Sunday, February 8, 2015

Ultimate Fun Equation

Everybody's got their own idea of how to spend a 70-degree day in February.

Naturally, mine involved walking, in this case a sunny walk down Broad Street for brunch with hordes of other wanna-be brunchers at Supper. We tried Lunch first but the tiny space was full up, so we went next door to Supper which was also looking full, but the hostess tucked us into a high-top bar table near the kitchen and we were all set.

My stool was next to a window and although the view was less than stellar (a shed a foot from the glass), the music was terrific: bossa nova on a Sunday morning. Perfect brunching music and a nice distraction from the noisy group of people waiting for a table right next to us .

I chose chicken and waffles for breakfast, pouring syrup over it all, and somewhere midway through eating it realized that the music had taken a turn for the '80s. The Smiths and New Order had replaced Latin rhythms. Not better or worse, just very different.

The walk back along Leigh Street took us past the Bowtie theaters and a full parking lot, past the empty Redskins training facility and the bustle of Sugar Shack Donuts, a place I haven't visited since opening day.

Once home, I took care of business - three quick errands accomplished in less than 20 minutes - and set out for more walking, this time toward the river to see what was happening.

As I'd approached the Lee Bridge yesterday, I'd seen a bunch of guys doing what looked like hill surfing down the incredibly steep grassy knoll to Second Street. They'd get a running start, throw down what looked like a cardboard disc and jump on it to sail down a hill that had to be close to a 60-degree angle.

I have no doubt it was a major adrenaline rush but the grassy hill was so steep that sometimes their momentum took them off the disc and running or falling down the slope, which ended at Second Street's occasional traffic.

But when they nailed it, it looked to be a kick to glide down to the bottom. Kind of like snow sledding but standing and on grass.

Being nosy, I'd had to ask what it was. "Radical fun boarding," the bearded guy nearest me said. "It's based on radical fun discs that you throw." What I'd wanted to know was how radical fun discs differed from Frisbees, but I was reluctant to sound so uninformed.

Didn't matter. It was his turn and he grabbed a "board" which I now assumed meant cardboard, threw it down and ran to jump aboard, making it all the way to the bottom upright without falling off. Rad, I guess.

But they weren't there today, so I walked home, got my Washington Post and took it outside to read in the afternoon sun for the first time in months.

I read about the guy who came up with Pandora (and why it took him so long to figure out his business model) because I've always been thrilled to understand my music genome which I had no words to describe until Pandora provided them to me.

Almost as irresistible to this writer was a piece about how Lincoln cut and pasted (literally using scissors and animal bone-based glue) his second inaugural address ("with malice toward none...") until he got it right. And now that version is going on display for four days at the Library of Congress.

An enormous front-page piece on Al Sharpton upped my knowledge of his roots, path and goals of furthering the movement, along with pictures showing him almost unrecognizable after his 176 pound weight loss. Al, we hardly knew ye.

Today's book reviews skewed romantic given the upcoming holiday. "How To Be  Husband" sounded funny mainly because the author apparently holds himself up as an awful husband despite 23 years of marriage.

And while the reviewer gushed about "Unrequited: Women and Romantic Obsession," that seems to be related to her just getting over a man who didn't love her back.

Easily the best title went to "The Mathematics of Love: Patterns, Proofs and the Search for the Ultimate Equation," which tries to explain attraction and relationships using something as dull as algorithms and ratios. If I didn't like them in math class, why would I want to use them to help me with my love life?

But when the air is balmy and the sun is shining directly on my face despite the calendar reading winter, I am happy to read absolutely any and everything in front of me just to extend my afternoon outside. No board required.

Let's just say radical fun is in the eye of the beholder.

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