July

For Jill’s birthday on Wednesday the 1st, she was still recovering and we stayed at home, but I made her request for dinner: chicken nuggets and fires in her new air fryer. I was sure everyone will be focused on the election in November, but noted that voting is important every year. Turning the VA statehouse blue was crucial for these new laws in effect now. This seemed like a good cause. More info here. Thursday one of Jill’s friends came by for a belated birthday visit, and Jill said “It was so wonderful to get a drive by birthday celebration from her and her sweet girl! Made me feel so special! Love you”.

Nina

Friday I took the workday holiday off (usually I work part of one day of the weekend because a number of days I only get 7 or so hours in) and we went to Lost Dog Cafe in Merrifield and had lunch outside, then I picked up meat and beer at Red Apron. I also said to wear your mask. Saturday Nina requested something special for breakfast so got strawberries with regular and blue dyed whipped cream. Then we watched a cardboard boat float and had the neighborhood kids over to open a pinata filled with candy and alcohol to belatedly celebrate Jill’s birthday (grownups took the alcohol) and play on the slip and slide. In the afternoon we took 4 hours to watch Hamilton (someone had so many questions: about history, blackmail, casting and song genre choices), then made these scrumptious ribs (the little bottle of Jack Daniels from the morning really came in handy). In the evening we went out on the boat, and as usual, Lake Thoreau did not disappoint (they were still going off past midnight). Sunday I saw “Weird Al” Yankovic had put up a video version of his Hamilton Polka.

fireworks

Monday the 6th I felt this will happen to me in the future. Tuesday I had to quote this interview: “That mask is not for you. That’s for everybody around you. If you care about your neighbors, your family, the people that you encounter in the store — wear that mask.” Wednesday I saw that The Far Side was back. Jill was still off while she recovered from her surgery and said “I took a walk around the lake for the first time after my surgery 2 weeks ago and discovered 2 trails I didn’t know about before! 10 years in and still new things to discover.” Friday I saw this and knew what I was listening to the rest of the afternoon. That night we had dinner outside at Ariake, where Nina ate all her sushi and then proceeded to finish off Jill’s bento box (after she watched a ladybug escape it).

Nina

Saturday the 11th I went to Meadowlark Gardens for a socially distanced memorial to my elementary and high school friend Gretchen. Later we were so happy to host another boat concert, this time with Robbie Schaefer. Perfect ending to the day. Monday I thought we’d already come to this conclusion. After a Banh Mi on a handmade sourdough hoagie roll Thursday, I may never go back to store bought. Friday I noted that you can apply to vote absentee by mail now for the November election in Virginia.

Robbie

Saturday the 18th my friend Norm pointed out that an artist had painted giant wings on a parking garage nearby, so I brought Nina to take some pictures. She convinced me that since we were out, we also had to go to Duck Donuts. Monday Nina had finished her 3 weeks of virtual camps at Lopez Studios (with songs from Wizard of Oz, Lion King and School of Rock) and chose to switch back to AFYP for the last 2 weeks of virtual camps, with acting camp and musical theater bootcamp. Tuesday I said “Oh dang” as Fairfax County Public Schools switched between hybrid and all-virtual classes to all-virtual classes. Thursday I thought this is a fantastic Dolly Parton parody for our times. Friday I saw this was a quick way to let Congress know live venues are important. Later I went to Golden King to get dim sum while Nina and Jill were at the pool.

Nina

Saturday the 25th Nina and Jill had a spa day. Sunday after having listened to the amazing feat of Hamilton Act 1 but it’s The Muppets, I figured he was done, but he did Act 2 too! Tuesday I said just wear your mask. Wednesday morning after forgetting our CSA veggies the day before I bribed Nina to come with me by offering Dunkin’ Donuts. Thursday I was today years old when I found out Levar Burton was “a police detective trying to arrest the band”. Also, this was tweet of the day and I made this intriguing image of Nina at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2012 and 2019 in response to a post on a Facebook group asking for pictures of kids at their first and most recent Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Later Jill got takeout from Mama Tigre, some wonderful Mexican with Indian fusion.

Nina

From Senator Janet Howell’s newsletter
Continue reading “July”

June

Tuesday the 3rd we started picking up our CSA from Potomac Vegetable Farms. We were members there from 2005-2009, and rejoined when we saw how hard it was to find some foods during quarantine. We started with lots of leafy greens. Friday Jill said “I know how many of you love stories, especially sci fi, fantasy, etc. Check out this podcast from Ariel Therkiel as she narrates some of my favorite fiction genres in at talesfromablackuniverse.com. I’m hooked. And it goes without saying to support her for her work, and check out the authors as well and support them too.” Saturday I had to go into the office then picked up some beer from Aslin on the way home; this just seemed appropriate for the news. Monday I thought maybe we don’t need to go back to eating in restaurants quite yet. Wednesday Nina had her hair dyed blue for the last day of class and got takeout from Flippin’ Pizza, then Thursday they had a virtual popsicle party before school ended early and we took the boat out and she went swimming in the lake with friends.

Friday the 12th was the start of Phase Two of reopening (now eating inside a restaurant, going back to the gym and in-person worship services was ok). But we didn’t do any of those. That week after finally getting Nina’s summer schedule set (virtual musical theater camp, baby sitter, math tutor) I realized she had nothing to do the say after school ended. Plus I hadn’t taken any vacation days yet in the year, so we had a daddy daughter day for the first time in months: Whole Foods for sunscreen and fruit, Dulles Golf Center & Sports Park for mini golf, Frito Chicken for a fried chicken lunch outside, Target for toy selection (Barbies, with her own money) and curbside beer pickup at Old Ox Brewery. Delighted to see almost everyone wearing masks inside and practicing social distancing. Later we got takeout from Bebop Korean-Mexican Grill. Saturday we had a nice family walk and admired some BLM sidewalk chalk art, then had Morgan and her family over for a boat ride and swimming.

