Big lifestyle-changing things have been going on in Matt's world recently - it's all very exciting!
I've already told you about the new job. Hurray! I know he will be a great teacher. :)
The next thing? A new car!
A very shiny fancy Jaguar, to be exact!! He stumbled upon this by chance and was able to get a great deal. (Even though he bought it from a dealer, it was strange to find out that the previous owner lives a few blocks away from him! Small world!) His good 'ol Hyundai had well over 100,000 miles and was starting to demand a lot of costly repairs, so it was time for something newer and more reliable. We tease him about his "Fancy Car," but it is really quite nice. :)
And not to be left out... he's moving!
This cottage belongs to the church we have been attending. He'll be renting the house and will adopt the title of groundskeeper. He hasn't moved in yet, but we have been measuring and will paint before he does. Once we can scare up a few sticks of furniture (even Ikea is looking pricy!) there will be a housewarming party! It's very charming, but also quite old - even older than the church (1880!). It is small, but I think with time and creativity it will be quite cozy. My mind is whirring with lots of ideas as to how to make it warm and inviting while stretching every dollar as far as it can go!
Big things! Now if we can just get married, life will completely go on its head! ;)
Two weekends ago, we took a crazy two-day road trip to Maine. Four of us loaded into my dear 'ol Jeep and took the long, long drive up to Freeport. Why, you might ask? Unlimited shopping at LL Bean and the outlets? Well, that's a good reason and one we did take advantage of, but no. We went on the quest for music - Great Big Sea!
The concert was great - it was a part of the LL Bean summer concert series(free!) - supposedly they had over 4500 people in the park that night! It was especially fun because there were so many Canadians there, and they know how to party!
We had wanted to stay in Freeport, but everything was booked solid, from the swankiest B&B to all the sites at the campgrounds, so we stayed in Portland - what a great choice! It is such a charming city and I wish we could have sent more time there. I will go back there to explore the interesting little shops and experience it properly! Our hotel was fantastic, too - Holiday Inn By The Bay. The room was comfortable, they gave us a bag of goodies, and we had a bay view!
Of course, we did some shopping while we were there as well, both at Bean and in other stores in that shopping mecca. There was a fantastic little British shop where we all stocked up on chocolates and other goodies, great little cafes for food (lobster roll, yum!), and surprisingly I came home with an extra suitcase!
I had wanted to take part in one of the Walk-On adventures, but we didn't have time... so I will return for that, too. This is as close to kayaking that I got, but I will get to try it some day!
Sadly, a very important thing that I wanted to do in Freeport didn't happen.... my dear friend Kate lives there, and I was excited to get to see her. But she went away! Oh, the sadness! Ah well.... just another reason to go back! Pictures are here... and there might be more soon if I get the "ok" from our friends!
On July 27th, Matt and I went to a Newark Bears baseball game. I know that it is not something most would expect us to do, but I'd gotten an email from Weird NJ and they were sponsoring this game. If you brought/wore some kind of WNJ paraphernalia, you got in for free! So, we headed out with some issues of the magazine and went to the ballgame.
Mark and Mark(the writers/founders) were there and doing a signing... so not only did we get our magazines signed, but we also got two signed copies of the first Weird NJ book! They gave out the second volume later - too bad we couldn't get one of each! There were some WNJ "characters" there as well, and even fireworks after the game! The Bears won, too - it was a very exciting ending with most of the action happening in the bottom of the ninth!
A really fun evening was had for a very small amount of money... a few tolls, $5 parking in Newark, free admission to the game, free books, free fireworks! Pictures are here.
I have a lot of stuff that I should be posting about, but I'm too lazy and sleepy at the moment to upload pictures and whatnot. I'll just make a comment on something that just came to me.
I guess I must be feeling nostalgic or something, but after watching a commercial today on television, I realized that I miss going to school. Not teaching, considering the fact that I am in the midst of getting ready to do it all once again, but rather being a student. I miss carefully packing up all of my stuff and cramming it all into Bing* for the drive up. I miss my friends, who were just a short walk away (or in the next room!) instead of hours or plane rides away. I miss strange things, like the mailboxes. I really miss college choir and my lessons. I miss the struggle of balancing work and play, something that I never quite accomplished, tending to work a lot and being so painfully frugal that I didn't go as many places as I should have. I miss studying and feeling that it was hard, good work, but not impossible. I miss the controlled freedom and how liberating it felt - the ability to be "independent," out of sight of parent's eyes, yet still protected. I miss the "me" that I was becoming there.
School starts next Wednesday. I wonder if my ID card still works.
*my old, dear Red 1991 Toyota Tercel DX, who was named "Bing" by a group of college friends. The picture above, of course, is not mine - but check out the Edmund's website on the car! If I still had it, I could get a better price for it than I thought! And look at the rating, too - it was a great little car!
I admit it. I love Tetris. I've been hooked ever since I got my good 'ol Game Boy(which I still have, complete with oh-so-fashionable pink-and-black fanny pack carrying case!) I have a version of it on my computer. I have a link to an online version. It's a great game that really hasn't gotten old.
But now I have been informed of a new online version of this game.... StateTetris USA. It combines your knowledge of the map of our country with the good 'ol game of Tetris.
... I will soon be a master of state geography... again.
Lots of things are going on recently around here.... here are some highlights.
First, Matt got a new job! He'll be teaching biology and forensics to high schoolers. Hooray! I think he'll be a good teacher, and how cool is it that he gets to teach something like forensics?
(a second Matt thing will be posted about soon... complete with pictures!)
Secondly, a friend of ours just decided to have a change of career... leaving one job and changing to something completely different. Hopefully he won't feel like this anymore!
Thirdly, a friend of mine just told me that she's pregnant! She hasn't revealed it to the general public yet, so I won't spoil her thunder. :) I'm very excited for her, even if it means that I won't get to see her during a visit she had planned in October.
Lastly, another friend, Marisa, has now become a homeowner! You'll have to have a housewarming party soon - congratulations!
Congratulations to everyone. If I missed something important, please let me know. I've been so busy lately and I don't want to forget you! :)
First, we met at Olde Mistick Village where we wandered and did a little shopping. Then we grabbed some lunch and afterwards hung out at a beach/park in the afternoon.
We had dinner at Rice Spice Noodles then wandered around donwtown Mystic, even catching some tunes (and dancing!) at an outdoor concert!
We played a bit in the hotel before bedtime... and musical Catherine liked her belated Birthday present from me - a Bongo drum!!
In the morning, we took a swim at the hotel pool after breakfast and then visited Ocean Beach Park - it was VERY hot, but we enjoyed the breeze, had some lunch, played some games in the arcade and then enjoyed some ice cream before we went our separate ways.
It was really great to spend some time with Becky... I am so glad that we have stayed friends through a lot of life changes and with a lot of distance! It was tremendous fun... too bad they live so far away!
(I know, I know. Here I am spending time with my dear friend and I end up taking tons of pictures of her daughter and really none of us... but she is so darn cute and photogenic!)
I was just asked an interesting question by Rebecca... (who is here is here with me in Mystic!) what form would your patronus take? I still don't know what I think. I might have to do some more research on this... any thoughts or suggestions?