Tag Archives: life after running

Thanksgiving Week 2020: The Circle Closes

Thursday (Thanksgiving Day)

Breakfast: Eggs Benedict…sort of. My first poached egg came out perfect. #2 and #3 were both uncooked hot messes. #4 was a fried egg benedict.

My cooking multitasking did come out well, despite me stirring the Knorr hollandaise sauce for ten minutes without turning the front burner on. Still I did get the hollandaise sauce properly cooked; I even added some ground oregano and paprika to the mix. Ladles onto the first egg benedict, it did taste delicious. It even went well with the fried egg benedict. And my tactic of adding a slice of pancetta on top of the grilled prosciutto was a good choice, mixing the sweetness of pancetta with the salty Parma ham (as gordon Ramsay would call it).

Whole lot of extra hollandaise sauce leftover. Could have made eggs benedict for about eight servings with the one-packet batch that I made.

Desert prep: Tiramisu. Lesson learned here: electric mixer. I tried to hand-whisk the three egg whites, and I think I only got halfway. I also think I may not have really soaked the ladyfingers all the way through until the last four or five. From the first cracked egg to putting the finished product in the fridge took about an hour.

I had two helpings and it came out delicious. Only bad thing: all that leftover mascarpone filling. It’s chilling in the fridge now to prep for my Tuesday Marine Corps League potluck

Dinner: Bachelor’s Pad Seafood boil: Start to finish, the whole meal prep took about an hour and a half, and I sat down to dinner at the tail end of the Texans beating the Lions.

The one trick? The first thing that I had prepped was the pound of gulf jumbo shrimp, starting just after twelve thirty. However, by the time that I started putting things in the turkey fryer/boiler, the shrimp were a bright pink. IN theory I could have just chucked the crab in there, got some cocktail sauce for the shrimp and ate them as is. However, this was to be a seafood boil, so I made the command decision to shorten the cooking time from five minutes to two.

The shrimp made it…just barely. Went nice with drawn butter and white wine vinegar.

While waiting for Redskins-Cowboys, I chowed down on my boiled Thanksgiving feast and washed it down with a tall boy can of Miller Lite. I only made it through one plate.

Oh look…leftovers.

Sportball interlude:

Xavier 51, Bradley 50: Ya gotta make this free throws, Braves!

Washington Football Team 41, Dallas 16. It was 20-16 to start the fourth. I was full of dinner and finally finished my one tall boy by the time the rout ended.

Welcome back Alex Smith.

Hail to the Redskins.

Friday (Black Friday):

At 4: 45 p.m. I got ready to jump in the car and head to the Navy Lodge aboard NAS Patuxent River. It was there on the cold, dark morning after the Super Bowl that I started training for the Semper Fi Double, and I wanted to formally end the year there.

I saw the full moon.

One last full moon to run under.

COVID-19 restrictions had prohibited me from renting a room at the Navy Lodge, but never mind, I could still drive out to the base and do the run.

One last run. One last full moon.

Saturday (two hours later)

Got out of bed at 0550. Sunrise would be about 0630-ish. Out of bed, dressed for warmth. Oh, look I’m missing my gloves and knit cap. Going to be a recurring theme this winter…how many sets of gloves and caps can a man buy in a winter season?

At the Navy Lodge parking lot about 0610. Motorcyclist in the parking lot revving up his souped up motorcycle…nice one, idiot, you know there are people sleeping, right? If I were a Maryland state trooper, I would be making my ticket quota every month just on motorcyclists and pickup truck drivers.

The sky was overcast, covering the full moon. It wasn’t that cold, so the gloves and cap were not an issue. Didn’t do one last Japanese ham sandwich, or otherwise stretch. Just set up the MapMyRun, hit START WORKOUT, put the phone in my FlipBelt, on off I went.

Down Cuddihy, took a right on Buse, past the Moffat Building. Buse up and down to Cedar Point Road, ran it downhill all the way to the entrance road to the Drill Hall Gymnasium and down the road to the Marine Aviation Detachment HQ. Pulled even with, then past the HQ sign and turned around the way I came.

With my mind on other things besides the run, before I knew it, I was climbing up Buse Road towards the stoplight turning onto Cuddihy and the road back to the Navy Lodge. One last climb up Cuddihy, past the stop sign and past the Navy Lodge sign.

A couple of selfies in front of the Navy Lodge signage. Back in the car, and off to McDonald’s for breakfast (and for my third straight meal of the weekend).

The circle is closed. What I have written I have written.

Songs of the Day:

Triarii: The Final Legion

Q*Brick: Shot’em

Deep Purple: Highway Star

The Darkness: I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Leonard Cohen: The Future

Manfred Mann: Blinded by the Light

Marine Corps Birthday 2019: Dry

November 10, 1775: The fledgling United States Congress authorizes two battalions of Marines to serve aboard the fighting vessels of the nascent Continental fleet, serving as board parties, coastal raiders, and other combat duties in support of the fleet. Captain Samuel Nichols, recruiting officer and recognized as the first Commandant of the Marine Corps, set up shop in Philadelphia’s Tun Tavern to recruit the first of those whom would be called United States Marines.

Two hundred and forty-four years after the Marine Corps was literally born in a bar…I celebrate with a single glass of lager.

Marine Corps Ball, MGM Grand National Harbor

2 November 2019

Patuxent River Detachment 1305, Marine Corps League (of which I am a proud member) and the Marine Aviation Detachment, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, co-hosted this year’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in National Harbor, MD. The MGM Grand was a short drive from the Gaylord National Resort, where I attended the Runner’s Expo for the Marine Corps Marathon only a week ago.

