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Mews Gear n Beer 5K 2012

25 Nov

This was my only race of 2012, which is kind of sad.  But, it is what it is, and I knew I wanted this to be my first race post baby.  Even though this year was a lot different from last year, I’m still glad I did it.

A nice perk of this race is that, if you go get your number on Saturday, you get a free beer.  So J & I took Emilia with us for a ride and out tolunch.  It would have been nicer if I hadn’t left my license at home and could have enjoyed a free beer, but it was still a nice afternoon.  The baby wasn’t all that impressed by the lack of beer, though.

 

 

The weather was great on Sunday, and we left the baby at my parents so we could enjoy the day.  While I have a great jogging stroller, I didn’t bother getting the infant seat adaptor since I’d only use it for a few months, and really, it’s not like I’m running every day.  By the spring, the baby will be able to hold her head up well enough to go in the jogger and the weather will be getting warm again, so we’ll take advantage of it then.

J & I decided to stick together during the race, which, in retrospect, wasn’t the best idea.  You know how sometimes people you exercise with motivate you to keep going or to run faster?  That didn’t happen.  We walked a lot, and were just kind of “eh” about the whole running thing.  I’d say we did about a 50/50 split of running and walking, and finished in 42 minutes.  Nothing to write home about, but we didn’t exactly give it our all either.

The best part of this race is the after party.  Plenty of beer on tap, and great food.  My college roommate came down to run (and smoked us), and we saw some friends we haven’t seen in way too long.  After a few beers and some mac & cheese, we headed to dinner at my parents and a happy, spoiled baby.

There probably won’t be any more races in 2012, but I promise the Mews won’t be the only one in 2013!

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Get Away, Get Up, and Get Away

5 Nov

J & I have been on a lot of great vacations – just the two of us eating and drinking on the beach, a family trip to Vegas, trips with friends, etc.  But last week, we somehow combined a lot of awesome stuff into one trip, and had one of the best vacations we’ve ever been on.

My best friend’s older brother planned a wedding in Marco Island, FL, and we were invited.  We planned on going from Saturday to Wednesday, along with my two best friends and other family members.  Then we thought – why go back to work for two days?  Let’s go to Orlando!  We’ve been dying to go to Harry Potter at Universal Islands of Adventure, so we planned on making the 3-1/2 hour drive to Orlando on Wednesday.  Then we discovered that plane tickets were only $29 – even better!  And then, in a lovely twist of fate, I learned that OAR was playing in Fort Lauderdale on the day we arrived, and thought – Road Trip!  And so we had planned the perfect vacation.

Here’s how it all shook out:

Friday night/Saturday morning – J went to a concert in Boston with his sister and didn’t get home until 2:30 (making him awake for 24 hours).  I also didn’t sleep much, and we had to be up at 3:30 for the flight.  J loves to sleep on planes.  He looks forward to it.  He only moved twice – to switch seats on our layover, and to eat some cookies (actually, I’m not sure he was awake at that point, but he ate the cookies and woke up again briefly when I tried to take them from him).  The stewardess even asked if he was still alive!

Saturday – checked into condo on Marco Island, food shopped, etc.  We met the wedding crew for a quick happy hour drink, and then set off for the 2 hour ride to Pompano Beach.  It was the longest, most boring ride ever – nothing to look at, flat, straight, boring road.  No alligators, despite the name Alligator Alley.  And I had to drive because the car reservation was in my name (the guy at Dollar put the fear of God into me about anyone else driving, I was convinced we’d end up on Cops if J even drove around the corner).

We checked into our gross hotel, and had a quick dinner at a beer pub (Brother Tuckers – biggest quesadilla ever).   Then we headed off to the concert.  It was at the Pompano Beach Ampitheater, which was a great venue.  It was General Admission, we got a great seat, the beers were cheap.  OAR rocked, as always.  I was especially happy that they played “Irish Rose” as an encore.  Check it out if you can, it’s a beautiful song.  (I took some videos, but you can hear me singing in all of them, so I’ll spare you that torture).

