Posts Tagged ‘weekend’

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:

Roosevelt Lake from the apex of Four Peaks Road.

Roosevelt Lake from the apex of Four Peaks Road.

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Yesterday was the BEST DAY EVAR.

Bill got home Saturday evening, which was lovely. I mean, I can handle being alone during the day just fine, but by the time bedtime rolls around I’m all lonely and anxious and shit. So, one night away = tons better than two.

Unbeknownst to me, he’d set the alarm clock to go off at 7:00 on Sunday morning. So when it started buzzing I was all, WTF? Is it Monday? He hopped up and turned off the alarm and responded to my mutter with, “Time to get up!” So I groaned, and stuffed my head under the pillow until the scent of coffee came wafting in from the kitchen. I got up, went into the living room, and sipped and read my book while he sipped and read his paper.

We showered and got ready – I was going to wear flip-flops, but Bill said I should wear something more comfortable on my feet. Which is when I started to get the drift that he had Sunday Plans. Drift was solidified when he told me to grab the camera. We drove over to The Good Egg for breakfast – I must say, they had more than their fair allotment of screaming children yesterday morning. Seemed NOBODY under the age of three really felt like a nutritious breakfast. So, we dealt with that with patience that waned by the minute, then busted back out into the 70-degree, breezy, sunny day.

Bill had me choose between the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo. Both sounded appealing to me, but since we’ve been to the garden more recently, I called zoo. Upon reflection, if we wanted to avoid further exposure to shrieking children, I probably should have went with the DBG. Kids will be kids – I get that. Outdoors on a sunny day with lions and tigers and bears and monkeys and giraffes and elephants and SUGAR tends to get them wound up. It just seemed to me that parents were being particularly indifferent to their children’s misbehavior yesterday. After the twentieth time that I had to stop short or else bowl over an oblivious two foot tall micro-human, while their parent stared dully in another direction, I started to get a little impatient. And we had to leave the wolf exhibit before our patience fled completely, because a father and daughter were keeping up a CONSTANT “conversation” with the wolves – “Howl at the wolves, honey! Awww-ooooo! Arrrwww-oooooooo! Howl at the wolves, I bet they can understand us! Wooooooooooooo!” FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Once was cute, twice was inevitable, five hundred times was crazy-making.

giraffes

But! Sunny day! Hand in hand with my love! And meercats! It was hard to be in a bad mood over very much of anything, really. Even though we were surrounded by a crowd of Captain Obvious. You know, those people who keep up a running commentary and point out BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS details about their surroundings. “Oh, look at the toucan! Look at his beak! His beak is red! He’s a bird! Birds are pretty!” “Look at the elephant! He’s big! He’s eating treats! He likes his treats!” “Look at the giraffe! He can reach the top leaves on the trees! He has a long tongue! Bet he needs a good chiropractor, huh? Har! Har!”

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

Also, the zoo used to sell beer, and now it doesn’t. EPIC FAIL, ZOO. We would have been much more tolerant of humanity if we could walk around with brew.

So. We’d worked up a powerful thirst by the time we did the circuit. Back in the truck, we drove over to Pier 54 for a couple of drinks. We were enjoying the outdoor patio with views over the lake, when the inevitable Drunk Guy stumbled over and started up a slurred and incomprehensible conversation with us. He wanted to look at my camera (I had the new lens and hood on it, and I guess it looks pretty impressive – it got quite a few comments from folks we encountered throughout the day). I held it up. He went to take it from me, and I pulled it back a little. He was all, “Aww, I just wanted to see it for a second!” Little does he know, the only other person I trust to hold my camera is Bill. Anyway. He muttered something about having to go “pee-pee” (niiiice) and shuffled back off again. We took that as our opportunity to leave.

pier

The Chevrolet dealership from which we’ve purchased almost every vehicle in the past fifteen years was hosting a Camaro car show, so of course we had to stop by and take pictures. Bill will probably regale you in the comments as to why, exactly, everything was so very Man Show Testosteroney. I just kept saying, “Pretty!” and Bill kept rolling his eyes at me. I don’t know what a blower is, or why it would be So Very Cool to have one. I’m sorry. I could make some lewd jokes and wisecracks if you’d like, though.

