Thursday, April 30, 2009

Don’t be late, recreate.

I have to rag on J once again, well because it’s one of my favorite things to do. He has a meeting today with other NH parks and recreation directors. Guess where the meeting is taking place? Not, not some board room. At the New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ baseball game. In a box. With beer. And there may be some streaking. So official, huh?

I’ve caught the Amy Poehler Parks & Rec show a few times and it is pretty funny. J hasn’t seen it yet, but I had to chuckle about how true to form it may be when the other day J told me he was thinking about forming a committee to deal with the skate park in his town. Because according to Amy Poehler, committees are the key to success.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A beautiful summer weekend ... in April

The mercury in the thermometer surged well into the 80s this weekend, so we did our best to enjoy the outdoors. I do think NH may have skipped some of its spring, because at the beginning of this week, we were still in the 40s/50s. But whatever.

My goal to do more races in 2009 is off to a good start. I'm already one up on 2008. I did my first 5K in a long time on Friday evening. J wanted so bad to join me, but I forbade him, telling him he would surely injure himself since he hadn't been running in 2 weeks. Secretly I didn't want him in the race because I knew he'd smoke my 29-minute time. Gone are the days when I ran a 5K in 23 minutes!!! There's another one in a few weeks, so I think we'll both do it.

We took the kayaks out for a 10-mile cruise of the Contoocook River. We didn't see anyone until we stopped for lunch at one of the beaches along the way. That's when 2 others motor boats pulled up! Still, it was glorious and I think I was enjoying the scenery too much because I didn't remember to take any pictures until the end.

Saturday night, we went to one of our infamous dances. Our getup was not really photo-worthy this time. The theme was "flower power," but I only told J the flower part. Then he got all bummed later thinking about all the ways he could portray "flower power." I don't think anyone was really disappointed in our "normal" outfits.

Sunday, we did a real spring cleaning and aired out the whole house. Boy was that refreshing.

Overall, we spent a great deal of time eating meals on our deck and enjoying the warm temperatures. You never know in NH, winter could return with a vengeance!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Restitution checks

Gather round kiddos, it’s story time.

When we were in Danville this month, I had a strange piece of mail waiting in the mailbox. Mind you, we stopped our mail 18 months ago, but somehow, the post office delivered a check from the Superior Court of Arizona.

From 2004-2007ish, I received checks for $10-20 from the Superior Court of Arizona on a monthly basis. Those were my restitution checks from the guy who broke into my car in Phoenix. Whatever work he was doing in jail, his profits were coming my way. Then the checks stopped. I even called to make sure they had my updated address, because, hey, I missed my $10!!!

“Oh, I’m sorry Miss, the inmate was released and we’ve lost track of him.”

“You mean he’s on the loose?” I gulped.

“For now he is. You’ll start getting your restitution again once they track him down or if he comes back to jail.”

I had many sleepless nights after that (not really), but apparently he’s back in jail. Because my checks have resumed. And I couldn’t be happier.

How did I come to get restitution on a measly robbery, you may (or may not) ask?

It was about 3 a.m. and J and I were asleep in my tiny apartment in the ghetto of Phoenix.

Pounding on the door.


J: “Babe, I think someone is knocking at your door? Do you think it’s that guy from that bar you used to hook up with?” Mind you we had only been dating for a few months. No Mom, J wasn’t sleeping in my bed … he was on the couch. And no, I never hooked up with random guys from bars who made bootie calls at 3am … sheeesh.

Me, now shaking: “What? OMG.”

“Open up. Phoenix Police.”

Me: “OMG, OMG, OMG.”

So I go open the door and sure enough, there are 2 policemen and my neighbor standing there.

“Your car has been broken into.”

“Oh shit.” At this point, I’m practically crying and I felt so violated. Mind you this was my first time being robbed. Little did I know that I would be robbed like 5 more times in the next 10 years. Oh how innocent I was.

Enough of my dramatization, I’m going to summarize the rest now. My car window was broken, but aside from a few CDs, nothing was taken. Not even my portable stereo! Apparently, the person was looking for something else. While I completed the police report, J and my neighbor went out looking around the neighborhood for the person. The neighbor actually witnessed the crime and gave a full description to the police (I baked him some brownies in return). Anyways, they found my CDs and crushed sunglasses (which the police had run over), then oddly enough, they ran into another shady neighbor who basically gave up the person. Apparently, the thief actually meant to break into his GREEN car because he owed him drug money or something. The cops got a full name and address of the thief.

I see a recurring theme here where I live in shitty neighborhoods. Do you see that too?

