Front loaded weekend

Jill worked all week and worked again Sunday day, so we squeezed a weekend’s worth of entertainment into Friday night and Saturday. I looked at the amount of hours I had to work Friday compared to the time I wanted to leave and knew it would be close, and when a co-worker suggested La Madeleine in Reston for lunch, realized it would be better to work Sunday for a couple hours and go out to lunch Friday in the nice weather, then run some errands in Reston. So I had the croque monsieur and a side caesar salad at La Madeleine, then went to Barnes & Noble and used some gift cards to pick up the new best of Alanis Morissette (more essiential if you’re a fan, I count 8 songs I don’t have other places), Queen’s A Night at the Opera: 30th Anniversary Edition (a nice new CD/DVD set with videos for every song, and the British magazine Classic Rock, which had a Queen tribute CD attached (with 7 tracks I didn’t have). Then I went to the library for some books on Europe to help plan our trip, then gassed up and hit the ATM.

I worked until 4, then went home and we played with Illa before heading out around 5:30. Traffic wasn’t bad for a Friday night, and we were in Foggy Bottom around 6:30. We found a good parking spot, and showed up at Dish just a little late. It was Restaurant Week in DC, which meant a $30.06 fixed price dinner (lunch would have been $20.06). We had a fabulous meal – I had the four bean soup, Atlantic cod, and apple compote, while Jill had mac and cheese, steak, and pear cake. I was absoutely stuffed after the meal, but it was only our first stop. It was already 8:45, and we were planning on being at the 9:30 Club at 9. We got there shortly after, but doors opened late.

We were there to see both emmet swimming and Quitter UK, who share a singer and bassist and were playing together for the first time. Since I have the only emmet site other than the official one, they have me do things for their site, and they’d asked me to take some new pictures of them for it. I asked for VIP seats in return. They’re the row of barstools just below the top bar, the nicest place in the 9:30 to see a show. We got almost dead center seats and I set up my video camera. Not many people had showed when Quitter UK took the stage, but they had a good time. My friend Norm didn’t make it until the very end of their set. Good set, on the short side but they were the first band (meant no fine selection of covers as usual). Lloyd Dobler Effect (which played between) was good, especially their percussionist. emmet was the headliner, so they had the crowd in their hands from the beginning. I enjoyed the show immensely, but Jill’s sleep deficit caught up with her hard and she retreated to the car for the last 30 minutes of the set (I would have left if I hadn’t been recording and taking pictures). There was a nice tease of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” as well as a sloppy cover of the Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – both fun. Show didn’t end until 1:30, and we didn’t get home until 2:30, as the heavens opened up on the way home, slowing down by the time we got to the main toll booth. Jill went to bed and I walked Illa, getting back just in time to hear the biggest boom of thunder I’d ever heard, waking Jill up and scaring Illa.

I got up at 8:30 after going to sleep at 3:30 – I knew I’d be facing my own sleep deficit soon. But I’d made a 9:30 Neurosoma appointment knowing it was the only time I could go. Went to Petsmart and Safeway on the way home for some essientials, made it home by 1. Jill slept in until then, and she felt much better. We straightened up the place and we were ready for Meg when she showed up from Charlottesville at 2:30. She and Jill chatted in the kitchen, and I drifted in and out, cleaning up and playing with Illa. Stuart, Janice and Olivia showed up at 4 in their van, and we headed out. We got to the Birchmere around 4:45, with the Redskins game already started. My plan was for the ladies to wait to get in and get seats while Stuart and I went to a place with a TV to watch the game (Birchmere doesn’t have TVs to show broadcasts), but Janice vetoed that. So I waited in the van and listened to the game on the radio while Olivia read until they opened the doors at 5. We went in for a little while until the ladies got drinks, then Stuart and I went across the street to the bar in RT’s Restaurant. It was the end of the first quarter, and we stayed ’til the end of the game. I had a couple pints of the house beer (tasty) and a Jameson’s and diet Coke, and Stuart and I shared the shrimp and crawfish beignets and the popcorn crawfish – very good, may have to go there again sometime. Obviously the game didn’t end the way I’d hoped, but it was fun watching the game in a bar with lots of Redskins fans.

I think there’s no better cure for a bad sports outcome then a fabulous concert, and that’s what we got. Jill was especially looking forwards to this one after I told her Jim Boggia was opening, as we’ve followed him for some time and enjoy him. Stuart and I got there with not much time before the show, and after I bought a ticket to the Pat McGee Band show in Febraury, got to my seat with seconds to spare. Jim was great and got some converts, and I ordered a club sandwich during his set, and wolfed it down with a hefeweizen immediately after. Jill and Meg went off to talk to Jim, and I joined them right as Eddie From Ohio came on stage – not leaving until I got a good look at Mike’s freshly shaven head. We talked to Jim for a while, but didn’t miss the show – the TVs and sound system outside the main music room show the main stage. The band was on fire, and Julie was amazing, especially during “Great Day”. Mike got some solo time to plug his solo CD, and let us know he’d shaven his head in solidarity with Julie. Julie and Robbie came out and reprised their version of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” from the cruise. Julie had been wearing a hat and a wig during the first part of the show, and returned from Mike’s solo turn with just the hat. During “Operator”, she threw the hat off and there was a great moment of Mike and Robbie rubbing their heads against hers as the song ended.

We made our way to the van and drove home – noticing Stuart and Janice’s power was out. Jill elected to go to bed as it was past 11 and she had to be up at 6, and I walked Illa, then grabbed some milk and went back to Stuart and Janice’s as Olivia had baked us a cake. Good cake (we ate it next to the camp light, very reminiscent of Falcon Ridge), and we chatted until almost 1 when I couldn’t fight off sleep any more. Meg went off to bed and I walked Illa again. I knew he needed a little more time, so I let him chew on the new dog toy I’d gotten him and laid down on the floor. I woke up 30 minutes later and he’d already chewed through the tennis ball attached to one of the legs of the toy (he’s a Destructicon). I put him to bed and promptly crashed myself.

I got up around 11:30 when I heard Meg in the shower, getting downstairs around noon. Meg was knitting, and I took Illa on a walk before getting back and making Schmorgles for us. Schmorgles is a recipe from my grandmother (Dad’s mom) who brought us many German recipes, but this one I’ve never heard anyone else mention (and I Googled it last year and found nothing). It’s basically a fried bread that looks like scrambled eggs, but you treat it like pancakes and put butter and syrup on (corn syrup is recommended, but Grandma was from Oklahoma and they had no maple trees) and serve with bacon or sausage. After breakfast, I made Meg a Jim Boggia CD, and we chatted for a while before she headed home. She and Jeremy are great, it’s just too bad they don’t live closer.

Schmorgles Recipe (per serving, I usually have two servings, but most people don’t):

1 tablespoon sour cream
1/4 cup flour
1 egg (egg beaters ok)
1/8 teaspoon baking powder

Mix ingredients, melt oil in hot pan, cook like scrambled eggs.

Later, I cleaned the kitchen, read the Thursday paper, took Illa on a long walk, watched Wednesday’s Daily Show and Colbert Report, watched the end of the Steelers/Colts game, had some nachos, started making CDs of Mike Clem’s show last week, and did some work. Then I started cooking ribs for dinner, walked Illa, and started watching West Wing. Jill got home shortly after that and took a shower. I got the ribs done shortly after Desperate Housewives started, and we ate in the dining room (with glitches because we watched ABC over the antenna, because I was recording 24 and Night Passage – based on a Robert B. Parker book). Now Jill’s in bed and I’m online – probably up later, want to read at least one more newspaper, maybe watch another show.