Life and the monetary support of such got in the way of me doing what I really wanted to do today, and that was to write about the ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC weekend that Bill and I just had. We had a Jeep Wrangler for the whole weekend and we USED THE HELL OUTTA IT. So. Consider this a taste of the gloriousness to come:
Archive for the ‘weekend’ Category
Tags: Four Peaks, Jeep, Roosevelt Lake, weekend
Tags: Formula One, goals, Maine, Massachusetts, MotoGP, moving, planning
My boss put a word in with a manager of an AcronymCo group over in Massachusetts, letting him know that I was interested in making the move back East, and to keep me in mind for any forthcoming openings. It barely registers as a preliminary step in our goal to move closer to my home state, but the thought of it generated in me a little bit of excitement nonetheless. I immediately hopped onto the internet and started researching towns close to the campus. Bedford caught my eye, but I pretty much immediately ruled it out entirely as a candidate for our future home. Holy hell, is that one exclusive little town. According to its Citi-Data, the median income for a family is $112,000, in a population of 13,800. The median family income for the town we live in now is $68,000, and we’ve got a population of 255,000.
Housing prices drop dramatically over the New Hampshire border (not to mention the non-existence of sales tax), and certain towns in and around Nashua are within a 50-minute drive to the AcronymCo plant, and a two-hour drive to Portland Maine/J’s Oysters/the Old Port/every place I hold dear in this life/HOMEHOMEHOME.
The upshot of all of this being that if I can’t actually be IN Maine, I’ll settle for being CLOSE TO Maine. 120 miles away beats 2,771 miles away, HANDS DOWN. Transferring to the Massachusetts AcronymCo has the added benefit of, you know, not having to JOB HUNT. Hello, tenure. Hello, sabbatical #3 in 2016.
Ih, we’ll see. It’s a long-ish shot. But stranger things, and longer shots, have happened.
Bill and I are working on resurrecting our MojoVation (that’s mojo and motivation). Gradually over the last few years, we’ve let the upkeep of our home slide a little. And as that upkeep slid, so did our positive attitude about, well, pretty much everything. We’re always happier when we’re busy, when we’re productive, when we have projects that we can work on together. So in 2011 we’re going to address ALL THE THINGS. Painting things and drywall things and fixing things and maintenance things and whatnot things. Which will make us happier. Which will, in turn, motivate us. Which will, in turn, inspire us to do MORE WITH THE THINGS.
The upshot of all of that being that when we’re ready to make the Big Move, the house will be in good order to sell, or rent, or sit idle. And if the Big Move doesn’t happen (but OH it will!), we’ll still have a house that we’re happy with. And people can come over and we won’t relegate them to just a few rooms. And we’ll have a guest room in which to put up the people that we really like.
It’s January of the calendar, which means that I have begun considering vacation destinations for this year. August’s trip to MotoGP in Indianapolis is already arranged but for the flights, but that only covers a few days and I have a full 21 days to schedule. THAT is a happy lunchtime occupation, let me tell you. That we’re going to Maine is a given – I was going to try to go for my cousin’s baby shower, but my aunt just called me two days ago to say it was being held the last Sunday of THIS month, which is too short of a notice to give my boss. So! Bill and I are probably going to go in the first part of June, when the weather is nice but the tourists aren’t overwhelming and we can meet the baby in person. I have made it clear to my uncle that he has to sit down with me for a couple of solid days, while I scan all of our old family photographs. Someone has to be there to tell me who the hell all the people in them are.
And then I got to thinking… it’s only a five hour drive from Portland to Montreal, and Montreal has this little race that’s held in the first couple of weeks of June every year. You might have heard of it… Formula One? So I thought, how COOL would it be to fly into Portland, hang there for a day or two, drive up to Canada for three or four days for the race, then back down to Maine to finish our vacation? Fast on the heels of that tentative plan was a G-chat message to my good (and handily-located) friend Sherry, who not only LIVES in the Montreal area, but has also been to that F1 race and has all the inside deets!
I swear to God, I don’t know how any of us got anything done, let alone had any FRIENDS, before the Internet.
Anyway, no plans are set in stone yet, but usually once we have a thought like this, for a vacation that we can get very enthusiastic about, we tend to run with it. Case in point.
So! I get to wrap this day up by going over to Discount Tire to get the two rear tires replaced on the truck. Bill had to rescue me from the AcronymCo parking lot a couple of days ago, when I discovered upon trying to leave for the day that the rear driver’s side tire was flat. I called him, he did his Man Thing involving jacks and cursing and whatnot, and I was on my way again in a little more than half an hour. Beat THAT, AAA! We took the tire to Discount Tire, where it was discovered that the hunk of metal was embedded to close to the sidewall to be able to fix. They placed an order for new tires, which came in today, and that’s what I’m doing after work instead of drinking BEER. THEN we have to drop the truck off early tomorrow morning at the dealership for some scheduled maintenance, which may interfere with our plans to go up to Prescott for the day. Though if we can secure a rental car we might be okay.
