Monday, June 24, 2013

Horseshoe Cincinnati Casino - 100X craps odds, 100% fun

There's a Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati now and it's within walking distance to Great American Ballpark.  Finally, I was able to go to the ballpark and also check out the casino in Cincinnati.  Hopefully this means no more road trips to Indiana for my family...

So the Horsehoe...  Here are my take aways:
  • Large casino and it was basically smoke free (i.e. if there's smoking, I didn't see it)
  • 6 craps tables (at least) with $10 minimums. 
  • 100X odds at the craps table (i.e. which is the highest I've seen outside of Las Vegas)
    • For the record, I like to max out my odds, but 100X$10 is $1,000 and I'm not about to put $1000 in odds behind my bets.

  • Jack Binion's Steak is fantastic.  The entire meal was amazing...
    • Dad and I had dinner there and we started with the premium shellfish platter. 
    • Next I had the JBPR Black Angus Filet and added a lobster tail.
    • For dessert, I had a chocolate souffle.
If you're into casinos and eating well, make a quick trip out the Horseshoe in Cincinnati.  It's a great place to stop after a Cincinnati Reds and/or a Cincinnati Bengals game!

I didn't get a chance to check out the blackjack tables so obviously this post is incomplete.  I'll just have to take a look at it "next time".


Great American Ballpark with my dad for Father's Day

Cross another MLB ballpark off the list.  Over Father's Day weekend, I made a deal with my dad.  I'd go with him to the "new" Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati, OH if he promised to go with me to Great American Ballpark to watch the Milwaukee Brewers play the Cincinnati Reds.  He agreed and immediately I went to StubHub to seek out a pair of tickets.

I settled on Scout seats.  If you've never sat in Scout seats before, I highly recommend them.  They're behind home plate, but higher up than the section right behind home plate.  The seats are cushioned and you have access to Scouts' Alley (i.e. a private concession area -- where you pay -- but you don't have to wait in lines behind people in "regular" seats).  I didn't actually go and check out Scouts' Alley because the lines weren't too bad at all at Frisch's Big Boy.  My dad had a burger and I had the chicken fingers.  I ordered a souvenir drink and it came with a coupon for a free refill.  Seriously?  When have you ever seen free refills at a ballpark?  What a good value!

We settled into our seats and I started to look around the park.  To be honest, I didn't see anything special.  It'd been AGES since I'd seen the Reds play at home.  The last time I'd been to a Reds' game they were playing at Riverfront Coliseum. 

Gone is the old circular structure and a park that resembles the Twins/Orioles/Indians/etc. stands. 

I'm so happy I finally checked off another venue, and even happier that I got to go to the game with my dad.  For someone like him that complains that he doesn't watch any baseball, he sure did know a lot about Joey Votto and Johnny Cueto!

The rain started to come down a bit and it was refreshing, since it was so hot and muggy.  When the drops got bigger and fell down faster, we walked back to the casino (i.e. where we parked) and decided to start gambling.

The Reds won, and we won.

Happy Father's Day!


Cirque du Soleil's Quidam is still touring and if you haven't seen it, GO!

If you're a Cirque du Soleil fan and you like the touring shows, I recommend you check out Quidam.  Quidam was actually the very first Cirque show I'd ever seen (i.e. in 2002 in Cleveland).  I loved it then, and I loved it now. 

I went to Ohio for my mom's birthday, and she wanted to check out Quidam at the Nutter Center.  The Nutter Center is the home court for the Wright State University Raiders and they've been known to host some great talent through the years.  My husband couldn't believe that Whitney Houston played there many years ago, but she did!  I've seen comedians (i.e. Steven Wright), TLC, and the Cirque du Soleil there and having a venue like that "close to home" is a huge asset for people like to get out watch different shows.

If you've ever been to a Cirque show, you know that photography is forbidden so I obviously don't have any images to post.  However, if you're a Cirque fan you really need to go and see this show if/when it comes to your city.  I had no idea that this show was even touring anymore.  Like I said, I'd seen it more than 10 years ago...

In terms of shows and which ones are good, the only Cirque show that I didn't like was Mystere.  If you ask me, that one was lame and simple.  Quidam has everything and I can see why it's still touring.

Actually, the more I think about it I have two pieces of wall art (i.e. shadow boxes) of two acrobats doing incredible poses.  Honestly...  The strength and practice it must take to perform in one of those shows is unreal!  I can't show you a pic from Cirque du Soleil, but I can show you a couple of pictures from when I used to go to trapeze school (i.e. Wirk du Soleil).


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Wirk and NIKEiD

I am The Wirk.   

