Sunday, August 31, 2008
For those of you that don't know what I'm talking about, an Irish Goodbye is when you are out with a group of friends doing some drinking and without saying goodbye or letting people know you are leaving, you simply slip out in a drunken haze. At about 2 AM last night, I did said move. But there's more to this story than just the fact that I left. Let me start at the beginning.
I drove down to Greg's place at around noon to pick him and Jesse up. The group we were going with to the concert were primarily Greg's co-workers, so it was in my best interest to travel to the guy's house with Greg, so that I didn't show up and not know anyone. Even attending this concert was a last second thing, planned out on Monday, though the guy putting it together had an extra ticket and had organized a party bus for the trip...my third party bus to Nissan Pavilion in the last month and a half.
It's pretty hot outside and I rapidly switch from my t-shirt into my offensively flashy Hawaiian shirt and wife beater. We play a few games of corn hole at the guy's place, and then the bus arrives. It's a larger bus than the ones I've gotten for the other two shows, resembling a tour bus, and equipped with limo style seats and a bathroom. The bathroom was disgusting and basically was just a glorified bucket, but served us well once we got to the concert, since the bathroom lines were ridiculously long.
The bus's air conditioning was not all that great, so I'm sweating like I'm guilty most of the trip there and shed my Hawaiian shirt and decided to just sport the beater. The bus driver did too (well, he wasn't wearing a Hawaiian shirt), so you can tell how classy this bus was. We make it to the Nissan Pavilion, grab ourselves a parking spot and set up our table for some flip cup. This is where things start to get fuzzy.
We play a bunch of rounds of flip cup, I win the king of the hill flip cup game, and then I make my way over to play some cornhole. Soon it's time for the concert, I'm pretty drunk, and I realized that I never ate dinner. That's never a good thing. The mob to get into the Nissan Pavilion is chaos and Greg's sister and I force our way to a faster moving area and we're the first ones in.
During this exchange, I run into this group of kids (most are around 19, I guess) and one of them is only wearing a coconut bra instead of a shirt. It's a dude, so this is not all that cool. He asks our group if he can borrow a shirt, and when no one offer to help this guy out, so that he can get in (gotta have a shirt I guess), I make the bold call and give him my beater. Now I'm in just a Hawaiian shirt, and the classiness meter is rising. Some girl with their group offers to flash me her tits, and I'm not sure why I said no, but she instead gives me a kiss on the cheek for my effort, and I'm off.
Within five minutes of being inside, I'm lost. I told Greg's sister to go with the group that came in right after us, but Greg, Edwin, Nicole, and Colin are not a part of that group, so I decide to look for them. Instead, I find the bathroom and a margarita. Probably not the wisest decision, but at this point, my brain is not functioning. I call Edwin, who remarkably answers his phone, and locate him, the two hot chicks, and a couple others at the front entrance. They're shocked by the speed with which I've grabbed a margarita, and I begin leading them to find a spot, like I've been here for ages. Well, I guess I was just here on Wednesday.
I find us a spot, the concert is already going on, and I begin dancing about like the typical drunken moron I become at concerts. I lose the Hawaiian shirt (in the sense that I took it off...I actually did lose my sunglasses after putting them down somewhere though...glad it was the cheap pair I bought in Baltimore) and find myself sweating and shirtless for most of the show. I'm all class...we've established this.
The concert ends and we make our way back to the bus. I don't remember any of the ride home, except the fact that Colin decided to find a different way back. When we finally make it back to the guy's place (Crystal City), Edwin is pulling for us to go meet Sean and some others out at a bar. I make the executive decision to give Greg my keys and let him drive my car home, while I go with them. Not sure why I made this move, as I was really drunk, really tired, and in no shape to be going out. Did I also mention that I'm only wearing a Hawaiian shirt with nothing underneath it? I imagine it was my penis doing much of the decision making at this point, as the two hot chicks were going along, and while I don't imagine my dick would have even worked and I am probably talking gibberish instead of spitting some game, they're still nice to look at, right?
So, it's back on the bus and over to some bar, somewhere...I think it was Courthouse area. This entire adventure is a giant blur and most of it is blacked out, but I'm pretty sure we walked into a bar where we re-found Colin and Sean was there too. I hopefully didn't get another drink, but who knows? I think I lost my vision at this point, and when I sat down at the bar, and felt the comfort of sitting, I knew it was time to go. My brain finally made a decision and I couldn't waste time allowing it to forget, so I pulled the Irish Goodbye. I turned and walked right out the door...I'm heading home. On my way out, I ask a waiter where the metro is, and start walking. I find it. And I get on the right train. And I make the switch at Metro Center or Gallery Place, not sure. And then I get on the red line train.
The next thing I remember is going up the escalator at Shady Grove. You see, I don't live near Shady Grove, however. I live by Grosvenor. I guess I fell asleep on the train. I wonder if anyone woke me up and asked me to get off the train? Oh well, now I've got to get down to Rockville from Gaithersburg. Thankfully, I see a taxi and I'm coherent enough to give him directions to my house. I'm home. Thank god. I walk up to my door to go in, and then I realize. I don't have my keys. After flagging down the taxi and checking the backseat, it dawns on me. I gave my keys to Greg. Fuck.
I dig in my planter looking for a spare key. Guess I don't keep one there anymore. Then I try to climb onto my back deck to hopefully go in the door up there...if it's open. I can't do a pull up at this point, and to be honest, this would have likely been a disaster had I even been able to get up there, and then I finally decide I'll walk over to Glen's place. After walking about 100 yards, I'm exhausted and instead decide to call him. Yep, it's 3:30 in the morning and I'm calling my brother to come let me into my house. He actually answers and in 10 minutes or so, he's waking me up on my front steps (yeah, I fell asleep again) and letting me in. And then I woke up this morning, I'm pretty sure I'm still drunk, and now I have to walk down to the metro to take it to Greg's place to get my car.
Gotta love a Jimmy Buffett concert.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Your feedback and personal opinion is always appreciated in the form of comments below, but if it is negative in any way, I will be forced to contact Barrack Obama and ask that he give you the People's Elbow. Seriously, if he did the eyebrow thing at the end of the speech, I would not have been suprised.
