Friday, September 17, 2010

Coffee or Tea? It's Your Call.

It's 4:00 on a Friday... The weekend is 1 hour away. What do you reach for? Coffee or Tea?

I think your hot beverage of choice says a lot about you. Honest. Coffee drinkers are typically workhorses, hangover killers, insomniacs, and just folks who need that constant "jolt" to stay awake. I was at Starbucks the other day and this dude ordered a "Red Eye" (Black coffee with espresso) with 4 extra shots. If I drank that, my heart would explode.

Then, you have your tea drinkers. People that drink Green Tea, Jasmine Tea, Oolong Tea, and the such. I won't generalize by gender here, but Tea drinkers in my opinion tend to be a certain gender. Also, they tend to be culturally refined and have caffeine issues... As in " I can't drink coffee - It gives me the ShAkEs..."

Me, I'm a coffee drinker. I drink it because it keeps me alert and I just like how it tastes. I had 5 cups today. not at once, over the work day. I am actually enjoying a hazelnut roast at the moment... Delicious.

So next time you reach for your hot beverage of choice - remember: You are what you eat, and also what you drink!

Signing off (for the week),

DC Mike

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Distinct "Hoods" of DC - I live in "Laptopia"

Hello Peeps - Top of the Mornin' To Ya!

AS you most know, American cities are diverse with people, places, and things. I love the city because you can walk to anything and you can do pretty much anything you can dream of  in any given day. You want Sushi? - No Problem. You want to Go to an Art Gallery? - Sure, why not? You want to sit on the Roof Terrace of the "W" Hotel and gaze at the snipers on the roof of the White House as well as the Washington Monument and Ellipse - yeh, you can do that too...

So anyways, here are the Major DC Neighborhoods:

  1. C-SPANistan

    Capitol Hill, Lincoln Park, Stanton Park, Rosedale
    Power Ranking: 52
  2. Land of the Loft

    Logan Circle, Shaw, Mount Vernon Square, Chinatown/Penn Quarter
    Power Ranking: 44
  3. Banana Republic Republic

    Power Ranking: 43
  4. Carryouter Banks

    Anacostia, Fairlawn, Barry Farm, Buena Vista
    Power Ranking: 43
  5. Sacramento

    Brookland, University Heights
    Power Ranking: 43
  6. Laptopia

    Dupont Circle, Kalorama Heights, West End, Foggy Bottom
    Power Ranking: 42
  7. Connecticut, D.C.

    Woodley Park, Cleveland Park, Forest Hills, North Cleveland Park
    Power Ranking: 40
  8. Notyetworth

    Petworth, Brightwood, Brightwood Park, Manor Park, Crestwood
    Power Ranking: 38
  9. Hubcapitol Hill

    Edgewood, Langdon, Ivy City, Trinidad, Kingman Park, Brentwood Village
    Power Ranking: 38
  10. Liquorridor

    Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights, Pleasant Plains
    Power Ranking: 38
  11. Episcopalia

    Burleith, Glover Park, Cathedral Heights, McLean Gardens
    Power Ranking: 34
  12. Upper Caucasia

    Chevy Chase, Hawthorne, Barnaby Woods, Pinehurst Circle
    Power Ranking: 31
  13. Subarubia

    Tenleytown, Friendship Heights, American University Park
    Power Ranking: 30
  14. Mild, Mild West

    Palisades, Spring Valley, Wesley Heights, Senate Heights, Foxhall, Foxhall Village
    Power Ranking: 28
  15. The Dissed-Trict

    Congress Heights, Washington Highlands, Bellevue, Shipley Terrace
    Power Ranking: 25
  16. Affordia

    Deanwood, Burrville, Lincoln Heights
    Power Ranking: 25
  17. Turrets Syndrome

    Bloomingdale, LeDroit Park, Eckington, Park View
    Power Ranking: 23
  18. Granolan Heights

    Takoma, Shepherd Park, Colonial Village, Lamond-Riggs
    Power Ranking: 21
  19. HUDson Valley

    Marshall Heights, Benning Heights, Capitol View
    Power Ranking: 21
  20. The Bungalowlands

    Riggs Park, Michigan Park, Woodridge, Fort Lincoln, Gateway
    Power Ranking: 20
  21. Lawn and Order

