NoSalesTax

Two Elon alumni (2002) have pooled their talents to bring excitement and joy to your day. One is a classy woman who combines her Italian and feminine powers to influence men of all shapes and sizes. The other is a tall blond man who relies on wit and boyish good looks to impress women, especially when they're drunk. Join them in their epic pursuit of the phenomenon known as adulthood. NoSalesTax side effects may include addiction and abrupt laughter as colleagues look on in confused jealousy.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Latest Locker Room Encounter

While changing in the locker room today, a man in a Speedo came down my row of lockers and said to no one but me, "It looks like a locker room in here." He was apparently talking about the towels scattered about the floor. I gave him a polite chuckle and continued tying my shoes. He then tried to explain his joke to me, which is excruciatingly painful to hear from anyone, but even worse when said person is wearing a Speedo. Was this guy hitting on me? Even if I were gay, I don't think I'd date guys who wore Speedos. Sigh. Just another day at the Downtown YMCA.

What I'll Miss About DC

The drunks who hang out on my block, yelling "Light Skin" and "White Boy" whenever I walk by. They yell other stuff, too, but I'll try to keep this blog clean. I'll especially miss "Flava Flav," the guy w/ cornrows who stands at the intersection screaming racial slurs. He and I have a solid relationship, however. Every time I walk by, he asks me if I've found his "white p*ssy." Seriously, every day, no matter what's in the paper bag he's drinking from, he'll greet me that way. And once I find it for him, he's promised me "all the black women you want." The search continues.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Live from Atlanta

I am currently writing to you from the Joint Mathematics Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. Otherwise known as Hotlanta. Otherwise known as Downtown closes at 7 pm. Otherwise known as the city where the homeless people really want to help you find your way before they beg for money. Lovely.
I am spending the week trying to convince math professors to pitch the actuarial science career path to their students. Do I even need to describe the people I have been dealing with all week? Just picture your weirdest college math professor and multiply that by about 5000.
They snort. They talk really loud and way too close. They LOVE free stuff (like staple removers and calculators). They say things like, "Hang on, I need to take a minute to figure out what I want to say......." (three or four minutes later, pacing around having several conversations with oneself) "Ok, now I forgot it. Have a nice day."
Saving grace- I saw a few of them at Hooters this evening. Yes, I went to Hooters and so did they. But Hooters is another story for another day. Right now I have to get back to the special math movie they are showing on the hotel tv channel. You can't buy this kind of fun.

What I'll Miss About DC

OK, so maybe this'll become a daily feature as the countdown to my departure winds down. Since it's Thursday, I'd like to salute Asylum for its wonderful Happy Hour specials (50-cent tacos, 25-cent wings) and mediocre service. Where else in DC can you order a two-dollar pint of Shiner's from a multi-tattooed female bartender? Where else will you find clay baby heads on the walls? Asylum may very well be the only joint in town where you can find photographs of customers doing body shots on half-naked women (not the top half, either).

Tucked between a Subway and an electronics store (I think) on 18th Street, Asylum is the anti-Adams-Morgan. If A-M is Beauty, Asylum is easily the beast; it can only be appreciated after being inside it. Just like your buddy's annoying sister!

Although it may not be the most welcoming establishment, Asylum certainly is one of the most affordable, which is key when you're enslaved to AmeriCorps*VISTA. The arm-wrestling matches, the broken stools and scary waitresses will all keep a special place in my heart (and all that other sappy stuff). Farewell, Asylum, and thanks for the memories. Your unsanitary bathroom and leaky soft tacos will be missed.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Things I'll Miss About DC

Today, while playin ball at the Y during my lunch break, my team had a fast break negated when a fight from the other court spilled onto ours. Even layups are difficult when two guys are throwing fists underneath your basket. Ahhhhh, our nation's capital.

Seventh Wheel

Several days into 2005, I’ve begun to reflect upon last weekend. What could've been a lonely New Year's (I was the seventh wheel, so to speak), turned out to be my best ever. No, there was no wild nite with a hot blonde. There was no drinking myself into a blind stupor (I usually save that for DC). This year was more of a bridge between youth and adulthood, and I was able to spend it w/ some of my best friends.

The characters:
Sol and Alicia (dating since high school)
Steve and Meredith (dating since summer)
Grashow and Katee (dating since summer, I think)
Me and my sense of humor (together for quite some time)

The setting:
Portland, Maine

The prologue:
Steve, Meredith and I drove up Friday from Keene, NH, picking up Grashow and Katee at the airport at 9am en route to Portland.

Friday
We pre-gamed Friday afternoon at Sol and Alicia’s, drinking whiskey and wine while watching the Red Sox World Series Champions DVD. Then we transformed into grown-ups, changing into jackets and ties (just the guys) and all went out to a fancy dinner downtown. I was lucky enough to sit between Sol and Alicia, enabling me to watch as Sol sucked down whiskey after whiskey. Alicia had no idea. After going to Sol’s sister’s boyfriend’s apt. for some more drinking, we decided to head to the bars (still wearing grown-up clothes). I volunteered to be the Sol-sitter, which consisted of following him around town as he stood on every park bench and said to no one in particular, “Welcome to Portland. It’s a beautiful city.” He repeated this at least five times, staring straight ahead each time he delivered the message.