Sunday – drove back to Marco after breakfast, hung at pool, got ready for the wedding, which was beautiful.  My best friend wasn’t able to make the trip to Florida, because she’s busy keeping a couple of babies where they belong for the next few months.  She wrote a speech that she asked me to give at the wedding, which I was happy to do.  She’s a great speech writer, there were lots of tears, and the bride & groom loved it.  There was lots of drinking of dancing (not sure why the bartender thought she should make the drinks bigger as the night went on?).  I got sick at night, with my tee-shirt on inside out & backwards.  J made a sandwich & took a picture of me.  What a good husband.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – eat, beach, eat, pool, happy hour, dinner out.  J got all you can eat ribs one night, not his finest moment.  Went to Naples for a nicer dinner Tuesday.  Beautiful weather, rough water, a little windy.  Still, what’s not to like about eating & drinking on the beach and by the pool?

Wednesday afternoon – flew to Orlando.  Cool dinner at a tapas place (Cafe Tu Tu Tango), where we waited a while to order so they gave us a free glass of sangria (to go with the bottle we already ordered!)  And, cheesecake on a stick!

Thursday – We were at Universal Islands of Adventure at 9:30am.  I practically ran to Harry Potter.  It was just so cool – Hogsmeade was beautiful, the butterbeer was delicious, Moaning Myrtle even wailed at you in the loo (that’s British for bathroom!)  The Forbidden Journey ride was the coolest ride I’ve ever been on (we went twice!)  We had lunch at the Three Broomsticks (Pasties!) and then we did the rest of the park.  We went on pretty much every ride, including all the water rides, so we were like drowned rats.  We had nachos & margaritas for dinner, and passed out at the hotel before heading to Universal Studios for Halloween Horror Nights (sucked, way too crowded with drunk teenagers.  1.5 hour wait for haunted houses).

Friday – Universal Studios all day.  All the rides, roller coasters twice (I’m not a total baby!)  I had to have one more butterbeer, so we went back to Islands of Adventure to see the Harry Potter part all lit up.


Saturday – home to an October Nor’Easter.  Yay?

Overall, it was an awesome trip.  J & I needed a vacation together, and this was the perfect way to get in some quality time.  I missed my best friend a lot, but was glad I got to share Marco Island with J, and hope that soon we’ll be there with her family.  Of course, now that we’re back to the grind, it feels like we never went away, but it was well worth it!

Do You Remember?

5 Oct

Wow, I really suck at this blogging thing.  Sorry.  (You must be sick of these apology posts by now, huh?)  Stuff got in the way, I wasn’t in the mood, yaddayadda.

Anyways, here’s what I’ve been up to since my last post:

Did the Heart Walk in Boston with J’s family – it was fun, we walked very slowly (J said he thinks he gained weight during the walk), but it was for a great cause and we had a nice day.  As with all family events, we ended up drinking in a bar afterwards to recover.

Had a bachelorette party involving a sex toy party, penis shaped cupcakes, and a ton of food.  J went to the bachelor party portion of the night, and returned to my BFF’s at 3am after being awake for 24 hours straight.  He also won (and promptly lost) a bottle of Jaeger. 

September is, of course, the best month of the year because it’s my birthday month.  We celebrated by being hungover, eating Italian & Mexican (twice).   J got me boots & a watch, and I got lots of wine & cards, and even a birthday brownie from my new co-workers, so it was a good day!  I bought myself two presents.  This and an OAR CD on iTunes.

 

Speaking of pumpkin beer, I’m in that panicked “OhMyGod its October so the pumpkin beer will be gone soon, we have to get as much as we can now!” phase.  The Harpoon UFO Pumpkin pictured was not easy to find, and, frankly, I’m not sure it’s better than Shipyard Pumpkinhead (my all time fav).  The Blue Moon Pumpkin is awful, don’t waste your time.  Shocktop has a surprisingly good pumpkin.  I have Sam Pumpkin that I haven’t tried yet, but will report back. 

We had our annual End of Summer Cookout/Fry Fest, and had a keg of Brooklyn Oktoberfest, which I did not enjoy, but tolerated after a few Shipyard Pumpkinheads.  I think (and hope) everyone had fun, even though my arm hurt the next day from scooping out a million bags of leftover chowder.  We are now the proud owners of a tent we didn’t need, so let me know if you need to borrow it! 

