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Archive for April, 2006

Is “Purple Rain” a folk song?

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

‘Cause it made it into the first set of Newfoundland folk tunes by eclectic folk rockers Great Big Sea Friday night. It fit, though, and the audience lapped it up.

I grilled burgers and dogs for my coworkers for lunch Friday, which was fun, but didn’t get home as early as I’d thought as a result. Luckily neither of us were interested in dinner, so we got going. Took 66 to East Falls Church, then Metro to Foggy Bottom, where it was a quick walk to Lisner Auditorium. The show had started, but it looks like we walked in on the second song. Show was good – they did all traditional folk songs in the first set (plus the aforementioned “Purple Rain”), then did all their own material in the second.

We enjoyed the show immensely, but it’d been a long week, and we left shortly before the end of the second set. Jill went straight to bed, but I decided to finish my newspapers first. It was good to wake up Saturday refreshed. Jill ran a couple errands, then we went off for the afternoon, going to library booksales and Don Pablo’s (y’know, I wanted the recipe for their queso, but I don’t believe the one on their site is correct). I had the appetizer sampler, and between that and a side salad, couldn’t finish. No drinks, as I wasn’t interested and Jill didn’t have her license (it turned out she lost it near the ATM, as there was a phone message from the bank when we got back).

Saturday night Jill wanted Cold Stone ice cream, so she went to get some. An hour later, she was back, swearing never to go again on weekend. It was good, but I was disappointed they pulled my fave ice cream (carrot cake batter, I settled for sweet cream). Jill was on call and got called in twice, at 8 and 11. Between calls we caught up on two eps of Desperate Housewives, then I read, made some DVDs, and watched SNL. We went to bed when she got back after 2.

Today was chore day. Jill went to Costco, Home Depot, and the nursery for various green things, while I made huevos rancheros and cleaned up the kitchen. Then she started planting grass in front (the grass planted on the bald spots earlier hadn’t taken) while I cleaned the deck and patio. Then she put plants in in back (no more freezes hopefully). We watched Alias, then I headed up here. Tonight, steaks – either by themselves or in fajitas (no such thing as too much Mexican food).

Shall I taunt you a second time?

Friday, April 28th, 2006

With Ver-monty Python?

Code Monkey

Friday, April 28th, 2006

Ok, he got slashdotted something awful last week, so I didn’t have a chance to listen to the song, but I was reminded of it when I saw Jonathan Coulton’s opening for Paul and Storm at Jammin’ Java in May. It’s a classic song for all the folks who enoyed Weird Al’s “All About the Pentiums” and Da Vinci’s Notebook’s “The Gates”. Download “Code Monkey” here.

Up-z-dating

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

Not too much going on this week. Jill’s still getting over a persistent cough. Her mom was in for some minor surgery and is out and doing well. We went to see Paul and Storm opening for the Bobs last night, both had excellent sets, and we ran into an old friend there.

Tonight we’re cleaning the house; I’m having some coworkers over for lunch tomorrow, and we needed to clean up soon as we’re having a low-key Cinco de Mayo shindig as well. Pretty much caught up on TV and papers, but we’re behind on the shows we watch together.

Not too much going on this weekend. Tomorrow there’s Great Big Sea at Lisner, and three different library booksales on Saturday, but we could use some rest and recuperation.

Rain and Sun

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

Friday I went over to shop at my favorite shop, CD Cellar in Falls Church. I hit their clearance and singles section, didn’t pick up a thing over $2. Then I met my mom and sister for dinner at Tippy’s Taco House in Merrifield. I got the special, which was a burrito and two tacos. My sister was leaving the next day for a week in Hong Kong, a week in China, and a week in South Korea, so it was my last chance to see her. We chatted until they started vacuuming, then went our separate ways.

Jill was just finishing dinner when I got back (she didn’t join us, just grabbed dinner at Chipotle on the way home. Illa had thrown up, so she was watching him. He was fine the rest of the evening, so I gave him the rest of his dinner. I watched Smallville and C in C, read some papers, and surfed while Jill went to bed early to work.

I got up around 10:30 on Saturday morning. I showered and stretched, then went to take Illa for a walk in the rain. I thought it’d be a short one, but he was eating grass to induce vomiting, so I ended up taking him around for over an hour. We were both soaked by the time we got back inside. Around 3, I ran to Wolf Trap to exchange some tix (decided to go see Paul & Storm and The Bobs instead of Lucy Kaplansky so we could have people over that night), then went grocery shopping. It’d stopped raining when I left the house, but the skies opened as I was driving home from the grocery store. I hustled everything inside, but between that and walking Illa, I had to change into a third pair of socks before I went out again.

I took the 950 Fairfax Connector from Herndon to West Falls Church where my mom picked me up. Then we drove into Georgetown to pick Jill up from work (although I forgot her change of clothes) and drove up to Kensington. We had a decent dinner at Kensington Pizza and Kebabs (gyro for Jill, chicken souvlaki for me), but we were there to see my friend Chris’s mother headline in Kind Lady, an interesting thriller about a lady and a con man. She was very good, and Mom and Jill didn’t notice their smooth coverup of a prop messup.

Home after that, as we got up early Sunday to go horseback riding with the DC Ski Club (yeah, odd event, but they do events year round). We carpooled with a guy from DC, and were a little nervous as it was raining heavily less than 30 minutes before we arrived. But not only did the rain stop, the skies cleared and the sun shone as we rode. I rode Poncho and Jill got Geronimo. Poncho did not like walking in wet spots, and went to great lengths to avoid it. We had a bit of excitement when the horse in front of me was spooked by a tree branch falling, and Poncho did a 180 and tried to keep going before I stopped him. It was my first time riding, and it was fun, but I don’t know if I’d do it again.

