Summertime, and the living is… easy?

Here’s a quick list of ALL THE THINGS, in no particular order.

We made it down to Wisconsin to see the grandparents. That was over a month ago, on June 7. Grandma is not doing well- at the time she was still staying at a care facility, but they were able to bring her home recently. A nurse comes to the house four hours a day. I’m glad we made it down; it had been far too long. We were able to celebrate grandma and grandpa’s 63rd anniversary with them (anniversary was June 8) which was very special.

family

Grandpa told us we should “take something to remember grandma,” which was a little awkward. She’s still alive. Still, this little glass chicken dish caught my eye, and now it’s in our living room.

wee chicken

Darren lost his plumbing job yesterday, only because his boss decided he doesn’t like having to teach him everything. He still works for Papa John’s, so it’s not like we’re suddenly in a financial panic. He intends to go through the process of getting a union apprenticeship, so I think in the end it will work out in his favor. Cross your fingers he passes all the tests! That said, if we turn down plans, please know it’s only because we’re trying to avoid spending money. Feel free to come over and drink at our place.

I had a four-day weekend for Independence Day. I learned that I only enjoy fireworks from a safe distance, so when we went to a party that involved yard explosions I spent most of the evening inside with the dogs (our dog and a friend’s). No regrets. Brenna was in town that weekend for her dad’s 60th birthday, and we were able to get together on Sunday. We went to the beach, then to Grumpy’s Bar in Roseville where Tara met us. Afterwards, we headed back to the Muddy Pig in St. Paul where we were joined by Sean, Dave, and of course Darren.

deegs

I told you this was in no particular order.

Last night I took Kate, Rebekah, and Michelle to RiffTrax Live: Sharknado. They broadcast from one of our – my company’s – theatres and I managed to get us comps. I was the only one that had seen the movie previously, but I tend to forget a lot about movies if I have only seen them once (and often twice, or even three times…). That plus the riffing made for mega good times.

sharknado

Legendary.

Now it is Friday. This coming Tuesday I am dragging Darren with me to see Welcome To Night Vale on tour, because they’re coming to another one of our theatres and once again I was able to nab some comps. Until then, I think I’m going to spend some time binge-watching House on Netflix. Haters to the left.

the haps

It feels like a lot has been going on in the last three weeks, but not much of it has been very exciting.

Darren started a job as a plumber’s apprentice at the end of April. It’s part-time right now, just because that’s how the work load is. It’ll pick up to full-time in the summer. His boss, Jeff, runs the business alone and Darren is his first employee. For an apprenticeship, Darren will have to register with the state and there’s mandatory schooling involved. I think it’s 144 hours per year for five years, then a test. He hasn’t registered yet, but will soon. He’s still doing the delivery thing part-time about four nights a week, so we’ll see how it goes.

Although who knows how long it’s going to be before we can really judge anything, because poor Baxter developed a hernia last week. He saw the doctor on Monday. She said he was very lucky; it’s minor enough that he doesn’t need surgery, just a lot of rest. Which means he can’t work for a bit. He has a follow-up next week, so here’s hoping the thing gets better instead of worse. We can handle him not working for a couple weeks, but if he ends up needing surgery then who knows.

What else? Had more work done on the car a couple weekends ago. Wheel bearing, blah blah. Darren’s boss has a mechanic buddy who did the work for much less than shop labor would have cost, so that was awesome, but he’s in Coon Rapids. His house is like two blocks from Kyle and Jenna’s, so Kyle met us there and we had lunch, then he brought us home. What an excellent brother.

We assumed we were going to be car-less until the next day, but it was finished later that afternoon. Getting back out to CR was a friggin’ ordeal. The amount of time it took to find someone willing to help us out was rather depressing.

We’re trying to work out a time in the near future to go visit my grandparents in Wisconsin. Probably next weekend? I guess Darren may or may not be able to make it because hernia, but at least Kyle, Jenna, and I will go. Fingers crossed Darren can come too.

Someone destroyed the washer and dryer in our building last week, so we have to do laundry elsewhere until they’re replaced. Last night we went to the home of some pals so the dogs could play, we could grill, and our clothes could get washed. It was fun, but I hope our machines get taken care of soon. Hauling that stuff around is annoying.

That’s about it. Summer hours start this week at work, so we close a couple hours early on Fridays for the next few months. And this weekend is a long one, thanks to the holiday on Monday. Three day weekend with no plans? Sounds like a dream.

Birthday stuffs

Tuesday night I was digging around for something that I never did manage to find, but in the process I came across a folder I had forgotten about. In it, I found miscellaneous items and a photocopy of my mom’s pregnancy notes. How timely!

preg journal 1 preg journal 2

It’s hard to read, so I’ve transcribed below (I am twin B, Kyle is twin A). Happy birthday to me (and Kyle)!

Continue reading

But the question is, what do we name it?

Four years ago, we acquired a sad-looking but functional ’97 Dodge Caravan. It was a hand-me-down from Darren’s parents and we payed exactly zero dollars for it. But it’s been on its last legs for a few months now and especially after this winter, replacement is a necessity. Since around September, we’ve been passively searching for an affordable vehicle that can handle the weather that we deal with in this sorry state.