camaro

So, after the car show we went back home and got the motorcycle, then rode over to Sandstone for a couple of beers. We split a plate of most excellent chicken fajitas and shot the shit with the other regulars that were there. We finished up the evening back at home with a brief visit from Robert and Joy, messing around with Cheeto and taking pictures, and DVR’ed episodes of “The Pacific” and “Life”. We mourned the fact that Monday came back around again and snuggled and snoofied at each other and wished aloud that we could spend every waking moment with each other.

cheetcheet

Scoff all you want, but by the time the lights were out and we were in bed, expressing to each other how much fun the day was, I suddenly became panic-stricken. I imagined the day when we wouldn’t be together. I thought of that day, sometime in the murky future, where one of us would come home to an empty house. I imagined never hearing Bill’s voice again, never hearing him holler for me as he busts through the front door. Never smelling the back of his neck again. And I started to cry, for fear of that hopefully EONS in the future day. It’s tough, being so in love with a person that the mere thought of being without them sucks the very breath from your lungs.

Bill held me, I got myself together, and we fell asleep entwined.

It was the best day ever, despite the meltdown at the end, and my favorite way to spend a Sunday.

To Do

Posted: March 25, 2010 in Home, Listy goodness, weekend
Tags: , ,

I was supposed to go with Bill to Flagstaff this weekend and hang out while he and his co-worker worked at a jobsite, but now it turns out that they’ll be working nights. So, it doesn’t make much sense for me to go with them. Instead, I am going to be as productive as humanly possible.

For instance, on Friday night I am going to leave work, pick up some Subway for dinner, go home, get in my grubbies, and bust out this EPIC HONEY-DO LIST:

– Clean the kitchen, including the refrigerator, organize the cabinets, pantry, and closet.
– Sweep, vacuum, and mop the entire house.
– Dust the entire house, including the felt on the pool table (that stuff just COLLECTS ook).
– Wipe down the glass tables, dining room mirror, and pictures.
– Clean the bathroom, including the drawers and the under-sink cabinets (those have been driving Bill nuts for a while now – everything is just shoved and/or tossed in there). Wash the bathroom rugs.
– Clean the bedroom, and spot clean the carpet. Finish getting the rest of the debris out from under the bed, and organize the closet. Clean out the mini-fridge.
– Wipe down and condition the living room couches (they’re leather), pull them out and clean behind/under them.
– Clean out the fireplace from the debris of approximately 57 fires. Wipe off the hearth.
– Clean off the equipment in the workout room.
– Sweep and mop the stairs and upstairs hallway (we hardly ever go up there, it’s Amanda’s domain). Sweep out the upstairs bathroom (the litter box domain).
– Drain and scrub out the hot tub (can’t re-fill it until Bill figures out where the leak is coming from).

Just call me Cindertiff. Tifferella?

Saturday I hope to bust out all of the articles I owe for the week (four for Beyond Megapixels, four for UpTake), then spend some time messing around with my new lens. Then Sunday, dammit, come hell or high water I AM getting back to the Farmer’s Market. Bill anticipates being home either very late Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Overtime is awesome and the extra pay always comes in handy, but I always feel bad when Bill has to work through a weekend and then get up on Monday morning and start right back in again. To try to make up for that fact, tonight I plan on spoiling my man. This is on the menu for dinner tonight, and Amanda is gone until Friday night so we have a guarantee that nobody will be busting through the door should we decide to, oh, watch TV in our underwear or something like that.

Yeah. Something like that.

Man, did Bill and I really NEED last weekend.

We’d been planning on driving about an hour and a half south, to an area just north of Tucson known as Oro Valley, to spend the day hiking. The Catalina State Park offered an opportunity for the kind of poking around among the cacti (no pun intended… aww, who am I kidding, yes it was) that Bill is so fond of. On Friday afternoon, after a stupid week of work for both of us, we decided to make a weekend of it rather than just a day trip. I booked a hotel room for Saturday night and left work on Friday in a fantastic frame of mind.

