Friday, March 31, 2006

Back from Vay-Cay!

Okay, so it really wasn't a vacation. I managed to scam a boon doggle to San Diego supporting one of my projects. But just being away from the general madness was like a vacation.

Umm, I love San Diego. Why don't I live there?

Anyways, work was good. Lots of fun technical discussions. Learned a lot. The whole environment on this effort couldn't be more different that my other project. And I got to do more techincal stuff and not so much PM stuff. Which is nice for a change.

After the meeting ended on Friday, I drove up to LA with my co-worker. I was going to visit my sister, and he would visit friends, for the weekend.

Got to LA and was so looking forward to seeing my niece and nephew. My nephew saw me, said "Hi Uncle Trey" and then turned back to his robot thing. My niece pulled up the blanket and wouldn't come out from underneath it. So much love.

Saturday was my nephew's birthday. My sister, in a quite brillian move, outsourced the birthday party. It was held at a place called AdventurePlex. Only in LA I swear. This place had this huge multi-level jungle gym/fort/play thing. It was just unreal. But the hordes of little kids loved it. They could rumpus all they want and pretty much not get hurt. While my nephew had a great time, my neice was at a "princess party" and apparently Ariel was coming. When we finally got back home, she came in with a little tiara on her head and some cool face paiting. Then it was time for all of the gifts. Even though we had gotten some specific gifts for my niece, she still kept trying to steal her brother's toys. Madness and melt down ensued. They grow out of this stage, right? The next day we got up and went for a short hike before it was time for lunch and the trip back to San Diego. My sister rocks. I have no idea how she does it. I would snap. Often.

The second part of the work trip in San Diego was good as well. Even better because I had a kick ass view from my hotel room. It was awesome. I'm sure I wouldn't have this view if I lived there, but it's nice to dream.

The trip back was hellish. Flying these days isn't for the weak. Packed in like sarndines I was sort of bummed that I couldn't do any work. But I was more bummed by the fact that between the huge guy in the seat next to me and being on the aisle getting constantly bumped, I couldn't even pretend to sleep.

Anyways, back in DC. Taking a personal day to get a myriad of things done.

Monday, March 20, 2006

"I" Is for Introvert

"Hello, my name is Trey, and I'm an Introvert."

Yep, for all of those Meyers-Brigg fans out there, I'm an ISTJ. Please don't start to psycho-analyze me now, just sit back and enjoy the madness.

I think most people would find it odd that I'm an introvert. I'm a functional introvert, but I'm still an introvert. I can go out, and socialize, and be engaged and out-going when I need to be. But then I need to come home and just not talk with anyone, just shutdown, and rebuild my energy. It really does explain why I will go to a bar, hang out, and not speak to a soul. Oh well.

So I'm pretty sure my little melt down last week was just the end result of not having enough QPT (quality personal time) and some pretty intense crap at work pushing me to the frikking limit. And so I had that little snap.

I'm better, or will be soon. I chilled this weekend and it was nice. I did go to BlowOff with a friend, but didn't really mingle and left early. But over all, I did get some quality personal time in and I feel better. It also helps that I've got a trip to look forward to. I'm heading out to San Diego for work, but I'll be able to go up to LA on the weekend and will make my nephew's 7th birthday! So cool.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Green Beans Are Money

Saturday. 1PM. Old Glory in Georgetown. Sitting at the bar ordering lunch. Trying to avoid the fries, I ask what my options are. The bartender, who's name is Flossie, I think, ends her littany of side dishes with: "The Green Beans are Money." Who uses the term "money" anymore. And to describe green beans?

I went with the mac and cheese side. It was okay.

While sitting there, this military guy comes up to the bar looking for his credit card from last night (St. Patty's Day). Flossie starts to rummage through a recipe box full of lost/left credit cards and licenses. She asks for ID and he pulls out his ID card. Yep, Army. And he couldn't have been more than 23 years old. I suspect it was a very good time last night if you were so drunk that you left your credit card at the bar. Ah, to be young and stupid.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Not Normal

Got up this morning. Showered. Shaved. Got dressed. Sat back down on my bed and cried for 20 minutes. Got up and went to work.

