Cleaning house

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Wasn't that a party?

Well...here I am, drinking tea and feeling full, whiling away the last delicious moments of my vacation. What? You ask yourself--home on a Thirstday night? Yes, poppets, yes I am. I'm TIRED. (and poor--but that's for another story*) And being Tired, when I was given a lovely opportunity to back out gracefully--I jumped all over that puppy.

Stanfest was wonderful--thanks for asking! I heard a ton of new music, and a ton of old music, sung by musicians and songwriters both old and young. It rained only for about an hour, most of which was spent inside the arena listening to Ron Hynes and Dave Gunning. The other bit of time that it rained was while I was trying to cook supper--but it was minimal. And we then napped, so it was all good. My favourite discovery during Stanfest was The Tom Fun Orchestra. Man, those kids can ROCK. So much fun! Here's their song 'Watchmaker' (i'll test later to make sure the link works). Listen all the way through, it gets so fast and fun. And Alicia Penney's got a great voice. If for no other reason than this band, I am glad I went.

So there was the least amount of rain they've had on record for the 3 day festival. And it was not so horrifyingly cold as to frost, either. Canso's a beautiful little town of 900 people. 600 of those people were volunteers with the music festival. The festival means THAT much revenue to the town. And for the most part, the tourists/campers/visitors were respectful of that.

The camping in the open field was fun, but a bit cozy. We had a village spring up right next to us, which was fine...but they didn't start really partying until about 2:30 am each night. They went until about 6 am, and then woke up at 7:30 am to start over again. Oh to be 20 again--NOT! (yeah, I SO just did that...the whole 'NOT' thing. I'm embarrassed enough already. Just let it go, wouldja?)

We beveraged quite a lot, but still tried to sleep. Poor Angela nearly froze. But she was SUCH a good sport. It was clearly not her type of music, but she was game for all of it. We even got up to dance like hippies at one point--'twas fun.

There was a slight delay in the getting there--as I am directionally challenged. We drove almost all the way to Windsor before it was realized that we were on the wrong highway, and headed in entirely the wrong direction. This only added about 45 minutes to our trip. (Yeah, ONLY. I suck. I'm aware.) To be fair (to me!) nobody piped up and mentioned that we were going the wrong way until I realized it myself. So... :PPPPPP

We stopped in Antigonish at Bill's house on the way to Canso. His plan was to pick up his tent--I'm not sure where he thought we'd fit it into the car--but it was his plan. The car was so full, with 3 people and their associated crap, that I don't think we could have even fit in a wafer. Not even a wafer. A bucket would have hardly contained the fallout!

We got to his folks house, met his family, convinced him there was NO WAY another tent was going to fit into the car...and his mom fed us supper! Wheee. His folks are lovely people. Angela spoke 4 whole words the entire time we were there. That was a bit awkward--but I guess I'm just not used to people who are shy with new people. I tend to be 'good with people' so it never occurs to me that everyone isn't. Anyway...they're lovely people and I was glad to meet them.

The festival itself was a great time. We were cozy and warm in our tent, as we took a ton of extra blankets. Having three people makes things a lot warmer too. We ate well, and except for the sad lack of campfire it was a great camping weekend.

We stopped in Antigonish again on the way back to the city on Monday...Bill was hoping the tent would fit in this time. (Can we say delusional?) It did not. There wasn't anybody home when we got there, so we peed and had a drink of water, and were headed back out onto the road. As we were standing on the lawn, Bill spotted his dad over at the neighbour's house. His dad waved, and drove back over to home. (This is the country--it's quite reasonable to drive to your neighbour's house. It's also feasible to have neighbours that live close enough that you can identify people on the lawn and still have to drive over to have a visit. This is exactly how close I like my neighbours to be, in fact. Close enough that if you go missing, someone notices...but far enough away that you don't have to make idle chit-chat every day about nothing.)

