i’d better write down the stories from this weekend before i forget … but first, a couple pictures.

Washington Monument from Lincoln Memorial

a few weeks ago my roommate Wes mentioned he was heading to DC to visit a friend. so, since I also have a friend out there i figured it would be a good excuse to take a little vacation. relative chaos ensues.

the first day, i wake up after having wasted my time at the bar Thursday night. i ended up going to bed around 230am and woke up the next morning at 7am, my ears still ringing, to get ready for my flight to Reagan International in DC. with only 4.5 hours of sleep, my mind was pretty much numb and working at about 30% capacity.

anyway, i wake up and since i’m in a hurry, decide to forego a shower until i arrive in DC at Jason’s house. i’m still wearing the clothes i wore to work/the bar the night prior, but i figure who cares, i’m travelling and it shouldn’t matter a whole lot. i arrive on time and my flight leaves pretty much right away, no waiting at the airport, luckily. when i arrive, i reach for my cell phone in my laptop bag and mid motion, i realize that even though i brought my charger, i had forgotten the actual phone. great.

after sitting outside the terminal a bit pissed at myself, i decided i should probably do something about this and attempt to communicate with people at home. there were plenty of pay phones in the terminal, but of course i didn’t have change and none of the phone numbers i tried accepted collect calls. very useful, this collect calling business, when none of the numbers i try to call accept them.

next step: get a cab and go to best buy. since the wireless card in my laptop mysteriously decided it wouldn’t work anymore, i had to buy a new one. d-link usb card, $40. starbucks/t-mobile wireless internet connection, $6. having to ask a co-worker over IM to call a cab for me, stupid. turns out there was a few cabs waiting for passengers outside, anyway, so i didn’t end up using the cab the other service sent for me.

next stop is Thrifty rentals. i saved a bunch on airfare ($108 round trip), so i spent a bit more on the rental car and got a Chrysler 300M. nice car, but the steering was reminiscent of a driving a large boat.

The rental car.  Ghetto fabulous!

commence the driving! 3 hours of it left me with the impression that a mongoloid had designed the layout of the streets in our nation’s capital. finally i ended up in Georgetown, a busy college town that seemed nice enough. so i stopped and walked around for a couple hours, headphones on and camera in hand. after eating subway and having a random asian guy swipe his hand across my ass (apparently that means “excuse me” in his culture), i went outside and had an interesting conversation with a bum named “Counsel”, who said he also liked taking pictures. so i let him use my camera and snap some photos of me.

me thumb
me thumb

the first turned out very dark; took a lot of editing to make anything useful come of it. the second is decent, but i have a stupid look on my face, even more stupid than usual.

aaaanyway. some more driving, and i ended up downtown again. at this point i wanted to check my voicemail to see if Jason or Wes had called. did you know there is approximately ONE pay phone in all of Washington, DC? i didn’t, until i spent about 3 hours walking around trying to find one.

found one, and of course i didn’t have any change. nearest bar: Coyote Ugly. of course, all of their drinks are flatly priced, so they don’t carry change. every idiot knows that! i must have surpassed idiocy at that point but managed to cover it up by ordering a Kamikaze shot instead and then a beer. looked totally natural.

so i strike out again to find change. two blocks north is a party store in Chinatown. the typical party store you’d see in Boyz ‘N the Hood or some other appropriately named movie about the ghetto and the asian-owned party stores. with 12 quarters jingling in my pocket, i raced back to the pay phone. by now there was torrential rain, to the point that i waited inside the store until the walk signal came up.

i finally get to the pay phone with change in hand. victory! or so it seemed. after filling up the pay phone with quarters and soaking up a few liters of rain water, i was treated with the surprise that it isn’t able to make long distance calls. by now it’s 7pm, and i’ve had it with the piss poor luck i’ve been having.

back to Coyote Ugly, where i finally stop caring about everything and start drinking. a few beers later, someone asks me for a smoke, which i readily give up. 20 minutes later i ask him to borrow his cell phone, but his friend readily offers his up and even says ‘go outside with it if you want’. easy enough … so i call Jason and tell him to meet me at Coyote Ugly. 10pm rolls around and Jason shows up. his girlfriend catherine was already down town with a friend of hers, so we met up and decided we would go out after having a bit to eat. portobella mushrooms and spinach quesadillas are surprisingly good! the thickness of the mushrooms and the pepper they made it with made it taste like steak.

