Well, post-Christmas was fun. My inlaws got to sit and watch us play a lot of Playstation2... lucky for them. We got a bit obsessed with Simpsons Hit & Run. Damn Dr. Nick and his 30 escaped chimps! Damn him! (shakes fist at sky).
Friday I made Doug take his folks and Jessica out so I could tidy up a bit. The floor needed to be mopped and I just needed a break. I would have taken myself shopping at the mall to take advantage of the insane discounts and post-holiday sales, but really didn't have the energy to leave, or to put down the game controller.
We went out to see the Zoo Lights at the Stoneham Zoo Friday night after Doug brought the contingent back from Newburyport and Antiquingness. We enjoyed the zoo very much, not many animals were out, but the lights were nice and the kids enjoyed the merry-go-round. Jessica was a kind and loving big sister and went on the ride with Geoff. My mother in law isn't a winter gear kind of person, so she was bitterly cold in her light jacket... we made haste from the zoo and went out to dinner.
I've decided that I'm officially swearing off chain restaurants like Pizzeria Uno, Bertuccis, TGI Fridays, Bennegan's, Applebees, The 99, Chilis, Chi-Chi's, etc ad infinitum. Every single time we've tried to go to one of these "Tchotchkes" style restaurants with their flair buttons and crazy crap on the walls, it's been a 45 minute to one hour wait.
And let's be honest folks, the food ain't that great.
Sure, they give you SCADS of food -- enough to feed a small village all on one table. But the quality isn't that great. Be honest. And after the debacle of Hepititis A in Beaver County PA from allegedly shit-grown green chilis imported from Mexico (thank you NAFTA for 650 new cases of near death in one small town) I want to go somewhere that I can get to know the kitchen staff, know where they're getting their food from, learn how they prepare it and what their philosophies are. At all those chain places -- it's get it cheap and serve it fast so we can get more people in here to buy our sub-par cooking.
So I've decided that from hereonin I'm going to local family establishments. There is a great place in Georgetown called Cuffee Doles, and I've gotten to know the owners. They kick ass (if you live anywhere adjacent to I-95 north of Boston, go to Cuffee's. Exit 54B, Rte 133. Follow into Georgetown, Go straight at the light, Cuffee's is a couple miles ahead on your left.)
This time, we went to The Tap in Haverhill. We went there for my birthday, and they have a brand new owner and brew master.
The food is good, there was no wait, the staff is friendly and like a family (our waiter was walking around with a "Kick Me I'm Stupid" sign on his back that the hostess nailed him with. And we laughed and laughed).
They have live music on Friday and Saturday nights, usually Jazz and or Blues. Geoff wanted to watch the guitar player, who was performing a selection of jazzy and bluesy christmas covers.
We went and sat in the bar at a table. And the guy watched Geoff and smiled. Geoff was really enjoying him -- and after his song he said to Geoff "I recognize you... you're that kid who wanted a BB gun for Christmas!"
And everyone laughed. Geoff said "Nooooo!!!!" because he gets this ALL the time. Ever since he was wee little and he got glasses.
In looking at that picture there, I'm AMAZED at how much better his left eye is these days. Look how it's totally turned in there. Holy shit. I haven't looked at that picture in a long time. I just happened to remember that I did it one year, and have had it on my drive forever.
So a guy at the bar said "You'll shoot your eye out!" and people were laughing, and Geoff luckily laughed on with them instead of getting belligerent and yelling "I'm not Ralphie I'm Sonic!" which is what he does at home.
And the guitar guy played a song just for Geoff, and wished him all the luck in the future for gettin' that BB gun one of these days.
Saturday Doug went to work to make up for not working on Friday (he has no vacation time right now, so he simply moved his schedule around with blessing, and seeing as his folks would be hitting the highway he figured it'd be as good a day as any to work.
I played Playstation with the kids all day, forgetting there was Saturday Football, so I missed the Patriots complete spanking of revenge on the Bills. As Homer says... D'oh.
Sunday we got up extra early and got in the car, drove down to New London Connecticut to take the kids across Long Island Sound to give them to my parents. I paid a babysitter for three days last week so I could work -- there was no way I could do it again this week. What's the point in working?
So they get to go to hang out at Grandmas. And we had a lovely ride on the ferry -- it seemed so much faster than 90 minutes. I'm wondering why we don't do this more often? We did Mad Libs on the boat, and the girl sitting across from us laughed and laughed at us when the kids were giving me their words.
I miss them, but ... I don't. Know what I mean? Of course you do.
We got home just in time to see the Arizona Cardinals pull off an improbable win and kick Green Bay into the playoffs. I mean seriously -- fourth and 25??? They went for it -- it paid off. Holy crap. I thought I was going to die.
And then I went to bed.
Today I got to work extra hours! I stayed until almost 5pm which is impossibly late for me seeing as I normally am out of there at 3pm at the latest. I worked my ass off.
Knowing that at 2:45 there's no excuse for me not to start a project really makes a difference in my day.
Tonight we're meeting Ben-n-Amy, Brian and Dan for a pool night. They're all on vacation this week as the college is closed for vacation. Stupid jerks enjoying time off! While I indeed have to go to work tomorrow that doesn't mean we can't go out and have fun. We're going to River City Billiards in Haverhill (again with Haverhill) and my guess is it'll be a light crowd tonight. They have acoustic music on Monday nights, instead of the DJ or Band thing they have on weekends which makes the place impossible to have a conversation in... so I'm looking forward to a night out.
Thanks mom and dad for taking my kids! Woooooo!
In other news, my neighbor is pissed at us because our dogs keep going into their yard and doing business. They take off like bats out of hell when we take them out, and next thing you know we can't find them but they're next door shitting on the front lawn.
Yesterday S left me a very curt message and when I got home from work he was waiting for me so we could talk. "I don't want to be a dink, but..."
And he isn't, it's our responsibility to keep our dogs out of his yard not just because they crap in it but because Jack and Kinger both plow over their kids and knock them over.
Whenever I take them out I take them on the leash and walk them around the yard. Jessica took them out the other day and S told me he watched her stare up at the stars while Kinger pissed on his 300 car cover and then crap on his drive way.
I feel badly... but the crap factories are going to have to be restrained on a regular basis.
I long for the spring when I can just put them in the pen and let them be outside. Sigh.
Well -- speaking of the crap factories, I have to take them out so they can mass produce their wares. Joy. Gotta get ready to go up the billiard hall and hang with my boys (and girl).