Saturday, April 29, 2006

Time To Pat Myself On The Back

I got a shoutout on DC Blogs for my post about napping while standing (or is it standing while napping?) on the metro. Does this legitimize my blog? I'm just happy when anyone reads my writing in the first place so if the #1 DC blog site sends more people my direction, well, I'm certainly all for it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Do You Stanap On The Metro?

Even in my short metro commutes, I try to fit as much downtime as I can before work on the way in, and after work before I hit the Rosslyn stairs. Some semi-shuteye is easy when you have a place to sit, but for those times when there's no place for your backside, you must nap while standing. To stand while napping is what I call a Stanap. It doesn't let you sleep as well as you would sitting in a seat or laying on the metro floor (scratch that last idea for health reasons), but it does give you (the sense) of sleep.

Fellow riders...I wouldn't look so strange standing with my eyes closed if you got up and gave me a seat so I could sit with my eyes closed.

Some people might get sick when they close their eyes in a moving metro, but not me. I only get sick when I try to read or play games while on the metro. Of course I never really fall asleep since the sudden stops and jerks along the way would make me lose my balance and knock my head on a pole. Nevertheless, the stanap is a great skill to acquire as you almost sleep while keeping your balance during the ride. Until the metro starts a policy where seating preference should be given to the handicapped, elderly, and those wanting to sleep, I will continue doing the stanap and weirding out other (by)standers wondering why anyone would close their eyes, stand on the metro, and start to snore.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The 1986 World Series - As Seen Through RBI Baseball.

Game six of the 1986 World in RBI Baseball! My worlds of sports and videogames have morphed and I'm (pathetically) excited.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Few Things You Wanted To Know About The Metro, But Were Scared To Ask

The other day, my mind wandered when I stared at the extra-legged octopus known as the Metro map. I know there are 10 end points, but only 9 of them to the DC line so there's no need for hate mail. I wanted to know the longest ride and figured you'd have to start at Franconia-Springfield and end your ride at Largo Town Center, Greenbelt, Glenmont, or Shady Grove. Not that this required thesis-level research, but I played around on Metro's website and got the following results:

Leaving Franconia-Springfield and traveling to:

Greenbelt - 25.41 Miles/70 Minutes/$3.90 (regular fare)

Glenmont - 25.49 Miles/67 Minutes/$3.90 (regular fare)

Shady Grove - 29.46 Miles/74 Minutes/$3.90 (regular fare)

Leaving Shady Grove and traveling to:

Vienna/Fairfax - GMU -25.20 Miles/70 Minutes/$3.90 (regular fare)

Largo Town Center - 26.37 Miles/68 Minutes/$3.90 (regular fare)

The shortest trip is between Federal Triangle and Metro Center. It's a 1-minute trip covering 0.31 miles for $1.35 (regular and reduced fare). There are several other 2-minute trips and other short distance trips like Federal Triangle to Smithsonian, but it's an ungodly 0.07 miles longer and a 2-minute ride. I didn't check every pair of stations that appear very close to each other because I figured there can't be another 1-minute ride...or is there?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Umbrellas Need Licenses Too

I use the SUV of umbrellas - a golf umbrella. This umbrella is incredibly large and impossible to miss. I enjoy having more than enough protection from the rain and feel more confident in the wind than those flimsy pocket/compact umbrellas. Unlike many an SUV driver, I do not carelessly travel with my SUV Umbrella (SUVU) and not regard my fellow walkers' space. Just because you have an SUV or SUVU does not mean you have free reign to bully and push others out of the way. I'm not ashamed of my extravagance and don't take advantage of its power other than keeping me (and three other adults) dry.

So many many chances to lose an eye.

My umbrella's size guarantees a win in any head-on collision with a pocket umbrella, but I don't seek out contact. When I walk by one of those compact umbrellas, I make it a point to raise my umbrella to avoid such collisions. If there's a chance my SUVU will run into another person/umbrella, I immediately lift it above the crowd (sacrificing my dryness) and keep moving without issue. So how come those with smaller umbrellas can't do the same? I tend to be at eye-level with many umbrellas so it's a constant game of chicken between my eyesight and the umbrella's user. Unfortunately for me, the umbrella usually doesn't know that it's playing chicken so I always have to bail at the last moment. Just because it's a large umbrella doesn't mean you shouldn't care about the person underneath. I'd rather not live in fear of losing my eyesight everyday it rains.

SUVUs never act "up" like this.

