Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey in Lower Manhattan

Here's something you may not know about the Sheps. We like birds. We like birds a lot. We're not one of these families that goes on birdwatching expeditions, as that requires too much effort, however we do tend to lose our collective familial shit when a new songbird graces the backyard. Or perhaps a thrush. And don't even get me started on the fits elicited by a pheasant. Birds are good.

Much like my love of cooking and the ability to make badass, military-approved hospital corners when making the bed, I have carried this family-bred ornithological appreciation with me in my adult life. So wasn't I just tickled when I stumbled upon this scene in Lower Manhattan, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, of all places:

It turns out Ms. Turkey actually lives there, after spending some time in Tribeca before re-locating downtown. Clever of her, as the real estate market really favors Battery Park these days. And her name is Zelda. After F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife, who wandered around the park when she had a nervous breakdown. Which is frankly pretty sick, and not like the way the young kids say sick now. But a turkey-in-residence is awesome. Did DC have a turkey-in-residence? No. No it did not. Which is one more reason why NYC kicks DC's ass six ways to Sunday. Go on, turkey. Ms. Zelda if you're nasty.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ukulele Debut...Kinda

My friend Jess came to town this weekend, officially to participate in Ukulele Fest at Banjo Jim's, but unofficially to join me in an exhausting weekend of bar-hopping, late night dancing, gigs, brunches, shopping for dresses, losing said dresses in said bars, and getting into a manageable amount of trouble. Saturday alone we went to eight bars...three of which were Rockwood Music Hall (at 4pm, 6pm, and 1 am, respectively). It wasn't even that we overindulged in adult beverages. We kept that at a respectable pace, thank you, no matter how much Piano's deadly margaritas tried to do us in. It was more the sheer ambition of the agenda that wiped us out, and ensured that I spent most of Sunday homebound with a box of crackers, a brick of cream cheese, and the NFL.

Also at Banjo Jim's, I was convinced to pick up an instrument in front of an audience for the first time since the heady days of the Council Rock High School Orchestra. Here's me playing the ukulele. Or at least, one note on the ukulele. Accompanying a nursery rhyme version of "I Am the Walrus." Weirdness abounds:

And here's some proper uke strumming, courtesy of Jess:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

DIY High-Concept Halloween

I never was one for pre-fab costumes. I don't think I've actually purchased one since grade school, and even then my spending budget was limited to cheap accessories to augment some kind of thrown together deal. Sometimes this didn't work out quite so well, as in the unfortunate toilet skirt-viking ensemble I rocked for the 5th grade explorer's pageant as Leif Ericson. But my track record's pretty good otherwise. Now's as good a time as any to think about next year, so here's some helpful hints from costumes past:

Taped together paper boxes + Crayola poster paint + low center of gravity and ability to shuffle = Pez dispenser

Black hooded sweatsuit+ paper emo drawing taped to stomach + cutesy headpiece + bad attitude = maladjusted Teletubbie

White hooded sweatsuit + cotton balls + construction paper ears = sheep

Orioles hat + oversized googly eyes + yellow leggings + walking cane = lame duck (best implemented in major election years and on Capitol Hill, where I promise this is hysterical)

And this year's accomplishment, which is admittedly a bit baffling at first: blue tube dress + blue wig + roll of blue painter's tape + moderate threshold for pain when it comes time to take the damn thing off = "Tangled Up in Blue"

Best implemented among those with similar musical tastes and high tolerance for borderline pretentious wordplay.