Ode to October

This October was great and it went by super fast. Here’s a recap of what happened off and online…

Cletus– Got a long overdue job promotion! Her job still sucks and she still needs to find a new one, but at least the extra money will make it a bit more palatable. In addition, she’s still struggling to find a forever-home for Saty.

DireMole– It’s been a busy month of drinking tasty beers, farting on Jala’s head, interviewing for nutty professor jobs,  and doing nonstop research. We had a great time visiting Portland and catching up with his sister. Last week we visited my favorite local brewery since they recently started offering tours and tastings to the public. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed ourselves. His back is starting to feel better and it seems like I might have a workout buddy in the near-future.

PirateGoat10653372_10101717274909441_2027932600405375385_nJala makes sure that when she walks to the park to make it an adventure. The other day she proceeded to bark the entire way to the park. Not at anyone or anything. Just marching forward with all her might while barking her head off. It’s rather embarrassing for Dire and I. We think she’s trying to let all the other dogs know that she’s on the way to the park and they need to get their humans together to meet her.

SillyGoose– Even though this month went by super fast, the past few days have dragged. Why, you may ask? Well, because my office goes cray for Halloween. An Evite invitation went out for lunch, teams select themes for costume attire and cubical decorations, a photo booth will be set up for people who have lots of time on their hands, and the entire day goes to shit in a hand basket. At least I may get some candy to munch on.

 

Advertisements

Brew Tour

DireMole and I just got back  from our long-weekend trip to Maine. 10492190_10101756839676331_7290277499303858535_nAnd no vacation is complete without a visit to a brewery to sip on the local culture. In case you didn’t know, Maine is ranked 5th in the nation for the amount of craft breweries per capita. In addition, Portland usually ends in the top 10 list for foodie destinations. So there is much to consume, sip on, and enjoy.

We had a great time exploring all the tasty brews. Our favorite tastings came from Foundation Brewing Company, Maine Beer Company, and Oxbow. And we really enjoyed visiting Lost Bear pub to try beers that we weren’t planning to visit the brewers while munching on their bar food. 1781984_10101756803064701_491882464572533889_nWe stumbled upon Rising Tide Brewery while they were having a special pour of their Wet Hop Harvest Ale. They made two batches of their Wet ale. One with hops from Maine, and the other with hops from Oregon. We did a “horizontal” and taste tested both. Our favorite was definitely the Oregon-hoped ale.

When we weren’t sampling beer we managed to take a few day trips to explore the sites. Generally, the people seemed very friendly and talkative. I kinda feel like I could move here if it wasn’t for the crappy winter… Side note,  I was happy to see that we were in Subaru-country… since that is the brand that I hope to buy in the near future. It was like car shopping on every street. So, anyway, we went north and visited Booth Bay for breakfast and then visited the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. It was fantastic! 1505652_10101756777705521_4788633823846240285_nThe Botanical Garden included a therapeutic garden, a fairy forest, sculptures, a zen garden, and plants native to coastal Maine.1904056_10101756810345111_6780881993281835229_nAnother day-trip excursion was to head south to Cape Elizabeth and South Portland. We stopped at a local diner and  proceeded to gorge  on blueberry stuffed french toast. It was filling and awesome. To make up for our over indulgence, we hiked around the lighthouses scattered along Cape Elizabeth. 1891108_10101756827001731_7868058768575751864_nIt was a beautiful day and the views were picturesque. It was so nice to take a break from our normal day-to-day routine to visit this port city. Sometimes I just imagine or pretend I’m a local  at the places we visit. 1010121_10101756764746491_8443530131785152403_nLast weekend wasn’t an exception. The purpose of the trip was to get a taste of fall in New England, catch up with family, and share another travel experience together. And I would say we accomplished that. It was great! And our suitcases were weighed down with tasty imports from Maine.

 

I Gave My Car A Name

My 2009 Buick is now fondly known as Shitron. As, in “Shit” and “Citron”. (Citron is a type of lemon, if you were wondering…) Today Shitron went to the shop as mandated  by the safety recall that is supposed to repair a possible jarring event that may move the key away from the ‘run’ position and causes engine power, power steering and power breaking failure. Lovely.
In addition, over the past few weeks, each tail light has fizzled out within a week of each other. Odd because I had one tail light replaced last year under warranty… I’m pretty sure they are supposed to last longer than 10 months… Am I wrong? While waiting around for the recall service update, I asked Buick service department to take a look at the radio since that’s been SOL for the past 6 months. I am unable to listen to a CD, tell the time, or what radio station I am listening to on my commute. Finally, my power lock and fob haven’t been working. If it wasn’t for the key, I wouldn’t be able to get into the car and let passengers in.
So after years of not having a name for my car, I decided it deserved one on this special day.

