- 10/01 Concert flashback #114: Them Crooked Vultures at Stubb’s (in Austin TX) in 2009. Saw them three times that month (also only seen John Paul Jones three times).
- 10/02 Concert flashback #115: Van Halen at Wachovia Center in 2007. I would have missed their appearance in DC due to the Edhead cruise, and didn’t want to miss their reunion with David Lee Roth, so went up to Philly to see them (and got my “Geno’s Whiz wit”). In honor of listening to the show today, I had a cheesesteak and some chips with Geno’s flavoring for lunch.
- 10/05 Concert flashback #116: The String Cheese Incident at Patriot Center in 2003. I believe this was my first concert with Stuart as my concert buddy.
- 10/06 Concert flashback #117: Phish at Patriot Center in 1994. My first Phish show, and a good one.
- 10/07 Concert flashback #118: Paul Simon at the National Mall in 2000 for the Web MD Rock N Race. Decided to bring my camera, hoping I wouldn’t get busted.
- 10/08 Concert flashback #119: Lindsey Buckingham at State Theatre in 2006. Link has a hint to the next day’s flashback too.
- 10/09 Concert flashback #120: Eric Clapton at Verizon Center in 2006 with Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II playing a number of Derek and the Dominos songs.
- 10/12 Concert flashback #121: Grateful Dead at US Air Arena in 1994. My first and last Jerry show.
- 10/13 Concert flashback #122: Vote for Change at MCI Center in 2004. My review here.
- 10/14 Concert flashback #123: Foo Fighters at The Anthem in 2017.
- 10/15 Concert flashback #124: Chris Cornell at Strathmore in 2015.
- 10/16 Concert flashback #125: Peter Gabriel at Patriot Center in 2012. Got an official release too.
- 10/19 Concert flashback #126: Dave Matthews at The Paramount in 2001. The full story of why I flew across the country for one song.
- 10/20 Concert flashback #127: Roger Waters at Constitution Hall in 2015 for MusiCorps.
- 10/21 Concert flashback #128: Queen + Paul Rodgers at Continental Airlines Arena in 2005.
- 10/22 Concert flashback #129: Girlyman at The Birchmere in 2008.
- 10/23 Concert flashback #130: U2 at MCI Center in 2005.
- 10/26 Concert flashback #131: Backstreet Boys, Huey Lewis and the News, James Brown, Usher, Carole King, Al Green, Pink, Bette Midler, Aerosmith, America, P. Diddy, NSYNC, Destiny’s Child, Rod Stewart, Goo Goo Dolls, Train & Mariah Carey for United We Stand at RFK Stadium in 2001. Michael Jackson performed last, but the concert had been going on for 12 hours and I’d waited over an hour between Train & Mariah Carey and I was beat and left during Mariah. I regret that now. Accurate review here.
- 10/27 Concert flashback #132: Robert Plant, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle & Milk Carton Kids for Lampedusa at Lisner Auditorium in 2016.
- 10/28 Concert flashback #133: The Jayhawks at Paramount Theater in 2011. Nina’s 4th concert.
- 10/29 Concert flashback #134: Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin (with Annie Lennox & Lenny Kravitz), Jeff Beck (with Sting, Buddy Guy & Billy Gibbons), Metallica (with Lou Reed, Ozzy Osbourne & Ray Davies) & U2 (with Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Black Eyed Peas & Mick Jagger) for the 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concerts at Madison Square Garden in 2009.
- 10/30 Concert flashback #135: Jukebox the Ghost at the 9:30 Club in 2019 for their HalloQueen show.
Friday the 2nd I found a concert recording with this description: “Fifteen minutes into his rousing set, Mellencamp invited to the stage the unspeakably influential, NYC rock provocateur icon Lou Reed. There’s something almost meditative about the crowd’s piercing din — like when DeLillo’s protagonist in ‘White Noise’ finds a zen in a baby’s primal wails.” It does get pretty loud. I miss it. Saturday we and the Grunspans went to the Reston Farm Garden Market Fall Fest which had a moon bounce and bouncy slides, but very little social distancing. The girls did get to do a train ride and pick out pumpkins and plants and one slide, but we thought it would be better to have the moms grab their skateboards from home and head over to the Lake Fairfax skate park, but that was a bust as there was no social distancing and no mask wearing either. So we found a little playground and the girls ran around and played for a while.
