Beaches and tracks

Man…there is just nothing going on lately. I guess this is what normal life looks like when you’re not stuck on a plane, in a job that you hate and being chased by midgets. Lately, life has been dull. This week; especially so. Shmuppie has no swimming for a few weeks, so we’re all at home for dinner at the same time for the first time since late August. This would be a nice thing if Shmuppie hadn’t decided this week to hate all food. That’s making dinner fun. On the other hand, Chicken is eating like a champ. When we were on vacation, we had just started introducing her to food and she wasn’t enjoying it. Now, she’s an eating machine.

We made a mess of baby food for her…sue those ice cube trays, people. She usually has 4 cubes of food for lunch and then another 4 for dinner. This is all supplemented by boobage and bottles. She’s going to weigh 47 lbs by her first birthday.

Let’s talk about the recent vacation.

Saturday:
The packing went well. I got everything into the car and was even able to get the cargo cover to close. The roof rack came in handy. The ride down was wholly uneventful and we arrived in time for lunch. We bought supplies (food and beverages) and grabbed some pizza. Check in, as usual, was a breeze and we got to the house. The EI houses are lovely, but they have one huge problem on move in and move out day. Our house was 3 floors tall and the living room, kitchen and Shmuppie’s room were on the 3rd floor. So that meant that al lot of crap had to be hauled up 3 flights of stairs. Ugh. We unpacked, settled in and went for a walk on the beach. The weather was cool, but it was OK. For dinner, we bought a mess of pizza and crap from Michelangelo’s and had a quiet evening.

The rest of the week:
Most mornings, Shmuppie and one of her parents would go walk to the local bait/ice/grocery/DVD rental store to get a paper. The house had a great location; less than half a mile from the newspaper, about the same distance from the pier and 3/4 of a mile to Cap’n Willis and his seafood.

We’d get back to the house for breakfast. We brought a lot of bacon on the trip and the ladies enjoyed bacon and eggs every morning. The house’s kitchen had a nice bar area where they’d sit as I slung food around the kitchen. A 2nd mug of coffee out on the deck made for a peaceful start to the day.

After breakfast and Chicken’s nap, the weather dictated our days. We got really lucky this year and had much nicer weather than we did last year. It rained Monday morning, but after that it got sunnier and warmer with each passing day. By the end of the week, I had abandoned my pants all together and was wearing out my one pair of shorts.

We took a lot of walks. The tide comes up pretty far, so as a result, the sand tends to be pretty packed down. This made for good stroller terrain. We’d walk to the pier to see the sights and then continue on to buy dinner. On 5 of the 7 nights, I made some sort of fish. We had a little of everything; triggerfish, grouper, rock fish, shrimp, scallops, etc. Simple dinners, prepared simply. Wash it down with some wine…it’s all good.

It’s funny that when we go to EI, we’re not really vacationing in the traditional sense. We still ended up at the local Food Lion nearly every day, we did laundry, and we cooked. We more or less just shifted normal life out of the insane asylum that is home and moved it to the coast. And…that’s a good thing. I can’t handle staying in a hotel for a week and needing to go out to eat all my meals. I’m just as happy cooking some dinner and enjoying a week’s worth of meals by the beach.

We played mini-golf twice. Js and I took turns with Chicken in the backpack. It’s not east to putt with a squirming, cackling baby attached to your abdomen.

We went to the aquarium. JewelrySlut and Shmuppie did the behind the scenes tour while Chicken and I went on a wee little nature hike. The ladies haven’t been getting along lately, so it was good for them to have a little together time among the fatties and sea turtles.

On other days, when the weather cooperated, we sat on the beach. The house was oceanfront, so we just had to walk downstairs and across a small deck to be on the sand. Chicken was in somewhat of a foul mood for part of the week so poor JewelrySlut ended up spending a lot of time on the blanker trying to soothe the beast. Said beast isn’t much of a napper. She prefers to get pissy when she’s tired. That made for a few un-relaxing afternoons for JewelrySlut.

After tromping around, or sitting, or watching Shmuppie play in the 53-degree water, we’d spend the late afternoon and evening on the upstairs deck. We’d put on some music, pour some wine for the parents, make a painkiller for Shmuppie and watch the sun set.

It’s a great vacation. This is the 2nd year in a row we’ve done spring break down there and we’ll probably do it again…it’s just a matter of when.

You see…Shmuppie is changing schools for 3rd grade. We’ve had enough with her current school and the mayhem it brings. She’s had 2 years in a row with shitty teachers. So…we pulled the plug. She starts the 3rd grade on July 9th. She’s going to a year-round school. It will be different for her and she’ll undoubtedly take it out on s in one way or another, but in the end, we think it’s a good move.

