Sunday, January 29, 2017

Who's Afraid Of Virginia Wolf?

SO here's the first thing about my theater experience today at the Ford's Theater here in DC--I had never seen "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" before. I had some vague black and white image of Richard Burton in nerd glasses and Elizabeth Taylor all angry-faced, but that was the sum total of my experience. And can I just say, this is a fucking amazing play! It starts out in the first class car of the crazy train and then just picks up steam from there.

 You can see I had a great seat in the center of the third row, but in all fairness, Ford's is so small that it only has great seats. And looming to my right was the box where Lincoln was murdered...the only constantly weird thing about seeing plays/musicals there. The set was fine, nothing great, but the acting was truly stellar.
I had experienced both of the men in other productions. George, played by Gregory Linington, was the younger brother in Arena Stages production of "Little Foxes" back in October, and Nick, played by Danny Gavigan, was Stanley Kowalski in Everyman Theatre's production of a "Street Car Named Desire" that I saw back in May. Both men are accomplished and Danny is fine on the eyes, too! The women where both new to me, but I will definitely be on the lookout for more opportunities to experience their talents in the future. Maggie Wilder as the young professor's wife, Honey, was the comic lynch pin with timing that was pitch perfect in both matters of comedy and moments of pathos. She never failed to hit the mark. But this show is nothing without the role of Martha, adeptly played by Holly Twyford. From the moment she walked on stage, she held you in the palm of her crazy-ass hand! Confident, cocky, alluring, angry, spiteful and ultimately vulnerable--she did it all with tremendous magnetism. The three hours flew by with me on the edge of my seat for most of the time. And when I stood at the end for the ovation, I didn't look around to see if anyone else was going to join me. I didn't have to--we all rose as one.
Holly Twyford as Martha in all of her commanding glory!
Honey (Maggie Wilder), George (Gregory Linington) and Martha in a liter, mocking moment.
The entire ensemble: Nick (Danny Gavigan) with Martha, and Honey and George on the couch.
George and Martha preparing for the final battle.

Ford's Theater Lincoln Museum

At Ford's Theater, I also had enough time to go down into the lower realms and tour the Lincoln museum there. Lots of placards, images, maps, statues, videos, interactive displays and recreations in what really is a very cramped and poorly lit space--like trolling through the streets of 1862 DC at night... And those assassins--que guapo! I had no idea that they were such a fetching bunch of co-conspirators.
You descend a set of narrow stairs down into the basement of the theater and discover this display first before entering the museum through a rail car like the one Lincoln traveled to DC in on his first arrival in the capital.
This display spoke of the state of the nation's capital in the winter of 1861 and reminded most effectively that the capitol itself was unfinished at the time of Lincoln's inaugural.
This map showed the extent of the district in 1860.  The White House looked  out on the  Potomac River with a boat dock where today stands the Washington Monument.

General McClellan was the namesake of my Great Grandfather.  My Great-great Grandfather died at the battle of Antietam, and his unborn son was then christened with the name of the general who led the battle.

Goodness weren't those rogue conspirators a handsome bunch of fellow--no doubt their good looks emboldened their arrogance at attempting such a bold-faced endeavor...

National Building Museum

I have often written about this Museum in a sea of museums, and promoted it's venue and offerings.  Truth is that just going inside it's behemoth interior is enough to impress anyone short of the Vatican!

I left for the theater with time to cover any issues with the Metro and as fate would have it, there were none! So I arrived in plenty of time to duck into the National Building Museum and run through their exhibit called "Timber City" about the efficacy of building public spaces from wood. It was complete with lots of those amazing architectural models of balsawood that I just love to bits!

Beautifully crafted large wooden placards featured examples of wood constructed facilities.
One of the many amazing wooden architectural models.  In another life, I would have made a career out of creating these!