We got up early on Saturday morning, showered and packed and did all the things homeowners (and pet owners) do when they’re going to be gone for a 24-hour period of time. We were on the road by 8:30 and held off our hunger long enough to find a Village Inn in Oro Valley to provide sustenance for the day’s activities.

We arrived at the CSP right at noon – which, upon reflection, wasn’t the best time of day to start our hike. The 68-degree weather was lovely, but the breeze barely provided a defense against the direct sunlight and lack of shade. Plus, the harsh sunlight is not ideal for photography. Still, we weren’t altogether miserable, were sun-blocked up, and had plenty of water. So after a cursory look at the “Wildlife Display” (which featured a half dozen various snakes, a few gila monsters, and some pelts) we addressed the trail map and set off.

wash

We were immediately confronted with a wash in full spate, so we had to remove our shoes and socks and wade across, then dry our feet off and put our shoes and socks back on.

offwiththeshoes

There were various forks and directions we could take – after a couple of false starts we ended up deciding upon the ones that didn’t require repeated footwear removal. At the top of one very steep rise we paused long enough for us to catch our breath (okay, long enough for limp-lunged ME to catch MY breath), and I took the first of the two videos I posted yesterday. Then it was onward along the wide sandy path, avoiding horse droppings and gabbing and greeting the people hiking in the other direction. We got to an overlook that looked out across a small canyon, and Bill decided to go off-trail in the direction of some running water.

beatenpath

We followed a game trail (that is quickly being trampled into a full-fledged path by other hikers who want to get off the trail) for a short distance, then I sat in the shade of something pointy while Bill hiked down into a gully and took pictures. That’s when I took the second video that I linked in yesterday’s entry. That was my favorite part of the hike – there were no other people around and the only sound to be heard was the breeze and the peaceful tweeting of birds. Well – mostly peaceful. The birds in the gully took turns scolding Bill as he hiked among them.

The hike back out seemed faster than the hike in, and before we knew it we were back at the wash and had to take our shoes and socks off again. I must say we didn’t anticipate as much running water as we came across that day. Streams in the desert, who knew?

The hotel we stayed at was just a short distance away. We checked in, and lugged our stuff to our room. The first thing Bill does whenever he enters any hotel room for the first time is turn on the A/C, which is when we discovered that it was a very noisy, very unhappy little A/C unit. So we got cleaned up and changed our clothes and re-packed, then requested that we be moved to a different room with a functional A/C. They were happy to oblige (despite the fact that they had to re-clean the bathroom of our original room – I kind of felt bad about that), and fortunately we pack light.

Back out the door, we went to the Hi Falutin’ Rapid Fire Western Grill that Bill was familiar with from his previous visits to the area for work. He ordered a fillet, I ordered the shredded beef tacos, and OH MY GOD, was that food INCREDIBLE. I didn’t bring my camera in, else I surely would have embarrassed Bill with all the pictures I’d have taken of our plates.

After dinner, we drove back over to the hotel, parked, and walked across to the neighboring Taste of Chicago. We occupied a table on the patio for several hours, watching the light change on the mountains.

viewfromthepatio

viewfrompatiodusk

We talked and sipped (beer for Bill, a Cadillac Margarita for me) and took pictures. I happened to be sitting facing the gully that runs alongside the restaurant, and saw a pair of rabbits go racing by. My “Oh, bunnies!” exclamation caused Bill to look in the opposite direction to see what the bunnies were running from. He leaped up from the table and said, “Holy crap, it’s a bobcat! Quick, gimme the camera!”

You'll probably need to click on the photo and view it in its original size to see him. He's in the approximate center of the photo, heading to the right.

He chased off along the fence, camera in hand, being all “here kitty kitty” while the bobcat disdained his efforts (“Be vewwy qwiet. I’m huntin’ wabbits.”) I, of course, Tweeted the event while waiting for Bill to come back to the table.

Eventually Bill stopped chasing the wild animal (I kid, he was very quiet and respectful and non-threatening – I’m pretty sure the cat would have handed his ass to him if it had been otherwise) and came back to the table, mourning the lack of a telephoto lens. Then, in a fit of wildlife photography inspiration, he proceeded to attempt to capture the flitting efforts of a bat, who had come out early to partake of the bugs.

