Monday, May 31, 2010

My sister and her husband were here for the weekend. They came in on Friday and tooled around Burlington while the b.h. and I were at work, and then we all went for dinner at the Local Restaurant. It was a fabulous meal, made more fabulous by my recently quitting working there. They say familiarity breeds contempt, and not having been in that building for a week and a half, I will agree. It felt a lot more comfortable knowing I didn't have to come back again until I wanted to. We stuffed ourselves silly and went home to bed.
Saturday we both went to work again while my sister and her husband went to yoga, the bookstore, and the farmer's market. I envied them from behind the counter at the Local Grocery, but my day was fairly easy and ended early.
We went to dinner that night at a nearby barbecue restaurant, then came home and took the dogs for a hike in the woods. After that we watched the hockey game, which the Blackhawks won, and then turned in. On Sunday the b.h. went off with some friends from the CS, while me sister and her husband and I took the dogs and went hiking. We went up to Owl's Head, from which I took this picture:

The view was lovely, but the hiking rather sucked. We made a couple different stops only to find nearly impassable trails and lots of mud. Ah well, the quarter mile up to the lookout point was plenty of exercise for all of us- especially Wyatt.

The b.h. made dinner on Sunday night, while the rest of us sat around reading and napping. A lovely time all around.

My sister and her husband left on Monday morning, and the b.h. and I took the dogs to yet another lovely Green Mountain State Park. I took quite some time cleaning out the car and packing water and snacks and long sleeves, etc. We had no real plan, but went off on a highway where we thought we had remembered there being a park. The sky was very hazy due to some wildfires up in Quebec, and we hoped that driving further South would make for clearer views. No such luck, it turned out, and also we were wrong about the park. After it became clear that we were mistaken, the b.h. pulled out our atlas and found a way to get to a different park nearby. The road was long and winding and bumpy, and the dogs were starting to get antsy by the time we finally got there. We were thrilled to see that there were no other cars or people anywhere as we drove in. (Even the park staff had been given the day off for the holiday, apparently.)
The sun was shining and there was a nice breeze as I leapt from the car and opened the back door to let the dogs out. And then, reaching into the back seat I realized, with great horror, that we had forgotten their leashes.
We let them out anyway, since there were no other people or cars, and eventually fashioned a leash for Kilgore from some bungee cords in our emergency roadside kit. Wyatt is no worry to us, but Kilgore is both quick and agile, and neither of us had any desire to lose him on a trail that marked a Bear's Den as one of the points of interest.
You might be surprised at how long three quarters of a mile can be. Having lived here for just over a year, I am only surprised that I continue to be surprised. Anyway, we all made it in one piece, and the drive home was quiet.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I never did get the tires swapped out on Tuesday, but luckily I got up very early and did that today. Tuesday I went to yet another spot on the river with A and her dog (Sushi) and Wyatt and KG. Wyatt was having none of it. I don't know if it was the number of children present or the muddy, squishy bank, but he simply was not enjoying himself. I ran him home and went back with KG. KG and I did a lot of swimming. It was around ninety degrees outside, so rather than just wading I actually went in all the way, paddling around next to the dog. I think it freaked him out at first, but since he isn't very good at bringing back the sticks I throw for him, I went after him and took them back myself. It was really fun, though I realized that I might need to invest in actual swimwear this year since I had a lot of trouble keeping my shorts up.
Today I dropped the car off at the tire place and walked the boys down to a frontage road by the river. There were a couple other people there with dogs, so it was more fun than usual. I got back and ran the lawnmower over the spot out back in front of the shed. It had grown fairly tall, but I was loathe to cut it since there are a lot of wild strawberries out there, but it had gotten to a point where it looked really crappy, and my sister and her husband are coming in this week, so I broke down and did it.
So yeah, my sister and her husband are coming tomorrow. They are insane enough to fly on a holiday weekend, and I have both Sunday and Monday off, so there you go. The forecast looks fantastic right now, but having lived in this state almost exactly a year now, I have come to realize that forecasts mean nothing. As such, I am making a kind of rough list of things we could do, from which we will choose according to our moods and the weather. Mostly I think there will be eating, drinking, and hiking.
I will work tomorrow and Saturday, then again on Tuesday, and then Wednesday I have a class all day (for which I am being paid) in cheese tasting. Seriously. Not only is my job paying for the class, but I get paid a full day for going. I am thrilled. It's about an hour away, and the b.h. is going to take the bus down and meet me when I am done because - brace yourself - we are going to New York City to see our friends (J. Roddy Walston and the Business) play a rock show on a boat. I could not be more excited. The boat leaves from 22nd and FDR, and then goes under the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges (plus another that I can't remember), rounds the Statue of Liberty, and returns to dock around 11pm. I am seriously giddy. Also, my friend K's birthday is on Thursday, so we are going to spend the day in the city with her. I can't wait. Can't wait!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I am having a very difficult time keeping up with writing. It's funny how quitting a job doesn't give me any extra time. I mean, I now have more time, but "extra"? Nah. The weather has been incredible. Last week I spent Monday with my friend A. We took the dogs to a groomer that's about forty five minutes away, then went into the nearest town and had pastries and coffee. When we picked the dogs up we brought them to a little lake on the way home. I was wearing sunscreen, of course, but I still managed to grow more freckles. On Tuesday I did some housework and then took my boys to the nature center so they could swim in the river. The rest of the week was pretty exhausting, but again with perfect weather and going to the woods or the river every free moment.
On Saturday the b.h. and I went out to Wakefield after I finished work. We had dinner and saw Iron Man. That town is beautiful, as are most parts of this state. The drive was gorgeous.
Yesterday I wrapped up the rest of our winter clothes and broke out the summer ones, and went out and bought herbs and a couple of tomato plants, which I brought home and promptly planted. I bought a tomato that is already large and starting to bloom. Cheating? Well, yes, but I live in a state with one of the shortest growing seasons, so I don't really feel bad about it. I will be a cheater with fresh tomatoes in my salad by next week.
I am stalling right now. I have Springsteen Storytellers on the DVD, and I really need to go swap out the tires on my car. Still using snow tires, which have, I think, finally gone out of season. I just do not feel like being responsible.
Ah well, off I go.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

