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?