Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saturday Evening Post for Oct. 24th, 2015: The CHI-Squared Edition with a Panoply of Partly-to-Mostly Topically Cloudy Unrelated Pictures

**This entry was posted October 24, 2015.**

Sunny day on New Hampshire Avenue near 22nd and L Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 2:35PM Oct. 18, 2015.

I was riding my bike to the Foggy Bottom Metro at this point, where I had a 25 minute wait.

This entry contains, among other pictures, the ones took last weekend including on Saturday night in Georgetown and on my Sunday bike ride from West Falls Church to Old Town Alexandria and thence up the Mount Vernon bike trail back into D.C. These are thematically unrelated to this entry.

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OK, I know it has been several days since I posted an entry about my own doings (not that anyone actually cares).

The bar at Maxime in Georgetown where I had dinner last Saturday night, Washington, D.C., 11:16PM Oct. 17, 2015.

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It is Saturday afternoon. The weather is mostly cloudy and cool (around 60F) with an occasional now-southeasterly breeze, all of which makes for a nice fall day, although we need rain. The leaves are beginning to turn in earnest, but I suspect the display will be muted this year.

The exterior of George's King of Falafel and Cheesesteak, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 11:46PM October 17, 2015.

What a great URL is that: Georges Georgetown.

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I actually got up a bit earlier than I normally do I Saturday. I'm also at a bit of a loss what to do today. I'll explain that in a bit.

For starters, last night was actually quite nice, except initially at Larry's Lounge.

Another picture of the exterior of George's King of Falafel and Cheesesteak, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 11:46PM October 17, 2015.

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After composing and posting this blog entry and making dinner, I left the apartment around 10PM and walked to Larry's. There was a group of people that I knew there, two of whom I particularly like.

Nellie's at 9th and U Streets NW, Washington, D.C., around 2AM October 18, 2015.

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Without going into a lot of detail, the problem is that LL has at times such a boisterous and chaotic group of people -- so many different characters there in varying states of inebriation -- that for me, it is just as easy to get swept up into a wonderful conversation as it is to get into an argument.

West Falls Church Metro parking lot, on a nice fall day, Falls Church, Va., 3:33PM October 18, 2015.

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In this case, it involved a relatively new person who is there with his brother, a regular, who I felt was being belligerent to me. More to the point, I am so fed up with ALWAYS having some verbal issue with someone. It doesn't happen anywhere else -- just Larry's Lounge.

It is a combination of my personality shortcomings -- exacerbated in certain social situations (read: in bars, especially THAT bar) -- and the odd particulars of Larry's Lounge that cause this.

At least I seem to be on good terms with all the bar staff these days. It was touch-and-go there for a while.

This is that corner unit of The Pavilion condo complex in the 7000 block of Haycock Rd., Falls Church, Va., 3:35PM October 25, 2015.

As with the adjoining Metro station this development isn't in the City of Falls Church itself but the CDP of Idylwood in Fairfax County, Va. I've mentioned this corner spot at least two other entries including this one. It intrigues me.

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Naturally, Gary gets along with every human being on this planet and does so wonderfully. Speaking of LL and Gary, there is some sort of birthday party there this afternoon to which he is going. I didn't make it. Next Sunday (Nov. 1st), there is a dogs-in-Halloween custom event.

Another view of this corner section of The Pavilion condos, Falls Church, Va., 3:35PM October 18, 2015.

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Anyway, I left Larry's and walked to Floriana, where it is a totally different experience. I love listening to Dito talk. He runs the downstairs "grotto" bar. He is hilarious and brilliantly insightful and just all-around enjoyable to listen to. He needs his own internet radio or local cable channel show. Oh, and the things I've seen on the TV there -- movies, videos, all kinds of things I would never have otherwise watched.

The Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) bike trail, Arlington, Va., 4:06PM October 18, 2015.

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His overview of how Hillary did in the GOP's totally failed Benghazi show trial hearings was spot on. He said he watched the entire 11-hour ordeal. (If Hillary does win and we know that ahead of time, I definitely want to be at Floriana the night of the election.)

I stayed for perhaps an hour before leaving. Jamie had already left but I didn't seek him out. Instead, I went home because I thought I had lost some money ($25), but it turned out I had just left it home.

Old apartment blocks off the W& OLD trail in what I think is the Nauck section of Arlington, Va., under a briefly interesting looking sky, 4:20PM October 18, 2015.

There were instability showers (sprinkles) in the area although I didn't get any.

