Friday, December 16, 2005


Today is my Office Christmas Party. This'll be very interesting (we had Secret Santa!) To mark the occasion, I had to break out a red pocket square, one that matches nothing else I have on.

As not to bore you with my own minor sartorial delights, I searched far and wide to find something Office Christmassy Partyish fresh. These over here to the left, I believe to be the greatest pair of headphones ever made. My love for bamboo is growing every day, and this is one reason why. Visit Amadana.

Almost forgot about...who out there has actually tasted "Summer" or "Guilt"? Resounding No's from the crowd? Well now you can with this slick product line from Visionaire47. That's right, they have created flavor strips (a-la those weird blue minty things) for the aforementioned. There's also one for "Orgasm." Any takers?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Let's take a time out from drinking and discussions of energy policy to talk about...postcards from Santa. And old photos of people you don't know. Swapatorium is a simple daily blog that features ephemera from days long forgotten. They sell from their extensive collection of frayed, yellowing photographs and weirdly curious items (like smoking monkey statuettes) sourced from estate sales. Be sure to visit the archives.

postcard text:

Dear Larry,

Thank you for your nice letter. Be sure and come to see me in Freese's Toyland. I'll try and remember you on Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas.

Santa Claus

"Postcard dated 1952. From my collection."

Santa will try and remember little Larry. No promises. Larry, if you're out there somewhere, let us know if you ever saw Claus.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Review: Asylum Bar & Lounge

Located at 2471 18th Street in Adams Morgan, Asylum looks, on the outside, like the kind of place you go into to fight. The all black trim around the windows and motorcycles parked out front give some clues to what you'll find inside, a great contrast to neighboring establishments in their Capital City glossiness. Asylum is gritty, but not in the unfriendly way. There's even a welcoming vintage red motorcycle hanging in the front window (I think it's a 250cc Ducati racer, maybe. Someone email me if you know).

As you can imagine, the theme centers around motorcycles, beer, cigarettes, and the devil, as evidenced by the 3D red demon motif that surrounds the bar. But this is okay, because it matches the music. There's local artwork featured on the faux dungeon walls, much of it also pertaining to the underworld. Or artist angst, take your pick. The crowd is usually diverse enough to put some random selections in the digital jukebox (which is probably one of the best in the city, aside from Common Share). Going from Johnny Cash to Bjork to The Cure to Lil Wayne, you never know what you're going to hear. The randomness extends into events held there. On some Mondays, you can catch Raheem DeVaughn's homie W. Ellington Felton spinning stuff you haven't heard in years (or never at all), or witness bike messengers rush the spot, dripping wet trying to get stamps for an AIDS benefit ride. In early September, Asylum featured Applesauce Wrestling. No, I did not attend. For that I am sad.

Saturdays are popular for the $.25 Miller High Life tap special. The prices increases every 30 minutes, so stock up early. For $4, you can get pretty smiley, just be sure you're near the toilet. For you beer snobs, there's lots of fancier options not usually found at most bars. The 'tenders are heavy-handed, much to everyone's satisfaction, and the ladies wear skimpy gothicicly lacey tops that show umm, tattoos to match their jet black or fire red hair. Being a 2-wheel oriented establishment, the drink of choice seems to be Jack Daniels. Food service can be slow sometimes, as there's usually just one server. Overall though, as a bar experience it's second to none (at least on that street). Downstairs near the pool table, the television is usually tuned to some 2-hour "adventure lifestyle show" that I can't seem to find on anyone else's cable. It features surfing and mountain biking, so of course wanderlust sets in after your 5th drink. Upstairs the TV's usually showing some random B-movie, soccer, or violent cop show, depending on who has the remote. As a patron, you can sometimes scoop it and control the viewing experience. Most folks aren't paying attention anyway. The crowd picks up steadily until around 7, then it dies down again until the late night crowd visits around 10 or so.

The food is very good, with lots of vegetarian options (to balance out the other sinning you'll be doing). Go for the veggie chili cheese fries (share, it's a big plate) or the veggie quesadillas.

Check out the Happy Hour: Monday - Friday 5 - 8pm
~$2 Drafts including Shiner Bock, Miller Lite and Miller High Life
~$3 Drafts including Yuenling, Red Hook IPA, Guinness, Old Dominion Lager, Bass Ale, Sam Adams White Ale, Pilsner Urquell & Eggenberg Pilsner
~$3 Rail Drinks & $3 Glass of Wine
~$ .25 Wings
~$ .50 Tacos
~$ .50 Veggie Tacos
~$ .75 Soft Tacos

Overall, Asylum is a cool place to take your more adventurous friends that are visiting for the weekend. Saturdays are good because the pace is a little slower, and you can begin the night's session around 6pm.