March Against The Muslim Ban In DC

Thousands marched on The Mall in Washington, DC to protest Fuhrer Trump's Racists, Unconstitutional, Islamophobic and Anti-AMERICAN ban on Muslim immigrants and refugees.  I didn't even know about the protest until I got on the Metro to go into DC to attend the theater.
There were many protestors on the Metro. One young man painted a rainbow flag on the back of his denim jacket with the words "Fuck Trump" over it. In the seat next to him was a dad and his four year old son who was gripping a piece of cardboard that said, "Be Nice".

Pink Triangle Time?

I have been wearing a golden clothes pin since November 9th. It is a form of protest patterned after one started during the Brexit opposition. To date, I have been asked about it by 7 colleagues, and 5 students at school. I have told them all that is represents that I am a "safe" person to be with in light of these unsafe and confusing political times. Been praised by 2 colleagues who both asked me where I got the pin--and both of whom I gave a golden pin to. One wears it, one does not. I have had one parent come up to me and thank me for wearing it. I have had no one ask me not to wear it, or treat me negatively because I do.

This is what protest looks like.

Given the latest push for FADA legislation that would allow for Christians and other religious fundamentalists to discriminate against LGBTQ people by denying us the same basic human rights of commercial service and accommodation, I am seriously considering upping the ante.

Perhaps it's time to start wearing a crudely fashioned PINK TRIANGLE on my chest/shoulder. It would certainly give me the chance to engage others in a political conversation...remind them of the antecedents and repercussions of hatred instilled in political actions. The sooner this is made real, the greater the opposition to Trump's fascist edicts effectiveness will be, right?

Bighorn Sheep

 Another winter sighting... a first for a Bighorn Sheep!

And Then For Breakfast!

Pan "toasted" the rest of the baguette with a little butter and then made scrambled eggs with a little Kosher salt, black pepper and oregano.  Topped it with some Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa from a company called Frontera.

It's so delicious!  I could just eat it straight.  Now I just have to remember where I bought it!!  It can only be one of four grocery store chains...or I could just order it online.  It's worth it.

Veggie Egg Salad

Not every dinner is a heavy one! Some days all I want is something light. Tonight it was a salad with a pair of veggie-egg-salad stuffed tomatoes. It might be obvious at this point in my posts, but I love eggs. I just do! Scrambled, sunny-side-up, poached, hardboiled, deviled, in salad, omlettes, fritatas, queches and custards--I got it bad for the humble egg. And this is my more involved egg salad recipe. Everyone had a basic one (egg, mayo/and/or/mustard and maybe sweet pickles. This one goes one level further.

I begin by placing in a food processor 1 chopped raw carrot, 1 chopped raw stalk of celery, 3-4 chopped scallions, 10-12 gerkin sweet pickles, 1/4 chopped wedge of a sweet red pepper. I grind them up into a relish consistency. Next 1/3 cup mayo, 1/3 cup Sweet Spicy Chinese mustard, and 7 hard boiled eggs, yokes in whole, whites crudely chopped. Process again until all is well mixed and of an even thickness. The results are remarkably dry. Make fantastic sandwiches. Rich in fiber, vitamines, and protein--excellent for any low carb diet. And best of all? It tastes amazing.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Trump Is An Imbecile 002

Donald Trump tells British Prime Minster Theresa May that Brexit will allow Britain to "have the people you want in your country". Fascism, pure and simple. Not Democracy. Not plurality. Not Constitutional. Racist. Xenophobic. Arrogant.

Trump Is An Imbecile 001

People who think that immigrants (undocumented or otherwise) TAKE away jobs, never consider how many jobs they CREATE. I will join the Republicans on the ban illegal immigrants train, once I see a field of strawberries in California being picked exclusively by eager, happy citizens of the United States and the owner of the field paying them what they expect and the American people buying a container of Strawberries for $25.00. Until this happens--just SHUT THE FUCK UP!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Green Pasta Puttanesca!

