Music, The Daily Feed, We Love Music

Tonight: Tubachristmas!

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Beall
Tuba bus.
courtesy of Jeffrey Beall

Got plans tonight? Cancel them, and head over to the Kennedy Center for the 38th anniversary performance of TUBACHRISTMAS. 6pm. A volunteer group of tuba players (edit: and euphonium players. Whatever.) will gather and make a joyful noise unto the Millenium Stage. From past experience I can safely say you can stand or sit pretty much anywhere in the hall for good sound.

The Features, Tourism

Holidays at the White House

Photo courtesy of tbridge
The White House Driveway
courtesy of tbridge

The White House’s Office of Public Engagement and Office of Digital Strategy combined yesterday to host about 150 people for another White House Tweetup at the Old Executive Office Building, and upped the ante by providing with it a tour of the White House made up for Christmas. I was fortunate to be a late addition to the group, and Tiffany and I joined the audience for a program with a number of administration officials, from the pastry chef and the florist, up to the President’s CTO and the head of the Office of Digital Strategy.

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The Daily Feed

Santa Killed Rudolph at Macy’s

Rudolph broke his neck.

That’s kind of how it looks, right? Santa looks like he is beating the poor reindeer senseless, maybe clubbing his head with whatever is in his grubby little mitt. Santa has been known to be jolly at times but is also well known for being a hard ass on the elves. I didn’t know he also beat his reindeer. This is even more of an abuse than George Washington keeping a camel at Mount Vernon.

Seen at Ballston Mall, outside Macy’s. Santa fled the scene moments later.

The Daily Feed

Local Businesses Hurt By Snow

Photo courtesy of
‘life goes on’
courtesy of ‘zoetnet’

The great snowpocalypse is over. And now — we even know how to survive it should it decide to come back again some day!

Some of us went sledding. Some of us stayed inside, covered in blankets, with hot cocoa and a movie. Others saw snow for the first time and looked up in awe, while others who were more accustomed to traditional winters brushed it off after a few hours.

But let us not forget those who are now hurting from the great fun everyone else was having.

The weekend before Christmas is always a huge money maker for retailers. Thanks to the biggest snow storm in DC history, retailers were left feeling the freeze.

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Friday Happy Hour

Photo courtesy of
‘spruce goose’
courtesy of ‘rabid_c’

Welcome to the first ever Friday Happy Hour, your weekly, single-drink primer.

In the Christmas spirit, I’m going to recommend a beer the bears the taste of the season.  Well, it bears the taste of your Christmas tree, anyways.  Spruce Goose, by Steamworks Brewing Co., is a strong ale brewed with spruce tips.  As you can imagine, the beer has a distinct pine flavor, which evokes the vestiges of the Christmas season like none other.  The ale is balanced and fruity, with subtle yet distinct overhang of spruce.  The pine is prevailing flavor, but it’s not over powering such that you get a full, complex range of flavors as you sip the beer.

It can be had from Rick’s Wine and Gourmet in Alexandria, as well as at other specialty shops in the area (readers: be so kind as to report sightings).

The Daily Feed

Christmas Camel Back at Mount Vernon

Photo courtesy of
‘Mount Vernon – Aladdin – 12-26-08’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

Now through Jan. 6, Mount Vernon is having a special holiday celebration with historical chocolate-making demonstrations, 18th century dancing, and a Christmas Camel named Alladin.

Yes, that’s right, a camel, back by popular demand. It seems our founding father had a penchant for exotic animals, and in 1787 he paid 18 shillings to bring in a camel at Christmastime to entertain his guests. Hmm, do you think they were surprised? (And is that little “Alice the Camel” ditty now playing in your head?)

This year’s stand-in comes from the Full Moon Ranch Home in Berryville, VA, and is said to be very friendly, though of dubious help in a snowpocalypse. More on our man GW and his camel after the jump. Continue reading

The Daily Feed, We Green DC

Green Holiday Tips

Photo courtesy of
‘Lights Macro’
courtesy of ‘TPorter2006’

Want to have a glorious and green holiday? Check out these holiday tips that Adrienne Spahr, founder and principal consultant of DC’s own Green Living Consulting, gave at last night’s Green Drinks DC.

