Sports Fix, The Features

Time To Get Excited, Nats Fans

Spring Training is upon us. It’s celebrated as a holiday in many a home and cheers up folks stuck in deep emotional slumps due to winter (and no baseball). It’s a time to look forward to the sweet summertime yet to come. It’s the time of year where rebirth is ever-present, in the weather and in state-of-mind. That’s why I’m looking forward to the 2013 Major League Baseball season in Washington, D.C. – home of the 2012 National League East Champions.

There’s a lot to be excited about if you’re a Nats fan. For example: a lead-off hitting hustler of a center fielder in Denard Span, no pitch limit for Stephen Strasburg, newly crowned National League Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper (and everything he does #fangirling), a starting rotation and bullpen worthy of evoking envy throughout all of baseball, and a roster that’s just as cohesive (if not more so) as Gordon Bombay’s Mighty Ducks from Minnesota. Continue reading

We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends – Feb 1 to 3

Rachel: This should be a fun one. I’ve got a show at American University on Friday night as part of an alternative Spring Break trip fundraiser (aka Jams for Justice). I’m always happy to help out the students at my Alma mater, so I’m expecting it to be a good time. Then my buddies The Very Small are playing their first live rock show in FOREVER at Comet Ping Pong. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been to a concert at Comet yet but a lot of my fellow local musicians have played shows there lately and I hear nothing but great things. Sunday will be spent rehearsing for my upcoming show at The Wonderland Ballroom on Wednesday, March 6. That performance is part of a new local variety show called The Wonderland Circus and is organized by the folks behind The Capital City Showcase.

Patrick: Friday night I think I’ll head on down to the Verizon Center and see the Wizards take on the Knicks. Saturday I will be brunching somewhere in Arlington. Lyon Hall? Liberty Tavern? I know it won’t be at Ray’s Hell Burger because that place is all closed down. Oh maybe I’ll go to Bayou! Problem is it’s always packed. Why does the rest of Clarendon have to think the same way I do? Saturday night I’m going to attempt to start my night in Rosslyn, move to Park at 14th, then end at H-Street. Would somebody like to loan me some cab fare?

Katie: Friday night I’ve got a track workout scheduled. (I’ve got a hidden gem near my work, but if you need a track, I recommend Wilson (that link is for the pool, but it’ll get you there) or any of these Arlington tracks.) Saturday, we’re taking it outside, grabbing the dog and going hiking. To make an afternoon of it, we’ll pick up a picnic and head to either Hidden Pond or Huntley Meadows. Sunday I’ll probably work on my spring garden, stopping by Ginkgo Gardens.

Fedward:  Friday is the anniversary of DC’s repeal of Prohibition and we’ll celebrate by braving crowds on U St to visit the Gibson to try Frank Jones’ ARTINI. I liked his entry last year. After that we’ll visit Room 11, who tweeted that they plan to celebrate, and maybe visit a Brown brother or two. Saturday if we can get out of bed in time, we’ll hit up the Kennedy Center for a talk on the Northern Lights (with slides and video from NASA). If we miss that we might still be up in time for Union Market’s gospel choir brunch. After that it’s member preview day for the new Green Schools exhibit at the National Building Museum. Sunday’s our last day of freedom quiet grown-up time not babysitting until next Saturday, so we’ll probably take it easy. So, just brunch at the Passenger.

Alexia: Friday night will find me at CD Cellar in Arlington to see local bands Troll Tax and Post Nasal Drip play. Saturday I’m taking a day-trip South to Richmond to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Sunday will find me at band practice, followed by my favorite monthly karaoke night at Galaxy Hut in Arlington!

Tom: Friday night would normally be a night out in Ward 5, we’ve been meaning to try Little Ricky’s in Brookland for their Cuban fare, it’s been getting raves, but I’ll be in Nashville for some social time this weekend. I hear amazing things about their Hot Chicken, so that’s on the list. I’ll be getting home Sunday, just enough time to hide out at Shaw’s Tavern with some email and prepare for the week.

capitals hockey, The Daily Feed

Milbury Blasts Ovechkin During Caps Loss to Flyers

Photo courtesy of BrianMKA
Alex Ovechkin
courtesy of BrianMKA

If you watched the horror show in Philadelphia last night, you know the Caps just looked bad. As in, start-of-the-season bad. The team floated the “we were tired” balloon as an excuse, as the game was their third in five days.

