Monday, August 31, 2009

The Weekend Report: Random Thoughts

The Long Run, Again

Saturday morning, against my better judgement, I went on another Women's Trail Marathon training run. Now mind you, I am not planning on running any marathons any time soon. But my friend is going to do this half marathon in a couple weeks, so I'm happy to tag along and run somewhere other than DC for a bit. The trouble with trail running is that it is so freaking slow! It took me a bit over 2 hours to run 13 miles - which is just a long time to be doing anything. 

Within the first couple miles, I came up on this man jogging along. I said "Hey, how's it going?" (because that's what you do) and we ended up chatting for a bit. 
"Not so good today," he said.
Sympathetic noises from me... 
"It's probably because I'm wearing shoes."
Hold up..."Wait, are you the guy who was wearing the Five Fingers last time?" 
"Have you read Born To Run?"
"Yes! It's like my guide to running! I've been running barefoot since the beginning of summer!" 

So finally I've found someone who actually recently started barefoot running. We didn't talk for too long, because he was moving pretty slow and I had places to go, but I learned that he does run in the Five Fingers on asphalt, as well as trails. AND he's already done a barefoot marathon! Crazy!

Places I Never Thought I'd Find Myself

It's funny how life works out. Not to get all existential on you, but it really does blow my mind when I think about it. Five years ago I would never have imagined that I would be here in DC, with the people I'm with, doing what I do!

Saturday night found me at a Kenny Chesney concert in Bristow, VA (Nissan Pavillion). I went with two friends from school: a New York prepster, and an Israeli-American, plus me, a Northern Californian. (We're friends from being on the Ski Team together in Boston.)

So anyways, there we were, in a parking lot in VA. Let me tell you, the people you see at a

 country concert are absolutely amazing! It's really a broad spectrum of humanity. There are normates like us just hanging out sitting on the trunk of a little white car with New York plates. Then the other extreme: people who look like they tailgate for a living: huge pickup trucks, full-sized grills, beer pong tables, tents, and an entire picnic lunch/dinner for them and all their friends. And you see a disturbing number of men who have really embraced Kenny's refrain, 

"No shoes, no shirts, no problems." (Let's be real, some people should really keep their tops on!) And mullets galore!!! At a country concert you have families, adults, frat boys, and everyone in between. It's awesome. 

And then as the Kenny take the stage, he yells, "What's up Virginia!" and everybody (including me) goes crazy. Virginia?!?! Right now that's me, and that blows my mind!

I'll stop there because words cannot do justice to my passion for country music. Let's just say that I am seriously considering becoming a country groupie...

Dance DC Festival 2009

After a bit of a struggle to find the location (for future reference: it's probably a good call to look up the address of a venue in addition to its Metro stop), my LLC, a housemate, and I saw some sweet dance moves on Sunday afternoon
We went to see East Meets West, which was advertised as "An explosive performance you will not want to miss, blending the massive moves of West Africa with the rich traditions of the Middle East with a special dance salute."

The small theater was packed with dance enthusiasts - the first (and best) group was Urban Artistry. They combined  African, Latin, Happy Feet, Lindy, Caribbean Movement, Martial Arts, and American Social Dances. How can that not be amazing!?!?! Check out their videos on YouTube.

Next was KanKouran, a West African dance company from Senegal. They were amazingly exhausting to watch. The dancers clearly were enjoying themselves, and the drummers were more than impressive! Here's a video link

The last two groups were a bit sub-par - Belly Dancing kind of dragged as they kept on going and going and going. 

And the last group, Bliss Ananda, wasn't dance at all! It was a band! How did they get into the Dance DC Festival? (Answer, a DC Arts Commissioner was one of the band members...) They may have been good, but due to "technical difficulties" (which their spokesman said that 'young people today may not know about' - ummm-ok, I'm pretty sure I'm familiar with the concept) the electric violin was a bit brain-piercing.