Friday the 1st Nina and I went to JamBrew to see Todd Wright & Tommy Gann. I found out she didn’t like the school pizza and preferred the pizza they had there. Saturday was Nina’s birthday, but since we knew rainy and cool was not time to have a birthday party at a water park, we postponed it to the next day. But we had Dad and Patricia over for lunch, as well as Nina’s cousin Maddy, then Nina got cake and presents. That night Maddy stayed to babysit and Jill and I went out for an early anniversary sushi dinner at Sushi Prince.

Bryce Patricia Nina

Sunday was the party at the Water Mine. It was a little cool, but the sun helped; some kids had to cancel, but we sent out some last minute invites and still had a decent turnout. Afterwards I took Maddy back to her dorm, then continued on into DC and parked near the Capitol so I could watch Aoife O’Donovan rehearse with the NSO for their Labor Day concert (preferable to being out late on a school night). I tried to stop at Cactus Cantina on the way home because Jill had been craving it, but they stopped doing takeout at 6, so I got kabobs from Arlington Kabob instead (so good). While I was out, Jill took Nina to get her ears pierced (a birthday present).


Thursday the 7th we all headed over to Wolf Trap to see Sting with Joe Sumner & The Last Bandoleros. Nina was a little more interested in playing with a girl she met there, but the show was good and we had a nice picnic dinner Jill put together.

Jill Nina

Saturday we flew up to Hartford and rented a car, had a quick lunch at Whole Deli, then picked up some supplies at Target. We drove over to Jill’s dad’s house and hung out with them for a while, then got changed before driving over to Andrea and Jim’s wedding at Wickham Park. The ceremony was lovely, Nina loved the outdoor photo booth, and it was nice seeing our Shantyfamily.

Kerry Nina Jill

We stayed with Melissa and her family that night. The next day was more of a chore, because the cheapest flight was at 6am, and due to mechanical issues we had a 5 hour delay. But we made it home without too much fuss.


Tuesday the 12th Nina read a book about the blues, listened to some songs, and made her own: “I’m So Sad”. I watched the new TV show “The Orville” and was pleasantly surprised that this felt far more like a Next Generation episode than anything else. Having Brennon Braga probably helps. Wednesday I took Nina to see Yes (West) at Wolf Trap. She was more interested in playing on the lighted handrail, but I was so happy they switched in “Changes” for “Lift Me Up” (I’d seen them do that last year).


Thursday I endured some truly horrible traffic to Annapolis to see Dennis DeYoung of Styx. The happy hour at Level: A Small Plates Lounge almost made the trip worth it on its own (maybe it was the 2 cocktails – but the food was mighty good). He put on a good show, and his pipes were in amazing shape for 70 (very odd that he has a Tommy Shaw soundalike sing lead on some songs, but maybe he needs some breaks).


Sunday the 17th Jill took Nina apple picking in the morning, and in the afternoon I took her to the Cox Farms Fall Festival where we met up with a friend and her mom. Monday I made a quick ramen – I have no idea why I never tried making it before. It was easy and delicious. Later I was looking for setlists for concerts I’d been to and found a real blast from the past.


Tuesday I went to an appointment and saw the Google Maps car on the way back. I also got an authentic Philly cheesesteak at Bolzano’s Deli for lunch. That evening I realized the mix CD we handed out as a wedding favor has a track from Nina Gordon (of Veruca Salt), Nina’s namesake. I was also thrilled to learn that my favorite book, Good Omens, had finally started filming the TV version.

Google car

Wednesday the 20th I went to VetsAid, a new charity concert for veterans created by Joe Walsh and featured him, the Zac Brown Band and Keith Urban. I came up with some new rules of concert etiquette:
1. Whensoever the house lights dim, thou must dim thy screen all the way down
2. If thou holdest the phone vertically while recording video, thou shalt be mocked
3. If thou leavest thy flash on, thou shall be stoned (and not the good kind)
My favorite cover that night was a tie: the Zac Brown Band’s mashup of “Kashmir/The Devil Went Down to Georgia” vs. their cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. But this song by Keith Urban was just incredible – never heard it before. I did wonder at what point did Joe Walsh turn into Neil Young – lots of long solos with plenty of feedback. Also, I was out way too late on a school night if the traffic lights in Fairfax are blinking on the way home.

Joe Walsh Zac Brown Keith Urban

Saturday the 23rd Nina auditioned for The Nutcracker her dance school is putting on – and she got a part. That night we got a babysitter for her, and Jill and I had dinner at Northside 10 (short rib poutine was great) before going to see Red Molly at The Birchmere, where we bought efo tix, saw Brian from WA9, and toasted missing friends.


Sunday Jill took Nina for one last pool visit before it closed. And I didn’t want to tell Nina, but I think I found the surprise she mentioned earlier in the day.


Saturday the 30th we went to a community yard sale in the morning (picked up some cheap pads so Nina could try skateboarding), took a walk around the Walker Nature Center with some neighbors, then got a babysitter so Jill and I could go see Dave Chappelle – just hilarious. Apparently they were filming for his Netflix special as well. It was weird having our phones locked inside a pouch though. Afterwards we had dessert at Co Co Sala.

Kerry Jill