Thursday, March 31, 2005

Til Now, I Always Got By On My Own, I Never Really Cared Until I Met Butt

Minnesota, at least in parts, has now instituted a smoking ban. It doesn't matter for me anymore, thanks to my non-smoking ways, not to mention that I have lived in the smoke-free state of New York for a couple years. Nonetheless, I abhor the idea of smoking bans. Katie and I have been disagreeing over the last couple days regarding employment ethics, what should and shouldn't be required of people at the workplace. I am generally in agreement that people shouldn't have to be exposed to dangerous shit as a condition of keeping their jobs, but I also have a certain amount of sympathy for the rights of private establishments to do what they please. I will always identify as a smoker in one way or another, so I have a sense of righteous indignation whenever these things come up. To begin with, maybe there is some way to make a reasonable accomadation to people who want to work in bars but don't want to be exposed to smoke. I see two solutions in this respect: 1) places are required to provide safety equipment (breathing masks, gas masks, whatev) for them so they have protection. Yes, it would suck to wear a gas mask at work, but if you work with dangerous chemicals thats what happens. There are things that are intrinsic job risks and since there is a significant part of the population that likes to smoke when they are at bars (in NYC the estimate was 40+ percent, I'm not sure in Minnesota) I think smoke there is intrinsic to the job. 2) smoking areas should be sealed off, so that no employess are required to enter them. I mean, for instance, as you may have seen at a Perkins or a Dennys, there is a smoking section which has windows and an air-sealed door, so no one who chooses not to be in it is exposed. Basically it means that if you want to get your drinks, you have to go out to the bar and bring them back to your table. That option puts the added burden on the customer rather than the worker, so its up to you witch is more important. If you owned an establishment and wanted to be tricky (which I personally would) you could set up little windows at the tables like at old school fast food restaurants in bad areas, where you put the bags on a tray which is then spun around into the smoking area, meaning that you could have wait staff bring people food/drinks without ever having to enter the smoking area. Anyway, I think there are good solutions to this problem that don't require impinging the rights of smokers nor telling waiters/waitresses/bartenders, to suck it up.

Certainly much more importantly to my life than a ban on something I no longer do in a state where I no longer live, is the fact that living comedic legend Mitch Hedberg, is no longer living. Mitch was one of the funniest people I think has ever lived. I love that dry one-liner sense of humor (My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana, and I said no, but I want a regular banana later, so, yeah) and the ridiculous set ups that made me crack up every time I heard his bits (My apartment is infested with koala bears. Its the cutest infestation of all time. Way better than cockroaches. Every time I turn on the light, a whole bunch of koala bears scatter.) I was unfortunate to never see Mitch perform live, though I listen to his CD pretty religiously and have the Comedy Central specials all but memorized. It seems that he had a heart attack and though it would be sad to lose Mitch at any age, for him to go at only 37 is hearbreaking. Personally my thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family, I'll think of him everytime I end up screaming some insignificant shit: "that tree is far away."

Other shitty news: Fox officially canceled Point Pleasant, so they can go suck my ass. Fox has now canceled two of the potential heirs to Buffy's domain after less than half a season. Its a freaking mystery show for the love of ass, you can't evaluate it before things have really started to go down. I swear that if the OC hadn't debuted during the middle of summer allowing it to build an audience without any competition they would have canceled it before the Summer/Ana conflict even developed. It looks like Veronica Mars will get another full season and Katie assures me that things are looking up for Arreseted Development, which I thought was as good as dead.

Katie, who is awesome in every respect notably, was especially awesome in her quick dealing with of the massive figure skating glob that accumulated in her absence. I only had to watch about an hour of total figure skating as well, which is an uber-bonus. Those 14 hours move fast without commercials and minute long breaks for judging, not to mention that when I annoy Katie about the repetitive boring ass biographies alot of those get skipped too. It seems that figure skating is the reverse of a regular sport, where you use the off-court biological crap to fill in the holes during the game (i.e. halftime) since the skating is basically an afterthought after hearing the story of each of the 12 ponies that Slutskaya raised during her childhood. The only other note I intend to offer re: figure skating is that the art of the exhibition seems lost on today's generation. You want to see an exhibition figure skater, check out none other than the immortal Elvis Stojko!! Dude used to do incredible shit, slidey moves and ridiculous jumping combinations and freaking backflips! We have seen all your good footwork and arm movements during your lame-ass ice dance, the whole point here is to show off what you wouldn't do in normal combinations, not just do your boring routine to a Cherry Poppin Daddies tune.

