National Public Viking

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


|current sounds| Liz Janes- Done Gone Fire*

Not that Phillip and Zach weren't great company, but I forgot to mention the best part of our Thursday evening revelry: Blelvis! Yes, indeed, the black Elvis Presley who knows all 1,112 songs in the King's catalog (not to mention countless trivia). He approaches the three of us walking past Adams Morgan on 16th Street with a cheerful, "Sideburns!" (referring to Phillip's chops). He introduces himself, give his spiel, and proceeds to challenge us to name any obscure Elvis song. Now, Blelvis couldn't have picked a better trio of music nerds than us (in fact, most of us were ready to reach into our wallets at his very name), but we were all admittedly at a loss. He moves on quickly asking us to give him any word and he'd find a way to associate it with an Elvis song. He prefaces Zach's word, "angry," with, "I shouldn't say this of the King, but this song sucks, but I know it," and rattles off a verse. For my word, "quiche," he asks, "Is that a fruit of vegetable of some kind?" "It's an egg-based pie." "Oh, cuz Elvis has lots of food songs." Then he sings something about a papaya (pa-pie-ya). Stretching it, but clever. And on Phillip's "monkey" pick: "Now this is a Chuck Berry song, but Elvis sung it, too."

Blelvis just kept walking with us along 16th and wanted to clarify that he could've been "Bladonna or Blibberace, but I am Blelvis!" I really wish I could've run home to grab my mini-cassette recorder before we parted ways. We appreciatively handed him some bills and reveled in the incredible spectacle. And now you can, too... or at least a snippet courtesy of the Rock n Roll Psychosis public access TV show filmed in 1988: Blelvis Lives.

*my review on Tangzine back in the day

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Bulleted, slightly expounded-upon list of the past week

|current sounds| Greg Davis- Curling Pond Woods


I decided to take a "day off" from writing cover letters and submitting resumes to hike a portion of the Appalacian Trail in Maryland. I took the website's advice and started the trail off Weverton Road where I hiked a somewhat intense 45 minutes up a steep switchback trail. My calves have not known such pain for quite some time simply because I hadn't worked those muscles in at least two years. After that, an easy hike even if the windchill made it feel like 30 degrees out. I made it out to Gapland Park and saw a sign that read, "Weverton Cliffs - 6 mi." and sadly had to turn around since my running shoes aren't exactly prime for hiking (two fat blisters can attest to that). On the way back, I stopped at the Ed Garvey Memorial Shelter, the best-looking and most-equipped hiker's stop I've ever seen (I plan to use it at some point), and stopped to talk for nearly an hour to three older gentlemen I'd met at the beginning of the trail. They all come from the local church and the pastor among them gave me his card so we could meet up on the trail again some time.

Speaking of, former NPR intern Michael asked me if I wanted to hike the AT. A resounding yes! We're not sure when this will happen, but it's something I've always wanted to do. Once I get some nice hiking boots and some gear, I'm going to start training.


Zach and Phillip came to visit from Athens. We walked the length of 16th Street, ate at the Front Page (their home pale ale - excellent as always), talked music (how I miss my music nerd friends!), met all of my roommates (who all wished Z + P could have stayed an extra day), and went out for a drink later at Wonderland. So great to have some of my dearest friends visit on their fall break. And these aren't road-trip-type people!

Also got some new Telenovela jams from Zach.


Forgot "partying Halloween" happened tonight, so I didn't have a costume ready to go out. But wouldn't be awesome if I wore this?
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SUNDAY (today)

Bought pre-packaged Indian food from Trader Joe's. Ran into one of the few people from high school (who went to UGA with me) that I liked, Shannon, at TJ's and hugged excitedly. Apparently, she doesn't live too far away from our house, so now I have a new-old friend in town!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

If you give a man an egg, then he will fish for a lifetime

|current sounds| Radiohead- Hail to the Thief

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I post this picture of a broccoli-maple bacon quiche to prove to my mother that I am, in fact, eating well. This was my first attempt at the eggy "hey, it's a breakfast and a dinner" meal and it turned out all right (I really wanted spinach, but the foodstore was out - DCers are still greedily storming the shelves after, what, three weeks of no spinach?). I even made the crust. Everyone in the house cooks like a star, perhaps even Silas (our new fifth roommate who officially packed the fridge tight), though we've yet to see his talents. Jamie likes hearty, veggie pies, Sarah's all about ginger, and Nicole's been blowing us out of the water this past week with stuffed spaghetti squash and some of the juiciest chicken I've had in a while. Sarah's convinced we need a cooking show and as soon as we can get our hands on a digital camera (Sarah and I both have video editing software on our Macs), we're going to film episodes for the Google-conglomerated-YouTube. We're not joking.

