project 365

243. United.

On the last day of my 26th year of my life, went to my first DC United tailgate and game today with friends Kaitie, Mackenzie, Juana and Amy today. Below, a not-complete photo account.

Had to take a tailgate selfie. The shadows indicate that we are hiding under some shade because it was so ridiculously hot and we were trying to keep from melting. Photo from Kaitie’s phone.

photo 4

Welcome to RFK Stadium! View of the walk from the tailgate. Still hot.

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Stood in the Screaming Eagles section, where they were handing out flags. They sadly didn’t cool anyone off.

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We kept hoping that these giant clouds would create some cover, providing relief. They didn’t really.

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Flags up after they score another goal with only a minute or two before the end of the game. DC wins 2-0. Vamos United! (We were still miserably hot. I drank about three bottles of water and two bottles of Gatorade in an effort to hydrate.

The rest of today has been lovely. Cold showers. Thai food. “Chuck.” Not a bad way to send off 25.

project 365

242. Willy.

From the moment my story on captive marine mammals published a little more than a month ago, roommate Kaitie and I have been on a bit of a Free Willy train, mostly in the form of her playing Michael Jackson’s Will You Be There over and over and over again.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that when I discovered a Free Willy marathon on Encore today, we both enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to relive part of our ’90s childhood. After catching the end of Free Willy 1, the entirety of FW2 and parts of FW3, I now have the following questions:

1) So, what are the repurcussions of setting an orca free? Is Willy considered a stolen object? Is anyone at the marina going to sue Glenn for taking out the gate with his truck?

2) Do Annie and Glenn ever adopt Jesse, or does he just continue to be their foster kid?

3) I may have missed it because I wasn’t paying much attention, but does little brother Elvis completely disappear? At least Annie and Glenn are mentioned. This kid is Jesse’s brother and a plot driver of FW2, you guys.

4) Whatever became of Jesse and Nadine’s bonding-over-whales romance? I gots to knrow!

5) OK. So you don’t want the orcas to be sent to the rehabilitation center because they will subsequently be sold to aquariums and whatnot for show. Fine. But you’ve also just sent them back into an environment where there is an oil spill that one of the animals nearly died from earlier in this movie. Really? How does this work?


240. Hyperlapse.

Took a video of my walk to work this morning using Hyperlapse, the new tool from Instagram to make timelapses. It turned what is about a 17-minute walk into a minute and a half.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand once I can figure out how to post it on here, I will! But that moment is not right now. Of course. Thanks, Internet.

project 365

239. Exist.

Read an interesting post on NPR today about time and space: Essentially, it boils down to this theory: much like how things already exist in space, events already exist in time.

Astrophysicist  Adam Frank’s take:

Your birth is an event that occurred at some location in space and at some moment in time. Your eventual death is also an event that will occur at some location in space (hopefully a cozy bed) and at some moment in time (hopefully many, many years from now). Those two points define the end points of a line in the four dimensions of space-time. In between, every place you’ve been or will be and all the moments you occupied those places fill out the shape of this line with its birth-death endpoints.

Here’s how I kind of thought about it: if I’m driving from D.C. to San Francisco, there are several points along the way. Just because I haven’t passed through them yet doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

And I can’t help but wonder what the implications are. If everything I’m going to do with my life, however long or short it may be, has already happened, then how does that work for concepts like free will and fate? When I make a choice, is it because I’ve already made that choice? If who I am going to be is already a done deal, then does that mean everything I’m doing now is going to help me get there, no matter how many mistakes or right decisions I make along the way?

It’s a lot to think about right before I go to bed. It does bring to mind this quote from Mad Men:

I have a life. And it only goes in one direction. Forward.

project 365

236. Goldfinch.

Finished reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch yesterday, then spent the last 24 hours mulling it over. Conclusion (which shouldn’t be that surprising if you’ve talked to me at all in the past couple weeks): I hated it. I can’t remember the last time I was this relieved that I was done reading something. I powered through for a book club meeting I didn’t even end up attending.

Below is the review I wrote on Goodreads. (Note: if YOU liked it, awesome. There are obviously people out there who do. We will just have to agree to disagree.)

I’ve fallen into the camp that hated this book. For two weeks, I’ve pushed forward with it, even though I realized early on that I wasn’t enjoying myself and that wasn’t likely to change.

I was explaining the novel to a friend, which made me realize the concept for greatness exists. Theo Decker is in over his head as he tries to navigate the world after his mother’s death in a terrorist attack, leading him from New York to Las Vegas to Amsterdam. At the heart of this tale is a painting, a masterwork by all accounts.

But the book was overwrought and overwritten (especially the last dozen pages or so, in which author Donna Tartt, through Decker, waxes philosophical on the meaning of art and life and love). The characters and settings were all stereotypes: the angelic mother, the drunkard father, the drunkard father’s skanky girlfriend, the Upper East side family, the Russian no-good best friend. The plot itself read like A Series of Unfortunate Events, but was far less entertaining.

I get it — this is Donna Tartt’s opus, the novel that she has spent years on. To some, this work was worthy of its Pulitzer. To me, it was a meandering tale that petered out hundreds of pages in, with hundreds of pages left to go.

The result: if I ever see Carel Fabritius’s The Goldfinch in real life, I probably won’t appreciate it as much as I should. That damn book. That damn painting.

I can’t deny that there weren’t moments of literary brilliance in Goldfinch; that’s why I gave it two stars instead of one. I think some good editing would have made this a much better told story. Instead, those moments, much like Decker himself in the book, get lost in the mess.


project 365

235. Emily.

Celebrated friend Emily’s birthday a few days early with brunch, comic book shopping (admittedly, more her friends than her), sitting in a coffee shop, walking down to the Lincoln Memorial, heading to Georgetown to stop by CB2 and Chipotle. ‘Twas an accidental daylong adventure around the city, which is what Em said is exactly what she wanted.

I would post the photo I took of her at the coffee shop, but she’d probably kill me, so I’ll just keep that one on my phone. Happy birthday, Emily!


234. Winter’s Tale.

Attended Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual Free For All with friends Amy, Emily and Mackenzie. Saw The Winter’s Tale for the first time. It was a lovely production, whimsical and haunting and breathtaking at exactly the right moments.

Am now going to finish reading Goldfinch because I’m 100 pages out and I just need this particular reading experience to be over.