Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dogfish Dash - My First 5K

On Sunday, I ran my first 5K – the Dogfish Dash in Milton, DE. It was better than I expected. The middle mile was rough and I had to walk for a few minutes, but all in all it was good. I managed to finish in 39:59. I realize this isn’t a remotely impressive time. But for the first race of a 35 year-old who always bailed on the mile in middle school and high school, I’ll take it!

And I never could have done it without my playlist. My playlist could not have been better. My “power song,” Mr. Brightside by the Killers kicked on right as I was doing the uphill section of the last mile. And yes, I realize that anything by the Killers should be considered suspect as a “power song.” I can’t help it. The song sets the perfect cadence for me. Even better, as I rounded back on to the Dogfish property for the last .2 miles, Surrender by Cheap Trick came blasting out of my ear buds. I felt like Conan O’Brien running from NYC to LA.

And the best part, my wife and daughters were waiting at the finish line and cheering me on. I thought they were happy for me. Turns out they were just eager to get their hands on the green re-useable water bottles that all of the runners that beat me were using.

Sushi Nari Coming to King's Contrivance

Update: December 5, 2011
Nari sushi is open. They did a great job with it on the insides.

I have not had a full meal there, but I got a spicy tuna roll to-go. It was delicious (fresh, spicy, just the right amount of crunch).

They have some great sounding fancy rolls and a really good sounding $10 lunch special.
I'll be back soon and will do a full review.

Things are looking up for the King's Contrivance Village Center. According to a Facebook post from earlier today, Sushi Nara will open in the Village Center on November 1st. That’s all I know for now. I’ll update this post as I learn more.

Between this and Corner Stable, the food options in KC should be improving greatly!

Update: According to a comment on HowChow, it's actually going to be called Nari Sushi.

Update 2: According to the King's Contrivance Village Center website, it's going to be called Sushi Nari.

I'm less concerned with the name and more concerned with how having Sushi within walking distance will impact my wallet. And my likelihood of developing mercury poisoning. Delicious, delicious mercury poisoning.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Great Bon Iver Debate

I was surprised to discover that there is a national debate going on regarding the song Beth/Rest by Bon Iver. If you have not heard the song, it’s an amazing slice of 80’s nostalgia complete with saxophone and a really cheesy faux piano synth patch. It sounds like the lost theme from some Ralph Macchio-starring Karate Kid Part III that never was.

Seriously, the first time I heard the song my reaction was “Holy Glory of Love! Bon Iver sounds like Peter freaking Cetera!” And I’ll be the first to admit that if I didn’t already like Bon Iver I would not have given this song a chance. But I did give it a chance, and it’s one of my favorite songs of the year.

Recently, NPR did a segment on the divisiveness of the song and featured Justin Vernon (the man behind Bon Iver) doing a solo piano (real piano) version of the song. It was good. But I’m sticking with the 80’s love theme original version.

So be it if every time I hear the intro I picture Ralph Macchio and some vaguely-Asian 80’s beauty frolicking in the waves on some Okinawa shore, fading into a montage of Cobra Kai and crane kicks…

And the solo piano version...

And a little Cetera magic...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bat Strat

On Saturday, I went with the girls to the craft store. That's not usually something I can handle. It's not that I'm too manly. I can rock the craft store with the rest of them. It's just that combining a four year-old and a two year-old with a store full of stickers, glue, glitter, play doh, and the sort makes for a very long and arduous journey. Brains start to short circuit when they are forced to choose which things they want to buy. Every craft in the store calls out to them.


I went with them. It took forever. But I bought some sweet bat stickers (which may or may not be Martha Stewart brand) and now my MIM beater strat looks like Smashing Pumpkins circa 1991.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I Found a Reason to Like the Ravens

I Found a Reason to Like the Ravens (and Football in General)

This morning, the P90 Family spent the day at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore aka the Baltimore Zoo (I used to work there, and I can't get used to calling it the Maryland Zoo, sorry). It was excellent. The weather was great, the animals were out, we got up close and personal with an American Kestrel (small falcon) and a toucan, and we practically had the place to ourselves.

It took us a while to figure out why the place was so empty. Then we noticed everyone in the their goofy costumes and figured out it was Ravens Game Day. About the those costumes - seriously, it's not ok for an adult to go out in public dressed as a football player in that horrible purple shiny jersey. If I go to see the Cure, I don't dress like freaking Robert Smith. If I'm watching Star Wars I don't dress like Darth Vader. And you don't need to dress like a football player just because your favorite team is playing! Jerseys are bad enough as is and unacceptable as a form of "outside of the house fashion." But when you add purple to the equation, well, now you just look like a clown.

So this is it - I've found a reason to like football. On game day, go to places that are usually crowded and you will have them to yourself. I think I'll be hitting the Aquarium on a Ravens game day in the very near future.

Oh, and please people, if you're over the age of 15 or 16, it's time to retire the freaking jersey or just wear it in the comfort of your own home.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Confessions of a Suburban Rocker Pt. 1

So, in case you haven't caught on, I'm in a band. We're all dads, we all work day jobs, and we live in the burbs. We're total rock stars (damn, where is that sarcasm font when you need it).

