Tuesday, December 31, 2013

ZooLights, Vodka Nips, and Brady the Loving, Glove-Chewing Puggle -OR- Coda 2013

Brady the puggle, Chris's apartment, Washington, D.C., 11:41PM December 30, 2013.


I wasn't going to post an entry tonight -- ahead of the New Year 2014 -- but if was kind of a chaotic and strange one with Chris H. tonight.

For starters, we walked to the National Zoo in the cold night air rather than taking a cab to see the ZooLights display, and we barely made it with only about a half hour to see things (the 9PM closing time is ridiculously early). 

The ZooLights display at the entrance to the National Zoo, Washington, D.C., 9:30PM December 30, 2013.


We were kind of drunk by the time we got there, having stopped at Benmoll Liquors on U Street to purchase a 10-pack of small vodka nips and some juice ... Well, actually, Energy Brands / Glacéau Vitaminwater and diet Sprite ... and then stopped for ANOTHER drink at Woodley Café, where I sometimes go to have dinner (the bartender remembered me very well).

The place was predictably quite crowded with parents their small children and sticky babies in poopy diapers in from places such as Silver Spring, Rockville, Vienna, and Fairfax. The night was cold and still with winter bare trees silhouetted on softly illuminated clouds above nearby downtown D.C. lights. (That is one of my favorite things -- especially on those occasions when it heralds an impending snow.)

Two chimpanzees in a hammock in the primate house at the National Zoo, Washington, D.C., 8:44PM December 30, 2013. They were blissfully unconcerned about all the people at the glass windows.


We didn't have much time at the zoo and soon it closed, although we stopped in the primate house and saw two chimpanzees asleep in a hammock (see picture directly above). In another area, a lowland gorilla was asleep in a furry mound in a corner.

We departed, intending to go to the Zoo Bar Café, except it was too crowded and so we walked down to a place called Murphy's of DC at 24th and Calvert Streets NW just off Connecticut Avenue. This ended up a bit awkward, although dinner was good.

We then took a taxi cab to Larry's Lounge, except Chris suddenly thought he lost his very expensive Samsung Inter-galactic i-Whatever, and I ended up taking another taxi back to the restaurant (in a roundtrip ride) to Murphy's, where I did NOT find it.

Another picture of Brady the puggle in Chris's apartment, Washington, D.C., 12:00AM December 31, 2013.


Thereafter, I went to Chris's place in order to help him find a number and make a call to cancel the phone -- only to discover that the phone was in his back pocket. Meanwhile, his little puggle Brady licked and licked and licked me. And by the time I left, my jacket covered in dog fur, that Brady had devoured a few of the fingers off my gloves -- two on one and one on another -- rendering them useless.

Yet another picture of Brady in Chris's apartment, Washington, D.C., 11:42PM December 30, 2013. Here Brady was gnawing -- no, shredding -- one of my gloves atop my backpack.


Walking the short distance home, I came up with a little jingle for Brady set to Frosty the Snowman:

"Brady the Puggle / Was as cute as he could be / Why, he took my gloves and he chewed 'em up / While Chris just laughed at me ..."


OK, that's all for now. I'm home right now and quite ready for bed.

The 12Z 12/30/2013 ECWMF ("European") model for North America showing 850hPa (mb) winds and mean sea level pressure, valid hour 96 / 12Z Jan. 3, 2014.


There is still a chance of accumulating snow even here in D.C. on Friday (see above map from the 12Z 12/31/2013 ECMWF), but it is still uncertain / tentative. Even more so, there is also the very real possibility of a major cold wave next week with highs only in the 20s Fahrenheit and lows in the single digits even in the immediate area.

And with that, I really will sign off for 2013.


Monday, December 30, 2013

On 2013 Bad Endings & 2014 Good Beginnings: Hateful Bitcoin Mayhem and Loving, Awesome Utah (Utah!) Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

This may be my final entry of 2013 since it doesn't look like I'm going to post any additional entries before Wednesday or even possibly late Thursday, with the latter really meaning as late as Friday (Jan. 1st, 2014 and Jan. 2nd/3rd, 2014, respectively).

Anyway, I would like to end 2013 by noting some hateful bad and loving good things at the conclusion of the year ...

First ...

... we hate Bitcoins, which are evil and a source of libertarian / inverted Marxist mayhem in the world. They also have a profound "double spending" problem that cannot be resolved and become little more than a Dogecoin and/or Ponzicoin bubble.


