My name is Jon. Yes, it’s true. Jon Jon Jon. This name, while awesome, can present problems from time to time. For instance, at the lunch counter while ordering a delicious sandwich at A Litteri (Go now, if you haven’t. I’ll wait). Often to help differentiate between customers, eateries will try and use a person’s name when taking their order. The idea being that all of us have completely unique names that will identify us from the crowd. Sadly, as I found out recently, there is more than one person in the world with the name Jon. Worse, there are other spellings of Jon (silent letters?! Seriously people). I’ll be patiently waiting for my delicious Italian sandwich and hear a “Jon”, run up, and like a kid who thought he heard the ice cream truck only to discover it was the trash truck destroying his dreams and replacing them with acrid odors, discover it was for someone else. Ugh. Sometimes, they’ll ask you for a last initial. M. Jon M. Apparently there is more than one person with the first name Jon and the last initial M. This is just irresponsible in the part of the parental units. Can we please get a little more coordination here? In the absence of that, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and offer up random crazy names to the person working when they ask me my name. For instance, when I was at Taylor Gourmet the other day, I used Bartholomew, one of the Apostles. Based on my extensive statistical analysis, it is very unlikely someone will have this name. (Bartholomew, if you’re reading this, I apologize). So when the person at the front called out “Bartholomew, chicken cutlet sandwich”, I happily bounded towards the counter, knowing my delicious sandwich was ready. Next up, Proteus. He was a Greek sea-god. And now my alter ego at Nando’s. It sure it fun swimming around when you have your belly full of delicious Portugese chicken (Wait 45 minutes after eating though!). How about Silvanus, Roman god of the woods. Sure, he’ll have that strawberry banana smoothie at Jamba Juice. Mmm, it’s a whole lot easier to protect the forest when you have a cool refreshing smoothie in hand. You too, can try this. Even if your name is already unique (lucky!). Plus, it’ll most likely make the people at the counter smile, which helps out when they’ve been on their feet for 8 hours dealing with crazy people who “need their latte with EXTRA soy milk”. What, you think you have a Gold Card and you rule the world? This isn’t the AmEx Centurion.
This week on In The Distract: Journey to Japan, Origami, Fireworks, How To Lose A Mountain, and of course, Thai Food. And so much more!
Wednesday, April 4
April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM, get it?!) and you should definitely get out to enjoy some amazing jazz music this month. Tonight, head over to the Atlas Theater to see Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, which is an 18-piece big band with a Grammy-nominated debut album. The site mentions that Darcy James takes on a steampunk attitude to the normal big band style. I’m not even sure what that means, but check out some of the awesome music below. $25 ($15 student w/ ID), 8pm.
Thursday, April 5
It’s the first Thursday of the month, and that means it’s time for the ever-awesome Philips After 5 event at the Philips Collection (the first modern arts museum in the United States!). This month’s theme is Journey to Japan (Cherry Blossom inspired?), and features a cash bar, complimentary snacks, live jazz music, and lectures about Japanese art in France. Plus, you’ll get to wander around the whole museum, which is quite lovely. Reserve tickets now as this tends to sell out. $12, 5-8:30pm.
Friday, April 6
This Friday, take the invisible DC Trolley straight from the Union Station metro to H St to check out HOPE: Wave, a new art installation at SOVA, a great little coffee shop and bar at H St NE. The installation features 1000 origami cranes folded by DC-area high school students hung in a wave formation. Proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross to support continuing relief efforts after the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Free, 7:30pm.
Saturday, April 7
The Cherry Blossom celebrations are continuing, and get yourself ready for today’s all day Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival. The event runs rain or shine, and features all kinds of fun entertainment for the whole family (no fractions here). Lots of live music, food trucks, a Waterfront beer garden presented by Kirin, an arts and crafts marketplace, Dragon Boat sailing and demonstrations, a school of swimming Koi that light up (?!), origami and about a million other things. Oh, and some fireworks after the sun goes down. Should be a blast! Free, 1-9pm.
