Friday, July 15, 2011

july 15, 2011

i'm back! summertime took over for a while there, but i'm back to report my goings on for the past month. aren't you happy? so, where was i?

oh, right. the job i mentioned in my last post. i did indeed get the job and it lasted for just over two weeks. it was a pretty cool shoe company, and i loved that it was only 12 miles away from my house! unfortunately it still took me about 45 minutes to get home everyday. crazy, huh? for one thing, i had to take a shuttle from the building to the parking lot. depending on the day that would take up to 20 minutes. bummer. then i would get caught in the highway traffic for another 20-25 minutes. sigh.

anyways, it was a nice job. different that what i normally do as it was all photoshop work. kinda cool change though. i worked on over 3000 images to create those 365 degree views of their fall shoe line. i also worked on images for the background of the website. i had to take each image and make it twice as wide as the original dimensions. and no, i couldn't just stretch it out! i had to actually create something out of nothing. there was lots of cloning, copying and futzing involved, but they turned out pretty good!

as for that weekend race, it didn't materialize. a few weeks ago, i decided to blow up my transmission in my race car. fun, right? yeah. so i tracked down another transmission and we got it installed just in the nick of time for saturday's race. we get there and i go to take my first practice run when i realize my two-step launch controller is keeping me from going any higher than 5000 rpms. which means i get a 16 second time slip at 85 mph. wha-whahhhh... it turns out that the speedometer cable was broken and my engine management didn't like that. needless to say, i didn't win the race that day. so boyfriend and i flew home to put the old tranny's speedometer cable back in before we make the trek down to new jersey for that sunday's race. long story short, it didn't work and we didn't go. boo! the worst part was knowing i wouldn't be able to race again until the middle of august because i will miss out on the july 30th race.

mom and i went to see a cool art exhibit at the peabody essex museum one night during the week. it was dutch and flemish art from 1400-1800. i don't think it was here favorite kind of art, but i think she enjoyed herself. i loved it! i like most artwork from that time period. we ended up getting there late (as usual!) so we were only able to see that exhibit, but we do plan to go back to the museum before the summer's over to see the rest of the place.

ummmm...what else has been going on? oh yeah, only the BEST DAY EVER! so boyfriend and i went to his aunt's camp in the woods for his cousin's high school graduation party. we had a great time and we were invited to stay over the following weekend (july 9-10) for a "family reunion" of sorts. so we got the bright idea to borrow step-father's pop-up camper for the weekend so there would be enough for everyone else to fit in the cabin. it was the first time boyfriend and i used one of them on our own and i have to say, i fell in love with it! i really want one for ourselves now, soooo much better then sleeping in a tent! ah, where was i? oh yeah. so that day some friends and i had planned to have a yard sale at my house. we did pretty good. i sold about half of my stuff and made $60, and they did well also.

by the time boyfriend and i got that picked up and the trailer packed it was after 3:00pm. it usually takes about an hour to get to the cabin and we made it there with minimal traffic, to my surprise. as we pulled up, we noticed that there was only a handful of people outside, not the crowd we were expecting. it turns out that the "weekend sleepover" had turned into "everyone leave by 4:30pm on saturday." great. we ended up staying anyway and had a really great time. we had some hamburgers and hot dogs, and then split up the strawberry-rhubarb pie i made and brought up for the party. it was delicious! then boyfriend and i set up the camper next to the house - where i impressed everyone with my mad trailer-backing-up skillz - even though the cabin was far from full. after that, we took a swim in the lake. the water was the perfect swimming temperature, just cold enough to make you reluctant to get in the water, but warm enough to not want to get out again. i love to swim, so it was really delightful. we chatted with the family and later on we started a game of rummy cube, a fun game i've only played with them. it's a mixture of rummy and dominoes which makes you think and stratigize (sp?) but have fun at the same time. around midnight, boyfriend and i headed off to bed in the camper. other than the mattresses being a bit thin, it was comfortable. i think we both slept pretty well.

the next day (BEST DAY EVER!) brought bacon and eggs cooked by his uncle with white(!!!) toast and butter. what a treat! i never buy white bread and it makes the best toast! after breakfast, boyfriend and i packed up the camper. it really was easy. i think i could do it by myself. gotta get me one of those...then came more chatting and swimming. i could have stayed in the lake all day. it was such a lovely weekend weatherwise. blue skies and low 80s. perfect summer weather! but we had to leave by 3:00 pm because i had tickets to a concert for that evening.

