This is not a vacation

At least it’s not a vacation I’m familiar with – there’s too much work involved. Today I cleaned the master bedroom and bathroom, finished cleaning out old hardware and software, ordered Jill’s ring (I didn’t know they’d need the engagement ring back if we got it from the same place), tried to figure what’s up with my last check (issued on the wrong bank’s check paper), made dinner (grilled pork chops and green beans), checked two neighbors for hoa violations, and called a guy about cleaning the gutter and installing screens. The house is only halfway clean, but I’ve got all day Thursday for that.

Oh, and I watched Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s “Daily Show” (we are safer) and “Charlie’s Angels 2”. MMM – eye candy (and I really like that a lot of movie on HBO are broadcast in 5.1).

United, Not Divided

Congress is taking up the constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality to anyone this week. You can sign the petition and call your representatives and senators.

Here’s what I wrote:
In America, we have found just because we have discriminated in the past, is no reason to keep doing so. We have discriminated based on gender and race when it was written in the Constitution; it was wrong then, and it is wrong now.

Love is not something that can be legislated, and it shouldn’t be. The politics of exclusion make no sense (we’re kicking gays out of the military at the same rate we’re pulling in reservists), and hate is not one of the values I support and vote for.

Please do not resist this progress – more committed people getting married can only strengthen our society, not weaken it.

Busy, busy, busy

Start with Friday (logical, eh?). We missed the opener (apparently a cover band, no originals, so no great loss) at Friday Night Live. dada was good, even though I didn’t know any of their new songs. It was perfect weather for an outdoor show, luckily a theme that repeated itself throughout the weekend. After we got back, we were up until 2 finishing the invitations.

Saturday we slept in, Jill not so mush since she had an appointment. When she got back, we mailed all the invitations out, and were much relieved. We headed down to DC for Live On Penn. I hadn’t seen Old 97s before, but I’d seen their singer solo twice, and was looking forward to a good show – they did not disapoint. Eve 6 was ok, we left after 4 songs. We watched the SNL Best of Will Ferrell V2 – funny stuff, wondered what’s in volume 1.

Sunday, Jill really slept in, getting up around 2. We had some breakfast, (steak and eggs for me, cereal for her), then headed off to Nissan Pavilion. We went early, as our friend Linda was tailgating with her friend Sue. That was fun, especially Sue’s jello shooters. We got to our excellent seats (8th row, thanks fan club) just before 7 – just enough time to see a little of Galactic before DMB. Or so I thought – everything was running late, and we saw most of Galactic’s set, DMB came on just before 8:30.

I’ve seen DMB 21 times now (and Dave & Tim 4 times and Dave solo once), including 7 times at Nissan, and last night was certainly on of the finest perforances I’ve seen from them. I was expecting the four new songs (they’ve played them every night of the tour so far), but I wasn’t expecting two songs off “Under The Table and Dreaming” AND four songs off “Crash”, including long jams on “Jimi Thing” and “Two Step” (which Jill was hoping for). I was hoping they’d play “Ants Marching”. They did, but last, and if there’s one thing I never do at Nissan, it’s stick around for the last song (I’ve got better things to do than sit in a parking lot for 2+ hours).

Today, we ran wedding errands (rented my tux accessories, picked out a ring for me), dropped my car off to get lubed and inspected, and made dinner. After Jill left for work, I finished the paper and my monthly comics shipment, then I got back on the computer. I’m still getting the software and hardware ready for it to be my main machine for a while, plus I had to catch up on email and surfing.

Take this job

and shove it.

Nice lunch at Ned Devine’s – I had a Smithwick’s and Australian sausages. Followed by two conference calls – at least only one was a brain dump. I don’t really like talking that long without a break.

Anyway, I’m packing up and leaving. I’ve got an interesting job lead to follow up Monday, and gotta get the wedding invitations out tomorrow.

One more day

One more day until I leave this job. I’m feeling a weird mixture of anxiety and glee. Even with the two month bonus/severance, I still will feel unemployed come Monday morning, but I feel like I’m getting the last lifeboat off the Titanic. I’ve had one job interview, and I’ve talked to two headhunters who’ve called this week. I guess I’ll start surfing Monster to send resumes tomorrow or Monday.

I knew I had some mp3s, but I was impressed I managed to fill up 5 CDs with them. I’ve been doing lots of burning (and organizing). In a way, I think I’ll miss this computer the most, since it’s been my primary one for 3 1/2 years.

Went out to Ma Ma Wok for lunch with Carl. Interesting new Chinese/Sushi place in Reston. I had Egg Drop Soup, Mongolian Pork, and a piece of Red Snapper sushi. Very tasty, and not a bad price.