All cryptocurrencies fall in this category.



... we love Robert J. Shelby, United States District Court Judge for the District of Utah. His 53-page Kitchen v. Herbert ruling (link embedded) on December 20, 2013 is a thing of beauty.

You need to read it.


In 1966, attorneys for the State of Virginia made the following arguments to the Supreme Court in support of Virginia's law prohibiting interracial marriage: (1) "The Virginia statutes here under attack reflects [sic] a policy which has obtained in this Commonwealth for over two centuries and which still obtains in seventeen states"; (2) "Inasmuch as we have already noted the higher rate of divorce among the intermarried, is it not proper to ask, 'Shall we then add to the number of children who become the victims of their intermarried parents?'"; (3) "[I]ntermarriage constitutes a threat to society"; and (4) "[U]nder the Constitution the regulation and control of marital and family relationships are reserved to the States."

Brief for Respondents at 47-52, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), 1967 WL 113931. These contentions are almost identical to the assertions made by the State of Utah in support of Utah's laws prohibiting same-sex marriage. For the reasons discussed above, the court finds these arguments as unpersuasive as the Supreme Court found them fifty years ago ...

Rather than protecting or supporting the families of opposite-sex couples, Amendment 3 perpetuates inequality by holding that the families and relationships of same-sex couples are not now, nor ever will be, worthy of recognition. Amendment 3 does not thereby elevate the status of opposite-sex marriage; it merely demeans the dignity of same-sex couples.

And while the State cites an interest in protecting traditional marriage, it protects that interest by denying one of the most traditional aspects of marriage to thousands of its citizens: the right to form a family that is strengthened by a partnership based on love, intimacy, and shared responsibilities. The Plaintiffs' desire to publicly declare their vows of commitment and support to each other is a testament to the strength of marriage in society, not a sign that, by opening its doors to all individuals, it is in danger of collapse.

The State of Utah has provided no evidence that opposite-sex marriage will be affected in any way by same-sex marriage. In the absence of such evidence, the State's unsupported fears and speculations are insufficient to justify the State’s refusal to dignify the family relationships of its gay and lesbian citizens. Moreover, the Constitution protects the Plaintiffs' fundamental rights, which include the right to marry and the right to have that marriage recognized by their government. These rights would be meaningless if the Constitution did not also prevent the government from interfering with the intensely personal choices an individual makes when that person decides to make a solemn commitment to another human being. The Constitution therefore protects the choice of one's partner for all citizens, regardless of their sexual identity.


Again, you need to read the ruling.

Yes, I realize this case may very well go to the U.S. Supreme Court -- where anything is possible -- but for now, this is a very good thing.


Oh, who'da THUNK that you'd see the map of same sex marriage status for the U.S States and Territories look like this. Again, even if only temporary -- just awesome.


OK, that's all for now. Again, I may not update this blog until 2014. I'm SUPPOSED to go to ZooLights at the National Zoo with Chris H. tomorrow and on Tuesday (New Years Eve), I may go to dinner with DD and his family in Rockville before heading back into the city to Larry's Lounge and/or Nellie's. Thus, no entries are likely until Wednesday.

See you on the other side of the New Year. Happy New Year 2014!


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Some Reflections on the Passing of My Great Uncle Frederick V. "Freddie" Acerra Sr.

As I mentioned briefly in this recent entry, one of my last great uncles, Frederick V. "Freddie" Acerra has passed away. He died December 23rd, 2013. He is pictured above last January standing on the left. His two brothers, my great uncles Eddie (middle) and "Bubby" (right), and their sister, my great aunt Babe, on the occasion of her 100th birthday party in West Long Branch, New Jersey on January 27, 2013. (The seated lady leading away is my great aunt Tessie, widow of another Acerra brother (I always forget which one). I didn't even recognize her. She was suffering from advanced Alzheimer's.)

Uncle Freddie -- pictured left in a close-up from the above image -- was one of the last three of the original sprawling Acerra clan of Long Branch, New Jersey that included 17 (!) children, 15 of whom made it to adulthood, and one of whom was my late paternal grandmother, Florence Acerra Todaro, and that included the all-brother baseball team, the Acerra Brothers.

FYI: The name is pronounced "A-chera" (not "A-sera").

