A lovely Washington, D.C., vista as seen from near the Marine Corps War ("Iwo Jima") Memorial in Arlington on August 14, 2013. It was an exceptionally pleasant and non-hellishly August hot and humid day -- part of a week of very "mild" weather. This photo was taken by a National Park Service employee and was posted in this entry.
I am completing and posting this entry Saturday afternoon (assuming Blogger allows me to -- it seems to be having some log in issues). I simply ran out of time last night to post it as it was already 1130PM -- I would not have been able to go out at all. I first went to Nellie's and then to Larry's Lounge, where I met Gary (yes, Fun Time Gary) and LP, and had a nice chat with the owner Ron about his days as a gay young man in D.C. back in the mid-1970s.
Anyway, back to the entry ...
An alley just east of 47th Street NW that runs from Western Avenue on the DC-Maryland line southward into the Friendship Heights neighborhood, Washington, D.C., 4:10PM August 4, 2013. This was at the start of the walk with Gary from the Friendship Heights Metro.
So here it Friday night at quarter to 10PM as I start this entry. With the exception of the lead image, the pictures posted in here are ALL from that walk I took nearly two weeks ago -- on Sunday, August 4th -- with Fun Time Gary through Friendship Heights, super-duper wealthy Spring Valley, and Palisades into Georgetown. I have no "relevant" pictures to accompany this entry, and if I were to try, I would run out of time to go out tonight.
Fort Bayard Park on the DC side of the DC-Maryland line in the Friendship Heights section of Washington, D.C., 4:06PM August 4, 2013. This is one of the "Fort Circle" system of Civil War era Union camps that encircled Washington, D.C.
A map of the National Park Service-maintained "Fort Circle" system. Straight up is northeast. Fort Bayard is on the far left side midway down. There are also parks in Arlington such as Fort Ward, but I'm not sure if that is part of the original system. Some of these parks are very nice and others (i.e., Fort Totten) can be scary.
I went to the gym after work and had a good workout (jogging, weight-lifting, and swimming) over approx. 2-1/2 hours, and then I just made it to the Hair Cuttery on Connecticut Avenue and got a haircut similar to the one I got about seven weeks ago.
A house and its yard filled with interesting stone lanterns, urns, other stuff, and shrubbery at 47th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 4:29PM August 4, 2013.
Alas, the one young hair stylist (Britney) is no longer there -- she is back in school down in Virginia -- but this other lady (Bea) cut my hair. I showed her my driver's license photo (which was taken on July 5th for reasons I discussed here) to get an idea of the same hair cut. I was the last customer of the night, and I didn't get a shampoo afterwards (not sure why), so I had to take a shower when I got home as the hair was all over and itchy.
The house at the corner of 47th and Sedgwick Streets NW just off Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, D.C., 4:33pM August 4, 2013.
"Sedgwick" is the two-syllable "S" street in this part of D.C.
That was my third shower of the day plus being in the swimming pool. That's a lot of time spent wet and without any clothes or just bathing trunks. That's not a state I particularly like being in.
Anyway, thereafter, I had the dinner I bought next door at Così and carried home. It really wasn't that good.
A house (or castle?) at the corner of Woodway Lane and 49th Street NW in the Spring Valley section of Washington, D.C., 4:47PM August 4, 2013. This is behind American University. The house has a graceful weeping willow tree next to it. There aren't that many weeping willow trees in D.C.
It's a balmy, gentle night after ANOTHER DELIGHTFULLY NON-HELLISHLY hot and humid but actually very pleasant day.
It reached only 81F at KDCA today and just 78F at both KBWI and KIAD. More amazingly, KBWI had an overnight (morning) low of 53F -- a new daily record LOW surpassing the old one of 54F set in 1979. (Of note, KDCA did NOT fall to at least 58F the other day, so it was NOT the "coolest" August temp. since 2004. I think it just got down to 60F.) Our ratio of record highs to record lows in the past 25 years across much of the United States is increasingly lop-sided (over 2 to 1 in the 2000s).
Speaking of cool-side records, Atlanta, Georgia -- specifically, the Hartsfield - Jackson / Atlanta International Airport climate station (KATL) -- only reached 67F or a high today in cloudy, rainy conditions -- a new all-time record low high for the month of August, "surpassing" the previous coolest high ever (for any day) in the month of August of 70F set 1892 (a pre-airport Atlanta record).
The NWS/NCEP/WPC three-day quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) map for the Lower 48 U.S. valid 0Z 17 August - 0Z 20 August 2013 issued on August 16th at 2154Z (5:54PM EDT). A map such as this typically actually means D.C. won't get much of anything.
