Birthday

Jill was mysterious about our plans for the night (which was fair, I often do the same to her), just said we had to be in downtown D.C. by 6PM. So she picked me up from work (she had driven me in the morning), we parked at the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride and took the 5A to L’Enfant. We were at Gallery Place by quarter of 6, and inside the Spy Museum by 6. It was very cool (and I’d been meaning to go since it opened). Interesting exhibits, including some nice interactive ones, in addition to all the Bond like paraphernalia. There were no lines, and we were done before 8. Since our dinner reservations were at 9:30, we walked down to R.F.D. for a couple pints. I had a good Scottish ale and found a new favorite: Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale.

We took the Metro to Farragut West, where Equinox was less than a block away. Jill convinced me to go for the six course meal, paired with wine. That probably wasn’t the best idea, seeing as we’d both had two pints on an empty stomach. First course I had herb roasted prawns, followed by a chestnut pasta for the pasta course and a delicious snapfish for the fish course. We both had the veal for the meat course, then I had a mild French blue cheese that went especially well with the Bartlett pears and port it was served with for the cheese course. For dessert I had what I have to call apple pie filling in an egg roll like pastry crust – very tasty and with a nice Italian dessert wine.

There was a big party next to us, and it turned out 4 of them were chefs from other restaurants (some were still in work clothes), and the rest were part of an organic meat cooperative. You gotta feel good about a restaurant where other chefs go to eat after they’re done.

We were both pretty toasted, and hopped the Metro to West Falls Church. It was quarter of one when we got there, too late for a bus, but Jill had planned on that contingency, and we cabbed it home (a little over $30). We both slept in today – shared hangovers. I feel fine now, went to get her car, then she went shopping while I went to the Chantilly library booksale.

Who’s YOUR daddy?

That’s right New York; how does it feel? While not a nailbiter like the last three (although Jill still couldn’t watch all of it), it was another good game. And while David Ortiz may be the series MVP (with good cause), it was all about Matt Damon tonight. Pedro Martinez deserves his own award for staying out through an inning while the stadium reverberated with “Who’s your daddy?” chants.

The announcers (I thought the color guy was awful) were saying this was not one of the great upsets in history, because the Red Sox were favored coming in to the ALCS. Says who? Sure, they swept the wild card series, but the Yankees won the pennant, and had a commanding lead when they met up during the season. The previous three games were incredible – they had their backs against the wall as far as they could go, and they came back. Tonight just topped it off. What an amazing feat.

Not sure how much of the World Series I’ll watch at the start, but definitely will be after game 3. I think the Sox deserve to win, I hope they do. I have a feeling they’ll have to get through Clemens to do so. We’ll see.

EFO CD release show

It was great as usual. Between sets the band did Q&A instead of a break, and I asked how they took a serious song like “This Is Me” and made a thong with “This Is Me” on the front – just to see what the reaction was (they blamed it on their producer). They seemed to have fun, it was like the session on the cruise. I liked Nicole being told she was “way too smart” by Robbie, and Eddie go embarassed on the last question when he was asked if he wanted to make out, by a lady named Trish. Mike said they could get him past first base by having him do his solo right then, and when they came back afterwards, said “Trish is a man” with an Austin Powers voice.

Robbie was enthusiastic about the Sox, even got the score out a couple times (and it was another nailbiter into the ninth, but that’s another story). Mike lamented about the lack of bass in several songs. Julie called “Baltimore” her favorite song ever; later Mike said “Lady Freedom” was her second favorite.

Off to game 7…

Tired but worth it

As I saved $200 on airline tix to Minneapolis next month for Fiddler’s Green. Kinda late, but I told myself I wouldn’t consider it until I got a job.

Doesn’t look like I can beat the con rate for the hotel – the cheap one’s several blocks away, and not connected to the skyway. Gonna have to see what former coworkers of mine will be around that weekend (Telispark was originally from Minneapolis).

Ya gotta believe

And I can’t believe I spent so much time last night and tonight watching the Sox just eke out wins. Certainly something to watch, as the Sox blew numerous scoring opportunities. Ortiz managed to pull it out again, definitely a nail biter though. I’m kinda hoping for rain tomorrow, since we’ll be at the Eddie From Ohio concert.

Jill called in the 11th. “I didn’t think you were a Red Sox fan”. “I’m not, but I grew up an Orioles fan, so ‘Yankees suck'”. Besides, I get to stop boycotting Orioles games now that the evil troll Angelos has been smacked on the nose (and handed a fat sack of money for no effort, just like the tobacco legislation). Maybe we’ll go check out both Orioles and Expos/Senators/Grays games next season.

Microsoft and queso

Friday I went to a Microsoft mobile computing seminar with a couple coworkers – they served good pizza, and gave me a free book. It was marginally useful, mostly info I knew, but they did answer all my questions at the end.

Saturday I had to do an architectural walkthrough for my HOA, then I showered and surfed while I waited for Jill to get up. She had just worked five nights in a row, so wasn’t happy to wake up. She’s a trooper, and we arrived at Clarendon Day just in time for them to close the main stage due to the thunderstorm we had just raced there arriving. Which was a shame, because the rain was over by 6 (just as WTOP predicted), so we went to the new Clarendon CD Cellar where I browsed while Jill drank her coffee.