1. Not Normal.
2. How very Holly Hunter in Broadcast News.
3. I hate being a cliche.

I've written several posts about my current mental state, and then deleted them. So I've also got the whole self-censor thing going.

Hoping the weekend brings something different. I feel something drastic coming on, just don't know what that is yet.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Phrase of the Day Is . . . .

"Task Saturation."

I'd blog more, but (see above).

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Zeigfields & Secrets

Since the DC government and MLB finally settled on a deal, it looks like the clubs over in South East are on a death watch. Apparently eviction notices have been sent out, and despite some probably futile legal battles, it's clear that the gay adult clubs in that area are soon to be a memory. So Greekboy and I decided to hit Zeigfields & Secrets one last time. My thoughts in no particular order:

Ziegfields: Packed like you couldn't believe. Hot and smokey. And lots of drunk straight women( well the ones that were there were so obnoxious it felt like a lot). To be honest with you, I'm not a big drag queen fan. But you've got to give it up for these girls. They do work for their money. There was one who did a country western song which I had never seen before. And one who did a hard core hip hop song. Usually the drag genre is dance/diva music or lounge show songs, so the country western bit was kind of refreshing. Not sure about the hard core hip hop one. It just seemed a bit odd. As I said, the place was packed and as the drag queens strutted their stuff, people would give them dollar bills as tips. Now some of these people would sit at their chair and just put their hand out with their dollar in between their fingers. Some of them would stand in line at the front of the stage with their hand & dollar sticking out around waist level. Not sure what that was about. And them some of them would have 4-5 single dollar bills and go through this little act where they would give the dollar bills out one at a time. Even at a drag show, some gays need a little bit of attention. Kind of funny.

Scene for the night. Slender, slightly queeny guy in black pants, white long sleeve t-shirt, and a red sweater wrapped around his shoulders (a la preppy boy 1980s) is doing a partial dance thing next to the stage and singing/lip synching to the same music as the drag queen. Gee, come here much? He decides to bum a cigarette off the big burly guy next to him in a red "Marines" t-shirt that stretches quite nicely across his chest. The guy gives him the cigarette and little queeny guy flips his wrist with cigarette in his hand so the big guy will light it for him. Such a performance. It just killed me.

Secrets is the strip bar connected to Zeigfields, so when you get tired of the drag show, or just overwhelmed by the heat and cigarrette smoke, you can cross over and see young men dancing around just wearing socks. On their feet.

Now, here's my thing about strip clubs. I just don't get them. When I was forced to go to straight strip clubs when I was in the Navy (ok, I wasn't forced, but did it to fit in), I just didn't get the point. A bunch of guys, looking at naked girls, getting all hot and horny, surrounded by other straight guys, paying top dollar for crappy drinks, and then always going home all alone. Yeah, that sounds like a good time. Atleast at a gay strip club, you see hot (theoretically) naked guys, AND you're surrounded by other guys. So in theory you get all horned up, and you're surrounded by other guys who are horned up, and then the magic happens. Okay, so not really magic as much as hormones, but details.

Anyways, back at Secrets. Again it was packed. But atleast it was better air conditioned. The boys were up on the stage and I guess everyone just loves their Viaga. I can't think of a better profession where that little warning, "If your erection persists for more than 4 hours," is actually a good thing. The thing is, most of the guys were twinks. Thin, hairless, almost pre-pubescent types. Really, come back when you hit puberty. There was on guy who actually looked like he was over 21 and had some decent muscles. I gave him a dollar tip, in his sock.

We went back and forth between Zeigfields and Secrets a couple of times. And then after the drag show, they opened up the stage/floor to dancing and played some good music, so I danced a bit as well.

It was a good time. While I hardly ever go to the clubs in South East, I do think it is a shame that they are being forced out of business. You would think the the city would figure out a way to make a one time exception to the zoning laws to let them move some place, but this is DC. We never do anything that makes sense.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Indeblue and Cobalt

So I've been quite the social butterfly these last couple of days.

