30 August 2006

Beltway Boys, the Move

A friend of mine from the Dallas days called upon us to help him move from an apartment in northern Bethesda to Roslyn. Sori was not able to help for too long as he had a game late that day, a 12-6 loss to the Phillies, although Sori did have a solo HR and another run off a Zimmerman(?) double. DoubleU was useful, surprisingly so. We all expected him to dawdle and complain about how movers could easily make this move happen. He has over the years become more ingrained in the sybaritic life. He was always well off ever since I first met him, but the change in attitude has been palpable lately.

We had another friend, JewBoy, come to help us but he showed up late. So late, in fact, that he arrived after we had already arrived in Roslyn. He showed up late because he was busy smoking a bowl. And he was wearing flip flops. Have you ever tried to walk backwards down a truck ramp while carrying a sofa while wearing flip flops?

Here’s the thing that annoyed me most about JewBoy, and I do apologize if this is not politically correct, but as I came back downstairs to make another trip upstairs with some stuff, I saw him for the first time. He had one end of the sofa and said HI and then asked me WHAT ARE YOU GETTING OUT OF THIS? I was annoyed. HE IS A FRIEND. He is a friend and friends do not need coaxing to help with things like this, otherwise we are hired help. I do know that he will make it up to me, buy me dinner or some beer or whatnot, but that arrangement is a given and it is rude to speak of it and arrive at an agreement beforehand.

WELL, I AM GETTING FOOD. SO MNNEHH. Now, most of my friends talk about these stereotypes but I just think it is talk based upon enclaves of groups, such as the Jews in Merchant of Venice. But then something like that happens and I come to believe more and more that the stereotype may still have some predictive power.

Everything eventually moved into the new place and our friend was in a time crunch, so we all returned to our respective homes. All in a day’s work for a friend.

29 August 2006

Eternals #3

Despite what the guys at Comic Book Hater Podcast say, I like this series. The first issue was not very good admittedly, but it has improved and issue 3 helped speed the arc along, somewhat. At the end of this book, though, we do not know anymore of the backstory, which is where the magic really is. We have only seen to this point an (re)awakening of supernatural abilities and some character development of the Eternals.

The art does leave something to be desired, although I hesitate saying that because much comic art these days is so overdone. Too many lines, too many shadows, too much action and movement. While Romita Jr. does a good job in this sense, he does not really draw you into the book with the art, rather it is Gaiman’s storytelling that draws me in and keeps me buying the books.

I wish there was more explanation of the mystery of the backstory, instead of hints of the mystery. Seriously Neil, we know there is stuff you have not told us, why tease more with our ignorance? As with most comics the interior art which advertises upcoming books is better than the art in the very book for which I have paid. That is annoying.

The thing I enjoy most about the storyline is the complications provided by the supernatural abilities. This issue deals with mark Curry’s ability to move ultrafast, and the science involved. Bullets still retain kinetic energy, enemies wielding guns are disarmed in a less than gentle manner. It would be easy enough to pass this skill off as a Flash-like cool thing, but instead Gaiman spends time making us realize how difficult it is to wield such powers. There are some other superpowers reveled in this book but yet none of the same attention seems to be devoted to it. I hope the remaining books discuss this, but if it does not then that makes the series only slightly better than all other comics instead of much better.

Overall, the books seem well produced and I am excited to see what comes in the future. These seem like the type of books that would come with product placement and also benchmarks for high quality productions in American entertainment.

24 August 2006

Beltway Boys, the Return

I know I have probably let some of you down these past few weeks. I do have a backlog of stories about the my boys, DoubleU (DoubleU hates it when we call him that, preferring George or even Will, he says DoubleU is too much like the Texan name for President Bush, no shit, since Sori and I have both lived in Dallas) likes to refer to us as the Beltway Boys, so I will probably be posting them more frequently than I used to for a bit. Sori told DoubleU that there already was a Beltboy Boys and DoubleU then turned on his no-nonsense voice, dropped his chin so it makes that double chin thing and then lectured us about how that was a TV show so we could still claim it, and how even if they did refuse our appropriation of it that they would be unable to get us to drop the name and how it was a bad show and how his show is much better, even with Dweebie George.

