This was a relatively quiet week at work, which was good as it gave me time for a couple of personal projects. One was making a mix CD for a going-away at work. The guy who was leaving is known for a number of colorful expressions, including his habit of calling everybody "Sunshine." The iTunes music store is very useful in this case, as a quick search for "Sunshine" turned up lots of possiblities for songs to use. The result got a reaction of appropriate amusement at his luncheon on Thursday.
My other musical project goes back a couple of weeks. Robert's 50th birthday is approaching and, as much as he hates birthdays, I can't let a momentous event like that go unmarked. So I bought him an ipod nano and put 50 songs on it. The challenge was coming up with 50 songs that were things I thought he'd like, as his musical tastes and mine have limited overlap. I think I was reasonably successful and, hopefully, he'll enjoy using it. I should also note that I now want one myself. I have a number of CDs which really have just one or two songs I like, so the thought of keeping them in a more compact form is appealing.
Anyway, Robert's visit started off rather badly, as he didn't follow my instructions, leading to a significant fiasco in my meeting him at West Falls Church. He accepted full blame, so I guess there's no point in belaboring this, but it did screw up our plans for Friday night. And, of course, I'd have liked more time with him. We salvaged the evening with a nice dinner at Coastal Flats in Tyson's Corner.
The main event of Saturday (well, the main event for public consumption) was going to RFK Stadium, where the Nationals were playing the Source of All Evil in the Universe. The metro was slow and crowded, since they not only were running on a Saturday schedule but also doing track work. So we got there after the singing of the national anthem, though before play started. Our seats were in the nosebleed section and I was surprised at the steep and arduous climb to get to them. The steps have a much higher rise than modern design would allow and there's no handrail after the first few rows. I felt particularly sorry for the beer vendors who go up and down several times a game. I hope the new stadium will be more sensibly designed. The stadium also has entirely unexciting concessions and a miserable PA system. And they only sing one chorus of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" instead of two, as is right and proper.
On the plus side, the game was a very exciting one. I was surrounded by obnoxious Yankees fans (and one not so obnoxious one, as Robert at least has the excuse of having lived in the Bronx all through college). And when the evil pinstriped ones were leading 9-2, they were particularly loud. But the Nats made it 9-6 and then 9-8. And there was an unbelievable 8th inning when Alfonso Soriano stole 2nd, then stole 3rd and scored when Posada threw the ball only roughly in the right general vicinity. The Nats went up to 11-9. Then in the top of the 9th, Traitor Johnny Damon (who looks so wrong without hair) threatened, but all was well and good triumphed over evil.
We took a bus to Dupont Circle since the line to get into the metro was imposing. We had to stand for a while, but a couple got off on Capitol Hill, so it wasn't too bad. Dinner was at Malaysia Kopitiam, which was reasonably good, but not quite as glorious as Banana Leaf in Milpitas, California. More than half of the dishes we ate were things I would order again, which is about as good as you can expect at a place you haven't been to before.
Today we didn't do much of anything. We did go out for brunch, trying Chutzpah, which claims to be a real New York deli. I told Robert to remember that we are in Virignia, so not to have particularly high expectations. He was very happy with his eggs, lox, and onion scramble. It was late enough for me to consider it lunchtime, so I had an acceptable but not spectacular tongue sandwich and a knish that I suspect was a frozen one from Gabila's. The sour pickle was good, but the half-sour missed the mark. In short, it was a reasonably plausible effort, but doesn't really alleviate the need for pilgrimages to New York.
All in all, it was nice to have him here, though I'd have preferred to have avoided the stress of trying to track him down on Friday night. And, of course, I'd have liked him to be here for longer.
Copyright 2006 Miriam H. Nadel