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DECEMBER 29, 2013 | A PUBLICATION OF

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READEXPRESS.COM | @WAPOEXPRESS

Higher Resolutions Your goal for this year? To set better goals. Our expert advises 10 local celebrities on how to make New Year’s pledges that might actually stick. 8

Puppets That Had a Hand in History 13

How to Be the Toast of Toast-Making 10

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Your Best Shot | Submitted by Diriki Rice of Washington, D.C.

eye openers

PUBLIC SERVICE

Good News: Fewer Wayward Carts to Hog Parking Spots Most shoplifters steal what’s in the shopping cart and not the cart itself. But not Richard Johns and Haylee Melendez, police said. The Reston, Va., couple were charged in the theft of “numerous” carts earlier this month in Frederick, Md., Reston Patch reported. The couple planned to sell the carts for scrap metal, police said. Hopefully, the stolen shopping carts were the ones with wonky wheels. ON THE UPSIDE

Prisoners Don’t Have to Try to Find Parking at Whole Foods “Veep” actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus accidentally trolled the entire city of Columbia, Md., this month when she told New York magazine’s Vulture blog that filming there was like being in prison. In retaliation, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman posted a video on YouTube listing reasons why Columbia is not like prison. For one thing, prisons don’t have Whole Foods. FAST FOOD

You Want Parole With That? He didn’t get the job, but Tevin Monroe, 31, did get booked after he entered a Norfolk, Va., McDonald’s and demanded an application, The Virginian-Pilot reported. When the manager told Monroe the process is done online, Monroe lifted his shirt to reveal a gun, police said. The manager then gave Monroe a paper application, which he was filling out while the police arrived to arrest him. (EXPRESS)

CARE BEAR STARE: Diriki Rice spotted two festive bears greeting a child in a turkey costume at Santarchy, held annually near the American Museum of Natural History on the National Mall. The Dec. 14 event attracted dozens of revelers, who dressed up in holiday outfits to celebrate the season.

Want to see your pic in print? Submit your best shot by joining our Flickr pool at flickr.com/ groups/wapoexpress. Share a photo from the Washington region, and it could appear here.

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WS, T HE NE E T A LIT L W E ASK

— JEROME GREENE, a Red Top taxi driver in Arlington since 1972, on SoberRide, a program run by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program that sets up free rides home for those who’ve imbibed too much during the holiday season. Greene said it makes him feel good to know he may be saving people’s lives by keeping them off the roads. The one drawback? “Trying to wake them up after they give you their address,” he said laughing. SoberRide will run through Jan. 2, and riders can call 1-800200-8294 (TAXI) to get a free ride home. Don’t forget to tip!

CORRECTIONS: The story “Gifts to Give that Give Back” on page 9 in the Dec. 8 edition incorrectly identified the artist, title and price of this work of art. The painting by Michael Knox is titled “Mask” and costs $90.

NIKKI KHAN (THE WASHINGTON POST)

While some of the year’s biggest news stories are impossible to forget — the Navy Yard shootings and the government shutdown come immediately to mind — the smaller, weirder ones are much more fun to remember. So, for a more light-hearted trip down memory lane, we offer the following list of news superlatives:

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ABBY WOOD (AP)

“It’s probably one of the few times in a cab driver’s life that he really feels appreciated.”

Worst Use of Fruit Metro cameras caught a Maryland man slipping on a banana peel in August. Then he sued the transit system. The problem? The footage seems to show he actually put the peel there himself. A judge threw the case out, and now the man faces fraud charges. Better to compost.

1

3 MANUEL BALCE CENETA (AP)

SOBER REMARKS

Superlatively Speaking

Best Excuse for Delays

Metro riders usually blame track work for being late, but the delivery of a baby made for a much cuter excuse. Shavonnte Taylor, shown with son Amir Mason, gave birth Aug. 1 on the L’Enfant Plaza platform while, ironically, heading to an appointment with her obstetrician.

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Most Stomach-Growl-Inducing Forget all of the trendy new restaurants popping up. What really got people excited was Ben’s Chili Bowl’s surprise September announcement that it plans to expand to Arlington. The half-smoke slingers plan to open early next year.

Most Likely to Be Turned Into a Pixar Film

The National Zoo’s giant panda cub, Bao Bao, may have won the most press, but Rusty the red panda, shown, went on the most exciting adventure. The raccoon-like furball escaped his enclosure in June and spent a few hours in Adams Morgan before being found and returned — but not before much of the city tuned in to the chase.

Best Airing of Grievances D.C. resident Henry Docter earned the nickname “phantom planter” when he planted flowers along the north exit of the Dupont Circle station in June. Then Metro proceed to rip them out. But Docter got his revenge in October by hanging an oversized steel structure that detailed his complaints over the same spot.