And now to football:
1) Cowboys: They still have the most talent in the division on both sides of the ball. I'm interested to see how all these personalities mesh again this season, as that could be their only downfall. Isn't it about time for TO to start bitching?
2) Eagles: Andy Reid is a great coach and a healthy McNabb along with Westbrook should make them good enough to finish second in the division and possibly make a run in a weak NFC Wild Card race.
3) Redskins: There's some definite playmakers on both sides of the ball, but I'm not 100% sold on their ability to put it all together, especially with a new coach and inexperienced quarterback. I expect a tough start to the season, especially with 3 divisional road games, but they'll put it together and finish up strong.
4) Giants: The loss of Umenyiora and retirement of Strahan dramatically changes this team. The NFC East is too strong for them to be the same without them, and while they're still a good team, they're the bottom of the division.
1) Vikings: This division is weak across the board, especially when it comes to QBs. Therefore, I'm going with defenses and the addition of Jared Allen makes the Vikes the best. Add to that a very strong RB duo and offensive line, and I feel pretty confident they'll come out on top.
2) Packers: Aaron Rodgers may surprise some people this season. He's got good people around him and I can't really see that they'd drop that much in the standings as a result of Brett Favre's departure. I figure them to be in the Wild Card mix.
3) Lions: They've got some explosiveness, but their defense is very suspect. They'll be lucky to win 5 games, but I think the Bears will be even worse.
4) Bears: It's shocking how quickly a team can fall. They are basically non-existent on offense and you can't put that much pressure on the offense and special teams to win games for you. The result...4 wins, tops.
1) Saints: They've reloaded on offense with the addition of Shockey and a hopefully healthy Duece McAllister and I can't see why they wouldn't return to the top of the division as a result and make a strong run at the NFC Championship.
2) Panthers: This was a tough call, but I think that the Williams-Stewart running back tandem could end up terrorizing teams and take some pressure off of Jake Delhomme, who's coming off a horrible year. Julius Peppers is in line to be the best defense player in football this season, and they should grab a Wild Card bid.
3) Buccaneers: They've still got some old guys that wanna win, but how much more can Garcia, Galloway, Brooks and Barber have left? I just can't see them repeating their performance from last year.
4) Falcons: They're bad. Really bad. I thought Miami was bad last year, but these guys could be worse. If they win two games, I'd be stunned.
1) Cardinals: It is finally time for the Arizona Cardinals to be a winner. Kurt Warner put up a very strong second half last season. Give him a full season and calm Anquan Boldin down, and you've got yourself a division champ. That's not saying too much, given the division they play in, but you gotta start somewhere, right?
2) Rams: The had a miserable year last year, but they have some playmakers in Bulger, Jackson, and Holt on offense. If their lines can improve, they can pull off an 8-8 campaign.
3) 49ers: They've made some strides but they're still a year away from making a strong push for a Wild Card berth...especially since they match up against the NFC and AFC East teams this year.
4) Seahawks: The reign has ended. Holmgren is on his way out. Alexander is gone. Their starting WRs are both out, and they're starting QB is ailing. A mighty plummet will ensue.
1) Patriots: Come on, they're the Patriots. They were 16-0 last season. The Jets are improved but the Pats are still the best.
2) Jets: They're only two years removed from a Wild Card birth and I see them being the biggest gainer in the offseason. They should return to the playoffs this year behind a rejuvenated offense.
3) Bills: They've got a decent defense and Trent Edwards had his moments last year, but they're just a so-so team in the grand scheme of things.
4) Dolphins: They're in a rebuilding period. Period.
1) Steelers: Roethlisberger impressed me last year. I guess he really is a quality quarterback and that first year winning streak wasn't a fluke. They should continue to excel, even if Willie Parker isn't 100%.
2) Browns: They took a big step forward last year, but some injuries this year, and the continued struggles of their defense will hold them back. They'll fight for a Wild Card, but the AFC is pretty tough.
3) Bengals: Their defense is too bad for them to consider themselves a playoff contender. Injuries to their offensive stars will also pull them down. 6-7 wins would be my guess.
4) Ravens: They haven't fixed their offensive problems and actually took a step backwards with the injury to Willis McGahee. The once stout defense is getting older, so I can't see them doing any better than maybe jumping past the Bengals.
1) Colts: This is definitely the best division in football, but Peyton Manning is the best quarterback to play the game...yes, I said it. They're a solid team when healthy, and another Super Bowl run is not out of the question.
2) Jaguars: It's a shame they have to play in the same division as the Colts as they are possibly the third best team in the AFC. Strong defense, power running game, smart quarterback and coach...I wouldn't be surprised if they had a better record than the Patriots...yes, I said that too.
3) Titans: Jeff Fisher is probably one of the most underrated coaches in football. This team is really not that great, but he makes the most of what he's got, and Vince Young is a playmaker. They'll unfortunately be pushed out of the playoffs by the Jets.
4) Texans: They're moving in the right direction, but playing in this division is a serious handcuff. They could win the NFC West...if only.
1) Chargers: Too many weapons on both sides of the ball. An injured Shawne Merriman really hurts them though. The downside to steroid use...let this be a lesson, children.
2) Broncos: I wouldn't be surprised to see them be the surprise of the NFL this season. I sang the praises of Jay Cutler yesterday and Mike Shanahan is a masterful coach. 10 wins wouldn't surprise me...even playing against the NFC East.
3) Raiders: JaMarcus Russell will be fun to watch this year and may be reminiscent of the old Daunte Culpepper. They have a decent defense and could surprise people with a 7 or 8 win season, despite the youth.
4) Chiefs: Who is worse...the Chiefs or the Falcons? Both will give the '76 Bucs a run for their money. My money is on the Falcons, but these guys are really bad too.
NFC Wild Card
Eagles over Vikings
Panthers over Cardinals
AFC Wild Card
Jaguars over Steelers (again)
Chargers over Jets
Cowboys over Eagles
Saints over Panthers
Jaguars over Colts
Patriots over Chargers
Cowboys over Saints
Patriots over Jaguars
Cowboys over Patriots
Yes, as a Redskins fan, it was tough to write it...but their coach's job is on the line and there's too much talent for them to continue losing in the first round each year. What do you think....?
