When it rains, it pours

After a week of hell, I thought maybe we’d be in for a light weekend, but I was wrong. I also thought the weather might clear up.

Friday was decent. I got into work fairly early, got over for a massage which was good at the time, but the effects evaporated with work stress. Still, I eventually reached a stopping point, and headed home around 6. I made some hot dogs for me and Jill and hung out for a short while before heading over to the Old Dominion Beer Fest. I’d purchased passes online and we breezed right in. Our first stop (after buying drink pogs) was for Magic Hat #9, then hit several other tents in the next hour, then headed over to the stage to catch emmet swimming. Rain was threatening, and I told Todd beforehand I hoped he wasn’t going to play “Rain Pours Down”. They didn’t (although they did tempt fate by playing “Tom Collins”, with the line “I’d love one more Tom Collins as the rain outside pours down”, during which a few drops fell). Don’t think they planned this, but they played “Blue Moon” right as Jill was finishing her Blue Moon beer. A good show, with a nice mix of old and new(er) songs.

They meant to take a break in the middle after “Hey Jesse” (Todd said they wanted to do “4 small sets with big breaks”), but were asked not to since rain was approaching (but it held off anyway). I completely missed “Turnstile” as I went for a refill after “Hey Jesse” (another Magic Hat #9 – good in a bottle, better on draft). New drummer Nate Brown (formerly of Everything) was in fine form, but the highlight for me (as most shows) was “Broken Oar”, but I also liked the return of “Lose Yourself” (a request), and Scotty’s interjection of “Flower People” (the Spinal Tap song) right before “Down Under” during “So Lonely”.

Saturday we slept in a little, then I got up, walked Illa, then we got Jill up and had waffles. We cleaned the house because it badly needed it, and I watched my usual DS/CR/JL plus Hex. We left after 5 for Dave Matthews Band at Nissan Pavilion. We stopped at Baja Fresh in Manassas for food, with the intention of getting there and tailgating. No luck, as traffic was a bear, and it took us nearly 45 minutes to go the last 5 miles, so we ate as I did the start/stop thing. As we were pulling into the parking lot, the battery light started flashing on my dash. It went off when I put the car in park, and I was concerned, but I checked the connections and everything seemed ok, so we headed in.

We got to our seats just in time for Gomez’s last song, which was a shame as I quite like their CD. Our seats were great, in the orchestra pit, but there was a problem. I hadn’t been wearing my ankle brace from Wednesday on, and the previous night had done a fair amount of walking and standing at the beer fest, so my foot was aching and I was wearing the brace. I hadn’t thought about it before, but I realized this was not a good night to stand throughout the show. I thought about just asking someone in the front row of 102 or 103 to switch, but Jill suggested we just ask someone at the venue about the accessible seats up front, and they hooked us up. Nice to sit down – only bummer was we were off to stage left, and when the rain started coming down hard, we got a little damp.

We left before the encore because I was worried about my car, and with good reason. It was a rough start, and I never got full power to the headlights. I tried it on the road, but started getting the battery light flashing again, and pulled into the nearest gas station. I idled for a while and tried it a couple more times, but it was no good. So I gave up, backed the car into a parking space, and called AAA. They said the truck would be there within two hours, so we opened the door, got some drinks at the 7-11, and chatted and read while we waited, happy to at least made it out of the pavilion parking lot.

The tow truck driver showed up by 11:30, about an hour and a half later. He was very talkative, telling us all about the water rescues he’d done so far that night, and may be able to find us a new mattress (not very romantic, but it’s Jill’s first choice for a birthday present). We dropped the car off at our mechanic, then dropped us at home. We were pretty burned out, but not yet sleepy, so we started watching Beavis & Butt-Head (I’d never seen the very surreal Thanksgiving special with Kurt Loder).

Sunday we had to get moving quickly, as we had to be at my Mom’s for lunch with a salad, cake and drinks. We had lettuce from the CSA farm, but Jill had to go out and get strawberries, onions and dressing. Meanwhile, I just needed to package and ship a CD from half.com. Of course my printer ran out of ink, and when I put a new cartridge in, it wouldn’t go online again. I gave up after wrestling with it for 45 minutes. We headed over to Cold Stone Creamery where Jill picked out a Snickers Supreme for her cake, then I paid while she hit Starbucks. We got over to my mom’s around 1, and hung out and chatted (and I advised my sister on routers and DSL connections) until my dad arrived, then we started grilling burgers and dogs. We had lunch around 3, then the aforementioned cake and strawberries with shortcake and whipped cream my mom made.

We dashed home in the rain to let the dog out and grab tickets. Of course on the way int the cooler (which was sideways to fit in the leftover cake) opened and a beer bottle fell out and smashed on the steps. I cleaned it up as Jill took Illa out, then we headed off to Wolf Trap. It was our Encore Circle (Wolf Trap’s VIP lounge) night, and a better night for it I can’t imagine. We got caught in crushing rain on our way out of Herndon, getting out of it half way there. We relaxed in the lounge, and surprised ourselves by actually having something to eat from the little buffet. Riverdance was fun, made more interesting by nature’s fireworks going on outside. We hit the lounge at intermission, getting our feet soaked (and only one other couple braved it out then), then went back for about half the second act before heading home. We watched a little more Beavis & Butt-Head while we played with Illa.

Today I caught the bus to work – turned out I needed my alternator replaced. Jill took a while to drive through the worst of the rain tonight, then we had fajitas with leftover steak when she got home. Not as much stress this week (so far) – plus it’s a short week. Also found out this weekend we’d spaced on making reservations at the kennel for Illa – luckily our pet sitter does overnight visits and wasn’t fully booked yet.