Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rock Bottom Remainders

Exactly one week ago tonight, I was engulfed in a wild crowd of music lovers in D.C.'s 930 Club, jamming out to the tunes of the Rock Bottom Remainders. Who is this band, you may wonder. If you haven't heard of them, you're not alone - I'd never heard the name until a few hours before the show. "By day, they're authors. Really famous authors" their website boasts. And by night: rockstars. Well, they play covers for the most part, but they're really good covers.

You may know a couple of these writers, who include Amy Tan, Dave Barry, Stephen King, Mitch Albom, Ridley Pearson, Matt Groening... the stage was pretty packed with some true literary talent.

The best part of the show I have to say was each band member's sense of humor. They seemed to be having the time of their lives up there, from Amy Tan's vocal solo beneath her enormous blonde wig to Mitch Albom's incredible Elvis act, hips and all. Here's me getting an autograph from the man himself (a bit blurry, but I swear it's really him)

me 'n Mitch... yea, we're on a first name basis now

They made it clear from the start that they were there to have fun when they told their audience "We want you to forget we're all such geniouses of the pen- we just want you to get drunk and silly because that's what we would be doing if we weren't playing up here." I'd say we followed their instructions pretty well...

I <3 Amy Tan

About midway through the show, someone on stage called out, "We've come to a point in the night when you may have forgotten what good music sounds like" and then continued on with Los Rabanes' I Shot the Law.

It was an incredible, unique experience to be in the presence of so many fantastic writers, and to watch them be whatever character they wanted to be on stage that night. I won't ever think of them in quite the same way again. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring in the City

New York in the spring: clouds with short bursts of sun shooting through, sporadic showers, a breeze that's almost warm. Still, it's a fabulous place to be, whatever the season.

Last weekend my Bolt Bus arrived on Friday night to pouring rain, the temperature 25 degrees cooler than when I boarded the bus (and was almost booted to the later departure time) in Baltimore's summer-like weather. Regardless, I was happy to stretch my legs and be out of my tiny seat (although spacious compared to the Chinatown or Greyhound buses I'm used to). A reunion with college roommates made it well worth the ride, of course, and by the time we'd caught up on each other's lives it was already 3am - a far cry from my usual 11pm lights out at home. But that's New York for you: the city that never sleeps. And I did what I could to embrace that mantra.

Drizzly skies on Saturday afternoon prompted us to replace a Coney Island trip with my first MOMA visit. The extremely bizarre and interesting Marina Abramovic's The Artist is Present exhibit was most notable, to say the least.

The evening brought us to the Lower East Side to a tiny BYOB (!) Thai place called Sticky Rice. Dimly lit lights accented colorful walls while loud, upbeat music gave the place a pre-party atmosphere, which complemented the bottle of wine each of us had brought to accompany our meals. A little ambitious, but I think the 10 of us finished what we brought... or most of it at least. We closed the restaurant around midnight as chairs were stacked around us, and made our way to Nurse Betty, a trendy little bar with pinup girls covering the walls. 4am came too soon, but when my head hit the pillow of a surprisingly comfortable air mattress, I was out to the world. Good night New York

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Nice Day for a ... 26.2-Mile Run

Patriot's Day. Marathon Monday. A day off. However people know it as, next Monday is a celebration in the state of Massachusetts. It doesn't mean much to those of us back here in Annapolis, but for me, it conjures memories of no class, and maybe even warm, sunny spring weather (if that exists in Boston). In essence, it's a day of partying interspersed with watching the runners of the Boston Marathon pass by - all 25,000 of them - panting their way up the last stretch of Heartbreak Hill.

For Annapolitan Jennifer Quinlan, the day will be a whole other experience: she will not only be running her first marathon, but her first organized race of any distance. Click here to read my article published in Bay Weekly about Jennifer's experience training for one of the most famous marathons in the world - and remember to "digg" the article too!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cherry Blossom Photo Montage

A trip to the city - Washington, DC that is - on a beautiful spring day during the Cherry Blossom Festival is asking to be surrounded by hordes of wandering people at every turn. I expected as much on my first (yes, first- I'm really not sure how it is that I've never been up to see the blossoms before) trip to this pink riverside wonderland, but had hoped somehow it wouldn't be completely saturated. It was, but it didn't really matter. A reunion with a friend after months of not seeing each other distracted me from the crowds - even the dozens of cumbersome strollers blocking the way and the sides of peoples' heads that couldn't be avoided in photos. Here's a few of the best ones from Saturday:

The crowds made it feel like we never left London... except that it's probably rainy and windy there right now. And instead of sitting on the sauna that is the Tube in the summertime, we were carried home at the end of the day by an airconditioned Metro. Sometimes you've got to love America

Friday, April 2, 2010

April Fools

This is the desk my boss was greeted by when he walked into his office yesterday morning. Completely bubble wrapped and caution taped. It looks pretty much the same today, with only a small space cleared for his computer. And there were even more surprises underneath. Paper under his mouse to block the laser so it would be useless. His telephone receiver taped down so when he answered the phone it kept ringing. When else can you do this to your boss and not worry about repercussions? I love April Fools Day. Although he did say something about pay backs...