Archive for September, 2009

Cavalia: Or THAT’S What The Big Tent in Pentagon City Is!

One night I took a slightly inebriated cab ride home from Eastern Market to my apartment in Crystal City.  As I looked out to the right, I saw this:

A briliant photo of the Cavalia Tent by Flickr user Kevin H.

A brilliant photo of the Cavalia Tent by Flickr user Kevin H.

(Well okay, It was night when I saw it and Kevin here took a much better picture than I could have-but that’s basically what I saw.  You get the idea)

Towering over the hotels surrounding it appeared to be either a circus tent or the fairy-tale castle of any one of a variety of princes.  I checked myself-nope, not that drunk…dreaming maybe?  Did the girlfriend put on a Disney movie while I slept (again?) A trick of the lights?  Nope.  I was left with the incredibly odd question “Just what is that tent?”

We drove by the next day and, sure enough, it was still there.  Signs read “Cavalia” but didn’t really explain what it was.  Just that it was “Cavalia.” After a week of meaning to look that up and trying to spell “Cavalia” right from memory, posters appeared in my building advertising the coming of:


As such I was able to remember the name from the short walk from the elevator to my computer, and found the web site.  What is Cavalia? Per the web site, Cavalia is an equestrian show.  Specifically:

“Homage to the poignant history and fascinating bond between human beings and horses, Cavalia is a poem written in the language of sound, image and extraordinary performance.  Blending dramatic visual effects, live music, dance and acrobatics with the bold presence of over thirty magnificent horses-including, the incredible Lusitanian Stallions-Cavalia raises the bar for spectacular entertainment in the 21st century.

So it sounds to me like some sort of fairy tale with horses, real live horses, in a kinda/sorta Cirque Du Soliel show.  Or more bluntly, something my buddy will get dragged to by his girlfriend during football.

For what it is though, it seems pretty cool-Clearly there is some cohesive story that goes through out the event, so it isn’t as if it’s just some horse show.  The pictures and videos.  Perhaps I’ll check it out before the run is over.

Tickets are available now, and if any of you go it would be great to hear your thoughts.  It appears as if the show runs through September 27th, and while ticket prices are steep I will say that the poster in my building advertised discounted rates for their neighbors.  Apparently if you punch in a certain promo code (and I don’t know if would be fair to give it away here) they give their neighbors a break on the price.  So maybe, even if you are not, say that you are a NEIGHBOR(S). EDIT: Yeah-you’ll have to show proof of residence, so just saying you’re a neighbor won’t work.  Hmmm, I wonder if that is a horse pun?  Neiiggghhh-bor.

Als0-if you need a job and don’t mind running away and joining the circus, they are hiring.

DC Video: Weatherman Tony Perkins Eats A Sock

Tony Perkins eats a sock. (courtesy WTTG-TV)

Tony Perkins eats a sock. (courtesy WTTG-TV)

Last week saw a Labor Day with a few sprinkles as rain kept it a drab affair.

That was bad news to Fox 5 weatherman Tony Perkins, who guaranteed great weather for Labor Day or he’d eat his sock.

Well he kept his word and ate a sock on-air the Tuesday after, if you didn’t hear about it then you can check out the video of the daring feat.

In a man bites dog news world, it only some-what surprises me that he actually ate a sock.

Morning personalities are so wacky they will do anything.

h/t to DCist for the info.

Bad Luck: Woman Accepts Mountain-Side Proposal Then Falls Off Mountain

Photo courtesy Flickr user QuiteLucid

Photo courtesy Flickr user QuiteLucid

The headline says it all: “Fall on Trail in Md. Is a Scary Climax To Proposal Outing.”

The Washington Post story instantly got a click when I saw it in my reader.

Last Sunday a couple went on a hike on the Billy Goat Trail near Great Falls, MD.  While hiking, the guy took the moment to be all romantic and pop the question, to which the girl swoons and accepts. Shortly after the woman falls down a rock face and had to be air-lifted off the mountain.

Luckily the injuries were not life threatening, and according to officials there was no alcohol involved and the couple appeared to be experienced hikers. What could of been a tragic tale goes down as a very odd news item.

You can check out The Post story which includes video of the rescue, maybe next time you should just stick to a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant.