Hippo was playing with her fishy-pole today, which is prolly her all time favorite toy. I mean, she's got alot of toys still to come, so its a bit early in her playing career to determine all time favorites, but she likes the fishy-pole. Anyway, somehow she got herself all tangled in the pink string that attaches the fishy to the pole and after getting fed up with being tangled, decided the best way to deal with it would be to take off as fast as her kitten paws would allow. She heads for the bedroom and as the pole smashes around behind her, clattering against doorways and furniture we realize what has happened. She went through every room in the apartment at least once before I was finally able to catch her when the pole got wrapped around my cell phone charger. Not a happy Hippo. I had to agree to let her watch at least one David Cronenberg movie before she would cheerup. I think she can handle eXistenZ.



Monday, March 28, 2005

I Got a Man, Whats Your Man Got To Do With Butt

So I have been watching the Contender, largely because I will check out at least the better part of any season of reality television that Mark Burnett is willing to attach his name to. I figure I owe the man that much after all. Anyway, there are a couple things that should be noted. 1) The show has all the quality characters you expect amidst the boxers, by that I mean there are people who are involved for significant family dramas and there are people who are just in it for the money. There are conflicts of personality and there are conflicts of style and all the key ingredients of any quality program. 2) The celebrity-host model fits in really well. This isn't a Mark Cuban style rip off, let me tell you, Sly Stallone really works, he's not authentic in some way, I don't take him seriously, but look at him in the same vein as you would The Donald and he'll stick to your ribs. Not to mention they put an old boxing trainer (literally, the physical embodiment of every stereotype you think of in a boxing movie, the washed up old white-ethnic guy with a scraggly voice) in the mix, a la George and Caroline. 3) The drama in this program is in-fucking-tense. They've done alot of things to enhance that feeling of course, most notably involving the boxers families so significantly in the show. The very fact that its a boxing show, whose contestants are up and coming boxers, means that its drawing from communities who are often in down and out situations, people who are trying to raise their families either out of poverty, or into something unique, through boxing. Maybe that could be there in American Idol as well, but there seems to be something unique about the boxing aspect. Maybe its the idea of getting knocked out that didn't really apply to Lindsay Cardinale, but what do I know. Anyway, all this was merely to say that while I like this show, I'm not sure Katie could handle it. Thats not even to mention that the dude who lost last week and was so incredibly optimistic about what it had taught him, the dude who they showed saying that "I see nothing but goodness and beauty before me" in voiceover while he played around the room with his baby daughter, is the one who killed himself a month or so ago. Its pretty hardcore.

I have watched the NCAA tournament for about as long as I have really been a sports fan, probably pretty regularly for the past 12-15 years. I know I can't remember every game I have ever watched, but I cannot imagine that there was ever a series of games as exciting as the 4 games which comprised the elite 8 were this past weekend. 4 games, 3 in overtime. The Big Ten even ended up with half of the Final Four. While I would have really liked to see the Badgers take down the evil monster that is UNC, the games were close enough that its hard to even care. Katie timed her "spring break debate trip" very well, since she missed the intense heat of the tournament, but she'll have to tolerate three final games. Luckily for her the Wolves appear to suck enough not even to end up in the Western Conference Playoffs, meaning there will be few significant sports viewing demands put on her until we are once again ready for some football.

