Ride Home 7/16: Root beer floats because of buoyancy

It is disconcerting to have a stinging bug careen into your face. More disconcerting when in the final throes of its unintended kamikaze attack, it manages to somehow sting you. On the left ear lobe. It really hurt. Now, I can't necessarily blame the stinging bugs, but they really need to get with the times and learn to share the road. Stinging insects are like the Maryland drivers of the animal kingdom.

Otherwise it was a fine ride down Massachusetts and a pretty quick ride across town and even more across than usual in that I bypassed my usual turn at 11th, continued on the sharrows on Rhode Island Avenue for 100 feet (it was correctly noted the other day that I write a blog called what this blog is called and don't partake in its namesake bike infrastructure during any part of my normal commute route.) and then down Q farther east. I intended to turn right onto First NW, but there was crummy car traffic that would've slowed me down, so I turned around after half a block and crossed North Capitol onto Florida, a road I've never taken during a weekday commute, in spite of its diagonal-itude that points more-or-less in the direction of my home. I've typically avoided it because it has always seemed trafficky and has little in the way of accommodation for bicyclists. I found myself riding behind another guy, he impossibly hip transporting a skateboard in his backpack, astride a fixie and wearing some kind of kulaks/black dress sock/skateboard shoes combination.I felt rather unimpossibly hip in comparison.

Nevertheless, this guy helped me crack the riddle that is NoMa bike geography, namely how to get from Dave Thomas Circle (a traffic pattern euphemistically named after the Wendy's it encircles. If there are any non-DC readers, this is not a put-on) to parts of the city that I recognize and that pretty much meant ditching Florida to cross New York Avenue and pick up First NE on the other side. This worked out exceptionally well. The whole Q--> Florida --> First NE thing is worth repeating and it completely bypassed downtown and the Mall and I very much didn't mind that. Sorry McMillan Plan.

I stopped at Harris Teeter to buy groceries. A good 8/9 of the readership of this blog doesn't get the "pleasure" of having to cope with my grocery shopping "skills," but the Official Wife does and here's what she had to work with:

Beer. I can reliably be counted on to purchase beer.

Country ham. A little left field, but country ham is delicious.

Bread. A loaf. Not a baguette. I've learned my lesson.

Chocolate cake. I always try to remember to bring home chocolate cake as a kind of practice apology for the other stuff I bring home.

Stuff like:

Worcestershire sauce. What? I bought this because we didn't have any. I'm pretty sure we haven't had any for five years. I have no immediate plans for the use of this sauce.

Bourbon BBQ sauce. Because, um, we didn't have any and because it's summer and summer requires sauces of various flavor and hue.

And to round it out, some zucchini and yellow squash. I can only be relied upon to bring home two kinds of vegetables: squash and broccoli. That's pretty much my deal.

We ended up eating waffles for dinner. And the squash.

From the store, It was M to 4th NE, to and around Stanton Park and then down Mass and around to A and then home. For most of my ride from the store, I found myself repeating the words "Dothraki hordes" in my best Richard Carlisle from Downton Abbey (saw that show first. Sorry) accent. I watched the entire first season of Game of Thrones this weekend. Might've overdone it. In any case, I think the imitation was ok, except I might've sounded a little more like Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery. S-words.


  1. That's funny -- we just watched both seasons of Downton Abbey, and every time Richard Carlisle came on screen, I finished all of his lines with "Khaleesi."

  2. That list of items might be the perfect example of What Happens When You Go Grocery Shopping Without A List.

    Also, don't give up on the baguettes yet! Perhaps two demi-baguettes might be more transportable than your standard sized baguette?

  3. While I appreciate the reference, it was Darryl Hammond who played Sean Connery in those skits. Will Ferrell was Alex Trebek.

  4. One more reason to take Calvert to Adams Morgan and down 18th Street to U St. SHARROWS!!!

    And yet another gem! "Stinging insects are like the Maryland drivers of the animal kingdom." Kudos, sir.

  5. To quote my roommate when I asked her to carry the baguette on the bus because I was biking: "if you were more French you'd be able to bike with a baguette."

  6. @Jon- I stand corrected and have corrected the post.