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It's peak Mom meme time on Facebook.

Apr. 16th, 2017 | 11:43 am

So I'm hiding over here on LJ.

We aren't going to the magical barbecue until 2 (see last year's coverage here), B already prepped the ribs/sauce and is currently napping, and I have a bit until I go running so let's try to catch up on LJ!

I haven't forgotten to update about SleaZe! On that night I showed up around 9:30 and sat with Ben, Bud, and Marty downstairs at B's bar for the first while. There were definitely tons of people coming through, and once Serg and Kelly arrived and I had drinks with them for a while I headed upstairs. Initially Stuart abandoned me on the dance floor to go smoke, but once he was back we hung out and had a great time! The DJs were all serviceable or better, and the crowd was happy and fun. Ward was in the building photographing constantly but like magic I did not end up in the MW. I do think Steve's instinct was right that CoHi/Petworth/Park View have pent up demand for gay parties, and there weren't any on Thursdays until now. Very successful inaugural event, and I am bummed to be out of town for the next one. Of course this means that the June instance is going to be crazy and extend the weekend further: SleaZe Thu, the Pride 5K Fri, parade/day drinking Sat, and festival Sun. Can't wait!

Back to current stuff: on Friday I got caught at work until 5:45 despite trying to crawl out of there on time. I went home and changed, then met Blake at Bear Happy Hour. Also saw Dave, Matt, and Kyle there, plus a cameo from Brian S*! He is in town just for the weekend, and I also mentioned my NY dates so hopefully we will cross paths there. Then we headed to Satellite Room for dinner, where I had the best breakfast platter I can remember. Pancakes are delicious. Then we had a couple of drinks at Uproar with Jason A. and his boyfriend Tony, before coming back home. And as though I hadn't had enough, I briefly considered going to Cobalt, but bed ended up being more appealing.

Yesterday I went to the gym for a very thorough shoulder workout, sat around Pret for a bit with an iced coffee, then met Blake and Carlos at Duplex. They were having a strange Real Housewives-themed daydrinking event, but it was reasonably amusing. Also had a few minutes to chat with Elliott about Stu's hiking and our respective workout plans. From there we went to sit on the Larry's patio for a while with their friend Brad, then I came back home. Very full weekend already, and we haven't even done the Easter thing yet.

*If you want to go seriously far back in the archive, Brian S. was one of the first people I met in college and we were among a handful of out guys as freshmen. He is even mentioned in my first LJ entry ever in case you want to read 18-year old me gush over boys and abuse punctuation.

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Tomorrow night's party.

Apr. 5th, 2017 | 10:57 pm

For which I will be borrowing a younger liver.

For about three months now, Steve has been working with B to plan a monthly gay party at his bar, and the inaugural event is finally almost here. Tomorrow! While they do most of the work, Stuart and I have been the social husbands hearing about it and anticipating the actual event. We were texting today about what to wear, and he has settled on "something dark and slutty." :) We also made a pact at DC9 last Thursday to take the next day off work so we can stay as late as we wish. The buzz is starting to remind me very much of the last big party that B hosted (which was retired in 2011). I am working through my old posts to tag any about those nights with Shift, but I suspect I didn't fully focus on that event as a blog entry theme in those verbose times.

I think it will be different in that these things take a few months to form an identity, and also that Shift was at a gay bar whereas we are solely in Straight Country in Columbia Heights. But different can be good! I'm looking forward to being the gay night in the village, so to speak.

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Always one degree away from the drama.

Apr. 4th, 2017 | 11:58 pm

And that's probably where I prefer to be.

Several folks on my list have been posting about how they've got friends leaving over the ownership change ... but I have not seen any of my friends directly saying so. I'm one level away from the LJ drama all the time, it seems, and that is perfectly fine with me. Myself, I literally just renewed my paid account over the weekend, and that appears to mean I get a bonus six months? Sort of feels like when our electric company completed a super unpopular merger last year and all residential customers "coincidentally" got a heavily discounted bill the next month. But I took that, and I'm taking this!