by this point my clothes are finally dry. we decide to head to Zola, which turns out to be a pretty classy place. i go in, even though i’m still dressed in ripped jeans and a t-shirt, all clothes i’d been wearing without a shower for over two days now. i’m sure i was funky like james brown by then. Waaaatch meh! that’s what one guy at the bar did … pretty much stared me down giving me a damn dirty look for being there in anything but a new suit and tie. good times.

finally, after some awkward conversation about Bollywood with catherine’s friend, we decide to leave. i’m behind catherine and jason in the rental, and for some reason they pulled over for a minute. i got bored after a few seconds and decided to take a spin around the block. next thing i knew, i was lost again. so, i went back to Coyote Ugly to close out the night. the crowd was pretty strange; lots of lesbians and other generally unattractive women.

2am rolls around again, and it’s time to go home. one problem: where’s home? for some reason i just started driving. periodically i’d give up and pull over to take a nap. around 6am, my mind was finally somewhat clear and i stopped at a Starbucks to use my laptop for directions to jason’s. no one is around, so i sit down alone at a round table in the middle of the place. i’m checking my e-mail, when a sketchy looking Mexican-looking guy sits down at the table directly in front of my view and looks nervous. he gets up and tries the bathroom door, which is locked, sits back down and looks really nervous, then plays the same game again a few seconds later.

it was then i noticed his eyes were very bloodshot and he was jittery, as if he had been up all night and/or was on drugs. so i say to him “you have to get the key from the front counter”. he does so, and after what looked like an odd conversation with the girl up front, finally gets to use the facilities. as he’s walking in the shitter, he stops and looks back at me with the door half open and says something. i didn’t know what he said, so i intentionally said something equally incoherent and he went about his business. this was getting weird; i thought of grabbing my stuff and getting out of there, but i wasn’t done checking the address yet, and i didn’t want to let this sketchball win by making me leave with his odd talking.

after he bleeds the lizard, he comes back and sits right in front of me in a seat at my table. i’m trying to look at my laptop and ignore this idiot, but his eyes are directly over my laptop screen, and his head is moving around as if he’s trying to get my attention. finally, he works up the courage to sit in the seat next to me and starts talking to me in Spanish. “I don’t speak Spanish”, I say. “un piquito? (a little?)” he says. si, un piquito.

He continues with a brilliant string of questions, such as: “You like-a duh foootbawl? Argentina, it is good for me. Vat is good for you?” “Uhhh, Germany?” I reply, as he’s making foot motions as if he’s kicking a ball and asking “Fooootbawl? Eh? Fooootbawl??”

Whatever, weirdo. I’m getting a coffee. When I tell him I’m going up to get a coffee, he gets all excited as if I just offered to buy him one. Last thing I said to this crackbaby was adios, amigo as I walked out.

after my little trip all over the sidestreets of DC/Maryland/Virginia, i found out i was 40 minutes east of Jason’s house in Centreville, stuck in a small town of Silver Spring, MD. i finally got to his condo at 7am, only to realize in looking up the address i had forgotten to check the condo number. the day prior jason said he’d leave the key under the mat, so i proceeded to check all the floor mats of the 21 condos in the complex (7 condos and three floors each). i can only imagine how that looked.

giving up, i realized there was probably a starbucks within pissing distance, so i drove a block and sure enough, there was one. i got the condo number and headed back, knocking on the door a few times. i guess Jason was fast asleep, because he didn’t hear me knocking. so, i slept in the back of my rental car in the clothes i had been wearing for about 3 days now until Jason came out and checked the parking lot to find me fast asleep in the back seat. i woke up to the requisite “You crazy fuck, what are you doing?”. lol

the rest of my time there wasn’t a total disaster, save a pretty akward night which i might write about later. for now, i’ve been writing this/prepping the photos (link) for almost an hour and i’m burned out from it. maybe i’ll finish it tomorrow or some other time, but most of the interesting parts have been said.