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December

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Our last day at Disney World was the 1st, and also the only day Jill joined us in the morning. It was straight to Magic Kingdom as we had breakfast with friends from The Hundred Acre Wood. Next, Nina wanted to meet Merida again (but they didn’t let her shoot the bow and arrow this time) and we went over and waited to ride Splash Mountain – Nina loved the end. Nina and I explored Tom Sawyer Island, then we rode the train back to the entrance and our lunch at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. We were going to use a VIP lunch there to secure a VIP spot for the parade, but gave that a pass because we would have lost our Fastpass for the Buzz Lightyear ride (Nina preferred the Toy Story ride though).

Nina Jill

We saw the line wasn’t bad for Rapunzel and Tiana and met them again, and finally caught the Wicked Stepsisters after missing them last trip. Nina and Jill rode the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad then Jill went shopping and I took Nina to see The Muppets in Liberty Square. Nina and Jill rode the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Nina got to do some shopping, then it was time for dinner at Be Our Guest where we got to meet The Beast after dinner. We had time to stop at Beaches & Cream for ice cream all around before an early bedtime.

Jill Nina Kerry

We got on the Disney bus for a 5AM trip to the airport and an uneventful flight, getting back just in time for Nina to go to a birthday party and Nutcracker rehearsal. I’d nearly forgotten that I’d bought tickets to the NPR Music Turns 10: Concert and Party at the 9:30 Club that night, and Jill was toast. I sold my extra ticket and went anyway. I wasn’t really into heading into DC on 3 hours sleep, but then I walked in and Jeff Tweedy was on stage and somehow I was wide awake. They had kept the guest list a complete surprise – other big names were Bon Iver and Margo Price.

Nina

Saturday the 9th it was snowing, but not bad enough to stop Nina and I from going to Scrawl Books to see Dar Williams sing and talk about her new book (plus Nina got a couple new books) while Jill went to her monthly sewing class. Nina had a dress rehearsal for the Nutcracker that night.

Dar

Tuesday I took off in the middle of the day so Jill and I could have a lunch date at Fiola. Some fine Italian food, and thanks to the egg in her pasta only the second time ever we’ve switched entrees (I thought it was delicious and she enjoyed my lobster ravioli). Wednesday the 13th Nina had her dance recital (to the tune of Jingle Bell Rock), and I was incensed over the new Patreon fees – this is how it worked out for me:
14 $1.00 per month pledges, so $14 -> $19.32
4 $2.00 per month pledges, so $8 -> $9.64
3 $3.00 per month pledges, so $9 -> $10.32
1 $5.00 per month pledges, so $5 -> $5.50
For a total: $36 -> $44.78. Unacceptable, so I deleted all pledges and vowed to supporting creators on new platforms. Then of course they reversed course the next day, and I reinstated all pledges.

Nina

Friday Nina had the real dress rehearsal for the Nutcracker at Centreville High School, then we each got takeout and headed home (the banh mi’s from Park N Shop were delicious). The next day we were all back at Centreville High School for the official performance at 2PM (Dad and Patricia came as well), and it went off without a hitch.

Nina

Things that they don’t warn parents about #43: It will take an hour to convince your child to go into winter break camp. That’s what I learned on Monday the 18th as Nina was very anxious about going to a new school where she might not know anyone (turned out she did, and made a new friend). She didn’t make it back that week, as she got 2 colds in little over a week, and that triggered a severe asthma attack. I was home Tuesday and she got to watch Star Wars for the first time, then that night I went to see The Last Jedi, and it was even sweeter for having just watched the original. Thursday I was home again, so I made her watch Phantom Menace and gave her an ice cream cone in the bathtub. History will decide if I’m the best or worst parent ever.

Nina

Friday Nina was better and we went to Jammin’ Java as planned for Todd Wright’s Annual Santa Clauster-f@%! Christmas Spectacular – some great Christmas songs, as usual. We usually have host a holiday party in early December, and because the Nutcracker rehearsals had taken all our Saturdays, tried having a party 2 days before Christmas. Surprisingly we had about average attendance and most importantly 7 kids so Nina had a blast. I had not hit Whamageddon yet, so I introduced Whamageddon Roulette – it was added to the playlist for the party (I hit it about an hour after the party during clean up).

Nina

Christmas Eve we headed to church, Nina opened her new pajamas and then we got to work. After all the gifts were wrapped and stockings were stuffed, it was time to break out the nog. Happiness abounded on Christmas – Nina’s favorite gift was a pink Polaroid camera from Nana (until the film runs out), lovely ham dinner with my dad and Patricia, and the Doctor Who Christmas Special was brilliant. Only bad part is that it was too cold for Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights with Nina still vulnerable and Jill coming down with bronchitis.

Nina

Nina was back at winter break camp on Boxing Day. Jill’s dad and his wife came to visit on Saturday the 30th, then Nina got to play games with the neighbors on New Year’s Eve before I made roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding for dinner. Nina asked to stay up until midnight, but we showed her the video of Times Square and she got to see the London fireworks before bedtime, then Jill and I had a games night with my new Christmas gifts until it was almost midnight, then we were in bed not much later.

Pepe Nina Meme

Artists To Watch 2018

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

Eyeball
Again this year my music buying was mostly online, free tracks from NoiseTrade, Bandcamp, and Amazon as well as preordering mp3s and CDs from Kickstarter and PledgeMusic.

Here’s a playlist of everything available on soundcloud.com.