Thursday night I went out to dinner at the uber trendy, hip restaurant called IndeBlue. Located down in the Penn Quarter/Chinatown area near the newly named Verizon Center, it's part of the resurgence of that part of DC and specializes in french-indian cuisine. Yeah, think about that for a minute. I was invited by the Cool Couple, who are into such things, and Thursday night was also special as it was Dining Out for Life. It's where many of the restaurants in DC give a portion of the proceeds for that evening to Food and Friends, a really great organization that provides people with HIV/AIDS with meals and groceries in the DC, VA, and MD.

I tried to dress up. But my hip, trendy clothes do not really fit me anymore. But I managed to pull off a semi-decent ensemble so I wouldn't stick out like a sore thumb. I was glad I did. Indeblue is all about the beautiful people. They had a really cool lounge area which we didn't get a good chance to check out as we were promptly ushered up stairs to the restaurant. Seated in a little alcove in the back room, we sort of marveled at the decor and all of the different types of people we had passed. To be honest, the menu was a challenge to me. I've got a relatively simple pallette, so a lot of fusion cuisine is sort of lost on me. Plus, it seems that mushrooms rule alot of these type of restaurants, and that's not really my thing either. I ended up with the white tandorri shrimp with shaved fennel, chiffonade of romaine and artisanal goat cheese. That seemed the safest thing. For my main course, I had the chicken fricasse and morels with peanut potatoes and curry leafe pesto. Don't get me wrong, it was great. But I think I would have been just as happy with the burger. The evening was great as we had some interesting conversation and it just felt different/good to be out and about like a normal person.

Friday was another outting. I had re-scheduled a meeting I had at 2PM so I could escape and enjoy the great weather. Yeah, that worked. I ended up getting home around 630PM and promptly crashed. I woke up around 10PM only to find out that one half of the cute couple was already out and about and looking for me at Cobalt. But it took me about an hour to get my act together and then GreekBoy and I headed over to Cobalt. I haven't been there since my b-day party, but I had read on one of my favorite blogs that the DJ would be spinning some heavy vocals, so I was there. Plus, it looked like the homo-bloggeratti were going to be out in force. While Mr. BadKarma is an admitted celebrityf&^ker, I'm more of a blogger-stalker. I saw him, him, and perhaps him, but I'm not sure.. And even chatted with him. But that's definitely not the norm. Usually I'm the wall flower. It's the introvert in me.

Danced a bit. The music was okay. Greekboy doesn't like to stay out late, so I think we bailed a little before 1AM. Made the really bad decision to hit McD's. Yeah, I'm just full of bad decisions lately. Then did a quick pass through Juniors. It was weird. But then it was time to go home where I either couldn't sleep or had really bad dreams. No more frickin McDs. EVER!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Evolution vs. Creationism (or Intelligent Design) or whatever

I think they all suck..

Sick again and falling apart. Yes the warranty on this body is just about out and everything is falling apart. The countdown to 40 is rapidly approaching and while my mind is in denial, my body has just moved onto the express escalator going down.

If God did create us in his own image, I hope he's got the crappy ankles that I do. Not to be (overly) sacrilegious, but couldn’t God have done a little bit of a better job? Yes I’m whining about ankles, but there are other things I could bring up also.

I’m not sure evolution has done us any favors. The opposable thumbs so we can be the master of a joy stick. (And get your mind out of the gutter!)? I supposed the weak ankles are just nature’s way of making me fall further and further behind the pack so I’ll be easy to pick off by some predator.

Speaking of predators, went to a happy hour thing last night. It was okay. Interesting mix of guys. You know what I just love? (sarcasm) When two guys I find hot and interesting end up talking with each other and leaving together (/sarcasm). Oh, and I am so over the Ken and Ken thing. That whole premise just works against me. Unfortunately “the gays” rarely do the opposite attracts thing. Oh well.

