Another Evening in Paradise

Today was a special day for me — an anniversary of sorts — so I went out after work and celebrated with friends. After that little gathering was over, I drove out to Chatham to watch a free concert by my good friends in Tripping Lily.

IMG_2532

Not only are they one of my very favorite bands (not one of my favorite LOCAL bands, though they are certainly that — one of my favorite BANDS), but they are pretty much the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.

You should seriously buy their latest CD, The Day That Everything Became Nothing. (Do it now.) It is the sound of summer, as far as I am concerned, and it fills me with great joy.

You like joy, right?

It was a perfect, perfect summer evening. Children were running all over the place, dancing and chasing each other and shrieking with happiness.

I kind of wanted to shriek with happiness, too.

Later, my husband Matt (who was working sound for the band this evening, as it happened) and I went across the street to the Chatham Squire for dinner. It was a pure summertime indulgence meal — smoked bluefish appetizer followed by a great big pile of fried, whole-bellied clams. Better yet, an old friend from my theater days was there.

Folks from my theater days make me happy, too. Even happier than fried clams in summertime, which is saying something.

Are you listening to your Tripping Lily CD yet? Are you smelling the sea salt in the air? Feeling the weight of just a little bit too much fried food in your belly, the itch of a bug bite or two on your ankle, and the tickling of grass between your toes?

It was a very good day to be alive, today was.

ha! we’re back.

Member that time? That I said I was going to go back to school? Part-time?

HA

PSYCHE

I quit my job and went full-time instead. Because I’m a psychopath who can’t do anything halfway. Ever. I commute each day, five days a week, by bus.  Takes about oh say two-and-a-half to three hours each way. WHAT

So um, yes, busy is what I have been. It’s true.  Busy and happy and fulfilled and excited and kind of interested in accounting. Not like in a life-changing, career-path-forming sort of way! Just that way you feel when you totally expected to hate a subject and instead it ends up being moderately more interesting than you thought it would be, enough to keep you interested and engaged and determined to get a really good grade because you really like the professor.

Kidding. I always want a good grade.

So now it’s the winter break, and I have all this delicious time on my hands.  I’m thinking about starting a videoblog. I’m thinking about trying to get an internship doing web 2.0 marketing for a startup that’s all rockstar sustainable and fairly-traded and crap like that.  I’m thinking that I miss the old Dune Shack, where I could always let it all hang out.

Anyway, it’s darn nice to see you again.

new york new york

So we’ve been quietly planning our upcoming vacation in New York, and finally locked in our reservations today.  Here’s how it all shook out:

 My birthday present was preview tickets to Young Frankenstein on Broadway.  As a huge Mel Brooks fan, and specifically a ridiculous fan of this movie, I was thrilled.  The tickets are for the actual date of our anniversary, October 18 (which really makes them more of an anniversary present, so where’s my birthday present, dude, but who’s counting), so we started planning a trip to New York around that date.

For the last couple of years, we have gone to Vermont in the fall.  And that has been great, but after last October’s trip we agreed that we were ready for the big city again.

Of course, we go to NYC several times a year as it is, as observant readers know, but those are quickie visits to Yankee Stadium.  We typically drive straight in from the north, catch a game at the Stadium, and zip back out for another casual four and a half hours in the car.  It’s a heck of a day trip, but it keeps us reasonably sane as hard-core Yankee fans living in the heart of Red Sox country. 

So this time we decided we would stay in the heart of Manhattan again, like we did a few years ago, and do all those things we are usually too distracted by Yankee Stadium to do. 

Like:

But today we discovered that the hotel we wanted — the one we stayed in before — didn’t have the availaibility we wanted, so we looked a bit further afield, and the end result is that our New York City Vacation has just become a Brooklyn Vacation!  And How Cool Is That?

This opens up whole new vistas!  I mean, sure, we’ll still do all the cool museums and stuff, but Brooklyn!  Home of many cool and interesting people!  Home of Etsy!  And Daptone!  And so much more!

So we are happy and excited.  We will be staying in a rather nice hotel in the heart of downtown.  We will take the train to Manhattan some days.  And some days we will stay in Brooklyn and do Brooklyn things.

And this is all to take place AFTER we spend several days in the Hudson River Valley, looking at the wee summer cottages some people built there in the last century.  For that leg of the trip, we have actually rented a house for the duration.  And this one actually IS a wee house.  With a wee jacuzzi. 

So, to recap:  New York!  Vacation!  It’ll be great!

What would be really great is if through some MIRACLE the Yankees are actually still PLAYING in October this year.  And we can watch goddamn mutherfucking playoff baseball in New York.  Among our people.

results not typical

So remember how I was doing that whole no-crappy-foods-diet thing after my horrible head cold of horribleness?   Still doing it.

As I said, it mostly consists of steamed vegetables, rice and beans (any protein will do — after two weeks I’ve settled on canned navy beans as the laziest possible solution to What’s For Dinner), a super-delicious homemade protein shake (mine are all raspberry-themed, although I have branched out into blackberry with some success), vegetable broth, and occasional and/or frequent nibbles on mixed nuts and/or delicious pistachios. 

The awesomest part has turned out to be how I make everything in advance — a big batch of brown rice, a huge batch of steamed vegetables, and a big ol’ pot of veggie broth for sipping off and on all day — so my cooking has devolved into tossing a fistful of this and a fistful of that into my favorite bowl, microwaving it for a few minutes, and kapow!  Dinner.

I have also suddenly become somebody who brings her lunch to work, which I never had been before.  I won’t say that I am suddenly getting tons more work done without a lunch break, because let’s face it:  I always got tons of work done.  I kind of kick ass at work.

But I AM a hell of a lot less mood-swingy and low-blood-sugar-cranky at various points throughout the day, now that I have a full day’s supply of shakes and broth and a yummy rice-and-beany lunch tucked away in the mini-fridge.  I pretty much eat all day.  You know, just to keep my spirits up.

And yes, I have lost 14 pounds in two weeks.

So perhaps that is the awesomest part after all.

Also, my skin has cleared up.  I used to have all kinds of terribly attractive stressy dry skin on my forehead and arms, and that has somehow been removed from me.

So hooray!  I am marginally hotter than I was two weeks ago!  Let’s make out.