Books I’ve read, week twenty-four

44. V
Writer: A.C. Crispin
45. V: East Coast Crisis
Writers: Howard Weinstein and A.C. Crispin
As you can see from the next entry, it was a V week – I even got a reference book on eBay this week I’ve been looking for since 1985. The books are interesting – the first one is a novelization of both miniseries, while the second has the same timeline, but an entirely new cast as it’s set in New York City. The novelization seems like the author got the second miniseries as a script only and had to rush, as it’s a shorter section than the adaption of the first and is missing pieces. Still, it adds some nice characterizations. East Coast Crisis also feels somewhat rushed, and it suffers from not being familiar with the cast, but the plot is good, especially the fight at the end. V B- East Coast Crisis B-

Classic rock weekend

And just a classic, because any weekend I get two world class shows and get to hang wif me best mate is gonna be good. Friday I left work early to catch up with Jill at work in Georgetown. I had planned to take the bus from Herndon, then Metro in and take a bus to Georgetown, but she got out late and there was some miscommunication over which Metro stop to meet up at. We met up at Tenleytown at 5:30 and headed up to Columbia, although the rush hour traffic wasn’t awful. I’d read about a new place that seemed pretty cool, so we headed over there. The menu promised tasty food and it delivered. We started with draft beers, a Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball for Jill and a hefeweizen for me, then Jill had a mushroom soup and I had duck quesadillas, both quite tasty. Next she had a Cuban sandwich and I had lamb ribs, and we shared an order of duck fat fries – tasted more like duck than the quesadillas, but I was ok with that, we’ll definitely try to go back next time we’re up that way (plus it beats the usual fare at the Columbia mall).

Next we took the short hop over to Merriweather Post Pavilion. We hadn’t planned on seeing the opening act, so missing her wasn’t a great loss. I don’t know if we’ll ever get a Led Zeppelin tour, but I wouldn’t mind another one from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. They were amazing together, although we would like to have passed on the dancing bozo up front. They did a mix of duets and solo songs (when the other would do backing vocal). Allison was great on “Trampled Rose” and “Down To The River To Pray”, and Robert held his own on “Fortune Teller”. They did several Zep tunes, “Black Dog” got a huge response, but “Black Country Woman” was the highlight for me. Clearly Plant can play the wizened blues singer all he wants, but can drag that unearthly howl out at any time. I’ll still hold out hope for a stateside Zep performance at some point.

Saturday I had things to do in the morning, but still managed to get to Dulles by 11:30. My flight to Boston didn’t take off for another hour, so I just chilled, and everything went smoothly. After we landed, I got on the Silver line, and tried to transfer to the Red, but a cop told us the line was closed and there were buses outside. Knowing how well that’s been working in DC, I went outside with baited breath. Apparently everything was happening there, as at least 8 fire engines and nearly that many ambulances and squad cars were out front. I called Chris and he had Jess direct me down a couple blocks near the freeway entrance so we could swing by, pick me up, and not get caught in the mess. Apparently it had just shut down due to a fire and was closed for 4 hours.

I was soon in Quincy, where Jess and V were waiting for us. Jess is about to have their second child, and is eager for it to be over, but is doing pretty well. We hung out in the afternoon and took a walk along the shore, and got takeout from their favorite restaurant for dinner (Jill had takeout Thai food at home for all you Jill fans – and she wanted to come along, but couldn’t come back Monday morning with her schedule). We watched a movie later on, then it was bedtime as we were all pretty wiped out.

Sunday we had breakfast, then Jess ran some errands with V, giving Chris a gift of Father’s Day free time. We hung out and talked, got some lunch and read. In the evening Chris grilled some pork chops while Jess made some rice and corn, very tasty. Then Chris and I headed south towards the Comcast Center (formerly Great Woods). We had decent seats for Rush, and got there with plenty of time. Great show (even if I prefer last year’s setlist slightly more), they all were in great form and I’m really used to the new songs now. We were out of there ASAP at the encore, the exit looked as bad as the one for Nissan Pavilion.

I had some drama on the way back Monday. I’d booked the first flight in the morning without checking the subway schedules, and the earliest I could get there was 6:15. With my flight boarding at 6:30 and leaving at 7, that was cutting it pretty close, but it was just the matter of getting there on time and getting through security quickly as I had my boarding pass and wasn’t checking baggage (or being charged that wonderful fee). The airport bus was actually a little early, and I was in the terminal at 6:17. I was happy, but I’ll try not to cut it that close again. The flight again was without any problems, and I was greeted by an enthusiastic dog just after 9, showered, changed, and was at work not long after that.

Books I’ve read, week twenty-three

It’s been a while, but I’m back to the B’s (I’m not realistically expecting to get through the alphabet in order this year anymore).

43. The Demolished Man
Writer: Alfred Bester
A strange book – starts off as sci-fi, then turns into a mystery with telepaths, hitting all the tropes, before wandering back to psychedelic sci-fi. The actual transcript of the telepaths talking is pretty inventive, and I can see why it won the first Hugo. It doesn’t age as gracefully as it could, though. B-

BSG links

Some cool links from the best sci fi show on the air (although I really liked last week’s Doctor Who):

– Producer (and comic book writer) Mark Verheiden has a blog
– He’s also answering fan questions about each ep
– Ever wondered about how they made the CGI Cylons for Razor?
– Buy a How To Spot a Cylon Poster
– Writer of last week’s “The Hub” Jane Espenson responds to questions (and she’s got a blog)

Dancing with myself

Or not really dancing, but Jill had to be at Georgetown on call from 6AM Saturday to 6AM Sunday, so I was mostly by myself. I made a quick dinner Friday night, then she went to bed and I went over to join Stuart and Janice and check out Love Seed Mama Jump at Friday Night Live! I’m not a huge fan of cover bands, but Love Seed has their own flavor (and I’m now convinced “Country Roads” should only be played at double speed) and some of their own tunes (I’m partial to “She Likes the Dead”, about a girl who’s now a hippie chick, get your mind out of the gutter).

Saturday it was mighty hot, good day to stay inside, read and watch movies. I grilled some lamb for dinner, and with a wealth of live options (including Joan Jett and Jakob Dylan), went with Rusted Root and moe. at Wolf Trap. I’ve liked Rusted Root a long time (since I caught them opening up for Dave Matthews Band in ’94) and it was nice to see them again, since I forgot how much I enjoy the way they infuse their jam band songs with a world music beat. Great hearing all the old hits, thought the one that really grabbed me was their cover of “Suspicious Minds”. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for moe. – while they were talented, the music just didn’t grab me. When Michael Glabicki (from Rusted Root) joined them for a song it just emphasized it.

Today it was again hot – I’d considered hitting a comic book show and Everclear was playing a free show in Arlington, but it was just too hot. I did make it out for a friend’s child’s birthday party for a bit, then came back and camped out on the couch. I made a taco salad for dinner, now I think it’s past time for some ice cream.

Powerless

The storms knocked out power and we came home to a dark house Wednesday night. Luckily I had just made burger patties the night before and I grilled them for dinner. We dined and read by candlelight and a camplight, odd that it was so quiet. I wasn’t taking chances Thursday. I had pork chops in the fridge and no idea when power would be restored, so I brought them and a crockpot to work, and made pulled pork during the day. We did have power back, but it was nice to have dinner ready quickly.

Movies I’ve watched, week twenty-two

37. The Andromeda Strain
Adapting the book into a modern day miniseries, it has strong points (generally good cast, interesting integration of modern technology) and weak ones (added political drama and a president who’s an amalgam of the current and last one). I’m not sure it needed to be a miniseries as it definitely drags in parts. C+