A brief debate shout out to those who were debating at CEDA Nats and the NDT. Most notably were the successes of Meiches (quarters at CEDA) and Maggie (walked over in sems at CEDA, quarters at the NDT), both former students of mine. I would never take credit, per say, for their success even when I was their coach, and I certainly wouldn't claim to have anythign whatsoever to do with these recent and extraordinary accomplishments, but I will say that I am incredibly proud to have ever been involved in their careers in any way. Thats not even to mention the Josher, who had a tough CEDA nationals and prolly got a bit "seniored-out" regarding their shot at the NDT, but who I am 100% confident has some incredible showings to come. Finally, mizzle prizzles to those Minnesotans who I didn't coach, including Stillwater's own S. Apel, the guy who puts the DC in AC, J. Oie., and someone whose arguments could not possibly have gotten any crazier in college then they were at Wayzata, D. Falt-y-sack. There might be more, who I am then by ommission insulting, and I certainly don't mean it in that regard. Besides, I can just update them in if I remember who you are. Suck it.

Has anyone tried Diet Cherry-Vanilla Dr. Pepper? I am really curious, but I am not just gonna buy one without some sort of endorsement. Now keep this in mind: Diet Dr. Pepper is in actuality closer to tasting like regular Dr. Pepper than, for instance, Diet Coke is to tasting like Coke. Notably, however, both Diet Coke and Goat Urine are approximately equally different in degree, from original Coke. Obviously one is a better tasting beverage, but neither of them tastes remotely like Coke. Diet Dr. Pepper is at least in the same league. That said, if this Cherry-Vanilla thing tastes just like a flavor shot in a diet soda then screw it, I can add grenadine and vanilla extract to real DP if there's something about the flavor combo. I am also confused because I have been told that Dr. Pepper itself was originally a cherry flavored soda, which I think is crap, cuz it tastes like almond and thats the way I likes it.

Hippo and I were reading Lacan's Seminar VII this afternoon on the couch and she noticed that there is potentially some tension in the interpretation of Sade that occurs here and that in Kant avec Sade. Very smart on her behalf I should say. She also has decided that there are a couple things in the apartment which she doesn't usually get to investigate that she would very much like to. First and foremost is the refigerator. She does like to climb in down by the crisper every now and then, but more often than not she comes running when she hears it open and either just walks around in between the door and the fridge proper, or lays down next to the open front. I have no idea what this fridge thing signifies, but I think the hopping up in Katie's sock and underwear drawers is a pretty clear sign that she is excited for Katie's return manana. Hippo sends her purrs out accross the interweb in a true spirit of love.



Sunday, March 27, 2005

Here Comes Peter Cottontail, Hopping Down the Bunny Trail, Hippity Hoppity Easter's On its Butt

Happy Easter to you all. Hope the hams/roasts/egg hunts/bunnies/baskets/etc. were fun for all those in the celebratory mood. I followed my typical Easter ritual of stopping at McDs on my way home and enjoying a Double Quarter-Pounder With Cheese. It was officially the best cheeseburger of 2005, though you never know what it will take to beat it. I almost wish I had an excuse to drive down to Cleveland and hit up the nearest White Castle, cuz a slider sounds mighty to the good right now. I think someone could make alot of money by either franchising a White Castle out in this neck of the woods or even just building a copycat burger joint. It doesn't take alot of work to grill shit on a bed of onions, even without the characteristic slider grease I would stop in for a 20 sack every now and then. Unfortunately Katie loathes the gut busters, so I can't even motivate her to make a journey with me. Maybe I need to work on homemade belly-bombs...I'll get back to you on that.

Besides that little has been going on this week that deserves bloggification. I read, I watched TV, I brushed Hippo, I hung around. There are great things to be excited about at least, since Katie returns home on Tuesday. Its been a rough NDT for many of the people who I give a rats ass about, though at least Maggie is going to clear. I've never debated at the ndt jobviously, but just looking at the tournament makes it pretty easy to realize how ridiculously difficult each of those rounds are. I would shoot myself before I could go through what is essentially an entire weekend of outrounds. You have to listen to 24 decisions just in prelims, which means you could clear and still hear the reason why you lost 14 times. Just too much. Luckily, it is the finale of the season, meaning that we are done with travel, done with one form of stress, and able to relax at least a bit.

