Archive for April, 2009

Daily DC Item: Confessions on Life, Death, and God

eroticaI’m a fan of local blogger and keeper of secrets, Frank Warren. Ever since I got to meet and interview him earlier this year I learned more about his PostSecret project and blog, which apparently is a big deal.

Well Frank is coming out with a new book this fall called, “PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God.” It will be another collection of postcards submitted to him along the themes of religion and spirituality.
The book just got listed on Amazon for pre-order, the book doesn’t come out til October. Even thought it’s a few months out Frank says that any early support, “can really help the project grow and last.”

You can also grab a sneak peek at his current project this Friday at the Hillyer Art Space. An exhibition of postcards will be on display start May 1st and running through June 26. Those that want to meet the man behind the postcards can stop by between 7 Pm – 8:30 PM and he’ll be there singing books. You can also purchase one of his other four books or fill out a blank postcard and leave him your own secrets.

DC Sports: Hope Springs (Mostly) Eternal…

Last week I posted on my facebook page “Could DC be the worst Sports town in the Country?” and I don’t think was out of line to ask that question.  (Seattle was the only other obvious contender-with a terrible baseball team, no hockey, an awful football team and having just lost their basketball team).

But April showers bring the buds of May-and all the bad news of the past month seems to be shaping up nicely for DC Sports fans-Need proof?  Read on:

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The Wizards had just finished a dismal 19-63 season-by far the worst team in the East (only the Kings in the West did worse).  No playoffs for the first time in years.  The $100+ million dollar man, Gilbert Arenas, played in a total of  2 games for 31.5 minutes (At over $14 mil for the year, that’s $7 mil a game, or $465,189 per minute).

And now: Flip” Saunders heads the team-and he has a pedigree of at least getting out of the first round of the playoffs.   Gilbert Arenas looked, well, not awful in his two games and at least seems to be running around-presumably he will be better for next year.  All that losing seems to have paid off too, with the Wizards having the second most chances of getting the top pick in the draft-and can only finish as low as 5th.  In a class heavy on PGs and low on big guys-picking high is more important than ever this year.  

Skins, Nats and Caps after the jump. (more…)

Daily DC Item: 31 Flavors To Give Away 31 Cent Scoops

n60725516370_905The weather is getting warmer and you know what that means: ice cream. Now I personally enjoy cold icy treats year round but when it’s been as hot as it’s been; ice cream is the perfect remedy to a long day at the office.

Well tonight is a particularly great night to get some ice cream after work, all Baskin Robbins locations will be selling 31 cent scoops of ice cream between the hours of 5 PM – 10 PM, now that’s a recession friendly price!

The night is in honor of America’s firefighters, the company is going to make  a $100,000 donation to the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) National Junior Firefighter Program and certain locations may be collecting money for your local firehouses.

You can get more details on their website, Twitter, or Facebook page. Now there are a few locations around DC and Virginia, you can find the closest Baskin Robbins location here.

Mine happens to be a shady gas station/Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins on Columbia Pike but hey anything for cheap ice cream!

Caps Still Not Golfing!

Caps Alternate Logo

Oh, it was a thriller in Chinatown tonight!  Your Capitals “rocked the red” and sent the Rangers home to New York.  They’ll move on to face the dreaded Penguins* in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs!  As May arrives, they’ll be on the rink, and not the links.

The Caps played well tonight, with good speed and passing, with excellent defense especially by young goaltender Simeon Varlamov.   For much of the game the score was tied 1-1, and the fans at the Phone Booth and viewers all over the DC area were on the edge of our seats, hoping the Red would pull through.  And the final, series-winning goal by the team’s current elder statesman, Sergei Fedorov, was  a beautiful shot that didn’t disappoint.   As I put it on my twitter feed,  “spasibo, Seryhozha“.

I am so proud of you, DC, for beating on the glass, wearing red to the game almost to a man, and yelling your heads off in support of your local team.  So often at games in this town, there are more fans for the opposing team than the hometown, that one can almost forget where one is.  But not now.  I haven’t seen Caps fans that excited since the 1998 playoffs, when I managed to attend games in every round of the playoffs, even the finals (yes, the Wings swept ‘em, but man were those ever some fun games).  Now that the weather is finally due to cool off, I might have to break out my old Kono sweater to watch the next series!