3

Biggest Shutdown Surprise

4

Most Apocalyptic

When the government shutdown started affecting the aesthetics of the Mall, Chris Cox, shown, brought a lawn mower and took it upon himself to clean it up while toting a South Carolina state flag.

The sinkholes! The geological anomalies ate a chunk of sidewalk along Biltmore Street in Adams Morgan and endangered cars in May on F Street NW, shown, and June on M Street NW.

Best Use of Animals MARVIN JOSEPH (THE WASHINGTON POST)

YEAR IN REVIEW

for what it’s worth

No mowers were needed to take care of Southwest D.C.’s Congressional Cemetery this fall — goats did it! For What It’s Worth is produced by Marissa Payne and Rachel Sadon. Have suggestions for the page? Email us at fwiw@wpost.com or tweet us @WaPoExpress.

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on the spot

Just in time for the ! holidays

would get upset when I’d come in on my off days and have Champagne, because they’d have to refill them too quickly. So I started a tradition of just drinking out of a tumbler. They affectionately refer to it as “Derek Brown-ing” the Champagne.

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washingtonpost.com/cookbook Edited by Bonnie S. Benwick, deputy editor, Food section Foreword by Phyllis Richman, former editor, Food section

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DEREK BROWN

SCOTT SUCHMAN

What should people drink on New Year’s Eve if they don’t want Champagne?

RESTAURATEUR AND BAR MOGUL, LOVER OF BUBBLY

Derek Brown is proud to say he drinks for a living. He’s the owner of trendy District bars Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich, The Passenger and Columbia Room. His latest creation, Southern Efficiency (1841 Seventh St. NW), opened this month; it serves about 30 different varieties of bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, along with Southern food. Brown’s booze résumé is impressive: In addition to creating cocktails, he’s written about them for The Atlantic and Bon Appetit, among other publications. Who better to ask what to imbibe this New Year’s Eve? What do you drink on Dec. 31?

Any expert advice on Champagne?

I drink the same thing I drink all the time. I drink Champagne.

Drink it in wine glasses. Why is that?

That’s your favorite drink?

Whiskey is my favorite, but you can’t drink whiskey all the time, can you?

Flutes help to concentrate the bubbles, but you can get a broader range of characteristics and aromas from a wine glass. I used to drink it in flutes, and my staff

I would say take their everyday cocktail and ramp it up a little bit. Let’s say that they’re a Manhattan drinker and they usually have a rye or bourbon with it. Pick a really nice rye and do something a little special with it. Spend a little extra money on it. You’ll really impress your friends as well, of course.

“Flutes help to concentrate the bubbles, but you can get a broader range of characteristics and aromas from a wine glass.” What’s your ideal way to spend New Year’s Eve?

It’s de rigueur to spend time with really good friends. I think of New Year’s Eve as predictive of how you spend your next year. So I always want to spend more time with friends. Anything to avoid?

Don’t drink vodka on New Year’s. It’s like you’re gonna have a bland year. It’s like eating chicken breast for your meal. I’m not anti-vodka, but it’s worth going out of the way to try to find something new and fun. BETH MARLOWE (E XPRESS)

You can try …

I’ve always had a great love of Champagne. It’s not just a celebratory drink. It’s something that goes great with food and is generally a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful product. So I will be drinking Champagne, just slightly fancier Champagne than I usually drink.

Champagnes Worth the Money While Champagnes made by large growers get all the attention (Veuve Clicquot, anyone?), Derek Brown recommends trying bubbly made by small growers. “I’d happily drink them from a tumbler,” Brown says. Try these: Aubry Brut Champagne ($40) Chartogne-Taillet Cuvee Ste.-Anne Brut Champagne ($30-$40) Pierre Gimonnet Blanc de Blanc Gastronome Champagne ’06 ($50-$65)

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TUESDAY

Seventh Annual Rocknoceros New Year’s Eve Party

THE BEST THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK | COMPILED BY EXPRESS STAFF

TUESDAY ONGOING

‘Gypsy’ If you don’t know Stephen Sondheim’s beloved “Gypsy,” about vaudeville shows in the 1920s, maybe you know the songs: “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “Together (Wherever We Go),” “Let Me Entertain You.” So let Signature’s new production (starring Sherri L. Edelen, above, as Momma Rose) serve as a refresher, or, for newbies, a welcome introduction. Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington; through Jan. 26, $29-$69; 703-8209771, signature-theatre.org.