Monday the 15th Nina started virtual musical theater camp from the Mason Community Arts Academy – she and Jill got takeout from Cafesano when I had to go into the office. Tuesday I was excited that Terraset’s Virtual Talent Show was finally out. Friday I noticed that Fountains of Wayne fans may like this (plus that day (Juneteenth) Bandcamp was donating their profits to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund). Saturday we had an early, socially distanced Father’s Day with my dad. We brought Bojangles and sat apart and ate. Jill said on Sunday “He’s always up for an adventure with our fearless girl. He’s the best Dad I know. Loving, patient, understanding, supportive. Much love to you always and forever”. Nina gave me a voice message, and her phone transcribed it like this: “Hey dad you’re the best kid that I love you all the way The Odyssey the Darth Vader when hes me …. You are the One anyone could ask Like you let me have Fine and you me Sometimes I don’t care the kids Nice stat Indian I love you with my whole heart I love you don’t make the It’s fine To have UA …. It is Yes In the best one I need one Today Israel or Ask for Fast Said III could have I love you With my heart I love you all the way yo all the way hello you you only you only do All the way ugly way even in event it please thing isn’t exactly spell that’s how I say has how I say I said Can I say I hate how I say how I say ye I love you too minute one minute is not fun I’m gonna sing you this is”. Monday I saw Black Sabbath is selling Black Lives Matter T-shirts themed after Black Sabbath’s iconic Master Of Reality album cover. The shirts are being sold for $25, with all proceeds going to the non-profit Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.

The next week was a hard one, even for 2020. Jill had stomach pain making it hard to sleep on the Saturday, but by Tuesday the 23rd was experiencing constant pain, went to urgent care, who sent her to the emergency room. She chose Reston because she knew the surgeon who would remove her gall bladder the next day. She was home Wednesday (Covid-19 patients on her floor was a big motivation to leave) and recovering nicely; Nina and I got takeout from Nando’s for dinner. Then Thursday Gretchen, an old elementary school friend, has passed and a teen has drowned in the lake next to ours. That night I wondered if Gretchen would have appreciated having her memory toasted with a whiskey made by blasting Metallica at it as it aged? Yes, I think she would. Jill said “Finishing my Sante Fe cardigan now that I have much more time on my hands for the next week or two. Just have unexpected abdominal surgery and you too can be a Lady of Leisure!”

Saturday the 27th I couldn’t believe in 2020 I had to order a bootleg from Japan, but now I have the 2 best performances from the 2001 WBCN River Rave (the Black Crowes and Aerosmith). Later I hadn’t been to a concert for 4 months – until that night. We’d discussed hosting house concerts before, but the need for social distancing forced us to get creative. We hosted Todd Wright on our boat for concert #4, and it was so much fun. Monday Nina started virtual musical theater camp from Lopez who she did in person camp with last year, then the month ended on another down note as Jill’s friend Joanna passed, and she said “I just found out that she passed away a few days ago. She was an amazing friend and I loved her dearly. I had been trying to get her to come down for a visit so we could reconnect in person and I’m so sorry it never happened. She will be missed so much by everyone who knew her.”

May

Friday May 1st I thought this is great. That evening Nina got her purple belt in a virtual ceremony. Monday Jill said “This girl has been asking for a couple of weeks to try kayaking on her own, and I was finally brave enough to let her try it! She did great, although she did say it’s harder than it looks.” Wednesday Jill said “Fun science adventures in homeschooling: So Nina wanted to try out her science experiment kit as a rainy day activity. She chose a color changing liquid experiment (bases vs acids). One of the ingredients was red cabbage powder, but it wasn’t labeled as such. So I took a discreet sniff: sure enough, that’s what it was. Nina decided she wanted to also confirm, and thus inhaled a good amount of it up her nose. I tell her (ok, yelled at her) to blow her nose: purple snot ensues. Then I tell her to use the nasal spray and flush it out: to her delight, the snot turned blue. Then she read the label of the saline spray: contains baking soda. Successful experiment? We think so!”. And “Wearing my now favorite stay at home outfit: cozy hoodie, black leggings, and hand knit sport weight socks (these are Must Stash sport in the Kama Sutra colorway). Currently spinning sunshine aka a luscious batt from Frost Yarn . I’m probably in the minority, but I’m very ok with the slow spring we’re having here. It feels fitting, somehow.”. Plus “Voila! Sourdough pretzels with jalapeno cheese dip! Take my word for it, they’re as tasty as they look!”. Later I had to thank to Honda of Chantilly for picking up my car and doing my inspection and emissions, oil change and other maintenance, while I only had to leave the house to give them the keys. They even washed the car. We got takeout from Founding Farmers that night, before finding out the next day the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival was cancelled…

Nina

The next week Jill was back at work due to the governor allowing elective surgeries to resume. Friday the 8th This happened before Axl started feuding with the Treasury Secretary… Later Nina made her first video game in Girl Scouts. Use the arrow keys to catch the broom before the other cat catches you. She also recorded her part for the school talent show that afternoon. Monday Dave Grohl gets it. Also finally, someone has encapsulated how I feel about DJ Khaled: from a summary of last year’s musical-guests on SNL (this year’s is here) “DJ Khaled is the most successful Guy Who Screams His Own Name While Other People Perform in the business, and he brought his screaming-his-own-name A game for SNL’s season finale. Imagine a medley of performers and songs you’re interested in hearing, except that medley is punctuated every few seconds by an airhorn, and that airhorn is a man, and that man is shouting, “SING IT, GIRL!” at SZA while she’s already attempting to sing. You know who’s really great at singing? SZA. You know who does not need to be heard yelling, “SING IT, GIRL!” at SZA as she sings? Three guesses, and if you somehow guess wrong the first time, I will appear in the clouds overhead like Mufasa in The Lion King and bellow “ANOTHER ONE!” at you, because that’s how the universe works.”

Nina

Sunday the 10th Jill said “I had such a lovely day today; thoughtful gifts, yummy food, great company both at home and digitally, and got to do so many of my favorite things: crafting, being out on the water, and rewatching a classic. Nina really got into Mother’s Day this year which really warmed my heart! Bonus favorite: finally getting to introduce her to the Princess Bride; she seemed to really enjoy it which was pretty awesome. I know this day is not an easy one for a myriad of reasons; no matter what this day holds for you I hope it was a peaceful one; what you needed it to be.” Wednesday we got takeout from the finally reopened Reston Kabob. Tuesday the 18th I finally found a mask that speaks to me.

Nina

Fridays there were no virtual classes, just assignments, but on the 22nd Nina joined a new virtual Storytelling Club and got one last lunch bunch with Mrs. Zemke. That night we had takeout from Bollywood Bistro. Saturday Jill said about our hike at Lake Fairfax “It was the perfect day to go on a new adventure by hiking a new trail! Nina said she was bored with our walking paths so we tried something a little more challenging and we all had fun.” On Memorial Day we had Janice over for a socially distanced boat ride. Jill said “New growth. I’m astounded that my orchid has lasted and is actually getting ready to bloom with minimal fuss from me.”

