A mellowing and meandering trip through this American life. Follow the adventures of Jan, Jack, and Patrick as they take you on a whirlwind trip through Washington, DC's seedy underbelly of cut-rate poolhalls, thrift stores, and temp agencies.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

So, last night, I finally won an adversarial confrontation in my neighborhood.

I got out of the bus in front of the Wah Sing chinese restaurant at about 10pm last night and crossed Pennsylvania Avenue to pick-up some beer at the Mom n' Pop store. Unfortunately for me, they were already closed (they had possibly been closed for an hour). Anyway, on my way across the street I noticed a group of kiddies hanging-out in front of the juvie-house nextdoor to the store. I thought it was odd, but my spidey-sense wasn't really tingling. So I turn away from the closed door of the store and start walking up the street towards my house, when my path is blocked by two street toughs. Mini street toughs.

They start in with the, "Yo, man, what'ch you doing in this neighborhood?"

As I had lived in the neighborhood for many years and had never seen these two particular homies before, I naturally responded with "What are you doing here?"

[An aside: I could tell that these were imported hoodrats because anyone worth their salt knows who the fuck I am. I am the stupid-ass whiteboy with all the twin brothers]

Kid: "Didn't scare you did I?" [follows this with a head and shoulder feint]

Me: "No." [simulates a chest-bump]

Kid: "Awww, It's all good, we just messing with you"

Me: "Yo man, that's great. I'm glad we're cool like that."

Kid: "Yeah, but this is our hood." [another feint, this one more of a shadowbox]

As we were speaking, I noticed with my third eye (that's the one in the back of my head) that another hoodie was creeping through the bushes and circling behind me. Well anyway, our sparkling repartee continued:

Me: "Isn't it a little late for you kids?"

Kid 1: "Yo man, give me a dollar."

Kid 2 (a little smaller than the first): "Empty out your pockets and give us all your shit."

At this point, I don't know quite what got into me. Maybe it was the kid in the bushes waiting to jump me or the other five kids in front of the house walking over that I just noticed, but whatever it was, it was kind of intense. My first move was to take a couple steps into the street so that no one other than a manned-vehicle could club me over the back of the head. The next was to start gesticulating wildly with my head and my arms as I said:

"I don't have to give you shit."

And I threw my newspaper in his face.

I can only start to explain this response in regard to my tremendous advantage in stature to these little muggins. I had to have atleast 8 inches and 40 pounds on the biggest one of them. It was a slight oversight on my part I realized, as I backed up into the street and all 10 kids came after me shouting various epitaphs like:

"Jump him!"

"Let's jump that bitch"

"Oh shit!"

"Did you just touch me?" (because I just touched Kid Number One while attempting to diffuse the situation with a high-five)

Now it might look like I was in trouble at this point, but I was in the grips of an insane confidence--a confidence founded on no previous life experience--that I could actually kick some serious ass in this situation. This was my kind of fight. Although out-numberbed, not one of them was older than 13. Which is almost ass-kicking age. Like, give them two years to grow and mature and practice their ass-kicking on the streets and I am a goner. Possibly they continue beating me until I lose consciousness and then they leave me in the street to get run over by cars.

But, that is two years from now. At this point it is me on ten 11-13 year-olds. The youngest of them has already picked up some rocks and commenced to throwing them. So they come at me, about six or seven strong. They keep the rest as a sort-of rearguard. Possibly to serve as archers, whatever. Fortunately I am a giant. I stand tall. They circle. I circle. Why am I circling? There are seven of them? I circle anyway. One of them has gotten larger. The hoodie from the bushes is actually kind of big.

As two or three make their initial run at me

[all I'm thinking is don't get knocked to the ground/ don't get knocked to the ground/ don't get knocked]

the traffic on Pennslyvania starts coming in full force and the ridiculousness of our position becomes apparent. We are dispersed wildly over three lanes of Northbound Pennslyvania Avenue and a half-dozen cars start blaring their horns.

It is as if someone yelled "Car" and we all had to clear the street before we could commence with our street-fight.

I moved to the sidewalk to put a little distance between me and my hoodies, also positioning myself closer to home. I did not relish the prospect of running the three blocks to my house with a blood-thirsty mob at my back. But, just then, there came the old familiar whine of a siren. And the kids bolted.

Except one.

This little fat kid.

Who continued to throw rocks at me.

Me: "Stop throwing rocks, you little bitch." (and I meant it)

Him: [throws one more rock and runs away]

Me: "27th Street Krew iz Bitchez."