my very good friend got me two free tickets to see chris cornell and soundgarden at the comcast center in mansfield. OMG!!! i was going to see soundgarden live!!! chris cornell is my favorite singer of all time. i love everything he's done, from temple of a dog, to soundgarden, audioslave, and his solo stuff. i have it all. LOVE HIM!!! so you can bet i was super excited for the concert, especially since soundgarden split up in 1997, just a few years after i ditched the pop music for rock and roll. they were one of the bands that drew me into the awesome grunge music of the 90s and i never got to see them in concert. i couldn't find anyone to go with me because it was such short notice, and it was too late for boyfriend to stay out on a sunday night. he has to get up at 4:00 am for work, yuck. i ended up going with his friend from work, whom i had hung out with a few times with boyfriend. i was a bit nervous of the long drive there, but we had plenty to talk about. not too much awkwardness.

we got to the show on time at 7:30 pm (amazing) and found our seats. they weren't too bad. we were sitting in the last row under the roof of the arena. the open air seats and grass was behind us. we listened to coheed and cambria who was opening up for sound garden. i only knew one of the seven songs they played. man, was it loud! it was actually a little too loud. there was some distortion. i felt a little bad for the band playing to a half empty arena. everyone was waiting for the main event to show up. on a side note, apparently the bass player for c&c held up a walgreens a few hours before the show for some oxycontins, then took a cab to the arena. probably not the brightest move to take the cab. he was promptly arrested and the guitar tech had to fill in for the set. during the time it took to set up the stage for soundgarden, we walked down to the concession stands and bought two band shirts. mine was the live on i5 shirt which had a cool graphic of streaming car tail lights on the front.

a little before 9:00 pm, the guys from soundgarden walked onto the stage and the crowd, who had filled out considerably, jumped to their feet and roared to life. most of those people had been waiting for 14 years for that moment! oh, it was so worth the wait! they ripped into searching with my good eye closed from badmotorfinger, then launched into spoonman from superunknown and the crowd went nuts. i had never heard chris live before and i was very excited to see that his voice really was that amazing even without post-processing and editing. you can't say that for most singers these days. even though he's been performing some of these songs since the late 80s, he can still hit all the high, screaming notes and keep his smooth, yet a little gravely, tone that makes him one of the best rock singers of all times.

  1.  Encore:

they played a great mix of the popular radio songs and the more obscure stuff. i think they satisfied the casual listener and the diehard "knights of the soundtable" superfans alike. i was in heaven, singing along with all the songs and watching my most favorite singer do what he does best. my date for the night was having a great time also. the band rocked the stage for just about two hours, which went by way too fast for my liking. that included the at least 30 minute encore, where they played some really old stuff like big dumb sex from louder than life (circa 1989.) the best song of the night was the last one they played, slaves and bulldozers from badmotorfinger. they kept the song going and going, just jamming along, for a good eight minutes. it was awesome!!!! at the end of the song, chris, kim, and ben started playing their guitars into the amps and causing some crazy reverb that made me think my eardrums were going to pop! but i couldn't leave because what if they did one more song? after a few minutes of that, chris left the stage and ben tossed his guitar into the amps. sadly, it was over. we got back in the car and i drove him back to his house, then headed home for the night.

it's been almost a week since the concert and i can still bring back the joy and excitement of that night. i still can't believe i finally got to see chris and soundgarden live! it was one of those "i can die happy now" moments. chris even grew his hair long just like it was back in the 90s. it was shoulder length, curly and gorgeous. i think i have a thing for guys with long hair. chris, brad pitt (sometimes), johnny depp...even boyfriend had longish hair when i met him! i have to say that chris is on my "list". you know the one. if you, for some crazy reason, ever had the chance relationship status wouldn't matter that night. hey, doesn't everyone have a "list"? they should : )

i found some great youtube videos from that night...

Friday, June 3, 2011

june 3, 2011

i got an email from one of my temp agencies yesterday. there is a job in andover that my resume was put in for which would start next wednesday. it's for mostly photoshop work and only for two weeks. but the pay will be good and it will help pay for my weekend race at the end of the month, so i hope to hear back from the agency on monday.

on a side note, when boyfriend got home from work today, he noticed that the ashes from the brush fire we had last night to get rid of some of the huge brush and pine needle piles scattered around our lawn was on fire! i had noticed that our porch still smelled like campfire today, but just thought it was lingering from the night before. apparently it had been smoldering all night and day. thank goodness nothing else caught on fire before he put it out again!

