Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 346/365 - Thievery Corporation at the Pier Six Pavilion

My friend Adriana recently tipped me to Thievery Corporation, a DC-based pair of producer/musicians/DJs who make smart, funky, international lounge music. Turns out they also own the Eighteenth Street Lounge, one of my favorite bars in DC. I bought one of their CDs to give them a try, and then quickly went out and bought six more. When I found out that the only area stop on their current tour would be at the Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore, I decided to take the train over and catch their gig.

It was one of the most enjoyable concerts I've ever attended. The crowd leaped from their seats at the first note and didn't sit back down the entire show. There was also some serious dancing going on in the aisles, although not by my stiff, arhythmic self. Thievery Corporation was supported during the show by a diverse array of performers, singers, and rappers. In addition to having a horn section, it was the only concert I've ever been to that featured an electric sitar.

If you get the chance, you have to go see them live. A Thievery Corporation concert is like a U.N. of funk and cool. Over the course of the evening you'll hear Brazil, India, France, Cuba, Jamaica, the Middle East, and the U.S. If only the real nations of the world blended together so well.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 345/365 - Ingrid Michaelson at the 9:30 Club

New York-based indie pop singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson was playing an early gig at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC tonight and I was among the sold out crowd in attendance. I don't watch much broadcast tv apart from sports, but apparently a bunch of her songs have been played on various episodes of "Grey's Anatomy." Which goes a long way toward explaining the heavily female demographic for her concert tonight.

I first heard her song "The Way I Am" on BBC Radio 1 and was hooked from that point. Her concert tonight was very good. She was funny, sweet, quick, clever, adorable, entertaining, and appreciative of her audience. And her voice was stronger than I expected. A good gig all around. Too bad she had to get offstage by 9 so they could start prepping for Moby's concert later tonight. I'd have been quite happy to keep listening to her a while longer.

Wonder if she's in the market for a civil servant husband?

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day 344/365 - It's Later Than You Think

A Dozen Things I Would Like to Do at Some Point:

- Ride an old-fashioned steam train
- Scuba dive
- Visit India
- Attend a World Series/Super Bowl
- Go on a safari
- Hang glide
- Ride in a hot air balloon
- Learn to bake bread from scratch
- Attend carnival in Rio de Janeiro
- Ride in a biplane
- See an opera at the Met in NYC
- Visit Tahiti

What's on your to-do list?

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 343/365 - Big Bowl of Comfort

My sinuses were still all 'swolled' up today so I stayed home from work again. I decided to make the most of it though by fixing myself a big bowl of chocolate Malt O' Meal for breakfast. Malt O' Meal is a Cream of Wheat type thing that they don't seem to sell on the east coast, so whenever I head home to the midwest I make sure I buy a box to smuggle back with me in my luggage.

I've loved the chocolate variety ever since I was a kid. My mom would get up every morning to fix a hot breakfast for my sisters, my brother and I before we went off to school and one of my favorite of the things she'd make for us was chocolate Malt O'Meal. Even today, when I am well past childhood, eating a bowl of it still makes me feel snug, and comfy, and loved.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 342/365 - If Only Life Came with One of These

I felt considerably better today than I did yesterday, but still not 100 percent. I didn't sneeze much and my eyes were mostly fine, but I was very drained after being run through the wringer by my allergies yesterday.

Unfortunately, life doesn't come with a stop button and I still have a lot of work that has to be done by the end of the month, so I went into the office for a bit this afternoon to pick up some files to work on and shoehorn in a quick conference call. I think I'll be pretty much back to normal tomorrow, although I may go ahead and take the morning off just to be sure. I have enough files with me to keep me busy.

No rest for the weary. Well, maybe a bit. I did take a three hour nap this afternoon after all.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 341/365 - Cylon Self-Portrait

These are my eyes on allergies. I had thought hayfever season was over for the year, but mine flared up today with a vengeance. My eyes are puffy and itchy, my nose is running like a faucet, and I'm sneezing like a machine gun. All that despite the fact that I took an allergy pill and put drops in my eyes right after I got up this morning. Some days nothing works.

Today is apparently one of those days. I only lasted two hours at work today before I gave up and came home. Now I'm really wishing I hadn't already purchased a ticket to a seminar on the ancient Maya at the Smithsonian tonight.

I haven't always had hayfever. It's something that first cropped up when I was in high school. Prior to that I'd thought allergies were something you had to be born with. I didn't realize you could develop them at any age. Hopefully one of these years I'll grow out of mine just like I grew into it.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Twice on Sunday Bonus Photo - Fortress America

For this week's extra photo from my archives, we have this shot I took of the Old Post Office Pavilion in DC earlier this week.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Day 340/365 - Not My Normal Sunday

Given the stack of files I still have piled up on my desk that have to be cleared by the end of the month, I thought I should probably go into the office this weekend to whittle them down a bit. It's Sunday, the Nats were playing the Marlins, it's the first weekend of football season, it was sunny and gorgeous outside, and I was sitting in my office doing work. Bleh. To make it even more enjoyable, they shut off the ventilation in the building over the weekend to save money so it was hot and stuffy in my office. Good thing I wore shorts. Can't do that on a regular work day.

At least I got to listen to the Nats game on the radio while I worked. I stayed for three hours, knocked out ten grant packages, decided that was enough, and left. Given the gorgeousity going on outside, I opted for walking home rather than taking Metro. It was a nice little reward. On the walk home, I detoured over to the floating fish market on Maine Avenue to treat myself to a late lunch.

The floating fish market is a cluster of barges at the southwest waterfront in DC. It's the oldest continuously operating fish market in the U.S., having been there since 1805. The barges offer a wide variety of fresh fish and seafood, along with cooked meals. Today I went with a combo platter featuring two whiting filets, three scallops, hush puppies, and cole slaw. That and a large lemonade set me back $15.

The combo meals come with 3-4 slices of white bread, which I've never really understood and don't eat, but I do enjoy tearing them up into chunks and feeding them to the ducks, seagulls, and pigeons that cluster around the fish market. After lunch, I continued on my walk, took some time to stretch out on the grass under a shade tree overlooking the Potomac River, and then got home, flopped on the couch, and took a two hour nap. Now that was more like my normal Sunday.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)