There are some terrific things to do around town, we'll share some of them here and remember you can add events to our calendar.
Ever feel like you have something to say, but you just don't know how to say it? That's how I feel today after a long several hours of entering events into the April calendar. But it got me thinking: there is no better way to get those creative juices flowing than by attending an open mic night. You get to see people in their own element saying -- or singing -- whatever they feel. No holds barred. Luckily, we have a venue for that: The Whiskey in Annapolis. It has an open mic night coming up on Thursday night at 9 p.m., and every subsequent Thursday for quite some time.
Last week I talked about running in the mud, but if that’s been there, done that for you, you can take it one step further. You can run in the mud while having little idea where you’re going. End your run with an after party, with good friends, good beer and – err – interesting songs, and you have the basic gist of hashing. Dubbed as “a drinking club with a running problem,” hashing groups have sprung up all around the area in recent years. There are 15 in Delmarva alone (well, if you fudge it a bit and include D.C.). And, according to the World Hash House Harriers webpage, there are over 23,000 hashers worldwide, located in over 1,200 different cities.
Here in Annapolis, we are fortunate to have the Baltimore Annapolis Hash House Harriers, also known as the BAH3. I was lucky enough to attend my first hash with them yesterday afternoon. Since I am new to hashing, I had to introduce myself to the group as a “virgin” and was asked to come to the center of the circle before the run. Everyone in the group, about 30 people, then told me their hash names. A couple of the more tame ones were “Barf Bag” and “Micro Brew.” Since I don’t have an official hash name “until I do something stupid,” I have to introduce myself as “just Kate” for now. I’m pretty well known for doing stupid things, so I know I will be official before long.
The hash leader then explained the markings on the trail that would tell us where to go: some sort of combination of arrows, and Xes and colored bottle caps – and I still have no idea how it works. I decided to simply follow everyone else and hope not to get lost. So far, so good, since I made it back to my desk today. I got to enjoy another song at the after party, and I didn’t get dinged for any “safety violations,” so I think it was a pretty good afternoon overall. I’ve been a runner for a long time, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so much fun at a running event. Usually, by the end of the day, I’m whining about how much my feet hurt and asking myself why I put myself through this again and again. Not after this one.
If you’re interested in hashing, the Baltimore Annapolis group meets every Sunday at 3 p.m. a different location. You can find all the details on its website. It’s also hosting a Green Dress Run on March 12 at 2 p.m. on the St. John’s College Campus. Yes, you have to wear a green dress to run in this; regardless of your gender.
Note that hash events are not family events. Your kids will definitely hear some, let’s just say, “colorful” language. Most are, however, dog friendly – since pooches rarely repeat what they hear. Don’t forget to bring dry shoes and socks and about $10 to cover the cost of beverages and snacks. Most hashes are followed by optional happy hours.
Advance Review of Matt Duke’s newest album
Okay, so Valentine’s Day is really on Monday, but since nothing is quite as romantic as the first day of the workweek, you may want to show your sweetie some love over the weekend instead. Not that you shouldn’t tell those special people in your life you love them every day, of course.
For the Kids … There’s not much young kids love more than singing and dancing. And you may even find yourself tapping your toe to the preschool rock and roll that makes up Milkshake’s repertoire. Led by singer Lisa Mathews and guitarist Mikel Gehl, this Grammy – and Wammy – nominated group is known for its songcraft, stagecraft and authentic rock and roll spirit. You can catch the group at Rams Head Live on Sunday at 1 p.m.
For the Grownups … Time for a little romance? Enjoy yourselves with champagne, desserts and a little night music. While doing so, check out the Visionary Valentine exhibit at the Main Street Gallery in Cambridge. The $20 admission includes everything you need for the perfect evening of mixing and mingling. Get there at 7:30 and party till 10:30.
For the Whole Family … Share the love – of learning, that is, by taking a trip to the Carrie Weedon Science Center in Galesville. There, you can hear Calvin D. Trowbridge, Jr. talk about his book, Marconi and the Birth of Wireless Communication. Remind your kids that there once was a world without cell phones, yet people still somehow found a way to talk to one another. The talk is free and it takes place from 3 to 4:30, with time to explore the museum afterwards, or during, if the youngsters get antsy.Don't forget the flowers.