DC to Be Dan Browned-And What to Do About It

Lost Symbol cover

With the advent of Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” this coming  Tuesday, the secret societies of the DC area are bracing for a sudden onrush of tourists to their places of…secrecy, I guess?  As early as Tuesday night (Seriously-how long does it take to read a Dan Brown book?) throngs of Dan Brown devotees could be showing up at your local Masonic lodge asking if they could just “poke around a bit.”  This story in yesterday’s WaPo (while taking shot after shot at Dan Brown and his audience) details how even little places like Rosslyn Chapel Trust see an explosion in tourism based on their supposed (and by supposed I mean created for a work of fiction by a writer of fiction, but it sounds real) connection to the lost mysteries of Christ.  Where Professor Robert Langdon goes, so go the masses.

No doubt, there will be an increase to some of these probable locales (THANKS Matt Lauer!) and you’re likely to get some folks bugging you with stupid half right facts about secret societies for the next two years (just in time for a movie to come out and start it all over again), it doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun.  For your entertainment, here are some ideas for how to deal with tourists in search of a “Secret Washington:

1.) Stage an argument near one of these likely destination.   Have one person imploring desperately for help from another.  Just as it reaches a fever pitch, and just as your target is in ear shot, say “Will no one help the Widow’s Son?”   Then cast shifty looks all around, and sneak off together to go do something Masonic-y.

2.) Go on one of the inevitable tours that will blossom from this, and while looking at something old and mysterious (there is bound to be something), bend over and mutter “Oh my God..” just loud enough for others to hear.  Bring a little make-up brush and start dusting something carefully and say “Oh…it just can’t be!”  Feel free to exclaim “I found it” (specify it if you have read the above book and know something that could have been found) as you rush away from the tour.  Bonus:  Have two friends ready, dressed very neatly in suits, come “collect” you when you make your discovery.  Be sure to protest the entire time you are being escorted out-especially that the others “have a right to know!”

3.) Striking up a conversation with one of these folks, start to mention some of the “rumors” you’ve heard of hidden places in DC, full of “mystery” and “wonder.”  When they inquire as to where these places are, say you’ve only heard rumor (and maybe, saw on a map just once) of places tourists never get to see-places only referred to “NorthEast” and “SouthEast”…or was it “SouthWest”, you can’t really remember.  (And let’s face it, most of NE and SE are hidden, mysterious places for tourists despite some of the neat things they offer).

4.) When a Fan-Tourist (Foorist?) tells you something that is clearly wrong or made up from the novel, but wants to pass it off as half truth, say “pfft.  That’s not how it happened in National Treasure.”  If they press you that National Treasure was “just a movie”, well, I think you can figure out what to do from there.  (Side Note:  Why didn’t National Treasure create this kind of fervor?  Those movies were pretty fun!)

5.) Get some sidewalk chalk and just start writing stuff that sounds mysterious on the sidewalk like or “AOFACFSOA FSZWBEIC EIOA ZOHSFWQWOA OQQSDW” other things from the book’s twitter page. (note:  that might actually be illegal or considered defacing property-so be warned).

6.)  Introduce them to the people still in line at Five Guy’s and Ray’s Hell Burger from when President Obama went there.  Have them exchange stories of obsessiveness.

7.) Tell them “Walk left, Stand Right.”  Nothing to do with the book, but they are likely to be tourists.

Other suggestions?

Happy Birthday DCist – Sorry For Your Cake Wreck

Courtesy of DCist

Cake Fail courtesy of DCist

Yesterday DCist celebrated their 5th year online and while it should be an event to celebrate, there must of been a minor let-down when editor-in-chief Sommer Mathis picked up the cake to see there was a huge error with the message on the cake. While it is certain a Cake Fail worthy enough for some Food Network reality show, I have to say the folks at DCist are really classy for taking it in stride, even hinting there maybe a new inside joke on the site (So be on notice: the phrases “on a whole cake” and “on a whale cake” seem certain to appear multiple times in future DCist content.)

I do agree, I think Whale cakes are the new fail whale, and with that I hope the folks at DCist had a happy birthday and I hope they are here for many more years to come.

The Tony Kornheiser Show Returns To Radio

KornheiserTony1Fellow Metblogs author Frank should be thrilled this week.

Fresh from his departure from Monday Night Football, he begged and pleaded for Tony Kornheiser to return to radio, well yesterday his dream came true as the The Tony Kornheiser Show returns to ESPN 980 AM, the place where he broadcasted between 1998-2004.

The show is going to air weekdays from 10 AM – Noon and should be available on ESPN 980’s website in on-demand and podcast formats. You should also be able to stream audio live from their website but certain people had trouble listening to Tony’s debut show yesterday. Maybe the return of his show had everyone hitting up ESPN 980’s website.

