A cozy Amtrak ride brought me to Zach/Jon/Becca's Hobart house with just enough time to say hi to Marissa and Ben, finally meet Mobius, get ready, and head on down to TLS. We got there a little late, and it was PACKED. Seriously. The RAC couldn't hold us. My best guess, after hearing all the other estimates, was 170 people in the basement and crammed into the hallways to daven and sing with BZ and each other. There were about a dozen people down from NYC visiting with KZ, and I and a couple other random out-of-towners were also there, but does this mean that TLS gets upwards of 130 people on a typical Friday night? Freakin' incredible.
I had the pleasure of standing between Val and the Laster/Bellows family for davening, eating with rivka_m and Lori and many others, and singing until late with Joelle, Ethan, and a whole bunch of folks. (Margie taught a lovely syncopated Miriam Margles tune to part of Psalm 118 that I'll never remember. Man, if only there were a website to help people remember tunes like this.)
After some chilling back at Hobart, and a little bit of sleep, it was off to shul Saturday morning at Adas. Eliana and I walked from there to a big ol' picnic in Malcom X park organized by Laura. After grabbing a bite and hanging out a bit, I walked a few blocks to the other park to join into the middle of the traditional DC Shabbat touch football game with Becca, Zach, Jacob, Evin, and a bunch of others whose names I forget. (Apparently I can punt the ball quite well. Who knew?)
The evening brought a huge crowd to Hobart for shaloshhiddus and more fantastic singing, and then Marisa's havdalah kicked off the next part of the evening: a frat party! OK, not really a frat party, but it felt like one. (Does anyone else think that red plastic Solo cups always mean "kegger", whereas blue cups that are otherwise identical mean no such thing? Weird.) Tons of people crammed into a house. Why, you ask? Well, Rob's band was playing a JUFJ charity house show! (There's pictures linked from Jewschool, which I highly recommend.) I had more fun doing the saturday night partying thing than I can remember having in years; probably since a particularly fun night at Brown with Beth, Benj, and Sarah many years ago. I even danced with Eliana a bit. The evening didn't end until after 3:30, when I excused myself from the Hobart porch, leaving Zach and Julia and Mobius to conclude the conversation without me.
I left the next morning, halfway through Zach and Becca's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" brunch, because I'd solved the Concert Nexus problem. You see, all on July 15th, The Decemberists were playing the Mann with an orchestra, TFIA was playing Concerts Under The Stars, Reel Big Fish was playing the Starland Ballroom, and little did I know it at the time, but The Vulgar Bulgers were playing Alan's house! As much as I would've wanted to go to all four, I decided to choose TFIA and friends I hadn't seen in years over other shows and other company that I have the pleasure of enjoying more often. So I caught a noon cab to start heading back to Philly.
And then, there was my hellish trip back. I arrived at the Greyhound station at 12:30, intending to catch a 1:00 bus that would get me into Philly at 4:40. Instead I got in at 7:10. Let's break down the lovely features of the trip thusly:
- Taking the 2:00 bus instead, since Greyhound is really stupid about reserving seats beforehand (40 minutes, since that bus made fewer stops.)
- Leaving late for no particular reason (10 minutes)
- The aforementioned stubborn seat (0 minutes)
- The bus's air conditioner not functioning properly, according to the driver (though it felt fine where I was sitting), thus necessitating switching buses (50 minutes)
- Traffic through Wilmington (30 minutes)
- Greyhound's utter inability to publish realistic schedules in the first place (20 minutes)
- No one ever giving any of us explanations about any of the problems, or an ETA (0 minutes, but quite annoying)
Oh, yeah, and my phone died about an hour into the bus trip, and my emergency charger crapped out too. So I had nothing to do. Yay digital convergence: phone calls, listening to music, and browsing the web were all impossible!
ANYway, I arrived at the concert about 45 minutes late, but still caught some of the first set and all of the second set. Ran into intangiblehugs and lord_emo, but hung out most of the time with peneli, whom I hadn't seen in two years. Far too long. And the concert was great, as always. My umbrella stayed in my pocket as I listened to Iko Iko and Proper Cup Of Coffee, enjoying a fantastic ending to a fantastic weekend.