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The F-Troop Aesthetic

    Visited a huge oil drilling rig that has been detoured into geology research. I put on a hard hat, safety goggles, and steel-toed boots (unlike the White House, this isn't a place where it's customary to wear sandals), and climbed to the main drilling platform, where workers were busy lowering a steel pipe, lined with explosives, into the borehole. It was noisy, muscular, grimy labor, yet precise, and in the name of science. I was in my element.

   Warning signs on the platform stated that if you can't see your hands, they're in the wrong place. Forty-eight percent of injuries, I learned, are to the hands. Naturally I stared at my hands and did not so much as blink. My hands had zero chance of escaping my relentless gaze. I know these hands, they're fiendish, undisciplined, and quite frankly amoral. Turn your back and they try to get away with murder. The whole time at the rig I kept saying to my hands, "GIT back here, dagnabbit."

    Later, on the drive back through the mountains, I came to fork in the road. I interpreted the warp and woof of the landscape as best I could, and took a right, toward the setting sun. The road veered back into the hills, skirting a ridge above an emerald field. A sign saying Next Services 100 Miles suggested that it was possible that I had gone the wrong way. You never want to jump to conclusions when you're lost, but Next Services 100 Miles seems rather direct and to the point. I badly wanted to keep going: This one lonely road, stubbornly uncommercial, might redeem many years of automotive horror on the Rockville Pike. My nerve faltered and I turned back to civilization.

   Dinner was at a massive barbecue place built to look like a western fort. Older folks would recognize the architecture as "the F-Troop Aesthetic." A mechanical bull sulked in one corner, surrounded by heavy padding. Some diners ate at tables inside jail cells. The waiters and waitresses wore uniforms with black splotches on a white background -- what I believe is known as the Holstein look. It's not what you'd want to wear if you're the type of person who often asks, "Do I look fat in this?"

    I made a mental note that, upon returning to Washington, I would suggest that The Palm get a mechanical bull and some wait staff dressed like cattle. The problem with D.C. restaurants is that they don't have enough of a theme, other than the "Expense Account" theme, the "Another Bottle of Bordeaux Since We're Not Actually Paying For This" theme, that is getting so tired. Think of how much more interesting Citronelle would be if it had, for example, saddles instead of chairs, and the waiters, in leather chaps and cowboy hats, yelped "YEEEEHAAAWWW" as they seared your steak with a branding iron right at your table. [Do NOT try to steal this idea. I'm tired of my best ideas getting ripped off.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 17, 2005; 1:33 PM ET
 
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Comments

Good grief, where's Larry Storch when you need him?

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I used to watch F Troop when I was a kid. I think it would make Sara thirsty.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a very testosterone-friendly day you had, Joel. I once ate dinner at a place called "Billy Bob's Texas" in Fort Worth (I think.) I found the whole episode frightening. I think they knew I wasn't from around there.

Posted by: Pixel | August 17, 2005 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood....
You seem to have avoided the road less traveled - that probably made all the difference.

Posted by: word smith | August 17, 2005 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen F Troop, but I trust Achenfan's judgment on this.

Posted by: Sara | August 17, 2005 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Goodness gracious, where are you, Joel?

Most oil drilling rigs would tend to be in the Central Valley (although 20 years ago industry spokespeople were already talking about tertiary drilling techniques.) Elk Hills Oil Reserve(?)--interesting sidebar about Al Gore and his Occidental Petroleum deal out Taft way.

The drive in the mountains with services unavailable for the next 100 miles would make me think that you're either doubling back over the Coastal Range or heading across the Sierra? (What, and not see Santa Barbara?)

Where is this restaurant--Coalinga, Lost Hills, Taft? Obviously, you're not having a Harris Ranch experience--a "resort" with the stock pens about 15 miles north of the hotel/restaurant. Beef so fresh on your plate that it probably was on the hoof yesterday--rarely has beef tasted THIS good!!!

The family Basque restaurants (many times called "The Woolgrowers")in the central and southern San Joaquin would probably be a novelty for you!

Glad to hear you haven't caught poison oak from the shrubs around Los Lobos! Ditto, lack of caution on the rigs can cause some gruesome accidents!

Posted by: Linda Loomis | August 17, 2005 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Joel ate one of the very same cows he encountered during his "Surviving California" caper.

[CowTown, are you out there? You must have an opinion on this "Holstein look" Joel describes.]

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I can not, and will not wear holstein-themed apparel, under any circumstances. The family I married into are beef people. We wear hereford clothes.

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Diners eating at tables inside jail cells? Maybe Joel is dining at the California State Correctional Facility at Corcoran? Maybe he got thrown into the hoose-gow for killing a cow?

I prefer fowl with capers, rather than beef--a la Chicken Picatta.

Posted by: Linda Loomis | August 17, 2005 2:22 PM | Report abuse

awesome kit....very hunter s thompson-esque.

Posted by: LP | August 17, 2005 2:24 PM | Report abuse

This is a Testosteroney Kit that Papa would approve of.

Drilling rigs, explosives, wanton hands, driving through backwood mountain roads and not stopping for directions or checking GPS, Westerns and consumption of animal meat.

These are a few of my favorite things.

I am man, hear me.... wait, is that cleavage?

