Monday, July 31, 2006

Food Club Outing #2: Anthony's Italian Deli

The Nation's Top Blog will once again host a Food Club Outing to another exciting and lesser known location amongst Baton Rouge's elite cuisinaries. The target this month: Anthony's Italian Deli.

Aaron has been talking smack about Anthony's Italian Deli for a year straight. He loves it! Can't get enough of it! He's finally gotten through my defenses. Plus my wife starts school again next week, so we needed some place tasty to go since she missed the first Food Club Outing. We have a lot riding on this.

Wayne did such a great job on his bathroom report at Pinetta's that he's earned the job permanently. Congratulations! I expect to see a thorough and detailed report at the end of the week.

Here are the details for this month's outing. Please feel free to invite friends and fam. I hear it's a small place, but we've perfected our Tanory Tantrum Cheerleading Pyramid, so I don't foresee any issues.

Anthony's Italian Deli
10248 Florida Blvd
Baton Rouge, LA 70815
(Click for map)

Date: Thursday, August 3rd
Time: 11:30 AM

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Yahoo Must Be Stopped

What the hell is going on over at Yahoo Mail? They've lost their damned minds. I'm not talking about the actual mail service, no, although I'm up to over 1,000 spam messages a day. (Thanks, SpamGuard, for all your help. Much appreciated.)

I'm talking about the pictures they use on the Yahoo Mail home page.

Consider this guy, who is on the latest rotation on the Yahoo Mail login page. Who thought of this? I want to talk to them in person.

Other pictures of an infuriating nature include Yahoo's celebration of helping the Chinese imprison a journalist, Yahoo's support of Islamic Jihad, and Yahoo's mocking Women's Suffrage, segregation, and the American Military.

They've also made fun of people with a rare skin condition that makes their face incredibly flexible. It's shameful, really. I just noticed that guy in the picture has a thumb ring. Now I'm not just angry, but confused as well.

I've quit using the "!" in Yahoo!, and will now always refer to Yahoo! as the dull and monotone "Yahoo."

I did happen to like this picture of a hot girl with a balloon in the shape of a dog. I wonder why they don't show that one more often. Mmmm....

This guy looks like Kid Rock. I bet Google Mail can get actual rock stars instead of white trash rocker-wannabes.

Yahoo also loves pictures of girls with their tongues hanging out. (I know what the people at Yahoo are searching for in their spare time. I'm surprised there aren't more women with dogs in these pictures.)

All I'm saying is, I use your service, I'm a captive audience, and I want to look at something nice when I got to your site. I have a picture of me with my sweet 'stache, why can't you have something fun and entertaining, that isn't some crap like this! Don't make me go back to Hotmail, for cying out loud!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Consultant Apprentice

Monday I'm going to a training class on how to be a consultant. This is a very good career move for me, as I've always wanted to consult; doing actual work really blows. But seriously, the consultants that we work with are, for the most part, incredibly knowledgeable (that means "smart"), and I want to be smart as well.

Better yet, I'd rather the appearance of being smart. You tell somebody you are a computer programmer, and they say, "I hate computers! How can you sit in front of a computer all day? You must have no soul!" But tell the same people that you are a consultant, and they will give you money straight from their wallets, no questions asked.

I worked out a proof, dealing with time, money and consulting. Basically, since Time equals Money, and Consultants make a lot of Money, that means that Consultants make a lot of Time. It's like e = mc squared but better, as no relativity is involved. Just call me Einstein, Jr. Better yet, call me Einstein, Jr., Consultant, and pay me please.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Rainbow Connection: A Cake, by Betty

After telling my wife about the Battle of the Craigs, she had the following to say:
The Craigs should not fight, especially over a song about a rainbow. The rainbow is a symbol of peace, and in the spirit of peace, I have baked a Rainbow Cake and decorated it myself. I hope you all enjoy it. Bobby has already eaten half of it, but he left most of the "rainbow" for you.

Just so you know, I'm planning on eating most of the rainbow cake on the way to work. Maybe next time you'll play nice.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Cubicle Farm

Once upon a time there was a man who worked in a cubicle farm. He was a cubicle farmer: he farmed cubicles. The cubicles would grow tall and strong in the artificial sunlight, and soon monitors, keyboards and phones with data ports would grow out of them.

