The Wind Beneath My Chicken Wings

seth’s thoughts on chicken, bed desks, airlines, dc, crock pots and more…

Spring Cleansing April 20, 2008

Filed under: blah blah blah,visits — Seth @ 4:31 pm

So winter is over and spring has come to the nation’s capital. This of course means it’s prime porching season on W Street. Last weekend we cleaned it so that now, my favorite activities can take place in earnest. Those activities include, but are not limited to, sitting, staring, sighing, and occasionally shifting.

I spent last week in Vegas which is about as anti-porch a city as you could find (not anti actual porches..I’m talking about a lifestyle here. If Vegas had a porch, you’d have to walk through 10 rows of slot machines to get there!) No offense, but the Vegas strip is clearly one of the last circles of hell. A small tube of toothpaste at our hotel was $4.70. On principle I couldn’t buy it and on principle I had to complain about it incessantly for the next 3 days. I also made Emily walk with me to a Walgreens down a road which in Vegas means 20 minutes away down a sidewalk where we were the only pedestrians. Vegas is about as real as Disney Land and it makes me question my faith in humanity and the future of our country.

On a positive, I left up $45 which I won at blackjack from a Thai dealer.

Back in the capital, Luke and I joined a food co-op (for DCers, check it out here) where they deliver a box of fresh fruits and vegetables every week. Our first delivery Thursday was a box of mushrooms, oranges, green peppers, arugula, kiwis, corn and lots more. This is going to help me atone for my last breakfast in Vegas on Thursday where Emily and I went to an all-you-can-devour buffet. I had fresh fruit, an egg-white spinach omelette, a salad, a piece of sausage, fried chicken with gravy, french fries, beef chili, a slice of ham, and an entire pig stuffed with a turkey stuffed with fish. Maybe slighly exaggerating, but I am definitely going to hell for that meal.

I also got the MLB package from my cable company so now I can watch every single Yankee game… a fact that brings me unending joy and makes Luke go into a seizure. Other things that make Luke go into a seizure these days are the following:

  • DC Drivers
  • Robitussin
  • MTV reality shows
  • Having to do errands
  • Having to be somewhere at a certain time
  • When I can’t remember the name of a plant
  • Me asking ten times if he’s excited about the brisket I’m making

Things that make me go into histrionics these days are as follows:

  • DC Drivers
  • My insatiable jealousy of other people’s cars
  • Airline consolidation
  • Paying $4.70 for toothpaste (also, when my electric toothbrush is low on batteries)

Happy Spring and Passover and Administrative Professions Day to everyone!


More on Texas January 31, 2008

Filed under: visits — Seth @ 1:32 am

dsc00054.jpg ft. worth dsc00072.jpg

Everything is big in Texas, including but not limited to:

  • The glasses of water served at restaurants
  • The SUVs and pick-up trucks
  • The distance between highway exits on I-20 in the general area of Abilene
  • The distance between terminals at DFW
  • The horns on those bull-like animals you see everywhere
  • The smiles
  • The number of presidential delegates
  • The portions at BBQs
  • My belly

Texas-ism January 28, 2008

Filed under: visits — Seth @ 11:50 pm
deeper in the heart of texas deep in the heart of texas
“It’s so flat in Texas that when your dog runs away, you can watch him go for three days.

Big Mac January 5, 2008

Filed under: blah blah blah,visits — Seth @ 12:46 pm

So January 1st, Luke and I are driving back from northern New Hampshire, trying to make a 5pm flight back to DC. We had left ourselves almost six hours to drive the normally-three hour trip but the snow was pouring down and they shut down part of interstate 93 so we had to use back roads. By 3pm we weren’t even in Concord yet and there was no way we’d make it. Defeated, I had to to take a break so we pulled into what we thought was an out-of-the way diner.

We walk in, sit down, I call my office to tell them I won’t make it back to DC, and order a sandwich. Suddenly there’s commotion at the door and in walks John McCain and his entourage. It was a quintessential NH moment just before the primaries, I suppose, but nonetheless it took our minds off our travel woes and we got to snap this photo:

the guys

He basically just came over and I was all “Hello Senator can I get a picture of you and Luke?” and he was all “Sure” so Luke goes up and then a member of his posse was all “Why not get both of you” so Luke and I stood next to each other but then John McCain was all “Let me stand between these two jerks” (“jerks” said in an grandfatherly way, not rude at all. Like, “jerks” with an implied “har har har.”) so we swtiched it up, then badda bing badda boom, he moved on. Lots of reporters and hanger-ons were all “Are you New Hampshire voters?” That was about the extent of it. My chicken sandwich was pretty good.


So though I’m an Obama guy and Luke likes ClintonCyborg29JSH8772, we both think McCain is kinda sweet. Good luck next week John!




