weekend wrapup: surprise!

I hate surprises. Hate, hate, hate surprises…unless I’m surprising someone else.  Then I love them.
As I mentioned in my last post, last week was my Mom’s birthday.  This past year has been tough.  Between injuries and job stress and sickness and me moving away, my poor Mom has been put through the wringer.  Naturally, I wanted her to have the best birthday ever so I conspired with my father, brother, and sister-in-law for me to fly back to New Jersey and surprise my Mom!
We had to be super secretive about it though.  My Mom is one of those people who can smell a lie from miles away. That, coupled with our close relationship, made it nearly impossible to keep this from her. In the weeks leading up to the surprise I’d find myself silently freaking out.
Every time she told me of her birthday plans, I died a little inside.  It was killing me not to be able to tell her that I would be there for the weekend.
Until I realized how much fun it could be.  The last week, I spent time on the phone with my Mom lamenting about how sad I was that I couldn’t be there.  I sent her a birthday card to get there on her birthday and told her that her present was on the way.  I begged her to have a bite of my brothers veal parmesan for me during her birthday dinner and promise to FaceTime me in when she blew out her candles.
When my dad picked me up at the airport, he called her to tell her he was on the way home from his meeting.  Then, 5 minutes later I called to tell her I was out of work and going home.  At this point my Mom was at a friends house so we hightailed it there and rang the doorbell.  My Mom was on the phone in the kitchen so I went in, with a stick on bow on my forehead and said,
If you heard what you thought was a hyena screech at around 5:15pm on Friday, that was my Mom, getting an awesome surprise.
The rest of the weekend was full of retelling the story to anyone within earshot, relaxing with family, eating way too much food, and cuddling with the Birthday Girl.  
How was your weekend?

happy belated thanksgiving!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this past week was Thanksgiving.  So, Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!  I left Boston on Tuesday after work and drove down to my parents’ house in New Jersey.  My usual 4 hour drive turned into 6 hours because of the horrible traffic and weather, but I arrived safely, which is all that matters.
Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday of the year because of the food and family…and the food.  I think it’s safe to say that any weight I lost during the Cold of Death of 2013 came back in the form of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and biscuits.
This year I was lucky enough to have had two Thanksgivings–one on Thursday with my sister in law’s extended family and a second one with just my parents on Saturday so that I could take leftovers back to Boston because I’m a shameless glutton.  Of course, no Thanksgiving is complete without a delicious craft beer so I had a black plum porter from Souther Tier at Thanksgiving II.  My parents aren’t the biggest drinkers so this plastic goblet was the closest thing they had to a snifter class.

Thankfully, while I was home I had an appointment with my orthopedist for my 6 month post-ACL follow up.  If you’re a mathalete who stalks my blog you’ve probably realized that I’m actually 9 months post-op.  Oops!  I had been having some knee pain lately and was worried that it was anything from a botched surgery to a meniscus tear to a dislodged screw. Thankfully, I’m just a wimp with patella tracking issues and my orthopedist cleared me to do anything exercise-wise, which is a good thing considering the amount of leftovers I plan on eating!
How was your Thanksgiving?

Being a tourist in my own town

Things to do while visiting Boston

This weekend my friend Claudia came to visit from New Jersey.  I hadn’t seen her since I moved to Boston so it was a great chance to catch up.  Our last adventure together started as a road trip to the Kentucky Derby and ended up in the Emergency Room so I was more than happy to have an injury-free weekend with her!
I took her on a tour of Boston.  Although I’d previously lived in Boston for 3 years, I had barely done any touristy things.  Thankfully my friend, Claudia, is a determined woman with awesome Google skills and had a list of things she wanted to see.  
I took her to brunch on Charles Street in Beacon Hill because she’s obsessed with quaint the New Englandness of New England and no trip to Boston is complete without Beacon Hill.  
From Beacon Hill we walked through the Boston Common and down Tremont Street.  We visited the Granary Burial Ground to pay our respects to the likes of Paul Revere, Sam Adams, the victims of the Boston Massacre, Mother Goose, and Ben Franklin.  Who knew there were so many famous dead people in Boston?!  Actually, probably everyone but me because I never took early American history-but that’s another story.
From there we got thirsty, as seeing the grave of Sam Adams tends do and headed over to Bell in Hand, the oldest tavern in the US, or so it boasts.  We enjoyed some afternoon beers (as in, it was 12:01pm and totally socially acceptable).
Continuing our tour of Boston, we strolled through the North End, Boston’s “Little Italy” where we stuffed our faces with cannolis from Mike’s Pastry.  Literally and without shame.  We also toured Paul Revere’s house where we answered questions from the curator about where Paul Revere was buried and who else was buried near him.  Walking tour trivia win!
The Tour de Boston continued along the waterfront, with a slight pit stop at Sail Loft, a divey maritime inspired bar.  It’s so authentic that the bathroom stalls are the size of what you would find on a boat.  After a few beers, you might even sway enough to think you’re on one.
Naturally we stopped on the water to take pictures.  If you look close enough you can almost see the dead bodies floating in the Harbor.  Kidding, sort of (insert sleeping with the fishes joke about the Mafia here).
Later that night we ended up at Howl at the Moon, a fabulous dueling piano bar that might have asked me never to return unless I promised not to sing along to every song.  I left my voice there and currently sound like a phone sex operator, but it was worth the fun.
On Sunday, Claudia and I dragged ourselves out of bed for brunch at an Irish Bar in Back Bay, took a nap, and she headed home while I went out to run errands.  I ended up bumping into a work contact and, as is prudent to do when you run into a work contact, had a grand time drinking beers on his expense account while talking shop.  
I have 49 more beers to drink to attain Mug Club status.  So close!
I had a great weekend playing tourist in my home town.  How was your weekend?

