The observations and opinions of a person who has no discernible insights or ideas.

Monday, August 29, 2005

"It looks like we MD it" 

I just returned from another trip to the District of Columbia. This trip wasn’t nearly as exciting as my last trip there, but it still had some good bits.

The primary purpose of my trip was to attend a meeting in beautiful southern Maryland. This time around, it was much greener, and I got out to see some different parts of it. I wasn’t any more impressed with the greenery than I was with the stark wintry area I visited in January (which was in the same geographical location). The meeting I attended was sometimes interesting, but mostly very, very boring, which was amplified by the fact that I only got 3-4 hours of sleep a night while I was down there.

Speaking of sleep, alarm clocks should never be designed so that you can change the time by pushing only one button. The first two mornings when I woke up, the clock was off by a few hours, which I think is a result of hunting for the snooze button in a nearly delirious state. The clock, however, is my only major complaint about what otherwise was a fine hotel (minor complaints include the sink stopper being broken (so that it was nearly stopped all the time), the shower curtain making the shower way too dark, and the lack of a microfridge).

I tried a bit of the local cuisine, but that didn’t go well. We went to a restaurant called Cabana’s, which was far more of a bar than a restaurant. By eating outside, we avoided most of the smokiness, but ended up dealing with flies and rather gross tables instead. My food tasted fishy, which was a definite deal breaker. I ate at more exotic places after that, like Taco Bell and Subway.

DC was all right, but I just wasn’t in the mood for it. I was exhausted from traveling all week already, and from hardly sleeping all week. I did go see a few sights and find a few caches, but it was nothing compared to the much colder experiences I had in January. The highlight of the area, in fact, was eating at a couple of restaurants in Chinatown. The first, called Five Guys, is a burger joint that sells pretty good burgers. Mine had some bacon that was a bit crispier than I would like, but ultimately it was a really good sandwich. (This reminds me: we need to go to Brand X in Springville.) Friday, I got lunch with my sister-in-law (and their infant son) at a sandwich shop called Potbellies. Wow, what a good sandwich. It was like eating at Quizno’s, but for even less than Subway’s prices, and with even better food.

I also enjoyed hanging out with family. I discovered that my brother and I are more evenly matched at Boggle than we have been in the past. Maybe next time we play he will beat me. I also finally saw the extended edition of the final Lord of the Rings movie. I’m not sure why I hadn’t seen it yet, but it was quite awesome. My brother and I hardly talked politics, which is a break from the norm for us, and when we did talk, we agreed a bit more than usual. Maybe fatherhood has softened him to a more moderate socialist.

I wasn’t feeling very well on this trip. I was tired and anxious to be home. Between everything that was going on, it was a really hard week for me, but fortunately, things are getting better. It’s great to be home.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Trip Report: A Preview 

I was talking to my brother, and he reminded me of my trip report from the last time I came out here. My trip this time hasn’t been as good as that one, but things may be looking up. I’ll try to write a trip report when I get back.

(NOTE TO SELF: Write a trip report when you get back.)

So far, I’ve been finding that I don’t like traveling with other people that much. For this trip, I’m accompanied by a coworker who went with me to a meeting in Virginia in November. It was a good trip, but that was mostly because the elections were that Tuesday night and I ended up spending all that night watching CNN and talking to my brother on the phone for some added spin (and trying to make the most of being in the same time zone for a change). I ended up not spending much time at all with her, except for a quick trip to a jewelry shop in Virginia Beach where she wanted to pick up a few pieces of jewelry, and I wanted to pick up a charm for my wife. Within 15 minutes, I had found a truly cool charm that was a sextant, complete with moving parts, and purchased it. Several hours later, we left so that we could go to several more stores to find shoes for her son. This trip has reaffirmed that she and I have differing tastes and interests with regards to almost everything, and I’m typically much happier doing my own thing on my own than doing just about anything with her. (Don’t get me wrong, I like her well enough, but only as long as I don’t have to shop with her.)

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Most Pretentious Title Ever Given 

This weekend, I saw what turned out to be one of the funniest movie trailers of recent memory. It was for a new film where Shia Labeouf (of Holes fame) plays a working class boy who is an incredibly gifted golfer. He manages to get himself in to a tournament that usually only allows members of what passes for gentry in this country. Barriers are broken. A plucky kid with a sharp tongue becomes his caddy (with hilarious results!). So far, it was just a typical Disney movie crossed with a typical sports movie (even if the “sport” is golf). Then, they dramatically revealed the title: “The Greatest Game Ever Played”. It took me about 5 minutes to stop laughing. I almost missed the start of the movie I had actually paid to see. Seriously, golf!? What where they thinking?

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