Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tacos Filled with Taffy and Other Things Being My Friend Brings to Your Life

Today's USA match against Germany reminded me of the late 80s cult classic comedies like Ski School, where the American rebels with a devil may care attitude and usually sweet shades would go up against the austere German ski team, with matching outfits and goggles and blonde lovers (who of course would later be either 1.  found in compromising positions with the American players, 2.  lose their bikini top because there's always so many opportunities to wear a bikini while skiing in the mountains, or 3.  be found to actually be American and of course end up with the leader of the rag-tag bunch of good for nothing Americans who would win in the end.)  But of course the difference today was that the U.S. didn't win, but they still get to have a sequel.  You don't have to be the best, in order to win.  Somebody else just has to be the worst.  This attitude works both in soccer as it does at work, or in other parts of your life.  At work, I employ this philosophy through a technique I call "Finger Pointing."

D.O., where's that report I asked for?  WAITING ON THAT ONE GUY REMEMBER?  ITS HIS FAULT!

D.O., what are you going to about that email we just got?  CAN'T DO ANYTHING BOSS UNTIL I GET SOME GUIDANCE!

D.O., where have you been all day.  WHERE HAVEN'T I BEEN ALL DAY!  (answer:  at my desk.)

I'm pretty much a pro at this work-technique; however, it does backfire sometimes.  In those instances you must be humble.  And when I say humble, I mean humble-brag.  "YOU'RE RIGHT I SHOULD HAVE HAD THAT DONE BY NOW...HONESTLY I'M SURPRISED AT HOW FAR I AM IN THAT TASK HAVING ONLY BEEN HERE A WEEK!"

Also, maybe don't yell all that at your boss either...

Last weekend, I was back in Denver, learning tennis from this guy:

And relaxing at the pool while this atomic cloudsplosion happened in the distance:

I joke, but seems like all Denver gets these days are horrific thunder-hail-apocalyptic-end of days storms anymore.  Glad I'm not there for any of it!

What else?  Oh yeah, on Friday, we went to this small gin distillery in Boulder called Roundhouse Gin or Roundhouse Kick Gin, or Hillbilly Ginja (patent pending).  Anyways, it was awesome.  All organic ingredients in this small gin maker / distributor / winner of contests in 5 time zones.  Some of our group were late to the tour, so they asked me to recap what we learned.  Bad idea.  Here was my response.

"Well, I spent half the tour trying to figure out if the guy's beard was red or strawberry blonde (also not sure what strawberry blonde really is but people say it all the time), and then I spent the second half of the tour trying to figure out where all the dripping water was coming from.  At that point he was talking about barrels or something.  But then he gave us gin to shoot and scream woo! and there were jars of ingredients so I smelled them all.  The End."

Yeah it was pretty awesome.  This is a picture of Kevin probably telling his dad that he only tells dad jokes and it's not super awkward at all.

Here are the crowd's reaction to this not super awkward conversation:

That guy on the right goes by the name Chris Dodge.  You may recognize him as a McDoyle from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, or that one guy in that one movie with Jason Biggs where stupid stuff happens and a stupid song that you can't get out of your head plays.  (see:  All 90s movies)  To be clear, he is not that guy, but I try and tell him that he is every time I see him.

Finally, Sunday was the big baby shower day for my friend.  As you may know, I was put in charge of coming up with some way to reveal the baby's gender to not only those in attendance of the shower, but to the family themselves.  Only the doctor and myself knew this baby's gender.  I still contend that based on the sonogram, the baby is a crocodile, but according to the paper that said Girl! I suppose the crocodile is also a Girl!

For the gender reveal, I compromised on my earlier brilliant idea of making a vagina pinata, cracking it open with phallic bat, and having a bloody baby doll fall out.  Some people in my focus groups were appalled at the idea.  By some I mean all.  I need a more open minded focus group...