Years ago I customized a pair of baby pink, Converse All-Stars.  A month ago for a present, my husband decided to take it up a notch with regard to my footwear.

No, I didn't receive a pair of Jimmy Choos.  I didn't get Manolos.  I didn't unwrap Louboutins.  What I discovered was even better!  I received  custom NIKEiD shoes).

Have you heard about NIKEiD?  I hadn't either, until my "trainers" (i.e. my husband is British) arrived in the mail.  ****Thanks to my mum (i.e. mother-in-law) for mailing them to the US.  According to my husband, if you're in Asia you either can't order or can't have the items delivered to you, and that's why he needed his mum's assistance.

My custom shoes are neon pink and one tongue says "THE", while the other tongue says "WIRK".  How fantastic is that?

Prior to receiving this present, I'd been using the same old Nike shoes for years.  Those old shoes traveled throughout Asia, exercised, and were kicked around in but they're now retired.  

I love my new pair of punchy pink Nike Air Max 2013 iD shoes!

Check them out and personalize a pair for yourself or someone else!  As Nike would say, "Just do it".


Maryland Live! Casino ~ A review from my first visit

Maryland Live! Casino has had table games for a while now, and a few of my friends  went there the weekend the table games first opened.  I wasn't that enthusiastic about going right away.  I figured that the casino would take advantage of the excitement with high table minimums.  Needless to say, I decided to check it out for myself a few weeks ago. 

If you're a poker player, this post may not have anything for you.  I don't play poker and have no interest to check out whether there is a poker room.

Here are my observations:
  • People say that they've seen $15 table minimums.  As far as I'm concerned this is urban legend.  The $15 table minimum is just as real as the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot.
  • The ATMs will let you withdraw a maximum of $250 for each transaction and charge you $4 for the chance to do so.
  • There are lot of blackjack tables and not all of them use an automatic shuffler.
  • There are 6 craps tables
  • The craps tables offer 10X odds.  You can do the math.  A $25 point with maximum odds means that the gambler would have $275 on the table at any given time.  Personally, I would never regularly bet that large.  Odds are where a craps player can really make his/her money so if you have the bankroll and can afford to survive through one/two/three "coolers" by all means, go for it.
  • There are actually people who played $100 minimum craps.  Who are these people and what do they do for a living?!!?
  • I saw an old man get told to leave for card counting while playing blackjack.  I've seen the movie 21, but I'd never seen that before.  When I got home I started Googling card counting and there was a blog/article written about how casinos identify these people.  Sure enough, in retrospect, this guy was obviously counting.
    • He was in the high-limit room drinking coffee and not tipping the server nor the dealer.
    • He was playing the last 2 spots.
    • He was betting the minimum (i.e. $100/hand) in the high limit room and playing a couple of hands.
      • He started out never doubling down on 11 (i.e. which I noticed while I was sitting watching) but would hit and get 21 anyway.  You don't need to watch the movie Swingers to know that you "always" double down on 11.
      • He wasn't consistent with how he played his 16s. 
    • Next thing you knew:
      • He was increasing his bets and always doubling down on 11.
      • He split 9s.
        • At this point at least 2 casino supervisors/bosses etc. were watching him.  One of the older supervisors had a cell phone in his hand and he eventually moved towards the table, covered the shoe, told the dealer to shuffle immediately, and informed the guy playing that he was no longer going to be able to play at that casino any longer.  It was all pretty interesting.  I was chatting with my friend and watching baseball, but when the guy was told/asked to leave, I looked and he must've had close to $2,000 wagered on each hand for the next round.  If he'd won his next 2 hands he could've made close to $4,000 on that round alone.  Crazy stuff!
    • When the old man was asked to leave, he started fussing and asking why he had to go.  The supervisor made a remark that he should know why (i.e. or something to that effect).  The gambler wanted an explanation and made a small stink about not being able to win.  I've seen movies, so I was waiting for him to continue complaining and then get taken away, but that didn't happen. 
  • I'd heard that Maryland Live! Casino was really smoky.  I didn't experience this.  The place seems to have good ventilation.
  • It's a large casino, but not overly crowded.  I didn't want to deal with crowds of people, so I decided not to go on Friday or Saturday night. 
  • There are TVs playing music videos from the 80s/90s.  There are also TVs that show sporting events, so you don't have to worry about missing your favorite team play while you wager.
  • The Cheesecake Factory is near the casino entrance as soon as you come down the elevator after parking.
  • The casino is right next to the mall area.  I've never been shopping at Arundel Mills before, but I suggest shopping before you gamble.
  • If you live in the DC/VA/MD area, the only reason to skip Maryland Live! and go to Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, WV would be the lower table minimums...