This man was, by some people's standards, incredibly handsome, however most of the people who thought this were either his mother or his wife.

One year this man's crop was so good that two monitors grew out of a desk, instead of just the usual one monitor. The man rejoiced.

Eventually the cubicle life wore on him, until one day, tired from an especially exhausting day, he fell asleep in front of his two monitors. Usually the man only spent a couple of minutes in front of the two monitors, but on this particular day he slept for hours in front of them.

The radiation from both monitors was too much for his body to absorb. The man's genes started to splice and his proteins denatured, until he mutated into something unrecognizable by his peers.

He was unaware of this development until a tiny ant-like creature started pulling on the cuff of his trousers and woke him up. (His clothes expanded to fit his body, thanks to cutting-edge technology. It may have been a little tight in the crotch, though.) It turns out the ant-like creature was really a regulary-sized person, and the man with the tight pants was really just very large in comparison.

The coworker told the man that other people were affected by the radiation from the man's two monitors as well. As people walked by the man's cubicle, their hair would change color, or their stomachs would enlarge and their arms would shrink. Everyone who walked by had something changed by the radiation.

To combat the monitors' radiation, the man organized a meeting to discuss Diversity in the Workplace, and then bred his cubicle with the other cubicle plants around him. Soon other cubicles had more than one monitor as well, and some cubicles even grew small refrigerators.

Stay tuned for more of our story in a later blog post.

A Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow Connection?

Looking for something to do during your workday, and "work" doesn't seem to fit the bill? Why not do what I do: watch two senior developers fight over a Kermit the Frog song.

In my workplace, the Kermit the Frog song, along with a slew (yes, a slew) of other songs, is played throughout the day at various intervals, emanating from one of the developers' cubicles. To some it is entertaining; to others it is the height of unprofessional behavior.

The song in question is "The Rainbow Connection," a song whose smooth melodies and fantastic rhythm also prompted Kenny Loggins and Sarah McLaughlin to take a stab at it. It is also associated with linking Kermit the Frog with homosexuality. (Ms. Piggy is a man in drag, in case you didn't know.)

Other songs in the playlist include "The Cubicle Song," a parody of "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt, "The Elmo Song," which Elmo wrote himself (it's a he, right?), and "Happy Happy Joy Joy," arguably one of the greatest musical tunes to come out of Ren and Stimpy.

But it was "The Rainbow Connection" that sent one developer over the edge.

"You [expletive] [expletive]! Quit playing that [expletive] song! [Expletive]!" said one developer.

"What the [expletive], what's your [expletive] problem?" said the other.

While this was going on, I wrote a routine for disseminating MSCI data and reviewing foreign stocks. I named it "Expletive."

But the question still remains: will Kermit continue to sing, or will peace and [expletive] quiet reign supreme?

Monday, July 24, 2006

DC Days 1, 2 and 3, Now In Technicolor!

We had a blast in DC, and here is the proof!

DC, Day 1: It's Just Right There!

DC, Day 2: Hillary Clinton and Other Sewage in the Capitol

DC, Day 3: Nothing To Do, Lots To See

I'd like to thank Shelly and Kelli again for letting us crash at their place! Whenever you're ready to have us back, just let us know. We promise not to pay rent again. You're the best!

Friday, July 21, 2006

El retrato Perfecciona, o, Un Ensayo de Foto en la Retirada

NY Days 6 & 7 now have pictures. You might actually be able to see some of NY in these. You know how it goes.

NYC, Day 6: Yank This!

NYC, Day 7: Wicked Awesome!

The DC and Vegas pics might come next, who knows. My yard has grown eight feet tall and is threatening to take over the carport, so I need to take care of that.

Actually, I just figured out that the weeds in my yard are really just my Bermuda grass. I've been spraying what I thought were weeds with Weed n' Feed for a couple of months now, trying to kill these dang weeds... but after a couple of moments of contemplation, spiritual reflection and web surfing, I discovered that it's just my grass. So I may not have the time or energy to write blogs, as I'll be mowing my lawn for the next several weeks.