    Randle Highlands, Twining, Penn Branch, Fort Dupont Park, Fairfax Village, Garfield Heights, Hillcrest
    Power Ranking: 20
  22. Nats Flats

    Southwest, Navy Yard, Buzzard Point
    Power Ranking: 17
  23. Drive-Over Country

    Mayfair Parkside, Eastland Gardens, River Terrace, Greenway
    Power Ranking: 14
* A neighborhood's power ranking is the total of its arbitrary rank in six categories: kid-friendliness, housing, eats, consumer goods, nightlife and culture, and intangibles. Power rankings are authoritative in all respects.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

... And this is Where the Magic Happens!!!

Well  Folks - It's official, I'm taking the Plunge! Not into marriage (haha - not happening) but into Home Ownership! Well, condo ownership at least. I Purchased a pretty sweet piece of real estate in downtown DC, and I'm ready to sign away my life for the next 30 years.It's all going down tomorrow - so by this time on Saturday, I will be a Land Baron.

As I get older, I realize that owning a home is not as scary as I once thought, but just a very serious commitment. I have signed so many forms, I don't even remember what I put my name on anymore.

I'm sure the next 6 months will be filled with fun, surprises, contractors, BS, and a lot of parties. I plan on having several iterations of a "House Warming" party series. (Stay Tuned for details.)

And who knows - maybe one day you will see me on Cribs - saying something ridiculous like "...And this is where the Magic Happens!"

After I show off my whips of course - which I hope will be a Lambo, Rolls, and Bentley.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How to "Be Strategic", "Leverage Assets", "Streamline" Everything, and become a Rainmaker.

Septmeber's here - and it's time to be STRATEGIC! That's what the firm would say anyways. I've been a Business Consultant in Washington D.C. for about 5 years now, and believe me - we can sell fire in Hell, water to whales, and ice to the Eskimo's...

Business Consulting is really just helping established Corporations and Federal clients perform their work better, faster, cheaper, and/or smarter. We aren't reinventing the wheel at all, we're just "leveraging" best practices to get our clients to a more efficient operating platform. (Ha - You know you are loving the lingo.)

Anyways, we use a lot of buzz words - like Best Practices, Strategic Sourcing, Tactical/Operational, and we also write White Papers. You may ask yourself - "Self, What is a White Paper?" Honestly, it's just a written document which attempts to sell your "advice" on a very targeted topic. By the way, White Papers are usually money makers.

It's funny - I didn't go to school to be a consultant, it just kinda happened. I never had dreams of working in consulting or anything like that. I guess I'm a good talker, fast thinker, and I know how to sell ideas.

I've been a business man in training since I was kid. I worked with my Dad running his business and I was working on my negotiation skills before I was licensed to drive. You never pay full price - believe me, everything in life is negotiable. Also, one thing you need to know is this: "Something is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it." No more, no less.

My goal in this business is to become a Rainmaker. I'm not talking about "Making it Rain" like Rappers always talk about. I'm talking about selling work, and making money for the firm. When you sell work - you move up, and you make things happen. Companies operate on the bottom line, and it all comes down to the dollar. You sell work, you make money. End of Story.

All in all, it's a good gig. It pays the bills and I'm learning a ton about people, life, politics, and power struggles. This game can drive you crazy if you let it - so I just don't let it. When the going gets tough, I laugh it off and move onto something new.

In closing, if you can't take the heat - get out of the kitchen. Or get some Rolaids.

Adios Summer, thanks for the Persistent Heat wave this year. Welcome Fall, it's nice to see you again.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fast Cars and Freedom

I've always liked cars. My grandfather was an auto body technician and he always kept a few classic cars around his house when I was growing up. There's something about a nice car that just grabs my attention. muscle cars, hot rods, exotic cars - I don't discriminate, I just appreciate.

I learned to drive stick on a 1986 Mustang Hatchback. It was not a very pretty car, but it was handed down to my brother when he was 16 (I was 14) by my uncle. It was blue,  VERY rusty, and not very reliable - but it was fun to cruise around in. My brother fixed it up a bit with the money he made at the grocery store pushing shopping carts - and put a new stereo system and some wheels on it. It was kinda bad ass.

