Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 227/365 - Everybody Into the Pool

The pool at my apartment complex (along with pools all across the country, I'm sure) opened today. I swam a few laps, laid in the sun, read my book, took notice of the bikinis, and in general had a very indolent and enjoyable start to the day.

Now it's time to clean my apartment and do some grocery shopping. Ugh. Being an adult (chronologically speaking, anyhow) certainly has it's downsides. However, now that the pool is open I can go back to inventing reasons to telecommute, which means I'll be getting paid to conduct legal reviews whilst sitting 'round the pool. That's even better than practicing law on the couch.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 226/365 - Tartuffe

I hadn't been to see a play in a while, so tonight I decided to catch Journeyman Theater's production of Moliere's "Tartuffe" at the Church Street Theater. I'd never seen or read any of Moliere's work before so I wasn't sure what to expect, although I was aware that "Tartuffe" was generally considered his masterpiece. The play was originally staged in 1664 and caused an almost instant uproar, with the Archbishop of Paris threatening to excommunicate anyone who saw, acted in, or read it. To engender a reaction like that, you know it has to be good.

The titular Tartuffe is a scheming huckster posing as a pious nobleman who claims to have bankrupted himself through acts of charity. He insinuates himself into the good graces and household of Orgon, a wealthy landowner who is awed and obsessed by Tartuffe's apparent righteous fervor and selflessness. When Orgon's family tries to tell him that Tartuffe is a lying hypocrite who censoriously denounces everything enjoyable or pleasant as sinful and wicked while secretly indulging in his own appetites, he rebuffs their criticism as being driven by envy and takes their "persecution" of Tartuffe as further evidence of his righteousness.

In short order, Tartuffe convinces Orgon to disinherit and exile his son, break his daughter's engagement, and provide Tartuffe with the deed to his entire estate, his daughter's hand in marriage, and possession of a box of incriminating letters. It is only when Orgon catches Tartuffe attempting to despoil his wife in Act II that he finally sees the sanctimonious mountebank for what he is. When he throws the rascal out, Tartuffe goes to court to obtain an eviction order against Orgon and turns the box of letters over to the king, who sends an officer to arrest and imprison the duped landowner.

Will wickedness triumph? Will Tartuffe's treachery be rewarded with wife and wealth? I'm not going to spoil the ending for you, in case you want to brave the threat of excommunication and see or read it for yourself. The play is very good, although the fact that it is written entirely in rhyming couplets does take some getting used to. The character of Tartuffe is the theater's most thoroughgoing scoundrel this side of Iago and the play's skewering of self-righteous hypocrites who denounce in public that in which they delight in private remains as timely today as it was 445 years ago.

Journeyman Theater's production does justice to Moliere's writing. The set, although minimal, is effective. The costumes are good and although the actors stumble over some of their lines, the performances are all quite good as well. In particular, the actress portraying the sharp-tongued servant girl Dorine who attempts to bully some sense into a family of senseless fools stands out among the cast.

Really, the only off note associated with this production is the fact that the Church Street Theater lacks air conditioning or other meaningful ventilation and, as such, the atmosphere can be pretty stifling. Apart from that, this production gets solid marks all across its report card.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 225/365 - Zombies!

I've been thinking about buying this book for a while now. Given that I have a Y chromosome, I've never read any of Jane Austen's stuff. I thought I should probably read the original before I read the spoof, but then I figured when am I ever going to read the straight version? So screw it, bring on the zombies!

I like a lot of chick flicks but I've never gotten into chick lit, either contemporary or classic. (Hopefully my use of the term 'chick' here doesn't offend anyone. I don't mean it to be condescending. I just use it as the female equivalent of dude.) Never read Austen or whoever it was that wrote the "Litte Women" books. I have toyed with the idea of reading "Bridget Jones Diary" though. That sounded like it could be pretty entertaining. I've always had a secret urge to read the Nancy Drew books, too. One of these days I'm going to break down and order them off Amazon.

