Tag Archives: culture

Artomatic: A Photo Essay

24 Jun

One of my favorite DC events is something called Artomatic. It’s a month-long art festival held every 1-3 years (depending on their ability to get organized and secure space) – usually in a building that’s under construction or slated for demolition. This year’s festival occupied ten floors of an old office building in Arlington and featured more than 1,000 artists.

Pretty awesome, right?

The event is not juried, so it’s a mishmash of stuff – some is Art with a capital-A, while other stuff looks like a classroom of kindergarteners could produce it.

Since the building is otherwise vacant, it’s easy to get lost. Fortunately they have bars on almost every floor, so you’re usually well fortified for your wandering. And there’s a stage area for entertainment on each floor – everything from poetry readings, to garage bands to fashion shows.

Last night was this year’s closing night, so my friend Betsy and I went over to check it out. Here are some of the more bizarre highlights:

There almost an entire floor dedicated to dioramas made from Peeps. This was my favorite because it was a fairly accurate portrayal of the Occupy movement in DC:

Peep Show

This was an entire room decorated bizarrely. Kind of what I assume a crack den looks like:

The End Is Near?

Not exactly sure what’s happening here, but it’s the only clown exhibit that didn’t completely terrify me:

Maybe because the hands are more creepy?

I took this mainly to taunt my sister, who offers to knit me things. If you REALLY loved me, you would make me a body-sized glove. Or a mitten. I’m not that picky…

Ain’t no needles large enough…

I’m pretty sure this is some kind of Cat’s Cradle reference, but I named him MC Knittin’ Kitten.

Let’s raise the roof.

I’m not sure what makes this art. Did the guy make Godzilla’s body from scratch? If so, I’ll put a tick in the “art” column. If he simply chopped holes and stuck frightening baby arms out of a dinosaur? Not so much.

How evolution really started…

Um… anyone want to attempt to interpret this one?

At least give her more nipples.

Forget about the goose who lays the golden egg. I want to birth a solid gold baby.

When gold-diggers get pregnant.

I didn’t take this photo for the message, though I do like the “Buy car, kick tires” idea. No. I liked this because the little drip of paint running down from his crown reminded me of the stick that holds up opera glasses. Very delicate for an Abe Lincoln skull.

Kick those tires!

Back on the Peep floor – someone had constructed a Peepmobile for kids to play with. What you may not be able to see – in this photo, it is a large fifty year old man in there driving.

When you can’t afford a corvette for your midlife crisis…

So Artomatic. Aren’t you sad you missed it? I swear – there is also REAL art there. It just didn’t photograph well.

Also? There was a fashion show with legitimate models walking a catwalk in ridiculous shoes. Knowing my obsession with models falling, any guesses what I spent my time doing? Standing with my iPhone filming, hoping I’d get footage for my own YouTube wipeout. Maybe next year.

A girl can hope.

It was like being the designated driver for a bunch of nerds.

10 Aug

The hosts of Planet Money: Alan Davidson & Alex Blumberg

First, an admission: I’m a huge dork and I love “behind the scenes” glimpses of programs I follow. That explains my ticket stubs from NBC’s studio tour (including the SNL set) in New York and NPR’s “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me” show in Chicago.

So it should come as no surprise then that a few weeks ago when NPR hosted a live recording of Planet Money‘s podcast in DC, I eagerly snapped up a ticket. Turns out, I’m not the only nerd in DC. The venue (a Synagogue in Chinatown) was sold out with 800 attendees. I love living in a Nerd Mecca.

One of my friends — whom we’ll call Honer in this post out of a) respect for her privacy and b) her Honorary Nerd status — also picked up a ticket, so we made plans to meet at the show, 30 minutes before doors opened. As my work day wound down, I began receiving texts from Honer, regretting the wine she had consumed the night before.

Not going to call it a hangover, but my head hurts.

Not sure how I’m going to make it tonight. It’s officially a hangover.

Would you think less of me if I show up with a roadie? I think this situation calls for hair of the dog.

Continue reading

Wait Wait! I’m going to tell you…

27 Feb

Full disclosure: I’m an NPR junkie. My idea of a perfect weekend involves bottomless chai, my recliner and a steady flow of NPR programming. One of my favorite programs is Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

If you’re not familiar with WWDTM, it’s an hour-long quiz show hosted by Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell, featuring three comedian panelists answering questions about current events. I recognize that this format might just qualify its fan base as ranking in the 99th percentile of nerdiness. So what.

Each week Peter Sagal notes that the show is recorded live in front of a studio audience from the Chase Auditorium in downtown Chicago. At some point in the last six months, this prompted a light to go off in my little nerd brain: DID HE SAY CHICAGO?

Hell, I’m out there twice a month for work. Why haven’t I made a pilgrimage to the seat of my personal religion?

Continue reading