Friends and family

I give. I’m just way too busy right now to even update this blog weekly. I’ll do it when I have time.

So, we start at the beginning of September. We had a couple house guests Labor Day weekend – first Meg stayed with us on Friday the 3rd, and we had the Jewells over as well and grilled steaks and veggies for dinner. Sharon was also down Friday, but was out with friends Friday. She had a wedding Saturday afternoon, but was back by the evening and Mom cam over to for dinner. This time I went to Whole Foods and picked out a buffet of foods for dinner, it was another nice night.

We celebrated our anniversary on Sunday the 5th by heading over to Clifton and eating at Trummer’s On Main. I had a tangy tuna starter, the grilled lamb and the Titanic cocktail, very nice. For dessert we both had the oreo ice cream – sounded better than it tasted.

On Labor Day we returned to Herndon for the Labor Day Festival, now with beer! The music was good and it’s always fun to do a festival with the Jewells. Afterwards we retreated to their house for pizza on the deck with all sorts of people, including Lorna and Dave.

Thursday the 9th I found out I’d been picked to see Dar Williams at the SIRIUS XM studios, so I headed out of work “early” (I’d been putting in a lot of hours and had more than enough). I got to the studio with 10 minutes to spare, and they started right on time, Dar came in with Bryn Roberts and sat down. I was up on stage right immediately to her left – it was a bit odd as I could hear her guitar and the piano, but her voice was coming out of the monitors. It was an intimate take on all her hits, very enjoyable.

Friday the 10th I went to Wolf Trap for The Return Of The King with a live orchestra. What a great movie, only the second time I’ve seen it. And the live accompaniment really adds something.

Saturday the 11th we headed up to New Jersey in the morning, had White Castle for lunch. My grandmother had passed away in July, and the service was that day. She was actually my step-grandmother, but my grandmother passed away before I was born. All my immediate family was there, and it was a fine memorial. My uncle and aunt had other obligations, and my younger cousin couldn’t stay either, but my older cousin and his family went out to dinner with us, Mom and Sharon. We had dinner at the Pompton Queen Diner, I had a nice Reuben variant.

Jeff’s wife Leanne made a crumb cake for dessert, and we were up a while chatting. The next morning we gathered for breakfast at Lox Stocked & Bageled and had bagel sandwiches – the bagels were so good we picked up an extra dozen to take home. The drive home was similar to the drive up, fairly uneventful – Delaware has completely remodeled their rest area and it’s very nice. Sunday night the pro football season started, saw the Skins eek out a close one against Dallas, then watched the VMAs (not as exciting as last year).

Friday night the 17th the Jewells picked us up and we headed over to Alexandria. We had dinner at Rustico, lots of beer samples and Jill and I split a salad and each had a pizza (the grilled for me, fried green tomato for her). Then we headed over to the Lyceum to see Red Molly. The first trio with a new member I’d see that weekend, Molly Venter had just joined the group. And it was a very good show, her songs integrated well with the existing ones (Jill loved “Happier Now”, insisted we buy her CD).

The following day I picked up the Jewells and we stopped at Popeye’s prior to getting to the Lube. It was finally time for Rush, and it was the first tour since 1994 I hadn’t seen them multiple times. I regret that a little, they were just as great as always – new song BU2B was really good, Moving Pictures start to finish was awesome (especially with the first ever live “The Camera Eye”).


Sunday we finally cleaned out the laundry room, found the rest of the books. Too bad it looks like we don’t have enough bookshelves for them. We had leftover pizza and watched the Skins lose a close one to the Texans. I took a nice long walk with Illa in the morning on the lake next to ours – he seems to like the water.


The remainder of August

I was getting back to blogging regularly, then work got crazy busy and the last thing I wanted to do at night was sit in front of a screen. So let’s catch up.

On Thursday the 12th, Jill’s mom Sue and sister Melissa came to visit. They grabbed dinner on the way home from the airport but we got to chat after they got back (and I cleaned a little more). On Friday my Mom came over and I grilled steaks and baked potatoes while Jill made a salad.

Saturday Jill took them to Old Town Alexandria for the day while I unpacked books in the library and watched “The Pacific”. That night we all went out to Clyde’s in Reston Town Center where I had a salad. We watched “The Hangover” when we got back home, absolutely hilarious. Sunday Jill took them back to BWI to catch their flight and I continued working in the library.

Us and Sue and Melissa

On Thursday the 19th, we went to Kennedy Center to see Erin McKeown play a free show at the Millennium Stage. We hadn’t seen her in a couple years and she did lots of great songs from her excellent new album. Next we headed over to KAZ Sushi Bistro to try their Restaurant Week menu. It looked good, but I saw more things I liked off of it. The miso lobster bisque was decent, but the scallop with prosciutto, crème fraîche, and chive and the short ribs were delicious, along with sake on a stick. I would have skipped dessert, but I couldn’t pass up Guinness ice cream, very refreshing.

The next night we headed out to Manassas, had dinner at Casa Chimayo (thanks, mobile Yelp!). I’d seen it for years but it looked like a dive – turns out it’s a dive with good food. The Grande Chicken Combo was good, as well as the spicy salsa while Jill enjoyed her food and margarita very much. Our second time at the Lube was to see Ke$ha and Rihanna – when we were there the week before, Jill had mentioned she’d like to go, so when 1/2 price tix became available, I grabbed them. Ke$ha was pretty fun, but Rihanna put on quite a show. Plus she had Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt playing with her, and his solos were amazing.

Saturday we had a blood alcohol content study on the deck (we had discussed the night before of not being sure what it felt like when we were at the legal limit), then Sunday enjoyed some Popeye’s at Wolf Trap before seeing Great Big Sea from the front row. They gave their all, a great mix of new songs and old.

Great Big Sea

We went right back to Wolf Trap on Tuesday the 24th, this time to see Rodrigo y Gabriela bring the metal to the Filene Center with only two acoustic guitars on a cool night. Friday the 27th brought an end to our house saga as we refinanced to get rid of our ARM. Saturday we went furniture shopping in Tysons and Leesburg, then tried out Mom’s kayak (very fun) and read most of the rest of the evening. I had to work Sunday – that wasn’t as fun. In fact, a lot of work this week, which brings us to the end of August.