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I then went back out -- this time on my bicycle -- to No. 9 where Jose was working. I talked to him for a bit and had two drinks before departing for the final stop of my night: Nellie's.

The place was characteristically mobbed but not so mobbed that it doesn't even make sense to go there. Derek was working upstairs and I stayed until closing. I actually quite enjoyed it there. It thins out slightly and gets gayer with better music toward the end of the night, which is when I enjoy it.

Anyway, I biked home and went to sleep.

The Carlyle Grand Café in The Village at Shirlington, Arlington, Va., 4:41PM October 18, 2015.

I really quite liked this place. The one I normally go to on this particular bike ride -- Capitol City Brewing Company -- had on with volume turned up an annoying Redskins game.

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For today, I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do. (I ended up spending the whole afternoon on this damn blog.) I promised Andrea that I would go to her Halloween party (being held tonight rather than next Saturday) at her house that she and Imara are hosting. However, they live near Fort Totten and for as much as the city has changed, that's a bad area, especially for me to walk from the Metro in the dark.

All the more so because I heard this story of how there is this deadly dangerous gang of cross-dressing and/or transgendered teenagers that attacks and severely injuries random people. Or maybe they just eat their victims' faces.

Maybe I should just wait  patiently for the Washington Consensus to save me. I mean, it's created such a paradise wherever it goes.

The large house at Valley Drive and Fordham Rd., Alexandria, Va., 5:34PM October 18, 2015.

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As a result of not wanting to go there by myself, I am biking instead up to near the National Cathedral to meet Nick and Luana and get a ride from them. Nick kindly offered to let me keep my bike in his apartment. I need to leave my place by about 6PM.

Because of this -- and because I wanted to update this blog with this lengthy entry, as well as owing to my schedule for next weet that includes planned Tuesday / Thursday gym visits -- I think I'm going to the gym tomorrow (Sunday) instead of as I usually do on Saturday.

However, this is a borderline traumatic thing for me to do: Not go to the gym on Saturday.

There might be some (needed) rain tomorrow, which would nix outdoor activities anyway.

Ivy Mike Hill Cemetery, Alexandria, Va., 5:39PM October 18, 2015.

There is a pathway between the dead end of West Timber Branch Parkway and King Street that runs through Ivy Hill Cemetery. Yes, I walk the bike.

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Oh, yes, I'm not wearing a costume -- other than the one I always wear. I don't "do" Halloween costumes. I just look stupid in them. Then add in that look and expression I have that radiates megawatts of discomfort and agitation to the world.

Me wearing a Halloween costume would have the same effect as me trying to sing karaoke ...

... in some dive bar under those bright, slightly pinkish-white lights: Ghoulish, bags-up-under-the-eyes, no-talent tragedy:

"Uhhh, uhhh, uhhh, did - you - think- I - couldn't - love - you - anymore than I do --"

Pure tragedy.

A pleasant early evening along the residential side street of Hilltop Terrace, Alexandria, Va., 5:49PM Oct. 18, 2015.

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Changing subjects ...

My mom and Ray are today visiting Jerry and Lola out in Williamsport, Md.. They were going to go anyway but Jerry is back in the hospital and so they are going there instead.

Last night, they went into Baltimore on the frickin' light rail. They went to see a concert (a group called MercyMe) somewhere in Baltimore. My mom asked if I thought the light rail was safe. I hemmed and hawed, but they took it anyway (since they didn't want to drive at night).

Sunset with the George Washington Masonic National Memorial visible from Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 School, Alexandria, Va., 5:59PM Oct. 18, 2015.

This school is located in what is the "bad" section of Alexandria -- which I had hitherto for not seen. That area is along and off Queen Street and Princess Streets (as opposed to King and Prince Streets a short way south of there).

This elementary school is part of the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS). I suppose this school "feeds into" T.C. Williams High School -- the biggie in Alexandria.

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Going there was fine but coming back to Cromwell (Glen Burnie) at midnight on a light rail filled with howling, shrieking, profanity-spewing, out-of-control, urban teenagers is not exactly what I like her to do. I told her to take a taxi or Uber next time.

And let's face facts: For as much as I have a soft spot for Baltimore, it is a bad-ass city with all kinds of urban pathologies that show no sign of improvement -- and, in fact, are again getting worse. That aside, they don't need to be taking a frickin' mobile ghetto at that hour through it.

The ginormous Alexandria House at 400 Madison Street, Alexandria, Va., 6:08PM Oct. 18, 2015.