So, way to go Caps, and way to go DC for supporting them so enthusiastically!

*corrected

Protectors of Crystal City: Superhero Outdoor Film Fest!

A truly brilliant Image by flickr User Ian Boyd

The Super-heroes of DC Comics have always taken place in cities vaguely reminiscent of ones in the real world, but with slightly fantastic sounding names:  Gotham, Metropolis, Keystone,… Crystal City?

Yes-just outside our Nations Capitol, criminals fear to walk this summer.  The most accessible metro stop in the city will play home to not one, but 4 Super-heroes and 2 Super-hero teams.  The Crystal City Outdoor Film festival embraces it’s inner geek (although it’s decidedly less geeky now) and pulls 21 titles of spandex and capes off of its DVD shelf and onto the big screen-combining my love of being a hording, comic loving recluse and my love for being outside.  Starting May 4th with Spider-Man, and finishing with the masterpiece that is Batman: The Dark Knight on September 21, Crystal City pulls no punches and ducks no movies.  The good, the bad (Superman Returns; The Hulk) and the somewhere in between (X-men) there is something for everyone…that is if everyone likes comic book movies.

True story:  Last year when Screen on the Green did the original Superman I watched it with someone who, quite literally, knew nothing about Superman.  I mean-nothing.  Didn’t know what he could do, where he came from, what his deal was-nothing.  At one point she said “What’s the glowing green stick”-Uh…Kryptonite?  “Oh…like the song!”  The madness that put into my head…beyond description.  I don’t expect people to be versed in the many different colors Kryptonite, what they do or that it actually originated in the radio plays not the comics-but come on!

So fear not citizens of Northern Virginia, and come get you some education on these, the modern folk heroes of these here United States of America one Monday night at a time.

Click here for full movies and information.

Time: Starting May 4th, Every Monday at Sundown

Location: 18th and Bell Street – Courtyard Across from Crystal City Metro Station & Marriott Hotel

DC Video: John Tortorella vs. Fans

In honor of tonight’s Game 7 in the Rangers/Capitals playoff series I thought I’d highlight a great moment in Rangers coaching history. Thanks John Tortorella, maybe you can harass some more Caps fans with a stick and get kicked out tonight.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh9wY6qb8ac[/youtube]

Go Caps!

Daily DC Item: DC Doesn’t Have Swine Flu Yet, Busy Exporting Measles

"Oink" courtesy Flickr user RougeAngel

Walking around in the nice weather I noticed that my eyes were a tad itchy and my nose got a tad runny. Thank goodness they were simply my allergies acting up and none of the scary diseases on the loose right now.

Last week measles has been spreading around the area and the city has been working hard to keep it under control. So far it appears the best we could do is to direct it towards another state. I’m not a big fan of Missouri anyways. In all seriousness, you should make sure you weren’t in one of the at-risk areas and keep an eye out if you do develop symptoms (rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, or red, watery eyes.) Hmmm I hope I don’t have measles (luckily I’ve had my MMR.)

Of course just before we can squash one outbreak, we are busy preparing for another. The hot topic I’ve heard around friends this weekend was Swine Flu. It’s spread to the US after an outbreak in Mexico and now DC is taking measures to prepare themselves. Luckily no cases have been reported in the area so far.

Follies: A High School Reunion With Broadway Style

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My friends at The Arlington Players invited me to check out Follies, their Spring production which opened last weekend. I was able to make it out for their opening weekend matinee and talk back.

I’ve never seen the musical by Stephen Sondheim and 1971 Tony award winner for Best Music & Lyrics; so I didn’t know what to expect.  As the Orchestra (conducted by Leah Kocsis) started up with the overture, ghostly figures began to march in as if they were haunting memories of the half demolished theatre where the show takes place in. Was I about to watch a ghost story about a haunted theatre? That’d be a cool musical to do, something like Scooby Doo the Musical: Case of the Haunted Theatre- oh wait that’s already been done.

I quickly realized that the show is actually about a reunion of the, “Weismann’s Follies” a group of girls that performed musical revues back in the day (think Ziegfeld Follies.) The theatre they used to perform in is now abandoned and will soon become a parking lot. The girls and boys come back to say one last goodbye to the stage.

