Mother’s Weekend P.D.Q.

Friday I had my car in for an oil change, then asked them to look at why my interior fan didn’t work. I needed a blower resistor which they won’t have in stock until tomorrow, so I was without a car for the weekend. So I took the bus in and back home. I cooked a preseasoned tilapia and made some hollandaise sauces and steamed artichokes for dinner, then we got started on the big clean. We started by clearing some room in the basement, then taking down the boxes of books from the booksale. I organized and filed all the comics I’d gotten in the last couple months, then read the paper as Jill’d gone to bed.

Saturday I got up and took Illa for a long walk, then got back to cleaning. The main goal was getting the recycling out, especially old boxes that were unusable. I spent some time clearing more space in the basement, then Jill took them and bages of paper and other stuff to the center as I cleaned the deck and porch.

I went out with Jill’s car and met Mom at Metro and we headed over to the Kennedy Center. I certainly don’t go to a lot of classical music concerts, certainly not of my own volition, but this was something special. When I was in high school and borrowing classical music tapes from the library (yeah, I was a band geek), one of my favorite composers was P.D.Q. Bach. His satire of classical forms was instantly attractive to a “Weird Al” fan like myself. So when I saw he was coming to the area, I was interested. Jill wasn’t sure when tickets went on sale if her finals would be over, so I asked my mom, a long time classical fan.

I had asked Mom if she wanted to go to a restaurant and get dinner or go see the artists at the Millennium Stage. She chose the stage, so when we arrived, she got seats while I picked up the tix for the later show. It was a string trio playing Beethoven and Brahms, joined by a pianist for the second piece (you can see the performance here). It was pretty good, but it suffered from my first concert rule: knowing the music makes the show more enjoyable.

With only an hour to spare, we headed to the cafe on the roof. I’d heard it was a cafeteria, and there was prepared food ready to eat, but they did have hot fresh food. Unfortunately they were sold out of my first choice (leg of lamb), but my other choice of beef tips and spring vegetables was made in front of me and excellent – the sauce was superb with the meat and mashed potatoes.

We got back downstairs with time to spare and took our seats. The program was
Leonard Slatkin and Peter Schickele conclude their “Serious Fun” festival with a program featuring American composers and themes, including Schickele’s popular “Unbegun” Symphony.

The first set was good, with the highlight Schickele’s “Unbegun” Symphony, but it wasn’t the best set. The second set included a piece by Slatkin’s father, and several short pieces by Leroy Anderson I was surprised to find familiar (Mom knew them well and was excited to hear them). The best part of the night was Schickele’s 1712 Overture for Really Big Orchestra. In addition to the fun of guessing the various pieces the themes were taken from, during the middle section when they’re waiting for the “instruments” to arrive, the orchestra was goofing off in such a way (bassists drinking, percussionists playing badminton, violas chatting on phones) I was laughing so hard it hurt. Now I’m tempted to see Schickele’s next area show (which is being recorded for a CD). Afterwards we went our separate ways, for me a stop at Safeway in the rain before getting home.

This morning we finished the big clean. Nice to see everything again. Of course we ran late, and I didn’t take a break to shower until after noon, with people supposed to come at 1. Luckily, neither my dad and mom or Sharon and Forrest showed until 1:30. I was busy cooking, started with bacon, sausage and veggie sausage and Jill chopped fruit, then Jill made cinnamon French toast while I made batter for strawberry oatmeal pancakes. I made eggs benedict to order while also cooking the pancakes, and put everything finished in the oven to warm as well as the blueberry muffins Sharon brought and the banana nut bread I had. Dad brought more fruit and prepared that, and we finally ate a little after 2.

It was a good brunch, and Illa was very well behaved (also the center of attention). Mom’s big gift was a certificate for a ride from Balloons Unlimited that we’ll get together to see at some point. We chatted for a long time, then eventually rustled up dessert: a strawberry rhubarb pie from the CHAAMP bake sale last week (the banana nut bread was also from there). Sharon and Forrest took Illa for a little walk, then everyone headed out. We cleaned a little, then collapsed on the couch and read, then both went online for a bit. Some kind of leftovers for dinner I think – no more big cooking tonight or tomorrow.