A busy weekend, but a good one!
My last day of work this week was Friday, thanks to my company relocating to a new office. The management even told us to pack up and head home at 17h00 instead of 18h00 so they could start shutting down the computers early. Now, I had to pick up my car from the shop, meaning Tony had to come pick me up from work and take me to Manayunk to get it back, but even that's a minor setback. The car's now got a valid inspection sticker, and it didn't exceed the cost I'd expected to pay for the repairs.
On an absolutely tangential thread, how long are Pennsylvania inspection stickers supposed to last? Mine said April 2004 before, but I just got new ones and they expire in November, not April of next year. Is this a "call the shop and scream" offense, or just something about older vehicles in Pennsylvania I didn't know before?
Anyway, I got the car back, came home and packed for Jessie's and my weekend jaunt up to Boston, to visit LeDiva and the Posts. Every time I go there, I feel a bit like I'm coming home again. We left Friday after lunch, and put into Charmdown Park just before dinner, which means excellent timing on the trip. As Jessie put it, "[Kristy's] lead foot is usually a good counterbalance to New Jersey's accidents and construction", and this trip was no exception. Strangely, though, the real bulk of the traffic all appeared to be on the other side of the highway, going in the other direction. Most of the length of the MassPike was clear for me, and solid cars for the other side.
The night we arrived, LeDiva showed us an episode of Mad Mad House, which I must say I found... odd. I like the fact that the people making the decisions about who stays and who leaves are not the ones competing for the prizes, but by the same token I don't like the fact that the show makes such a brazen attempt at deliniation between "normal people" and "alts". There's something mildly disappointing in that to me. It's the same sort of social compartmentalizing that happened in high school, and I thought the whole point of Breakfast Club was to show those divisions as artificial. The one saving grace is that it puts the power of ejection from the set in the hands of the freaks, which I must say is a nice touch.
Anyway, we also played a round of Star Munchkin the first night. I'm still not sure what I think of this whole series, and I've played it half a dozen times now. The ease with which fortunes reverse is disturbing, and the balance of power can shift wildly without warning. It's fun, but on the whole I'd still rather play INWO. Of course, to do that I would need to find my INWO cards and rebuild my decks. I think that they're boxed and packed and at the new place already, but I don't know that for certain. I'm going to be horribly annoyed if I've lost them, because I had a complete set of Assassins, and if I've lost that I don't think I can replace it anywhere nearly as cheaply.
Dinner Friday night was some place called Joe's, which was a bit upscale but quite nice. I probably should've gone for a salad instead of the stuffed pork loin I got, but it was tasty and the green beans were nice and crunchy
without being undercooked. Everyone else split a chocolate cake dessert of some sort, which definitely looked worth the price of admission. Double, even, considering it was free. LeDiva didn't get her salad when everyone else got their meals, so they brought her a free dessert to compensate.
After dinner we retired back to the Park to relax and talk some more, and the typical Mental Synchronicity happened. I don't remember any specifics about the conversation, but I remember that we talked for hours and that I enjoyed it immensely. I think the catchphrase of the weekend was "Should I stop you because I've heard this one," in relation to the number of times in one person's life that events mirrored or paralleled someone else's.
Saturday we lounged about the house most of the morning, then went to pick up picnicky supplies for lunch. We tried to hit a local arcade, but sadly most of the machines were in disrepair and the floorspace was far too crowded with small children upon which I had to avoid treading by accident. It was a nice way to kill an hour or two, but I wish more of the machines had worked. They had a DDR machine, but I didn't feel up to the challenge of trying it in public having not exercised in nearly three weeks. I'm definitely behind on my workout routine, disturbingly so. I was good for several months, but I've fallen behind in recent weeks. I really need to get my workout routine back into full swing, but I keep saying I should wait until the move, which is stupid.
Dinner Saturday night was Brazilian Barbeque at the Midwest Grill, which was absolutely wonderful. Expensive, but well worth the cost of admission. Their garlic-crusted beef made me swoon, and their kielbasa were exceptional. My one mistake was allowing myself to be lured by the promise of a Caesar salad appetizer. Never eat veggies at a Brazilian barbeque. They are a distraction away from the meat. Ignore the veggies! Eat the meat!
After meat font, we went in search of Krispy Kreme, which was for everyone else a nice complimentary shock to the system and for me an exercise in masochism, watching everyone else snarf down hot doughnuts. I swear, despite the successes of my diet, I'm going to switch to South Beach after the next time I go off of it for kidney-protection purposes, at least long enough to see if it works for me. I've already promised Jessie I would, if only to give her a chance to share meals with me again. Plus, it will widen my dietary intake somewhat. I just have to be that much more vigilant about what I eat.
Speaking of eating, I really need to cut down on the Caesar salads, I think. I never realized until now just how much sodium the dressing contained. It's kind of a shame, but I need to drop back to regular chef salads for a while to see if that helps me break my plateau. Between that and exercise, I should see some positive results soon, I hope.
Sunday, sadly, both LeDiva and Postrodent had to take off early, but we sat around talking with Postvixen for... well... hours. We actually ended up leaving an hour later than I planned because we were so engrossed in discussion. I've decided to try running a second game, one more suited to that crowd, but I'm still in the initial planning stages for it. LeDiva, PostRodent, PostVixen, Jessie, if you've got any comments to add for things you'd be interested in seeing, let me know so I can try to work something into the story line. I've got a few niggling notions, but nothing concrete as of yet.
Jessie and I finally made it home and crashed shortly afterwards. As noted above, I love driving to Boston, but I hate the drive back. The conversations are all still fresh in my mind, and inevitably I'm already tired by the time
I'm halfway home, so the trip seems to drag forever. It's not a hard drive, just a longer one than I'd have to like to make for something I want to be a regular occasion.
Hopefully next time they can come down to Philly.