Much like your high school reunion, everybody is eager to come back and reminisce and relive the pleasant (and not so pleasant) memories of yonder. The show focuses on two couples: Sally (Jean Cantrell) and Buddy (Jack B. Stein); and Phyllis (Lynn Audrey Neal) and Ben (Jimmy Payne.)

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The two couples are anything but happy, with Sally still harboring feelings towards Ben, who is still a player in his married life but is still seeking something more. Buddy, a traveling salesman, struggles to rekindle the love that was once there and Phyllis has grown to be a tough shell of a woman, seemingly devoid of any sense of human compassion.

It’s the kind of drama I’d love to see at my own high school reunion.

Follies explores how a group reunites and recollects, but it also take a glimpse at how human relationships mature, change, and evolve in such a setting.

The actors that really caught my eye was Jack B. Stein as Buddy Plummer and Jean Cantrell as Sally Durant Plummer. I particularly enjoyed seeing the Buddy’s vaudevillian number in the second act. Nothing says Vaudeville like wearing a cardboard car for a costume!

Often the supporting cast of actors don’t get enough credit, in Follies each of them had an opportunity to shine and shine they did. I particularly loved Solange La Fitte (Judy Lewis) in her “Ah, Paris!” number. I’m a sucker for accents.

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Director & Choreographer Christopher Dykton put together some really lovely dance numbers, “Who’s That Woman?” is worth the price of admission alone. The coordination of one set of dancers is hard enough- but to coordinate a mirror image of their younger counterparts dancing exactly in step is cause for recognition. That number alone is worth the price of admission.

Dykton also played around with the idea of younger counterparts or ghosts in the show- as the main characters would remember or perform, those clone companion were often there reliving their tales, or in some cases haunting their past.  It created lovely images that really added to production. While some would criticize the hit and miss pairings in casting, I applaud Dykton’s decision to create a diverse cadre of actors and concentrated more on the talent of the person.

The second act of the show is where the strongest elements of the production come together. The set magically transforms from a run-down stage to what it was in it’s heyday. The “Loveland” number is the classic folly number with dancers revealed behind a 400lb fan setpiece (kudos to Jared Davis & Bill Wisniewski for designing and building that contraption). What follows after that number is a series of folly numbers that explores each of the main characters’ inner emotions and struggles. Phyllis really shined in her folly, “The Story of Lucy And Jessie”, a number that had a very Chicago like feel to it.

The Arlington Players put together a solid show that features great dancing and singing- their elaborate sets, and large numbers are sure to entertain and take you back to a much simpler time, well at least what we remember was a simpler time.

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Follies
Weekends April 17 — May 2, 2009
Thomas Jefferson Community Center
http://www.thearlingtonplayers.org/

Daily DC Item: Just Let Teddy Win

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lfh0uhy8ip8[/youtube]

Presidents Race – 04-21-2009 courtesy of YouTube user lfahome

It’s already looking like a long summer for the 3-11 Nationals but there has always been a bright spot during Nationals home games: The President’s Race. The 4th inning tradition has become a fan favorite not matter what the score is at the time. For anyone that’s been to a few Nationals game, they know that out of the four racing Presidents Teddy Roosevelt never wins. The running joke of Teddy coming in last in the standings (much like the Nationals) has become a rallying cry for fans. Fans chant his name when he comes running out of the center field gate and now the fandom has gone online.

I stumbled upon this very interesting blog called, “Let Teddy Win!” The blog is a daily journal of every Nationals President’s Race and includes a complete collection of video clips and highlights so you can go back to the moment Teddy zip-lined across the finish line in RFK; the time Teddy lost on his own bobblehead night; or maybe the time he was just Teddy being Manny. All these clips can be found and more in a well done history of the President’s Race.

So if you would rather see the results of last night’s President’s Race than the results of last night’s Nationals game I highly encourage you to stop on by and check out what antics Teddy’s been up to and maybe one day they’ll just let Teddy win.

Not Easy Being Green: Earth Day

Thanks, NASA!

Of all the zillions of 86 Earth Day events in DC and zillions of 175 million helpful posts on Easy! Ways! To! Be! Green!… this one is FULL OF WIN.  (Also, the most irreverent. Just sayin’.)

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