The weather forecast calls for showery conditions from Saturday evening into Monday (primarily south and east of D.C. -- see above QPF map) as abundant moisture moves along a quasi-stationary frontal boundary extending from the Gulf of Mexico to the Tidewater area by Sunday.
The NWS / NCEP / WPC surface forecast map for hour 48 / valid at 12Z (8AM EDT) 18 August 2013 issued at 1858Z (2:58PM EDT) August 16, 2013.
The moisture is connected to an area of vaguely tropically disturbed weather -- which, as I saw on the treadmill TV at the gym and read the closed captioning (there is no regular volume), the Weather Channel decided to hyperventilate over because that's what you in the profit-crazed, context-free American Media Infotainment Complex that is destroying all socially cohesive aspects of our culture. (I haven't watched the Weather Channel in at least 8 years.)
OK, this is what I informally consider to be THE WEALTHIEST house in Washington, D.C., just in terms of its tree-cloaked set back, overall dimensions, and the stunning yard (complete with its own stone bridge and stream / mote) and set back of the. The address is 4900 Glenbrook Road NW in the Spring Valley section of Washington, D.C., taken at 4:51PM August 4, 2013. I know I've posted pictures of this house before on this blog.
Oh, and I've mentioned before that Spring Valley was designated an EPA Superfund site. Yes, for real (for the history, click on the current site description, direct link here). Chemical munitions were stored there by the U.S. Army during World War I on property behind American University.
Of note, the Atlantic hurricane season almost completely squashed by frequent intrusions of hot, dry air filled with Sahara sand entering the eastern tropical Atlantic off Cape Verde. The (typical) forecast of an overactive season was a bust (but not to worry -- it instantly goes down the media memory hole).
Another view of the house, yard, and the driveway of 4900 Glenbrook Road NW, Washington, D.C., 4:51PM August 4, 2013. It may very well be the case that an ambassador lives here (many do back in this section of D.C.)
Well, I had intended to write that aforementioned birthday dinner party for Wall-P (he turned 42) at his D.C. mansion, an event to which Fun Time Gary and Kristof were invited. I guess Staff is permitting Wall-P to have a celebratory event.
As for Wall-P, he exists in that Matrix-like dream state ...
... in which he is this hard-charging, high-octane, "I-work-hard / I-play-hard," ultra-high income, "I-don't-work-for-my-money / my-money-works-for-me," "I'm a clear-eyed, sharp-witted, genius D.C. corporate lawyer" in whose Cosmos there is no God except oneself ...
... as opposed to a stooge-like tool that exists strictly in service to the Empire & its DC/NY-roosted Oligarchy living in a 40-room (all painted off-white) gilded cage.
A tool that self-assuredly spouts in rapid-fire, monotonic way the fads, fashions, and class-based fixations of the always-wrong Washington Consensus crowd as if they were Eternal Verities.
"Eh. Eh. Ehehehe. Eh. Eh."
The house at 4917 Rockwood Parkway, Spring Valley, Washington, D.C., 4:54PM August 4, 2013. There was something spooky about his house -- in a sort of "Burnt Offerings" kind of way.
Now that was a bad-ass scary movie (including that horrifying scene at the very head in some versions). I don't normally watch movies like that but I saw that one. By the way, Karen Black just passed away.
Gary and I -- and LP and Wendy -- are supposed to go to the Jersey shore (Wildwood!) next weekend by way of Rebobo and the Cape May - Lewes ferry.
As for Kristof, well, that friendship is just about over.
As for Fun Time Gary, I don't mind that Fun Time Gary is having fun, nor do I begrudge him the fact that he gets along wonderfully with ALLLL those people that I do not. Good for him, and I mean that. That speaks more highly of him than it does poorly of me. But it would be nice if he stood up for even once in front of one of the endless cast of characters in his life.
Yours truly in front of 4917 Rockwood Parkway NW, Washington, D.C., August 4, 2013. Gary took this picture with his iPhone. You can see how differently my cellphone camera takes pictures than a decent iPhone.
As for these Wall-P parties, the typical way they "roll" is everyone drunk on Miller Lites and tequila shots while watching UFC human cockfighting on a 70-inch plasma screen TV enjoying the last of the taquitos.
This is another house (unsure of address) on Rockwood Parkway in the Spring Valley section of Washington, D.C., 4:59PM August 4, 2013. The hilly yard with trees and steps are featured in the next two pictures.