My first car was a '95 Jeep Wrangler. It was pretty sweet, and fun to cruise around with in the summer. I sold the Jeep and acquired a Chevy Malibu - which wasn't very pretty either, but it was my grandfather's car and I thought it was neat to drive it after he passed. I traded in the Malibu for another Wrangler (2006) and that was fun as well. Until one morning I found the top was cut and a bum had stolen everything out of it one night in DC.

After that, I traded that in on a 2006 BMW 330i. It's a pretty sweet ride. Triple Black, sunroof, all the options, etc... My first "Nice Car". I get a lot of shit for it, especially because it looks nice and people think I'm "making money" now. Oh well, forget them - they're clowns.

My hope is to one day open up a classic car restoration business and build some nice rides. We'll see what the firm has to say about that!

Enjoy the last days of Summer, and Drop the Top if you can :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Corporate "Kool Aid" and "Living the Dream"

In August of 2006 - I'd say I was introduced to the "real world" and the idea of drinking the "Kool Aid." When I was a kid, Kool Aid was just some awesome drink that turned my mouth red and tasted damn good. In Adult life, it means you do what you have to do to make money for the machine. Whether it be selling Cutco Knives to your family and friends, hustling travel deals on the tele-marketing circuit, or just smiling when you want to kick someone in the shins - you are drinking the proverbial "Kool Aid." At work, it's not really about your hopes and dreams or what you think is the right way - it's about making the company money and keeping your bosses approval rate of you in the green.

Don't get me wrong, I don't take anyone's shit - but hey after 5 years of fighting it - sometimes you just gotta smile and know what you gotta do to get things done.

Anyways - Things are good here in the Capitol. My brother and I are working at a firm and keeping it real. We work hard, dress like i-bankers, and hope for the best. Humor is key - you can't take this shit too seriously... I am  typically a pretty low-key dude, but I recently went to the doctor and he told me my blood pressure was out of control. (I guess the Kool Aid needs some Jack, Johnny, or Jim to keep the stress level down...)

Life continues to fly by. The people here in the city are interesting, from all walks of life. I learn something new everyday - and I keep an open mind. It's good to keep an open mind. I'm not afraid of anything really. I used to be afraid of a lot of things - but hey, who cares? It will all be OK in the end.

The economy still sucks, Louisiana is heavily polluted, and 20% of America thinks Barack Obama is a Muslim! What a Circus.... After 27 years on this earth, I've learned 1 important thing: No matter what, you are guaranteed that the sun will come up tomorrow...

Keep it sunny folks - until next time...

 DC Mike

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chapter 2: The College Years - Leaving Small Town USA...

Howdy Folks. So on to the next significant snippet of my life...

After leaving High School I was fortunate enough to get accepted into the Engineering Program at Lehigh University (Go Mountain Hawks!!). Lehigh is located about 50 minutes north of Philadelphia and about 45 minutes west of New York City. The campus is beautiful and the school is pretty top notch. I guess my grades were up to par, and they liked my extracurriculars, so they let me in.

Entering college - I was pretty naive. I used to be fairly comfortable in my shoes around my hometown, but this was something new. We had kids from private schools like the Peddie School and Christian Brothers Academy with full academic scholarships, and also kids who were valedictorians of crazy top rated public schools from New England - some extremely smart lads and ladies.

So anyways - getting back to the interesting part. College had some great things to offer. New people to meet, new things to learn, and a whole lot of beer. I met a TON of great people, I learned a good amount of interesting things - and yeh I did drink a little beer too when i got the chance. I made friends I will always remember, gained some great "real life" experience, and learned a few hard lessons along the way. (Example: Women are Trouble - Let's just leave it at that...)

So in the end I ended up graduating with a Degree in Business and a Minor in Mechanical Engineering. Not my initial plan - but hey, nothing ever works out the way you plan it.

In May 2006, I said goodbye to my friends - threw my cap at graduation, and began to pack up my things and start my new life in Washington, DC with my Brother and another good friend. We rented a townhouse outside the city and we drove the U-haul 300 miles south.

I was excited, completely broke, and not looking back. Time to "Drink the Cool Aid" of corporate America and see what "Living the Dream" is really all about...