This 23-story building is among the tallest of residential structures in the immediate D.C. area. You can see it from certain spots in D.C. with an unobstructed view to the south. There is actually a smaller building on the north side of it -- the Port Royal Condominium -- that blocks the view toward D.C. for probably half the people in the Alexandria House.

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I'm supposed to meet my mom on Monday for lunch at Union Station (she's taking the MARC train in for a few hours), specifically, at our favorite Thunder Grill spot.

I also wanted to mention that on Wednesday, I met up after work with both Wendy and Andrea at Asian Spice in Chinatown. That was quite pleasant. (Wendy is heading to Kenya for a two month job detail to work with refugees. The she's going to trek around Laos and Cambodia in late December and early January, visiting Angkor Wat, but not doing this.)

Dusk along the Tidal Basin with the Jefferson Memorial visible on the left, 6:57PM October 18, 2015.

I biked up the Mt. Vernon bike trail and over the 14th Street Bridge (on George Mason span, which has a thickly fenced off sidewalk) back into D.C.

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We parted and I walked to No. 9 to meet Chester, who was in town. I walked via that CityCenterDC "mixed-use development" along Palmer Alley. (Why is it called Palmer Alley.?That doesn't sound like the name of a young mistress of the developer.)

CityCenterDC as seen along Palmer Alley, downtown Washington, D.C., 8:14PM October 21, 2015.

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Chester came into D.C. to visit me from Ellicott City, where he lives with his wife and two young children. He is the only one of my straight, married friends who still socializes with me on a semi-regular basis. (Well, occasionally, Mike G. as well.)

All the others were converted by their wives into buccal-pumping frogs on suburban lily pads in houses willed with sticky, poopy children and electronic devices ...


Anyway, one thing led to another and we ended up at James Hoban and then Larry's Lounge and then back at my place just so he could rest up.

It was a fun night, although I didn't get into work until 1130AM.

CityCenterDC at night, downtown Washington, D.C., 8:15PM October 21, 2015

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Oh, yes, one last thing: Yesterday after work, I went to Macy's at Metro Center to buy two new shirts (the long sleeve sort I wear) and I found a nice North Face hoodie. I then went to pick up my Sumatriptan prescription for my occasional migraine headaches at the Dupont Circle CVS.

Yes, migraines are a "pre-existing condition," and when we have (as surely we will) wall-to-wall rightwing radical Republican government starting in 2017 (starring, at the federal level, President Marco "Dumbo" Rubio, Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader, Paul Ryan has House Speaker), and health care is "repealed" for a "free market" corporate oligarchical alternative, this will be used to take away my insurance. It's WHY America is great and what Jesus would do.

Anyway, I then went to the Rite Aid at Connecticut and Florida Avenue because that is the only place I can find the specialty pomade that I use when my hair starts getting longer and bushier and hard to control: CHI Straight Guard pomade.

Alas, it was not there. I think the stuff just isn't made anymore. However, I semi-reluctantly bought the nearest thing to it: CHI Infra Gel. I used it last night and it worked reasonably well.

The two bottles of the CHI hair stuff -- Infra Gel and Straight Guard -- on my table in my old apartment, Washington, D.C., 3:05PM October 24, 2015.

The bottle on the right might be the last bottle of the CHI Straight Guard I can ever find. Oh, yes, "CHI" stands for "Cationic Hydration Interlink."

Yes, there is a lot going on in this picture with wedding picture of my maternal grandmother taken in Perth Amboy, N.J., c. 1947 and a green glass insulator that I bought in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia on that disastrous camping trip. Oh, and an old barometer that used to hang on the wall in our house on Kirby Avenue in Long Branch, N.J., back in the 1970s. It doesn't really work anymore but I just can't throw it out, and not because it has mercury in it.

Just FYI, that cut-out monkey head actually came from a McDonald's Happy Meal box, specifically, this McDonald's Happy Meal box.

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I'm letting my hair grow out for a few more weeks. Unless I get tired of it before then and go to the Hair Cuttery at Dupont Circle and have Brittany shear it off with a number 2 clipper. I've always had a good rapport with Brittany ever since that time 5 years ago when she had to wash out -- via 4 or 5 shampoo applications -- that Murray's pomade for African American hair I had put in my hair. I had to tell her what it was and, well, she found that funny. So did I.

OK, that really is all for now. I'm going to prepare my jukebox Saturday Night Entry. After that entry, I will likely not post another one until at least Monday night.

--Regulus

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