Monday, May 30, 2011

may 30, 2011

we finally went out on our boat today! boyfriend and i didn't make it out at all last summer, and only once the summer before, so it was great to be back out on the lake today. and what a beautiful day it turned out to be! boyfriend and i and his parents went out for a few hours in the afternoon. we ended up close to shore and fished for a couple hours while his stepmom swam. i was a little sad that i didn't get a chance to swim myself. they had to go in early and boyfriend decided not to go back out again. we did have fun fishing though. boyfriend ended up catching SEVEN fish in two hours! i managed to catch one and his dad caught five. i hope we can go back out on the boat very soon. i can't wait to swim!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

may 26, 2011

i had my interview in portsmouth today. i ended up being interviewed by four people, which was kind of intimidating! one of the women knew two of my previous employers, including the ones who still owe me money (the scumbags.) they were asking me all kinds of questions about design, most of which i haven't had to answer in, oh, four years! i had a hard time coming up with satisfactory answers and kind of blundered my way through some of them. they did seem to like my portfolio, so maybe that will make up for my lackluster answers.

stepdad came up in the morning to deliver the older eliptical they didn't want anymore and also to pick up some trash from our deck and back yard. he has a new trash/debris removal business, so it wasn't a problem for him to take it all to the dump. we ended up loading his dump trailer three quarters of the way full by the time we were done picking up. i was surprised that boyfriend and i had so much junk in our back yard! all the construction debris from installing our french door last year is now gone, along with all the stuff from under the deck and some crap from behind the garage. nice!

he also was planning on taking me to the town hall so i could get a temporary plate for my new truck. i called them to find out what i would need to bring right before i left. good thing i did because the town clerk's office was closed for the day for no apparent reason! i was so angry! stepdad drove all the way up to my house for this specific reason and now i couldn't go. grrrrr! i ended up calling boyfriend and telling him to come home early from work (he's back on day shift again) so i could use his car to go to my interview later in the day.

i hope to hear back from this company by next week with a decision. it would be soooo nice to have an income again!

Monday, May 23, 2011

may 23, 2011

another week has gone by. there are some highlights to share. i got a few calls for possible job offers last week. two from temp agencies and one from a real employer! unfortunately one already fell through because they chose someone who lived much closer to boston than i do. the other temp job is in boston too, i'm waiting to hear back from that one. the real employer is in portsmouth, which would be a much nicer commute. i would start off as a freelancer, with the possibility of becoming full time somewhere down the line. i have an interview on wednesday with them, keep you fingers crossed for me!

in other news, this past sunday was pretty eventful. boyfriend and i went to visit his grandmother and family for brunch at 10:30am. we had some yummy egg casserole, hash browns, french toast casserole (which was really delicious bread pudding), fruit salad, bacon and sausage, and muffins and breads. it was nice to visit with his family and we got to see his new nephew for the first time! he was so cute and tiny!

after we left there, we headed up to the track to support our racing team even though we weren't racing ourselves that day. it was a dreary and cold day for the end of may, so everyone was having traction issues and going slower than usual. it was great to see our track friends again. it had been almost seven months since we'd seen them last! since it was cold and there were a lot of break downs, we didn't stay until the end of the race and left after a few hours. on our way home, boyfriend begged to stop at quiznos sub shop for a sub. he loves those and there aren't any around our house. how could i say no?

once we got back to our town, boyfriend decided that we should buy the dodge truck we had looked at the day before. my old '87 chevy truck has a cracked frame. it happened at the end of last year while i had to tow boyfriend's subaru back home from new jersey after our last race of the season. i don't think the truck liked towing that much weight and the frame cracked. i didn't know about it until just a few weeks ago, so i had been driving it around all winter, since my subaru is broken. because the frame is cracked, that means i can't tow my racecar with it anymore, which is the reason i wasn't racing and also the reason we were looking for a new truck. anyways...we ended up buying a '98 dodge 1500 automatic (ick) regular cab truck. everything except for the paint is in pretty good condition. our last dodge had 299,400 miles on it when we finally sent it to the junkyard. hopefully this newer dodge will be as reliable! although that automatic transmission worries me. i know it will have to be replaced sometime in the future. stupid automatics...

