I wonder who designed the very first Valentine’s Day heart. Looking at it, it’s nothing like a real heart. At least, not like any heart I’ve ever seen. And let me tell you, I’ve seen plenty. Of hearts. Wait, what? Anyway, there it is, looking all red and crazy-shaped and happily loaded into our brain forevermore. I especially like the choice of red. But again, it’s not the blood red you see in humans (did you know that blood inside your body is actually not red?) It’s a different red. A better red. Actually, red is a very interesting color. It makes people that wear it seem more attractive to the opposite sex. It’s powerful, strong, meaningful, and you should really wear it and incorporate it more into your life1. So somebody took the idea of falling in love, which we associate with a heart, and transformed an actual heart with the actual blood that was in it to something more palatable for people to look at and enjoy. Who was this mystery wo/man? Where did s/he do her work? Did s/he share my moral values?! It’s the little things that always boggle my mind. The next time you use something, look at something, or think about something (which is in fact happening as I type this and you read it), take a moment to reflect on how it came to be, and who made it happen. Those untold stories are my favorites.
Now aren’t you glad I’m done rambling?
This week on In The Distract: string quartets, plastic triplets, classixx, improv, eternal bliss, and more!
Wednesday, February 1
Comedy is awesome. Laughing is the best, and there are good scientific reasons why we’ve developed a sense of humor. So use it! Tonight at the DC Improv, check out Comedy Open Mic night, a chance for anyone to show up and play (or just watch) improv games. From the site:
The format of the show incorporates group performances along with single improvisers (whom are chosen randomly that evening and placed in a short form improv game). The single improvisers may or may not know the game or the other people playing it which is part of the fun of Open Mic Night.
FREE, sign-ups at 6:30pm, show at 8pm.
Thursday, February 2
I’m a huge fan of weird awesome music that you’ve never heard of. Tonight at the Rock and Roll Hotel, Tycho is performing. He’s a graphic designer by day, electronic musician by night who has a really cool downtempo relaxing style guaranteed to put your mind at ease, make you relax with the whispers of the seven seas, and help you find your keys.2 Go check him out and sway side to side until you fall over into a pit of leaves, crunching your way to eternal bliss. $15, doors 8pm.
Friday, February 3
It’s a well-known fact that there is a minimum of one happy hour per DC resident on Fridays. This can be a great way to relieve stress after a long day gchatting with your college roommate and Facebook stalking that one girl that stopped answering your calls.3 Sometimes, happy hour can lead to happy evening then to happy night then to happy-how-is-the-sun-rising-right-now-as-we’re-drinking-boxed-wine-behind-the-lincoln-memorial. If you’d like to take the opportunity to avoid said problem4 while still de-stressing, head down to the Inter-American Development Bank for a concert featuring string quartet Cuarteto Rustico. The group is comprised of people from Chile, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and New York. The group will be performing a 60-minute show with lots of different classical pieces, and looks like fun! FREE, doors 6pm, program at 6:30pm.
Short films are awesome. They’re like regular films, but end before you have to worry about having to go to the bathroom. Short films that make you laugh are even better. Tonight and tomorrow the DC Shorts Film Festival people are having screenings of short comedy films and live comedy performances at the new Riot Act Comedy Theatre. There are shows at 7pm and 9:30pm tonight, and 5pm, 7pm, and 10pm on Saturday. The later the hour of the show, the racier it will be, I predict. And I am never wrong. Go have some fun! $15, multiple shows.
Saturday, February 4
Tonight is DANCE NIGHT(tm pending). I’m serious. Do it. Where, you might ask? Foolish mortal. Go dance with the gods of rhythm at U St Music Hall if you dare. Tonight’s show is headlined by an absolutely amazing and awesome group known as Classixx, known for their brilliant remixes. The extra X is for extreme. Duh. $10, 10pm.
Sunday, February 5
So me and some buddies are getting together to play a little football this afternoon, and I heard it may be picked up on TV, so feel free to tune into that.
If, for some reason, you’re not into huge men attempting to destroy each other in a stadium without lions5, you know what I would do? Go to any of the Smithsonian museums. Because they’re all free, and all the tourists that normally flock to them like birds to soggy white bread will be stuck in front of their television sets rooting on said huge men sans lions. I really enjoy the Freer-Sackler – give it a shot if you’ve never been! If we keep getting nice weather like today, you could even wander around the Smithsonian Gardens.
Monday, February 6
Watch out Radioactive Man, the sun is exploding again! Ok, non-sequitur over. The sun’s not really exploding. I just love the Simpsons. Anyway, tonight, go check out rap-guy Theophilus London at the 9:30 Club, because he is amazing. Seriously, you will be blown away. From his bio:
Theophilus London is an alternative rap artist from Brooklyn, NY, whose genre-bending approach draws from a range of styles, from soul-pop and post-punk to electro and contemporary R&B. Citing influences that include Michael Jackson and Prince as well as Kraftwerk and the Smiths, he began working with the New York City-based label Normrex in 2007.
$20, 7pm doors. Apparently Theophilus has an early bedtime.
Tuesday, February 7
Valentine’s Day is coming up, and the Spy Museum is doing all sorts of Valentine’s related things because, well, that’s what February is all about, OK?! Tonight you can go hear author Ken Ballen talk about his new book, Terrorists in Love: The Real Lives of Islamic Radicals. From the description:
What do you do if the girl of your dreams gets married off to a National Guard general who can pay a bigger dowry than you can? If you are Abdullah al-Gilani, you join al-Qaeda. Later you learn that your true love ran away from her husband to join the jihad in Iraq—where she may have been martyred. This sad story of star-crossed lovers is just one of the true tales Ken Ballen, author of Terrorists in Love, will share in a night devoted to misspent passion.
That could be awesome. $9, 6:30-8:30pm.
Until next week, Keep Calm and Carry On.
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