Sunday, August 31, 2008
Sadly, lots of other successful bloggers have taken the easy route and done a general interest, personal diary, type of blog with one lousy post about turning 3o. Weak. As far as I can tell, no one else has taken the initiative to write a daily blog for two whole months about their 30th birthday party! I can't imagine why.
Even worse, everyone else is completely humorless about aging. It seems that most people stay at home and cry, instead of embracing their new oldness in public with a fun party. Keg? Nope. Standup comic? Nope. Stories about other birthdays? Nope. Melancholy recollections? Some. Self-deprecating anecdotes? Nope. In short, this is the only blog where you can read about every single thing related to turning 30! Unfortunately, it turns out that there's not really 60 posts of solid material out there for me to write about, so you get bad ones like this.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
It's not unlike my 26th birthday, when Katherine and I made a similar trip. We drove out to Sperryville and checked out the now-closed Cooter's Garage, a wild tourist trap of Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia. In the age of Urban Outfitters and ironic t-shirts and kidults, I was glad to see some shirts with honest-to-goshness Confederate flags on the roof of the General Lee. Then we drove up the mountains and headed along Skyline Drive for a few miles, checking out the Shenandoah Valley scenery. Dropping down into Front Royal at the end of the Shenandoah National Park, it was off to Markham (I think) to pick some apples. Very nice, although September 27th tends to be a little late in the season around here.
Why doesn't everyone go to the country for their birthday?!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
For some reason, The Wasmund told our new friend (whose name is Neil) how old he is and Neil asked if I was the same age. Now, I won't tell you how old RW is (hint: between 48 and 50, but not 48.5 or 49.5), but it's jarringly older than me. RW told him I was just a spring chicken, which isn't entirely true, but is relatively accurate considering the circumstances.
Finally, I told Neil I was 29 (after he initially guessed 40, then 35 after my visible dismay). He said, "Oh, you look older because you've lost your hair. But, you've still got a young bod!" It's true, he told me I had a "young bod" and that I'm "in great shape." I guess it's too bad that people don't judge age by body-type more often, so that those flabby dudes in college would be mistaken for 40-year-olds, instead of us bald dudes.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Katherine and I spent last night reviewing people at http://www.dcstandup.com/. The criteria for asking someone to perform at the party are:
1. A good headshot. These two folks were in the lead.
I think that's Paula Dellert on top and Christ White below. Very good headshots.
2. The person has to have a website that actually works and doesn't take forever to use.
3. They can't be already booked on September 27th.
Unfortunately, no one really met all the criteria, but I think we're on the right track. Does anyone know someone who's killed at a few open mics and wants to get some more experience?
Oh, everyone should also google Larry Poon. He's pretty funny, if your tastes are more in the Neil Hamburger line of things. Apparently he's on a "Poonified" tour of Europe during my birthday, although that might be a joke on his website.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Yeah, people assume I have kids.
I had one class today and have three tomorrow. Today was mostly about making small talk to find out what people did for the summer. So far I think I've talked to one person whose job was anywhere near as interesting as mine, but I can't tell you what he did because it's top secret information at the company. Zing! My job's not top secret, though: I learned everything I could about Copper Fox Distillery and tried to sell more Wasmund's Single Malt Whisky than I drank. An amazing experience and I wish everyone could spend a summer doing exactly what they wanted.
In other news, today is Brucetravis's birthday (speaking of other people who are Built to Slaughter). He's 33 and celebrated by sending me a list of hundreds of words that start with "th". No, "thenerd" and "theloser" and "thefattestcyclistinthemidatlantic" didn't make the list, even though they're appropriate to for the birthday boy. Happy birthday!
(In case you've never met Brucetravis, here's a picture of him with his twin brother.)
Sunday, August 24, 2008
1. Mary noted that she and Katherine could easily pass for being younger than they are. In fact, she said, "We could all pass for younger than our age!" This was news to me, as no one has ever believed me to be anything less than five years older than my real age. Mary apologized for her mistake.
