Thursday, June 22, 2006

Washington: A Major League City? Not even a PGA City...

Sometimes I wonder why Washingtonians like to continually compare themselves to New York. Sure we have the overpriced but highly regarded dining options, and we have political power to match New York's financial power. But it's sometimes tough for me to think of Washington as an honest to god major city. What major city goes 20 some odd years without a Major League Baseball team, and then has to depend on a soon to be contracted Canadian team to move here out of desperation, while meanwhile, Tampa Bay is awarded an expansion team?! OK, so we have baseball again. Great. Now I read that this so called metropolis can't support it's PGA tournament. For what I assume is a pretty wealthy city, I find it hard to believe that there isn't enough interest in seeing the Booz Allen Classic. Even MILWAUKEE has a successful PGA tournament. Short of the occasional US Open held at Congressional, I guess people just don't care about this event. DC appears to be a good sports town. Redskins fans blindly love their team, despite their essentially hopeless chances of winning the past decade or so. The Wizards and Caps draw fans, and DC United is the best attended MLS team. Is golf different because there is no local team to rally around in a futile attempt to create rivalries with New York and other Eastern seaboard cities? I think the Examiner wrote an article this week about how the Nationals should try creating a rivalry with the Yankees rather than Baltimore. I can only assume this is because Baltimore is already a decrepit, drug and crime ridden cesspool that is best used as a movie setting for the deploying of a terrorist nuclear weapon, or as the setting of a cop show. So instead of Baltimore, let's just start yet another rivalry so we can imagine that Washington is on par with New York. And trust me, I am no lover of New York. Not by a long shot. But seriously, why keep pushing this charade. How about the city gets the capability of supporting and finding a sponsor out of all the war profiteers/defense contractors that call the area home for a PGA golf tournament. It can't be that hard. Just ask Reno, Nevada. We're the nation's capital for gods sake.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

More Convinced Not To Buy A Condo Right Now

So I thought I'd found a gem of a condo. There are some condos in Arlington that were being offered for the mid $200's for a 1 BR, a newly renovated former Executive Suites hotel. So now that I'll soon be paid a lot more, I attended my first ever condo party brouhaha at the Myerton Condominium. I will say, it was sweet drinking free booze and eating ample mediocre appetizers while pretending that I couldn't be more interested in the miniscule condos. Seriously, are people clamoring for condos averaging 540 square feet? You pretty much are forced to decide whether you want a couch or a dining table. Great... And all this for $270K. I guess the condo makers' assume the tried and true strategy to plop down some granite counters and stick some low quality stainless steel appliances in is enough to sell the product. That and a combo washer/dryer in the kitchen that looks like it should hold about 3 T-shirts. So not only do you get a chance to install a hybrid dinette set/futon to take advantage of the 10x10 main room, you get to do laundry about 3 times a week. I'm sure they'll sell just because of the low price tag (probably will take a while though), but I can definitely see future buyers remorse once they realize they can't fit anything. Of course they could pay $100K more for the 2 BR's which weigh in at a whopping 650 square feet. With minimal closet space. I'll chalk this up as a good experience. Because when free alcohol is involved, can there be a bad experience. But I think I'll keep surveying the landscape til something that's just right comes along.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

An Absent Blogger is the Worst Kind of Blogger

I know, I know, I know... I've been a lazy and absent blogger of late. Many exciting things have happened in the past few weeks, a few of which I've covered, but I've really been absorbed with real life lately and have been unable to post much of anything. This will change as of now. I've had a lot of stuff happen and dealt with some changes, including (some to be covered in more detail in the upcoming days):

1. Put in resignation at my government job to take a job at a private contractor. This will lead to me making a bunch more money, and hopefully not hating my job everyday.

2. In the event I do still hate my job, I can now start thinking of applying to law school as a fall back. I've been studying for the LSAT and took it on Monday. I actually think I did better than I expected, especially considering I didn't blow $1500 dollars on a stupid LSAT study class.

