This week has been stupidly busy. Between helping a friend get a responsive website up and running for a client, helping another client with email hassles, research on pre-rolled FTP services and scripts, planning the move of a backyard playground, and fitting in time with the girls, I’m exhausted. I also got a batch of IPA brewed and in the fermenter for the 4th of July party on Tuesday night; it’ll be close but should come in just under the wire. I’m going to brew a batch of Hefeweizen for the other keg, but that should only take four weeks to ferment and carb, so I have a little time.
I’m juggling money right now, trying to decide where to put a little extra cash, and the obvious choice is at reserving a vacation house in Hatteras. It looks like everyone we know is booked or busy this year, so I think it will be the three of us, which is fine by me. Hopefully I can find a 2 to 3 bedroom somewhere close to the beach with a small pool of some kind.
I’ve just always thought this was funny. I’m waiting for the light in the “S” to go out…
We got word early last week that Howard, my sister’s best friend for fifteen years, had passed suddenly and without much warning. I shuffled some things around and hit the road Thursday evening to make his funeral mass Friday morning. From what I’m told the viewing was packed with friends, and the mass was no exception. At one point the priest in charge of the service leaned in to ask the older gentleman sitting next to me (one of the elders) if someone could go locate enough host to use for communion.
Renie had written a eulogy for Howard, and it was funny, touching, authentic, and moving. I was proud of both her words and her poise.
After the service, we drove over to the firehouse, where the reception was being held, and found ourselves sitting with several of Howard’s friends from Ithaca. I struck up a conversation with the gentleman sitting next to me, who mentioned he was from Thailand, and we started talking about travel and food. Within a half an hour he was inviting the family to come and eat at his restaurant (one of Howard’s favorite haunts) and we made plans.
At the table, he set us up with four glasses of Proseco, and things got progressively better from there. Starting with two types of Thai soup (Tom Kha and Tom Yung), we worked our way through four appetizers, stopped for a bottle of red wine, and then worked through five (!) entrees. The restaurant is pan-Asian, so the menu ranges from Thai to Indian, and the mixture of curry, lemongrass, and chili powder was outstanding together. After our entrees, he insisted we try the dessert menu, but not before a glass of grappa or Yuzo (lemon infused sake) to clear our palates. We wound up sitting for four hours enjoying the time together, raising a glass to Howard, and savoring every bite.
Saturday it just so happened there was a party planned for Grampy, who turns 98 this year, so I decided to stick around and celebrate with everyone. He just got moved back into his house from my uncle’s, and a couple of cousins spent the last few weeks painting and cleaning and getting things ready for him. He’s now installed in the middle room (the family room from my younger days) with a palace-sized chair and a hospital bed in front of a flat screen TV. He looks better than I’ve seen him in years, and I could see the spark in his eyes the whole time I was there.
Being able to visit with everyone was great, and once again I ate way too much.
Sunday morning I hit the road and made it back to Baltimore by 3, just in time to sharpen the mower blade and attack the lawn while Finn played on the swing. Jen got the rear bed weeded, and after some work with the edger the house doesn’t look like it’s been foreclosed upon anymore.
I picked up the third and fourth screenprint designs from FedEx/Kinko’s last night, and they turned out well. I’ve been using them because Staples wants to charge ~$40 for a box of 50 transparencies, which is highway fucking robbery. I asked the guy behind the counter how much blank sheets would cost, and he said, “$0.14.” I asked him for fifteen, and he wound up just giving me all they had. “I’m not gonna ring you up for a dollar,” he smiled. Sweet. I built the frame and stretched a screen on Sunday, and burned the screen last night, so I’ll pull some proofs this evening to see how they look.