Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Kenwood Cherry Blossoms

I was super impressed by the sheer number of cherry blossoms along the streets of Kenwood in Bethesda, MD. An extra plus is your fantasy/mind grapes about what you'd do if you owned one of the mansions behind all those blossoms. I would highly recommend taking a trip next season! Take a look:

Crowded on Brookside Dr.


Canopy of blossoms
Fewer crowds on Sunset

And now, the actual sunset.
Nightfall

Details: The main street everyone loves to walk on is Brookside Dr, which is probably most impressive because it has cherry trees on both sides of the street as well as on the green-space median. However, all the side streets in the area also boast the canopy of blossoms, so it's easy to find a street without tons of people getting in your way. If you drive, park outside of the neighborhood (NO PARKING is emblazoned throughout), possibly in the parking lot for the Giant at Brookside & Westbard.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Backstreet Boys debut: enhancedCD material!!!

Today is Easter, so I took the morning to resurrect some of my fav CDs from my tween years. When I took out my Christina Aguilera CD (self-titled, 1999), I noted that her album cover listed fan websites such as www.peeps.com/christina, www.Christina-A.com, and www.ChristinaA.howfun.com. Oh no :( :( :( ... none of the sites are functional anymore!!! Christina didn't even take the time to buy those domain names--one goes to random house publishing.

Anyway, this made me look at some of my other CDs from the burgeoning interwebz era (late 90s). Most still had mail away fan clubs. Third Eye Blind's self-titled album (1997) referenced a non-functioning website: www.slip.net/~3eb. More interesting was Destiny's Child's (self-titled, 1998) "CD Extra" which claimed to have an "interactive musical experience!" Dare I risk effing up my computer with some old-ass .exe file? YES! Unfortunately, the CD-ROM is no longer compatible with my system requirements, but I got a screen grab of the text file setup page:
"CD EXTRA is a brand-new way of experiencing music..."
Determined to find something exciting, I happily placed the Backstreet Boys (self-titled, 1996) "enhancedCD" into my disk drive and... SUCCESS! Here is my journey through the technological enhancedness of BSB.

At this point, let me apologize for the crappy video I am posting here. The images are mostly unrecognizeable, but you can hear the (albeit bad quality) audio. In my humble opinion, I think this format is somehow fitting for this blog entry. Let me know if you absolutely need better quality, and I will consider your request.

After inserting the disk, you're prompted to type in your name so that a PERSONALIZED intro page of a letter addressed to **YOUR NAME HERE** with each of the boys' signatures pops up. Audio is this NEVER BEFORE RELEASED hello to fans! "You're watching us. Live. On this en-nnn-nnn-hanced Cdeeeeee."

video 


Next, the menu page asks you if you want to enter BSB world, instructions, or copy down links to the BSB web pages. THE WEB. Remember when people called it the web? I'm going to take this time to let you down a little bit. Unfortunately, none of the videos for this CDrom thingy work. The old version of Quicktime would not load on my computer. SORRY!

Menu Page for BSB enhancedCD (above).



The "General Instructions" section has many gems. I've included the sections about AOL software (above) and why the album includes a track zero with multimedia information (below)!! Not sure why the record label thought we would care, but I'm guessing that the music people had no idea how to access the enhancedCD stuff, so they didn't look at the instructions.


Of course, I next clicked through to "Backstreet Boys World," and what a world it was. BSB is so international.
Menu page for  "Backstreet Boys' World" (above).

 BIO PAGE: The bio page has about three pages of information, several photos, and a BSB quiz, which gets you a video if you get all the answers correct (which I can't access due to the old version of Quicktime). The bio has some interesting facts I never knew about BSB:

"BSB had become one of Florida's hottest live acts. They played everything from a high school gymnasium, Grad Night at Sea World, to an opening slot for  Brandy."


The bio page also had a link to "Member Profiles," where you could click on a photo of each BSB member to get a brief factoid page about the BSB member and an audio file from him!!

AJ's Page:

video
Did you know that AJ would describe himself as "freaky, funky, romantic?" From the audio, you can hear that his nickname is "Bone?" Gross. This is why no one liked you, AJ.


Brian's Page:
Brian thinks he is "humorous and athletic" and also likes "Desert Island CDs" by Boyz II Men, Babyface, and Backstreet Boys. So glad he's listed his own band up there.
video


Howie D's Page:
Howie is "caring, respectful, and honest." Wow, what a sweet guy! His favorite color is purple and he loves his mom's home cooking.
video


Kevin's Page:
Kevin's audio is certainly the saddest: "Hey what's up? I'm the ... oldest member of the Backstreet Boys I'm Kevin." He says it like, yeah. This sucks. He apparently is "sincere" and "serious about his work," which is probably why he's so depressed to admit he is the oldest member of a boy group.

video

Nick's Page:
Nick's audio is trying to be all breathy and ... sexy? Ick. He likes "drawing comic books" and among his favorite "Desert Island CDs" is "Journey Greatest Hits."
video


 Unfortunately we missed out on all of the following videos (Quicktime compatibility issues).
I would definitely want to see "AJ's foot run over." Also potentially "Falling off the stage."
I guess this enhancedCD's got it goin' on. Feel free to let me know what parts were your favorites in the comments below.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

In support of Beyonce at the Grammys, let's answer a poll.

I'm rooting for Beyonce, but her new (ok... it's not that new) single 7/11 still has me guessing.

Which of the following was the inspiration for Beyonce's 7/11?

Monday, February 2, 2015

DC Happy Hours Speed Date: GBD

GBD
7.5/10 on my bangin' scale
1323 Connecticut Ave NW

Deals: $3 drink specials (beer, wine, PUNCH!!!) A few food specials as well.

Atmosphere: Doughnuts meet chicken coop.

Food/Drink: Good beer list and full bar. Chicken--meh...portions are small and they charge you to try all the sauces. Doughnuts are atypical and delish.

Seating: Booths in the back, logjam near the bar in the middle, barstool seating at the front.

GBD Fried Chicken and Doughnuts on Urbanspoon

DC Happy Hours Speed Date: Black Jack

Black Jack
6.5/10 on my bangin' scale
1612 14th Street NW

Deals: A few beer/wine specials, and half off pizzas.

Atmosphere: Circus-themed. Bocce Courts.

Food/Drink: More cocktails than the bartender knows how to mix. Food portions are not huge.

Seating: Barstools across the bar, booths/tables in main area, barstools near bocce courts.

Black Jack on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mean Wiseau

We went to AFI Silver Spring tonight to meet up with Greg Sestero on his book tour. DID YOU KNOW that in Tommy's first version of the script, Lisa's parting words (to Tommy's corpse) were, "Oh well! The insurance is paid up to 100,000 dollars."

Finally, my piece of comparative pop culture: