Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Not Laboring Through Labor Day Weekend

Despite hurricane/tropical storm/tropical depression Ernesto's best efforts, this weekend went really well. After my SO was the ultimate trooper in joining my parental units and I at a family reunion on Saturday afternoon (that we hadn't attended in some 6+ years), we rolled back to MoCo and went back to my #1 crab eating establishment - the Dancing Crab. We arrived around 7 and expected a decent wait, but thanks to weather and the unattractive equipment (being used to remove the antenna) outside the front of the restaurant, we immediately found a booth. Though 4.5 dozen extra large crabs were available, we settled on 1.5 dozen.

To warm our pallettes, we ordered two seafood samplers, but I wasn't much of a fan with the raw oysters and clams. I'd pass on the sampler (as did we on ordering the "tomato-based" crab soup that wasn't impressive a few weekends ago). To ensure we actually got full on actual food before the night was done (as crabs are akin to eating Chinese food), we ate two crabcakes that were very very good. Just as with crab soup, if you want to make great tasting soup or cakes, you can never have too much crabmeat. Our waitress dropped off the crabs and asked if we needed the bibs. "We don't need any bibs, we're professionals," I rebutted. Chortle, chortle, chortle. The crabs were spectacular! Tons of meat, lots of "mustard", and the right amount of spices. If the Dancing Crab could repeat the great crab selection everytime, the only thing that Jimmy Cantler's Inn in Annapolis has over it is a tremendous atmosphere. Of course, if I lived closer to Cantler's than the Dancing Crab, I'd choose Cantler's, but you can't do better for a legitimate crab establishment just inside the DC city line.

That night, my parents ponied-up the money to watch "Keeping Up With the Steins" on their room's pay-per-view (PPV). For $15 you catch lots of movies well ahead of their regular PPV showing and subsequent DVD release (remember when it was a VHS release?). It was a nice flick about the competition of Bar Mitzvah parties as they overshadow the more important ceremony, as well as some typical father-son generational issues. It didn't overdo the easily made jokes about being Jewish as other flicks like the "Hebrew Hammer" did (I turned it off after 2 minutes). The shot of Shamu jumping through the Star of David while wearing a yamulke was worth the price alone. We took in lots of calories at breakfast the next morning and were off to the Maryland State Fair.

I had planned on doing another pictorial (the G-rated kind) of the Fair's sights, but, surprise, surprise, nothing was different this year except we went with my parents. We had another another great time, but we're going to pass on it for at least a few years. After eating my fried twinkie, riding the ferris wheel, and making up for a few missed cotton candy purchases at Paramount's King's Dominion, there wasn't much left to do. I briefly considered playing one of the bogus, unfair, rip-off, waste-of-money games, but paying at least $2 for a 5-cent stuffed animal just didn't get my competitive juices flowing. My mom did well with the dart-balloon game and had a medium-sized turtle to show for her skills (and $10). Sure, the basketball game looks easy, but considering the rim is smaller than regulation, the ball is like a medicine ball, and it's impossible to get a "shooter's bounce", I'd rather buy a turkey leg three times over.

My parents were making their way up I-95 when they came upon an accident with an overturned car in the southbound lanes near exit 4 of the Turnpike. My mom's critical care nursing skills/instincts immediately kicked-in and she ran out and helped whoever she could. Unfortunately, one person's fate had already been decided, but she was able to get a bottle of water from my dad and comfort the person's family. Amazingly, several other people helped including a few off-duty EMTs. It puts my faith back in people/the general public, if only for an afternoon.

On Monday, my SO and I went to a free boot camp exercise class to see if we could be all we used to be. It definitely kicked the crap out of me and my SO. Actually, a little too much. Me and my old man river body were tired and my SO's knee was really giving her trouble. Once her knee is better, we'll consider it again, but first we've got to get ourselves able-bodied for the Army 10-miler. A headache nixed my plans to shoot around with a friend so I made my way through several hours of ESPN Classic shows on TiVO. All in all, a very nice Labor Day weekend.

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