Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day 353/365 - Dead Meat

This is the Rough Rider, a gigantic BBQ rib available for $12 from the Teddy's BBQ concession stand at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. It was quite tasty. And messy. I had sauce from ear to ear by the time I finished it.

When eating ribs, I find there's no point in wiping your face until you're done. It's just going to get slathered in sauce again. There wasn't anything short about this rib. It made me think of the brontosaurus ribs Fred ordered in the opening credits to the Flintstones that were so big they tipped his car over.

Although the BBQ was good today, the baseball wasn't. The Nats got clobbered by the Braves 11-5 and lost their 102nd game of the season. On the bright side, this was the next to last game I'll be going to this season, so at most I'll only have to endure one more loss in person.

Thank heaven for small favors. And good BBQ.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 352/365 - A Midsummer Night's Dream

After not having seen any of Synetic Theater's productions in the ten prior years I've been living in the DC area, I seem to be making up for lost time. Tonight I went to see my third production of theirs this year, a silent version of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The story was performed entirely through dance and pantomime with no speaking parts at all.

"Midsummer Night's Dream" has never been one of my favorite of Shakespeares's works and as heretical as this may be to say, I think I like it better without the dialogue. The plot, such as it is, involves a love triangle -- scratch that -- a love hexagon featuring criscrossed paramours, bumbling actors, and warring pixies and sprites.

It's a quick production, running only 90 minutes without an intermission. As is almost always the case with Synetic, the choreography is fantastic. Among the cast the standout performers are the delightfully expressive Helena and the half-Slinky, half-Plastic Man Puck, who moves in ways you wouldn't think a human could absent demonic possession. The play's score is reasonably good and the staging, though minimal, is effective. As is also almost always the case with Synetic, the costuming and make up are sensational.

This one makes up for the lackluster "Lysistrata" they performed earlier this year. Now I'm looking forward to the version of "Dracula" they have coming up next month.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 351/365 - Deserting a Sinking Ship

The Nats dropped their 100th game tonight. That makes the second consecutive season that they've hit triple digits in losses. It also marks the third time in DC baseball history that a team has had back-to-back 100 loss seasons.

The first time it was the original Senators. The second time it was the expansion Senators. Now it's the Nationals. Hopefully there won't be a fourth time.

At least the Nats are doing it right. If you're going to lose, you might as well be the best at it. That way you get the first overall pick in the draft. That netted the Nats Stephen Strasburg in the last draft and hopefully it will get them Bryce Harper in the next draft.

That is, if the Pirates don't overtake them for the worst record in all of baseball. There's no point in only being second worst.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day 350/365 - Chaaaarge!

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 349/365 - Three Mile Island, Love Canal, Nats Town

Apparently the invitation to "Get Your Red On" now refers to the red faces of chagrined fans and embarrassed onlookers. I think next year's marketing slogan should be "Hey, How Much Worse Could It Get?" Oy, vey.

The Nats welcomed the arrival of Autumn tonight in the same manner which they greeted Spring and Summer -- by playing lousy baseball. They rolled over and played dead for the visiting Dodgers tonight, losing by the mortifying margin of 14-2.

In tonight's loss, the Nats conjured up their customary tragic formula of poor pitching, dodgy defense, and boneheaded baserunning. Even the joys of alliteration don't make that fun to say.

Of course, the ongoing travesty that is baseball in DC didn't stop me from swinging by the team store on my way out of the ballpark and buying a Strasburg t-shirt. I'm such a sucker.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 348/365 - Beer, Nachos, and Star Trek

I missed out on seeing the newest "Star Trek" movie in its first run in theaters. My buddy Chris and I were going to see it on one of our Monday guy night at the movies, but because of scheduling issues we never got around to it. I figured I'd have to wait and catch it on DVD, but then Chris' wife Des noticed that it was playing at the Arlington Cinema 'N Drafthouse and gave us a heads up. So tonight I drank beer, ate nachos and fried mac and cheese, and finally saw "Star Trek."

I think this was the first J.J. Abrams movie that I unreservedly enjoyed. Generally his films fall apart in the final act. Most of the time it's like he has ADD and loses interest in developing a project all the way through to the end, so the last third or so tends to suck and not make much sense. This one was good thoughout, however. It excellently balanced character development, action scenes, romance, and special effects and was perfectly pitched to appeal both to diehard Trek fans and newcomers who didn't know or didn't care about the "Star Trek" universe.

All the key touches were there: Kirk made out with a hot green chick, Bones groused "Dammit, I'm a doctor not a [fill in the blank]," Spock said "fascinating," Scotty said he was giving all the engines had to give, Uhura was hot, Chekov spoke in a bad Russian accent, and the alien baddies got blasted. Yep, that's "Star Trek" all right.

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Twice on Sunday Bonus Photo - Post-It Note Impression No. 11

For this week's extra shot from my archives, we have this Post-It Note impression I did yesterday. This time, instead of being a person I was an event. Quick, what event am I?

(Taken with my Nikon Coolpix S200)

Day 347/365 - Shaving Self-Portrait

For this week's self-portrait we have me shaving. Oooh, thrilling. During the week I use my Braun electric razor, but on Sundays (or sometimes Mondays) I go the old-fashioned blade and shaving cream route to start with a clean slate. When I was in college and for ten years after I got out of the Navy, I had a beard. Then I got tired of messing with it and shaved it off a few years back. When I get tired of shaving every day, I'll probably grow it back again.

(Taken with my Nikon D90)