We debated going to DC for a beer tasting, but Jill was in favor of dinner and a movie. She was in the mood for Don Pablo’s, so we planned to go there, then hit the googleplex for “Team America”. We had chips and queso, split a fajita salad and a Conquistador platter, and by the time we were done Jill just wanted to veg. We watched the end of “Hunt For Red October”, then Jill went to bed. I watched the Red Sox lose badly, then read for a while.

I slept for 12 hours, but was put to shame by Jill, who managed to stay in bed for nearly 17 hours. That’s a serious sleep deficit. She got up in time to see the end of the Redskins actually winning one, then I made some egg sandwiches, while we read (and watched “Teen Titans”). She went to work and I finished the Wednesday through Saturday papers (got a little behind this week). Now I’ll watch “Desperate Housewives” and John Cleese’s “Wine For The Confused”, and maybe some of the Red Sox.

Meme at last

This is a meme yanked from friend’s blogs on LiveJournal. This is my first one, but I just couldn’t resist. I don’t have a friends list, so just I changed “no one else on your friends list does” to “none of your friends do”

Name a CD you own that none of your friends do:

T-Ride, my favorite weird funky metal CD

Name a book you own that none of your friends do:

Neil Gaiman’s Angels & Visitations, S & N edition

Name a movie you own on DVD/VHS/whatever that none of your friends do:

Doctor Who: The Curse Of Fatal Death

Name a place that you have visited that none of your friends do:

Norman Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Name Dropping

I went to see Robbie Schaefer (from Eddie From Ohio) last night, and on the way out, someone grabbed my arm. It was Todd Wright from the Getaway Car, talking with Mike Clem (also from Eddie From Ohio), Pat McGee (Todd also plays keys in Pat’s band), and the Brindley Brothers. I found out from Todd that the Excentrics reunion at Jaxx Thanksgiving eve will be an epic, with everyone who every played invited and a possible 30 song set. Also, one of the last two Getaway Car shows this year will be the CD release party, depending on when they get the CD.

I’ve seen Todd in the Excentrics or Getaway Car 32 times, making him my third most seen artist. It’s for a good reason, he always seems to have a good time on stage and makes you feel it too. The songs – theres’s not a one I don’t like, and I’m really psyched to hear some of the classic Excentrics songs at Jaxx, that I haven’t heard in nearly ten years.

Robbie’s show was a nice start to my efo week. Saturday at Clarendon Day, Eddie will play drums with Brother Shamus, then join Robbie, Mike and Kevin Gallagher for the seldom seen Jellyfish Blues Band (Robbie said last night they can only play the year when the cicadas emerge). Tuesday is the CD release of the efo’s new CD at the Birchmere, with mysterious surprises (we’ve been told to bring cameras, even though the Birchmere doesn’t allow photography). Eddie From Ohio and spinoffs are second on my most seen list with 40 (Todd Watts and emmet swimming are still first with 52).

But I digress. Stargazer Lily opened with a short set, nice acoustic set and one of the women had an amazing voice. Robbie was excellent as usual. He played two songs solo for the first time, “Stay” (off the new CD) and “Quick”. I was surpised about “Quick” – 4 years old and this is the first time he’s played it at a solo show? Little bit different than the efo version. I’ve heard a couple people say they prefer Robbie solo to efo, but I felt their absence keenly on “And The Rain Crashed Down” (the harmonies were playing along in my head).

Rockin’ at Jaxx

Monday’s show was enormous, run well, sold out, and ran late. Last night’s show ran late, but was gloriously sloppy.

Nuno Bettencourt is best known for Extreme, where he was guitarist, cowriter, and backing and duet vocals. Since then, he’s released 4 CDs and an EP of music that’s nothing like Extreme. “More Than Words” only represented 10% of what Extreme put out, but he’s now in a vein of aggressive power pop (think Foo Fighters).

Population 1 (his new band) was supposed to start at 10PM. I got to Jaxx a little after 10, secure in the knowledge we’d be lucky if they went on before 11. Sure enough, Jaxx was running late as usual. I caught all of the Michael Sheppard Group, they were pretty good, but the crowd (such as it was) was there for Nuno.

Jaxx can easily hold several hundred, but last night there was not more than 40 people. At 11:30, Nuno led his band through to the stage. At first they seemed to be going through the motions – it can be easy to go from a band that can fill arenas to playing to a barely there crowd. Of course this is the third band of his, and there was the small matter of a presidential debate and a Yankees/Red Sox playoff game to contend with. A couple songs in, he was bored with the setlist, and started talking to the crowd. He sang “Happy Birthday” to one girl, decided to play a new song, and suddenly they were bringing it on like the club was completely full.

Most of the songs were new, but the audience was made up of die hard fans, and it showed. Shrieks greeted any song he’d played before, going back to the instrumental “Midnight Express” from the Extreme days, to “Nothing But Trouble” off the recent EP. The later the night went, the sloppier the show got. He was bantering with the crowd, people were shouting out songs, and he was the loosest I’ve ever heard. The final show of the regular set was “Exit”, good song with an amazing solo.

Instead of leaving and coming back, he just started taking requests. At one point someone called for “Eruption”, and he played some, then he started “Monkeypaw” and brought anyone up on stage that wanted to play guitar (four took the challenge, the first two pretty good). He and someone from the audience dueted on Aerosmith’s “Toys From The Attic”, then he went further and brought up seven people to sing along on Extereme’s “Get The Funk Out”. He finished with “Gravity”, a great song off his first solo CD, and I went out into the rain well satisfied.