Maybe I'll just let my yard grow into an impenetrable fence, like I've been planning for the last couple of weeks. Then I can get a dog! Thanks, Weed n' Feed!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Picture Perfect, or, A Photo Essay in Retreat

I finally got around to uploading some pictures of our trip to NY and DC. Actually, I only got around to NY Day 5, and I skipped Day 1 b/c I didn't have any pics from that day. So I basically did 35% of what I actually needed to do, and three weeks late at that. That may be the most productive I've been in a while.... This better not be the start of a new trend!

NYC, Day 2: The City That Never Sleeps, My Ass! I'm Tired!

NYC, Day 3: All Art and Dim Sum

NYC, Day 4: Say Cheese!

NYC, Day 5: Jesus H & H Christ!

I might get around to Las Vegas pictures around September. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 14, 2006

What Happens in Vegas...

The first rule of Las Vegas is you do not talk about Las Vegas. The second rule is very similar, but topless.

We're going to Vegas because my wife is attending a teacher's conference, and I can't let her go by herself. There are many reasons why she can't go by herself, but the main one is this: She didn't know there were topless shows in Vegas.

Now I always knew that my wife was naive - that's one of her more charming attributes. But I thought everyone knew that Vegas had topless shows. How could I let her loose in a city like Vegas with no concept of the city's history, culture or pastime? What kind of husband would I be if I let my beautiful, innocent wife go to a city like that with no concept of what she was getting into? Let's face it, she needs me; I have no choice but to go. No, don't try to stop me, it's my husbandly duties.

And I'm sorry, Fam, but because "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," I will be unable to post anything about our trip. Just know that we will definitely be betting on the Hard Six, and I'll be sure to throw in some Mini-Baccarat in honor of my friend Jimmy.

So far our plans include an Elton John concert at Caesar's Palace as well as Cirque Du Soleil's "O Show" at the Bellagio. We could always get remarried if we need to blow some time. And I'll have to find something to do during the day while my wife is at her conference. I was thinking of getting a tattoo of the Vegas Strip on my back, but I'm not sure where I want to position the Stratosphere.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Materazzi Admits Insult to Zidane

Zidane's glorious career as international superstar and captain of the French World Cup team came to an infamous end in the 2006 World Cup final, by headbutting Italian player Marco Materazzi in the chest in the closing minutes of the second overtime.

In a press conference on Thursday, Materazzi admitted the insult he slung at Zidane. Materazzi said that, in a moment of passion in the World Cup final, he uttered these words at Zidane:

"The Tanory Tantrum blows almost as bad as your mother!"

Zidane, whose mother is sick, is also one of the Tantrum's biggest fans. The double insult "shook [Zidane's] soul," said Zidane, who was again angered after hearing the phrase come out of Materazzi's mouth. Zidane disclosed that, while the latest entries have not been as good, the Tantrum's earlier stuff made him wet his pants, and on one occasion he wet someone else's pants, shoes and shirt.

Materazzi admitted that Zidane's headbutt was justified.

"I know I should not have insulted his mother," Materazzi said. "But I really do think the Tanory Tantrum is terrible. I mean, have you seen that guy's mustache? He looks like Mussolini's gay brother."

The Tanory Tantrum responded to Materazzi's comments by headbutting a life-sized picture of Materazzi, after first drawing a handlebar mustache on the picture and dressing it up as the Test Lead of his work's latest multi-million dollar project. The head blogger then gave the picture a red card.

Another press conference is scheduled for tomorrow, where Zidane is scheduled to publicly announce the IPO for his new venture, Zidane's Headbutt Helmets (Les Casques de Headbutt de Zidane).

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Food Club Outing #1: Reminiscing on Pinetta's

Like a good patron, I called Pinetta's about 45 minutes before our arrival to let them know that 9 very hungry people were about to invade their premises and plunder their pantry. The woman I spoke to was very nice and accomodating. She even greeted us at the door, as we were there before the restaurant opened.