"It doesn't matter what you think" -The Rock Obama
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Anyway, as I was saying, with the cooler nights, it can only mean one thing...the approach of the NFL Football season. The Skins play their final preseason game tonight and open the season in ONE WEEK against the Giants. And more important than all of this, this also means the return of fantasy football.
I've been playing fantasy football since I was like 12 years old and it never grows old. Thankfully, I no longer have to look up the box scores in the newspaper to get the stats like we did as kids, but now I've expanded my addiction out to three different leagues. I've already drafted my league with Kevin, Eric and that crew, and this weekend I have my drafts with Langley and that crew on Sunday and Zack (the proud new daddy, BTW) and that crew on Monday.
It's good and bad to be in this many leagues. The good side is that usually at least one team is going to be doing well, so I don't lose all hope entirely by mid-season. The bad side is that when all is said and done, I'm usually rooting for a player on my team in one league, who I happen to be playing against in the other league...so my cheering is torn. I remember one year rooting for Edgerrin James to get less than 50 yards (against me) or more than 80 yards (for me), so that I would win at least one of my games. He ended up getting like 60 and I lost both.
This year, I was fortunate enough to grab the first pick in the first draft I was in, which is a no-brainer pick of LaDainian Tomlinson, but I thought I'd give you guys a couple J-Man sleeper and stumbler predictions to help you out (though I'm going to be drafting against you in a couple days) and to also see how good my predictions are later in the year. I haven't made too many side bets yet, but here's what I've got with those thusfar as well. I did predict the Browns resurgence last year. Double or nothing Pogue?
With Kevin: $20 Bet: He says skins win 7 or less, I say 9 or more. 8-8 is a wash.
With Kevin: $20 Bet: He's gay for Vernon Davis and says he'll be the highest scoring TE by Yahoo scoring rules.
With Stephen: $20 Bet: He says Calvin Johnson get 1000+ yards and 10+ TDs. I say Jericho Cotchery does the same. If one gets both, that person wins. All other conditions occur, it's a push.
Jericho Cotchery WR NYJ: I have a lot of faith in this guy's skills this year with the new addition of Brett Favre. He's technically considered the #2 receiver on the Jets behind Lav Coles, but I expect him to put up numbers rivaling the #1 receivers across the league. Hell, I even put an extra $20 on it (see above).
Thomas Jones RB NYJ: I'm sticking with the Jets for my second sleeper pick, again the beneficiary of the signing of Brett Favre. But more importantly, the addition of Alan Faneca and maturing of D'Brickashaw Ferguson on the line. He should certainly improve greatly from the TD production he got last year, and I wouldn't be surprised to see 1250 yards and 10 TDs.
Isaac Bruce WR SF: Yes, he's old, but as of right now, he's the number one receiver for a Mike Martz-run offense. He's played in a Martz system before, so he should be very comfortable, and playing in the NFC West against the same opponents he's used to should help him maintain some steady stats. I'd peg him for 1000 yards and about 6 TDs.
Jay Cutler QB Den: Cutler has a career completion percentage of 62.1% and threw for 3500 yards and 20 TDs last year, all while suffering from the effects of diabetes, which he didn't know he had. Without the fatigue he's experienced in the past, now that he's got treatment, I think this is his season to shine.
Carson Palmer QB Cin: The perennial 4000 yard man may be in for trouble this season with both of his primary receivers banged up. Add to that a big question mark at RB and I'll be steering clear of old Carson.
Ryan Grant RB GB: For the same reason I am pulling for Thomas Jones, I am pulling against Ryan Grant. Aaron Rodgers is a big wild card and Grant has yet to play a full season at RB. Both are reasons to stay far away from him in the 1st round and possibly avoid him through the 2nd round. Matching up against the Vikings and Bears twice doesn't help either.
Antonio Gates TE SD: He's considered one of the "elite" tight ends but I have a feeling he's not going to produce like he has in the past this season. The foot injury and the improving relationship between Chris Chambers and Phillip Rivers both make taking Gates up with the Witten, Winslow, Gonzalez group a bit more risky.
Jamal Lewis RB CLE: I think most people would consider last year a bit of a fluke to begin with, but if you're not one of that crowd and you really think the old Jamal Lewis is back...you might be in trouble. There's a bunch of injuries on the Browns right now, including Lewis, who has an injured hamstring. Hamstring injuries don't usually go away very quickly, so I'm guessing he's in for a season of ups and downs that will have you wishing you made better use of your 3rd round pick.
Ahh, I do love football. Glad I didn't give up my outdoor leagues too.
Monday, August 25, 2008
The overall feeling that I get when I take these trips, aside from the obvious enjoyment of seeing people I haven't seen in a while, is that everything I do on these trips is more or less inconsequencial to my normal life. It's literally like taking a timeout from my real life and living in a surreal tangential existence. I've probably confused you. Here's where I'm going with this...bear with me. (If you've seen Fight Club, you may be able to more easily follow as well...think 'one serving friends')
I left on Friday afternoon and drove up to Baltimore to catch my plane. After arriving at the airport and going through the whole process, I boarded my plane and of course I've got a woman sitting next to me that wants to talk. I don't know what it is...do I look like a person who wants to talk to people? This shit happens to me all the time. Everybody else on the plane seems to be quietly sleeping or reading, but I always have the talker right next to me. I guess I could be rude and end the conversation quickly...but that's not really my style.
Anyway, I find out that she's a grandmother of two who lives in Alabama, works for Choice Hotels, loves to people watch, and is extremely close with her grandson and almost seems to act like his mother, based on the NUMEROUS stories I heard. Despite all this information, I didn't catch her name. Why should I? I'm not planning to go to Alabama anytime soon (or ever) and even if by some miracle I did, would I have any inclination to meet this woman while I was there. Nope. And yet, here we are, sitting there, talking about our lives (I tried to say as little as possible in hopes of ending the conversation...not much luck with that) and I will never see this person again. Aside from this story, she is gone from my life.