I got my window fixed. Went on with my life. We even sold the wrench the guy used to break my window (which we didn’t find until later, or else it would have been evidence) in our yard sale for $1!

One random day, I got a phone call from the court. They wanted to prosecute this guy for some other crimes, but didn’t have enough evidence. They could put him away, though, with my case. I didn’t have to appear in court, but I had to fill out paperwork and write a letter describing the “hardship” he put me through. They really encouraged me to play it up and J took full advantage of that.

The guy was charged with burglary in the 3rd degree (a Class 4 felony) and sentenced to 2 years in prison. My total restitution should be $1,269.82. By my calculations, I should get that total amount by the time I retire.

Okay, I know this is no joke. People are victims of “real” crimes out there. But, I find my situation extremely humorous.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Love your planet

I'm doing my part for Earth Day by sitting on the computer all day. How awesome of me.

I am loving these e-cards, but I am not straying too far from Hallmark--no worries.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cheap, stingy, thrifty …

I am the first to admit I am all of those things. I’ve always been and always will be. I get a rise out of bargains and saving money. But when I met J, I met my match. If he participated in a contest to see who can apply the best cost-saving features to their lives, he would take the grand prize.

Case in point. Grocery shopping. Through the years, we’ve always enjoyed shopping together. At first, I was all, “How cute. He even wants to spend time with me for shopping trips and doesn’t want all the responsibility and burden to fall on me.” Now I’ve realized that his motive is to cut as many dollars as he can from our shopping bills. And as the economy has worsened, the gaps between trips have widened. I’m embarrassed to admit that our last full-on shopping trip was in March!

J prides himself on empty cabinets and a barren fridge, which he checks so often that I am thinking he has a little OCD. Meanwhile, I crave fresh fruit and veggies. Actually, it’s nice that most of the fruit and veggies we eat and love last such a long time. And soon enough, we will be able to ransack our landlord’s garden. But I like variety. Planning meals is so much more fun when you have options. J loves a creative and fulfilling meal as much as I do, but he just loves the savings more.

So while the rest of the world may be cutting back on “luxury” items like going to the movies and cable TV, our household is forsaking luxury items like Parmesan cheese and tomatoes.

Well J, this one’s for you. I got it from my friend Kellie, whose husband follows the same motto as J in life.
PS – We get to go grocery shopping this week!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Home Sweet Home

While on business in Orlando, I ran into two things:

Gators. Did you know they are 90% muscle?

And Beef. Did you know he is 90% muscle too??

As for the gators, they were in my hotel, which was pretty spectacular. Probably one of my top 5. But very, very expensive. My employer is NOT going to be happy about my meal tab.

I'm back home now for the first time since last Thursday and it feels good. It's time to turn on my single-self behavior because J is gone for the next 2 nights!! He went to see the Dead (again) with PanicMan, one of his Prep boys. Yes, I realize he did just see the Dead last weekend, but if he could, he would be following the whole damn tour! Next up for him, the Phish reunion! Did I ever mention that J and I have opposite tastes in music?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sex in the Suburbs

Last night, I had a little GNO with theAccountant and Hallmark4ever at Jose Tejas while I was in NJ for 40 hours. And let me tell you, it was like a Sex in the City episode! There's just nothing like getting best friends together for girl talk. And it all came out ... the good, the bad and the DIRTY!!!! Hopefully no one was eavesdropping ...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Arson, robbery and moonshine—Just Easter in Danville

J checks the Danville paper every morning online all the while fearing that he will read something about our house in it. Last Wednesday, that worst nightmare was realized. The headline read: Jefferson Avenue blaze destroys house
Followed by a picture of … the house next to ours.
Talk about perfect timing for a trip to go check on the house. Thankfully, any damage to our house wasn’t nearly as bad as we imagined. And luckily for us, the house next to ours is brick, which really contained the fire and they caught it before it jumped to our house. Besides a melted drain pipe, burnt grass and some inconvenient electricity issues, we came out unharmed. As for the house next to ours, it’s a total loss. It was vacant because the woman is in a nursing home and her son who was also living there passed away a year ago. Oh and of course she has no insurance on the house. And that it was arson? So it will sit burned and even more vacant probably until J convinces me we should buy it. Have I mentioned that there are about 7 vacant houses on our street? Three of which have been in a fire. Yes, we know we live in a classy neighborhood. And we also realize our house is a roller coaster of endless problems. Don’t you worry; we are indeed as insane as we seem. Our newest theme song is Live’s “Shittown”. But we do still believe Danville is up and coming and our investment was smart ... it just may take 20 years.

In what could be called good news, the progress on reinstalling plumbing and heat in our house is coming along nicely. No heat and water in the house while we were staying there this weekend, but we did have partial electricity. Who needs a shower anyways?

Once all is fixed, we hope to get a renter in the house so it will no longer sit vacant. I know the people will be lining up at the door waiting to live among the sea of vacant houses in a crackhead neighborhood, don’t you think?

Overall, we accomplished a ton on this trip. Uncle SlickG joined us and made a dent going through his deceased buddy’s stuff and donating over 200 books, tons of clothes and household items. You might remember when we packed up all his stuff and moved it to Danville in September. Or you might not, but that’s what happened. This is just becoming a comedy, isn’t it?

In any case, it was a good trip. We did a little rock climbing with Bolt and the Is/Was family. We partied hard with our “crew.” J went to see the first show of the Dead tour on Easter, while I hob-knobbed with my girls and one husband (poor guy). Speaking of this specific husband, I’m convinced that he and J have a little bromance going on. Must be their love of moonshine.

Last, but certainly not least, we had a celebrity sighting in Danville. Yes, Danville. For any Survivor fans out there, Jonny Fairplay from Pearl Islands was born and raised in this great town. He’s been living here on and off with his America’s Top Model wife since his stints on Survivor (he was also on the All-Stars show). Our friends run in the same circle as him. Of course, he is just “Jon” and they don’t really recognize his “celebrityhood.” For the longest time, I’ve been bugging our friends to invite him out sometime. He was finally at the same party as us Saturday, and I have to admit, I was a little star struck. Once I wiped the drool from my chin and stop blubbering, I went into reporter mode and grilled him about Survivor secrets (I won’t reveal them here, but if you are interested, I can fill you in!). I’m not going to lie too, he is a bit cocky. But I don’t blame him! Being pretty much a millionaire and all. I’m excited to say J even gave him a “tour” of our house. Oooh la la. Maybe we should take back what we said about Danville being a shittown since it’s popping out Jonny Fairplays, huh?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Parks and Rec and pipes

For anyone who wants to understand what J does for a living, don't watch the new NBC show Parks and Recreation on Thursday. Okay, maybe watch it, but do so with a grain of salt. I am sure the show will be a total rag on local government and we all know how hard J actually works in real life ... but we'll still be watching and snickering along!

Wonder when they're going to come out with a show about medical writers. How about never. Because that would be about as much fun to watch as observing paint dry. Just sayin' ...

Thursday, we are driving to Danville. No, I did not mistakenly say drive. That's right, we are making the 15-hour trek via car. And back again. It should be fun. Maybe not for the people who hate driving long distances, but thankfully that's not us. We haven't had a good, long road trip since we moved to NH.

People often ask about our house in VA. Usually it's in the form of, "do you still own that thing?" So for inquiring minds, here's the backstory and latest update.

After being robbed of our copper pipes twice in a 7-month period (which put a huge damper on our plans to rent it out), we decided we needed a new approach. We considered placing a pile of crack on our doorstep with a sign that said, "take me, not the pipes, since this is what you really want," but then we remembered the illiteracy rate in Danville ... hmm, that wouldn't work. Instead, we installed a high-tech alarm system throughout the house last August. After building our trust in the alarm, we finally decided to pursue a homeowner's insurance claim to fix the pipes (again) and other damage. That was no easy task and J could give you an earful about how he hates our insurance and mortgage company (who doesn't?). But, there are finally workers in there getting things done. It's unlikely we'll have water when we are down there this weekend, although it won't be long. Then maybe we could rent it out, take 3.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Foolishness

It came and went and no one played any jokes! How disappointing. For those of you who know my husband know he pretty much plays an April Fools joke on people every single day. He’s the crying wolf type of boy.

So since I seemed to miss out on all the fun this year, care to share any of your April Foolishness???

To start, here’s my greatest April Fools joke. I seem to always try to play them on my mom.
I think it was 2004, and I was in Philly for Chile’s wedding. Chile’s wedding was planned rather quickly, as her husband-to-be was coming to America on some sort of 3-month Visa. So, I called my mom and told her that Chile’s priest had a medical emergency and could not perform the wedding. I asked if she could call one of the priests in her church to come down and do the wedding. This doesn’t really sound like a very funny joke, but I’m telling you it was. My mom has just about the biggest heart of anyone I know and she was totally ready to hang up the phone and call all the priests she knew. All together now … awwww.

J, on the other hand, has definitely outdone me. I think this was done in his teenage years, but one April Fools, he got that yellow police tape and put it all around the front of his house for when his mom pulled up after work.

Why do the moms get all the crap?

So come on, share your stories!