September Survey

running-dogWell, it’s time for the monthly round-up. September flew by and I’m really looking forward to October’s fall weather. Here’s a brief survey of what happened in our September.

Cletus: She embarked on a new chapter in life this month, Cletus is 30! To go with her new grays, Cletus dyed her hair in streaks of Violet Red or Red Violet… something like that… It looks magenta-ish and in the light it glares pink under her dirty-blond locks. I’m impressed with her bold move to symbolically “come out” to her coworkers that she’s really a super weirdo. In addition, Cletus has a Yoda-looking dog, Saty, that is seeking a forever home.

DireMole: Have you ever felt  lucky to have time to be with someone? And, wished that you would have met earlier so you could have MORE time with them??? Because that’s exactly how I feel about Dire. He’s awesome and we have a lot of fun together. We just get one another. Fitz is chugging along with his research and  has applied to many positions. Soon he’ll be a jet-setter, flying all over the country for interviews. It’s only a matter of time!

LevelUp: We brewed beer this month! A dry-hopped IPA has been bottled in our kitchen and now we are awaiting the tasty results. PirateGoat has gotten her share of dog treats from the spent grain, and so have her Pirate friends.

PirateGoat: Jalapeno Rubes had a fairly uneventful month outside of receiving two new outfits. She got a  NFL jersey to wear on game day for her favorite team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Also, when she’s feeling festive we dress her up in her Pretty Pirate Princess (PPP) tutu. It’s a black, sparkly dress with  a skull and cross-bones logo in the middle. The tutu makes her look moronic and makes us look evil for dressing her up in such a ridiculous outfit.

SillyGoose: This month I had the pleasure to flick off a motorist who insisted on talking  on her phone while driving so she could roll over 3 pedestrians with her car. Luckily, we gave her the right away so we could remain intact. Also, I’m very pleased with my running endurance. I’ve been able to run a few long runs over an hour-long, for 6+miles. That’s the best I’ve done in years.

Right now, I’m looking forward to our trip to Portland in October and taking a break from my idiotic co-workers for a few days. Maybe I will be militant and force them to look at all my pictures and give me compliments after I get back. HEE HEE (evil laugh).

 

I Was Supposed to Cry. Wedding Etiquette.

Recently, my coworker married in a private, destination wedding in Hawaii. Not only was the wedding a big deal, but her traveling to Hawaii was huge. My coworker could hardly contain her excitement weeks before her trip and it became distracting.

When she originally announced that she was going to Hawaii, we were told it was for vacation. As time got closer, we learned it was for a destination wedding. And with a few weeks out, we learned that she was marrying her partner. She was afraid to share with  the office that she’s gay. I can understand her fear, because there are a lot of small minded people in our office who have been vocal on their views on homosexuality. However, due to her inability to retain her excitement, she kept telling more and more people of her real plans. I’m pretty sure that 100% of our office knows that she went to Hawaii to marry her partner.

So she goes to Hawaii for a week, vacations around the city, and gets married. Woot. Congrats! While she was out of the office, life went on and we all continued to remain unaffected by her absence.

She was back at work on Monday and  dragging. But on Tuesday it was an entirely different story. She walked in with a stack of discs and a USB in her hand. Within minutes she placed them on my desk and told me to review all of their pictures and video. To make matters worse, she stood behind me and had me watch poor footage of “swimming with dolphins” (aka, mostly scenes of blue water filmed Blair Witch-style). I watched it and politely commented. She was talking loudly enough to draw attention from other colleagues who were looking for any excuse not to work. Before you know it, my desk was the home entertainment system for watching dolphins.

After the dolphin presentation  finished, I was instructed to watch the wedding video and review the remaining wedding pictures. I completely forgot about it because, well, I was trying to work. She gently reminded me throughout the day with various instant messages asking about my opinion of their pictures. Finally, I opened up Disc 1, clicked through a handful of images and felt that a 5-year old could have photographed less blurry pictures. Whatever. I sent her a note saying that the pictures were very nice and I’m glad they had a good time. It was immediately followed with, have you seen the pictures on Disc 2? Grrr, FML… Over the course of two days I reviewed what felt like hundreds of pictures that I didn’t give a shit about.