Tuesday Jill took Nina to the dentist. Also I said “Damn it 2020 – just stop” as the news came in about Eddie Van Halen’s death. I found great stories like this one: “After the record’s release, Van Halen would remember shopping in a Tower Records while “Beat It” was playing on the sound system. “The solo comes on, and I hear these kids in front of me going, ‘Listen to this guy trying to sound like Eddie Van Halen,’” he said. “I tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘That IS me!’ That was hilarious.”” and one of my favorites: “If the riff to 1991’s “Top Of The World” sounded familiar to you when you first heard it you weren’t imagining it. It just so happens that Edward Van Halen used that same lick on the band’s #1 single “Jump”. Just “jump” to the 3:49 mark of the song and you’ll hear that familiar riff make its brief appearance as the song fades out. Seven years later it would return and carry Van Halen to the top of the charts once more.”. I also made playlists of Van Halen covering other bands, and other bands covering Van Halen. Also this was not the appearance I expected.
Friday the 9th Jill picked up takeout from Sweet Ginger and I enjoyed some sushi. I don’t know why it took me so long, but I finally figured out that grocery stores carry sake, so now I’ve got some at home since it’s my favorite drink to accompany sushi. Saturday the 10th Nina had been pressuring me to use the refinished paddleboard, and it was getting colder, so we did it. Of course she moved while I wasn’t expecting it, and we both fell into the lake. It was cold, and I was done at that point. Sunday I liked the cold open on SNL fine, but this is friggin’ hilarious. Jill said “Actually cooked tonight! Made this with delicata and butternut squash, dried instead of fresh sage, and half and half instead of heavy cream. I also roasted the delicata seeds to use as a garnish. Win!” On Tuesday Jill said “I’m so happy about my clean countertops and my new mug rack so I can display my seasonal mugs and other favorites!”. Wednesday I was not surprised by this: “Be not afraid of the accusations that you’re a voter suppressor, you’re a racist and so forth”. Thursday I laughed at Nickelback greatest hits compilation just a blank CD.
Friday Jill went to stand in line at the Government Center to vote. She said “I voted for Biden/Harris. Proud to do so, proud to say so. 1.5 hours later, no sticker but I get to keep this nifty pen?” Saturday Nina started rehearsals for A Wicked Christmas Carol with Acting for Young People in the morning, then in the afternoon we did the special drive thru hayride at Cox Farms where the jump scare got Jill and we got to pick our pumpkin. Jill said “I may be missing Rhinebeck weekend but we had a great (and pandemic safe) time and the apple cider donuts are on point!” Later the girls had cleaned out our front deck and made a sitting area, so we set up the projector and they watched Halloween themed Phineas and Ferb episodes outside. Sunday Nina had her Girl Scouts bridging ceremony in person. She also started selling magazines, nuts and candy to raise money to go camping and do community projects. After dinner we had a fire in the fireplace and made s’mores. Monday we got takeout from MOD Pizza as proceeds benefited Nina’s school. Late that night, Nina started losing teeth again (eventually lost 4 in the 4 weeks) for the first time in a while.
Wednesday the 21st the girls made a massive leaf pile and had fun jumping and rolling around in it. It was a foggy morning on my birthday and there was only one song to wake Nina up… Jill said “Happy Birthday to the one who keeps this family on track through it all, providing that loving, stable foundation we need especially in these times! Next year, minibar, but this year, a homemade cake lovingly baked and decorated. We love you!”. We planned on going out the next night, but I chose some of my favorites for dinner that night since I’m the cook (burgers and artichokes). The restaurant Jill and I went to Friday while Nina had pizza with the Grunspans was Trummer’s, which we’d last been to 10 years earlier. The one weirdness was I told the waiter I was on a low sodium diet, and then the salad Jill and I both had was so salty neither of us took more than a few bites. Good thing the short ribs and the chocolate bourbon pecan pie which followed were delicious. Saturday I said to vote like your life depends on it… because it does. Sunday we saw this and Jill said “Extreme leaf pile antics. I was curious when she ran to get her bike helmet…. safety first?”
