Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 262/365 - Adventures in Dogsitting

My friends Des and Chris had to be away from home all day today so I agreed to dogsit their miniature Australian shepherds, Chewie and Wicket, and the French bulldog Zeus they were watching for a friend. Walking three dogs at once is not an easy feat. They kept getting all tangled, twisted, and twined around my legs. We had a pretty nice day, though. We went for a few walks, sat on the grass in the sun for a while, watched a couple movies, and played Lego Batman on the Wii. Well, I played and they watched in between naps.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 261/365 - Air and Space and Ballet

I've been wanting to visit the annex of the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum at Dulles airport ever since it opened years ago, so when my friend Chris said he was taking the day off today to drive his visiting cousin out there and asked me if I wanted to go along I jumped at the chance. It's the quintessential 'boys and their toys' kind of museum, jampacked with stuff they couldn't fit into the Air and Space Museum on the Mall -- commercial and military aircraft, rockets, and even the Space Shuttle Enterprise. No airships, though. We were kinda disappointed in that. Seems like a perfect spot for a zeppelin or blimp.

It's a very cool museum, although the $15 parking fee is a bit absurd given that it's in the middle of nowhere and parking isn't exactly at a premium out there. I finally tried the freeze dried ice cream they sell in the Museum gift shop. I opted for the ice cream sandwich. It's rather dry and hard, but it does taste like ice cream.

After we got back from Dulles late this afternoon I had to upload my photos of the museum, iron my shirt, change clothes, and head off to the Kennedy Center to catch the Royal Ballet's performance of Manon. I hand't been to the ballet in over a year, and this one turned out to be really good. It stems from the same story that served as the source of the opera Manon Lescaut. The plot involves a young girl forced to choose between two suitors -- one a poor student who loves her deeply and the other a rich nobleman who covets her possessively. Dazzled by the nobleman's gifts (and at her slimy brother's urging), she chooses comfort and security over love and passion and of course everything goes to Hell in a handbasket as a result. This was an excellent production with top notch dancers and the music was wonderful.

Ballerinas always amaze me. They seem to belong more to the air than they do to the earth. I love when they float across the stage with a fluttering of tiny, tiptoed steps. I have no idea what that step is called, but it's very cool. I've wondered for some time if there is a way to write down choreography. Can dancers read ballet the way musicians read music? It seems like there would have to be a way to transcribe the choreographic arrangements. Otherwise no ballet would ever be performed the same and great old ballets would be lost or corrupted over time, only the score would remain the same. That can't be what happens.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 260/365 - Third Game's the Charm

Tonight was the only one of the three Red Sox vs. Nationals games for which I held a ticket, and if I was only going to go to one of these games then this was the one to go to! Man, that's a convoluted sentence. Anyhow, after dropping the first two games in the series, the Nats put a 9-3 whuppin' on the Sox tonight. It was the largest crowd in Nationals Park history with 41,985 in paid attendance. Given that the ballpark's listed capacity is only 41,888, that means they sold nearly 100 SRO tickets. That should help fatten up their bank account so they can afford to sign Strasburg. Fingers crossed.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 259/365 - I'm All Ears

For this week's self-portrait we have my left ear. The only difference between it and my right ear is the fact that it's double-pierced, although it is a bit hard to tell that from this shot. I stopped wearing my earrings a couple years back and now my holes have partly closed up. I didn't want to be that old guy trying too hard to be hip, so I decided it was time to let go of the earrings.

I got the first hole pierced when I was a freshman in college. I was out at the mall with my Mom and one of my sisters when I mentioned that I thought it would be cool to have a pierced ear and my Mom said she'd pay for it if I really wanted to get it done, so I took her up on her offer. After I got home though I was worried that my Pops wouldn't approve so I took the stud out. It bled like crazy. When my Pops found out, he said he didn't care whether I got it pierced or not; it was my ear and as far as he was concerned I could do what I wanted with it.

So then I dug my stud out of the trash and went to put it back in, but I couldn't manage to find the backside of the hole. After trying for a while with no success, I just said 'hell with it' and pushed it through. I got the second hole pierced when I was hanging out with some friends while I was on leave during my first year in the Navy. There was no drama or angst associated with that one.

For several years I wore two silver hoops in my ear that were almost the circumference of a quarter. I did (and do) want to be a pirate, after all. Then after a few years of work at my current gig I decided it was time to bling things up a bit so I bought myself a set of diamond studs. I got a couple years use out of them before I gave up on the earrings thing. Now they're just sitting in my dresser drawer collecting dust.

Maybe if I ever have a daughter I can hand them down to her. It's kind of an odd hand-me-down to get from your father, but what girl or woman can say 'no' to diamonds?

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 258/365 - SpongeBob Squarepopsicle

I've seen these SpongeBob ice cream treats at the vendor carts around the National Mall for a while and today I finally splurged and bought one when I was out for a lunchtime stroll. Turns out they aren't very good. First, the manufacturing process seems like it could use a few quality control tweaks because SpongeBob looks a bit mutated. Second, they don't taste like anything recognizable. Third, they melt almost instantaneously.

I had to drop mine in the garbage when I was only about halfway done because it was rapidly reverting to a liquid state and dribbling on my pants. I didn't really mind dumping it, though, given the drab taste. I would have liked to have found out what flavor the gumball eyes are, however. Assuming they actually had one. I should've gone with one of my childhood favorites instead -- either the orange push-up pop or the strawberry shortcake bar. They never disappoint.

That's one SpongeBob treat checked off anyhow. Now if I could just find myself a crabby patty somewhere.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 257/365 - Merry-Go-Nowhere

Not much to say about today's shot. The weather tonight was halfway decent, so I carpe diem'd the opportunity to walk home from work. This is the carousel on the Mall. My path home takes me right by it and when I saw that some of the horses were roped off with caution tape I thought I'd take a shot of it.

Don't know why they are in quarantine. Did they catch the swine flu? Were they getting rowdy and biting the kiddies? Were they laid off due to the economic slowdown? Odds are that it is the much more prosaic answer that they were just in need of a repair job.

I love merry-go-rounds. I don't think you're ever too old to ride them. I just wish they still had brass rings like they did way back in the day.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Twice on Sunday Bonus Photo - Fathers, Sons, & Baseball

In honor of Father's Day, this week's bonus shot from my archives is a photo I took of a father and son at new Yankee Stadium on my recent jaunt up to New York.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)

Day 256/365 - Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my Pops and to all fathers everywhere. Everything I am that is good I learned from him. Everything I am that is bad I picked up on my own.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)