Monday, August 24, 2015

The Mount RAIN-yer Upshur Street Lowered Expectation Downs -OR- Good Morning (and Good Night) from the Seat of Empire

The sidewalk along Queens Chapel Road as seen from 44th Avenue, University Park, Md., 4:44PM August 23, 2015.

University Park is such an awesome and beautiful little enclave in an unlikely location.


It's about 5AM right now -- and, mercifully, still dark in my wee air-conditioned, fan-whirled apartment lost somewhere in the wilds of Washington, D.C., a.k.a., the Seat of Empire, early 3rd millennium (please don't make me source that phrase right now).

I'm deep in can't-sleep-now thought over things including and especially Matthew H., although I don't know why. I am also remembering this bogus group blog that he and his Tidewater / Richmond area friends used to keep -- mocking and trolling me -- called "Lowering My Expectations."

I don't know if Shakepeare actually said this or it's some internet horseshit.

That blog doesn't exist anymore (as nears as I can tells) but the whole point was that I was a fat troll who should be looking for some 220 pound, smelly blob with no job and no life prospects, and in total agonizing misery.

Screw them. Oh, and I may be many things, but stupid is not one of them.

Now that was 40 pounds -- actually, more like 45 pounds if I count some muscle mass gain -- ago. I am in the best shape that I have ever been in for many years (and certainly the most muscular), except I AM 45 years old, not 25 years old, and that sort of makes a difference. That is, I'm an in-shape middle aged man, not a young man who can do whatever. Nevertheless, I have tried mightily and I don't need to be told to lower my expectations. Screw them.

But why did it all have to be such a disaster?

There is no answer. But I do know that the GOD of this reality is "yea, verily, well pleased."

The Memorial Chapel on the grounds of the University of Maryland, College Park, Md., 4:15PM August 23, 2015. I hate you, too.


I took a weird bike ride from College Park / UMCP (whence I took the Metro from Columbia Heights) back to D.C. I am glad I did it, but I won't be doing that route again for a long time. The route included "CHE" (College Heights Estates), University Park, Hyattsville, Brentwood, and Mount Rainier ("RAIN-yer" as the locals say, not "RAY-nyeer," as it should be said).

Looking west, Upshur Street, Mount Rainier, Md., 5:06PM August 23, 2015.

The deal with Upshur Street is complicated -- and doesn't all involve Matthew. (He lived about 4 miles west of there anyway on a different stretch of the street in D.C.) Rather, in my freaky late-stage College Park in 1999 and 2000, on occasion, for maybe a year and a half on weekend nights, I used to BIKE in the wee hours (after going out at JR's back then) from Brookland Metro (where I had a bike locker and would have to get via a cab or, later, when the its hours were extended on weekend nights (initially to 1AM and then to 3AM, by Metrorail) back to College Park.

Looking east, Upshur Street, Mount Rainer, Md., 5:08PM August 23, 2015.

Back then, Upshur Street in Mt. Rainier had these old-style mercury vapor lamps except for ONE hybrid mercury-and-sodium vapor lamp that created this pool of iridescent orange light that was partially engulfed by a leafy tree. And I once had a minor bike mishap, falling off the bike (except that was about a couple blocks to the east in Brentwood). A car went by and honked its horn. (I think it was Upshur Street. It could have been another alphabet one -- perhaps I'm remembering it wrong.)


The real Mount Rainier.


I must say that I was amazed at the fact that D.C. is fairly gentrified from Brookland (around 12th Street NE, where you start seeing gay men) and points southwestward, but I had a dicey experience around Otis and 18th Streets NE near the "Taft Recreation Center."

Mercifully, I smelled pot (as you often do these days in the District of Drive-By-Umbia), which meant all those young guys were "mellow" in that way and LESS LIKELY to kill me. Also, I was biking by -- this weird ashen gray leprechaun -- quite quickly.

Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Contraception Conception, Washington, D.C., 5:30PM August 23, 2015.


Oh, and I made it up that frickin' hill on Monroe Street between about 17th and 13th Streets NE (YOU try it sometime, especially on a hot day).

Bottom line: D.C. has changed enormously in many places, but it's still a bad-ass city in certain places. The Mayor is very happy.

I went to No. 9, and then next door to Stoney's (where I met Gary and Gloria*), and then over to Larry's Lounge. I got home safe and sound with all my possessions. Trouble is, I spent less today than I should have and I need to ask the Milwaukee Rabbi -- who was at LL -- if he covered my tab. Otherwise, I need to talk to Ron.

*I tried to get Gloria to join Gary, LP, and me on our Jersey shore trip this coming weekend.

I am rather upset that Miss Wendy can't come but, to quote Wall-P, a.k.a., Pitty Shil, "Eh. Eh. Eheheheheh. Is what it is. Dow up. Money made. Client call. Eheheheh."

Tomorrow night (sorry, I mean tonight) is a gym night.

I have two dozen pictures -- primarily taken on the UMCP campus of totally failed and crummy memory -- that I'll try to post in my next entry, although I can't promise that I will. As it is, I already posted five in this entry.

Ahh, shit, dawn is breaking. I need to go back to sleep. Good morning. And good night.

Please rain.


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