Good luck!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Wirk auditioned for a TV commercial

Have you ever auditioned for a TV commercial?  I recently had my first audition for a TV commercial and let me tell you about that experience. 

First I was asked by the casting agency if I'd like to audition.  ****  "Sure, why not?" is what I told myself. 

Next I filled out a profile with my measurements and other vital stats.  ****  This was a hilarious experience.  If I've been measured since high school, I don't recall the experience.  Needless to say my numbers have changed (i.e. not drastically, but yes - they changed).  I located the tape measure and sought some privacy away from my husband to measure my waist line.  When I came back and gave him the number, he laughed and said that there was no way that my number was actually my waist measurement.  For a physical challenge, he asked me to try on his jeans to see if I'd fit.  Hellooooooooo.  I've played this game before and YES, men's pants are big on me.  Ultimately my husband and I figured out the problem.  I measured my waist line sitting down.  Whatever.  I'm not a seamstress.  How was I supposed to know?

I needed a photographer so I asked my friend to shoot headshots for me.  I've been asked for professional headshots at work before, so I thought that I could kill two birds with one stone.  I was correct.  The shots were/are perfect for my needs.

Finally, I reviewed and memorized the sides.  I only needed to learn one page of material, but I went ahead and memorized both pages.  For someone, like me who can remember song lyrics from more than 20 years ago, I should've recorded my lines and listened to them over and over and over and over again to facilitate this process.

When it came time to actually audition the whole experience took 10 minutes.  I was paired up with another person and we both took two, on-camera takes.  One of us would do the lines we studied, while the other person did a cold read of the other lines.

All in all, it was a fun experience!  As I left the studio, I took a look at the other people who were waiting to audition.  It was also interesting to see people that look similar to, but yet different than, me in one room.

Here are my 3 takeaways from the audition:
1 - I'm not ready to quit my REAL job (i.e. which is actually a career that I'm extremely passionate about).
2 - I have more empathy for Joey Tribbiani (i.e. the character from Friends) now.  Maybe his character is smarter than I give him credit for... 
3 - I'm still a big nerd when it comes to being on camera.  At sporting events, I'm the girl who secretly wishes that she's put on the jumbotron, but the minute I see myself I "duck and cover".
4 - I'll stick to background work (i.e. for now).

What an experience!


Kings Dominion reminds me of Kings Island, which then reminds me of the Brady Bunch

I grew up going to Kings Island in Mason, Ohio for my amusement park experiences.  Actually, I remember watching a Brady Bunch episode and noticing that they were at Kings Island too...  I just did a quick Google search and it looks as though it's been 40 years or so since that episode was filmed and 3 of the Brady Bunch cast members were at Kings Island a few days ago!  Weird how the world and my timing works...

Watch the original Brady Bunch "The Cincinnati Kids" episode with some pop-up video flair (i.e. that I found on YouTube) here:

Anyway, a few weeks ago my husband and I made our inaugural visit to Kings Dominion is Doswell, VA.

Maybe because I'm older and bigger, but it seemed as though Kings Dominion was smaller than I remembered Kings Island to be.  It's been ages since I've been to Kings Island, so I really can't remember... 

For the records, when it comes to Cedar Fair properties, my favorite has to be Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio!  ****  If you're a roller coaster aficionado and you haven't been to Cedar Point, you're only cheating yourself.

Since it's the motion of the ride and size doesn't matter, my husband and I enjoyed our trip to Kings Dominion.  We took advantage of the Fast Lane Plus wristband and rode most of the rides we wanted with minimal waiting time in line.  For those of you that have the means, and who don't want to risk spending most of the day in a line, I HIGHLY recommend the purchase.  According to the park's website, you'll need the "Plus" option in order to "Enjoy all of the Fast Lane attractions PLUS, unlimited rides on Intimidator 305 and Volcano."


Take a break between all the rides and enjoy a funnel cake and/or soft pretzel!  Eating is half the fun...

Towards the end of the afternoon, my husband had a headache so I didn't have a chance to ride the Berserker (i.e. the pirate ship).  That was fine...  I remember that ride from my youth.  Honestly, I can ride any roller coaster, but I swear...  Nothing tickles my tummy more than being on the end of that ship (i.e. high in the air) and you feel like you're going to fall out right before you swing down!

I love amusement parks... and funnel cake...


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Chris Dickerson is the hero with his walk-off 3 run homerun ~ Orioles defeated the Tigers

 My husband is from the UK, so he's impressionable when it comes to US sports.  I was able to spark his love of baseball (i.e. at Orioles Park in Baltimore last year), so it was a no-brainer that I needed to take him to watch Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder of the Detroit Tigers take on the Baltimore Orioles. 