We got to the bar and Sol immediately sprinted down to the basement in search of a bathroom, walking right past the sign that said “restrooms upstairs.” Tailing him, I watched him walk out the back door of the bar. I quickly followed, spotting him just as he turned the corner outside, running at full speed. I chased him down and convinced him to return to the bar. Disaster averted. Once back inside, he suggested pissing in a supply closet. Maybe I should’ve let him, just to see what would’ve happened.

Anyway, Sol was out of commission at 10pm, taking a cab home with Alicia before passing out in bed. Everyone else went dancing, which is totally my scene. Not. The nite ended with us spending 20 min. looking for a cab and searching for Katee’s lost earring. Surprisingly, we didn’t find it among the mass of people.

Saturday
The day was another hodge-podge (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a sentence) of youth/adult fun. We boys played football on a muddy field while the girls went shopping. Ten years from now, we might have ditched the football idea due to the muddy conditions, but not on this day. On the opening kickoff, Steve and I (perhaps the two most competitive people on the eastern seaboard) kicked off to Sol and Grashow. As I punted the ball, I def. slipped backward, going airborne for a second before landing on my back. Ever seen those cartoons where someone slips on a banana peel and lands horizontally? That was me. Anyway, Steve and I won handily, perhaps because we looked so intimidating wearing eye-black thanks to Katee’s eyeliner. Did I mention we’re 24?

After we all showered, everyone sat around the table and played Cranium before enjoying a delicious dinner prepared by the girls. We drank champagne and talked about our careers (yikes). When did we become our parents? We then changed into our Red Sox apparel and did a Power Hour before goin to the bars. Yeeeehaw!

So is this what adulthood is like, a constant balance between discussing 401(k)s, CDs and Steve’s Power Hour CD?? How old is too old to go bar-hopping on New Year’s Eve? This year, I realized the best way to start a year is by spending it with your friends, even if you are the third (or seventh) wheel. After all, there’re plenty of nites to kiss someone at midnite. Finding time to spend with old friends, however, only gets harder as we fall into adulthood.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Our city at it's worst

On my way out for lunch today, I heard an ad on the radio for a local sport and health club/gym. The announcer proclaimed, “Because there’s no such thing as being too thin or having too much money!”
I choked. I think I might have cursed out loud, in my car, at the radio.
I am so upset right now I might need to eat some pizza.

Roundtrip to Baltimore

Now that I’ve returned to DC from a wonderful 11-day vacation, I can sit down and reflect back on a great holiday season. My vacation, however, did not start off smoothly. I hopped the Metro and a bus en route to Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) after work on Dec. 22. My flight wasn’t scheduled till 1020pm, so I planned on relaxing a bit at the airport, catching up on some reading (Men’s Health) and phone calls. I arrived at BWI a lil after 630pm and quickly headed to the Southwest Airlines gates, hoping to catch an earlier flight; it was full, however, so I found a soft seat and made myself comfortable.

Around 930pm, the flight before mine had yet to arrive, making me slightly nervous. Then, at 1002pm, a Southwest employee announced the earlier plane had broken down, meaning the last flight (mine) would be delayed an hour to let the preceding flight’s passengers take the next available plane. If this sounds confusing, I apologize. I’m not too experienced in writing about air travel delays. Anyway, the significance of announcing the hour delay at 1002pm is BWI’s restaurants/gift shops all close at 10pm, meaning the only food available was located in the main terminal (roughly a 10-minute walk before having to go through security checkpoints again). After begging the gift shop worker to sell me a Snickers (to which she responded in a thick accent, “No. Sah-wee. We cloze.”), I checked the ground for large crumbs before strolling down the hallway in search of a kinder vendor. I found one a few gates down who gladly sold me two Snickers bars (one peanut, one almond). At the time I had no idea that food would have to last me a long time.

We finally began boarding the plane at 1120pm, just a few minutes before I should’ve arrived in Manchester, N.H. I called my friend Steve, who’d been up since 5am, and told him I would be in NH around 1230am. As our plane became airborne, I settled into my row of seats (it was a pretty empty flight due to its late departure time) and tried to sneak a nap. Around 1230am, the pilot requested passengers to turn off all electronic devices, return their seat backs to an upright position, blah blah blah. I went back to sleep just before the pilot again woke me, this time saying it was currently too foggy to land in Manchester, so we’d be circling the airport until it cleared. My fav line of his was, “Don’t worry, folks, we’ve got plenty of fuel.”

An hour later, the pilot informed us it was even foggier than before. So we turned around and flew back to Baltimore. Let me write that again. We turned around and flew back to Baltimore. Now I’ve never been a fan of Baltimore (aka DC’s dirty cousin), so hearing the pilot utter those words was like a dentist telling me I’d need my wisdom teeth taken out again. So I arrived back in Baltimore at 245am, wishing I’d parachuted above Manchester when I had the chance. I called my friend Steve, who by now was halfway home (he lives more than an hour from Manchester), and told him the bad news. The flight was re-scheduled for 7am, leaving me four hours to find a nice place in the airport to hang myself. I instead found six empty seats and passed out, face-down in a tiny airplane pillow the nice people of Southwest handed out. There were no blankets available because the preceding flight (the passengers who stole our airplane) had already taken all the blankets. Luckily no holiday brawls ensued.

I woke up at 530am, looking mighty cool curled up in the fetal position as dozens of travelers stared at me. Instead of travel vouchers for the ridiculous inconvenience, Southwest elected to hand out meal vouchers instead. That seems about right. I collected mine, devoured an egg sandwich and boarded the 7am flight, hoping to never again fly roundtrip to Baltimore in three hours.