Random things that piss off a guy in DC

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Most people have their favorite places to shop for things like shoes, clothes, and posters. I think it's the same with food. The ultimate in this area for me is Wegman's - I consider them the king of supermarkets. Then I like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, the prices are higher than other places but I really believe the food is better. Then you have Safeway and Giant. One caveat here I love Balducci's, but that's a once every few months trip - heavy on the wallet. Then, there's Magruder's.

About a year ago a Safeway that is within walking distance of my apartment moved away. I guess they figured having two within a mile of each other was a bit much. In any case, a Magruder's moved in. I had only been to a Magruder's one time before and it was not a great experience. It was gross; flies buzzing around the fruit outside and dirty looking inside. I figured though, that I would give the new one a chance.

When it first moved in, it was bright and new as most things are. The fruit baskets outside were full and fresh looking. The inside was clean and fresh. But the workers were not great. I have to say here that one of the great things upon moving to the northern Virginia area was that the people in Safeway were friendly and nice. Plus they bag your groceries for you, which is rare in New Jersey. That's one of the reasons I shop at Safeway regularly. In Magruder's the staff is slow and mumbles when they speak to you.

The food that Magruder's carries is even subpar by Shopper's Food Warehouse standards. I bought some cookies there the first time I went, made by them, looked good. Got home and a tried a few and got sick. Went back and got some more figuring it may have been a bad batch; if it was they all are, same result.They carry Richfood as their generic brand which is not a feather in their cap. The fruit looks disgusting. In short, the food available there is not very appealing - probably bad for a supermarket.

Thanks for showing us, proceed to checkout. Make sure you use all your pennies!

Also, the clientle in Magruder's seems to move as slowly as the staff there. I don't know if everyone that shops there is required to have an AARP card or it just seems that way, but it makes going there even more unpleasant. It's just that no one seems to be in a hurry. Or even have anything else to do that day except stand at the cash register and write out checks.

A more accurate sign for Magruder's

So, I hate Magruder's. Shopping there is like going to a thrift store, and while I may be willing to by clothes that are used I sure don't want any food that looks that way. Going there makes me feel like I have to take a shower when I leave. Please come back Safeway!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Local News

This morning while getting ready for work I was watching the local news on Channel 5 (I know, mistake one) and they had a teaser for one of my most hated Halloween news stories - healthy treats for kids. I couldn't watch, but I know the gist. Some jerky adult thinks that Halloween is the time to be a good person and so gives kids an apple. Or worse yet, as I saw in last year's report, a toothbrush. Usually I'm not for egging someone's house; but if you're giving kids toothbrushes for Halloween, you have it coming. You want to be a good person? Great. Donate to the library, but for goodness sakes give a kid a Snickers on Halloween!

Give this out at your own risk

Then as I got into the car to drive in to work, two more reports on Halloween safety. The first let us know that we shouldn't leave candles in Jack-o-lanterns because, you know, the thing could burn down your house. Or kids might burn themselves. Just exactly who does WMAL (I know, mistake two) think is listening to the radio in the morning? Little kids and pyromaniacs? Yes, we know that when you place fire in a hollowed out pumpkin it beomes a fire hazard. No, we don't need to be told to watch out for it. Good to know they care so much.

Who knew a pumpkin was so dangerous?

Next a guy from the Washington Hospitals group gets on and tells me that they get a number of people on Halloween nights. Amazingly not from candle-pumpkin burning accidents but from something far more nefarious. Apparently a number of people trip over their costumes and injure themselves to the point where they go to the hospital! And this guy was talking about adults! I realize walking around with a giant Winnie the Pooh head on can be a daunting task, but to injure yourself to the point that you would have to go to the hospital seems a bit much. Are these people going to a Halloween party in Luray Caverns where it's pitch dark and there are things sticking up out of the ground? If not they shouldn't be going to the hospital for tripping on themselves.

Seems cute, but is really a killer!

I'm sure tonight and tomorrow there will be the stories on how much weight kids will gain from eating all of their candy. That will be followed by the Thanksgiving warnings on leaving turkey out for too long. Then it will be the December scare of space heaters. It's a never ending plethora of warnings for idiots on the local news.

So, I hate the local news. Rather than letting me know about the people who fall down because they have a giant SpongeBob costume on, how about covering the election that's coming up in a week? Or anything that is important for that matter?

Friday, October 27, 2006

DC Waiters & Waitresses

The waiters and waitresses in restaurants in this area are the worst. Maybe I'm getting older and just expect better service. Maybe my standards are too high. No, screw that. I would like good service and to be treated well if my server wants a good tip. I think that's fair.

