My first-ever Father’s Day was a resounding success, with Addie enjoying and being enjoyed by Louise’s parents, who repaid the favor with grandparent-class food — quiche for breakfast, and salmon for dinner, or supper as we Catholics call it. The weather was a bit warm for true comfort, but the sun was shining and relaxation was the order of the day as we capped off our weekend with a small gathering of friends back in the city.
You could forget there’s a war on.
We and two friends of ours met J and A in downtown DC after attending the motorcycle show this past winter. One of our friends decided J was interesting enough to keep around, and so Louise and I have seen him more often (and our friend somewhat less often…) These guys are good-natured and friendly, cosmopolitan and not above having a little alcohol-fueled fun. J and our friend had spent the day cooking and amassing beer, while A and his brother R were touring the Virginia Peninsula, from which they returned with a rare jar of honey.
Sadly, we were too tired to stay long, but we try to enjoy J and A’s company whenever we can, since they’ll be serving with the Danish army in Afghanistan in just a few months. Herewith a toast: to our democratic allies — may they serve bravely and well, and may they return safely to many more lazy afternoons of good food and conversation.
For whatever reason, that word has gone out of popular usage, but when I was a kid people (or at least my people) referred to babies in backpacks as papooses all the time. Did the Native American lobby ban others from using their words and I didn’t get the memo? 🙂 Anyway, in spite of my unsustainable busy-ness I managed to get out to the Reston Zoo with my daughter last Sunday. Here’s the little papoose:
Like any good not-quite-2-month-old, she slept through the majority of the outing, and since I’m almost as ignorant about babies as a New York Times reporter is about guns, I spent much of that time worrying that with her face mashed into my chest she’d have trouble breathing. Her mother eventually managed to convince me she’d be ok, at which point I also remembered that billions of babies have survived being raised by people much dumber than us (and that’s saying something!)
Here are a couple other of my favorite pictures. I am glad my daughter is pretty (though as I was telling my girlfriend, not too pretty, please — I want to make it through her teenage years without too much more gray hair!)
Pretty in pink — She actually doesn’t need the pacifier very much, which I think is a good thing. Supposedly, excessive pacifier use eventually leads to thumbsucking, which then leads to expensive orthodontic work…
And finally, just so you all know I haven’t completely stopped doing things like attempting to take artistic photos, here’s one of “Captain Gizmore” enjoying the warm sunlight last Saturday. Or maybe I should call him Joe Friday…
I know, because I’m an idiot and I had a kid.
First, why I’m an idiot. Vicky and I are joining other friends for some spring skiing in Vail next week, flying out Sunday. Because I’ve been distracted as hell, I started thinking my flight was tomorrow (Saturday) instead. I rushed around this evening packing, forcing my poor girlfriend to watch lame TV shows alone while I washed dishes and ran two loads of laundry. Her night did have one good point when we dropped off the house keys with Sarah and Ed. They invited her to attend their Battlestar season finale party in place of me Sunday night. She’s a closet sci fi fan and I know she’ll love getting her geek on.
Anyway, after all that I go to check the hotel info and find emails referencing the Sunday arrival. Uh oh, which day is my flight, really? I thought I was coordinated with Vicky. And I am — on Sunday. Which reminds me I need to cancel the cab that’s going to show up here at 6:30 am.
Second, if you pay enough attention to this blog to have noticed how I said the post about life’s strange twists and turns was a teaser of sorts, here’s your reward. As of three and a half weeks ago, I am the proud father of a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Addison Grace was born on February 28, the best late birthday gift ever. She is 9 lbs 15 oz (extrapolating from Wednesday’s weigh-in) of perfection. But who wants to listen to me make noise. Have yourselves some pics:
For those of you more personally in the loop, you probably realize it’s taking me some courage to post here. I’m doing it now because: I want to document Addie’s early life and my reactions, because as her mother says, “she is my gorgeous daughter and I love her; everything else is just details”, because waiting much longer would have risked stealing Christina’s spotlight 🙂 and because this is the only hard post. From now on I’m just another
proud dad asshat who thinks their kid is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
And hey, it’s not as if I don’t know this will be the first really interesting category I’ve added!
