Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Found Jesus on Craigslist!

My long and endlessly blogged about quest to find an acceptable tenant has ended. After running several versions of my ad on Craigslist, even increasing the asking price which significantly increased the number of replies--I have found someone to be my new roommate.

My new tenant isn't:

"Erika" who when touring the house spent the entire time talking on her cell phone about her very important role with the Obama campaign and couldn't be bothered to pretend to like the room or ask any question of me or the house beyond "Do the appliances make loud noises?" Good luck with that Chief of Protocol appointment you get after the election.

"Zack" whom I kept calling "Eric" (whoops, sorry dude).

"Joe" the tuba player in the Air Force band at Bolling Air Force Base. As far as I know you are still marching through Logan Circle since you didn't show up to your appointment and didn't call or email me even though I moved the appointment to a time of your choosing. That tuba thing was going to be a deal breaker anyway although I really did want to see you try to march it up the spiral stairs to the 3rd floor.

"Jason" recently returned from the Peace Corp in Tanzania who didn't return my follow-up calls or emails.

"Allison" who didn't show up for appointment to see the room.

"Nick" the sommelier.

"Jada" the sommelier.

(Note:I really don't have anything against sommeliers but I just can't imagine you would be happy living with a wine-in-a-box kinda guy).

"Elizabeth" who didn't show for her appointment to see the room. Maybe because I kept calling her "Erika" on the phone.

"Bob" who showed up with his mother. I liked her--if she is looking let me know.

"Tony" the Kiwi who was worried that my house might have issues

"Emily" the girl who throws birthday parties for her vadge.

Instead I found Jesus. He was here all along just a few blocks away. All I had to do was open my home and heart to him.

On Saturday a nice young man named Jesus (hey-Soos) of Puerto Rico and Brooklyn moved in. And he has been a great tenant and respectful roommate so far!

P.S. Haven't told him about the blog yet...

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Exotic, Erotic Blue Ribbon Entry for the DC State Fair!

I didn’t plan on growing the largest okra pod on 13th St—I originally bought my “Little Lucy” okra plant at the 14th and U Farmers Market solely for its burgundy foliage that I thought would look good in my Herbal Petting Garden that runs along my fence bordering 13th St.

I enjoyed the fantasy though of using "Little Lucy" along with the Herbs in my sidewalk garden as an educational tool and I pictured myself the new local ambassador of the Slow Food movement. Standing on the sidewalk in my overalls and simple battered hemp hat I would teach local children the life-enhancing benefits of food that is good, clean and fair. I would be the green Mr. Green Jeans, a crunchy Maria Von Trapp in simple gardening clogs and the vegan Mary Poppins all rolled into one.

How hard could it be to stop the little tykes strolling towards Taco Bell to take a few minutes to learn to appreciate how local organic farming preserves cultural cuisines and the associated plants, seeds, and domestic animals within an ecoregion? Afterwards we would sing a few rounds of “Old McDonald Had a Farm” and then retire to the kitchen for some pickling and vigorous butter churning.

The reality is that it is really hot standing on the sidewalk in the summer and the only food decisions the local children seem to care about involve supersizing. In addition, vicious urban mosquitoes the size of a quarter discourage any lingering in my garden so “Little Lucy” was ignored for a couple of weeks and I missed the prime harvesting size of three inches for the pods.

"Little Lucy" continued to grow.

And grow.

I walked out yesterday to inspect the garden and discovered "Little Lucy" was all grown up. Holy Cialis! No agricultural dysfunction here! "Little Lucy" was packing. "Little Lucy" was hung. "Little Lucy" was sporting some major wood. Nine inches and still growing! Instead of promoting a healthy vegan lifestyle I have a salute to sausage priapism. An all beef thermometer. A wrinkle beast. In my Herbal PETTING garden!

My dream of women stopping to show their children the earthly goodness of Community Supported Agriculture has become a nightmare of women shrieking and covering their children's eyes as they rush by. Men stop in their tracks, gawk and have the sudden urge to purchase large costly automobiles.

More than one person on my AIM Buddylist has tossed contact information over the fence.

I'm bitter that DC doesn't have a State Fair. Heck, I'd even take a County Fair. Ms. Holmes-Norton, forget Statehood! Think local. Think sustainable. Think County. I want my Blue Ribbon!