Pinetta's is located on Perkins by the underpass. It was dimly lit, but there was enough light to see all of the European decorations hanging on the wall: beer mugs, mirrors, a while flag used by the French, and wooden carvings. Suspiciously, there was a Dos Equis sign on the wall. Maybe this was to celebrate Spaniards invading and finally settling in Mexico. There was also a deer head, but it was hard to distinguish the exact origin of said deer. I thought it looked Swiss.

Pinetta's also plays European music, and we got caught up in a German drinking song. We only had water, tea and some soft drinks, but we managed to get drunk anyway.

Our waitress was very friendly. She was dressed all in black, which made her wraith-like in the dim light. That's how they do it in Europe.

It took a while for the food to come out, but we were able to entertain ourselves while waiting. And although the food finally came out an hour after our arrival, it was all worth the wait.

The menu consists of Italian, German and Turkish food. Almost everyone at our table had a different dish. I had the shrimp and non-magic mushrooms, Aaron had the shish kabobs, and Wild Wayne had the cannelloni. We also tried the lasagna and eggplant parmesan.

My food also came with green beans. I have to tell you, dear reader, that I truly, passionately despise all things green, as well as fungus, but this meal was delicious! Why, you ask, did I get something that I knew contained food that I did not like? I'm not sure. But it was tasty! I'd like to try something else the next time I go (and I will be going again), but the Scrimps and Shrooms are definitely worth trying.

Wayne was in charge of the bathrooms. Here's what he has to say on this topic:

"I have recently been initiated into a new club. We are elite; We are professional; We are the Tanory Tantrum Food Club. As a member of the food club, I have been given the task of reporting on the conditions of the batrooms of our food club extravagandas. Today, we ventured to eat at a restuarant called Pinetta's. The food was great, but now to why I am blogging, the bathrooms.

"The first thing you notice about the bathroom is its size. It' a small to medium sized relieval area. There's one toilet, one sink, a towel rack, and a mirror. So, you have privacy. There are no stalls, it's kinda like home. The smell of the bathroom was kinda neutral, wasn't really pleasant or really stinky. Now, the towel rack. I really dont like to wipe my hands on a towel that is pulled through a rack. Yeah, no throw aways. Last but not least, the toilet paper. In my opinion this is one the five make or break criterias. The toilet paper was soft, which makes for a pleasant wipe. All in All, I give it 7 out of 10 for a bathroom."

In conclusion, I'm very satisfied with our first Food Outing, and I think we should do it again! I give Pinetta's an 8 out of 10.

The Tanory Tantrum Air Band

The Tanory Tantrum is recruiting members to start an Air Band and perform at local Karaoke bars. The theme for the band, including our name, what types of songs to perform, costume design and venue selection, are all to be determined.

All you need to have in order to join the Air Band is a desire to be famous, a lack of actual musical ability, and a joy for performing in public.

We are looking for people with the following air instrument skills:


As a professional outfit, we are also looking for air groupies as well as people to run across stage and plug in our nonexistent cables into invisible amps, fix our microphones, and take care of the lights / laser show. Background dancers should feel free to apply as well.

If you are interested, please leave a comment, or contact me directly.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Is College Really Worth It?

Yesterday I read an article entitled, "Is College Really Worth It?" The article gives us 10 reasons why college is "worth it," citing "Friends and Spouses," "Life Awareness," "Purpose in Life," and "Self-Actualization" as reasons to go to college. So much for "learning."

In leiu of this info, I would like to take this opportunity to give my two cents on each of the reasons in this article. And we're off!

#1. Analytical thinking skills: Today's world is complex, and it requires making daily decisions about personal, economic, health, political, professional and social matters. Learning how to approach a decision, gather relevant facts, analyze comparative and contradictory data and draw correct conclusions are necessary skills for successful living. There is no better training ground to develop these skills than college.

Tanory's Two Cents (TTC): Interesting how they put 'professional' after 'personal,' 'health,' and 'political.' The lesson here is that it's much more important to understand your company's social ladder and the political consequences of your actions than it is to actually be good at your job. If there's one lesson that College will beat into your brain, it's this: Someone else who is just as smart as you is waiting in line to take your job, and by golly they're more polite! Analyze that one, Smarty.

