Topic the First: home improvement/decoration magazines. Hey guess what? With a 1920s bungalow overlooking San Francisco Bay and a budget (above the purchase price of the house) around half a million, I bet I could make a neat-looking bathroom. Style for small spaces does not apply to 3,100 foot haciendas overlooking the Pacific. Green living does not require a custom-built log home with a solar panel and low-flow toilets. I love to be stimulated by great things and take - clearly - an above-average interest in the design of our everyday surroundings, but I think there's such a home-lust problem that it's little wonder we find ourselves in these trying financial times.
Topic the Second, which is not totally unrelated to Topic the First...try and guess the parallel: Poor the Mars Rovers. I was having a great evening. The window seat finally looks like a seat, even if sitting on it would crush both it and your butt. Jenelle turned the last day of her break into a full turkey dinner and it was good like whoa. Top Gear were in rare form and (spoiler alert) the cyclist won their little race and the boat placed second. Then I jumped online and saw that budget cuts are going to effectively power down Spirit. This hurts my feelings; who else is going to explore the final frontier but this trusty little robot? I think it is so incredibly short-sighted to buy the left tail of a single F-22 Raptor but not another year of discovery, of possibility, of amazement from a scientific wunderkind the size of a golf cart 106 million miles away. Give that a minute. One. Hundred. Six. Million. Miles.
OK: I had Good Friday off but didn't know it until earlier this week, so our day was pretty low key. We did house stuff (shock? shock.) and then hosted the Spring Ridge Crossing Gang for pizza, root beer floats, and "Dan in Real Life." It was fun.
Today I got up early to play hoops with the crowd at the Lower Macungie Township community center; I haven't done this before but it was a good run and a pretty social outing. When I got home, though, I started not feeling well and that continued pretty much all day - until late evening when we headed south to Sumneryville for a rendezvous with Rachel, who was up from the district to see her fam.
What's that smell? Oh I know! I know this one! It's that kid with the adidas shirt shooting a jumper in the lane... he's stinking up the place. Such was my evening in the rec league last night; I guess we're bound to have such outings but I was hoping to do better.
At home, we've been staying up later by mistake but getting lots of little things done. And listening to albums on the stereo, working on the world's hardest puzzle, reading, making lists and plans, and running the cats. It's the March duldrums outside and that doesn't have us too motivated for outdoor shenanigans as our whole county turns to mud and flood mode for a few weeks.
Back in the (FL) day I used to skate for two hours each Sunday at JP Igloo in Ellenton. This Sunday we checked out The Rink in Allentown, whose name is is remarkably similar. The skating was different - we went to 13 private lessons and public skating broke out - but it was so nice to be back on skates, working some different muscles.
Today's highlight, since we missed Saint Patrick's Day and neither of our two friends with birthdays were close enough to eat cake, was Top Gear's trek across previously un-crossed portions of Botswana. I am not a 'make it a date' kind of TV watcher with the exception of The West Wing...sigh... but this program is totally worth scheduling your life around. We also went on a walk and noticed many new things around the neighborhood, including the first budding flowers under a bush down the hill. Then we continued to enjoy the fruits of last night's labors: fully-wired, 5.1 channel surround sound. Jenelle took the inside, I climbed into the knee wall, and we wrestled with some conduit (repurposed vacuum cleaner hose) for longer than anyone could have ever imagined but when all was said and done we popped in All the Road Running and heard a new guitar riff in the midst of "I Dug Up a Diamond."
This weekend was ski trip 2008, The Year that ___________. Insert a past-tense weather verb (rained) or a rare occurence (Jay Peak closed) or a conciliatory activity (we went snowmobiling) or a gastronomical exclamation (the bourbon maple syrup pork chop was delicious) or an unfortunate planning mishap (Corey forgot his boots in the back seat of the Vibe and caused everybody to drive 90 miles back to Nick's house to get them) and that will suffice as the title for this trip.
On the last day, day four of the trip and day 1.5 on the hill, the sun softened the ice and Nick and I carved hard while Gram tried to feel better in the lodge. Four runs does not a ski trip make, but in that hour and a half all was right with the world. Plus, as Nick pointed out: maybe this was some holy punishment for all the fresh we got last year.
While I was gone Jenelle basically rocked the house. She rocked 'Gray Screen' onto the walls and ceiling of our bedroom. She rocked the moguls of detritus out of the loading dock and restored it to front room status. She rocked a decorative stripe in the guest bathroom and a week's worth of food planning. Other than that I suppose it was a pretty laid back weekend.
There's been plenty of lamentation here over the past few years re: the level of competition in basketball. Michigan's varsity: too little. IM undergrads: too much. East Penn Adult Ed Tuesday night rec league: just right. There were 20-something 20- and 30- and 40- somethings at EHS who were into the exact same kind of basketball I am. We played hard and missed some open buckets and even opener passes, but in 9 weeks I bet our touch will be crisp and we'll be having even more fun.
More projects at home ahead of my long weekend. Tonight we put up the kitchen light and decided that whomever re-calibrated wattages for compact flourescent bulb conversion was very bad at vision. You could have performed a surgical procedure under our 75-watt light. We laughed and dutifully trudged back to the store to exchange for 40-watters which I assume will take even longer to warm up. I am not a fan of CFLs yet.
After that, we pretty much got super-sidetracked with dinner, Seinfeld, and a puzzle.
The front room seems to have been transformed into a loading dock - a staging area for our myriad projects. Lights occupy most of the space, with the old ones going into the boxes that the new ones came in. We put up all of the small flush mounts and lamped house with CFLs that are brighter than we anticipated. Friday night saw the completion of the shelves in the loft, which turned out quite well indeed and probably warrant a picture. Saturday during an especially good Prairie Home we got stuff up on the shelves and were pleased.
Rather than spending another day working around the house, we got up with the sun and drove north to our favorite PA ski resort, Elk Mountain. Jenelle got better and better and the sun shone brightly all day and kept the snow soft and our extremities warm. We're really digging being close enough to a legitimate hill that we can just pick our days and then go have a blast.