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 2:25 PM | Report abuse

It's OK, bc -- it's only cow cleavage. Bessie. On her way to that drive-in moovie.

[Jaw begins to ache from holding fake grin. This is brutal . . .]

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 2:35 PM | Report abuse

bc - you slay me!

Posted by: mo | August 17, 2005 2:35 PM | Report abuse

hey joel - do i look fat in this?

Posted by: mo | August 17, 2005 2:37 PM | Report abuse

When I travel to the East coast people seem to think all of California looks like Los Angeles.

It's nice of Joel to point out that there really are mountains and places with no services for 100 miles.

Now, don't tell any more secrets. I'm trying to keep all the rest of the people from Jersey and Boston from moving here.

Posted by: Karen | August 17, 2005 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Karen,

Too late, in San Diego and LA, a native (one that actually was born and raised there) is a rare species. In fact, if you have lived in San Diego for more than 15 years, you are considered a native. Still a beautiful city and area.

Posted by: SoCal | August 17, 2005 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I could've used a little more cowbell...

Posted by: ME | August 17, 2005 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Karen, you say there are mountains near LA? I can't see them for all the cleavage.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Those would be mountains of another sort.

Posted by: omnigoof | August 17, 2005 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Note to all female 'boodlers who will be attending the porching hour:
Wear turtlenecks.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 2:50 PM | Report abuse

what time is the porching hour anyway?

Posted by: mo | August 17, 2005 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan, if you had any idea of what it's like in a man's brain, you'd wear burkas.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure, mo. I know bc mentioned 3:30 at one point. We'll probably have to check with jw when he's done watching those "Buffy" espisodes.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 2:54 PM | Report abuse

With sungalsses.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Burka for porching hour: Check.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 2:55 PM | Report abuse

more cow bell! hah!

Posted by: LP | August 17, 2005 2:57 PM | Report abuse

SCC: sunglasses.

I can be at Oyamel (sp) as early as 3:30 or thereabouts depending on Metro.

Don't know if we need to wait for jw, or his hands.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Good point, bc. I can be there at 3:30, too. Anyone else? So bc doesn't have to sit there all by himself with a woman in a burka?

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Linda Loomis: Weird steakhouses, oil rigs, roads to nowhere - you don't think Joel's stumbled into Bakersfield, do you? That's no place for a D.C. boy, particularly not one who also writes for National Geographic and appears on NPR.

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 3:01 PM | Report abuse

More seriously, how are we going to recognize each other when we get there? We'll know mo by her goth gear, but what about everyone else? Maybe we should all carry a copy of one of Joel's books, or a Vonnegut book, or a copy of "Brideshead Revisited." Otherwise we'll be going up to complete strangers and saying, "Excuse me? Are you bc? You know, the boodler? The one with all those SCCs? From the Achenblog?"

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I'd make it there, but I am in San Diego, which in German means a whale's ...

Posted by: SoCal | August 17, 2005 3:05 PM | Report abuse

My God, now we're playing "Where in the World is Joel Achenbach?" Maybe we can get a CPB grant.

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 3:06 PM | Report abuse

mo, would style points mean you have to wear a goth-burka at porching hour?

Posted by: dr | August 17, 2005 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Some people I take to be women on this blog seem to be more sexist (by language used) than men. Or, they seem to believe that men fit stereotypes.

Those who participate the most here are almost all women, right, although I've noticed some confusion. Doesn't matter in any case. Just a snapshot.

What city/timezone/date/place is the porching hour.

If I'm not briefing the press, I would try to show up. But only if I'm not mistaken for some notorious bloggers here.

Posted by: melvin/a | August 17, 2005 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to wear a purple velvet burka from bc's on-line space-gear store.

Posted by: Dreamer | August 17, 2005 3:12 PM | Report abuse

melvin/a:
We're not really sexist; we just like to kid. I probably won't REALLY wear a burka to the porching hour.

The porching hour will take place at Oyamel in Crystal City on Tuesday, August 23 (the day of the jw/GW baseball outing). We think it will start at 3:30, but we're still firming the time up.

If you show up, we will be nice to you. Do not be afraid.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Achenfan, I'm looking forward to meeting you, burka or not. And if we're the first two there, that's fine with me.

Fast forward to 8/23/05 3:31 PM, EST.

bc, to woman in burka: "Achenfan, is that you?"

Achenfan, sizing up bc: "Um, no. Who?"

bc:

Joel A, pretending to read a USA Today at the end of the darkened bar, peers over the paper at the social clumsiness unfolding before him, arches an eyebrow over his sunglasses, then ducks his head back behind the paper. His hands, trembling.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I get out of work at 4, so if people want to get there at 3:30 it's fine by me--I work right across the street.

Has anyone ever gone to a bar to meet a blind-date, or (eep!) an internet date? You ever spend about 15 minutes making uncomfortable eye contact with the person who may, or may not, be your date? That's what I picuture. 15 people standing around a mostly empty bar, trying to figure out if everyone is who they are.

I was just thinking, I don't know if Oyomel is really that happenin' as an after work place, although it's always crowded at lunch and later on in the night. Probably better that way. Less people to make uncomfortable eye contact with.

I'll wear my anti-Scientology "Free Katie" t-shirt, and a Nationals hat, of course.