Comedy Central finally put the vag badger bit up on their website, btw, if you feel like checking it out here. What the hell does "a href" mean? I understand what it functionally does when put in the text of a websitelike device, but why isn't it just , is it just that there is little chance that you would accidentally type "a href" or is it a stupid abbreviation or something. I think using the <> things should be the functional equivalent of having a cursor in an old school text based computer game where you can just type in any action and have the computer do it. How far? I would almost always get bored with those games after about 20 or so commands and end up telling the game to do various obscene things to itself, though I would imagine my obscene vocabulary was pretty limited in the days I used to play around on my grandparents 1980-something IBM.

Hippo is chasing a fly and its a fairly difficult task, because the fly is just buzzing around the cieling, which is about 8 or so feet out of Hippo's range. So instead of really chasing this fly, she is just walking around the room looking at the ceiling, but she is doing it in a very intense manner. If that fly descends about 7 or so feet, this persian kitty to my left is gonna wreck its shop. Seriously, it has no idea what its in for. I'm gonna follow the Hipmaster's example here and go find some food. Mine is not gonna be a fly and hopefully its not gonna buzz around so much, but it will be every bit as fascinating.



Sunday, March 20, 2005

I Smell Sex and Candy, Here, Who's that Lounging, In My Butt

Tournament fun, Corned beef and cabbage goodness, and a veritable television fiesta sort of summarizes my last several days. I've seen all the good upsets, really enjoyed the Vermont win despite the fact that I kinda like Syracuse. Its always fun to see kids in that environment get that kind of opportunity, their coach is hilarious, and while the drama didn't quite stack up to Wake Forest's loss in double OT last night, it was pretty solid. I think Hippo has a pretty solid case of March Madness as she has spent most of the long weekend here on the couch with me. She has been climbing up on the laptop to check her bracket every couple minutes. She seems to be big into UW-Milwaukee, but she lost a final four team with UConn's loss earlier today. I've been brushing her all weekend and her coat is in pristine condition. Hippo gives everyone a shout out and promises to update her blog a little later.

I went to the Fireside Lounge down the street for Corned Beef and cabbage, since the Irish place was jammed to the freaking rafters. I figured that at least it was a steakhouse type joint and would have a higher quality brisket than the Greek or family restaurants which had signs indicating their Irish wares. The cabbage could have used a little salt and was more mushy then I would like but it was still delish. I don't eat alot of corned beef during the year, but when I do I prefer it to be perfectly done and the Fireside succeded there. If I ever again get the chance to celebrate St. Patrick's day with one or more other people maybe i can enjoy more than one green beer in the process. As it was I came home and dyed a couple of my remaining Summit's a pure Kelly green and enjoyed the late games.

I did some work on Friday and decided that the best use of the afternoon's tournament was to make a good solid meal and enjoy it near the conclusions of the first set of contests. I whipped up a couple of tasty tuna melts and some fresh cut fries. Since the oil in my deep frier was on its last legs I was on my way to empty it when I noticed a pack of Double Stuf Oreos (I had earlier been telling Katie something I wholeheartedly believe, which is that Double Stuf Oreos are so vastly superior to regular Oreos that they should simply become Oreos and normal Oreos should be Half Stuf or Oreos for people who suck it). Hmmm, I thought, Deep Fried Double-Stuf Oreos. So I did some recipe searching and made a tasty plate of crispy melty cookie treats. You can see a shot of them at my moblog.

I have also had a couple chances to catch up with the enormous amounts of TV we had stored up from the constant debate stuff. In the process I found three funny moments whose lack of recognition at large is really pissing me off. First is "City Court with Aaron Neville" from the SNL with Hilary Swank a couple weeks back. Seriously, Horatio Sanz as Aaron Nevile may make "cocoa butter" even funnier than "bottle of pineapple schnapps." All the references to it on the interweb are panning and one even cited it as an example of how SNL sucks this year, an assertion I categorically deny. The second had at least a couple positive reviews, that being Kelesy Grammar Presents The Sketch Show. I was a little hesitant at first, since the show is the kind of thing that hasn't really been on TV since Laugh-In, a series of comedy bits which are mostly just acted out puns or one liners, a very rapid fire approach to sketch comedy. Every 3rd or so sketch would be about a minute or two, but the average length was certainly less than 30 seconds. Some is crap but at least two were LOL style and the show does feature two people who were once on Mr. Show, which is about as good a job of casting as you can do. Finally, the Hollow Men, a sketch troupe ala Monty Python or Kids in the Hall who got a show on Comedy Central. I taped the first episode just to see what was going on and while alot of it was pretty stupid (too much fascination with naked dudes and british slang for genitals, even for my taste) the final sketch was one of the funniest things I have seen in a while. I won't repeat the whole routine, since I am confident that at some point I will be able to find a copy online. Suffice to say that the vag badger is a permanent fixture in my vocabulary.

