Beer and a concert double header

Friday I was late to work as I’d thought of some ways to try and fix some of my computer problems (no luck). That meant I got home late too, and I needed a quick dinner. I was prepared, and I had a cook and serve shrimp, asparagus, and pepper dish, to which I added some more asparagus and roasted peppers. We watched 24 and Jill went to bed soon after, I stayed up to read the paper.

Saturday I decided I wanted to try and get tickets to see Sufjan Stevens at the Kennedy Center. I’d planned on getting there around 7, but didn’t make it until 7:30. Not that it mattered – as I walked up, I saw the line of people stretching down the building, which then wrapped back again and again. By my best estimate, I would have had to be there by 5:30 to score some. Oh well, maybe someone will cut a deal on the day of the show (it’s worked for me before).

I was feeling kinda nostalgic about the whole thing. While I enjoy the “series of tubes” I’m publishing this on, in the days before online ticketing, I’d stand in line for hours for tickets. I was spoiled right off, as I my Dad scored me 3rd row tickets to my first concert (Rush, of course). I started at Hecht’s, but the people that ran the ticket counters were incompetent. I eventually found Tower Records (RIP), and mainly used the Tyson’s Corner and Landmark Plaza ones, especially since they had a lottery for line position an hour before sales began. Once I went to the Georgetown one to get HFStival tix, but since I got a ticket for running a red light, never went back. So standing in line, reading a magazine, not too bad, brought back memories. Too bad I didn’t end up with a ticket.

After that, I decided to stop by CD Cellar to check out the clearance bin, then I went over to my mom’s to see how she was doing. Turns out Forrest had already been over the night before and helped with some things, so we just chatted for a bit before she had to run off, then I headed home with a stop at Safeway for some essentials. I spent the afternoon trying to read that stupid photo CD, using Jill’s Windows 98 box and the old laptop running Windows 95 I’d bought her as a gift when we started dating. No luck, and I left her computer in pieces.

We got going around 4. Our first stop was the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg. We love Dogfish Head, but we’d never had a reason to go to Gaithersburg before. Now I love beer, but we’ve had mostly light beer since New Year’s, Sam Adams, Amstel Light, and the new Heineken Light. Not that they’re bad (add Yuengling Light to the mix and you’ve go the best light beers there are), but other than getting a beer at a club, I’ve missed trying new ones. I had their fine Punkin Ale (first time I’ve had it on draft, even better than the bottle) and their new Snowblower Ale (hoppy, but not too hoppy). The food was good, too – I had the andouille cajun egg rolls and a shrimp, chicken and bacon salad while Jill had the cream of crab soup and a turkey club. I was so full from the egg rolls I had to take half my salad home. Good food and good beer, can’t wait until the new Falls Church location opens.

We headed up to Germantown after that to the Black Rock Center for the Arts. We were early, so we wandered around Germantown Town Center where it’s located to see if they had a bar (why not). They didn’t (we didn’t want to go to Ruby Tuesday’s), so went in the beer and wine store there to look around, and I picked up a six pack of Roxy Rolles, Magic Hat’s new winter beer. It’s a nice smooth hoppy amber ale, although I don’t like it nearly as much as lasy year’s Saint Gootz. Ironically, when we actually went in the Black Rock Center, they were serving beer and wine from their concession stand, so we plopped down and I had a hefeweizen while Jill had a coffee and a biscotti.

The group we were there to see was GrooveLily, whom we’d first seen open for Da Vinci’s Notebook quite a while ago (2002). I’d caught them once in Virginia, and we’d seen them backing up Paul and Storm at Falcon Ridge, but we kept missing them. It looks like they’re another group that plays in the area in January, which is good – it’s always a light month for concerts. The show was excellent, a mix of their rock songs and their musicals. We had mixed feelings about the show in general, because the audience was very restrained, but I quite liked the venue.

We headed home, getting there around 9:30. I fed Illa and took him on a walk while Jill talked to her sister, then we headed out again. Jill had wished she could have seen Todd’s show I’d been to last week, and I’d suggested to Jill several days earlier if she was in the mood, we could go out and see his show at O’Faolain’s later. She was up for it, as much for the music as for the fact I would drive so she could get herself a pint of Guinness. We got there around 10:30 and he was finishing up his first set. We gathered at the table with Linda, Lindsey, and Bryan (who we hadn’t met before). It was a much rowdier evening than the one at Paolo’s, since it was a weekend and the place was packed, but we enjoyed oursleves. We requested random songs (“Cold As Ice” in honor of the Asia/Foreigner tour, “Strutter” when someone requsted some Doobie Brothers and Todd said “Sorry, I grew up with Kiss”). Strangely, no Beatles this time (at least from the two sets we were there for), but we did get him to play some new songs (and they were good). We staye until the bitter end at 1:30, then headed home to play with Illa for a bit before collapsing into bed.

Sunday we slept in good. Jill got going immediately, I moved a little slower, making schmorgles about an hour after she had her bagel. I watched some TV as I tried to make the laptop do what I wanted, then Jill ran out to the library and I failed on her machine, eventually giving up and putting it back together, then updating some of her software and helping her get some files on her new mp3 player. I was planning on spending the afternoon reading the paper and cooking something with chicken breasts I’d bought around 6 so we could eat by 8, but by the time I was off the computer it was 7:30, so I steamed the rest of the asparagus with some more roasted peppers, then added some frozen shrimp in a scampi sauce. I watched some more TV (Rome) as I tried one more time on the laptop, then gave up and came up here to blog. Not a very productive day – eh, I’m sure tomorrow will be.