Okay, well, I didn't say that last part exactly, but one my way home (with occasional over-the-shoulder glances) I sure as hell thought it: "27th Street Krew iz Bitchez." Yeah.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: Whenever you are getting hassled by people that are smaller than you (even if there are more of them), say cool shit that you might hear in a movie because the next day you will feel alot better about it."

patrick b.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

My head is melting. My eyes are burning. The office girl is so hot today, but all else is boring. Man she is hot. She is wearing the first outfit that delineates her bunz, and they are as shapely as any man could hope for. I wonder if she gets herself so trim from
riding the cycle, pilates, running (not a likely suspect, since most running thins the ass), nordic trak? I think she's 28, I think. she could be a mere 26. mmm hhmm.
i didn't mention that yestrerday she made some hazelnut and chocolate cookies. good girl. But imagine, if I had retained my popular highschool status from my first bout of 9th grade, or even my second bout of 9th grade and brought it to this office with its perks and requisites, she may well have brought them to me and then sat on my lap.

those were my 9th grades.

On the same floor is Common Cause, one of the big leftwing issues organizations in DC, that 2 years ago I would have traded my left rib cage to work at. Now I look in through their glass doors, and see snobos yacking at nothing, a bunch of perennials yacking around a conference table -- girls, all under 26 -- with plans goin' no whey-ah. Yick.
Imagine the things that go on between those animals.
One time this angry guy stormed out of common cause, sounding like a gravy douche -- or Barney Frank. He told this girl, "Listen, we work together. We've done that for 6 years, working together. Why you messed up our system, and went and talked about me to her, when you knew she couldn't keep her mouth shut, I can not understand."
She said, "blah yap yap blah... seep meeew."
He said, "Oh don't worry, we've known eachother too long for me to get mad at you."
and then it was over.

like that.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

New levels of boredom reached.

I am deliberating over this question:

Can a boring office turn anybody into a bore if enough time passes?

Also I googled myself, and found my name in this link:


but since I am at work, I can't quite check it out.

who wants to for me?
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Monday, June 14, 2004

Wow -- they gave me new responsibilities at this PR firm. Huge. I took part in a conference call about a text that is the result of a conference on the dangers of office mold in federal workplaces. Wait though, the dangers they were talking about in this conference of bores was not directed at the overall federal workforce of 2.4 million.


(before I continue, SUZY. Who are you my dear? Are you a little psycho?)

It was directed at the remediators (read mold cleaners) who would get rid of the mold.
The conference was about coming up with safe practices for the workers -- including workshops and apparel they should wear while cleaning mold.

So I've been editing that text. My god.

I was also asked to come up with a media strategy for getting this across to federal building managers. are you drooling at the prospect of reading my media strategy for this?

Here goes:
Approaching a media strategy for this:
#Position approach to: a. Say that it should be taken as seriously as Lead or Asbestos for remediation workers/maintenance workers. B. Consider the value of instructing workers in light of $10 billion dollars in legal claims over the past 9 years. C. Encourage building managers/worker standard officers to incorporate office mold remediation techniques discussed in recent conference, send their workers to workshops that teach according to conference’s recommendations, and adopt safe practices to protect workers’ health. D. Emphasize short amount of time and training req. for safe practice with mold remediation

ok, I wanted to hold off before you climaxed. Like a good japanese concubine, I am trained in the art of "So far, but not too much."

-- and no they don't talk about it in the tale of genji, I got it from clavell's Shogun
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Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Temping again, this time in Dupont. Real nahce office, very slow place (i don't get how these pumpkins make money). ostensibly I came here to edit and write, but I've been playing online bridge, attending to my fantasy baseball team, and reading the Tale of Genji.

Ohh and there was such a good poem.

It's called A Saitori -- The Melon Farmer

The melon farmer wants me for his wife.
Shall I marry the melon farmer
Before the melons grow?

There's a pretty girl working here at MDB inc. She has that burnt butter deep olive skin, and gorgeous unplucked brown, not black eyebrows. She has a heaving front porch, child-baring hips, and polished round legs. She's friendly... but it's the kind that only goes so far.

It's a pity her beauty is wasted on these people, in this fancy but dreary office, with time spent going in a direction headed nowhere, and a body that will never have hands like mine to run over it.
Sad. I wonder what her weekends are like, what kind of condo she shares in Rockville, and what her hopes and dreams were when she came to Washington.
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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

So I'm temping. and that is good for one reason -- quick money. Amazingly, I had my temping interview yesterday, and then bang - bang! hookamomma, shake! I get a call at noon, can I come quickly to the offices of Laguens, Hamburger, Stone. They need someone bad.

yeah. So i go, and I am here til six. they are political media consultants with a hipster dot.com boom-style office. I've solved two sherlock holmes-themed cryptograms, read as much fantasy baseball column advice as a man can handle, and i got bitched out by a bitch. soon after she bitched me out, a dude came up and said, "don't worry, she's just mean"

this one guy, who in the 'about us' section of their web site is called a guru and a philosopher has gone over to the sitcom set of a kitchen and made himself two bowls of cereal, fried up pork dumplings, and then popped up popcorn. not once was i offred even a tivvle.

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