Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I Heart Long Weekends

So you know how I've had a really busy & stressful May? All month, I kept telling myself, "Just get through to Memorial Day, just get through to Memorial Day." Well, I made it. And what a treat it was! :)
I took Friday off & headed up to the Lake House on Thursday night. One of the first things I did upon arrival was lie on the deck with my sister's dog, staring up at the stars. It helped me begin the "de-stressing" process.
On Friday, my best friend R., her puppy Vixen, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my baby nephew joined us at the lake. It was great to have everyone there and my best friend finally got to meet my nephew. They got along well. :)
On Saturday, High School Ex came up. I was nervous about him coming, but things worked out well. We dated 10 years ago, during our freshman year of high school, so my family already knew him. So that was a relief - not having that "new man meeting the family" stress.
On Sunday, we threw a joint birthday party for my dad and my brother-in-law. Despite having three of us (mother, sister & I) at work, it's not easy to mind a 3-month old baby, keep an eye on the dog, assist the elderly grandparents, and host a party for 30 people (aged 3 months to 79 years)! Things went off without a hitch, though.
Now, I'm back at work. Still feeling a little residual relaxation from the weekend, luckily. Despite the busy schedule, I got to spend hours relaxing on the deck, cuddling Thing 1, joking around with R., sister & bro-in-law, and kayaking/canoing with High School Ex. Check out the rest of the pictures here.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More Scottish Daftness

I found more pictures of my friends at play (both Scots & pseudo-Scots). This batch is from mine, S., and M's trip to Edinburgh for Hogmanay 2005. We know how to have a good time. (Thanks to M., who supplied me with the pictures last spring!)

This group is trouble . . .

D. showing off S's mittens

D. & I. grew a connected beard!

Awww . . .

Monday, May 22, 2006

Going, Going, Back, Back to Scotland, Scotland

Not just yet. But I can definitively tell you that I will be going back to Edinburgh within the next year or so. I received an email from my mate Iain last week, letting me know the great news that he is engaged to a girl from the Butler study abroad program, Sarah! She will be moving back to Edinburgh (lucky girl!) at the end of the summer and they are planning the wedding for next spring.

I've been thinking of how much fun this wedding will be if a number of us (Scots and honorary Scots) are able to attend. The last time we were all together was two years ago, in June of 2004. So here are some pics from that silly evening, so you can all get a sense of how this event might degenerate. ;) This is me with Iain on that night:


This is Kate with Iain's fiancee, Sarah:


This is some of the drunken silliness that occurred (David & Iain):


More drunken Scottish nonsense (Stevie & David):


If Kate, Monica and I all attend the wedding, this, too, could happen:


Maybe, if everyone is really lucky, I will break out this "I'm a silly drunk in Edinburgh" face:

That's just the merest taste of some of the nonsense that could occur if everyone attends this wedding. No matter what happens, it will be men in kilts, and whiskey toasts, and time spent in my beloved ancient town. I can't wait. :)

Friday, May 19, 2006

The King Lives . . .


And for today's sign of the Apocalypse, click here to read all about the new Cirque de Soleil show.

The picture above is me trying to zip my suitcase, a.k.a. my very own Cirque show. (And, yes, that is a sports-bra shaped sunburn on my back. I went on a long bike ride. Without sunscreen. You're not so perfect yourself!)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Gobble-Gobble

Well, my company had a brush with nature today. Not the same kind as everyone else has been having with massive flooding - much tamer, in fact. When I arrived at work, this is the sight that greeted me:

That's right - we had a large wild turkey (the bird, not the bourbon, unfortunately) hanging out in our parking lot for much of the day. At one point, we also had two police cruisers, a few policemen, and a fire engine out front watching the turkey:

(That's my Jeep he's hanging out next to, by the way.) After they left, things calmed down and I went outside to get a better picture of Mr. Tom Turkey. I think he's a male, based on this website.

I only had my camera phone, so the picture quality isn't the best. But at least you all got to meet our wild turkey.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Little-Known Facts