3. Moved to a new apartment. This was more of a pain than anything, just because moving blows. The new apartment is sweet, and I finally have my own place. No more roommate. Unfortunately, I signed a lease for the new apartment about 3 weeks before I decided to take a job about 25 miles away from it (as opposed to the roughly 1 mile I have to go to my soon to be ex-job). It's worth it though because I like Arlington, and I like the possibilities for going out that I have around here (Arlington, Old Town, DC).

4. Attended a gay pride parade party. I was of course thinking this would be embarassing for a heterosexual male to see, but it turned out to be a blast. Even though I saw more nearly nude males than I've been around since the junior high locker room. Showed up, decided I was too sober for it, and started pounding beers. It helped me to see the humor of the whole situation. More analysis later on how I have difficulty seeing how having men dress up in leather thongs furthers their cause.

5. Bought a new HDTV with my forthcoming signing bonus. HDTV is sweet, I only wish I had it when 24 and Survivor was on. The World Cup is awesome on it.

6. Speaking of soccer, hopefully under the guidance of blogger soccer god I-66, I'll be having an outdoor soccer team to play on. I think we've assembled a good group that will probably totally dominate the league with the lowest level of competition.

That about sums it up for now. I will cover these topics in more details. I promise.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Garrett's: Who Needs It

A lot of times when I hit up bars around here, I am left to wonder why people go there in the first place. I went to a sweet house party on the roof of a townhome with a great view of DC. This party was right across the Potomac from Georgetown. After hearing some DCites press some of my friends "to head back to the city for some real going out," we decided to go to Garrett's in Georgetown. Without getting too much into it, it's not like Rosslyn is a podunk part of Virginia. It looks more urban and citylike than anything in DC. But back to the topic at hand. Garrett's seems like an OK place when it isn't packed full. Like completely full. There is nothing wrong with Garrett's itself per se, it just isn't anything special from what I can tell. So the averageness of the place added to the extreme crowd there just leaves me baffled why so many people were there. It's not that fun fighting your way through like 30 feet of wall to wall people to get a beer. Then, it's not fun fighting your way through that 30 foot wall of people to get back to your friends, inevitably spilling on people as you push your way through. It's probably not fun for all of those people to be spilled on either when every 30 seconds someone is trying to push their way out of the bar area. And this goes for all three of their bars. There was no relief. Also, a special note to the group of Mr. Popped Collar Guys in Pastel Polos and Patch Madras Shorts (seriously a group of 4 guys all wearing slightly different J. Crew combos), I'm pretty sure that fad went out about a year ago, and even then, it was a lame fad. So what is drawing these people here? It's not like it's easy to meet people and talk when it's insanely loud and chaotic. Fill me in someone... Yeah I realize it's "in the city", and I've said the same thing with such Virginia bars as Mister Days or Clarendon Grill, but really, what is the draw other than telling people that you went out on Saturday to Garrett's?

On another note, I took a job with private industry. As referenced on a previous post, I took Job #2. It is going to be awfully nice to see that huge raise over my current Government salary. Tomorrow I get the fun of putting in notice and seeing how mad my bosses will be (even though I'm giving 3 weeks notice).

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Dilemma Time

As I last posted, I am in the midst of a job change. I have been presented with two job offers that I need to respond to in the next couple days. I am putting this out to the loyal fans of the Metro DC Sewer. Which one should I take?

The Facts:

Job #1: offered the most money by a large margin (like $15K more), is a job that has less job security, seemed to me to be boring, middle level defense contractor, the pay is a huge raise but the actual work is essentially a demotion (weird dichotomy), no chance at bonuses or other means of raising my income, work a regular 40 hour week

Job #2: offered less money but still substantially more than the Government pays me, at an elite defense contractor, real chance for career growth, bonuses (large I've heard, like 10's of thousands of dollars), performance review/raise in 6 months, work that will be challenging but will probably require some long hours every so often

So it is essentially Job #1's superior pay versus Job #2's superior work/work environment. What should I do?! I've been puzzling over this the last two days. I am leaning towards Job #2, but that money is really enticing.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

New Job!

