I finished reading joe_haldeman ‘s Marsbound this morning. I very much enjoyed it, although I didn’t think it was as good as his last few books, especially The Accidental Time Machine. But it’s looking to be the first of a series and the series looks promising. If nothing else, it was good ol’ science fiction, which was what I needed. I realized this when, after I finished, I started in on Greg Egan’s Incandescence, and found myself immediately stymied by the difficulty understanding what the heck was going on. I gave up quickly (rather disappointed since I was looking forward to that book) and started in on Neal Stephenson’s Anathem–and ran into the exact same problem! This made Joe’s book look a lot better in my eyes. At least there I could follow the action and understand what was happening.
So, I turned to my bookshelves and spent an hour or so looking for something that would match the themes of Joe’s book. Nothing. I finally landed on James Morrow’s Only Begotten Daughter. I first read Morrow back in senior year in college (1993/94) when his book Towing Jehovah came out while I was in the midst of a meta-fiction class that, among other titles, included Donald Barthelme’s The Dead Father. I loved Towing Jehovah and read the remainder of the trilogy as it emerged. Strangely, I’ve read several of Morrow’s books around Thankgiving. More than a decade ago, I read his wonderful City of Truth around Thanksgiving, for instance. Years ago, I started reading Only Begotten Daugher, but never finished. This time, I picked it up and it immediately caught fire with me. Nothing like Joe’s book, but it satisfied my craving nonetheless. I managed to get more than halfway through the book before the day was out.
Kelly’s brother and Jen came over today. It was the first time Jason has been to our place. We walked to Shirlington and had lunch at the Luna Grill. Afterward, we came back and for several hours, the four of us played Wii. We played just about everything, but what was most amusing was watching Jen beat Jason in every single game of bowling. No matter how many times he said, "We’re going again!" she’d still beat him.
The rest of the evening was quiet, relaxing. Sitting by the fireplace, reading or watching TV.
Boy, we had planned everything out so well for the wedding that I was certain that these last few days would be calm and relaxed; they are anything but. Lots of last minute errands, lots of people in town, running around. I can barely catch my breath. Not in a bad way–it’s just busy.
Despite having 7 people stay at the house last night and most of the day today, we still managed to get a lot done. Kelly and I were up early and took care of a few errands and chores. Later in the morning, Doug, Rachel, me and the kids went over to one of the playgrounds here and let them play for a while. I called the restaurant for the rehearsal and confirmed everything with them, so we are all set for tomorrow.
Kelly’s parents went to run some errands of their own and we headed over to Clarendon for lunch. Chili! Yum! We took Kelly’s laptop to the Apple Store to have it looked at for a fan problem. They couldn’t fix it under Apple Care because of some physical damage to the machine, and it’s not worth paying what they were asking for to fix it. Oh well. After that, we ran errands. We picked up our tuxedoes and made sure they all fit. (There was a minor issue with my jacket, but it was resolved quickly.) We ran to Target to get an idea of price and availability of Rock Band. (We didn’t buy anything.) We went to Shoppers to get some beer.
By then, Mom and Dad had arrived into town so we headed home. Doug and I headed up to Pentagon City to pick them up. We got them back to the house and at that point, we really had a full house. 9 guests!
stubiebrother , Doug and I headed up to Lucky Strike for two hours of bowling and drinking. It was a lot of fun. I did good the first two games, two 114s. Three strikes in one game. But I tanked after that. Jason ended up with the highest score of the night, breaking 170 (I think he finished with a 174). We finished around 9 PM and headed back home to play Rock Band, which we borrowed from a friend for the evening. (Thank you, Kevin!) I played until about midnight, when I needed to call it quits. Busy day tomorrow and I was tired.
Doug and Jason continued to play into the night. I have no idea when they finally gave up.
Up and into work this morning. It was one of those days that seemed to grow steadily more hectic as the day progressed. I kept an eye on Doug’s flights, and I headed home around lunchtime to wait for him to arrive. They got here shortly after noon, and it was really good to see them. The kids had gotten sleep on the plane but Doug and Rachel hadn’t gotten much sleep. I gave them a quick tour of the house and then showed them their room. Doug was very happy to see that the kids had their own place to sleep and that he wouldn’t have to sleep on the floor.
I headed back to work for a couple more hours and then around 3 PM, after my last meetings were over, I headed home. I stopped at the library to return my "overdue" book, but as it turns out, I had my dates mixed up and the book was not overdue after all. I also found out that I could return the book to my local branch, which is very convenient.
Kelly’s parents were out most of the day but were back before 4 PM. Doug, Rachel and the kids were up shortly after 4 PM. And were the kids ever hyper! It was a lot of fun. We gave them the gifts we got them. Doug and I picked up Kelly from the metro station, stopped at Starbucks, and then headed back home. We all walked up to Shirlington for dinner, where Kelly’s parents treated us to a nice meal at Capital City Brewery. Both Carson and Ruby fell asleep at dinner. I carried Carson back home the entire mile-plus walk.
I got an invitation to join Will’s writer’s group today, which I accepted happily. I can’t do much there until I get back from vacation, but I’m looking forward to working with the group.