I know that last sentence was long and possibly confusing but that is how DoubleU speaks when he is ad-libbing, most of what he says on TV has been rehearsed, sometimes enough so that he can actually write down his arguments before the show. Anywho.

A couple of weeks ago, on a Wednesday night I met my girl at her office for Date Night. We walked to the Helix Lounge, which is on Rhode Island over by Scott Circle, not exactly close to L and 20th, but not a far hike either. On Wednesday nights they serve cheap burgers and beer (which is why we went there) and they also have (which we learned) dog night, so there were all these dogs around. The dogs were cute and we had a fun time watching them. I think she might even be looking forward to getting a dog now. She always told me we could have a dog when she had a ring on her finger (= fair enough), but now I may not have to wait for that moment, although I am not so sure it will be a long wait regardless.

After that we walked up the 18th Street Lounge to meet some friends, but it just was not our thing, as it was reggae night. That means there is this really loud and obnoxious music playing, music that was designed for poor folks to resist the upper class, nevermind the crowd at 18th is anything but poor. The musicians were easily the poorest lot on the bar that night, any night. They also burn incense, and a lot of it (ostensibly to cover up the marijuana smoking.) My sinuses were being torn up and I wanted to leave, so we started to leave when we ran into DoubleU and Sori outside the club. Sori had the day off from a 3 day swing into Philly, so he was enjoying the rare night out. ‘Rare until October’ we always tease him, although I was happy when he ended up not being traded to another team that might be using him in October.

They decided not to go in when we told them about Reggae Night. DoubleU invited us back to his place to watch some movies. His TV is always on, when not watching baseball he is always watching movies. I wonder how he manages to get so much work done.

He had just received Hitch from NetFlix so he put it in. We all made fun of him for this choice, but he was relentless about giving it a try. I must admit the movie was much better than I thought it would be. There was some horrible dialogue, advice to writers: stop working it, let it happen. I must admit I am surprised Will Smith would even agree to say some of that crap. The Tom Brady cameo was odd. Eva Mendes has a big bootie and they were not afraid to let it show. It was entertaining, I think because Will Smith made it happen; I bet he can by sheer willpower make things happen and make things work. Fresh Prince. Enemy of the State, lord knows that was not Gene Hackman’s doing. *pun alert* If you disagree with me here, then suffice it to say you “just don’t understand.” *pun alert off*

After Hitch it was late and we all had to get some rest, although I guess Sori and I had the next day off. But DoubleU had some work to do so he turfed us out and the girl and I returned home. It was a gorgeous night out and I wish these days of summer would never end.

Not a great return of the Beltway Boys, but there is more stuff I am working on writing down in between commercial breaks of the Rescue Me marathon I have DVRed.

23 August 2006


Form the backfiles and recently discovered from the November/December 2004 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

Nuclear terrorism would be horrific, but nuclear war would be far worse. As Lynn Eden reported in “City on Fire,” fire damage from nuclear explosions has been vastly and systematically underestimated – a move that allowed early U.S. war planners to demand a much larger nuclear arsenal. As Eden wrote, a single 300-kiloton nuclear weapon detonated above the Pentagon on a clear day would engulf the surrounding 65 square miles in firestorms that would “extinguish all life and destroy almost everything else.” And that’s a conservative estimate.

It is nice revisiting this as I now live within 65 miles of the Pentagon. I guess the worse fear is that if my death was not immediate then I would be frightened and possibly in bodily pain. The worse part though is thinking that the girl and I would be separated. She works only a few blocks from the White House, so odds are good I would not see her again. Would I try to fight my way there to check on her, or would I flee hoping to put some distance between myself and the cataclysm so I could hopefully survive? I don’t know what I would do. Not knowing also scares me, as Denzel Washington’s character in Man on Fire says, “there is no tough, there is only trained and untrained.” I want to be trained, having gone through these scenarios in my mind so if they do happen then I can act and not be paralyzed or even delayed in action.