Band Song Why them
01. Scars on 45 Crazy For You Opened for Tori Amos and blew me away.
02. Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie Red Sun You know them from Fleetwood Mac, but their new album together has some of the best songs they’ve written in years.
03. Little Silver Fall From Me A spin off from Hem with a fellow kindergartener on vocals.
04. Anthony D’Amato Rain On A Strange Roof Galloping pop in the Paul Simon vein.
05. The Secret Sisters He’s Fine Brandi Carlile produced and you can feel the influence.
06. The Struts Could Have Been Me Opened for the Foo Fighters at The Anthem and brought the glam power.
07. Good Lovelies I See Gold Lovely harmonies from these ladies.
08. Somerdale Take It From The Top Power pop in the Splitsville vein.
09. The Doubleclicks Extra Gin The only NSFW track here comes from this girl geek duo.
10. Corin Ashley Wind Up Boy Lovely Beatlesque tune with Belly’s Tanya Donelly.
11. Noah Guthrie Razor Blade Fromer Glee cast member rocks a little harder than you might expect.
12. JJ Heller Free Indeed I found her through her Christmas music.
13. See She Cries Great chourus, produced by the ledgendary Brad Wood.
14. The March Divide Exit Signs Their 80s covers were so great, I wanted to know if their originals were good, and they were.
15. Nicole Atkins A Little Crazy Patsy Cline-esqe throwback.
16. Adam Ezra Group Let Your Hair Down Folk-rockers were a FRFF discovery.
17. Callaghan Surrender My daughter and I found her at Jammin’ Java playing a matinee.
18. Joshua Radin High And Low Great chrous and beat.
19. Kim Pittinger Glass Heart It can’t be ATW without a Todd Wright co-write.
20. Cotton Mather Better Than A Hit Got that Stone Temple Pilots vibe.
21. The Daybreaks The Machine Kind of an 80s feel with a modern sound.
22. The Wild Reeds Catch And Release This one’s for Dave.
23. Heather Aubrey Lloyd The Animal Crackers Song Member of ilyAIMY steps out on her own.
24. Weird Al Yankovic Please Don’t Nuke Us, North Korea Serious and funny, just like Al, from Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (and a nice callback to “Christmas At Ground Zero”).

November

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Friday, the 1st was Spirit Day at Nina’s school, and she dressed up as her favorite book character: Princess Leia (made this old Star Wars fan proud). Lucky her I had a figure already, so she got to take the accompanying R2-D2 to school. That night I got to conclude my survey of piano goddesses with Tori Amos. And she had a 90s throwback night, even finished my Little Earthquakes bingo (I’ve seen every song live now). We had dinner before the show at Ginger – not bad, but we’d try something different the next time we were stuck at MGM National Harbor.

Nina

Saturday I took Nina to Plaza America’s Fall Fest after her cheer practice and swim lesson for face painting and crafts, then over to Nutcracker practice. Monday I got an ad for a whisky advent calendar in my Facebook feed right after I got it as a gift. Good job listening in, Zucks.

Nina

Tuesday the 7th I was in early so I left early for a late lunch of tacos and a beer – the new Crooked Run Brewing in Sterling has a Señor Ramon Taqueria hidden inside (and Rebounderz is across the street). Thursday I got a spot on my face checked – luckily benign. That night I substituted kimchi for sauerkraut in a Reuben. 10/10, would do again.

Nina

Saturday Nina had cheer team tryouts (she made it), then that night we got a real night out thanks to Sue (who’d arrived the night before). We drove to the Hampton Inn in NoMa Union Station, then had an exquisite dinner at Komi (the reviews were right about the goat). After a lovely full night’s rest, we went to the nearby Emporiyum, a pop-up food market next to Union Market. We enjoyed fried chicken with cinnamon-maple sauce in a waffle cone, shots of dumplings, and a doffle (a donut/waffle combo).

Jill Kerry

Friday, Jill, Sue and I joined Nina at school to watch a cute 2 song concert, then had Thanksgiving lunch with her in the cafeteria. Unfortunately the food was just as good as I remembered. That night I wanted to use up some roasted chicken and thought Pad Thai sounded good, but I only had peanut butter and spaghetti on hand, so I found a recipe for that. Once we were eating, Nina asked what it was, and when we told her “peanut butter noodles”, asked to try and liked it a lot.

Nina Jill

The next day Sue drove home with Maddy, then we headed up to Philly for Friendsgiving with the Shantyfolke. We didn’t have much time there besides dinner and some cookie decorating after a late start and traffic. Maybe next year we’ll spend the night, but this year we’d made plans to catch up with Jill’s grad school friend Kelly near Hershey who’s oldest daughter is Nina’s age. The girls had a great time playing that night, and we took them to a nearby playspace in the morning so they could run around before we hopped back in the car, taking a slight detour to get Sonic.

Nina Kerry

Our friends Meg & Toby beat us home from Friendsgiving Sunday and Nina got to play games with them. I found out my dad was in the hospital with kidney and prostate issues so I went to visit him – happily he’d be discharged 2 days later. Jill worked late Monday so I got Flippin’ Pizza for everyone, then played an epic Settlers of Catan game with Meg & Toby. Tuesday I made “peanut butter noodles” for everyone and after Nina’s bedtime played Cyanide and Happiness plus Cards Against Humanity.

Toby Nina Meg

Wednesday I thought this captured Nina in a nutshell. Thursday the 23rd Jill took Nina to The Star so I could cook, then we had the usual spread for Thanksgiving, and Nina tried all the trimmings – she finally likes stuffing and gravy. Very weird being just us 3, though. Friday we went to the Reston Holiday Parade, then to Kennedy Center to see the touching musical Me… Jane, and finally had a scrumptious dinner at District Commons (pumpkin beer cheese soup FTW).

Jill Nina

Saturday the 25th we started a week of Disney by going to see Coco (still with the Frozen short), then managed to finish packing with plenty of time before our flight to Orlando Sunday afternoon. We got to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort too late for anything but sleep – we were tired, plus Jill needed to be up early for her conference the next morning (we hadn’t planned to come back to Disney World so soon, but couldn’t pass up a deal where the room and her flight were paid for).

Kerry Nina

Monday was day 1: Animal Kingdom, and more importantly Stormalong Bay, the giant pool at our resort. But first we had to wait for our Amazon Now driver with our breakfasts and some medicine we forgot. After breakfast we explored the pool until Jill was done, got changed and had lunch next to the pool at Hurricane Hanna’s Grill (where the birds descended on Nina’s momentarily unguarded Pringles), then caught a bus over to Animal Kingdom. The only ride we didn’t have a FastPass for was of course the newest one with the longest line, Avatar Flight of Passage. We had a FastPass for the nearby Na’vi River Journey, so we did that and then started the line for Avatar Flight of Passage. Nina was a trouper and we made friends in line for the nearly 2 hour wait. But it was worth it, definitely the best ride I’ve ever been on.

Jill Nina Kerry

After that we crossed the park to ride Kali River Rapids as it was getting dark – not fun getting the most wet, but the smoke and fire on the ride is more pronounced then. We took our seats for Rivers of Light and enjoyed the show. I’d screwed up and made a reservation at Boma for dinner, which was in the Animal Kingdom Lodge and not the park. But when we found out it cost us $20 each to cancel, we toughed it out for what turned out to be one of my favorite meals, an African themed buffet. Our ride home took us to Disney Springs, and we took advantage of that to do our shopping there – good decision, we never made it back.

