Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm such a girl. A teenage girl that is.

I didn't think anything could make me want to go back to high school. I hated high school with a passion. I walked away from the experience with some very good friends that I keep close in my pocket, but I shudder to think about reliving the awful experience of adolescence.

Then I read Twilight and I so want to be Bella. Back in HS in a cool place like Forks (much cooler than Roxbury) where a vampire falls in love with me. Why didn't that happen to me?? I had a puppet master and an Italian stallion fall in love with me in HS, but that's about all.

I don't jump on many bandwagons, but I did jump on the Twilight one. It took me awhile, but I'm ready for the full ride now. I'm almost done with the first book in the series and I'm hungry for more, no pun intended.Did I mention that I big puffy heart Edward? I dream about him every night. Shh, don't tell J.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summertime

Having visitors this past weekend and spending some time outdoors reminded me that summertime is here and I'm excited (despite the fact that it is 45 degrees out and raining here - gotta love NH weather).

We have lots of visitors lined up again this summer. J's mom and sisters will probably all visit separately. My sister and her fam will be coming. And lots of friends for long weekends.

We also have a few trips on the horizon. I'm going to Phoenix for work at the end of June. I wouldn't so much call that a vacation since I won't want to go outside the whole time I'm there ... In July, we are kayaking to an island for 2 days of camping and exploring. In August, we are heading up to Baxter State Park in Maine, where we will backpack for 2 days and attempt to summit Mt. Katahdin (see below). If I don't see a moose there, so help me God ... Then, of course, there's Crabfest V in Maryland in August. I'm sure we'll squeeze a number of other overnight camping and kayaking trips in there. And summer will go so fast!!


But I'm still trying to convince J to do another vacay. Something a little more risky and different. We shall see.

Anyways, make me jealous ... tell me about your summer plans!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Live Free or Die Fest I

J is lucky enough to keep in touch with most of his high school buds from the Prep. Many of them still live in Jersey, but a few have strayed to other states. Despite geographical challenges and regular commitments, they find ways to get everyone together as often as possible. In fact, Crabfest, which takes place in August on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, is going on its fifth year.

Well, because we all can’t get enough of each other, we decided to try to start another annual tradition: the Live Free or Die Fest.
The boys enjoy a jello shot toast (yes, those are syringes)

So this weekend, our house was inundated with 5 visitors: DrPilot, theDancer (his wife), PanicMan, theMakeupArtist (his wife and babe in belly) and Beef.

The wives
Let the cornhole tournament begin!

Friday, we explored Concord a bit and just hung out at the house playing “bags,” better known as Cornhole. That night, we did a huge cookout with our landlords and some of their friends. Cooked up a little bit of everything and ShortShorts did a fireworks show in the backyard (they are legal here).



Saturday, J & I got to debut as boat captains. Unfortunately, the weather DID NOT cooperate. It was pretty much FUHreezing, but it could have been worse. We still stayed out on the lake for 4 hours or so.

As for our boating skills, let’s just say we improved as the day went along. Luckily, DrPilot has boated for years and is more familiar with driving and reacting to other boats and buoys. It’s a lot different when you’re actually on the water, as opposed to reading the rules on paper.

For example, we borrowed a lake map from some friends and they told us all the highlights. They also told us the spots to avoid. Early in the trip, I was “driving” and we saw the “exclusion” buoys around us, then DrPilot realized they were in a triangle. We were directly in The Witches, an area we shouldn’t be. Then J noticed how shallow the water was. Let's just say there was a lot of yelling and panic … “Pull the prop!!!” I abandoned the wheel and we came away unscathed. That could have ended VERY badly. We learned our lesson and followed the map a little closer after that.
We ended the night with a fun game of Balderdash. We discovered a new word for buttocks and that was extremely exciting.

Sunday, we went to Portsmouth for the day (minus Beef who visited with his brother and family). We dined on seafood for lunch, then the boys and girls split. The girls went shopping to the outlets in Maine, right over the border. The boys made their rounds to the local breweries. We eventually went to what our friends called a crunchy hippy pizza place. Indeed it is, with all-natural ingredients, but we love it.
The group in Portsmouth
It was really an awesome weekend and we hope we can make this some sort of annual tradition. Until Crabfest Prepsters!!

This was the aftermath.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Play ball!

Like it or not, we live in Red Sox nation. And well, if you can't beat them, you might as well join them. Tuesday, J ran a trip for his town to go to a game (he technically does not have to chaperone these trips, but why not?).

I've been to Fenway once last year, but it was J's first time. We both decided that while Fenway has a lot of character because of its age, it's just not the most ideal ballpark, especially for seating.

We of course treated ourselves to a yummy unhealthy sausage sandwich that costs more than these ball players make in a minute. Anyways, we enjoyed ourselves and the Sox beat the Blue Jays 2-1.

For our tri-state area friends, this one unpleasant moment at the game ought to fire you up. Some of the drunk people started yelling "Yankees suck." I'm not sure where that came from. We weren't even playing the Yankees. And no, they technically don't suck because they won their game last night 9-1! Gotta love New England fans (if by love, I mean hate).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ahoy Mate!

A long time ago, we invited a bunch of J's friends (and SOs) up for Memorial Day weekend. We reserved a boat and told them we'd get our boating license.

All of the sudden, Memorial Day weekend was not but 2 weeks away and we never did get that pesky license. So this weekend J and I crammed and crammed to study for the boating license test (hence the lack of any TV watching). It was damn hard! Who knew there were so many boating rules ... It took us a few practice tests at home before we passed and after more studying, we finally passed the real test Sunday! Anchors up.