2. Everyone agreed that at some point you have to start cutting your hair short to be an adult, but no one really knows what that age is. I suggested 16, since that's when I started losing mine, which garnered much sympathy.
Not much else to report on the birthday party front. We're bottling the IPA tonight and moving the Oktoberfest to secondary. Will hopefully report on initial tastings later on!
Friday, August 22, 2008
The piece was about how Dave would react to the same situation at 18, 24, and 30. It all rang pretty true for me: the 18-year-old was a sensitive loser, the 24-year-old is all rock'n'roll, and the 30-year-old is stuffy. Best of all, the 24-year-old's life philosophy was "Hey, hey, hey, hey, smoke weed every day."
Does everyone else glorify their 24-year-old self? I imagine that at some point when I'm 40 I'll look back and think that guy was a loudmouth prima donna, but now he seems pretty cool. Meeting girls, making more money than I should, going out all the time, reading really challenging books, watching rodeo, and running in shorts all winter. As mentioned in a previous post, I also had a beard at 24.
Almost as curious, I wonder if 50-year-olds look back 20 years and think that person is awesome. I probably won't, since being awesome probably requires having a job.
I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon at the time, so I ran about 22 miles in the morning, then came home and ate a whole watermelon on the front porch. At some point, various people came over to the house for an afternoon party, although I'm not really sure who was involved. Justin Jarboe was definitely there, because I know he had pictures of me hitting a pinata.
This was my "beard" phase, so I have a red, scraggly beard in the pictures. Delightful.
All in all, it was a pretty good day, and as low-key as you can get and still have a pinata. I guess it's just one of those parties that you forget about over the years.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Then, I saw an e-mail announcing this amazing event: http://www.capitalcriterium.com! This promises to be a perfect start to the birthday week, with a big-time bike race in downtown DC on September 21st. Best of all, the prize list for the pro race is going to be $50,000. With that much money at stake, it's quite possible that I'll have a good chance to break out my Danny "The Pate" Pate t-shirt, last seen during stage 15 of the Tour de France!
Honestly, I think this event can be amazing. It shows what happens when the mayor, a well-connected cycling club, and some big businesses all get together. I never thought I'd see DC streets close for a bike race after September 11, especially so close to the White House, so this is a promising sign that a nice level of sanity is coming back to downtown DC.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
It was especially appropriate for us, as Paul noted that the course description is something only an MBA could write: "The back nine is a true test of accuracy and perseverance. Dense woods on either side of the narrow fairways will show how much confidence you have in your driver. Postage stamp greens and large elevation changes combine to force risk/reward decisions on every shot."
Indeed. We weren't very accurate and spent a lot of time chasing balls in the woods, where I displayed my skill at finding balls. At one point, after finding four balls on one hole (none of which were ours), Paul said, "I don't care how old they say you are, you've still got the eagle eye!" Yeah!
See, it doesn't matter how old I get, as long as I don't lose my valuable skills. What other valuable skills? Oh, you know, things like looking good in khakis, keeping my hair cut short, reading the Post, and going to bed early. I think I'll adjust to being 30 just fine.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Long thought to be extinct, rumors are swirling that at least a handful of people still make a living off of fishing in the Chesapeake. Even more surprising, this is in addition to the enterprising souls leading northern snakehead fishing expeditions! We're hoping to see some of these few survivors of a bygone era and taste their delicious haul. I can't speak for both of us, but I plan on having hardshell crabs for breakfast.
It's a little surprising to think about places I've gone to chillax for a few days over the years. In college, almost any days off from school were an excuse to go to San Francisco. Then, in my early 20's (also known as the Bronze Age), Jack and I got in the habit of heading to Philadelphia on long weekends. Katherine and I have strangely become big fans of rural Maryland. We spend lots of time talking about the woods where they filmed the Blair Witch Project and looking at cool birds.
