Slurry Beta

Infrequent ruminations on nothing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Operation: Awkward Mustache. Day #15

Well, it has been 15 days since I started Operation: Awkward Mustache and you’ll be happy to know that I’ve still got it. On a scale of one to Tom Selleck, I guess it would be about a Sean Penn. Well, that may be stretching it a bit so we’ll call it somewhere in the neighborhood between Elijah Wood and Sean Penn. Aside from the one encounter with the weird iPod girl (see DC Josh’s 100% accurate account from my last post), it has failed to mesmerize as much as I had hoped. Comments have ranged from “You can’t really tell from far away, but when you get close, it’s definitely there” to “You’re growing a mustache? I guess I couldn’t see it in this light.” As a survivor of what I call “The Late Bloom” I know that good things come to those who are patient….at least when it comes to facial hair. I made a promise I would keep this thing until I head to Milwaukee for the Twins-Brewers series in mid-May and, damn it, I’m going to keep that promise. In the meantime, I should probably steer clear of signing up to be a tutor at the local community center.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The new me

I have a weird obsession with nature documentaries. Last night, per weekly ritual, I was watching a PBS Nature episode on cephalopods and just as they were about to do a segment on cuttlefish, the channel glitched and the screen froze. I sat there staring at the tube for a good 3-5 minutes. Nothing. I came back to the channel several minutes later. No sound. Unable to watch the program, I went absolutely berserk. It’s a bit of a blur but I’m pretty sure I tossed my television through the window, lit my mattress on fire in the alley, yelled obscenities at Stewart, and placed dozens of calls to the PBS complaint line.

Alright, I’m slightly exaggerating, but I do like me some cephalopods; in particular, cuttlefish. They have an incredible ability to rapidly change their skin color to any combination of yellow, red, orange, brown and black hues. They use the ability to trick their prey and, perhaps more importantly, as protective camouflage. I would imagine it gives them invaluable piece of mind.

I’m in a bit of a transitional phase and dealing with a few significant changes: trying to get into law school, newly single, moved to a new location with different arrangements, etc. It’s like the murky, treacherous ocean floor for me right now and I need some type of adaptive mechanism to help move the transition along. I need something that will throw others of their game, confuse and mislead them while giving me the psychological upper hand. Something that says, “Hey, this guy’s dangerous. But maybe he isn’t. I don’t know whether to flee or embrace him.” So I’m going to try to accomplish this the best way I know how: I’m growing a mustache.

Last night I was shaving off my Beard of Disillusionment and decided to leave the ‘stache and give it a go. Day one hasn’t been easy. I’ve looked in the mirror a few times and I think I look slightly ridiculous. But for the sake of social experimentation, I’m going to leave it on as long as possible, which may only be until tomorrow, I don’t know. Maybe the rampant mustachism out there will be too much for me to handle. Perhaps I’ll get fired or start losing friends. Maybe it will open up new business opportunities. I’ll let you know if I find the answers to these pressing questions.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Odds and Ends

Well, I finally moved and boy was it fantastic (extreme sarcasm). In my last post, I noted how awkward the process of finding a place was but now that I’ve found one and moved in, it’s still awkward. Last week, my landlord gave me an email address of one of the three people currently living in the house so I sent an introductory email basically saying that I looked forward to meeting them, etc. No response. None. Then when I moved in yesterday, nobody was in the house. The only living creature around was somebody’s cat that is absolutely mortified of me and acts as if I had committed prior violent acts upon it. Getting that little bastard out from under my bed took 45 minutes. Someday I hope to meet its owner, perhaps find out if it has a name and maybe find a way to resolve our differences.

After I put my room together, I went out to buy some groceries. On my way home, as I walked up the sidewalk to my new place, a young neighborhood kid approached me and asked, politely, if I had a dollar. I politely said that I didn’t and walked up to my front door. Just as I was opening the gate on the door, a large piece of asphalt exploded on bars of the gate, a couple of feet from my head. I turned around to see about six or seven middle school aged hoodlums silently staring at me. Not knowing what exactly to do, I turned to quickly open the door and get into the house. Because my keys are new, I was struggling to find the right key for each lock. Again, a large piece of road hit the house and again I turned around to see several kids, completely silent--not asking for money, not calling me names, not slapping high fives to eachother, nothing. At this point I began to wonder if I was about to endure history’s most awkward stoning. Fortunately, they didn’t throw any more projectiles at me and I safely got into my house. Not exactly a warm welcome. The weird thing is that they are most likely my neighbors and I'm probably going to see them like three times a week.


So it’s officially spring here. While people in most “normal” American cities rely on calendar dates, melting snow, and more sunshine to signify that it’s spring, we here in this anonymous capital city rely on other indicators. Most of them have to do with the massive annual flood of tourists.

Metro hell. Clogged escalators, confused masses, and irritated locals add at least 15 minutes to your commute. Waiting on an escalator with your head 2 inches from someone's fanny pack as the last train for twenty minutes rolls by is like some form of weird torture.

Cherry blossoms. In theory, the week of the cherry blossom bloom is great. Even a hardened cynic like me can appreciate how fantastic they make the tidal basin look even if it is for such a short period of time. I even make an effort to take a few photos, which will be forthcoming. Unfortunately, I have to make that time around 7 o’clock in the morning because that’s really the only time of day that there aren’t thousands of people clogging the walking paths and ripping off branches as souvenirs, a practice which I just don’t understand. Of course, I don’t understand why anyone would buy one of those, “You don’t know me. I’m in the witness protection program” T-shirts so maybe I’m missing some key information here.

Baseball’s opening day. And I have to work. If I see another douchebag in a Nationals jersey drinking margaritas in the sunshine today, I think I am going to freak out. FREAK OUT! The only redeeming factor here is that Johan is pitching tonight on ESPN2 and I won’t have to watch the online game cast.