Thursday, 23 April 2015
Jon Bear Journal: Visit to Washington DC 2015 version (Demetri Martin and the Washington Capitals)
Visit to Washington, D.C. 2015
It's not every year that I get the chance to travel down to Washington D.C. and visit with my sister Heather and Brother in law David, but the last two years I have been fortunate enough to have the time and ability to get down to see them. I always have a wonderful visit with them, whether I go with other family members or make the trip by myself. Heather and David are of course amazing people but are great hosts too and always have fun and different things planned for us to do.
This past Christmas Heather and David got me tickets to see the comedian Demetri Martin perform at a theatre in a recently renovated district that is a suburb of our Nation's Capital.
Demetri's comedy routine was being filmed for release on RedBox. RedBox is a movie rental company that has kiosks set up around the United States where people can rent movies for one day at the cost of $1.00. It's a nice way to see a film or in this case a comedy routine without having to pay the prices you would at the movie theatre or when purchasing the movie. This is especially nice if you are not sure if you'll like the film.
Outside the theatre we and other ticket goers were solicited for money by a man and his wife who were standing on the corner (the man was standing the women whom he said was his wife was in a wheel chair) in front of a famous area Macaroni and Cheese house (located right next to the theatre). I think if I were either the owners of the Theatre or the Macaroni and Cheese house I would not want the people there begging for money and ask them to leave. I know that it's a difficult scenario to be critical of and I'm fine with anyone who wants to give money to help someone else whether the donation is put to legitimate good use or solicited under pretense, but when you are going out to a show it's not the place where someone should be doing that.
It should not be up to the patrons to have to say something either. Ownership should step up, or risk losing future business when they allow such a practice in front of their location. Once we got inside the theatre I thought the theatre looked very nice. It had an old fashioned gilded feel to it. There was a high arched ceiling with ornate lamps hanging from it in the entry. A bar was set up to each side of the theatre's floor level entry and two wide staircases leading to the higher level seating were to the left and right of the main theatre entrance. During the warm up comedian's performance is when most of the audience filming was done. I was on an end/aisle seat but was fortunate to not have been one of the unlucky few whom had a rather heavy and large camera stuck right in front of their face or behind their head while the film crew filmed audience reactions for the RedBox recording. Knowing we were going to a recorded show, I would not have complained if they picked my aisle, but I don't think I'd have been happy or able to enjoy the comedy routine as much with someone in my personal space holding a large camera.
I thought Demetri Martin's routine was great. It was also nice that at least the camera crew was a lot less interfering during Demetri's performance. Martin is known for his "sketch comedy" where he draws pictures and describes funny everyday scenarios that we take for granted. This performance deviated from what he is known for though as it was a straight stand up comedy routine without props. An example of one of his jokes is how he rhetorically asked the audience why signs focus so much on the negative and not the positive? He mentioned how road signs often indicate that a Bridge Might be Icy and went on to say, "Why doesn't the sign say - Bridge May NOT be Icy.".
He also questioned why part of men's genitalia are referred to as "balls" and said he thinks a much more appropriate or beneficial term would be "lozenges". Most of his comedy was not of a sexual or dirty nature though, and the genitalia joke is probably the furthest he went in that regard with any of his jokes. He also did not use a lot of swear words or bad language. On the whole, if this is similar to most of his comedy routines I would say that for most families with young children it would be fine to watch his routine and most likely one would not find too much of what he says offensive or inappropriate. The few adult themed jokes would likely (hopefully) be over a child's level of understanding. Several of the things he joked about might be something a child could understand or laugh at. Of course there were a few that went over the audience's head or that the audience did not find particularly funny and he would self abashedly say, "We'll have to scrap that joke for the RedBox recording".
I thought as an audience we got our money's worth too. The routine lasted almost 2 hours. If anyone has done comedy they know how difficult it is to stay on stage making jokes and getting people to laugh for five minutes, no less almost two hours.
Later during my visit with Heather and David we got to go to a Washington Capitals National Hockey League game at the Verizon Center in Arlington, Virginia. The Capitals were playing the Minnesota Wild.
Roughly Our Vantage Point at the Verizon Center
Heather and David are very invested and dedicated Washington Capitals fans. It was great to get to see my first live and in person NHL game in right about 2 decades and my first outside of the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, NY where the New York Islanders play (until next season when the Islanders move to Brooklyn, NY).
Prior to the start of the game Heather, David and I went down to ice level and watched the Capitals players warm up. One of the Capitals players flipped a hockey puck over the side of the glass to a young fan who was standing next to my brother in law David. The most impressive thing was probably the flexibility of Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby. The guy was doing complete splits on the ice and bouncing up from them as if he were strolling down a street.
The only two small disappointments were the fact that the Capitals lost the game 2-1 to the Wild and the fact that Alexander Ovechkin the star forward for the Capitals did not play in the game (it was the only game Ovechkin missed all year long) >.< David and I both purchased a Capitals Armed Forces Baseball Cap for $20.00. It was Armed Forces appreciation night at the game.
Capitals Team Captain and Star Forward: Alexander Ovechkin
* While I'm not exactly a "looker" or "stud" myself I'm thinking it's a good thing Mr. Ovechkin was blessed with world class Hockey Skills because I don't think the Mr. Universe Pageant will be making a house call anytime soon.
As a bit of an unfortunate side note, the Capitals are currently playing my favorite hockey team the New York Islanders in the NHL playoffs. So either my or Heather and David's team will get eliminated from the playoffs. Right now the series is tied at 2 games a piece. Whom ever can win 2 out of the next 3 games first will advance to the second round of the playoffs. So while I very much appreciate Heather and David treating me to see the hockey game last month. GO ISLANDERS! YES! YES! YES! *yes, yes, yes is the Islander fans chant every time our team scores a goal.