Jill Nina Kerry

Tuesday Nina and I spent another morning at the pool before changing and joining Jill and her Aunt Kelly for a meal at the Ale and Compass restaurant there in the resort. Then we walked over to Epcot to ride the Frozen Ever After ride and find a fun mariachi band in the nearby Mexican pavilion singing Coco songs – Nina was mesmerized. We rode the monorail over to Magic Kingdom where Nina got to meet up with Captain Jack Sparrow before we rode Pirates of the Caribbean. We were there for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Nina’s #1 request to meet Moana, who was only coming to the party. But I did my research and knew she was near the Swiss Family Treehouse, so Nina and I rode The Magic Carpets of Aladdin and then she dodged the spitting camel while we waited.

Nina

Moana was happily greeted then we had dinner along with what seemed like half the park at Columbia Harbour House. Later we rode the Haunted Mansion, which broke down for a couple minutes while we were riding it (Nina wasn’t too scared). Nina had said she didn’t need to meet any more princesses, but that changed quickly once we passed by where Aurora and Elena were greeting fans. We caught a show and a parade at Cinderella’s castle, then headed back to the resort.

Nina

Wednesday morning we didn’t have much time at Typhoon Lagoon because it was hard to get a certain child moving, but we got to go in the big wave pool and several giant slides. We all had lunch at the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop before taking the boat over to Hollywood Studios. Toy Story Mania was a hit, as well as the live action Star Wars show in the center (Nina’s already a big fan of Rey). We were happily surprised that For the First Time in Forever now featured the songs from the new short. We rode Star Tours and caught the live Beauty and the Beast before Nina and Jill rode the Tower of Terror. Then we watched Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular before having dinner at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano Dinner (second favorite meal there) and watched Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! before leaving (Jill was delighted by the nod to Nightmare Before Christmas).

Kerry Nina Jill

Thursday it was more pool time before it was back to Epcot on the boat for a full day. We found the line for Alice in Wonderland was very short as she was about to come out, giving us just enough time to make to the San Angel Inn for lunch. Delicious, but they didn’t seat us until 45 minutes after our reservation. Jill found Starbucks and Nina and I tried various soda flavors, then everyone enjoyed Soarin’ and Turtle Talk with Crush. Next Nina and I rode The Seas with Nemo & Friends, then Jill convinced Nina to get in line for Test Track and they enjoyed that. We headed to Germany to have dinner and a show at Biergarten, then watched some of the Candlelight Processional before walking back to the boat. It was nice to watch the Epcot fireworks from right outside our hotel before going inside to bed.

Kerry Nina Jill

October

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Sunday the 1st Nina played in the parking lot with the neighbor kids (skateboards, car washing, and microscopes), then my dad came over for lunch and computer help. Later she and I went to the Fall for Fairfax Kidsfest – I bought her an unlimited rides wristband and she went on everything she could.

Nina Dad

Monday I was sad as Tom Petty’s passing meant their were only 2 Wilburys left now. This seemed appropriate for all of today (including the Las Vegas shooting), from the last time I saw Tom Petty. Also, we must never forget this awesome “Wildflowers” b-side. I was also amazed by this double bill:

Rush/Petty

That week’s important work was: Not So Petty: A Tom Petty covers collection. Only one duplicated song, because I loved both versions of “Free Fallin'”.

A Bird in the Hand, a nest-like sculpture at Reston Town Center (and Nina’s favorite place to play hide and seek) was coming down, so Nina and I went over on Saturday the 7th for one last game on our way to Flavors of Fall (formerly Reston Oktoberfest). That night we all went to Disney On Ice (now with Moana). They’ve deployed new technology: a machine that can produce smoke in the middle of the air. I fear for our future.

Nina

Sunday Nina had some important musical education: karaoke “Free Fallin'”, guitar practice, and watching Rush’s “Exit Stage Left” to learn about double neck guitars. That night I met up with Linda and drove to The Wharf to check out the soft opening of The Anthem, the new giant club from the owner of the 9:30 Club. The lines to get in and at the bars were pretty crazy, and the way you got your food was insane (shouting out numbers during a rock concert?), but we got an interesting show: Danger Painters (with Bob Boilen and Michael Barron from Tiny Desk Unit), Bat Fangs (with Betsy Wright from Ex Hex), and The Messthetics (with Brendan Canty and Joe Lally from Fugazi). It was nice to get the feel of the club before the official opening. I tried to make the Little Silver show over at Galaxy Hut as well, but got to see some fellow elementary school alumni (Steve Curtis was a neighbor).

Kerry

Thursday I was back at The Anthem, this time with Rob for the sold out opening with the Foo Fighters. I was relieved that Metro would be running late due to the Nationals playoff game (no thanks to the skinflint owners). While waiting in line, I initially tried to get dinner at Shake Shack (all of the open restaurants had an hour long wait or more), then Rob texted me that he was walking past the Red Hook Lobster Pound kiosk and I hightailed it over there (we also got to see The Bacon Brothers performing a free show outside with fireworks afterwards). We missed the last minute added opener Trouble Funk, but The Struts were great fun. And the Foo Fighters are a heck of a band, great career spanning setlist. I could do without the 2:30am bedtime, though. I took a picture of my tickets to thank the owner for 25 years of his concerts.

tickets

Saturday the 14th Jill was out all day working and at a sewing class, but I kept Nina busy. After cheer class we went to the local fire station open house where she got to sit in the truck and use the hose. Later she had her swim lesson, then we went to Frying Pan Park’s Fall Festival, and finished up with the Comic Drawing Workshop for Kids, part of Fall for the Book. She did a hike the next day in Daisy Scouts with Jill.

Nina

Tuesday the power was scheduled to go out at 9AM, which was fun since that was Nina’s school picture day, but she was ready on time before the power went out. Saturday after swim lesson we went to the police station open house, then she got her face painted at the Woodland Park Crossing HarvestFest before she started practice for The Nutcracker.