As is the guy who sat next to me on my second flight out of Memphis. He was an ASU transfer student from New Jersey, who was a Yankees and Jets fan. We talked about Yankee baseball and discussed fantasy sports; he mentioned how he hates the heat in Arizona, and spends most of his time indoors, playing Socom on XBox and that he works part time at Olive Garden in Flagstaff. All important information that I have absolutely no use for...as I am never going to see this guy again. Again, I did not catch his name. Nor the man in front of us who heard me mention that I went to Davidson, where his daughter, a basketball player, just graduated from. Apparently, I am a talker...who knew?
Anyway, this trend continues as I reach my destination and the weekend is filled with Amy and I visiting random places, including a different restaurant for every meal. We had Chinese-style food at a PF Changs-type of place, Mexican food at a New Mexico style restaurant, Pizza from a place that seasons their crust, and sushi at a place called Shogun, that serves the biggest portions of sushi I've ever had. I would certainly go there again...but when? Probably never. Amy is the only person I know that lives in Tucson and I hadn't seen her in two years. And it's not like it's around the corner.
All of these things I saw, and people I talked to, and food I ate were all a part of that moment. And that moment has now passed. One serving moments. Just like throwing up on the street in Charlotte at 10 PM. Or eating the best garlic shrimp I've ever had in St. Kitts. Or getting mugged in New York trying to help Stroker get a fake ID, like an idiot. Or performing my smoothest pickup line ever, which I performed in a bar in Boston:
(With Suggs' brother, wearing his glasses, as we approach two girls)
Suggs' brother: Do you think I look good in these glasses?
Girl #1: They're OK.
(I grab his glasses and put them on)
Me: Do you think I look good in these glasses?
Girl #2: Yeah.
(I take the glasses off)
Me: Do you think I look good without these glasses?
Girl #2: Yeah.
(Sometimes I amaze myself with the shit that pours out of my mouth)
And that's what I realized. I may never see these people or these places again. But they are now a part of me. They have changed the way I am, the way I view things (I don't follow random black guys into a pizza joint that claim to make fake IDs, that's for sure), and most of all, they allow me to bring you this blog.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I would have to say that although Lisa and I didn't work out, she did remind me how much I like doing excursions and other activities...something I've gotten out of doing for some time. And I think that's why I cared for her so much. I used to go to the DC Improv at least 5-6 times each year. (Without this, I would never have seen my favorite comedian Mitch Hedberg before he died) I used to go to O's and Nats games whenever the spirit struck me. (Remember the O's-Red Sox game when I pretended to be a Sox fan and then turned on you all when the O's took the lead...Go Yankees). I used to go to concerts with my friends that included great stupidity (I'm reminiscent of Shamrock Fest in Arlington, with a 10 AM start at Langley's place where funneling was required).
That's when I was happiest. That's when enjoying myself took president over worrying about the fact that I got yelled at for 30 minutes or more each day for three weeks straight. I put up with that shit, so I can enjoy this shit. Seems like a good shit trade. Without the trade, it's just shitty. (That seemed more profound when I was writing it??)
Needless to say, the August Duldroms at work have given me an ample opportunity to do this, as work is relatively slow and the weather is still nice (unlike December when I'll be doing nothing but won't want to go outside because it's cold). As you've read about, I've had a barbeque at my place, gone to yet another concert, and tonight I'm heading down the street to the big screen showing of "Evan Almighty" for a picnic, where I'm making a greek feast. (I'll let you know how the menu turns out...I do watch alot of Top Chef). They do this every Summer and I've even driven by it on my way home from work many times...yet this will be the first time I've gone. Why did I wait so long? Fuck it...let's do it.
Add to that a random trip to the Nats game last Sunday followed by a trip to ESPN Zone, where I was discussing the Maroon 5 concert and had this exchange:
Me: Man, I had a great time at that show. I wish there were more concerts coming up.
D: There is. Heart and Journey are coming next week.
Me: What??!! Seriously??!! Do you like them?
D: Well, yeah.
Me: Then, let's go.
No thought of the fact that the show is on Wednesday night and that work might conflict in someway or the logistics of getting down there. I want to go. I can make it happen. I'm doing it. It's like Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Caribbean" describing how having a ship is freedom. It's quite freeing.
And then that leads me to my greatest "fuck it, let's do it." I'm talking with Amy online a couple weeks ago, ranting on about the monatony and how miserable this year has been at work (I'll mention it again, getting yelled at for something you aren't directly doing is not fun. It really stings after a while. Literally just got back from a 15 minute tirade in Potomac...just shoot me). Anyway, she's like, if you need to get away, you're always welcome to come out here for a weekend. I think she was just being nice. I haven't seen her in over 2 years. I haven't actually spoken to her in just as long. But, hell, why not? I booked a flight and I'm heading there this weekend.
Will I run out of money living this way?...yeah, I imagine one could. Though not everything I do is going to cost money...hell, tonight is free, except for the dinner I'm making. And I can't expect there to be so many things all on top of each other. Though a trip to Six Flags in a few weeks is definitely inevitable...who else is with me?? Nonetheless, it's a change from the rut and the freedom I needed to get me through a bad patch. And I would recommend it to everyone.
Go online...you're already there if you're reading this. See if there is anything you want to do, see, visit. Is it fun? Would you enjoy doing it? Then, do it. You won't regret it.
"You shouldn't regret anything, because at some point in the past, it was what you really wanted."
-Heard this or something similar to it, but can't remember where
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Things are looking good early, as the bus pulls into the Grosvenor Metro parking area, and out pops a driver who looks like Jim Gaffigan. He's one of my favorite comedians, and this guy is now my favorite driver, as the first words out of his mouth are, "I know you guys used us before but things are gonna be a bit different this time. I'm the owner of the company and this time, you can drink all you want in the bus!"
What he didn't know is that we did that last time anyway, but I'm still pretty psyched as this guy is cracking jokes and overall adding to the great experience. He even kept score of our flip cup games later, kept a watch out for the cops in the parking lot, and allowed me to guest DJ along with Hot 99.5 on the way back, using his PA. (Yes, I know I'm retarded...but I did do some sweet call-response bits).