I'm sure everyone has horror stories about trips to this place or that. They just seem to be rampant in the DC area. The interesting thing is that you can almost measure it, at least from the Virginia side. The farther from DC you get the better the service is. In DC proper is where I have had some of the worst dining experiences of my life. Arlington is better. Alexandria better still. Vienna is heavenly compared to DC, and so on. You get the picture.

I think the worst area in DC is Dupont Circle. I'll begin with Cafe Luna. I went there three times, I only actually got food there once. The other two times I waited roughly 20 minutes for someone to take my order, then I left. Oh, the food is cheap and okay - if you ever get to eat. Firefly is another great one. I sat down, got beer (warm in a square glass) and then wound up waiting 35 minutes before seeing the table next to me, which was seated after me, get served first. I left. I wrote to the manager who then called to tell me that he would send me a gift certificate to go back there. He did, it was for $50. That was a year ago. I still haven't used it.

Great place to dine, if you've got 4 hours to kill

Shall I continue? I think so. Afterwords Cafe which is connected to Kramerbooks makes the list. I have been there a few times. The service is always the worst! Everything takes way too long to get from order to your plate. The servers all have attitude. I swear, after that my trips to Wrapworks were well worth it. I get exactly what I want in a timely manner and no crap from the staff.

Don't purchase a book 'til you leave. You can probably just borrow one and finish it before you get served.

I was in the Daily Grill in Georgetown a few weeks ago with a friend from out of town. I was telling him how I really like it, the Cobb Salad is fab, and all that. I consider the Daily Grill a mid-range place, neither cheap nor expensive with decent clientele. We get there and get seated. The waiter takes forever to come over, gets our drink order, and comes back about ten minutes later. My friend and I order. He orders Prime Rib; the guy brings him a Rib Eye. After being informed of the mistake, he tells us they are out of Prime Rib. We get bread - a the end of the meal. I paid the guy, $59.71, with sixty dollars - in singles.

An early Chrsitmas present for the Daily Grill staff

I believe I am an excellent tipper when I'm happy. I tip usually about 25 percent. When I get service like I have mentioned above though I always leave change. Just so the person knows it's not a mistake. I usually write a note on the check too if I don't say anything. "You are the worst" is one of my favorites. Conversely when I am very happy I tip well and sometimes will get the manager to point out how exquisite the server was, because I know they never hear that stuff.

Tips should be earned, not expected

To the waiters and waitresses in this area, this is what I expect from you when you are waiting on me: superb service. I expect my soda or water to be refilled without me having to ask. I expect you to not reach across the table in front of me to get anything. I expect you to take my order quickly and serve my food in a timely manner. I expect the food to be great, not good, great. In short, I expect to be treated like a king. I am out to dinner and letting you have the opportunity to make a good amount of money for doing nothing more than placing an order, filling a glass, serving and clearing food. If you do this, you can expect to be paid anywhere from $15-50 from me based on the check. That's for less than an hour's worth of service. I think that's fair.

So, I hate the waiters and waitresses around here. It seems like you all hate your jobs and want to quit. Please do everyone a favor and do it. No two weeks notice, no long good byes. Just get out, so I can get the service I pay for.

Forget quitting in style. Just go!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I am pretty much against government paid for (which FYI means you and I paid for) anything. I'm not talking about helping people who fall into a bad situation for a month or so, I mean those who get tax money all the time. I don't think that people who choose to live a certain way or do a certain thing should be rewarded for it. I don't think that things that can't exist on their own should be allowed to survive because of a respirator full of my tax money. That's where National Public Radio comes in.

Apparently NPR is one of the most pressing needs the country has. And it's no wonder, I mean just look at today's things being covered on the website. No question of their importance with leads like: Chemistry Lovers Celebrate Mole Day and The Dog Who Loved to Suck on Toads. And who can question the cutting edge timeliness of Re-Examining Hungary's 'Failed Illusions', I mean come on that's important stuff. Sure we're two weeks out from what will be a very important election for the country's future, but I can never get enough of hearing about Lucy (you know that fossil you read about in science) as I did this morning. I can see why we need to pour tax money into it.

Thank God for NPR, I was wondering when I would hear about you Lucy

Plus I loooove how NPR is always stuck in some bygone era. Is it the Depression? If you listen to NPR you may think so as they take you to some poor Mississippi town (complete with someone playing a banjo in the background) to tell the sad tale of woe of some family. Because, you know, everyone I guess should be poor and sad if one person in America is. Is it 1965? Maybe as we hear yet another story on race in America. Not sure, but I don't think focusing every other story (at least as it seems) on race on America's paid for radio station is going to help fulfill Martin Luther King's dream. Maybe it's 1983, because there are an unending string of stories about apartheid or basically anything in Africa.

A breaking story for NPR, next week, Will Reagan get re-elected?