I first heard about Tony’s return on the B.S. Report with Bill Simmons, and I am a fan of PTI whenever I get a chance to watch it (almost never) so this morning I went to the site and took a listen. I have to agree that Tony really comes alive on radio, and as Jim Williams over at the Washington Examiner puts it, “you tune in to hear about sports and you come away with current events, pop culture and, most of all, an entertaining show — something rare on sports talk radio.”

Now I know what everyone in D.C. has been missing- and I’m glad he’s back.

Charity Spotlight-Business-Best Buddies Happy Hour Thursday

So, very recently, I’ve stepped up my charitable responsibilities here in the District.  Now, while I think it might be a bit…much…if I were to suddenly start using this platform as a way to trumpet my own causes (Just in case you are curious), I do think it is a great opportunity to talk about your causes.  We invite you to write to to let us know about upcoming charitable events that benefit the DC area you think our readers might be interested in attending or participating in.  Each week we’ll try and pick one or two to showcase, so be sure to let us know why your event should be the one chosen!  Now, on to this week’s highlighted event:


It’s fall-so it’s football.  Thursday night marks the opening of the NFL season, and while Patrick has been fantasying it up, and I’m in near hysterics watching my team make questionable move after questionable move-I think we can both safely say that we are looking forward to Thursday.  Maybe you are too-and maybe you’re looking to celebrate the new NFL year with friends, loved ones-or to make some new friends or loved ones, or you’re looking for some end of the year charitable donations to make as an offset to all of the money you won in Vegas on the Super Bowl this year.

If any of these are the case, might I suggest the Business Buddies Mid-Atlantic Region Fall Happy Hour, which just so happens to coincide with the Thursday night festivities.  Business Buddies Mid-Atlantic Region (BBMAR) will host a “Reality Bites” themed fundraising happy hour at Front Page in Arlington, VA on Thursday, September 10 from 4:00pm-8:00pm. The organization of charitable minded young professionals will raise funds for Best Buddies Virginia (BBVA), a local nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of intellectually disabled individuals. Tickets for the event are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at and proceeds will benefit BBVA.

The Arlington Front Page, right next to the mall in Ballston, will offer half-price appetizers and burgers, as well as $2 Miller Lights, $3 draft beers, $2.75 rail drinks $3.25 house wines and $4.50 John Daily’s (firefly & lemonade).

If you were going to go out to the bar to watch the game anyway, then maybe try and make a detour out to the Front Page and support BBMAR and BBVA.  You might just build good karma (for you or your team).

More about BBVA: Best Buddies is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

More about BBMAR: With many young professional organizations in the area, this one is unique in that it offers the opportunity to support an organization with a population that is often neglected and misunderstood. Through BBMAR, professionals in their 20s and 30s can engage with like-minded individuals and raise support for programs that enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through friendships and in the workplace. BBMAR will provide opportunities to attend networking events, professional development seminars and, most importantly, interact and participate with Best Buddies members in the various schools in the area.

Going Back To School: Obama To Speak At Wakefield High Today

President Barack Obama gestures as he addresses union workers and their families at the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Monday, Sept. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama at the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Monday (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Fresh from his Labor Day speech with the AFL-CIO (which I think is a very fitting event for Labor Day), President Obama will be in Arlington, Virginia today to talk to the children at Wakefield High School. After talking with the kids he’ll broadcast a nation-wide speech from the school around lunch-time. While the Principal at Wakefield High is excited to have The President in the school (“The building looks great and the auditorium has been transformed to suit a Presidential speech”), the kids might be a little disappointed to hear the lunch menu will be cold lunch in brown bags due to the speech. Also lunch is going to have to wait til after the speech- so kids eat a good breakfast before you come to school (remember breakfast is the most important meal of the day!) Oh well I’d put up with PB&J if it meant being able to see The President.

According to the released prepared remarks, Obama plans to say things like, “Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today?” and, “I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.” He’s also expected to say more inspirational things like, “Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.”

But seriously guys, Obama’s right- wash your hands.

Overall it looks like the remarks are pretty devoid of the rhetoric that would make some concerned parents pull kids from school. I side with the NY Daily News, Barack Obama is our President and he wants to inspire and impart wisdom to our children- like any good President should.

One last note, if you live or work in Arlington- be aware that the speech is going to cause some road closures today.

UPDATE: Looks like the newspapers weren’t the only ones with something to say about keeping kids from school so they can’t hear Obama, Jordan Peele (formally of MadTV) made a funny Obama reaction to all the talk on the issue.

