19 August 2010

The week that wuz...

It started last Friday afternoon with a hasty flight from the office to - appropriately - the airport. SDF to MDW wasn't bad; in fact, the landing was kind of fun. The pilot gave us a heads-up that they'd assigned us the shortest available runway for landing purposes at Midway. Good thing Southwest flies short planes... From where I was sitting, I could just about feel the dude standing on the brake pedal. Seriously professional job of parking that plane, if you ask me.

We flew most of the way to Philly in the dark, then rode to NJ with the Beth and Hillary Show. You put Hillary and her cousin Elizabeth together in the same small space for a few hours, and it gets crazy. And loud. But fun. I, on the other hand, was dead on my butt, so I dozed through most of it.

Saturday was Joe and Damaris' wedding. Joe is Elizabeth's brother, and Damaris is the new Most Recent Addition to the Family. She's a lovely young woman, she was a gorgeous bride, it was a beautiful wedding, and the reception brought back memories of my first Italian Thanksgiving. (Short version: Between the fourth course - i.e., the entree' - and dessert, I found myself in the bathroom, praying, "Please, please let my stomach stop hurting, and I swear I won't eat another bite." And then, 30 minutes later, back at the table just in time for them to bring out the tiramisu, I prayed, "You knew I was kidding, right?" So you get the idea, right?)

Best thing about the reception: Chip Mergott's music. Not that the sit-down dinner wasn't fabulous. The salmon was especially perfect. (Can something be "especially perfect"? Yes, it can.) But Chip was great - the only thing that would have been better would have been Annie, too. Sadly, the Mergotts were unable to find a babysitter, so it was an Annie-less show.

Note to Chip and Annie: The next time we're invited to the same event, call me. I'll look out for Eli and you guys can play all you want.

Spent a good chunk of Sunday at work, thanks to the invention of the "remote desktop." Went online to check a thing or two, and ended up on for about 4 hours, basically being a perfectionist. Good thing I enjoy being a perfectionist.

Monday - a trip to NYC. Made a stop at the recently opened Forever 21 in Times Square, where we bought a gift for the pet sitter. (Hope she likes it!) Then walked about four blocks farther than my knee was willing before I demanded relief, which came in the form of a cab. Never rode in a New York cab before. Monday, I did it twice.

Destination: the studio where The Daily Show is taped. Yes, that Daily Show - the one with Jon Stewart! Trust me, it was worth every minute of the three hours we stood in line. (We had tickets. If you don't have tickets, don't bother. And even if you do, if you show up after 4:30 p.m., forget it. At 4:30, your tickets will become the prized possession of someone who showed up without tickets, but on time.) The guest: Emma Thompson. Among the thoughts that kept going through my head as I watched Her Gorgeousness mugging and cutting up with JS: "Kenneth Brannaugh was screwing around on HER? What a dope..."

Well, and we see whose career has gained serious altitude, and whose pretty much disappeared...

Cab to Penn Station, train back to Basking Ridge. Got in around 10 p.m.; dinner was a malt from the Dairy Queen. (Sadly, I cannot recommend the malts from the Bernardsville DQ. They were low on malt and tasted unmistakeably of skim milk.)

Tuesday, flew home. En route, picked up a New Yorker - fun reading - and a paperback by Alice Hoffman: The Story Sisters, which is classic Hoffman. Charming, bittersweet, fanciful to the point of being almost mystic - a beautiful book. Finished it last night. Not that short; just that engrossing.

Wednesday, back to work. Today, back to work some more. Tomorrow... yeah. That. (At least I have lunch plans.)

Saturday, I've signed up to help build a greenhouse at Brandeis Elementary School. Now, THAT is good use of a weekend!

09 August 2010

Must be August...

I should probably ride to work tomorrow. The high is only going to be 95, with hardly any "heat index" added on. It's the last day this week I should be so lucky.

Friday was actually nice, for the first time in over a week, but we had a lot to do that morning - Bri trying to finish up projects for Pennsic, the annual big-deal event of the SCA (that's Society for Creative Anachronism - Google it), Mitch getting ready to fly to NC for his dad's 60th birthday (OMG, my second ex-spouse will be 60 on Tuesday...), and of course, me, knowing I needed to get my butt out the door, like, an hour ago, but wanting to hang out with the kids for a few minutes more. Mitch, in particular, doesn't come around as much as he used to. That would be because (a) he's moved into his own place with a buddy over in J'town, and (b) he's accomplished that "separation" thing quite well. This is good, but when he does show up, it's good to see him.

So Friday, I didn't ride. Friday, I drove Mitch's Saturn Vue, because I could. Bri took my car to Pennsic, Mitch left me his keys - at least until he returns on Tuesday - and it's all good. My next Saturn is going to be a Vue (assuming I can find one still running that the owner's willing to sell), which will give us three in the family; both the boys drive Vues at present. It's a great vehicle - big enough to haul large dogs, small-to-medium-sized furniture, and/or any number of longety-leggity boys, but it gets about the same gas mileage as my Saturn LS2, which is a small sedan. In fact, there are moments I find myself wishing someone would rear-end the LS2. Not that I don't like it - it's a great, dependable, economical, and attractive little car. But I could use something with a little more room, if only for the dogs. (Big Daisy is coming in at about 80 pounds these days. It amaze me how she can fold her longety-leggity self into an armchair and not hang off the edges.)

But I digress. Friday, I didn't ride. Saturday, I did: to the bike shop in Westport Village to buy a new seat (got my skinny gel seat!), to the Crescent Hill library, which was closed, but I dropped off my overdue library book anyway, and to JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts for a zipper, thread, and beads. About 20 miles round trip.

Today, I meant to, but then I decided it would be rude to show up for Mai's birthday party all sweaty, so I didn't.

Mai is a story all by herself. She's Thai, and she has a little restaurant across the river in Jeffersonville, IN. It's the best - Thai home cooking. She's celebrating 9 years in business, and her birthday was August 2, so she had an invitation-only private buffet for regular customers. Usually, she's closed on Sundays - she drives to Indianapolis, I think, to the nearest Buddhist temple, after she closes up shop on Saturday nights. She has in the store a little shelf of curios that she sells not for profit, but for her ongoing temple-restoration mission - I've bought a couple of lovely pieces of cotton fabric and other things she's brought back from trips to Thailand - and she was accepting donations today. And the food was wonderful as always, and we shared a table with a great couple, Jim and Joy, who live in Jeffersonville these days and work in mental health, and who love to travel. Great conversation about healthcare, systems, and getting what you need. And finding new places.

So today, I didn't ride, either. We came home, I took my Sunday nap, and then we went to Trivia Night at Highland Baptist Church, where we had friends raising funds for a mission trip. Our team came in second, which is respectable considering the questions stunk out loud...

And in about 5 hours, my alarm will go off and start pushing me toward the office again. Another day of building form letters from pre-written components; another day of checking the edits to make sure they contain everything the CMS-approved original says they should.

And it's hot.

Nothing out of the upper 70s - and that's for the low - the rest of the week. 90-100 degrees or more.