Reston book sale

The Reston library twice yearly booksale is this weekend. I’m going to be pretty busy this weekend, so I went there at lunch today with my coworker, Dave. However, the sale didn’t start ’til 5, so we went back to work (we had already eaten at Wrap Works, which while a bit of a hike from where we are in Herndon has some good wraps). D’oh!

Coming home tonight I decided to go to the sale. Only problem was tonight was a preview night for Friends of the Reston Regional Library, but since I’d have trouble coming back, I joined the group. It was only $15 for two people anyway, and it’s a good cause. I also managed to get Jill on the phone and she stopped by on her way home. I scored Stephen King’ “Cell” and “Night Shift”, Robert B. Parker’s “Sea Change”, and a couple others.

Indian food

Took it easy last night with leftovers (pecan stuffed pork chops and eggplant), so tonight I went all out and made a big meal – tandoori chicken and spinach and potato stew (I did make the marinade yesterday). One help was Cook’s Thesaurus, which lets you know what foods you can substitute for others. It took almost two hours, but it came out very tasty – Jill thought so too. Tomorrow will see something much simpler, though.

Jill’s going to bed now – not only is she tired, but now she’s getting eyestrain. She’d going to learn how to take breaks – I learned the hard way too.

Floyd and pretzels

Friday was an early day as I managed to get up when Jill left, plus I missed a chance to go out to lunch because we had an afternoon deadline. So I got home a little after 5, which was good as I had a big night ahead of me. I read the paper while Jill studied, then she ran to the store for pizza and beer because she craved pizza and we had none. It was date night (which we’re trying to do once a week because she’s so busy), and we decided movies would be fun. At home, of course. We started with “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind”. Wow, what a great movie – it’s rumination on memory and fate was really moving (it was also nice we could rewind a couple times to check out things again). After we finished, I cooked the pizza and made caesar salad. We started watching “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”, but Jill fell asleep halfway through. We’ll catch the rest sometime this week.

Saturday we slept in. I was up by 10, I walked Illa and made an omelette while watching Bill Maher. I went online for a while, then read the paper outside for a while, then inside watching Pink Floyd’s Pulse. We had leftover fajitas for dinner, then I was off to Nissan Pavilion. I meant to leave at 7, but didn’t leave until 7:30. I had remembered the construction there earlier in the summer, looked it up and found there was a new road, University Boulevard, going south from 29 almost directly there. I was excited to find a new way – that is, until I got there and found that they’d redirected 66 traffic there as well. So I didn’t get to park until 4 songs in. The only saving grace was I could hear the concert perfectly well from University Boulevard.

The concert was Roger Waters, who played a fine show of mostly Pink Floyd classics, only one new song and two solo songs. The second set was all of “Dark Side Of The Moon”. While I enjoyed the show immensely (especially “Sheep” and “Have A Cigar”) and felt it was better than the last time I saw him (on his 1999 tour in Baltimore), it suffered in comparison to the David Gilmour show I saw in April, especially since David (with Richard Wright) was the vocalist on most of the “Dark Side Of The Moon” songs. Still, a fun show, and Nissan Pavilion was either sold out or nearly so, people were having a good time. Jill went to bed not long after I got home and we had dessert, I stayed up a bit watching the premiere of CSI (I don’t always watch but wanted to see John Mayer).

Sunday Jill was up early to study, I slept in ’til 11. I got up, walked the dog, and made egg sandwiches as the Redskins game started. It was a must win and they got it done with help not just from Clinton Portis but also a great game from Ladell Betts and all their wide receivers. I started the paper, then stopped after the game to make dinner. I had made dough the night before, but there was a bit more work to make pretzels (and pretzel dogs) out of it. I’d seen pretzel dogs at Auntie Anne’s last weekend, but they were out, and I had a craving for them. I watched “Six Degrees” (new show, ok – no JJ Abrams touch I could feel) and “Eureka” as I made them. Jill had been home and out again to get a new phone (old one had been missing for several weeks) and more beer. She wasn’t that into the pretzel dogs, mostly because she didn’t like the hot dogs I used (organic ones that she’d bought). That’s ok – not every recipe can be a winner. Now we’re both online, but she’ll go to bed shortly and I’ll go downstairs and finish the paper and watch some more TV.


I can breathe again. Colds aren’t fun. Jill and I both have been busy this week, looking forward to the weekend.

Dinners this week:
Monday: Black bean soup (from mix, with turkey ham)
Tuesday: Steak fajitas (more because the meat needed to be used)
Wednesday: Black bean soup (leftover, but I like soup when I’m sick)
Today: Cilantro chicken (leftover, needed to be eaten)


I don’t believe I’ve had a cold this early in the season before. I worked from home yesterday and today as to not infect anyone else. Yesterday was ergonomically terrible as I worked on the couch – today I sat in the office using my monitor.

Hopefully I’ll be back at the office tomorrow, but I feel like I’ve gotten more work done here – no distractions (I do start and finish much later, though).

The non-smoggy rest of the weekend

I was so late getting to bed Friday night, Saturday I didn’t wake up until after 1. I made some bacon and scrambled eggs, then surfed for a while. We left around 5:30 for Maryland. First stop was Gaithersburg to take Illa’s crate back to Lezlie, the lady that runs CHAAMP. We’re not putting him in it anymore, and it could help out another foster family. Then we drove through the backroads to Columbia. It was approaching 8, so we decided to do dinner later, getting a snack (gumbo for Jill, a pretzel for me) at the mall to hold us over.