It’s an excuse that would hold more weight if the Caps were firing on all cylinders from the start and deep in the playoff race. But they’re in catch-up mode and in danger of missing out on this year’s Cup run. “Being tired” just doesn’t cut it at this point.

Most interesting, however, was NBC Sports commentator Mike Milbury’s diatribe about Caps captain Alex Ovechkin. I’ll caveat by saying I’m not a huge Milbury fan for innumerable reasons. But considering the Caps woes right now, including Ovie’s less-than-stellar stats for this point in the season…I think Milbury has a point buried in his overemotional pontification.

Are the Caps in danger of tanking out this season if Ovie can’t get it together?

My magic 8-ball says “Signs point to yes.”

The Hill, We Love Food

We Love Food: Tash


My newest obsession on 8th street is full of tabbouleh and I just can’t stop going. Tash House of Kabob, located at 524 8th St SE, opened a few weeks ago and I’ve been three times since. (I’m not kidding when I say I can’t stop.)

Completely reasonably priced at around $15 per entree, Tash satisfies. Start your meal with the pirozhki, deep fried little fried pockets of meat, cheese and mushrooms, and then you seriously cannot go wrong with whatever kabob you choose. I’ve had the lamb, the salmon and the chicken and they were all excellent. Happy hour is ridiculously cheap (you can get a glass of wine for $3.50), so I’m really not sure why you’re still here reading this when you could be there drinking.

It’s gorgeous inside, the tile and rustic wood makes for a quick escape from busy Capitol Hill. The golden and ornate tea setup alone is worth ordering tea, and all the plates and flatware are unique (though the knife annoys me every time I go, you’ll see what I mean). So… to summarize. Cheap, obsessively good, and excellent happy hour specials. Is there really any more to say? Nope. You should just go already.

Tash is located at 524 8th Street at Eastern Market Metro stop on the Orange and Blue lines.

Sports Fix

Fan Spring Training: wOBA

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison
Washington Nationals Mike Rizzo
courtesy of Keith Allison

wOBA = (0.691×uBB + 0.722×HBP + 0.884×1B + 1.257×2B + 1.593×3B + 2.058×HR) / (AB + BB – IBB + SF + HBP)

That above is the formula for wOBA (Weighted On Base Average). Looks complex, doesn’t it? It isn’t. I should point out that is was just last week when it hit me exactly what wOBA was measuring and gave me a good anecdote. When Tom, Rachael, and I had our pre-Spring Training meeting on the direction of Nationals coverage for the site Tom had the idea to do a fan Spring Training. To write a serious of articles about advanced stats. This scared the hell out of me, because there are a lot of people smarter than me and many of them happen to be Nationals fans and some of them may be reading this right now. The big fear I had was that in explaining advanced stats my tone would come across as if I was talking down to my audience.

So last week I was working on some things trying to figure out how many runs Denard Span at lead-off and Wilson Ramos at catcher would be worth. You can look at the wOBA formula and see that it assigns a run value to each batting event, and these values are based on the average run expectency of the 24 base out states. If we remove all context then a base is worth 0.25 runs, because you need four bases to score a run, but that would be in a line-up where no one ever hits anything but a single or walks and no batter ever advances more than one base. So more or less a base is only worth 0.25 runs in a world that doesn’t exist. I kept thinking about it and trying to figure how much to add to get a truer value based on the game of baseball that is actually played.

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Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: The Convert

Photo: Scott Suchman

Danai Gurira’s The Conert opens in 1895 Southern Africa where Nancy Moricette’s character Jekesai runs onto the Woolly Mammoth stage wearing nothing but some Zimbabwe tribal neckware and a small animal hide skirt. The image is striking and reminiscent of a photo you would perhaps see in an old issue of National Geographic.