It was just six months ago in July 2013 that Uncle Bubby died. I wrote a little about him (I didn't know him very well) in this entry (link embedded): Some Reflections on the Occasion of the Passing of My Great Uncle Richard ("Bubby") Acerra.

Left: A picture of Uncle Bubby that was featured in his obituary.

I wrote about Aunt Babe's 100th birthday and my trip to New Jersey for that occasion in this blog entry Aunt Babe's First Century and My 100th Percentile New Jersey Weekend (Prequel Entry).

A picture of Aunt Babe with Yours Truly at her 100th birthday party, W. Long Branch, N.J., 3:33PM January 27, 2013.

While I subsequently posted a lengthy entry about my visit to New Jersey and reflections on my childhood there, I never posted the entry featuring the rest of the pictures from the actual party.


Uncle Freddie lived for years in the bright green house on Morford Avenue (my grandma always pronounced it "Maw-ford") in Long Branch where the Acerras lived starting circa 1940 (after my grandmother had already married and moved out). It was a big, creaky old house that his grandson Michael had thoroughly restored about seven years ago.

I am reposting Uncle Freddie's obituary below as it appeared online in the Asbury Park Press. It was lifted verbatim from the Hoffman Funeral Home online obituary for him. (Oh, yes, amazingly, the funeral is NOT being held at Damiano Funeral Home but rather Hoffman Funeral Home, also in Long Branch, though I don't recall ever hearing of it.)

Frederick V. Acerra, Sr., 88, of Long Branch died peacefully at home, surrounded by the love of his family on Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. Born in Long Branch he was a lifelong resident. His love of baseball earned him the title of All State Short Stop for Long Branch High School. Frederick was a member and short stop of the famous Acerra Brother Baseball Team, Long Branch. The team was honored at the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997.

The Acerra team won the Long Branch City League Champions for ten consecutive years. Frederick was scouted by numerous Major League Baseball teams, the "Yankees" being one of them. He was also a member and Past Commander for the VFW, Brighton Memorial Post, #2140, Long Branch and a member and Past Exalted Ruler for the Long Branch Elks, BPOE, Lodge #742, Long Branch. He worked over 40 years for Monmouth Consolidated Water, Shrewsbury, where he retired as a Commercial Service Supervisor. He was predeceased by his loving wife of 42 years, Eleanor Hurley Acerra in 1991. Surviving are his children, Donna Urmey of Long Branch and Frederick V. Acerra Jr. and his wife Barbara of Brick; grandchildren, Anthony Urmey and his fiance Katie Fitzgerald, Michael Urmey and his wife Jacklyn and Cory Acerra; a brother, Edward Acerra of Long Branch and a sister, Frances Christopher of West Long Branch as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mr. Acerra's memory to BPOE, # 742, Crippled Childrens Fund, 150 Garfield Ave., Long Branch, NJ 07740 would be appreciated. Visitation will be on Sunday, December 29th, from 2-4 & 7-9pm at the Hoffman Funeral Home, 415 Broadway, Long Branch. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10 am Monday, December 30th at Holy Trinity RC Church of Christ The King Parish, Long Branch. Interment will be private.

There was no way I could make it to the funeral, although based on how the obituary reads, the immediate family wouldn't even want me there. (I was not particularly close to Uncle Freddie's daughter -- I always got the sense she didn't like me. More generally, I get the strong sense that a number of the cousins did not particularly like the Todaro part of the family for a variety of reasons which I won't go into here (some perhaps understandable, others not).

That aside, and as I've mentioned in a number of entries over they years, the Acerra clan was not only remarkably large, it included the all-brother baseball team mentioned in the obituary. I also wrote about Uncle Freddie in the context of the all-brother baseball team, the Acerra Brothers, in this entry (link embedded): More Trade Winds Beach Club and long ago New Jersey Family Photo-Reflections.

Above is the most famous of the Acerra Brothers baseball team photographs. It was taken probably in the late 1940s (just after World War II, in which most of the boys served and all returned safely). Uncle Freddie is the third from the right on the bottom row. He is between Bubby and Eddie. They tended to pose chronologically.

At this point, only Uncle Eddie remains of the boys (he is probably about 86) and only Aunt Babe of the girls. Her age of nearly 101 is a great outlier of all the Acerra children. She is doing fine, and as I posted in a recent entry, she is in Hawaii with her daughter and son-in-law for several months.

