Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy 30th Rafa!

Saturday, April 21st, 2007: Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA

Fun times were had last night. Although I missed the free salsa class, I did manage to learn how to merengue, learn some new cha cha moves, and feel like a stumbling bumbling dancer while doing so...there were definitely some pro-ish dancers there last night, which made it entertaining to watch as well as somewhat intimidating to be on the dance floor, but we just kept to one corner and did our thing.

Birthday boy

Big Red always makes an entrance...

Debuting my long crazy unstraightened wavy hair in public...


times two...Maria where are you?!

oh there she is, sort of...Jon hold on to her

Rafa teaches me how to salsa...

Rafa doing...break dancing?

Love Simone's red dance shoes

...and then the battery died. oh the night was still young when I had to catch the last bus, or rather buses back home.

Happy Birthday Rafael!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Plain White T's

Wednesday, April 18th 2007: Avalon, Boston

The very first time I heard "Hey There Delilah" on FNX just a few weeks ago at the end of March, I fell in love with the Plain White T's, as did the rest of the radio-listening population, because that song just exploded all over the airwaves soon thereafter. And just prior to hearing it, I was perusing the upcoming acts at Avalon and saw that they would be performing in just a couple weeks. Being totally impulsive, I bought myself a ticket to the show right after hearing the song for the first time. I wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into, but I was excited to see the song performed live.

Fast forward to the concert:

Opening Acts:
Boys Night Out
Dear and the Headlights

The place was packed with a relatively good mix of people, girls, guys, young and old. I sat through the THREE opening acts - thank goodness I could sit - but there were a few songs among them that were pretty good. What happened afterward was almost expected. Most of the guys headed toward the exit as a ton of girls surged forward. As I could almost predict, PWT's fan base is similar to the All-American Rejects: tweens and teenage girls. And how aggressive and awful they can be. I was witness to an unpleasant riff between a girl and her mom and three foul-mouthed girls who all insisted that they were sitting where they were and clearly pushed their way up front and took up the one girl's space. Even a security guy had to settle it, saying that they all have to make room for one another or all leave. Ugh...

I was sitting right in front of them.

Anyways, PWT's performance was pretty high energy, with the lead singer being very open and playful with the crowd. I enjoyed it even though I felt like a teeny bopper. It's funny how this is a five-member band with some rather catchy songs, yet the one song getting played has just one member performing.

"Hey There Delilah"

I had a video of the performance, but unfortunately I deleted it accidentally.

Setlist - as close as I can recall:
Our Time Now
All That We Needed
Tearin Us Apart
A Lonely September
Sad Story
So Damn Clever
Friends Don't Let Friends Dial Drunk
Making a Memory
Come Back to Me
You and Me

Hate (I Really Don't Like You)

Hey There Delilah
Figure It Out
Take Me Away

Monday, April 16, 2007

Last Boston Marathon 2007

Monday, April 16th, 2007

The Noreaster didn't stop the runners today. Luckily, it wasn't too bad, with just a drizzle here and there, but there were occasional strong wind gusts. Surprisingly, the sun did make an appearance, however brief.

As this will probably be my last chance to photograph the Boston marathon, I decided to make my way to the infamous Heartbreak Hill in Newton, known for the last hill on the course between the 20 and 21st mile mark and historically named for John Kelley's "heartbreak" after he passed and tapped the shoulder of the lead runner nicknamed "Tarzan" on the hill, but eventually lost to Tarzan, who was probably fueled by the tap. I had been around the 26 mile mark 3 times already, so I wanted to mix it up. I picked a spot right before the top of the hill, several yards from Hammond Street.

I wasn't able to catch the winner of the push rim wheelchair, but rather those that followed.

The actual incline of the hill isn't drastic, but anyone who's run long distances knows that even a small incline can wreck havoc. Try it on a treadmill.

Here are the elite women's leaders near the top of Heartbreak Hill. The three of them had a big lead over the next runner.

#F6 - Lidiya Grigoryeva (RUS) won with a time of 2:29:18
#F2 - Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT) came in second with 2:29:58
#F4 - Madai Perez (MEX) came in third with 2:30:16

Here are the elite men leaders, running in a pack of seven. The drizzle started just as they were making their way to the top.

#1 - Robert K Cheruiyot (KEN) won with a time of 2:14:13
#11 - James Kwambai (KEN) came in second with 2:14:33
#7 - Stephen Kiogora (KEN) came in third with 2:14:47

Although this part of the course is not as popular as the finish line, there is that satisfying thought that the rest of the course, granted another 5+ miles, is downhill. So however small the crowd was, we rallied for the runners shouting, "Great job!" "Looking good!" and "Almost at the top!" These runners are crazy for torturing their bodies, but I have a lot of respect for their strength and determination.

The agony...

and the ecstacy...

And there were some notables:

The bet/wedding proposal...

"If I keep up with her, Jenn will marry me!"

...the unusual...

and eccentric... from the run, or the beer?...

...and sibling "rivalry"...

The supporters...

As I walked back to Boston, the crowds grew larger as I made my way to the heart of Boston College where the students were fantastic.

And we can't forget the volunteers...

Run runners run!

Congrats to all...