November 18th, 2007

storyteller doll

visit from Robert

I made no progress on unpacking, since Robert was here for the weekend.

Friday night, we went out to dinner at Sunflower, a vegetarian restaurant in Vienna which had been in Tom Sietsama's Washington Post dining guide this year. I had lily flower soup, which was very tasty, followed by something called "Adventures in Tempeh Land," which was basically tempeh and veggies in a Thai style peanut sauce. Robert got spinach wonton soup and a dish with veggies, noodles, tofu, basil and garlic. We would have shared a dessert but were unable to actually flag down a waiter to do so. (We tried telling the guy who brought our check, but he didn't seem to understand enough English.) Overall, it was a good meal and certainly reasonably priced.

The weather was decent enough Saturday during the day to go into the city. We had brunch at Market Lunch at Eastern Market, where I particularly enjoyed the famous bluebucks (buckwheat pancakes with blueberry). I think Robert was a bit intimidated by the atmosphere or lack thereof (i.e. the 30 seat communal table) but he realized it was not quite as chaotic as it looked.

Then we walked over to the Library of Congress, which I've always considered somewhat of an undertouristed site. Our main objective was the exhibit on Bob Hope, which included various sound and film clips of him (and other vaudevillians and other comedians), as well as computer access to his 85,000 page collection of jokes, arranged by topic. It was worth a couple of hours. We did also go upstairs to look at the reading room from the gallery and gawk at the architecture. The shop there is, however, disappointing, with too many generic tchatchkes and too few specific literary things (and relatively few books).

I'll write a separate post about Tellabration last night. Today we went out to have brunch at First Watch, which was reasonably good. Then I drove him to the airport and ran a few errands. I might get some unpacking done later, but it would also be nice to finish the Sunday paper sometime on Sunday.
storyteller doll


So last night was Tellabration! This is an international storytelling event, with performances for adults by groups in several countries on the Saturday night before Thanksgiving.

We had one minor disaster when the door alarm for the back door, which was supposed to have been turned off, wasn't. So Margaret opened the door to let Merrilee in and the alarm went off. We did have an emergency number for the police, who were not as helpful as they might have been since they didn't seem to have a phone number for anyone from the library. We did get a fire department crew who did not have a generic key for a door alarm (vs. a fire alarm.) Ralph did succeed in muffling the alarm enough that we could manage.

We had a disappointing turnout - just 4 people besides our captive audience (i.e. the 5 of us, Merrillee's husband, and Robert), 2 of whom left at the break. I told a Chelm story and "Sam Short's Story." The latter is the hardest story I tell, as it is a 400+ word tongue twister, with every word starting with "S." I did flub a couple of words, but I pulled out other things that start with "S" so nobody noticed. Basically, it's a stupid human trick, but it works.

I am biased so won't offer a review, but Robert seemed to have a good time. He commented that it's a shame that we put in so much energy for such a small turnout.

My next major event is the Folklore Society minifest in Takoma Park in February.