Thursday, May 29, 2008

Church / Bathroom Separation Issues in Bethesda (and other stuff)

**Update, June 2, 2008, 1251AM EDT: Please see my Arcturus blog for an interesting update about the fire this weekend at The Planet internet hosting site that took down so many sites "UFN" -- fascinating.**

This entry is supposed to be a relatively short one designed mostly do post some pictures I took the several days (aside from the Monday NoVa drive about ones). Above: the 1500 block of New Hampshire Ave., NW, near Dupont Circle, May 28, 2008

I do not feel well at all. I've had a minor stomach ailment that has caused me some "church / bathroom" separation issues -- see below. I also drank to excess too often this week at my Cobalt hangout with my usual small crew of friends.

Dupont Circle fountain, May 28, 2008

I got into work late yesterday morning (949AM) and was reminded that regular arrival time is no later than 915AM, unless there is a problem.

Getting up is always semi-suicidal agony for me as in I just want to die half the time, esp. after a fun-drinking night when I just want to sleep until noon. But I know that's not a healthy way at all to live.

The start of Mass. Ave. at Goldsboro Rd., Glen Echo, Md., May 25, 2008, while on a drive with LP.

This morning I got to work by 908AM, but I had fallen asleep after my alarm went off at 735AM and didn't get up until 821AM. I didn't do any of my morning routines, including taking a shower, and I felt and perhaps looked like a grungy, dirty dog all day. There were also bathroom issues -- again, see below. I promise that will be tastefully written.

Walking outside in sunny, late May Bethesda at lunch hour, I caught glimpses of myself in storefront windows and I wondered when I became such an old-looking slob. Sigh.

Later, at the 17th St., NW, gayborhood Safeway, I bumped into bartender Jason, whom I rarely see anymore but who is always very sweet to me. He tried to give me a hug but I felt so grungy I had to back away. He looked nice and I told him and he graciously returned the compliment, though it is hardly true.

An illuminated blue door at night, 2100 block, S St., NW, May 27, 2008.

I got home and showered and shaved and ate some dinner and its comfortable and pleasant. My window a/c is purring away, my two lamps are turned on but it is still dim in my apt. as I like it, and my plush stuffed animals o' love (Flippo and the others) are sitting on my bed quietly. I have the TV on watching various stuff.

I watched my former demi-god, the rabidly-Hillary-hating Keith Olbermann interview Scott McClellan, a.k.a. "Scottie the Underbear" (as Bartcop called him --that phrase has been stuck in my head all day) about McClellan's new tell-all book about Bush's Iraq War lust.

And now I'm writing this entry. I also want to post a new Arcturus with the new theme. That theme will variously be political, weather, and astronomy stuff, rather than waste it on other stuff.

On an unrelated note, the Sun apparently burned the Sirius star. That's too bad and I do sincerely hope he is feeling better.

The WORST sunburn I ever got was in Florida in 1993 (or 1994) and it basically left me with some spots and freckles on my back that never went away. Everything peeled a few days later -- when I got on the flight back to BWI, my face looked like a chameleon shedding its skin. It wasn't pretty. I had spent hours frolicking in the surf in Daytona Beach in July with no suntan lotion. I learned some more respect for the Sun. And I grew up at the Jersey shore where I spent my childhood and teenage summers, but somehow I mostly managed to avoid bad burns like that one.

Exterior of Our Lady of Lourdes, Bethesda, Md., May 22, 2008

Oh, yes, my church/ bathroom issue. Here it is in brief:

The previously almost unused restroom on the floor directly below the floor where my office is located in a Bethesda office building is now being used because there is construction activity and a new tenant is moving in. In referring to bathroom / restroom use, I am referring to the sit-down activity, which is something that for me is mostly done at home. That is, I'm not talking about peeing. Got it?

I'll spare everyone the story of how that office restroom's stalls were locked and how I would slide under the stall door ... not like Larry Craig. Ha ha. Kristof thought it was funny.

Anyway, on my lunch hour I sometimes go over to Our Lady of Lourdes ("OLOL") Catholic Church located almost across the street from my office. The more Catholic - devout folks go there to mediate in the church or spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, which is actually behind iron bars in a strange sort of alcoved recess locked off (there is a door built into the iron bars -- pictured above).

The Bethesda - Chevy Chase high school kids for the most part just walk past it to and from Wisconsin Ave. going wherever for lunch. I'll be glad when summer vacation comes. Too many BCC kids everywhere. They make me nervous.

Returning to OLOL, I go there occasionally just because it is so peaceful. I don't pray very well -- mostly I just bitch at GOD when I do talk to HIM.

Well, it turns out that that there is a private, lockable mens bathroom off the church entrance vestibule. It is behind two doors and with a big dead bolt that when you turn it, you know it's closed. Yay. (There is a women's restroom on the other side.) And in keeping with the church's window's decor, there are twin stained glass panels.

It's a perfect sort of bathroom. Just the right size. All the necessary and sufficient amenities and decent water pressure* and pleasant liquid soap (not the nasty smelling industrial kind) and not the wimpy kind of tp. I use all of that in great quantity. Only thing missing is baby powder. I guess I could bring some, but that would look weird.

OK, enuf of that.

The bottom line, the bathroom is well-kept and little used. Outside world sounds of traffic and people talking fill the air, unless you close the window, and then there is an odd but soothing silence punctuated by occasional water - running - in - pipes white noise.

* To paraphrase Al Bundy of Married, With Children fame: "Gimme a toilet with a manly flush! BA-ROOOSH! Not a wimpy flush ... eeeeeeeeee ..."