Ain’t it grand to be a grown-up? $450 bucks that we didn’t anticipate having to spend and there goes my new flash. Thanks a lot, LIFE.
So, you guys have any grandiose plans for the weekend? Dish!
Tags: call of duty, drunken tweeting, IPA, nablopomo
Bill got home yesterday, late afternoon. After I signed off of work, I got myself together and we went to Best Buy, where Bill purchased Call of Duty: Black Ops. We went to Charleston’s for dinner (have you HAD their croissants?), then stopped at the grocery store for some necessities and beverages.
The rest of the evening was spent watching TV and Tweeting in a manner whose level of sanity and amusement was directly proportional to the level of beer in my bottle.
The out of doors is calling my name – high of 75, sunny, perfect motorcycle riding weather. We take a sharp turn into colder weather tomorrow and most of next week. I’m totally making beef stew.
Tags: football, nablopomo, potato leek soup, Sunday
Wake up, start the coffee, feed the cats, feed the lizards. Coffee in hand, boot up the computer and peruse my feed reader, e-mail, Twitter, Facebook. Then buckle down and start writing articles. About an hour later, go rustle Bill out of bed so he doesn’t sleep the morning away, and I start the first load of laundry. He reads his paper while I write, then about lunchtime we decide there isn’t anything appetizing in the house, so we get cleaned up, get on the motorcycle, and search out burgers and football. Hang for a while (today it was Jersey’s), then head back home and watch more football in the bedroom. Watching football has become a euphemism, and is also literal. Then, move it back out to the living room, switch loads of laundry. I write some more, Bill surfs the web, more football (DAMMIT, Cardinals!). I finish up my assignments and start puttering around in the kitchen (tonight’s dinner is potato leek soup and wedge salads). More laundry switching. Bill kicks in with the night chores (feed the dogs, feed the cats, get the coffee ready and on the timer for the morning). We have dinner, watch whatever TV is on or is DVR’d, and I put the last load of laundry in the dryer. We head to bed at around 10:30.
A nice mixture of useful activities and fun activities.
At this moment in time I have one more article to write, then I’m going to get on the never-ending process of crisp-cooking an entire pound of bacon. Hope you guys are having a great Sunday!
Tags: Isle of Man, travel, weekend motorcycle rides
Every time we watch Isle of Man race coverage on HD Theater, the travel bug strikes me big time. Notwithstanding the fact that it would cost us over a thousand dollars per person just to get ourselves there, it remains one of my top travel destinations. The primary reason that I want to win the lottery is just so I can travel as much, as often, and to as many places as I want to. I have a long, LONG list of fantasy vacations, some of which I’ve planned in as much detail as if we were taking off tomorrow. It’s a depressing thought that I will never see as many places as I want to in my lifetime.
Bill and I went to visit Grandpa Ed in the hospital last night. We got there right before they were planning on moving him out of the ICU and into a regular hospital room. He was asleep when we got there, opened his eyes and acknowledged us a few times, but for the most part was pretty much out of it. We talked to him and held his hand, but didn’t want to stay too long as he was obviously very tired. He’d been awake and talking for most of the day. He’s obviously still very ill, but moving out of the ICU is, of course, a very positive step.
According to Bill, we’re going to be motivated today. The truck needs washing, the house needs cleaning, and I personally want to clean up the back patio so we can sit out there and enjoy the weather without gazing upon clutter. I’m really hoping that we’ll take a couple of motorcycle rides this weekend – food destinations provide for an excellent reason to get out on the road. Joe’s Farm Grill is about ten miles away from us, and I’ve been wanting to head out and check them out ever since I read the review on Feasting in Phoenix. Then, of course, there’s Cien Agaves in Scottsdale, our go-to place for the best tacos on the planet. They’re about fifteen miles away from us.
Really, I just want to be out in the great weather, on the bike behind my husband. Any destination will do.
It’s Friday, and these songs are getting me in a weekend frame of mind.
(The official video is here, and a group of four people shouldn’t, by law, be allowed to be that freaking attractive.)
Party people in the house! Gonna get my drink on and watch some questionable television. I recommend you do the same.
Tags: Essure, goals, Maine, Nora Roberts, port, work, writing
I can finally say we’ll be in Maine “next week”. We’re close enough now that I can start seeing the extended forecast for the days we’ll be there – as of right this second, the day of our arrival should be sunny and 80 degrees. Of course, that also means I’m a bit over halfway through my Sabbatical, but that’s okay. I have a good feeling about life. We’re going to experience a positive change in the near future, one that will make us very happy about the direction our life is going in. I know this to be true.