Nina

Thursday the 28th the governor ordered face masks indoors and we were pleased about that. Friday we got takeout from Glory Days Grill, and on Sunday we had one of Nina’s friends and her family over for another socially distanced boat ride. Later Jill said “Give money. Give time. Give respect. Give love. Give knowledge. We must do better. We know in our hearts what is wrong and what is right. Black Lives Matter.”

Nina

April

April was the first full month of quarantine and it was hard at times. Jill only worked two days, so she was primary teacher for the first half of the month. April 1st I had my first virtual meeting with my massage therapist as she taught me some Egoscue techniques so I could get a better posture. On the 3rd I said “Oh, come on!” to Bill Withers’s passing. That day Jill said “Leveled up on the stealth teaching today. I roped Nina in with Cat Heaven Island on Amazon Prime, first film she’s ever watched with subtitles. As we were watching (and reading) they kept referring to the before and after of the tsunami in 2011. So we did a little sideline into learning about tsunamis. It was a neat documentary and now we both need to go.” Saturday Nina continued her musical class online; Monday evening we took the boat out.

Nina Jill

Tuesday the 7th Nina’s Tae Kwon Do classes went virtual through Zoom. Wednesday we got takeout from Taco Zocalo (trying to support local restaurants once a week) then that night started the howl – initially just an 8PM howl at the moon, but people kept doing it every night. Thursday Nina built a box fort in the basement with all the boxes we’d moved the book in. Friday I said farewell to John Prine with a cover by Stuart and Susan. Jill said “Knitting a thing for a friend and wearing my Nightmare before Christmas leggings bring me joy today. Enjoying my newly enforced hour of Alone Time is also bringing me joy!” The 12th was Easter and we had a virtual tea with the grandmothers over Zoom, then I made Eggs Benedict and artichokes for dinner and now Nina loved artichokes. Jill said “The Easter Bunny also hid Hershey kisses around the room because she’s cheeky like that.” I love it when I wake up earwormed with a song, look to see what the artist has been up to and find out they released a lovely Stones cover for charity the day before on Monday.

Jill Nina

Monday Jill said “We’ve started working on the packet for distance learning and…well. I had to explain that at school she doesn’t sit in her teacher’s lap and get constant validation about each individual problem she’s working on. She does her work and then the teacher checks her work. So, needless to say it’s going well.” Tuesday the 14th was supposed to be the start of virtual learning, I was tech support getting Nina ready. I’d gotten her laptop ready and put it in sleep, but I could not get it to connect to Wi-Fi even with a reboot. I remembered where the ethernet -> socket -> ethernet system was, so pulled it out and got her working, then came downstairs, turned on my laptop, and then the feedback came from the speakers. I thought that had gone away with the new PC I bought in January to get Windows 10, but turns out I needed to find my well shielded speakers instead. In other support news, I had to jump start Jill’s car, but that’s another story. Nina was very happy to see her class for the 1st time in 4 weeks. Unfortunately despite having a month to prepare, Fairfax County Public Schools didn’t prepare for scaling or security of online classes, and the next day (after a 2 hour delay) cancelled the rest of the week. At least Nina’s teacher gave out several assignments each day. Wednesday Jill said “Springtime nature walks… I wish I had seen more people maintaining social distance on the trails though…”

Nina

Friday the 17th we got takeout from Ariake. Saturday Nina’s musical theater classes at Lopez Studios resumed over Zoom. That afternoon we proved there’s still entertainment in the middle of quarantine, especially when we get a beer delivery from Old Ox Brewery with one of the delivery people dressed up as Left Shark. That night we used Zoom to play Cards Against Humanity with the Cannons after Nina was asleep. Sunday I made sourdough bread with starter Teresa sent me. Monday Nina was taking classes over school channel 21. Wednesday we got takeout from Neighborhood Restaurant Group (aka Neighborhood Provisions), which got us beer resupply as well. I have not laughed so hard in a long time as I did at one scene in that night’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine season finale Thursday. Friday I was pleased someone’s been fired for this nonsense in school. Jill said “Just really digging these tiny ripples on the water tonight. Trying to find peace where I can; hoping you all can as well.”

Nina

Saturday the 25th Jill and Nina created a games book case in the dining room. Jill said “More adventures in quaran-cleaning…. I had no idea we had so many games. It’s one in, one out from now on!” Sunday I made brunch with sourdough cinnamon buns and homemade turkey sausage. Monday school finally got started online for real, with 30 minute sessions at 9:30, 1, and 3:15 with assigned work in between to do online. Jill said “Look at this STUNNING watercolor that chantaleliseart created for me! This is one of my favorite photos of me and my daughter, and she turned it into a piece of art I will cherish always! Thank you so much!” Tuesday we got donuts from Duck Donuts in Herndon. Wednesday we got takeout from Nando’s.

Nina Jill

March

Sunday March 1st we decided to get in one more day of skiing and drove up to Whitetail. Nina went to ski school, and Jill and I hung out in front of a fire before taking a run. The warmth of the day had made the snow chunky and Jill was done after a run, while I wanted to try the blue trails. The conditions made my thighs hurt after a while, and I took a break before it was time to pick Nina up. When she hadn’t shown up after 15 minutes, we talked to the school. Turns out they were confused and thought she was a full day school student, and was feeding her lunch. But she got her wish and we all took a run together, then Nina and I did another couple runs together. On the way back, we stopped at Family Meal for a scrumptious early dinner plus some good beer shopping next door at District East. We finished watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as Wizards Unite had an event coming up that would deal with events in the sequel.

Nina

The coronavirus was on our minds all month as it graduated into a pandemic. But first Nina got a cold on Sunday the 9th so she was home from school the Monday (Jill off) and Tuesday (I took care of her until Jill got home, then went in for 8 hours). She was back at school Wednesday but we could see the writing on the wall. We started stocking up on groceries and I asked for a laptop from work so I could start teleworking. Sure enough, as the closings started to come fast and furious (including lots of concerts), Fairfax County schools closed on Friday the 13th. The governor of Virginia closed all schools later that day and we started our home schooling with a half day of work and a half day of play for Nina (I managed to get my work done too). Saturday we stayed at home (but we decided the kids could play outside) and worked hard on getting all the books out of the office as the carpet was getting replaced Monday. Jill caught Nina saying “It’s time to chill with Art.” That night, after starting Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, I took a late night trip to Safeway to see the pasta, rice, flour, meat and hot dogs sections vacant. Good thing I was mostly after produce and staples not in those sections. Sunday I went into work to work a half day as no one else was there, then needed to bring home some things I was missing (including my chair).