MONDAY

The Last Stand Quartet: ‘An Evening of Shakespeare in Words and Music’ Actors Andre Braugher (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and Reiko Aylesworth (“24”) join National Symphony

ONGOING

‘Home Sewn’ The “Double Wedding Ring” quilt, above, is one of four “fancy quilts” on view in “Home Sewn: Quilts from the Lower Mississippi Valley” at the Anacostia Community Museum. Quilts made in this traditional African-American style, using techniques handed down through generations, feature symmetrical motifs and vivid colors. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE; through Sept. 21, free; 202-633-4820, anacostia.si.edu.

Orchestra ensemble The Last Stand Quartet for a series of performances inspired by William Shakespeare. There will be music (including works by Byrd, Purcell, Rorem and Beethoven), sonnets and speeches — all of which were inspired by or pay tribute to Shakespeare’s enduring words. Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW; 202467-4600, Mon., 7:30 p.m., $45; kennedy-center.org. (Foggy Bottom)

THROUGH TUESDAY

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue One of New Orleans’ most promising young musicians — Trombone Shorty, right — caps off 2013 with a three-night stand at the 9:30 Club. The horn player is known for his aggressive, instrumental funk, but he’s just as capable of singing smooth soul songs or swinging New Orleans standards. For Tuesday’s end-of-the-year send-off, patrons receive a free Champagne toast and a Bayou Sandwich Biscuit from Eatonville at the end of the night. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW; Sun. & Mon., 8 p.m., $35; Tue., 9 p.m., $75; 202-265-0930, 930.com. (U Street)

Dr. John and Wanda Jackson For the Hamilton’s New Year’s Eve concert, Dr. John, top, brings the New Orleans voodoo; Wanda Jackson, above, shares a rockabilly twang; and The Hamilton serves up some gumbo. How appropriate. Seated tickets are sold out as of press time, but standing-room spots are still available. That’s probably for the best — you wouldn’t want to sit for a show like this. Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW; Tue., 9:15 p.m., $100; 202-787-1000, thehamiltondc.com. (Metro Center)

TUESDAY

The Seldom Scene Bethesda-bred bluegrass band The Seldom Scene celebrates the dawn of a new year as it always does: with a finger-picking blowout at the Birchmere. The quintet, which formed in the ’70s and helped usher in the progressive bluegrass movement, will be joined for this year’s hoedown by openers the Stray Birds and Donna Ulisse. Birchmere, 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria; Tue., 8 p.m., $39.50; 703549-7500, birchmere.com.

Celebrate the new year as the clock strikes 12 — 12 noon — with an apple-juice toast while D.C.’s most-adored kids’ band plays. Or go to the 2 p.m. show — it’s always 12 o’clock somewhere, right? The NoVa-grown Coach Cotton, Williebob and Boogie Woogie Bennie will play their usual kid-pleasing sets; adults who need something stronger than apple juice can hit the bar. Jammin’ Java, 227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna; Tue., 11 a.m. & 2 p.m., $10; 703-255-1566, jamminjava.com.

THURSDAY

‘Community’ “Community” creator Dan Harmon is back at the helm for the cult comedy’s fifth season, kicking off with an hourlong premiere at 8 p.m. Thursday on NBC. Much has changed since last season, which saw formerly disgraced lawyer Jeff Winger (Joel McHale, above) graduate from Greendale Community College. The new season serves as a reboot of sorts, bringing Harmon’s hyper-referential, parody-heavy, insular sense of humor back to one of TV’s leastwatched, but most-loved series.

IN THEATERS

‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones’ FRIDAY | Nothing says the new year like a new “Paranormal Activity.” OK, so this installment may have been better served with an October release (as was originally planned), but scary movies are still a year-round business. This one centers on black-magic rituals and features nods to the franchise’s past.

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cover story

Vive the Resolutions Attainability Key

These 10 local celebrities are either liars, or outliers. When we asked them for their New Year’s resolutions, not one said “Lose weight” — by far the most common goal among regular Americans. “Losing 10 pounds is so pedestrian,” says journalist Cokie Roberts. “And not only that, but, you know, some of us have reached the age where we know we aren’t going to do it.”