Thursday the 29th Jill started her new job in a hospital. I noted that this was useful information about the pandemic. Also, this is why I supported Alcorn wholeheartedly – they need to stay golf courses. Later we got to livestream with our FRFF friends as we watched this:
Friday we had the girl squad over to watch the livestream of In Search of The Sanderson Sisters: A Hocus Pocus Hulaween Takeover, with the reunion of the original cast. But they thought it was boring, so we had them watch cartoons and eat s’mores instead. Saturday was Halloween. Jill said “Ready for trick or treating! It’ll be a grab your own treat bag thing.” and “A vampire roamed the neighborhood tonight looking for socially distanced treats… and got loads!”
- 9/07 Concert flashback #96: Aretha Franklin, Good Charlotte, Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears & Aerosmith at The National Mall for the NFL Kickoff in 2003.
- 9/08 Concert flashback #97: Alanis Morissette at Wolf Trap in 2018.
- 9/09 Concert flashback #98: Bill Evans’ Soulgrass (with Tony Trischka) at Herndon Labor Day Jazz & Wine Festival in 2009.
- 9/10 Concert flashback #99: Sting at Wolf Trap in 2017.
- 9/11 Concert flashback #100: Mandy Barnett, Susan Tedeschi, Deana Carter, Steve Earle and the Dukes, Trisha Yearwood, Keb’ Mo’, Barenaked Ladies, Dave Matthews Band, John Mellencamp, Neil Young & Willie Nelson at Nissan Pavilion for Farm Aid in 1999.
- 9/14 Concert flashback #101: Eagles at RFK Stadium in 1994. Nothing but classic rock this week.
- 9/15 Concert flashback #102: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at FedEx Field in 2003.
- 9/16 Concert flashback #103: Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin & Rick Wakeman at Wolf Trap in 2017.
- 9/17 Concert flashback #104: Dennis DeYoung (from Styx) at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in 2017.
- 9/18 Concert flashback #105: Electric Light Orchestra at Radio City Music Hall in 2016.
- 9/21 Concert flashback #106: Arlo Guthrie, Alan Jackson, Barenaked Ladies, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young & Willie Nelson at Nissan Pavilion for Farm Aid in 2000.
- 9/22 Concert flashback #107: Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band & Joe Walsh at EagleBank Arena in 2017 for VetsAid.
- 9/23 Concert flashback #108: The Avett Brothers & Vampire Weekend at Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2013 for Virgin Mobile Freefest.
- 9/24 Concert flashback #109: Chvrches & The Weeknd in Las Vegas in 2018 for Life is Beautiful.
- 9/25 Concert flashback #110: Queen + Adam Lambert at Park Theater in 2018.
- 9/28 Concert flashback #111: Def Leppard at Fleet Center for MixFest 2002 and a decidedly un-debaucherous bachelor party.
- 9/29 Concert flashback #112: Porcupine Tree at Radio City Music Hall in 2010 for their last US show.
- 9/30 Concert flashback #113: Rush at Capital Centre in 1984 for my very first concert.
Tuesday the 1st we were still on vacation in Bethany Beach. It was another beach day and I brought lunch to the beach. That night it was the Grunspans’ turn to take the girls and they took Nina for pizza and Captain Jack’s Pirate Golf while Jill and I walked over to 14 Global and explored their tapas (the Blood and Smoke was a spicy strawberry cocktail and the shishito peppers were excellent).
Wednesday morning I went to get a haircut at Cut Above. The Grunspans had left and Jill and Nina went to a big pool in the condo complex. I brought them lunch there. Later in the afternoon, we drove up to Dogfish Head where we picked up a order from the brewery. Then we parked in Rehoboth Beach and shopped a bit, then spent some time in the arcade off the boardwalk. Then it was time for Nina’s birthday dinner on the roof at the Cultured Pearl (sushi is her current favorite) where she enjoyed feeding the koi. Jill said “Today we celebrated this girl’s annual trip around the sun. She’s fierce, feisty, has BIG dreams and is not afraid to chase them! Her confidence grows each year and I’m so proud to know and love her. You will always be my Sunshine Girl.”