In the meantime "Little Lucy" continues to grow. Okra gone wild. On 13th St!

Sally Struthers is 60!

The Celebrity birthday of the day--Sally Struthers!

July 28, 1948

Looking good Sal!

(OK I am totally going to he**)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Cake Wrecks--When Professional Cakes Go Horribly, Hilariously Wrong.

How have I managed to miss seeing this blog? Cake Wrecks is hilarious yet frightening! No competition for Duff here!

Maybe I should send a link to Cake Wrecks of these cakes.

Hat tip: Wil.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Little Red Bike Wreck of 13th and I St

I passed you on my way to work this morning at Logan Circle, you on your bike in your black T shirt and black shorts. No helmet. All buzzcut and tatts and piercings. Muscles and sweat. Young. Cool and slightly dangerous looking. You were not in the Marching Band in High School. In other words you are everything that I’m not.

But that red bike you were riding? One of those cute little bikes that fold up for storage! “Dude, I thought, No one can look cool on that bike. Not even you.”

"Hey, get a lot of dates with that bike?"

Satisfied that God had leveled the playing field, I smugly drove my Honda on down 13th St knowing that I was slightly cooler and endowed with a larger 401K.

I guess at some point you passed me and I didn’t see you again until I saw you and another biker sprawled in the middle of the intersection at 13th and I. Not sure if the two bikes collided or a car hit you both. Bystanders were just now helping you up. The other biker was lying motionless in the street.

As I inched up to the intersection you limped onto the sidewalk obviously in pain. You asked that someone bring your mangled red bike to you. The other biker still had not moved by the time I finally made it through the intersection.

I was shaky at work all morning. I need to work on being a better person. You need to promise you will wear your helmet. You will still look cool--cooler than I could ever be.

And what happened to the other guy?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Taste of Summer in Your Mouth

From my latest booty captured at the 14th and U Farmer's Market (9-1 Every Saturday)

Summer Tomato Salad
One red and one green striped Heirloom tomatoes (Mountain View Farm)
One peach (Kuhns Orchard)
One shallot (Mountain View Farm)
Basil (from the Petting Garden)
Italian Herb Feta Cheese (Keswick Creamery)

Toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Serve with bread (Breadline) and white wine (Whitelaw Market).

Friday, July 18, 2008

BC the Ruff and Ready Furnishings Cat Is Missing!

You have probably seen this cat lolling about Ruff and Ready Furnishings at 1908 14th St NW. He has gone missing and needs his medicine. He is a large black cat with some gray hair and has green eyes.

There is a reward but don't you just want to see him returned to the store where he has reigned for years?

Update: July 26, 2008

I ran into someone from Ruff and Ready at the 14th and U St Farmers Market and he said the cat had been returned!

Good news!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Are You Blogging About Me While I am Blogging About You?

I’m still trying to find an acceptable tenant on Craigslist and so far, no luck. Okay, admittedly I have had a little fun with this and got some snarky blog material out if it but I am serious about getting a room mate. Why is this so difficult? All I want is someone gainfully employed who works long hours, is never home, has no furniture, is not crazy kind and is clean but not OCD about it. Yes I am being picky but this is for someone who will be living in my house with access to my private papers, the pets and the good liquor.

Each time I posted the ad for “Updated Sunny Bedroom in U St/Logan House” I got about 10-15 replies. About half immediately get rejected for seemingly replying to the wrong ad “I look forward to meeting you and your efficiency” or are breathtakingly pushy “Please send me pictures of the living room, kitchen, bathroom, deck and bedroom furnishings” or just plain weird “Do you have any problems with mice/roaches/flys? I require silence after Midnight.”

Many others get the boot based upon their MySpace or FaceBook profiles. Yes kids, we Baby Boomers are jealous of your technical savvy, internets prowess and muscle tone but we have managed to master basic Google searches. I think it is great that you like to get drunk with 20 or so of our closest friends and flash the camera but you are not going to do that in my house. That honor is solely reserved for the owner.

Two Craigslistians made it through all the preliminary rounds and toured the house. The first was just back from three years in Tanzania with the Peace Corps. I figured that after that experience my house with its minor flaws would seem like the Trump Palace to him. I liked him and attempted to contact him again to move forward but he never answered my emails. For all I know he is back in Tanzania under the Craigslist Tenant Protection program.

