Five Random Photos Shared in February ’14

The snow and the cold won’t stop, so neither will I.

Here, I assault you with a monthly allotment of photos.

The power of feng shui leads the Seahawks to Super Bowl victory!
The power of feng shui leads the Seahawks to Super Bowl victory!
Where is my gold medal for the Giant Slalom?
Where is my gold medal for the Giant Slalom?
Always keep your wiener on ice.
Always keep your wiener on ice.
Thanks for the encouragement, but I usually just pee directly on the toilet seat.
Thanks for the encouragement, but I usually just pee directly on the toilet seat.
The District sleeps alone tonight.
The District sleeps alone tonight.

Because Punxsutawney Phil said we’d have six more weeks of winter, you get one extra. This one might just be…

...on a frozen lake. Is that ice cracking?
…on a frozen lake. Is that ice cracking?

Let it snow!

The Gravity of 86 Years of Oscars

Epilogue: I picked 10 out of 11 correct! 91%! Like a wolf in zero gravity, I really hustled this year.

Every year, like clockwork, I pick the winners of select Oscar categories. My best is 6 correct out of 11. I’m barely above average. This Academy Award ceremony, the 86th of its kind, is hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

This year, I’m going all in. Total domination!

Watch out!

Best Picture – I saw four five of these movies, and may see a couple more before the show on Sunday, March 2nd. So my prediction is nothing if not 100% accurate.

  • 12 Years a Slave (Winner!)
  • Gravity
  • American Hustle
  • Philomenia
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actor in a Leading Role – Haven’t seen it, but I’ll give it to him for True Detective.

  • Christian Bale (American Hustle)
  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) (Winner!)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Lock. It took less than 30 seconds and a trip to Mars to make this choice.

  • Bardhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
  • Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
  • Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) (Winner!)

Best Actress in a Leading Role – If you go crazy and talk to yourself (like me), you win!

  • Amy Adams (American Hustle)
  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) (Winner!)
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – The only choice really.

  • Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) (Winner!)
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
  • June Squibb (Nebraska)

Adapted Screenplay – Matching Best Picture, I is.

  • Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke)
  • Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)
  • Philomenia (Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope)
  • 12 Years a Slave (John Ridley) (Winner!)
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)

Original Screenplay – This will win something!

  • American Hustle (Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell) (Winner!)
  • Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
  • Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack)
  • Her (Spike Jonze) (Actual Winner)
  • Nebraska (Bob Nelson)

Best Animated Feature Film – I’m surprised Monsters University didn’t get nominated, so I have the opposite of a warm and fuzzy feeling about this one.

  • The Croods
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Ernest & Celestine
  • Frozen (Winner!)
  • The Wind Rises

Best Director – Tough one. But Gravity seems harder to make.

  • American Hustle (David O. Russell)
  • Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón) (Winner!)
  • Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
  • 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)

Cinematography – I can’t imagine how any other movie could win this award.

  • The Grandmaster
  • Gravity (Winner!)
  • Inside Llewyn David
  • Nebraska
  • Prisoners

Best Foreign Language Film – Let’s draw straws…and select Italy!

  • The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
  • The Great Beauty (Italy) (Winner!)
  • The Hunt (Denmark)
  • The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
  • Omar (Palestine)

Keep your Oscar shiny.

Seven for February/March: Clash of the Thai-tins

My goal for the months of February and March is to find the best Thai restaurant in Washington, D.C.

Hence the name ‘Clash of the Thai-tins’. See what I did there? Not punny enough for you?

Anyway, multiple sources say these two Thai restaurants are arguably the current best in Washington, D.C.:

Thai X-ing (

Little Serow (

So, let’s find out.

I’ll add a few more into the mix and plan to check out a minimum of seven different restaurants. Maybe more.

Over the years, Washington City Paper readers have also voted the below in the Top Three Thai Restaurants. I’ve already been to all these restaurants, but I’ll attempt to visit most of them again for the purposes of comparison.