You’ve gotta be upbeat about these things, you know? I’ve suspended my goal-tending for the duration of this vacation, but I’m a goal-oriented girl at heart, and I enjoy forward progress. So it will actually be good, in a way, to get back to the grind. Buckle down on the debt. Figure out how I’m going to finish my degree. Manage my fitness goals. Take the next step in my career. I have thoughts and vague notions about the achievement all of these subjects, but I have told myself not to worry about any of them until August. So that’s what I’m going to do.
My goal for the next month is not to make goals.
I applied for a new writing gig, and was accepted. It’s for the folks that manage the articles for such sites as eHow and AnswerBag (and thanks very much to Sherry for pointing me in their direction!). It’s a much more structured format than I’m used to, and much more heavily managed by editors. It’s good experience for me. Our articles are even graded, after a fashion, with a rating system. I’m delighted to be able to continue to pad my writing resume – eventually, some day, I hope to become a full-time writer, and these types of writing gigs that I’ve collected can follow me wherever I happen to live. Which jives quite nicely with our wish to move back to Maine.
Oops, there I go, goal-tending again. See? I can barely help myself.
I have my follow-up appointment with the OB-GYN this morning, to make sure everything is kosher after the Essure procedure. I feel mostly back to normal, perhaps less energy than usual but I can just as easily chalk that up to Aunt Flo, who stopped by a few days ago for her usual visit. I can also chalk it up to my deplorable eating over the past several days – I keep saying I’m going to give up bread, then keep eating sandwiches and hot dogs and hamburgers. Oh, it is to laugh. I’ve been gently getting myself back into the exercise routine – I hope by the end of this week to be back up to the pre-procedure levels of cardio and weight training.
I have a little over a week to finish and pre-schedule all of my writing obligations to take me through to the other side of our Maine vacation – nine more total as of this morning, which would have been less had I not slacked off completely yesterday. And this it the part where I shamefully confess something to you all.
See, up until this point I have snobbishly refused to read Nora Roberts, because she’s so prolific and supermarket check-out-ish that I figured she would hardly meet my (vague) standards for authorship. Laws, how I was wrong. I loved her Irish Trilogy so much that I personally rated the first two a coveted score of 10/10, and the last one a 9/10 (just because it didn’t hold my attention to quite the same degree). I loved ’em. So that’s what I was doing instead of writing. Fortunately I got a bunch done on Saturday and Sunday, otherwise that nine article obligation would have been closer to fifteen.
I think I mentioned on Twitter or something that following our anniversary dinner at The Keg last week, Bill ordered a glass of port to enjoy in lieu of dessert. It was absolutely fantastically delicious, and after we got home we got to thinking that we needed to buy us a bottle of our own. So I called the restaurant to find out the name – Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Tawny Port. I got my butt down to BevMo and secured a bottle. We have been enjoying a wee dram every now and then with a bit of raspberry-infused dark chocolate, or these frozen chocolate lava cakes that I discovered at the grocery store, microwaved per instructions, sampled, and deemed OH MY FREAKING GOD GOOD.
And, of course, as you saw a few days ago, I had to take pictures of the bottle. Because it’s cool.
It’s a measure of how well Bill accepts the inevitable that he didn’t even blink when I started hauling out my little mini photo studio getup. It’s what I do, people, and he knows better than anyone else that I take pictures of, and write about, just about everything. Case in point (the bastid).
So! Yeah. I’m kicking off the start of one busy-ass week by procrastinating. You expect nothing less and nothing more of me, my beloved readers. And that’s why I love you.
Tags: Buffalo Bar and Grill, Essure, Payson, puppy
Yesterday morning Bill and I got up at a decent hour and were in the truck headed to Payson by about 9:30. Payson is about 80 miles northeast of our home – and a good fifteen degrees cooler, in the higher elevations. Bill had taken a motorcycle ride up there last weekend, and we followed the same route that lead us to the Buffalo Bar & Grill.
He’d had lunch there before turning around and riding back home, and thought that I would enjoy it. That’s the way, with us. If either of us finds ourselves doing something without the other, we want to go back and re-create the memory with the both of us together. He also wanted to entertain me, while simultaneously encouraging me to take it easy this weekend.
Ahh, yeah. I snagged myself a good one.
So anyway, we drove up, had lunch (buffalo cheeseburgers), drove a little further north to explore the little town of Strawberry, then drove back home.
Amanda was home when we got there, with her new puppy. Well, she SAYS it’s her boyfriend’s puppy, but yeah. We all know how that really works, now, don’t we? Heh.
This is Maddie. She’s a “pit mix”, and I think it’s fair to say that “mix” part is Shar-Pei.
Porche, Amanda’s pit bull, is still staying with us while Amanda and her boyfriend (and Maddie) are in their temporary living situation. It’s fine by me – she’s a sweet dog, and I’m home all summer anyway. Poor dog is totally confused that Amanda doesn’t sleep here, though.
