How to Spend a Rainy Afternoon in Bethesda

  • Posted on July 29, 2007 at 7:41 pm

Larry and I went to see Sunshine this afternoon at the Bethesda Landmark Row cinema. We walked there (only a 20-25 minute walk), even though it was extremely humid and it looked like it was going to rain. And because someone said it would be “an adventure.” I was already sick of walking in muggy, hot, humid conditions after yesterday’s trip to the zoo (I suffered from a serious case of swamp-ass after that little adventure.) But I obliged.

The movie was really interesting, and I recommend it highly if you like sci-fi and/or apocalyptic future stories like I do. But when we left the theater, a mere two hours later, it was POURING. Great idea to walk to the movie. So what do you do when you are stuck at Bethesda Row and it is pouring?

Go to Austin Grill and drink margaritas.

Chips and Margarita

Austin Grill is certainly not my favorite tex-mex restaurant, not by a long shot. But the wet trip home was a little better with tequila.
Yeah, what an adventure.

Mom! Mom! The Dog’s On Fire!

  • Posted on July 9, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Let me preface this post by saying that I really do love animals, especially dogs. My whole family loves animals. We love our dogs. My parents and brother spoil the dogs, and they get more treats than most dogs, I’m sure. So really, there’s no need to call Pet Protective Services, or the Humane Society, or the Dog Abuse Hotline. Really. Don’t. Call. Accidents happen. And as I learned last week, they are more likely to happen when you’ve got a bonfire, tiki torches and two big, fluffy Siberian Huskies.

It’s kind of my fault. Last Thursday night, at my parents’ house in Indiana, the guys started a bonfire in the fire pit down by the creek. And we fired up some citronella tiki torches to keep the pesky mosquitoes from eating us and injecting us with their ugly west nile virus.

We let Kody, the old ornery husky, join us without a leash because he’s too much of a sissy to run away. But Kita, the younger, fiercer, strong-willed dog cannot be trusted outside. She runs away the instant she can. In fact, she’s sort of like those Velociraptors in Jurrasic Park, constantly testing the electric fence for any breach in the system so that she can break free. She had to stay inside.

With the fire roaring, I went inside to get the s’more ingredients, because duh, you can’t have a bonfire without s’mores. And poor Kita looked so lonely inside, all by herself, while we were swatting insects having a grand ol’ time down by the bonfire. So I said “Kita, want to come outside? Where’s your leash? Com’on, let’s go outside!” And of course, she was thrilled to join us, even though she was on a leash.

Do you see where this is going? Dog. Leash. Tiki torch. The poor dog was so excited to be outside, she was prancing all over the place, smelling all the bug spray-cintronella-bonfire-rabbit poop smells. She pranced to the left, in front of the tiki torch. Then she pranced to the right, behind the tiki torch. And she wrapped her leash around the blazing tiki torch and pulled it down. With all the darting and prancing, it nearly missed hitting her…but not quite.

In all the commotion, Eric dropped the leash, and the dog started running away. I saw that she had a glowing red line of fire on her back. I scream “Mom! Mom! The dog’s on fire! Put her out!!”

Poor Kita. What do you when the dog is on fire? She didn’t really understand the whole stop, drop and roll thing. She was just running. On fire. And she didn’t even know she was on fire–she has so much fur that she couldn’t feel it. My mom caught her quickly, and did some crazy mom-magic trick to make her stop burning while not burning her own hands. She may have shoved her onto the ground, but I’m not sure. I followed up by dumping a bottle of water on Kita for good measure.

So my advice is that anyone who has a dog should not keep it on a leash when lit tiki torches are in the vicinity. Because trust me, burning dog fur does not smell that good. And you will feel very bad.

Luckily it only got the very tip of her neck-fur. She was surprisingly non-flammable. Singed a bit, were you?

Animal Cruelty, for sure

This is Kita. We were kind of mean to dress her up like a reindeer last December. But the fire was a complete accident, I swear.

Wow, meat.

  • Posted on July 1, 2007 at 9:19 pm

I just got back from eating dinner at Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse on Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C. One word can describe this restaurant–meat. So much meat.

Fogo de Chao is a chain, and just a little gimmicky, but it’s still fun. For one price, you get to graze off the incredible salad bar (I know, I know, salad bars are so….Ponderosa…but this one was really nice, swear to god) and eat as much meat as you want. Servers (or as they call them, gauchos) are constantly circulating the restaurant with skewers of meat, and they stop by your table at your request and slice a chunk onto your plate. And it was good. Juicy, fatty, tender, seasoned and sizzling. My favorite was the filet. When the meat cells in my stomach were full, I still had room in my dessert cells for a strawberry-creamy-desserty goodness that was effing amazing.

This was definitely a delicious dinner, although now I am slipping into a food coma, and my digestive system is wondering what to do with the massive amounts of meat I have just ingested.

Definitely not a place to take my vegetarian brother, but I think my carnivore brother would love it.

Goin’ On Vacation

  • Posted on June 8, 2007 at 7:25 pm

Dear Loyal Readers:

We are going on vacation tomorrow! We are headed to Cape Cod, MA, where we rented a beach house for the week. We’re going with my brother Brandon, his girlfriend Amanda, and my brother Eric. It’ll be the first time us kids go on vacation without our parents. God, we’re so grown up.
We won’t have internet access at the beach house, but we’ll try to send updates to twitter by cellphone, so you can keep up with us. I’ll have lots of stories about all the animals that are sure to attack me when we get back.

National Cathedral and the Air Force Memorial

  • Posted on May 28, 2007 at 7:32 pm

On Sunday, day three of the King’s visit, we drove up Wisconsin Avenue to the National Cathedral. Even if you aren’t religious, the Cathedral is still an awe-inspiring sight–I especially love the gothic architecture and the gardens. And I learned, after taking the “30 minute” tour (which was waaaaayyyyy longer than 30 minutes–more like over an hour) that you can go up to the 7th floor observation deck, which provides a great view of the city. Check it out sometime on a clear day.

National Cathedral Ceiling

Entry way to the Cathedral

What Time is IT?

Sundial in the gardens of the Cathedral

After some meandering and wandering through the city in the giant blue minivan, we ended up at the new Air Force Memorial. This is also an awe-inspiring sight, but I have to admit that the memorial kind of looks like some sort of UFO-docking station. Being so close to the Pentagon, I suspect that this giant metal marvel serves more than one purpose. Either a) the Pentagon has a giant UFO, and in case of inter-galatic war, it has a place close to the Nation’s Capital to recharge; or b) the Pentagon higher-ups are in cahoots with the aliens, and they have built it as a charging pad for when they come to visit.**

Evening Silhouette of the AF Memorial

Silhouette of the AF Memorial

Straight Up

UFO docking station
**(I mean no disrespect to the Air Force–I have an awesome uncle who is an officer. I love my uncle and the US Air Force.)

Doggie Drinking Fountain

  • Posted on May 27, 2007 at 11:11 am

We saw this dog trying to drink from the lawn sprinkler by the Washington Monument. Hilarity ensued.