Nina

Sunday started with kids fishing, then we had an afternoon at the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra at Strathmore (not bad, but it turned out it was music only, and Nina had requested it because she like the dancers in their videos). Traffic was so bad on the Beltway we diverted into DC, and made an last minute decision to have an early dinner at Cactus Cantina (Jill had been craving it, and I certainly didn’t mind the jalapeno margarita). Later we went out for an evening at The Glow before I got my homemade birthday carrot cake and Sue and Dave arrived for a visit. I’m another year older, I don’t know if I’m any wiser, and many more grey hairs. But I know to be true these wise words on marriage.

Jill Kerry Nina

Monday the 23rd we found out cancer took another good one. R.I.P. Sandy. Tuesday I was gobsmacked to find Darius Rucker covering a Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ classic (we played it at our wedding). Friday I actually had too many hours and left work early, getting a late lunch at the new Crooked Run Brewing in Sterling (they have a Senor Ramons Taqueria inside) before going to Home Depot and picking up new lights for the deck (a nice warm day for installation too). Saturday Nina tried on her costume and we went to Lane Anne for Boo & Brews (Nina did not get the brews).

Nina

On Halloween, Nina had a blast with the neighborhood kids, then I got a treat: my first concert with The Dresden Dolls. Of course they brought along a horde of zombie Madonnas, and an amazing Rage Against the Machine cover.

September

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Friday the 1st Nina and I went to JamBrew to see Todd Wright & Tommy Gann. I found out she didn’t like the school pizza and preferred the pizza they had there. Saturday was Nina’s birthday, but since we knew rainy and cool was not time to have a birthday party at a water park, we postponed it to the next day. But we had Dad and Patricia over for lunch, as well as Nina’s cousin Maddy, then Nina got cake and presents. That night Maddy stayed to babysit and Jill and I went out for an early anniversary sushi dinner at Sushi Prince.

Bryce Patricia Nina

Sunday was the party at the Water Mine. It was a little cool, but the sun helped; some kids had to cancel, but we sent out some last minute invites and still had a decent turnout. Afterwards I took Maddy back to her dorm, then continued on into DC and parked near the Capitol so I could watch Aoife O’Donovan rehearse with the NSO for their Labor Day concert (preferable to being out late on a school night). I tried to stop at Cactus Cantina on the way home because Jill had been craving it, but they stopped doing takeout at 6, so I got kabobs from Arlington Kabob instead (so good). While I was out, Jill took Nina to get her ears pierced (a birthday present).

Aoife

Thursday the 7th we all headed over to Wolf Trap to see Sting with Joe Sumner & The Last Bandoleros. Nina was a little more interested in playing with a girl she met there, but the show was good and we had a nice picnic dinner Jill put together.

Jill Nina

Saturday we flew up to Hartford and rented a car, had a quick lunch at Whole Deli, then picked up some supplies at Target. We drove over to Jill’s dad’s house and hung out with them for a while, then got changed before driving over to Andrea and Jim’s wedding at Wickham Park. The ceremony was lovely, Nina loved the outdoor photo booth, and it was nice seeing our Shantyfamily.

Kerry Nina Jill

We stayed with Melissa and her family that night. The next day was more of a chore, because the cheapest flight was at 6am, and due to mechanical issues we had a 5 hour delay. But we made it home without too much fuss.

Nina

Tuesday the 12th Nina read a book about the blues, listened to some songs, and made her own: “I’m So Sad”. I watched the new TV show “The Orville” and was pleasantly surprised that this felt far more like a Next Generation episode than anything else. Having Brennon Braga probably helps. Wednesday I took Nina to see Yes (West) at Wolf Trap. She was more interested in playing on the lighted handrail, but I was so happy they switched in “Changes” for “Lift Me Up” (I’d seen them do that last year).

Nina

Thursday I endured some truly horrible traffic to Annapolis to see Dennis DeYoung of Styx. The happy hour at Level: A Small Plates Lounge almost made the trip worth it on its own (maybe it was the 2 cocktails – but the food was mighty good). He put on a good show, and his pipes were in amazing shape for 70 (very odd that he has a Tommy Shaw soundalike sing lead on some songs, but maybe he needs some breaks).

Nina

Sunday the 17th Jill took Nina apple picking in the morning, and in the afternoon I took her to the Cox Farms Fall Festival where we met up with a friend and her mom. Monday I made a quick ramen – I have no idea why I never tried making it before. It was easy and delicious. Later I was looking for setlists for concerts I’d been to and found a real blast from the past.

Nina

Tuesday I went to an appointment and saw the Google Maps car on the way back. I also got an authentic Philly cheesesteak at Bolzano’s Deli for lunch. That evening I realized the mix CD we handed out as a wedding favor has a track from Nina Gordon (of Veruca Salt), Nina’s namesake. I was also thrilled to learn that my favorite book, Good Omens, had finally started filming the TV version.

Google car

Wednesday the 20th I went to VetsAid, a new charity concert for veterans created by Joe Walsh and featured him, the Zac Brown Band and Keith Urban. I came up with some new rules of concert etiquette:
1. Whensoever the house lights dim, thou must dim thy screen all the way down
2. If thou holdest the phone vertically while recording video, thou shalt be mocked
3. If thou leavest thy flash on, thou shall be stoned (and not the good kind)
My favorite cover that night was a tie: the Zac Brown Band’s mashup of “Kashmir/The Devil Went Down to Georgia” vs. their cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. But this song by Keith Urban was just incredible – never heard it before. I did wonder at what point did Joe Walsh turn into Neil Young – lots of long solos with plenty of feedback. Also, I was out way too late on a school night if the traffic lights in Fairfax are blinking on the way home.

Joe Walsh Zac Brown Keith Urban

Saturday the 23rd Nina auditioned for The Nutcracker her dance school is putting on – and she got a part. That night we got a babysitter for her, and Jill and I had dinner at Northside 10 (short rib poutine was great) before going to see Red Molly at The Birchmere, where we bought efo tix, saw Brian from WA9, and toasted missing friends.

Jill

Sunday Jill took Nina for one last pool visit before it closed. And I didn’t want to tell Nina, but I think I found the surprise she mentioned earlier in the day.

note

Saturday the 30th we went to a community yard sale in the morning (picked up some cheap pads so Nina could try skateboarding), took a walk around the Walker Nature Center with some neighbors, then got a babysitter so Jill and I could go see Dave Chappelle – just hilarious. Apparently they were filming for his Netflix special as well. It was weird having our phones locked inside a pouch though. Afterwards we had dessert at Co Co Sala.