so, after we got the truck home, my mom called to let us know where they wanted to go for her birthday dinner. we ended up going to the new mexican restaurant on rt. 28 called azteca. boyfriend and i had not been there yet, so we said sure! it was delicious!!! probably the best mexican food i ever ate! they made fresh guacamole right at our table with all freshly chopped veggies, yum. i got chicken with onions and mushrooms and cheese, which i put in the softest tortillas ever along with some of that guac. oh, it was soooo good!!! everyone else really liked their meals as well. mom opened her gift i got her when we were at the craft show a few months ago. it was a pottery vase and sponge holder with pretty blue flowers and dragonflies painted on them. she had admired them when we were at the show.

overall, it was a busy but fun day. and here we are at the beginning of a new week. unfortunately it looks to be a repeat of last week, with rain every day in the forcast. ugh, i miss the sun!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

may 19, 2011

i designed something!!!

my cousin is getting married in july and she asked me if i could make her invitations. she sent me a few links on what she was looking for and i created an invitation that had some elements from them all. she really liked them, so that is my contribution to her wedding. it was nice to use my tablet and illustrator again. i miss using my creativity on the computer.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

may 17, 2011

yup, i haven't blogged here in about four months. i kinda forgot about it actually! i'm still unemployed, and have been without a car for the past few weeks. super fun! although, not having a car is saving me money because i can't go anywhere or buy anything. yeah, that last part isn't true. i discovered online fabric stores! they ship right to your house!

so. what have i been doing for the past four months? not a whole lot. let's see...last week my friends gave me a spare ticket to see sully from godsmack at a tiny little theater in concord. that was fun. his voice sounds JUST like he does on his albums!

i also went to the scrapbook convention in manchester two weeks ago with my friends. i was recovering from bronchitis, so i was exhausted by the time we were done, but it was a lot of fun. i managed to stay within my tiny budget and get some great stuff. i can't wait to use it!

boyfriend and i visited some old friends in michigan about a month ago. it was great to see them. he's shipping out to bahrain at the end of the month for a whole year while his wife and two kids move to oaklahoma to be closer to family. at the end of our trip, boyfriend and i spent the day in chicago seeing the sights and having some amazing deep-dish pizza. i really liked the city and i hope we can go back sometime for a longer visit.

one of our birds died. our male pacific parrotlet, peanut. he ended up having an aggressive form of avian polyoma virus, which there is no cure for. poor little guy. so far, none of our other birds has come down with the virus, but i'm keeping my fingers crossed just in case.

i did end up working for one week in march. it was at a company in salisbury, and it was such a quick and relaxing commute! i wish i could find something that close by again.

mom and i went to see 'mary poppins' at the opera house in boston. it was really good! the actress who played mary really nailed the performance. it followed the book more closely than the disney movie so some of the scenes were unfamiliar to me. i ended up reading the book and it was pretty good.

we also spent a weekend up in maine at some of her old high school friends' beautiful new house. i hadn't seen them in seven years, but they were so welcoming, it was like no time had passed! plus their two kids and fiancees stopped by. i haven't seen the kids in more than 10 years. it was a great weekend of catching up and reliving old times. i hope we will start going back up every year like we used too.

just for the record, here are the total snowfall counts for the 2010-2011 winter season...

  • December 20: 2.5 inches
  • December 22: 1.1 inches
  • December 26-27: 14.5 inches
December total: 18.1 inches

  • January 8: Trace
  • January 9: Trace
  • January 12: 20.0 inches
  • January 16: 0.5 inches
  • January 18: 5.2 inches
  • January 19: 1 inch
  • January 21: 7 inches
  • January 25: 1 inch
  • January 27: 8.5 inches
January total: 43.2 inches

  • February 1: 6.5 inches (Part 1 of storm)
  • February 2: 7.0 inches (Part 2 of storm)
  • February 8: 2.0 inches
  • February 21: 1.0 inch
  • February 25: 3.6 inches
  • February 27: 6.5 inches
February total: 26.6 inches

MARCH 2011
  • March 21: 1.25 inches (First day of Spring)
March total: 1.25 inches

APRIL 2011
  • April 1: 5.5 inches
April total: 5.5 inches

Season total to date: 93.6 inches
so now back to your regularly scheduled program...