Speaking of YouTube, these three Argentine pre-teens (if that!) are the greatest thing to happen to metal right now. All I know right now is that their names are Emilio, Jorge, and Victor, their dad (who makes a cameo in the Slipknot video) filmed it sometime last year, and that these kids understand that metal is fun. Seriously, watch that Slipknot video (never thought I say something like that) - that kid in the Pikachu shirt (awesome) is almost the same size as the imitation Stratocaster he's wielding! All three kids are ridiculously (multi-)talented for their age and get that Sepultra and Iron Maiden are joyous expressions of rock n roll.

Also, did Jeffrey cheat? Christa alerts us to the scandal! Only tonight's ruffle-tingling Project Runway finale (or "FIN-ALE-LEE" as Heidi Klum would say) will tell.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

(Wanna Go) Back to the (Former) USSR

|current sounds| Wolf Eyes with John Wiese- Equinox (yep, still listening to it)

The New York Times has an article on Georgian wine and the country's splendid return to their ancient ritual and rite. Reading about the writer's experience with former Soviet country's bend-over-backward hospitality brought back many memories of my time doing mission work and playing music for two weeks there. A host will literally save up a month's salary if a guest agrees to come over for dinner, a grand feast of shashlik, heavily olive oiled cucumbers and tomatoes, kingali (Georgian dumplings), and hachipuri (a very salty cheese-bread - quite divine). As C. J. Chivers mentions in the article, guests are the equivalent of gods, especially Americans whom Georgia now anxiously welcomes as tourists after years of civil turmoil (there's still unrest, but no where near as bad as after I left in 1999). Now that I'm not 16 nor a tetotaller and an aspiring wine enthusiast, I feel like I should travel back to Georgia, peruse the vineyards, and sit on the rock beaches of Batumi on the Black Sea.

Looky what I found on one of my old websites. I cannot remember the names of the two on the left (though they were my favorite students at a camp we directed for one week), but there's a spikey-haired Lars (nicknamed "Metallus" by the kids for my metal necklace) sitting next to Lika, my first international crush. Jason, one of my team members, pulled me aside within a few days to inform me that Lika, at 18, was already married (not an abnormal practice in Georgia). My first attempt at Slavic hook-up-age thus thwarted.

Monday, October 09, 2006

"You know where I learned to do my make-up? From the TV, yes I did!" (overheard in Wheeling, WV)

|current sounds| Wolf Eyes with John Wiese- Equinox

Of all the places to spend a weekend, Wheeling, West Virginia certainly isn't the highest on most lists. But every October, the Appalacian town is host to the regionally famous Oglebay Fest, a weekend full of arts-n-crafts shopping, livestock showings, beer, and drunken men playing German drinking songs (at least until 2PM when they've already had too much and let the CD player handle things). My roommate Jamie hails from Wheeling right on the West Virginia-Ohio border and invited some of us to join she and her aunt. Sarah, Emilia, and I still aren't exactly sure why we enthusiastically joined, but I'm sure it had something to do with just wanting to get out of the city for a couple of days.

Aside from the gorgeous drive through southern Pennsylvania with leaves starting to change fall colors and generally being in great company, I was definitely interested in just taking in the rich, cultural Americana of the festival. Kiddie tractor pulls, German-American accordian music, Pittsburg Steelers fanaticism, really big hair and excessive make-up, regional dialect - loved every second of it without irony. Too many people look at such a culture find nothing but humor in it and with good reason, I suppose (I am strong perpetuator in keeping nothing sacred), but this is a genuine way of living, and perhaps Appalacia possesses one of the few true "cultures" white folks, in particular, have.

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I squealed with joy when we pulled off for some late morning breakfast and found a Waffle House, the first visit for Emilia (pictured) and Sarah. Now that's a happy face!

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The beautiful Oglebay Festival grounds.

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Sarah and Jamie enjoying German sausage and a dark ale.

I'm never in my own photos. My camera is large and intimidating.