Kerry Jill

August

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

We were still on vacation in Maine on Tuesday, August 1st. We went to visit the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in the morning, then met up with Mom and David to spend the afternoon at Pemaquid Beach, which is where Mom used to come to the beach when she was a girl. That evening we had dinner at Shaw’s Fish & Lobster Wharf, then ice cream at Harbor Ice Cream on the way back. Wednesday we drove back to Holyoke and hit a big rainstorm on the Mass Pike that had just missed Hillsdale.

Nina

Thursday morning Nina got an art lesson from Gram in the morning, then it was time to grocery shop and head over to the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. We had just finished getting our tent set up when the Cannons arrived. The girls got to run around and we got to hang out and meet up with everyone – I handed out the prints and magnets I’d made of the Lego print. For dinner I made quesadillas and fajitas with my portable single burner stove, and later got to see Abbie Gardner, Joe Crookston & Jesse Terry at the Lounge Stage.

Nina

Friday we took the kids over to the craft area for play and crafts. I did make a point of seeing Heather Aubrey Lloyd at the Emerging Artist Showcase, but most of the music I saw that day was later around the campfire. The girls discovered it was fun to attack the grownups with inflatable toys, and there was an 90s themed potluck Shantyballe that evening.

Nina

Saturday Nina and Penny danced with Jill and Jess in the dance tent, I got to see several acts including Brother Sun’s final appearance, The Slambovian Circus of Dreams featuring The Kennedys, and new find Upstate Rubdown twice. Sunday we tore down and left as early as possible because Jill had to work the next day, and traffic wasn’t as bad as it usually is (actually got home before dark).

Kerry Nina Jill

Wednesday the 9th Nina and I had a picnic dinner at Reston Town Center where she ended up running into her friend Meghana on the way to an unplanned bathroom break and they got to play together. Sunday I was pleased with the first (pitch perfect) casting announcement from the Good Omens TV series: Michael Sheen as Aziraphale and David Tennant as Crowley. The next day I wondered why “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” was stuck in my head.

Nina

Friday the 18th I was home with Nina as there was no camp, and took her to a 4 hour playdate with 2 other girls (there was much dressing up). That evening we went out for dinner at Not Your Average Joe’s where she didn’t find much she liked besides the bread and I tried the ramen (not bad). The next day Jill took her to a birthday party. Monday the 21st Jill got Nina out of school early for the eclipse while I watched from work – not as exciting as totality, we’ll try for that in 2024 (Mom’s house is in the path).

Nina

Tuesday the 22nd Jill’s sister Melissa came down with her husband and oldest daughter, who was starting her freshman year at Marymount. We all had Hunan East for dinner, then Jill helped them move in the next day. Nina was starting to get a little anxious about starting first grade in a new school, but Terraset had an open house on Thursday that did much to ease her anxiety – it helped that Jack (our neighbor) and Rose & Violet (from Daisy Scouts) were in her class. Sunday we had Lorna & Dave and Janice over for a Mid-lanty Shanty fajita dinner.

Nina

Nina was pretty excited for her first day of school on Monday the 28th. We all walked up Ridge Heights together, and she got to meet the tiger mascot.

Nina

July

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Nina had a playdate with her friend Olivia on Saturday July 2nd. It was Jill’s birthday, and her friend Emily (who shares her birthday) came up with her son for a couple days in the afternoon. Naturally we went to Wolf Trap for summer concert #3 to see The Little Mermaid (the colorblind casting was a delightful surprise). We didn’t stay until the end, and still didn’t get the kids in bed until after 11.

Nina

Sunday we went to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival where we watched The Hebei Golden Eagle Acrobatic Troupe and The Wallenda Family Troupe. Nina tried walking on a tightrope, and rode the carousel before we had lunch at the popup Irish pub there (the Irish Spring Rolls were delicious, as was the alcoholic popsicles). That night Jill’s nephew Jake came to stay with us.

Nina

Tuesday July 4th I took Nina and Jake to buy fireworks and we set them off later before taking the dock boat out on the lake to see the big booms. Wednesday we went to Tysons Corner for Shake Shack. We enjoyed a lot of fajitas in July as Nina decided she liked the marinade I tried (Pappasito’s secret is pineapple juice).

Nina

Thursday Jake went home and we headed to summer concert #4: Natalie Merchant at Wolf Trap. Still kind, still generous. Bonus: the kiddo fell asleep in the car, and we still got her in bed with only minor fussing. Saturday Nina and Jill went to see the dance of the daughter of one of Jill’s coworkers while I worked on the boat, then Sunday Jill and I picnicked with some of her knitting friends at Wolf Trap and saw summer concert #5: Neil Gaiman. I was delighted to hear some Good Omens cut scenes.

Nina

Thursday July 13th I noticed this was an accurate look inside a place if you’re a fan of American Gods or just weird roadside attractions. Saturday we picnicked at Arrowbrook Centre Park to see The Pietasters (my favorite ska band I went to high school with) and discovered Shantytowners Bill and Andrea had conspired to make a Lego version of Shantytowne.

Lego Shantytown(e)

Harold Cannon, late father of best bud Chris, made an album in 1958. After having an poor quality version for years, 2 copies popped up on eBay within a year. The first arrived snapped in half, but the second came from England in decent condition. I ripped it and put it up here Thursday.

Harold Cannon

The next night was Friday the 22nd and I’d bought tickets to see Robbie Schaefer previewing his new musical. Jill ended up had to work so I brought Nina with me. Unfortunately a panel on the bottom of my car came loose on one side on 66 and dragged on the ground. Luckily I always carry rope and after spending 5 minutes on the pavement after getting off in Rosslyn it held ok. We were almost there and hungry, so we drove the rest of the way to Shirlington on side streets and had dinner at Busboys & Poets, then walked over to Signature Theatre for Summer concert #7. The repair held on the slow trip home on 7, and Nina decided she was a big fan of “Stupid American”. Saturday was supposed to be a free Eddie From Ohio show at Arrowbrook Centre Park but got rained out, so we just went to Reston Town Center and had dinner at Hen Penny.

