Archive | February, 2009

Hunting and Fishing and Boating, Oh My!

23 Feb

Yesterday, J & I set out to find a new tv with our cash from Uncle Sam and the good people (aka my mom) at H&R Block.  Well, the tv was one goal, the second was a cheeseburger from Five Guys Burgers (Four Guys?  Five Brothers?  Either way, some men and their meat).  So, we headed for Patriot Place, the new shopping plaza at Gillette Stadium.  I snuck in a trip to Christmas Tree Shoppes amidst the sports stores and burger eating.  Sneaky, huh?

Anyway, Five Guys was too crowded, so we went to Red Robin, which ultimately was not good and in retrospect, we should have waited at Five Guys.  But, Red Robin had beer, so we had two.  Then we headed over to the Bass Pro Shop.

The Bass Pro Shop sells absolutely nothing I am interested in.  Its all very outdoorsy.  I do enjoy the outdoors, but only when running, sunbathing, or drinking. I’ve been camping once, and that was during the infamous rafting excursion, so I’m a bit weary to go camping again.  Besides, I really don’t like peeing in the woods.  What the Bass Pro Shop does have is a bar, so we started there.

Then we shot things.  Not really, but if you pay fifty cents you can shoot targets with a faux rifle.  It was fun, but really hard after three beers.  The four year old girl bonding with Daddy over a rifle was doing better than I did.  Did you know they sell pink bee-bee guns?  Fun for the whole family.

Next we wandered around for a good hour, looking at the things we would most likely never would buy.  Amongst our personal favorites were:

  • Salt licks for our “friends” the deer who roam our yard and eat our bushes.
  • A $38,000 pontoon boat (on sale!  $2,000 off)
  • Circus Peanuts & Corn Nuts (my personal favorites)
  • A fly swatter “gun” that J wouldn’t let me get even though it was only $5
  • A camouflage hat with a mask, and one covered with “life-like” leaves
  • Dehydrated gourmet meals for camping

Eventually we left with only a box of Peanut Butter Patties sold by some Girl Scouts (who were so happy that I gave them an extra dollar.  It was J’s dollar, so I was more than happy to give it to them).  Then I passed out on the couch, exhausted from all the bear shooting and beer drinking.  Like I said, nothing like good, old fashioned family fun to pass a cold Saturday in New England!

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Happy President’s Day

16 Feb

Onr of the perks of working at BAC is that we get all sorts of holidays that I never had before.  If the stock market is closed, we are too.  Not only did TAC not recognize these holidays, but neither did my Alma mater, so its been a long time since I’ve had President’s Day off.

J has to work, so I planned on celebrating by sleeping late, folding laundry, and cooking a pulled pork.  Fascinating, and just the way Lincoln would have done it, I think.  I also had to be available for the oil man to clean my boiler and get my hot water to last for more than 10 minutes.  He was scheduled to appear at 2.

No, strike that, he was scheduled to appear last Wednesday between 8-9 am.  He did not show up, and when I called the oil company at 9:10, they said there was an emergency and he couldn’t come until that afternoon.  Nice communication, huh?  I made a 9:50 train and told them to come back on Monday at 2.

So, now that you know how my day was supposed to go, here’s what actually happened:

3:40am: Say goodbye to J, who warns me that its really cold outside, and not to go out unless I have to.  No problem!  (by the way, its actually a nice day.  J forgets that its always cold prior to the buttcrack of dawn).

7:40am: House phone rings, forcing me out of my nice, warm, down comforted bed.  I hope its J, calling to say he’s getting out early and bringing me coffee and donuts, but no luck. 

Its the oil company, and I mentally prepare how I will fire them if they cancel on me again.  They want to know if the oil guy can come this morning instead, at 8:30/8:45.  Hoping to actually see hot water by the end of the day, I agree. 

7:50am: Since I don’t have time to go to sleep or run before the guy gets here, I head for the coffee pot.  I had no coffeee yesterday, and actually remembered to buy some at the market, so I’m excited. 

I clean out the coffee from a week ago (ew) and get ready to load up the coffee pot.  No filters.  I contemplate using a paper towel, then decide to suck it up and go to the store.