Darren’s coworker Joe buys cars at auctions, fixes them as needed, and sells them. When he told Darren he had a Subaru for sale, we were intrigued. It’s a 2002 Impreza; the car itself has 150K miles on it, but the engine was replaced at around 130K. There’s some cosmetic issues – small dents, mostly, and a wee patch of rust on the wheel well – and the muffler needs to be replaced. It also needs a good cleaning. But instead of taking care of all these things and selling it for double the price, we got a sweet deal (so sweet that the loan payment is only $35 a month) and will be unloading the stupid van at the same time.

I have exactly one picture of said car.

I have exactly one picture of said car.

Darren got a shop recommendation from someone in the know, and made an appointment for muffler repair next Thursday. So we can’t really drive it yet, unless we want to risk a ticket because it’s so very, very loud. We’re hitting up the DMV tomorrow I think, and we’ll get the insurance switched over sometime this week.

All of this to say: ALL WHEEL DRIVE, YOU GUYS! And I’m so excited to not be rolling around in that shitty mom-van anymore.

“Would you like an adventure now, or would like to have your tea first?”

Darren and I saw Peter and the Starcatcher last night. It’s pretty rare for him to come to a show with me, but when I told him it was supposed to be super funny and wasn’t really a musical, he was on board. It is essentially a prequel to Peter Pan. The book that the play is based on was co-written by Dave Barry, so I was feeling optimistic.

The show moves quickly and can get a bit quiet, so you definitely have to pay attention. They do sing, but not all the time. The humor is pretty corny over all, but it’s a family show so it works. Also, there are many puns! Many, many puns. And the bit that happens when Black Stache (Captain Hook, pre-hook and super campy) gets his hand cut off is the kind of bit that’s sort of funny, then not funny, then suddenly hilarious. There’s a lot of physical humor, which I like.

There is one woman in the show. She plays a 13 year old girl (who is one of the Starcatchers and the main character) and sounds like a 35 year old woman in a way that was kind of annoying and a little distracting. She’s super talented though. Her voice can’t be helped so what can ya do. The one other prominent female character, the nanny, is played by a dude who also plays multiple other characters. Totally funny but kind of a bummer with the lack of women. Lady pirates can totally be a thing, y’all! Lady pirates are the best pirates.

We both enjoyed the play; so did all of my coworkers who saw it, and the couple Kate and I sort of know from all the after-parties we end up at together. Apparently a lot of people didn’t. About six people sitting in front of us left at intermission, and two of my coworkers said the same thing happened where they were sitting (I believe they were not sitting in the same location). I haven’t heard any complaints yet, so we’ll see.

We hit the after-party for about an hour. Had a beer, shared some chips with a pirate, ate some tiny burgers. Hooray me for finally getting out of the apartment! I’ll make up for it tonight by watching TV at home in the dark.

clover

Darren’s dad had a stroke two weeks ago. He went back to work yesterday, so apparently he’s okay, but D had his mind set on making the trip down to South Carolina and he finally booked his flights today.

So I get to take him to the airport at the asscrack of dawn on Thursday (legit. His flight leaves at 6 am), and I’ll pick him up after work on Tuesday. I wish I could go with, but the money, dude. It’s expensive to fly from MSP to Charlotte, even with layovers both ways. He could’ve booked months out and it wouldn’t have been any cheaper. Plus the logistics and added expense of pet care? Meh, I will stay home. I think my in-laws think I don’t like them. Quit living so far away, y’all!

The real question is, what will I do with my three-day weekend now? No Darren. Car to myself. I’m thinking a little jaunt to Ikea is in order. Buy discounted Valentine’s candy on Saturday and eat it all. Woo, I party hard.

UPDATE: His flight got canceled and he was put on a new flight Friday afternoon, because of the weather happening on the East coast. Hooray for not having to wake up hella early on Thursday.

Two Zero One Four

Hey guys, happy new year! I spent my evening at Rec View with Kate, Susanna, and Michelle. We ate too much food, drank Bailey’s milkshakes, built a Sweet Fort, and watched Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. That’s the full title, guys.

Check out Fort Kickass:

fort kickass

Now I’m home and about to crawl into bed. I have one day left of my 12 day vacation and I plan to spend it doing as little as possible (which is how I spent most of said vacation). Everything will be closed so that helps my cause. First, though, I wanted to post this. It’s Dear Abby’s annual resolution column, full of wisdom and goodness.

DEAR READERS: Welcome to 2014! It seems like the world spins faster every year. With each new year comes our chance for a new beginning. It’s an opportunity to discard destructive old habits and create healthy new ones. With that in mind, I will share my often-requested list of New Year’s resolutions that were adapted by my mother, Pauline Phillips, from the original credo of Al-Anon:

JUST FOR TODAY: I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once. I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I’ll not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will do something positive to improve my health. If I’m a smoker, I’ll quit. If I am overweight, I will eat healthfully — if only for today. And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it’s only around the block.

JUST FOR TODAY: I will gather the courage to do what is right and take the responsibility for my own actions.

Have a good year, friends. Get some sleep.