Beau Thai (Shaw) (Best 2013; 2nd 2012; 3rd 2011)

Thai Tanic (14th St NW) (Best 2011, 2010, 2009; 3rd 2013)

Thaiphoon (2nd 2011, 2010; 3rd 2009)

Rice (2nd 2009; 3rd 2010)

Don’t curry any favors!


Some actual dishes from Thailand. To whet my appetite.

Good old Pad Thai
Good old Pad Thai
Duck curry
Duck curry
Green Noodles - Bangkok
Green Noodles – Bangkok

Startlingly Life-Changing Innovations

Allow yourself to bask in the astonishing glory of the following life-changing innovations.

The shelf above the men’s urinals – Great for your beer, your plane tickets, your coffee, or anything in your hands at the time of cozying up to the urinal. Two hands are needed. Resting anything directly on the urinal itself is unacceptable.

Nerf guns – Don’t hide. I want to shoot you.

Clotted cream – Slather it on your scones along with robust amounts of strawberry jam and a spot of tea on the side, and you get Cream Tea. The best food to ever come out of England. Now why don’t they make this in the USA?

Sappo – A crazy game I played in Colombia that involves throwing metal discs into a metal frog’s mouth. Exciting after two carafes of aguardiente. Because you can’t, you won’t and you don’t stop.


Sports Illustrated 3D Swimsuit Edition – Eye popping. I assume.

Plastic coffee lids that close – Finally! I won’t have to spill coffee everywhere while walking or driving or sitting still!

Pumpkin beer – Pumpkin pie, life-changing. Beer, life-changing. Pouring it in my mouth, glorious.

Lists – The best way to provide extremely valuable content with the least amount of effort.

Keep up!

Words To Never Use: Swoop and Poop Edition

Okay, okay. I actually DO like ‘swoop and poop’*. The more you use it, the better friends we will be.

But these words here, stay away from.

Secret sauce – What you’re doing isn’t that saucy. And most people have probably done it before, so it’s no secret. Only use this for food. Specifically Big Macs.

Optimizing – Say ‘make the best use of’. It’s more words, but it’s also easier on the brain.

Impactful** – This is not full of impact. It sounds like what happens to my molars when I don’t floss.

Polar Vortex# – Granted this does sound cool, but there is no reason to describe 7° Farenheit weather in any other way than DAMN FREEZING COLD!

Solutions – My #11 pet peeve ever is when businesses tell me they have solutions. Just tell me what you do! You assume I am full of problems. (Well, don’t answer that.)

Best practice – Unless you’re building an airplane or work for NASA, whatever you are doing is not the BEST possible practice. It’s a good one NOW. Later something better will come along. Just use ‘good practice’.

Have eyes on the ground – As Hall & Oates famously sang ‘Private eyes, they’re watching you, they see your every move.’ And keep your eyes in their sockets.

Made redundant – Hogwash. It’s ‘laid off’.

Value proposition – The bastardization of ‘Mission statement’, which is a bastardization of ‘What do I offer?’ My proposition is to avoid being valuable, hence I write this blog.

Bastardize – The best practice when optimizing the use of this word for impactful solutions, is to quit while you’re ahead. Don’t let them have eyes on your secret sauce and expose your value proposition.

Selfie – Considered the word of 2013. What a tragic year.

Enterprise – Unless you are Captain Jean-Luc Picard or work for the car rental company, stop using this word to describe your company! Especially egregious…enterprise solutions.

Level-set – I never bothered to learn what this means. I hope you and I are on the same page in this enterprise.


* Swoop and poop – What it’s supposed to mean: ‘When a senior person in an organization, someone who was too busy to get involved with a project as it developed, appears in the final hours and craps all over everything‘. What I actually think it means: ‘When the Seattle Seahawks swoop in and poop all over the Denver Broncos vaunted #1 offensive and all the pundits’ predictions of Peyton Manning glory‘. Go Seahawks!

** Thanks Tianna, this word WAS impactful, it made this list!

# Dear people in Northern US states, Canada and the North pole: Snide remarks aside, we know you deal with colder weather on a regular basis. That is your choice, however. You live there!


Read previous editions:

Words To Never Use