Seeking refuge from becoming a wife to her Uncle (Erik Kilpatrick), Jekesai reaches out to her aunt Mai Tamba (Starla Benford) who is a maid at the home of Chilford (Irungu Mutu), a Christian missionary. Jekesai is taken in and given a job, schooling, and the opportunity to convert from her pagan religion to Catholicism. Grateful for her newfound situation, we see Jekesai slowly shed her native identity (which includes changing her name to Ester) and turn into a devout missionary. Her new faith however will find her in the middle of rising tensions between the Zimbabwe natives, the European settlers, and the converted missionaries in the middle.

It is a powerful story and the latest piece by Gurira, who you may know from her role in AMC’s Walking Dead. She is no stranger to Woolly Mammoth, she performed on stage in 2006′s Continuum and premiered her play Eclipsed at Woolly back in 2009. A child to Zimbabwean parents, Gurira has been deeply interested in telling the story of her native homeland and delivers the first of a trilogy of plays about Zimbabwe in the form of a moving drama that is new and refreshing.

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Featured Photo

Featured Photo

Twice a year the moon rises (roughly) at the eastern horizon; it happens at the full moon closest to each Equinox. With the Mall set up on a east-west axis, that means the moon visually align itself with the major monuments and buildings of the city. Because it rarely rises on that axis perfectly, the sight seems to always be different.

Phil, who has been taking these pictures for a number of years, came away with a great one this time. The first thing you notice is the orange coloring of the moon; that happens because the light the moon is reflecting is going through more of the Earth’s atmosphere than if it was at the apex of the sky. The atmosphere scatters the light and redshifts it (if you check out an earlier shot the redshift is more evident). But beyond the quirky rules of physics, the shot is well framed; with the Capitol dome fully visible, the size of the Washington Monument evident, and even the beautiful dome of the Natural History Museum. And then there’s the moon in the Reflecting Pool, which seals the shot. It’s certainly a gorgeous enough sight to keep one in love with DC!

Downtown, Interviews, Special Events, The Features, We Love Arts

Behind the National Geographic Story (With Alice Gabriner)

Roman Frontiers

From “Roman Frontiers”; used with permission. The Porta Nigra, or “black gate,” still dominates Trier, Germany. A hundred feet tall, it was built in the second century as part of a wall system four miles long. Trier was a major city in the late Roman Empire, even serving as a regional capital under several emperors. “The light was so good from my hotel room that I put up a tripod and started taking pictures. The gate is surrounded by modern elements like power lines and a gas station, so I captured a variety of ways of looking at it. This was a way of combining both the old and the new.”

Tonight, National Geographic is pulling back the curtain of sorts. One of the organization’s acclaimed draws is its fantastic use of photography to illustrate various articles and exhibits. Many photographers, from amateur to professional, dream of a day when they see one or more of their photos published in the iconic gold-bordered magazine.

National Geographic magazine Senior Photo Editor Alice Gabriner will share with a select crowd at the museum’s Grosvenor Auditorium her process. (The program is sold out for the evening.) Guests will discover firsthand the work that goes in to curating a National Geographic photo show through an insiders tour, as well as a private viewing of Beyond the Story: National Geographic Unpublished 2012, an upcoming photography exhibition featuring unpublished images by photographers on assignment for National Geographic magazine last year.

I had the opportunity to talk briefly with Gabriner before the program this evening. She graciously took a few moments to answer some questions and shared some photos from upcoming projects. Continue reading

We Love Weekends

Weekend Flashback: 2/22-2/24

The last week of February begins. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m starting to smell a good Nat’s Dog in my hand, hear the crowd go wild after a National’s homer, and see the Presidents race at the bottom of the fourth. Spring training just doesn’t do it for me; I can’t wait for the real baseball season to begin! One more month. One more month.

Let’s get the month here a little bit quicker by starting with this week’s Weekend Flashback. Despite the rain and cold, it looks like our excellent photog contributors got out and about this weekend. So enjoy their hard work! Continue reading

Comedy in DC

Winning Ticket: Puppet Stand-Up

YouTube Preview Image

The above is what I imagine a bit of puppet stand-up with a Cherry Red-ish pedigree to be like, but I guess the truth will be a lot more varied. And less shellfish. But equally not safe for work, or, perhaps, anyone.