Posted by: jw | August 17, 2005 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer, I'll recognize you with your helmet and crown perched on top.

Don't all goth ladies have a "little black burka"?

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 3:21 PM | Report abuse

If I can make it, it'll be during your third glass of wine or beer.

Not a profiler by nature, I still won't join any table with burkas. I would never wear one, not just cause it's not Iraq, but it's August and a burka signals reluctance to show oneself (its purpose), unless it's worn for religious or cultural reasons.

I have no fear of being treated nicely, Achenfan. I usually am, and vice versa. And I look forward to every possibility for serendipity.

Only question is: which handle, of so many ascribed to me, to use.

Posted by: melvin/a | August 17, 2005 3:30 PM | Report abuse

black velvet burka with a cape overtop! showing no cleavage - not a smidge! but i may get hot, no? hmmmm...

Posted by: mo | August 17, 2005 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Ha ha, bc -- that's funny. More of that Fan Fiction kbertocci was talking about. OK -- I'll aim for 3:30. If you can put up with me, I can put up with you.

jw:
I've never been on a blind date, but I did once have a man come up to me and ask if I was _______ [insert blind date's name]. A person could have a lot of fun in that situation.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Somehow, I think we'll be fine linking up with each other.

The tough part will be associating real names to those with multiple Achennames.

Having said that, I have friends who call me bc in 'real life', so I do respond to it.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 3:35 PM | Report abuse

everyone calls me mo in real life so i shall respond as such as well...

Posted by: mo | August 17, 2005 3:36 PM | Report abuse

i just found out that italy has banned public wearing of burkas b/c of new anti-terrorism laws...

Posted by: mo | August 17, 2005 3:37 PM | Report abuse

But I do believe they still allow burqas to be worn in Mexico.

Posted by: omnigoof | August 17, 2005 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Everyone calls me Mx/xx. __________ ___________ in real life, or you damn ________ ____________, or _______ for short--but you won't hear any of that.

Just Melvin/a --or one of the many handles with which you have tried to tag me. That will be more fun.

Posted by: melvin/a | August 17, 2005 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I am jealous of you all and your porching hour. Interesting that at the very time you are meeting, I will be arriving in Ohio having just moved there from DC... Hope you have a lot of fun! I'll look forward to hearing about it in the 'boodle.

Posted by: ME | August 17, 2005 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad I made time for the boodle today! This is the first I have heard about an actual porching hour. I'll do my best to attend, but don't know if I can make 3:30. Have never heard of Oyamel. What's it near?

Posted by: TA | August 17, 2005 3:55 PM | Report abuse

If you are porching at 3:30, I will be at lunch and will raise a toast to porches everywhere. This is not something I do lightly, because I still have a long work day after lunch.

Posted by: dr | August 17, 2005 3:57 PM | Report abuse

PSA:From Crystal city Metro take the 90 or 9B bus to 2250 CRYSTAL DR. It's a mile from the Metro.

Posted by: omnigood | August 17, 2005 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I would be there, but am in controlled area in compound. Someone rat on me or follow anyway. Have good time.

Posted by: gorbydoll | August 17, 2005 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I regret that I have a prior engagement and will be unable to attend the porching hour. However, I expect a full report from all attendees. Mo, you could post photos of the event on your website. Have a mohito and think of me.

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Or if you want to walk the mile just head south to 22rd street turn left and walk to crystal dr then right and I believe it's mid block. And if you drive there's always maquest.

Posted by: omnigood | August 17, 2005 4:06 PM | Report abuse

And, by the way, good story, bc.

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Question, for those not coming from Metro (not I, this is a PSA), is there public parking available? If so, where?

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, the jealousy! I wish I were independently wealthy, so that I may fly down to join the porching hour. But I, also, will raise a toast to the scc and the sao-15 at the appropriate time. I'm thinking some local micro brew would be appropriate. That may be tricky explaining to my boss. Details, whatever...

Posted by: LP | August 17, 2005 4:13 PM | Report abuse

cowtown!!!!!!!!! u must be there!!!! yeah, i'll hafta do a porching blog on my site! and do i hafta drink a mohito? i'm not crazy about them... can i have a margarita and think of you?

Posted by: mo | August 17, 2005 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Parking PSA: http://www.oyamel.com/pages/location.html

Posted by: omnigood | August 17, 2005 4:19 PM | Report abuse

mo, if you'll take pictures, you may drink anything (isn't a margarita a little, I don't know, JOLLY for a goth-type like yourself?).

The Snarky Squirrel has a commitment in another city next week and deeply regrets being unable to attend (porching is such a squirrel thing)(but then so is beaching -- a squirrel must prioritize). However, I will definitely raise a martini glass (what? you thought I would say acorn? Have you ever tasted one of those? Ick.) in the boodles' direction.

Posted by: grtc | August 17, 2005 4:21 PM | Report abuse

To identify ourselves, perhaps everyone meeting at Oyamel could wear a hat like Larry Storch wore in F-Troop.....