So after standing on the lawn for a bit--Angela and I giggling about how much alike Bill and his dad were, and how men always seem awkward a bit when they're making conversation--Bill's dad persuaded us to stay for a cup of tea. Angela wanted to just go home, but she was a VERY good sport about it. She was more comfortable this time around too, and chatted a bit with Bill's dad.

His dad's a riot, as he was trying desperately to feed us--and was at a complete loss in the kitchen. We had politely declined any dinner, as we'd had chicken fajitas for breakfast around 11--so we were still pretty full. He was staring into the fridge and all around trying to come up with something. He offered us sandwiches, which we again politely declined. The poor man then was staring into the cupboard and said to me in a slightly desperate tone, 'Campbell's chunky soup?' I said, 'no, honestly, we just ate...we're full. but thank you so much!' He went back to staring in the fridge again. He said something about a sandwich...I offered to make HIM a sandwich, if he wanted me to. He said, 'oh no, She left me a sandwich, I was just looking for you folks.' It was adorable. Anyway...he offered me a beer, which I accepted, and then the world was balanced out again. I had half and gave the other half to Bill.

We had a lovely chat with his dad before we hit the road. The man's funny. I really enjoyed him a lot.

The drive up was lovely, and I missed most of it looking at the road, so I let/made Bill drive home from 'Nish. I got to stare out the window and admire the scenery. It was spectacular. And sunny and warm and beautiful the entire trip. I have to say, that as far as vacation trips go, it was a fantastic way to spend a weekend.

Tuesday I slept until noon. It was FAAAAAAANtastic. It was a sunny and beautiful day. I didn't do much except put up the tent to dry it out, and try to clear up some of my camping gear. I washed everything again, did laundry, and mucked around in the house most of the afternoon.

Tuesday evening I went to a fancy dinner (read: sales pitch) for a tax-shelter at the Westin. It's a tax-shelter disguised as a charitable foundation...quite cleverly too. It's a fantastic opportunity, as a tax shelter. But they really rubbed me the wrong way by trying to convince me that we were doing good deeds at the same time. I mean, yes, a small portion of the donation actually makes it to Third World countries...and it's probably the same portion (in fact it's exactly the same portion) as if I wrote a cheque to WorldVision...but don't show me a tax shelter and call it philanthropy. Because I know the difference. And it makes me feel dirty, not charitable.

But as a tax investment? Fantastic opportunity. If I can come up with the cash, I'll likely consider it. It would mean a huge tax savings in April when I file. Steve's been involved for 3 years now, and has done incredibly well with it. I trust him more than I trust the meatheads that were pitching the investment. Anyway...we'll see. I have a few weeks to decide what I want to do about it.

Yesterday was another lovely day, and I spent it doing not much. Are you noticing the trend? Although, I do have to say that my 'not much' this vacation is a huge contrast to last year's summer vacation. Last year I pretty much sat on my sofa all day and got depressed. This year was MUCH better...and I'm tired out by it, so it's been a good vacation overall.

I even made it to the gym yesterday, if only for a very short cardio workout. The point is that I got myself there. Then, I got to go out sailing! The guy Bill goes with was short a body to race with, so I got to go. I'm not sure that anybody was THAT desperate, but I got to meet some new people and had a great time. I didn't do a whole lot except stay out of the way. I got to pull some sheets a couple of times, and was able to climb up on the bow and hold out the mast with my body...so it was fun. We won by a longshot in actual RACING--but with the handicaps, I think we actually ended up second.

The funniest part, is that the guy whose boat it was, plays ball and ball-hockey with Steve and Crutcher. Crutcher's girlfriend is the one that I sail with. It was quite a little 'six-degrees-of-separation' moment when we figured out that little circle of life. Which just goes to show you that small towns (and small cities too) really are a lot smaller than people ever want to believe.

Last night after sailing, I went down to the Triangle to meet up with Billy and Pat for the CD release of The Gig Dogs. It was fun. I nearly backed out though, because I was so exhausted. I was even half-way there and I wanted to turn back to home. But I went, and I had fun.

