Sunday, March 11, 2012

Highlights: Texas to Baltimore and Back Again

Best Food:  Eggspectations in Silver Spring, MD.  I had eaten here before on a business trip to Ellicott City, MD and it was as good as I remembered.  D liked it as well declaring his pickle to have "just the right amount of tanginess".  The service here was also outstanding.  The manager rushed over to check the status of a beer crisis when they didn't have the exact version of Yeungling D requested.
Person encountered that is most likely to go to prison someday:  The public parking lot attendant in Baltimore.  The sign says we MUST pay with a credit card.  The amount due is $20 but the attendant asks I have $10 cash.  Good thing my credit cards are maxed out because I expect to be a victim of identity theft at any moment.

Best random advice from someone on the street:  While taking a picture of this sign...

A man stops to tell us about this one...

Both images taken with my newly acquired Fijifilm 7s Instax camera.  Like a Polaroid only made by Fuji.  Original images are the size of a credit card.

Lesson learned:  There is a level of sophistication required for patrons of the Fairmont Hotel in Washington D.C. that D and I are clearly lacking.  While attending dinner in my sweatpants surrounded by a room full of suits and ties, D loudly exclaims, "Holy CRAP that light is bright!" while taking this picture with his phone:

Which brings us to...
A First:  My first Amuse Bouche.  When the server began his presentation with "Anchovy Paste", I knew two things...D was no longer listening and I could eat both of them if I wanted.  I only ate mine, it tasted like pizza.

Best Sight Seen:  The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) in Baltimore.  This is not your run-of-the-mill art museum.  I saw a huge ball made entirely of bras, 30 Styrofoam cups that were carved into faces, replica Mardi Gras floats made only from Mardi Gras beads, large animal sculptures made from a variety of rusted bottle caps.  One gallery was dedicated to art made by people with various mental illnesses from autism to schizophrenia.  And if you need a strange or totally inappropriate gift, the Sideshow gift shop is the place to go.  They don't allow photos inside but I had to risk it for this:

Squeeze the "finger" and it does exactly what you think it does.  Highly recommended (the museum, not just the Flatulence Post) but only if this lady isn't there...

Most annoying person in my general vicinity:  A woman in the cafe at the AVAM is scrutinizing three mosaic animal heads trying to determine what "flower" was used on the cow .  There is much back and forth discussion with her companion, who confesses repeatedly she doesn't know, and the waiter who appears not to care.  "I know!" she finally declares, "They are pussywillows!"  It was wheat. 
Strangest thing we brought home:  A receipt for $0.74 from a Shell station in New Boston, Texas.  I went in the store and when I returned, D mentioned that the pump was moving really slow, like a penny every 5 minutes slow, so I am to supervise while he checks out the men's room.  I decide to stop the pump and see if I can get it to go faster by restarting but it doesn't stop charging us after I disengage the trigger even though it turns out no gas is flowing.  D returns and we move to another pump.  Probably a good decision otherwise, we might still be there.

Most blog-worthy incident:  On the plane home the man seated next to me says he feels claustrophobic and takes off his jacket.  Then his watch.  Then his shirt.  Luckily, he wears an undershirt.  He confesses that he would have taken his button-down off anyway, undershirt or not. 

I think his claustrophobia was made worse by the hoard of vomiting parochial school teenagers on our plane.  I can personally vouch for two boys and one girl seated in rows directly behind me.  Various rumors circulated that between five and ten kids puked in the aisles and in barf bags which were now lined up like parting gifts in the rear of the airplane where the pilot advised us NOT to go.  "I didn't know people actually USED those things!" the lady across the aisle whined while covering half of her face with her sweater.  I am here to tell you, they do. 

The flight attendants collect extra bags from the adults while the chaperones make all of the remaining kids familiarize themselves with the location and function of their bag.  It is decided that they must have picked up food poisoning while at the Newseum, "America's Most Interactive Museum", in Washington, D.C.  What do you want to bet they forevermore refer to it as the Nauseum?

What I read on the plane:  The Odds by Stewart O'Nan

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