1. The seders. One at our house; one at friends. Highlight of ours was the generous use of friend Barbara Sarshik’s Passover songs. Highlight of the second night: the fact that we did not get up from the table until 1:30 a.m.
2. The concert. This is the Smithsonian’s Jazz Appreciation Week, and we went to a concert of songs connected with Native American jazz singer Mildred Bailey (1907-1951), sung by a young Native American jazz major at the University of Miami named Julia Keefe. She was backed up by a local jazz octet. Keefe’s voice is extremely easy to listen to, and she can sing in a variety of styles. Her voice is still a bit young, but as it matures, she may be someone who can really make a mark. Most of the songs were old favorites: Lover Come Back to Me, I Thought About You, Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, Our Love is Here to Stay and so on. Some were old, but not favorites, only because I was not familiar with them. We decided to go at the last minute. Good move.
3. The films. Not as good a move. The films scheduled to be shown during the Spring at the National Gallery of Art don’t seem as appealing as they usually do. We went to see two semi-shorts (one 30 minutes, one an hour) on Saturday. They were classified as avant-garde films of the 60s. One, “A Town Called Tempest”, told the story of a disfunctional family who moved to a town in Kansas, and whose teenage son decides to build a storm center. His parents think he should be out meeting girls and becoming a man. Because of their disagreements, he locks them out of the storm cellar when the tempest hits, and they die. The teenage girl who loves him gives him sympathy. He has none himself; he thinks they deserved it.
The second, called “Chafed Elbows” was even more weird, and I am not going to try to retell the plot, except to say that it involves incest, and a hapless anti-hero. It was produced and directed by Robert Downey, Sr., and stars his wife (Robert Downey Jr’s mother) playing all of the female roles.
4. The walk. To help daughter Michelle prepare for her upcoming Avon Cancer Walk, I accompanied her for a long walk on a beautiful, if a little cool, day. Starting in Bethesda, we took the Crescent Trail to Georgetown, and then went through Georgetown on M Street and down Pennsylvania Avenue to 18th Street and down to Constitution Avenue and the Washington Monument, and then back to the Lincoln Memorial (walking by the WW II memorial and the Reflecting Pool), and finally up to the Foggy Bottom Metro station for the ride back to Bethesda. We think we covered 11+ miles. The backs of the knees are a little sore; will probably feel it more tomorrow.
5. The second concert. Today was the 70th Anniversary of Marian Anderson’s Easter concert at the Lincoln Memorial. A nice crowd heard Sweet Honey in the Rock, the Chicago Children’s Choir, and Denyce Graves. The only down note was Colin Powell, who was charged with reading Lincoln’s second inaugural address. Poor guy. I don’t think the crowd was interested.
6. The restaurant. A new one for me, Michelle and I tried Founding Farmers, a very interesting casual/not so casual restaurant, owned by the North Dakota Farmers Union, and dedicated to showing what good fresh, farm grown food can taste like. We had brunch (eggs etc.), which were delicious (be sure you try their grits), but it looked like a place to come back to for lunch or dinner. Extensive menu, and large wine and alcohol menu as well.
7. The teams. Well, the Caps blew their final game against Florida, but go into the playoffs as second in the east and first in their conference. Their first series will be against the Rangers. It will all depend on how the goalie does – this has been a little sporadic. The Caps are second amongst all the 30 NHL teams in scoring, but below the middle in goals against.
And how about those Nationals? 0-6 record, with close to a 8.00 ERA. The home opener is tomorrow, and we will be there (since we have tickets), but will anyone else?