Miguel Cabrera at bat

Prince Fielder is a big man...

It was a gorgeous Friday night for a baseball game and as usual we couldn't help but indulge in the food on the concourse.  I had the compulsory funnel cake and cheesesteak sandwich, and even had a bit of his soft crab sandwich from Old Bay Seafood.  I'm originally from Southwestern Ohio.  When you say "seafood", I think of Red Lobster and I get excited.  ****  If you say you don't like Red Lobster, I think you're lying.  It's good.  Have you seen this sandwich?  If you look closely, you can actually see the crab's shape.  After some coaxing, I reluctantly took a small bite of his sandwich.  It wasn't for me, but he enjoyed it very much.

We were behind home plate and to our surprise there were plenty of Detroit Tigers fans around us.  Seeing as though my husband and I really didn't have a dog in the fight, we appreciated the offense from both squads.

The flow of the game seemed to favor the Detroit Tigers, but the Baltimore Orioles' bats had been HOT in previous games (i.e. which were unfortunately against the Washington Nationals) so I knew that you should never count the O's out. 

I expected the Orioles to rally, but I NEVER expected to see Chris Dickerson hit a walk-off 3 run homerun in the bottom of the 9th! 

Moments like that are exactly why true fans don't leave the park until the final out is called.  Orioles win!!!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Brian McKnight's concert at The Howard Theatre ~ $1/minute

Brian McKnight performed at the Howard Theatre and I went to check out the show.  I'd seen him perform at least one time prior, so I knew what to expect (i.e. ballads and very little, if any dancing/choreography).  He still hits the notes and plays the crowd favorites.  He even performed some of his newer music. 

I listened for my favorites and took in the crowd when I was "bored". I caught the earlier of two shows that night so I have to admit that I felt that the best word to describe the performance member is "uninspired". 

Is it just me or does a member of his band, like the song more?

When I am bored at events, my mind starts to wander.  Next, I start calculating the price per minute for the event that I'm attending.  ****  This is also a calculation I perform prior to booking a spa appointment for a massage.  I'm a "value for money" girl for experiences that can be repeated so try my best to find a quality spot that offers the service for $1/minute. 

It wasn't my first rodeo...  Brian McKnight performed for about an hour, so at approximately $60 for the ticket, I'm satisfied.  However, something tells me that the lady, he brought on stage, received the most for her money!  See for yourself below...


Monday, April 29, 2013

Rescheduled Rihanna concert or full refund? I'll take the refund.

I decided to skip Rihanna's Diamonds World Tour on April 24 in Baltimore.  It was a rescheduled date, since she had laryngitis earlier.  Originally I looked forward to the concert, but as the date approached I had a change of heart.

I'd seen/heard Rihanna perform before.  I heard her when she opened for Kanye West on his Glow in the Dark Tour in 2008.  She also performed (i.e. a year or so ago) during an NBA All-Star weekend, and I thought it was great.

However, last week I just couldn't motivate myself to go and see her again.  Maybe it is/was all the entertainment news about her and Chris Brown.  With their make ups and break ups on display for everyone with internet access and entertainment television, all that on and off and on and off again, turned me off.  When given the opportunity to receive a full refund from Ticketmaster, I pounced.

I'm not sure what it is, but I'm just not a Rihanna fan anymore.  I enjoyed her early material (e.g. "If it's Lovin' That You Want", "Umbrella") but in hindsight I had buyer's remorse and wasn't willing to pay approximately $140 to see and hear her newer material.  Yes, there are are couple of her newer songs I enjoy, but there aren't ten.  There may not even be 5.

Further, with all the Chris Brown nonsense, Rihanna just seems so "emotionally heavy" and drama filled that I didn't think I would've enjoyed the show.  Different strokes for different folks, but personally I think all of that mess sends a bad, mixed message to girls.

I'm sure if you're true Rihanna fan, you enjoyed the concert.  You may have even had the time of your life.  I was happy I was able to stay home, and I can't wait to see the full refund appear on my credit card statement.  I can watch the light-hearted, happy Rihanna anytime I want on youtube.


Reds prevent being swept by the Nats on Barry Larkin's birthday

Today is Barry Larkin's birthday.  If you don't know who Barry Larkin is, you don't know anything about baseball.  I'm from Ohio, and the Cincinnati Reds play an hour away from where I grew up.  My "first team" was the Reds.

Today the Reds wrapped up their series against the Washington Nationals, and today the Reds won (i.e. preventing a sweep).