I guess this is what it's like to get old: you stay closer and closer to home. By the time I'm 35, I expect to never leave Ward 4 except for special occasions. Maybe Rock Creek Park will be our ritual birthday destination.
See you on Wednesday!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
*The Man in the Pointy Hat Blowing on a Thing
*Oh, Yeah, I'm Hitting the Pinata
*Pin Your Tail on Me
*Twister is Weak
*Moon Bounce Adventures
*Moon Bounce Adventures 2
*P.S. Bring Your Friends
*Lawn Dart Stud (note: this one is also a thriller)
*Moon Bounce Adventures 3
*The Only Gift I Want is a Hardy Boys Book (note: gay)
As you can guess, some of these will only get a novella treatment, since they're a little too simple for a full novel.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Yeah, who knew, right? According to various internet searches, Curt Fortin is some sort of a Dutch celebrity. Born in Aruba, he's now living in the Netherlands and hosting a video show or something. Naturally, he appears to be a Miami Dolphins fan, which I also was at the ripe age of seven. I thought people grew out of being Dolphins fans and matured into cold-weather team fans (or at least Redskins fans). I guess I was wrong.
Anyway, it's always good to see Aruba in the news. In response to Greg Damage's comment on an earlier thread, I'm including more pictures relating to Aruba. Like this one:
Or, what do you think about this one?
Screw Curt Fortin, these guys are making 30 look old. Ouch.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Group parties can be tough things. Will the different groups of friends mingle, or will everyone stand around in separate circles? Will some people get lots of presents and others get none? Will one person's friends be lots better at pitching horseshoes?
Typically, horseshoe-pitching skills wouldn't matter too much, but Adam's neighbor has ingeniously installed a horseshoe pit in their backyard! Granted, there's no above-ground pool to go with it, but these are the sorts of things that make for a great party. Sure, anyone can have music and beer, but horseshoes take it to a whole other level. Oh, Adam and his friends also smoked a pig. That's not chips and salsa, folks, that's a whole pig!
I'm not even going to try to top Adam's party, but he has set the standard. Will a stand-up comedian measure up to a smoked pig? Will the go-go iPod mix measure up to horseshoes? Does having a blog add anything whatsoever to a party? Will it make my party better or worse if I spend all night crying? We'll see.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
So, I headed out to Home Depot and bought 24 feet of 4x6's, got them cut to the right size, and put them out back. After about an hour of raking, digging, and trimming, I finally had the old border torn up and the new one put in. It's far from perfect, but it's a dramatic improvement.
This is the sort of thing we're going to be doing up until September 27 to make sure that everyone has a great time. Other small projects include painting the front porch and re-glazing some windows that rattle. And, if we're lucky, and if my guy Vinny comes over soon, we might have a VERY big improvement to show off...
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
So, how will Sam be celebrating his 51st birthday? With a happy hour at Skye Lounge! I've never been to Skye, but it is a "lounge", which makes me a little apprehensive. I don't have any clothes to wear to a lounge. For instance, I'm wearing a new H&M t-shirt every day this week (just $5.90 each during the sales tax holiday!), but the Washington Post review of Skye says that most of the clientele are wearing suits. Hmmm...
To his credit, Sam did try to have this party at Pizzeria Paradiso, but decided it was too small. I like this thinking: boldly assuming you're going to have way too many people for a regular bar is great! And, his wife's e-mail also said they decided on Skye because it has outdoor seating and great happy hour specials, both of which are excellent decision factors. Finally, it's Metro-accessible. Great choice!
Frankly, I'm just glad it's not at the Tombs.
Happy birthday, Sam!
Monday, August 11, 2008
It turns out the party was in a house Paul lived in way back in the late '90's. It's been a group house ever since, but the owner finally decided to kick everyone out, fix it up, and charge market rates for the property. Punk rock is dead on Swann Street. I guess I'm surprised it actually lasted this long.
(By the way, is Swann Street where that married man got murdered while having an illicit tryst with two gay gentlemen a few years back?)