So now that I just gave you a preview of what was to come, here's some details. We pull into the parking lot at 4:05 PM (thankfully, Eric did not forget his ticket or need to piss this time) and since the lot opened only 5 minutes before, the whole premier lot is ours for the taking. We pull into the same corner we stayed the last time, as the "bathroom" is right there and it's got a great hill for lounging on. And of course, out pops the bean bag game and beer pong table.
It's only a matter of time before the security and the police come by and put an end to our games (apparently that's illegal and they're enforcing at this show), but I start grilling up some burgers and dogs. Eric whips out some pasta salad and we've got ourselves a nice little barbeque.
We decide, after eating, that flip cup is our safest bet for a new game to help pass the time and kill the 160 beers we brought, so we split the teams by gender, only to find out that the guys that we have with us suck (or maybe the girls were just good). In any case, we regroup and team "Hot Pickle" (it's an inside joke from Dewey, so many of you may not get it) is formed. Jim Gaffigan is cheering us on to victory, the cops come by one last time and end up putting an end to all shenanigans, including taking our neighbors' beer bong and throwing it away. Who does that?! Did I mention that our neighbors were like 7 ridiculously hot chicks and only 3 dudes? And did I also mention that this was a trend for the show and an obvious reason that I am now a Maroon 5 fan.
And it's off to the concert. We missed Sara Bareilles (as anticipated) and I'm thinknig that I'm remarkably sober as I grab myself a 22 oz of Bud Light and we head to a spot on the lawn to lay out our blankets. Maroon 5 comes out, things are chill, and nobody is dancing about as it's still a bit light out.
A rapid chug of my beer and Liz tugging me to my feet for "This Love" later, and dancing J-Man is in full effect. Soon the whole group is up and dancing and most of the area surrounding us is forced to dance as well. But no one brings the stupid like yours truly.
The rest of Maroon 5 and the performance of Counting Crows is a hodge podge of remarkably recognizable songs (CC started with "Rain King" and even did "Hangin' Around" and "Long December" much to my surprise) and me whipping out some of the finest in spins, hops, and an odd grinding style of dance with Susie that I'm not really sure looked as cool as I thought it did at the time. Nor did my puppet string dance, which had Courtney shaking her head at. (trust me, it's best I leave dance descriptions obscure for you to imagine...ask for a demonstration next time you see me and you'll know why) I'm all class.
The concert soon comes to an end, we clean up our blankets and return to the bus for more stupidity. Like I mentioned, Jim Gaffigan cranked 99.5 which is playing the late night dance music and I'm chiming in with some impromptu impressions of DJ Kool. Eric loses his shirt at some point, Dre leaps across the bus to tackle someone, and soon the party has ended. Another successful trip to Nissan...my second in a month.
And I'm heading right back on Wednesday with Danielle to see Journey and Heart. I think I should get a frequent listener discount...though I am getting a free iTunes song for each ticket purchased. Don't stop believing!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
- What is it about women athletes that just enthralls me? I don't know if any of you guys is watching the women's gymnastics, but good lord! Alicia Sacramone and Nastia Liukin! I don't even like gymnastics, but here it is 11:30 PM and I'm watching it like it's a Redskins game.
- On the other end of the spectrum, watching gymnastics the other night allowed me to see the Chinese team. Holy shit! One of the girls that did the uneven bars looked like an alien. I'm not shitting you. I know you're sitting there knowing exactly which one I'm talking about too. Don't try and judge me.
- I have now eliminated one of my "top jobs I want to do" from my list. Last night, I met a girl who used to work at Disney World, and while it is one of my favorite places to go, (my little brother is actually going there on Sunday) she informed me that it is a job where you work 365 days a year. I guess I should have figured that, but when I was dreaming of how cool it would be to be at the park every day, I didn't think they meant Saturdays and Sundays too? At least "Playboy Photographer" gets to enjoy his weekends.
- I learned a terrible lesson in cleanliness just a few hours ago. After finishing my dinner, I filled my glass with some lemonade and brought it up to my room to watch some TV. I've done this in the past, and as a result there are presently 4 glasses on my nightstands. Unfortunately, one of the old ones still had lemonade in it...and I didn't realize it was the wrong glass until it was too late. And then when I spit the syrupy liquid back into the glass, I saw the mold floating in it. So, if you don't hear from me tomorrow...that's my cause of death.
- This Saturday I'm heading to the Maroon 5 and Counting Crows concert, and we once again rallied enough people to get a party bus (I'm such a trend setter). This time around, I've set the following goals for myself: Don't gouge your leg with barbed wire; Don't get into a dance-off...with anyone; Don't smoke random drugs with complete strangers; and lastly, try to remember the concert.
So, that's it for now. I'm sure I'll have some fun stories about not accomplishing my goals for the concert, or some other random shit will pop up. Have a good weekend.
As some of you are probably aware, I tend to go to the movies by myself relatively often. The reason for this is that for one, watching a movie is not really a social activity. I'm watching something on a screen in the dark; aside from getting a handjob (hasn't happened yet, but I can dream), there's not much interacting that would be worthwhile. The second is that I tend to decide that I want to see a movie at random times and that usually means I can't get people organized to go see it, so I just go.
However, earlier this week, I veered away from my usual movie-going procedure and decided to go with some friends to see Pineapple Express. We made an evening out of it, starting off by going to Austin's Grille in Rockville. This seemed like a good idea, as we got some drinks before the movie as well, but what I didn't plan for was the effect alcohol would have on my friend Amber.
Before I go on, let me just say that Amber is actually one of my closest female friends, and the craziness that she gets into on a regular basis rivals even some of my best stories...which is one reason why I like hanging out with her. And here's a taste:
Amber is about 5'1" and weighs about 85 lbs. She also hasn't drank alcohol in almost 9 months, after she developed a liver problem or something like that. I had been to the movies with Amber once before, when she, Jon, Jaclyn and I saw 300. It was crowded that day, so we actually sat in two separate rows. We also didn't have drinks beforehand and it was not a comedy...a comedy that Amber had already seen.