So it looks like I'll be getting a firm offer tomorrow to work for a major defense contractor. For the first time since I finished school, I will actually be able to afford living here. It is a huge pay raise, but it's also a chance to do something slightly different. Plus hopefully work in a less miserable environment. It's also made me reevaluate whether I want to remain a renter here. I read all of those real estate bubble blogs, and as a result, I'm very wary of putting money into a condo here. I know I've written about this ad nauseum, but it's a major life decision for me. I can't deal with negative amortization, and I don't want to live here long enough for the market to stabilize (if the condo market indeed plummets) and to regain any losses on the property. I guess it's something I should think about once I actually start drawing these new paychecks. But anyways, I'm pretty happy right now.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Crystal City Depression

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I've been real tied up with job interviews and bolting my Federal job for the green pastures of contractors. One thing during my time in Crystal City that I've noticed everyday is how depressing Crystal City is. Location wise, Crystal City would seem to be prime for great development, it's on the Metro line, its convenient to jobs, but for some reason all that's there is a depressing line of buildings with a half-assed attempt to spruce things up by dropping a Jaleo and Oyamel on Crystal Dr. The most depressing part of this area has to be the part that is most widely known: the "Crystal City Underground." The underground mall is one of the most downtrodden, mystifying shopping areas I've ever encountered. First off, the actual shopping areas are not underground, they're at street level. Second, I still to this day, do not know how most of the stores survive. There is a puppet/marionette store for gods sake. Is the demand in the DC area for marionettes really high enough to warrant retail space?!? Walk through the underground during working hours, the hours you would assume are right in these stores' wheelhouse, and you will see nothing but depressed looking shopkeeps sitting in empty stores. This got me thinking, maybe it attracts a weekend crowd like most malls. Wrong. I went into my office on Sunday and found an even more barren underground. So, I have no idea where the revenue is coming from to keep these stores open. Maybe Charles E. Smith is giving free rent. Who knows...

My opinion on the Crystal City area in general is that it needs to get torn down and rebuilt. All the government office spaces will soon be vacant, and once DoD moves out, there's really no reason for the defense contractors to stay there. Perfect timing to raze everything, keep the Metro-centric development idea, and rebuild new structures. The location is perfect, has great views, and is close to everything you need. It just needs a new face.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Yet Another DC Area Mexican Food Post: Orale Taqueria

For the next two weeks I am taking classes at Fort Belvoir which usually is a pain because I have to drive from Arlington to the class. But there is always a silver lining when I go out to that part of Alexandria: the best, the #1 seed, the most authentic, the best selection, simply the greatest taqueria in the DC metro area. As I've posted before, I hold El Charrito Caminante in high regard, but Orale is really my true love when I need a taste of Southern California (don't be confused, it is not Baja style, but it is damn good Mexican/Salvadorean). Orale has possibly the worst location of any business in the region. Not only is it in a run down portion of Route 1 in Alexandria, it is in a run down shopping center with nothing but a Food Lion, Wendy's and uniform store in it. These are the only stores most people are aware of, mostly because they have signage. Orale does not. In fact Orale is nearly invisible from the road, tucked into a breezeway with zero signage. And that's how you know it's good. I really can only credit the food for allowing this place to stay open for the last 2 years. I even finally got the camera on my phone to work (crappily) and snapped a picture of the interior of the place. That pic pretty much shows it all, its a counter where they make your food from scratch right behind the glass, and there are about 8 tables scattered.

Now I do not have any thing resembling a gifted taste bud, a taste for the exquisite, etc., but I know what I like. And I've eaten at probably 30-40 various Mexican/Salvadorean places across the nation. Orale is the only place that I can say is as good as my favorite place in Southern California. They have a huge variety of tortas, tacos and burritos on their menu, along with yuca and pupusas. They have a list of about 8-10 meats you can put in to any of the dishes. These range from carne asada, carnitas and chicken to tripe, head, chorizo and barbacoa. The barbacoa is a clear standout. I know a lot of people like Chipotle (including me to a degree), but Orale's barbacoa blows away Chipotle. It is heaven. The barbacoa looks pretty much pulled pork Memphis style, but it's taste is amazing (and beef). Hints of all kinds of spices to go along with the heartiness. It goes great in the burrito or torta. The carnitas I had today were outstanding as well. And the chorizo? Let's just say I'll stick with San Vicente. I've also tried the carne asada before, finding it delicious as well. But just as goat tacos are El Charrito's specialty, the barbacoa is what I'll be continually going back to Orale for. Tomorrow I'll be trying more of the torta family (after today's taco day).