It wasn't the most exciting baseball game.  I was late to Nationals Park and by the time I left the Diamond Lounge (i.e. with a full plate of food) the Reds were up 2-0.  Ummm, ok.  Hoping that the Nats would rally back I sat through the rain and some horrible Nats pitching.  Ross Detwiler (i.e. who usually comes through for the squad) wasn't able to get it done.  Don't even start me about Henry Rodriguez's speed and complete lack of accuracy...  At least, I didn't have to see Tyler Clippard on the mound today...  Ugh...

The Nats are off to battle the Atlanta Braves on Monday, and Stephen Strasburg will be on the mound.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mike Tyson's Undisputed Truth ~ Up Close and Personal in DC

Friday night I went to see Mike Tyson perform his Undisputed Truth show.  I was there, front row, dead center...  When I heard Mike was coming to DC, I bought my ticket right away.  I wasn't going to miss it.

I don't remember when it was, but a year or so ago, my dad told me that a casino offered him a chance to meet and greet Mike Tyson.  My dad isn't like me.  He couldn't have cared less.  I, on the other hand, looked at flights and tried to determine whether I had the energy to rearrange my schedule and go.  Needless to say, the trip didn't happen.

Friday night, I took one of my pink boxing gloves to the Warner Theatre and hoped that Mike would sign it. When I got to the show, I noticed on the memorabilia table, that there was an autographed Mike Tyson boxing glove.  I asked the guy and he said that Mike autographed a bunch and they were give aways at a previous show.  That was the last one left.  Yes, I grabbed it.  The glove is MINE and if you want to make an offer (i.e. which I will refuse, because it's my newest "precious thing"), feel free to reach out.

When I was younger, I played Mike Tyson's Punch Out.  I could only beat Glass Joe and maybe the guy after him.  My brother loved the game.

I watched Holyfield v Tyson.  I remember the ear.  When I saw Evander trying to get into the Georgia Dome (i.e. without a ticket, so he was denied) at a Falcons game, I'll admit I tried to get a good look at his ear.

I've stayed at the Canterbury Hotel in Indianapolis.  I didn't think he was guilty.

I never really watched Mike Tyson fight.  "Pay-per-view" never happened at my house, and I remember Mike's fights not lasting very long at all anyway.  He dominated.  It was basically a no brainer.  Mike Tyson would win. 

Shoot to Friday...  When the curtain raised, I had Mike Tyson sitting on a stool, staring right at me.  WOW.  Look at his face.  That is intense.  The former heavy-weight champion of the world, Mike Tyson, was right in front of me, and I was ready to hear what he had to say.

Mike's Undisputed Truth isn't all about his career.  He shares his feelings about his mom, dad, Cus D'Amato, Muhammad Ali, Robin Givens, Don King, Evander Holyfield, and his kids.  He covers a lot of ground in 90 minutes.  I'm not going to spoil the show for you by telling his jokes.  If you want to know what he has to say, go to his show

In front of a packed house (i.e. I turned around and looked), Mike performed the cliff notes version of his life.  As he talked about the various stages of his life, slides flashed on the screen.  The images added color to the well thought out script.  The tough times were made lighter with some self-deprecating humor and I get a sense that Mike really is happy now.  Mike Tyson is entertaining.

At the meet and greet after the show, I found him to be very gracious and polite.  I told him I was a fan, that I used to play Mike Tyson's Punch Out -- but that I wasn't very good.  He smiled and said, "Thank you."

Photo credit: Kevin Hulse

He's obviously not ready to fight, but he looks fit.  He looks happy.  He reached his hand out for a handshake and although he looks intimidating, it was like I was reconnecting with an old friend.  As I walked away he asked, "Who are you here with, ma'am?"

I simply replied, "Myself.  Just me."  I wouldn't have missed it for the world. 


Sunday, March 31, 2013

March Madness ends tonight -- Thoughts as we move onto April

March Madness will end today, and we'll move onto the Final Four...  As I think about this year's brackets I have some thoughts I want to share...