#2. Career beginnings: Significant knowledge is required to understand the nature of most occupations. College is usually the most effective way to acquire this knowledge. For many professions, a college education is a prerequisite for entering the field.

TTC: Apparently 'Introduction to Art 101,' 'Literature' and 'Medieval History' classes are prerequisites for becoming an accountant.

#3. Career advancement: Many employers base promotion decisions on an employee's educational attainments. Whether or not a college education is truly required to handle the job is irrelevant. Employers need ways to rank employees, and a college education is an easily identifiable standard.

TTC: You read that correctly: the article just told you that promotions within many companies are not based on how well you do on the job or how knowledgable you are. So quit working overtime and sign up for your MBA already!

#4. Financial gain: While there are notable exceptions, individuals with four-year college degrees earn more over their careers than people with less education do. The difference in lifetime earnings between a college graduate and a non-college graduate can amount to several million dollars.

TTC: Very true. However, most people who have not finished college but have gone on to become billionaires actually got most of the way through college, and were just a few credits short. They most likely also went to much better schools than what we can afford. Or they dropped out their junior year so they could be eligible for the draft.

#5. Economic preparation: We all participate in a complex and continually changing economic environment, which requires some understanding of our economy. Where better to learn about managing your life's finances than in Economics 101?

TTC: Seriously now, what better way to learn about the fun and exciting world of finance, budgets and interest rates then by getting another thirty grand in loans? At 12% for 30 years, that's... dang, I should have taken Econ 101!

#6. Friends and spouses: Colleges, even non-residential institutions, bring disparate people together in one place. When individuals find themselves sharing similar experiences it's not surprising that lifelong friendships -- and life partnerships -- can develop. Networking within a profession often begins here too.

TTC: Mom, that story of me and the wife meeting in math class was a lie. What happened is this: I was networking at a party with beer, togas and synthetic substances, when all of a sudden, across the room, I saw this girl.... You know the rest. My wife and I really did meet at a college party. And I don't know where they've gone, but I swear I had friends in college.

#7. Life awareness: The next time you're in a group of people, step back and watch how they interact with each other. Humans are social animals -- we bond with each other through conversation and other activities. College serves an important role in preparing individuals for continuing social interaction.

TTC: You could do this at the mall for free, but it's better to watch people in the same socio-economic sector as you. And just for clarification, peeping through a window to watch how a group of girls interact with each other is illegal. (You know who you are.)

#8. Lifelong source of advice and information: Graduation from college doesn't mean you won't be back. Just the opposite. Today, colleges and universities are eager to keep in touch with alumni, some offering programs and services on both personal and professional issues.

TTC: Where do you think all that information on the Intarweb comes from? That's right, College!

#9. Purpose in life: At some point, most of us wonder about our purpose in life -- why are we here and what should we be doing? An essential part of finding your way is understanding other possible paths. Colleges, by their nature, bring together people with different lifestyles, ideas and experiences. Beyond the opportunities for awareness offered by the classroom and social interaction, colleges also offer independent study and internship programs that can let you explore alternative paths to find the one best suited for you.

TTC: Religion, meditation and self-flagellation aside, I realized what my purpose in life was my junior year while studying for Computer Science. I was reading this great book called 'One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,' trying to figure out an algorithm to match the number of a random aquatic animal with a primary color, when it hit me: hire a consultant! Thank you, college!!!

#10. Self-actualization: Psychologist Abraham Maslow theorized that we humans have a need to be somebody, to feel important, useful and of value to others and society. This self-actualizing behavior can mean developing and applying knowledge over time to build expertise in a given subject. Becoming expert in one's chosen career field is one of life's greatest feelings of accomplishment. As we age and begin to satisfy the more basic needs in our lives, this need for self-actualization becomes more important. Lifelong learning is a key element in developing a sense of accomplishment, and a college education is the foundation for lifelong learning.

TTC: Freud would have explained Maslow's feelings of need, self-importantance and self-gratification to Maslow being orally fixated, anal-retentive, and having a small penis. You would know this if you were collegically educated.

