The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Somehow Made It into Work with My Grill Intact Today Edition

The Upstate Life has got to say this one of the more interesting weekends he's had in quite awhile. Most of the intrigue went down last night, but I guess you'll either have to read what happened first or scroll down to the good stuff if you so desire. Friday night we headed over to Capitol Hill for a house party in what felt like one of the coldest evenings in DC yet this winter. On our way over, we ran into some homeless guy who was apparently performing a rendition of Billy Joel's "For the Longest Time." Some people outside the rowhouse decided to supplement the dude by adding the backup vocals of "Ah-ah-ah" which was kind of amusing, except to the bum of course, since he didn't receive any royalties out of the impromptu deal. The party itself wasn't too shabby as they had quite the selection of alcohol, but TUL must point out that Red Hook is simply downright a poor choice as a keg selection. It's not a pleasant beer to consume in mass quantities (is anyone there really just going to have a glass or two?) and was just too bitter for The Upstate Life's taste. Serve that shit in a bottle next time around and leave the kegs for the Miller Lites and the Rolling Rocks please.

Saturday night I got to see the comedic talents of Stephen Lynch and Mitch Hedberg at the Warner Theater. Rob Cantrell, who also emceed the rest of the evening, opened the show to a very good response. I didn't see him much on Last Comic Standing, but he was able to his hold his own out there and was one of the better openers I've seen for a comedy show. Stephen Lynch took the stage next with guitar in hand. Moments into his second song, one of his strings broke, so the audience was treated to some great improv by Mr. Lynch while he was feverishly trying to repair his guitar. I wasn't too familiar with his act but I was entertained for the most part. Some of the material tended to drag a little bit but "She Gotta Smile" was a good closer and was one of the funnier moments of the night. We were of course anxious for Mitch Hedberg the entire evening and he finally came on stage around 9:30. His entire set was effing hilarious despite the fact he was reading half his jokes from a notebook (which I thought was a bit strange since he was the headliner). He was onstage for nearly an hour and a half! The guy has the uncanny ability to make the dumbest thing sound really funny, i.e. the simple black backdrop that was on the stage at the time (the subject was brought up on three different occasions!). Overall, it was great to see Mitch Hedberg live even if 15 minutes of his act were delivered from him lying on his back between two stools.

Sunday night The Upstate Life went to what will probably be his final Maryland Basketball game of the season, mostly because it's basically impossible to obtain tickets at a reasonable price for the upcoming Duke and UNC battles. The Terps were facing NC State and, unlike Wednesday's stellar outing versus UVA, last evening's performance was dismal at best. We were down throughout the entire game, 26 by halftime! Maryland went into resurgence late into the second half by cutting the deficit by 10, but that was as close as the Terps would get as the Wolfpack kept hitting 3 after 3. Everyone was off their game Sunday, most notably Gilchrist and Caner-Medley. I've never seen such poor ball handling in one game as I did last night. What's worse is the fact that we're facing conference rival (and still undefeated) Duke this Wednesday night. The Terps need a quality win over a ranked opponent this season if they want any sort of chance of making the tourney this year and really need to turn it around, especially when you're in the heart of the ACC schedule. TUL is praying for another Blue Devil upset but things aren't looking so optimistic after Sunday's loss.

Oh, so if you decided to skim the entire Wrapup and wanted to read the more interesting content promised above, then you can start here. TUL and some of his alumni friends were leaving College Park heading for the Beltway when I hit a huge pothole head-on. The collision caused my front left tire to completely blowout which was much unexpected. Luckily, we were on a side street with very little traffic so it didn't cause much of a scene. Out of the four people in TUL's car, no one knew had to change a tire. The last time I recall ever changing a tire was when I was in the Boy Scouts, and that was like 12 years ago. Thankfully, I had my AAA card and was able to get a tow truck to come out and change it for us. One of the girls decided we should just order pizza and have it delivered to our car since everyone was hungry and would have to wait at least an hour for the maintenance guy to show up. Amazingly, AAA showed up just 45 minutes later and was able to change the tire in roughly 10 minutes, yet the pizza still had not arrived. After sitting idle in the now once again drivable car, we waited ten more minutes for the delivery car to arrive. By this point, it was unanimously decided how pointless it was to wait for a pizza delivery that evidently wasn't going to happen, especially now that the car was repaired. At about 10:30pm, we were back on our way with the blown tire thrown in the trunk and cruising on a small ass donut. Now if you don't know, you're not supposed to go more than 55mph on a spare as it's only to be used for short distances so you can get back home and put a real damn tire on. As we started driving on the Beltway heading for Bethesda, I moved to the right lane and quickly put on my hazards to alert other drivers of my dawdling speed.

Because I was only going 50 miles per hour, I apparently slowed down an aggressive speeder who was swerving in and out of lanes. He starts tailgating the Buick, honking his horn and blinking his flashers because he wasn't able to cut me off in time. The road rager then proceeds to not only speed by me and move into my lane, but then starts slamming his brakes on the fucking Beltway! That's right; this asshole is baiting me into rear-ending his car on a major interstate. Not only is this fuck putting my passengers in harm, but other drivers on the road as well. Unfortunately, it gets worse. His repetitive braking becomes so intense you could literally hear the tires screech on the asphalt. There was one occasion where he slammed suddenly I was barely inches from his bumper when I had to make a drastic swerve onto the next lane. Bear in mind I'm performing these evasive maneuvers with a frickin donut on my car. Luckily, there weren't any other cars on the left when I changed lanes. The driver then immediately switches to the same lane and starts intensely braking once again! I then switch back to the right lane and slow down to about 30, only of course to have this psycho follow me in front and slow down as well. The entire moment was completely surreal like something from an awful horror film along the lines of Final Destination 2. I proceed to move over to the shoulder going 20, only to have this lunatic do the same. For a second, it looked like his car was going to stop and a confrontation was going to ensue, but thankfully he kept going (as did I to the plea of my 3 friends inside, all girls btw). The chaos finally came to a close when I moved back to the right lane, keeping the Buick at around 40 mph with the maniac driver in front finally accelerating further down the stretch of highway and ultimately getting off at the Wheaton exit. It's unfortunate that I did not get his license plate number at the time as not only was he being a reckless driver, but was also trying to attempt insurance fraud when he kept trying to set me up for a rear end collision.

I meant to post this yesterday but between work and all, I was just too busy at the time. It was considerably hard to concentrate as well due to the series of events that transpired that Sunday night. Words could not describe how frustrated I was on Monday as to why this asshole pulled a stunt like that. There was simply no justification for his actions and I'm thankful no one got hurt. I had a new tire put on this morning and had to have the wheels realigned as well, costing The Upstate Life quite a bit of money in the process. I called Montgomery County and asked them to reimburse me for the damages the pothole in their road did to my car, and they will be getting back to me later in the week. I'm hoping they'll be able to pay a good portion of the bill since it is the Department of Public Works and Transportation's responsibility to properly maintain the roads in the area.

Well I think now is a good time to shut this vent of frustration. If you've made it this far then TUL salutes you. Apologies if this posting transformed into the Weekend RantUp, but I'm more than hopeful next week's edition won't include anymore of what undoubtedly became the longest tirade in the history of this website's existence. If DCSOB is listening, this dude undoubtedly deserves to be "SOB of the Week" if not Year.

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