Posts written by pennyjan

Food, Fear, and .. Zombies?

Posted: October 16, 2012

by Jenny, a Patriot Blogger

Since the beginning of October I’ve been itching to find a way to get into the Halloween spirit.  Research revealed a lunatic asylum in West Virginia that offers overnight ghost tours (Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum), an urban haunted zombie house in Maryland (The Warehouse: Project 4.1), and curse house in Maryland (Bennett’s Curse).  Given the cost of gas prices and pricey admissions, my friends and I decided on Fields of Fear, weekly event about 20 minutes away in Chantilly.  Harvest Festival by day and Halloween attraction by night, tickets include entry into a corn maze (sort of), haunted wagon ride, and torch-lit slide.  The event seemed more geared towards younger crowds, but the dark figures reaching out towards us during both the wagon ride and throughout the maze made it hard to contain a few yelps.  Pictured below is one of the scenes from the haunted hayride.

There were two points in the maze that I can not get over, the man with the chainsaw and the bunny suit.  When I heard the unmistakable drone of the chainsaw, a feeling of dread consumed me and after one look, I doubled back and barreled into my other two friends.  Relieved, I used them as human shields as I made my way to safety and a more steady heartbeat.  Soon after, I was wandering through an area that resembled an abandoned barn and out popped a man in a bunny suit, a concept that my mind wasn’t able to grasp. To convey my shock and disbelief I gestured to him with a mildly profane exclamatory remark and sent him into convulsions of laughter (a detail that was supplied later by my friend).  All in all it was a good time, made even better with funnel cake, apple cider, and apple butter.

That, my friend, is a fried oreo. This coma-inducing combination of melted oreo, crispy batter, and powdered sugar is something I’ve been meaning to try for ages.   The DC Foodfest last Sunday was of the best events I’ve attended in the DC/Virginia area.  More than 50 DC restaurants and food trucks lined Pennsylvania Avenue, with favorites such as Sprinkles, Ben’s Chili Bowl, Shake Shack, and Tara Thai.  I tried the Brixton’s fish and chips, Etete Ethiopian’s sambusa, hoisin duck Waffle sandwich from Wicked Waffle, dark chocolate, vanilla bean, and marshmallow parfait from Co Co. Sala, Station 4’s pork belly, the half smoke from Ben’s Chili Bowl, fried oreos, and finally a samosa from Mayur’s Kabob House.  Call me a glutton, but I have not smiled that much in a long time and to be fair I could not stomach anything else the rest of the day.

I also met some zombies, coincidentally from the The Warehouse: Project 4.1, one of the Halloween events I’ve been eyeing.

“Do You Think They’d Notice…?”

Posted: August 28, 2012

by Jenny, a Patriot Blogger

While I was snapping pictures of this gluttonous fellow at The National Zoo this summer, my friends were scheming on the side about whether the zoo guards would notice if they were one prairie dog short.  To my relief, they decided that the costs of an animal abduction were too high.


We also saw the zoo’s latest celebrities Ally and Caprivi, who are only outside for an hour each day!

After a long day of animal spotting, I concluded three things:
1) Autumn is a better time to visit the zoo, when more animals are less lethargic and you don’t feel like you’re suffocating in the crowds, especially in the enclosed exhibits.
2) I am so glad I chose my comfortable Converses or would have had to nurse some unpleasant blisters.
3) I AM SO HUNGRY!

To silence our gargling stomachs, we set our sights on 2 Amy’s, a pizza place a few blocks away from the zoo with raving Yelp reviews.  Following a short wait, we were led upstairs into a well lit room that, along with the rest of the restaurant, was jam-packed.

We ordered the Bruschetta with Tomato Fondutta and two Margherita Tomato Pizzas, one with a generous portion of  pepperoni.  The pizza itself was hard to cut and the toppings did have a tendency to slide off, but I didn’t even care because the sauce was so disgustingly good!

Other than the zoo and other food adventures, I took a summer class and continued work at my internship and at the GMU library.  In August, I began job at the Dulles Air and Space Museum as a Sales Photographer where we put people in space with the help of a handy dandy green screen and Photoshop.  You can see the green screen on the right in the picture below!

An update on the first week of classes is on the way!

Concerts Galore

Posted: April 20, 2012

by Jenny, a Patriot Blogger

In February my roommate and I attended a Jack’s Mannequin concert at the 9:30 Club that, while satisfied our thirst for indulging in songs from our high school soundtrack, revealed how our tastes have changed.

The venue was packed and the audience was entranced by the soulful melodies of Andrew McMahon, but the only notes on our minds were the ones that the chili cheese fries from Ben’s Chili Bowl would make our tastebuds sing.

One click told me that Jukebox the Ghost would be returning to the area in March.  Three more clicks and I had purchased tickets to see them in Fredericksburg with Speak, The Elwins, and Arctic Atlantic. It was a little odd going back to the music venue I went to in high school, but Jukebox was jaw-droppingly good as usual and Speak and The Elwins performed at a similar caliber.

After the concert, my friend and I drove back up to Arlington for some mouthwatering kabobs at Kabob Palace, which is open 24 hours and has the tastiest chickpeas!

The Drums, who played at The Black Cat in April, was one of the highlights of my semester.  When my friend from William and Mary who hosts radio shows and always has good music referrals introduced me to their song “Down By the Water,” I couldn’t help but hit the replay button over and over again.  After missing their concert for some work/academic related reason last year, I was out-of-my head excited to hear that they were coming to DC.

Later on in the month Jukebox the Ghost came to GMU for the opening of the new dorms Rogers and Whitetop as part of the Sustainable Opening Ceremony!  Having my favorite band come to my school where I could listen and dance without battling teems of screaming fans was so nice, and it was FREE!


And so we have it, a rundown of the concerts I attended in the Spring of 2012.  More to come in the fall!