Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Saga of the Dog Walkers

Earlier this summer, a kid came to our back door and asked Doug if she could walk our dogs. For five dollars per dog, she would walk them for a half hour. She told us the route, and I knew that could be walked faster than a half hour but it was a nice walk, and Doug gave her permission to take Brodie. 

The other two dogs would have to wait. Much to their chagrin.

She returned the next day with two more kids so that all three dogs could be walked. So all three dogs got to go. 

Hurricane Irene; Jess to College; Geoff to Football; Shakespeare

It isn't winter, but we are under a French Toast Alert warning due to Hurricane Irene coming up the coast.

This week has been kind of exciting here in New England and on the East Coast. 

We had our first memorable earthquake, centered up in Virginia, impacting Washington DC, NYC and was said to have been felt even here in our neighborhood. Doug and I didn't feel it, but I think our dogs did because they lost their little minds and ran all over the house and yard freaking out. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

In the midst of everything else...

By the way...

Geoff started football practice today. The first official pads/helmets/cleats practice of the season. All summer long, at least 2 out of 3 days a week (M/W/F) he rode his bike to the high school and went to the weight room to work with the team. His coach said to me the other day that he was pleased with how "consistent and reliable" Geoff had been and that he's shown great improvement in his skills. Some kids go every single day, every week. The real hardcore dudes. Others once a week, twice a week, whatever. It isn't mandatory workout time. But it is important for team bonding and to get in shape for today.

When I picked him up, he had this big grin on his face. It is weird... Geoff smiles while he is mowing the lawn, smiles when he is riding his bike, and there he is with this giant cat consumed canary grin on his face as he's walking back from the field.

All summer long, he has worked exceptionally hard and I'm really proud of him.

So this week is the first official everyday practice week, with two days that have two sessions each, a morning and afternoon session. Doug and Jess will leave for Pittsburgh, but Geoff and I will stay here so he can make those two practice sessions. I don't know what he's supposed to do between the sessions. It doesn't seem like a long enough break to get anything done like go eat...

I remember when he first started football a few years back, and how I felt lost in the culture of the team dynamic. And he did too. He is still that way. The guys all bunch together and talk, and there's Geoff behind them... I'm hoping that he participates appropriately and has a good time, even if he isn't in the "IN" crowd with them. I just want him to be happy in what he does.

And if the smile isn't an indication, I don't know what is.

I took this picture of Geoff yesterday afternoon. He usually looks at me with this blank expression and saggy eyelids when I take his picture, but this one was different.

We went to the annual Pie Fight and he was so excited to participate. I don't even think he realized that he was supposed to make his "I'm so aloof and bored" face for the photo. I caught him off guard.

It's nice to see him so happy. It is incredibly nice to see him smiling about things. Even weird things, like lawn mowing.

And throwing pies at strangers and friends.

A To Do List

This is mostly so I do not lose track of what is going on over the next 72 hours. These are all the things I need to do in order for us to get Jess back off to college:

car inspection for subaru,
clean out subaru for doug and jess road trip,
appointment for other car to get the straight pipe fixed and then get inspected,(both will happen Monday)
gas for both vehicles,
shopping for last minute stuff for jess to finish packing for college,
stuff for geoff for school,
call Pitt financial aid to find out our balance,
nag doug's ass so he calls fidelity to get the cash distributed from our 529 plan,
call mefa student loans to borrow some cash to cover fall 2011 balance and spring 2012,
call a mess of people to follow up on donations for our bsa cookout in september and make sure we're all set,
email all the parents in bsa troop to remind them about the water/soda/cooler donations that we need,
update church website now that there is a secretary there,
clean the guinea pig cage (can get geoff to do that),
call the vet about 2 dogs who seem to have allergies or hot spots, (appointment made for Tuesday afternoon at 5:30)
go to the bank and get jess' account updated to have checking now that she's old enough,

if you don't hear from me by Thursday assume that my head exploded.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Brief BOA Update

(I temporarily removed this post due to not knowing how I got 300 hits in a couple hours. It looks like Adam at Universal Hub tweeted the story, and a mess of people came here via that link. More than the amount I'm used to seeing, so I panicked... Reposting because Uhub and Adam are trustworthy)...