Mike Isabella FORMER ‘TOP CHEF’ CONTESTANT, LOCAL RESTAURATEUR

“My life has been really crazy this past year, so I want to focus on getting my life a little more leveled out — having a better schedule, a little more travel and time away. I want to spend more time with my wife, be home at night for some dinners with her.” SHRINK SAYS: “These are good ideas, but he needs a plan.” For instance, he could block off Wednesday nights for dinner at home with his wife, or start saving money toward a trip. GREG POWERS

Includes a concrete action plan Connects with personal values Identifies someone who will hold you accountable Are reasonable and within your control

That said, the rich and famous are probably as likely to slip up as regular folks, says Todd Kashdan, a psychology professor and motivation expert at George Mason University. “The vast majority fall off the wagon,” he says. Only 19 percent of people who make resolutions manage to keep them for two years, according to one study. We asked Kashdan to assess our celebrities’ resolutions and provide some tips to help their — and by extension, our — vows stick. SADIE DINGFELDER (E XPRES S); ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY DAVID DRIVER

Cokie Roberts NEWS ANALYST FOR NPR AND ABC NEWS

“It’s to be more like my mother. She died this summer, and I have been reading the 1,000 letters I have gotten, from people writing about the incredible things she did for them. She, Lindy Boggs, was a member of Congress for nine terms and then U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. She always treated everyone with great love, respect and dignity. As a reminder, I always wear a ring made out of two of her old rings.” SHRINK SAYS: “It’s great she has a reminder. Without one, it’s very easy to fall back into your old patterns of behavior.”

ABC7/WJLA-TV

Can local celebs keep their New Year’s pledges? Sure, with these expert tips

Jummy Olabanji ANCHOR OF ‘GOOD MORNING

Mike Lonergan HEAD MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH AT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

“My resolution is to keep working hard and not read our press clippings. You just have to have that tunnel vision. ‘One game at a time’ is our motto.” SHRINK SAYS: Lonergan might want to reframe his goal. “He’s avoiding press clippings because they are distracting. The better goal would be ‘I am going to pay attention to people I know I can trust to be candid.’ ”

WASHINGTON’ AND ‘ABC7 NEWS AT NOON’

“Mine is to run my first half marathon. I found a training program online; it’s a 20-week program. Another goal of mine is to stick to the training program so I don’t pass out during the race.”

SHRINK SAYS: “I’m impressed that she has already signed up for a marathon and found a training program. This is perfect; she’s likely to succeed.”

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cover story

‘NEWS4 TODAY’ ANCHOR

“My big, yearlong project is trying to explore Washington, Maryland and Northern Virginia a bit more. I literally work around the corner from the National Cathedral and I haven’t been inside yet. [My friends] will hold me accountable. Facebook is a wonderful thing.” SHRINK SAYS: Posting your progress online and getting positive reactions is a great way to keep your momentum.

Spike Mendelsohn

Matthew Lesko INFOMERCIAL PERSONALITY

“The most important thing I could do is to live with a more open heart. I just got a question mark tattooed on my thumb, to remind me to open up my heart and not to fear the unknown. It’s so easy to become more prejudiced as we become older.”

FORMER ‘TOP CHEF’ CONTESTANT, LOCAL RESTAURATEUR

“To get Tom Sietsema back in here to review Bearnaise, my new French bistro brasserie on Capitol Hill. He came in for lunch and did a ‘First Bite’ review. It was right when we opened, and I don’t think he gave us the chance to find our way.” He plans “some aggressive tweeting, some word of mouth, things of that nature.”

SHRINK SAYS: Lesko should define what progress would look like to an outside observer. “For instance, is he going to start hugging people more? Or will he be donating more of his time or money?” E. M. PIO RODA (CNN)

Aaron Gilchrist

Jake Tapper

SHRINK SAYS: What’s his end game? “If he’s just focused on the reviews, then he’s always chasing the next one.”

ANCHOR OF CNN’S ‘THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER’

“Now that my kids are 4 and 6, I want to spend more time getting involved in our spiritual health, in our synagogue — more Sabbath dinners on Friday night, more attendance at Hebrew school, more participation in holidays and, I think, just more discussion of the mysteries of life.”

Denise Austin

SHRINK SAYS: “This resolution is beautiful. It’s very specific, it’s valuesdriven. It’s exactly how you should set up a resolution.”

TV PERSONALITY AND FITNESS GURU

“Mine is all about having more fun in the New Year. Every Sunday, I call my girlfriends to see what they are doing for fitness, and I make plans to join them, so I keep up with my friends and staying fit.”

Marin Alsop CONDUCTOR, BALTIMORE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

“It’s to laugh more and be sillier. Music-wise, my approach is really just about trying to have a more connected experience, whether it’s being silly or being more engaged with the music.”

SHRINK SAYS: “This is the model of how you create New Year’s resolutions.”

GRANT LEIGHTON

SHRINK SAYS: “This is a great resolution, but she needs to tell someone — maybe someone in her social circle or a trusted colleague — to hold her accountable.”