I got a card from a bunch of people at work today. It was very nice and included an extremely generous gift.
We’re on vacation! I still feel so busy with wedding stuff that it hasn’t sunk in yet.
stubiebrother arrived tonight, as scheduled. We picked him up around 10:15 PM. Stopped at the grocery store on the way home.
Mom and Dad get into town tomorrow.
We drove into work this morning and as we pulled toward the parking lot, I realized that we forgot the parking pass. We had to come home to get it. Fortunately, we live close by.
Busy work day today. Trying to wrap stuff up before I head off on vacation. I worked steadily until 2 PM (when I had to leave to run an errand) and then it was back to work from 9 – 11 PM to do some deployments. I just finished that up. (I watched the debate while I was working.)
After work today, I raced out to Annapolis to give the Inn a cashier’s check for the remaining balance for the wedding. Then I raced back home and was at the house at about 4:15 PM. Kelly’s parents arrived minutes later. After Kelly got home from work, we all drove out to Tyson’s Corner so that Kelly could pick up her wedding dress. We had dinner out there and then came back to the house.
I didn’t get a chance to return my library book today and so I will return it tomorrow, one day late. It cost me a quarter, but I still feel bad since someone has the book on hold, and I know I’d be annoyed if I were waiting and it was late.
Off to bed. Doug and family get here tomorrow morning.
Hannah hit Saturday early afternoon with lots of rain and wind, but not much of anything else. It was a lazy day for us. We didn’t sleep in late, but we took a lengthy nap in the middle of the day. It was pleasant listening to the rain pound on the roof and wind whip through the rafters. In the morning, I actually sat through 1-1/2 hours of VH1 Classics watching "Totally 80s" videos. About the best video I saw was Def Leppard’s "Armegeddon It". About the only thing I actually did during the day was fill my car up with gas.
Lazy, lazy, lazy, and then, around 7 PM (after the rains had stopped and the skies had mostly cleared up), we headed over to Pentagon City to pick up AJ and Denisse. We headed to Shirlington, where we had dinner at Capital City Brewery. We then walked to the movie theater to see the 9:10 PM showing of Vicky Kristina Barcelona. Something about the introduction made me think it was a Woody Allen movie, and sure enough, it was. It featured Scarlet Johansson, which was a plus, but it also set a personal record for me.
It was the first Woody Allen movie I’ve ever seen that I really didn’t like.
This lead to minor controversy after the film. I tried to explain what bothered me about the film. The characters didn’t really change, for one thing. They ended up exactly where they started off. I didn’t like the narrator. It seemed like the narrator should have been Woody Allen, but it wasn’t. Furthermore, the narrator’s dialog read like a Hemingway novel, with these terse sentences that seemed to talk down to the audience. All of the performances (including, yes, Scarlet’s) were muted, and the best performance was provided by Javier Bardem. As is often the case when I don’t like something, I’m sure it’s more my failings than the films. Nevertheless, I really didn’t like this one.
After the movie, we headed back to our place and sat around chatting until almost 1 AM. I took AJ and Denisse back to the metro station and when I got back home, we went to bed.
Up at 6:40-ish and into the office shortly thereafter. Another productive morning, but an afternoon stuck in meetings. Fortunately, a meeting that was scheduled for 2 hours only lasted an hour. That was a pleasant surprise, considering it’s usually the other way around.
I left the office around 4 PM, and walked home. But I read while I walked. This meant I walked and read at a slower pace, but it seemed to fly by and I was home before I knew it. I stopped by the concierge to see if they found the package that they misplaced yesterday. Sure enough, they did: it was a small envelope from the Welcome Wagon stuffed with coupons.
We hosted poker night at our house this evening. Todd, Jenn, Karl and Lee came over and we played poker. Of the three poker nights we’ve had, this was my worst so far. Lee ended up winning ($60 total). We used the new deck of "Vote Obama" playing cards that I bought today.
The rains from Tropical Storm Hannah have arrived. My softball tournament, scheduled for tomorrow, was postponed until next weekend, which is probably a good thing. We can relax tomorrow during the day. I think we’re getting together with AJ and Denisse tomorrow evening.
I’m about 215 pages through Rainbows End and I just may finish it this weekend.
I slept in later this morning than I did any other day of the weekend. I didn’t get up until 8:20 AM. Kelly had gotten up earlier, ate something, and then came back to bed for another 20 minutes. Then we finally got up. I had some toast and peanut butter for breakfast, and then did some reading until about 9:30. Shortly thereafter, we headed out to Tyson’s Corner to do our ring shopping.
For nearly everything we’ve done for the wedding, we’ve been very decisive and made our decisions in mere seconds. With rings, it took longer. In fact, we visited 4 different places before finally both finding rings that we liked. Once we found them, though, we were our usual decisive selves. We purchased them on the spot. In an odd coincidence, the ring I chose for me fit perfectly and required no sizing, so we were able to take it with us. Kelly’s ring needed to be resized, and we should be able to pick it up on the 9th.