It's not my intention to make a habit of going there everyday -- and now that I've written this, I've NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER that GOD is going to punish me and somehow that OLOL restroom will be unavailable for, like, weeks OR I'll be fired and then I can just use my home bathroom until my uncontented heart is made content -- but my stomach has been upset and agitated the past two days. And 20 or so uninterrupted, solitude-filled and otherwise unmolested minutes in there did me much good.



A few other items ...

As a follow-up to my April 8, 2008 Arcturus entry, based on an anonymous comment I got well after the fact and doing the Google Map street-level view (available for Montrose Ave. in Pasadena, Calif.) and looking more carefully at the opening sequence ...

... I am somewhat convinced the house is the one at or near #1059 Montrose Ave. is in fact the Mama's Family opening sequence one, though certain things have changed -- esp. the upstairs windows -- in the intervening 26 years since that opening sequence was filmed.

Type in "1059 Montrose Ave., Pasadena, CA") and it should come up with street-view (it will say "1058" but the even numbers appear to be actually on the other side of the street, which is the view you get if you type that number in.

Glad we got that cleared up.


9400 block, Seven Locks Rd., Potomac, Md., May 25, 2008.

My full time regular salaried position where I work starts on Monday.


And just in time there is some new assignment that is sure to be difficult to do because it involves telephone interviewing people in private industry. I need to decide by mid - August what I want to do, but for the summer, I will sit tight.


There is a going away party Sat. night in Herndon for an acquaintance Abby. She is moving back to Dubai. I think Kristof, Gerry, and Phil are going. I'm going to ask LP if he wants to go. Gary is away in Pennsylvania at a bowling tournament this weekend.

It's ashame that he is away because I think the sour cherries are at peak fruition this weekend. There aren't many sour cherry trees in this area, but you know when you found one.

They are tremendous.

One tree grows in particular that he and I found when its cherries were at peak two years ago is located in an overgrown, tangled Battery Kemble part of the four-named Battery Kemble - Glover Archbold Parkway just off the very strange Chain Bridge Road as the parkland slopes steeply down to MacArthur Blvd. in the Palisades section of D.C. I may go there myself.


Finally, this weekend is the annual Glen Echo festival and I may try to go there with LP. Specifically, the Folklore Society of Greater Washington (whatever that is) is having its 28th annual Washington Folk Festival this weekend.

Ah, storied Glen Echo ...



krzysztof said...

Suppose you slip under the door into the stall and someone is there at stool. It would be one of those situations when there's absolutely nothing you can do or say to make it any less uncomfortable. Even the customary 'how are you doing' would sound somewhat awkward

krzysztof said...

and the church/bathroom thing.... God works in mysterious ways indeed

bolshoipavel said...

Oh, all I need to believe in a loving God is to find a clean, comfortable, SOLITARY bathroom amid the noise and squalor of daily life! (And stained glass windows are a wonderful bonus!) You are indeed blessed to have found such a place!
- Paul

Regulus said...

Kristof: "Even the customary 'how are you doing' would sound somewhat awkward

Well, in that case, sugarplum, I would just say, "Hey there Krzysztof! Wake up! You're not supposed to fall asleep on the men's toilet!"

As for GOD working in Mysterious Way, he does indeed. There is actually a noon mass that lets out around 1230PM, around the time I showed up.

BolshoiPavel: "You are indeed blessed to have found such a place!"

That's what the priest of OLOL said to me when I told him at confession about his church's men's room. Yay!

fifi said...

I can't think of one sensible or witty thing to say here, that sacred toilet is just too much.

Although I worked in a convent for quite some time and loved hanging out in their bathrooms, which makes me possibly even weirder than YOU ;-D

Anonymous said...

My aunt, uncle, and I were JUST talking about the Crystal Pool at Glen Echo! My aunt always liked that it had real sand - as if you were at the beach. Of course, we won't go into the unpleasantness of what killed Glen Echo...
Still undecided on "Mama's" house in Pasadena - I count 7 windows in the dormer of it, while there are 8 on Mama's dormer... No more railing, as well.

Johnny Reb

Regulus said...

Ah, yes, we know what happened to Glen Echo ... but it seems to be coming back this generation in its own way.

My friend LP remembers when he was a small boy in 1960 swimming on at least two occasions, in the Crystal Pool.

Re. the "Mama's Family" house, the upstairs windows are different, but remember that the opening sequence was filmed in 1982, or 26 years ago. I think the upstairs windows were changed. But the sidewalk adn walkway, as well as the four columns that hold up the front porch are the same. The front door has been changed. I just have a feeling that this is the correct house.

Pete said...

Regulus, I am not sure how to post to more current blogs or otherwise communicate with you. I went to OLOL and was looking for some pictures of the school/church and came across your blog. I live in Los Angeles now. I see you approve posts. I'd rather not have my email address posted, but I'd be interested in seeing more pics of the church if you have them. My email address is - Peter

Regulus said...

I posted your comment. Let me know if you want me to delete it. As it is, this is a 4-1/2 year old blog entry and very few people ever look at the comments, esp. this far back. I don't think it is a problem. But if you want me to remove it, I will.

Yes, I have on comment moderation -- but only because I kept getting all these comments from fake people in India with names such as "Gary Green" that are links to ads. Furthermore, the days of frequent comments from friends and other bloggers on this blog is long over. Blogging as a craze peaked some years ago. I do this in lieu of Facebook or Twitter or such things. Indeed, for the most part I'm not even looking for comments.

Finally, re. your question, I can't help you. I live and work in D.C. and don't get up to Bethesda that much. I used to work very close to OLOL at this horrible job of which I am well rid.