And this is where I learned the tragic flaw of going to the movies with Amber. While I'm trying to watch the movie (which is hilarious BTW...Rosie Perez gets punched with a flying uppercut...need I say more), Amber is randomly talking about other stuff that we all should do, she informs me when "a really funny part" is coming up, she places her bottle cap (she smuggled in beer in a juice bottle) on my head and calls it a kippot (in response to John Franco referring to his grandma as Bubbi, and my being jewish) and yells at me when I take it off my head. Then she places it on my crotch and calls it a "pee pee kippot." Oh, yes, she did.
On the positive side, I would imagine over half of the people in the theater are high, so they're not disturbed by all her talking, but Eric is sitting at the end of the row, trying to distance himself as much as possible while I endure the play-by-play. I swear it was like being at a theater in Landover.
Thankfully, Amber gets up at one point (and by one point, I mean three times) and when she comes back, she decides to sit next to Eric's co-worker instead.
When the movie is finally over and we all exit the theater, she suggests we sneak into another theater to watch something else. Thankfully, everyone else is opposed to this, so we head out. However, Amber doesn't want to walk to the car...she wants a piggy back ride!? Yeah, you can't make this stuff up.
Despite the great humor that this story provided, I think I'll stick to going to the movies by myself.
Monday, August 11, 2008
So, it's Saturday night, we've been drinking and partying at my house for my younger brother's birthday. There's about 16 or so of us and we proceed to kill close to 120 beers playing beer pong and flip cup, and of course there's the gratuitous shots being prepared by Kevin's girlfriend. In simple terms, it's a giant shit show and everyone is loaded by 8 PM. We stay there til 11 PM, however, and while most normal people would call it a night, five of us, including yours truly decide to trek down to Bethesda.
We arrive at Blackfinn, I miraculously shove my way to the bar with little trouble (or maybe I shoved 10 people and didn't even notice). I order up a few drinks (like we needed it) and I notice that two relatively good looking girls are sitting alone at the bar right next to me. Typically, I'm somewhat shy in starting up conversations (I know, no one believes me) but I've had enough alcohol to blind a mule, so let's give this a try. I turn to my buddy, and inform him that it's his birthday, not my brother's. He's obviously confused by the glazed look in his eyes (the beer and vomiting might have done that too), but nonetheless, I turn to the ladies, pull out my camera, and request they take a picture of us, since it's my friend's birthday. And we're in...remarkably somewhat smooth, I must say.
We're talking for a bit, I buy a round of drinks and they buy a round of lemon drop shots for the four of us (the other three headed to Union Jacks once they saw this obvious train wreck coming) and things seem to be going well. To be honest, I only remember pieces, but I think they were going well. The truth comes out that it's not my friend's birthday, but I save it with the brutally honest, "I know it's not his birthday, but you have to admit it was a pretty good line to come talk to you." The one girl agreed and is my streak about to end!?
Nope. This is where I make my tragic flaw. The blond that I'm talking to decides to ask me which one of them I used the line to talk to. Wait, I have to make a choice? This is too much to ask after all the drinking and then those damned lemon drop shots. I make the wrong choice. I look at both of them, and say, "I saw two hot girls...I wanted to talk to them both." This didn't seem like a bad thing to say, but that was in my mind. I notice her dislike of this line, and even my "...but I'm partial to blondes" attempt just digs the hole deeper. There's a definite shift in the mood, and then the closer comes in.
I had mentioned earlier to the brunette, who recently broke up with her boyfriend, that I too had recently broken up with my girlfriend. Ironically, this was a bonding point as we were both the dumpees in these relationships. The downside, however, is that my ex-girlfriend just happened to be at the same bar as us, and the friend I was talking to these girls with was her brother (who works with me and was at my brother's barbeque), and right about this time is when she and her roommate are leaving the bar and decide to come by to say goodbye. And this is when the girls decide that they too are leaving. Can't draw it up better than that. Oh well.
But we're not done.
We decide to go to Union Jacks to meet up with the others, and while this portion of the evening is extremely blurry, there are a few things I know for sure. At some point, we strike up conversation with two other girls, and someone makes the suggestion that we dance. As you've read in past blogs, I dance pretty well (for a white guy) and I think I'm dancing pretty well. Then again, it could have been like the scene in Beer Fest and god knows what the hell I was doing. However, we do end up going into your standard booty dancing moment, where she's grinding her ass up into me and we start doing a side to side motion, and then she starts getting low, low, low, low...and my thighs are burning.
As an aside, I just played two football games the night before, and I have been standing and drinking for the past 9 hours at this point. What would you do?
Here's what I did. I turned to the girl and said, I'm too drunk and tired for this, and I pointed at a guy dancing by himself and said, you should dance with him. And I walked away.
And that, my friends, is the Return of Dr. Smooth.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Things weren't looking good early last night, as our normal quarterback Johnny was unable to make it. We put our fate in the hands of our quarterback from a couple sessions ago, Dan, who played at Shepherds and had a strong arm, but never looked that comfortable in the past. We're fortunate to be matched up with the Young Guns, a team we already beat twice this session, and they are also without their quarterback.
We trounce them and are up 24-0 late in the game, basically just rest the last 4 minutes, allowing them to score on a BS bobbling catch, and we're moving on, 24-8. I tallied a sack and a couple of flag grabs during the game while playing safety, along with a couple catches at WR, so I'm feeling pretty good about my performance.
Next up is Individually Twisted. This is my old team, the team my brother plays (though he's hurt) for, and a team full of guys I obviously know pretty well. It's a fierce battle, as all of our matchups have been in the past, with both sides scoring on their first possession and then tightening up and going scoreless the rest of the way into the half.
They start off the second half with the ball and a busted coverage leaves one of their receivers wide open for an easy touchdown, putting them up 16-8. A couple of turnovers for both sides and we have the ball with 4 minutes left, still trailing. It's my rotation sitting at WR, so I watch from the side lines as we drive down inside their zone, and score on a RB option pass to our QB. Our excitement is stiffled as one of our linemen is laying on the ground and as he tries to rise, blood pours from his eye. Another injury, and another reason, this is justifiably my last game...or is it?
We line up for the extra kick to tie the game. Astor has been money all night, hitting 2 field goals in the first game and all of his extra points. The tying kick is up...
and it's wide to the left.
