A bicoastal weekend

Friday night my friend Josh was planning on going to see Star Trek with his wife and another couple, but the husband wasn’t feeling well and Josh knew I was planning on going by myself and offered me the extra ticket. It was going to be my last night at home for a while, but Jill was wiped and told me to go, and I did. I got a hot dog at Cinema de Lux in Fairfax (hey, they carry Nathan’s dogs), then we waited for the flick in the director’s hall (assigned seats, and fewer of them). Great movie, a true reboot and offering action and plot in perfect proportion.

Saturday morning I took Illa for a walk, ran some errands and watched the season (series?) finale of Dollhouse (good, but not great like the week before). Then Jill took me to Dulles, and I stood in the longest security line I’ve been in for some time. But I still got to the gate with plenty of time, and got a Cobb salad, banana and chips from Green Leaf’s. It was a good idea, as I wasn’t hungry until later in the flight. When I landed at LAX, I caught the Fly Away bus to Union Station, then the Metro’s Purple Line to Wilshire and Normandie, where I’m staying across the street at the Wilshire Plaza (not bad, but there’s a whiff of smoke in the room and the street is noisy). I had considered going out to catch Keane at the Hollywood Paladium, but it was late and I was tired, I’ll be sure and catch them in DC next week (but I did manage to watch SNL).

Today I went to the first day of my conference at the LA Convention Center (quick subway ride away). The seminar I went to today was more basic than I thought, but I did learn some stuff about Windows Mobile I hadn’t known before, plus I won a Tilt. The presenter was going to give a phone to the person who asked the best question, and decided four of us were in the running and he couldn’t choose, so he just picked a number between 1-50 and we guessed what it was (I guessed 18 and it was 17). The conference will be providing breakfasts and lunch this week, but today’s box lunch doesn’t bode well – barely edible chicken club, plus the veggies were still frozen).

Dinner was much better – I’d decided to get something close to the hotel, and even though I’m in the heart of Koreatown, decided on Guelaguetza Restaurant, an Oaxacan place a couple blocks away. Based on the reviews I knew I wanted to try the mole sauces, so I ordered the Festival de Moles (all the sauces with shredded chicken and rice), as well as some Quesillo (Oaxacan string cheese). I also tried the Ensalada De Nopalitos (cactus salad), but that didn’t work so well (apparently I don’t like cactus). The rest of the salad mixed with the chicken, rice, cheese and moles was better, though. The red mole and its cousin the coloradito were ok, but I probably wouldn’t get them again. People seem fond of the negro mole and it was pretty good, but the real find for me was the estofado mole, very flavorful with peppers, olives and raisins. I enjoyed it all with some Corona in my room while I watched Simpsons.

Two shows on Friday, a matinee on Sunday

Friday I did indeed take the day off and we headed into DC on Metro. We we were the first people to show up at XM’s studios, so we had to wait about 20 minutes for everyone to show up, including fellow Edhead Jen. We went up a floor, and had to wait a few minutes before being ushered into the very nice performance area (with very comfortable chairs). There were two chairs, and one had a very familiar guitar next to it, so we guessed correctly that the next two people to enter would be Robbie Schaefer and John Jennings. They played for an hour, and they had fun – it was reminiscent of Robbie’s banter with Mike. It was mostly songs of Robbie’s new album, all my favorites too.

Afterwards we headed over to Chinatown and had lunch at Nando’s Peri Peri, a South African chain making it’s way into the area. They mostly just do chicken, and it was scrumptious – I had mine plain with hot sauce, Jill had hers on a Mediterranean salad, plus we shared some hummus with pita pieces. Very good, and filling. After we got back to where we’d parked the car in Ballston, we went exploring near Lake Barcroft (another future place-to-live possibility), then hit the booksale at George Mason Library. We stopped by my mom’s for me to update her computer, and she was home so we chatted for a while and played with Tati.

We headed home and I made nachos for a lighter dinner, then headed over to Wolf Trap, where once again we were late for the opener. Meg Hutchinson was pretty good from what we heard, but Lucy Kaplansky was really good. The funny thing about the day was Jill had seen that Robbie was opening for Lucy in Boston, but wouldn’t be around here, and she was disappointed, but we did kinda see him open for her – just that she played hours later.

Saturday we had a neighborhood cleanup, and I spent some time cleaning up trash and recyclables from behind our house and the nearby creek. When I picked up a waterlogged leather jacket and brought it over to the bank to get the water out, a tadpole came out – I threw him back in. Jill was out woolgathering, so I had the place to myself, and read papers and watched TV. I grilled some very tasty burgers (with bacon) for dinner, then we watched a double header of “Dollhouse” before heading to bed.

Today I got up and did some Wii Fit and played some Lost Winds, then finished an eBay auction, then headed out to catch a matinee of Wolverine. I liked it, but it felt like I’d seen it before – maybe I’ve read too many versions of his origin. I definitely liked the assembling of mutants, and I thought casting was good. Later I took pork I’d left in the crock pot and pulled it apart, then added some BBQ sauce and made sandwiches and coleslaw for dinner.