Not in the mood for a crazy festival? Feel like watching some sorts, but you can’t really get into that whole baseball thing because it’s not really a sport since the players just stand around most of the time and yawn and try and not throw bats at the fans that incessantly taunt them as they stretch in preparation for a fly ball that may come their way in a few innings? Then how about soccer, where the action never stops, the players aren’t allowed to breathe, and the number of fake injuries you will see numbers in the 100s. Tonight at RFK Stadium DC United plays the Seattle Sounders, one of the league’s worst (best) teams. It’s also free shirt day, kids day, adults day, teens day, college day, and everyone-else-we-forgot-day. $25 and up, 7:30pm. Tailgating starts around 9am, so be sure and get there early to get a good spot (I plan on camping out the night before. D-C UNITED!)
Sunday, April 8
This afternoon, relax and take in a crazy insane movie at the Freer-Sackler gallery. End of Animal is showing as part of the Korean Film Festival, and the description just sounds insane. To wit:
Soon-young, a pregnant teenager on a taxi ride to the country, is joined by a mysterious passenger who begins a countdown to the moment when “the angels will descend.” After a blinding flash of light, Soon-young wakes up alone in the cab with a dead cell phone and a note telling her to stay put. Instead she ventures out into the barren landscape. Is this the apocalypse, is someone playing a trick on her, or is she going mad?
I mean, seriously? This sounds pretty great. Did I mention it was free?! Free!, 2pm. (The movie will have subtitles, even if the trailer below doesn’t).
Monday, April 9
Let’s be real here. We all enjoy Thai food. Whether it’s a Chicken Pad Thai that I can’t ever eat because the evil peanut monster will destroy me if I ingest it, or some delicious curry that I cannot stop eating because it is oh-so-good, Thai food has a special place in our heart. Well, things are about to get even better. This week, as part of the celebration of Songkran, the Thai New Year, the Royal Thai Embassy has partnered with Thai restaurants in Maryland, Virginia, and DC to give you a special week of delicious Thai food you would never normally get. I’m assuming they flew in the crazy Thai ingredients direct from Thailand, because this is what I would do in a similar situation. Clearly. Anyway, the site isn’t too clear except to say the dishes include Massaman curry, Som tam, Tom yam goong, Moo nam tok, and a bunch of other things that sound pretty much delicious. So just go, as if you needed another excuse, and celebrate Thailand’s new year with delicious food, as it should be. Food is not free, and this lasts all week. Hooray!
Tuesday, April 10
The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage never fails to disappoint with interesting and unique acts, and tonight is no exception. Tonight the Dance Exchange performs excerpts from How To Lose a Mountain (sneak peak: it’s easier than you’d think), which is both a dance and the kick off to a 500 mile walk Dance Exchange artistic director Cassie Meador is doing to better understand our relationship between us and the stuff that surrounds us. During the event “audiences will have a chance to interact with 500 Miles/500 Stories, an online story-collection platform that will be used to track the journey and the stories from communities on the trail and beyond as they unfold”. Nifty! Free, 6-9pm.
If you’d rather not learn how to lose a mountain (silly you), you can head over to the Embassy of Italy to see a screening of Mediterraneo, a classic film about 8 Italian soldiers landing on a small island in 1941 and how they forget about the war and just become people that want to live the relaxed life that we all dream about. It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1991, and for good reason. Quick plot summary stolen from Wikipedia: After the men land on the island and find it deserted, women show up and:
The Italian soldiers are absorbed into the life, heat and landscape of the idyllic island. The local priest asks the lieutenant, a Sunday painter, to restore the murals in his church. Two soldiers, who are brothers, befriend a lovely young woman, a shepherdess, who believes that three is the perfect number for an affair of pure sexual fun. The sergeant takes up folk dancing and the shyest of the soldiers falls profoundly in love with the island’s single, very overworked prostitute, named Vassilissa.
Free, 7pm. Again the trailer below has no subtitles, but the movie will. Practice your Italian in the meantime.
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