I walk onto the field for my final defensive possession, and a few kneels and a full length chuck of the ball later, and it's over. I guess if I had to lose to anyone in my final game, I'm glad it was these guys. I wish I could have gone out like John Elway or Michael Strahan...but maybe I'll go out like Brett Favre????
Nothing is ever set in stone, but for now, I'm retired.
For most of you that know me, you know I love a good barbeque and when it comes to barbequing, I go all out. I've always had the philosophy that if you're gonna do something, do it to the extreme, and since the days of dancing in a thong while ladies smeared finger paints on my butt (still the greatest ladies night act ever) to gathering 23 people together on a bus to party and drink at a DMB concert (I've set up an institution as we're doing it again next weekend for Counting Crows and Maroon 5...still need 3 more for the bus, who's in?), I've applied that philosophy to all group activities.
So here we are, it's Saturday afternoon, and I've overdone it again. Aside from the standard burgers (I get ground beef and make my own) and hot dogs, I've made my standard pasta salad (one of Kevin's favorites). Kevin's girlfriend Jen was in charge of drinks, and we have about 15 bottles of random mixers to go along with 3 handles of liquor. That's not including the beer I'm gonna go get in an hour...and I'm thinking someone may die tonight.
I've cleared my deck and moved my beer pong/flip cup table out there for a more social atmophere, and I went and got a shit load of new ping pong balls assuming we're gonna throw a bunch over the edge (who wants to walk down and get one?).
And then I went that extra mile. I swung by Balducci's to grab myself a Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich (my favorite, get it if you haven't before) and I'm walking around the place when I notice the seafood section. I'm a big fan of tuna steaks and the New York Strip I got from here last week was ridiculous. So I went ahead and bit the bullet. I picked up 3 Yellowfin Tuna Steaks...added cost: $45! Add to this the fact that Eric is bringing bacon wrapped shrimp, which were amazing in Dewey, and aside from someone dying tonight, someone may explode tonight.
Did I mention the Balducci's layered fruit birthday cake Jen picked up?? Apparently, she also believes you gotta go big or go home.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
The craziness surrounding my last game two weeks ago, and Kevin's ensuing injury last Friday causing him to not be able walk right now, are a shocking reminder that I am not invincible and I am fortunate to have made it through the beatings I've put myself through every week for these past 6 years. My older brother put it best when lecturing Kevin (and me) after this latest injury.
"What if you had been hit as you were falling and instead of hitting your knee, you hit your head into the screws, leaving you brain dead or killing you? You were lucky. Both of you."
He speaks from the heart as he is presently up in Boston, with his wife sitting by the bed of her brother, who was hit by a car while walking on the street when he was 12, has been a vegetable since, and now at 36, has lost brain activity and awaits death this week.
Injuries can obviously happen anywhere, and this was the rationale that I have used in the past, and is how I justified to all of you why I am back out there despite the fear that a newly broken jaw would require a bone graft from my hip. However, there is no denying that the odds of injury are higher when I step onto that field.
I haven't been the same player since I came back from my broken jaw, and perhaps it's best that I quit while I'm ahead. I still can't close my mouth properly, and presently I can't lay on my right side for an extended period of time without my shoulder hurting. This can't continue.
Plus, I think I wanna have my Friday nights back again. And I wanna take a few more vacations this Winter, as I've had a stressful year thusfar.
But I'm not trying to go out without a final performance. The playoffs start this Friday, and two victories would put us in the finals...a place I've been before, but never have I won. I want to do that. And I have pushed myself to be able to put up my best.
I've dropped 12 pounds since my last game (don't worry...I was depressed, but I'm bouncing back OK), I've been to the gym or worked out at home almost every day for the past two weeks, and I feel like I'm in the best shape I've been in since I was twenty two. So, now all I have to do is give it my all, hold nothing back, and play like it's the last games I'll be playing...
Because it is.
Wish me luck...and of course, no injuries. See you at the bars on Fridays in two weeks.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
I had volunteered to take him up to BWI to grab his car, which has been sitting there, since he didn't have a spare. It's around lunch time by the time we get up there, so my brother, having attended college and lived in Baltimore, decides to take me to one of his secret spots for food. We roll through the Inner Harbor area, through Fells Point and into Canton, where we visit a cool little place called Nacho Mama's...where they have all kinds of dips and quesadillas. (Yep, they stole my idea...there's all sorts of varieties of quesadillas...but no PB & J or Rolo, so I still got that going for me)
Ironically, the night before, I had mentioned to Cobie's friend, Jill, who lives in Canton, that I had never been there before. Looks like I remedied that in short order...pretty cool place, though I'm not sure I'd drive the 40 minutes just for quesadillas again.
So, we head over to BWI, I drop him off at his car, and it's on to my next activity. I make a quick stop in at home, take Chloe for a walk, and then it's off to the Carderock pool (yes, the Carderock pool...old school) to hang out and barbeque. As I pull into the Carderock parking lot, it's ironic that I'm listening to my old school hip-hop and rap mix, because as "First of the Month" plays, I start to wonder if this song was a hit when I was last at this pool. Well, I really never went to the pool all that much, most of my time here was spent either playing pickup basketball or sitting in the parking lot doing "shady" stuff.
We hang out for a couple hours, dodging passing rain clouds, quoting SNL skits, and ogling the lifeguard (maybe it was just me), who everyone else insisted was at best 16 years old (I still say she was 19 and thus don't feel like the dirty old man...well, as much). Well, actually the last time I was at this pool, she was likely 3 years old, so I guess that is creepy. Oh well.
I had intended to head to the Nationals game next, but given the threat of rain, I called my brother and decided to cancel that. But I've got a backup plan, as Adam and Kalyn had texted me to say they were heading out. I head home, shower, change into my going out clothes, and it's off to the metro.
This is where I made a tragic error. I should have assumed there would be issues with the metro after the 20 minute delay the previous night, but there I stand, alone, at the Grosvenor metro, for almost 25 minutes before a train arrives. It was so bad, they didn't even bother having a time listed next to the train name on the big board. But we're not done. Apparently, they're planning to stop for 3-5 minutes at every stop...and I'm heading to Dupont...8 stops down!!