Yes, a nearly 101 year old lady flies all the way from the U.S. East Coast to Honolulu. As proof, above is a picture of Aunt Babe taken this past Christmas Eve and sent to me by Betty Ann.


Above is a picture I've posted before on this blog showing all the Acerra children and their parents from a long-ago day at Newark Airport in New Jersey probably about 1937 (certainly before World War II). The story of why they were all on that TWA prop plane was on the occasion of having won a contest for New Jersey's largest family.

This picture features the 15 Acerra children from Tony to Louie ("the baby") who made it to adulthood. (I think one died at birth and another died as a baby in the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918.) The parents -- i.e., my great grandparents -- were Elizabeth (who died in 1977) and Luciano (who died circa 1968, before I was born). Of the 15, I knew to varying degrees all of them except Tony, who died quite young circa 1948.

Above: The same picture but "marked up" to identify my grandmother, Aunt Babe, and Uncle Freddie.


A few more reflections on Uncle Freddie ...

I wrote about Uncle Freddie in this entry way back in September 2008 on a weekend trip to New Jersey I took with my dad on the occasion of his 50th high school reunion that also includes some pictures of Aunt Babe, who was then 95 years old. (I also wrote a second, longer account of that trip is in this follow-up entry.) He had this really gravelly voice and -- as you would expect from an octogenarian World War II vet -- he cursed a lot, but it was always funny.

It was during this visit that Uncle Freddie said to my dad -- after my dad explained all the places he had lived since leaving New Jersey in 1993 in Florida, on the Outer Banks and near Myrtle Beach -- to him in that deeply gravelly voice he had: 


Above: Uncle Freddie talks to my dad, September 7, 2008. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of him from that Sept. 2008 visit, and my then-cellphone's camera quality was even worse than the one I have now.


Another recollection is from the early 2000s. I stayed overnight there in the summer for a few days both in 2000 and again in 2001 or 2002. (I recall the 2000 visit because we watched Al Gore's absurd acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention that helped to lose him the election.) At one point, we were talking and he asked me something about whether I had any women in my life and then he abruptly added in the most gravelly way:


Ha ha

Goodbye, Uncle Freddie. Tell my grandma I said hello and think of her often.

When I die -- which I suspect will occur in the next 10 to 15 years, by which point I will have no immediate remaining family -- it will pass with no funeral nor even any mention. And I suspect I'll be buried in some potter's field in some random place.

I fully intend to haunt someplace and/or some people, though.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Jukebox Saturday Night Entry: Dec. 28th, 2013 "End of Year" Edition

"The Second Time Around" by Shalamar from the group's Big Fun album (1979).


"Never Knew Love Like This Before" by Stephanie Mills from her Sweet Sensation album (1980)


"Excited" by M People that was initially released in 1991 and then re-released on their Northern Soul album (1992)

This features the U.S. video showing the group singing around a Los Angeles pool party, everything all gold-hued and happy.

I remember this song from my early days of going out in D.C. circa 1995. The lead singer of the group then and now* is Heather Small with her smooth, sultry, even occasionally husky voice.

*The group apparently reassembled for its 20th anniversary. As for Small, she had to have vocal chord surgery due to a problem that she explained in this BBC Breakfast interview this past May that included the other two group members as well. She said she had to not speak for six whole weeks.


OK, that's all for now. I am going to try to post my Christmas day pictures tomorrow. If I do not, then my next update may very well not be until New Year's Day.


Sins as White as Snow on an Otherwise Snowless D.C. Saturday

**This entry was posted December 28, 2013**

Just as a brief update ahead of my planned jukebox Saturday night entry (which will make 4 entries posted today).

I'm still a bit out-of-sorts over last night's bar fight involving my friend and another guy that turned into quite a donnybrook, although fortunately a short one and no one was really hurt.

Above: The snow-covered bell tower of church in Bedretto in the canton of Ticino, Switzerland following a whopping snowstorm over the past few days. Photo: Karl Mathis, AP Photo / Keystone. Photo from CWG entry linked below.


As for my Saturday, I got up characteristically late but I made it to the gym (Anthony Bowen YMCA) for a nearly complete workout (jogging, weightlifting, and swimming), albeit slightly shorter than usual. I then went to Wendy's place in Columbia Heights to walk and feed her approximately 105-pound Alaskan Malamute "Tacoma" as she is away in New York until tomorrow.

