#TGMarianAkira And Then Some

As promised, this weekend continued the sequence with yet another adventure, and this one a bit more of an adventurous adventure, being the sort that requires several hours of driving and an overnight stay. But to see Marian Call play at ThinkGeek headquarters with my awesome #NASAtweetup friend/co-conspirator @stephonee AND get to hang with Megan and Andrew, the travel was most definitely worth it.

Having finagled my way into the sold-out show by offering to help Marian out, I needed to get there early… which might have been more successful had I remembered that driving near DC at approximately rush hour on a Friday afternoon is a terrible idea.

Luckily, I was planning on stoping by Megan’s before the show, so I did have a bit of cushion time, and by giving up on that idea, I still managed to get to ThinkGeek a while before the show was to start, which was later than I was supposed to arrive, and much later than I planned to arrive, but still technically within the realm of “early,” which meant it was fantasmically earlier than I generally show up to such things. o.0

Marian Call live! (Finally!)

I was assigned to man the merch table, which was nicely situated on the side of the courtyard, so as to give me a pretty sweet view, so in between peddling cds and posters, the camerabeastie came out to play:

Marian Call Live, finally!

Epic hair flip.

Jayne hat!

Jayne hat! For singing a song about Jayne.

This one, to be precise:

(Which, we soon learned, was not originally about Jayne, nor written by Marian, but fit him so perfectly, she adopted and adapted it!)

The Crowd

The crowd enjoying the show

Typewriter Percussion

Typewriters are the best percussion instruments.


TSA-friendly(er) rainstick!

For her tribute to YoSafBridge, she got out a feather boa and her best ‘bad girl’ attitude and sang us this!

Channeling YoSafBridge


We were also so very lucky to be the first to hear her new song, written as an entry to NASA’s astronaut wake-up song contest! (And would have won, if I were the judge! Been stuck in my head ever since!)

Dear ThinkGeek, please hire me.

After the concert and merch-selling wrapped up, Steph gave me the grand tour of ThinkGeek’s very entertaining office, including her natural habitat and many other intriguing sights. Definitely looks like an awesome/awesomely geeky place to work! *must apply*


Timmy, the ThinkGeek monkey, complete with Jayne hat.

Planter Planet

The coolest plant home ever.


...well... read the sign.

Ninja Exit Only

And of course, the Ninja Exit.

Jedi Timmy and Friends

Lots of Timmys! (Timmies? Timmyi?)

Mythbusters Timmys

Mythbusters Timmys!

(Also, remember the tent/canopy thing behind/over Marian in the pictures? Well… it may or may not have migrated into somebody’s office.) o.0

We then moseyed back to where the lurkers were lurking and lurked with them a bit (a very nice/friendly/ entertaining bunch!), eventually said our goodbyes, and I headed off to find Megan and Andrew’s place and acquire sleep. That I did, quite successfully, and spent Saturday hanging with those crazy kids.

A Trip to the Post Office (no really!)

When we’re together, our power of indecision is greater than the sum of its parts… or something… anyway, as usual, it took us a [very amusing] while to decide what we wanted to do, but eventually we ended up on the metro heading into DC.

We went to the Old Post Office Building (it’s actually called that– the “Old Post Office Building” (and has been since 15 years after it was built!)) and toured the Clock Tower, which has an observation deck with a pretty incredible 360 view of Washington DC:

The clock tower also houses the Official Bells of Congress– the ringing of which, apparently, is both a regular occurrence and quite the ordeal! There’s a whole organization of “change ringers”… there are different types of “peals,” ranging from a couple hours long to pretty-darn-near-forever… and this supposedly attracts visitors from all over! Who knew?!

Also, BSoD. I imagine there was supposed to be a very informative presentation of some sort running here, but their display wasn’t cooperating… which may have had something to do with the fact that it was actually just an old Dell laptop with busted hinges hanging from chains, with a printout in a plastic binder sleeve taped on the keyboard.

There was also a barbecue festival going on that weekend which we thought might be worth checking out. ^
It cost $12 to get in, so I assumed we’d at least get lunch’s worth of BBQ included in the ticket… but all that was actually included were a couple samples, most of which seemed to be toothpaste…? We’d paid a decent meal’s worth to get in, but we’d have to pay it all over again at one of the stands to actually get that decent meal. What free food there was was tucked away in the “sample tent,” the line for which was so long and folded back on itself several times, that we couldn’t see where the end of the line even was, nor what sort of samples were available to decide if they were worth attempting that sort of a line!

It was super crowded (much more so when we got there than it looked from above earlier), rather too hot and sun-blasted, not even a cheery atmosphere, and basically a colossal rip-off! After we walked the length of it a couple times, we finally found a stand where we could actually taste some BBQ (on sweetbread the size of a small dinner roll) and it was tasty, but by then it was pretty clear we were never actually going to get our $12 worth of anything, and it was generally unpleasant enough being in there that we just gave up and left.

Just outside the fence, we discovered an ice cream cart, bought an overpriced soda and some strawberry popsicles (the awesome kind with legit chunks of strawberries frozen into them), found a nice shady patch of grass to sit and eat them, and it made it all better! That was sufficient adventuring for the day, so we hopped back on the train and headed back to their apartment for dinner and some bumming around. We watched “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” which was both really good, and amusingly appropriate, though I am not Mr. Smith.

Some adventures are the fun kind, others are… well…

The next morning, armed with The Latte of Happiness from the Starbucks in the bottom of their building (*envy face*), I headed home, and made most of the journey uneventfully. The better part of the way back up through Maryland, however, I stopped for gas, and when I got back in the car and attempted to start it back up, it decided not to. Seemed like the battery was dead, which was odd, since I’d been driving for two hours just fine, and stopped for all of four minutes, but whatever. Thankfully, the gas station was at one of those full service rest stops, and thus included a garage with a mechanic, who gave me a jump start and sent me on my way.

All seemed peachy… for about a mile. Then Charlie (my poor little car) started acting all sorts of not-thrilled.

When I say valiantly, I mean it. Here you see the tools required - including the hammer & dollar-store butter knife.

The middle of a 4-lane freeway didn’t seem like a great place for Charlie to develop a mind of his own (or lose it, maybe?) so I coerced him to the shoulder, just as it gave up/out again, and called Daddy. A highway maintenance dude came along and gave me a jump again, so I could make it to the next exit, and Charlie cooperated long enough to get to a shopping center.

I got some lunch and camped out in a Dunkin Donuts with very pleasant airconditioning and wifi, and waited for Daddy. When he got there an hour or so later, he discovered the battery was not just drained, but well and truly dead, so we found a WalMart, bought a new one, and he valiantly coaxed the old from Charlie’s corroded clutches and replaced it.

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