Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dupont Circle

I have been seeing way too much of this image recently. We have nearly finished covering our house with Tyvek this week. Then we can finally put up the siding and Foam Core Fantasy will finally begin to look like a real house that might one day actually be finished.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Weekend

I had a nice variety of gigs this weekend. Friday night I subbed for Man of La Mancha at the Church Street Theater. The regular guy left his bass for me to use so I took Metro down. It was great not having to haul a bunch of equipment for a change. Things were really jumping at the Dupont Circle Metro on the way home.

On Saturday night I had my favorite kind of summertime outdoor gig. It was a backyard party on Capital Hill with the Stateside Steel Band. I just love the playing calypso music with a steel drum band outside where everybody is having a good time. That's what summer is all about.

Sunday I played my usual brunch gig at Lia's in Chevy Chase. It's a jazz duo with bass and guitar. And I get to eat what usually ends up being my favorite meal of the week. The food is excellent.

Friday, July 25, 2008

National Arboretum

Today we went to the National Arboretum out on New York Avenue to do some research on crape myrtles. We want to plant some eventually and we had heard that they have a rather impressive array of them there.

The first thing we saw was the Capital Columns. They were moved from the Capital in 1958 to make way for an addition. I had no idea that I'd be seeing them. In the distance they look like ancient ruins.

Then we saw the Giant Log Monster wandering through the underbrush.

Finally we located the Crape Myrtles. They were magnificent.

Some of them were quite huge.

They came in all sorts of colors.

They have tons of crape myrtles, azaleas, magnolias, and other stuff there just growing wild. The grounds of the Arboretum are huge. You can't really walk around and see everything unless you spend the entire day walking. A lot of it has a slighty abandoned quality which is unusual for something that has "National" in its name. But the slightly independant character is kind of fitting in a way. They also have a pretty large formal Chinese garden which we didn't really have a chance to look at. We'll check it out next time.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dancing Headless Work Uniforms

I have noticed that my blog, which began as a somewhat articulate (or so I think) description of certain miserable events, has recently devolved into random and utterly meaningless frivolity. I guess I'm just trying to keep myself amused and entertained while I wait for whatever is coming up next. Anyway, here is what amused and entertained me today on the way to the dump:

It looks like the guys in the back of the Washington Gas truck are just getting warmed up here.

Now they're starting to get their groove on.

They're going wild!

In other news, the quantity of deer under my apple tree has now doubled.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

If I get Lyme Disease.....

It will be because of this apple tree. Granted it's a nice tree and produces delicious slightly wormy organic McIntosh apples, but it is a real pain to mow the grass under it and my head always brushes against the lower branches. It's going to be difficult to spot that bulls-eye rash when it finally appears under my hair. There are always deer under this tree and that's where the ticks come from. I remain hopeful that my eventual demise as a result of Lyme disease is just a hypochondriatic delusion. Wish me luck!

At least this one is actually eating his apple. Most of them take one bite and drop the rest on the ground. And I don't have a very nice attitude toward these deer now do I? I'm just grouchy because I had to mow the grass today.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The King of Jazz

On Tuesday evening we went down to the Library of Congress to see a screening of the 1930 movie "The King of Jazz" starring the very appropriately named Paul Whiteman. He is not the first person that most people would think of as being jazz royalty, but he was definitely one of the most successful early bandleaders who played "jazzy" music. This movie is a spectacularly entertaining example of the musical revues that were popular back in the 1930's. It features singing, dancing, novelty numbers, and some very elaborate costumes and scenery.

The Library of Congress might consider placing this movie on the National Film Registry, which means that they would then be able to preserve it and repair some of the blurriness and scratchiness that exists on the original. If you are interested in the restoration and preservation of this movie let them know by writing to:
National Film Registry Public Review Process
M/B/RS Division, Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540

Here are some clips from the movie that I found on YouTube.
This first clip is the cartoon prologue:

This one has some amazing dancing:

George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" was written as a result of a commission by Paul Whiteman. This is one of the earliest performances.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Man of La Mancha at Church Street Theatre

Last weekend I subbed on bass for Man of La Mancha at the Church Street Theater, AKA Keegan Theatre, in Dupont Circle. It was a nice production and apparently this review will appear in the Alexandria "Metro Herald", whatever that is. Anyway, this theater is a great place to see a show because it is so small that there are no bad seats. I won't be there, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

One of the best things about this particular gig is that the regular bass player left his bass there for me to use, so I didn't have to haul all of my stuff down there. It was pretty nice to be able to just walk in, pick up the bass, and play the show.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion

So I learned a new blogging skill today. (see above) The drummer is the amazing and incredible Brooks Tegler. The bass player is me. The trombone player is kind of cute, isn't he?