I arrive at Dupont some time later, and realizing that I could have gone to Annapolis in the same amount of time, I'm bitter as shit. I roll into Gazuza (another place I haven't been to in like forever) and find Adam and a crew of people chilling around a table, smoking out of three hookas. I've never understood the attraction of the hookas, and really have never been with a group that was smoking them, but I had also never been to Canton before, so let's make this a day of trying new things to go with all these old school places.
Most of these people I don't know, so why not share a straw with them all, right? Hell, I played beer pong in the parking lot at Nissan Pavilion and "cleaned" a ping pong ball that landed in the gravel underneath the bus in a Solo cup full of ice melt from a cooler. Gotta love all these social activities.
I shoot the shit for a while, grab a couple drinks, realize that "flavors" of hooka are just as arbitrary as Gatorade flavors (do cherries really taste like this?) and decide I'm gonna head out. I've done enough old school things, that I feel it only appropriate that I finish my night with the oldest school of them all...Julia's Empanadas. It's actually a bit of a walk, but I make my way down to Julia's, grab myself a Saltenas empanada and it's off to the metro again.
So, on the day, I feel I accomplished a good bit: Visited a new place, swam in the old neighborhood, tried a new bar activity, spent the equivalent of a trip to OC in the metro, and likely gave myself diarrhea.
And that's why it's 11 AM and I'm still in bed. I think I'll just lay around and watch movies today.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
"You know what I like about trains? The fact that I am sitting and yet moving. It's sort of an oxymoron. But right now, I'm sitting and not moving. So, it's like I'm just in a chair. I'm not really as big a fan of chairs as I am of trains." (I think you had to be there)
In any case, the most shocking story of the night came right before I even headed out. I get a call as I'm getting dressed and it's from my brother. As I mentioned in my previous post, his football team is playing the thugs I played last week that threatened to "light this place up with my 9" (I heard that little added quote later this past week). Several emails were sent from members of our team and others asking that this team, notorious for dirty play, be removed. Needless to say, the league banned the guy who threw a punch from playing, but the remainder of the thugs, including Skeeza, the guy who punched me in the jaw, were still allowed to play.
Kevin informed me that Skeeza was back to his antics right from the get go, slamming my brother into the boards (what did my family do to this guy?) and receiving a flag for unnecessary roughness. You tell em ref. That'll stop him. Jackasses. So the game continues, Kevin is running along the side lines and rather than pull his flag, Skeeza once again slams him into the boards. This time, no flag is thrown. And this time, Kevin is hurt. I don't know the full details having not been there, and Kevin played it down a bit. But while I was at Rocket Bar, Kevin was at the hospital, having been taken away in an ambulance with two large puncture wounds above his knee where the impact forces the door screws into him.
My mom was freaking out and said you could see the bone in one of the cuts, which is just f-ing horrible, but thankfully, I believe that the injury is purely of the cut variety, no ligament or muscle damage. He was getting stitches last I heard from my mom, and I'll probably go have a look for myself this afternoon.
The game continued, the Fuel Rods lost once again. But my brother is the one who really lost, as this is likely going to affect his abililty to work this week, if not longer, and it could have been much worse. Injuries are a part of sports...but this one could have been prevented. Fucking unbelievable. This ain't football.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Anywho, I hope he's right. But in any case, I should be bringing you the stories you want to hear. The stories of random stupidity, the stories of me exchanging terrible banter while at a bar, the stories of me watching internet porn with bikini models in my bed (yeah, I wish too). So here's a quick little excerpt from last Saturday to get me in the mood for some more shenanigans down at Rocket Bar tonight. Like it or not...I'm back out there...hide your daughters (seriously, hide the ugly ones).
So, last Saturday, I head over to my buddy's place and there's four of us there, hanging out, doing some pre-drinking, and watching this really gay Japanese pro wrestling shit on youtube (trust me, you don't want to find it...it's funny for like a minute, then it's just uncomfortable). After a couple drinks, we head for the metro with roadie in hand (gotta get hella drunk right after a breakup...standard practice). We head out to Bethesda and after making a quick stop at Blackfinn and taking a double Patron shot (told you), we decide to head to Union Jacks. I had been there the night before and whipped out some of my old school dance moves with Laurie, but tonight it was just four dudes.
Well, we just watched the gayest Japanese wrestling ever, why not go that extra mile and have four dudes hit the dance floor. Did I forget to mention that we did a jagerbomb shot and had a couple drinks first? Yes, jagerbomb. Protein MILK! Fucking Skanks! (If you got that, props to you). Anywho, I'm breakin it down like I always do...a combination of Will Smith and Will He Stop stupid spins and shoulder bouncing. There's not enough room for the extra stupid running man or Roger Rabbit or I would have likely done them too.
Needless to say, women are actually coming up and dancing with me, and while I can't remember most of them or even talking to any of them, there is one that sticks out...a relatively hot brunette with some cleavage showing and a fat friend (always notice the fat friend...gotta watch out when I get drunk like this). In any case, I'm pretty sure she said I dance pretty good for a white guy and I think she was grinding on me for a bit. First rule of a dance floor, or anywhere for that matter: when a white girl ends her sentence with "for a white guy," she's probably been with a brutha (or more) and seeing as I'm not bringing it like Sean Michaels, I think I'll avoid attempting to disprove the age old myth. :o)
In any case, I turn the dry humping to moderate dance floor conversation and this is when I get these added tidbits flashing into my drunken brain...
"oh, you have a kid?"
"and the eldest is 12!!" (how old is this chick???!!!)
"oh, you're 32" (drunken math says baby at 20)
At this point, I'm thinking I need to truly do the running man. But I've got to see the end of this train wreck...so, I ask the hard hitting questions:
Me: So, where are these kids if you're here?
Her: blah blah blah (I can't remember what she said, but it wasn't with their dad)
Me: If they're there, where's their dad?
Her: Wow, these ARE hard hitting questions! (I think I forgot to mention that I actually said that I was about to ask the hard hitting questions...I'm all class)
Her: He's in jail.
Me (in my head): I already knew the answer.
J-Man think he the mack...macaroni!