The exception is if its a daytime BBQ / picnic, in which case it's all married, with children couples and their sticky, poopy, bratty, insufferable young children with electronic toys all over the floor while the men congregate together over the plastic bin filled with beer and ice, talking about money and sports in that over-the-top informal way that defines the American character. Meanwhile, the women are all cheese-cake-eating maternal while fretting about "the children" in the context of whatever lurid and/or scintillating news story they heard that morning. (Oh, and if there's a pr3d3tor on the loose in the drug-free school zone, that's pure gold. Americans live for that. It gives them a life force.)
The steps and yard of the same house on Rockwood Parkway, Spring Valley section of Washington, D.C., 5:00PM August 4, 2013.
Actually, in the case of Wall-P and Staff, dogs sometimes substitute in place of children, and the house can turn into a veritable multi-story free-range kennel, dogs chasing and colliding with each other noisily on the wooden floors.
For those late night parties, by 3AM, Staff would come flying down the steps in her flowing robe from the master bedroom, past all the incongruous African face masks that adorn the narrow, twisty stairs and start yelling at Wall-P because the party -- having morphed into an endless poker game and sleep over-- shows no sign of ending.
Wall-P just silently crouches on the ground, petting a dog, while she upbraids him.
Good times, all.
See above two picture captions.
Here I would like to mention an event that occurred at a Wall-P dinner party about three years ago involving "H.G" that turned into a kind of French farce. I was not there for it but have a very reliable account and good idea of how it played out.
As context, one of the guests was "Mr. Q.", a sensitive and somewhat manic depressive soul (and, incidentally, a gourmet chef) who had just had a slow-motion terrible breakup with "Mr. Z" at the end of a decades-long relationship. As additional context, Mr. Q is a native French speaker, and Staff (whose dad is from France) is completely fluent as well.
The steeply sloping hill in Battery - Kemble Park at the edge of the Palisades section of Washington, D.C., 5:20PM August 4, 2013.
With the alcohol and the mania surging during the dinner party, HG made some comment to Mr. Q to the effect (and in reference to the usual topic of obsession for most gay men):
"I'll bet you miss that big [ OMITTED]!"
At that moment, Mr. Q. exploded with much running through rooms and doors opening and slamming shut, shouting in rapid-fire French though red-faced tears and flailing arms.
As I said, French opéra comique, or maybe just outright farce. And as for HG, his usual passive-aggressive attempt at weird humor having badly backfired, he retreated to a defensive know-nothing,
"Whaddidisay? Whaddidisay? I'm sorry, whaddidisay?"
Staff banished him to the basement for a timeout while the situation was eventually smoothed over. I would have told him to leave outright.
4505 MacArthur Blvd., Palisades section of Washington, D.C., 6:22PM August 4, 2013. Of note, these 4000-block numbers (especially 4400s - 4700s) of MacArthur Blvd. stretch for a few miles.
I had to stop being friends with HG (not that he particularly cared). This is a whole other topic. I will mention, though, that HG used to bang out these text messages (back then often from Virginia) consisting of strings of random pop cultural gibberish - things to the effect of:
"EXIT STAGE RIGHT WOODBRIDGE STARBUCKS WHERE LITTLE MISS SURE-SHIT MADONNA WANNABE NOW KNOWS SHE'S JUST A RHINESTONE COWGIRL RIDING SIDE-SADDLE ON A ONE-TRICK PONY IN A STAR-SPANGLED RODEO!"
What that might have meant is he politely told the Starbucks barista that she forgot to give him his biscuit with his coffee.
And then there was the more frequent strings of celebrity gibberish said in person:
"OH! OH! OH! DIDJYA HEAR!?! DIDJYA HEAR!?! AVRIL LAVIGNE IS TEAMING UP WITH USHER TO DO A LIVE REMAKE OF LITHIUM FROM EVANESCENCE'S THE OPEN DOOR RELEASE NEXT MONTH AT NISSAN PAVILION!"
Or something like that.
Now if anyone ever actually said "WHY, YES, I DID HEAR THAT!", HG would have been floored and stunned briefly into silence. That's because you were not actually supposed to have heard of these random events but instead the intention was to wow you with the depth and breadth of his knowledge of pop cultural effluvia (usually music related).
But most of all the thing I hated the most was the daily, "I'LL BE DROPPIN' YOUR NAME IN A YEAR!" during the worst of my unemployment and poverty days. I hated that. Trust me, it wasn't meant to make you feel better.
Another house -- whose address I did not get but likely in the 4300s or 4400s -- of MacArthur Blvd., Washington, D.C., 6:13PM August 4, 2013.
OK, I think that's all for now. I intend to post a "jukebox Saturday night" musical entry this evening. In the meantime, I need to get ready, get outside, get some lunch, and maybe take a bike ride.