Finally, I got to the wedding video. I watched it because I knew I was expected to give a 5-page report following the return of the USB. I’m really hoping they didn’t pay a lot for it. The audio was sloppy and quiet honestly, if they are “in love”, it wasn’t captured. They appeared as two tourists, dressed in white standing on a beach in Hawaii with a generic speech about finding love. It was very staged and they seemed robotic. With all of her anticipation prior to the wedding, I thought she was going to cry through the entire thing… not the case. It was very dry. So, I returned the USB, and again, complimented her on her experience. Her next response was, “Did you cry?” I didn’t know what I was supposed to say at this point because I was taxed from fishing for other polite responses to cover my time of watching dolphins, looking at palm trees, and  reviewing pictures of the hotel.  I responded with “No, was I supposed to?” FAIL. Apparently, in co-worker wedding etiquette, you are supposed to cry at wedding videos and explain to the bride/groom how touching it was to watch their wedding. Then blase about how much you can tell they are ‘in love‘ and that this new chapter is so fucking exciting and the flowers were beautiful AND it was $10,000 well spent to be captured in this 5 minute video.

Consequentially, a few days ago, I was looking for a music video of a song that DireMole and I like. I finally found a video, except it wasn’t of the band. It was a wedding in July of two strangers using the song as their soundtrack. And, for whatever reason, I watched it. And you know what? I lost it. I started crying and actually hid under my desk until I could get my shit together. True story. (If you watch the video, it’s when the groom sees the bride for the first time and runs to her. His face is priceless. And their embrace makes everything alright in the world. Congrats John & Allison, you guys nailed it.)

So, today I decided to watch the strangers wedding video again to see if it still moved me or if I had become desensitized after watching my coworker’s wedding video. Turns out, I choked up again. So, I’m pretty sure it’s not me. I’m not that big of a cynical bitch.

And my questions remain…

  1. If you are going on a vacation/getting married and want to share your pictures/video, can’t you just upload them with one of the many social media and web-based applications?
  2. Is it normal to be militant and force people into viewing your vacation/wedding pictures/video?
  3. Am I barking up the wrong side of the tree?
  4. Am I creepy for coming across a random wedding video and getting teary-eyed watching it?
  5. What does it say about my coworker’s video (whom I know) vs. the strangers video?
  6. Who uses discs?

 

Thursday Ridiculousness

On this Thursday morning, I felt like sharing one of my favorite images with you. Behold… the Cat Spaceship. Makes me laugh every time. It’s purely ridiculous and awesome.giant_floating_cat

What else is ridiculous? Sharknado. I decided to see what all the hype is about and entertained my curiosity last night. Conclusion made,  Tara Reid is worthless.

Also on my list of ridiculousness for today, is  Starboard Value’s recommendation to Olive Garden reminding them why they need to salt water for pasta. “If you Google ‘how to cook pasta’, the first step of Pasta 101 is to salt the water.” Hilarious. A pasta place not knowing how to cook pasta and an investment firm telling them what’s what. However, there is skepticism that this report is not merely snarky.

original

And, my last thought on ridiculousness is 2Chainz, aka Tity Boi. I’m not really sure where to begin on this subject… his fashion sense, entertainingly-dumb lyrics, or just his persona of being “different”. Anyway you look at it, it’s ridiculous. True.

We Had The Right Away

Yesterday, I went for a short run to continue with my militant running plan. As I was running down the sidewalk, I saw two cyclists heading towards me who were also on the sidewalk. We were synchronized to cross the intersection at the same time. Obviously seeing each other in the near distance, we religiously picked our side of the sidewalk to pass. The walking sign was in our favor and we proceeded accordingly. As we approached the intersection it became clear that a small white car was not interested in slowing down into a turn to let the pedestrians cross the street. For whatever reason I decided to continue on my path. The bikers continued on as well. It was a social agreement that we saw in each others eyes… this turd of a car will have to stop or it’s taking us all out.

article-2284045-1843ECDC000005DC-712_634x781As car approached us, I saw that the driver was a girl, sporting big shades, and using one hand to hold her phone next to her head. Obviously distracted, she continued to speed up to try to beat the three of us to the intersection. And then something happened. A natural reaction kicked in and with an Olympic-like stride, I lifted my hand in an winner’s fashion and gave her the best middle finger salute one could offer. I’m not sure, but I may have included a verbal Fuck You to go with it. Which seemed appropriate for the situation. I continued with my stride and made it to the other side of the road while the one cyclist gave me a big grin that followed with a “You right, girl.” The other cyclist told me “You made my day.” The rush-hour traffic at the intersection saw my diffidence against the stupid twit driver and I think I made their day as well. I was satisfied. As I continued running I thought, “You can take the girl out of the North, but you can’t take the North out of the girl.”