My boss at ASI, at my asking, helped sponsor the Ball with a donation of $1,000 for the Ball Fund. To show gratitude, the Ball organizers awarded my boss four tickets to the Ball. He took two for himself and his wife, and donated the last two to me.

I received the tickets in August. It was the first week in October when i remembered I had them, and a friend half-jokingly asked me “Who’s your date for the ball?”

What date?

So, along with my tapering for the Marathon and finding lodging for the MCM Weekend, I had a new logistical wrinkle for the next month: finding a date.

Now, I don’t have much of a social life, and southern Maryland is somewhat close-held as far as the dating scene, so I had something of a hill to climb. Younger Marines had gone on YouTube over the years, practically begging famous actresses to attend their local Marine Corps Ball with them. I wasn’t;t going that route, so I had to make my search discreetly..and without embarrassing myself on social media.

After quietly advertising my desire for a date to the Ball around my apartment complex, I got a call on Thursday night from a young lady named Anne Marie, who was an accountant for one of the detailing services for my apartment complex. She heard through one of the tenants that i was looking for a date for the ball Saturday night (November 2, almost a week after the MCM) and she offered to accompany me. A Half an hour on the smartphone, and i had a date!

The only notable excitement I had on Saturday was that she had to drive from Baltimore, and she called to say that she would change at my place before we took off from my place. Great, now I had to clean up the apartment and get dressed before she got here. Somehow, I managed to get the place looking presentable and get dressed (less my sport coat, which I would put on at the MGM Grand).

Another piece of nervousness: Anne Marie checked the MGM Grand website for events, and saw another unit’s ball being held there on November 7th. Did I get the dates messed up? After about five nervous minutes, I confirmed that yes, this was another unit’s ball (they were Headquarters Battalion out of Marine Corps base Quantico, VA) and that the MCL-MAD ball was that Saturday night.

Anne Marie and I did make it to the MGM Grand in a timely manner, and managed to find our way from the parking garage, to the casino elevators and a little bit of a walk through the casino, all the way to the MGM Grand Ballroom. Marines in dress blues, Marine Corps insignia all over the place…yep, we’re here.

Anne Marie was a wonderful date. She was my compliment in every way; she carried conversations with my friends while I stayed in the back ground. She didn’t get any alcoholic beverages, so she didn’t get drunk and showing out and making  a scene. The again, neither did I.

I wore a golden suit to the Ball this year, my MCL friends wore tuxedos with small medals, or the MCL Uniform of red and gold jacket with red trousers. Note to self: a tuxedo with cummerbund for 2020. Make it so!

Fast forward to the highlight of the evening: WE. WENT. DANCING. Yes, there is the camaraderie and Spirit de Corps when celebrating the Marine Corps Birthday with brother and sister Marines, but it always kind of rang hollow when I would watch fellow Marines take the dance floor with their wives and girlfriends. Not for me, and not this year. Anne Marie and I cut the rug, with tunes played by an actual house band (no DJ with an iPod and his laptop stereo system). I do remember the white female singer doing an excellent rendition of a soul classic, but I have forgotten the song she did so well.

About 10:30, Anne Marie and I took our leave, and I drove her home. I was really glad to have her as my date for the Ball that night.

Because I had to drive her home so she could get to her car and drive back to Baltimore (to go to work the next day? long story), neither of us even got so much as a glass of champagne for a birthday toast. Oh well.

Marine Corps Birthday Celebration, Brudergarten Beer Garden

10 November 2019, Leonardtown, MD

My Marine Corps birthday tradition: the annual MCL Detachment celebration, accompanied by several good beers; a brisk walk back to the nearby hotel for the night, then up bright and early to march in the MCL Color Guard for the Leonardtown Veterans’ Day Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony.

The plan for Sunday afternoon was a drive to the Empire Inn Hotel and Suites, where I would check in and watch the 2019 Major League Soccer Cup Final. After the game ended (5:30 p.m.-ish), I would stroll down to the Brudergarten and join my Marine brothers and sisters for the festivities: beer, Reading of General John A. LeJeune’s Birthday Message, the Birthday Message from the current Commandant, General David H. Berger, more beer, the Cutting of the Birthday Cake, and more beer until the party ended about 10-ish.

I got to the Empire Inn about 2:45 p.m., with plenty of time to check in and get comfortable for the game. I pulled on the door to open it…and it was locked! I saw a sign that said USE OTHER DOOR and I assumed it meant the back door. I went in the back…also locked. I went back to the front door and took a good look inside…the Empire Inn and Suites had breathed its last, having closed months ago.

No hotel room for the night meant that my alcohol consumption would be very limited; there was a Maryland State Troopers Barracks only a mile or so up the road, and they were an active and visible presence in St. Mary’s County. So, it was back home for another twenty minute drive. I got back and watched the game from the apartment clubhouse and made the drive back to Leonardtown and the Bru.

The Bru was packed. I’ll say this: the Marines could hold a birthday celebration in a library and we would pack the place, as long as somebody brought along a keg of beer and a few hundred re solo cups. I got a delicious lager from the Bru’s menu of craft beers, and the night went as planned. I even saw a few MCM mock turtlenecks from various past years, so I got a few pictures with them.

At 9:00, with my one celebratory beer and two pieces of chocolate birthday cake, I made the drive home, fortunate to avoid law enforcement on the trip home.

The morning would bring the Veterans’ Day parade. The one noteworthy item from this event: the parade organizers were concerned that the Color Guard would march too fast and get too far ahead of the parade. Keep in mind, this is three men in their late forties plus with one former marine in his thirties with not-so-great knees.

WE”RE going to fast? C’mon, man…

And so, two hundred forty four years after Captain Samuel Nichols enlisted the first United States Marines in a drinking hall…I got ONE beer.