We had a jam-packed weekend, about which Jeff posted partway through, providing a glimpse of our basic itinerary. Friday night, as he noted, we saw Chanticleer in concert at George Mason University’s Center for the Performing Arts. They were, as usual and as expected, nearly flawless (with only the very first selection not seeming quite up to their usual standard of excellence); it was a delightful evening.
On Saturday, after a late breakfast and some necessary errands, we took the three-hour drive down to the Hampton Roads area for a holiday party that evening, where we indulged in amazingly delicious hors-d’oeuvres accompanied by cocktails, champagne and some very good wine. We also spoke again with a gaming friend of Shel’s we’d first met when we visited back in October, a charmingly earnest and intriguing woman, and we also were introduced to some very cool new people, including a couple from the Maryland suburbs of DC, and an adorable young man with whom I spent the waning hours of the party–after Jeff had retired a little earlier with a headache–engaged in talking politics and commiserating about the sad state of civil liberties and intellectualism in the current American political climate. I was somewhat surprised to find someone so very intelligent and with such a strong liberal–or at least libertarian–bent in the person of a near-lifelong resident of Tidewater Virginia (yes, there’s another one of my biases–even having come from a southern Virginia town, or perhaps specifically because of the experience of that upbringing, I tend to assume pretty much all Virginians outside of Arlington and Alexandria are conservative, religiously fundamental, bigoted and intentionally and proudly ignorant) who moreover had been born in Texas. Not only was he smart, funny and thoughtful, he was devilishly handsome to boot, yet at the same time sweetly shy and seemingly unaware of his good looks.
After a delicious breakfast the next morning (Jeff and I stayed over with our friends who had hosted the party), we started back to Arlington around 11, arriving just in time to drop our things off at home, relieve ourselves, and get back in the car and drive to the Metro, where we took the train downtown to U Street to see the matinee performance of the Washington Gay Men’s Chorus’s holiday concert, “Men in Tights: A Pink Nutcracker.” The first half of the concert was a fairly typical selection of seasonal choral works, while the second was a sometimes almost hysterically funny all-male rendition of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite, complete with swans; Chinese acrobats; Russian soldiers; a gay love story courtesy of gay matchmaking Uncle Drosselmeyer between the protagonist–here known as Clarence rather than Clara–and his prince in pink tights, including several pas de deux; and an unforgettable, massive Sugarplum Fairy.
We had a wonderful weekend, but between the three activities, all the driving, and the mild overindulgence in spirits Saturday evening, a very exhausting one as well. After the concert yesterday afternoon we had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen on the way home, and then pretty much collapsed on the futon in front of the TV, heading to bed very early last night. Even today and tonight, I still feel worn out. But satisfied.