Merle ’17

We enjoyed the 30th Merlefest last weekend in Wilkesboro, NC.  Lots of fantastic music and while it rained THursday evening the rest of the weekend had gorgeous weather.  I added some photos to Instagram however I took a lot of  photos I with my DSLR camera and cant get those photos to load to my iPhone or iPad to load to other apps.  I am posting the better photos here.  IMG_3924

Del McCoury BandIMG_3927DSC_0281

TransAtlantic SessionsDSC_0283DSC_0286Sarah JaroszDSC_0287

Maura O’Connell and Declan O’RourkeDSC_0288DSC_0290DSC_0292Declan O’RourkeDSC_0294

James Taylor “In my mind I’m going to Carolina”DSC_0297DSC_0299Maura O’ConnellDSC_0300Jerry DouglasDSC_0307DSC_0314DSC_0315DSC_0317

Steep Canyon Rangers DSC_0318DSC_0320DSC_0324DSC_0326DSC_0332Sam Bush with Leftover SalmonDSC_0336DSC_0341

Earls of LeicesterDSC_0342

Shawn Camp and Jerry DouglasDSC_0346DSC_0347DSC_0351

Merlefest Reunion Jam with Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, Bryon Sutton, and Mark Schatz.DSC_0353DSC_0354DSC_0375DSC_0378

Tara Nevins of DTBDSC_0380

Jeb of DTB DSC_0382DSC_0383DSC_0384DSC_0386DSC_0388DSC_0391

Peter Rowan joining DTB

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Fun Stuff

We have lined up a few good shows over the next month.  Starting off with a girls outing to see  The Phantom of the Opera at the Kennedy Center for a matinee performance this weekend.  Here is a link to WashPo’s review.  I have never seen it so am excited!  We are having lunch at District Commons, another first for me.

We will head to the beach for a long weekend and return in time to deposit son back at school.  I hate to say it but I am ready for him to be back in college.

In September, we will see Little Feat at the Warner Theatre, I really like this venue for a show and we have pretty good seats.

And then in the same week, on to Celebrate Virginia in Fredericksburg for ZZ Top and Govt Mule.

Today we are headed to the ballpark to see the Nationals face the Giants again.

Fun times!

 

 

Bright Star

Yesterday, I went with a gaggle of girlfriends to see Bright Star at the Kennedy Center.  We had lunch at Clydes of Georgetown, crab cakes again!

I have been anticipating this musical for a few months, as it combines two favorites of mine, bluegrass and a musical.  Steve Martin and Edie Brickwell wrote the story and all the music and lyrics.  I LOVE Steve Martin, and have seen him play bluegrass with the Steep Canyon Rangers.  His talents are amazing, a comedian, actor, musician, writer…  seems he hit the motherlode.

And I absolutely loved it!  The music, the sets, the actors, the story = a musical that exceeded my expectations.  I read the Wash Post’s review here and so was not expecting to be wowed.  Act 1 ended with a stunning scene that left me feeling sad and upset, even though I had figured out the ending.  No spoiler here, you will have to go see it!

One of my favorite parts was the cabin set holding the musicians that whirled around the stage with actors dancing and singing through it.  I admired the musicians and their ability to NOT be dizzy.

Bright Star closes at Kennedy Center today and moves on to Broadway.  Vanity Fair has an article on it this month here.  Enjoy!

New beginnings

I woke up Monday morning, the first working day of 2016 and didn’t have to get up and go.  An unusual feeling for me still.  With 10 months of retirement down, I have drifted into somewhat of a schedule that includes working out, pursuing hobbies, lots of reading, and consulting work.

Not being big on New Year resolutions, I haven’t made many as my resolve doesn’t seem to stick much beyond mid-January.  In the past, I found energy in the idea of new beginnings at the first of the year and often spent time on setting my house, literally and figuratively, in order over the holiday break.  I experienced that same energy again this year and have a great list of things to work on in 2016!

One thing I am doing is letting go of one consulting job that has not met my expectations as planned and picking up another one.  Developing my consulting company became one HUGE opportunity to learn new things in 2015 and hopefully will continue in 2016.  I find myself doing things and facing situations where I have no experience, and casting about for answers, guidance and resolve!

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Speaking of new beginnings, we went to the Dead and Co show at Verizon Center back in November.  We had a stellar time, one of the best shows of 2015.

Stepping out

For the first time in several years, we went out on New Years Eve.  For Christmas, I gave hubby tickets to the Infamous Stringdusters at RamsHeadLive in Baltimore, booked a room at the Marriott Renaissance.  Turned out to be such a fun night.  We met some friends for dinner at Peter’s Pour House and then on to hear some great music.  The crab cakes were delicious as to be expected in “Bawltimere.  Cabinet opened the show.IMG_2971Obligtory “selfie”!

And not a bad view in the venue!  We traversed between the main floor and  the general admission balcony, ending up the evening in VIP balcony.  What a great show, I have not located a setlist, still looking, and I am lousy at remembering.

So we rung in 2016 in a fun way, and I have lots in the plan for 2016.

Routine



Its good to be home for more than a couple of days.  From June 18 through August 13, I spent 36 days away from home, about 2/3 of the time traveling to a beach twice, then to a conference and then to visit my mom in Missouri.  I’m trying to get back to a routine. I remember right after our son was born, my mom and godmother returned home after spending a couple of weeks with us and leaving me home alone with him. Mother kept telling me to put the baby on a schedule and I was clueless on how to get our little baby to eat or sleep at regular intervals.  I didn’t want to wake him to eat because getting him back to sleep was difficult.