In late July my lawyer notified us that BOA's lawyer stated that they're willing to admit that there is a problem here, and that BOA is willing to honor our remodification agreement from December 2008.

Sounds great, but there is more!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Who I Met Today

I stopped at the local liquor mart for a bottle of Pinot Grigio to replenish my white sangria, which Doug and I have been enjoying greatly. Peter, the proprietor had a special guest in the shop, a gent named Neil who happens to be a native of India. He runs the Kwik-E-Mart two doors down and comes to hang out when he is bored. Locks the door and leaves a note saying where he can be found, come get him...

Neil was talking about cricket and Peter asked me jokingly if I liked cricket.

Why, yes I do.

Neil was surprised. A white American woman who knew about and liked cricket? We also talked about what local Indian food was the best. I said that Bollywood Grille in North Andover was best and Neil was completely thrilled. He agreed completely, saying that it costs a little more than the other local places in Newburyport.

So not only do I like cricket, I like Indian food. I asked him where he was from in India, was he from the north near Pakistan, the coast near Goa? Mumbai? Kolkata? He was impressed at my knowledge of his country's geography. He's from western India, for the record.

He said he wants to take me to a cricket match and out to dinner. Someone came in to ask him to open up the store so he had to leave abruptly.  and as Neil left I said "Hey, Namaste my brother. Namaste." Again, he was utterly blown away that I knew a word in his language. Beaming with a huge smile, Neil went back to the store.

Peter thought this was a riot. We talked a little while longer about cricket (I confessed that I first learned about cricket in a Monty Python episode, which made him laugh even harder). He thanked me for making Neil's day.

I told Peter that most of my knowledge of India came from people like Michael Palin and his lovely BBC travel documentaries. Peter said that it was good that I was actually paying attention to what was going on anywhere outside of my zipcode. We had a lovely talk, and he asked how the white sangria was going (wonderfully, I must say). I gave him the recipe and he said he'd give it a whirl.

I left the shop with a smile, and drove away seeing Neil waving goodbye to me in my rear view mirror.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Interview Update and What Dreams May Come

I had a great phone interview with a local company back two weeks before the surgery. Yesterday I had an in person interview with the hiring manager and two people who I would be working most closely with should I get this job.

Part of me thinks that I did much better with the latter than the former.

Either way, it was nice to finally get another interview into the mix. I have yet to find that brilliant wonderful job for me.

I did have a very vivid, very detailed dream the other night. I do not take stock in analyzing dreams, or writing long blog entries about them. Most people who write dream blogs bore me. But I thought this one was telling.

I was standing on stage at the local park. It was  handmade, built as someone's Eagle Project. There was a huge crowd before me. I was in the process of announcing "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder, as performed by our area kids. My son, my friend Gary's daughter Grace, a ton of kids from our high school and middle school. And I was waiting for someone I know named Mike to finish running wires for microphones for the stage, which we decided the last moment we needed because the crowd was so large. I was specifically thanking people, most notably my friend Dave of the shenanigans fame for all the work he did. I singled out several people who have been a tremendous inspiration to me over the past several years. All my friends were there in the audience, friends from town here and friends from elsewhere.

The performance was flawless... A recent graduate from our high school, Sam, played the narrator perfectly and beautifully. And I got a bunch of our adult friends from town to be in the "cemetery" at the end of the play, sitting in all black dress clothes with no shoes on, in their graves. At the end the cheering was amazing and I was crying.

I think that if I do not get this job I am going to do something fun like that. I'm going to see if the town will allow it. And do something fun.

But if I do get this job, I think Jess and her friend Nick should run a camp in July next year, and just go for it. I'll make myself the artistic/executive director, and we'll have at it. My friend Hannah told me that she wants me to do the Backyard Bonfire Theater Group. Maybe that's what we'll call it.