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home

THINKSTOCK/EXPRESS ILLUSTRATION

from surgery. Certain stories, however, are better left untold. Nussbaum has this rule for figuring out what’s appropriate in a wedding toast: “In order to stay in the bounds of propriety, deliver it like a eulogy for two people who are still alive. The humor should be appreciative rather than embarrassing.” Also stay away from hinting at inside jokes. Either it’s something you can share with the whole group, or it’s not, he adds. Unsure whether a line really works? Take a lesson from the pros and test out your material ahead of time.

Toasts With the Most Next time you raise a glass, apply this advice from former White House speechwriters When Jeff Nussbaum stood up to deliver a toast at his sister’s wedding, he opened with this doozy: “The first time Scott showed up at the door, I thought, ‘J.Crew usually just sends a catalog.’ ” ¶ That single line reveals two facts about Nussbaum. He has an extremely preppy brother-in-law and, man, does he know how to start a speech. Figuring out just the right thing to say is what he does professionally as a partner in the West Wing Writers. The communications firm, with offices in D.C. and New York, offers assistance to anyone who needs to stand behind a lectern — using techniques honed while working in the White House. “With Clinton, it was clear he really enjoyed it. He welcomed the opportunity to tell stories,” says Vinca LaFleur, another West Wing Writers partner. She recognizes that most people don’t feel quite so comfortable as the center of attention. But at some point, whether it’s a

wedding, a milestone birthday or a retirement party, everyone has to speak up, she says. And there’s one easy way you can improve on the former president’s technique: Keep it short. “The best material is wasted if the overall effect is ‘that was long,’ ” Nussbaum says. For most speeches at family and work events, five minutes is plenty. Since a good pace is about 150 words per minute, LaFleur adds, that means

Props Prep Before you say a few words, arm yourself with a few things: Index cards. They make the best cheat sheets and fit easily in a suit pocket. Tissues. Even if you’re not typically a “weeper,” you never know when tears may strike. A glass. It’s tough to toast without one. How full it is shouldn’t matter: If you keep your speech short, you won’t have a Marco Rubio-esque waterbottle moment.

750 words maximum. If you have no clue what any of those words should be, start by thinking about why you’ve been called upon to speak. Are you the sister? The boss? The best friend? Consider what you can share based on that identity that no one else could, LaFleur says. (A corollary from Nussbaum: If you haven’t been called upon to speak, but after a few drinks you want to, don’t.) For a basic structure, think of a theme — such as, “three things I love about this person,” LaFleur suggests — and thread that through the speech. Ideally, you can conjure up more than platitudes and offer a story or two to illustrate your point. Saying someone is “kind and generous” can’t compare to an anecdote about how that person brought you soup and cheesy movies when you were recovering

“The best material is wasted if the overall effect is, ‘that was long.’ ” — JEFF NUSSBAUM, A PARTNER AT WEST WING WRITERS

“ ‘Authentic you’ doesn’t mean ‘unrehearsed you.’ Some things will sound awkward and dorky,” Nussbaum says. “It’s always good to have a basic reality check.” Maybe you’ll find out you should pause after a joke, or remember to bring tissues. “I’m a weeper. I know this may happen,” LaFleur says. So she comes up with a plan for what to do if her voice breaks, or if she needs a moment before she can continue. Memorizing is tough — and chances are, you won’t have a teleprompter to rely on — so there’s nothing wrong with having a cheat sheet, Nussbaum says. He just recommends jotting your thoughts on small index cards rather than a flimsy piece of paper. (“If your hand shakes a little, paper shakes a lot, and it can become a distraction,” he says.) If you start feeling nervous, remember that you’re not delivering the State of the Union, and there isn’t a team of talking heads waiting to dissect every word on CNN. “The audience is on your side. They will root for you,” LaFleur says. And everyone will agree with your final position: arm out, raising a glass in the air. VICKY HALLETT (EXPRESS)

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Re-Covering Your Assets That estate-sale score would look swell in your den, if only it weren’t covered in ’70s paisley velvet. Fortunately, reupholstery isn’t as expensive as you might think. Prices can start as low as $100 (plus fabric) for a stool. You can even DIY. Here are resources for spiffing up that sofa. JENNIFER BARGER (EXPRESS) Urban Castle Interiors

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Nicole Crowder re-covers chairs, stools and benches (starting at $185). She’ll pick up and drop off in Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia, and she has a selection of already redone furnishings ready to go.

Husband-and-wife team Paul and Nicole Carter run a custom reupholstery shop out of their Rockville home. Seasoned pros, they’ll give you tips on choosing colors, and they offer pick-up and drop-off for a small fee.

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They also give quotes via email; just send a snapshot. Prices range from $80 to fill a floor cushion to $1,000 or so for a simple sofa.

Third + Grace sources and upholsters one-of-a-kind vintage furniture.

