Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Let me first start by saying I am so extremely exhausted, I very much need this upcoming weekend to recover.
This week has been so busy, I haven't had more than the 10 or so minutes in the morning watching the weather/news to even watch tv. Which I suppose is good, but that means I've been on the move.
Lisay moved in yesterday, and in preparation for her for the last few weeks, I've been moving/cleaning/fixing things. For one, I fixed my bathroom toilet flapper, which was no small task. This is also why I put it off for almost six months. My water bill in April was a definite wake-up call that I needed to install the new flapper set, and get everything finalized. It was quite a mess, and I was all very dirty by the end, but everything is working and all is well in the world.
But the bedroom Lisay is staying in was the former living space to my sister's 3 cats, and they sorta made a mess of the walls/carpet. Plus there were holes in the wall from my stuff and the painting was never completed (my own sheer laziness). So that was my project on Wednesday night. I cleaned out the room, moved out all the office furniture, removed the disgusting cat pee stained rug, washed the hardwood floor, repainted all the marks on the wall, finished the trim, and cleaned everything once over, including the windows. Now the room smells great, and I got a new rug, new bed and such all placed and ready. It's a cute bedroom now, and I'm hoping she'll be pleased. But boy was I exhausted by the end! I started at 5:30 and it was past 11 when I got done.
Unfortunately, in the last week, my laptop finally bit the dust, which didn't upset me as much as I thought it might. I knew it was coming. The keyboard wasn't working 100%, the bootup process was struggling, I've already lost a hard drive in the past year, and my screen was being flakey. Well, bringing the laptop home this past weekend was what ended up doing her in. But the great news is, while I figure out what I want to do next for a laptop, work has GIVEN me a PC to have at home. So after cleaning up that bedroom on Wednesday, I set up the PC in my bedroom and got it all hooked up to my wireless and such and in a state of great use. VERY happy with this turn of events, and it gives me some time to figure out a laptop. I'm so very picky on big purchases, and part of me doesn't want to spend another two grand when I just bought a new roof.
What I WILL pay for is all the new plants for my gardens, and all the red mulch that comes with it. I've been working pretty diligently getting the front gardens into a respectable state, and I've been very pleased with all my recent purchases, and all my new acquisitions from my mothers/aunts houses. I even got 2 dozen plants for a vegetable garden. Everything is fitting in well, and with all the recent rain, stuff is starting to look lush. May is great for gardening. I have big plans for redoing the plant beds in my front, but that may have to wait until next year. It won't be cheap, and I have a few other priorities right now.
Speaking of rain. My god. Ever since the trees exploded with their seeds, my basement drain has been backflooding a little bit every time is rained. Well, we got BUCKETS of rain last night, and when I got home, the basement had about 2 inches of water all the way up to my boilet/hotwater heater. Yikes! I called an emergency plumber with no response. So with my jeans rolled up, in my barefeet, I got into a foot of water by the drain and plunged the hell out of it. Well, good god, that did it. And the whirlpool of water drained right out. Now I just have a damp basement that is slowly drying. Take THAT house. Toilet. Roof. Drain. Windows. No job too BIG for me.
I was gonna say something about our recent family visit from Theresa and Alan, and also about Nicole's awesome graduation party, and even about my damned cat using my tropical plant as a litter box, but this is getting long, and I have to run Deb to the airport. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Posted by Luke at 2:47 PM
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
After my trip, this week has really been a blur. Getting back into the work groove has been simple, of course, and Monday and Tuesday was mostly about answering emails and getting high priority projects finished that were pressing and immediately. I was emailed and called while in the Bahamas for my job, so I did end up going online to do some work then, so I knew what was awaiting me in my inbox, so the week has gone by smoothly, and my new coworker Amy has really fallen into the groove of things.
Sunday night, for mother's day, we all gathered at Nola's house for a little BBQ. Mom was exhausted, so I don't blame her for leaving and heading home, but the rest of us ended up going to a great new ice cream place that Alex's brothers discovered. The ice cream was amazing... amazing! It gave me quite the stomach ache, but it was soooo worth it. And the funny thing is, it was recommended to me the next day by a coworker. Ha! But we all had a great time, even if mom didn't join us. I really enjoy hanging out with my sisters and their boyfriends. They're a bunch of fun, even if the topic careened off a cliff into the horrors of the male anatomy. Don't ask...!