Posted by: pj | August 17, 2005 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Margarita PSA: http://www.oyamel.com/pages/margaritas.html

Posted by: omnigood | August 17, 2005 4:23 PM | Report abuse

mo: How kind of you to ask. Yes, margarita's are good. Martini's, gin or vodka, are quite acceptable. Gin & Tonic, bourbon old fashions, Manhattans - all good. You really should try a mohito, though. They're especially good if you make them with dark rum and homemade simple syrup (yum). Beer? Fine. Bizarre bar specials with quasi-obscene names including Bailey's or flavored vodka? Nah.

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Please don't report me to that Eats Shoots and Leaves woman for incorrect apostrophe use -- I was aiming to type "boodlers'" but the "r" on my keyboard has apparently been stolen. By a rabid bat.

Posted by: grtc | August 17, 2005 4:24 PM | Report abuse

About 10 years ago, the core members of the dc-beer mailing list sat down for the first time in-real-life at Bardo Rodeo and toasted the event with many, many $5 pitchers of Slant/6 ale. The idea of meeting the boodlers at Oyamel for froo-froo margaritas and fancy tacos makes me feel like I've come a long way, baby, and I ain't wearin' no burka. I may, however, have a cast on my foot.

Posted by: Pixel | August 17, 2005 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Just saw the site for Oyamel. I am so jealous - it is way cool looking.

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 4:28 PM | Report abuse

It's a Mojito, dammit!

Posted by: Pixel | August 17, 2005 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, all.

For the Achenshy, I stopped by Office Despot for some "Hello My Name Is" tags, and some Sharpies. Feel free to wear as many as you like.

Think Joel wants to gouge his eyes out over the last couple of hours of Boodling?

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I think everyone should wear a pair of designer jeans from that store in today's Style section article. The raw ones that you can't wash for six months.

Did y'all read that story? I loved the boy-child who was buying $200 jeans and said it didn't matter because he was charging it to his parents, but he guessed they'd find out. Dude, ya think?

Posted by: Snarky Squirrel | August 17, 2005 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Actually, bc, I think Joel A. has given up on even reading the Boodle; we've clearly gotten completely out of control and I suspect he's washed his hands of us -- while keeping a close eye on those hands at all times, of course.

Posted by: grtc | August 17, 2005 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I am so sorry. Mojito. Of course. I've been living in Flyoverland too long. Thanks for the correction. And I used to chuckle when visitors would pronounce La Jolla, "La Jaw-La".

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 4:42 PM | Report abuse

That would be too bad, grtc.

Plate tectonics is pretty cool, as is analyzing core samples e.g. "Sweet, here's the KT boundry!"

And who wouldn't think it cool to have a home address of "Pangea"?

Or to say "Magma." like Dr. Evil?

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Cowtown,
You may be right, Joel just may be in Bakersfield--but I don't know of a steakhouse in Bakersfield that is as weird as that which Joel described. However, he may just be in Oildale, a suburb north of Bakersfield, where Buck Owens got his start. (Buck and Merle--bless 'em, put Bakersfield on the map in a stange way...)However, he may not be in Bakersfield at all--just boring into in the oak barrels of the wineries in Lamont and Arvin.

However, I vehemently disagree with bc and his baloney that this is a testosteroney post by Achenbach. It reminds me of A's former post about being lost in the woods somewhere in the Northeast without a cellphone. He freaked. Well, he's freaking now.

Puts on the accoutrements of an oil field worker and feels all manly and studley-dudley. Yet, are his hands dirty? More the dilettante literary observer, if you ask me. And the part that really, really takes the cake is that he's afraid to drive on a road where there aren't "services" for 100 miles. Oh, pul-lease! (If I were looking for someone with whom to car-camp Alaska, it definitely would not be Joel!)

I'm beginning to think y'all's assessment of Joel as "Girlie Man" is right on the money! It's just too darn easy to read Joel's personality between the lines: wussie.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2005 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I ain't wearin' them designer jeans, Snarky!

There was a companion jeans article in yesterday's Style section. Some of my favorite quotes from the story:

"A young woman comes in with her grandfather. In one fell swoop, he buys her five pairs of jeans and assorted other items for $2,451.86."

"So you have certain jeans in a Brooklyn wash, but do you have them in the New York Dark wash? If you accidentally bought the same pair of premium jeans twice, as one young teen did, who could fault your enthusiasm?"

Sheesh.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 4:51 PM | Report abuse

And, by the way, I LOVED F-Troop. Who was it, Captain Pommeroy? I remember a crazy sergeant. That's all. Memories are the shadows of my youth.

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 4:57 PM | Report abuse

To [too chicken___ to have even a made-up handle at 4:49pm]

Why aren't you man enough to sign your message.

Your logic is plausible. And the testosterone level of this blog is, well, low, because it's got a lot of females who use terms like snarfy, no offense, and the like.

But if you smear the A-man, I predict you will reap the whirlwind, figuratively of course, in these spaces.

Your friend,

b'dana

Posted by: bananabanabodana | August 17, 2005 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I'll admit a bit of transferrence/projection between Joel's Kit and myself.

I spent much of last night with a friend finalizing the design of a new race car chassis (for an old British car), cutting up 4130 chrome moly 1 1/2" OD .060 tubing (measure twice cut once - chrome moly's not cheap), and starting to TIG weld it together.

So, I'm feeling a little testosteroney myself today.

bc
PS Please note that I resisted using the old "San Fransisco Treat" joke. That stuff doesn't belong on here.