A picture of Tacoma (a.k.a., "Fluff Bomb") hearing her dinner in Wendy's place, 7:07PM December 25, 2013.

This was taken on Christmas day after Gary, Wendy, and I returned to D.C. from dinner in Annapolis with my mom and Ray.


There was a bit of a kerfuffle at Wendy's as I foolishly -- idiotically -- locked a door from the inside I was not supposed to lock and for which there was not a key.

Long story short, Gary was there to hold Tacoma on her leash (I have trouble with that because she knows I don't really know what I'm doing); Wendy was available on the phone; and there was a spare key (one of those Schlage house keys from Walmart, sort of like in the picture at left only brownish in color) to the main part of the house.

Wendy lives in the English basement of a row house. The landlady lives upstairs, but she was away -- hence the need to check in on the dog). We got into the main part of the house and the alarm went off, but I had the code (and thought to press the "#" key afterward. So in the end, no harm, no foul and all ended well. (The phone rang immediately after the phone went off, so I'm guessing that was the security company calling.)

I guess if that had been in a gated community -- or wherever -- in the American South or Great Plains, there would have been guns ablazin' as someone -- everyone -- "saved" the house from "the intruder."

And if I had been in Oklahoma, I could have called, yes, Ablazin Locksmith. Awesome.

OK, enough of that.

A cross country skier in St. Margrethen in the canton of St. Gallens, Switzerland, Dec. 27, 2013 following the massive snowfall in the region over the past few days. Photo Arno Balzarini.


Today was a mild day with partly cloudy skies and high temps around 57F in the immediate D.C. area (including at KDCA itself). The Capital Weather Gang's Ian Livingston, a remarkably dainty soul, penned this CWG entry (link embedded): D.C. area forecast: "D.C. area forecast: A Saturday to savor ahead of Sunday's soaking".

So I hoped everyone indeed "savored" this Saturday's weather. But -- oh, dear -- it may be a "soaking" tomorrow. I guess Dainty Ian doesn't like that.

Also, see this CWG entry about the 1 METER (i.e., 30+ inches) of snow that fell in parts of the Swiss Alps over the past few days. Three of the pictures in that CWG entry are included in this blog entry.

A car roof buried in snow in Bedretto in the canton of Ticino, Switzerland, December 27, 2013. Photo: Karl Mathis.


Speaking of snow, per today's ECMWF ("Euro") model, there is a chance of some sort of coastal storm in the Jan. 3rd - 4th time frame, but that's still too far out to say anything.

Above: The Unisys Weather presentation of the 12Z 12/28/2013 ECMWF showing 500mb heights and sea level pressure over North America valid on day 6 / 12Z on 03 Jan. 2014.

This is about as good a resolution as you can get of the ECMWF model outputs outside of NASA or the NWS / NOAA and others who (I assume) pay large amounts of money for it.


I'm home tonight watching the Sci Fi Saturday Night line-up on Me TV. There has been a big change: Lost In Space has been moved to midnight and replaced by Wonder Woman at the 8PM to 9PM hour. The times of Star Trek: The Original Series and the Svengoolie-hosted monster movie are unchanged.

I'm not exactly sure what to do tonight -- probably my usual Saturday night circuit: Old Ebbitt Grill, No. 9, and Nellie's, though perhaps something else.


(Not Quite My) Bar Fight / (But) Otherwise a Good Night

**This entry was posted December 28, 2013** Updated 8:40PM 12/28/2013**

OK, so tonight was bizarre. For starters, there was a bar fight at a local 17th Street bar (no, either of TWO two) that only indirectly involved me.

I was neither the reason nor direct cause (sorry to disappoint, D.C. Gay Mafia) but it was one that involved a good friend and one in which I ended up in the brief imbroglio. Police and then ambulance showed up, though no one actually needed the latter.

It got steadily more ugly and aggressive between the friend and another crazy guy until punches were thrown -- and the friend's sister (visiting from out of town) got punched in the face by this guy (not too hard, but still ... really??), at which point ALL HELL broke loose. (I don't think I've ever been in a bar fight -- not like that before.)

Within seconds, a glass of wine was thrown, a glass or two shattered and everybody was kind of in a pile on the floor. Oh, and somebody bit the guy on his clenched fist, which was just sort of sticking out in the air when my friend had him in a lock.
Oooh, and how people behave.