Katie has been gone for like three full days and me and Hippo are ready for her to be home. I think Hippo enjoys sleeping on her pillow, but finds it much more fun to attack her in the middle of the night. Its not like Katie's head being there has ever prevented Hippo from taking a nap where she wanted to, but still. All of Katie's teams were in the hunt to clear as of last night and it looked like Meiches was off to a good tournament as well. Josher had one of day one's biggest wins, taking down Dartmouth CS (probably a top 5 first round, or near there at least) so mad props go to Californ-i-a in all regards.

Alright, Hippo has some questions about the tournament selection/ranking process and the basic system of college conferences that may take a while, so I am going to enjoy Vermont's last moments of the season (so it seems). Hippo sends ya'll a big meow.



Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Found a Reason for Me, To Change Who I Used to Be, A Reason to Start Over New and the Reason is Butt

I wouldn't normally be typing at this point, but I am letting Katie watch an episode of American Dreams, a show which she enjoys which I cannot freaking stand. I have no nostalgia for the 50s to begin with, not for its music or its culture or its family, and since I can hardly ever tolerate family based dramas to begin with, there was nothing about this program that interested me. The brain-wizards at NBC decided that since it was running in second to Desperate Housewives on Sunday nights they shoud move it to Wednesdays so it could smashed by Lost and also take a beating by That 70's Show, American Idol, and/or The Simple Life. Regardless, that is what is going on.

Hippo and I have been very sad today, since Katie is on her way out of town for almost 2 full weeks. Hippo was explaining that while she knows that she will get the chance to celebrate all the relevant Easter traditions with Katie when she gets home and for many years in the future, a kittenish part of her wishes she would be around to bake a spring ham and such. She told me this in between chapters of Beyond Good and Evil today, which she managed to read without sitting on the book, a great improvement by my mark. Anyway, I told Hippo that Katie will call and update her blog, and she said that was reasonable. I promised Hippo that the Easter bunny would come twice and while Hippo will not categorically assure me that she will not attack and tear to shreds aforementioned Easter Bunny with her persian strength, she seemed excited.

Brief one today. Gonna eat chinese food and watch the West Wing. Check it.



Your Moves are So Raw, I've Got to Let You Know, I've Got to Let You Know, You're One of My Butt

Okay okay, I got it, I suck at updating these days. Can't do anything about that, I just suck at updating. I will work on it over the next little while when Katie is gone, but until I have finished my orals and such, once a week-ish is the best I can shoot for. Well, it is Spring Break, and between the episodes of Girls Gone Wild that are being filmed all around me while I drink my Long Island from this enormous neon-green plastic tube thing, Katie and I have managed to relax while still studying/prepping for the NDT like mad. We have also managed to fix shit on the car, develop our spring-time greetings, and play with Ms. Hippo. I was reading some Bergon today and she was really really intersted, but just like I often have to have my neck in a certain position to concentrate, she apparently had to have her front paws on the book in order to understand it. Maybe tomorrow we will more thoroughly break down the concept of virtual imagery.

We are about a week and a half from the end of lent and only two days from St. Patrick's Day. I guess those dates pretty explicitly reveal my blantant Irish Catholicism, but nonetheless, its exciting. If for no other reason than I am so fucking dying for a chicago-style hot dog and a DQPw/C. Thursday is my only chance to enjoy red meat until then and though I do think that Corned Beef and Cabbage is hella tasty in general, its even better after 30 odd days without any cow. I have to pick out which psuedo-Irish restaurant in the area will be my pick for the evening, but there is time on that regard still. I will have to take Katie to the airport on her way to CEDA nationals and the NDT so I guess I can make my decision on the way home.

