21 January 2012

Motorcycle Convention

I have been licensed to drive a motorcycle for six months now and it's been six months since I first rode one that incredible morning at Northern Virginia Community College. I remember it like it was just last June. Less than a week after getting my license I had bought a bike and began my new life. I put over 1,000 miles on my bike this Summer, ran out of gas on a thoroughfare four times, gave many rides, and parked wherever I wanted whenever I wanted. But then the stodgy months of Winter set in and I was forced to put Stella into a soporific state until Spring break 2012. I have been having withdrawals that are enigmatically painful to understand. I'd been searching for ways to cope when I heard an advertisement on the radio for an International Motorcycle Show being held at the Washington Convention center last week. I was there in a heartbeat, but ended up leaving the show with more questions than answers. It was like that one time I went looking for love in the wrong place and ended up with a pet penguin. But that is a fatuous story so I'll get back to motoring.
First, I loved the show. It was everything I dreamed it would be (except there was far less ice cream than I had imagined). I have never been surrounded by more leather clad bikers in my whole life. Where else would it be acceptable for a grown man to wear leather chaps and a leather vest with tassels dangling? There were hundreds of bikes to sit on and even a free chapstick station. Last year I developed the skill of finishing off my chapstick before losing it, and as a result of this development I now have copious tubes of lip lard. There was a motorcycle trick show where some kids jumped over a human, and seminars on how to corner a precipitous turn. All of this was thrilling.
Now for the question portion, without a transition sentence.
-Why did you leave with more questions than resolutions, David?
Answer: Well, I am facing a bikers identity crisis. Previous to riding myself I never realized the variety of bikers and I just don't know where I fit in. Some of them are diehard Harley riders. You know the type- lots of leather, a skid lid helmet, facial hair, tattoos, and a scent not exactly akin to attar of roses. Harley's are not generally sport bikes. Then you have your sport bikes, also known as rice racers, crotch rockets, or superbikes. These riders often have racing jackets with padding, shaved heads, diamond studs, and full helmets concealing their identities. If you haven't seen one before, that's because they were going too fast. Other types of bikers include tourers, cruisers, and economical bikers. Tourers are generally couples who ride their gigantic motorcycle for vacations and don't have many defining characteristics except that they're all over 60 and can't afford an RV. Cruisers are people who like to ride for fun, but struggle with an identity. Stella is a cruiser, and I think I most adequately fit into this niche right now. I mean, I do have leather chaps and all, but I have run out of gas on the highway four embarrassing times in 6 months... Economical bikers are people who ride because they see it as a really cheap and convenient transportation, but they find their identities in other walks of life.
At the show I fell in love with a sport bike- the Honda CB1000R. It is a pulchritudinous bike that won't leave my mind. But am I ready to adopt the life of a rice racer? Frankly I don't feel ready for the diamond studs just yet. I also greatly appreciated the Honda Fury (I'm a Honda guy for the time being). It's chopper (a variety of cruiser) and I think if I got one I might have to get a tattoo. My head is stuck between a diamond stud and a tattoo.
My government issued license identifies me, but my motorcycle tells me who I am. Go tweet that or something. And, if you have any suggestions about what bike to get, or what identity to go with, please throw in your nickel.

03 January 2012

Rosslyn Haircut

Did you know I actually have a label called 'Haircut' for my blog entries? This is the seventh such sizzling post. Every time I go to be groomed I try to make it a memorable experience. Today fit the bill. I have my favorite Arlington Asian barbershop atop the Rosslyn metro that I would recommend to anyone. (I've mentioned it before.) Anyway, I was pleased to see that my hair dresser renewed his cosmonaut license (Cosmetology? Cryptography? What's a professional hair dresser called again?) so that it is now good through 11/12. He expects to be in space by the end of the month he told me in garbled Mandarin. Anyway, the last time I got a haircut from this guy it was one of those 'future cuts' where your haircut looks better and better as more time elapses. I put the down payment on the style upfront and then had to pay him in increments for weeks afterward since the haircut was a long term investment. I had the same guy again today so I was a little nervous about what pricing options he was going to present at the finale.
But the price tag was just an addendum to the very humorous sign I saw therein. It is probably not seen at any other Barbershop outside of Shanghai. Here's what the sign said:

Rosslyn Stylists
*Real Barber
Flat tops
Skin Fade

There was a phone number and a note saying they cut men and women's hair, but the important elements of the sign are rewritten above. I especially appreciated the asterisk letting all passersby know that they were in fact real barbers. Or, maybe it was a reference to the recent HGH scandal to hit American barbershops and barbershop quintets (a little outdated baseball humor for you there). Either way, it was a funny thing to add on a sign. And then we get to what was seen underneath. 'Flat tops?' Really? I know hi-tops are making a comeback, but has anyone sported a flat top since they were six in 1986? What's a skin fade? Is that what Michael Jackson had? Is that what Snooki currently has? How does a hair stylist give you a skin fade? And then there's military. I felt that needed some more explanation. Are the militant in their cutting ability? Do they specialize in military haircuts? Do they offer discounts for vets? Do they offer discounts for Veteran's too? So many avenues that sign could take us, and so little information provided.
This time I opted for the shorter term haircut, meaning it looks good now-today. A very pleasant experience all in all.
Sheesh, what with the spa post and now the haircut post you'd think this was a personal health blog for Asians or something...
One more musical note, can you imagine if Danny O'Donogue (the lead singer of The Script) and Adele started dating and then broke up? The musical aftermath of their demise would be more epic than the reuniting of Sacajawea and the Golden Dollar.

02 January 2012

A Manly Spa Day

Just to clear up any loose ends, my fish died right before Christmas. I changed his water then went to dinner. Upon returning his bowl was empty, much to my bewilderment. I then did some investigative work, which included looking down, and found his dried carcass on the ground. It appears he leaped to his death. In unrelated news, I made sushi later on.
With the exception of the formal, family fish funeral, I have had a pretty spectacular few weeks. Two of my man friends came up to spend the Christmas weekend with me in DC. First we went to the zoo lights, then we saw 'Sherlock Holmes' and went to the Botanical Gardens, and then we had a spa day.
The Spa was a Koren style spa in Centerville, that was unlike anything I have ever been in. We were hoping there would be lots of attractive women there, but it turned out to be mostly composed of Korean families and gay, Eastern European men. Woops. But anyway, the spa had several different poultice rooms that, to my surprise, had nothing to do with poultry or the police. These were little kilns that fit up to eight humans in them and had different themes. There was the clay theme, the ceramics theme, the hot glaze theme, the pottery theme and the like. Just messing- no potters here.
One of them was called the red clay ball room where you bury yourself in warm red clay balls, about the size of marbles. They feel great on your skin. Another room was literally a kiln, and reached a temperature of 188F. I no longer have eye brows. One room was the ice room where the walls were covered in ice. It was fun to chill in. Another room smelled like something natural and fruity- quite nice. In each room you were given a wooden block to use as a pillow and spa issued clothing. This was the North Korean influence on the spa I presume.
But then we had the gender specific nude pool. It was so much more than a pool however. There were three hot tubs, a cool tub, a dry sauna, a foggy sauna, an infared laying location (still not sure what that does for you besides give you cancer), lots of underwater jets, and several personal grooming stations. It kind of felt like a four hour shower. My favorite room was the steam sauna. They scented the steam with eucalyptus which was absolutely, chockingly fantastic. Total relaxation is the best way to describe the spa experience. We had a great time and if you want to come in the future, it's a great coed activity in the poultice rooms and a great nudist activity in the pools. Your pass allows you to stay for 24 consecutive hours. There's a gym in there, a sleeping room, a restaurant, wi-fi, and everything you need to be relaxed.
And finally, a great big Holla Atchya! to 'An Independent Mormon Angkor' for clearing up the confusion about Gnarls Barkley and Cee Lo Green. It actually makes sense now.