But so far, I've gotten quite a few things accomplished after work. My gardens all took off while I was away.. as planned, and a bunch of things I planted have all sprouted. But the grass is taking hold, and I've spent some time weeding, weed-eating, sweeping, cleaning and leaf/dust blowing to get the outside of my place all spick and span. It looks pretty good. There is of course a million more things I must do before it even looks remotely done, but without that big ugly tree in the front yard, there is so much more sun, and I'm hoping all the plants do much better. And Nola will be pleased that my two bleeding heart bushes came back this year after I accidentally ripped them out last year.
The guys all waited for me to watch the new Star Trek movie... which was really a great gesture. Josh apparently begged Seth to go, but Seth put his foot down and said "Not without Luke!" But the bunch of us went there, after Marni made me a delicious dinner at her house, and we enjoyed the movie a great deal. It changes a LOT with the Trek franchise, but I think it's an incredible reboot of the franchise, and should prove to be very cool for the forthcoming movies that they've all signed on for. Even Marni enjoyed it, and she's by no means a Trek fan.
I've continued my workout routine after my vacation... gotta drop those 4 pounds I gained while on the ship. Shouldn't be too hard. But all the free food on campus is hard to pass up, but I will push through! I have a highschool reunion coming up I need to get ready for. ;)
My new roommate moves in soon. I'm still getting things ready for her. I have a todo list the size of Texas, but I'm slowly getting through it. I've just been so busy when I get home, it's 10pm before I know it, and all I want to do is catch up on the 3 episodes of LOST, 4 episodes of Medium, 3 episodes of Law&Order, etc, etc... man, oh man, I'm just glad they're all done for the season.. I can't keep up!
Posted by Luke at 4:25 PM
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 09, 2009
On our way back to Baltimore! All day today was relax and easy going. We got up late, got our gym stuff out of the way, met up with Mary Joan and the gang for breakfast, and headed outside for some sun. Everyone headed to the casino after lunch for a slot tournament, with Frank coming in third. Did some shopping on board, went to bingo.. you know, usual ship stuff.
The day has gone by quick.... today was the first day in awhile that I realized I'm not stuffed up nor coughing from my previous illness. But I guess I speak too soon, because I'm thinking the chocolate dessert bar I had for lunch (mixins and such) is wreaking havoc with my stomach. Oh, woe is me! Final dinner tonight. We requested a special dessert for my mom, and we're all packed for tomorrow. Tonight is a big raffle and the final goodbye show. We're taking it easy and trying to enjoying the final few hours. Tomorrow is a big day. We disembark around 10am, and then we're on the road back to Rochester soon after. Not looking forward to the six hour drive home, but it must be! Mom and I both agree that Cocoa Beach was our favorite offship activity, and the hypnotist was the best onship event. Definitely gonna cruise again. Maybe with my whole family, next time. We're just off the coast by Cape Hatteras, in the outer banks of N.C. Almost home!
Posted by Luke at 6:43 PM
Friday, May 08, 2009
Last night's hypnotist was really good. Had people dancing and moaning and doing all sorts or crazy stuff. A good time. Plus dinner was exceptional. But today was Freeport... the 2nd largest city in the Bahamas. We had our usual gym hour this morning and ate breakfast before heading off the boat. We were debating taking a taxi into the village and heading to a beach, but decided to just walk around the straw market and see what other fun finds we could see. I finished up my gift buying with a couple merchants, so I guess we're all set! The heat was intense, and there wasn't a lot of shade, so mom and I got back on the boat. There is so much to do on board, so we got back on and had some lunch. I've gotten a bit of sun while on vacation, which wasn't in the plan. I pretty much stay inside as much as I can, but mom looks incredibly tanned. But it looks good on me, and I only got burned a little bit on my back.