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Ehh? Mr. BC=gesaftmetalshaftlipsiche. A real hombre Ja.

Posted by: b'dana | August 17, 2005 5:04 PM | Report abuse

We think you're manly, bc. And you are also such an agreeable fellow -- how could anyone "vehemently disagree" with you?

I wonder why Posted by: | is so angry with Joel?

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 5:05 PM | Report abuse

i think i'm starting to like you b'dana

and that whole jean article? raw denim? $650 jeans? ever think some ppl just make WAY to much $$??

Posted by: mo | August 17, 2005 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I think it's just fine that people spend $650 on jeans. Keeps them from buying drugs.

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 5:07 PM | Report abuse

He's trying to prove he's not a girlie man, as they say in Kali., so he's projecting on A. (Who said I am not a skilled psychologist?) Bad karma.

Posted by: Pompousass | August 17, 2005 5:07 PM | Report abuse

bc, i know you're married with children and all, but the thought of a man with a welding torch is incredibly hot.

just so's ya know.

Posted by: LP | August 17, 2005 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I missed a lot. Nothing I could really get into though, seeing as I won't be at the Porching Hour. I'm still sad about that. I figure I'll be fine, though. It's going to be weird being one of the few who has no mental picture of the others, though.

Posted by: Sara | August 17, 2005 5:11 PM | Report abuse

i dunno - the image of bc as a long-haired rocker is incredibly hot too...

Posted by: mo | August 17, 2005 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Wait, LP. I'm picking up a torch myself. Stop hyperventilating.

Posted by: b'dana | August 17, 2005 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, you guys are just going to have to figure out how to post photos on this thing.

Posted by: LP | August 17, 2005 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I like the image of bc surfing in the Higgs Ocean.

Posted by: Dreamer | August 17, 2005 5:12 PM | Report abuse

long-haired rocker with torch? Oh, God, catch me.....

Posted by: LP | August 17, 2005 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree. Even though it's TypePad illegal to have html, so that means no img src codes or anything, so no images. I think that's slightly unfair.

Posted by: Sara | August 17, 2005 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Dreamer, earlier you said you'd wear a purple burka. I've always associated purple with you for some reason.

Posted by: Sara | August 17, 2005 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Sara,

Mental picture is right, Sara. Just think of a bunch of drunk women in the (25-50 age range?), one wearing a burka, a couple of men, one with a welding torch, laughing and guffawing uncontrollably. Just hope the police are not called.

Posted by: Pompousass | August 17, 2005 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Very good, ladies and gentlemen. We've done flaming, then flirting. We shall now proceed to hydrant marking. Volunteers? (mo, wait your turn, you went last time).

Proceed.

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 5:14 PM | Report abuse

There must be a way. The internet is a vast and endless thing - there must be a way!

Posted by: LP | August 17, 2005 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Who knows what's going on in Posted by:|'s life? Whoever they are, they're as entitled to their opinion as anyone else, I guess.

I know what's going on in my life (I think), and I connected with that bit of Kit.

And the self-deprecating humor in it.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Please, no pictures. Or, I'll just move out of the shot.

And maybe I don't want to get close ("danger-close" as we used to say) to bc, as he may set his (did you say greasy?) hair on fire with the welding torch. But, he's been described as hair-on-fire anyway.

Posted by: melvin/a | August 17, 2005 5:18 PM | Report abuse

There's not a way on here, LP. Sorry. There are ways on the internet, but not on here.

Posted by: Sara | August 17, 2005 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh, melvin/a, you're such a tease....

Posted by: LP | August 17, 2005 5:22 PM | Report abuse

like i said sara, the internet is vast and wide....

Posted by: LP | August 17, 2005 5:23 PM | Report abuse

LP,

I'm still working on guessing your name out of all names in the universe. I've elminated 95 percent and am getting close. Just give me a few more days.

Posted by: melvin/a | August 17, 2005 5:24 PM | Report abuse

lp - me thinks we have the same taste in men! *smiley emoticon* long, haired rocker, shirtless, tattoed with torch...

Posted by: mo | August 17, 2005 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Sara:
Yes, I do often wear purple. Lots of other bright colors, too -- pink, blue, fluorescent green. And patterns -- stripes, florals, polka dots (sometimes even in combination). But no kaftans. Also no designer jeans, Manolo Blahniks, or garments that expose underwear. But no burkas or nun's habits either.

Not sure what I'll wear to the porching hour. I was entertaining myself the other day by imagining going into some posh boutique and saying to the sales assistant, "Excuse me, I'm looking for something that would be syuuuitable for a 'boodle meet and greet?"

Oh, I kill me . . . After this post, melvin/a or Posted by: | probably WILL kill me.

Posted by: Dreamer | August 17, 2005 5:30 PM | Report abuse

good luck. May your search be fruitful.

Posted by: LP | August 17, 2005 5:30 PM | Report abuse

and yes, mo, i feel we have similar tastes... you're gonna have to tell me what the boodle boys are like in RL. (real life?)

Posted by: LP | August 17, 2005 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Everything will be copacetic, Dreamer, whatever you wear. Please relax.

Posted by: melvina/a | August 17, 2005 5:35 PM | Report abuse

um... i'll prolly wear black...

