The Story Surge will get its own entry, but here is some general catching up.Crafting 1:
I did manage to make some hairpin lace. I am now slightly obsessed with it and engaging in a project that I cant yet talk about publicly. If you might want some of the results of it, let me know.Crafting 2:
Margaret Fisher taught an excellent freeform knit and crochet class in association with the Artisphere yarn bomb project. I ran into someone I used to work with there and it was fun to reconnect. (I have since seen her at the main yarn bomb get-together.) The interesting part was that I completely failed to recognize her out of the context of work, until she mentioned somebody else I used to work with.Crafting 3:
Looped Yarn Works was advertising that they'd do another Valentine's Day yarn bombing of Dupont Circle. I went a bit overboard and crocheted 32 hearts, strung together in various ways. That was mostly because this pattern
is so easy and quick, with each heart taking me under 5 minutes to crochet. Then the weather sucked and they didn't put them up as far as I can tell.Crafting 4:
I did finish a giant orange circle (made with a doily pattern intended for thread) for the yarn bomb and am now working on knitting a rodent of unusual size.Food Pornography 1:
I went out to a Restaurant Week dinner at Lincoln with a few flyertalk friends a couple of weeks ago. I am attempting to try specialty cocktails and got a Shoemaker's Rickey, which was okay but not enough to persuade me to switch from G&Ts. The mushroom beignets were amazing. Beet salad was a bit disappointing, as there were too many dissonant flavors and not enough emphasis on the beets. Stuffed lamb chops were delicious but came out long after everyone else's third course. Fudge cake for dessert was excellent, as was the mocha custard with it, but the passion fruit gelee on the plate was too sweet. Overall, I would definitely be willing to eat there again.food Pornography 2:
I tried a Wild Ophelia Smokehouse BBQ Potato Chips chocolate bar. The 70% dark chocolate was good, but the potato chips mostly added crunch without significant smoky barbecue flavor.Antarctic Exploration:
I went to a lecture at National Geographic. David Roberts was discussing his book Alone on the Ice
, about Douglas Mawson. Having read Mawson's The Home of the Blizzard
, I can't say that I learned much new, but there were photos and bits of film by Frank Hurley (whose first expedition it was and who, of course, took the iconic photos from Shackleton's Endurance expedition among others.) One new thing I did learn is that Hurley's mother tried to talk Mawson out of taking him along. Anyway, I remain impressed by Mawson's strength and accomplishment, managing to return to his base safely after both his companions died and most of his supplies fell into a crevasse with the first of them. I definitely need to check out the museum exhibit on him when I am in Adelaide in May.Mileage Running:
Yes, I did another trip to add another airport (and some miles) for that United challenge. That one was to Las Vegas. I stayed overnight at the Tropicana, which is now a Doubletree and was kind of a mixed experience. The room was okay but there are shutters, not blinds, and things don't get as dark as I'd prefer. And they charge a resort fee, which is especially obnoxious since some of the things it includes (e.g. free internet) I would get free as a Hilton elite member anyway. The casino there is small and not especially modern, but that is less of an issue since it is across the street from the MGM Grand. But I may try staying downtown the next trip I take out to Vegas.Ballet:
I have a subscription to the Washington Ballet this season. Thursday night (Valentine's Day), I saw L'Amour (love, baby)
. This started with the world premiere of a one-act ballet based on Les Liaisons Dangereuses
by Laclos (which I read many years ago as part of a class on Evil and Decadence in Literature). The music was by Vivaldi, which is suitable in period but didn't really work in tone for me. The bigger sin - and one which is not uncommon in modern ballet - was sections in which the dancers danced to no music at all. Still, the ballet was reasonably true to the plot of the novel and Jared Nelson was an expressively wicked Valmont.
That was followed (after intermission) by a short piece called Opposites Distract
which was my favorite of the evening for its matching of dance to the slightly jazzy, slightly Latin-inflected scrore by Ottmar Leibert.
Finally, there was a piece called Under Covers
which featured dancers performing in and around beds to a variety of covers of pop songs. I had mixed feelings about this. Part of that was that I hated the concept of three young Asian women dancing in baby doll pajamas around an older white man. (There was a bit of balance with three men dancing in the dreams of a woman, but the costuming had them in tuxedos.) And, while the dance to it was fine, the cover of "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Johnny Cash was the worst cover of that song I have ever heard. (I don't normally hate Johnny Cash, but this was simply awful.)
So, overall, it was a mixed night, which is about what I expect for mixed ballet programs.Theatre:
I saw Shakepeare's R&J
at Signature Theatre yesterday afternoon. This is a provocative play, involving four boys at a Catholic military boarding school who act out the forbidden play late one night. When this was originally written and performed in the late 1990's, the gay aspect would have been far more shocking. Seeing two young men smooching nowadays (as they play Romeo and Juliet) is less controversial, so the issue is mostly one of their setting and their own reactions to their emerging sexuality. The whole thing is done with a fair amount of humor. At times I did find it hard to follow since I got a bit lost as to which of the secondary characters was which. (It might help if I had ever actually seen the actual Shakespeare play.) I also had some issues with the ending, which deals with the aftermath of the night. Is one night enough to make someone reject his entire background? It seems too easy, too conflict-free for Student #1 / Romeo to walk away from his regimented life.