Seriously, this place is worth the drive for any unique and delicious food seekers willing to take a chance. Granted, it requires a commitment to drive out to the Fort Belvoir area for this, but wow. It is a drive that I have made no questions asked when that craving hits me. I did a search on Chowhound, the self-professed site for those that will hit up burrito trucks at soccer games for the best food or try the dinkiest place in a strip mall, and they have zero mention of this gem. I just realized in the off chance that anyone actually tries driving out to Orale, that they will probably get confused and lost and never find it. Here is the address:

8762 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, 22309

You seriously have to park on the side of the strip mall by the dumpsters, and go down the breezeway to find the place; but well worth it. Trust me. I love it. I'd probably marry it if I could.

This should wrap up my pseudo-food reviews/preachings for now. Unless people want me to start posting reviews of the 15 or so Mexican places I've tried in the area in the quest to find a SoCal worthy place. Or not. Then back to inane stories about going out and getting fratty and hating work.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

New Line of Work

So for the past year, I've really started to discover that I hate my job. I am one of the thousands of folks around here that handle Federal contracts. Supposedly, I am in charge of buying things for the military. In actuality, my job is to push paperwork, navigate bureaucracy and write up papers that let the government cover themselves when questioned about how much stuff costs. I've really started to just hate it. On top of that, I get paid as a Federal employee which isn't really very much. Especially when people working for companies make like 30K more than me for the same work. I'm currently looking at the private companies for work, but that really is just a stop-gap solution. I'm pretty sure I'll still hate what I do. So I'm taking the LSAT in June, thinking that maybe law will be a better career for me. I hope. Since law school is going to put me in debt by about $100K. It's kind of a risk, but it's a risk that I think I have to take. I just can't imagine going through life feeling as miserable every morning as I currently do. Not really sure what jobs I could really do. Maybe sales or something. I've heard I'm really good at convincing people to do things they don't like doing. But who knows. I guess stay tuned, but for the time being, I guess I'll just keep on contributing to the military industral complex.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Razing Columbia Pike

As some steady readers may know, I often write about going-on's on Columbia Pike because that is where I live. In particular, I take great interest in the planned street car that will run from Pentagon City to Bailey's Crossroads. I noticed it was back in the news last week, as it has moved to a stage where Arlington and Fairfax counties are actually talking about funding this project. I truly think this will revitalize this whole corridor (probably through gentrification eventually, but what's new). I got to thinking about what will happen when they do build the street car line. Columbia Pike is full of aging, rectangular brick apartment buildings, usually low rent. Is the solution in "revitalizing" the Pike to just raze all of these memories of Columbia Pike's downturn? Condo conversions? I'm not sure. I believe they will maintain the old fashioned downtown feel around Bangkok 54 and the Cinema and Drafthouse, but maybe stick some more hip hangouts in where there currently are ethnic stores and nail salons. I mean, would it really kill anyone to put a decent bar in this area? With the amount of Pentagon and Navy Annex and Crystal City employees that live on the Pike, I would think that there would definitely be a customer base for such a place. When I take a step back, I really don't see any other option than to tear down the old and build up the new, which I guess would make the Pike more like Ballston than anywhere else comparable. Then I just start thinking about the wealth that this would create and wish I could put some in on this.

