Get Politically Motivated

Politics can drive people to drink. Which might explain why Washington loves a good ol’ fashioned State of the Union drinking game — you know, the kind where you take a sip when the president says “My fellow Americans” or down a shot when a heckler shouts “You lie!” But politics shouldn’t be all headaches and liver damage. Which is why we offer a healthier option for Tuesday’s big speech: the State of the Union workout — so you can save the rolls for your eyes, not your waistline.

Do a jumping jack every time you hear the words “health care,” “jobs,” “middle class,” “immigration” or “Edward Snowden.” It could happen. Maybe.

Hold a plank for 30 seconds after you hear the phrases: “My friends across the aisle” or “Let me be clear.” We never said this was going to be easy.

Hold a squat position for the length of each standing ovation. You can clap, too, if you want. Or look angry.

Do situps or crunches for the duration of a story told about someone in the audience. Feel the burn.

Do a lunge every time House Speaker John Boehner doesn’t clap while other people do. Feel free to make it a walking lunge. Maybe to the kitchen to get some water.

Do 10 pushups each time the camera pans to Michelle Obama. Envision arms as toned as hers.

Do a high kick each time Vice President Joe Biden smiles and winks at someone in the audience.

Run a marathon if Biden also adds a high kick to his smile and wink. Start training. You never know …


Streetcar Craziness

As D.C. readies for the return of trolleys this year, it’s worth noting that it wasn’t actually so long ago that Metro officials wanted to get rid of them to make room for more buses. D.C.’s most enthusiastic riders didn’t let the street cars trundle off quietly. During the wee hours of Jan. 28, 1962 — 52 years ago Tuesday — a group of students hoping to take one last ride wreaked some havoc when the final trolley set out from a stop at 14th Street and Colorado Avenue NW. The next day’s Washington Post reported: “While genuine trolley enthusiasts seethed at the sacrilege of it all, the flask-tipping students snatched bulbs, light globes, an entire light fixture and several cardboard posters, prize among them being one advertising a reward for evidence against anyone destroying streetcar property.” Hmm. Wonder where all that trolley memorabilia ended up.


To a 2014 Full of ‘Fu’

Jan. 31 marks the start of Chinese New Year celebrations, which traditionally last for 15 days until the Spring Lantern Festival. But if you can’t make it to Beijing to party, don’t worry. Gaithersburg, Md., Falls Church, Fairfax, D.C.’s very own Chinatown and more all have Chinese New Year events planned. Why not add a little something extra by seeking out these traditions?

Nian gao, a special New Year’s rice cake dessert that’s as sticky as it is sweet.

Fu, the Chinese character for “happiness” or “good fortune,” is often cut out of paper and displayed on windows and doors.

Nian, a mythical monster that comes out to eat a human on New Year’s, but is scared of the color red and fireworks. Luckily, there will likely be plenty of both.