Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekend Report: Race Reporting and a Play

I worked all day Saturday, so Sunday was my one weekend day to fit it all in. 

(I think I may have a problem saying no. People ask me, Mollie do you want to____? and inevitably the answer is yes, regardless of all the things I've already booked into my day.)

I awoke at the crack of dawn that was actually not as dark as expected (thank you daylight savings!), and headed to Freedom Plaza to cover the Race To End Women’s Cancer 8K for the Washington Running Report. (Check back - I’ll add the link when my article is posted.)

I’ve never done a race report quite like this. I write up reports for, but it’s a lot less official - I don’t usually go to each race and interview people at the finish. So this was a new experience, and it was fun! 

The power of carrying a notepad and pen is amazing. Imagine someone without these accoutrements walking up to you and starting to ask personal questions…it would be weird, right? But then put that notepad in hand and pen poised for quotes and suddenly everyone is more than happy to talk to me! 

I’m hoping to do more of these in the future. :) 

After the race, I metro’ed all the way out to Silver Spring, MD. For those of you unfamiliar with DC’s public transportation, that is a ways. And for those of you who do know DC, the metro stopped at Ft. Totten because of track maintenance and I had to take a bus the rest of the way. Ugh. 

Metro whining aside, I met up with my co-volunteer to visit our new family of refugees! The Congolese family I used to work with moved away at the end of July, so I’ve been reassigned to a Haitian family who just arrived in America. 

They speak French but no English, so we jumped into practicing basic language. (“Point to the TV…ok…repeat after me, ‘the TV is over there,’ etc.)

The visit took a bit longer than I expected, plus of course the metro shenanigains added quite a bit of time to my journey, so I didn’t get home until 4pm. That meant one hour to write and submit my race report and get myself dressed and ready to go see a play. Panic face. 

It’s amazing how fast I can type under duress. 

My friend picked me up at 5 and we headed to the Fort Fringe theater. The play was called Squirrel or The Origin of a Species, a performance of the Capital Fringe Festival. I’m no theater connoisseur, so I’ll say that it was totally bizarre but completely amusing. The actors were really into it, and the plot was a bit disjointed, so it was more like watching improve than a normal production.

I love quick and witty dialogue and semi-obscure references. The work is based upon short segments originally written as podcasts, so it's pretty random.

According to this review:
The script was written by Michael Merino and divides its dialogue between an American Gray Squirrel and Charles Darwin in cargo shorts. As the Squirrel, Carlos Bustamante contemplates art while Ian LeValley’s Darwin contemplates science, and together their relationship evolves according to Erik Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development. If that sounds complicated it’s because it absolutely is, but the acting is crisp and the dialogue streamlined, enough so that Squirrel’s overall effect is like running through a Baskin-Robbins of ideas rather than being piled down with philosophy textbooks. The complexity becomes part of the fun, rather than an obstacle.

It was fun - I like any live performance!

After the play we went to dinner at Guarapo, a Peruvian restaurant in Arlington. I don't usually venture outside the District...but this place was really good! I got the salmon and it was cooked perfectly. (Menu here for the curious.) Now I'm going to have to learn how to make  tacu-tacu (a Peruvian lentil and rice cake) because it was satisfying and delish!

And that is all - all in one day - I'm tired. Hope you had a good weekend too!