More hairless beasts!

Monday Jill and I went to see our friends Ron and Susan. We hadn’t seen them for a while due to so employment issues, but they’re doing much better now. Anyway, they’ve had guinea pigs as long as I’ve known them, and Jill is an ex pig owner herself, so it’s always a topic of discussion. Imagine our surprise as instead of the 2 guinea pigs we were expecting, there were 10! And 2 rabbits!

They are boarding them temporarily for a lady who runs a pig and rabbit rescue operation and is fostering them – she’s trying to sell her house. The shocker was the 3 skinny pigs, also known as hairless guinea pigs. They immediately reminded me of larger version of the hairless rats Mel used to have. They’re very warm to the touch, and just tufts of hair on the snout and feet. Jill and Susan think we should adopt some – I think they’re cute, but we should only have them if it happens naturally.

Ze weekend

Friday, Jill and I cruised over to Jammin’ Java, where we met up with fellow Edheads. It seemed to me like there were more Edheads at Friday’s show (at least ones I know), and a livelier crowd. The same lines Robbie got a huge laugh with Friday got nothing on Saturday.

Mike Clem opened Friday’s show, for what he described as his first solo show in 20 years, since he was asked to play music at a wedding, where “I only knew one song” (why am I picturing “Rawhide”), and “the marriage broke up soon”. There was no “blow factor”, just a handful of new songs and one classic. My early fave is “ISO”, about looking for love in the want ads. The audience singalong during “Rosencrantz” was fun as well.

Robbie had a couple of surprises in store. 3 new songs (“Love Finds Its Own Way”, “And The Rain Crashed Down”, and “Somewhere In The Evening”) were premiered (only “And The Rain Crashed Down” is a definite title, others don’t have titles). “And The Rain Crashed Down” is a rocker that is planned to go on the new CD. A nice cover of “You May Be Right” was fun, and “Independence, Indiana” featured an electric guitar for the first time I’d seen (apparently planned on recording it that way).

Next, we hit Mo’s island themed party, where various people risked public humiliation by playing video games where you dance. We got to see Mel and Scott’s honeymoon pics, and have Mo-garitas.

Saturday we slept in some, then drove to Old Town Alexandria to the Storehouse there to pick up the new bookcase. We took the GW parkway there to avoid the already backed up Beltway, and once we had the bookcase, took all back roads home – it took an hour and a half to get home. We got the bookcase inside just as Mom got there. We went to eat at the Amphora restaurant in Herndon, which will be the site of the rehersal dinner. Looks like we’ll get the prime rib and salmon for entrees, and the chocolate raspberry cake for dessert (great icing).

Saturday night we went back to Jammin’ Java. Robbie was solo, but mixed it up some. He prefaced “Baltimore” by saying it’s not on his solo CD because of the POV, and when someone snickered after the first line, he lost it, and had to start over twice. The unquestioned highlight of the night for me was the debut of “Over The Hills And Far Away” on electric guitar – very rock and roll and a lot of fun.

Jill wanted to read, so she hung out in back near the coffee shop while I watched the show. Afterwards, we waited for Shelly (who was selling merch) so she could follow us home and crash in the guestroom. We stayed up talking for a while – I had to go to sleep around 2, while Jill and Shelly stayed up another hour.

Sunday we didn’t get up until around noon. I stretched while Jill made breakfast (eggs benedict) and then went rollerblading. Next, I put the bookcase together. It was 4PM by the time I was done, so I showered and read the paper. I made steak and chicken fajitas for dinner, then we watched “Simpsons”, Jill surfed while I watched “Sopranos”, then she watched “Deadwood” and Lewis Black’s new stand up special with me. It was raining so hard during the latter one, we actually lost satellite feed for a while – that hasn’t happened in a long time.

This week’s shows

Tonight, Angie Aparo of the amazing range (can’t think of another guy who can sing so high) with Willy Porter at the Birchmere

Friday and Saturday, Robbie Schaefer from Eddie From Ohio is playing two shows at Jammin’ Java to celebrate his new solo live CD. His band mate Mike Clem opens Friday (which is why Jill will be joining me that day).

One of the reasons I love Jammin’ Java is the Brindley Brothers own and run it. In addition to being really nice, they run the place with a loose hand. It’s one of the few places indoors that will allow me to videotape shows (with the artist’s permission of course). I usually ask before each show – I’ve videotaped Robbie several times there. I have not taped Mike before; after I emailed Robbie, I emailed Mike, and got the following:

“gee, i was getting a little jealous there…. like a lonely matchstick girl peering in the donut shop window at the fresh baked goods with but two pence to my name…

Permission granted. Please use the soft lens on me. The camera adds ten pounds, right?”