On another note, DCist had a posting two days ago about a place I affectionately call the Taco Shack. San Vicente is a little shack in the CVS parking lot in Adams Square along the Pike. I had long been curious about it (since I can't get enough of tacos, burritos, Mexican food, Salvadorean food, El Charrito Caminante, etc.) but had never tried it. DCist got me to finally make the leap yesterday, and I ordered the chorizo tacos and the Woman ordered a pupusa. It is definitely different in that things are made to order instead of just pulling meat out of a pre-made vat. I suspect this is as much for quality as it is because of the seemingly low volume of business the shack is doing. I can honestly say that it is the best chorizo I've ever had. The Woman was very pleased with the pupusa, which was made from scratch while we waited. I will be returning for more chorizo tacos and I highly recommend San Vicente for when you're looking for some risk-taking newness.

Another new note, Metro DC Sewer now has an e-mail address!!! Feel free to e-mail me with comments and suggestions at dcsewer@gmail.com.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Hot New Business Plan: Beer Baron

As some long time readers may know, I went to Costa Rica back in March for a vacation and was quite taken by the country. One of the bright spots of this trip was a chance to sip a frosty beer while watching the sunset on an isolated beach. And it's not just the scenery that was great, it was the delicious Costa Rican beer, Imperial Cerveza. When I got back, I searched everywhere for some Imperial, only to find it is only being distributed in Southern California and NY/NJ. I got to thinking, if no one else is distributing it here in the DC/MD/VA area, why couldn't I?! So working with my friend in Los Angeles, we've been toying with the idea of trying to take on the distribution of Imperial here. It all started with an e-mail to the importer (located in a hole in the wall business park in my hometown) who got me in contact with the brewer in San Jose, Costa Rica. Apparently they are examining new markets on the East Coast and I am the front runner (by default) for this territory for distribution rights. Of course I have no idea how the beer distribution business works. Here is where I used all my guile and deviousness. I e-mailed the Beer Distribution lobbyist group posing as a Georgetown student, and told them I am doing a project for an entrepreneurship class involving the distribution of "a fictional Central American beer in a new sales territory in DC/MD/VA." I had heard that this was a secretive and close-knit industry, but they seemed very willing to share all the secrets to me. I guess they really do care about education. So now I play the waiting game until the brewer wants to enter this territory. I honestly think Imperial would sell well here. Especially with all the Central Americans that live here that have nothing to remind them beer-wise of home (even though pretty much none of them are Costa Rican). Plus it has a cool label and logo, and is advertised to be made from the "fresh spring waters of Costa Rican volcanic springs". With the right marketing campaign, I think it could be a hit (and already is in California).

I guess we'll see if this idea sticks or if my short attention span forgets about this great plan in a week or so. It would be sweet to be a beer baron though...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Custardy Goodness... and more!

Something I was introduced to last year was one of the more exciting things to happen at my office in... maybe ever. I was introduced to the wonderful world of frozen custard. For a while I had been wondering what these little printed out calendars filled with flavors for each day were. I saw them in at least 5 other cubicles. I was finally let in on the secret. The secret of Del Ray Dreamery (which was forced by a corporate ice cream company to change its name to the Dairy Godmother). With the weather getting warmer, it is now appropriate to start planning more and more trips to this great, community place. Never before have I seen such unique flavors. This Friday is Mexican chocolate which is going to be great, but yet, I haven't seen this flavor since I left Southern California. My office pretty much can't wait for the turn of the month so we can see the new flavor calendar and start planning when we'll sneak out for a "meeting". And by meeting, I mean meeting up with delectable custard. Lo and behold, I learned on my last trip that custard is in fact healthier for me than ice cream. Who knew? The Dreamery has been one of the bright spots I've found here, and a good example of an independent business thriving and serving the community.

On another note, I've started thinking about applying to a new job. Not in a new career category, I'm too big of a pansy to take on that risk. No, I'm thinking about switching from the Government to private industry. So on that note, since I haven't been able to find any info on this, I am asking for help. How much will a contract specialist with a clearance make in this area? Spread out your feelers and get me this info. I need to figure out if it is really the financial windfall I think it will be.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