  • Dear Kansas:  I picked you to win it all.  Why?  I picked you this year, because I never pick you.  I always pick with my heart and lose, so this year I mixed it up.  Well, by now, we all know how that turned out.  Your name now appears in Red and the entire right side of my bracket looks like blood shed.  If you're going to lead most of the game, then by all means get a few defensive stops and be smart about your offense.  There's no way that Michigan should have been able to come back.  When you're winning in the tourney and I pick you to win it all,  you need to CLOSE OUT THE GAME.  Annnnnnnnnnnnnd, if you have a chance to tie it (i.e. since you're RIGHT THERE AT THE BASKET), do NOT kick the ball out for a crazy 3-point attempt.  Sometimes you need to play the additional 5 minutes to prevent your season from ending.
  • Dear Ohio State:  I didn't watch your game, and from the score, it looks like you may not have even showed up for it until the 2nd half.  I'm sure there's a story regarding officiating and what not, but hearing from my fellow Ohioans about the terrible first half, made me scared about the final score.  At least the final score was respectable...  Oh well, another quartile of my bracket went to hell, but since Kansas broke it first, I can't be too upset.  Now I have Wichita State to watch.  Thanks for a great season Buckeyes, but losing to Wichita State?!?!  Oh well.  That's the tourney...
  • Dear Florida Gulf Coast University:  I was hoping you'd beat Florida.  Even though you didn't pull off the upset, I'm still impressed and your school is now on my radar.  Seemingly, out of no where, you graced my TV with 3 pointers, and tremendous inside shots/dunks because you actually did something I rarely see nowadays.  You all were smart enough to follow your shots and rebound.  Brilliant.  Every year, I try to go to Vegas for part of the tournament and my friends from Portland, OR were all over your squad this year.  Why?  Coach Andy Enfield's wife, Amanda (i.e. a former model).  My friends are obsessed with her!  I'm not one to go against the guys in my group, so "For Love of Amanda" we rooted for you until you finally lost. 
  • Dear Indiana (Tom Crean): Please pool together some money and drive Tom Crean to get his hair cut.  Alternatively, you guys should just shave his head.  Crean's hair is terrible.  How are you supposed to win a championship, when Tom Crean's hair is such a "distraction"?  Crean looks like Dwight from the TV show "The Office".
  • Dear Louisville (Rick Pitino):  I always joke that you're a tough team to bet on because you never know whether Pitino wants to coach or commentate on TV.  Well, this year, I guess Pitino wants to coach.  In previous years, I would've taken you all to the Finals and named you as Champions.  As mentioned above, this year I took a different strategy.  Yeah...  Thanks...
  • Dear Syracuse:  First of all I'm convinced the NCAA needs to investigate then for the crazy play and scoring associated with the game against California.  Something wasn't right.  You're the most schizophrenic team in the tournament.  I have no idea what you're going to do when you hit the court.  When you guys were blown out against Georgetown at home in the regular season, all of my friends who are Syracuse alumni, were disgusted.  Now, all of a sudden Jim Boeheim has you playing.  Well, if there's a time to peak, the time is now so I guess you win that battle.  I still don't think you can win the war though...
  • Dear Duke: Keep on doing whatever you're doing.  I love it when you win.  I've been to many a game at Cameron Indoor Stadium and Duke winning it all, wasn't in my bracket...  Duke basketball winning a NCAA championship is a Tarheel nightmare, but a Duke fan's dream.


Tevin Campbell in Concert ~ COME BACK TO THE WORLD

Tevin Campbell.  I know...  It's been ages since you've even thought about him, but (i.e. if you're like me) hearing a few bars of the intros to "Can We Talk" and "I'm Ready" on a radio station that plays the (a'hem) "older" hits, can take you back to your youth!

I'm a 90s R&B aficionado.  My addiction is serious.  Something about the romance, melody, and soul of that time appeals more to me than the complete lack of subtlety dripping in today's lyrics.  "Dripping", you ask?  Yes.  "Dripping" can be gross, and I think some of today's music is gross --- but that's not the point of this post.

Tevin Campbell hit the scene when about 25 years ago.  ****  Did I just type "25 years ago"?!!?  I'm getting old...  People of the R&B era, familiar with New Jack Swing artists (e.g. Tony, Toni, Tone and of course every artist who Teddy Riley ever produced) probably remember Tevin hitting the scene with "Round and Round".  Round and Round was produced, in 1990, by Prince and on Prince's Graffiti Bridge CD.  Remember the music video?  I do.

Tevin Campbell followed that track up with other memorable hits.  "Can We Talk", "I'm Ready", and "Tell Me What You Want Me To Do" are on a playlist with other tracks that I'll listen to over and over, when trying to wind down after a long day (i.e. on a plane and/or when I just have time to myself).  Those songs remind me of high school, when relationships were soooooooo dramatic --- and in hindsight overly romantic, completely stupid, and overly encompassing.  HA!  Yeah, that about sums it up...

Anyway, for those of you wondering, Tevin can still sing.  He performed last night at The Howard Theatre.  The Howard Theatre is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to see a show.  It's an intimate venue where you can enjoy top talent and a "comforting" menu.  Music to your ears and food for your soul ---  that's The Howard Theatre.

Dressed in dark suit pants and a black shirt (i.e. with a white T-shirt peaking through), Tevin performed for over an hour and belted out his hits.  He also covered Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.