Posted by: mo | August 17, 2005 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Trying to catch up here. I too am sad that I am 3,000 miles away from the porch, but I bet it'll be a hoot!

RE: designer jeans...Not that I ever would spend hundreds of dollars on jeans (I think $200 would be my limit, but this is from a girl who's never gone more premium than the Gap)...but is anyone else deeply curious as to what the results would be if Mauro worked his denim magic on your a**? Reading these denim articles, I feel that I've been not only not living up to my potential in that area, but not giving it anywhere near the attention it deserves. Am I the only one who has been wasting my time looking at front and side views in the mirror?

The funny thing is...if you knew what WGibs stood for, you'd think I would be a pro in this arena.

And yes, add me to the list of achenchicks who are now totally sweating bc.

Posted by: WGibs | August 17, 2005 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh I'm relaxed, melvin/a. I'm actually not going to buy anthing new. I was just enjoying the fantasy. I'm sure you can relate.

LP:
The boodle boys! Ha! They sound like a couple of characters from Twin Peaks.

Posted by: Dreamer | August 17, 2005 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Whoa. A celebrity Achenfest.

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Remember, Dreamer, jw is wearing a Nationals cap and a "Free Katie" t-shirt, so clearly cocktail attire, or even jeans costing more than $30, are not de rigueur. For you, I envision a tasteful purple t-shirt that says "I brake for squirrels." mo's t-shirt would, of course, black.

I thought the Boodle Boys were an early-60s singing group, who wore white shoes and did four-part harmony arrangements of rock songs. Badly.

Posted by: Snarky Squirrel | August 17, 2005 5:41 PM | Report abuse

sorry. Boodle Men, then.

Posted by: LP | August 17, 2005 5:43 PM | Report abuse

lp - i'm taking my digicam and will record the first boodle porching hour for prosterity and future bribe material...

Posted by: mo | August 17, 2005 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh Lord! Are designer jeans coming back? This is worse than disco! What's next, big hair? Leather ties? And I ran, I ran so far away...

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Please, again, no pictures.

I may have to change in a phone booth if I can make this gig. Too many weirded out expectations, however pleasing.

Now, I must brief the press.

Posted by: melvin/a | August 17, 2005 5:48 PM | Report abuse

On behalf of all of us who cannot make the porching hour, we thank you and heart you, mo. And please get pictures of melvin/a emerging from the phone booth!

And leggings and headbands, CowTown! The whole Flashdance look. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Posted by: Snarky Squirrel | August 17, 2005 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Maybe melvin/a could borrow someone's burka while the photos are being taken.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm loving this boodle! I was up on the Boston Common today - searching for jw. No luck, of course. Oh why can't I be there for the Porching Hour? When I read that melvin/a will even be there - I'm tempted to try Acela for the first time! I'm in the midst of cooking a birthday dinner for sis - per her request, chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad and, for dessert, boston cream pie (of course).

Posted by: bostonreader | August 17, 2005 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Come on down, bostonreader!

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 5:56 PM | Report abuse

And bring the leftover Boston Cream Pie with you.

Posted by: grtc | August 17, 2005 5:57 PM | Report abuse

bostonreader - will you marry me? is same sex marriage legal in boston? i don't care, i need you cooking for me! sadly, i can't cook for squat - i guess that makes me bad bride material??

Posted by: mo | August 17, 2005 5:57 PM | Report abuse

ooohh....bostonreader....that sounds good. And I'm close enough to make a trip down for dinner....hint hint hint...

Posted by: LP | August 17, 2005 5:59 PM | Report abuse

The bride wore black. And carried a torch.

Posted by: Snarky Squirrel | August 17, 2005 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Something borrowed, something black . . .

Posted by: Achenfan | August 17, 2005 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody read the WP's "Tres Cheek" article about the new jean rage? Here's the best quote: "From our perfect behinds, we can see the future."

Transcendence can be found in jeans. Who'da thought?

Posted by: CowTown | August 17, 2005 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Office Despot . . . tee hee. Was that intentional? Intentional or no, it's funny but I'm curious.

Posted by: Lurker here | August 17, 2005 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone actually formally invited Joel?

Does anyone else suspect that we weird him out?

Posted by: jw | August 17, 2005 7:13 PM | Report abuse

You can't post an image, but you can link your name to a picture on the internet.

To get into the magic link-mode, click on "post" before you type anything. Then type in the url of the image file.

You can also use this method to create an email link on your name.

We went through all this already, didn't we? Ask Edward.

Posted by: kbertocci (not Joel) | August 17, 2005 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Joel will be in Japan, remember? And everybody is invited who is reading this blog, right?

Of course, it goes without saying that if Joel did show up he would be the guest of honor, and would be expected to expense the tab.

Do you all think you would recognize him in 3-D?

Posted by: kbertocci | August 17, 2005 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I have a site that I think mo would enjoy because it's got a black decor thing going...I've been called a "rocker chick" because of it, even though I don't resemble a rocker chick in appearance. I've thought, "I could link it" but then I always chicken out because it's one of those MySpace pages and I'm embarrassed to be a MySpace page owner for some reason. I use it to keep in touch with college friends and other miscellaneous friends around the country whom I never see anymore. But linking it would destroy any false preconceived positive notions you all may have of me.