The second finalist had recently accepted a job as a writer for a professional blog. Who knew you could make money at this? He visited the house twice, met the pets and he finally informed me he was going to move into a group house. In Petworth. With five other guys. Probably from Tanzania.

So is it me? The house? The pets? The 80s decor? Did they discover that I was blogging about the experience and got scared away? Worse yet, is there someone out there blogging about me while I blog about him?

I discussed this with my therapist best friend and we decided to raise the rent to try to get some older, more stable applicants and I posted it again. Tonight I have someone taking the tour. Wish me luck! He is in the military and participates in triathlons. We have so much in common!

I can't shake the feeling though, that someone else is blogging about this. I spend the day launching various Google searches looking for their (my!) story by using combinations of keywords such as:

Herb, DC, Logan, U St Metro, $900, 13th St, Furnished, Dust Bunnies, Newly Remodeled Bathroom, Premature Male Pattern Baldness, Pets, Lucy and Lizzie,
Stainless Steel, Eccentric, Café St Ex, Litter Box, Eclectic, Dish Drawers, Reserved, Scary Basement, Kristy McNichol Poster, Funny Smells, Granite, Basic Cable, Thighmaster, Radon Gas, Wine in a Box, Deck, Adult Acne, Fruit Flies, Viagra, Plaid on Plaid, Clothesline, Cackles, Vintage Toaster Collection, Jimmy Hoffa, Thai Porn, Green, Rachael Ray, Medical Test Results, Thrift Shop, High School Musical 2, Testim, Ear Hair, 2001 1040 Long Form Instructions, Full House Marathon, Leg Warmers, Awkward Silence, Lotrel 10/20, Mildew, Staring, Howler Monkeys, Leaks, Goiter, Salmonella, Duct Tape, Clown Art, Bad Breath, Stained, Boils, Inappropriately Touching Himself, Love Canal, Unibrow, On Street Parking, What Not to Wear, Close Talker, Garanimals, Lazy Eye, Cankles, Ostentatious Christmas Decorations, Tumescence, Snaggle Tooth.

So far I haven't found anything. If you see a posting, will you let me know?

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Don't Need to Write Thank You Notes (I Have a Blog)

Dear B and O,

Thank you again for a wonderful evening. Your new grill was quite cute

The table setting was beautiful

and the food was incredible. I ate way more than I should have but I just couldn’t help myself. I am still enjoying the blueberry pie you sent home with me from a recipe you first found here.

This being 2008 we spent the evening pleasantly gossiping about other blogs and reality TV.

Thanks again for your company and extending a warm welcome to me to me in your beautiful condo. We will have to do this again soon. My kitchen is painted now--I should use it!.


Herb of DC

Friday, July 11, 2008

What Not to Say!

I am still trying to rent the spare bedroom in my house. Here's part of a reply to my Craigslist ad:

1. Are both bedrooms occupied by tenants? Or how many total people will be living in the place.
2. Is there room for me to put my bike inside, such as in the hallway?
3. Any issue with mice/roaches/flys?

Eek! Is he asking me, the homeowner if I am going to admit to having vermin? Or is he asking if it is okay to bring his mice, roaches and flys [sic].


Monday, July 7, 2008

Martha Stewart's July 4th Eviction!

Dear Martha Stewart:

You know I admire you and think you are a marketing genius, but I finally had to evict you from my kitchen. I gave you a year but I never really liked your paint color, “Pumpkin Pie” that I painted it with. I really thought this deep earth tone would be a warm and rich color but frankly Martha Stewart, sometimes it didn’t look so much as earthy as it looked dirty. (There I did it: I used “Martha Stewart” and “dirty” in the same sentence. Let the perverted Google searches that bring Martha Stewart fetishists to my blog begin.)

Admittedly "Pumpkin Pie" looked good October-November but once Christmas season was upon us it was starting to look a little tired and stale. You taught us all how to make Birch-de Noel

but in the orange glow of my kitchen, it looked more like Rachael Rays Smoked Salmon Pizza.

