Monday, June 30, 2008


Apart from the fine lines starting to show around my eyes when I smile (or smirk smugly), the prospect that jowls are only about 40 years away instead of 50 and the fact that I now refer to college kids as "kids" and literally mean it, there's only one other signifier of my actual age (28) that creeps up from time to time -- I can no longer metabolize liquor like I used to.

Probably like you, I was that kid in college who could go out on a Wednesday night, handle a pitcher of The Beast, subsequently pull an all-nighter and finish an "A"-grade midterm paper on the leit-motif of mirrors in Tolstoy's War and Peace by Thursday at noon, just in time to imbibe a healthful lunch of coffee and Mountain Dew during which we'd plan where and how we'd be drinking that night. And because of my science-defying healthy liver, this pattern pretty much went on for four years.

And things didn't slow up much for the first three years after college either when I lived in Moscow, Russia. I don't think I need to elaborate on that.

But now, as someone entering the end of their late-twenties, my body has decided to stop knowing how to properly process that unique combination of alcohol and caffeine into energetic hilarity and instead just processes it into a Sunday morning/afternoon intense hangover. Not tight.

The culprit last Saturday night was a little beverage known as Sparks -- a pre-canned Red Bull and vodka with twice the sugar. It tastes like liquid Smarties, well, if Smarties were chock full of booze. Anyway, the reason for this long, drawn-out explanation probably filled with a little too much information for my e-reputation is that my three cans of Sparks (they were only $1 a piece!) led me to take probably the worst photographs of my life at one of the best concerts I've been to in DC -- Datarock at the Rock & Roll Hotel. (Thanks to The Vinyl District for the tickets, by the way, although I hear Facebook was hooking people up, too. I am, however, eagerly awaiting my free swag, so again, thanks TVD!)

In honor of those three fateful cans of Sparks, I'm going to sum up the experience by choosing three words to describe the three key factors that made this show so enjoyable:




All in all, it was an awesome night. I hope you enjoy these blurs as much as I seemed to have enjoyed snapping them.

By the way, for more than a nine-word review, The Washington Post has a pretty good write-up here.


I-66 said...

I feel like I'm on an acid trip. Uh... or so I'm told.

Problemo numero uno, Goose: Sparks is for the kiddies.

capitulatenow said...

You are right -- that show was ridiculous in funness! I also appreciated the $1 Sparks, but I only got one, having been burned by them in the past.

Also, holy crap, I am in the bottom right hand corner of your first picture.

Stevious said...

Gig photos are always awful. I discovered a whole new dimension to shitty gig photos whilst trying to capture Radiohead's light show in Glasgow the other night. It looks like I'm photographing a gawdy chinese take-away at the other end of a field.

Datarock are top banana though.

I-66 said...

Capitulate - how can you tell yourself from all the other blurs?

capitulatenow said...

Magic, my friend.

Shannon said...

Sweet alcohol is vomit in a can.

Also, just wait until 30 comes and goes - your Sunday morning/afternoon hangover becomes Sunday morning/afternoon/evening hangover.

john is not an orgo lab manual said...

in related news, chicago's pride was yesterday. my equally-old liver is now a calcified, cirrhotic lump of tequila-soaked scar tissue. when exactly did that bastard start to let me down?

but even in my agave-drizzled reverie, i still noted that even the speedo-clad leopard-print cowboys prancing down Halsted during the parade couldn't hold a candle to the couture-tards that DC promulgates. jesus mary and joseph, dc has some heinous-rhymes-with-anus gays.

you're a brave soul to stick it out in dc, a true investigatory journalist. but listen, i'll give you a dollar if you take a picture of yourself wearing your new topsiders and a shit-ton of popped collars (a la this dude).

Marissa said...


You're right...this time. Sparks is best for those not of legal drinking age.


Ahh, you are smarter than I...but they were only a dollar! I can't resist a bargain like that. Also, glad I could immortalize the moment for you in an extremely Sparks-y photo!


Gig photos are rough. I only get good ones when I'm not trying. Quite a few years ago I was at a Fugazi/At the Drive In show in Iowa and my friend handed me the camera since I was taller and told me to take some photos. In particular, she wanted to capture AtDI because she knows a few of those guys. So I was concentrating all hard and probably got even worse photos than the ones you see above. Then, during Fugazi, I basically stopped taking photos in order to just enjoy the show, but snapped a few for the hell of it, and they turned out to be some of the best show photos I've ever taken.

But on the Radiohead tip, I don't know if any photo could've done that light-show justice. Although, I wouldn't really know because the DC-area show took place amid a biblical flood. Not so tight.


The problem with Sparks is that it is quite delicious. I have a soft spot for canned alcohol other than beer (I wholly blame Russia for that).


Yowza! "Heinous-rhymes-with-anus"! Them's fightin' words. Well, I can't comment too much specifically about the fashion of zee gays on Saturday, since my gaydar was powered down to conserve all energies for dancing and Sparks-imbibing, but I can tell you that some of the style I saw on Saturday was not typical DC (gay or straight). In fact, some of the items I spotted on Saturday were even *gasp* compliment-worthy!

Now, as for the $1 you've promised me to put on that get-up you describe...well, I don't think I own enough collared shirts to play along...

Adam said...

Sparks combine all that is great; sugar, caffeine, alcohol, orange flavoring. It's like malt liquor with red bull and some Fanta. What's not to love.
On occasion when I try to purchase them from my neighborhood liquor store in SE, the owner just lets me have them for free. "Just take it, you're the only person who ever comes in here to buy those things anyway." Isn't DC great?

Marissa said...


Whoa. I may have to relocated to SE just for that. And the Big Chair.

John said...

stevious, I dunno, I think my pics at Glasgow Green turned out ok. I mean, as OK as possible from a mile away, but whatever. for example

Marissa said...


Dude. You were not a mile away. Unless you have a ridiculous zoom. God, I'm jealous.

John said...

well, I sure as shit wasn't close. Camera is just a regular old Canon PowerShot SD450, but it takes decent pictures.