Not too much else going on. The championship game last night was not the best basketball I'd seen this year or even this week, but was entertaining while we ate tacos. To get said tacos, I had to stock up on some groceries, and figured I should improve my store of breakfast/lunch foods at the office while I was at it. So I was off to Harris Teeter, where even when not quite filling the smaller shopping cart, I managed to spend $58! They were damn good tacos, and I have had as quality desk meals as is possible, so I suppose it was worth the bill.

Work has been steady but productive, and my manager is out of the country on vacation so there are very few interruptions. I have scarcely pushed more deliverables out the door than the week between last Wednesday and today. Also I took this Friday* off, so it is helpful that I keep up the productivity. On another note, while I was waiting for Favorite Coworker to finish proofing a document to send to me earlier, I was weighing whether to sign up for a 10K that Bobby had posted about on Facebook. The enticement of post-race brunch in his post was crucial, because I decided to do it and registered! Now I need to replace my running shoes well before May 21st. Oh, and train some more. :)

Sixth cold shower at the gym tonight. It's getting less fun every time, but the staff are so genuinely apologetic I have to give them a hand. Maybe I'll bring a bucket of home-heated with me tomorrow.

*And that should be the topic of my next entry, as I partially wrote it in my head earlier tonight.

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Now a total pro at taking cold showers.

Apr. 1st, 2017 | 10:02 pm

If this was the sole indicator of success in the military, maybe I'd enlist!

Ultimately the gym's lack of hot water lasted from the Friday evening before last through Monday midday, during which time I took three cold showers and heard much griping from other members. Ultimately it's annoying but I would be more annoyed by having my routine disrupted, so I am happier with my choice. All was well Tuesday and Wednesday, then I took two days off to deal with the rest of life: on Thursday I had lots of work to plow through (and caught up admirably!), then on Friday had a bit of an LJ reunion after work (see next paragraph). But lo and behold, I walked in to the gym today and there were giant "HOT WATER IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE; SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE" signs up. So, I did my cardio and then had my fourth cold shower in a week. All it really takes is pointing the showerhead so the water doesn't hit me directly, and being very quick. I'm probably saving a lot of water in the process, not that we are short of it around here.

The Friday event was occasioned by Rice coming into DC for the first time in a few years. We had a Facebook thread going and eventually agreed to have a game night at Matt and Kyle's house, which Dave also attended. We ordered Wok & Roll, had much wine, and played Lost Woods. There was talk of playing a second game, but the wine had us very chatty so we instead retired to their lovely media room to watch RuPaul's Drag Race. I got home at 1:30; originally we were toying with the idea of going out after board games, which I'm glad never came to pass because I was super tired already!

Going out of chronological order here, but on Thursday I went to wash the car right after work. First time in a year, oops! Our garage is a dust haven, so now it appears to be a different color altogether. I then picked up dinner on the way back home (there are precious few car washes remaining in the city, and none I know of that are open past 6), dropped the car, and met Stuart at DC9. Pretty much everyone we know from that place was on one or the other side of the rooftop bar, and it wasn't otherwise that busy, so a lovely time. We tried to meet up with Steve at Backbar after that but he was still working with no end in sight so we parted ways. I then met up with B and Brett at Dodge City for a drink, and we heard the story behind Brett's new hair (she has a rainbow dyed into her head now, LOL). Lovely to be somewhere other than my office or a weight room for a bit!

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DC now has 33 seasons.

Mar. 25th, 2017 | 09:16 pm

This one is known as Too Early Spring and lasts 4 days.

Blake and I went to Duplex last night after a hiatus of maybe 3 weeks. They were just wrapping their viewing of the RPDR S9 premiere and it was a little chaotic, but eventually cleared out except for an exuberant drag queen that would not stop walking around filming everyone on Facebook Live. Also of note: Sara's mom showed up and we had a couple of drinks with her! She had just driven up from some kind of kayak certification camp in South Carolina, which was a fascinating story. I got home around 1:30.