While working I had a routine to my day, starting the day scanning news items and emails for brewing problems, making a daily to do list including phone calls to make and emails to send, reviewing the upcoming calendar for conflicts and to ensure coverage, attending meetings, and reviewing long term projects and monitoring progress.  All of this planning was quickly tossed aside to address the latest fire, be it a policy issue blowing up with unhappy constituents or operational issues like IT systems being down-that happened A LOT and appears to still be happening, or staff coverage or transportation problems.  A couple of weeks ago, there was a metro derailment at the Smithsonian, good news is that it was an empty train but bad because it shut down the station and the blue/orange/silver lines for most of the am commute.  I thought of the problems this caused back at my old position and all the kerfuffle and stuff just NOT getting done.

So I have an evolving routine including writing, working, walking, gym, and gardening (early morning before it gets so hot!).    Over the next week and a half, I add in helping son get ready to return to college.  And then I head back to the beach as we close soon on the condo!


IMG_2671We enjoyed another routine the other evening, catching ZZ Top with openers Blackberry Smoke at Wolf Trap.  Those guys have it down, what a show!  Loved the screens playing videos on either side, and they played a lot of songs doing most of their major hits + some covers.  Heres the setlist:

  1. Got Me Under Pressure
  2. Waitin’ for the Bus
  3. Jesus Just Left Chicago
  4. Gimme All Your Lovin’
  5. I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
  6. Pincushion
  7. I Gotsta Get Paid
  8. Flyin’ High
  9. IMG_2688Foxy Lady
    (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
  10. Catfish Blues
    (Robert Petway cover)
  11. Cheap Sunglasses
  12. My Head’s in Mississippi
  13. Chartreuse
  14. Sharp Dressed Man
  15. Legs
    Encore:
  16. La Grange / Sloppy Drunk Jam
  17. Tush
    Encore 2:
  18. Sixteen Tons

I loved the second encore, after researching a bit, ZZ Top plays Sixteen Tons in concert more than any other band. Weird moment after the show, while waiting on hubby to come back from the restroom, a guy walked by asked me what I thought of the show, I replied that I loved it, especially Sixteen Tons, and he was all upset  “they didn’t play LaGrange!”  I was like oh well, and shrugged my shoulders as he walked away.  But they did play LaGrange – so not sure where he was?

One more freaky, funny side show item, do you remember spray tans?  And how your skin can turn orange from it?  We arrived around 6 pm and were waiting in the parking lot as the venue didn’t open until 6:30.  A lady walked by with the most orange legs I have EVER seen, I thought about a photo but isn’t that rude?  I mean Hokie Orange, Neon Orange, Not Attractive At All orange.  After she passed, we caught her backside and the orange ended at the knees going up and the ankles on the way down to her feet, and pale white took over.  I REALLY wish I had taken a pix.  Too funny! Hubby was like “does she think that looks good?!!!”
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Summer Lineup

Grateful Dead and their reunion tour in California and Chicago in late June and over the fourth of July weekend garnered tons of attention.  We watched the July fourth Chicago show via pay-per-view, I enjoyed the show though not as much as hubby and missed some of it as I was outside shooting off fireworks.  I don’t consider myself a deadhead, having been to 2 shows in early 90s both at RFK.  Not the best shows I have ever been to, and after the second one I swore off any more GD shows with hubby. Even after Jerry passed away, I skipped opportunities to see the Other Ones or the Dead.  I did go to see Phil Lesh and friends in 2010 and enjoyed the show.  We know folks who made the trek to Chicago and heard good reports back on the experience.  Here are a couple of reviews, the first one – NY Times review is more mainstream though I enjoyed this next one, Alex Bleeker’s Dead shows review, as it is from a deadhead.  We have joked that we can buy the entire string of shows on DVD.

Since we are still trying to buy the beach condo, we haven’t seen a lot of shows.  We have tickets to see ZZ Top at Wolf Trap in August.  If we can, will go to the Hot August Music Festival in Cockeysville, MD.  Love the line up for this one with Railroad Earth, Shaky Graves, Infamous Stringdusters in the lineup and Cabinet, who I haven’t seen in person yet but have heard they are great.

Also on our must see list in September are Los Lobos at the Hamilton and Sturgill Simpson at the Lincoln Theater.

Christmas Jam

Los Lobos @Christmas Jam

I would love to go to LOCKN Festival however the cost is a bit excessive.  A friend purchased the VIP package for 2 and a “glamping” package and now can’t attend, given the beach condo purchase don’t want to commit that much money.  So will miss out on Tedeschi Trucks Band, Govt Mule, Little Feat, NMA, Phil Lesh and friends, String Cheese Incident, Robert Plant and Steve Earle.  Have heard from friends who attended in the past that it is a crowded scene though worth it.

Switching subjects, I did get my Nikon 3100 repaired.  I can take photos however the flash still does not work.  So thrilled that it is working again and lesson learned on taking care of it!  Will invest in a water proof bag.

Enjoying some beach time as we await closing on the condo, the fiasco continues though we are on to Plan D or E, I have lost track.  Once we close will have a post on how not to buy real estate.