Monday, February 22, 2010

Curling, a Parade, etc

This past week has been mighty eventful. Let's see... there was trivia on Tuesday, a Tegan and Sara concert on Wednesday, a conference call on Thursday (not exciting), finishing season 1 of Veronica Mars on Friday, failed attempt at curling, a walk to the Jefferson Memorial, and dinner and a movie with Suz, Steph/Greg, and Stan Saturday, successful attempt at curling, Chinese New Year Parade, and Nat'l Museum of Crime and Punishment with Stan and Carla on Sunday. Need I even mention that Jeff was involved in all but the conference call?

Trivia went well - we got fifth place! Now onto the more interesting stuff. Jeff had bought me tickets to see Tegan and Sara for my birthday and now the time was upon us! We headed to the Warner Theatre after eating at Chopt which was yummy. They had assigned seating and we were on the balcony. The opening acts were Steel Train, an all-guy band that I really liked, and Holly Miranda, a band with a chick lead singer who had an amazing voice but thanks to me being tired the mellowness of that act nearly put me to sleep.

Steel Train

Holly Miranda

Then Tegan and Sara came out. They started off playing a lot from Sainthood, then started interspersing it with older stuff. They played a lot of songs I really like, including "Hell," "Nineteen," and "The Con." I was only disappointed that they didn't play "Take Me Anywhere," but that's okay. They are amazing live. They do a lot of funny bantering, and interact a lot with the crowd. After leaving the stage they came back on without their band for an acoustic set which included the popular "Living Room" which I didn't know I knew, but I did. Basically, I loved it.

Tegan and Sara

One weird thing did happen at that concert - Erica clone was there! She's this girl who goes to W&M and looks exactly like my friend Erica and she was standing really close to us. Bizarre. Skipping to Saturday... Jeff and I tried to go to the Capital Curling Expo but there was a three hour wait for curling. Instead we wandered towards the mall, finding a big giant map in a square...

Jeff is totally inside the Capital Building here.

Next we decided to wander towards the monuments, after looking at an imposing-from-afar building which turned out to be the EPA. We walked by the Washington Monument and then I realised I had possibly never been to the Jefferson Memorial, so we walked there. We walked by the water where the cherry trees are and noticed a lot of storm damage, including to a great big lovely elm that is apparently well-known. We noticed there's paddle-boating you can do so that might be something to remember (though Carla says you can do it for cheaper elsewhere). Anyway, we made it to the monument and admired how tall Thomas Jefferson was.

It was a nice day and we walked a lot. From there we walked to the Smithsonian Metro and met the people mentioned above for dinner at the Arlington Diner, which was mediocre or less but cheap. Then we went to Greg and Steph's apartment and watched Away We Go (review to come), which Jeff and I really liked.

On to Sunday! We made a second stab at the Capital Curling Expo and this time were some of the first people there. Jeff, Stan, and I gave it a go, though it was fake ice and no sweeping.

Stan curling

Basically it was a little taste and I learned a lot of things, including that you can go curling for real in Laurel, MD, which I'd really like to try. Next we ate at Subway, then went to the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown, which was pretty cool.

Lion Dancers

Next we went to the Museum of Crime and Punishment which I got into for free with my Smithsonian badge. It was decent but not the best museum I've been to.

Jeff on a police motorcycle

Today I got a haircut at Bang Salon on U Street. It's fabulous and was inspired by a girl I saw at the Tegan and Sara show. Now here's hoping this week is great as well!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

TV Show Review: Torchwood

Air Date: 2006-2009
Created by: Russell T. Davies
Starring: John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Gareth David-Lloyd, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori

I'm guessing you probably know by now that I've in the last year become totally obsessed with Doctor Who. Well, while I was feverishly waiting to receive Season 4 in the mail I started watching Torchwood, which is a spinoff featuring Captain Jack Harkness (Barrowman). It begins with Gwen Cooper (Myles), a policewoman, finding out about and joining Torchwood, an organization based around the Rift in Cardiff whose purpose is to protect Earth from alien life. It is often referenced in Doctor Who, and often Torchwood and The Doctor have different stances on how to deal with aliens.

The first season establishes Torchwood as a show for more mature audiences. Friends of mine have complained that they try to force in sex scenes (much like, say, True Blood does) and I can see that as a valid point. However, I enjoyed it. The second season is much more compelling than the first. The characters are better portrayed, and we see more into their psyches and relationships. The third 'season', a 5 episode miniseries arc called Children of Earth, was fantastic (and the most popular of the seasons at the time it aired).

It helps that John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd are quite attractive, I won't lie. Basically, it has a much darker, more adult feel than Doctor Who, and I can't say I liked it quite as much. They did start tying it in more in the second season, but it was still a definitely separate show. I kept hoping the Doctor would show up in some episode... no luck. It certainly made me laugh and cry and I really did enjoy the series.

Grade: A


As you've probably heard by now, DC was pummeled this weekend with somewhere around 20 inches of snow. Jeff and I ventured out yesterday to check out what was going on. It was pretty epic. There were drifts up to something like 6 feet, and on one side of most roads there were cars completely under the snow. Unfortunately, all of my camera batteries were dead so I was only able to get four pictures.

Those are just out our window and right on our sidewalk. After that we went to look at the hill on 13th Street near Cardozo High School. People were sledding, skiing, and snowboarding down it. It made me wish I had a sled, even a makeshift one.

Here's a picture of 13th St. from DCist.

Then we decided to trek over to Meridian Hill Park. There were several hundred people there, playing with their dogs, making snowmen (and in one instance a snow phallus), sledding, skiing, and snowboarding down the stairs, and having massive snowball fights (including a bunch of people trying hard to knock people off sleds with snowballs or big chunks of snow).

Snowball fight at Meridian Hill Park.

It was a lot of fun, we tried to pelt sledders and got in on the snowball fight (especially against people who had foolishly decided to sit in a fountain). After that we made our way back home, making sure to jump or fall into big snowdrifts as often as possible. Friday we had made a big batch of chili so we warmed up and had chili nachos. Mmm, perfect for a snowday. Today it's sunny and it looks like the snow's starting to melt; the roads, at least, look half-driveable. It's unfortunate that Jeff's parents were supposed to fly in yesterday... they're hoping to get in tomorrow at least. I don't have work Monday anyway but I'm hoping Jeff gets off too so we can do fun stuff.
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