Thursday we packed up and headed out, stopping to pick up the paddleboard. We stopped in Annapolis to have lunch outside at Blackwall Hitch with Dad and Patricia. Nina got to open the rest of her presents after we got home. Friday it was our wedding anniversary. We only have the live music from our wedding, but I unearthed the proposal and put it on Facebook. That evening we had Catherine the babysitter over and had dinner at Clarity in their parking lot. I had a choose your own cocktail called the “Builders Permit” where I elected to have the Lagavulin 16 Year Old Whisky in honor of it being our 16th anniversary (the tasting menu was excellent as well, especially the Wagyu steak). Saturday Jill drove to Ikea to get a bookcase just for Nina’s Legos (she had a lot). That night we had pork porterhouse chops from Sylvanaqua Farms crowned with sautéed skillet apples and green beans. Jill said “It feels like Fall!” That night I pulled a bottle of 30 year old port out of the wine rack to drink. Upon closer inspection, it was bottled in 2008, making it 42 years old. So I posted “In honor of that auspicious number, a toast to you and yours – may the rest of this godforsaken year be better than what’s occurred so far.”
Tuesday the 8th was Nina’s first day of school and it went a lot smoother than the virtual learning in the spring (the new laptop also helped). She got and hour for lunch and recess, and as soon as she finished eating, she would go outside to play with her friends. Thursday I observed that the British Avengers are gone with the passing of Diana Rigg. Saturday we went out on the boat for lake concert from Irresponsible. During the weekend, a wire came loose from Nina’s braces, so Tuesday I took her to Northern VA Orthodontics for a fix, picking up some Nando’s next door for lunch as a treat. The next day Jill’s mom arrived for a visit (the only possible time with Jill about to start a job in a hospital).
Nina’s first visit to Jammin’ Java was at 3 weeks old to see Séan McCann (from Great Big Sea). 9 years later she was there on Thursday the 17th to perform “Tomorrow” at the Open Mic for The Music School (she’s been taking virtual lessons there since last month). Friday we started having Catherine the babysitter over after school so the girls got to play at least one guaranteed afternoon a week as virtual and in person activities started filling up the time (Tae Kwon Do, voice lessons, tutoring, etc.). Saturday Nina and Sue made breakfast, then in the afternoon my mom and sister and their families joined us on a Zoom call. Later we walked around the lake and went out on the boat for the last lake concert with The Nighthawks (after a power scare that later turned out one off the batteries in parallel was bad).
Wednesday the 23rd I had to share this video because we’re briefly in it. I also got an email received today: “I’m writing in regards to some music of mine that you are selling via Amazon. I am no longer playing music professionally, and would like to remove these albums from the Internet. I was wondering if you would be so kind as to take down these albums from your site. I’d really appreciate it.”
My response: “I would be happy to remove those albums. Just add them to your cart and pay for them and they will be gone from the Internet”. Thursday it was back to Northern VA Orthodontics again for a loose wire (unfortunately the Reston location is closed on Thursdays so we had to go to Brambleton). Friday we had the girls over for a pizza party and a planned backyard screening of the premiere of “Miraculous World: New York – United HeroeZ” with our new projector, but the rain had other ideas and the girls sat socially distanced inside to watch the movie.
Saturday the 26th Jill and Sue went yarn shopping in Old Town, then in the evening Jill and I went to H Street in DC where we had a lovely dinner at Maketto including some dim sum favorites. Jill had spotted the Pie Shop on the way in, so we got some sweet slices for dessert to take home and share and some savory slices for lunch the next day. We also took the boat out on Sunday.
Tuesday Nina managed to sprain her left wrist at her desk (not at the gymnastics routine she’s been doing at recess minutes earlier), so after school got a bandage wrap after a doctor visit. I also asked Facebook that since I had received my absentee ballot and dropped it at the polling place, I had now voted, so please stop giving me ads asking me to register and/or vote. Wednesday Nina and Sue turned their bedtime routine into a show they performed us (Sue was leaving the next morning).
- 8/03 Concert flashback #76: Counting Crows at Merriweather Post Pavilion in 1997.
- 8/04 Concert flashback #77: Rush at Nissan Pavilion in 2004 for their R30 show.
- 8/05 Concert flashback #78: Tinted Windows at Black Cat in 2009, my only time seeing any members of the pop supergroup outside their respective bands. Then I went to see Extreme at Jaxx later that night.
- 8/06 Concert flashback #79: Widespread Panic at Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2000.
- 8/07 Concert flashback #80: The Smashing Pumpkins at Lollapalooza in WV in 1994.