Nina

Monday the 16th started our full time social distancing. Jill had her day off that day, but I had to stay upstairs as well since the carpet guys were there, then the room needed airing out the rest of the day. The rest of the week was hard as it was me and Nina until Jill got home around 4:30, trying to balance her studying and recess time with my telework time. Unfortunately I had to work after she went to bed some days. We started the week still playing outside with other neighborhood kids, but by the time the week ended the news had gotten worse and we stopped (it was hard on her with the spring weather starting and the cherry blossoms blooming). We still had St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday with low sodium corned beef and cabbage.

Kerry Nina

Sunday the 22nd we started getting a lot more virtual. The Shantytowne stitch and bitch started the previous week morphed into a general catchup, and we had to move off Google Hangouts to Zoom because of the 10 person limit in Hangouts. Nina started doing her Tae Kwon Do lessons online, and on Tuesday our friend Seth taught Nina and Penny the basics of flight during a virtual teaching session. We still had plenty of food after stocking up and on Monday we had a four course dinner delivered from Equinox (the pasta course was my favorite). The week was a lot easier on me as Jill’s surgery center changed to only be open 1 day a week, and they didn’t need her, so she was the teacher all week, and I got to work mostly uninterrupted downstairs. They also announced on the 23rd schools would be closed for the rest of the year. There are some silver linings. If the rest of the maple syrup hadn’t been sold out, I would have never known about bourbon barrel aged maple syrup.

Nina

On the 25th we did a Zoom call with my sister and her family. Later Jill said “Today’s first homeschool activity: spelling/vocabulary
I explain the meaning of synchronize and use a couple of explanations: it’s when you make the same movements at the same time, like the Rockettes kicking or synchronized swimming when they’re all doing the same routine at the same time.
N: What if one person is doing one thing and then right after the other person does it?
Me: nope, it has to be at the same time
N: what if the 2 people are dancing different moves at the same time then switch those moves?
Me: no, same movement at the same time.
N: what if there are 20 dancers and 10 are doing 1 move and 10 are doing the other move?
Me: well, there are 2 groups of synchronized dancers.
N: but what if…
Me: Look, this is what the word means. I’m not going to change what the word means!
… 19 words to go….”

Jill Nina

Friday the 27th we used Zoom to play Cards Against Humanity with the Cannons after Nina was asleep. Saturday was gloomy and Nina had an online drama class while I worked on restoring the library while Jill made pierogies (she said “Adventures in cooking with lots of time on my hands…. pierogi. They’re stuffed with sauteed cabbage and I really hope they’re yummy because whoa. A lot of work.”), then we did another Zoom call with the Cannons over dinner (it was mostly Nina and Penny playing). Sunday was really nice in the afternoon, so we took a walk, finally got the boat out, and grilled and ate dinner outside. Monday the governor finally issued an official stay at home order, so we knew the previous two weeks had been just a preview. Jill said about the boat ride “Doing our very best version of social distancing. We said hello to many of our neighbors from a safe distance this afternoon. Many of us were out enjoying the sunshine!” Monday Jill saw this and said “Thank goodness. Just what I needed to read right now. Any parent trying to navigate with school aged kids right now, here’s a common sense, concise article filled with wisdom.” Tuesday she said “I know people love the full bloom of the cherry trees, but this part, when it rains gentle pale pink petals, is my favorite. Redbuds then Dogwoods after that! It’s still Spring, after all…”

Nina

February

Saturday the 1st was a very busy day. Nina started learning the songs from Annie at her weekly musical class at Lopez Studios, then we went to Lake Anne after lunch to see the end of the Polar Dip and Nina got to play with some friends and eat a s’more nearly the size of her head. After that, we headed into DC. We were planning to go to The Reach at The Kennedy Center to see the Winter Lanterns + Korea, but as a big rainstorm was blowing through, went inside to check out the Millennium Stage as Metro delays had us there at nearly 6. The show tonight featured performers from Footsteps in the Dark (intersections of hip hop, dance, and Muslim culture put on by Words Beats & Life). We thought Nina would be into it, but we had no idea this would happen. Jill said “My little soul dancer got selected to bust a move on stage after learning about the origin of hip hop from the incredibly talented and awesome teacher @amirahsackett last night at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage! We had such a great time learning and N got some greatly appreciated words of encouragement from Amirah as well! An experience to remember!”

The 5th I posted “Real talk: Is it ok to take your adult multi-vitamins with a single malt scotch? Asking for… a friend.” Saturday the 8th Safeway’s Monopoly was back on and I didn’t know what’s going on with the promotion, but anytime I get money back instead of spending nearly $200, I’ll take it. Sunday Nina had an audition workshop for 101 Dalamations summer camp, and Jill and I took a Wizards Unite stroll around Reston Town Center (with beers and a pretzel at Crafthouse).

Nina

Thursday the 13th I didn’t think I wanted a death metal cover of a Weird Al song – but here one was anyway. Valentine’s Day I picked up Korean fried chicken for dinner and we’d all gotten chocolates for dessert. Saturday was concert #2: NSO Pops: Megan Hilty and Cheyenne Jackson. They were great (and she does an amazing cover of “The Heart of the Matter”). Plus Nina found a new favorite restaurant – Sweet Ginger in Vienna, where she can have sushi and chicken tenders. My surprise of the evening was learning that the conductor was Damon Gupton, who also plays the police chief on Black Lightning.

Megan Hilty and Cheyenne Jackson

Nina and I were both off on Monday the 17th and this looked like a preview. The actual day was not bad, she had a playdate with a classmate at a trampoline park. Sunday the 23rd we went to Reston Town Center for a Wizards Unite Community Day event, walking around catching creatures. That night was concert #3: Beth Patterson at The Old Brogue. She only plays in the area once a year, so we try not to miss her excellent shows, paired with the fine menu there. Plus she played both of my requests!