More relaxing when we got back from Tyson’s. We ate lunch and then sat around waiting for Sarah and Jim to arrive. Sarah was originally coming to pick up her bridesmaid dress, but we invited them to come over and hang out by the pool. So once they were both here, we headed to the pool. I was worried it would be way crowded, but it wasn’t. Our pool has a lifeguard the entire time it is open. Once an hour, for fifteen minutes, there is a break and everyone has to get out of the pool. We stayed there for a little more than two full cycles. The first cycle we spent sitting poolside and chatting. The next cycle we spent entirely in the pool. It was warm, 85 degrees in the water. By the time the cycle was over, we were all wrinkled.
Back up to the house for drinks and snacks. Sarah and Jim left shortly thereafter. I grew sleepy. Kelly kindly prepared dinner. Scrambled eggs with peppers and mushrooms and cheese. It was yummy. We had Hersey’s Kisses for dessert.
After dinner we sat out on our balcony and enjoyed the cooling evening air.
We both head back to work tomorrow. I’ve got a bunch of writing workshop stuff to do (I didn’t do any this weekend). I’m about 100 pages through Rainbow’s End, and I’m enjoying it at this point. It’s different.
I think our relaxing weekend was an overwhelming success!
We love having visitors, but we’ve had visitors every weekend since moving. Couple that with the move itself, the tasks to do afterward, and wedding plans, and I think both Kelly and I are exhausted at this point. Fortunately, next weekend is Labor Day weekend. It’s a three-day weekend for me and a four-day weekend for Kelly (because of her flex-day). And so we have decided to make that a weekend of peace and quiet. We are doing nothing.
We are not going to anyone’s house, not going to anyone’s parties, not having anyone over, not going out of town, not doing a lot of errands. We are going to catch our collective breaths and relax for a change. I think it will be nice, and besides, it’s probably our last chance to do so before the wedding, which is now a less than 7 weeks (less than 50 days) away.
Took Dad to the airport this morning before coming into work. He was on the same flight as Mom last week. Next time we’ll see them is when they come out in about 6-1/2 weeks for the wedding.
Dad got into town around 4 PM and got to Pentagon City about an hour and a half later, about the same time I picked Kelly up from work. We all sat around for a while, and then headed back to Pentagon Row for dinner at Sine (where I had a blackened tuna wrap and ignored the fries on my plate). For some reason, in the midst of August, Sine decided to shift from Sam’s Summer Ale to Oktoberfest. I could see that in September, but August?
Back home and Kelly headed off for the gym while I started in on Clarke and Pohl’s The Last Theorem before bed. Once again had some trouble falling asleep and went downstairs for a little while. Came back up at 11 PM and fell asleep sometime shortly thereafter.
Last night was better. We were in bed around 9:30 PM, I think, and I fell asleep pretty quickly. I was awakened at exactly midnight by the alarm clock. We put a clock on my side last night so I could actually see what time it was when I woke up. Turns out, the alarm somehow got set. I got it shut off and then 9 minutes later, it went off again, and it required Kelly’s assistance to get it shut off that time.
Up around 6:15, showered, and headed into work shortly thereafter. Dad arrives in town late this afternoon. It’s his last Orioles game of the season (against the Yankees). We’re planning on taking him down to Williamsburg on Saturday. Weather looks like it’s going to be perfect.
While eating breakfast this morning, I spent the time looking at kruppenheimer‘s hilarious pictures on Facebook.
No significant meetings today (for a change!) but I’ve got some data migration scripting to work on…
Roughly in that order.
We were up around 8:30 AM. I didn’t sleep too well, I think because we were just sleeping on the floor. But I survived. Mom was already up and everyone else was up shortly after us. Kelly’s parents were going to stay until Monday, but decided to leave first thing this morning. They had driven up from south-western Florida and with the tropical storm headed their way, they wanted to get back in time to avoid the rain and get their house battened down. They were on the road by 9:30 AM.
Mom, Jen and Jason headed out for coffee and bagels while Kelly and I got ready. When they got back, we all piled into the car and drove out to Annapolis. Everyone got to see the Inn where we are having the wedding. We walked through the Naval Academy campus and found a shady spot to sit for a while. We headed to Buddy’s for lunch. By the time lunch was over, it was time to head home. On the way, we dropped Jen and Jason off at Union Station so that they could catch their train home.
Back at the house, we debated taking a nap, but Kelly decided that she needed to go to Whole Foods first, so off she went. Mom and I sat around talked. A short while later, Kelly called. Her car was “broken”. I headed out to meet her. The exhaust had rusted through at the base and fallen off on one end. We called AAA and the tow truck was there in 10 minutes. Since the exhaust had rusted through, we had the car towed to nearby Honda deliver and used the after hours service drop to drop off the keys. Meanwhile, Mom fed our hungry cats.
We were back home by 6 PM. We sat around talking and chatting for a while, and then headed over to Pentagon Row for some Thai food. It was Mom’s first time having Thai food. It was my first time having duck, which I really liked. We hung out for a while longer and then we all decided to call it an early night. Kelly and I headed off to bed around 10 PM.