Sadly I will not be finding out, as I have a charity event to go to. But my loss can be your gain – I’m going to pick one lucky commenter to receive my two tickets to tomorrow’s 8pm show of Puppet Stand-Up, a “unique showcase of eighteen of the best puppet comics working today.” Just leave a comment below indicating you’re interested and if you’re the winner – selected by the highly scientific process of me opening up – I’ll email you the two PDF and you’ll have to find a printer. I’ll close entries sometime before noon tomorrow so don’t dawdle. Make sure you leave a valid email address so I can contact you.

Puppet Stand-Up happens Sat Feb 23 at 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm at the Warehouse Theater, 645 New York Ave NW, (202) 783-3933. The closest metro stop is Convention Center and you can be sure it’ll be funny and profane. Possibly in that order, but no promises.

Entertainment, Night Life

Your Cheat Sheet To The 85th Academy Awards

It may not be the Super Bowl, DC’s Super Bowl (Election Night or State of the Union), or even Nerd Prom but this weekend will be a big weekend for Hollywood and I’m sure a lot of you will be tuning into Sunday’s Academy Awards. Washington old and new is well represented within this year’s nominees: ArgoLincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty make up the leading contenders for Best Picture.

I’ve prepared myself by watching as many Oscar nominated films as I could and after devouring 50 out of the 53 nominated films I’m ready to tell you who to pick in your Oscar pool as well as where to watch in DC if you want to get dressed up (or not).

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: The Spinto Band @ DC9 — 2/19/13

photo courtesy The Spinto Band

photo courtesy The Spinto Band

The Spinto Band may have taken a few years off, but the time off appears to have reenergized the quintet, who are definitely providing proof they weren’t simply a flash in the pan. Certainly, they have proven their work ethic, bouncing back with two albums in the past two years.

Having lived in Delaware for seven years, I can attest very little breaks out of the state and captures artistic attention on a trans-Atlantic scale. That’s why it seemed unusual to me the very first time I caught The Spinto Band opening for the Arctic Monkeys in Philadelphia in 2006. How was it that a band still living in Delaware might open for NME’s UK post-punk darlings?

The Spinto Band seemed like another example of an American band poised to be generally loved more by Europeans than Americans. And they probably were for a while. But now their appeal and sonic palette seems broader. To demonstrate this, The Spinto Band put the tunes from their latest album, Cool Cocoon, on display in concert at DC9 Tuesday night, bringing a happy, chirpy bunch of songs to a very appreciative if small audience.

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Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Flashes of Greatness, Flashes of Suck for Capitals

Slapshot at Center Ice

The Capitals had flashes of greatness on Thursday night, slicing through the Devils lines like the team that won the Presidents Trophy in 2010, but a maddening display of undisciplined behavior in the third period undermined what should’ve been a Caps triumph. New Jersey 3, Capitals 2 was the final as the Caps dropped to 5-11-1, their 11 points is worst in the league.

There were some highlights, though: Braden Holtby made 35 saves — a number that usually means a win for the young net-minder — but tonight it wasn’t enough, as penalties mounted late.  Twice in the third period the Caps were missing two men, part of a disastrous collapse marred by mistake after mistake.  The Caps racked up 12 penalty minutes in the third on six minor penalties, giving the Devils the edge they needed to even the game, and then move ahead, on tallies from Loktionov and Kovalchuk.

One last thought: tonight was the first time since last May that we saw Alex Ovechkin display any of his unique talents. There were three breakaways tonight that carried that same fire that the talented forward can demonstrate. When he chooses to, Ovechkin can dazzle your senses, and do things that mortal forwards cannot, but so often this season that Ovechkin is absent from the ice. Tonight he was present and accounted for, if he was shut out by the Devils’ Brodeur. We also saw a careless tripping penalty (which really looked like a roughing penalty from where I was sitting. I’m fairly sure it’s hard to trip someone with an elbow to their face) from the Russian, though, which made him look petty amid the pretty.

