world.  I am not sure if the question is about my space or about the old habit of pushing away those that get too close.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 231 other followers