I expect more of the same at the show.

A Wrinkle In Time

I watched the TV movie of A Wrinkle In Time on Monday. It’s one of the first books I read that I still have (and you can tell, my copies of the series are pretty banged up), and probably responsible, along with “Star Wars”, for my early love of speculative fiction.

The movie was surpisingly good – the children cast, especially David Dorfman as Charles Wallace, did a great job. Jill and I recently watched the BBC version of “Chronicles Of Narnia”, and I had a hard time with both the children cast and the horrible special effects. The effects in “AWIT” were decent (I didn’t like the winged centaurs, but they weren’t on screen long.

It’ll likely be on DVD this fall – I’ll pick it up.

Is this not the most fabulous tour poster of the year?

The show is August 10th at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Tix go on sale to fan club Thursday, public on sale probably this week or next. I’m breaking my rule about no Maryland shows on weeknights, but I’m already doing it for DMB and Sarah McLachlan (the night after BNL – yeesh). Letting the guys from the 9:30 do the booking there has resulted in some interesting shows this summer – they’re getting Lollapalooza as well.

I got the tix for the package at Nissan Pavilion I bought (Fleetwood Mac, Peter Frampton/Styx, Michael McDonald/Hall & Oates, Boston, Rush, Little Feat/Allman Brothers Band), and they had bad news – Boston has cancelled the show at Nissan, apparently in favor of a smaller show at Baltimore’s Pier Six Concert Pavilion. The Boston show is on a Saturday, so I might make that, but they replaced it with Poison/Kiss. I can’t make the Poison/Kiss show even if I was interested – it’s the weekend of the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, which we are absolutely not missing. I guess I’ll eBay the tix.

I think the package was still worth it, it also comes with a premier parking pass, which costs $20 each show. The Allman Brothers Band show hasn’t gone on sale yet, but the cost of the previous 5 shows plus parking equals the cost of the package. I’m seriously thinking about trying a season pass next year.

Settling In

So it’s 4PM on a Monday, and I’m about to start work. I got in this morning, started setting my two desktops up. My main one starts booting up, then dies. Same thing happens again. I leave it for Andy, computer/network guy (whom the powers that be have decided won’t be needed after this week – the guy up in Vancouver will support us down here. Sure.), who diagnoses bad power supply. I get my laptop going for a little while until he’s fixed it. The software build doesn’t work on the desktop, so I need to go back to the laptop. Finally everything’s working, but the server I pull data through is down. Then the phones crash. Everything’s supposed to be up again in a couple minutes.

Trip back from Vancouver was fine. I got to stop in Chicago again, which meant another fine cheesburger at Billy Goat (and a beer). Got in to National right on time, my bag was third on the belt, and Jill was waiting for me. We were both pretty tired (she had worked another five in a row), so we headed to bed.

Sauturday I had a myo appoinment in Bethesda I barely made it to. Jill went shoe shopping after I got back, and I made a taco salad to use up some of the abundance of lettuce we had after she went to the farmer’s market in Herndon. I also made a killer dip of black beans, leftover dip based on roasted pumpkin seeds, shredded cheese, and some habanero sauce (for a kick). She almost came back too late to get any of the dip. She was out after dinner as lack of sleep caught her; I caught up on magazines and paper and watched a Dave Matthews special and SNL.

Sunday we met up with my family in Old Town Alexandria at 219 Restaurant for Mother’s Day. I had the oysters benedict and the Red Snapper chowder. I didn’t think much of the chowder, but the oysters benedict was excellent. Afterwards, Jill and I stopped by Storehouse to order a bookcase (we’re way overflowing the others) that we’ll pick up next weekend, then hit Safeway to pick up groceries. They had a sale on ribeye steaks and lobster tails for Mother’s Day, so we decided to have both for dinner. And scallops wrapped in bacon (I was surprised that turkey bacon worked equally as well as regular bacon). We watched “Simpsons”, “Sopranos”, and “Deadwood” – though I don’t think Jill will be watching “Sopranos” anymore, more to the mental cruelty exhibited by Tony than the physical.

Going home

Last night I went with Andre and Leila to the Banana Leaf Malaysian restaurant. I had the tiger prawns in Assam sauce, and we shared some roti and eggplant. The roti was different, sweeter than I’m used to. The assam sauce was an intriguing mix of sweet, sour and spicy.

I got back to the hotel room at 9:30, and succumbed to the hype – I watched the last half hour of “Friends”. Not bad, seemed an appropriate mix of drama and comedy.

I’m ready to go home now, leave in about 5 minutes, get in to National about midnight.