I really think it's unfair, I mean conservative talk shows have to compete in the marketplace. Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and the like have to get sponsors and (gasp) ratings. And that ain't easy, just ask Air America who had to file for bankruptcy last week and hasn't paid poor Al Franken in months. I was listening to Air America two days ago and they have a spot where they virtually beg people to buy from their sponsors. Plus they have Google ads for Rush Limbaugh ringtones on their website, that's how bad things are. Why should they have to go belly up when Diane Rehm and the other monotone androids at NPR get to be boring and sucky and keep their jobs?

Please God let me get paid today!

And every taxi cab in the area has NPR on. I guess they figure it's inoffensive because of the inane topics and droning voices. Maybe they like it because they carry news about things overseas from their (the drivers') home country. Seems odd for something called NATIONAL Public Radio, but they do a tremendous amount of non-national stories. Maybe they think it's a public service. I have a theory that the monotone voices are the government's way of sending subliminal messages about buying war bonds or eating Tuna Helper or something. But I digress.

I hate NPR, it sucks money from other needed programs or from going back to me. And it sucks. If I want to get some insipid, stale, and inane view of the world I'll just listen to Sean Hannity. Or go back to college.

No need for NPR, there are enough tools on the air, Exhibit A

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Rectal Thermometers

So last night I'm watching The Courtship of Eddie's Father on TCM and I come across a disturbing childhood reminder. I realize that most people under the age of 25 won't even know what I'm talking about when I mention it, and that's okay. It's probably the most cruel device (or use of one at least) ever invented. Especially because it was used on kids. I speak of course, of the rectal thermometer.

In the movie it was just a throwaway part of a scene because it was so commonplace then. However it sent shivers down my spine. Thankfully they didn't show any of the insertion or preparation on screen. That would have been too much. As it was I still am thinking about it now.

A horror movie to some (clenches butt cheeks)

Just so the younger folks can understand, I feel the compulsion to explain this elaborate child torture. The ones of you that know this should cover your eyes. For the rest, it goes like this. Take a seemingly gigantic cold thermometer. Apply vaseline to the area that the thermometer will be inserted (yes that's your anal cavity) and possibly some to the thermometer (I wouldn't know because I was always on my tummy). Slide it in as slowly as possible. Leave it in there for about 2 minutes (which in kid-with-rectal-thermometer-in time seems like 100 years). Slowly slide out and read. Watch child get over trauma.

Bend over and open wide, Stevie!

Apparently some genius figured this was the absolute best way to get a reading on some child's temperature. On adults you could use an oral or underarm check but kids needed it in the ass. Not sure why but he certainly is one sick bastard. Oh man, it hurts now thinking about it.

The decision to stick anything in one's anus is usually life altering. Unfortunately at the age of 7 I and many others had already been experiencing this seminal moment for a number of years. And it scared the living crap out of most of us (no pun intended). All these years later it still has a bad effect. Maybe this is the kind of thing we should do to captured terrorists. "Tell us where the bombs are or we'll stick this where Allah don't shine. Without lube." I bet that would work.

You thought THIS was torture?!

So I hate rectal thermometers. Fortunately kids today have the ones you just rest on you ear and it's over in no time. I wonder if the know how lucky they are. And know that the road to their luck is paved with many bruised asses.

Friday, October 20, 2006

DC Bums

Sit back and relax because I'm about to write what you all think but are afraid to say. If you live, work, or walk around in the DC area you see bums all the time. They are sleeping in the Rosslyn Metro station, asking for money outside of CVS by Dupont, or being crazy in Chinatown. Most people try to avoid them or just look they other way.

The DC bums are not like bums in New York, Texas, or San Fransisco. They are a special breed. Like many people in this area they seem to have a sense of entitlement. For example, you walk past them and they like to say things like "You're just ignoring me?" or if you give them a small amount of money they continue to rattle the coffee cup and ask, "That's it?" I've seen this happen. In fact, one time in Chinatown some big strapping woman who was like 6'4 was asking me for money, as if she couldn't get a job herself when I saw at least 5 'Help Wanted' signs on the way to the metro. I worked for a company where we went to go provide free shoes for the homeless last year. The attitudes that we encountered while fitting these people for shoes was unreal. They wanted better shoes, different colors, etc. as if they were buying them.

Apparently, the meaning of this is open to interpretation

On top of this there are plenty of vans in DC that drive around giving out food and blankies to all of the downtrodden drunkard and drug addicts. They don't have that in other areas. Maybe this helps to make these people feel special. Like they can demand more money for doing nothing. Or approach your car at a stoplight.

I realize many of you will find this harsh and mean, but I hate the DC bums. Get a job already. At the very least, be grateful when someone gives you money for doing nothing; after all the rest of us have to earn ours.

What, no bills?