Towards the end of the show, he asked the crowd whether there was anyone out there who thought he wouldn't be able to sing anymore.  A few members of the audience were honest enough to raise their hands.  He just laughed, smiled, and said he loves to prove them wrong.

I was one person away from the stage.  I could actually touch the stage, if I wanted to.  I can tell you that Tevin Campbell's smile is big.  He genuinely seemed happy and surprised to see a packed house.  People showed up to see him sing.  People sang their hearts out along with him.  Yes, we all have Google and may/not have heard about his issues in the past, but last night no one cared.  It was a friendly crowd.

Tevin said he's working on new material, and the crowd cheered at the news.  I look forward to new hits from a very talented man.

Come Back to the World, Tevin!  Your fans miss you.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Truth About Love and P!nk in Concert

On Thursday night I went to the P!nk concert. I'd been trying to hunt down a ticket for weeks, and sure enough my perseverance paid off. At the 30th hour StubHub bailed me out of my predicament by having a ticket in section 100 for a little over face value. I don't mind paying over face value. I respect the ticket game and the principles surrounding Supply and Demand. I hustle tickets when I can. I believe in pricing at what the market will bear, but 3X face value wasn't coming out of pocket...

I'd been wanting to see P!nk perform for a "couple of albums" now. I missed the Funhouse tour completely, because I used to travel A LOT internationally and for long periods of time. Buying tickets and planning to see shows were nearly impossible. However, this time around, the stars aligned and I went to the concert.

P!nk puts on an amazing show for her fans. It's a concert, but it's also "P!nk du Soleil". What apparatus hasn't she mastered yet? Maybe the silks, actually... But back to her concert.

By now we've all probably read or heard about P!nk's story in the tabloids and/or on entertainment TV shows. No?!?! Well, maybe it's just me. Google it, people. If I had to describe her, I think I'd use the word "real". She comes off very strong, and yet sensitive with her ability to deliver sincere emotion through her lyrics. I'm probably going to catch plenty of flack about this, but I liken her to a modern day Tuna Turner, with regard to soul. Both P!nk and Tina speak to me.

P!nk's relationship ups and downs with Carey Hart and her family seem to play out like a reality TV musical. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I like to unwind with reality TV. EVERY relationship has its highs and lows. I love my husband, but at times, no one infuriates me more. Cooler heads and the ability to communicate emotions sustain and strengthen relationships. When it comes to the "struggle" it's obvious that P!nk's fans feel and understand her message.

Being P!nk's fan doesn't mean having to be the prettiest girl on the dance floor with all the hottest moves and the flashiest clothes. You don't have to be young, old, gay, straight, male, female, etc. You can be comfortable being and loving your "dorky" self. You can scream in frustration, ask for understanding, and be heard --- if not by those you love, but with 20,000 other people sitting all around you, singing just as loud.

Don't be like the "Stepford Wives in Training" that stood next to me (i.e. rigid and lifeless at the show). Dance and Sing!!! Leave it all out there when you go to P!nk's Truth About Love show. Why? Why not? She does.

Spoiler alert: P!nkerbell flies!!!!

Enjoy the pictures I took below. ****I'll rearrange them in this post later.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rihanna concert tonight at 1st Mariner Arena POSTPONED

If you were like me (i.e. looking out your window), you were thinking that you'd need an umbrella-ella-ella-ay-ay-ay for tonight's Rihanna concert in Baltimore. Well, as it turns out, you can stay dry at home.

Tonight's concert at the 1st Mariner Arena has been postponed, since Rihanna is sick. Hold onto your tickets and wait for news as to the reschedule date.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dikembe Mutombo and Geico - Excellent

Dikembe Mutombo and Geico...  Finally I found a Geico commercial, I like...  Dikembe has been everywhere.  I saw him at The Inaugural Ball last month, and he's been popping up on my TV screen recently (i.e. because of NBA All-Star weekend and this Geico commercial).  His signature laugh, finger wave, and of course the shot blocking!  PERFECT.

I'm tired of watching commercials with athletes that are unrecognizable.  NBA All-Star weekend is full of "stars" from music, acting, and the basketball court.  Unfortunately, some of the athletes are undeserving of the attention and maybe it's just me, but I think that there is a degree of mediocrity in the NBA right now that hurts the game.  It's refreshing to see veteran talent receive the attention it earned.

That's right, Dikembe, capitalize on your image and remind people about the basketball good old days ---- it's well deserved!


NBA All-Star Saturday night was TERRIBLE

It's NBA All-Star weekend and I'm home.  My husband came to town and rather than hustle to Houston, I decided to stay local and watch the festivities at home.  Thank goodness I didn't make the trip!  Last night's events were terrible!