But for those that want to see the real video you can find it below:


Hope Diamond Gets A Facelift

A girls best friend?

A girl's best friend? (wikimedia)

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, as you probably know, is the home of the infamous Hope Diamond.  This huge, beautiful  blue diamond came into the museum’s possession in 1958, after it was donated by Harry Winston, Inc.  It’s famous for its size (45.52 carats), its color (“fancy dark grayish-blue”), and its “curse”.

But now, the Smithsonian wants to jazz things up a bit.  They are planning to put the diamond in a brand-new setting, one of three possibilities designed by the aforementioned Winston jewellers.  Which one?  Well, that depends on you!  You can vote for your favorite of the three settings,  on the Smithsonian Channel website.

The good news is, that while the winning setting is being made, the diamond will be shown on its own, outside of any setting.  According to the museum, it’s never been publicly shown that way before.  Cool!

The bad news is, we’ve only got three settings to choose from, and to my eye none of them are really a “Dynasty was cancelled in 1989, so vote for this elegant new classic” version.  What do you think, DC?  Am I too conservative?

So, click on over and vote for your favorite, before the deadline on Monday, September 7!  Then plan your visits to the museum to see the Hope Diamond has been up till now, as it is by itself, and as it will be, in its new setting.  (I hear there are cool dinosaurs and some recent ocean-related thingy over there, too.)

Psst! Need a Ticket? ‘Skins Scalp Seats in Secondary Market


It’s an amazing testament to the NFL’s drawing power that a team like the Redskins still have the following they do.  Since 1997, the ‘Skins have posted just three winning seasons, signed ineffective, aging former superstars to contracts for ungodly amounts of money, sued fans, tried to stop you from walking to the stadium, or at least made you pay for parking even if you didn’t drive, and have supported the nuttiness that is Daniel F. Snyder.

None of which has dissuaded the Redskins faithful.  It is still one of the most profitable sports franchises in the world, potentially racist logo and all, despite the many missteps of the past twelve years. Still they show up, not just paying the overly expensive face value for a ticket, but often paying 2-3 times that through the “secondary” market.  “Oh well” you’re thinking, “If this is what the market demands…”

But maybe it doesn’t.

Unfortunately, it looks like the ticket sales for the ‘Skins aren’t all they are cracked up to be-and it probably cost you a lot of extra dough to boot.  The Post reported today that the people in the Redskins ticket sales office sold lots and lots of tickets to brokers (which, as Deadspin points out, is a fancy way to say “scalper”) directly.  You know, rather than to fans who wanted to go to the game.

So guess what-if you bought a ticket from Stub Hub, or (like I did) Ebay and you paid more than face value for those tickets last year, there is a chance you got hosed.  Not just by the scalper, but by the Redskins as well.  Honestly, of all the anti-consumer, disloyal, unfriendly and just bad things you can do-this takes the cake.  In most states there are laws that prevent the sale of tickets directly to brokers to protect consumers from being over charged for the value of the ticket.  Creating a scarcity of tickets by not making them available directly to fans is abhorrent, and I’m kind of glad I’m not already a fan-because this wold be something that might put me over the edge.  The idea that I could have maybe bought my tickets for a fair price but couldn’t because the team I spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year on was complicit in this act?  Unconscionable!

The official story is that this was the act of rogue employees who have been “dealt with” (whatever the heck that means!) and that Snyder was shocked and outraged-but I remain skeptical.  Especially since the one broker who spoke with the post said he was offered the lower seats only if he bought more expensive ones as well.  It seems very possible that this was just an easier way to sell tickets, and create a demand around a franchise that, frankly, hasn’t been good for a long time.

Between the ‘Skins’ excuse that it was actually only a small portion of the actual tickets sold, and the “Broker’s” opinion that without him it would be really hard to get tickets I am about to lose the coffee I had for lunch.  This isn’t a case of someone buying a bunch of tickets to lift a TV ban so that folks can see the game-this is a case of the company you support actively ripping you off.

And it won’t matter.  Fans won’t see one dime of that money back, and the organization will continue to think of the next way to squeeze a dollar out them for, at best, a mediocre product.  And DC will just keep showing up.  Maybe the Nationals should triple their ticket prices and sell them exclusively on the secondary market-demand might go up.  Hopefully a team that is performing, like the Caps, will engender this kind of blind loyalty when they fall on bad times and under perform.  There is a lot mediocrity in DC sports, but the ‘Skins seem to be the only ones going out of their way to treat their fans like garbage.

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