In other alcohol related events, J & I went to a wine tasting at our favorite liquor store last week.  75 wines, free to taste.  We got there in the middle of a monsoon, and promptly tried the first 12 wines we were offered.  Needless to say, we didn’t make it very far past the first aisle.  Luckily, our dinner plans were right across the street, and we were able to sober up over calamari, and Sam Oktoberfest.  We also went to the Jonathan Edwards Harvest Festival, which was jam packed but fun.  We opted out of the hay rides this year, as I’m still recovering from last year’s experience. 

We almost bought this picture for the basement, but decided against it.  

 

We babysat Chloe last weekend.  She’s still the devil, but she’s cute.  If you ever wondered how many grown adults does it take to get a 14 pound dog into a crate,  the answer is 2.  She’s also not a good bed sharer, and I think she broke my back.  She does love her munchkins though.

  

I’m trying to branch out into some new music.  Someone loaded up my Pandora with new stations, and I’m trying them out instead of just deleting them and going back to OAR.  I’m not sure I like Mumford & Sons (though I do own one song I enjoy), but I’m giving their station a shot.  

Work is good.  I still love the commute, I’m trying to learn the running trails, and I made some new friends:

(Not really.  Still no friends)

 

This Week in iPhone Photos

5 Sep

Big-ish waves, compliments of Irene

J & I waiting at the Ocean Mist to eat.  He still has his Bloody Mary, so I’m guessing this was *only* hour one of waiting

Worth the wait

(disclaimer: this isn’t even my burrito, but I didn’t realize until after I had taken a picture.  And a bite)

Hurricane Damage

Our new friends/dinner guests

J making butter at the Woodstock Fair

(it was gross)

Sunny Days…I Swear There Must be Sunny Days Up Ahead…

29 Aug

I’ve been neglecting the blog for various reasons, but since we’re in the middle of a tropical storm and I have no power, but a fully charged MacBook, its become my number one priority for the day (to be posted when the Interwebs are available again, which best be before the Jersey Shore/VMA combo night I’ve been looking forward to for weeks).

I started my new job two weeks ago.  So far, so good.  I love love love the commute.  Thirty minutes from my driveway to my cube (and the longest part is from my car in the garage to my cube).  The people are very nice, and I’m learning my way around.  I don’t have any friends yet, but I keep busy by IM’ing Joe and it’s almost like I’m still in Boston, until I have to go to the caf alone and start talking to myself.  It’s amazing that I haven’t made friends, huh?

On the plus side, I have been getting up and joining my buddy Tony Horton for a little P90X each morning.  In the past two weeks, I’ve worked out for 12 days, and gained 2 pounds.  Go me.  I’ve also been sound asleep by 10pm most nights.  J is up later than I am, which almost never happens.

Last week was one of those weeks where everything went wrong.  Nothing major, just stuff, and stuff I don’t want to blog about.  How’s that for vague?  It’s all fixable, and partially inspired the blog title (which is, of course, a song by OAR called “Over and Over”).

The week did end with a happy note.  My best friend in the world got married Friday night, to a guy who is super sweet (despite the fact he’s from Smithfield), loves her very much, and has passed the test with her crazy family and friends, so he’s a keeper.  It was a beautiful, simple wedding, and we had a great time being a part of growing their favorite tree.

Yesterday we had a lovely day eating munchkins and watching Man v. Food, then hanging on the beach until we got kicked off.  Next, we waited two hours for a table at a restaurant on the water while drinking $2 ‘Gansetts.  Thankfully, our food came before the surf kicked up and we were kicked out.  This little piggy would have lost it if she had not gotten her burrito.  It was the first time I’ve been to this place, and I’m hoping it doesn’t get washed away so I can go again.  That was a good burrito.

That brings us to today, and Hurricane Tropical Storm Irene.  Here’s a little tip: if you ever want to know when a bad storm is coming, just call me and ask for J’s schedule, because he’ll be at work during every storm we have.  Luckily, he went in for 7 this morning and missed the worst of it on his ride in, and I’m hoping he won’t leave until the worst is over.