Before I write this next paragraph I feel like it's important for you to know that I just got stared the eff down by this asian chick walking by my office.  I'm scared.

Anyways, back to the story.  So I compromised my vagina idea by having a local artisan I found through Craigslist fashion me up a taco pinata.  The taco, of course is a subtle nod to the vagina.  I had to pick up this pinata in a Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot in a sketchy part of town.  Thankfully, she was not the Craigslist Killer (this time) and the transaction of cash for taco was a great success!  As was the pinata.  I should have just done the vagina.  I realized afterwards that it didn't really matter what I did since the revealed gender of their baby would take all the attention anyways.

Finally, right before I left the baby shower, I was put to work in helping to create the baby's entire first year's worth of clothing apparently.  Slash, I colored one shirt with fabric markers.  Here's my contribution to the baby's weirdness:

So that's another weekend down, and I'm back up here in DC for the next 3 weeks! The adventures of drinking and trying to see if I can avoid death by falling down the escalator because I'm too tired and/or hungover to walk continues!  Stay tuned for the next adventure!  Same bat time! Same bat channel!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I Keep My Bubble Cloudy So I Don't Have To Look At The Poverty Beyond It.

Several respected studies out there will tell you that the key to productivity in the workplace is a cup of coffee right when you get to work, not checking email first thing in the morning, and planning your day ahead of schedule, etc...  Real "make your day work for you" kind of stuff.  I disagree.  I'm no scientist, but I think the key to productivity is to be slightly hungover, and Amazon Prime music.  Which is why this afternoon, I find myself ahead of schedule on several work projects (based on my own made up deadlines I guess) and able to carve out a little time to get all bloggy up in this piece.

Since it's been a few weeks since my last blog, I thought I would use my age old tactic of inundating you with pictures instead of actual content.  I know what you people want.  You're Instagram while I'm still LiveJournal.

So let's take a trip a few weeks ago during my last weekend back in Denver.  I woke up that Friday morning, at some ungodly hour while my brain was on east coast time and my body was on 80 year old man time.  I laid in bed thinking, what should I do today?  Maybe get a hair cut?  a little laundry?  Take a walk around the neighborhood? (see 80 year old man comment before...)  But after a quick scan of Facebook I remembered that my good friend Laura was coming for a visit and in just a matter of a couple hours, I cleaned the entire house, read and ignored all the mail, and even bought some fresh flowers because that's something homeowners probably do.  A freshly spruced house was the perfect back drop to an entire day spent completely out of that house. least I got it cleaned.  Unfortunately, I didn't take one picture of me and Laura together that day, drinking, eating, drinking, driving up a mountain, drinking.  But I did take a picture of this grave site of some guy that did some stuff, so use your imagination that we were both there.

The following day, after sitting around in a park drinking beer and watching other people exercise, some friends came back to my house and helped me get in touch with my people.  That is to say, we cooked Indian food.  And in one fell swoop, my house smelled like what all my neighbors probably think my house smells like every day.  Whatever it was BOSS.

Helping!  Also, just a good shot of my house.
frying onions, because this was the only time I could take a picture

From top to bottom:  murgh badaami, papad, green and tamrind chutnies, naan, saag paneer, and basmati rice.

Pretending like they loved it...with their empty plates.
Finally, because I make the most out of my weekends home, I decided Sunday to finally turn the irrigation back on and plant some stuff around the house.  I was even able to get everything planted right before it started raining.  It did not stop raining until Monday, which made for an epic day of laying on the couch watching bad 90s comedies.  As if there were any other kind....

A blueberry bush in the front and a rasberry bush in the back

Some kind of sage plant.  I forget.

1 of 3 columbines planted in the front yard.
So yeah that was that weekend.

Flew back to DC last Monday and spent the week drinking and carousing, as per usual, before the weekend arrived and I could take a break by doing more drinking and carousing.  But the difference was, of course, this Shark Melon:

Also, I'd like to offer no explanation of this image of the Chupacabra.

