Fish and burgers

Last night we met up with Chris and Jess and his mom as they had our other friend Chris L. over to celebrate his 40th birthday. We hadn’t seen him since we were in Boston last summer, and now he’s living in College Park. He took the Metro down and Chris and his mom went to pick him up while Jill and I kept Jess company as she finsihed decorating the cake. Chris L. was interested in fish for dinner, so we went down to Old Town Alexandria, settling on the Fish Market. Good food, I had the chowder and the fried fish sandwich platter while Jill had the Admiral’s platter. After dinner we headed back to Chris’s mom’s place for cake. I could only have a tiny sliver as I was stuffed full from dinner.

We left around 11:30, which was a problem as I needed to stop at a grocery store. There was a potluck lunch at work today, and I was planning on making mini burgers. Since I had neither bread nor meat, I needed to pick some up, and it didn’t look like we’d be able to get back to the Safeway in Herndon by midnight. So we stopped in Clarendon, but the Whole Foods was closed. I knew there was a grocery store in Ballston, but couldn’t remember what it was. It turns out it was a Harris Teeter, and it was open 24-7. So I got my food and we headed home, and I stayed up until 1:30 making little patties and frying them up. They went over well, will have to do that again sometime.

Tonight it was dog training, leftovers, and cleaning the house. Yes, we got it presentable for the Christmas party, but that was really only the middle level. Now we need to sleep 4 upstairs this weekend, plus I decided the basement was unacceptable. Which is why I’m hopping online now. I think getting to work early tomorrow is out of the question – looks like I’ll have to make up a couple hours during the weekend.

My Jewish evening

I slept in Monday (went to bed little before 2AM). Was vaguely aware Jill came into bed, but wasn’t woken up until the phone rang at noon. I was going to ignore it, but then my cell rang. It was Chris, wondering if I’d be coming over anytime soon. So I hopped in the shower, made some eggs, and took Illa for a stroll before heading down to his brother’s house off 234. I got there around 3 and they were watching Serenity. I gave Chris his gifts (including the first book from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series). He had asked me a couple months back if I could use an 802.11b router since he was getting a g. I said sure, and to my surprise, he gave me a g. Nice misdirection. We had some of his mom’s Christmas cake (marzipan icing – yum) and I burned my finger helping him strain some turkey soup.

We left a little after 5 to make it to his mom’s by quarter of 6, so we coud grab her and make it to the Birchmere at 6 when the doors open. We were there to see What I Like About Jew, a collection of funny skits by Sean Altman (ex Rockapella) & Rob Tannenbaum. It also had Adam Brodsky, Richard Hsu (from Da Vinci’s Notebook), and Eric Schwartz. Eric Schwartz I’d seen first at Falcon Ridge in 2003, and I like him more every time I see him. He gets outraged the same way Lewis Black does, where he can barely control himself, but he channels it well. I’m not usually fond of the Birchmere’s food, but the steak and cheese po’ boy was pretty tasty last night, went down well with my Shiner Bock and Widmer Hefeweizen.

Got home and Illa was crazy after being in the crate most of the day (Jill had taken him out before she went to work), so I had to take him on a long walk and play with him a while before he settled down. I got home at 9 tonight after stopping at Costco for gas and Michaels (frames) and Best Buy (nothing!) and took him on another long walk, but he wasn’t too bad. Of course I was reading the paper and giving him belly rubs. Now I need to stop surfing and go to bed.


After the football game, Dad took me back to the Metro and I went back to East Falls Church. It was 5:30, and I’d called CD Cellar earlier in the week to verify they were open until 6. I got there at 5:40, and made a nice dent before they closed. I got home a little before 7. Jill had been cooking, and we had spinach pancakes and bacon wrapped steak – very yummy. Jill made some chocolate chip muffins for today while I finished the paper. Then we opened our stockings, and watched Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets (only one more to go before we can go watch the new one). Interesting that in the deleted scenes that they filmed two versions of what happened after Harry arrived in Diagon Alley.