Nina

Tuesday the 25th Nina got her full braces put in. Thursday she earned her green belt in Tae Kwon Do. Jill said “My strong, suddenly serious green belt. She passed her belt test and is now in her last belt before getting to level 2. So proud of my fierce girl!” Friday she had a talent show audition after a quick rehearsal at home the night before. Later as I read this article, I was struck by this passage: “I gave a talk about what happened in 1918, how society broke down, and emphasized that to retain the public’s trust, authorities had to be candid. ‘You don’t manage the truth,’ I said. ‘You tell the truth.’ ” I hoped that doesn’t happen again, as it appears the coronavirus was heading for us.

Nina

The 29th Nina had a Girl Scouts event all morning, so Jill and I met at Lake Anne for Wizards Unite. It was cold, so we went inside the Brew House for beer and coffee (there’s a fortress there), then walked around a bit more before it was time to get her.

Nina

January

Saturday the 4th might have been our most epic Wizards Unite day ever. I wanted to do something different than a walk, plus it was raining. We ended up at Lake Anne and walked over to the fortress and did a challenge under umbrellas. Then we went into the Lake Anne Brew House for beer, kombucha, and soda and started 3 dark detectors in both of the inns we could see. Then we discovered we could see the fortress from there and Jill and I finally finished Dark III for the first time. We went to the used book store, then got dinner at the Greek restaurant. While waiting for dessert, we started another 6 dark detectors, and did even better: 2 Dumbledores, Hermione, 2 unicorns, Fred, George, Grawp, Quidditch Harry, 2 Percival Graves and I think 1 other. Plus a Tom Riddle as we were leaving, and a Veil when I went out for groceries later. Sunday Dad came over for lunch and I gave him his Christmas present – a new laptop (so I didn’t have to deal with upgrading Windows 7 on his old one).

Nina

Monday after an epic bedtime tantrum had Nina not going to sleep until 10:45, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go out and walk in the freezing weather. At 11:40 I decided to, started Wizards Unite, did the inn across the street twice and hustled to the nearest fortress. I completed the challenge with 30 seconds to go until midnight, but when I tried to click the last collect button got the restart popup, and that took too long so failed to collect my daily task money. Plus on the way back I was catching a foundable and my phone died. Plugged it in when I got home and it was at 47%. WTF?

Nina

Friday the 10th was a rough one for me, as it was announced that Neil Peart, the drummer/lyricist of Rush, had passed away after a battle with cancer. I said “Dammit 2020. R.I.P. Professor.”

My favorite “Closer To The Heart” video – Rush Through Time (loved that cassette). I saw this online then did it – donate $21.12 to the American Cancer Society in Neil’s memory. And here’s a good read from someone very important to the band.

Neil

Saturday we went to see Nina perform her songs from Frozen at her last theatre class; later I took Nina to see a rehearsal of The Little Mermaid Jr. also from Lopez, then in the evening we took advantage of Jill’s mom coming down and went to DC to use one of Jill’s Christmas gifts to me: PubPass, where you get a free beer at participating bars. We went to Georgetown and started at The Berliner, then hung outside and played Wizards Unite at a fortress because it was close to 60 degrees. Then we went to Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown for more beers and dinner.

Nina

Sunday I made a tribute to my favorite band, as we lost one of the holy trinity this week. This one’s for you, Professor.

Tony Reed – Garden Road
Skid Row – What You’re Doing
Sloan – In The Mood
Audioslave – Working Man
Mark Slaughter, George Lynch, Deen Castronovo & Stu Hamm – Anthem
Spearfish – Making Memories
Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins & Nick Raskulinecz – 2112 I. Overture
Steven Wilson – The Twilight Zone
Alice in Chains – Tears
Dream Theater – Xanadu
Alain Johannes – Madrigal
Steve Morse, Mike Portnoy & Billy Sheehan – La Villa Strangiato
Rachel Barton Pine – The Spirit Of Radio
Tyler Warren – Entre Nous
Beth Patterson – Tom Sawyer (with Josh Paxton)
Rik Emmett – Red Barchetta
Mike Portnoy, Philip Bynoe & Pete Thorn – YYZ
The Smashing Pumpkins – Limelight
Jacob Moon – Subdivisions
Jack Russell, Mike Portnoy & Billy Sheehan – Analog Kid
Eric Martin, Brad Kaiser & Robert Berry – Mission
SPiN – Time Stand Still
Fleesh – The Pass
Rage – Bravado
Allegaeon – Animate

Tuesday the 15th I thought it was an odd week, as the loss of an icon I first encountered in the ’80s (Neil) is now balanced by the adaption of another series from the ’80s: Crisis on Infinite Earths. I would have never thought they could have pulled it off but they did, with nods and winks to every DC adaption on small and big screens.

As The Magicians returns for their 5th season, let’s appreciate the masterful Season 4 episode synopses:
1. Brian takes a friend out for ice cream; Sam is one week away from retirement.
2. Dean Fogg gets a new suit.
3. Kady gets a puppy. Quentin meets a snake.
4. Josh gives Margo a muffin. Julia drinks schnapps.
5. Alice and Quentin confront a dog. There are some flashbacks.
6. Quentin and Julia play Pictionary. Margo drinks some weird milk.
7. Kady goes to the flea market. What’s Zelda has been up to? This one’s all about Fen, you guys.
8. Penny licks an egg. Alice gets jealous of a flower.
9. Quentin eats a quesadilla. Kady and Zelda share a smoke.
10. Margo hits her step count.
11. The gang talks to a book. Tick threatens to drink some water.
12. Quentin yells at a plant. Margo stares at a fish.
13. Quentin and Josh get cake. Quentin reflects on his actions.

Nina

Friday the 17th, Jill and I got another night out thanks to her mom. We once again got a free beer, this time at Valor Brewpub as they were literally steps away from Rose’s Luxury, where we had a reservation. The kitchen view was perfect, as was the tasting menu (the Cacio e Pepe was amazing). Saturday we all went out for concert #1: Eddie From Ohio at The Birchmere. An unusual show by just the core four with no opener, unexpected covers (Warren Zevon just after I’d been listening to the tribute CD that week) and blasts from the past (“Blue Jeans” and “Loitering In The Lobby”). We also grabbed dinner before the show at Northside 10. Sunday we had brunch at Red’s Table, then everyone but me went to see Little Women in the afternoon.

Jill Kerry

Monday Nina got her orange belt at Tae Kwon Do. Wednesday I hadn’t bought any Wolf Trap tix for the first set of shows, but for the 3 shows on sale that week, bought all 3: Steely Dan/Steve Winwood, Barenaked Ladies/Gin Blossoms/Toad the Wet Sprocket & Brandi Carlile + NSO.

