March 11th, 2020

storyteller doll

Mostly The Weekend

I am insanely busy right now. So what else is new?

Hexagon: This is a political satire show, which one of my friends performs in. He also writes songs for it, as do two other people I know. It’s all volunteer and raises money for local charities. This year’s beneficiary is SMYAL, which advocates for LBGTQ youth.

This year’s show was called One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State and, because it is Hexagon’s 65th anniversary, they included some pieces from older shows. As you might guess from the title, there are Seussian references, such as a piece called "Congress Hears a Who" (about Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing). Some of the funniest parts were the newbreak segments. There was also a cute song called "District of Champions" about the Capitals and the Nationals having won their respective championships, an ode to Hechingers (a defunct hardware store), and songs about topics ranging from the Space Force to Trump’s wives. There was also the traditional kick line at the end of the first act. Overall, the show was quite funny and worth seeing.


Jonathan Richman: I went to see Jonathan Richman at the Lincoln Theatre on Saturday night. The opening act was Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (accompanied by Emmett Kelly), who is a bit more countryish than I would normally listen to. He brought up a guy named Oscar (who does merch for him) to sing "Dang Me," alleging it had been written by Oscar’s mother. But, as far as I know, it was written by Roger Miller, who popularized it in the late 1950’s. I did like one song, "At the Back of the Pit," but, overall, I found myself impatient for his set to end. He does, however, apparently have a following of his own. No accounting for tastes.

As for Jonathan, I wanted his set to go on for far longer. He started with "That Summer Feeling" and performed a number of familiar songs – and some unfamiliar ones. I was particularly amused by a song about cold pizza, which was quite different from Christine Lavin’s song on that subject. Who else but Jonathan would rhyme "stadium" with "palladium?" He also sang in multiple languages (Italian, Spanish, French, possibly Hindi). And, of course, he danced in his unselfconscious, lovably dorky style. Oddly, he didn’t do any of his songs about artists, but focused more on philosophers with pieces from Rumi ("He Gave Us the Wine to Taste") and Kabir. And his encore song/poem was about Walter Johnson, though oddly never used Johnson’s nickname "Big Train."

Overall, it was a wonderful performance by a truly original musician. The friend I went with was also raving about how great he was.


Travel Adventure Show: I’m not really sure why I keep going to the Washington Travel Adventure Show, because I am, inevitably, disappointed by it. I went with 2 friends this year and we got "free" tickets. I put that in quotes because we did have to pay a service fee.

There were a few snippets of good info in some of the talks we went to. (We split up and did not go to the same ones.) And I got some good info for a few trips I am interested in taking.

Anyway, the crowd was thin, due to virus fears. There was a lot less swag than usual. Of course, nobody had any hand sanitizer to give out. I did get a couple of little containers of sunscreen, however. I only got a couple of tote bags, which I consider something that one can never have too many of. And I nibbled on more chocolate than I really should have. Of course, I picked up plenty of brochures though, actually, I haven’t finished going through ones I picked up last year or the year before.


COVID-19 My friends have pointed out that I am the most likely of people in our circles to contract the virus as I am out and about constantly, including traveling. I have some risk of severe illness, due to my age and preexisting conditions. I remember a particularly bad bout of flu, 20 some odd years ago, during which I alternated between a fear that I would die and a fear that I wouldn’t given how awful I felt. (That made me religious about getting the flu vaccine, by the way.) And, what with this being tree sex season, I often have some sneezing and coughing. It also didn’t help that the controlled burns in Occoquan last weekend ended up filling the air with smoke. (I don’t entirely understand why things were so smoky in my neighborhood, but it replaced the snake catching guy as the big topic of discussion on NextDoor.)

However, I think there is some overreaction. I am used to having a couple of weeks worth of nonperishable food around because I lived in Los Angeles, which has events in lieu of weather, for 17 years. I’d probably be bored with eating lentil soup, but I’d survive. And I buy toilet paper in 12 roll packages which I replenish when I am down to 2 or 3 rolls.

It is way too early to think about cancelling plans for vacation at the end of April.

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