Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

This month's best "Do" from Vice Magazine

We saw this dude at some real serious Italian parade. He didn’t seem to know anybody and was rarely playing his trumpet but the verdict was: This stumbling little Chinese Jerry Lewis with the ridiculous facial gestures is the whole reason we hate normal people.

See the rest of Vice Magazine's Dos and Don'ts here.

Entertainment Weekly

My friend Emily's new book of comics made #1 on CNN's Entertainment Weekly.

Go buy it here!

Hurricane Katrina

This is the only thing I'm going to say about Hurricane Katrina.

I know it's bad form to quote yourself, but from my August 6th post about narrowly escaping a Chesapeake Bay thunderstorm on the water, I repeat:

"Nature is completely indifferent. It's been here for time immemorial and it'll exist when humans are long gone. It could give a quick fuck if you're in the way." -LB

Not to be harsh or anything, just rephrasing reality.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Summer Isn't Over Yet, Dammit.

Spraying champagne all over the deck of sailboat ranks up there with the first time you have sex, playing in a band live on stage and watching your first sunset.

Will I be able to do this when I have kids? I think not.

Monday, August 29, 2005


A friend just introduced me to Bloglines. You enter all the blogs that you normally look at and they're listed kind of like an email inbox. Then when new posts are made it puts the number next to the blog name so you only look at a version of the blog's new posts.

It's a great way to keep up with the blogs I watch and you only have to view them when something is newly updated. In addition, looking at the blogs doesn't register on any hit counters because it's just taking it directly from the feed.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Turns out my neighborhood is a lot *sexier* than I thought. Google has teamed up with the sex offenders registry so anyone can find out what perverts live in their neighborhood using this nice little search/map function.

I live near the blue arrow below. The red arrows are where the convicted sex offenders live. If you do a search on their website for your address, you can click on the arrows to get details and pictures of the sex offenders in your neighborhood.

Here are four gentlemen who live within walking distance of my apartment:

Charles S Cain
Home Address/Residence:
2600 Block of Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Offense of Conviction : Assault with intent to commit rape

Stephen Tucker
1700 Block of Euclid Street, N.W.
Offense of Conviction : Interstate travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor

Clifford H Middleton
1600 Block of Euclid Street, N.W.
Offense of Conviction : Rape

Michael J Farrand
1600 Block of Argonne Place, N.W.
Offense of Conviction : Indecent Liberties

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ponce De Leon

Saw my friend's band play last night at the Ottobar in Baltimore.

They're one of those bands whose music is mostly pre-recorded so they just tell the sound guy to "push play" and the CD starts. But the stage antics make up for lack of instruments.

All their songs are about conquistadors, exploring the new world or vampires.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Vacation Pictures

Fishing Choices

Local antique shop

In between times

Yours truly, with fish

These things also stayed with us

Sometimes we skiied

Best buds

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Horror Movie Drinkin' Game

There's not much to do in a rural lake house in Michigan so to kill time we rented five horror movies. The cliches were so re-occuring that we made a list of them and drank to each. Here are the ones that I can remember:

- creepy, singing children

- phone rings, when person picks up, there's no one there

- something runs by in the background

- faucet turned on, out comes black water

- blood from any non-human source

- newspaper articles that show that an alive person is actually dead

- protagonist is startled by someone he/she knows

- dead/asleep person wakes up and grabs a character by the arm

There were like 10 more but I forget them.

Monday, August 22, 2005

My Feral Dog

Just got back from a very relaxing vacation in northern Michigan. As with most of my vacations, activities revolved around meals. I did a lot of eating, fishing, water skiing and drinking. Just how I like it.

I have the best fishing dog, too. He gets excited when I pull the line in or when the bobber goes underwater. When you land a fish he jumps up and tries to bite at it. We fed him a couple of small ones which he promptly devoured.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


I'll be gone 'til August 23rd.

"Free Range" Meat

Picked up a buffalo steak, some giant raw soup bones (for my dogs) and a package of bacon from the farmer's market on Thursday. The meat comes from Cibola Farms in Culpeper, Virginia.

All the animals are raised without the use of chemicals or hormones, but I can tell you from personal experience that those qualities DO NOT translate into better-tasting meat. The buffalo steak was so tough that my jaw ached after eating it. My dad said I needed a meat hammer to tenderize it. First, I don't even own such an instrument and what's more, I really shouldn't be eating meat that is so tough that it needs to be beaten with a spiked metal weapon.

The bacon was like chewing on salt strips. No smokiness, no fatiness, just salt flavor. I could feel my body drying up as I ate it. Might as well have spent 10 minutes with my tongue lapping at a salt lick block.