Nina

Saturday the 25th it was road trip time. After a stop in Front Royal for lunch at McAlister’s Deli, we drove to Bryce Resort where we stayed at Chalet High. It was late afternoon by the time we checked in, so we only did tubing that night. Sunday it was skiing time, with lessons for Jill and Nina. Jill said “Well, after 3 years off the mountain my body still (sort of) knew what to do!” Nina and I skiied some more after lessons, then we called it a day. We brought our Amazon Fire stick but not the remote. The 2nd hack listed here (have Amazon Fire, but not at home) works perfectly. Genius. Nina was not into watching Doctor Who, so we watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (we were listening to Goblet of Fire in the car).

Jill Kerry Nina

Monday Nina had another lesson while I signed her up for summer camps, then we skied most of the mountain with another 8 year old we picked up on the lift while Jill stayed home, spun and watched Netflix. We drove down to New Market and had lunch at Jalisco. Tuesday we drove back home, while Wednesday Jill picked up the Girl Scout cookies at Wolf Trap as she was cookie mom again.

Kerry Nina

One thing that took the sting away from Neil’s passing: receiving a signed copy of Far and Near from publisher ECW Press after they ran a contest on Facebook to “Please share your favourite fact about Neil, your favourite lyric or prose he wrote, the thing you’ll miss most about him — anything about Neil Peart that brought you joy or connection.” I had written this:

Neil’s lyrics were a big part of surviving high school, but as I grew up and had a family of my own, his words never stopped being relevant.

I always come back to “Afterimage” when someone I care about passes:
“Suddenly, you were gone
From all the lives you left your mark upon”

December

Thursday the 5th Jill took Nina to the German market. On Friday I had to give points to my sister for getting us gifts early. Negative points to Target for letting certain people know what’s in the box. I made sure “Hugs’N’Ho” is an abbreviation, or she wasn’t going to get it.

box

Later on Friday it was concert #49: Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes at The Barns at Wolf Trap. A living legend who’s still got that voice put on a great show with Ronettes and Christmas classics. Saturday our neighbor had a holiday party we had a good time at, then Sunday we went to visit my dad for a delayed Thanksgiving lunch with him. Jill said on Wednesday “As an adult during the week with lots to do, the best snow scenario: a powdery coating just to get into the festive holiday mood. As a kid, rather disappointing. N was shuffled out the door this morning on time, thank you very much”.

Jill Nina

Thursday the 12th I went to concert #50: Josh Rouse with Joe Pisapia at Jammin’ Java. Also a mix of originals and Christmas songs, but not classics as he’s just put out an album of original Christmas songs. The show sounded great, as you might expect with 2 of his producers on stage in the band. Best part was getting an upgrade after I bought a GA ticket, then a lady said her husband hurt his hip and they couldn’t get into their seats next to the stage and i could have one if I wanted it. Spoiler alert: I did. Friday Nina had a birthday party and Jill and I had dinner at Mama Chang with a delicious mix of small plates, followed by some Wizards Unite action. Saturday was our annual holiday party, including friends that came from long way away. Sunday was nice and Jill said “Ahh yesterday, when it was 50+ degrees and we had some sunny outdoors time. This morning, it’s a little different #hellosleet”.

Kerry Nina Jill

While watching this, I nearly did a spit take with egg nog – for all my fellow parents. Monday I had a work party at the Bungalow Lakehouse, and got to play pool for a couple hours. Friday the 20th should have been Nina’s last day of school before Winter Break, but she had a fever in the morning. Surprisingly with widespread flu at school she was positive for strep. So I thought it would be a good idea when waiting in CVS for her prescription to get some cards for family and then get them ready to mail at home. This was the card when I asked her every time, from purchase to completion, “Are you sure?” Some lucky relative got this.

card

I stayed home, then went to work when Jill got home, who said “Early Christmas present: New Mantel shelves!!! I’m finally able to hang stockings by the fire and unpack some boxes! Yay!!” The next day Nina’s fever got worse, and eventually we took her to PM Pediatrics where we found out she had the flu (B strain) also. She started taking Tamiflu in addition to the antibiotics she had for strep (she hated both medicines). The next morning, after an achy night, I had a fever too, so went to my practice’s urgent care and got Tamiflu as well (of course we’d all been vaccinated). We had been planning to go to Christmas concerts that night and Monday, but managed to resell the tickets. Jill said “When there’s flu at your house and you’re the only one who’s still healthy. Mince pies and coffee for strength and sweetness please!”

Nina

By Monday night the 23rd we were feeling better, so we kept our tickets to Enchant DC. Seeing Nats Park lit up was picturesque, and the maze was nice. The food was the best part: I had a crepe, Jill had Ben’s chili fries and Nina had chicken noodle soup. Of course by Christmas Eve day Jill caught bronchitis, and said “Well, this Christmas certainly has not gone to plan, but we are blessed none the less.” On Christmas we opened our stockings and gifts, then went out to dinner at Founding Farmers. We were able to get back to camp and work the next day.

Nina Kerry

Friday the 27th Jill’s dad and his wife came to visit. Jill and Nina went with them to DC to eat Italian and go see Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre. Meanwhile I went to Ono Brewing Company after working an extra long day to make up hours, and enjoyed their beer and the brisket from Odd BBQ inside. Saturday I made these delicious cream cheese cinnamon rolls when we had them over for brunch; in the afternoon they took Nina to pick out her presents at the Lego store while I got in a couple hours at work.

presents

We were supposed to see the new Star Wars movie on the 20th, but fell into the multiple illness vortex, with lots of cancelled plans. Jill also wanted to see Little Women, but not on the 29th, so Nina and I ended up at the 5PM showing at Udvar Hazy. Which was fortuitous, as we saw Lorna & Dave, who kindly saved us a nice pair of seats as we were way back in line. No spoilers, but we enjoyed it and somebody wanted a lightsaber battle as soon as we got home. I worked super long on Monday to hit 16 hours worked as camp was closed on New Year’s Eve and Jill had to work, and I was able to stay home that day instead. We had a quiet evening at home that night playing board games (Throw Throw Burrito was the crowd favorite) before watching the ball drop.

