2013 was a year of change.
1. I found out that I was having twins.
2. I helped launch a new site in Northern Virginia for Capital City Church.
3. I started blogging. If you’re not a fan of that fact, I’m sorry. Blame Hannah and others who encouraged me to start this silly blog.
4. I goofed around one night and made a dumb “rap” video. I had fun. Thus, I made about twenty more. Those silly videos have gotten nearly 100,000 hits on YouTube during the past few months (and some hateful comments that make me afraid of Russians).
5. I bought a SUV.
Oh, and Napoleon lost two things that were very important to him. In short, there will be no baby Napoleons in the future. Poor guy.
Most importantly, I started eating a lot more Mexican food this past year. That’s a little surprising because I already spent most of my first 29 years of life eating Mexican food. However, in 2013, the fajitas tasted a little better.
Because I was surrounded by friends.
Here’s the deal. Life is busy. Way too busy. Important stuff like sleep and exercise often get trumped by work, wasting time on Facebook, and errands. Thus, it’s challenging to take the time to develop deep, flourishing, and authentic relationships with friends. Out of that desire, a burning need for genuine community, and a passion for tacos, the Dude Dates were born.
There are a lot of local Mexican restaurants in Alexandria and Arlington. I want to try them all. A few months ago, Eric B. and I took a break from training for the 2014 NBA Draft and crushed some awesome Mexican food at a joint near my house. The following week, me and my boy Teddy (Mr. Double Thumbs Up, above) finally grabbed dinner after talking about it for 2+ years. We hit up a hole-in-the-wall Mexican spot that did not have an English menu. I do not remember the name of the restaurant, but the food was glorious (and served on styrofoam plates). We decided that we needed to do it again and invite a few more guys from church.
There are now 30+ fellas on our Dude Date email list (let me know if you want in on this hotness). All different ages, all different races, all different feelings about skinny jeans. It started with Northern Virginia guys, but we’ve recently expanded to include some of our D.C. and Maryland brethren. There are only three rules: (1) eat a lot; (2) laugh a lot; (3) don’t die the next day. Due to the fact that all the places we hit up are pretty dirty and rumored to be hangouts for MS-13 and other gangs, it’s a miracle we’ve survived. However, we’ve laughed a lot and that’s what matters most.
We went to Las Vegas, an “interesting” Mexican restaurant, not the city, last Thursday night during a snowstorm. I called to make reservation the day before and the guy laughed. Part of the place is a restaurant and part of it is a night “club.” Although the only people in the entire restaurant were the staff and 15 dudes, the club music and lights were thumping throughout dinner. Despite the rough appearance, the food was pretty good. I asked the guys to do a quick survey about their culinary experiences at Las Vegas and here are the results and a few comments:
Overall: 3.6 out of 5
“They might use it as a front for something else.” – Paul
Food: 3.8 out of 5
“My dinner had a face.” – Jeff
“The fajitas had some mystic brown sauce that was very tasty, although after 24 hours, the brown mystery sauce is proving to burn on the way out! (Splashing toilet water on the sphincter does sooth the burning!)” – Chad
Service: 3.8 out of 5
Ambiance/Weirdness: 3.6 out of 5
“Loud music and lots of dark corners. Ideal for illicit activities. Socializing with friends – not so much.” – Nikolai
3 restaurants down. Approximately 50 more to go.
Game on, dudes. Game on.