Harry and Angie

Friday was our night out. I headed down to Clarendon after work and browsed CDs ’til Jill came around. She got out early, and luckily Harry’s Tap Room was able to get us in early. It was Restaurant Week and we took full advantage. I started with a roasted pepper & crab soup that was served way too hot, but was delicious when it cooled, while Jill had a crab hash. We both had beef for the meal, grilled twin fillets with a Béarnaise sauce for me and a New York strip for her (and she loved the roasted garlic on it). We both had dessert (came with the fixed price meal), a ginormous cheesecake for me (seriously huge, I barely ate half) and a rustic peach-almond tart for her (she couldn’t finish hers either).

After dinner, we browsed a nearby bookstore, then headed over to Iota to see Angie Aparo (and saw him before we got there, as he was unloading his gear from a car nearby). He was great as usual, surprised us by doing an intermission. I never get tired of his older songs (especially Hush), but new songs like “Goodbye Serenade” and “Wreckage” were good to hear. As usual it was a pretty late show, didn’t get home until well after 1.

Angie Aparo

Saturday and Sunday were fairly busy. I did a lot of computer stuff, auctions and DVDs, and installed a FireWire card (the first hardware I’ve ever added, and boy was the case dusty). I did some cleaning, some cooking (meatball subs, crab cakes and burgers) and a lot of reading (lots to catch up on).

Jukebox The Ghost

Last night I headed into the city and met up with Jill at the Cleveland Park Metro. We drove over to 2Amys, ordered some pizzas, then drove up to Fort Reno Park. The legendary concert series there has been going on for years, but I’d never been before. But the arsenic scare and temporary closure in the spring reminded me that I hadn’t, and that I should take advantage while I could.

Jukebox The Ghost is a piano based trio born in DC. I’ve got a weakness for good piano pop/rock (Keane, Ben Folds, Coldplay), and they deliver the goods (check out Hold It In: YouTube or mp3). I’ve been keeping up with the local music scene more by reading more blogs and I liked them enough to pick up the CD, but I hadn’t seen them live and seeing them on the Fort Reno schedule cemented my decision to go, even though it was a Monday.

But it was a gorgeous Monday, 80s with a cool breeze (unusual weather for DC in August – Jill was a bit cold by the end). We picked a spot, laid down our blanket, and tore into our pizzas. 2Amys has been lauded extensively for their pizzas, and they were pretty good. I had the Margherita (which was certified authentic Italian) and Jill had the Puttanesca (I didn’t like that as much, but I’m not a fan of broccoli or anchovies on pizza). Now there’s only a couple more pizza places left to try in the area that are often mentioned as the best. The band put on an excellent show, and the several hundred people there enjoyed themselves. We skipped These United States as I’d seen them before and thought they were ok, but it was getting late so we headed home.

Jukebox The Ghost at Fort Reno

Dish and Lions

Saturday was our busy day this weekend. I started with a new, most excellent breakfast: leftover steak on an everything bagel with egg (with jalapenos), mozzarella and cheddar cheeses on top. My company’s summer picnic was held at the owner’s house in Great Falls, and it was a gorgeous place. We didn’t have much to eat so as not to spoil our dinner at Dish. We were a little early, so we waited outside and my mom joined us and we chatted. We went inside when they opened at 5, and Sharon showed up soon after. For starters Jill had the soup of the day, a tomato/fennel/crab mix and I had the salad special, a mix of greens, watermelon and goat cheese that combined nicely. I had a pomegranate martini and Jill had a glass of wine, then I got the herb crusted New Zealand lamb chops (good research for our next trip) while Jill had the pan seared rockfish (done in a Thai style) – we both enjoyed our food. We’d been there once before several years ago and they’d changed chefs since then, but quite good (and our server was a trip). I opted to take my dessert in a liquid form, but the ladies shared a peach and blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream that vanished quickly.

After dinner we strolled over to the Kennedy Center and were in our seats with plenty of time The Lion King. Finally arriving in DC ten years after its Broadway debut, it was a must see for my mom and an easy choice for a Christmas gift last year. The show was very entertaining, and I was glad I’d recently watched the DVD so I was familiar with the creatures – Jill was puzzling over what the monkey was supposed to be. Afterwards we rode the Metro back with Mom, and headed home. Jill had the beginnings of a migraine and headed to bed, so Illa and I stayed up to watch the Redskins game.

Nothing too exciting went on Sunday, I did some more auctions, read papers, watched a movie, and Jill made baked zita and smoothies for dinner. Illa did get plenty of play time, but early in the day wasn’t happy, and was “grumphy” – grumph is the sound of the exaggerated sigh he makes when he sits down in a huff, and this is what he looks like after he makes it:
Illa grumphy

Best album formula

In an intriguing objective take on what are the best albums, this article brings a new formula to the table, and it seems right. The formula is Album Staying Power Value + Sales Value + Critical Rating Value + Grammy Award Value, and while most of the top spots aren’t shocking, number 1 may be a surprise.