This week’s shows

Been busy the last couple nights (cooking Monday, very long HOA meeting last night), so this week’s show, which were already tenative, seem more so today.

Tracy Grammer plays tonight at Jammin’ Java. She’s great, but we saw her in January, and will see her again in July at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, so I think that’s out.

Tomorrow, Guster plays Mason Day at George Mason University. Unfortunately, they go on at 6PM. The logistics of getting to Fairfax then on a weekday would mean I’d have to leave here by about 4PM, and I don’t think that’s going to happen this week. Couple that with rain, and I think they’re out. I might catch their show at Wolf Trap in June with Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright instead.

Friday, Cecilia plays Iota. Probably won’t do that since we saw them at Jammin’ Java in February, and they’re coming back there in May.

Saturday is the show I’m most likely to go to this week. Paul and Storm (from Da Vinci’s Notebook) are opening up for Groovelily at Jammin’ Java. Especially since Jill will be busy performing various acts of debauchery at Mel’s bachelorette party.

Sunday and Monday Bob Schneider will play at Rams Head and the Birchmere. But Jill’s not into him, (although he provided one of my favorite concert stories, maybe I’ll tell that tomorrow) and of all the local venues, I don’t particularly like going to those alone, because you wind up sitting alone at a table, which I find more of a pain than standing in a crowd or seated in a row. Anyway, I’m also thinking of going to the pro-choice rally on Sunday (I went to the last big one in 1992).

Also on Sunday, The Dreamscapes Project is playing at Ned Devine’s in Herndon from 8-9PM – a short set to convince management they’re a draw. A maybe, especially since we really want to see the next “Alias”.

Fax by email

Go to this site for details, but you can send a fax by basically putting the number and who it’s to in the email address (I tried it, it puts a quarter page ad on the cover sheet). Just text, but could be useful.

100th entry!

Wow, not quite one a day, but I am using this more than I thought I would. Some New Year’s resoultions are easier to keep than others. And just in time to review the weekend.

Friday we vegged. I didn’t make it home until close to 8, and Jill was unexpectedly home – she’d been cancelled at work. I fixed hot dogs and we sat around chatting for a while, then Jill watched TLC while I went upstairs to watch “Deadwood”.

Saturday was very busy. I got up at 7:30 to catch a ride at 8 to get to Leesburg before 9 and play paintball with the DC ski club. We had to wait until 10 for the stragglers to show – we needed 10 people for a private group and finally got 11. Private groups get to play on fields by themselves (otherwise you have to join “walk on” games of massive groups, who bring their own guns with custom muzzles). We played at four different fields (Tall Cedars, Deep Woods, The Village, and Hyperball) for 2 games each, switching starting positions each time. The cost for the morning games (10-1), gun and mask was $35, but they only provide 100 rounds of paint; I went throught almost 400, we ended up buying 1 1/2 cases of rounds. It was a lot of fun, and my clothes got absolutely filthy. Afterwards, we changed and went to the TGI Friday’s at the Leesburg outlet mall nearby. I’m seriously thinking of a gun – at the very least some camo of my own so it’s harder to see me next time.

I didn’t get back home until 4, and didn’t feel like making anything for the party we were going to at 7:30, so I just went out on the deck and read the paper, Jill joined me not too long afterwards. We picked up some wings at the Buffalo Wing Factory and headed off to Eve’s place in Maryland. We caught up with a lot of friends, and ended up spending close to two hours in the hot tub, mostly talking to Mel & Scott (lotsa wedding talk, won’t bore you with the details here). Made it home by 2 – straight to bed.

Sunday was a nice lazy day – more or less. We got up by 1, I made huevos rancheros. We went grocery shopping around 3. I hadn’t gone in over a month (Jill had done a couple light ones), and we must have had at least 20 bags when we were done. After they were put away, I did some cleaning while Jill was on the phone, then made steaks and salad before she left for work. Afterwards, I went on the deck and finished the Sunday paper, then went inside to watch “Simpsons”. I brought the upstairs TV downstairs so I could watch “24” in the kitchen while I taped “Alias” (and what an ending on 24 – I was shocked). I was making a cliantro pesto marinade for the chicken, and I forgot what a labor intensive process washing and shredding cliantro is. I didn’t finish until the end of “Deadwood”, and I still hadn’t made lunch for today (I whipped together a steak sandwich this morning). I still had to pay some bills, didn’t make it to bed until after midnight.