This is how it works: you go to school for 9 weeks and then have 3 weeks off. Rinse, repeat all year long. There are other breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas and at the end of June, but otherwise, it’s 9 in, 3 out. If she gets into the track (as they’re called) that we prefer, her summer won’t be bad. Normally, she’d be in for 3 then out for 3. They need to do this to get the staggered-ness of the tracks going. With our July vacation, she’ll be in for 2 and then out for 4. Then back to school at the end of August until the end of October. Out for 3 and then back the week before Thanksgiving. Then, in until December 22 and then out until January 3. Out again in late January. Then, in until late May. School ends on June 30.

We like it…so far. Me being me, I’ve identified the breaks by their possible vacation destinations:
August: St John/FLA (to see the grandparents)
Oct/Nov: Disney/St John (Before Nov 15 when the season switches)/EI
Jan/Feb: FLA/Disney
April/May: EI/Disney/St John

That’s not to say that we’ll take 4 trips per year, but it leaves options.

We find out tomorrow if she got into Track 3. If she doesn’t, I’m gonna be pissed because we don’t like Tracks 1 and 4. They’re awful.

That’s enough for now. I should probably be working.

So many things…so few typing skills

On occasion, I get complaints. Mostly of the “you don’t write often enough” variety.

Blow me…hard.

I know I’ve been a bad boy lately, but sometimes, life gets in the way of my meager typing skills.

I’ll recap the last several weeks and then attempt, at a later date, to get into more detail about them.

Basement:
The work is 99% done. The plumber’s coming back any minute now to repair the toilet tank. The seals or something aren’t sitting properly and we need a new tank on the toilet. The drip drip drip of water on the floor was not in the estimate. We need to get one closet door painted. It hadn’t come in

***2 minutes later*** Said plumber just arrived carrying the new tank. It’s the wrong model. Back to the drawing board…

So, the door hadn’t come in when we had everything painted. We also need a cat door cut into that same door. We held off doing it until after the inspections because someone may have raised an eyebrow at it. 2 doors need to be planed down a bit and then we’re done.

I’m in the office as of this week. It’s smaller than I was used to, but as I tell everyone, I used to have way too much space. It’s cozy in here and I’m figuring out where to store all of my stuff. It’s been quite liberating; throwing away old files and things I don’t need but, for one reason or another, had held on to.

We need to do more moving this weekend. The storage unit still has things that need to come in to the basement…the guest room bed included. That will leave 2 piles; attic and “Where the fuck is that going?” Unfortunately, we have an excess of tables and chairs in the unit. I don’t know what to do with them. I hate to get rid of that stuff because, we’ll need it should we ever move to a proper house, but, for now, there’s no room down here and I’m not lugging a table into the attic. We’re almost resigned to needing a small storage unit for the foreseeable future. That saddens us.

Vacation:
The trip to EI went really well. Maybe I’ll post some pictures. That will count as an entry, right? We had good weather all week and had a lot of fun. Shmuppie behaved and Chicken practiced her sitting up and rolling. It really was a nice trip and we all got a chance to relax.

Cleveland:
I followed up the vacation with a marvelous trip to Cleveland. 60 of us gathered for a 3-day training session for work. It was good to meet all the people I’ve been working with since December. No midget attacks though. I did get to see both of their buildings and was lucky enough to see the poor people wait for the bus.

The last morning…the night after the last night…one person came up to me and said “I saw a totally different side of you last night”. Really? You mean the lunatic side? I had spent a good part of the evening discussing the nuances of southern living in my Ricky Bobby/Forrest Gump hybrid voice. People were crying. Good times.

Work:
There’s the main reason I’ve been a bad boy. Months ahead of schedule, they’ve turned me loose on an account. I’m back working on Medco. It’s easier to shake herpes than it is for me to shake them. So, I’m back working with them; currently with the people in Memphis I met twice last year. I was told when I was hired that it would be 6-9 months before I was given an account because, until then, I’d be more or less useless as I learned the job. 4 months into it, they’ve given me an account. It’s cool and scary at the same time. I’m good at managing a client and getting good at using our tools. I’m admittedly very weak on some of our specific procedures, so it’s crash course time for me! But, in the end, when I look back at career moves, this may be the 2nd best one I ever made. Leaving Medco was the best one…things didn’t turn out all that well from 2006-2009, but it was the gateway to this job. I’m happy and more or less stress-free!

Life and such:
Chicken is 8 months old. Not sure how that happened. As of this morning, Shmuppie will be attending year-round school next year. She got accepted and can get out of the educational cesspool she’s been in for 3 years. She starts the 3rd grade on July 9. We need to talk to the school to see what track she lands in. We’re hoping for 3 or 2 (not that any of this means anything to anyone). After the somewhat staggered start to the year, the kids fall into a “9 weeks in, 3 weeks out” routine. She’ll have vacations at non-traditional times of the year. Me being me…I’ve already identified the breaks by their unofficial names: Florida, Disney, Emerald Isle, and Caribbean. We both think it will be a good move for multiple reasons. We have lost all confidence in her current school and think the continual schooling will help too. Face it folks, they’re doing it in Asia…we should be doing it here too.

That’s it for now. I hope you’re satisfied.