7:55am: Arrive at store, secretly pissed because the Shaws right next me is closing and worthless, so I have to drive a whole 3  minutes to Stop & Shop, which is empty.  Make mental note to grocery shop before 8 on Mondays whenever possible. 

Grab coffee filters (the brown ones, because that makes me feel earthy crunchy) and sweet potatoes (because those will go well with pulled pork).  Think about how the self scan is the greatest invention ever, so no one has to see me in my PJs with unbrushed teeth (I chewed a frozen piece of gum, just in case I had to speak to someone else).  Scan stuff, send it down the belt, straight into someones coffee cup.  Coffee pours into end of conveyor belt, luckily not on to my filters.  Woman comes to retrieve stuff, I told her that her coffee spilled because I had no idea it was there (mentally adding: because only a moron would leave their coffee in a randome spot in a public place.  It could have been roofied!)

8:04am: Pull into my street, right behind the oil guy.  Thirty minutes eary.  I can’t win.  Luckily, he gets lost, so I have a full 2 minutes to start my coffee. 

8:15am: Oil guy tells me my home inspector was a moron and you can get a license to do inspections online, so what he said about my hot water (that the control was stuck) isn’t true.  I tell him to fix something anyways, because I am not taking another lukewarm shower. 

9:10am: Oil guy calls me down to the basement to show me the new valve thingie and complain about gas prices, Corrollas, the American government and his girlfriend’s kids, plus add that we have some pipe he doesn’t think we need and that the boiler should last us ten more years.  I wonder if I’ll be charged extra for the commentary.

So, now its 9:26 am and I’m too hopped up on caffine to go back to bed.  I guess I’ll go for a run on the treadmill and pray the oil fumes don’t kill me.  Like Washington would have done.

Edited to add: When I finally got around to using the hot water at 1pm, I realized we had none at all.  The dope forgot to turn the furnace back on.  After waiting for two hours for the water to heat up, I realized my shower is still not hot enough, and have sice moved my crap into J’s shower downstairs while I try to figure out where to find a good plumber.

More Tales from my B.Fri: The MBCR

5 Feb

(That’s Mass Bay Commuter Rail, for those non-MA readers)

As I’m sure you’re all painfully aware by now, I’ve been taking the train to work for almost a year.  I used to have a nice, short ride on a new, clean commuter rail line, and a short walk to the office.  Now I have a long, crowded ride on a commuter rail line that has delays almost every day, then I have to get on a bus and walk a bit more to get to the office.

The winter brings out the worst in commuters.  Not that most of us are a happy bunch at 6 am to begin with (especially after shoving 4 one dollar bills into a leetle box to pay for parking).  The train station parking lot is often unplowed (I got stuck on a patch of ice at 11pm once), yet there is so much rock salt on the stairs they are impossible to see.  People huddle in the tunnel at the top of the stairs because its so much warmer in there.  Right.   And the coughing on the train is a lovely added perk.

Once on the train, the process of removing hats, gloves and jackets begins, all the while holding up the line of people trying to get on the train.  Men are quite particular about removing their coats and folding them neatly on the overhead rack.  I, on the other hand, leave my coat on so I can pull up the hood and sleep against the window.

Speaking of my being perfect, I’ve noticed that my walking has become like my driving (and, no, I don’t mean bad and dangerous!)  I now approach anywhere I walk like I’m in a car.  If someone is moving too slow, I ride their ass (figuratively) until they speed up, or I pass on the right.  I walk up stairs on the right side, and stay in my “lane” if I turn at the top of the stairs.  In crowds, I leave room in front of me in case someone stops abruptly (about 2 person widths).  If I accidentally bump into someone, I give them the “sorry” wave (though we don’t have to exchange insurance information).  Overall, I’m the perfect little commuter.

I took the “regular” subway the other day and was horrified by the number of people who don’t follow common courtesy rules.  They stop in the middle of the stairs, read while they are walking, don’t let people off the train before trying to get on, and (I realize this makes me sound like an old lady) kids these days swear in public like there’s no tomorrow.  Of course, commuter rail people are so much classier than the regular subway people.  We’re cool like that.