Thursday morning we got up somewhat late and headed over to Annandale. Jill dropped me at the movie theater, then headed over to Mom’s. I met up with Dad to catch the new Bond movie (I think we’ve seen them all at one point or another, but we’ve been seeing them in the theaters together since Octopussy), then we joined the rest of the family. Everything was almost ready, and soon we were sitting down to the usual feast. Of course I stuffed myself silly, and it was only after taking the dogs on a long walk that I was able to fit some pie in too.

The rest of the weekend was a mixture of relaxing and cleaning. We had break the cycle of cleaning the day of the party since a) Jill’s ceremony is that afternoon and b) one of her classmates is coming to stay with us tomorrow until then. But the place looks much better now, and I got a lot done I wanted (not everything, but we’ve got time ’til the party).

I made another turkey Saturday (can’t beat 49¢/pound) as well as cinnamon buns from scratch (I had a craving). We had leftovers the rest of the time since that killed most of Saturday – I brined the turkey, not sure how much of a difference it made. Today I got and installed a new latch for the storm door since the spring on the old one broke.

Books I’ve read, week forty-seven

71. America’s Best Comics Primer
Writers: Alan Moore and Steve Moore Artists: Gene Ha/Zander Cannon, J.H. Williams III, Chris Sprouse, Jaime Hernandez, Melinda Gebbie, Jim Baikie, Kevin Nowlan and Rick Veitch.
A collection of most of the first issues of Alan Moore’s series for America’s Best Comics (not including The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). The series I followed were Promethea and Top 10, but now I think I should pick up Tom Strong as well. A

G N’ R

I was a pretty big Guns N’ Roses fan back in the day – I had a number of bootlegs besides the studio albums (Illusions 1&2 are still my faves). Unlike the rest of the hair metal crew (throw an umlaut on that if you want), they had a diverse group of influences they weren’t afraid to show, including Queen and ELO. Sure, Axl’s crazy, but he’s always been – it’s just more obvious now he’s on his own. I picked the new CD up on Sunday when it went on sale, and finished listening to it (in the car) today. The album itself is ok, teetering on the edge of C+/B-, but how could it be anything else? Produced and tweaked to death for years (apparently it was substantially finished in 2001), it’s a mish mash of styles, but enough of the original essence is there to make it more than a solo album (kinda like Billy back with the Pumpkins). It’s still better than The Spaghetti Incident?.

More than the music itself, I’m enjoying the wave of coverage. From comparing Chuck Klosterman’s 2006 April Fool’s review to his real review vs. the real Spin review and behind the scenes interview with an early chronicler as well as the real fail from Dr. Pepper (I tried several times, never got in). Not to mention this great list of 31 other lost projects.

Relaxing, except for a sneaky dog

A good weekend, mostly because there was much relaxing. Saturday I never left the house (except to walk Illa), and it was good. I replaced the propane tank on the grill, and broke out my awesome cilantro pesto chicken (to the 90% of people who don’t think cilantro tastes like soap) which takes a while from marinating to grilling to the stove prep. There was much reading, and after dinner I built a fire and we polished off a lot of TV.

Today I made French toast for breakfast, since Jill was planning on eating here. It went well, but Illa’s desire for playtime afterwards turned out to be a feint as he snuck into the kitchen to sample Jill’s leftovers, and was caught almost immediately and yelled at.

I went out on a couple errands in the afternoon, came back and walked Illa, finished off some auctions, and made a black bean soup. I installed a door sweep on the back door as there’s been a small gap between the sill and the door letting cold air in. I watched the game (another squeaker) while I read the paper, then we ate the soup – turned out pretty well, using leftover rotisserie chicken.

That was fast

Why is that a weekend where I didn’t do too much still passes as fast as one where I did a lot?

Let’s see – Friday and Saturday were quick dinners, burritos and burgers. Jill was running errands during the rain on Saturday, and I watched TV and read newspapers and comics. After dinner Saturday we watched a lot of TV – finished off Dead Like Me, and caught up on the fabulous Gavin and Stacey (we also might have enjoyed the night more because we consumed some fermented beverages).

Today Jill wanted to go out for breakfast, and dragged me along for once. She likes Virginia Kitchen, but I’m not a huge fan. We went to IHOP, but they had a huge line, so we ended up at Amphora. I had a tasty Tex-Mex scramble, and Jill ended up with the quiche. After we got back, Jill went to study while I hopped online to start some auctions.

In the afternoon I read the paper and went out with the dog, then I started dinner and we had some soup I’d picked up as it would take a while to finish. I made jerk chicken, and it would have probably been better if I’d just marinated it then grilled it. However, we’d run out of propane the night before so I cooked it in the oven in the marinade and it was very salty, but tolerable. I’m taking a break from the football game to finish off everything else so I can head to bed after the game (I think night games should be played Fridays and Saturdays or started right when it gets dark, but the NFL never listens to little old me).

New vacation plans

Now that Jill has less than a month to go, we’ve made our vacation plans. It’s something we’ve discussed almost since she started, that when she’s done, she’ll need a month to study and take her boards. But then she’ll have a month before certification and she can start working, so we’ll have time for a big trip. We initially discussed taking 4 weeks off and going crazy – visiting Tokyo, Australia, New Zealand, and hitting Hawaii on the way back. First Jill decided she didn’t want to leave home for all that time, and we dropped Tokyo. Then we discovered exactly how much it costs to go to either Australia or New Zealand, and we can’t afford that now.

The first cruise we went on was the second Eddie From Ohio one, and we had a lot of fun, but decided that band cruises were the way to go (lots of like minded people, we’ve enjoyed the subsequent ones). So I found another band cruise we both wanted to do (we both love BNL and Great Big Sea) and it fit into the time we had already planned on taking off (there was another cruise with artists we liked, but the time didn’t work). Then some airfare deals to Hawaii came up, and suddenly we had our trip: a week and a half in Hawaii (Big Island and Maui), then a week and a half in Miami, with almost a week long cruise. Now we’re busy looking at where we can stay in both places with our resort club.