I, on the other hand, am home alone with no power, waiting for a tree to come down on my house, and bored out of my mind.  I got up at 6 and brought the plants in during a downpour, so now I have a table full of wet, dead, plants.  We lost power around 9:30, so I folded laundry, changed the sheets and unpacked from our night away.  I’m trying not to go in the fridge to conserve the food, and I didn’t work out this morning to conserve electricity.  (I’m a do gooder like that).  I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do next, but I believe it will involve wine of some sort.  I wish I could sleep until it was over, but that’s doubtful.  Did I mention that I had to shut all the windows because the rain kept coming in, and it will soon be 88 degrees in here?  My biggest fear is that my iPhone will die, but plan B is to sit in the car in the driveway charging it with the AC on.  Someone come look for me soon, okay?

Update: going on five hours without power, but J brought home some AA batteries that fit in my iPod dock, so I can listen to music all day and charge my iPhone as needed.  I’m on OAR song 28 of 90.  I may have heard “That was a Crazy Game of Poker” 5 times already.  I’m on my 3rd glass of wine and my second meal of lukewarm dip & chips/crackers.

Update #2: I’m posting this on Monday night, from my brother’s apartment, waiting to eat my first hot meal since yesterday morning.  Obviously, we still don’t have power, and I’m not happy.  I drank a lot of wine and ate a lot of crap yesterday, so much so that my body was begging for a vegetable.  We came here to shower, do laundry & eat.  We might not have power for a week, and I’m not pleased about the four bags of food we had to throw away.  Note to self: next time, actually prepare for the storm like “they” tell you to.

Saying Goodbye to Boston

14 Aug

When I first started at BAC, in March of 2008, I did not like it.  I was in a group where I was the only one who did what I did.  Frankly, I wasn’t even sure what I did.  I thought I was taking a different job than what I ended up with.  I couldn’t relate to the other people on my team.  I sat through meetings with them like they were speaking Greek, and I spent most of the meetings trying to figure out who these people were.  On day one, my boss walked me around the office.  Not only did I not remember anyone’s names or what they did, I had no idea where they sat.  Heck, I had no idea where I sat.  I found an old seating plan the other day and still don’t know who half those people were.

Slowly but surely, I started to figure out my place: I was the Ad Bitch.  When I told people I was working on the ads, they gave me the sympathetic head tilt, and said “Oh!  I don’t know anything about ads, except that they’re different and really high-profile.”  Awesome.  Then they hired another Ad Bitch, who was the only person who knew my pain.  We sat in a row far away from the rest of our group, and commiserated with each other and with anyone else who knew anything about ads.

My first impression of the people was basically, “Oh my God, I will never fit in here.”  After week one I threw any thought of making friends right out the window.  All the girls were perfectly dressed and manicured, while I tried to deal with not being able to wear jeans every day.  For that matter, most of the guys dressed better than me as well.  It wasn’t that people weren’t nice to me, but I was intimidated by them and I was the new kid, so I kept my distance.  I tried, but not really hard.

After a few months, we moved offices, and I grew more & more comfortable with my surroundings.  At least in the new building, no one else knew where they sat either!  I learned a little more every day, and I met more people.  Shortly after that, the layoffs began.  And I started to talk to people.  I figured out what everyone did.  I realized that the people I thought were superficial were really super nice and down to Earth.  We started meeting at Dunks on Friday mornings.  We started going out to bars after work, and chatting in each others cubes.  And as my group got smaller and smaller, we got closer and closer.  I probably know way more about some people’s husbands than needed, and some of them know more about me that my closest friends do.  But this is what happens when you spend 40+ hours a week together – like it or not, your co-workers become a second family.