TV things that deserve reporting: The OC just keeps getting better and better. Though I loathe the situation that has developed between Alex and Marissa, I love Summer and Seth enough to make up for everything. The only show I would say was above it was pretty good last week as well and for the first time I actually enjoyed watching Matt Santos run for President. The Hoynes angle was awesome and though I can't handle not getting to see Jed Bartlett but every third week, I can at least tolerate Smits as his follow-up. I have plenty of feelings about what needs to happen at the end of the Bartlett administration next year, but I will wait until they more approach relevancy. ANTM is off to another good start this season, though it sucked that Brita was the first to go. I really don't want them to play Brandy like she is this years Eva, but I have no explicit favorite yet. There certainly is no Norelle, but I mean, what do you want.

American Idol was embroiled (one of the new nominees for best verb of the week by the way) in scandal with the departure of Mario Vazquez, and while I am glad that Niko Smith got back into the top 12, it sucks that Mario isn't around. My guess, after tonight's performances, is that we lose either Jessica Sierra or Mikaylah Gordon (who, while looking uber-slutty cute and sounding like Fran Drescher singing some 60s tune, was not any good at all) but Katie is convinced that I will at long last get to say goodbye to Lindsay Cardinale whose version of "Knock on Wood" made me want to drive a railroad spike through my face. Simon's comment was that 30 million TV sets simultaneously turned down the volume during her performance and I certainly almost did. If we do happen to kiss one of the gentlemen adieu, I can't believe it would be anyone besides Anthony Federov, though I guess Niko had fewer votes the first time around anyway. I mean, I would think with the two rockers you wouldn't need the non-threatening young blonde white boy, but I suppose I continue to not make up a majority of the voting public.

Anyway, I will try to say hey again St. Patty's night or summin. Erin go bragh.



Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Baby When You Finally, Get to Love Somebody, Thats Why, Its Gonna Be Butt

So yes, it has been hella long since I updated. I could give some excuses and I will. For one I had two orals meetings that I had to get ready for and actually worked most of the week as I intended to. That certainly took up much of my time. Another portion of the overall time, specifically evening time, was destroyed by the GSA (Graduate Student Association) meeting that I attended on behalf of Umbr(a) this Wednesday. The best analogy I could come up with was this: imagine spending an hour and a half masturbating a castrated goat. You would have gotten more useful things done in that 90 minutes than I did between 7:00 and 8:30 in that room. Its like high school student council except they have money to give out. Here is the messed up thing, the Group for Discussion of the Freudian Field (who publishes Umbr(a)) is among the acadmeic clubs that doesn't get any sort of a vote. Literally, we don't get to raise our hands when they, after ten minutes of repetitive stupid questions, unanimously approve a thousand bucks for the gender institute. I'm all in favor of the programs they support (well, the serious ones, I think I could live without the "GSA Happy Hour" or "GSA Bowling Night") but why do you take my club's money away if one of us doesn't show up to eat cheap greazy pizza and listen to idiots babble. If I wanted that I could just tivo Navy NCIS and/or Jag.

But regardless, I will not concentrate on that now, since there is at least some happiness on the horizon. To begin: debate, as of this Monday, for me, is done for the year. I am thinking that the entire drive home from D.C. should just be a repetition of "Celebrate (Good Times Come On!!)". This isn't even a diss on debate, its just that I am excited to have weekends and stay at home with my Hippo (and after the NDT, my Katie) and not have to work. Maybe by the time I take the next road trip I happen to embark on I won't still be recovering from the previous one. We won't have to spend 100 dollars every weekend on McDonalds and hotel sodas. I'm totally psyched but in no way mean to diss on those who will miss it or whose careers are coming to an end. Please don't hate me.