OCD Vacation Paradox

How do you plan a vacation or weekend get-a-way? For me, I create a spreadsheet and put a good amount of effort into researching the destination just so I can finally relax and enjoy the experiences that I have already anticipated in my research. PortlandOldPortIt’s a control freaks idea of planning to chill. I’m anxious for our next mini-vacation because Dire and I are going to visit Portland, Maine.

So far I have put together a Google Spreadsheet with 5 columns: Date (best day to go during our visit), Destination (the attraction itself), Time Needed to Experience (Can we knock this out in an hour, half-day or full day?), Means of Travel (Do we need a car to get there?), and Notes (links to why this is a valued place of interest). The spreadsheet is scattered with links and other ideas, like pubs and restaurants. Of course, its shared with Dire so he can track my progress and add his two-cents. Even though this sounds super anal, I don’t have any intentions to stick to it perfectly. It’s more of a floating checklist that  helps me feel like we accomplished all that the place has to offer. Portland_Head_Light_Cape_Elizabeth_Maine

The best part of this spreadsheet, are my tabs! We have one sheet dedicated to our bucket list and the other tabs are places that we have been, like India, or are planning for the future, like Portland.

I’m looking forward to seeing  fall foliage, drinking tasty craft brews, visiting Cape Elizabeth, hiking and touring around town, and generally enjoying Portland. They say that the best part of a vacation is the anticipation of your trip’s itinerary, not actually experiencing it. I would like to think that my spreadsheet is a result of my excitement for travel with DireMole.

 

August Audit

So this month has been kinda fun. Here’s a recap of all the exciting things that happened…

Cletus: She needs a damn vacation. A kidnapping is on the menu this fall because she won’t take a break unless I force her. Also, she has taken in a new stray that is called “Sadie”. That makes it 4 dogs at her casa. I think she needs to quit her job and open up a doggie daycare.

DireMole: He’s working hard on his data, research, and dissertation. I’m really happy to hear all the progress he is making. This weekend we are going fancy-pants shopping to buy him a suit for job interviews. Below is my recommendation for him.

DireMole's potential suit to apply for nutty professor jobs.

DireMole’s potential suit to apply for nutty professor jobs.

LevelUp: I have made a serious amount of oatmeal this month. You would think I was cooking for an army of gnomes. (I have a feeling gnomes eat mostly oatmeal)  Also, I practiced making candles and I hope to have a post about that within the next few weeks. Finally, this weekend DireMole and I are going to try a new IPA recipe. I have dreamed about it for weeks.  Literally.  I have woken up with dreams of making different types of beers and that DireMole owned a brewery next to a stadium.

PirateGoat: She has had a shitty month. But when she wasn’t pooping around the house, she made it to the dog park almost every day. That made her happy because she has new friends to join her pirate crew. Also, she is looking to produce a new TV series for dogs called “Shoes Clues”. It’s a detective-mystery show about what will happen when your humans put on shoes…

SillyGoose: I have stuck to my running plan and started a half-marathon training program. Feeling pretty good about it and posted some of my longest and best running times so far! I have found that running outside in downtown has been full of great story’s. I still get cheers, thumbs up, high-five’s and everything in between. I ran through a Grand Opening ceremony and photo bombed the heck out of it. Also, I crashed a road race. I considered running to the finish line to get a metal or a T-shirt, but I think I will wait and do that another time…it’s now on my bucket-list!

Overall it was a pretty decent month. Next month could be a shit-show… we will see! Lot’s of birthdays in September and a fall-vacation is in the works for October.

 

A Vacation to Pakistan

My mom’s birthday is coming up. Since I have bittersweet feelings for her, it makes it a challenge and (sometimes) entertaining to gift shop.

Sweet VS. Bitter:

When I’m feeling sweet, I want to buy her stylish accessories so she won’t embarrass me (as much) when I’m in public with her.

When I’m feeling bitter, I would like to give her a book that one reviewer suggested, “..this is the kinda book you would like to give to your mother-in-law while seeing her off on a vacation to Pakistan!” The book,  You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of Wisdom Sure to Ruin Your Day, just made my birthday shopping experience awesome.

Conclusion:

While scouring Amazon for gift ideas for my mom,  I added You are Worthless and The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances to my own personal wish list. Thank you Amazon for your amazing algorithms to personalize my shopping experience!

In conclusion, sweet outweighed bitter because I bought her something she actually wanted… and I added two new books to my list. WIN- WIN! My mom is getting a new bird feeder that has been reported to favor squirrels and kill birds… don’t ask me. She wanted it and I just read the horrible reviews. Also, no vacations to Pakistan anytime soon.