Nina Jill

Sunday morning I flew to Boston where Chris picked me up. We hung out at his house, then hit the road to Connecticut where we stopped at These Guys Brewing Company in Norwich for dinner (good beers, okay South Asian Beer Wings & Lobster Tater Tots). Then we drove over to Mohegan Sun for summer concert #8: Queen + Adam Lambert. Great show, almost as good as the company. The capacity was 3,935. May have been smallest venue on the tour – certainly felt like it. I took the train and subway early in the morning so I could catch an early flight and be back to work by lunchtime. I found out Nina had started her first knitting project while I was away.

Nina

Thursday July 26th was summer concert #9: Regina Spektor and Ben Folds. Alas, we didn’t stay for her encore when they performed together (school nights are tough). Saturday was the start of our summer vacation, up early with our first big stop at Jill’s dad’s house for lunch (with Meme and Robin and her family), then stayed at Jill’s sister’s house for the night (they had just bought an Alexa and everyone had fun interacting with it).

Nina Finn

Sunday morning (after Nina and Ava got to play outside) we drove to my sister’s house in Hingham – their first houseguests! We went to the Hingham Harbor Beach where Nina and Josh played in the sand, then we helped make spaghetti for dinner. Later we went out for Nona’s Homemade Ice Cream (we all got kiddie scoops because they were huge).

Nina Kerry

Monday the 31st we drove up to Pemaquid where we met my mom and my uncle – their uncle had a cottage up there and they used to come up during the summers when they were kids. The first night we went down to Pemaquid Seafood where I had a delicious lobster roll, then Jill and Nina decided to walk back the half a mile to the house we all stayed in.

Don Nancy Jill

June

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Friday June 2nd there was a massive Marvel collection sale on Kindle (which transfers to Comixology). I let Chris he could get the entire Star Wars run for $20. That night was a Daddy/daughter dinner night. Usually we’d just gone to Flippin’ Pizza, but Nina had seen the 2 person tables between Red’s table and Cafesano, and wanted to eat pizza plus Cafesano’s lentil soup. Too bad Cafesano didn’t have their lentil soup that night, but it was redeemed by feeding pizza crusts to the geese on the lake.

Nina

Saturday I took Nina to get a booster seat, then to her tee-ball game (Jill was gone for the weekend at Maddie’s graduation). That night we sold restaurant coupon books for the Reston Herndon Little League at the North Point Glory Days, then had dinner there with the family we were selling with (plus an ice cream cone afterwards). They have a genius drink called Shark Attack, which is a Sprite with a toy shark filled with red grenadine that they can mix in themselves (it was a big hit).

Nina

Sunday Nina and I went to the Herndon Festival, checked out the vendors, watched Cal Everett and Nelly’s Echo, ate some food, and did some arts and crafts. I let Nina get one thing from the vendors, and after much consideration, she went with a rainbow ponytail holder. That night I watched The Leftovers finale – I didn’t have great expectations of this series, even with one of the creators of Lost, but I really enjoyed seasons 2 & 3. The last episode really stuck the landing.

Nina

Wednesday the 7th it was Nina’s graduation from Sunset Hills Montessori after 4 years there. I had to go back to work afterwards, but Sue came to visit and she and Jill took Nina out to lunch and to Zoofari. Thursday Sue watched Nina in the morning, then Jill and I came home from work to take her to her class party in the afternoon (which included an ice cream truck).

Nina

Saturday the 10th was Nina’s final tee-ball of the season. Dad and Patricia came in addition to Sue. That evening Jill, Nina and I went over to Celebrate Fairfax. I got to eat from a delicious Indian food truck and see some of Vertical Horizon and Everclear, and Nina got to ride a lot of rides; the Ferris Wheel was her favorite.

Nina, Dad & Patricia

Friday the 16th Nina had her rehearsal for her dance recital the next day, then Nina and Sue and I went to Red’s Table for dinner (Nina refused to have anything but fries). I was disappointed to learn that night that half.com would be closing. Nina’s recital the next day went well, then Jill and Sue went to Leesburg for tea, and I took Nina to the Bready Park playground and the Taste of Reston (she really liked the Hen Penny fried chicken and no longer liked her old favorite strawberries dipped in chocolate). I was glad I had a change of clothes for her as the thing she most wanted to do was go to the spraypark.

Kerry Nina Jill

Sunday I got a great Father’s Day with 2 of my favorite Davids: Tennant and Matthews. First up was Awesome Con where we got there just in time for our photo with two Doctor Who castmembers: David Tennant and John Barrowman. We got to meet some comic creators and Nina got some prints and coloring books, and she was more excited to get her picture taken with Shimmer and Shine. We drove up to Columbia and stopped at a playground for a bit, then had dinner at the Mall of Columbia (the Veracruz salad from Noodles & Company is delicious), then over to Merriweather Post Pavilion for Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds.

Us, David Tennant and John Barrowman

Friday the 23rd was Summer concert #1: Jonathan Coulton and Aimee Mann. That was friggin’ delightful (if she’s looking for another partner after Ted Leo, he’d be perfect), and the surprise duet at the end on “Voices Carry” was welcome. Saturday we took Nina to The Burger Shack for diner, then to Monster Mini Golf where her tee-ball team had a party for selling the most coupons. It was Nina’s first time playing mini golf, and she had a blast (I also enjoyed playing Aliens: Armageddon while they golfed).

Nina

Monday the 26th I was excited to see Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie that night at Wolf Trap for Summer Concert #2. I was surprised by how much I like their album, considering how meh I was on his last 2 solo albums. I wouldn’t have argued if they’d slapped the Fleetwood Mac name on this. Then Jill got a sinus infection, and I had to sell her ticket. It was a fine way to kick off the Wolf Trap season, great mix of new and classic songs. Nina also started a new camp that day with the Reston Association, her first camp not at school. Happily she loved it, especially going to the pool just about every day.

Nina

May

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Saturday the 6th Nina and I went to the Lake Anne Farmer’s Market to meet up with another family to sell restaurant coupon books to raise money for tee-ball (she did pretty well, cleared $108). Then we went over to Vienna where she had a Frosty and french fries at Wendy’s because she’d turned her nose up at the kettle corn she asked for. We checked out Free Comic Book Day at Big Planet Comics, then Jill took her to a ballet themed birthday party. Sunday I took her to another birthday party at Jumping Jack Sports.

Nina

Nina was excited the next week to start her writing journal in kindergarten and to go on a field trip to Imagination Stage to see The Jungle Book (although her favorite thing about the field trip was the nearby playground they went to when they showed up early because of light traffic on the way to Bethesda).

