Month: May 2014

Why We Memorialize and Remember Sacred Places

Few single events in history truly deserve the descriptor “The day the world changed forever.” My top candidate?  December 7, 1941. As the son of a World War II naval veteran, I had long heard about the impact of that day on my parents as well as my aunts and uncles – most of whom served in the war.  When I became a student of history, I read about the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and felt the sacrifice made by the men and women who woke up on a beautiful Sunday morning in Hawaii and then – at 7:52 a.m. when the first bombs landed – had their lives shattered forever. And as I think of the years that followed that “date which will live in infamy” – the engagement of the entire world in a horrific war; the dawn of the atomic age; the rise of the United States, the Soviet Union, and China; the growth of the military-industrial complex; the changes in how we view civil liberties – the impacts seem infinite. …

How to Lower Your Blood Pressure

When it comes to the Washington Nationals, I’ve figured out how to lower my blood pressure: simply stop watching the game (or leave, as was the case last night) before Rafael Soriano comes out to “save” the ninth! I am NOT a fan of leaving the game early, but Soriano’s brushes with disaster in the ninth inning are becoming much too predictable – and too hard on my heart!  Last night’s game was a case in point. Candice and I strolled into Nationals Park on a picture perfect Friday evening.  The surprises began as we walked in the gate:  who knew it was Wilson Ramos bobble head night?!  So in the man cave I now have The Buffalo, down in his crouch, ready to catch a pitch from my Stephen Strasburg bobble head!  (And with former Nat Michael Morse – the Beast – in the on-deck circle, among others.) In a break from tradition this year, the Nats jumped out early against the Mets, with a three-run first.  Young Tanner Roark was pitching a masterful …

Frank Solivan Stirs the Pot

If you had to be inside on a drop dead gorgeous Sunday afternoon in Washington, I couldn’t imagine a better place than sitting in the sun-drenched hall of Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church listening to the incredible musicianship of Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen. The Dirty Kitchen Band is on a roll.  Besides making the More to Come… Best of Bluegrass 2013 list (a high honor indeed!), banjoist Mike Munford is the 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association (IMBA) Banjo player of the year, while guitarist Christ Luquette is the IBMA Instrumentalist of the Year Momentum Award winner.  Bluegrass Today said that with their second release (On the Edge), “Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen could now be reaching the kind of name recognition that puts them into any conversation about the elite contemporary bands.”  And what other band is fronted by a chef who will whip up a special meal for you prior to the concert (and hence the name). Their two-hour show as part of the Concerts at Cedar Lane series showcased tunes old and …