Nina

November

Friday the 1st Nina got her braces; Jill said “Getting braces apparently means going to Target, getting a toy, and playing hooky for the rest of the day instead of going back to school! Who knew?”. Saturday we went into DC to see the Nats Parade. We first went to Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken so we could get chicken and doughnuts for lunch (had to try the Baby Shark doughnut). Then we walked over to the parade on the other side of the street from Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. We didn’t stay for the speeches, got back so Nina could enjoy the sunshine at a park near East Fall Metro (which was so packed we had parked on a side street). Jill said “We pulled out our swag from previous games and headed downtown for the World Series Victory festivities. We ate at the ironically named Astro Donuts and Chicken then headed to Constitution Ave where we got as best a view one could from 250 feet away. We still had fun and everyone was in a celebratory mood! We didn’t stay for the rally but stopped at a playground on the way home to enjoy the day.”

Kerry Nina

Tuesday I went to concert #43: Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Patty Griffin, Steve Earle & Thao Nguyen at the Warner Theatre on the Lantern Tour II for The Women’s Refugee Commission. I’d seen everyone but Thao before, and she was great. But there’s nothing like Patty singing “Mary” with Emmylou on backing vocals. Wednesday Jill said “N and I went to the polls yesterday (as is our tradition; I vote and she watches and asks lots of questions 😊) and helped flip the state legislature for the first time in almost 25 years. For an off-off election year, what a voter turnout! [Today I] Got one of the best cuts of my life thanks to Second Life Salon and the DevaCurl curly girl method!”

Lantern

Saturday the 9th we got fancy and headed over to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens to get our pictures taken. We needed a holiday card photo, plus we hadn’t done family pictures in a while. Jill said “We had family portraits taken at one of our favorite places, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens by Dion Seneca Photography who was super patient and made it fun for everyone! We wandered around afterwards and explored the park during the day where the Winter Walk of Lights is already set up! N especially liked the metal bench shaped like a tree and enjoyed waving to adoring crowds in her horse drawn sleigh”. Nina enjoyed watching the live action Little Mermaid that night.

Kerry Jill Nina

Sunday was show #44: Jay And Silent Bob Reboot at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. Ordinarily a movie wouldn’t make the list, but it does if stars Kevin Smith & Jason Mewes are there to host and do a q&a afterwards. Funny movie and aftershow. Bonus was the slow ordering and food delivery had us waiting for dinner until afterwords (good thing we chose the early show) and we got to try The Renegade. It’s owned by a friend, but we hadn’t been and it was delish (the lamb lollipops were great). Jill said “we stopped for dinner afterwards and so glad we did! We had an amazing meal and everyone was really nice and attentive. A great spot; we’ll be back!”

Jay & Silent Bob

After a long morning on a field trip at the National Museum of Natural History on Thursday the 14th, Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church was a great find. Nice store, and I wouldn’t have know they had a bar with food upstairs without Yelp. Delicious and affordable, I’ll be back (yes, I made it to CD Cellar too).

Nina

Saturday was a packed day with a Girl Scout Expo (Jill said “Had a great morning at the Girl Scout Expo! Unfortunately we had to leave early which was hard, there were so many great things to do and see!”) and drama class. It was parents night out at Tae Kwon Do, so we ran errands, tried out Urban Plates in Tyson’s II, then hung out at the bar in Barrel & Bushel while we finished off the latest Wizards Unite challenge. I’d taken Nina to McDonald’s for lunch when she asked for lunch out instead of takeout before her night out and she was very disappointed when the shake machine was broken. So for dessert we all had shakes from Shake Shack after we picked her up. Pretty much a perfect evening. Sunday was show #45: Roald Dahl’s Matilda at the NextStop Theatre. Great cast, and Nina’s still singing the songs.

Nina

Tuesday the 19th was concert #46: Letters to Cleo at Union Stage. It probably wasn’t the wisest decision to go to 2 shows that week with Jill working 7am to 7pm 3 days, but after being home all day with a sick kid, it was nice to hear some loud rock music (and I’m not kidding about the loud – in the 2 years I’ve been recording every show on my phone, this was the loudest one). The band was great, the venue was nice (my 1st time) and someone even started a discussion with me because of my shirt (the band Belly), which never happens. And their new album is Christmas music, so that was nice timing. Thursday was a concert, then Thanksgiving lunch at Nina’s school, then that night was concert #47: The Low Anthem and Futur Primitif at Jammin’ Java. I went from the loudest concert of the year to the softest as The Low Anthem celebrated the 10th anniversary of Oh My God, Charlie Darwin by playing the full album. But oddly, not in order, and with other songs in the middle. But a fine show nonetheless.

Nina

Saturday the 24th we started vacation after drama class by driving up to Philly. The annual Friendsgiving was a lot of fun, and for the first time we stayed in the city afterwards (Homewood Suites by Hilton, very nice). That meant we got fresh NYC bagels for breakfast the next morning, then went to Reading Terminal Market where we bought some delectables and booze, and had lunch (I had a delicious roast pork sandwich at DiNic’s). It was a shorter trip to Massachusetts after starting in Philly even with predictable slowdowns due to rain, and we arrived not much after dark. Jill wanted food from Mel’s, but I’m not a fan and got a sub from Pizza D’Action.

Nina

Monday we visited Jill’s dad’s mom, then had a bunch of family over at Jill’s mom’s house for takeout Chinese food from North Garden. Tuesday we drove over to my sister’s house south of Boston, where my mom and her husband had been visiting since Sunday. We went out for dinner at The Quarry Restaurant, where I had a pork belly bun, lobster sliders & roasted broccoli rabe. The next afternoon we had a catered Thanksgiving lunch, before trying to leave before traffic got bad. We were partly successful by heading through Rhode Island and running errands there, then angling back northwest. We arrived at Jill’s sister’s house in time for a spaghetti dinner and a white elephant exchange (since we wouldn’t be up for Christmas this year).

family

Thursday was Thanksgiving at Jill’s other sister’s house. Black Friday was my favorite day, as I got to go CD shopping and eat at The Green Bean while Jill had Nina and the younger cousins at the parade in Springfield. That night was concert #48: Stephen Kellogg with Casey at the Iron Horse. We thanked Jill’s mom for being kind and generous by watching Nina and letting us do the VIP before the show and getting a cocktail at The Green Room and hot tubs at East Heaven afterwards. We also finally got a Nields sighting in Northampton as Katryna joined him for the encore. Saturday morning we met Jill’s dad and his wife at Stir the Pot for brunch. We also picked up Jill’s niece Maddie there as a storm was coming that would eventually cancel her flight back to school. We hit a White Castle in a sketchy part of town for a drive thru lunch in Jersey; traffic soon diverted us through Pennsylvania. We stopped at Pistarro’s in Frederick because they were vegetarian friendly (and tasty). By the time we were done, all traffic had died down and we were able to take Maddie directly to school via 270, then home.

family

October

Wednesday the 2nd was bike/walk to school day so Nina brought her scooter while I chased after her, then had to lug it home. Friday we got to see Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory on the big screen. It was presented by the actors who played Veruca Salt and Mike Teavee, plus Nina got to bring a friend. It was a big hit (plus Jill and I got adult milkshakes). That night Jill said “someone was very excited to wear her new mermaid onesie pajamas on the first cool night of the season!”