Nina

My mom and David came to visit on Thursday the 11th and got to join Nina and me for dinner at Flippin’ Pizza for our weekly trip Friday. They were hoping to see Nina play tee-ball Saturday, but the game was rained out. They got to see her at her swim lesson instead. That night was the 50th anniversary concert of the Reston Chorale, so Nina went to babysitting at school while the rest of us attended that (Jill and I also snuck in a nightcap at Red’s Table).

Nina Mom

Sunday a neighbor turned 4, got a new bike, and learned to ride it in 10 minutes. We were concerned because since Nina got a bike and scooter for Christmas, she’d only wanted to ride her scooter while the kids her age were learning to ride bikes. Turns out we didn’t need to be worried – it took her 5 minutes to learn to ride. In the evening we had a nice Mother’s Day dinner at Gregorio’s Trattoria.

Nina

Tuesday the 16th I went to see Heather Nova & her brother Mishka at the Birchmere, then Thursday listened to a lot of Soundgarden as Chris Cornell had passed, then downloaded videos from the last solo show I saw. I can’t believe I only saw him 4 times. What a powerful voice. R.I.P. Nina got to go bowling with her teachers and her friend Abby that day (we’d won the outing in a fundraising auction).

Nina

Nina was excited on Saturday as she finally got her booster seat (in Jill’s car) after her fun run with Jill and her tee-ball game. That evening was her final Daisy Scouts meeting of the season as families were invited to roast s’mores and sing songs around the campfire at the Walker Nature Center Campfire Ring. Sunday we met up with the Norwoods and another family and had brunch at Silver Diner, then went over to the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.

Nina

Since I’d been listening to a lot of sludgy progressive metal for some reason, I followed it up on Wednesday the 24th by seeing Tool. Too bad my friend (and superfan) Jay wasn’t here, they were rocking.

Nina

Memorial Day weekend was fairly rainy on Friday and Saturday, tee-ball was canceled and Jill and Nina reorganized the living room. We also listened to a lot of music: The new Barenaked Ladies album is their best since Snacktime, and then we got the news that Gregg Allman had passed on Saturday and I knew what I was listening to that night, the 2004 Allman Brothers Band show Stuart and I saw. Memorial Day was sunny and we went over to Viva Vienna where Nina got the henna she’d been wanting, plus got to see her friend Abby.

Nina

April

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Saturday the 1st I took Nina to a birthday party at Rebounderz (think trampoline heaven). We were supposed to have Nina’s first tee-ball practice that afternoon, but it was raining and the fields were closed.

Nina

Thursday I sat in a chair most of the day like any other weekday, but previous to that there was a plane and subway ride and my view was band rehearsals for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame instead of a computer. I arrived in Brooklyn around 8:30AM to windy and cold conditions, made my first stop a bodega for an umbrella and walked around. I found Brooklyn Crêpe & Juice Bar and waited for them to open at 9, had a quick breakfast of a crêpe and a smoothie and was at Barclays Center right at 9:30.

Journey

First up was Journey. For all the rehearsals they seated us in section 23, and there wasn’t much happening on stage yet – Gregg Rollie and Jonathan Cain were at their keyboards. Steve Smith sat at the drum set, and they started playing “Separate Ways”. After that, Ross Valory, Neal Schon, and Arnel Pineda joined them on stage and ran through “Separate Ways” again – Gregg did not play keys. There was some discussion after that and Arnel teased “I’m Cryin'” and “Patiently”, then one more time through “Separate Ways”. Aynsley Dunbar switched in on drums and they played “Lights”. Arnel stepped off for a discussion, and the rest of the band played “Lights” again (with backing vocals). Then they were ready for a full run through: Gregg and Aynsley left and the band played the intro for “Separate Ways” and stopped, then played the whole song. Neal introduced Gregg and Aynsley and they played “Lights” together, then Gregg and Aynsley left again. Finally they played “Don’t Stop Believin'” of course, then Arnel had to leave and the band played “Don’t Stop Believin'” again (with backing vocals). No sign of Steve Perry, but I was not surprised. “Don’t Stop Believing” still sounded fantastic even without vocals.

Journey

There was a break after that and I walked over to Bricolage for lunch where I had the 5-Spiced Fried Chicken and a beer, as well as an iced tea to go (I was feeling my 4AM wakeup by then). I made my way back to Barclays and they were still setting up instruments, and we watched the Chuck Berry and Journey videos they would show the next night. Finally Electric Light Orchestra was ready to go – but Jeff Lynne wasn’t there. So they ran through “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Evil Woman” without him, playing riffs of Yes’ “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (bassist Lee Pomeroy is also a member of Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman) and Rush’s “Cygnus X-1” in between. Finally Jeff rolled in, grabbed his guitar and got down to business and they went through the whole set twice: “Roll Over Beethoven”, “Evil Woman”, and “Mr. Blue Sky”. Then he left, and we left. They sounded as tight as they did when I saw them in September, but I was surprised that Richard Tandy didn’t join them this time (I learned later he wasn’t well).

Nina

They’d asked us to leave the arena between Journey and ELO, but this time they just asked us to go to the concourse where I charged my phone and read. They let us back in about 30 minutes later, and soundcheck was still going on. Yes was the rehearsal I was most excited to see, and the rumors were quickly proven true, as out came most of the Union era lineup (Steve Howe, Alan White, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, and Trevor Rabin) as well the one and only Geddy Lee (of Rush) slappin’ that bass on “Roundabout”. And then something more amazing happened. The other song Yes was doing is “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (and Steve played bass on that – founding member Chris Squire was the bass player prior to his death two years ago). Jon wasn’t happy with the chorus, and looked over at the audience and asked if we knew the words. Quick as a flash half of us were on stage behind a microphone. Unfortunately the powers that be put the kibosh on it, but Geddy was standing 10 feet from me. So now I can say I’ve shared the stage with Geddy Lee. They ran through “Roundabout” and “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” one more time after that. Also Alex Lifeson was sitting at the table closest to the stage watching the whole thing.