This week’s shows

Last night I went to see Paul & Storm from Da Vinci’s Notebook with We’re About 9 opening at Iota. I’d already seen We’re About 9 several times, so I was ready for them. What I wasn’t ready for was the new P&S songs. I brought Dave and Carl along (Carl’s here for the week from Minneapolis) who were completely unfamiliar with them, and they were doubled over laughing as often as I was. Although the consensus was “My Maggot Baby” was funny, then not funny, then a little funny, then unfunny. The show was great, and I listened to their new CD on the way home. I loved the commentary tracks, definitely “chock full out of value”.

Friday, LRS and dada are playing Friday Night Live. I love their songs “Dim” and “Dizz Knee Land”. Hopefully I’ll be up to it after the farewell lunch for me & Aditya at Ned Devine’s, but I’ll show up late at least (it is free).

Saturday I want to catch the Old 97’s and Eve 6 at Live On Penn in DC. We may not stay for all of Eve 6, but $7 is worth it for the Old 97’s – they play some mean

Sunday we’re checking out the Dave Matthews Band for the first time in two years, and I’m really psyched. They’ve got five new songs (that I just burned to a CD), and the set lists for the tour are looking sweet. Actually we’re catching them Sunday at Nissan and Wednesday at Merriweather. Galactic opens both shows.

Man, I can’t believe how much crap I’ve got on this computer at work I want to bring home – not to mention how much time it’s taken because some idiot had the bright idea to include CDs with most of the wedding invitations.

I’ll hopefully head home before 9.

The Celebration’s Over

it’s the fifth of july
feeling independent
please step aside
the celebration’s over
– Fifth Of July, Eddie From Ohio

Yep, had to crank that yesterday. It was a vegging on the couch, reading the paper while listening to music kinda day. After I did lots of wedding invitation related stuff of course. They should be ready by tonight, tomorrow at the latest.

Nice weekend. Friday morning Robbie Schaefer was at Wolf Trap Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods playing to a large audience of kids and chaperones. He played classic children’s songs (like “If You’re Happy And You Know It” and “Puff, The Magic Dragon”), and I think a couple of his own invention (“Professor Schnoodle” and “Sally Can I Walk You Home”). That night we checked out Hall & Oates, they were fun. And it’s weird feeling like I’m the youngest person at a show, rather than the oldest.

Saturday we ran some errands, then headed down to Richmond, where I caught up with my old frat brothers at a July 4th party (early, but so what – that meant we got two parties). We didn’t know the hosts, who own a studio that most of the guys are involved with, but they were cool. I especially liked the custom outdoor bar with the huge stash of liquor. I consumed vast amounts, woke up during the thunderstorm Sunday with a headache.

When we finally got up, we went out to brunch. We were going to Mongolian, but they were closed, so we went to Bob Evans. Neither Jill nor I had been to one, and we weren’t impressed – Jill couldn’t even drink her coffee. We headed back home, then after a little rest, went to a pool party at Alan & Heather’s. I did not bring any alcohol, just artichoke & garlic sausages (very tasty) and CarbSmart ice cream and milk to make lo-carb milkshakes. I caught some of the local fireworks outside, then watched people set off small ones next to the pool. We were there for a while, managed to hot tub some. We were pretty tired when we got back, and it was nice to sleep in on Monday.

Jill’s birthday

I took her to L’Auberge Chez François last night. It’s a fancy French restaurant up in Great Falls. Dinner is pricey ($50-60), but includes appetizer, salad, and dessert. We split a half bottle of wine (Pinot Gris), and I had an artichoke and crab appetizer. We split the chateaubriand (a big cut of tenderloin, coated in butter, seasoned with black pepper and grilled. It’s then sliced into thin strips, topped with a butter and parsley mixture and served with béarnaise sauce). Very tasty, and we barely had room for dessert (Jill had an apple tart, I had the plum tart). We rolled home.

This week’s shows

Last night I went to check out Brother Shamus at Whitlow’s On Wilson. Eddie Hartness (from Eddie From Ohio) plays drums, and this was their first show. I went with Stuart and Shelly, fellow Edheads, and we had a good time. I was kinda startled to see two drummers when I walked in – who ever thought a band with Eddie would need a second? And he was on the kit, as well. The music was ok, mostly originals, a couple covers (a Tom Petty song and “For What It’s Worth”, with drum solo of course). The musicians were great, including Walter Tates, Jr. on sax. I’d call the music folkie with a Dave Matthews Band touch. The singer was decent, and wrote all the originals.

Tomorrow morning, Jill and I will see Robbie Schaefer (also from Eddie From Ohio) play at Wolf Trap Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods. Apparently he’s doing all kids songs – should be fun.

Tomorrow night, we’ll go see Michael McDonald and Hall & Oates at Nissan Pavilion (another one in the package we bought). Haven’t listened to either of them recently, but they should do a lot of their hits (including Michael’s tenure with the Doobie Brothers) and some classic R&B (they’ve both got cover CDs either out or on the way). We’re definitely going to skip the opener, because the show starts at 6:30 – on a Friday at Nissan? I don’t know what they were thinking, we’ll be taking back roads all the way.