I am writing this from a basement "room" its somewhere between an actual classroom and a broom closet with an overhead projector and overlybright lights (specifically ICC 211B if Cassie or any other Georgetown alums are in the hizzy) at Georgetown University. I have had very mixed feelings about D.C. in the day and a half that we have been here. We had a long drive to get here and crashed on Friday night without even getting something to eat. The tournament, while far away and long and so forth, is actually pretty well run and scheduled. The Georgetown campus, while huge by my standards and a very different University setting then anything I am used to (which are admittedly fairly limited to the U (which is like a school integrated with a city) Buffalo (which is a crappy practiaclly new suburban campus nowhere near civilization) and Mac (which is overall, a bit smaller than the building I currently occupy)). But if nothing else, the architecture is fucking gorgeous. The one thing we Catholics got right for sure is window/spire/arch design, we rock the architectural heezy. As of yet I have gotten zero debates off (and to be honest, I am not optimistic about either of the last two) and so have performed no exploration of the Georgetown neighborhood, which suxorz largely because it looks so interesting. It has the appearance of an older and slightly less racially gentrified (though obviously pretty fucking gentrified) Wrigley park area, with all the extraordinarily expensive 10 foot wide homes and tapas joints. Anyway, I think a trip to the intersetion of Wisconsin and M would be a way better use of my time than a doubles debate that will inevitably come down to a dropped voter anyway.

After we finagled our way home last night (no directions, only Katie's vague intuition of the city's seriously faulty geography) Katie and I dropped all the debaters off and went out to find some food. We are staying right near the Pentagon, which is awesome, but it appears that people who are by the Pentagon do not eat. By that I mean there is not a restaurant within several miles of the hotel. We literally drove a couple miles in either direction before determining that if we wanted to eat something beyond missiles or copies of the "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside US" PDB, we would have to get on the highway. Of course we hadn't prepared for this instance, so we really just went randomly and as often happens when you jump onto highways near Washington, D.C. (at least so it seems to me) we ended up Downtown (again, I think its "Downtown," its where all the shit is, monuments and capitals and stuff, near the Mall, you might say, we were up on the hill for a while, Toby taught me that one, you are on the hill, not at the hill)). The least good thing about many debate tournaments is that we get to enjoy none of the benefits of the tremendous amounts of travel we do. This is actually an instance where I would really like to have the time to enjoy the place we are rather than just listening to Chalupka or Calibresi.

Anyway, Katie has never been to D.C. so even if the sightseeing never materializes further, she got a brief driving tour of the nation's capital. We drove down Constitution from behind the Lincoln Monument up to the Capital, picking out whatever we could of the buildings given the traffic and limited light/eyesight concerns. I think the Capital building itself is really beautiful and Katie was a little blown away. We got up right in front of it and also saw the perfect view from right in front of the Washington monument, where the trees up and down the boulevard frame the lit up building perfectly. I have only been here on the one occassion with my family in like the 8th grade and I certainly didn't remember how huge all the buildings are. The department of agriculture literally takes up two buildings that are 4-5 stories and entire square blocks. It was hella impressive even from the rented mini-van.

Despite the imposingly cool design and the multitude of shit to see, I am not convinced about D.C. yet. Besides the general large-cityness of it, problems it shares with pretty much anything bigger than Minnneapolis, it seems to have 2 distinct disads. 1) The design is confusing as shit, thats not surprising given the age of the area, how it developed, and how odd it is to have an enormous section of the city with nothing but big ass statues, but it made it a pain for me to get around, alot like Boston in that regard, thankfully, without Boston drivers. 2) There is no food. I think the best warrant for any argument that our government is run by aliens (and I know there are alot of good ones) is the lack of restaurants in the area. My guess is that they eat vacuum cleaners, which, when you think about it, explains alot.

Anyway, we ultimately found our Boston Market, enjoyed a tasty rotisserie chicken dinner and spent a lively evening joking and laughing amongst the best of company. Unfortunately Hippo was not there, which technically means it was not the absolute best company, but close enough by my count. I drank a good bit of vanilla vodka (for some reason no one has had Stoli vanilla recently, its all Smirnoff all the time) and went to sleep later than I would have liked, but at least with a buzz. I woke up this morning looking out on the sun rising, over/near the Washington monument in the distance.

Alright, gonna try 2 find somewhere to post this. In Washington, I'm MB-K.