Click on the photo to view in original size. It's actually pretty cool and a halfway decent shot for a kit lens at dusk taken by a slightly buzzed photographer.

We ended up hanging out on the patio for several hours, watching the stars come out and having conversations with the restaurant’s evening entertainer when he took smoke breaks. Paul sang old standards ala the Brat Pack era and was actually pretty darned good. I took a few pictures of him but I didn’t have the right lens for the job, so only a couple were somewhat salvageable.

paul

I followed my margarita with a martini of some sort, and then some vodka. Bill stuck to his beer. We got more and more silly as time went on:

:: ssssip… ahhhh ::
“Gee, this heater is kicking out some BTU’s!”
“Tiff, do you even know what BTU stands for?”
“Uhh… Bachman Turner Underdrive?”
:: hilarity ensues ::

I also took a bunch of very random photos. The more buzzed I am, the more that random ordinary things suddenly become all, hello! Art!

redlight

By the time we headed back to our hotel room we were in fine, fine shape. FINE shape. IfyouknowwhatImean. AndIthinkyoudo.

We checked out the next morning by about 9:30, and hared off in the general direction of Phoenix. We came across the type of mom-and-pop breakfast place we were hoping for, the Sunny Side Up Cafe. Lots of bikers and truckers, and a packed parking lot on a Sunday morning, which was all the assurance we needed that this local place was good. The place was standing room only, so we opted for seats at the counter, which I always enjoy anyway. I like observing the well-oiled machine that is a good diner. The coordination between the prep station, cooks, and wait staff was flawless. They kept up the snarky banter the whole time, too, which was entertaining while we noshed on our corned beef hash and eggs.

We took Route 71 back to the Valley, passing the Tom Mix monument and wash. I asked Bill who he was, and he said he couldn’t remember and thought he was some sort of an outlaw cowboy. I looked it up when we got home. Come to find out he was an actor who occasionally played an outlaw cowboy. So Bill’s memory wasn’t entirely inaccurate.

We were back home by noon on Sunday, and the cats acted like we’d been gone a week. We unpacked and settled in for an afternoon of watching TV and napping. I ordered pizza for dinner and we rented Zombieland. I give the movie two decapitated corpses up! Cracked my shit up, anyway.

So! That was our weekend. To see the entire set of pictures, click here.

Did ya ever reach into your bag for your pack of gum, find only two sticks left, and just shove ’em both in your mouth so you can throw the pack away?

Did ya ever throw out the last two inches of milk in the carton, even though it wasn’t sour yet, just because there was a brand-new, fresh, unopened carton just waiting to accompany your peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

Did ya ever put on a shirt for work, notice it had a stain on it, and just wear it anyway and hope nobody notices?

Did ya ever clean your house by shoving all of the clutter into a room that nobody’s supposed to go into, only to be asked to give a tour of your house?

Did ya ever wear flip flops knowing your feet look like victims of torture but go to the grocery store anyway?

Did ya ever catch yourself, halfway through a meal with friends, and realize you’ve been smacking your food really, really loud, and making grunting noises to boot?

Did ya ever get caught singing the wrong lyrics to a song, and give the excuse that you know they’re wrong but it’s funnier your way?

Did ya ever go to answer your cell phone and realize it’s someone else’s, using the same ring tone you used two years ago?

Yeah. Me too.

———-

Yesterday was my cardiologist appointment for an echocardiogram. I was in and out in fifteen minutes and in that time I showed a stranger my boobs, and saw all four chambers of my heart, and watched my valves open and close, and saw my aorta, and saw my liver. I told the tech not to bother looking for my gallbladder because it went on vacation and all I got was this stinkin’ scar. He didn’t even crack a smile. Tough room. Though I prefer to think he was distracted by my magnificent breasts. Hey, the average age of the other folks sitting in the waiting room was 65. I’m betting mine was the nicest rack he’s seen all week.

