Sunday, July 1, 2007

Things I did with my weekend instead of working

The weekend began with a Friday half-day, which I am entitled to every other Friday in the Summer, but which I never take, because... you know....

But the Boss has been on me about it, and she knows that if she somehow makes it sound like an assignment, I'll do it.

So I left early -- meeting minutes undone and unsent, 50 unread messages, and a dust-covered desk -- and headed for Cambridge, where a friend is appearing in a new musical that I would write more about, but it is closed now. I have written about Improv Boston here before, so I will plug it again. An evening in Inman Square will be a change of pace no matter what you do the rest of the time.

I've become such a suburbanite that the city is loud, and frenzied, and a little stressful, though I like that I still know the secret parking places and the cut-throughs. 4 years out of the city does not erase 16 in. I moved to Boston 20 years ago this week. You've heard that story before.

Met up with friends for dinner at the S&S where Karen berated me for having bought orange roughy -- not then, for dinner, but days before at Hannafords. Roughy that was already dead, I might add, which she says does not justify my participation in the exploitation of~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ I got distracted by the pinot.

The show was great -- funny, fresh, musically interesting. So glad I came in for it.

Saturday morning I took care of such important business as balancing the checkbook and paying the mortgage. I have a habit of failing to notice paydays and payment days. When they land on the same weekend, I can usually get it together. I wrote to you -- perhaps not you, but many of you, and I was falling behind on that too, what with so many recent birthings and relocations. I finally RSVP'd to W's wedding, after losing the invitation in the house for a few days (Guest room, under the folded towels. well, sonuva...)

Then out-out-OUT of the house for a weekend in New Hamsphire, with a pop-over to S Berwick Maine's annual strawberry festival.

How New England is that? can I get a "oooo....haaaah?" I'm the one on the left. someday.

It was breathtakingly gorgeous tourist guide weather. The kind of weather that makes us forget
times like this. I have been to this festival in the boiling heat, in the frigid rain, but never on a day where you could stand in an artist's booth long enough to want to buy something. [this guy. And I bought a painting of a mill, naturally]

There was near violence when they ran out of food, including the strawberries, and I learned that I will not buy 1 hot dog less simply so more people can get one. We ate, we shopped, we chatted up the neighbors in a town where everyone does in fact know everyone and why they took their house off the market because can you believe what they thought they could get for it? And if you know the right people you can park in their driveway and cut through the back field to the festival.

My 4 year-old hostess was delighted by the set of clown noses I brought as a gift, because wouldn't you have loved to see your dad in a clown nose when you were 4? Though I over-estimated the interest the rest of us would have with them: "now put it on your ear. Put it on your nose. Put it on my nose. Put it on...." Perhaps no one will notice that the velvet bag I brought them in says Blanton's on it, even when my hostess became fond of calling out, "Where is the nose bag?" I said to her mother, "I could have brought a naked Barbie and a drum." This sent my hostess off to her room to prove to me that she had both already.

Great tips on the grill, wine, fresh new corn. A strawberry tiramisu that more than made up for the shortcake the firemen had run out of. We tried to watch a movie, but like any Saturday night parents, we were all exhausted and went to bed instead.

What's with the Wonder Pets? I asked my hostess why all kids' shows had talking animals that wear clothes. And never complete outfits either, just a guinea pig in a hat and a turtle with sneakers on. This is the craziest show I have spent concentrated time with since Charlie Horse Music Pizza. But I now have the ammunition to write satirical Wonder Pets scripts based on the canon of Western Literature: "The governess is in love! She's in love! She's in love with Mr Rochester! We can save her!"
I get a lot of mileage with kids by exposing them to the joys of list making, especially at an age when they are just learning how to categorize, love to give orders, and are fascinated by the magical act grown-ups can peform of writing things down. So we made grocery lists, and named countries, we traded opposites ("I'm tall and you are small.") and a new game I hadn't found before which we can call "Pronoun Trouble." It goes like this: One person says, "What are YOU doing?" the other says, "What is HE doing?" Then the first person says, "What are THEY doing?" and of course this is endlessly fascinating when you are 4, because the subtilties of nominative and subjective case will always trip you up, and make Miss Bender just plain giddy. If you needed more proof I am a spinster school marm, I can do this for hours. Just ask her parents.

Speaking of spinster school marms, I discovered Hamilton House, also of S Berwick, on this trip, another historic preserve founded by a couple of women alone... and a really good architect. Visit it if you can. The grounds are free, and the house tour under $10.

I stopped at Kimball Farms on the way home, for too much ice cream to complete my perfect New England weekend (and slow down my arrival home). Once I did get home I splurged on a nap, Sunday paper and beer on the deck, crossword puzzle, movie, and right now I am just writing until my eyes are too googly to check the email. [such a lie. the email is open in another window] But I am going to bed now. This is not one of those posts that says anything deep, or particularly funny. It is just really what I did, and only 1 hr of it since Friday at 1pm was work-related.


  1. Wow!! you can pack a lot into a weekend!! I also took 1/2 day off on Friday, picked up your niece and she went home about 11:30 PM on Saturday. I was exhausted!! I wish I had your energy again. Of course, I gave up working at home years ago! Stay cool and keep on playing with 4 year olds - keeps you young!!

  2. I did, in fact, berate Miss Bender on the evils of orange roughy. Thoroughly enjoyed the Improv so much so that I'm looking forward to the next one! Good for you for not working all weekend, and since I have a major hand in this weekend's plans, methinks you will do it again! K


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