OK So I'm Moving Soon

Part of the reason I've been so preoccupied lately is that I've had to find a new apartment to move to. My current lease is up soon and I had to weight whether it was worth paying more to live in a "cooler" area. I like Columbia Pike in Arlington, but it's certainly not a sexy place. No walkable Metro station, older buildings, an efficient bus line. But it is definitely a good value for this area. So I surveyed the possiblities. My job is in Crystal City and parking is expensive, so I had to take that into account. After checking Clarendon, I came to the conclusion that it is a huge rip-off. Yeah, I really want to spend 1800 dollars on a 1 bedroom apartment wiht crappy construction just because its next to the Cheesecake Factory and Crate and Barrel. Courthouse had some possibilities, but kind of the same thing, I just thought it was drastically overpriced. I checked out some places in DC, Cleveland Park mainly. It was OK, but I really didn't like that a lot of the apartments there don't have parking. I don't want to leave my car on the streets of DC, especially because I realized that my insurance company still thinks it is primarily parked in rural Virginia where I went to school. I checked Del Ray in Alexandria, which is an area I really like, but it just seemed out of the way from my work, and I feel like if I went for a night jog, I could easily stray into some not-so-nice neighborhoods. So I kind of narrowed it down to Crystal City or stay somewhere on Columbia Pike. Crystal City would be oh so convenient, but as with a lot of things, I let the bank account make the decision. Columbia Pike, for what you get, is dirt cheap. It's reasonably safe, there are a lot of unique restaurants, the Cinema and Drafthouse, and my new apartment has an unobstructed view of the DC monuments and is 900 square feet. For less than a crappy, older studio was running in Courthouse or Clarendon.

So now I've got to figure out the details of the move. I'm actually considering driving over to Shirlington, going to the city-run migrant labor station and picking up some day laborers to move my stuff. It's not a felony yet I'm pretty sure. Man, moving really does blow.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

To continue or not to continue

So I've been doing the blogging thing for about 4 months now. I think the blog is at a crossroads regarding whether it's worth me continuing or not continuing. Beyond the fact that my readership consists of two main groups: about 4 DC area bloggers from what I can tell, and a random assortment of frat dudes that find the blog by searching for "fratty" on Google. The real challenge is coming up with things to write about. One part of the "self-discovery" I've found by writing this blog is that my life is very boring. I have no DC dating stories because I'm tied down to a long term girlfriend. My job is very boring working for the Government, and I'm really not allowed to tell stories about my job anyways. I live in the "suburbs", which according to the people in DC discredits my opinion about anything DC related anyways. And by suburbs I mean less than 1 mile from the bridge to DC. So sometimes it's a struggle to come up with new material. And then to top it off, I've become somewhat preoccupied with self studying for the LSAT (in lieu of spending over a grand for LSAT practice classes). So I guess I need to figure out what I'm going to do.

I do know I like reading other people's blogs. It's just a matter of whether I can keep up a high degree of quality on the blog. So stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

At Least Chevy Chase is Free of Double Parking

I read today in the paper (ugh Washington Times that got left on a Metro seat) that due to a decrease in crime in the Chevy Chase area, the DC cops (40 of them on patrol each night in that area) are resorting to ticketing for parking violations. Is it just me or does 40 cops seem excessive for a wealthy, suburban area that has low crime? Especially when these cops are finding it hard to keep busy. Luckily the DC police department has a requirement that if cops aren't fighting crime they better be fighting parking over 2 hours at a meter. Here's a thought. How about these cops get redeployed to the higher crime areas of the DC area. That might make too much sense I guess.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Best Restaurant in Virginia: El Charrito Caminante

OK, El Charrito isn't really a restaurant. It's more of a hole in the wall with a couple counters. Sometimes these are the places that serve the best food also. I will first say that I have a strong weakness for Mexican food. It is my favorite by far, which is a clear result of me growing up in Southern California. Since I moved here, I have not been able to find anything close to acceptable Mexican food (save one exception that will discussed later). That is until I finally tried a place I've driven by a billion times on Washington Blvd., in between Pentagon City and Clarendon. El Charrito's burritos aren't huge bricks like you'd find at (ugh) Chipotle, but rather normal sized and filled with a selection of meats ranging from tongue to steak to chicken to GOAT. The goat was delicious, and the addition of radish and cilantro adds a certain zing. After this introduction to the mundo de El Charrito, I returned the next day to try a torta, a Mexican sandwich. This too was delicious. The bread was a tad bit sweet, the steak very meaty, and it all combined into a delicious meal. I won't go as far as to say that El Charrito is better than the taco shops in my home town, but it is by far the best I've had here.