In conclusion, I do think that college is important, but for different reasons than listed above. I can't think of any good reasons at the moment, but I'm sure some exist. I have, however, thought of a great Top 10 List, called, "Top 10 'Top 10 Lists' That Are Totally Useless." I know what #1 will be!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

World Cup News: France Surrenders!

In the 76th minute of the World Cup final between Italy and France, Zinedine Zidane strode to the middle of the field to meet Italy's captain, Mario Luigi, where Zidane prompty offered up terms of surrender for the French team.

He later head-butted Luigi in the chest. When asked why he did such a heinous act, Zidane was was quoted as saying, "J'ai un grand chat dans mes pantalon."

The World Cup final is probably Zidane's last game with the French Surrender Monkeys, as well as his last international game. He plans on beginning his new career as a fluffer sometime next April.

France plans to continue not wearing deoderant as well as miming themselves eating French bread in an invisible box. The Italians plan on continuing to innovate and inspire, citing the Renaissance, pizza, and this World Cup final as their greatest achievements.

Capitalism with a Capital "ism"

Anyone who shaves, such as everyone except French women, knows that a good razor makes all the difference. A smooth, clean-shaven face can be the difference between a good and bad job or between a beautiful and fugly spouse.

In the olden days, many men used to shave with their knives or swords. This would be considered as a "single-bladed" razor. Humanity then sported a double-bladed razor for several years before the electric razor was invented by pygmies.

But lately the market has been saturated with new razors boasting more and more blades. First we had the thrice-bladed razor, then the quadra-razor with lifting-and-separating goodness. Now we are being told that razors are being created with five and six blades.

Which leads us to ask, how many friggin blades do we need?!

After extensive research, we can now give our definitive answer: The more blades, the better.

That is why the Tanory Tantrum is no longer anxiously awaiting a razor to arrive with 7, 8 or 9 blades, and has instead pioneered the 67-bladed razor. Eat it, Gillette.

The 67-bladed razor, also known as "Doogie," is by far the best razor out on the market. The best part is, if one razor gets a little dull, you still have 66 other razors to wear down before needing to buy another Doogie.

So treat yourself and your face right: buy a Doogie today from your local Tanory Tantrum dealer.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Food Club Outing #1: Pinetta's on Perkins

The rabid fans of America's #1 blog will be meeting at Pinetta's on Perkins, by the underpass, where we will discuss the food, service, atmosphere and ambience in terms that our head blogger can understand (so keep it simple!). Please invite friends and family, as the more people we have, the longer our lunch, and thus the more time away from work. I nominate Wild Wayne to rate the bathrooms.

Pinetta's European Restaurant
3056 Perkins Rd
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
(Click for map)

Date: Wednesday, July 12th, 2006
Time: 11:00 AM

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Putting the NY in BR

Part of the fun of any vacation is to experience a new culture, and one of New York's cultural hallmarks is its food. From H & H Bagels to John's Pizzeria, and from Hebrew Nation's kosher hot dogs at Yankee Stadium to Di Palo's Cheese Shop in Little Italy, eating in NYC is definitely an experience in and of itself, so much so that the city is nicknamed "the Big Apple."

And if there's one thing that New York and Louisiana have in common, besides high rates of murder, HIV and poverty, it's a love for good food.

One of my problems with Baton Rouge is that, well, basically Baton Rouge sucks. But maybe I haven't been trying hard enough to find the best of the best. That is about to change.

As of this moment, I'm starting a new food club. Once a week we will go to a new restaurant and sample many different foods. We will talk, dance, and run for our lives when the bill comes. It'll be just like New York! We'll probably end up posting a destination and a time on the blog, and if you want to show up, we'll be happy to have you!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

DC, Day 7: Happy 4th of July!

Barbeque, fireworks, and our nation's capitol: a symbiosis of symbols and explosions that only our founding fathers could have made possible.

It's been well-established that George Washington loved to eat pork ribs on the Capitol's steps (Martha usually just ate the potato salad), and Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence under the red, white and blue residual lighting caused by fireworks thundering over the Washington Memorial while listening to Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA."