The Capitals are running out of time. Now at the one-third mark of the shortened season, the Caps are six points behind the division lead and the last playoff slot. They will rematch with the Devils on Saturday at the Phone Booth. Tickets, as you might imagine, are plentiful on the open markets.

We Love Weekends

We Love Weekends: Feb 22 – 24

Rebecca: No yoga for me this Friday. I’m off to a friend’s birthday party at Bandolero in Georgetown where margaritas and tapas are on the menu. Saturday I’ll be hitting up the Satellite Room before the Railroad Earth concert at the 9:30 club and some post-concert drinks at the American Ice Company. Sunday, I’ve got brunch on tap at Chef Geoff’s, where the Eggs Henry has my name on it.

Katie: We’re at the end of the first training phase for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, a little lull before the big mileage starts, so this weekend I’m taking care of myself. I’ll be stopping by Bliss Spa at the W for the extreme sports massage, which I’m super excited about. Later in the weekend, I’m headed up to Annapolis to visit a friend, and no trip up there is complete without dinner at Level, my very favorite Annapolis restaurant. I bought a new crockpot, so I’m turning to the local blog The Bitten Word for some ideas for what to cook in it Sunday night – I’m thinking this tarragon chicken would do great in the slow cooker.

Patrick: I’m starting my weekend celebrating this girl’s birthday at Bravo! Bravo! From the looks of the website I’m sure it will be loud. I don’t think I’ve ever been to the home of “best latin night of the DC metro area.” Oh boy. If the weather is nice on Saturday I plan on running around Glover Park, I tried it with a friend a couple of weeks ago and it was a nice change of pace then running around the concrete jungle that is Clarendon. Oh ya the Oscars are this weekend. My picks will go up tomorrow but if you want to try and cram in some movies you can watch all nine Best Picture nominees on Saturday at AMC Georgetown in a 24 hour marathon.

Fedward: Friday is the anniversary of the day I asked the Social Chair to marry me, so we’ll probably celebrate that the same way we celebrated Valentine’s Day — at Hogo.  Saturday Your Mom and I will be at Puppet Standup and you should too.  Sunday evening the Poulenc Trio performs works by Duke Eliington and other composers at the National Gallery of Art’s West Garden Court in honor of African American History Month. And then Sunday night there’s no better place to watch the Oscars than the DC Film Society’s Oscar Party at Arlington’s Cinema ‘n’ Drafthouse.  I guess we better do our Passenger brunch on the early side, huh.

Tom: I haven’t needed a weekend this badly in a while. The dark of February has me dreaming of summer, but tonight I’ll be rocking the red at the Caps game, and Saturday afternoon I’ll be hitting up the Brookland Black History reception at DC TV to learn more about the history of Brookland, keeping me firmly in the here and now. Inspired by a midweek trip to the Brixton’s deck, I may make a quick tour of the best heated patios in the city to pretend it’s much later, starting with some swachos at American Ice Company, and maybe hitting up Satellite Room for a milkshake or Tunnicliff’s to see if their heaters are still delightful.  After that, I’ll be writing some letters ahead of Statehood Lobby Day which is next Friday.

Rachel: My weekend starts early with some Thursday night festivities at Veracruz where there’ll be a Social Media Week event focusing around the Local Music scene and its audience. Then, Friday night, I’ll be playing a free show (as part of a weekly open mic) with some fellow local musicians at The Getaway. Music starts at 8 p.m. I’ve also been craving some good Jewish deli nosh food lately, so I may try my luck at getting a table at DGS Delicatessen. In the words of Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell, that place is “Crazy delicious.”

Alexia: Friday night there are a bunch of shows I want to see, so I’m not sure where I’ll end up. Could be at Black Cat for Parquet Courts, Roomrunner and one of my favorite DC bands Foul Swoops, could be at Comet Ping Pong for Short Lives, Southern Problems and Miyazaki, but I know I’ll end the night at Paperhaus, my favorite DC DIY music space that’s hosting their last show til summertime with Black Clouds, Raindeer, and Ever Ending Kicks. Somehow I’ll be dragging myself out of bed Saturday morning to run 6 miles on the W&OD trail, as part of my training for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in April. Saturday night I’ll either be heading to a bonfire at my friend’s house in Falls Church, or a house show in Petworth. Sunday afternoon will find me enjoying tea with some friends at Teaism downtown, and Sunday night I’m playing a show with my band The Torches at Galaxy Hut in Arlington! We’re opening for Dischord band Alarms & Controls.