I'm partial to Duke and, to an extent, the Cleveland Cavaliers as well so it was nice to see Kyrie Irving win the 3 point shoot out.  Matt Bonner also participated.  Do you care about Matt Bonner?  Neither do I...

Anyway, I couldn't tell you who participated in the Slam Dunk contest (i.e. without looking it up) and to be honest, I don't care enough to research it for this post.  The dunk contest was boring.  Correction: the dunk contest was BORING.  The competitors missed so many dunks that by the time the ball went in the hoop, I was completely disinterested in the theatrics.  The entire show was amatuerish and a bad movie (i.e. that I was determined to watch in hopes that it would get better).  It never did.  Charles Barkley deserves a hefty paycheck for making All-Star Saturday night "listenable".  Notice I didn't say "watchable"...

I'm a sports fan and a girl, so I chose to do my nails.  I painted my nails China Glaze Skyscraper (i.e. in honor of Kenny "Sky" Walker.  That's the closest I could get to caring about the event.  PATHETIC.

By the way, do you know how much All-Star Saturday night tickets are?  I do.  In 2010, a ticket for the 2010 NBA All-Star Saturday night was $400 face value.  $400 face value...  All I'm saying is that if I had actually paid face value, much less a scalper ticket price for that ridiculous display of non-talent, I'd be furious.

I've never been to the NFL Pro Bowl, but I presume it's just as awful as what I tried to watch last night.



Sunday, February 10, 2013

Caps beat the Panthers at home ~ Let's go Caps!!!

I went to my first Caps game (i.e. of the season) Saturday.  It was the first time I've seen the team with Oates at the helm.  Who knew Ray Liotta knew anything about hockey?!!?  Anyway...  My husband is British, and I've been busy introducing and assimilating him into American sports.  ****  Last year, I was successful in converting him into a baseball fan.  He also checked out a New York Knicks game at The Garden.

OK, let's get back to the original topic.  The Caps game.  The Caps haven't gotten off to the best start this season.  Perhaps it's a new coach, the end of a lockout, or something else -- but this slow start is new to Caps fans like me, since we're used to the Caps dominating.  I check the standings now and have to scroll down.  Scroll down?!!?!  It's all so devastating.  Yes, I'm being dramatic and yes, I'm kidding.  It's my blog.  I can do whatever  I want...

Well, it looks as if my husband is good luck for the Caps because they actually DOMINATED the Florida Panthers.  Great win for the Caps and hopefully they'll get back on track soon! 

This girl doesn't like scrolling DOWN...


Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Wirk hits The Inaugural Ball

I was given the opportunity to attend The Inaugural Ball on Monday, January 21, 2013 at the Washington Convention Center.  Politics aside, I like a good party and I wasn't about to miss the chance to go to another Inaugural Ball. 

In 2005, my friend, Ryan, asked me to attend the Liberty Ball with him.  He called me while I was at work and told me that I had 3 hours to get ready.  3 hours to get ready for an ball?!?!  I couldn't believe it, but he was serious.  I left work, threw on some make up, and put on the only dress that I thought I could pass of as appropriate on short notice.  Unfortunately for me, my make up was too light (i.e. so I looked like Dracula) and my dress was short so I felt out of place.

2013 was my year to make it right.

With my Carmen Marc Valvo dress that arrived the day of the ball, I was ready for the festivities.  My mom gave me a necklace that I used, but unfortunately I forgot that she also gave me the matching bracelet.  I took my pink Chanel clutch out of its box, and my ensemble was perfect.

I believe that the average person loves to stand in line for no reason.  With our tickets in hand, my friend and I kept our heads down and walked past about 1000 people into the queue by the metal detectors.  Upon entry into the Convention Center, we waited in the coat check line (i.e. where I quickly spotted Dikembe Mutombo).

While we were in line, we missed Alicia Keys perform.

Eventually, we checked our coats and headed to the ballroom.  Thanks to my friend, Taiwanna, we spent most of the night in a hospitality area where there was an open bar and little to no wait for food.  In addition to seeing the POTUS and the FLOTUS, I checked out the band Fun, saw Jennifer Hudson serenade President Obama and his wife, Stevie Wonder, Jamie Foxx, Vice President Biden and his wife, John Legend, and Usher perform.  I also saw Anthony Hamilton get wheeled out in a wheel chair, probably because his feet hurt.  Can't say I blame him.  My feet hurt for days after the event.  Days.  Pain.  Days...

It was a great night, and I love the fact that I spent it with a group of my favorite ladies!  I look forward to more Inaugural Balls in the future.  It's all about who you know, and I've been around for a while...  I know the game, and lucky for me, I know a lot of fantastic people!