The upshot is that homemade doesn't always mean better. Next time I'm going to Safeway.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Five Conversations I'm Sick Of

I don't want to talk about the following things with you for more than two (2) minutes:

1 - The never-ending real estate values conversation: This is possibly the most insidious of all the annoying conversations because each person has an opinion and they want it known. Everyone's heard the story of the guy who bought the house for $150,000 and now it's worth $600,000 or the one bedroom apartment selling for more than you'll make in 25 years. If this conversation extends beyond those two sentences, allow me to gouge my ears with 10 inch, metal tent stakes. STFU. Everyone knows the drill. Everyone's had the conversation a thousand times. Enough.

2 - The "English so crazy" conversation: Haven't had this one too much lately but when I worked at an ESL school I had this conversation twice a day. No, English is not the hardest language to learn. Yes, there are some weird pronunciations but please don't talk to me about this. STFU.

3 - The "this city sucks" conversation: No one likes the city they live in. And they like to complain about it. You're never going to be happy until you live in a place where you don't have to work, beautiful women felate you daily, and there are candy canes growing on trees. Even though I'm guilty of ranting about this one, my saturation point for the "this city sucks" conversation is closer to 30 seconds.

4 - The gentrification conversation: And you KNOW this conversation ALWAYS comes out of the mouth of a white 20-something living in the city. OMFG, STFU. Now.

5 - The work gossip conversation: This one needs no description. Two minutes are interesting. Two minutes and ten seconds of the work gossip conversation make me want to be a construction worker.

Did people have conversations this annoying in 1933? I think not.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Saw the new Family Guy movie.

Its release date is in late September but a bootleg copy has been circulating around so I had the privledge of seeing it on my friend's roof deck last night.

It's in line with the original edginess of the first series. Really good and funny as hell. Worth seeing.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Vanity Fair Contest

I know I'm not really part of "America's youth" at age 31, but I think I'm going to enter Vanity Fair's "What's on the minds of America's youth today" writing contest. Details are here.

However, the grand prize seems a little creepy:

There will be one grand prize: $15,000, a trip to Donnini, Italy, including economy-class airfare and six nights of accommodation at the Santa Maddalena writers' colony, and a Montblanc Meisterstück 149 fountain pen.

"Writers' colony"? I think I'll take second place, thank you.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Sazerac

Most websites you find on the Sazerac cocktail explain how to make it in minute detail. Here is a perfect example. There's also usually an inclusion about the story of the Sazerac. Like most cocktail invention stories, no one really knows. But because of this, the cocktail gains almost mysterious significance.

I've now made a few in my life and I'll admit it's not easy. I'm going to have to give it a few more tries before I get it right. Like any cocktail with multiple tasks and ingredients included, it's easy to add too much of one thing. For the one I'm drinking now, I think I added too much sugar. Be careful if you try this at home.

Here is what you'll need to make it. Here's how:

Pack an old fashioned glass with ice. In another heavy-bottomed glass, moisten the teaspoon of sugar with water and muddle it with 3-4 dashes of Peychaud's bitters. Add the rye whiskey and a few cubes of ice and stir to chill. Discard the ice from the first glass and pour in the aniseed liquor. Coat the inside of the entire glass, pouring out the excess. Strain the whiskey into the aniseed liquor-coated glass. Twist the lemon peel over the glass so that the lemon oil drips into the drink, then rub the peel over the rim of the glass; do not put the twist in the drink.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sick, Weekly

Walking home at about 12:30 AM on Saturday night in my neighborhood, I noticed a man sprawled out all over the curb and into the road. There are plenty of homeless and drunk people passed out in my neighborhood on any given Saturday night but not in the "style" of this guy. I mean, half of his body was in the street, right next to a busy bus stop. People were just walking past him.

My immediate thought was that there was some hidden camera trying to count how many people would walk by a guy---and a black guy, nonetheless---who looked dead.

I went up to him and jostled him but his body barely moved, like rigormortis. I kept asking him, "Are you ok, man? Are you all right?" Nothing. Finally, I lifted him by his right arm. He came to and I guided him over to the bus stop bench so he could rest without risk of being hit by a bus.

While doing this, some NoVA fuckwad made some snide comment about him being dead. What if he was dead, you piece of human garbage? How would you feel then? I'm so tired of my neighborhood. It makes me sick, weekly.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Weather Locomotive

A thunderstorm in the city simply means everyone goes indoors for a few minutes and says things like, "I love a good thunderstorm." When you're motoring at six miles-per-hour in a small sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay when a thunderstorm is approaching at 25 miles-per-hour, your life is in immediate danger.

I left work early to go fishing alone on my boat yesterday. It was 4:30 when I got out there and the surrounding sky was balmy but not dark, so I decided to go out. After about 40 minutes I was in the main part of the Bay, and I saw the first lightning strike, coming straight down from the darkening cloud on the horizon. I immediately turned the boat around toward home. Straight toward home. At this point the sky looked like this:

I knew exactly what I needed to do. I put on my lifejacket, turned on the VHF radio (for storm speed), turned on the GPS, clipped the motor's kill cord to my beltloop, closed up the cabin and braced myself for the coming weather locomotive. The VHF weather alarm was sounding (sounds like that "this is a message from the emergency broadcasting system" beep). The voice was saying, "All boaters should seek safe harbor immediately. All boaters should seek safe harbor immediately."