Enter cushion measurements into the calculators on this e-boutique, choose from 1,000 fabrics (including lots of weatherproof ones), and about three weeks later, you’ll be sitting pretty. Prices start at around $50 for a pillow and $400 for a set of outdoor loveseat cushions.

For brave DIY souls, G Street offers classes on topics as simple as pillowmaking (one session, $49) and as complicated as complete chair rehab (six to eight sessions, $279).

‘Spruce’ BY AMANDA BROWN ($35, STOREY)

Amanda Brown upholsters sofas and chairs for a living in Austin, Texas. Her new book shows how you can, too, detailing topics from fabric to tufting. Images show that, yep, re-covering is labor intensive, but Brown’s step-bystep instructions may inspire you to take up a staple gun.

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shopping Baby, It’s Warm Inside IT’S DARK AND COLD OUTDOORS,

so why not turn to booze indoors? That’s the message of “Winter Cocktails” ($23, Quirk), a nicely photographed, cold-weather drink bible. Sure, author Maria Del Mar Sacasa parses out many familiar highball recipes (Manhattans, Brandy Alexanders). But it’s offbeat gulps — the bacon- and bourbonpowered Golden Hog, or the decadent, hazelnut liqueur-infused Nutella Melt (think blotto cocoa) — that steal the attention. A section on cocktail party treats assures you don’t imbibe on an empty tummy.

Softy Goals

BACK TO THE ROOTS

THINK OF THE ALPACA as the sheep’s less itch-causing cousin. The Andes-dwelling animal’s hair is soft and free of lanolin, a substance in wool that can cause allergic reactions. New at GoodWood (1428 U St. NW; 202-986-3640), alpacapowered Shupaca makes warm blankets (above, $125), throws ($80) and scarves ($60).

Surf & Edible Turf

SWISS STAYS

If your apartment is so tiny you have to choose between growing herbs and raising a goldfish, try the new Aquafarm ($60, uncommongoods.com). The aquarium/hydroponic garden creates a symbiotic relationship: Your finny friend’s waste fertilizes the plants, which in turn purify the water before it filters back into the tank. The top sprouts seeds for basil, lettuces or other small plants.

Collar Score FOR DUDES, dressing sharply

means paying attention to tiny details. And nothing says “I’m a functioning, put-together man” like a crisp collar. Swiss Stays combat limp collars with adjustable stays that fit up to 24 shirt-collar sizes (swissstays.com). Packs of three come in PVC ($8), steel (above, $20), brass ($30) and titanium ($50). The doohickeys are manipulated via hinges that take them from standard to double size.

Sounds Good HEAR SOMETHING?

It’s the sound of Bridget Hilton and Joe Huff making a difference. The duo serve the hearing impaired via LSTN, a hip headphone company (lstnheadphones.com). Proceeds for every pair sold help provide hearing aids to the needy. Such styles as the Troubadour (left, $150) are made from reclaimed wood.

Grab Bag is written by Jennifer Barger and Holley Simmons.

Keep a Lid on It WITH MISTLETOE SEASON IN SWING, you’re likely focused on prettying up your pucker. For equally stunning peepers, try Stila’s Art of the Fine Line liquid eyeliner set ($39, sephora.com). Available exclusively through Sephora, the kit comes with four of Stila’s best-selling colors.

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outings SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY PHOTOS

Puppets That Ruled The Smithsonian celebrates Kermit, Howdy Doody and other hand-operated icons Exhibits Kermit wasn’t always a frog, and he didn’t start out as a pollywog. Jim Henson’s most beloved Muppet began life as an abstract, “reptilelike thing,” says Dwight Blocker Bowers, curator of the National Museum of American History’s new “Puppetry in America” exhibit. Kermit starred in Henson’s first TV series, 1955’s “Sam and Friends.” “It was a five-minute show that broadcast in Washington, D.C.,” Bowers says. “The puppets did lip-syncing to popular songs of the time, and most shows ended with an explosion.” The exhibit, which honors significant pup-

pets such as Howdy Doody, Charlie McCarthy and Tubby the Tuba, provides a glimpse into how Americans made Old World traditions their own, Bowers says. For instance, the New England preacher William Hitchcock used Punch and Judy puppets around 1890 to put on morality plays and advocate for temperance. It was a surprising turn for Punch, a character known in England for mistreating his wife and baby without repercussions. Bowers hopes the exhibit will broaden your idea of the art form. “Puppetry includes stopaction figures, ventriloquist puppets, hand puppets and, of course, our ever-popular Muppets,” he says. “It’s an enduring form of entertainment.” SADIE DINGFELDER (E XPRESS)