Philadelphia December 10, 2007

Filed under: visits — Seth @ 12:52 am

city hall

Luke and I spent the weekend in Philly and here are my comments:

  • Philly is a great place to live if you look anything like Benjamin Frankin. There’s a lot of work for you there if you do.
  • Luke gave me a great tour of Center City. The film Rocky figured prominently throughout.
  • This was funny (found on a building in Old Town)
  • It kind of felt like we were in Europe, but that was probably just because our hotel room was small and we walked a lot.
  • It is basically impossible for me to go to any city anymore without comparing it to DC, New York, and sometimes Bangkok.
  • We went to Philly’s Chinatown and saw a van full of fish heads and realized that yet another result of Peace Corps was that upon seeing this, the only emotion we felt was nostalgia.
  • I told Luke and his friend Sara that I didn’t think I could live in Philly because it only has one airport and I like choices.
  • Jersey is to Philly what Virginia is to DC.
  • I didn’t have a cheese steak.

Spots September 9, 2007

Filed under: DC,visits — Seth @ 4:38 pm

I have spots in cities. These are more than favorite nightspots or tourist spots or spots in your house or on your porch. They are places I could direct you to if you were going on holiday. These are places you would stand for a bit or sit for a spell and say, “gee. this is a nice spot.” These are spots that have special resonance for me, so I’ve decided to chronicle my spots.

Framingham, MA: High school is where most of us get our first spots. Mine was about two miles from my parent’s house. At the time, it was this short, circular road off one of those windy, wooded and rarely traveled New England roads. It wasn’t near houses and it wasn’t on the way to anyplace, so my cohorts and I could park and spend hours just up to no good, though thinking back it was probably a little bit of good. We sat in cars that were like bubbles and passionately carried on about things that seemed very important at the time. The spot is now surrounded by houses and from the looks of it on google, they’ve built a few new roads, so I’m sure it isn’t as secluded as it once was.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands: My spot is on Staalkade just next to the Waterlooplein. In 1997, the day Princess Dianna died, I landed in Amsterdam for what can easily be described as the best semester of my life. I lived on one of those impossibly picturesque canals and I had classes Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Quite a rigorous European existence. Plenty of free time for — as I like to write on guidebook maps of friends who are Holland-bound — “to sit here and watch the city.” This spot is actually on a river, though it just looks like a bigger canal, but from the benches you really get a sense of the city. It was close to my route from one University of Amsterdam campus to the other, and I used to smoke pack after pack of cigarettes there writing nonsensical poetry and witty postcards.

Wang Thong, Thailand: Anyone who visited me in the Peace Corps knows my spot was on the porch in front of my house, but house spots don’t count for this list. My village had two sweet spots. The first was on a mountain just outside the village where you had a panoramic view of the entire valley and the mountains that begin and lead to Laos are clearly visible. This was the first, dare I say only, stop on the Wang Thong tourist circuit. My other spot was sitting on the sidewalk in front of 7-11 right in the middle of the town. I wrote this at the time:

Found the best hang out spot in Wang Thong. It is called The Sidewalk in Front of 7-11, where Lalo, Jessica (two fellow PC Volunteers) and I parked ourselves between the hours of 11pm and 3 in the morning last Thursday. We drank beer and talked to the various people coming and going at that late hour (about 10 people in 4 hours). I may have made some actual friends who do not teach with me or sell me chicken. Of course, one of my 9th grade students came by and says “Ajan (Mr.) Seth, why you sit in front of 7-11 and drink beer?” This kid never says a word in class, looks at me like I am from Mars when I say “How are you?”, but all of a sudden he is Mr. English!! I told him this was a custom in America to sit in front of convenient stores and as a Peace Corps Volunteer I felt it was my duty to share American culture.

Brooklyn, NY: If there is a better spot in New York City than one of the 3 or 4 sets of benches between the spans on the pedestrian crossing of the Brooklyn Bridge, I’ve not found it in over 15 years of living in New York. Sure, there’s the promenade. Battery Park can be lovely. Someone once told me I should go to the top of the Empire State Building. But the Brooklyn Bridge is the most stunning structure in the city, and the view from it trumps all others.

Washington DC: I have to admit, in a year of living here, I’ve not found my spot. The kickball field where my fellow Chicken Kickers triumphed repeatedly was at the base of the monument and had great views of the Jefferson, the White House and the Lincoln (not to mention planes landing on runway 19 at DCA), but for goodness sakes, I can’t live in Washington DC and tell people my favorite spot is right in the middle of the mall. It reeks of a cop-out and I can do better. Finding my DC spot is my top priority my friends, and I will surely keep you posted.

I have more but this is getting long. There’s the hill in San Francisco’s Dolores Park (the 20th Street side). Bangkok’s ta pra atit in the Bunglumpoo section is the Asian Washington Sq. Park and a welcome part from the circus that is Bangkok(with a great view of that cool Rama bridge).

Feel free to comment, and show me your spots.


Airport Poem September 7, 2007

Filed under: blah blah blah,poems,visits — Seth @ 2:38 am

delta @ dca

National Airport is yellow and bright

Chicago O’Hare is impressive at night

Atlanta’s concourses resemble a maze

Kennedy Airport is full of delays

To use any outlet in Dallas you pay

Logan in Boston juts out in a bay

When changing in Denver I don’t leave the plane

The lines out in Vegas could drive you insane

A cab ride to Dulles will cost you an arm

LaGuardia’s runways are cause for alarm

In lounges I ponder the comings and goings

While waiting for boarding airbuses and boeings