Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 283/365 - The 'W' Is for Woeful

After a cloudy, rainy, miserable Spring we've lucked into a delightful Summer thus far in DC. We've only had a very few days in the 90s. Most days have been in the low to mid 80s with blue skies and low humidity. That's very unusual for this area. Normally summer is one big muggy malaise.

I was reluctant to let the lovely weather slip by unappreciated today so I pried myself off my couch and had lunch at an outdoor cafe in the District. Then I walked down to the National Gallery of Art to check out an exhibit on Venetian sculpture (it was okay) and another exhibit on Spanish royal armor and portraiture (it was very cool). After the gallery closed and they herded us all outdoors, I ambled around the National Mall for a bit before heading over to Bartholdi Park to see the flowers.

Then it was time for the Nationals game. Ugh. I should've just called it a day and gone home. Up until that point the day had been glorious, but unfortunately it couldn't last. For the third straight day, the Nats lost to the Cubs. The Nats were up by 4 runs after two innings but of course they let the game slip away from them and ended up losing 6-5. This season Nationals Park has been a Bermuda Triangle for hope and a black hole for happiness. Firing the pitching coach didn't make the team any better and neither did firing the manager. They're just flat out lousy.

I'm beginning to question the merits of renewing my season tickets for next year. Instead of putting myself through the disheartening ordeal of attending 41 games next season, I might be better advised to just whack myself in the head with a mallet 41 times. That would be cheaper, quicker, and less painful.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Day 282/365 - Post-It Note Impression No. 7

I haven't done one of these in a while. Quick, who am I this time? Or perhaps I should say, "Qui suis-je?"

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 281/365 - In Vino... Wisdom!

Our half of the Office of General Counsel (the old fogies are up on the 7th floor and the rest of us are down on 5) went out for happy hour tonight at a cool bar called Wisdom near the Potomac Avenue Metro station. Wisdom is an excellent place to go for drinks. It's a cozy, laid back, funky lounge with its own specialist cocktails. We snagged a little curtained, candlelit nook just off the main room and proceeded to try as many different alcoholic concoctions as we could. Clockwise from the top above are a Pears of Wisdom, an Apple Strudle, a Sophomoric Sazerac, a Ghetto Symphony, and an absinthe.

If you're looking for an interesting new happy hour locale in DC, go to Wisdom. The only problem is that it doesn't open until 6 p.m. so we had to first go to Trusty's, a non-air conditioned redneck-ish bar next door until Wisdom opened. Oh well, at least that gave us an opportunity to drink beer out of Mason jars and get glared at by people who weren't in suits.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 280/365 - Playing Hooky with Harry Potter

Thanks to my subversive instigation, nearly my entire office (including both our interns) snuck off to catch a noon showing of the new Harry Potter movie today. Don't worry, we used our vacation time to go so there's no issue of tax dollars being squandered while federal employees go AWOL.

Given that it's summertime I was expecting the theater to be packed with kids, but it was almost exclusively a crowd of nerdy adults. Comme nous. The movie was good, but as usual there was a lot they left out. They kept most of the comedy and romance bits intact, but surprisingly they cut a major action scene from the book. Still, it was a satisfying film and skipping off in the middle of the day to go to the movies was great. Coming back to work afterward, not so much.

Surely there has to be a magic spell to chase away work. Some variation of expelliarmus perhaps, or maybe this calls for a patronus.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 279/365 - Spring Awakening

Saw the musical "Spring Awakening" at the Kennedy Center tonight. It was good and well-deserving of its haul of Tony Awards. As have a thousand stories before it, it works the inexhaustible mine of teen angst. Despite the fact that it's among the oldest of story lines (as supported by the fact that the non-musical version of the play was first performed -- and promptly banned -- over 100 years ago), it still manages to seem as fresh, frenetic, raw, and real as youth itself.

This may not be the first choice of play to go and see with your mom or minister given that it deals quite bluntly with sex, sexuality, incest, child abuse, teen pregnancy, masturbation, suicide, and abortion, but it is certainly worth seeing. The set design is excellent, the costuming is quite good, the performances are all solid, and the songs (for the most part) are both good and hummable.

My only quibble really is with the final number, which comes across as a desperate ploy for a "Seasons of Love" type moment. It seems jarring and out of place given the scene that precedes it and the overall tenor of the play to that point. A key character faced with a very trying ordeal decides to resist rather than surrender in a powerful set piece, and then the cast effectively joins hands and sings 'Kumbaya" and chipperly asserts that everything will be alright? WTF? The play should end with a defiant, 'set the world on fire' anthem instead of a limp, treacly, ballad.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 278/365 - The Sum of My Parts

For this week's self-portrait I decided to play around with the mulitple exposure mode on my camera. I extended my zoom all the way, held my camera out at arm's length, and tried to get close-up shots of one eye, one ear, and my mouth.

Looks like my aim was off a little, but it still turned out all right. I like how the curve of my ear blends into the line of both shots of my nose.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Twice on Sunday Bonus Photo - Fireworks over DC

For this week's extra photo from my archives we have this shot I took of the fireworks bursting over the National Mall in Washington, DC on the Fourth of July. Given that this was the first time I'd ever tried photographing fireworks, I think I did an okay job.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)

Day 277/365 - Lotus Blossom Morning

This morning I caught the subway out to Deanwood and went to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. I was glad I'd checked the website because that's how I found out that you have to go early in the day before the temperature climbs too high and the blossoms close up. I'd have been annoyed if I'd gone all the way out there just to see a bunch of flowers that weren't flowering.

I'd seen other people's photos of the garden on Flickr and I thought it was high time I went to see it for myself. It's a really lovely garden. There are lots of marshy pools with water lilies and lotus blossoms growing in them and trails running between them packed with amateur photographers. Some of them had some really fancy (i.e., expensive) gear, but I think I did okay with my D90 and 18-200mm zoom. This is the kind of place though that makes me really wish I had a macro lens. That's next on my camera equipment wish list.

(Taken with my D90)