Jill Nina

Saturday we headed to Fairfax for show #38: Disney On Ice, probably for the final time (“that part’s just for babies”). An always interesting look at Disney’s priorities. Jill said “The real reason I knit huge shawls…. cuddle time watching Disney on Ice. I think it’s our last one; N felt a little too mature at this one. At least she’s not too old for a warming snuggle yet.” Later that night we watched Hocus Pocus for the first time for all of us.

Jill Nina

Sunday we went over to the Fall for Fairfax KidsFest so Nina could ride all the rides and do her first backflip. Plus she insisted I put her on Twitter so she could get a branded candy bucket. Tuesday I was excited that Eagles announced their Hotel California Tour because I was super jealous of the 3 shows they did in Vegas, but bummed they weren’t coming close (but I’m going anyway).

Nina

Thursday the 10th we were at The Barns at Wolf Trap for concert #39: Lucy Kaplansky. Always a good show from her, the sound was great, and a tasteful collection of covers. Jill said “I got to have a fangirl moment with Lucy last night; after front row seats I met her and got to gush a little. Her music hits me right in the solar plexus. I always cry at her shows, I’ve learned not to wear mascara and just let the tears fall. Thank you, Lucy!”

Lucy Jill

Friday I went to DC for concert #40: Katy Perry and Mavis Staples at The Anthem. I was late and missed Norah Jones, but hadn’t seen Katy Perry before. It was great as The Celebration Gospel Choir joined both of them, plus a good dinner at Todd Thrasher’s Tiki TNT and dessert at Milk Bar. The reason I was late was dropping Nina at a friend’s house – Jill picked her up when she got off work. She said “you know it’s been a long and exciting day and you’re completely worn out when you are upset to the point of tears when you find out your favorite apple may not be in season to pick tomorrow. Whew.”

Saturday the apple picking went off without a hitch. Jill said “Continuing the fall traditions. N was really excited to use the apple picking rake this year and was pretty good at it! She also told Benjamin Franklin invented it?”

Nina

Monday the 14th Nina and I were both off for Columbus Day. I took her and a friend over to Cox Farms for the day. Tuesday I had just told Jill that it was nice to not have any appointments that week for the first time in a month. The deer on South Lakes Drive had other ideas (nearly broke through my windshield), and my car went in the shop for two weeks (a Hyundai Accent was better than the SUV I got stuck with last time, but I like my Civic the best). Thursday Nina earned her yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Nina

Friday Jill joined me for lunch at Brain Drain while Nina planned a surprise birthday party for her teacher at school, then that evening we all went to see Pat McGee Band and (almost) Everything at Barns at Wolf Trap for concert #41. Nina’s first show for both, and she had a great time dancing. Good seeing our friends Susan & Jen. Saturday we watched Mystery Science Theater 3000 at the National Theater (Joel’s last tour!) for show #43. Nina had a fun time, and I learned a lesson: if the drinks they make are basically a double, don’t finish your wife’s drink as well. That night was Ninja night (aka Tae Kwon Do watch your kids night), so Jill and I celebrated my birthday early with a little Wizards Unite action in Vienna, then dinner at Clarity. Nothing super special, but we thought we’d come up with quite the blow out for the next week, as the World Series lineup was set and Jill asked if we should go.

Nina

Tuesday the 22nd was my birthday – I knew it because first thing that morning my daughter asked how many centuries old I am. We had a quiet early evening with takeout sushi from Ariake because Jill was still working nights through the end of the month. The next night I noted that 5 night games in 5 nights is deadly on the sleep schedule (as the Skins played in between World Series games). Friday I walked with Nina and the rest of the Terraset crew in the South Lakes High School Homecoming Parade as she tossed candy to spectators, then went to the Halloween party at Tae Kwon Do.

Nina

Saturday the 26th we had my dad come over to our house (where we put on the matching shirts I made), then we drove to East Falls Church and took Metro over to Nats Park for game 4 of the World Series. I’d found reasonably priced tickets on Stubhub, but was still pretty anxious until we got into the ballpark. Nina was delighted the playground was still open, and we all got food while she played. We got into our seats (way up high next to the top) in plenty of time to watch the opening ceremonies, and it was definitely a great night even with the loss. Jill said “even though it would have been the icing on the cake if we actually won… we had a fantastic time and there were still smiles at the end of the night.”

Dad Jill Nina Kerry

Sunday our rebuilt pontoon boat was finally ready to set sail. Jill said “Just in time to get it ready for winter. At least we took advantage of the unseasonably warm day to see some lakefront fall foliage …with my new addiction, pumpkin spice cold brew.”

Nina Kerry

Wednesday the 30th was Jill’s final night shift. She said “I’ve learned so much and advanced my skills on the night shift this past year but I will be happy to be back on days permanently. I think Kerry and Nina are happy about it too.” Later I watched the final World Series game (the last couple innings in stunned elation) and the postgame nonsense. I wish I could have said I was going to bed at a reasonable time the next night, but concerts await.

Nina

Thursday Jill joined me for Wizards Unite at a sponsored fortress to try their Halloween event, then we had lunch at Stone’s Cove. Later Jill took Nina out trick-or-treating with a neighbor and her son while I made dinner, then I went to the 9:30 Club to see Jukebox the Ghost for Concert #42. I’ve been wanting to see their HalloQueen show they’ve been doing for 5 years with one set as them and one set dressed as Queen and playing Queen covers, but this is the first time they brought it to D.C., and it was everything I hoped it would be. Also loved during “We Are The Champions” someone on the floor had a hobby horse they’d attached Trea Turner’s jersey to and was waving it like a flag.

Nina