That would be Carolyn, our friend Kristen (who can finally party with us this year since Carolyn’s party is delayed three weeks) one of my relatives that I can’t quite remember at the moment, two people I used to know from online, and uh, me 😀
Side note: my blogroll is getting to be like speed dial–I don’t remember anyone’s blog URI because I just click links to get there. Terrorists, if you really want to screw with us just wipe out speed dial and links…
Update: Vicky has some fond reminiscences for this auspicious date…
That isn’t my cake though, with “32” on it. Must be someone else’s…
I found these gems while staying indoors with the blinds closed yesterday (this was the morning after a party, so you can guess why)
Doing an outside loop in a small plane (zero-g simulation) but someone forgot to warn one of the passengers! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN77b9DqEbc
Flying Stuart Little-style. This has to be in the top ten coolest things in the world: http://youtube.com/watch?v=mlNF6e2wxss
And speaking of R/C aircraft …well, just click: http://youtube.com/watch?v=zT60SkXN1UY
I felt quite a bit better today, but my plans were scotched due to teh gf being sick, so I decided to open the windows, go outside* and enjoy the weather instead. Yes, in mid-January I am walking around outdoors in shorts and a t-shirt. Also, the neighborhood across Four Mile Run (once you get past the ugly apartments along the highway) is absolutely gorgeous and I am going to start keeping track of real estate over there. It’s all 40s-era bungalows, most of which have nice-looking additions or in some cases teardown replacements. Unlike some of the painfully-chic older neighborhoods in the DC area, this one simply looks lived-in and loved. Now I love it too!
* No, I did not go outside through the windows.
Yeah I know, I didn’t post all Christmas season. I got some nice stuff, but nothing really worth posting pics of. And I had an excellent and relaxing vacation up north, including a night out in Boston with Rachel and Steve. Against that, a couple of my local friends seem to have forgotten how to call back. And with that as a segue that will make vague sense only to me and one of those two, I’m also reading Dog Days, by former Wonkette Ana Marie Cox. Only a couple chapters in, but let’s just say that the appearance of Washingtonienne had me laughing out loud and not in the way the author wanted. I’ll reserve judgement until the end, but sofar it’s threatening to make me put it down for all the same reasons I never wanted to get involved in that scene to begin with.
Anyway, the cooking. I took a steak out of the freezer yesterday with a vague plan to cook it on the Foreman grill with some broccoli on the side. Then today I got to thinking cheese sauce would be good on the broccoli. Google brought me a simple-looking recipe that called for butter, milk, flour, and mustard powder in addition to grated cheese.
Now, my whole point was to use up the cheddar that I haven’t been eating, so I wasn’t going to go out and buy grated cheese. This was just part of my downfall, with the others being that I only have unsifted whole wheat flour, no sifter, and–it turned out–no cheese grater. I still think I have one somewhere but by the time I realized I didn’t know where it was, I needed something fast. Fortunately, there was something to hand: some shredded parmesan left over from last week. It worked–sort of. You start off by melting the butter and adding flour, then stirring in the milk. This is more or less how you make cream of wheat, and that’s exactly what it looked and smelled like. After adding the cheese, it looked and smelled like parmesan cream of wheat. The taste ultimately wasn’t terrible, but a far cry from the queso-like sauce I had been picturing. I think the problem was too much flour, but I put in exactly what the recipe called for. Finally, to add insult to injury the steak–something I’m normally pretty good at–was dry and mostly taste-free. That’s disappointing after marinading it in BBQ sauce and frying with extra virgin olive oil. I guess it’s back to the drawing board, or at least to marinading all day in the off-the-shelf lemon pepper stuff.
“We came on the sloop John B., my grandfather and me,
Around Nassau town we did roam
Drinkin’ all night, got into a fight
Call up the captain, I wanna go home.“
No, last night doesn’t truly compare to that song, but it reminded me of it. D&D (a couple I know), their friend E and I went out to Ned Devine’s in Sterling last night. I’d never been there before, but it’s in the same building as the old two-screen dollar theater from when I was growing up in that area.