The other gem I found is good, but not El Charrito good. It's called Orale and is located in a strip center on Route 1 out by Fort Belvoir. It is nearly impossible to find as it has no clear signage, but their barbacoa burrito was quite delicious. They also have tripe and cabeza as a meat choice for burritos/tacos, but I was not feeling quite up to the adventure. This place is good, it's just so far away.

I am waiting to try Taqueria Distrito Federal that I've read about on DCist. Has anyone tried that place, and if so, what should I order there when I make the trek out to Columbia Heights? Any other recommendations for quality Mexican food in the area? As an aside, Tex-Mex is not Mexican food. It is a terrible, terrible reproduction invented by retarded Texans. I can't wait til Bush is out of office, the Texans move back to their cattle farms, and these Tex-Mex places that have popped up go away.

Also, take a look here for some in depth burrito coverage.

Monday, April 10, 2006

DNA Shows Duke Lacrosse Team is Innocent of Rape

I am seriously shocked that the allegations against the Duke lacrosse team are not being supported by DNA evidence that came out today. On one hand, I guess this sheds some light on how the he said/she said arguments are tough to evaluate. On the other, it totally reeked of a group trying to protect each other by lying. But I'm not too man to admit when I'm wrong. And I was totally wrong. The real bright spot of this new news is that we won't have to hear about 4th tier sports like lacrosse in the headlines anymore. Hello lacrosse, welcome back to page 7 of the Podunk Daily sports page. I feel like half the reason this is in the headlines is only because the Duke name is coming along with "lacrosse" which, as I've stated in a previous post, only about 2% of America cares about.

I guess the real question now is what were these strippers' motivations? I heard the speculation that it was to start up some racial strife in Durham. But why? How does some stripper gain from that? My other thought is that that party wasn't only attended by Duke lacrosse players. Most sports players have friends that they invite to stuff like this, and I found it a little hard to believe that this party was 100% Duke lacrosse players. I guess we'll have to wait to find out, if we find out. I'm also looking forward to seeing these pictures that the defense says are coming out to further exonerate the players.

Clarendon: Not All It's Cracked Up To Be? ...aka Mister Days Blows

To start with, I am usually not one to look down my nose at Clarendon for having a bunch of chain stores. It's really not that overrun by them (beyond the Market Common) and most of the restaurants and bars are not chains. The elitist DCites just need to take a walk through Chinatown or down M Street in Georgetown to realize that their chain stores/restaurants are far, far more numerous than Clarendon. A visit to Mister Days in Clarendon for a birthday made me virulently hate the place. These attacks could easily be made on any number of DC bars/clubs as well (see my posting on Play a couple months or so ago). Mister Days is a sports bar by day, dance club by night. They just move some tables out of the way at about 8 or 9 PM to clear out a dance floor, turn on a disco ball and some strobe lights, turn on the most generic and wide appealing dance club songs possible and there you have it, generic dance club. For some reason, people love Mister Days. There is a line almost every Saturday night, and for what? A terrible club experience along with 7 dollar drinks. I don't know if its popular only because it's the only pseudo-club in the area or what, but why go there when there are at least 5 other decent live music venues within walking distance? How many times do I really need to hear In Da Club or Feel Good Inc. mixed in with Welcome to the Jungle before I stab my ear drums out with a toothpick? I mean, it seems that all it really takes to make a successful club in Arlington is to serve liquor, put up a 50 dollar disco ball, then hook up the speaker system to some generic XM radio station and blast it. Next thing you know 400 Arlingtonians show up in a desperate attempt to seem hip and maybe find a fatty to bring home. Mister Days is definitely a place I'd be glad to see go out of business (it's also crappy as a sports bar).