And I frequently wonder if Joel is a little creeped out by the following and friendship that has formed in the Kit'n'Kaboodle.

Posted by: Sara | August 17, 2005 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I've become addicted to Joel's blog brain. It's great. Missed him while he was in CA. Hey, Joel, you ever ride dirt bikes?

Posted by: dcrider26 | August 17, 2005 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Joel - very disappointed that in describing the fork in the road you didn't take the obvious opportunity to paraphrase both Frost and Berra. What are you, too good for the cheap laugh now or something? Please discuss. Oh, and I'm not who you think I am. This time.

Posted by: achenabler | August 17, 2005 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I head home, mow the lawn (and fix the mower after some garden border mesh got sucked up into the blades), do some training with the new puppy (7 week old white Lab, think Cottonelle commercial), my digital cable was out until about 10 minutes ago, and OH MY look at what I've missed. You ladies are quite flattering (I felt my face getting warm reading this), hopefully you'll retain favorable opinions of my brother-in-arms jw and I when you meet us (the 'boodle boys/Men - funny). I won't be wearing designer jeans, either. Unless Levis count.

Office Despot, intentional. I also use the term Home Despot.

I sincerely hope Joel will join us.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 17, 2005 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh. bc has a puppy!

So, mo and Achenfan and Dreamer and Tom fan and Melvin/a and TA and jw and bc are going to the BPH. Anyone else?

Posted by: Sara | August 17, 2005 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I assumed that Achenfan, Dreamer and Tom fan are the same person. Would be sad if only a handful of people showed up because of all these multiple identities.

Posted by: Achen-observer | August 17, 2005 10:44 PM | Report abuse


I like kbertocci's picture!

Posted by: suecris | August 17, 2005 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Achen-observer. I named 6 people above, though it looks like 8.

Posted by: Sara | August 17, 2005 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone, elementary school is back in session. Time for Puppy Love again!

Posted by: Glanton | August 17, 2005 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Joel came "to fork" in the road? Tom fan, isn't that "to a fork" in the road?

The horror of Rockville Pike! I love it.

Posted by: mostlylurking | August 18, 2005 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Dreamer can't be Ms. Fan, I hope. She's too warm and cozy and smart. MF has some of these traits, too, but goes in more for control and "follow me." We need both kinds on this earth.

Posted by: gargantua | August 18, 2005 8:59 AM | Report abuse

mostlylurking:
Yes, I noticed "to fork in the road," but I wasn't sure whether Joel had the capacity to make corrections to the Kit while on the road. I didn't want to torment him.

Posted by: Tom fan | August 18, 2005 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to disappoint you, gargantua, but I am indeed Ms. Fan. I will need three of those "Hello" tags that bc so thoughtfully purchased at Office Despot.

And thank you for the nice compliments.

bc: I knew "Despot" was intentional. (Doesn't everyone call it that?)

Posted by: Dreamer | August 18, 2005 9:15 AM | Report abuse

As you would say, you are GOOD. The blog-stress analyzer that someone put into use showed a bifurcated persona between your 2 fans and Dreamer. You fooled the machine, our new friend Gargantua, and me. And I have some savvy re split personas, but am always willing to learn.

Now, I must split my personality before briefing the press.

Posted by: melvin/a | August 18, 2005 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I think melvin/a is carrying a welding torch for someone. Oi gevalt

Posted by: bananabanabodana | August 18, 2005 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Yes, melvin/a, I suspected you had some savvy in that area. I'm surprised I was able to fool you. But never mind -- it's all good.

Posted by: Dreamer | August 18, 2005 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Oi gevalt! I'm giggling.

So bc has a puppy TOO? geez, I'm kinda glad i can't go to the BPH. That's too much for me.

Posted by: LP | August 18, 2005 10:02 AM | Report abuse

As my handle suggests, I believe you can never have too much of anything, especially if it is pleasurable.

Posted by: gargantua | August 18, 2005 10:05 AM | Report abuse

but LP - he doesn't have the long hair anymore - not sure about tatts - bc??

and kbertocci - is that you or joel? cuz if it's you, well, you look like joel!

Posted by: mo | August 18, 2005 10:49 AM | Report abuse

gross, mo.

Posted by: gargantua | August 18, 2005 10:58 AM | Report abuse

what's gross? tatts? i LOVE tatts!!!!

Posted by: mo | August 18, 2005 11:02 AM | Report abuse

What if we all showed up at the porching hour and found we all looked like Joel? (I could be said to look like Joel, with a few twists of the imagination.) Or if we all showed up and found we already knew each other? That we're all each others' annoying co-workers? It would kind of be like the Pina Colada song.

(Also, in terms of the list of people who we know are attending the BPH, I would add pj, Pixel, omnigood/omnigoof, and Cubedweller, on the basis of past comments -- but please correct me if I'm wrong.)

Posted by: Achenfan | August 18, 2005 11:03 AM | Report abuse

More than likely omnigoof will attend, but not omnigood nor omnibad nor omnigoofy. Was I once omnigoofball? I forget!

Posted by: omnigood | August 18, 2005 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Great! I like omnigoof. I think omnigoof will fit in well at the porching hour.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 18, 2005 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Oh, that's right. So sorry to those that I left out. I'd forgotten that they were lucky enough to be in the area.