Having been caught in a summer thunderstorm in 2003, I was prepared for the worst. On the water the wind can instantly become 40-50 miles per hour. That kind of wind blows rain so fast that if feels like someone is shooting gravel at you out of a cannon. The wind blows the boat up on its side so bay water pours into the cockpit. It's impossible to steer a boat and the thunder is deafening loud. And there I am: A giant mast jutting into the sky about 45 feet.

Luckily I got back into my marina safely. Five minutes after I'd tied up, the locomotive hit. I sat on the picnic table drinking a beer, high on adrenaline.

Nature is completely indifferent. It's been here for time immemorial and it'll exist when humans are long gone. It could give a quick fuck if you're in the way.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Mean, Nasty.

Standing forlornly at my deceased friend Nate's funeral last weekend, I vowed that I would become a better person, that I wouldn't say mean, critical or shallow things about other people no matter who they are or what they do.

Easier said that done.

I don't think I have an addiction to shit talking, and my friends know I'm not like that, but I need to cut it out of my life.

I'm not any more insecure or fucked up than the next person, so why can't I stop? Maybe I need to move to the midwest and start using adverbs like "surely", as in, "We surely are glad you folks stopped by." That might cure it.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

"Champagne-spraying free-for-alls"

My god, it must be nice to be rich. From the NYT article on St.-Tropez:

JUNE had barely begun, but the legendary French Riviera celebrity bastion of St.-Tropez already had its first scandale of the summer. All across the seaside village, fresh piles of the June 10 issue of La Tribune de St.-Tropez declared the breaking news. From socialites shopping in the Rodeo Drive-like stores along Rue François Sibilli to the jet-setting playboys and billionaires trawling the coconut-oil-scented fleshpots along Mediterranean beaches, the summer crowd that arrives early suddenly found a disturbing front-page discovery that would once have been unthinkable.

Read more ... - (You have to register with NYT to read it.)


Maybe I have ADD, but I lose interest in blogs mainly because most of them trifle with par-for-the-course complaints about things everyone gets annoyed at, obvious, uninteresting political posts, office hell tedium, dating hell shite and general whining about a whole number of annoyances.

Oh, all my personal friends are exempt from this rant. I like hearing all of the above from you.

Keep it up.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Lu Lu Eightball

My friend Emily writes my favorite comic.

Every one that I read in the last 20 minutes on her archives has been hilarious.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Today on K Street

I was riding my bike back from lunch. I was waiting at the crosswalk at 16th and K Street, about three blocks from the White House. To my left was a disheveled-looking white woman in her 40s. She had on filthy red sweatpants and a yellow sweatshirt with a Winnie the Poo backpack on. She was digging around in her backpack which seemed to be filled with trash. All the while she's muttering to herself, saying,

"I'll take the bus, then get off, and then assassinate him. I'll assassinate him, assassinate him."

I clearly heard her say "assassinate him" about eight times during the time it took for the light to turn green. Then she just shuffled off down K Street.

As I rode through Lafayette Park I told a policeman who then radioed to someone else about her.

This woman was probably a normal crazy person, not someone destined to cause destruction but whatever ... I think I did the right thing.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Dear Cafe Atlantico

I hope I wasn't being too uptight in the email I just sent them:


Hello Cafe Atlantico manager,

I just had the pleasure of enjoying a few beverages at your very chic restaurant. From what I've heard---having never eaten a meal there---it's a very fine place, with a lot of interesting choices. In short, a place that makes careful decisions when putting together a menu. I think that goes without saying.

This afternoon I ordered a Gibson at your bar. I know no one likes to hear someone's priggish suggestions about making such a drink, but I think mine are an important way to make your establishment even better than it is.

Put plainly, your pickled onions tasted like cheap, soft pickles, not quality pickled pearl onions (an important difference). This should not be. There is one of two explanations for this: 1) the onions had sat in the back of your refrigerator for far too long or; 2) you ordered your onions from a cheap wholesaler, which is just sad. The whole point of the Gibson is that the onions will add a crisper flavor to the vermouth and gin and give the drinker something tangy to chew on between sips. The important adjective is "crisp". No one wants their Gibson to taste like a jar of mushy Gherkins.

I've had cocktail onions at Safeway that tasted ten times better than the ones I had at Cafe Atlantico tonight. Let me help you to make your restaurant a better place. Some of the best cocktail onions are homemade. I've found a fairly good choice is McSweet onions. You can purchase them here:

Or maybe not enough people order Gibsons for you to even care ...

Please take this email as constructive criticism, not as a polemic.


L. Bruner

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