My favorite bar waiter wasn't at dinner tonight. We later found out that he hurt himself, and they're sending him home to Serbia. Sad. Mary Joan joked that he hurt himself pouring so many of my diet cokes. Figures. Leon later saw him and asked him if he was OK, and Dejan asked if someone else got me my sodas at dinner. Hilarious. But dinner was great, we all dressed up again, got a group shot, and headed to the show (which was amazing), and a 2nd 'adult only' show of the hypnotist. A little raunchy, indeed, but we enjoyed it and got back to the cabin around 1am.
Posted by Luke at 11:40 PM
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Woke up a little later today. Vacation is tiring us out! Got to the gym around 8 and off to breakfast around 9. Mom ended up walking on the outdoor walking track for almost 45 minutes. We always seem to eat breakfast with Mary Joan and Frank exactly when we get out of the gym. And I'm getting major use out of my unlimited soda card. A bit pricey, but worth it. And between mid-afternoon ice creams, ohh, every day is a vacation. Oh, wait, it is! We got off the boat around 11am this morning into Nassau, and made our way into the Straw Market down the street. Other than the fact that this whole island smells like sewage, we had a good time shopping for a couple hours in the INTENSE heat.
We ate some lunch at Senior Frogs with a wonderful ocean view, and did some more shopping down the street. We were keen on finding actual handmade souveniers, and it was intensely difficult. Everything was so commercialized, it was a little disappointing. But we had a lot of fun, and even avoided getting on a moped even though they were *everywhere*! Haven't had dinner yet tonight, but the hyptnotist is tonight after dinner, so I'm really looking forward to that. Tomorrow is Freeport with a bit more beach time... can't wait. We're looking like lobsters! Very tanned, and healthy. I'm headed to the gym for a little bit before dinner. Gotta be proactive!
Posted by Luke at 6:02 PM
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Finally into the groove. Day 5. Sleeping through the night, working out almost an hour each day. We got up extra early because we were getting off the boat around 9. Met up with the vacationers for breakfast (how we're timing this every day is amazing), and ended up going to Cocoa Beach around 11. It's a little resort town with a huge, beuatiful beach. We walked down to the beach and got into the ocean and laid out for about 90 minutes before we headed inland for some food. I did some shopping at Ron Jon's surf shop, and we walked up and down the beach looking for shells.
A lot of interesting people on the beach, and mom even put herself in the middle of a near drowning situation. They didn't end up needing her CPR skills, but watching them was impressive. The pier was huge, but to go to the end, we would have paid $1. So we ended up leaning obnoxiously over the rope to take some pictures. By the end of day, we had walked, in the hot hot Florida sun, over 5 miles! The nap that followed felt so, so good, and we were prepped for dinner. Another delicious sitdown, and a hilarious evening with our great bartender and dinner crew.
Posted by Luke at 11:00 PM
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Woke up a little hard this morning. I think I slept on my arm wrong. But an hour workout at the gym this morning was what I needed, and we met up with Mary Joan and Frank for a delicious breakfast. Mom laid out in the sun and got a really great tan today, while I hid from the sun, and enjoyed a lot of indoor activities. Mom wants me to do some putput golf with her, or at least karoke. Yeah, we'll see. She was gung ho on doing something every second yesterday, but she's getting into the groove and slowing down a bit. I did get outside for a little bit for some sun, but haven't tried the pool yet. Mom has tested each hot tub, and found one she likes. Mom even lost 2 hangers and a sandal in our room somehow, but our room steward found the shoe. He dove under the bed and rooted around for a bit before emerging with the missing offender.
Watched Australia in the cabin between activities, and dressed up nice for the 'Past Cruisers' party, the Ventriliquist, who was very funny, and our sit down dinner, which was, of course, still very good. I'm eating a bit too much, so I'm adjusting to that, and it's playing games with my stomach. But the workouts I think are helping burn away all those extra carbs that are sneaking into my mouth. Not like that strawberry cheesecake was a hard sell. Clothes all still fit, so that's my only concern... just bought 5 new outfits that I need to stay fit into a couple more days. Tried out the sauna today... not sure it will be a repeat visit. But now I want the view of the ocean outside my window every day of the year. We're arriving first thing in Florida tomorrow morning, so see you then! I'll be calling!