- 8/10 Concert flashback #81: Barenaked Ladies at Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2004.
- 8/10 Bonus video concert flashback #1: I’ve been a long time collector of concerts I’ve been to. After I moved to Herndon in 1999 I bought a JVC miniDV camcorder to start recording my own concerts, and recorded from 2000 to 2009. By that time I’d purchased a 2nd JVC unit that had a IEEE 1394 output so I could make DVDs with my DVD recorder, but it developed a “condensation error” and stopped working. By that time I had a Flip video recorder and soon acquired a Sony digital camera that shot video as well. But I still had 4 boxes of miniDV tapes, the majority of which I had not converted. 3 years ago my dad gave me a Panasonic miniDV camcorder he got at a yard sale and I managed to convert about 15 more shows (part way through 2003) before it gave out. This year with listening to all these concerts I’ve been to before, I decided to see if there was a way to fix my camera, and Google was my friend as taking it apart, cleaning a sensor and resetting the camera did it. Now I’ve finally finished the first box of videos, and this week I’m going to share some of them, starting with this: Everclear – Wonderful at Celebrate Fairfax in 2003
- 8/11 Concert flashback #82: Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ at Iota in 2011. Last concert before Nina was born.
- 8/11 Bonus video concert flashback #2: Da Vinci’s Notebook – I Wish I Were at Royal Lake Park in 2003
- 8/12 Concert flashback #83: Sheryl Crow at Woodstock ’94. Full Woodstock ’94 report here.
- 8/12 Bonus video concert flashback #3: Eddie From Ohio – Eyes Of A Painter (Kate Wolf cover) at Maury Stadium in 2003 and Eddie From Ohio – America The Beautiful at Maury Stadium in 2003
- 8/13 Concert flashback #84: Nine Inch Nails, Metallica & Aerosmith at Woodstock ’94. Still pound for pound one of the best back to back lineups ever.
- 8/13 Bonus video concert flashback #4: Da Vinci’s Notebook – Another Irish Drinking Song at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2003 and Da Vinci’s Notebook – Jump In The Line (Harry Belafonte cover) at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2003
- 8/14 Concert flashback #85: BandHouse Gigs Tribute to the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock at Strathmore featuring eddie from ohio, Bill Danoff, Patty Reese, Naked Blue & The Wall of Jo(h)n.
- 8/14 Bonus video concert flashback #5: Eddie From Ohio – Woman Of Faith at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2003
- 8/17 Concert flashback #86: The Dead with Warren Haynes at Nissan Pavilion in 2004.
- 8/17 Bonus video concert flashback #6: Dar Williams – I Saw A Bird Fly Away at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2003 and Dar Williams – Iowa at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2003
- 8/18 Concert flashback #87: Phish at Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2009. Fun fact: at this show and the one the next year at the same place, they ended with a cover of “Good Times Bad Times”.
- 8/18 Bonus video concert flashback #7: Eddie From Ohio – Operator at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2003 (with Da Vinci’s Notebook, The Kennedys, Nerissa & Katryna Nields)
- 8/19 Concert flashback #88: Tori Amos at Wolf Trap in 1996. My second Tori show, and out of the 12 times I’ve seen her, 5 have been in August.
- 8/19 Bonus video concert flashback #8: Da Vinci’s Notebook -The Captain’s Wife’s Lament at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2003 and Da Vinci’s Notebook – Three Little Words at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2003 and Da Vinci’s Notebook – Enormous P*nis with ASL at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2003
- 8/20 Concert flashback #89: Angie Aparo at Jammin’ Java in 2006.
- 8/20 Bonus video concert flashback #9: Eddie From Ohio – Hole Hearted (Extreme cover) at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2003
- 8/21 Concert flashback #90: Roger Waters at Baltimore Arena in 1999.
- 8/21 Bonus video concert flashback #10: Meat Loaf – I’d Do Anything For Love at Wolf Trap in 2003
- 8/24 Concert flashback #91: Rage Against The Machine at Patriot Center in 1996. House lights up for the entire show as the entire floor was GA and absolutely nuts.
- 8/25 Concert flashback #92: Dave Matthews Band at Nissan Pavilion in 1998. Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters opened and guested on several songs.