Posted by: Sara | August 18, 2005 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Only time will tell how "lucky" we actually are, Sara. Pompousass and melvin/a painted a pretty scary, hair-burning scenario. As Pompousass said, just hope the police are not called.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 18, 2005 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Hey! Did anyone else notice that the Achenclock has devloped a second hand? When did that happen?!?

Posted by: Achenfan | August 18, 2005 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Achenevolution.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 18, 2005 11:27 AM | Report abuse

What is the Achenclock?...Am I not seeing something?

Posted by: Sara | August 18, 2005 11:27 AM | Report abuse

When you post a comment, the "Posted by: |" line lists your name, the date, and the time. The time used to include only the hour and the minute, but now it includes the second as well, e.g., 11:27:46 in your entry above.

[Either I'm really Observant or I have way too much time (time!) on my hands]

Posted by: Achenfan | August 18, 2005 11:31 AM | Report abuse

the second hand appeared in this kit.

Sara, it's the time stamp after the date stamp after the bar | after your handle.

Posted by: omnigood | August 18, 2005 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Oh! Okay. See, I thought I was blind and I was looking for a wall clock looking thing. This is not my best moment.

Posted by: Sara | August 18, 2005 11:33 AM | Report abuse

mo, we are birds of a feather, i see. Good luck - I hope the boodle boys do not prove to be too much temptation for ye. Or maybe that they do, and you can tell me all about it later. Whichever you prefer. (and may they be COVERED in tatts.)

Posted by: LP | August 18, 2005 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Multiple personities are sometimes unaware of each others' existence. It is not impossible that only one person will show up at the porching hour and then all will be explained. This could be a weird movie.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 18, 2005 11:39 AM | Report abuse

And that one person will be . . .

Joel.

Posted by: Achenfan | August 18, 2005 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Too funny Achenfan.

Posted by: omnigood | August 18, 2005 11:52 AM | Report abuse

personalities--SCC#1 for the day

Posted by: kbertocci | August 18, 2005 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I believe that Joel is sane.

I think it is more likely that the 'Boodlers, as personified by Achenfan, are all one and that Joel is not very much involved, having been only a catalyst for the insanity.

Posted by: kbertocci | August 18, 2005 11:57 AM | Report abuse

something funny: I only ever notice SCCs in my own posts. In all other posts my brain fixes the entry to the intended word.

Posted by: omnigoof | August 18, 2005 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I've seen the picture of mo, and she looks nothing like Joel. Don't mean to scare you or anything mo, but...

Posted by: omnigoof | August 18, 2005 12:02 PM | Report abuse

As I mentioned before the really long hair's been cut, but the foundation's still there.

No tats that you folks are going to see...and I'm leaving the torches and air tools at home.

New Kit, folks.

bc

Posted by: bc | August 18, 2005 12:05 PM | Report abuse

gross, bc

Posted by: gargantua | August 18, 2005 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Hello achenfriends! Just got back showing sis the Charles River while on a long bike ride along Storrow Drive. It's a beautiful morning. The chicken fried steak etc. was a big hit and there's a LOT of pie left. Maybe I should send it on dry ice to Porching hour! I made the slight mistake of buying pastry flour at Whole Foods which of course turned out to be WHOLE GRAIN pastry flour, so the cake was a bit heavier than I would have liked - but there were no complaints. I appreciated all of the salivating, as well as the marriage proposals. Always flattering. Off to entertain ... I'm still looking for jw (wear your Free Katie t-shirt if you're on the Common).

Posted by: bostonreader | August 18, 2005 12:14 PM | Report abuse

apparently gargantua doesn't like tatts... hmmmm

how would you scare me omnigoof?

bc has tatts! did ya hear that LP?

Posted by: mo | August 18, 2005 1:09 PM | Report abuse

and a puppy, and is a rocker, and yields a welding torch. It's so good, I think he must be making it up, mo.

Posted by: LP | August 18, 2005 1:11 PM | Report abuse

yeah, the having a puppy is major plus points for me too!!! it's a good thing you aren't local LP or we might end up fighting over the same guys!!! yeah, he's prolly just making it up to torture us... MEN!

Posted by: mo | August 18, 2005 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I was implying that there's Joel and you and all the other boodlers are you as well. And you just don't know it yet. You'll get to the BPH all alone and wonder where everyone is.

Posted by: omnigoof | August 18, 2005 1:26 PM | Report abuse

so right mo - Although, I'm less the type to fight over men and more the type to have fun catching them. So if I were local, we might have had a great time going carousin' together. Ah, c'est la vie.

Posted by: LP | August 18, 2005 1:33 PM | Report abuse

whoa omnigoof, it's kinda like Fight Club -

Posted by: LP | August 18, 2005 1:36 PM | Report abuse

does that mean i'm really brad pitt? who woulda thunk it?

Posted by: mo | August 18, 2005 2:25 PM | Report abuse

mo, you're Tyler Durden?

bc

Posted by: bc | August 18, 2005 2:40 PM | Report abuse

gross, bc

Posted by: gargantua | August 18, 2005 5:14 PM | Report abuse

No wonder Joel doesn't return my e-mail ....

Posted by: Karl | August 22, 2005 12:33 PM | Report abuse

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