Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day 192/365 - Stinkier than Dirty Diapers

Went to my second Nats game of the season and of course they lost again. For the second day in a row they blew a lead in the ninth inning and lost to the Marlins in extra innings. A three-run lead, yet!

Beautiful day for a baseball game, but a bad day to be a Nationals fan. Ugh. The look on this baby's face says it all.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 191/365 - Lunch al Fresco

Today was a perfect weather day in DC, which meant I absolutely had to have lunch somewhere with sidewalk seating. I opted to walk to a little Thai place on Capitol Hill and had the red curry duck, coconut ice cream, and two Thai iced teas. I love Thai iced tea.

So, to recap -- Friday afternoon, Thai food, sunshine, 70 degrees, interesting book, and hot Hill staffers strolling by. Yeah, I've had worse lunches.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 190/365 - Lysistrata

My first exposure to the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes' play "Lysistrata" came from my World Lit class in undergrad. I remember being surprised by how funny and, um, earthy it was. I guess I thought anything that old and classic had to be dry and sedate. Although I'd read the play many years ago, I'd never seen it performed live until last night when I caught Synetic Theater's production of it. Technically though, I guess I've still never really seen it performed live.

Synetic's version of "Lysistrata" is more a re-interpretation or re-imagining than a straight production. It's a joint production with the Georgetown University drama department and most of the cast is composed of Georgetown students or recent grads. The play concerns a Greek woman who, tiring of the ceaseless war between her city-state and a rival state that drains their treasuries and destroys their men, organizes her fellow women and the women of their rival state to press for peace. The women's tactics include occupying the treasury building and stealing their men's armor and weapons, but their primary strategy involves a sex strike. No peace, no nookie. The immovable object of war thus meets the irresistible force of sex.

Synetic's production of "Lysistrata" is certainly funny, but a bit disappointing. They settle too easily for the broad, cheap laugh and the efforts to modernize the play come off as heavy-handed and a trifle clumsy. While they've largely maintained Aristophanes' original story, they've done more than a bit of violence to his words. Here's a thought -- when a play has survived for over 2000 years and been hailed as a great work all that time, the less you monkey with it the better. Case in point, the godawful rap sequence. Although I will admit that changing the lyrics of the Eagles' "Desperado" to "Lysistrata" in a later serenade scene was pretty damn funny.

"Lysistrata" is really an odd fit for Synetic. They do best when they focus on telling a story through dance, motion, and pantomime. There's not much of that in this production and what is there is a bit too MTV-ish. "Lysistrata" is more dialogue-driven and that is not Synetic's strength. Stretching yourself and trying new things is fine, but hopefully they'll return more to what they do best in future productions.

The costumes, score, and set for this production are all adequate but not particularly noteworthy. Nothing about any of them really stands out. Similarly, the performances are workmanlike, but none of the actors really shine in their parts. Synetic's production of "Lysistrata" is fine if you're just in the market for a few cheap laughs. Otherwise, you're better off reading the original.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 189/365 - No Joy in Mudville

I had a ticket for tonight's Nats-Phillies game, but it was postponed for a date to be named later on account of rain. Oh well, at least the Nats won't lose again tonight.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 188/365 - Beer O'Clock

This week's self-portrait is me taking a beer out of the fridge, a process that is repeated many times over the course of a year. Don't worry, though -- there's still more in there if you're thirsty.

(Taken with my Nikon D80)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 187/365 - Home, Bittersweet Home

Today was Opening Day for the 2009 baseball season at Nationals Park in DC. The hometown Washington Nationals played host to the defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. I wish the hosts had been a little less accommodating to their out of town guests. The Nats lost to the Phillies 9-8. They're now 0-7 on the season and were once again done in by poor pitching and shoddy defense. Ugh.

At least they made it close, though, with a two run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning. Plus I got to leave work early today, sit outside in the occasional sunshine, buy some new swag at the team store, and eat a hot dog and pretzel and drink a beer (followed six innings later by a Coke and an order of chili cheese fries). So in the final accounting I'd still say there were more entries on the plus side of the day's ledger than on the minus side.

Nothing breaks your heart and torments you with renewed hope like love and baseball.

Go Nats!

(Taken with my Nikon D80)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Twice on Sunday Bonus Photo - Glory Days

For this week's photo from my archives, we reach back all the way to my high school days. I took this shot of the old train depot in my hometown for my 11th or 12th grade photography class. They've restored the depot now, but I think I kinda liked it better when it looked more like a relic from the past than a museum piece.

(Taken with my first SLR, a Pentax K-1000)

Day 186/365 - Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everybunny!

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)