- 8/25 Bonus video concert flashback #11: Robbie Schaefer – Feels Like Rain (John Hiatt cover) at Jammin’ Java in 2003
- 8/26 Concert flashback #93: Joseph, Shovels & Rope and Dawes at Wolf Trap in 2018.
- 8/26 Bonus video concert flashback #12: Getaway Car – Big Time Lullabye in 2003 and Getaway Car – She Said She Said in 2003 – The Beatles cover
- 8/27 Concert flashback #94: Yes at Wolf Trap in 2001.
- 8/27 Bonus video concert flashback #13: Da Vinci’s Notebook – F*ck You (original song) at Jammin’ Java in 2003
- 8/28 Concert flashback #95: Weezer at Virgin Mobile FreeFest in 2009.
- 8/28 Bonus video concert flashback #14: emmet swimming – The Dance at Clarendon Day in 2003
On the 1st we should have been at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, but we still had a virtual meeting and family picture with our Shantytowne peeps. And we still got to see a concert, another boat concert, this time great to have Tommy Gann for concert #6 (so now I’ve been to 6 concerts this year, when I normally would have hit about 50 by now and I’ve produced half of them. 2020 is so strange). I also got requests by text from a neighbor during the show (Jack Johnson was a success, but she also requested Hall and Oates while he was playing one).
Nina’s musical theatre camps had come to an end, so we made our own plans for August. Our friend Seth taught ukulele to her on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the morning and she started voice lessons with Rachel through Jammin’ Java on Wednesday afternoons. She also worked on 2 pages of a 3rd to 4th grade workbook each day. In the afternoons, she joined the “Girl Squad”: her and 3 other neighborhood girls, who played together (all masked) under the watchful eye of Julia, our babysitter (that continued from June and July, but more officially with the other girls this month). On Tuesday the 4th I was so glad my state is part of this. Also, this came and looks great to display the alcohol. Wednesday Nina left soap in the tub, then I found she was watching unauthorized videos, plus Seth had a migraine and couldn’t teach. So she practiced ukulele in my office, then went upstairs to do her workbook. When I went upstairs after 30 minutes, she was playing and told me she couldn’t find the workbook. FML. Thursday’s out of context quote: “Dad, how do you clean Gatorade off a skateboard?” Also we found out contact tracing will have to be automated for now.
Saturday the 8th we took the boat out and Jill and Nina went swimming. Tuesday Nina started Wet N Wild, a twice weekly social distanced pool playtime from RA Camps that she loved. Friday, if you wanted to hear Margo Price cover WAP, here ya go. NSFW if you’re still in an office or have small children nearby. Also, They Might Be Giants made a Schoolhouse Rocks song. Later I took the Girl Squad out on the boat, but swimming was done for a while.
Saturday the 15th Nina asked for a special breakfast and got a waffle with ice cream toppings and strawberries and peaches with whipped cream. Sunday I wondered if anyone else’s child was cosplaying as all The Loud House children? Just mine? Alrighty then. Also, this was powerful. Thursday we got lobster rolls from Mason’s. Friday was Nina’s last day with her babysitter Julia, so we made a video for friends and family to commemorate the occasion. Saturday we were singing this so had to introduce Nina to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Sunday Nina had an early birthday party as 2 of the neighborhood kids were moving to Spain for the year, so we brought out the slip ‘n slide, juice boxes and cupcakes for all the neighborhood kids.
Monday the 24th we found new babysitter Catherine, who a long while ago lived next to us. That worked well for our last regular week of summer, then we’d found a good way to have a socially distanced vacation: rent a condo in Bethany Beach for 5 nights (leaving before Labor Day craziness). We left Saturday morning and then stopped at the shopping center. The paddleboard Jill had purchased several years earlier had been shedding fiberglass, and no surf shops around us would repair it, but she had found a place near Bethany that would fix it. Getting the paddleboard tightly tied to our portable roof rack took some doing, but we were soon on out way again without any problems. We stopped for smoothies at Smoothie King in Bowie and lunch at Sonic in Bridgeville, then went to Dollar Book Shuffle in Laurel, DE. They say they have “over 40,000 quality used books and 15,000 DVDs & CDs” and I don’t doubt it, but the CDs are completely unorganized and it I spent a good long while sorting through them. We then ended at Bethany Beach and checked in to our condo. After we unpacked, we checked out the beach, then walked to the downtown area (masks required everywhere) where we had made a reservation at Ropewalk. Unfortunately as were walking there I’d taken my glasses off to wipe the sweat from my face, and felt a hot pain in my right eye, and blinking didn’t help. I went to the restroom in the restaurant and couldn’t see anything, but the pain had lessened. I had crab legs and we all had crushes (Nina’s in a fish bowl). After dinner they left early and stopped at Candy Kitchen, then we had candy for dessert in the condo.