Howdy Doody, 1949

National Museum of American History, 1400 Constitution Ave. NW; free; 202-633-1000, americanhistory.si.edu. (Smithsonian)

Worked on “The Howdy Doody Show,” which was broadcast live from New York, five days a week, for nearly 13 years

Kermit, 1955 Created for “Sam and Friends,” a five-minute TV show that was broadcast locally between 1955 and 1961 Recycling Is Green, Too Jim Henson made Kermit out of an old coat of his mother’s. Kermit’s eyes are halves of pingpong balls, and the puppeteer’s sleeve is a repurposed leg from a pair of kids’ jeans. Not Yet a Frog Kermit, like many early Muppets, didn’t originally represent a specific animal. His first incarnation lacked flipper feet and the trademark crenulated collar. Celery to Cookies Other “Sam and Friends” characters included Mushmellon, a yellow monster who looks like a squat Oscar the Grouch, and Yorick, a purple head with an insatiable appetite for celery (presaging Cookie Monster’s sweets fetish).

Punch and Judy, 1890 Were co-opted by late-19thcentury New England preacher William Hitchcock for his traveling morality plays Punch the Puritan In his European incarnation, dating back to 1662, Punch was a scofflaw and a drunk who beat everyone he encountered with his “slapstick,” often with fatal results. Wife

Judy and their baby were frequent victims. In Hitchcock’s hands, Punch saw the error of his homicidal ways. Comedy Etymology The term “slapstick comedy” originated with Punch and Judy, as well as the phrases “punch drunk” and “pleased as punch,” Bowers says. Quite British In 2006, the British government named Punch and Judy one of the most important “icons of Englishness.”

Appeared in “Corpse Bride,” a stop-motion animated film by Tim Burton about a man who accidentally proposes to a corpse; she then tries to take him up on the offer Stick to the Registry The Corpse Bride gives a box of bones as a present to her horrified bridegroom, who is later delighted when they assemble themselves into a skeleton version of his beloved childhood dog, Scraps. Structurally Unsound Like many “Corpse Bride” characters, the clay-and-plastic dog has a huge head and tiny feet. Unable to support his own weight, the dog was supported by an external frame that animators digitally erased. The human characters got stability assistance from the set itself, which provided spots for their feet to lock in.

Doody Dispute The Howdy Doody design on view wasn’t the first. In 1948, the show’s puppeteer walked out because of unmet salary demands, taking the puppet, to which he had the rights, with him. At the time, Howdy was running for president. The host saved the day by saying Howdy was out on the campaign trail, where he decided he needed a more handsome visage to earn the female vote and underwent plastic surgery. NBC eluded trademark issues by bringing back a different marionette.

Scraps, 2005

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fun & games ACROSS 1 Salary limit 4 First X or O, say 7 Describe concisely 12 Feudal slave 17 Spaghetti sauce ingredient 19 Join the student body 20 It’s blue, in song 21 Act of saving a life, e.g. 22 Highly esteemed guy, e.g. 24 Tasting of wood, as some spirits 25 Not all the way 27 Nerd 28 Power-drill accessory 29 Many bricks shy of a full load 32 It might be wild

33 Bulky phonebook section 34 They know the angles 40 Roaring Twenties, e.g. 41 Letters on an ambulance 42 Scot’s “not” 43 “___ 18” (Uris book) 44 Pleasure trip, e.g. 47 Apostate 49 On a clipper 52 Reagan or Wilson 53 Vacuum’s target 54 Bar mitzvah site (var.) 56 Some kitchen utensils 59 Diamond or ruby 60 Smooth and shiny 62 Dig find

Last Week’s Solution

64 Yawn inducer 66 James Cagney classic 71 Act, in Acts? 72 Concerto instrument 73 Twilight, poetically 76 Attorney’s org. 79 Provides party provisions 82 Shows one’s teeth, in a way 84 Cogito ___ sum 85 Precipice part 87 Ecclesiastical jurisdiction 89 Certain dress code 91 Touch tenderly and lightly 93 “How unfortunate!” 94 Cooped-up female? 95 Nod at Christie’s

96 Formal accessory 97 Agatha Christie mystery 103 Barley bristle 104 Departments with slicers 105 Of greatest age 106 “On the other hand ...” 107 It once meant “once” 108 Kansas city 111 Buddy 115 Huxley classic 118 Covered with foam 121 ___ Pie (ice cream treat) 122 Foot in a line 123 Most in need of a dye job? 124 Cherries’ leftovers 125 Plait of hair 126 “___ the ramparts ...” 127 “Well, ___-di-dah!” DOWN 1 Kind of salmon 2 Math calculation 3 Employment enticement 4 Tiki bar drink: mai ___ 5 Shoo-___ (sure things) 6 Seek similarities 7 Pique 8 River through Russia 9 Half a Billy Idol hit 10 Maximum degree (abbr.)