In the end, although the guy was quite strong, he was simply out-numbered and my friend is a boxer who can more than handle himself. At some point, it just ended and he walked outside right past me as I was calling 9-1-1. He could have severely whaled on me, but he didn't. Instead, he just sauntered off down Q Street.

Again, it was a SH!T SHOW.

It could have been worse in terms of violence and actual injury, but it never got to that point, and for that Thank You, God.

Nevertheless, at some point, a glass of wine was thrown / broken and went over everyone. My new sweater got red wine all over it. Worse, though, the shards of glass cut a number of people on their hands, though this too was not nearly as bad as it could of been.

Oh, yeah, the ambulance guy derisively laughed at me when I said I needed a Band-Aid. Well, I did.

Updated 8:40PM 12/28/2013: To clarify, what happened initially involved my friend and two other people -- one with an unresolved issue and another who jumped into the situation with a verbal stream of sexual filth. The guy was a lunatic. My friend's sister got hit when she tried to get between them. As for the red wine and blood, I guess that was sort of Catholic, was it not? At the end of the night, five of us compared hands and we each had some mild cuts.

End of update.


Now the funny thing is that earlier, I had had a completely and totally swell time with my bestie, AP. We went to dinner at Banana Leaves, and then went to D-I-K, where C/H was working, then to No. 9 (which really does shut down after 11PM on Friday nights and is NOT a sort of speakeasy), and finally to James Hoban. It was after J-H that I headed over the locale where the sh!t show subsequently happened.

I'm home now and going to bed, though I'm still riled up.

OK, time for bed. 'night. Tomorrow should be most definitely quieter.


Mr. O'Henry's Film Class -OR- M. Wade On Tarantino-the-Awful and His Even Worse Movies

*This entry was posted on December 28th, 2013.**

"Like, OK, everybody, welcome my film clahss this semester. As a school policy remindah, peanuts, aspirin, and greater than 2% milk are not allowed in the clahssroom. However, Ritahlin is strongly encouraged. I mean, it IS nearly 2014, and this IS America. Anywhoo, this semester we'll be watching 10 of the greatest Scorsese and Tarahntino films. And you'll get to write a final essay on what they, Tarahntino in pahticulah, mean to you and their powah-ful resonahnce to present day Americahn culture..."

Actually, Mr. O'Henry, I can do that assignment right now:

Quentin Tarantino is a not only an awful filmmaker but also an awful human being. His films are repetitive-themed knock-off ones from foreign countries that do nothing but drain the originals of any meaning while massively amping up the violence and blood into depraved death fests for idiot American movie-goers so desensitized to that crap that it just beggars the imagination.

As for Tarantino himself, he is a thoroughly despicable and ugly human being whose snarling, arrogant, scrunched up visage is synonymous with everything wrong with our pop culture and (to quote Bob Dole) the "nightmares of depravity" that the one-time Hollywood dream factory cranks out without end.

In short, a Tarantino film and Tarantino himself are both depraved.

"LIKE, OH, MY GAHWD! You've GOT to be kidding me! Like, Tarahntino is a GENIUS! Like, you don't know what you're tahking about! He's, like, the greatest --"

Heaven forbid you actually watch any of the real movie classics when dialogue, emotion, and excellent acting could tell meaningful stories, not psychologically depraved nonsense designed to titillate the stupid. Who would defend this kind of moral monstrosity?




Thursday, December 26, 2013

Past Fortnight Photo Recap: Rainy Saturday Night D.C. Circuit and Elsewhere

The new escalators on the south side of the Dupont Circle Metro, Washington, D.C., 7:30PM December 20, 2013.


This entry features some photos that I took over the past two weeks that I have been intending to post, in particular a series on Saturday night of Dec. 14th into the early hours of Sunday, Dec. 15th. The pictures are thus out of order from the ones I posted in my previous entry, and also from the ones I intend to post from yesterday. The pictures from yesterday were taken en route to, during, and after my Christmas Day dinner with my mom, Ray, Gary, and Wendy in Annapolis. (I still have to get some pictures from my mom and Wendy.)

It is the day after Christmas and I am back in D.C. I do not feel well today -- I feel headachy and a tad dizzy. I took the day off outright. I'm not sure if this is some after-effect from yesterday (I really did drink too much), a head cold, or one of my periodic migraine headaches (a non-aural one). As it is, I am going to try to go to the gym (the Anthony Bowen YMCA), as I've not been to the gym since Saturday.