Jon Stewart was playing Merriweather Post Pavilion. Mike Birbiglia was doing his opening set as we came in, and he was pretty funny (we saw him open for Lewis Black in 2003). But we were waiting for Jon, and he did not disappoint. The fun thing about comedy vs. concerts is it was only a minute or two after Mike went off that Jon came on. The crowd went nuts, giving him a standing o (and from what I could see, it was close to a sellout). He started off with the red meat, going straight into politics. More rambling than the TV show, but still bitingly funny. He also went into diatribes on racism and eating sushi at Merriweather as well as finshing with the mystery of pets and garbage (side splitting stuff if you’re a pet owner).

Jill was surprised he did non-political stuff, but I wasn’t. I first heard of him when I saw him sometime in the early ’90s at the Warner Theatre (Chris, do you remember the year?). Headliner was Dennis Miller (formerly the thinking man’s comedian until he went further right than Pat Buchanan), before him David Spade, and Jon was first. Even then we knew that order was wrong. I watched his MTV show, and I was occasionally watching the Daily Show when he started hosting in 1999, although it didn’t become a must watch until a couple years went by. Now I try not to miss it.

Where was I? Ah, yes. After the show we walked back to the mall and went over to the outside restaurants. We’d decided on going to The Cheesecake Factory. I’d never been, and Jill hadn’t for quite a while. We thought by 10:30 there wouldn’t be a wait, but we were wrong. 30 minutes later, we were seated. My preconception that the non-dessert food wasn’t that great was blown away. Jill got the sliders, 4 mini burgers (with fries for a buck more), and I got the Buffalo Blast – chicken, cheese and buffalo sauce put inside a wrapper and fried. Both hit the spot, and were only appetizers, but nearly filled us up. Not too much, as we were still able to split a carrot cake cheescake (couldn’t leave wihtout their signature dish). We took the highway home and played with Illa for a bit before going to bed.

Sunday Jill had a certification to do at Reston, so she was off before I got up around 10:30. By the time she got back, I was eating eggs benedict. She hung out for a while, then went off to study with classmates. I watched Bill Maher and the end of “Fantastic Four” (decent enough) before putting a Roger Waters live show on and heading outside to catch up on newspapers. I took Illa out to play with his buddy Bear when Bear was outside with his owner, then headed in and watched SNL (had missed the Tom Hanks hosted show). I made a smoothie for us (Jill had called saying she was on her way home), then started watching the Skins game and making BLTs and spinach balls. The game didn’t go well and now the Skins are 0-2. Not even wearing my T-shirt (Jill’s other gift) helped. Oh well, time to face another week (and I’m feeling that throat tickling that could signal some annoying times ahead).

Smoggy night

Last night was the greatest show of the year by a Minneapolis based supergroup. I got home around 7 and Jill wasn’t there – she was unwinding at a coffee shop. I took Illa for a long walk, then Jill came back as we did and we played with him for a while. Jill went upstairs to read, and I read and watched TV (Umphrey’s McGee interview), then ate a turkey sandwich (she wasn’t hungry). I’d planned on leaving around 9, but there was a downpour, so I delayed and didn’t leave until after 9:30. I drove to East Falls Church and took the train to the 9:30 club.

Golden Smog is currently made up of members of Soul Asylum, The Jayhawks, Run Westy Run, and Big Star. I’m a huge fan of Gary Louris of The Jayhawks (as you might notice he scored #2 in my top shows of 2005). They actually had all three members of the last incarnation of The Jayhawks, as Marc Perlman was on bass, and Tim O’Reagan (former drummer) was opening the show. I got there too late to see him, getting to the club a little after 11, but I’d listened to his CD and nothing had particularly grabbed me.

I didn’t have much hope for a reunion, as only members of Tim’s band have been joining the Smog for songs, but I was wrong, as he joined them on drums for “Jennifer Save Me”. The funny thing was this guy was standing next to me breathing hard, and I didn’t really notice until the song was ending and he took off towards the stage that it was Jody Stephens, their drummer.

The rest of the show was great. Gary shone on a cover of “Starman”, but his own songs like “Won’t Be Coming Home” and “Until You Came Along” were great to finally hear live. “Corvette” from the new album (with vocals from Dan Murphy and Gary) was the set ender and a highlight of the new CD as well, but most entertaining was Gary trying to get the band (and crowd) going on a cover of J. Geils Band’s “Centerfold”.

The show was over around 1:30, and I didn’t get home until nearly 3. Illa was still up, and we played and I petted him while watching the first half of “Fantastic Four” (I don’t know why, but the guy playing Reed Richards seems miscast).

Big Dirty Band

The Big Dirty Band is Geddy and Alex from Rush with Ian Thornley from Thornley on vox and guitar, Adam Gontier from Three Days Grace on vox, and Jeff Burrows from Tea Party on drums. “I Fought The Law” (along with “Liquour And Wh*res” from Bubbles & The Sh*t Rockers, which features Alex on guitar) is streaming here.