After the ride, most of the group went to Farfelu Winery for a tasting. Jill enjoys their wine, which is why she was disappointed to hear they’d close at the end of the year. But the tasting was fun, and we got some cheese and sausage and ate it on their porch before heading back. I went outside on the deck and cleaned the grill, then grilled the chicken I’d been marinating and ribs for tomorrow. Jill hasn’t been feeling well, and rested before she took Illa for a walk. When they got back, I boiled pasta and broccoli, then added the chicken and the pesto I’d already made. Next – some of our TV backlog.

Ticket fun

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

Two sets of tix purchased today. First was Fiona Apple at Wolf Trap July 31st. I’m a Wolf Trap member, so I get advance access to ticket sales. For the summer season, they send out a big form with all the acts booked a month or so before the public sale, I fill out what I want and send it in. I got the tickets back this week (for Bonnie Raitt, Beach Boys, and eddie from ohio), and they were ok. Closest we got was 3rd row pit for efo, and I kinda expected that. So four shows went onsale today (public onsale is tomorrow), and they had us call tickets.com and give them a special password. They went on sale at 10AM, and I lost track of time and didn’t start dialing until 10:03. I didn’t get into the system until 10:10, and was on hold until 10:20. I didn’t have hope of great seats, but I told the lady to try the pit anyway. Front row! On the side, but still pretty sweet.

The second show was Extreme at Foxwoods July 2nd. Looks like we’ll go see them in Boston on the 30th, then someone wants to visit Martha’s Vineyard on her birthday, then we’ll catch them at Foxwoods (skipping the Huntington Beach show). The tix at Foxwoods were in two sections: Maitre d’ and reserved. The ones closest to the stage are seated “at the Maitre d’s discretion”. I don’t know what the heck that means. Do we have to be high rollers, or do we need to grease the Maitre d’s palm, or do we just need to look good? Ah well, we’ll see.

Oh no you di-int

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Stephen Colbert had a segment on Tuesday night’s show about did Jesus really walk on water. The article suggests that the water temperature was colder then, and perhaps Jesus actually walked on ice on the water. Stephen refuted this by playing a clip of the Cars “Magic”, where singer Ric Ocasek walks on the water, saying since it was obviously summer when the video was shot, then there doesn’t have to be ice to walk on water. And for an expert commentary, he brought on Ric Ocasek himself.

That was pretty funny, but my LOL moment hadn’t arrived yet. First, you have to know that the surviving Cars members are touring with another ’70s singer, Todd Rundgren, on lead vocals, and that Ric Ocasek is usually a pretty laid back guy. So after Stephen put the Journal of Paleolimnology (where the article was published) on notice (on his board), he asked Ric if there was anyone he wanted to put on notice, and when Ric said “How about Todd Rundgren?”, I laughed hysterically.

Ok, I’m a music geek, but I thought it was funny.

I also liked Wednesday’s Daily Show’s tribute to Scott McClellan montage set to “More Than Words”.

Save The Internet

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Save The Internet is a new campaign from moveon.org that I think anyone using the internet can support:

Congress is now pushing a law that would end the free and open Internet as we know it. Internet providers like AT&T and Verizon are lobbying Congress hard to gut Network Neutrality, the Internet’s First Amendment. Net Neutrality prevents AT&T from choosing which websites open most easily for you based on which site pays AT&T more. So Amazon doesn’t have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to work more properly on your computer.

Here’s what I wrote:

Dear member of Congress,

I think it is vital to maintain or technological edge in this wired world by not allowing companies to pay for better access. This nation already has enough inequality – let’s not create more.

No more American Idol

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

I watched last week’s shows because they not only did the music of Queen, they went right to the source for advice. I’d never watched more than a minute of the show before, and was surprised at the lack of vocal ability of the contestants (Jill had to leave the room during “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Who Wants To Live Forever”). I’d hoped to see more of Queen and Paul Rodgers, but didn’t enjoy much of the performances or the judging. I did like the performance of “Innuendo”, but enough to tune in again to see Chris. I guess I don’t really enjoy any reality TV.

I found it interesting that Brian May’s “conflict” with Ace was mostly manufactured in editing, according to Brian:

It was edited in such a way that it looked as if I was purely negative – they very naughtily inserted a bit that I said about “not on my own song” so it appeared that I said it AFTER we had played together, which was not the way it happened …making me look like I was against the whole thing.

Club Pet & stuck heads

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

Illa loves Club Pet in Chantilly. He’s been there four times now, once for two weeks while we were in Europe, and three time for weekend trip when we went to Boston, Toronto, and Holyoke. The runs are the biggest of any of the local kennels, there’s chain link outside so he can see and smell the other dogs, they let you bring your own food (and treats) and we took advantage of the additional service to walk him twice a day (and give him a bath as well). When he comes home, he races around to reacquaint himself for a couple minutes, then curls up and sleeps for the rest of the day.

One problem on the way home from there yesterday. We have a harness and buckle to hook him into a back seat seatbelt now, and it’s been working fairly well, as long as he doesn’t get himself too tangled. I was driving on home on 606 when a pickup on my left started honking. I had the back windows down just enough for him to poke his snout out, and he’d managed to get his whole head out, and was stuck. I put the windows down more, and he didn’t try to put his nose out anymore that trip. He was weirded out but fine, right as rain when it came time for a post ride walk.

It’d been weird the night before I was totally alone in the house for the first time in 8 months. Very quiet. But yesterday wasn’t too noisy as he did settle down after checking things out. I caught up on papers, finished watching Commander in Chief, watched SNL and Sopranos, and grilled a burger for dinner. Tonight hasn’t been much busier, I took hime for a long walk when I got home, then watched West Wing and the rest of Crash while I made reubens and paid bills.