Despite the fact my work husband believes he deserves his own post, he’s not going to get one, but he will get his own paragraph.   He’s my very first email of the day, and its usually something like “hurry up and get here, I need coffee before I die.”  He’s responsible for numerous nights out, every bit of gossip I know, hours upon hours of my venting, many snide comments and texts across the table,  and hundreds of trips to the caf.  He knew we got the house and I got the new job before J did.  In addition, I sometimes worry that J likes his partner more than he likes me.  In fact, when I told people I was leaving, they had two questions: “What will you be doing?” and “What will Joe do with out you?”  Even though he insists I will (someday) make new friends, I think the better question is, “what will I do without Joe?”  (For the record, I would not have cried on Friday had it not been for the lunch margaritas).

Thursday night was my going away drink night, and I had a great time.  Lots of my favorite people came out to say goodbye, lots of nachos covered with creepy Irish hot dogs were consumed, and no one fell asleep or jumped in the harbor.  I walked to South Station from the bar, which might not have been my brightest move ever.  But I enjoyed walking alone, music on, thinking about what I would miss about the city, and BAC.  I took this picture:

And I realized that I might not have a ton of memories in my short time at BAC, but a lot of them were awesome.  In no particular order: Birthday night at Luckys.  Bar bites at Mortons.  Getting attacked by bugs at Tamo.  Buying 20 bottles of wine at 7-11.  The weekend of Elvis (ok, not necessarily a great memory, but still something to remember).  The Corporate Challenge.  Our last day on Summer Street.  Almost food fights at the Christmas party, fueled by lots of free booze that somehow disappeared after the event.  Fat bastards at the Pride Party.  Cosmo fountain at Joe’s birthday.  Sitting on the floor to work at DM Day in RI.  Hour long MRC meetings that accomplished nothing.

Friday was my last day, and it started with a mild hangover, included a three-hour lunch and some baby holding, and ended with me leaving two hours later than I wanted to and carrying my box of shame full of cube goods and a smuggled office supply or two to the car.  I’m sad to be leaving a great group of talented, fun, interesting people, but excited to be moving on.  I’m sure it will hit me most on Monday morning, when I see the nasty peach cobbler ice coffee in the caf and turn to express my disgust to a stranger.  Hey, maybe that’s how I can make new friends!

 

O.A.R. Does Boston, Julie Does the Hippie Dance

13 Aug

I’ve been looking forward to the O.A.R. show in Boston since last summer, right after I missed them.  The Mount Sunapee show just made me more excited to see a “real” show (you know, one you could drink at and not be corralled in a drunk tank).  The show was on a Wednesday night, and since I was somehow talked into giving 4 weeks notice at BAC, I was still in Boston, which worked out well.

The show was at Bank of America Pavilion, which was awesome.  I had never been there before, but it was by far the best place I’ve ever seen a show.  Outside, on the water, small venue, not a bad seat.  It was only about 2/3 full, and no one was in front of me, so I could play the bongos on the seat back.  There were little tables & chairs that we sat at before the show, the beers weren’t that expensive ($12 for 24 oz Harpoon), and the best part is: I never waited in line for the bathroom.  Not once.  Not even when I went after the opening act, when everyone else goes to the bathroom.  It was so easy to run to the bathroom and back, and not miss entire portions of the concert.  I’m still amazed by this fact.

The show itself was awesome.  I thought they would play more songs from their new album, but they played all of the best old songs, plus a few new ones.  They also did a cover of “Downeaster Alexa” by Billy Joel, which was pretty cool.  From the way back time machine came “Program Director,” along with one of the guys from the opening act (SOJA), and also awesome.  The encore was their new single, “Heaven” and, of course, “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker,” with a freestyle rap by Kelley James about Boston in the middle.  I felt like the song was cut a little short, and I think it was because the noise curfew is 11pm.  Still, awesome as always (how many times can I use that word in one post?)

Here’s a fairly awful video of “Poker,” by some dude on the internet with a bad voice who sang along.  It’s a good video of some hippie dancing though.

I don’t have any of my own videos because the tickets said no cameras and I am a rule follower.  I went to a show at the Orpheum once and they made me throw away my disposable camera, so I didn’t want to take that chance with my real camera.  I just have some awful, blurry pictures from my iPhone that are not blog worthy.

Overall, it was a great night.  A lot of beer, a lot of singing, a lot of hippie dancing.  I was tempted to drive to Hartford for last night’s show too.  Like I said, it was awesome.