Anyway. I got little or no sleep last night. We had the windows open, and a huge truck rumbled down the street at about 2:30am. I came downstairs at 5 and loaded the dishwasher, woke Geoff up so he could go to football. I have to apply Jess for a student loan, have to find out from Fidelity what's left in our 529 account (probably nothing after this past 2 weeks of turmoil in the markets) and get that shipped off to Pitt.

Lots to do. And ... shenanigans with Dave today at 11am. Pondering where I will take him for the fun.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

What I Saw Today

Rte 128/Interstate 95 just south of Waltham. Four lanes of traffic. I'm in the third lane from the right. There is a small, black pickup truck in front of me, and I'm gaining on him rapidly so I change lanes to the left.

As we pass the pickup, which I estimate is traveling at 45 miles per hour as I'm going about 60, Jess and I both look to the right.

The driver is a large, mid-20s gentleman who is eating a bag of Doritos. A large bag of Doritos. The bag is clasped in his left hand, and he is shoveling chips into his gaping maw with his right.

No other visible hands on the wheel.

"Look at that guy eating Doritos like a BOSS!" Jessica yells.

"Did you see the pile of orange crumbs on his black t-shirt, on his chest?!" I yell.

"NO!" replies Jess, and I take my foot off the gas, thinking that he'll catch up to me, but I'm already too far ahead and a guy is gaining on me. I pull back over into the third lane and we look for him behind us but a multitude of commuting vehicles have swept into my wake, separating us from the Boss Doritos Muncher.

Seems we left him in our dust, or at least, in his own orange chemically flavored dust.

Monday, August 08, 2011

A Lone Dissenter

For a few days I've contemplated writing this entry, started it, stopped it, and here I am starting again. I am afraid I will offend, and afraid I will hurt people I love deeply who have a different opinion. I'm struggling with whether or not it is wise to put this down for the ages, as it were, or if it should be one of "write it on a sheet of paper and put it in a drawer and forget about it" kinds of things. I wish there was a way I could prevent some people from reading it. But. Here it goes.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Photo Migration

So, in an effort to save some money, I'm moving all of my old photos off of my old blog site and will be posting them here in a monthly photo archive. If you are using an RSS feed of some sort, you'll probably get a bunch of notifications of new entries.

It's fun going through all the old photos. Looking at 4 and 5 year old Geoff photos makes me laugh.

And for those of you who may be newer-ish readers, you'll get to see them too and enjoy my kiddos.

So be forewarned. M'kay?

Friday, August 05, 2011

Death Cab for Cutie, Bank of America Pavilion, Boston MA August 1, 2011

I have always wanted to see Death Cab for Cutie live. I personally think that their album "Plans" is one of the greatest masterworks ever released by anyone on earth ever (that's such a Hipster thing to say, isn't it?). So when a friend offered me these tickets, even though I have literally zero dollars, I took her up on them and went.

Surgical Afterparty

Home. So nice. Home with coffee. And that's all that actually matters.

Basically the rundown is as such: We got there at 6:45am and got checked in. The nursing staff at cardiovascular surgery were really funny and nice. I got catheterized (which initially freaked me out but wasn't all that bad in the end).

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The night before surgery

I was going to write a what I saw today kind of post, with descriptions of the clouds that I saw as I drove home in the thunderstorm. One looked like the head of a Scottish Lion. Roaring. Scary.

Also, I wanted to write about seeing Death Cab For Cutie the other night at the horrible Bank of America Pavilion. I loved them, and hate the venue. I wanted to write in full about how I loved their performance of "We Looked Like Giants," a song that reminds me of Doug and me in the infancy of our relationship. If you know the song you can imagine. If you don't go find it.

But tonight I'm not really into writing anything and wanted actually to go right to bed when I got home.  The drive from Newton was difficult with the weather, very stressful. And so I just wanted to retreat to bed. Instead I watched South Park with my husband and had a good laugh.

I'm off to sleep now, and in the morning will head to the hospital to have my surgery. I'll have an overnight stay in the hospital, and be home sometime on Thursday night. So wish me luck, I'll be needing it.

And will write about the concert and other stuff when I can. I have a lot to say about BOA pavilion, and my love for DCFC.