The high temp was 78 degrees today, and that made all of humanity come out of the woodwork to enjoy it. It has been striking how many of our newer restaurants and bars in the last few years have added outdoor space, and an early spring like this will help them get the most out of that investment. I had a hair appointment at 1, so scooted out the door around 10:30 to the gym first. It was a very productive shoulder day! The downside was that the gym has no hot water all weekend, presumably related to the construction that is happening in the office building above (LA Fitness is the basement tenant). I did come across this on Friday evening too after my cardio, so it wasn't a surprise. But there were lots of other cranky dudes in the locker room that were making it into a much more dramatic ado than it was. Just for context, we pay $37 a month (or less!) for membership, and the Silver Sneakers people get in free. So it is a tad ridiculous to be freaking out and yelling at the staff for what is clearly a temporary thing that the gym management could not control. I'm probably going to be back there tomorrow morning, and I'll suffer through one more cold shower because I don't want to go to brunch with swamp nuts (TMI, sorry). In sum, I could live without hot water but it's a luxury I do enjoy.

Then I went to Pret for a snack and an iced coffee, then finally to get the haircut. Rusty is having pretty intense family drama but we got a good conversation in and I think all will be ok. He also said he has a date tonight, and when I asked what they were doing his response was "the Netflix and chill variety." :)

It was on the way back from the salon that most of the activity was happening. I saw a giant truck backing into the Soviet Safeway loading dock, which is always a little intense. And on R St a giant quinceañera procession meant I had to literally step off the sidewalk to let them pass. This girl's also made me jealous, as she had a fifteen-piece band in the back. There were also a lot of tourists and daydrinkers, though, so I came right back home after that. I had a lovely nap, and now am idling while B cooks dinner.

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A mid-March Friday Five.

Mar. 17th, 2017 | 07:49 pm

Why are non-Irish Americans so into this holiday again? I forget.

1. Have you ever been to Ireland?
Not yet but I would enjoy a trip. They have AirBnB, yes?

2. According to Facts about Ireland, 73% of Americans are unable to locate Ireland on a map bereft of country names. Whether you are American or not, can you find it on a map?
Yes! Geography was always my strongest subject. Also, thanks to Sporcle, you can even try to identify countries on a map with no names or boundaries. Give it a go!

3. Are you or do you know a natural redhead?
I'm not and we had precious few in isolated northern New Mexico, but there are more around me now!

4. Will you be celebrating St Patrick's Day?
Not planning on it. What exactly would I even do? I suppose I could go to B's bar, but I'm seeing Instagrams where it looked crowded already, so this seems unlikely.*

5. Do you even know who St. Patrick is and why we celebrate his day?
I always had a vague notion thanks to the church, but what I did not learn until much later is that we celebrate it on the day he died. Huge bummer.

*Update: I just put dinner in the oven, so unless eating fish and cheesy broccoli counts as celebrating, I am out. :)

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Having a lovely flashback to the 20th century.

Mar. 14th, 2017 | 10:59 pm

But it's a bummer there is no Netflix back here.

About to do an errand I have to do less and less frequently as I continue through adulthood: order checks. At least I can do it online. When I was a kid, my parents would either call to do it or--let's get crazy--do it in person at the bank.

This was also the time when the date field was stylized as "___________, 19___" and among our other silly Y2K worries I remember people wondering what we would do after the years started with 20xx instead of 19xx. Miraculously (or so it seemed) our banks responded well in advance by turning the date line into just that, a totally blank line to allow freestyle writing of the year.

OK! Hadn't done this since 2015, so it took me a minute to even find the place to make an order on the bank website, but all in the clear now. The site also defaulted to $8 for shipping, but I had the option to change to free shipping, because I sure as heck don't need these things urgently. I also still have the option to order the old-school carbon-copy duplicate type checks! And the final insult, at the confirmation page: "Please print this page for your records." I'm going to pass on that one. Amazing how this low-tech world is still hanging on. Maybe by 2040 or so it will be gone for good.