Oh, so the party was pretty fun. They had an astounding SIX kegs! Not a chance of getting through those. They also had some very dusty bottles of madeira and some type of Greek licorice liqueur that were pretty foul.
The best, though, was running into my friend Carrie who I hadn't seen in years. I told her I needed our mutual friend's e-mail address so I could invite her to my 30th birthday party, at which point Carrie actually shot beer up her nose and all over the place, while exclaiming, "You're not thirty yet?!" It was awesome.
Someone else heard I was turning 30 and fantastically deadpanned, "I don't think you'll have a very big adjustment to make." I don't really know what he meant, but I appreciated it.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
We designed the 'Fest to be pretty malty, with a base of pilsner and munich malts and a pound each of crystal 60 and victory for character. It's got a deep red color to it (just what we like in a marzen), a little chocolate-y taste, and very mild bitterness.
At this point, the only question is how the yeast comes through. We should have a good feel for this when we taste it in two weeks.
We also moved the IPA to secondary fermentation today, dry-hopping it with whole-leaf Cascades. It's wonderful at this point: amber color, very dry, nice pine-y bitterness, and a very clean yeast character. Excellent! Oh, it's 5.3% ABV. Looking forward to drinking this one.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
After an epic drive down the Suitland Parkway, we headed down Route 5 to LaPlata (motto: "Not Waldorf.") for lunch at Johnny Boy's Ribs. Johnny Boy's is just a shack on the side of the road with some picnic tables. The ribs were fantastic, with great bark on the side, a nice smoke line, and perfectly spicy sauce. Sides were okay, but not nearly as good as the ribs.
I finished off lunch by washing my face with a moist towelette. Don't think I'll do that again.
From there, we went out to Nanjemoy Creek for some birdwatching. Sounds boring, right? Wrong. It's awesome. We watched bald eagles for a while and saw some osprey diving for fish, then took a little hike and saw some young eagles fly past about twenty feet away. There are pictures somewhere, probably with the Hooter's waitress pictures from my 25th birthday. Gotta look for those.
Friday, August 8, 2008
That's right, the tallest major leaguer in history and ex-Nationals bullpen stalwart has the exact same birthday as me. I think this means that we're brothers, which makes sense, since I was the tallest person on my intramural basketball team in college. And, my intramural basketball team was the worst team in our league, much like the Nats. The similarities are endless.
Of course, Rauch was traded a few weeks ago, but it's impossible to say who he plays for now. Every time I try to find out, I get distracted with stories about Lopez Lomong, whose brave flag-carrying has vaulted him to the top of the list of potential veep picks for both McCain AND Obama. Interesting.
Oh, but I digress. My point here is that very few actual celebrities share my birthday. Heck, without a big effort, I could probably make myself the most famous person in the world born on September 27, 1978. It's time to hatch a plan.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
For those of you who don't know, Blelvis ("The Black Elvis") is a slightly neurotic street entertainer who's been around DC for years. Actually, if youtube is any guide, he's been around since at least 1988. (Does Blelvis have a wikipedia page? Why am I too lazy to actually check?) His schtick is that he knows the lyrics to every Elvis song ever recorded and he asks you to name a song for him to sing. Of course, you know you can't stump him and you sort of want to walk away, but then he asks you for one word and says he can sing a song about it. It's amazing. I think I've done "hot dogs", "Christmas trees", and "diamonds" and gotten a legitimate Elvis song every time. He also works in some jokes and gives a little story about his background, then you give him a few dollars and he goes on his merry way.
Seeing Blelvis is always a treat.
Anyway, I've been talking for years about having him be the entertainment at a party. Unfortunately, I just can't decide if it's a good idea. Like, no one has ever felt threatened by him, but there's always the risk that he's a drug addict who would steal stuff from my house. (It happens. Lindsay Lohan stole stuff from one of my friend's houses in LA. Addicts do stuff like that.) A bigger risk is that he wouldn't leave or would start sleeping on my porch or something. I have no idea.
