Wednesday, June 1st we were worried as some tornadoes came close to Jill’s family in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Jill was doubly worried as she flew up there early the next morning, but there wasn’t as much damage as we feared. She was there for the weekend and her first baby shower.

Meanwhile I was home, and spent the majority of the weekend at the Herndon Festival. Willie Nile and Paul Thorn at the Depot Stage on Thursday and Friday were really good. I took Illa on a long walk all around the lake Saturday, so he could nap while I was out for a long time at the festival. Stuart and I continued the tradition of a mid-afternoon break at O’Sullivans during the Herndon Festival with a round of shots of Jameson’s and beers with Lorna and Dave. I also liked their appetizer of corned beef, potato and cabbage deep fried together.

Sometimes I forget how much I like the Dave Matthews Band until I hear the crack of the snare during “Ants Marching”. It was a cover, but a damn good one (Billy Bauer Band also covered “All Along The Watchtower”, but with a jam band feel and an electric violin, the influence was obvious). A perfect summer night finished off with bluegrass (courtesy of Bearfoot) and fireworks. I was back briefly on Sunday to see The Family Stone bring the funk, but it was too hot to do anything but sit. Jill returned Monday night, and once she was back we inquired about a floating dock a neighbor was selling, then promptly offered him full price (the motor and battery alone was worth the price).

Thursday the 9th we headed into DC. We had dinner at Tosca where we had some tasty pasta (tagliatelle for me, lobster risotto for her), then got our Gleek on. We’re both fans of the show, and I was surprised how faithful the live versions were without noticeable autotuning.

Saturday the 11th we had a game night. We did our usual party thing – got appetizers and drinks, and other folks showed up and we had fun. Apples to Apples is always fun, teams for Trivial Pursuit went pretty well, and Fluxx is interesting to introduce to new players. Sunday the 12th we found out the master bath tub has a leak. The good news about getting a plumber, was that he could connect the new sink downstairs, which I was planning to do that day. He did, and I was happy about that, but the bathtub needs ripping out and replacing, and while we were planning on remodeling the bathroom, we thought it would be a couple years before that happened.

Jill was working nights, and begged off seeing Elvis Costello at Wolf Trap on Wednesday the 15th for member appreciation night. But Stuart appreciated the low price of free, and after I made it through the worst traffic ever on the way there, Elvis (and the excellent food) had not left the building. Elvis put on a great show (loved his spinning wheel of requests and cover of “Roxanne”), plus we were seated next to Bob and Cathy McNichols.

Illa has gotten worse over the years with thunder, but once he started peeing inside the house during it, got him Xanax. The first time was the 17th, and every time he’s gotten it in time he’s been fairly calm during storms (vs. his usual panting in your face). Also that day I had the shortest visit to a doctor’s office ever. Probably because I didn’t see a doctor, just a nurse to get a vaccine. And finally felt the baby kick for the first time that night.

Saturday the 18th was gloomy during the day, but the rain held off, so we went to Leesburg to Windy City Red Hots for Chicago dogs, now saw Todd Wright on the Town Green with Linda. Jill had a craving, so we hit Maggie Moo’s on the way home. On the 19th we went to a child and infant CPR class on E St. in DC in the morning (tough when E St. is closed for a triathlon), then had a nice lunch at BGR now (Jill doesn’t like their house sauce though).

Wednesday the 22nd we through Springfield for takeout from Firehouse Subs and a sweaty show from The Pietasters in Alexandria. On the way home there was a power outage in Kingstowne and we crawled through traffic before returning to civilization.


Thursday the 23rd we were back in DC. We stopped at Chef Geoff’s to meet someone for an extra ticket (because I was a dunderhead and had purchased one ticket and one book) and had a drink, then went over to the National Press Club and got in line. Neil Gaiman was doing a talk, part of the 10th anniversary of American Gods tour. He read a couple sections from the book, answered questions, and was funny and charming as usual. He was signing books afterwards, but it would have taken a couple hours, and we had reservations at Central. We had an excellent dinner there – this time I went with his standards, the fried chicken and the chocolate bar. Yum.

Neil Gaiman

The next day I achieved my 15 seconds of internet fame, as I got retweeted by Neil Gaiman after I sleuthed out the first illustration from his new children’s book, based on hints he’d given the night before.

Saturday the 25th we went to Alexandria to see emmet swimming at the Del Ray Music Festival. Their website described food available, but when we got there we didn’t see any. Yelp came to our rescue, and we zeroed in on the Chinese food at Tsim Yung, both of us had enormous portions of delicious chicken dishes that we both got seconds out of. And the band was in a great mood, Tamer teasing some Rush songs and singing “99 Red Balloons” at the end, which I hadn’t seen him do in at least 10 years.

emmet swimming

The next day we went our separate ways, me to my company picnic (where I hit balls at the driving range with Matt, then Jess schooled us both at mini golf), while Jill went to her second baby shower.