Why go to a boring fitness class when you can go to a salsa party? That’s the idea behind Zumba, the mega-popular fitness class that combines upbeat Latin music with an aerobic version of dance. Well, why go to a regular Zumba class when you can go to a Zumba party? And how about raising money for the American Heart Association at the same time? That’s the idea behind the Zumbathon taking place at the General Fretterd Building in Denton this Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. And whose idea was this Zumbathon? It came from the mind of Linda Socks, whom I spoke with yesterday. Socks, who teaches Zumba in the Dark, is more than excited to be hosting this event. She said, “No one has done an event like this on the Eastern Shore ... especially in Denton.” She got the idea to set up a Zumbathon because she has always wanted to do a fundraiser for a health related cause, since she suffers from a chronic medical condition herself. She also has a passion for event planning. “When I lived in Connecticut, I was the catering director for the Holiday Inn and organized all sorts of events ...which I loved. When I moved here, the same opportunity was not available, so I decided to do an event on my own,” she added. To put everything together, Socks got the go-ahead from Zumba, LLC, worked to recruit eight Zumba instructors from all around the Bay, collected 12 door prizes and procured items and supplies for two separate raffles. Sounds exhausting, and she hasn’t even started the music yet. She reminds everyone who shows up to get their dance on, whether it’s for five minutes or for the entire two hours, that they should wear red to support the cause. In fact, the person with the wildest red outfit will win a prize. So it doesn’t pay to be conservative. Admission is a $10 tax deductible contribution.
Bring back the Dancing Date!
Can't say today was one of my best ever, and my sour mood had me thinking of the opposite of love: which is, of course, anti-love. That had me wondering, as I dutifully typed in all of the upcoming romantic Valentine's Day events, what will be going on on the big day for those who are not currently coupled.
Luckily, I came across an event that fills the bill perfectly: the Cupid Is Stupid party. This celebration of sorts will take place at the Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis on Monday night, starting at 8 p.m. It's specifically for those who are looking for love in all the wrong places, or just looking for a place to have a good time and get their minds off of the whole dance.
Drink specials include "heartbreaker" shots for just $3 a pop. A live fortune teller will be in the bar from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. to tell patrons exactly what their romantic futures will bring; like it or not.
I look outside and see the snow mostly gone, and in its place the brown and dead grass. That makes me think of one thing: mud … all that deliciously squishy muck that will be making its appearance right around the first of March – and probably stick around (literally) for quite some time. That makes the months of March, April and May the perfect times to run through it, preferably while wearing a Viking helmet. And it’s even better when you can do so while meeting new people and having a crowd to cheer you on. This year seems to be the year of the mud run. These aptly named events not only feature pits filled with gallons and gallons of mud, but also other obstacles, such as cargo nets, walls, tubes and, in some cases, open flames. They’re the ultimate cure for the ordinary race. Who wants to simply run on a road when you can sink your sneakers into a pond and trudge across it? As a veteran runner, I can tell you that miles of asphalt broken up only by the occasional water stop, and the even more occasional unsanctioned beer stop, can get a little dull. That’s why I can’t wait to try my hand – well, feet – at the Warrior Dash in May. According to the Baltimore Sun, along with me, over 30,000 other extreme racers are already signed up. Thankfully, the race takes place on two days: the 21st and 22nd, and there are different wave times, so no one is bumping into one another. If you’re not into Viking helmets, there are tons of other similar races you can try: the Rebel Race, the Muddy Buddy, RunAmuck, the Spartan Race … and the mud run to top all other mud runs: the Tough Mudder. All are coming this spring, and all are within a short driving distance from Annapolis and the Shore. Time to lace up your Gore-Tex running shoes and train.
Last night, right around 6:30 p.m., I found myself at No Place: the shoreside home of the Pittsburgh Steelers Fan Club of Maryland. The walls were hung with black and gold, the venerable golden kielbasa was on display, the Lombardi Trophy victory cake was ready to be cut, and for good luck Lefty (a kind of strange plush puppet) and the Steelers lawn gnomes were sitting on the head table. Yet, even with all of the preparation, my team came up just a little bit short. Here I sit with a broken heart, and just a week before Valentine’s Day. I decided not to cry, or to bury my sorrows in Ben and Jerry’s, but instead turn to the city that I love for some well deserved cheering up. I was able to find just what I needed: a few laughs. Luckily, the Knights of Columbus is putting on a show called My Funny Valentine, Too, this upcoming Saturday. The show will have three professional comedians – providing a perfect way to brighten up a dark week, for me anyway, and it’s right here in Naptown.
“Inventing Van Gogh,” by Steven Dietz currently playing at Colonial Players in Annapolis is a complex play that travels back and forth in time between the present, recent past, and distant past exploring the relationships between artists, art, and humanity. It explores the questions of where does an artist find their inspiration and how can one put a value on a painting?