Sunday we stopped at the nearby Dunkin’ to get donuts for breakfast, then dropped off the paddleboard. I dropped off Jill and Nina, then spent a couple hours shopping at Giant. It turned out one of the neighborhood families, the Grunspans, also decided to spend some time in Bethany Beach and Nina was delighted to go to the beach with her friends, while I spent the afternoon in the condo (my eye had not gotten better, so I got to research eye doctors). I made ribs for dinner, then we went to Ba Roos Ice Cream for dessert. Monday we got to Sussex Eye Center, where my cornea was diagnosed as scratched, and I got a prescription to fix that. We went to DB’s Seafood Co to get takeout for lunch (good lobster roll). For dinner, we’d decide to trade off with the Grunspans and we’d host all the girls while they went out to dinner, then switch the next night. I made grilled chicken and spaghetti for everyone, then we took them to Shipwrecked for mini golf & ice cream.
- 7/01 Concert flashback #53: Live 8 in Philly in 2005. Very crowded, and we only stayed for the first half, but worth it just for Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff getting everyone to sing along to the theme from The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.
- 7/02 Concert flashback #54: Live Aid in 1985. The only concert I’ve listened to so far I haven’t been to, but I was drawn to it after Live 8 yesterday. I remember being physically pulled away from the TV because we had to go somewhere, and turning it on again the second we got back.
- 7/05 Concert flashback #55: the Foo Fighters 20th anniversary festival in 2015 with Gary Clark, Jr., Heart, LL Cool J, & Buddy Guy at RFK Stadium on 7/04, 2015.
- 7/06 Concert flashback #56: Page & Plant at MCI Center in 1998 (aka the closest I’m getting to a Led Zep reunion).
- 7/07 Concert flashback #57: Live Earth at Giants Stadium in 2007. Bon Jovi\The Smashing Pumpkins\Roger Waters\The Police still one of the best back to back lineups I’ve seen.
- 7/08 Concert flashback #58: Rush at Nissan Pavilion in 2002. First show for me after the break. Great set.
- 7/09 Concert flashback #59: Pink Floyd at RFK in 1994. My first time seeing them and so amazing I went back the next night (Ok, I was going anyway but cool to see how the disco ball came out when no one was looking).
- 7/10 Concert flashback #60: What better way to follow the finest moment of a Roger-less Pink Floyd than with Roger Waters’s finest post Floyd show, namely The Wall tour in 2012?
- 7/13 Concert flashback #61: Weird Al at Wolf Trap last year for Nina’s 1st time and my 8th. The symphony really took it to the next level.
- 7/14 Concert flashback #62: Pat McGee Band at Wolf Trap in 2000. Classic lineup joined by Michael Ghegan on sax, plus a nice cover of “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes”.
- 7/15 Concert flashback #63: The Police at Hersheypark in 2007. And we won the tickets!
- 7/16 Concert flashback #64: Veruca Salt at the Black Cat in 2014. I was always sad I never got to see them do songs from “Eight Arms to Hold You”, and I got over half of them.
- 7/17 Concert flashback #65: Brandi Carlile at Wolf Trap in 2015.
- 7/20 Concert flashback #66: The Rolling In The Aisles workshop at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2005 with Paul & Storm and The Arrogant Worms.
- 7/21 Concert flashback #67: Queen + Adam Lambert at Mohegan Sun Arena in 2017. With a capacity less than 4000, the most intimate show with them.
- 7/22 Concert flashback #68: Eddie From Ohio at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2005. With Paul & Storm!
- 7/23 Concert flashback #69: Red Molly at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2008.
- 7/24 Concert flashback #70: Our Native Daughters at the National Museum of African American History & Culture last year.
- 7/27 Concert flashback #71: Crooked Still at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2008.
- 7/28 Concert flashback #72: The Songs of Paul Simon at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2009.