I don't like feeling this way.

OK, the rest of this entry just features the pictures with some accompanying text ...


Rainy Saturday night, Dec. 14th, into the wee hours of Sunday morning, Dec. 15th, 2013, in the D.C. City Beautiful ...

An umbrella couple on a rainy night standing at the corner of 16th and U Streets at New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 9:09PM December 14, 2013.

I skipped my Me TV Sci Fi Saturday Night on this night, hence the early start on my Saturday night Old Ebbitt Grill / No. 9 / Nellie's / back home again circuit. On this night, I stopped first at Dupont Italian Kitchen bar to see Chris H.


Rainy night looking south down 17th Street NW from near S Street, Washington, D.C., 9:14PM December 14, 2013.


Rainy night view of the White House from Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C., 10:08PM December 14, 2013.

I had stopped at D-I-K Bar for about a half hour before continuing on my way to Old Ebbitt.  


Rainy night view from Lafayette Park looking toward the buildings along Madison Place NW, Washington, D.C., 10:09PM December 14, 2013.

There are three roads named Madison in D.C. -- Madison Drive NW just on the immediate north side of the National Mall (it is the old "A" Street in the Northwest quadrant while Jefferson Drive is the old "A" Street on the Southwest quadrant side); Madison Place NW on the east side of Lafayette Park; and Madison Street NW (the three-syllable "M" street in the D.C. grid several miles north of the White House).


A very dim and blurry picture from my low-quality cellphone camera taken at my usual Old Bar late night Saturday night spot in the Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, D.C., 10:48PM December 14, 2013.

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, apparently Teddy Roosevelt shot every animal whose head is mounted above the bar -- including that walrus. Indeed, I believe that Teddy Roosevelt shot EVERY animal head in every bar in North America...


The lobby at 1110 Vermont Avenue NW with its ghastly cobalt blue LED lighting and Christmas decorations including a polar bear; Washington, D.C., 11:38PM December 14, 2013.

This was after dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill as I was walking to Number 9 on P Street NW. This is also right by the musical poles on Vermont Avenue. The rain had stopped by this point.


National City Christian Church, Thomas Circle, Washington, D.C., 11:41PM December 14, 2013.

This is a weird church. I'm not even entirely sure what is its denomination -- something called The Christian Church / Disciples of Christ , but it is one of those incredibly liberal / we-welcome-everybody type churches that exist around Dupont Circle. Apparently, LBJ's state funeral was held there in 1973.


A group of young people heading into Black Whiskey along 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 11:46PM December 14, 2013.


The ornate houses along Logan Circle -- I think this is 14 Logan Circle and its neighboring houses - Washington, D.C., 12:59AM December 15, 2013.


Downstairs at Nellie's, Washington, D.C., 2:00AM December 15, 2013.

I had reached Nellie's by this point.

I then went home by the time the place closed. I think the whole circuit is 2-1/2 to 3 miles.


The remaining pictures were taken at two different locations on the 17th and 23rd, respectively.

Left to right: Sarah, Imara, and Andrea at Spider Kelly's in Arlington, Va., 7:55PM December 17, 2013.

We were at one of the Tuesday night happy hours -- which alternate between D.C. and Arlington (the latter usually at Spider Kelly's).

Andrea is a very dear friend of mine, and we also work together. Actually, she's also my supervisor, though we were friends first.


Left to right: Sarah, Imara, and Andrea at Spider Kelly's in Arlington, Va., 7:59PM December 17, 2013.


Final picture ...

The interior of Eatonville at the corner of 14th and W Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 9:10PM December 23, 2013.

Andrea and I went to dinner there this past Monday night. It is located very close to the Anthony Bowen YMCA. The food was quite good and the place serves some great drinks such as a voodoo punch (the place serves Creole food).


OK, it's 8:46PM as I post this entry. I'm back from the gym where I had a full and good workout including an hour on the treadmill (55 minutes + 6 minute cool down; 5.67 miles and 801 calories, if the display is to be believed); an hour of light-to-moderate machine weightlifting; and a half hour swimming.

I feel much better.

My plan is to go to Dupont Italian Kitchen for dinner. (I think Chris is working tonight.) Tomorrow, I plan to have a regular day at work in the office -- my first day actually in the office since last Friday.

My next planned update will either be tomorrow night or, more likely, Saturday.