I was NOT impressed with the barstaff though. I've always thought it was really expensive to drink at the Old Triangle...and it is. Compared to the Celtic Corner, anyway. But last night, buddy poured me a Clancy's and said '$6.50'. I handed him my debit card. He then had to go ring it in, and punch it up in the debit machine, and hand me a receipt. The cash register reciept actually showed the beer as being '$5.51' INCLUDING TAX. Which annoyed the crap out of me. I shouldn't have tipped him. But I did, because I'm a pansy like that. But that fucker tried to rip me off. I was unamused. And will henceforth drink domestic beer at the Old Triangle. And always ask for a receipt. Fwah.

So today was my last day of freedom. Again, I slept in for most of the morning. It was delicious. I did more laundry, folded some, tidied some, dished some. I went and had coffee with Steven at his office. On my way out the door, Sailing Sarah called me to see if I could sail tonight. I was stoked.

My sailing schedule is laid out for the summer, you see. There's 8 of us, and only 6 will fit on the boat during any one race. Our instructor from the pre-season lessons is also coming with us each week. And SailingSarah is always on the boat, natch, because it's her boat. So we're on a scheduled rotation. Last Thursday was supposed to be my turn, but I couldn't go. So this week there was an opening, and she asked me to go. Except that it poured buckets of rain. Buckets, and buckets, and buckets of rain. So much rain, that sailing was a no-go. Which was okay too, because it meant that a) i wasn't going to be late; and b) I could actually go to the gym for real.

I went to the gym for almost 2 hours. I did 40 minutes of cardio, and full-circuits of the machines. I did arms, legs, AND back. I did 3 sets of 75 crunches each...plus an additional 50 reverse flyes on the ball. I feel GREAT. Tired, but great.

So I stopped to gather some groceries on the way home, and set some dinner to start. I had the second best shower I've had in a week (first was post-Stanfest) and didn't want to get dressed again. I didn't get out of the shower until after 8:30, and then still had dinner to make.

At 9:00 I was ready to cook the noodles, and I was dreading having to go back out. I was also wanting to be more fiscally responsible this week, but was prepared to sacrifice that for the tradition of Thirstday. But I was soooo tired. And cozy. And clean. And hungry.

I was about to sit down and eat my dinner at 9:30, when I got a text message from Billy saying 'I don't know if I'll make it to Thirstday :(' Which under other circumstances would have made me disappointed, but tonight made me rather relieved. It was my built-in Out. Which I said when I replied. I asked him what his excuse was, and he replied that he'd been loaded since 4! *laugh* We texted back and forth a couple more times, then I said 'have fun! thanks for the message!' and left it at that. And then heaved a huge sigh of relief, and tucked into my s'getti.

I have had lots of tea and cozy time, I listened to some television in the other ear, I cleaned my kitchen, laid out my clothes for tomorrow, read a bunch of blogs, and have now brought all of you up to date. Don't you feel enlightened?

I will now go and cuddle up with Owen Meany and my HWB for a while, and suck the remaining marrow from the bones of this vacation. I've had a GREAT 9 days, and am almost even ready to go back tomorrow.

I hope it stops raining on Saturday morning though, as Saturday is the Highland Games on the commons--and I wants to go watch me some pipe bands before I have to head in to work! I loooooves me some pipe bands!

(speaking of which, if you're rich and in the Halifax area, the Nova Scotia Tattoo is on this week, until Sunday. And you should seriously consider going. I went last year for the first time, and it's AMAZING. What a spectacle it is to see. So go. Tell them I sent you. It won't get you a discount, or even better seats, but it'll make me feel important--and really, isn't it all about me?)

***
Note all the linkly love in this post? Note the free time that I must have had available? Note that it took me 3 hours to complete this post? Now it's time for bed. Don't expect so many links in the future...I'm not on vacation anymore, dammit! Time to get back to my cranky old uptight self. Now...get off my lawn!

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