Jon and Geddy

After sitting all day, I made up for it by taking the subway to Manhattan and walking around NYU. I found Generation Records to shop in, then met up with my friend (and host for the trip) Chris. We walked over to nearby Tim Ho Wan where he knew we wouldn’t have to wait if we ate standing up at the bar and shared some delicious dim sum (especially their dumplings). I managed to get on the wrong subway line back to Brooklyn necessitating a long walk to transfer to the correct one. I was tired after my very long day, but I rallied to leave the apartment and make it the half block to the grocery store to buy some Lithuanian beer that convincingly replicates US craft brew labels. Too bad I hurt my foot not paying attention to the step down from the bathroom.

beer

The next morning I was limping and decided not to go shopping as I’d planned, instead got a Bulgogi cheese steak from Hanki before getting back in a seat at a Barclays for Pearl Jam’s rehearsal. It was more crowded and enthusiastic as we waited for the band – the techs tuning got cheers when we recognized parts of “Daughter” and “Better Man”. They started and stopped “Not For You” and “Better Man” before the band entered. First drummer Dave Krusen played as they went through “Alive”, then Matt Cameron took over. Mike McCready played the riff to “Black Diamond” as they waited, then they played “Given To Fly”. They got through the intro of “Better Man”, then stopped, then played the whole thing and they were done. Next, “set for finale” announced a voice and soon Alex Lifeson appeared stage right playing what sounded like the intro to “Rockin’ In The Free World”. Soon Geddy Lee, Dhani Harrison, Jonathan Cain, Neal Schon, and Trevor Rabin joined the band and they played it one time through. We also got to see Geddy and Alex’s induction speech and some of Dhani Harrison’s speech before they kicked us out.

finale

My foot was feeling better and I was walking close to normal, so I did manage to go to Fifth Avenue Record Shop and Music Matters before taking a break. I was back at Barclays for the end of cocktail hour, where I found out my life was not all roses – a Pearl Jam fan saw my Rush shirt and asked me who he got pictures with. It was Geddy and Alex. Sigh. Someday. At least the bar had Magic Hat #9 on draft. Also Barclays closed all the cool local food vendors I had planned on eating at. At least Nathan’s is authentic NYC. The ceremony itself was great, the Joan Baez and Lenny Kravitz segments were great and Tupac was ok. Things I learned that night:

  • Rick Wakeman should get a job as a comedian
  • Steve Perry ain’t ever playing with Journey again
  • Geddy and Alex are awesome (OK, I already knew that)
  • If you go get a drink after a show with a fraternity brother (Henry), be prepared to hang out until it appears they’ve started closing the bar down (at the North Pole Pub).
  • If the train you’re looking for shows up on the express side instead of local DON’T get on it (then later I found out that due to construction there was no local stop there, but I might have switched lines if I knew that).
  • Googling “how to unfold a futon” saves you from waking up your host or sleeping on a couch.
  • You can see the back of me in the lower left corner of the picture below.

Me and Yes

My trip back had only one bit of excitement – my determination to get the Cubano I’d missed the night before took so long I nearly missed boarding my flight (it was 100 feet away, but still). The next day was Nina’s first tee-ball practice, and she really enjoyed it (she was a natural at batting, need some work throwing and catching).

Nina

Thursday the 13th was Jill and Nina’s turn to travel – up to Massachusetts for Easter on the train. After some long days at work to make up hours, I spent most of Saturday cleaning and sealing the dock boat. Then I followed up the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a tribute to Pete Seeger, who would surely be in a Folk Hall of Fame. I started with a lamb burger at Red Apron Burger Bar, then walked over to Foggy Bottom and took the shuttle to the Kennedy Center. The night was like a super-sized Falcon Ridge Folk Festival workshop. I was pleased that Judy Collins, like Joan Baez the previous week, still possesses her full powers (she brought the house down with “Both Sides Now”). Too bad I had to skip Peter Yarrow & Noel Paul Stookey to catch the last train home. The next day I got to drown my sorrows that Barclays Center had closed all the cool Brooklyn food stands with all that Nats Park has to offer (like kimchi tater tots) with my dad (celebrating his birthday).

Nina

Nina had a great time celebrating Easter with her cousins, even lost her fourth tooth. She visited the Zoo in Forest Park there, and then her class took a field trip to the National Zoo on Thursday the 20th. Saturday was the official start of tee-ball season and Nina got to meet Nationals mascots Teddy and Abe before she walked in a parade with her team. Unfortunately rain started at the end and the rally and the games afterwards were washed out (but Nina and I had breakfast at Ted’s Bulletin). Jill’s mom had surgery a couple days earlier and recovery wasn’t going well, so Jill decided to go up and help out on Sunday, so it was just Nina and me until Thursday night (her mom’s doing much better now). When I took Nina to Daisy Scouts on Sunday I had a fun experience as we were listening to a new CD by Peter Mulvey in the car and he slipped a “f*ck” into the first verse of 2 songs in a row.

Nina

Friday there was a meme about 10 bands you’ve seen (and one is a lie). Everyone knows I’ve seen way too many bands to participate in that meme. So I did a different one: 10 bands with special guests on stage, one is a lie:

  • John Mellencamp (with Tiffany)
  • The Dead (with Tipper Gore)
  • Metallica (with Ray Davies)
  • U2 (with The Black Eyed Peas)
  • R.E.M. (with Thom Yorke)
  • Fleetwood Mac (with Warren Haynes)
  • Dave Matthews Band (with Herbie Hancock)
  • Yes (with Geddy Lee)
  • The Wallflowers (with Jewel)
  • George Michael (with Garth Brooks)

Answer: Fleetwood Mac

Nina

Saturday the 29th was Nina’s first tee-ball game, and I never knew watching it could be so stressful. Things I’ve said:

  • Watch the ball!
  • Stop fighting over the ball!
  • Get your glove off your head!
  • Run to first! No, the other way!
  • Stop climbing the dugout!
  • Stop digging in the dugout!
  • Stop watching the boy peeing in the woods!

We followed that with her school’s International Day and then her swim lesson, and we all needed a break after that. Nicely timed was an offer by Janice to host dinner as Tony and Charissa were down picking up Stuart’s train set.

Nina

Sunday I again went to watch the Nationals with my dad, this time bringing along Nina and Jill for the first time in two and three years, respectively. As I hoped Nina was much more into the game now. The Nats were up 5-1 after 1 inning. Nina may be a good luck charm. She certainly can scream loud enough to be heard from across the field. They finished off the Mets 23–5, one of their biggest offensive performances ever. That night I noted that the new season of Silicon Valley is now 2 for 2 with laugh out loud moments at the end of each episode.

Nina Dad