Dinner was Fini Linguini with a Green Puttanesca. The Pasta Puttanesca (or Prostitute's pasta) is really a basic toss in concoction of pantry staples with garlic, olives and capers a mainstay. Usually tomatoes provide the sauce, but Melissa Clark of the Times Food section offered up her version of a Green Puttanesca and I thought, why not? So besides the afore mentioned trio, I added some scallions, mushrooms, baby spinach and asparagus tips. I used olive oil, a 1/4 cup of chicken stock and a little vermouth to steam everything and cooked it until it has reduced and thickened.

The Year Of Living Theatrically: Fall-Out!

In campaign seasons, my mailbox is brimming with political fliers entreating me to vote for the candidate, letters begging for contributions and postcards thanking me for the contributions that I do make. And since I started living this present year of theatrical excess--theater flyers! Contribution and membership solicitations (my phone rings often with these requests, too!) And sometimes even coupons. Here's what came in the first 4 days of this week, por ejemplo.

1) Shakespeare Theatre Company's "King Charles III" a speculative play about the ascension of Prince Charles to the throne. Came with a 10% discount code, but I'm not interested. This year I have been to their productions of "Romeo & Juliet" (C-) and "The Secret Garden" (A+)

2) Olney Theater's "Sweeney Todd". I already have my ticket. I really want to see it on stage, and Olney is a grand company. They were co-producers with Round House Theatre in the productions of "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches" (A) and "Angels in American: Perestroika" (A) that I saw back in October.
3) Round House Theatre's "Caroline, Or Change" a new musical about the civil rights movement by the same author of "Angels in America" Tony Kushner. I have not purchased a ticket, but I am interested.

4) University of Maryland Theater Dept and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center's production of "The Importance of Being Ernest"--a grandly funny play and I did want to include a production at the University in the year. It's possible.

5) Everyman Theatre's "Great Expectations" in Baltimore. I just saw "Dot" (A-) there which was wonderful. But Dickens doesn't interest me so much.

Jacob Lawrence Comes To SAM

Good News my Seattle friends! The seminal work of lithographs by the African American artist Lawrence Jacobs known as "The Migration Series" chronically the great migration of Black Americans from the south to the north and west in the first half of the 20th century is now on display at the SAM (Seattle Art Museum). I just saw at the Phillips Collection here DC over the Winter Holidays. It's one of the truly Iconic American Masterpieces. And, of course, SAM sends me fliers now all the time...

The Rajah's Garden

Not all of the Garden Zoo containers went dormant over the winter. My Indian Elephant's Rajah's Garden continues to prosper in the sunroom.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Amazing Friends

A dear friend sent me a pair of postcards that her Uncle had brought home from World War II.  He was a soldier and closeted gay man.  They are amazingly beautiful and I have framed them both and will cherish them as long as I'm around!
They are frames so you can remove them from the wall and read the messages on the back.

Another Easy Favorite

Meat Sauce over Linguini with Garlic Bread.

Schleich 2017

As many know I am a collector of little animal figures and most notably those of the German company Schleich.

Schleich has announced a rather ambitious year of new Animal figures for 2017 It seems they're going to focus most of their attention on North Hemisphere Woodland wildlife: New Bull Moose and moose calf, new WIld Boar and Piglet (two examples of producing adult males and offspring...what's missing!?), new 14-point Red Deer Stag, new Skunk, new Red Fox, new Black Bear and Black Bear cub. Two that I'm excited about are new Mountain Goat and New Ibex, AND a first time Bighorn Sheep Ram. From South America a new Jaguar and new Black Jaguar--both of which had new offerings in 2016, too (perhaps one series is male and the other female--that would be a good idea), and a first ever Toucan. They have previously issues 3 different types of Macaws. And the first ever Anaconda. In Africa we are getter a new Western Mountain Gorilla male and female. And in Asia new male and female Giant Panda, and two that I am also excited about: An Asiatic Sun Bear, and a pair of Orangutans (mother and child). Looking forward to when they become available for purchase in the United States.