Archive for February, 2008

Stopping by to look at the historic markers of Virgini
February 13, 2008

Most people take for granted that the towns and cities where they live in have a very interesting history of how they came to be. I have lived in the same town on and off for 20 years and have rarely ever read the historical markers in my own town. Usually, I will read them if I’m driving down a highway somewhere, but it’s very interesting to note for example, the origins of Cherrydale, a neighborhood in Arlington very close to me, was named for a Sam Donaldson’s cherry orchard that existed near the firehouse and that Military Road was used to connect Cherrydale to the 2 military forts near the Chain Bridge.

Arlington west of Rosslyn was mostly a a streetcar suburb, where houses were mostly concentrated along where the Washington and Old Dominion trolley travelled. The Washington and Old Dominion line stopped at multiple locations including present day 4-Mile Run Drive, Lee Highway and Old Dominion Drives, leaving the area where I am currently living mostly rural about 60 years ago. It’s all very interesting to know the history of the ground you’re standing on

http://photos.historical-markers.org/v/virginia/?g2_enterAlbum=1

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Passing by Dr. Dremo’s…
February 8, 2008

I turned in my article on the Dr. Dremo’s closing auction just a couple days ago which I felt was a good way to express my feelings about the place and pay it a good final tribute. I really never talked about my feelings toward Dr. Dremo’s because I didn’t need to: The people I interviewed pretty much said it for me, that Dr. Dremo’s was a special institution in the neighborhood and they’re sorry to see it go.

Ever since I turned 21, I have tried going to bars here and there not because I like to drink but because of the social opportunities you find there. Many of them I found to be inhospitable. I thought I might find something like the TV show Cheers where patrons become friends over time and everyone “knows your name,” but I found bartenders to be uninviting unless you conisistently ordered a lot of alcohol, left a big enough tip, and didn’t bother the other guests.

I worked at AMC Courthouse the summer when I was 22, and Dr. Dremo’s was located right across the street from where I worked. I started stopping in and I found something different there. The bartenders were friendly and so were the people. Dremo’s was a place where I randomly met people and didn’t need to have know them where I came in. More importantly, I didn’t need to randomly meet people, because I would usually bump into someone from high school, or one of the two colleges I went to because that’s where down-to-earth people who grew up in the area liked to go to. The atmosphere at Dr. Dremo’s sent the message of “relax, have a good time” rather than “buy our beer” and that made all the difference.

I bought an item at the auction even though I didn’t need one, just to say thanks. Dremo’s was kind of a home to me and those places are rare.

So much to write, so much to write, so much to write
February 7, 2008

Someone was asking me “how do you write so much?” and it’s really not that hard.

One of the hardest things to deal with as a writer is not thinking of things to write, but sorting out all the things you can think of in your head to write about and deciding which of them you’re actually going to put down on paper. I have so many things I can or want to write about that I could easily spend all day writing. There’s a long waiting list of things in my head of things to write about it.

For example, I really am sick and tired of tipping waiters and waitresses and especially bartenders I plan to articulate my thoughts on that sometime in the near future, to bring down the institution of tipping (it’ll be a big hit!). I also have some thoughts on the Tom Cruise issue and how it’s really shallow of us as a nation to all of a sudden dislike him because he jumped on a couch or something after we’ve adopted him as the premiere American movie star for 20 years. Those are just two examples. I also want to write my story about my college experience from my freshman year all the way to graduation because i think i had a pretty interesting route and a website called “collegeties” will pay for that.

Of course, there’s the issue of writing what I’m assigned to write, what’ll be accepted by a newspaper editor (which I don’t have to worry about too much anymore), and what’s relevant to the people in D.C. but aside from that, I’m finding the answer is increasingly determined by my vicinity to a computer when I think of something. Today, I was going to the grocery store when I thought of something I wanted to write. I started writing it in my head, it might have been a Pullitzer-Prize winning article or whatever and I was like “I gotta turn around and go home and write it.” I wasn’t the one driving the car anyway but you can’t just rearrange your life because you want to write something. It’s not like I’m a “writer” as in full-time paid writer whose only job in the world is writing and it’s vitally important that he writes well. Anyway, I don’t even remember what it was that I wanted to write by the time I got home three hours later.

So basically the answer as to what gets written is that there are times when I feel like writing and times that I don’t feel like writing and when what I feel like writing coincides with when I’m near a computer, than we’re in business. And then there’s also the question of why write about it. Why take time out of your day to put your thoughts on paper? Well, that’s what I ask myself when I’m cynical, but there are plenty of reasons.

OK, now I’m really tired and can’t write anymore, so here’s my list of what makes it to paper: We have the factors of: 1. When an idea pops into my head, 2. When I feel like writing 3. When I’m near a computer and 4. When I’m feeling awake enough to write something.

I actually am maybe not that good at writing a lot of things. That includes job applications, and school assignments as well, because all those things have to coincide for me to get down to business

carpooling websites
February 4, 2008

Carpooling options:
The following is a list of Web sites that assist commuters with finding carpool and vanpool partners. Commuter Connections – www.commuterconnections.org – DC region onlyNuRide – www.nuride.com – earn points towards rewards each time you carpool/vanpool; not specific to DC regionGoLoco – www.goloco.org – share rides for free or set up account that allows riders pay toward trip expenses; not specific to DC regionCarpoolWorld – www.carpoolworld.com – not specific to DC regionAll of these programs offer free matching. There are many more programs out there, most having a regional focus.

And, since we discussed it, here’s info on slugging – www.slug-lines.com/ – casual carpooling; specific to DC region; Web site contains information on what it is, how to start a new slug line, and etiquette and rules.If I can provide you anything further, please don’t hesitate to ask.