When he was done the tech gave me one little tissue with which to wipe all the GOOP off of me. I raided his stash of paper towels – in the end, it took eight.

I have a follow-up appointment on the 18th to get the results. The pain in my chest has been less, thanks to Aleve, though every now and then it rises up to smite me. I got a total stab in the chest the other day while talking to my boss in his cubicle, and as I gasped and bent over double he said, “Hey now, no dying on company time!” I assured him I shall strive to be a good Corporate Citizen.

The doc says I might need surgery to fix the problem – they do it with a teeny laser and zap something the size of a single cell, and voila! All better. Still, the thought of them going at my heart with a laser gives me the shudders. Eef.

———-

Latest Really Cool Find on Ancestry.com – my great-grandfather’s WWI registration card.

———-

Looks like I’ll have to start my sabbatical on June 7th instead of May 31st. One of the guys in my group is going to be on his honeymoon over Memorial Day week and my boss wanted me to take that week of vacation (which is actually regular vacation time that I tacked onto the beginning of my sabbatical) in April instead. Bill is going to be in Chicago the week of April 26th so I’m going to take it then. I’ll either join him in Chicago and hang out while he’s in his training sessions, or just stay home and putter around the house. I guess it all depends on critter care, and airplane tickets, and whatnot.

———-

I hope this weekend’s plans to include a motorcycle ride to our Tequila And Taco Destination. Or the Chuckbox for their world-famous burgers. Either will do. It’ll have to happen tomorrow because it’s supposed to rain again (?!?) on Sunday. We’ve gotten twice as much rain since January 1st than we had in ALL of 2009. Craziness. I love it, though. If it weren’t for, you know, our leaky roof and stuff.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

I am in a waaay frickin’ GOOD MOOD. Even though Whitney Houston is currently singing about how emotional she gets and this song makes my teeth grit in a very gritty way.

I worked from home today because we had the insurance adjuster (that word just looks wrong, for some reason) coming over to assess how much money they would or would not be giving us toward the required repairs to our roof. The end result, after much tape measuring and roof climbing and eeping at the snake who I promised would NOT escape from her tank – well, while it is certainly not going to cover the entire amount, it is far better than a kick in the pants. Plus, they cut a check right on the spot. So, there’s that.

Except that Bill is currently on AutoTrader.com and is trying to convince me to spend the money on something other than the roof. STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT.

Then the landscaper stopped by to give us an estimate on cleaning up the god-awful white-trashedness that is the current condition of our front and back yards, and to give us a quote on a monthly maintenance package (because we just can’t seem to pull off taking care of it ourselves). The quote he handed me made me say, out LOUD, “Really? Are you sure? For BOTH the front and back yards?” To which he replied in the affirmative. To which I responded, “At least let me throw in a six-pack!” Dude is CHEAP, has worked for us before, does our neighbor’s yard, and is coming TOMORROW to get started. Thank the good Lord that value and customer service aren’t completely extinct concepts.

Now we’re just hanging out for a couple of hours before it’s time to get ready and go to the Improv to see Mitch Fatel. Amanda’s going with us, and she’s never been to a comedy club, so that should be fun.

All in all, it’s been an excellent kick-off, rolling into the weekend. I leave you with something to chuckle over (probably not all that safe for work, btw), and wishes for a fabuloso weekend yourselves!

Hi, gang! I think I’ve got my sanity back! Let’s hear it for ME!

Readers: “Yaaaaaaaay! Let’s see how long it lasts this time!”
Tiff: “Hush, you.”

So. Backing up to last Friday, after I left work I stopped at the grocery store for some Olympics-viewing necessities. Then Bill and I ran to Chili’s to sit at the bar and sip beverages while waiting for them to process our to-go order of baby back ribs. We got back just before the opening ceremony coverage began (6:30 our time), settled in with our plates and our beer, and prepared to fall in love with Canada all over again.