The potential pay-off, though, is that I think I could force him to unveil his new character that he's been talking about for years: Blincoln. I'm totally serious. Is it worth it? Let the commenters decide!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
She was telling me that it was good to go to school now, do different things, go while I can, etc., etc., and asked how old I was. I told her I was 28 and she commented that I seemed older than that. Then, in an amazing moment, she said that her husband had recently said that he really enjoyed being in his 50s and felt like he had always been a 50-year-old trapped in a young man's body. And, she told me that I was probably the same way: born to be 50.
Good times! I would say I was probably born to be 35, if I had to say, but 50 seems a little steep!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
1. It's prohibitively expensive to get a cask of Troeg's for a party, so we'll be going with a keg. He said that in the future, if I wanted to start getting cask-conditioned ales in my house, I should buy my own cask and get breweries to fill it up. Hmmmm, maybe next year.
2. The delicious Sunshine Pils is all sold out at the brewery, so anything I find now will be old by September 27. This means that even if we decide to go with a Troeg's product, it won't be the Pils. It sounds like Hopback Amber might be just the stuff!
Should I invite the rep to the party? More stuff to think about...
Monday, August 4, 2008
But, I do remember when Katherine turned 30 and kept seeing lists of things she was supposed to have already done, like go to Vegas without a hotel room or skydive or run a marathon. (Does any thought go into these books? As far as I can tell, the only thing you should definitely make sure you've done is lose your virginity before you're 30 and everything else will take care of itself. I've heard that if you don't do this, you're destined for a career as a butler or manservant of some sort.) Nonetheless, all those books are out there, and I'm always a little surprised that I've done nearly everything on the lists, or something very equivalent. For instance, I'll substitute "start going bald at 16" for "dye your hair a crazy color".
Anyway, I guess the reason I'm not panicked about turning 30 is because I don't feel like I have anything else I need to squeeze in, partly because I've had some good adventures so far, but also because I don't really see adventures stopping. Like, I can't work at my current job for the rest of my life, because I don't have a job. Take that, world.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Why was he so hungover? Because yesterday's party practice was a raging success! I think we need to work on food (a slice at Manny and Olga's may not have been enough), but everything else was excellent. Drink selection and pacing was extremely impressive. Somehow, we mixed together Wasmund's Single Malt Whisky, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Miller Lite, and Jameson's and kept it rocking until a stunning 3am! We might have rolled even later, but The We Are Scientists kicked us out of their dressing room so they could drive to Columbus, Ohio.
The trunk show was a smash. Great turnout and the Barking Irons guys are fantastic. Big ups to all the Wasmund's fans who came out. In case anyone's curious, the drink I was serving is: mint muddled in a glass, a shot of Wasmund's, two shots of Honest Ade Orange Mango, a shot of club soda, and ice. Or, you can always use Wasmund's to make my favorite cocktail: a glass full of whisky, with a dash of witty conversation. Enjoy!
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Extra bonus: the large drinks at the Georgetown theater are 44 ounces, which is a LOT of Diet Coke. It almost lasted me the whole movie. Impressive.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Practice will start at 5:30pm at Redeem, the clothing boutique on 14th St. NW, between R and S Streets. Wasmund's Single Malt Whisky is sponsoring a trunk show for Barking Irons. Barking Irons is two New York guys who make clothes based on the '90s...the 1890s. I guess it's more Gangs of New York than Grover Cleveland, if I had to say. Anyway, I'll be there pouring Wasmund's until about 8 or 9 or something.
Then, the second part of practice (yeah, we do two-a-days this early in the season) will happen across the street at the Black Cat. Everyone's favorite two-piece-plus-two We Are Scientists is playing. In case you don't know what they're all about, here's a pretty informative video of them.
Of course, We Are Scientists isn't playing at my party, so this is mostly to practice our heckling. See you there!