September 17th, 1999

Still on business in DC...

My alarm went off at 6:00 in the Sheraton Four Points – Pentagon Hotel on 2480 S. Glebe Road in Arlington, Virginia. I wanted to reset the alarm to about 7:30 and roll over. Something told me the schedule was different today. I finally got up at 6:32 to check. Damn. I was right; things were starting an hour earlier today because of a “possible visit by the State department” today.

The shuttle was pretty much ready to go, and I made it to breakfast at the Marriott Wardman Hotel at the Woodley Park-Zoo exit of the red line, before the 7:45 ending time. I made an effort to sit by myself and enjoy my two half-dollar sized Pumpernickel bagels (this time with butter), and some pineapple, orange, and melon. Washed it down with some tomato juice and some coffee.

One speaker, Michael Corning of Microsoft, was quite entertaining this morning. He truly believes XML can eradicate poverty on this planet. Though it sounds quite lofty, he had a compelling argument for his intimation. He had the aura of a person that could not only get you believing that in an hour and a half, but in signing you up as one of his disciples, too. I thought he might be dangerous at an Amway meeting.

Lunch was served in a very chaotic buffet, which interesting enough had hot dogs on it, and it was quite crowded. I really wanted to sit by myself, but could see that that wasn’t going to be possible due to the large number of people and small number of minutes allotted for lunch. I carefully chose a table of mostly women, which was not such an easy task as I’m sure there is at most 5% women at this huge conference. I successfully avoided conversation by having my USA Today crossword puzzle out.

At the first session after lunch, we were told that the President visited the hotel last Friday. Oh well; the nice part about starting an hour earlier was that we’d get out an hour earlier.

The subway ride back was uneventful. When I got in the Sheraton van, two bluehairs joined me. They were quite entertaining. The driver, a young boy, really, had found an (old) lady’s purse at the airport. She had left it on a wheelchair at the airport, and he was trying to get it back to her. Both of these ladies, where “oh dearing,” and “oh mying,” so much about this purse, losing purses in general, and how the woman must be feeling. There was a lot of talk about how to try and get in touch with her. Her driver’s license was in the purse (she was from California), but there was no itinerary indicating where she might be staying in the Washington area.

One of the bluehairs suggested calling her home in California, and leaving word there where the purse could be found. Personally, I thought this was quite a good idea, and not just because it was the same one I had, but the driver seemed a little reluctant to do it.

Back at the room, I changed and went down to workout in the Sheraton fitness room on the second floor. I did forty minutes on the Stairmaster 4000 (which reminded me of the old IBM rec center workout days, thought I think they were Stairmaster 2000’s back then). After that I did 20 minutes on the treadmill. Altogether I burned 625 calories (who’s counting?), and sweat like a pig. That little room was so hot. There was no thermostat control in the room at all. They at least need a fan in there.

Back at the room around 9:00, I checked in with Phyl and Jimmy to finalize plans for tomorrow night. Jimmy will pick me up in his butch truck – a black, camper-topped, Dodge Ram at 7:00 PM at the red line’s Friendship Heights metro station. That seems like quite an appropriate stop to meet such nice, friendly people. Jimmy said the house is just a few minutes from there.

I showered and caught the last shuttle to the Pentagon City metro stop and had dinner at Chevy’s Mexican Restaurant. It was awesome. I had the Tropical Chicken Fajita – grilled chicken and pineapple. Yumm!

After that, at about 11:00 PM, I hopped the subway to Dupont Circle, and walked to the Badlands Bar on 22nd ( & P) street. The cover was $8.00, and it was fairly dead there at first. It’s so interesting watching some of these guys. I am constantly amazed by the “mirror work” of some of them. There were three guys on the dance floor (they were the only three) and they were dancing in front of the mirrors just looking at themselves the whole time. Is it just me, or is that weird? It’s so narcissistic. It just makes me think, “Can you imagine what these guys are like in a relationship?” Gives “it’s all about me and my needs” a whole new meaning.

Highlighted memories from the bar:

The black guy with the high-heeled knee-length black leather boots, slick black pants, and the fish-net halter. He danced like a woman. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if he was a woman or not. After a few minutes of exertion, I could see the sweat beginning to glisten on his muscles. Definitely a man. Then the albino-looking (white) guy that looked like an older Michael Lester than came dancing up to him. I thought the hip guy would shoo him away. But they just pretty much danced together, but not with each other. And the guy on the coffee table doing the “flag dancing.” It was funny when he hit that other guy in the lip with his flag when it got real crowded on the dance floor. There were two “coffee tables” set diagonally in the middle of the dance floor. On the other once was the black guy with the two green glow-in-the-dark sticks with which he was doing all kinds of things with. There was a guy with a revolving strip of light that was someone attached to his black t-shirt. It was a turquoise color alternating with a maroon sort of color as it seemed to move across his chest, then start over. The night got more interesting as it got later and more and more shirts started coming off.

I danced for 2 ½ hours – whew, haven’t done that in a long time. I was by myself in the back corner of the dance floor. My back was to the mirror the entire time. I had on my “Ed” shorts, and since having lost about 15 pounds, they kept sliding down. For about 20 minutes, I danced really close to this hunky guy with a goatee. It was only because it was so crowded that we were dancing that close. But at times we were dancing face-to-face, but no eye contact. It was intense and sexual in a way. He moved on after a while.

I caught a cab back to the Sheraton at about 2:15. The cab driver was very nice. We went to the wrong Sheraton at first, but then got to the one on Glebe Street. The fare was $13.75. I gave him a twenty.