Reuse or recycle wrapping paper — more than 8,000 tons of it, equal to 50,000 trees, festoon packages each year. Or wrap presents in creative, reusable materials. Send e-cards, or send cards made from recycled paper. If all cards were made from recycled paper, it would save the equivalent of 248,000 trees.

Buy a locally grown Christmas tree and recycle it. Carry reusable shopping bags. Buy LED holiday lights, to save watts and electricity dollars. If you get new electronics, recycle your old ones or sell them. Buy rechargeable batteries and chargers, and recycle old batteries.

And after the holidays, “regift” that tacky sweater or shrimp deveiner to Goodwill, eBay, Craigslist or Freecycle.

Entertainment, Music, The Daily Feed

It’s Your Lucky Day

music at jammin java, by flickr user cafemama

music at jammin' java, by flickr user cafemama

If you missed the Ten out of Tenn Christmas show last weekend but are still in the mood for some live holiday tunes, head out to Jammin Java tonight and catch The Lucky Day Christmas Show. They’ve got kind of a catchy, 90’s rock sound, which is hard for me to pass up.

They’ll be there with the super sweet Ellen Cherry and guy-with-guitar Joel Stein. $10, 7:30 pm.

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

Santa the Magnificent by M.V.  Jantzen

With Christmas just over a week away (ahem, photo contest), you have to ask yourself, “Have you been naughty or nice?”  If you answered the latter, have you made your list for Santa?  You know you’re dying for a Slanket or a Snuggie.  If you’ve just about had enough of those gosh darn split ends, you’ll no doubt be asking Santa for a Split-Ender.  As for me, I’m hoping he puts a new Canon 5D Mark II and a few prime lenses under my tree.

But what if you haven’t been so nice, hmmm?  What if you tried to sell Barack Obama’s empty senate seat to the highest bidder?  What if you hired some high dollar escorts and took them to the Mayflower Hotel?  What if you had an extramarital affair during your presidential campaign while your supportive wife of 31 years was in remission from breast cancer?

I’ll tell you what happens.  This guy and his buddy come after you.  I hope you like Marlboro Lights and the smell of concrete.

All Politics is Local, The Daily Feed, The Mall, WTF?!

Anti-Photography Bullies at the National Christmas Tree Don’t Want You Getting Pictures of Santa’s Workshop

Over by the National Christmas Tree there is a Santa’s Workshop where children can line up to visit Santa Claus and have a picture taken. I don’t have kids but when I visited Saturday night, the view through the window was a cozy, picturesque scene of a jolly old man smiling as he held wide-eyed children on his lap, and I had to get a photo — which, of course, came out blurry in the dark.


As I was fiddling with my ISO settings an elf-suited girl told me, “You can’t take photos through the window, the flash will just reflect off the glass and distract Mr. Claus.”

“Thanks,” I replied amiably, “I have flash off.”

“Well, you still can’t take photos!” said a man by the exit, bodily moving to block the window. I believe he may have been trying to sound intimidating, but it came out as more obnoxious than anything else. Not wanting to make a scene, I said nothing more, put away my camera, and walked off in a huff.
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Special Events, WTF?!

The Office Holiday Party

BYT Holiday Party 2K7, by Flickr user pjarrettphoto

BYT Holiday Party 2K7, by Flickr user pjarrettphoto

Today is ordinarily the day when I tell you about some comedic happening in DC, why you should go see it, and when some malcontent starts snarking in the comments about whether or not the comedian in question is funny.  But not today.  Why?

It’s December, and the back and upstairs rooms of bars and restaurants that house the semi-pro comedy scene in DC are largely booked up for that most dangerous of winter distractions: The Office Holiday Party.

The Office Holiday Party is a sneaky beast, with the volatile mixture of alcohol and coworkers, holiday spirit and people you would not otherwise choose to socialize with. For couples, there’s often double the holiday party peril, with the added landmine of introducing a spouse or partner to that geechy dude in Accounting. I’ve got some advice for you on how to get through the most common hazards of the season with your dignity- and your paycheck- intact.
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