Jenn: I’m heading up to Brooklyn this weekend, but just because I’m out of town doesn’t mean I’m not going to harass you to get some DC culture. Theaters are buzzing right now! I highly recommend catching Metamorphoses at Arena Stage – a gorgeous collection of Greek myths in a production both hopeful and heartrending, set around a pool of water (splash seats? oh yes.). There’s more water in store with Synetic Theater’s silent Shakespeare adaptation of The Tempest opening, also set in a pool of water (splash seats galore!). If you didn’t catch Spooky Action’s crazy Murakami adaptation of Kafka on the Shore, or Taffety Punk’s Twelfth Night, both are closing this weekend so get in there and support smaller companies. As a Danish American I’d also be remiss if I didn’t tell you to hit up one of the Nordic Cool events. And if you like your drinks with history (who doesn’t?), head over to Union Market tonight from 6:30-8pm to catch Philip Greene chat about his latest book, To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion. Tickets are $40 at the door, Gina Chersevani is rustling up the cocktails, you get a copy of the book, and it all benefits the Museum of the American Cocktail.

Don: Friday night is an outing to Etete. Not just because we love them, but because we have an expiring coupon. Oh coupon sites! How would I schedule my time without your pressing good-till dates? Saturday I’d originally meant to go to the not-Cherry-Red-run Puppet Standup that Fedward mentioned but I accidentally double-booked. So instead I’ll be putting on my tux and going to a gala for the Children’s Hospital. Look for a raffle for those puppet tickets tomorrow… Sunday will be a low-key affair where I buy an old friend some drinks in exchange for some old computer hardware, maybe at Rustico. It’s every bit as exciting as it sounds, so perhaps we can spice it up a bit and make it a sneaky-looking spy handoff where he puts the shopping bag down and I casually walk away with it at the end, never acknowledging it.

Entertainment, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Spring Awakening


Photo: Stan Barouh

In  2006 Spring Awakening was the sensation of Broadway. The new rock musical featured catchy tunes by Duncan Sheik, a smart book and lyrics by Steven Sater, career launching performances from Lea Michele and John Gallagher, Jr. I still can’t get over the fact the original Mortiz is now Jim Harper on The Newsroom. The show dominated the Tony awards that year including a Best Musical win.

The show returns to the Washington, DC area over at the Olney Theatre Center in Maryland. The show rings true to its Broadway predecessor yet includes subtle touches from Director Steve Cosson that sets the show on its own.

The coming of age story of Wendla (Alyse Alan Louis) and Melchior (Matthew Kacergis), two school children in 19th century Germany who explore a number of topics including sexuality and religion was heavily censored as a play in 1906. 100 years later the story is still relevant in showing the consequences of a sexually-oppressive culture and opinions.

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Sports Fix

Fan Spring Training: Positional Difference

Photo courtesy of ameschen
Adam LaRoche
courtesy of ameschen

Many Nationals fans would label Adam LaRoche as the team’s 2012 MVP, and many would label Danny Espinosa as the Nat on the hottest of hot seats. You see in 2012 Adam LaRoche hit .271/.343/.510 with 33 homers and 100 RBI while Danny Espinosa hit .247/.315/.402 and led the NL in strikeouts. That makes Adam LaRoche a highly valuable batter and Danny Espinosa below average batter. In 2012 the MLB average hitter batted .255/.319/.405. Espinosa is below that slash line in every category while LaRoche is over it and in some cases significantly over it. Now that I have made the brief case as to why LaRoche is better than Espinosa I am going to tell you it isn’t true. By the advanced metric fWAR both LaRoche and Espinosa were 3.8 win players. Meaning they were equally valuable to the Nats.