I like the layout. You show your ID outside the door to a guy who looks like Steve the bouncer from the Jerry Springer show, and pay the cover ($10–this better be good!) at the box office. Once inside, the “quiet room” is where the projection rooms used to be, and the auditoriums have been combined into one big space, retaining the movie screens a la the late, lamented Bardo’s. They have lasers and everything, even fog to cover up the awful geeky white people “dancing”. Both because of that, and because the music was monotonously the same soundtrack from those days, we were all reminded of high school dances. That was good for some funny conversation, but sort of left me feeling like I should be wearing a cardigan and walking with a cane.
Luckily around that time the dance floor finally provided some entertainment. A couple guys and some girls got into a fight, complete with shouting (inaudible over the worse-than-normally loud music) and getting thrown out the back door by multiple bouncers. We’d barely started making fun of the ‘fighting irish’ when several bouncers ran past us heading for the front door, where the dumbasses were apparantly trying to come back in. Since we were waiting for the girls to come back from the bathroom, D and I got a slow start heading out to watch the fun, but I did manage to hear a very slurred voice yelling “what’d I do!”
When we finally gave up and left, vowing to go to DC to a real club next time, the parking lot was full of cops, with some scantily-clad girls in handcuffs getting misty in the summer rain and trash-talking the officers, who looked like they missed the good old days when Loudoun County didn’t have a bar to its name. Call up the captain…
Awhile back, I signed up on Yahoo! Personals. Yeah yeah, I know. After a couple months I canceled my paid membership, but since I still have a Yahoo! account, my profile, searches etc. stayed around and I still get emails from them from time to time. Today I get an announcement that “Who Viewed Me? has arrived!”. So I get to see who’s looking at my profile. This could have some value, if only for anthropological interest. Sadly, I didn’t think of this possibility:
…I realize I don’t keep in touch with people as well as I could, but you can still invite me to your parties. Maybe I just assume too much when I think people are friends. I’ll try to be more realistic about that.
On a less dramatic note, this was a productive weekend. Concrete steps taken to finally fill the empty space where comfy livingroom furniture should be. Funny Halloween pics taken, old friends caught up with (the graf above doesn’t refer to the entire world) and snazzy curtains hung over the balcony door where boring sheers used to be. That last one means yet another mini-project around the balcony entrance though. The previous owner just screwed the curtainrod brackets into drywall, and I yanked one partially out while hanging the curtains. It needs to be widened about a foot anyway to make it easier to get the curtains out of the way and open the door, so some drywall anchors are in the immediate future. Ah, homeowning.
After finishing five games of pool last night without managing to get anyone else to show up*, Kipp and I decided to head for Rock It Grill and see if some fun could still be had. The Cue Club had been nearly deserted, very strange for a pool hall on Saturday night. Worse, the attendees were approximately 99% male.
I knew the crowd at Rock It would be much better, and sure enough. Even with all three bartenders on the clock, I was reduced to trespassing in the servers’ counter to get my beer. It’s a good thing they know me there. Surprisingly, we found seats along the partition next to the pool tables, and settled in to watch the karaoke.
Around half an hour later, Kipp says “hey, do you see those three girls sitting in front of the stage? They look like they want some company!” I wasn’t entirely in the mood for that, but we all know you never leave your wingman. We watched for a few minutes to see that they really were alone, and went on over.
The first warning sign should have been when the (apparantly) older and soberer of the three just sort of shrugged and said the seats on the far end of the table were open. But we gamely sat down and began to appraise the situation. Only two girls were there at that point; one appeared to be in her late 20s and looked a little sour. The other was cute but barely able to sit up in her chair, plus the only proof she was older than, say, 17 was her presence in a bar after 9pm.
I looked at Kipp, and he said “I think they looked better from across the room.” Roger dat! So we sat contemplating our shit-or-get-off-the-pot dilemma, when what to our wondering eyes should appear but two guys, walking up to “our” girls as if they were …with them! The girls must have forgotten that though, because the guys took one look at Kipp and I and began to harangue the hapless and quite-drunk females. This was complete with pointing and hand gestures, shrugging and pretend innocence. I was far too mesmerized with this show to sneak off, but when the guys finally came over to kick us out they were–to their credit–friendly and polite about it. I’m guessing that happens a lot when this bunch goes out…
* Not really our fault. Pretty much all the usual suspects happened to be out of town, and the last 2-3 were busy or not picking up.