Like an SUV at a gas station, my SUVU does have it drawbacks. Since I am considerate of fellow umbrella-ers, a crowded street means my SUVU can't be lowered to its normal height until its clear. Also, when I lift and tilt my SUVU around other umbrella-ers, I run the risk of dumping a tremendous amount of water on my head (and those around me) because of its size and high center of gravity. If everyone was more cognizant of their umbrella's height in relation to a passerby's eye-line and took the slightest step in the other direction, we won't have to live in a world that sacrifices dryness for a stranger's vision.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

White Shirts and Me Don't Get Along

Akin to getting peanut butter on my pants, I never make it through the day without getting random ink on my newly-cleaned white shirt. Any other colored shirt never attracts such attention from ink (and certainly doesn't make it as obvious). It's not like I take a black pen and draw a 1-inch line on my cuffs for fun. What surprises me even more is when I get an ink line on my upper arm. How on earth did it get up there? I didn't put a leaky pen in a headlock underneath my armpit. Perhaps it's a cruel dry cleaner trick in which they place random ink lines on a shirt that you won't notice at pickup, but will surely notice after you're at work. This way, you have a clear and definitive reason to bring the shirt right back.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A Tortilla Chip Magnet

It has been some time since I've waxed poetically about some great food out there. This blog will never be confused for any of the food blogs out there, but I must let you know about the greatest guacamole out there. Nope, it's not Chipotle's ($1.50 for a spoonful of guac is overpriced anyway), nor will you find this guac at (everything is bland here) Baja Fresh. If you need some guac without the hassle of "making it yourself" as some people like to do, just buy AvoClassic's regular guacamole.

Behold...your guacamole search has ended

It's available at Giant and most Safeway stores, though I've found that Giant has the better price at $3.99. Unlike other store bought brands, this one doesn't go overboard with any one ingredient, making for a nice sauce for any tortilla chip. Each box yields two bags of guac that you cut open and squeeze where you want. Just be sure to eat it within a week of its purchase, or else it won't have that fresh taste as the onions take over. I care so much (or maybe I'm just that pathetic) that I told a woman, who was deciding on a guac at Giant on Saturday, that the AvoClassic brand is the only way to go. I told her to stick with the regular and she'd be just fine. I imagine she may have agreed with me just to get rid of me, but I'll take it.

Yummy, yummy, yummy, I've got guac in my tummy.

Am I writing too much about this for not getting any kickback? Sure I am, but it's just because I care so much about your avocado needs.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Passover Sedar Rap With 50 Cent and Other Reasons to Celebrate

In one week, It'll be that time of the year when we "enjoy" matzah pancakes, answer questions why we can't eat pizza or a hogie, and try as we might to keep kosher for (gasp!) an entire week.

It's Matzah, Matzah, Man!

An oldie, but a classic:

The best (only) Matzah rap ever!


For the rest of my blog full of rants, raves, and weak attempts at humor, its current address is: Http://

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Cherry Blossom Festival...This Is Your Life (in 2005)

Since few things change with each year's cherry blossoms (and it's an easy post), enjoy this blast from my blog's past:

Kids in Jail, Silly Tourists, and Oh Yeah, Beautiful Flowers.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

D.C.'s Best Gym With a Free Membership

Ever feel like you don't have time to workout? Did you miss another spinning class because "the man" kept you late again? Here's a solution - step all the way up an entire metro escalator. Don't worry, people will move out of your way to the right. Feel free to give them a little shove if they don't get the, those are tourists anyway. Since I traverse the Rosslyn metro twice a day, it lets me appreciate things like its incredibly long escalator. The downstep is easy since you're only falling forward and tests your balance. It's the upstep the separates the smart (non-steppers) from the stubborn (steppers).

Are you dizzy yet? And that's just the downhill.

Everyday I talk myself into recreating my people's trek through the sand with a long walk of my own. I always start with good intentions because the earlier I get up the stairs, the earlier I get to my car, and of course the earlier I get home. That is until the killer last 30% when I lose feeling in my legs. I secretly hope people ahead of me will stop in the left so I can use that excuse to stop. Of course, they know better and I find myself keeping pace with a rabbit stepper in front. When it's all over, I'm looking for some Gatorade and wondering why I'd ever do it again.

Monday, April 03, 2006

One Shining Moment

Ya won't admit it, but you can't enough of its cheese when it airs tonight.

The ball is tipped
and there you are
you're running for your life
you're a shooting star
And all the years
no one knows
just how hard you worked
but now it shows ...

But time is short
and the road is long
in the blinking of an eye
ah that moment's gone
And when it's done
win or lose
you always did your best
cuz inside you knew ...

Feel the beat of your heart
feel the wind in your face
it's more than a contest
it's more than a race ...

And when you're done
win or lose
you always did your best
cuz inside you knew ...
-- © David Barrett