When I showed you that LaRoche was a well above league average hitter and Espinosa was a below league average hitter I left off a lot of information. WAR takes everything into account (Sam Miller of ESPN and Baseball Prospectus had a great article on WAR come out yesterday and all baseball fans should give it a read). One of the things that WAR takes into account is positional difference. Basically it is the old baseball adage of defense up the middle, power at the corners. Comparing the batting ability of a first baseman to a second baseman head to head is unfair and misses a large portion of the important of the middle infield position.

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Entertainment, The Features

House of Cards: Today’s Best Show About DC


I don’t watch a lot of TV. It’s hard to keep up when your schedule is packed with shows to review. A lot of my friends often tell I me I need to start watching shows like Homeland or The Walking Dead. The problem is I know that if I start watching a show, I’ll want to watch as many episodes as possible. I’ll start binge watching with a Marco Rubio-like thirst. That’s what happened when I decided to watch The Newsroom and Girls. I pretty much ignored all other priorities in life and watched Jeff Daniels spout Sorkinisms and Lena Dunham prance around New York without clothes on.

Ain’t Nobody got time for that.

Well along came Netflix’s House of Cards and I just had to watch it. When I saw the trailer back in November I knew I would be watching the series when it came out this month. Like 99% of people that live around here, I couldn’t help but get excited about a show all about Washington, DC.

And so when Netflix released all 13 episodes of the first season of House of Cards on February 1st I watched the first three episodes without stopping. Three days later I finished the entire series. Smart move for Netflix to release the series on a Friday. Then again they always knew what they were doing.

After reportedly paying $100 Million to land the show away from other Premium Cable networks, Netflix saw the series as a move towards more original programming. Knowing its customers often catch-up on shows through marathon viewing sessions, the service decided to release the entire first season at once.

The move has paid off, the show is now Netflix’s most-watched program.

It’s been both a blessing and a curse. I was able to consume all of it at once but now I find it hard to talk about it with my friends. The show is available to be watched as fast (or as slow) as one wants. You can’t talk about it on social media in fear of spoiling it for others. You can’t talk about it with your friends since everybody is watching it at different rates- more so than a regular TV series. As a result you struggle to find somebody to dish about the show. I’m not the only one with that problem.

So without giving too much away, indulge me as I get off my chest what I knew after watching those first three episodes: House of Cards is the best show about Washington, DC since The West Wing.

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Featured Photo

Featured Photo

I know it’s difficult, but look beyond the puppy. If you do, you’ll see that Robb has composed a wonderful shot. With a narrow depth of field, he has concentrated the viewer’s attention on the man and the dog, while giving a beautifully smooth backdrop to the scene. And while it would be natural to center focus on the person, instead he’s put the man’s hands at the center, which helps to shift the attention to the interaction between person and animal. The use of black and white film is also an excellent choice, as it helps make the photo about composition and not potentially distracting colors. All around a great shot…and look at the cute puppy!

We Love Weekends

Weekend Flashback: 2/15-2/17

I know the weekend is in extra innings for most people, but there are some people who still have to come into the office today. Still, take some time today to remember our beloved first president, George Washington. The man was generally awesome (though not perfect), and as proof of his awesomeness, remember, he has a capitol city named after him. Once you’re done going down History Lane, start your week off with the excellent photos in this Flashback. Enjoy! Continue reading

Farm Fresh, Shopping

Places To Buy Local Food in DC Year-Round

The dregs of winter are upon us. Where does one buy food that aligns with one’s hippie local, organic beliefs in the dead season?

Here are the places I get excited to grocery shop in the winter:

  • Smucker Farms of Lancaster Co. on 14th St. NW: This little grocery store is my idea of heaven. Local everything, including local dried goods, pastas and even some pre-prepped meals for you to grab and go.
  • Union Market on 5th NE: Meat, cheese, veggies, breads, coffee, tea, spices… is there anything you need to whip up a meal you can’t find here?
  • Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market on 20th St. NW on Sundays: Just in case you thought it was summer-only, the city’s best farmer’s market is still kicking in winter. Crab cakes, greens, milk, eggs, you still need these basics.

What did I miss? Leave it in the comments for the greater good!