Come Thursday night, this house will be turned into party central with 5 visitors from 3 states. And hopefully the weather does what it's supposed to do so all the boat studying can pay off on Lake Winnepasaukee Saturday ...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Scratch the cable question

Uh, yeah, so in typical P & J fashion, we scored something for free.

We thought long and hard over the cable thing. We considered the feedback we got from you, the Internet. Thank you.

Then, we were having dinner with our landlords on Friday night and we told them about the cable company's deal. Like it was nothing, they said why should we buy the cable, when they can just share theirs with us? Yes, yes, I know that's technically illegal. But, we've done worse in life and well, it's our landlords' butt on the line. They've even done this with past tenants.

So we went from 7 channels to 60ish. Not too shabby. And in the last 48 hours that we've had cable, there's been almost no TV-watching at all!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

To get cable or not?

We haven't had cable since 2005. Mostly it was a cost decision. Before then, we had always caught a deal, or the cable company accidentally gave us cable in some cases.

So once we actually had to pay, we decided $700+/year was too much to pay for something we don't watch that often.

And it's been nice. It's a treat to go to a hotel or our family's houses and have cable, although I still can never really find anything of interest on and tend to go back to my comfort zone of the main networks. Further, I've secretly enjoyed being on the outskirts of conversations when people talk about different cable network shows.

Overall, we try not to watch a lot of TV or get "addicted" to certain shows, although nighttime and relaxation seem to go hand-in-hand with flipping through our 6 channels. And if we were really dedicated to the whole no-TV thing, we would just get rid of it altogether. Afterall, we've both lived without TV before and will probably live without it someday when we move to Alaska. But for now, it remains in our lives.

The still-weak economy brought another killer deal our way. Basically, we'd be paying $170 extra per year to indulge in cable. I wonder if we are ready to break our cable-less streak. There are pros (J can finally watch some sports) and cons (will we become couch potatoes?).

Help us decide Internet. What do you think?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chi-town revisited

It has become our annual tradition to spend Mother's Day with MamaF and GrandmaL in Chicago. Last year, we saw the Cubs play (baseball). This year, we saw the "tigers" play ...

I say this because Saturday, we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory, which were ... wait for it ... FREE. I could hardly believe it! Granted, there were not too many animals out maybe because it's still a little chilly or maybe just because it's a crappy free zoo. In any case, we saw lions, tigers, rhinos, monkeys, ostriches and well, that was plenty. We also spent a great deal of time hanging out on SILMeow's awesome deck. If you remember from my terribly happy list last week, I love relaxing outside on decks (preferably with a margarita in hand, but water does the trick too). Believe it or not, you can find peace and quiet in the middle of Chicago!

And there were two other great non-family reunions from this trip. We went to eat at the Duke of Perth, a Scottish pub, and J found his long-lost whisky love, Edradour. Seriously, this boy has been looking all over America for this whisky since he toured the distilleries of Scotland in 2000. Reunited and it feels so good ...

Secondly, RevKev also came down from Notre Dame to visit with us! This guy married us!!! He's an awesome friend who just happens to be a priest; I really can't say enough good stuff about him. For Mother's Day Sunday, he did a home Mass at SILMeow's place and it was "truly" beautiful.
Here's the whole gang (family, plus some adopted family members). Until next year!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The pursuit of happiness

I cried last night. J doesn't like to see me cry and he tries everything to make it so I stop crying (typical of men; they try to fix everything). But I needed a good cry last night, and he let me have it. Then held me close and assured me everything would be okay.

Today is a new day and I do feel refreshed. And my blog buddy Kellie is doing what she can to spread happiness around by collecting people's lists of what makes them "terribly" happy. Thanks Kellie! What a great idea! For anyone who would like to, feel free to share in the comments the things that make you "terribly" happy. Here's my top 10 list:
1) the smells of fresh cut grass and rain
2) drinking coffee and reading magazines on lazy weekend mornings with my hubby
3) the feeling after a good workout
4) dance music
5) a good road trip
6) being in nature, especially in the middle of nowhere, and exploring new places7) drinking margaritas on the porch
8) chocolate – either straight up, in the form of a cookie, brownie, cupcake, cake.9) girlfriends, sisters, moms and aunts … all the women in my life—they bring so much strength and wisdom
10) J – he’s known to put a smile or two on my face just by looking in my direction

We are heading to Chi-town this weekend for some R&R with J's family! Happy Mother's Day to all!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The 5th of May

Cinco de Mayo is supposed to be a celebration of Mexican pride and heritage to recognize their defeat over the French army in the 1860s. Instead, we Americans use it as an opportunity to dress silly and drink heavily.


2007 - Cinco de Mayo party at our house in Danville. This is J and his bromance lover, Moonshine.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Class of 2009 vs. Class of 1950

J got the high school seniors in his town to host a Senior Prom for the real seniors in town.

The HS seniors taught the seniors the dance for "Cotton Eye Joe."
The real seniors taught some line dancing.All in all, every senior loved it!


PS - If I live to be 80-something (God help me), I want to be like this lady.

Because of swine, no wine

At Mass yesterday, the priest announced we would not exchange the sign of peace (which involves hand shaking, for the non-Catholics) and they would not offer the wine (blood). For the creature-of-habit church-goer, this was quite odd, but good I suppose. But see, I am one of wholesome faith who always believed that since the wine is blessed when turned into blood, there are no germs! Wouldn't God protect us from the swine??? Not J, though. He won't touch the wine (blood) would a 10-foot pole even when the whole country is healthy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Oink Oink

The swines have landed here in NH. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.