Actually, the history of the 4th of July only dates back to 1954, when the BBQ industry was trying to find a good holiday to associate with meat. Valentine's Day was invented to sell cards, chocolate, and teddy bears holding hearts; birthdays were invented by bakers. But after some enterprising young men from Memphis launched a bottle rocket from a tube of beef jerky, the 4th of July has been a symbol of freedom and democracy ever since.

Yesterday we revved up for this year's festivities by attending a game invented by Americans for Americans: baseball. George W. Bush used to own a baseball franchise - that's how American this sport is. We went to a DC Nationals game, where the Team of America whupped up on the Florida Marlins. Suck it, communist Florida!

Today we are planning to either go to Arlington National Cemetary or visit the Shrine of the Basilica. We may just wuss out and just go to the BBQ at Golson's place. Our days of being uber-tourists are at an end.

Tonight we will be catching the 2 am bus out of Chinatown back to New York, where we'll fly back to NO from JFK airport.

Monday, July 03, 2006

DC, Day 6: Our Nation's History, or My Day With Kermit

Today Betty fulfilled her life-long dream of finally seeing Dorothy's red slippers from the Wizard of Oz, now at display in the Smithsonian American History Museum. That's right - the ruby red slippers are one of the greatest artifacts in our nation's history, and we got to see them. Booyah!

What else, you ask, is part of American's vast and glorious history? How about some Muppets, Sesame Street, and 43 American Presidents (and their wives)? I originally didn't mean to lump puppets in with our presidents, as usually only one arm is up a puppet, but since the Muppets can actually be remote controlled, it only seemed fitting.

Throw in the Manhattan Project and other military advances from the war effort, and you've got yourself a museum, baby!

Surprisingly enough, there was no mention of Americans inventing methods of flight, enhancing the lightbulb, inventing jazz, blues, death metal, rap rock or discovering the means to entrap and control electricity. But there was a gramophone... amazing!

Next we walked through the Holocaust Museum. If you ever get a chance to go to DC, make this a mandatory event. Some of the videos playing were hidden behind short walls to prevent any children from viewing some very graphic but powerful videos. Maybe Iran's president should visit, since he thinks the Holocaust never happened. He can walk hand-in-hand with Bobby Fischer and Mel Gibson's dad.

Tonight we've planned on going to a baseball game, but I'm not sure if Betty is going to be up for it. She's pretty exhausted from touring the country non-stop. I can't imagine how tired we would be if something in DC actually stayed open past 6.

We're happy to be in DC but are both ready to go back home to the South, where men give up their seats or open the doors for women, and women use deoderant. And I'm ready for some soul food - all this walking has been bad for my portly shape!

DC, Day 5: Anniversaries and the P Funk Allstar Band

I am proud to say that, at 11:30 am on Sunday, we finally recovered from Saturday night. Hurrah!

Around noon, Betty and Shelly went to the Eastern Market while I rediscovered my senses and orientation. The girls returned with six different types of juices, while I enthusiastically slumped on the couch. I could not nod nor shake my head, as both of these motions caused worlds to collide and set the room spinning. But there was no time to recuperate: it was off to Church! If there is one rule in our house, it's that I can't walk into the kitchen after Betty has mopped and I have mown the lawn. But if there is a second rule, it's that we make it to mass every sunday, and we are on time.

We visited the Washington National Cathedral, which is the 6th largest cathedral in the world and the 2nd largest in the nation. Need I remind you that 2nd place is the 1st loser? It's also where Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller are buried. It's also Episcopalian, and we're Catholic, which meant that I got to talk Betty out of making me sit through mass for one more week. Score! (I mean, how terrible that we did not attend mass... shameful, really.) Actually, I convinced Betty by telling her that Woodrow Wilson was elected by the Invisible Empire, and that not only did he help to create the League of Nations but did not help the US join it after several amendments were added to the LON charter, but that he also did not visit the Mississippi Valley after the 1927 flood. Thanks, History Channel! (Some of that actually occurred with Calvin Coolidge instead of Woodrow Wilson, but desparate times call for desparate measures!)

So on to Georgetown!

