Despite growing up in a state with plenty of coast line, my nautical experience was limited to beach trips and lake activities. I never had a friend who owned a boat and no one in my family was big into fishing, so the ocean remained just a large salt water pool where you can relax on sand and take in some sun. Last weekend though I finally was able to fulfill a small pipe dream of mine, to steer my own sailboat.
Thanks to a great groupon purchase by my girlfriend, last Sunday we drove an easy 50 minutes outside of DC to Tracey’s Landing, Maryland, right on the Chesapeake Bay. Our voucher bought us a two hour sailing lesson from The Sailing Academy and we couldn’t have asked for more. Thanks to a very friendly instructor, I learned a slew of boating terminology as well some of the physics behind sailing (really makes you appreciate the original explorers from Europe). As my close friends know (and have experienced), I enjoy the feel of a steering wheel and controlling a sailboat was a pretty great feeling as I easily moved the wheel to adjust for wind. We had beautiful weather and plenty of wind, and then finished the day trip with an amazing seafood lunch.
It is these types of trips that make car ownership or friendship with car owners a must in this city. Sure the metro goes to some areas, but the freedom to hit the road and do whatever is a crucial aspect (for me at least) of making DC a great city to live in.
A Word on #Saditude: What a season for our Washington Nationals. Give these guys a hand, they had the best record in 2012 and came up one out short to continuing their season. I was in a bar Friday night with friends watching the horror that was the 9th inning. Every baseball fan knows, if your team lets your opponent tie it, they will probably lose it eventually. People’s faces were empty and now we must wait till April. Yes you can still be pissed about Strausburg not pitching (I still am…so stupid), lack of hitting, or letting Teddy win all those races. But let’s look at it as a step in the right direction, and that RGIII is SOO fast.
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
- If you missed this historic jump from space, watch it now. Absolutely incredible.
- How to make a pumpkin “keg“, just in time for Halloween.
- Even Barack Obama is an RGIII fan.
From Mary Burgan. Email her at mary[AT]borderstan.com.
Perhaps because I bought a couple of cheap tickets to see the Nats play a home game a couple of weeks ago, or perhaps because our young team made it to the playoffs, I’ve become a baseball fan. I’m now fully suck(er)ed into the excitement. And I’m ready to wait till next year.
So I thought I’d take in the only baseball movie in town, Trouble with the Curve. I have to admit that I wanted to see what Clint Eastwood is doing as an actor these days, after his bizarre stint as a political commentator at the Republican National Convention this summer. The fact is that his appearance in Tampa may actually have been based on his role in Trouble with the Curve — cranky, unpredictable, and profane. But he does it better in the movie.
Which is not to recommend Trouble with the Curve. It’s not a very good movie — long, with commonplace dialogue and motivation. It’s as leisurely as nine innings with no hits, no runs, no errors. It doesn’t teach much baseball to a novice like me, though I’ll remember the phrase “work the corners” as explaining the male art of pitching. I thought it meant something else.
The best thing about Trouble with the Curve is that the acting is so good that it almost rescues the flat dialogue and plot, especially when Amy Adams does it. But if you want a better baseball movie, there are a few that tell the story very well. They tend to have sad endings, but then we Washingtonians know about tragedy in baseball. We stayed up Friday night not quite believing the highs and waiting for the low–which still hurt when it came.
The Ones to Watch
If you want to continue the season, I’d look for the following on line or at RedBox.
- Bang the Drum Slowly (1974)–wonderful early De Niro film about the way a team can coalesce around a sick member in the batting order, even if he has been an irritating loser all his life. Michael Moriarty is the pitcher here, and he plays with all the subdued passion that makes him one of my favorite film and, mostly, TV actors.
- The Bad News Bears (1976)–This classic is the only “children’s” baseball movie I’ll mention. Walter Matthau is terrific as the cigar chomping, foul mouthed coach, and he’s good. Even the kids are good.
- The Natural (1984)–I’d rather have the women playing the game than appearing mysteriously to seduce or inspire. But then Robert Redford and Glenn Close and Barbara Hershey work hard to bring in the runs.
- Bull Durham (1988)–Everybody’s favorite baseball movie, with baseball sex fielded by Susan Sarandon from Tim Robbins and Kevin Costner, plus the sweat and nerve when a pitcher is out there on the mound.
- Field of Dreams (1989)–Costner at it again, and he does it well, but the story’s magic realism did not win me over.
- Moneyball (2011)–a really good, though not exciting, film about strategy through stats–just the kind of approach that the Eastwood character despises in Trouble with the Curve. But Brad Pitt, ably relieved by Jonah Hill, radiates competence and fervor.
- A League of Their Own (1992)–and a good one it is, by the girls. There IS crying in baseball. (See the Nats in the recent playoffs).
When I attended GWU, I had the privilege of studying abroad one semester in a small town in southwest Germany called Freiburg. While I was able to enjoy many of the fun and interesting parts of German culture, due to scheduling and other circumstances, I was unable to attend what is high on my short list of world events I’d like to attend once in my life (World Cup, Wimbledon, Summer Olympics).
Sadly, I did not make it to Munich for Oktoberfest, a 16 day beer drinking festival. One day I hope to strap on some leiderhosen and attend this incredible event, but in the mean time I must settle for what’s in my backyard, and in DC last Saturday, LivingSocial hosted a craft beer and food truck festival at the Half Street Fairgrounds next to Nats Park.
I attended this beerfest with my girlfriend and had strong expectations for a fairly fun scene of debauchery and live music from a band I didn’t even think was real. What we experienced in the pregame area (the Bullpen) next to Nats Park was a large percentage of the city’s Yuppies mixed with patience and a dress code all over the spectrum. Here is what you missed:
- Lines, Lines, and More Lines: 100-plus breweries all had a tiny tent with one or two pours. Every participant was given a 5 once glass and access to every brewery. Due to the high volume of people, the only way to do it was to get a drink, and then immediately get on another line because it would take that long to get another one. Next year needs either fewer tickets to be sold or bigger glasses for beer. This did lead to us getting gradually tipsy, which had a nice feeling to it, but I could pass on that many lines.
- Fall Outing or Prep School Graduation: Beerfest in warm weather screams casual and comfy. Yet there was a lot of fancy button downs and ladies with heavy makeup and long skirts. I wore a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-shirt and, no joke, I received over a dozen comments from strangers complimenting my style (not something I am used to).
- Band or Annoying Top 40: The event promoted itself strongly with The Dan Band (fake wedding band in Old School) but had blaring annoying techno going the whole time. I know Living Social likes to be for young people and such, but we can appreciate electric guitars just as much as dupstep.
Overall it was a fine Saturday afternoon in Navy Yard. If it comes back, I am bringing a bag of pretzels and my own mug.
The Nats are IN THE PLAYOFFS. Go buy a W hat already — there’s plenty of room on the Nats bandwagon. Playoffs begin next week; the matchup is to be determined, but, man, the Nats are lookin’ good!
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
- I watch a lot of baseball and I have never seen this.
- Only Redskin players get hurt during warm ups.
- 300 pound NFL player doing floor gymnastics, awesome.