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"Titanium with butter-resistant grips. It's the one the astronauts use!"

Mar. 12th, 2017 | 03:22 pm

Bob's Burgers, how did your writers get so brilliant?

It has been a very successful fitness week! I was in the gym or running every day of the week minus the scheduled rest day on Tuesday, and this was with quite a lot else happening. That meant prioritizing my exercise over work, which has not always been the case in the last couple of years. In a while I will finish out the week as well as my 31-day step goal by going out for a run. It's up to 41 degrees, and thanks to DST* I now have an extra hour of daylight to handle. And as for my strength workouts I have felt very confident and focused of late. I'm feeling yesterday's leg day in particular. Curse you, lunges!

Re: the step goal, I had been pushing myself to do 13,000 steps a day for a month, starting in mid-January. This was good to an extent, but if I reached the goal there was no further incentive to do any more. Hence the evenings just turned into either Uber-ing or taking transit to my destinations instead of walking, or not running even if I had the time to fit one in. As a result I transitioned for the next month to a total goal of 400,000 steps, incentivizing me to do as much as possible per day (though it evens out to ~12,900 daily steps so still achievable). It has been ambitious but helpful, and I'm on track to just barely meet the goal. I think after this I will go a few days without a specific step goal, and probably buy new shoes because I'm wearing out the two most common pairs.

Still a crazy high volume at work, but that isn't going to change. Big Project (formerly known as New Project) has essentially ended, though I still have 2-3 meetings a week about it and there is eternal email traffic to tie up loose ends. We onboarded a new senior person on Monday, a badly needed addition. I have some training to do with her in the coming two weeks, but if she can catch on quickly that will be a great help. Also Broworker #3 was out all week with a sick kid, ratcheting up the pressure on all the rest of us. He's been our most prodigious generator of new business of late, so his absence was felt; plus he may have to be out all next week too. We shall see how that goes. More fun was finally finishing 2016 "year-end" reviews and being informed that I will get a bonus. It pays out on Tuesday, so there's my funding source for new shoes (then saving the rest).

*Overall I am not a fan of time changes and would advocate that the States make Daylight Savings Time "permanent," i.e. do away with the twice-yearly changes but keep the East Coast at UTC-4 permanently. But longer evenings in the late winter are the upside to this silly practice.

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Religious oppression is the worst.

Mar. 5th, 2017 | 04:51 pm

So Roger Williams peaced out of Massachusetts and founded this lovely place.

As promised in my last entry, here are photos from the latest installment of the State Capitols project: Rhode Island! It was more photogenic than I was expecting, so I wish I'd gotten more than just portrait-oriented iPhone snaps. Ah, well.


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They're always on a hill. #cardio

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The approach looks flat, but it very much is not!

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The dome, which is basically impossible to get all in one photo.


More photos this wayCollapse )

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Thanks for being nice to me, New England!

Feb. 27th, 2017 | 12:05 am

Although the Pats fandom was a little over the top.

Had a whirlwind trip to RI/MA Friday and Saturday for Ce's funeral (which I will write about in a separate entry). Delta did a nice job of accommodating me on a last-minute itinerary and I got there and back with no snags. I flew into Providence, toured the Rhode Island State House on the continuing State Capitols project (10 of 50!), then drove up to Worcester to stay overnight at a Courtyard in a fairly soulless office park. In the morning I checked out and drove up to Clinton for the funeral, then got to see a little bit of that adorable town before driving back down to Providence and flying home.

In my continuing obsession with everyday life, I did enjoy getting to see some new parts of the country and interact (even if superficially) with people from those places. The only part of New England I'd previously seen was Boston. I'll get photos up here soon in yet another separate entry, but you know my record on this so do be patient. And I'm also watching the tail end of the Oscars right now while drinking wine.

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