Today we were up fairly early to try and make it to Mom’s by 10. Or I was, Jill got up late. Which meant that her quiche didn’t have time to cook through, and I was holding it on my lap in the car (Illa was in back) with egg mix splashing on my pants (better there then on my face, I suppose). We got there a little after 10, but that was ok, because Dad was late. I got my pants cleaned off, though not to Illa’s satisfaction. Brunch was ready by 10:30 – in addition to Jill’s spinach quiche and muffins, Mom baked a cake and made a stollen. We were stuffed, and moved into the living room to open gifts. My big score was a new printer (that prints directly on CDs and DVDs) and a big pile of clothes (by my request). Pretty nice.

I totally surprised Jill with a Tassimo coffee system. She likes the coffee maker we got for the wedding, but hates the time it takes to clean and get it ready, especially since she’s usually pressed for time. This machine can brew most drinks in under a minute, and all she needs to do is add water. It’s also the only machine of its kind to brew lattes and espressos. I also got her a new type of mug that lets you keep your coffee hot but prevents scalding.

More phone photos:
Trina, Illa and Jill
Dad and Jill
Dad and Jill
Santa Illa
Trina and Mom
Illa and Dad

After we got back, Jill and Illa napped. Jill because she’s working tonight, and Illa because, well, just because. I read the paper then started figuring out the coffee machine. I figured it out right before she left, so she could take it with her. She wasn’t interested in the steak fajitas I wanted to make, so I didn’t rush and made them after she left (she can take the leftovers tomorrow). Tonight I watched last week’s SNL and finished reading this month’s comics. May just go to bed after I finish surfing as I’ve got a sleep deficit I need to erase.

Santa blitz

And what a great present I got Christmas Eve – an amazing football game. My friends Hannah and Dave have season tickets, but they were going to her folks for the holidays, and presented me with the pair. I asked Jill, but she passed, so I went with my dad. Dave had told me of a nice parking lot within walking distance, so I met Dad at the Landover Metro at 11:30 and we drove there. We had just gotten out of the car when Dad spied two of his coworkers tailgating behind us. We went over to say hi, and we didn’t refuse their offers of a beer and a hot dog. We headed over to the stadium with 50 minutes to go, and trudged through the security line and the ramps up to the top.

They weren’t kidding about the seats being the second row from the top. Thankfully Dad had brought his binoculars (I’d remembered right before I got on the toll road, but he hadn’t left yet). We got a couple pints of Harp and settled in for the game. Incredible job by the Redskins, especially by Moss and Portis. Weird to not hear why Ramsey came in for Brunell (knee injury) until I read about it today. It was fun, and even the Giants fans near us seemed good natured about it (but this does mean wins are important for everyone next week).


Saw Getaway Car tonight at their annual Christmas show at Jammin’ Java with our friend Linda. Another excellent set from the guys, and that was the most crowded I’ve seen it at Jammin’ Java in a while, which is good for them (especially since Todd’s left the Pat McGee Band). Highlights were their takes on You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, and Jingle Bell Rock.


Tonight we went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. As always, a fun show, even though we got there a little late ’cause Jill wasn’t able to leave work until after 6. I packed Jill some Hot Pockets (after making a couple for myself), and we boogied down to MCI Center (just 3 years ago they were at DAR Constitution Hall). Most of the TSO East lineup returned, and MCI was packed to the rafters. Wonder what they’ll do next year?

A picture of the lasers tonight, and some ones I forgot to post from last year, of Chris, their frontman, signing autographs for us.

Early Christmas

We’ve got two Christmas celebrations this year. We’ll get together for a Christmas brunch with Mom and Dad, but since Sharon’s going to be in Alaska with Forrest, we had dinner and a small gift exchange last night before they left. I got some new belts (just in time), Sin City DVD, and some blank DVD-Rs (always welcome).

Pictures aren’t that great, took them with my phone, but they’re ok:
The tree
The dog with her hat
Jill and Dad
Mom, Forrest, Trina, and Sharon

Toronto bound

David Gilmour‘s concerts went on sale today (and I discovered that 18 minutes after they went on sale):

April 4-5 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City
April 9-10 at Massey Hall in Toronto ON
April 12-13 at Rosemont Theatre in Chicago
April 16-17 at Paramount Theatre in Oakland CA
April 19 at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood CA
April 20 at Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City CA.

I can’t miss what may be his last US dates. I was disappointed to see no east coast weekend dates, went with April 9th in Toronto which is a Sunday. Maybe now I can make it to the Orbit Room, the club owned by Alex Lifeson of Rush. And I think I’ve convinced Jill she wants to go.