11 One of 10 in Exodus 12 Tom of Hollywood 13 Chang’s twin 14 Moving laboriously 15 Bow or curtsy, e.g. 16 Campers’ residences 18 Other nations, to Israelites 19 “Snowy” bird 20 Childish rebuttal 23 Nobel physicist Simon van der ___ 26 “___ other questions?” 30 Hawaiian state bird 31 Walk of Fame symbols 32 British Gold Coast, today 34 Neuters a colt 35 Message sent by computer 36 Fish-eating hawk 37 Estevez of Hollywood 38 Be in a bad way 39 Cinema snippet 40 Airport stat. 45 Without praise, as a hero 46 High school class 48 Word after home or bed 49 Rained buckets 50 Word sung early in the year 51 Certain amphetamine

TEAM PLAYERS

55 High point of a flood 57 ___ a good note 58 “Messenger” compound 61 Bad-mouths 63 Beat walker 65 Runs at a red light 67 Hawaii’s Mauna ___ 68 Reader’s ___ (magazine) 69 Ullrich of Metallica

70 Certain Nigerian native 74 “Come ___?” (“Huh?”) 75 Jell-O shapers 76 “Dancing With the Stars” network 77 Small pork sausage 78 Opening of a fuel-burning engine 80 Iranian cash 81 Songs for one

I N N E XT W E E K’S

2013 was a rough year for D.C. sports teams. We’ll explain why fans should be optimistic about 2014.

EDITED BY TIM BURR

83 What a director directs 86 Michelle Obama, ___ Robinson 88 Garfield, for one 90 Added conditions 92 Heater for tailgate parties, often 94 2004 Viggo Mortensen horse film

98 “If all ___ fails ...” 99 Knucklehead 100 City of northern England 101 Yellowstone beast 102 In need of calamine lotion 103 French clerics 104 Judges 108 Large and scholarly book 109 Royal symbols

110 Opposite of minus 112 Weak spot for Achilles 113 “Major” constellation 114 The stuff of legends 116 ___ and vigor 117 Part of POW 119 “Who ___ you kidding?” 120 Street material

1 2 . 2 9 . 2 0 1 3 | E X P R E S S S U N D AY | 15

fun & games WUMO | WULFF & MORGENTHALER

Now until January 1, all of your favorite holiday activities are available at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Everything from animated light displays, seasonal food and drink, live entertainment, holiday shopping, and, of course, exotic animals — both live and in lights.

POOCH CAFE | PAUL GILLIGAN

Best of all, admission is still free! Now – January 1 (Every night except December 24, 25, and 31)

PEARLS BEFORE SWINE | STEPHAN PASTIS

Visit www.fonz.org/zoolights for dates, times, and schedules. Event parking is available.

Readers Get a Free reusable panda tote bag! Sudoku

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visitors to bring this coupon How to Reach Us To place a display ad: Call 202-334-6732 or email ads@readexpress.com. Spot a mistake? Email corrections@readexpress.com. The newsroom: Call 202-334-6800, fax 202-3349777 or reach out to us on Twitter @WaPoExpress.

Need more Sudoku? Find another puzzle in the weekday Express, the Comics section of The Post every Sunday and in the Style section Monday through Saturday.

Features editor: Jennifer Barger Copy chief: Diana D’Abruzzo Story editor: Adam Sapiro Deputy creative director: Adam Griffiths Senior editors: Sadie Dingfelder Vicky Hallett Shauna Miller Kristen Page-Kirby

Valid Sunday nights only during ZooLights!

Who We Are Publisher: Arnie Applebaum Executive editor: Dan Caccavaro General manager: Ron Ulrich Circulation manager: Charles Love Managing editor, features: Holly J. Morris Managing editor, news: Lori Kelley Creative director: Jon Benedict

to the Panda Gift Shop!

Section editors: Michael Cunniff Rudi Greenberg Beth Marlowe Marissa Payne Rachel Sadon Sara Schwartz Holley Simmons Jeffrey Tomik Art director: Allie Ghaman Designer: Rachel Orr Production supervisor: Matthew Liddi

Published by Express Publications LLC, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20071, a subsidiary of WP Company, LLC

ZooLights is made possible by support from: Pepco, Big Bus Tours, The Coca-Cola Company, Comcast, 94.7 Fresh-FM, GEICO, Giant Food, NBC4, SunTrust Foundation, Telemundo, United Airlines, Washingtonian Magazine and The Washington Post/KidsPost. XPE1192 2x10.5

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