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Re-Lax? Duke Lacrosse Team is going down hard

Now that this whole Duke lacrosse team rape story has taken over the national headlines, I feel it's a good time to discuss some key issues of this story. The stuff I've read says that the Duke lacrosse team pretty much had the run of campus. Really?! The lacrosse team? You mean the team that plays a sport that about four states care about? You mean the sport that was only a varsity sport at my high school in the girls category? This was one of the things that opened my eyes when I came to Virginia to go to school. Lacrosse was bigger than football at my school and I could never understand it. I've come to learn that it is popular with Northeast prep schools, and especially in Maryland. So great, it's a sport that rich white kids are playing (and girls nationwide). Why would they have the run of the Duke campus? A team for a fringe sport. I see this as akin to the roller hockey team at Arizona State having the run of the campus. Yes yes, lacrosse is the next big thing in America I've heard (from ex-Maryland high school lacrosse players). Really? Is that why Major League Lacrosse has captivated the nation? I mean, I can't turn on Sportscenter without seeing yet another highlight of the Baltimore Bayhawk - Rochester Rattlers game. Did Duke just concede that they have an awful, and will always have an awful, football team, hold a drawing for which second tier sport would become its 2nd most popular sports team, and then pick lacrosse?

But enough about how unimportant lacrosse is. These guys totally did it, and they're protecting themselves like any fraternity or team would. Just imagine some frat getting busted for cornholing a pledge with a broomstick right after a group elephant walk and the daily cattle prodding. Those guys are definitely sealing a bond of trust to protect each other, and I think that's what we're seeing here now. That DNA test will be the kicker, and I can't wait to see these elitist, 2nd tier athletes go down for a disgraceful, wrongful display of perceived power.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Every Rose Has A Thorn

The Washington Post had an article about how fake roses that come in a 4 inch glass tube are being used for crack pipes in Southeast, as well as the backlash against convenience stores for selling them. I understand the desire to shut down crack smoking by taking away the utencil (the glass tube), but does anyone think this will seriously do anything? I remember in college that bongs were considered contraband (yes yes, I know that they COULD be used for tobacco) so I saw people using Coke cans and apples. So is this community going to go after Giant for selling and contributing to drug use. The article said they were also focusing on cigarette papers and blunts. Really? You guys just figured out that people weren't buying 30 cent blunts for their smooth vanilla tobacco flavor? This campaign by concerned residents is going to work about as well as our war on drugs is doing at stopping dirt poor farmers from growing super profitable cocaine.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Please Kill Me If I Ever Die Like This

Is there any way to die that is more humiliating and embarassing than this?

On another note, since last year, the one thing I can count on enjoying in DC starts up tomorrow. Clearly, it is baseball season again. I am not a Nationals fan, but going to a baseball game is one of my favorite experiences, no matter what the teams are. Not to mention the fact that the Padres will be coming to town three times (which I already have tickets for). Looking at the Nationals, I'm fairly sure they are going to be awful. Their pitching is abysmal. Their big pitching acquisition, Brian Lawrence, is out for the year. And trust me, he is terrible to start with. Unlike most people, I think Alfonso Soriano will do just fine. He won't match his stats in Texas, but he will be productive. And pairing him with Jose Guillen and Ryan Zimmerman gives them a half decent middle of the lineup. I just can't see the team competing with the NL East. Regardless of how terrible the Nats are going to be, I still want to make it out to at least 20 games. There's nothing better than a night out at the ballpark. And I'm eager to see these supposed improvements to the food at RFK. This was by far the worst part of baseball returning to DC. There is no signature food at the ballpark to represent DC. I'm not really sure what the signature food would be here though. A half-smoke? Chili? I'd be happy with even just naming standbys like hot dogs and nachos something DCish. Change hot dog to Self-importance Dogs. Change hamburgers to Fili-burgers. Something like that so that people can tell they're in DC when they go to a game. So anyways, baseball season is here and I really couldn't be happier.

One more Nats related note. I saw a commercial advertising "Call to setup a visit by Screech to your next event." Am I the only one who immediately got excited about a chance to visit with Dustin Diamond?