The band started a few years ago as a creative outlet and a way to kick back after a week of work. My intention was to never leave my neighbor's basement. We'd play original songs written by my neighbor or me (or both) and oddball covers from our varied tastes in music.

One day, we got the crazy idea to play in front of people. It was at a party. It was just friends and family. We did pretty well. The only problem was that people didn't know which songs were originals and which were covers. In a set that included songs by Wilco, Iron & Wine, Spoon, and the Decemberists, I'm not complaining that someone (however little attention they were paying) couldn't differentiate the songs I wrote from those written by "real"musicians.

However, the point of playing covers (or so I am told) is to have songs that gets an audience engaged. Thus began our search for "accessible but cool" covers.

So what makes an "accessible but cool" cover. It has to be a song that people know (even a little) but it can't be one that's played to death by other bands. It can be by a well-known band, but it can't be one of their most popular songs. It can be a well known song, but totally re-arranged from the original version so that the audience doesn't realize what it is until half way through the chorus.

So what do we cover?

We do a semi-faithful take on Just Like Heaven (one of the Cure's most popular songs, but I never hear other bands playing it, so it's allowed). We play Love Vigilantes by New Order.

We play a radically re-arranged version of In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel. I had to really sell this one to the other guys in the band - they all hate the original. And yes, I did consider leaving the band when I found out they all hated this song. Seriously? Can't they at least just love it for its use in Say Anything? Whatever. The audience seems to like it when the chorus rolls around and they realize what song it is.

So here you go, suggest some more "cool" covers for us to play.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Craziest Christmas Album Ever!

Ok, this is crazy - it seems that Scott Weiland (yes, the perpetually drug-addled former lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots) is releasing a Christmas album. Holy $hit - this isn't a joke. Who's horrible idea was this? How much heroin did someone offer him in exchange for recording this album?

I can't even wrap my head around this. What are the songs titles? I'm imagining an intro to Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer where he says "hey kids, Rudolph's nose is red because he's been on a two week cocaine bender!"

The most wonderful time of the year? Is that when the new vintage of heroin comes in? WOW. I might have to buy this just for the sheer insanity of it.

I'm pretty sure "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" is about to take on a new item. This makes about as much since as Danzig doing an album of kids songs.

Track Listing
It's a Black Tar World
Dance of the Oxycontin Ferry
Lo How a Poppy E're Blooming

Come on kids, play along at home and add your own suggestions...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 Rewind. WTF

I don't know about you, but didn't 9/11 suck horribly ten years ago? Why the F$&# does every station have a program forcing me to relive it?

1. Spending four hours riding my bike from my apartment to the metro station and back over and over again trying to figure out why my wife who worked only five or six blocks away from me in DC still wasn't home is still a fresh wound.

2. I can still perfectly picture the rising smoke from the smouldering Pentagon in the distance as I took the red line from Dupont to Silver Spring. I really want to see that again?

Why on earth would I want to watch a TV show reminding me of one of the worst days in my 35 years.

Screw that! I'm going to focus on some stupid bullshit. I urge you to do the same. I can't see anything good coming from opening up old wounds.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Stink Bug Damage
Stink Bugs - I hate them. They've wreaked havoc upon our tomatoes this year. I had a beautiful GIANT plant of plum tomatoes that produced giant clusters of tomatoes. Sadly, most of them rotted before they ripened (I'm guessing after being chewed upon by the stink bugs). Those that ripened still had obvious stink bug damage - see above. These tiny parasitic wasps can't come soon enough! Not that I approve of fighting one invasive pest by importing another. That's never backfired before...

Luckily we had a few tomatoes that did produce and avoid the rather of the stink bugs. Two weekends ago as Hurricane Irene blew into town, I picked the tomatoes from the vine (assuming they would be blown off and smashed). Somehow, we ended up not eating them. So a few nights ago, before they all went bad, I sliced them up and placed them in a 200 degree oven for six hours and made "sun-dried" tomatoes. We'll store them in an airtight container in the freezer and use them for recipes all winter long.



Friday, September 9, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Concert Etiquette

What has two arms, a camera, and no manners? This jack ass! A few weeks ago, this idiot spent the majority of the My Morning Jacket show at Merriweather moving from row to row and holding his *&$%ing camera in the air taking pictures and videos of the show (and generally annoying and blocking the view of those around him).

1. We had good seats, but there is no way he was getting decent shots from that distance, in that lighting, with that camera.

2. Dude – there’s a concert going on. You might be better served watching it in real life rather than through your 2” LCD screen. WTF?

So I guess this is where we have landed as a society? We’re all “documentarians” trying to boost the number of views we rack up on YouTube. It was bad enough when people came to concerts and talked through the whole thing. But this is just stupid.

I did learn one good thing though. Twitter is a great tool for alerting Merriweather security of obnoxious people. It certainly helped to clear out all of the people from the back rows crowding the aisles up front.