The falling in love with Canada thing happened, to be sure (we’ve always loved Canada and I would LOVE to move there – alas, I doubt it’s in the cards and they’re trying to keep out the American riff-raff, anyway). But I do NOT love NBC’s coverage of the Olympics. Hi, Arizona is currently ONE HOUR BEHIND British Columbia in time zones, yet we are on an extensive TIME DELAY when it comes to coverage of the Olympic events. That really pisses me off. I mean, according to NBCOlympics.com, an event could be happening LIVE RIGHT NOW, but I don’t get to see it until prime time? And then in an abbreviated, summary-type highlights fashion? EPIC FAIL, NBC! EPIC FAIL.

Phooey.

Anyway, we loved the opening ceremonies, flaws and mechanical failures and all. I was stoked to see good ol’ Stevie Nash representing Arizona and the Suns as well as his native Canada. And… yeah, who was surprised by the whole Wayne Gretzky thing? Anyone? Bueller? My favorite parts of the opening ceremonies were the whales “swimming” and “blowing” through the arena, and the circus boy who was harnessed and flying over the grassy plains.

Saturday I got up at a decent hour and basically futzed around until 3:00, when it was time to get ready to go organize Joss’ benefit party. I fielded multiple phone calls from the bar owner and the other lady who was helping organize things – up to and including when I was three minutes away, on the road and driving to the bar. I got started setting up the raffle table, laying out all the items, and taping the fliers I’d made describing each item to the wall behind the raffle table. My helper and I made a trek to another nearby bar, whose owner had a helium tank that she let us use to blow up a bunch of pink balloons. Hilarity ensued. I sang “We are Siamese if you please…” and “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…” and sounded like Theodore Chipmunk. The bands showed up right at 5:00 to start setting up, and by about 6:00 everything was ready to go.

I ran back home to pick Bill up and bring him back to the bar, and had a few minutes to relax before people started showing up. From about 6:30 until about 10:30 I was stationed behind the raffle table, accepting money for raffle tickets and 50/50 tickets, and straight cash donations. My helper, another girl who frequents the bar, and even Bill, spelled me a few times for potty breaks. I used our new video camera a few times to capture scenes of the party, which I will post at some point this week (probably).

We had a really great turn-out, with lots of folks sticking to the beverages and entrees that were marked as proceeds going 100% to Joss. The acoustic guy that opened was awesome and had folks singing along, then the band that followed provided the energy to get us through the night. Folks were very generous and I had the satisfaction of handing Joss a fat envelope at the end of the night. The bar owner is still tallying up the proceeds from the food and beverages, I hope to find out today how it all worked out but he said it was a good amount.

Bill and Robert did their level best to support the proceeds and drank $4 Kiltlifters all night, so that by the time I finally convinced them to leave at about midnight, I forced Robert to get in our truck so I could drive him home, and Bill was giggling like a maniac for the whole drive. Bill stumbled off to bed right away, and I grabbed a quick sandwich (didn’t get to have dinner) before joining him.

Sunday was Valentine’s Day, and I got Bill a card from Vixen’s Empire. Plus his obligatory annual Valentine’s letter, and a bottle of Curve. Amanda got a box of chocolates and a Snoopy card – homage to her childhood that she appreciated. The three of us got ready and went out for some burgers, then went to see Avatar in 3D. Bill scoffingly figured he’d just sleep through the whole thing, then discovered himself riveted right along with the rest of us. What a visually stunning movie. I loved it and will probably buy it. I will not, however, become suicidal and depressed and despairing that life isn’t as beautiful on Earth as it is on Pandora. Feh.

(Jaysus. Google “Avatar” and “depression” and see what comes up. Sheeeeeesh.)

Yesterday I did some work for Beyond Megapixels, but primarily just held the couch down and ate unhealthily and watched the Olympics. My boy from Maine, Seth Wescott, won gold in Men’s Snowboard Cross, and I felt happy for Shen and Zhao that they won the gold, finally. Though I do think that their Chinese countrymen, Pang and Tong, skated their long program better. I cheered just as loud as any Canadian as Alexandre Bilodeau accepted his gold medal for Men’s Moguls. Indeed, for every event we watch, we’re cheering for the Canadian participants every bit as enthusiastically as we’re cheering for Team USA.

And now it’s Tuesday, and I’m back at work, and there’s 101 days, six hours left until my sabbatical.