Monday, March 06, 2006

My Resident Smart Ass

I’m a funny, witty type of guy. Atleast I think so. And then every once in while I get put in my place.

The rumor mill at work was rampant about some shifting personnel stuff, so I sent an email out to my team telling them to calm down and everything was okay.

I got a response from my resident smart ass (RSA) and the conversation was as follows:

RSA: So you're saying that we are not all being shipped out and replaced with a team of unicorns from Atlantis who are willing to work for tomato pulp? Cause that's what I heard from a highly reliable source.

Me: Hmm, my highly reliable source says the Atlantean unicorns only eat golden hay that has been sprinkled with pixie dust so they grow to be 6 feet tall.

RSA: Ok, so my source may have been a bit off on the produce types. Interesting that you didn't deny anything else in there.

Me: No the rest is absolutely true. The Atlantean unicorns are cheaper than our usual code monkeys, I mean, valued employees. How they can code so fast and so well with their hooves is just beyond me. Must be that unicorn magic.

RSA: Damn those Atlantean unicorns! This is the third job that I've lost to them. I think it might be time to look for another occupation. I hear there are plenty of openings in the golden hay farms.

Me: Yeah, but you don't want to know how they make the hay "golden". You'll never eat bread again.

RSA: I interned at one of those pixie dust plants a couple summers ago. Can't be worse then that.

Me: Did they make you wear the haz mat suits? If not, you might be contagious.

RSA: The operations necessary to extract the pixie dust from pixies were far too delicate to be performed with haz mat suits on. All I can say is that I'll never be able to look a pixie in the eyes again.

Me: I quit. You win.

And then I cleaned up the Coke I had snorted all over my computer screen.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Crippled and Crash

So walking down 17th St after lunch, I'm talking with a friend and not really paying attention to where I'm walking. And I pop my left ankle. Can you say "F%ck!" It's not too bad, but now I've got a matching pair of weak, tender, ankles. So I guess I'm not dancing anytime soon. On the plus side, I've been looking for a good excuse to not start running again, so there's that.

Just watched Crash. Good, excellent really, but in a really disturbing way. The whole multi-layer story is excellent and the unspoken commentary about race in our country was just over powering and made me think about my little episode outside of Whole Foods. ShouldI have reacted the way I did? Should I have just been the better person and walked away? My outrage and reaction was not going to change her mind, but at what point do you stop and say that type of behaviour just isn't acceptable. Walking away would have just re-inforced her perceptions and prejudices. Standing up to her felt good in an odd way, but in the end it probably didn't make any difference to her.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I Need A Better Poker Face

Seriously. I've had like four different people call me on my facial expressions in the last two days. Apparently it's clear when I think something is BS or when I'm starting to get annoyed. It's not very professional to have a sneer or look of disgust on your face in a meeting, but if someone is just tossing crap around, I'm not going to pretend it's all roses. I'm sure there's a fine line somewhere, but right now I'm just a little too obvious about my emotions.

And this is actually something I've been thinking about for awhile. I'm not sure if it's work or what, but I frequently feel like I'm just holding on to civility and the last smallest ounce of calm I have by my little pinky. I keep feeling that something is going to happen and I'm going to snap. Not go postal snap, but say something outloud that I shoudn't. To my folks, to my boss, or to my customer. I swear I've swallowed a gallon of blood from the times I've bitten my tongue about something. And I guess even though I don't say anything, my face gives it away. So that's still not good.

The irony is that for so long, I learned to mask a significant portion of my emotions. While in the Navy and deep, deep in the closet, I would not look at another guy. I would never do anything that might jeopardize my Navy career. So I learned to mask my emotions. But then I got out of the Navy, came out, and now I don't have to mask my emotions. But I wonder if the problems I'm having are the result of letting down the containment fields in my head (and my heart). I went from expressing no emotions, to expressing too many emotions. Somewhere along the line, I probably should have learned to balance my emotions and how I expressed them. But I didn't.So I've opened the floodgates, but I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with all of this stuff. Shouldn't there be a manual or something? ; )