He only appears in shadows.....and in dreams.
The majority of last weekend was dedicated to eating and drinking.  Sausages were grilled.  Beer was consumed.  Soccer was watched.  Futbol was watched. (I'm a multi-cultural TV watcher.) I also took a quiz called the Bubble Test, which is basically a quiz to tell you how gross and dirty you are because you associate with common folk.  The higher the score (out of 100) the grosser you are.  I got a 21.  I love my bubble.  I think the average amongst several friends is about a 46.  Which means I have some low class friends.  If you want to take it you can do it here:

Warning, it's pretty stupid.

What else?  Last night I went to Rasika, an Indian restaurant here in DC.  The chef for Rasika was awarded a James Beard award, which is a culinary award given for not getting your beard in the soup.  His food and his draanks were top notch.  Which I assume is the best notch.

Some drink
These were samosas.  No joke.  And they were no joke.
Some food
 So that pretty much catches you up to speed in my life.  But because you're a captive audience, I will also include some "totes adorbs" pics of my niece.  Because, as aforementioned, she is totes adorbs.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Oh! The Way We Were!

Back in my day, the hey day of public pay phones, I used to carry quarters with me wherever I went.  The best coin by far, based on size and quality of eagle-ship, it was the A+ student in a class full of C's.  That eagle, standing proudly in a pre-flight stance, never looking you in the eye out of both respect, and to garner the sense of dread it so richly deserved, never tarnished over time.  Sure the front of the coin looked like G Dubs needed a bath, but even in its dirtiest rendition, the eagle stood out like a gleaming beacon of hope to the huddled (around a pay phone) masses!  So you can imagine my dismay, when I received a quarter yesterday, minted in 2013, that depicted a scene on the back of the carving of Mount Rushmore.  The event, like so many others in American History, is known by only a few of our oldest historians.  Today we assume that Mount Rushmore is a naturally occurring phenom....Each person sees what they want to see.  I mean, I've never personally been there, but I assume that it's the same as when you see a dinosaur in a cloud, which becomes a race car, which becomes an old man's face, which becomes a tornado, AND YOU DIE.  LOL, am I right??

Anyways, while the change in our celebrated coin is alarming, one thing that will never change is the pleasure of a lazy day, soaking in the sun and enjoying the company of wonderful people.  Over the last weekend (yeah I know....I've had better segues...) I spent many hours on rooftops and patios, eating grilled foods, and drinking not grilled wines and summery beers, laughing the day and night away with wonderful people.  Some were spent with new friends here in DC.  Some with apparent Nazi sympathizers.  You just never can tell who you'll be spending your summers with!  When in doubt, follow the smell of corn!

And of course, what's a summer weekend in DC without a good dumpling party in Virginia?  On Sunday afternoon, after already having eaten a wonderful lunch that looked exactly like this:

We then went over to my friend's mom's house and made what can only be described as a "plethora" of chinese dumplings.  The 4 kinds of dumplings, which our host had already made the filling for the day before, were pork and shrimp, pork, shrimp and some vegetable I we kept calling that one "grandma's dumpling", pork, shitake, and bamboo, and pork, shrimp and chinese chive...which btw is not even a real chive.  No one knows what this mysterious herb really is.  Here are some photos from the event.  For our part, we were in charge of dumpling wrapping.  Also dumpling eating.

Our host demonstrating proper dumpling wrapping technique
I made the ones that are the humongous.  Because I'm an AMERICAN
Our host probably saying, "Like this fool!"

Instagram worthy shot.

The finished product.  These were inhaled 3 seconds after this photo was taken.  There were no survivors.
What else?  I feel like going home now so I guess I'll just end this post.  Oh yeah!  I saw this on the other day and I thought it was kind of funny:

You might find that alarming...but I question how I only spend $164 on alcohol in other months.  When I saw that number, I thought the month of May was a