It's a common misconception that Georgetown is named after George Clinton of the P Funk Allstars. In fact, Georgetown is named after George W. Bush, our founding father and leader of men. Actually, I thought Georgetown would look like a colonial-era development, with people having fake battles in the streets and everyone wearing stockings and wigs, riding around on horses and blowing crap up with old-timey TNT. I dressed for that occasion. Needless to say, I did not fit in well with the J-Crew, Banana Republic and H & M crowd.

Georgetown was actually very nice. July 2nd is mine and Betty's anniversary, so we wanted to do someplace special. (We had to pass through Virginia to get to Georgetown, and remember, Virginia Is For Lovers!) We ended up eating at a place by the Potomac river to watch the sunset, but we started eating at 4 pm so we missed the sunset by about 4.5 hours. But Betty and I did have an interesting discussion: is Potomac pronounced "Po-to-mac" or "Po-tah-mic?" We eventually came up with this little song to settle our differences:

You say Po-to-mac, I say Po-tah-mic,
You say Co-lo-nic, I say Co-lah-nic,
A-to-mic, A-tah-mic, Po-to-mac, Po-tah-mic,
Let's call the whole thing off!

For the last 6 hours of our day, we spent it where we've probably spent the majority of our time in DC... at Tunnicliff's Tavern. Jay and Alan bought Risk (yes, that Risk) and we played for almost 3 hours. It's not like there's anything else to do in this town after 5:30 anyway! I came in 2nd - you never can keep Asia. Even though it was our anniversary, Betty was happy to have me preoccupied for a couple of hours. Can you imagine having to put up with me 24/7 for 2 weeks straight, with no way to escape and nobody to run to? She's a saint!

Tomorrow we're going to try catch a mass at the Catholic Shrine, then try to get into the American History Museum - we think it's reopened after the flood. We are also going to the Holocaust Museum. Tomorrow night we are going to watch the DC Nationals play the Florida Marlins, then I'm sure we'll end up at Tunnicliff's. Maybe I'll wear my new shirt!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

DC, Day 4: And They All Asked For You!

Sorry for the delay! We've gotten lots of calls from family wanting to know, "Where's the blog entry!?" I didn't realize anyone actually read this thing - my bad! We'll make sure we keep it as up to date as possible, as long as we have an Internet connection. So....

DC Day 4 was a lot of fun! Instead of heading over to Mount Vernon, we met up with Betty's cousins, Jenny, Ed, Abby and Lizzy, and then went to the zoo. I saw some of my family at the zoo, too - the monkeys, the gorillas, and red-bummed baboon. We also saw the pandas, rhinos, elephants and meercats. The meercats were by far our favorite. And two of the meercats were dressed up as George and Martha Washington, so it was really just as well that we didn't go to Mount Vernon.

After we left the zoo, we went back to Jenny and Ed's place, where I actually got to watch a World Cup game. Woo! Betty slept through France beating Brazil. Here's where our story's plots start to intertwine: We're staying with Shelly, and Shelly's manager at Tunnicliff's Tavern is from Brazil, and I told him that I thought France was offsides when they scored, and subsequently I now have a free Tunnicliff's Tavern t-shirt. Plus, Betty gave him the shpeal on how she visited Brazil, so now we have a friend for life (who can give us free drinks). Hurray!

During the game, I helped Lizzy put on her Press-On Nails. I think I'm going to start my own nail salon because I was so very good at it. I guess all those years playing dress-up finally paid off - see, Mom!

Later in the day we went to a crab house in Maryland for dinner. We had a beautiful view of the Chesapeake Bay, which is the largest estuary in the United States. (An estuary is a semi-enclosed coastal body of water which has a free connection with the open sea and within which seawater mixes with fresh water, duh!) We ate with Ed and Jenny's friends, Jeff and Jessica. J & J were great! And Jeff grew up a few blocks from my favorite author, Gene Wolfe, so maybe he can get us an autograph or something (ahem). Thanks again for everything, gang!

Finally, we met up with our friends, Jay, Brad and Alan, at the Ugly Mug. Something else occurred late Saturday night, but I don't really remember the details. This is because I "ate some bad ham." Who knew they put ham in beer? All I remember is that my dreams were of meercats dressed as George and Martha Washington.