Posted by Luke at 11:35 PM
Monday, May 04, 2009
Getting real acquainted with the boat now. Sleeping easily and enjoying the sun in the day. It's getting a litle warmer every day, and the sun is amazing. We've been getting up every morning to go the gym at 6:30am. Mom and I are sticking to our routines, which is doing wonders for keeping everything else in check. I haven't had the chance to gamble yet, but there seems to be more than enough to do on the ship. The relatives are in the casino right now, I think. The food choices for me have been quite limited, but it's manageable. Everything is geared to be cheap and carby. Breakfast is still just a couple pieces of bacon, lunch is usually a large salad, and our dinners have been really quite amazing.
I brought some atkins bars on board, and enough water to fill one of the pools, so it's doable. Tonight's dinner included prime rib, and tonight's show was not only an amazing dance/song number by the ship's main entertainment, but the comedian was pretty decent.. until he started disdhing out some tasteless jokes. But everyone else seemed to enjoy him. Tonight's Captain's Party included a lot of Whiskey Sours, and I got my first taste of straight up vermouth whiskey and a couple martinis. Didn't taste like much, much to Mary Joan's amusement. "Someone has a problem!" Mom said I did my great grandfather's proud.... didn't waste the 6 drinks I ended up getting. They kept bringing them, I kept drinking them. Mom and I are enjoying the in-cabin movies, too. Watched Marley & Me the first night, and mom watched Get Smart today. OUr balcony is huge, and we're finding ourselves relaxing quite a bit. So far, so good. Haven't decided what we'll be doing in Nassau and Freeport, though.
Posted by Luke at 9:33 PM
Sunday, May 03, 2009
So bright and early, I got up and played with Sean for a bit. The smiling, wonderful baby is such a pleasure.. and we got a lot of really great pictures of me holding him and playing with him. My mom kept commenting on how happy a baby he is. And since she's been around babies for years and such, it's high praise, I would assume. We had a wonderful breakfast ala Osborne, and we ended up leaving by 11:30a toward Baltimore to catch out boat. We got there on time and the directions were great.. except they took us to the wrong terminal. So after paying a couple useless tolls for the bridge (over it, and then on our way back), we ended up getting in line to drop off our luggage. It was POURING, and it put me in quite a foul mood, but with mom by my side, we got through the massive parking line, and onto the boat in about 2 hours.
Last year, we were VIP's and got on the boat in about 25 minutes. This year? Whole process took almost 4 hours. But we got on, had a really late lunch, and met up with Mary Joan, Frank, Jeanette and Leon. I showed mom the boat, we explored a little bit, checked out the gym, and headed back to the room to get ready for dinner. The whole afternoon went by so quickly, but the boat started leaving, and our sitdown dinner went off without a hitch. Laughing ensued, and the trip has started out great. Tomorrow is a day at sea, which will include some seminars we've signed up for, some gym action, and elegant night for the Captain's dinner. Should be a blast. A reason to drink, at least.
Posted by Luke at 10:16 PM
Saturday, May 02, 2009
Vacation has arrived!! The day started out real early for us. Friday night consisted of getting the rest of my stuff packed and ready for the drive. I've got packing down to a science now... and I forgot nothing.. which is great. But went to bed at midnight, got up around 4:30, and started driving for DC. Mom is a good roadtrip mate.. and we got down to DC by noon.. very quick. Made our way into the city via the metro and enjoyed lunch at the Museum of the Native American. I've had lunch there in the past, and enjoyed it enough. By the time we got there, we were starving. We walked about 5 miles back and forth and up and down the mall. We headed to the Capitol and down along PA avenue to the white house and the Washington Monument. Looking at it through someone else's eyes was a cool experience.. and being able to be someone's tour guide was a lot of fun. We took a ton of pictures, but unfortunately I can't download them at the moment. But I'm sure we'll get them up eventually. We got back to Laura and Luke's house around 7, and Laura had made us a great soup dinner. We visited, played with Sean and caught up into the evening. But after an 18 hour day... we were exhausted and headed to bed.
Posted by Luke at 10:13 PM