February rolled around and while your TV show featured a "Tribute to the Red Carpet" at the Oscars, the only Oscar tribute my kitchen could muster was to actresses wearing orangey Spray-on-Tan

On St Patrick's Day you made Irish soda bread. It looked so warm and delicious in the dignified and restrained colors of your TV kitchen. In mine it looked like it was covered in Velveeta. Oh wait, Martha Stewart, you probably don’t know what Velveeta is. My bread had the glow of an orange prison jumpsuit butternut squash.

The 4th of July this year was a three day weekend and I knew it was time to finally quit you. I went to Lowes since it carries your brand and I ended up being part of a Lowes staff meeting being held in the paint department. It was very unsettling. Maybe you should speak to Mr. Lowes about this.

Wanting to go green I hoped to try your melons ("Rainwet Melon Patch" or "Westport Honey Dew") or your cans ("Green Tin" or "Gooseberry Preserves") but I had trouble concentrating on your wares. Maybe it was all those Lowes employees clapping and chanting next to your sample cards? There was a lot more room by Olympic Paints and that is why I went with the simply named "Green Grape.”

I have attached some pictures below. I think you will like this color and I feel that your brown transferware would look great displayed on the walls if you would like to send me some gratis to make up for my year held hostage by your pumpkins.


Herb of DC

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Heard on the 4th of July! (Part 1--Lowes Staff Meeting)

Lowes, New Carrollton, MD
July 4th, 2008

Some say it is rude to eavesdrop but I really couldn't help overhearing your staff meeting you were holding July 4 at 8:00 am at Lowes. I mean how could I miss it since I came to your store early to buy paint and you were holding a meeting for 25 or so employees standing around the paint department? Why the paint department? Couldn't you have held it in the lumber aisle or maybe the garden area so everyone could have gotten some fresh air? It was very uncomfortable shopping in this department during the meeting since instead of the usual feeling of being ignored by just one employee I felt ignored by a vast army of red vested employees.

As I was looking through paint chips for the perfect shade of apple green ("Macintosh", "Apple Tree" or "Tart Apple") I was sorry to hear of the two employees who were recently fired for stealing. That's terrible! And so near a holiday too!

Next you explained the importance of taking your lunch break. This really concerned me. Why aren't Lowes employees taking their breaks? I personally want the associate mixing my "Granny Smith" paint to be well fed to avoid temptation of sipping from the paint can. Did the two who were fired skip lunch and were then forced to steal soft drinks from the cases by the checkout lines? Were they so weak from hunger they didn't notice the Weber grill accidentally stuck under their coats as they left?

Injuries are understandably a big problem with big box retailers. After all some of those boxes are very big! You were correct to remind employees to ask for help from another when lifting something heavy. I'm sure the fact that as you said, Lowes has to pay $25,000 into a fund every time an employee files a Workman's Comp claim had nothing to do with your concern. I could tell you were a people person!

Some woman then spoke about overtime. I had moved beyond the perfect shade of apple green and mostly was comparing the green virtues of "Honeydew", "Cabbage Green" and "Monet Moonrise" but I think I heard her say that some Lowes employees forget to record their overtime hours and then don't get paid for it. Lowes is lucky to have such noble employees who don't take breaks and refuse to get paid for their overtime! Think what the prices would be if they didn't have such dedicated employees!

Pete was asked if he had anything to say. Pete didn't. I wished I had asked him if he preferred the green of "Parsley Sprig" over "Green Tea" for his kitchen.

We ended the meeting with a cheer:

L clap clap clap
O clap clap clap
W clap clap clap
E clap clap clap
S clap clap clap


As the employees disbursed to their respective departments ("Don't forget to straighten the merch as you go up and down aisles today!") I heard one young man say to a woman as he held up his arm in a soft cast, "Do you think he was talking about me?"

With the area suddenly empty I made my way to the counter, clutching my paint chips for "Green Grape" and "Sonic Lime" in hand and tried to make eye contact with the one employee left in the paint department.

She stepped out of the paint area and disappeared.

Back to normal.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Heard on the 4th of July! (Part 2 Whole Foods)

Prepared Food Counter at Whole Foods Market (14th and P)

Customer: Do we have to take a number?
Clerk: No we are on the honor system today.
Customer: Is there really honor left in DC?
Clerk: Yes in my line there is.