The Fray, The Zoo, & The Star Spangled Banner

We interrupt my slow (agonizingly slow) catching up of past summer vacations to bring you BREAKING NEWS: I actually had quite an eventful weekend!
WARNING: As a result of my unusually fun and exciting weekend, this is a rather long post. Please skim through by days if you’d like. 🙂

I actually want to start off with THURSDAY evening, because that’s when I started just having actual plans that were not just… sitting…

NextNOW Fest

So on Thursday, I went to NextNOW Fest at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (aka CSPAC). Lemme tell you something about CSPAC: It is a beautiful and amazing facility. My residence hall used to be nearby, and I’ve taken a class there. Great and awesome building, and they decked it out to the max for this event. I recently made a friend who works at CSPAC, and I also have a friend who is a stage manager trained through CSPAC, so it was nice to see them and enjoy the events! I don’t have photos, but here is a video that includes some of my favorite moments from the festival including:

  • Seeing my friend Don dancing in the balloon suit
  • Johann Sebastian Joust, which is basically like Ultimate Ninja but with PlayStation Move controllers and set to classical music, aka an amazing time
  • Watching 30 two-minute plays put on by the Neo-Futurists in a hilarious program called Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind
  • Getting a sonic massage (which was actually pretty boring but relatively relaxing I guess)

On FRIDAY, I had a really jam-packed day that started with Rock-N-Roar at the Smithsonian National Zoo, a concert put on by Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) to raise money and support this amazing institution. As you know, all Smithsonian institutions are free to enter, so every bit counts when it comes to supporting them. (Recently, the National Zoo had to close its invertebrate exhibit, so support is definitely needed.)

I received two tickets to Rock-N-Roar from the DC Yelp CM Kimberly, who wanted to thank me for always being on hand to help out even when I’m not signed up for billable hours! Imagine my surprise, then, when I picked up my tickets at will-call and got VIP badges, which gave us entry to the VIP lounge. Two important things about the VIP “lounge”:

  • It was next to the lions and tigers. AWESOME.
  • It was catered by Whole Foods. DOUBLY AWESOME.

Now I am not fancy enough to shop at Whole Foods. The idea intimidates me. But you guys, the food was SO. GOOD. On Friday, I got to eat oysters, lobster rolls, charcuterie, meatballs, gazpacho, chicken skewers, carrot cake, and more. I wasn’t even able to photograph the food, I was so busy stuffing my face. There was also beer and wine available with drink tickets that were provided to us, but since I don’t drink, I had waters.

ALSO, while we were there, the tigers put on quite a show! At one point, the zookeepers threw some bones with meat on them into the little moat that surrounded the tiger area, forcing them to do a bit of swimming to get them. Tiger #1 got his and retreated to a quiet corner to enjoy his treat. Tiger #2 got his (were they even male tigers? I couldn’t actually tell sorry!) and retreated to a spot under a tree to enjoy his treat. Tiger #3 moped around a bit, begrudgingly got into the water to get his treat, and sat down near Tiger #2. Soon after, Tiger #2 walked away, whereupon Tiger #3 immediately took his bone and #2’s bone for himself. When Tiger #2 came back and protested this unfairness, Tiger #3 roared at him and they fought! I have never heard a tiger roar in person before, so this was pretty exciting.

Then Tiger #3 straight-up sat down on Tiger #2’s bone, forcing #2 to leave and making everyone who was watching laugh.

Rock-n-Roar

Oh, that’s right, also THE FRAY WAS PERFORMING!!!

I’m a casual fan of The Fray but it was really great to see and hear them live. They played all my favorite songs of theirs. I just loved being at the National Zoo with maybe 250 other people watching The Fray after chilling with lions and tigers and lobster rolls. Definitely a night to remember.

My boyfriend and I went straight from the National Zoo (which I actually haven’t visited before Friday, and haven’t gone to see the animals before!) (although I guess The Fray could be considered a special animal exhibit?) to Arlington for a friend’s housewarming party. I met this friend at nerd camp in 2006 and now he works at the same company as my boyfriend! Small world right? (Different buildings, though.) He told me that I was actually the friend who went farthest back with him at the party, given that most of the guests either went to college with him or were his coworkers, with a small sprinkling of high school friends in there. Since we met in the 8th grade, I was the OGest of friends. (Also, I got to witness a kegstand in person? Did not think these were things that people did in real life.)

Although I was originally nervous that I would be the only person who didn’t know everyone else at the party, people were generally REALLY friendly and I had some great conversations with folks! I had a really good time and I’m glad I got to see my friend and his new house.

On Saturday, I went home for one of my former coworker’s birthday party. Again, I was nervous that I wouldn’t know many people there but I got to catch up with some other former coworkers and the other guests were really friendly and funny and nice. (I’m so glad my friends have nice friends! Seriously!) I wound up having a really nice time and forcing everyone to watch Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda music video. (This video is very important to me.) (No, I don’t know why.) I thought that since it started at the respectable hour of 8 PM that I’d get kicked out before midnight but I and a small group stuck around until about 3 AM just chilling and talking and discussing the fart version of Anaconda.

I thought the fun would stop there, but guess what.
THE FUN DIDN’T STOP THERE.

We are in the midst of some 2-year bicentennial celebration of the Star-Spangled Banner. I went to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, aka maybe the prettiest part of Baltimore, to watch the Blue Angels airshow and feel some more AMERICA in my veins. While the Blue Angels were performing primarily for Fort McHenry, we got to see them loop around in formation and get ready to head back over. (We got leftovers  essentially, but they were still spectacular!)

The weather was perfect on Sunday and, all in all, I had a pretty amazing weekend.

How was your weekend?

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4 thoughts on “The Fray, The Zoo, & The Star Spangled Banner

    • Ohmygosh how much of this did you read, I didn’t think people would actually read it XDDD

      – Yep! I have been working just a few hours here and there for Yelp for almost a year now, actually! I don’t get to experience Elite events quite the same anymore, but it’s been a lot of fun.
      – The tigers were SO cute, I’m glad you struggled through all this text to read it ^_^
      – YAS THE FRAY I was so close to them too!!
      – Haha, I don’t know if that’s the correct usage of “OGest” but oh well, this ain’t being graded 😛

      Yay updates! But goodness me, the consequences of leaving my house = so much work blogging about it afterwards. Maybe I shouldn’t leave my house ever again XD

      Like

  1. Omg you really did have an eventful time! The concert at the zoo sounded awesome. 😀

    And I have a tendency to avoid parties when I don’t know many people. Glad to hear your parties turned out more fun than imagined. 😀

    Like

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