Pout

This year’s HFStival is Saturday, May 22 – the day Jill and I go to Massachusetts for her grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary party. It’s not that the lineup is that great, but it’ll be the first HFStival I’ve missed in the 10 years I’ve been going.

Of course it’s twin in Massachusetts, the WBCN River Rave is the following weekend, and has a slightly better lineup (certainly wouldn’t turn down seeing The Darkness again). I don’t think I can justify flying up there two weekends in a row.

And I was worried that Velvet Revolver (Weiland from Stone Temple Pilots and Guns N’ Roses minus Axl) would be special surprise guests at the HFStival, but now they’re coming to the 9:30 club the following Thursday.

Still – 10 years. The things I do for love. Pout.

Is it Thursday already?

This week is zooming by. The project I thought would be over by Monday is of course going to last until tomorrow at least. I’ve been fixing lots of bugs.

Yesterday I worked out of the new Reston office. While the commute was nice, I had to fight a couple hours of connectivity problems. Jill joined me for lunch at Popeye’s – it’s my favorite fried chicken, and the closest fast food place. The sales guys (both US and Canada) were in town and hosting a pizza and beer night there, which was nice. I didn’t end up leaving the gathering until 9PM, then I went down to the gym. I did the elliptical machine for 10 minutes, made a round of the weight machines, then finished off shooting some hoops and kicking the punching bag. I could get used to that.

What have I missed – ah, last weekend. I was working late on the project on Friday, so we didn’t have much time before the show. We went to Metropolis Global Feast in Plaza America, an upscale buffet ($20 each, but we had a coupon). The food was very nice; I just about filled up on sushi alone, but they had a lot more food, wasn’t able to try it all.

The show that night was Christine Lavin at The Barns at Wolf Trap. She’s an older folkie, but funny and sharp. She even does some looping, like Howie Day does. We laughed a lot during the show.

Saturday I worked from home some, then we went to Galyan’s to buy a tent for my dad, then Bethesda for my myo appointment, then my mom’s house for my dad’s birthday dinner. Shrimp cocktail, pork loin, broccoli with hollaindaise, and chocolate cake. Very nice.

Sunday I was called to consult on work many times. In between calls, I caught up on my reading pile.

Stopping the thought police

I’ve been troubled by the recent story of a student expelled from school for his writings. My feeling are expressed better than I could ever do in this essay by Michael Chabon (Pulitzer prize winner for “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay”) which explains why violent thoughts from teenagers is both expected and necessary.

“And so we censor the art they consume and produce, and prosecute and suspend and expel them, and when, once in a great while, a teenager reaches for an easy gun and shoots somebody or himself, we tell ourselves that if we had only censored his journals and curtailed his music and video games, that awful burst of final ugliness could surely have been prevented. As if art caused the ugliness, when of course all it can ever do is reflect and, perhaps, attempt to explain it.

Let teenagers languish, therefore, in their sense of isolation, without outlet or nourishment, bereft of the only thing that makes it all bearable: knowing that somebody else has felt the way that you feel, has faced it, run from it, rued it, lamented it and transformed it into art; has been there, and returned, and lived, for the only good reason we have: to tell the tale. How confident we shall be, once we have done this, of never encountering the ugliness again! How happy our children will be, and how brave, and how safe!”

Now I feel better

Yesterday, I was trying to leave for my massage, and my project manager was telling me I couldn’t becuase it was crunch time on the project. So I blew up at him. Possibly not the wisest course of action, but he was really getting on my nerves (he’s also been the only one allowed to work from the Reston office, so I’d been getting a constant stream of emails and phone calls, in addition to the pressure from all the other management involved in the project).

I learned at my first professional job after college that long hours at the job do nothing much for me except cause repetitive stress injuries, so I try to avoid working nights and weekends. Besides, I have a life now. I have a weekly massage every Thursday to relieve the physical effects of office work, and anyone who tries to get in my way is not going to be happy.

I talked to him later and apologized, and we agreed to come in early today to get things done. I feel a lot less stressed than yesterday, though.