another post about moving

I missed a weekend update because I was too busy packing and stressing out about packing and drinking my booze with friends so that I don’t have to pack it.  That sounds like a math equation. 
Less Booze = Less Packing = Less Stress about Moving
No, I’ve never seen a math equation with two equal signs but it makes sense, dammit!  I was clearly a straight A math student.  Or how’s this?
Lots of Booze + x = Less Stress about Moving
x = (Less Stress about Moving) – (Lots of Booze)
x = Drinking Booze
Better?  Whatever.

My apartment currently looks like a 5 year old packed it up, complete with drawings on the boxes, lest the movers can’t read.

….or in case they’re excellent readers.

It’s also important to note that it’s impossible not to feel like a serial killer when removing and folding up a shower curtain.  
Speaking of which, I went shooting this weekend with a friend to break in his new Desert Eagle.  I happened to tell my friends last night that I shot a Desert Eagle and they looked at me horrified that I would talk about killing a bird with such enthusiasm.  No, I didn’t kill a bird, but I did shoot a super large caliber hand gun without it recoiling and smacking me in the face.  Success.  Once I figured out how to get the safety off.

weekend wrapup: made in america

As I mentioned on Friday, this weekend I went to a Toby Keith concert.  If you’re not a fan, then you can’t fully appreciate the title of this post, which is an awesome song of his, but I still love you anyway (just a little less).
I suited up in my country finest on Friday afternoon and headed out to tailgate.  I picked up my friend, Colin, who was accompanying me to the concert and he informed me that my uber-adorable American flag bull skull shirt that I was super excited to wear looked like…the female anatomy.  
Sidebar: He’s also the guy who took my profile pic and the pics that created the hilarious gif on my About Me page.  Congrats buddy, you’re famous now.
That didn’t deter me from having a good time.  My vagina shirt and I were happy to “Get my Drink On” so whatevs.
This was Colin’s first country concert and I properly popped his cherry with some heavy tailgating and picture taking.
Yes, those are mutton chops he’s sporting. No one has any idea whats going on with them but they’re ridiculous.  I did suggest that perhaps he should become a Battle of Gettysburg reenactor if he keeps up with the crazy facial hair.  Of course he guffawed in my face, as people tend to do when you’re wearing a large American flag vagina on your shirt.  To which the only appropriate response was to take off my shirt and tailgate in a bikini and that shut him up for a bit.  Then his mutton chops wanted to take this awesome picture of me and our cowboy boots and all was forgiven.
We even made a new friend (as you tend to do when you’re tailgating with bourbon and everyone else has Miller Lite) who looked like Brad Paisley (no joke, and I totally should have gotten a pic but I didn’t). Instead we took a picture with his boots because, priorities.  The Brad Paisley look alike had a gynecologist friend who he introduced us to and then boys spent a good few minutes pointing out the fallopian tubes and uterus on my new not so favorite shirt.  
Like any good friend who’s paying for the tickets, I made Colin schlep two chairs into the stadium that we didn’t even use.  He and his mutton chops were a good sport and they even bought us some overpriced craft beers
I posed for a picture in front of the stadium as proof that I was there before swigging down the bourbon that we smuggled in.  Sidebar: PNC Arts Center has a potential security breach that I will be happy to share with them after I smuggle more booze in at another concert next week. Amateurs.
See I was there.
The concert was awesome–vagina shirt and mutton chop approved.  We hung out in the parking lot waiting for traffic to subside and rumor has it I might have used a porta potty in the dark because I’m classy like that.

How was your weekend?

I’m linking up with Sami for Sami’s Shenanigans today!