In recognition of the fact that it's raining buckets for the 7th (maybe 8th?) day in a row and my creativity level is correspondingly low - here is a list of 25 things about me that you may or may not have known. I was going to do 100, but the rain made me too lazy. (Anyone remember the Milli Vanilli song "Blame It on the Rain"?)
  1. I've always wanted to learn how to play the fiddle.
  2. I like certain vegetables raw, but shiver at the thought of them cooked: mushrooms, spinach, and carrots.
  3. When I was 3 years old & staying at my family's house in Canada, my parents told me not to jump on the bed. As I was jumping on the bed (of course), I fell off and hit the side of my mouth on the radiator. I bled the entire 30-minute drive to the hospital. I still have the scar.
  4. I pretty much know Braveheart by heart.
  5. When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian, then a long-haul trucker, then a writer, then an historian. I stopped there.
  6. I honestly think that kilts are sexy.
  7. I accidentally killed one of my first pets - a gerbil named Garfield. I didn't give him enough water & he got dehydrated. It was very traumatic for little me.
  8. My parents gave my sister & I the option of having braces. We opted for not. Our lower teeth are crooked now, but we don't care.
  9. I have spent more than one cold August night sleeping on the beach in Canada.
  10. My first kiss was with my best friend at the time, Eric Casey. We kissed in my friend Devin's basement.
  11. My eyes are blue and I've always loved that.
  12. When I was little and asked about where I got my pretty blue eyes, I used to smile big and say "My grampa!"
  13. My first pet was a bunny named Jen. She was evil and used to bite my sister & I. My parents had to get rid of her.
  14. My sister & I had two goldfish when we were little - Big Bird and Little Bird.
  15. I once spent an evening reading Stevenson's Kidnapped at a hostel on a loch in northern Scotland.
  16. The first time I ever got drunk, I was about 13 or 14 and I had one shot of rum.
  17. The first time I ever got sick from drinking, I was 18. I had many shots of tequila and 4 Revs, which were horrible, blue-colored, caffeinated drinks. I threw up in the dunes at the beach. It was blue.
  18. When I lived in Edinburgh & grew weary of the city, I used to go lie on the side of Salisbury Crags in the tall grass. I couldn't see or hear the city from there and I would pretend I was in the Highlands.
  19. I have two birthmarks - one on my left thigh and one on my left bicep. When I was born, though, the doctors didn't think I had any.
  20. I have a tattoo of a Scottish thistle on my lower back. I got the idea from one I saw on a guy's calf at a Scottish event in Canada. The day that I got my tattoo, a guy in the tattoo parlor had the same one. Besides my Scottish friend David, those are the only two people who I've ever seen with the same tattoo as me.
  21. I talk to myself a lot. When I get caught doing so in my car, I usually start bobbing my head to make it seem like I had been singing.
  22. I sing in the shower - and I'm not that bad. Sometimes I leave the window open so anyone walking through the courtyard can hear me.
  23. When I drive my mother's car (a red Camaro) on the highway late at night, I sometimes pretend it's a fighter jet and I'm the pilot. I even do machine-gun noises.
  24. I miss the all-nighters I used to pull in college. There's nothing like walking out of Colgate at dawn with the sun rising over the mountains and a good night's work behind you.
  25. I once accidentally dyed my stomach blue from wearing a hand-dyed blue tank top on a hot day. I then went to a party with my friends in Canada (wearing a bathing suit) and at the end of the night, all of their white shirts had big blue stains from my drunken hugs.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Nature Photographer Extraordinaire (or Something)

Yup, the picture doesn't lie. I was at the Lake House this weekend. ;) Don't fret, the town where my folks live is not actually crawling with hitch-hiking inmates. I was just passing this sign along the way and I've always wanted a picture of it.

I spent Friday night and most of Saturday (my parents kicked me out around 9 p.m.) at the Lake House. It's wonderfully peaceful there, especially now when the summer people haven't arrived en masse yet. We had breakfast at the village store in the morning, then I took my camera & my coffee and drove around the lake. Check out the pictures here.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Working My A$$ Off This Month

OK. So - this month at work is pretty brutal for me. I am also currently tutoring 8 students on my nights & weekends. Didja hear that? Eight! In the entire month of May, I am not tutoring someone on 3 Friday nights, 1 Saturday, and 1 Sunday (Memorial Day weekend). Just to continue beating a dead horse, that means I am tutoring 22 days this month. Some days, I have two students in a row. In addition to my 9-5:30 job. I must be crazy.

The purpose of this rant (besides making me feel better by whining) is to let all of you know that I love you. Please don't doubt that love if you don't hear from me much this month. And please don't call me numerous times and whine in your voicemail, "Why don't you ever call me?" BECAUSE I SOLD MY SOUL TO THE SAT DEVIL, THAT'S WHY!

(Cartoon above is courtesy of Toothpaste for Dinner, a really funny website. Go check it out.)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

20 Miles for the Hungry, Baby!

Aww yeah, kids. Who's walking 20 craaazy miles to help raise $ for the hungry on Sunday?!? This girl! In answer to your unasked question, yes, it's a pretty exhausting day. But it's so worth it. It rained all day last year and I still had the warm fuzzies thinking about how we were helping the hungry.

It's a great cause.
Did you know that one in five children under the age of twelve currently live in a household that struggles to put food on the table? Did you also know Project Bread feeds hungry people by supporting 400 emergency food programs in 136 communities in Massachusetts?

The high cost of living in Boston -
where the average two-bedroom apartment costs $1,266 per month - makes paying for food that much harder for struggling families. But we can help! Even a $10 donation provides 2 people at a soup kitchen with a bowl of hot soup and a sandwich.

Please visit my Walk Page and make a donation. It means a lot to me. Oh, and pray for no rain this year!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Time to Hit the Road

It's becoming that time again, kiddies. The time of year when I get to spend weekends away visiting friends & family in beautiful locales. What a sad life I lead.

I spent this past weekend in Plymouth and Chatham, partying it up with my favorite boys from college. With a few exceptions, I hadn't seen most of them since graduation - and I had missed them.

In college, we spent countless hours just hanging out, watching Adult Swim, and drinking beers. They are like brothers to me - and they tease me like a sister, too. I never had any real brothers, but between family friends growing up and these boys in college, I had my fair share of "brothers". A.K.A.., boys who punch you in the arm and call you names, but kick anyone's ass if they badmouth you. ;)

It was really nice to be down on the South Shore and the Cape. Jason & Tim live in a big house with a pond just outside the state forest in Plymouth. On Saturday morning, we went out to breakfast (no peanut butter, mushroom & cheddar cheese omelets this time, though). Then we went back to the house to sit in the yard & relax in the sun.

We headed down to John's house in Chatham later in the day. Got a keg, meat for the grill, horseshoes, Beruit table, and firewood. We were in good shape. We met his kitty, Penny, and his dog, Sadie. It was pretty damn cold, but some of us stubbornly sat outside by the fire until about 9:15. The stars were beautiful.

The party got kind of crazy after that. All in all, it was a fun weekend. Check out the rest of the pictures here.