BTW, how bad are the Nationals looking these days? I just try to imagine how great a year Soriano would be having if he were on a good team. More scenarios for which, I am sure, Sori is probably preparing himself.

19 August 2006

Adams Morgarita Fest

As I write this I am a little tipsy, so please pardon my dust. To-day was the first annual Adam Morgarita Fest. The girl and I rose out of bed around 2 in the afternoon and decided we would cruise the bars in Adams Morgan in search of the best margarita.

The first bar we went to was Ventnors. There were many other bars we would have ende dup at except that it was only 2 and they were not yet open. It was very strange and the topic of most of our discussion while at Ventners. The ritas were good. She felt they were too sweet, but I relay enjoyed it. The free popcorn was excellent and except for the Yankees fan cheering (they were beating the BoSox at this point) it was a nice excursion. We left and the next open place we found was Tom Tom. The girl .had been here a couple of times in the 2 months I had been away working in Detroit, but it was a nice place. My margarita was almost tasteless, but I felt that was probably due to the quality of the pours involved. After Tom Tom she was drunk so out of a N of 2, I can say that Ventnors had a better margarita, $1.50 more expensive, than Tom Tom. And she will say Tom Tom had the cheaper, although without the yummy free popcorn, and tastier margarita. Mind you, she was drunk.

We then stopped by Safeway and bought some crackers, Basque cheese, hard salami and a bottle of Berringer’s 2005 White Zinfadel. I also snuck in a box of Chicken on a Biskit, which is the ultimate remainder of my white trash life, which she likes. We then came home and ate the crackers and wine while watching the last few episodes of Season 3 of Simple Life. What a great show for a Sat. afternoon.

On the way home there was a set of drawers sitting on the corner which looked acceptable. Since my return from Detroit we realized we needed to get her a set of drawers for the closet, and this seemed perfect, if only because it was light enough for me to carry back to the apartment in a slightly inebriated state.

The last season is genius. Paris, being lazy hires a double and then schedules her for the wrong day, so Nicole shows up and makes the double do all kinds of craziness. About to give a damaging interview, Paris is informed of the double cross and then shows up, so we get the eventual Paris v. Nicole showdown, only to be continued next season. But, the production of it is just brilliant. We were so happy with it. With our wine, cheese and salami and crackers. We think we are the ultimate in white trash disguised. Maybe she is disguised, my friends know me for what I am, but she would shock people with her trailer like qualities.

I declare Adams Morgarita Fest a success. Now back to the Colorado at DC United tied game and the Halo Graphic Novel.

18 August 2006

Snakes on a Plane

Let me just say there are snakes in that movie. If by snakes the movie producers mean, as I do, an unseen force that alters the moods of objects. I loved this movie and yet when looking back on it and when trying to describe it to friends I realize that I should not have enjoyed it. I am not spoiling anything by explaining that the reason why the snakes go crazy and attack everyone is because there are pheromones on the plane. There must have been pheromones in the theater. Every cheap and silly cliché of a suspense is present, including the snakes fondness for attacking people in their most vulnerable spots, the genitalia.

The snakes cling to their victims, as only snakes in Hollywood do. The snakes approach menacingly as only snakes in Hollywood do. The story ends with a cheesy tie-in to the first line of Agent Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) as only stories in Hollywood do. While there is not anything that lets you know the movie is mocking these tropes instead of buying into them, I could not help but enjoy the moments. This movie was more entertaining than Pirates and even more entertaining than Captain Jack Sparrow without the detritus of the Pirates franchise. I do like how the producers were not afraid to kill people, and cute dogs. Lots of people and lots of pets. It was almost as thrilling as in House of wax when they killed Paris Hilton. If they cannot kill her off, then at least they can kill off the chic trend she started.

I loved it and I don’t know why. It must be the pheromones in the theater. Now if only I could stop seeing everything through these foggy green lenses. I wonder if the FTA will change their ban on liquids on flights to allow olive oil.