September 28th, 2008


It's a long drive back from Frederick...

...but the trip was worth it. Dinner at Brewer's Alley, followed by Incorruptible ("A Dark Comedy About The Dark Ages") and topped off with The Comedy Pigs improv troupe, all in the company of edminster's dad and his fiancee.

Came back by way of 495 instead of the GW because last night's return trip featured way too many deer in the underbrush, and I don't need the stress.
More details later today.
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further adventures with comedy fittings

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Now that I'm slightly more conscious and sensible than I was at 0300 this morning, some more words about last night's entertainment.
First thing I have to say is that unlike Rockville, Frederick seems to have preserved a lot more of its historical downtown and not subjected everything within two miles of the town center to the sort of Brutalist urban renewal that makes so many of America's cities look like shit. It also appears to have quite an active night life, with a lot of bars open until 0200, tons of restaurants (including some surprisingly upscale ones), and an active theater scene.
Brewer's Alley, conveniently located near the Church Street Ramp - which, BTW, is tastefully tucked away in the center of the block - is the kind of place I probably would have appreciated more a few years ago when I was still drinking, but the food is good enough and varied enough (to say nothing of plentiful enough) to be a very good value. They do a very good pulled pork sandwich, and the sweet potato fries I had as an appetizer while waiting for Brian and Brenda were head and shoulders above the crap I endured at Red Hot and Blue a year ago.
Maryland Ensemble Theater's production of "Incorruptible", about a medieval abbey that falls on hard times after the resident saint's relics cease producing miracles and what the abbot does to solve the problem, is wickedly funny and well acted. There's a love triangle subplot which is subtly revealed, a sibling rivalry between the abbot and his sister, the termagant abbess of the nunnery in the next village over, and the cheerfully thick Brother Ulf. Good fun, well acted; a couple of hours well spent.
I'm of two minds about improv comedy. Like standup, it's all in the timing, but unlike standup (unless you're Don Rickles or somebody like him) it relies a lot on audience participation. Fortunately, the Comedy Pigs have enough of a following that there's no lack of participation. One of their acts is to encourage the audience to leave ideas on the sticky side of Post-It notes during intermission, which the audience then sticks on the floor so that the blank side is up. On their return, the Pigs wander about the floor, pulling notes off the floor and keying off the ideas as they improvise comedic scenes. Very well done, almost as fun as the "Twenty Questions"-esque storekeeper skit, during which the audience was encouraged to come up with unlikely items such as a banana-firing shotgun, a jello wrench, and a diesel-powered vibrator through the use of Madlibs by the MC. Looking forward to seeing their Christmas show, I am. :D

In the meantime, I'm heading out to Fox Way to deal with laundry and pick up something that needs to be faxed over to Arlington. Since Carlos is currently working 72-hour weeks up at Towson, I'm going to pack a book and try not to make much noise, since he'll probably be crashed by the time I get there.

unexpected bonus

Drove over to Fox Way by way of the Checkers on St. Barnabas Road, for it had been a while since lunch and I was faunching after the tasty Checkerburgers and fries. Carlos was of course asleep, but the dog was very happy to see me*. Valerie was also glad to see me; we chatted some about her classes at PGCC, her tentative plans to visit Colorado, and the ongoing search for work.

I was surprised and pleased to find my senior yearbook sitting under an old Touch-tone wall phone in the kitchen. Looking back with thirty years' perspective, I think it's more likely that I misplaced it rather than that someone stole it (and later returned it), but either way I was glad to see it. Lots of odd, half-forgotten memories were dredged up as I flipped through it.

*The dog is an attention whore, but that's okay since I like dogs. Especially big dogs.