6/26 -- On the Walk to Work.
Ted Nugent cleans the highways of Virginia

Bill and I see this sign every time we drive over to Sterling. And it never fails to crack me up. The Ted Nugent United Sportsmen of America are doing a piss-poor job of keeping their adopted highway clean, I might add. I was practically ankle-deep in cigarette butts while I was taking this picture. I think ol' Ted needs to grab some of those guns he likes so much and march those United Sportsmen of America out there to do their patriotic duty.

Now that I've got the digital camera and can slap pictures up on the Web in minutes, I have this compulsion to take photos of everything. And I'll probably bore the living hell out of you before it's all said and done. If you were here during my fascination with my new webcam last year, I hope you'll remember that this too shall pass. In the meantime, here's the kind of stuff I see walking through DC between the Metro and my office.

dead rat pictureI'm sure you'll all agree that it's just not a real walk to work unless you pass a dead rat or two on the way there. What's that, you say? You don't work in DC? You don't really see that many rats? And this picture is kind of disgusting and you'd be just as happy if I hadn't shown it to you? Oh, well. Can't please everyone.

I don't actually see that many rats around here either, although the subject of rats and the best ways to trap them was a perennial favorite discussion of my DC-dwelling friends in the mid-90s.

And the looks I got from passersby while I was taking that picture were priceless. Dumb tourist or local sicko? You make the call. I think they were afraid to.

Bread and Chocolate Here's the place where I get my morning Grande Skim Lattés, the place with the pokey service and the waitresses who've long had the most fearsome reputations in the area (although they're all nice to me).

I don't know why the sign claims that Bread and Chocolate is a "tearoom." Nobody I know calls it that. The last thing I'd get there is tea. I went on a kick of getting chai tea lattés there until the waitresses took to saying "Oh my goodness, that's expensive!" whenever they got my drink. Did they think I was too extravagant or too stupid or both? It made me too self-conscious to buy another one.

I don't know why, though; this place charges $8 for a medium-sized salad with mushy pasta, a few weeny cherry tomatoes and some aging cut-up chicken that they brand with little burn marks so they can claim it's "grilled." The chai -- only about 75 cents more than my morning lattés -- seemed downright economical compared to that. Couldn't tell you why the waitresses drew the line at chai.

I felt awkward getting this picture, too. I was worried that the mother of the two little boys on the left side of the door was going to turn her head and see this weird woman lurking behind a tree, taking surreptitious snaps of her adorable little towheads.

"No, ma'am, really," I'd stutter out when she confronted me. "It's okay. It's just for a website." I'm sure that would have put her right at ease.

When I passed by the place tonight on my way home, I saw a woman sitting outside with a real camera, the serious kind with different lenses and speeds and the like. She was sitting by a flowerbed taking pictures of the daffodils. I thought about taking a picture of her taking pictures, but ruled that idea out as too dorky.

the snooty Ritz carlton buildingThis building has been the bane of my existence for years. It's the Ritz-Carlton building, where very rich people can buy condos that cost millions of dollars and come with 24-hour laundry, room, maid, chef, and hooker service. (Could be I'm projecting that last one, but it wouldn't surprise me.) The construction tied up traffic and made walking on that side of the street a dusty, dirty, noisy, cat-calling-construction-guy nightmare for years. And I don't even think the place looks all that nice from the outside.

Because I'm a mean, jealous bitch it gives me much pleasure that the side of the building pictured here is right across the street from a fairly active fire station. I get a mean giggle from the idea of someone paying millions of dollars to live there and then being kept awake by screaming sirens all night long. Hee.

And of course, you just can't have a little DC travelogue without a picture of the newest menace facing the good residents of Northwest DC: Evil Exploding Georgetown Manholes of Doom. And this one was a particularly evil-looking specimen. As far as I know, it's never exploded. To be honest, this one's not even really in the Manhole Hot Zone on M Street up closer to Wisconsin.

But I still don't like the looks of it. It may not have blown up yet, but you can just tell it wants to.

 
Evil Exploding Georgetown Manhole of Doom

Indulging my inner hit slut

(Clix, please! Don't make me take nude pictures of myself to put on my Clix banner ...)

The next entry.

Previously, in Insomniaville ...

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