- 7/29 Concert flashback #73: Dave Matthews Band at Classic Amphitheater in 1995. A charming show, and now it’s not all FRFF this week.
- 7/30 Concert flashback #74: Dar Williams at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2007.
- 7/31 Concert flashback #75: The Shantytowne fireside jam at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2017. This is the one that really hurts to miss.
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”.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
- 6/01 Concert flashback #31: Fastball Live at the Herndon Festival in 2008. One of my favorite 90s bands so close to home.
- 6/02 Concert flashback #32: Garbage at HFStival in 1996 plus Queens of the Stone Age at the 9:30 Club in 2002 with L’il Davie Grohl on drums.
- 6/03 Concert flashback #33: Double shot of Herndon Festival – Brindley Brothers in 2005 and Girlyman in 2006.
- 6/04 Concert flashback #34: Double shot of last time I saw artists: Lowen & Navarro at The Birchmere in 2009 and Mudcrutch (with Tom Petty) at the 9:30 Club in 2016.
- 6/05 Concert flashback #35: The Excentrics at Friday Night Live. Remember when they didn’t just have cover bands?
- 6/08 Concert flashback #36: Celebrate Fairfax doubleshot – Gin Blossoms and Sister Hazel, both from 2002.
- 6/11 Concert flashback #37: Tom Petty with Trey Anastasio at Nissan Pavilion. All the hits, plus songs by Phish, Bo Diddley, Fleetwood Mac, Traveling Wilburys, Them [Van Morrison], and Stevie Nicks with a special appearance by Stevie Nicks? Just an amazing show.
- 6/12 Concert flashback #38: One more trip to Celebrate Fairfax, this time for a double shot of Rick Springfield from 2005 and They Might Be Giants from 1999 (bonus points if you can spot me in the latter).
- 6/13 Concert flashback #39: Da Vinci’s Notebook’s last show at Crystal City Street Fair in 2005. Still the most distractable band in the land.
- 6/14 Concert flashback #40: The Pat McGee Band at the Alexandria Waterfront Festival in 1999. Notable for being the first time I saw them and Eddie From Ohio. Don’t have efo’s set, but Bob McNichols promises he’ll find it for me someday…
- 6/15 Concert flashback #41: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss at Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2008. I really enjoyed them together.
- 6/18 Concert flashback #42: A special number for a special show – the Tibetan Freedom Concert at RFK Stadium in 1998. Day 1 was cut short due to someone getting hit by lightning, but day 2 was super packed: Sonic Youth, Radiohead, Wyclef Jean, Blues Traveler, The Wallflowers, Luscious Jackson, Jungle Brothers, R.E.M., A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys, and Pearl Jam (who snuck in Red Hot Chili Peppers to finish their set, but we left during Pearl Jam).
- 6/19 Concert flashback #43: U2 at MCI Center in 2001. My first time seeing them and what a fantastic setlist.
- 6/20 Concert flashback #44: Dave Matthews Band at Nissan Pavilion in 1997. Béla Fleck & The Flecktones opened and Béla Fleck sat in for quite a while. One of my favorite Dave shows.
- 6/21 Concert flashback #45: The Beach Boys at Merriweather Post Pavilion with my dad in 2012.
- 6/22 Concert flashback #46: The much missed 4 Way Street (Philly songwriters) at Jammin’ Java in 2004.
- 6/23 Concert flashback #47: Guns N’ Roses at the Capital Centre in 1991. My first time seeing them, and as usual they started late.
- 6/24 Concert flashback #48: Norah Jones at Wolf Trap in 2003. Good show, and she ended with an AC/DC cover. This one’s from a different show, but you get the idea.
- 6/25 Concert flashback #49: Sting & Peter Gabriel at Verizon Center in 2016. Nice selection of hits, and I love it when the good double bills actually play together.
- 6/27 Concert flashback #50: Counting Crows with The Wallflowers at Wolf Trap in 2013. Very nice career spanning sets from both bands – this is a good review.
- 6/29 Concert flashback #51: Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie at Wolf Trap in 2017. A nice mix of their great album and Mac tunes.
- 6/30 Concert flashback #52: Extreme at Bank Of America Pavilion in 2006. All the hits, all the members, plus half of Boston (the band).
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.”