Population People

Someone either had another kid or someone else came into the country legally or illegally and America now has a population of 300 million people. Whoop-de-damn-Do! Why the Hell does anyone care? The media has made this out to be some huge thing. Um, aren't there over 6 billion people living on Earth already? Ok, so who cares if we have only 300 million? Not me.

People are always getting exorcised about one thing or another, but this is dumb. In 1967 a genius named Paul Ehrlich decided that if the population kept growing, we would all be dead soon thereafter. That was 100 million people ago. Good call Einstein. Now of course, some people will ramble on about how we'll all be dead when we hit 400 million in another 30 or so years. I would take that bet.

Good call, I wonder if he picks the Cubs every year too

See, here's the thing: drive through most of the Midwest - Hell take a drive to the Shenandoah - and you see miles and miles of unused space. In fact every person or family in the US could fit in Texas with a house and land. Sweet work commute, shitty neighbors. So people spread out. The government locks up land. The geniuses never take this into account. We have so much food in this country that obesity is a problem and we pay farmers NOT to grow food to keep the little guys in business! Still the doomsayers persist.

Come on in, we got room!

I actually believe that most of the uproar is just to institute more government control over people's lives. Don't believe me? Read this. Governments like to issue proclamations of dire straits for all. Unless of course we do as they say; and they always have the answers. But I digress.

I hate population people because they never think ahead. They never figure on new ways to grow crops, on technology helping people have better lives, or the greatness in people. Unfortunately though, this does mean another damn Starbucks coming soon. UGH!

"No, no Grande, no latte. Just a large coffee you bastard"

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I have lived in several parts of this great country and bar none, the worst drivers congregate in this area. It's as if there is some big sign somewhere that let's people know if they suck at driving, they should move here. "Virginia is for Lovers.. and you suckyass mofos that got your license from a Cracker Jack box". And it's not the weather. Yes, people here cannot drive at all when it is misting outside, but they are equally as bad when the pavement is dry.

Thank God, it was almost time to renew, now no DMV!

The rankings from least to most offensive are Virginia, Maryland, and DC. Virginia drivers are just really bad. They like to drive slooooowly all the damn time. Maybe they are looking at the foliage. Or maybe the guy ahead of you is an illegal alien in his 1985 Gremlin and drives 25 mph because he thinks this will keep the cops away. In Northern Va it's a tossup between the two. And apparently everyone in Virginia thinks a turn signal is just a useless appendage - like a human tail.

Marylanders are even worse though. On top of all of this, apparently all of the Maryland dwellers who work in Virginia leave work before 4pm. It doesn't matter what time you try to cross the 14th St bridge, they are there - trying to get home; 2 o'clock, 11am - sorry it's all backed up. Apparently too there is little to no work in Maryland because they are all crawling to Northern Va to work those tough 4 hour days. The other day some lady was putting on her makeup while driving. When I finally got up beside her and gave her a look, she was too busy curing her hair to notice! What the Hell lady? You're only gonna be in for an 1 1/2, just leave it.

The king though is DC. While it has it's share of the above, there are also self important government types everywhere. Oh, I'm a diplomat so I can triple park and block the whole street. I have to cut you off because congressman so and so has to get to a vote, Please, none of you are that important and all of you should be getting ticketed hourly. And the cabdrivers in DC are the WORST! They try to overcharge you wherever you need to go, whether you are drunk or not. Me: "Hi, I'd like to go 4 blocks". Him: "That's $10 for going two zones". Puh-leeze. And anyone dumb enough to drive into Georgetown should be tested for stupidity. You'd be better crawling up M Street in rush hour.

The thing is though, unlike LA where it really is crowded with cars, the problem here is people just can't drive. I hate the way people drive here. Pay attention, step on the gas, and get wherever the hell you are going!

Pizza & bagels

I'm from New Jersey, right by NYC. The pizza and bagels there are the best in the world. One would think with all of the transplants here you could get a decent one of both. Or either. One would be wrong.

I don't understand why it is so difficult to make pizza like they do in New York. I want it paper thin and with grease that drips off when I hold it up, And I don't want to hear anymore from people that are from here about how some place has good "New York style" pizza. That's bullshit. That's like telling people from Chicago that Pizzeria Uno or Armand's in Chicago pizza. It's not the same. Pizzeria Paradiso is an abomination to true pizza lovers and don't even mention the chains that deliver, they are all the dregs.


The same with bagels. I don't know what the problem is with this either, I want an everything bagel, toasted with cream cheese. What I get around here is a pile of bread that tastes horrible. Is there some secret in the Hudson River that I don't know about that makes the bagels from NY and NJ that much better? I'm sure the Anacostia River has a comparable amount of dead people floating around in it, so that should be a good start.

Looks simple, bread, hole, toppings, so wtf?

So for one, I hate the bagels and pizza here. Someone, PLEASE open a good pizza/bagel shop and I'll be there every damn day. I promise!