Anyway, I’m having a quiet weekend. Feeling okay, still spotting and if it continues past tomorrow I’m calling the doctor ahead of my scheduled follow-up. It’s more annoying than anything, so I’m not too worried about it.
How are YOU guys?
This is definitely a two-cup-of-coffee kind of morning. After a late night (more on that in a minute), I got up at 7:00 because, well, it’s a rare thing that I can actually sleep in after a night of drinking. I don’t know why that is – you’d think the opposite would apply and I’d stay passed out until noon. The fact that we went to bed at 2:00 a.m. seems to have no effect on my internal clock. When it says it’s time to wake up, well, it’s time and there ain’t fuck-all I can do about it.
Anyway. So, I’m up. After brewing a pot of coffee, I started looking around on the internet for flights to Indianapolis for MotoGP in August (looks like we can both get there for just under $500). We were expecting the exterminator to show up between 10:00 and 12:00 to start in on our termite treatment, but of COURSE the doorbell rings at 8:15. We wanted a quiet morning, and the dudes show up early. Had we had stuff to do that was waiting on them, they wouldn’t have shown up until 12:30. They’ve rung the doorbell about seven times now (“Hi, we’re here! Do you have dogs?” “Hi, can you open the garage door?” “Hi, can you pull the car out?” “Hi, your back yard outlets aren’t working… oh, nevermind!” “Hi, can you move the motorcycle?”). And now they’re going all around the perimeter of our house and drilling holes into the sub-slab, into which they will inject the termite treatment (or whatever). And it’s LOUD. And poor Bill, who is suffering from a skosh of a headache this morning, came stumbling out all bleary-eyed and WTF at all the noise.
So. Yeah. I’m on my second cup of coffee, which is rare for me.
Our friend Ann Marie called us yesterday wanting to hang out. We haven’t seen her in a year (hey, it’s not our fault she keeps moving further away from us and now lives in East Jesus), so it was high time for some socializing. She and her new boyfriend Perry arrived at the house a bit after 8:00, and we all took a cab over to the Sandstone. We sat and listened to Aztex as they performed, and I’ve gotta say I was VERY impressed. I do love a good live band with horns. Ann Marie and Perry danced a few times, and I chair-danced for most of the night. Bill and I sat and watched and cheered and sang and clapped. And drank. And drank. And drank some more. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the use of a cab for transportation simply encourages bad behavior.
The Sandstone now has a Lobster Claw game (like those claw games where you try to pick up stuffed animals, only with lobsters – if you catch it, they cook it) and the damn thing actually made me feel sorry for the poor lobsters. So far away from home! Inflicted with constant claw harassment, and not that of their kin! It made me want to set the poor little crustaceans free, though once free in the middle of the desert they might find that captivity is preferable.
(As an aside, I said to Bill, “I’m shocked that PETA would allow this!” Then lo and behold, I found this article.)
I’d switched to water earlier in the evening, so I wasn’t too far gone by the time we left. Bill, however, was giggling in the front seat of the cab, so I had to holler directions from my middle seat in the back. Ann Marie and Perry hung out for a little while longer, but everyone was kind of burnt (and Bill was nodding off on the couch) so they left at about 1:30. We crashed out and I had the most fucked up dreams, something about the cat peeing on the coffee pot and me chasing him around with my toothbrush, the recollection of which made me eyeball the coffee pot this morning suspiciously.
So. The only plan for today is to work out, and pick up a rat for Kali. A nap quite possibly might be in order after the chaos subsides. I’ve been wanting to go to the movies (The A Team? Or Ironman 2? Which would you choose?). I do love having nothing in particular that I have to do, and nowhere in particular that I have to go.
Yeah. Or something.
Bill and I went to see Zane Lamprey on Saturday night at the Marquee Theater. We came away mildly disappointed. It just… wasn’t that funny. The crowd was RIDICULOUS in their drunkenness, though. I mean, TOTALLY retarded, stupid, messed up drunk. All of them. With all the heckling and show-interruption that typically comes with an inebriated crowd. Zane, who became progressively more drunk as the show went on, become progressively LESS capable of getting the crowd to behave. Security was called upon a couple of times to coax the more oblivious interrupters to cease and desist. Perhaps I would have enjoyed the show more if I, too, had been drunk. Alas, I was the designated driver. Bill had a few drinks, though, and it didn’t seem to make a noticeable difference in his enjoyment of the show. Alack.
The rest of the weekend was spent futzing with the camera and writing articles. Plus, I got to chat on Facebook for an hour or so with my cousin and her husband, who both live in Maine. Why we didn’t think to look each other up on FB before now is beyond me.
So. I have tons of work to do. As a result, you get pictures.