I did have to read "Wuthering Heights" in college once and hated it. Everyone in that book was annoying. I just wanted to kick them all in the shins and tell them to get over it already. Now that was a book that could have seriously used a few zombies. Or at least a vampire.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 224/365 - Driving Me to Drink

The Nats dropped their seventh straight game tonight in a 2-1 loss to the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates and their record now stands at 11-28. It's looking like another 100+ loss season is in store for them (and thus, by extension, for me). Fannnnnnnnntastic.

I went to the game but I had to leave after the fifth inning with the score knotted at 1 because my allergies were making me miserable. Like an idiot, I forgot to take any allergy medicine to work with me today. I had gotten pretty lucky thus far this spring with my hayfever, but today it caught up to me. I must have sneezed a dozen times just on the short walk from the ballpark to the Metro. With the way my eyes were puffy and red and watery and my nose was running I must have looked as though I'd been bawling. The way the Nats are playing is certainly enough to make a grown man cry.

As you can see from the photo, I always take a book on baseball to the ballpark with me. Usually it's a book on DC baseball history. There are a surprising number of them out there. There are even a couple DC baseball novels. I like to read before the game starts and then in between innings. I'm also one of those nerd boys who brings a portable radio to the ballpark with him to listen to the broadcast of the game. Yeah, I'm cool like that.

I got home tonight in time to catch the ninth inning and hear the Nats let the Pirates score the go-ahead run and then fail to even things up in their half of the final frame. I turned off the radio, fixed myself a rather stout bloody mary, and put on some Billie Holiday. It's good to remember at times like this that even the blues can be beautiful.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 223/365 - Push the Button

All day long I kept trying to think of something cool and reflective I could use for shooting this week's self-portrait and I kept coming up empty. Then, on the way over to the Sports Pub to grab some dinner while the photos I took at my nieces' wedding uploaded, I saw this crossing signal button and had a 'eureka!' moment. Done!

And in the spirit of this shot, here are a couple of 'push the button' songs I like. One is a guilty pleasure and the other is just badass:

By the Sugababes

By the Chemical Brothers and Q-Tip

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 222/365 - Winging My Way Home

Flew home from my niece's wedding in Houston today. This shot was taken inside one of the American Airlines terminals at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. My day started with me at my sister's lake house sitting on the dock looking out over the water and ended with me sitting at my computer going through the 600+ photos I took over the course of the weekend.

Being a wedding photographer must be a great gig. I realize there would be a fair amount of stress and craziness involved, but weddings are so super-saturated with love and joy that it seems you'd have a permatan of happiness if that was your regular work environment. Now I think I have a second fallback option after pastry chef if the lawyer thing goes kablooey. It's good to have options, even if they only get used for daydreaming purposes.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Twice on Sunday Bonus Photo - Love in the Early Morning Light

In honor of my niece's wedding today, this week's bonus photo from my archives is a shot I took on my trip to Venice last February. When I left my hotel first thing in the morning on the second day of my trip, there was an elderly couple walking up the narrow lane ahead of me hand-in-hand.

Love is still love, regardless of what age you happen to be.

(Taken with my Nikon D80)

Day 221/365 - Hitched

Today my niece Chrissy and her fiance David got hitched. The bride wore rhinestone-studded flip flops, the groom wore Chuck Taylor All-Stars, and by the end of the evening everyone wore a smile. It was the first outdoor wedding I've attended and thankfully the weather cooperated. It was held at Briscoe Manor just outside Houston, Texas. The lakeside ceremony was short but sweet, which left us plenty of time for eating and drinking.

The wedding colors were black, yellow, and brown, the flowers were sunflowers, there was an open bar, there were two cakes, there was an ice cream bar, there were few tears, much laughter, good music, and there was a lot of love and happiness -- the two most important ingredients of any wedding. Congratulations Chrissy and David!

(Taken with my Nikon D90)