This is great. Not exactly what I have come to expect from the Ted site, but hilarious.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

At long last, Athens photos:

What remains of the Theater. The facade had just been refinished before it burned. Rebuilding is already in progress.

My delicious and nutritious lunch at The National: Lentils and goat cheese, greens and root veg with toasted sunflower seeds.

The b.h., meantime, was on a trash diet. This is his chorizo chili dog with a side of fries (which I was happy to help him eat. I'm not that good.)

This was taken at the In Laws' place: Just an example of how fantastic my new camera is.

These are "Before" photos of the scarecrow. They don't really do it justice.

For the cat, wedding day was just like any other - with an additional hundred or so extra bothersome humans.

This snake was a lot more bothered by us than we were by it. Poor thing must have been quite confused.

Tying wishes to the scarecrow.

Bride and groom light the scarecrow...

Our wishes go up to the sky...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

So now that I have finished catching up on vacation posts that are nearly three weeks old (minus the photos, I just remembered- feck!), I should say that I have turned in my resignation at the Local Restaurant. It was not a difficult decision, I was surprised to find, once I realized that the b.h. was fully in support of it.

The thing is, I work around 52 hours a week, and have been doing so for six months now. Which was fine, until it started to be a regular occurrence that I never had the tools to do my job, and was rarely in a position to give my customers good service. Add to this that the accounting department decided that we were not going to be able to take our credit card tips home at the end of the night (almost ALL of our tips on on credit cards), and that we would not be allowed to tip anyone else in cash (how that is the decision of anyone else I have no idea). Did I mention that we have no General Manager? That basically no one is steering the proverbial ship? Yeah- that guy left in December, along with the person who was in charge of catering. Anyway, I was still willing to go along, waiting for things to get better when they got more help. I was put in charge of choosing the wines by the glass - something that I was really excited at the prospect of, and which I spent an inordinate number of my precious free hours researching. I had done several tastings, analyzed costs, and researched pairing with the food on both of our menus, and then was suddenly verbally shit upon by a manager last week during a tasting.

She apparently had no idea what was going on and thought that I was offering an unsolicited opinion about the current list, and therefore chose to snap at me, embarrassing me in front of my manager and co-workers and a representative from a wine company. When I wrote her a carefully worded and completely professional e-mail basically protesting this treatment and telling her that I expect her to behave in a more professional manner, I received in reply a poorly written and unprofessional non-apology. It did not address my point at all, but did say that I had taken her remark out of context, and then went on for two paragraphs proving that I had taken it completely as it was meant, and that she is a manager and I am not, blah blah blah. So yeah, I gave my notice that night.
I have one more shift (this Saturday), an iron in another fire already, and a deep desire for a more sane life. I will now have two days off a week, with summer (supposedly) just around the corner, and my sister and brother-in-law visiting at the end of the month. Joy.
This brings me enormous joy. (Click on it to make the image larger)

Monday, May 10, 2010

On the same day I heard the story from the previous post, I also heard one about a guy who walks around town on these big crazy mechanical stilts. I don't remember his name, but apparently he was in jail- "Adult Jail, when he was a juvenile," according to West Coast Karen, my overconcerned co-worker. And he is also mentally ill to some degree.
What, you might ask, would cause the authorities to jail a mentally ill teenager? I'm so glad you asked!
He was arrested for grave robbing. But according to WCK, he didn't actually dig up a grave. He broke into a mausoleum (devil's in the details, don't you know) and stole a skull. He was going to make a bong out of it to give his friends for a wedding present.
I think Montpeculiar needs a better nickname. Like Monpetotallyfuckedup.